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Good Words 1860
Sonnet


(WRITTEN AT SANQUHAR.)

O Scotland, thou art full of holy ground!
From every glen I hear a prophet preach;
Thy sods are voiceful. No gray hook can teach,
Like the green grass that swathes a martyr's mound.
And here, where Nith's clear mountain waters flow,
With murmurous sweep, round Sanquhar's hoary tower,
The place constrains me, and with sacred power,
What Scotland is to Scottish men I know.
Here first the youthful hero preacher [
James Renwick] raised
The public banner of a nation's creed:
Far o'er the land the spoken virtue blazed,
But he who dared to voice the truth must bleed.
Men call'd it rash: perhaps it was a crime—
His deed flash'd out God's will, an hour before the time.

9th May 1858. B.


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