1803 9

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Mary of Carron
“B. N.”
The European Magazine, XLIV (October 1803), p. 304

A Ballad.[1]

Night had spread her palest curtain,
    Scowling winds roar'd thro' the dale,
Carron[2] from his lonely fountain
    Rush'd in torrents down the vale.

Fair Mary by its banks lamenting,
    Mourn'd her Colin distant gone,
In deepest sighs her sorrows venting,
    To the hoarse stream pour'd her moan.

"Three long circling years are over,
    "Since my Colin stray'd afar;
"Since Britannia call'd my lover
    "To the fated field of war.

"Far from Carron's winding river,
    "Fighting brave in Britain's right,
"Heaven! protect my wand'ring lover!
    "Heaven! restore him to my sight!"

Thus she mourn'd her long-lost Colin,
    Fierce fire flashing thro' the glade;
From the gloom a spectre gliding,
    Thus address'd the trembling maid:

"Fairest Mary! cease lamenting,
    "Far from thee thy Colin's slain;
"Glorious fell he, bravely fighting,
    "On Rosetta's[3] blood-stain'd plain.

"Ere life's ling'ring torrent parted,
    "Shield my Mary, Heav'ns!" he cried,
"By Carron wand'ring broken-hearted,"
    "Then quietly clos'd his eyes, and died."

The spectre fled; while downward bending,
    "Stop, I come;" she scream'd aloud;
"My heart I feel with sorrows rending;"
    Then lifeless dropt by Carron's flood.

Now the cold earth forms her pillow;
    Maidens, view where soft she's laid,
Near where yonder weeping willow
    Lonely waves by Carron's side.

Sept. 1802.


1. [Author's note]: "Founded on a popular story."

2. [Author's note]: "A river in Stirlingshire."

3. A town in Egypt where the Rosetta stone was found by a Frenchman in 1799.

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