If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright

IF thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,
Go visit it by the pale moonlight;
For the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild but to flout the ruins gray.
When the broken arches are black in night,
And each shafted oriel glimmers white;
When the cold light’s uncertain shower
Streams on the ruined central tower;
When buttress and buttress, alternately,
Seem framed of ebon and ivory;
When silver edges the imagery,
And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die;
When distant Tweed is heard to rave,
And the owlet to hoot o’er the dead man’s grave,—
Then go—but go alone the while—
Then view St. David’s ruined pile;
And, home returning, soothly swear,
Was never scene so sad and fair!

–Sir Walter Scott, ‘The Lay of the Last Minstrel.’

(I tried to take photos of Melrose by moonlight. It didn’t go well. So I wrote a song about it instead.)

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