It was a well-known mountain scene; --
Wild steeps, with rugged glens between
I should have thirsted to explore,
Had I not trod them oft before.
A younger boy was with me there.
His hand upon my shoulder leant;
His heart, like mine, was free from care,
His breath, with sportive toil, was spent;
For my rough pastimes he would share,
And equal dangers loved to dare,
(Though seldom I would care to vie
In learning's keen pursuit with him;
I loved free air and open sky
Better than books and tutors grim,)
And we had wandered far that day
O'er that forbidden ground away --
Ground, to our rebel feet how dear;
Danger and freedom both were there! --
Had climbed the steep and coursed the dale
Until his strength began to fail.
He bade me pause and breathe a while,
But spoke it with a happy smile.