Author Topic: Scottish Poetry  (Read 104809 times)

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #120 on: April 03, 2009, 09:33:25 AM »
The Flowers Of The Forest

The lady who wrote this haunting song of national sorrow was the daughter of Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto, Lord Justice-clerk of Scotland. She died in 1805. It is said that, following a talk about the disaster at Flodden, Sir Gilbert offered a bet that Miss Jean could not compose a ballad on the subject. How magnificently she pieced together the fragments of a lost ballad may be judged from this reply to the challenge.


I've heard the lilting at our yowe-milking,
Lasses a-lilting before the dawn of day;
But now they are moaning in ilka green loaning
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

At buchts, in the morning, nae biythe lads are scorning, The lasses are lonely, and dowie, and wae;
Nae damn', nae gabbin', but sighing and sabbing,
Ilk ane lifts her leglen and hies her away.

In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering, The bandsters are lyart, and runkled, and gray;
At fair, or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

At e'en, at the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming, 'Bout stacks wi' the lasses at bogle to play;
But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearie
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

Dule and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border! The English, for aince, by guile wan the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that focht aye the foremost, The prime o' our land, are cauld in the clay.

Weir hear nae mair lilting at our yowe-milking,
Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning
The Flowers of the Forest are a' wede away.

Jean Elliot.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #121 on: April 14, 2009, 11:11:18 AM »
I have no clue what this is about but I like it anyway!

Louis MacNeice (1907 - 1963)

Bagpipe Music

It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw,
  All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
  Their knickers are made of crepe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
  Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with head of bison.

  John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
  Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
  Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey,
  Kept its bones for dumbbells to use when he was fifty.

  It's no go the Yogi-man, it's no go Blavatsky,
  All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

  Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
  Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
  It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture,
  All we want is a Dunlop tire and the devil mend the puncture.

  The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
  Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
  Mrs. Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
  Said to the midwife "Take it away; I'm through with overproduction."

  It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh,
  All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby.

  Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage,
  Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
  His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish,
  Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.

  It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible,
  All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.

  It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
  It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
  It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
  Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

  It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
  Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
  The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever,
  But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #122 on: April 14, 2009, 09:42:39 PM »
It is strange Stu, but kind of fun nonetheless.
The Reivers Ride Again!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #123 on: May 05, 2009, 10:29:12 AM »
For all that we are about to receive...

- Selkirk Grace

    Although the "Selkirk Grace" is attributed to Robert Burns, a version of this stanza was known in the 17th century as the Galloway Grace or the Covenanters' Grace and was said in Lallans (the Lowland Scots dialect). It is this version (version (1) below) which is usually used at Burns Suppers. Traditionally, Burns is said to have delivered an extempore version in Standard English at a dinner given by the Earl of Selkirk (version (2) below).

    Burns also composed other graces and two of these are shown below.

           Selkirk Grace (1)
        Some hae meat and canna eat,
           And some wad eat that want it;
        But we hae meat, and we can eat,
           Sae let the Lord be thankit.

        The last line is often varied to read-
        And sae the Lord be thankit
           
              Selkirk Grace (2)
        Some have meat and cannot eat,
           Some cannot eat that want it;
        But we have meat and we can eat,
           So let the Lord be thankit.

          A Grace Before Dinner
        O thou who kindly dost provide
           For ev'ry creature's want!
        We bless the God of Nature wide,
           For all Thy goodness lent.

        And if it please Thee, heavenly Guide,
           May never worse be sent;
        But, whether granted or denied,
           Lord, bless us with content.

          A Grace After Dinner
        O Thou, in whom we live and move,
           Who made the sea and shore,
        Thou goodness constantly we prove,
           And, grateful, would adore.

        And, if it please Thee, Power above!
           Still grant us with such store
        The friend we trust, the fair we love,
           And we desire no more.

