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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

The Maid of Neidpath

OH, lovers’ eyes are sharp to see,

And lovers’ ears in hearing;

And love, in life’s extremity,

Can lend an hour of cheering.

Disease had been in Mary’s bower,

And slow decay from mourning,

Though now she sits in Neidpath’s tower

To watch her love’s returning.

All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,

Her form decayed by pining,

Till through her wasted hand, at night,

You saw the taper shining.

By fits a sultry hectic hue

Across her cheek was flying;

By fits so ashy pale she grew

Her maidens thought her dying.

Yet keenest powers to see and hear

Seemed in her frame residing:

Before the watch-dog pricked his ear

She heard her lover’s riding;

Ere scarce a distant form was kenned

She knew and waved to greet him,

And o’er the battlement did bend

As on the wing to meet him.

He came—he passed—an heedless gaze

As o’er some stranger glancing;

Her welcome, spoke in faltering phrase,

Lost in his courser’s prancing.—

The castle arch, whose hollow tone

Returns each whisper spoken,

Could scarcely catch the feeble moan

Which told her heart was broken.