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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Elizabeth Craigmyle

Solway Sands

TWA race doon by the Gatehope-Slack,

When nicht is wearin’ near to the noon,

He on the gray and she on the black;

Her faither and brithers are hard on the track,

And Solway sands are white in the moon.

Strong is their love, but their loves may be twined

Or ever the lady grant love’s boon;

Elliots and Armstrongs hold chase behind,

Their shouts and curses ring down the wind,

And Solway sands stretch white in the moon.

Annan rins fu’ frae brae to bank,

But Katharine’s lover is nae coward loon;

Into the good gray’s foam-flecked flank

In the rowels o’ the gray steel sank,

And Solway sands wait white in the moon.

The water ’s up to his bandelier,

It ’s up to the waist o’ her satin goon;

“We ’ll win to the shore and never fear,

There ’s never a Elliot will follow here,”

And Solway sands glint white in the moon.

The steeds and the riders are safely o’er,

Through the swirl o’ waters that waste and droon;

“We try the swimming this night no more,

The boat is waiting on Solway shore,

And Solway sands shine white in the moon.”

Through the gray tide-water their horses splash,

Through the salt pools left on the sea-sand broon;

Then on to the waiting boat they dash,—

Their midnight riding is wild and rash,

And Solway sands gleam white in the moon.

“To-night the boat’s rough deck I trow,

Next night the bridal in Carlisle toon.”

But nights shall come and nights shall go,

O’er their bride-bed deep in the quicksand’s flow,

And Solway sands stand white in the moon.

The boat rocks light on the Solway wave,

The turn of the tide is coming soon,

But slowly they sink in their ghastly grave,

Wrapped round in the dark with none to save,

And Solway sands laugh white in the moon.

The cloud wrack breaks, and the stars shine fair,

The sea’s voice sounds like a mystic rune,

The skipper looks out, but none are there,

The glimmering coast-line is wide and bare,

And Solway Sands are white in the moon.