Home Life Works Articles Contact

Anna Jane Vardill

The Highland Husband’s Gift *

From A MS. in the M‘Gregor Family

Wear thy Mountain’s diamond, fairest!
 In thy waving hair;
It will noblest seem, and rarest
 If it sparkles there;
For only this dark gem can vie
With those brown tresses’ burnish’d dye,
And well the elves that guard it know,
If it might touch thy spotless brow,
For ever in thy memory
Thy wedded love would living be.

Or hanging on thy ear, dearest,
 A moment let it shine;
Then in every voice thou hearest
 Shall seem a sound of mine—
Yet no;—for never by the tone
Of silver words was true love known;
I would not tax thy soul to give
The fondness that on words can live.

But place it on thy hand, sweetest,
 Clasp’d with the holy gold,
And when a stranger’s hand thou meetest,
 Thine shall be winter-cold;
And thou shalt lute and tablet take
In bower or chamber for my sake;
And it shall teach thy pen to shew
How thought should speak when speech is true.

Then hide it in thy breast, dearest!
 If it be pure and fair,
When to thy heart this gem is nearest,
 My image shall be there;
For it has spells more deep and strong
When hid its native snows among;
And it shall have most pow’r to bless
Where all is peace and holiness.


* The Cairngorm diamond.

The European Magazine, Vol. 73, May 1818, p. 435