The Maid Of Neidpath

A poem by Walter Scott

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 bunny'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 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.

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