“Fies nobilium tu quoque fontium.” – CAR. III., 13.
THOU bonnie modest mountain spring,
That tinkles oot aneth a stane
An’ seems to thy ainsel’ to sing –
For listener near is nane –
There’s neither birk nor rowan tree
Bends owre thy brink to shelter thee,
An’ but ae gowan fra the lea
Has wandert here its lane.
I thocht nae cretur near enoo,
Till, as I loutit doun to drink,
Awa’ wi’ flichterin’ flurry flew
A lintie fra the brink.
I’m dootfu’ if it was a bird,
Sae still it sat afore it stirr’d,
Then, swifter than I’ll say the wird,
Gaed by me in a blink.
Was it the fairy o’ the fount
Disturbit in her maiden dream,
That, takin’ fricht on my account
Was startled fra her hame?
Thou lovely Thocht o’ Solitude!
Nae mair will I wi footstep rude,
An’ harsh an’ hasty wirds, intrude
Upon thy haly stream.
Sae fare-thee-weel, sweet Maiden’s Well!
Baith sun and weet thy watters spare!
Thou minds me o’ a maid thysel’
Sae meek thy modest air.
Thy siller thread is hardly seen
Winding the solemn hills between,
Yet a’ the way thy banks o’ green
Give proof that thou art there.
Note. – The Maiden’s Well lies on the edge of the old bridle-path over the hills, about two miles behind Castle Campbell. Its beauty is in itself – cool, clear, and copious; sine floribus, yet not without its wreath of pastoral legend.