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Poem by Walter Scott


The Orphan Maid


November's hail-cloud drifts away,
November's sunbeam wan
Looks coldly on the castle grey,
When forth comes Lady Anne.
The orphan by the oak was set,
Her arms, her feet, were bare;
The hail drops had not melted yet,
Amid her raven hair.
'And, dame,' she said, 'by all the ties
That child and mother know,
Aid one who never knew these joys,
Relieve an orphan's woe.'
The lady said, 'An orphan's state
Is hard and sad to bear;
Yet worse the widow'd mother's fate
Who mourns both lord and heir.
'Twelve times the rolling year has sped,
Since, when from vengeance wild
Of fierce Strathallan's Chief I fled
Forth's eddies whelm'd my child.'
'Twelve times the year its course has borne,'
The wandering maid replied;
'Since fishers on Saint Bridget's morn
Drew nets on Campsie side.
'Saint Bridget sent no scaly spoil;
An infant, wellnigh dead,
They saved, and rear'd in want and toil,
To beg from you her bred.'
That orphan maid the lady kiss'd,-â
'My husband's looks you bear;
Saint Bridget and her morn be bless'd!
You are his widow's heir.'
They've robed that maid, so poor and pale
In silk and sandals rare;
And pearls, for drops of frozen hail,
Are glistening in her hair. 



Walter Scott


Walter Scott's other poems:
  1. The Monks of Bangors March
  2. On Ettrick Forests Mountains Dun
  3. The Maid of Isla
  4. On the Massacre of Glencoe
  5. Lines Addressed to Ranald Macdonald, Esq., of Staffa


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