I Mark'd a Gem of Pearly Dew

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Melody - R.A. Smith
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Robert Tannahill

I mark'd a gem of pearly dew,
While wand'ring near yon misty mountain,
Which bore the tender flow'r so low,
It dropp'd it off into the fountain.
So thou hast wrung this gentle heart,
Which in its core was proud to wear thee,
Till drooping sick beneath thy art,
It sighing found it could not bear thee.
2. Adieu, thou faithless fair! unkind!
Thy falsehood dooms that we must sever;
Thy vows were as the passing wind,
That fans the flow'r, then dies for ever.
And think not that this gentle heart,
Though in its core 'twas proud to wear thee,
Shall longer droop beneath thy art ;--
No, cruel fair, it cannot bear thee.


Tannahill and Smith once went on a fishing excursion with some acquaintances. The two friends being but tyros soon grew weary of lashing the water to no purpose, and separated for a little, each to amuse himself in his own fashion. When Smith rejoined the poet, he was shown this song written with a pencil. Tannahill had been occupied observing a blade of grass bending under the weight of a dew-drop, and this trifling object had suggested to him the simile embodied in tine song.

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