The Return To Ulster

A poem by Walter Scott

Once again, but how chang'd since my wand'rings began
I have heard the deep voice of the Lagan and Bann,
And the pines of Clanbrasil resound to the roar
That wearies the echoes of fair Tullamore.
Alas! My poor bosom, and why shouldst thou burn!
With the scenes of my youth can its raptures return?
Can I live the dear life of delusion again,
That flow'd when these echoes first mix'd with my strain?

It was then that around me, though poor and unknown,
High spells of mysterious enchantment were thrown;
The streams were of silver, of diamond the dew,
The land was an Eden, for fancy was new.
I had heard of our bards, and my soul was on fire
At the rush of their verse, and the sweep of their lyre:
To me 'twas not legend, nor tale to the ear,
But a vision of noontide, distinguish'd and clear.

But was she, too, a phantom, the maid who stood by,
And listed my lay, while she turn?d from mine eye?
Was she, too, a vision, just glancing to view,
Then dispers'd in the sunbeam, or melted to dew?
Oh! Would it had been so, O would that her eye
Had been but a star-glance that shot through the sky,
And her voice, that was moulded to melody's thrill
Had been but a zephyr that sigh'd and was still.

Oh! would it had been so, not then this poor heart
Had learn'd the sad lesson, to love and to part;
To bear, unassisted, its burthen of care,
While I toil'd for the wealth I had no one to share.
Not then had I said, when life's summer was done,
And the hours of her autumn were fast speeding on,
"Take the fame and the riches ye brought in your train,
And restore me the dream of my spring-tide again."

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