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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Nora’s Vow
By Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
 
HEAR what Highland Nora said:—
“The Earlie’s son I will not wed,
Should all the race of nature die,
And none be left but he and I.
For all the gold, for all the gear,        5
And all the lands both far and near,
That ever valor lost or won,
I would not wed the Earlie’s son.”
 
“A maiden’s vows,” old Callum spoke:
“Are lightly made and lightly broke;        10
The heather on the mountain’s height
Begins to bloom in purple light;
The frost-wind soon shall sweep away
That lustre deep from glen and brae:
Yet Nora, ere its bloom be gone,        15
May blithely wed the Earlie’s son.”
 
“The swan,” she said, “the lake’s clear breast
May barter for the eagle’s nest;
The Awe’s fierce stream may backward turn,
Ben-Cruaichan fall and crush Kilchurn;        20
Our kilted clans, when blood is high,
Before their foes may turn and fly:
But I, were all these marvels done,
Would never wed the Earlie’s son.”
 
Still in the water-lily’s shade        25
Her wonted nest the wild-swan made;
Ben-Cruaichan stands as fast as ever,
Still downward foams the Awe’s fierce river;
To shun the clash of foeman’s steel,
No Highland brogue has turned the heel:        30
But Nora’s heart is lost and won,—
She’s wedded to the Earlie’s son!
 
 
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