Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Scotland
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII.  1876–79.
 
Esk, the River
The Esk
David Macbeth Moir (1798–1851)
 
(From The Angler)

THROUGH the deep glen of Roslin—where arise
Proud castle and chapelle of high St. Clair,
And Scotland’s prowess speaking—we had traced
The mazy Esk by caverned Hawthornden,
Perched like an eagle’s nest upon the cliffs,        5
And eloquent for aye with Drummond’s song;
Through Melville’s flowery glades; and down the park
Of fair Dalkeith, scaring the antlered deer,
’Neath the huge oaks of Morton and of Monk,
Whispering, as stir their boughs the midnight winds.        10
These left behind, with purpling evening, now
We stood beside St. Michael’s holy fane,
With its nine centuries of gravestones girt;
And from the slopes of Inveresk gazed down
Upon the Firth of Forth, whose waveless tide        15
Glowed like a plain of fire. In majesty,
O’ercanopied with many-vestured clouds,
The mighty sun, low in the farthest west,
With orb dilated, o’er the Grampian chain,
Mountain up-piled on mountain, huge and blue,        20
Was shedding his last rays adown the shores
Of Fife, with all its towns and woods and fields,
And bathing Ben-Ean and Ben-Ledi’s peaks
In hues of amethyst. Ray after ray,
From the twin Lomond’s conic heights declined,        25
And died away the glory; and at length,
As sank the last, low horizontal beams,
And Twilight drew her azure curtains round,
From out the south twinkled the evening star.
 
 
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