IN THE VALLEY.
HEATHER and potentilla fold The rocks with purple and with gold; The burn beneath sings clear and cold.
Here man and woman kept a tryst; Here often met; here first they kissed Under the white and secret mist.
And here within this holy place, He came and thundered her disgrace, And looked his last upon her face.
And while he cursed her ruined name, Her young soul fainted, sick with shame, Before the death knell of her fame.
Had heath and potentil but known His wrath and her despairing moan, Their twinkling flowers had surely flown.
And had the burn but felt that cry, Or understood their agony, • She must have wept her silver dry.
The grey hill; heard the lover take
An oath, that made their echoes ache, To hate all women for her sake.
The sunshine saw the woman cast Herself to earth when he had past, Her little pitcher broke at last.
But heath and potentil are gay; The waters sing upon their way, Though all this happened yesterday.
For June must joy, though joy departs, And life must laugh, though sorrow smarts, And buds must break as well as hearts.