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Unformatted text preview: om Yair, which hills so closely bind, Scarce can the Tweed his passage find, Though much he fret, and chafe, and toil, Till all his eddying currents boil. Still the water loiters by the long boat-pool of Yair, as though loath to leave the drooping boughs of the elms. Still it courses with a deep eddy through the Elm Wheel, and ripples under Fernilea, where the author of the "Flowers of the Forest" lived in that now mouldering and roofless hall, with the peaked turrets. Still Neidpath is fair, Neidpath of the unhappy maid, and still we mark the tiny burn at Ashiesteil, how in November, Murmuring hoarse, and frequent seen, Through bush and briar, no longer green, An angry brook, it sweeps the glade, Brawls over rock and wild cascade, And foaming brown, with doubled speed, Hurries its waters to the Tweed. Still the old tower of Elibank is black and strong in ruin; Elibank, the home of that Muckle Mou'd Meg, who made Harden after all a better bride than he would have found in the hanging ash-tree of her father. These are unaltered, mainly, since Scott saw them last, and little altered is the homely house of Ashiesteil, where he had been so happy. And we, too, feel but little change among those scenes of long ago, those best-beloved haunts of boyhood, where we have had so many good days and bad, days of rising trout and success; days of failure, and even of half-drowning. One cannot reproduce the charm of the strong river in pool and stream, of the steep rich bank that it rushes or lingers by, of the green and heathery hills beyond, or the bare slopes where the blue slate breaks through among the dark old thorn-trees, remnants of the forest. It is all homely and all haunted, and, if a Tweedside fisher might have his desire, he would sleep the long sleep in the little churchyard that lies lonely above the pool of Caddon-foot, and hard by Christopher North's favourite quarters at
60 ANGLING SKETCHES Clovenfords. However, while we are still on earth, Caddon-foot is more attractive for her long sweep of salmon-pool--the home of sea-trout too--than precisely for her kirk-yard. There will be time enough f...
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