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #124 on: May 14, 2009, 10:40:26 AM »

The Return (A Piper's Vaunting)
by James Pittendrigh Macgillivray
1856-1938

Och hey! for the splendour of tartans!
And hey for the dirk and the targe!
The race that was hard as the Spartans
Shall return again to the charge:
Shall come back again to the heather,
Like eagles, with beak and with claws
To take and to scatter for ever
The Sasennach thieves and their laws.
Och, then, for the bonnet and feather!
The pipe and its vaunting clear:
Och, then, for the glens and the heather!
And all that the Gael holds dear.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #125 on: May 14, 2009, 09:10:28 PM »
And alas, the Sassenach still holds sway...
The Reivers Ride Again!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #126 on: June 01, 2009, 07:21:47 AM »
Address To The Shade Of Thomson - Robert Burns
On Crowning His Bust at Ednam, Roxburghshire, with a Wreath of Bays.

1791


    While virgin Spring by Eden's flood,
    Unfolds her tender mantle green,
    Or pranks the sod in frolic mood,
    Or tunes Eolian strains between.

    While Summer, with a matron grace,
    Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling shade,
    Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace
    The progress of the spiky blade.

    While Autumn, benefactor kind,
    By Tweed erects his aged head,
    And sees, with self-approving mind,
    Each creature on his bounty fed.

    While maniac Winter rages o'er
    The hills whence classic Yarrow flows,
    Rousing the turbid torrent's roar,
    Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows.

    So long, sweet Poet of the year!
    Shall bloom that wreath thou well hast won;
    While Scotia, with exulting tear,
    Proclaims that Thomson was her son.

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #127 on: June 16, 2009, 06:37:58 AM »
Poet of Lochgelly

Against the wall of the old chancel in the kirkyard facing Auchterderran Kirk stands a most unusual headstone. It marks the grave of the Poet of Lochgelly, John Pindar, whose real name was Peter Leslie.

He was born in 1836 of poor parents and after a scanty education went to work in the pits at the age of nine.There he remained "in dark dreary drudgery" until, in his 23rd year, he enlisted in a regiment of Fusiliers.He wrote his "Autobiography of a Private Soldier" describing his interesting life in the army. Many of his poems were composed during his military service in India.

After many years, Pindar returned to his native Lochgelly to eke out a miserable existence on his pension of one shilling a day. Disabled in an accident, he was unable to do manual work. He was appointed hall—keeper at the Volunteer Hall, Lochgelly, but his income from that was very modest. By arranging to have Pindar's poems published the Rev. A.M.Houston of Auchterderran hoped to make life a little easier for an old soldier.

The Kirk of Auchterderran

The dear auld kirk I lo'e it weel,
Where sainted dust repose;
It stands amang the leafy trees,
Near where the burnie flows.
Wavering memory brings to view
The days when,but a bairn
I toddled wi'my father to
The Kirk o' Auchterderran.
Beneath the shadow o' your dome
My aged parents lie;
May I wi'them find my last home
Whene'er I come to die.

Pindar got his wish to be buried in Auchterderran Kirkyard and because he had no money to leave for a tombstone, the Rev. A.M. Houston had a memorial stone assembled for his burial place from the remains of broken stones lying in the kirkyard.
   


Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #128 on: June 19, 2009, 08:48:01 AM »
                                               The Sidlaw Hills
                                                     by R. Ford



                                        There's nae hills like the Scottish hills
                                            'Mang a' that rise and fa',
                                        The Lowthers and the Grampions,
                                            Sae buirdly and sae braw ;
                                        The Pentlands and the Ochils,
                                            Sae comely aye to see, -
                                        O' a' the hills o' Scotland still,
                                            The Sidlaw Hills for me.
         
                                        An' why sae dear the Sidlaws ?
                                            Ah, that's the tale to tell ;
                                        It's no' their buik, - though a' in ane
                                            They wadna match Goatfell.
                                        They wadna mak Ben Nevis,
                                            Though biggit three on three,
                                        Yet Goatfell nor Ben Nevis
                                            Is hauf sae dear to me.
         
