Esk Mill

The moon o'er the waves of the North throws her glory
And brightens the snow wreaths on proud Pentland high,
Whilst cold, under arms, I view, leafless and hoary,
The dark wood that answers the sentinel's cry.

But what are my sufferings, though cold, wet and weary,
And round me the rude blasts of insult blaw shrill
To theirs who're confined in the dungeon so dreary
And wail life away in the gloom of Esk Mill.

Oh Esk!  gentle Esk!  as thou flow through the valley,
No soft sounds of love now pass o'er thy waves,
At night the tatoo, and at morn the rivally,
Are mixed with sighs from the iron grated grave.

Industry has fled from thy scenes now distressing,
The Bard shuns thy banks, who, when evening was still,
Us'd so pensive to wander the muse fond caressing
Now sigh when he thinks on the woes of Esk Mill.

In fancy I wander where nations uniting,
Display their proud banners o'er hill and o'er dale
I hear the loud roar of the armies still fighting
I see of the battle the mournful detail.

Poor remnant of armies how strongly escorted,
I see their sad march while my heart's blood runs chill,
Far, far from their kindred with grief broken-hearted
Slow pass the sad hours - woeful hours in Esk Mill.

Ye troublers of Nations how poor is your glory,
The pages of history will blush with your crimes,
Your deeds will seem darker your features more gory,
When man shuddering views you, in all future times.

But what is the gay round of Royalty shining,
When sleep fly your couch as the wind o'er the hill;
More happy the swain in cold poverty pining,
More happy the prisoner in gloomy Esk Mill.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin