The Maid of Neidpath
O 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 on Neidpath’s tower To watch her Love’s returning. All sunk and dim her eyes so bright, Her form decay’d 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 Seem’d in her frame residing; Before the watch-dog prick’d his ear She heard her lover’s riding; Ere scarce a distant form was kenn’d She knew and waved to greet him, And o’er the battlement did bend As on the wing to meet him. He came—he pass’d—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.
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