                                        Oh. I can leave Ben Nevis,
                                            Nor feel a partin' pang ;
                                        Goatfell, too, and Ben Lomond,
                                            Sae bauld the hills amang ;
                                        But aye my heart gaes dunt for dunt,
                                            Whaurever I may be,
                                        If ane but names the Sidlaws,
                                            The hills o' hame, to me.
         
                                        Ilk' time we cross the Ochils
                                            My e'e darts ower Strathmore -
                                        It's first Kinnoull, then Murray's Ha',
                                            Syne ithers hauf a score ;
                                        Dunsinnan and Kinpurnie,
                                            And a' sae fair to see :
                                        They're wee bit knowes the Sidlaws,
                                            But, oh, they're dear to me.
         
                                        They're dear to me for mony ties
                                            My heart will never tyne,
                                        For sichts an' soun's their very thocht
                                            Reca's frae auld lang syne.
                                        O' those wi' whom I speil'd their broos
                                            Bare-leggit to the knee,
                                        An' but to clasp their han's again
                                            There's nocht I wadna gi'e.
         
                                        Then sing's ye like o' ither hills,
                                            And a' their glories tell,
                                        The Lowthers an' the Grampions,
                                            Ben Nevis an' Goatfell ;
                                        But dinna ferlie though I sit
                                            An' never lift an e'e :
                                        They're wee bit knowes the Sidlaws,
                                            But, oh, they're dear to me.

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #129 on: June 23, 2009, 07:29:01 AM »
Abbotsford is the home of Sir Walter Scott and this poem is about them both.

Abbotsford
tooled in gold


I lit a candle for you today, at Abbotsford,
where the sun lay warm upon the walls
and roses spread richness on our afternoon.
In the library, the books glowed as
a shaft of light fell on titles, tooled in gold
by some forgotten, artistic hand.
The chairs are empty waiting still, for
the feel and stroke of friendly hands
along the polished, well worn wood.
And on the table, your green and white
looked freshly used, content.
In the gardens, beyond the yews
theres a seat, where dreams were dreamt,
to lie amongst the purples, blue and pink
and people all the nooks and crannies
in tall stone walls, hedged and
blanketed by fragrant, new-cut yew.
So quiet, so hushed, the silence so deep
I could hear your pen scratch,
and splutter over paper on the desk,
beyond the windows, beyond the grass
the river runs its everlasting course,
carrying your essence, your very soul,
between green banks, and pale-smooth stones

...and when I go to sleep at night,

I’ll think of Abbotsford,

and you.



Pim Claridge

http://www.pimclaridge.com/index.html
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #130 on: June 26, 2009, 09:54:07 AM »
Highland Mary
Robert Burns

I
Ye banks and braes, and streams around,
The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,
And there the langest tarry;
For there I took the last fareweel
O my sweet Highland Mary.

II
How sweetly bloom'd the gay green birk!
How rich the hawthorn's blossom!
As underneath their fragrant shade,
I clasped her to my bosom!
The golden hours, on angel wings,
Flew o'er me and my dearie;
For dear to me, as light and life,
Was my sweet Highland Mary.

III
Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,
Our parting was fu' tender;
And, pledging aft to meet again,
We tore oursel's asunder;
But, oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
That nipt my flower sae early!--
Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,
That wraps my Highland Mary!

IV
Oh pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
And clos'd for aye the sparkling glance
That dwelt on me sae kindly!
And mouldering now in silent dust
That heart that lo'ed me dearly--
But still within my bosom's core
Shall live my Highland Mary!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #131 on: June 29, 2009, 08:39:20 AM »
This poem by 'Banjo' Paterson, best remembered as the author of 'Waltzing Matilda' takes place during the Boer War in South Africa.

The Scottish Engineer
by Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson (1864 - 1941)


With eyes that searched in the dark,
Peering along the line,
Stood the grim Scotsman, Hector Clark,
Driver of "Forty-nine".
And the veldt-fire flamed on the hills ahead,
Like a blood-red beacon sign.

