Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE EMIGRANT LASSIE, by JOHN STUART BLACKIE

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THE EMIGRANT LASSIE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: As I came wandering down the glen spean
Last Line: Was dropped upon the heather.
Subject(s): Death; Dead, The

As I came wandering down Glen Spean,
Where the braes are green and grassy,
With my light step I overtook
A weary-footed lassie.
She had one bundle on her back,
Another in her hand,
And she walked as one who was full loath
To travel from the land.
Quoth I, "My bonnie lass!" -- for she
Had hair of flowing gold,
And dark brown eyes, and dainty limbs,
Right pleasant to behold --
"My bonnie lass, what aileth thee,
On this bright summer day,
To travel sad and shoeless thus
Upon the stony way?
"I'm fresh and strong, and stoutly shod,
And thou art burdened so;
March lightly now, and let me bear
The bundles as we go."
"No, no!" she said, "that may not be;
What's mine is mine to bear;
Of good or ill, as God may will,
I take my portioned share."
"But you have two, and I have none;
One burden give to me;
I'll take that bundle from thy back
That heavier seems to be.
"No, no!" she said; "this, if you will,
That holds -- no hand but mine
May bear its weight from dear Glen Spean
'Cross the Atlantic brine!"
"Well, well! but tell me what may be
Within that precious load,
Which thou dost bear with such fine care
Along the dusty road?
"Belike it is some present rare
From friend in parting hour;
Perhaps, as prudent maidens wont,
Thou tak'st with thee thy dower."
She drooped her head, and with her hand
She gave a mournful wave:
"Oh, do not jest, dear sir! -- it is
Turf from my mother's grave!"
I spoke no word: we sat and wept
By the road-side together;
No purer dew on that bright day
Was dropped upon the heather.

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