There was word of a fight to the north,
And a column too hardly pressed,
So they started the Highlanders forth.
Heedless of food or rest.

But the pipers gaily played,
Chanting their fierce delight,
And the armoured carriages rocked and swayed.
Laden with men of the Scots Brigade,
Hurrying up to the fight,
And the grim, grey Highland engineer
Driving them into the night.

Then a signal light glowed red,
And a picket came to the track.
"Enemy holding the line ahead;
Three of our mates we have left for dead,
Only we two got back."
And far to the north through the still night air
They heard the rifles crack.

And the boom of a gun rang out,
Like the sound of a deep appeal,
And the picket stood in doubt
By the side of the driving-wheel.

But the engineer looked down,
With his hand on the starting-bar,
"Ride ye back to the town,
Ye know what my orders are,
Maybe they're wanting the Scots Brigade
Up on those hills afar.

"I am no soldier at all,
Only an engineer;
But I could not bear that the folk should say
Over in Scotland -- Glasgow way --
That Hector Clark stayed here
With the Scots Brigade till the foe was gone,
With ever a rail to run her on.
Ready behind! Stand clear!

"Fireman, get you gone
Into the armoured train --
I will drive her alone;
One more trip -- and perhaps the last --
With a well-raked fire and an open blast;
Hark to the rifles again!"

On through the choking dark,
Never a lamp nor a light,
Never an engine spark
Showing her hurried flight,
Over the lonely plain
Rushed the great armoured train,
Hurrying up to the fight.

Then with her living freight
On to the foe she came,
And the rides snapped their hate.
And the darkness spouted flame.

Over the roar of the fray
The hungry bullets whined,
As she dashed through the foe that lay
Loading and firing blind,
Till the glare of the furnace, burning clear,
Showed them the form of the engineer

Sharply and well defined.
Through! They are safely through!
Hark to the column's cheer!
Surely the driver knew
He was to halt her here;
But he took no heed of the signals red,
And the fireman found, when he climbed ahead,
There on the door of his engine -- dead --
The Scottish Engineer!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #132 on: June 30, 2009, 09:47:49 AM »
The Highland Clearance
by Frank McNie

The rain that makes our Highlands green
tears from broken hearts
torn from life that's always been
forced to foreign parts
the highland soul from homeland wrenched
blind loyalty betrayed
the thirst for money must be quenched
decency forbade
of what importance a family's home
that stands in rich man's way
when he needs the fields for sheep to roam
and his tenants cannot pay
forsaken is the chieftains pledge
to hold his clansmen true
force them to the waters edge
to a life they never knew
no matter that they starve and die
improvements are a must
money, London fashions buy
and sheep can fill that lust
that rain that makes our Highlands green
cant wash away their sins
they'll pay the price when it is seen
murderous origins
damn them for their interference
the misery and pain
those architects of highland clearance
whose families still remain
their dynasties still rule the lands
with arrogant impunity
lets show the blood that's on their hands
and cancel all immunity.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Donna

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #133 on: June 30, 2009, 09:54:38 PM »
 :'(

Donna
ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #134 on: July 23, 2009, 08:39:44 AM »
From the Rampant Scotland website...

    A Wish for The Children
          by Walter Wingate

    Through the summer paradise
              May their golden hours
    Flit like wildered butterflies
              In a maze of flowers!
    Pleasure wake them morn by morn;
    Roses deck them from the thorn:
    Poppies crown them from the corn;
    Night with her enchanted horn
    Woo them like a Hamelin band
              Over vale and steep
    To a fairer wonderland
              Through the gates of sleep;
    Till the pools along the shore
    Can enrich them nothing more;
    Till the meadows jeweled floor
    Weary with familiar love;
    Till the home-thought comes to croon
              Sweetly ‘oer the seas
    As to languid afternoon
              Comes the sweet sea-breeze!

    Meaning of unusual words:
    Hamelin - refers to the Pied Piper of Hamlin

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu