Author Topic: Scottish Poetry  (Read 103063 times)

Mary

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #90 on: January 18, 2009, 09:36:49 AM »
Stu and John -

Thanks for posting the poetry - whether new or old!  I enjoy all of it and, from the number of hits, so do a lot of other people!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #91 on: January 22, 2009, 09:11:27 AM »

William Henry Ogilvie

1869-1963

Born in Kelso, Scotland, Ogilvie moved to Australia at the age of twenty. One of his reasons for leaving his homeland was his admiration of the writer Adam Lindsay Gordon and like Gordon, a great love for horses. When he arrived in Australia he found work as a drover, a breaker, and a musterer. He worked at Maroupe, located in South Australia as well as Belalie on the Warrego. It was during this time that he began writing, his poetry focusing on the Outback life and it's many adventures in an acclamatory, romantic verse. Ogilvie had many of his works published in the Mount Gambier Border Watch, the Australasian and the Bulletin. A couple of years before his return to Scotland in 1901 he published his most well known collection of verse in 1898. It is considered to be his best and most notable piece of work.
While all of his works were published in Australia, he never returned. After his return to Scotland he continued to write poems that concerned the Scottish borders. The well known poet, Hugh McDairmund, hailed his work as a triumph. Unfortunately, though he was successful in both countries, he died practically unknown and has become one of the more obscure poets of that era.


If I Were Old

If I were old, a broken man and blind,
and one should lead me to Mid-Eildon's crest,
and leave me there a little time to rest
sharing the hilltop with the Border wind,
the whispering heather, and the curlew's cry,
I know the blind dark could not be so deep,
so cruel and clinging, but that I
should see the sunlit curve of Cheviot's steep
rise blue and friendly on the distant sky!

There is no darkness - God! there cannot be —
so heavy as to curtain from my sight
the beauty of those Border slopes that lie
far south before me, and a love-found light
would shine upon the slow Tweed loitering by
with gift of song and silver to the sea!-
No dark can ever hide this dear loved land from me
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #92 on: January 23, 2009, 12:18:21 PM »
An English poet... but a Scottish subject!

William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
To a Highland Girl
(At Inversneyde, upon Loch Lomond)

Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
Twice seven consenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head:
And these grey rocks; that household lawn;
Those trees, a veil just half withdrawn;
This fall of water that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake;
This little bay; a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy Abode--
In truth together do ye seem
Like something fashioned in a dream;
Such Forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
But, O fair Creature! in the light
Of common day, so heavenly bright,
I bless Thee, Vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart;
God shield thee to thy latest years!
Thee, neither know I, nor thy peers;
1And yet my eyes are filled with tears.

With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away:
For never saw I mien, or face,
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here scattered, like a random seed,
Remote from men, Thou dost not need
The embarrassed look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacedness:
Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a Mountaineer:
A face with gladness overspread!
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred!
And seemliness complete, that sways
Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
With no restraint, but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech:
A bondage sweetly brooked, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind--
Thus beating up against the wind.

What hand but would a garland cull
For thee who art so beautiful?
O happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
A Shepherd, thou a Shepherdess!
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality:
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea; and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighbourhood.
What joy to hear thee, and to see!
Thy elder Brother I would be,
Thy Father--anything to thee!

Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had; and going hence
I bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our Memory, feel that she hath eyes:
Then, why should I be loth to stir?
I feel this place was made for her;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland Girl! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old,
As fair before me shall behold,
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall;
And thee, the spirit of them all!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #93 on: January 26, 2009, 10:06:36 PM »
Here's one in honor of Robert Burns, whose birthday we celebrated yesterday:

Address To A Haggis.

1.
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.
2.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hudies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
3.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut ye up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reeking, rich!
4.
Then horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
'Bethankit!' hums.
5.
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?
6.
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As fecl;ess as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Tho' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.
7.
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whistle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned
Like taps o' thrissle.
8.
Ye pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware,
That jaups in luggies;
But if ye wish her gratfu' prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

   




Fair full your honest, jolly face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

The groaning trencher there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill,
Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!

Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old Master of the house, most like to burst,
'The grace!' hums.

Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her throw-up
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He will make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will crop
Like tops of thistle.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland want no watery ware,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But is you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her a Haggis!
The Reivers Ride Again!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #94 on: January 27, 2009, 05:43:08 AM »
Shame on me for missing Burns' Night! Maybe this will help make up for it!

   
A Winter Night
     
When biting Boreas, fell and doure,
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
When Phœbus gies a short-liv'd glow'r,
Far south the lift,
Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r,
Or whirling drift:

Ae night the storm the steeples rocked,
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked,
While burns, wi' snawy wreeths upchoked,
Wild-eddying swirl,
Or thro' the mining outlet bocked,
Down headlong hurl.

List'ning, the doors an' winnocks rattle,
I thought me on the ourie cattle,
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle
O' winter war,
And thro' the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle,
Beneath a scar.

Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing!
That, in the merry months o' spring,
Delighted me to hear thee sing,
What comes o' thee?
Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing
An' close thy e'e?

Ev'n you on murd'ring errands toil'd,
Lone from your savage homes exil'd,
The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd
My heart forgets,
While pityless the tempest wild
Sore on you beats.

Robert Burns
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #95 on: January 29, 2009, 10:02:40 AM »
Robert White (1802 - 1874), is a minor poet born in Roxburghshire but raised in Redesdale, on the English side of the border, where according to some sources the English branch of the Thompson Reiver family originated.

The Scottish Minstrel The Songs of Scotland Subsequent to Burns With Memoirs of the Poets
By Rev. Charles Rogers, L.L.D. F.S.A. SCOT.
Published by W. P. Nimmo, Hay, & Mitchell, Edinburg, Scotland, 1885

ROBERT WHITE, an indefatigable antiquary, and pleasing poet, was born at Yetholm, in Roxburghshire. His youth and early manhood were spent at Otterburn in Redesdale, where his father rented a farm. Possessed of an ardent love of reading, he early became familiar with the English poets, and himself tried metrical composition. While a very young man he ranked among the poetical contributors to the Newcastle Magazine. In 1825 he accepted the situation of clerk to a respectable brassfounder in Newcastle. After a period of nearly forty years spent in the counting-room, he has been enabled to retire from business in affluent circumstances. Mr White has been an industrious writer. In 1829 he published  "The Tynemouth Nun," an elegantly versified tale. His other poetical works consist in " The Wind, a Poem," 1853; "England, a Poem," 1856; and a collected edition of his poems, songs, and metrical tales, which was published at Kelso in l867. Mr White has afforded evidence of diligent research and superior historical talent in bis works on the battles of Otterburn, Flodden, and Neville's Cross. In 1858 he published, at Kelso, a new edition of the poetical works of Dr John Leyden ; and he has announced a work on the Battle of Bannockburn. Mr White is an extensive traveller, the friend of men of genius, and a zealous collector of ancient and modern works illustrative of the national history. As a song-writer, his name is familiar to the readers of " Whistle Binkie," and " The Book of Scottish Song."

THE BONNIE REDESDALE LASSIE.

THE breath o' spring is gratefu',
Aa mild it sweeps alang,
Awakening bud an' blossom
The broomy braes amang,
And wafting notes o' gladness
Frae ilka bower and tree;
Yet the bonnie Redesdale lassie
Is sweeter still to me.

How bright is summer's beauty,
When, smilin' far an' near,
The wildest spots o' nature
Their gayest livery wear;
And yellow cups an' daisies
Are spread on ilka lea:
But the bonnie Redesdale lassie
Mair charming is to me.

Oh! sweet is mellow autumn,
When, wide owre a' the plain,
Slow waves in rustlin' motion
The heavy-headed grain;
Or in the sunshine glancin',
And rowin' like the sea ;
Yet the bonnie Redesdale lassie
Is dearer far to me!

As heaven itsel', her bosom
Is free o' fraud or guile;
What hope o' future pleasure
Is centred in her smile!
I wadna lose for kingdoms
The love-glance o' her ee;
Oh! the bonnie Redesdale lasaie
Is life and a' to me!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #96 on: February 02, 2009, 10:09:39 AM »
WHEN MAGGY GANGS AWAY
James Hogg, The Ettrick Shepherd (1770 - 1835)

OH, What will a' the lads do
When Maggy gangs away ?
Oh, what will a' the lads do
When Maggy gangs away?
There's no a heart in a' the glen
That disna dread the day:
Oh, what will a' the lads do
When Maggy gangs away?

Young Jock has ta'en the hill for't,
A waefu' wight is he;
Poor Harry's ta'en the bed for't,
An' laid him down to dee;
An' Sandy's gane unto the kirk,
An' learnin' fast to pray:
An' oh, what will the lads do
When Maggy gangs away ?

The young laird o' the Lang-Shaw
Has drunk her health in wine;
The priest has said —in confidence —
The lassie was divine,
An' that is mair in maiden's praise
Than ony priest should say:
But oh, what will the lads do
When Maggy gangs away ?

The wailing in our green glen
That day will quaver high;
'Twill draw the redbreast frae the wood,
The laverock frae the sky;
The fairies frae their beds o' dew
Will rise an' join the lay:
An' hey! what a day 'twill be
When Maggy gangs away!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2009, 11:47:06 AM »
THE CRAMBO-CLINK.
by David Rorie
from "The Auld Doctor and Other Poems and Songs in Scots"

Afore there was law to fleg us a',
An' schedule richt frae wrang,
The man o' the cave had got the crave
For the lichtsome lilt o' sang.
Wife an' strife an' the pride o' life,
Woman an' war an' drink;
He sang o' them a' at e'enin's fa'
By aid o' the crambo-clink.

When the sharpest flint made the deepest dint,
An' the strongest worked his will,
He drew his tune frae the burnie's croon
An' the whistlin' win' o' the hill.
At the mou' o's cave to pleesure the lave,
He was singin' afore he could think,
An' the wife in bye hush'd the bairnie's cry
Wi' a swatch o' the crambo-clink.

Nae creetic was there wi' superior air
For the singer wha daur decry
When they saw the sheen o' the makar's een,
An' his han' on his axe forbye?
But the nicht grew auld an' he never devaul'd
While ane by ane they would slink,
Awa' at a rin to their beds o' skin
Frae the soun' o' the crambo-clink.


crambo-clink - rhyme, doggerel
lave - the rest
devaul'd - ceased
makar - poet
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #98 on: February 05, 2009, 10:17:21 AM »
Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairn 1766 - 1845

Although many people may not recognise her name, Carolina Oliphant's songs are second only in popularity to Burns. She wrote such classics as "Will Ye No' Come Back Again" and "Charlie is My Darling" and "Wi' 100 Pipers An' A'".

Carolina Oliphant was born on 16 August 1766 in Gask, Perthshire. Carolina became known as the "Flower of Strathearn" because of her beauty. Both her father and grandfather had joined Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 Jacobite Uprising and she herself had been named after the Young Pretender (Carolina being the feminine form of Charles) so it is not perhaps surprising that many of her songs were sympathetic to the Jacobite cause.

In those days it was not appropriate for women of her social standing to publish poetry and so for a long time they were published under the pen-name of Mrs Bogan of Bogan. Even after marrying her second cousin, Major William Nairne in 1806, she kept her writing secret from him too! They had a son, born in 1808, when she was aged 43. In 1824, following a campaign by Sir Walter Scott, peerages and titles which had been forfeited as a result of the Jacobite Uprising were restored and so Caroline became Lady Nairne.

Like Robert Burns and James Hogg, Lady Nairne collected old folk tunes and modified or put her own words to them. She showed a love of the countryside in such songs as "The Rowan Tree" and "The Pentland Hills." Her poem "The Auld House" is about her birthplace in Gask and she showed her compassion in songs such as "Caller Herring" -

Wha'll buy my caller herrin?
Oh, ye may call them vulgar farin' -
Wives and mithers, maist despairin',
Ca' them lives o' men.

Her husband died in 1830 and she then travelled through Europe, returning to Gask two years before her death on 26th October 1845. She gave permission at that stage for her collected songs (87 in all) to be published as "Lays from Strathearn". They appeared in 1846.

The Land o' the Leal

I'm wearin' awa', John
Like snaw-wreaths in thaw, John,
I'm wearin' awa'
To the land o' the leal.

There 's nae sorrow there, John,
There 's neither cauld nor care, John,
The day is aye fair
In the land o' the leal.

Our bonnie bairn 's there, John,
She was baith gude and fair, John;
And O! we grudged her sair
To the land o' the leal.

But sorrow's sel' wears past, John,
And joy 's a-coming fast, John,
The joy that 's aye to last
In the land o' the leal.

Sae dear 's the joy was bought, John,
Sae free the battle fought, John,
That sinfu' man e'er brought
To the land o' the leal.

O, dry your glistening e'e, John!
My soul langs to be free, John,
And angels beckon me
To the land o' the leal.

O, haud ye leal and true, John!
Your day it 's wearin' through, John,
And I'll welcome you
To the land o' the leal.

Now fare-ye-weel, my ain John,
This warld's cares are vain, John,
We'll meet, and we'll be fain,
In the land o' the leal.

" Leal " means loyal, faithful or true.
A poem about love in old age and a certainty of a welcome in the World to Come.


Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #99 on: February 09, 2009, 06:10:46 AM »
Anyone familiar with more than the first line of this one? Not quite the nursery rhyme I remember from my childhood days.

Little Bo-Peep
George MacDonald (1824 - 1905)

Little Bo-Peep, she has lost her sheep,
And will not know where to find them;
They are over the height and out of sight,
Trailing their tails behind them!

Little Bo-Peep woke out of her sleep,
Jump'd up and set out to find them:
"The silly things! they've got no wings,
And they've left their trails behind them!

"They've taken their tails, but they've left their trails,
And so I shall follow and find them!"
For wherever a tail had dragged a trail
The grass lay bent behind them.

She washed in the brook, and caught up her crook.
And after her sheep did run
Along the trail that went up the dale
Across the grass in the sun.

She ran with a will, and she came to a hill
That went up steep like a spire;
On its very top the sun seemed to stop,
And burned like a flame of fire.

But now she went slow, for the hill did go
Up steeper as she went higher;
When she reached its crown, the sun was down,
Leaving a trail of fire.

And her sheep were gone, and hope she had none.
For now was no trail behind them.
Yes, there they were! long-tailed and fair!
But to see was not to find them!

Golden in hue, and rosy and blue,
And white as blossom of pears,
Her sheep they did run in the trail of the sun,
As she had been running in theirs!

After the sun like clouds they did run,
But she knew they were her sheep:
She sat down to cry and look up at the sky,
But she cried herself to sleep.

And as she slept the dew down wept,
And the wind did blow from the sky;
And doings strange brought a lovely change:
She woke with a different cry!

Nibble, nibble, crop, without a stop!
A hundred little lambs
Did pluck and eat the grass so sweet
That grew in the trail of their dams!

She gave one look, she caught up her crook,
Wiped away the sleep that did blind her;
And nibble-nibble-crop, without a stop
The lambs came nibbling behind her.

Home, home she came, both tired and lame,
With three times as large a stock;
In a month or more, they'll be sheep as before,
A lovely, long-wooled flock!

But what will she say, if, one fine day,
When they've got their bushiest tails,
Their grown-up game should be just the same,
And again she must follow mere trails?

Never weep, Bo-Peep, though you lose your sheep,
Tears will turn rainbow-laughter!
In the trail of the sun if the mothers did run,
The lambs are sure to run after;

But a day is coming when little feet drumming
Will wake you up to find them—
All the old sheep—how your heart will leap!—
With their big little lambs behind them!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #100 on: February 12, 2009, 11:46:13 AM »
A little something for Valentines Day...


I'll never love Thee more
by James Graham, Marquis of Montrose (1612-1650)

My dear and only Love, I pray
This noble world of thee
Be governed by no other sway
But purest monarchy;
For if confusion have a part,
Which virtuous souls abhor,
And hold a synod in thy heart,
I'll never love thee more.

Like Alexander I will reign,
And I will reign alone:
My thoughts shall evermore disdain
A rival on my throne.
He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
That puts it not unto the touch
To win or lose it all.

But I must rule and govern still,
And always give the law,
And have each subject at my will,
And all to stand in awe.
But 'gainst my battery, if I find
Thou shunn'st the prize so sore
As that thou sett'st me up a blind,
I'll never love thee more.

Or in the empire of thy heart,
Where I should solely be,
Another do pretend a part
And dares to vie with me;
Or if committees thou erect,
And go on such a score,
I'll sing and laugh at thy neglect,
And never love thee more.

But if thou wilt be constant then,
And faithful of thy word,
I'll make thee glorious by my pen
And famous by my sword:
I'll serve thee in such noble ways
Was never heard before;
I'll crown and deck thee all with bays,
And love thee evermore.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #101 on: February 13, 2009, 11:44:25 AM »
For Scotland
by Robert Fuller Murray (1863 - 1894)

Beyond the Cheviots and the Tweed,
Beyond the Firth of Forth,
My memory returns at speed
To Scotland and the North.

For still I keep, and ever shall,
A warm place in my heart for Scotland,
Scotland, Scotland,
A warm place in my heart for Scotland.

Oh, cruel off St. Andrew's Bay
The winds are wont to blow!
They either rest or gently play,
When there in dreams I go.

And there I wander, young again,
With limbs that do not tire,
Along the coast to Kittock's Den,
With whinbloom all afire.

I climb the Spindle Rock, and lie
And take my doubtful ease,
Between the ocean and the sky,
Derided by the breeze.

Where coloured mushrooms thickly grow,
Like flowers of brittle stalk,
To haunted Magus Muir I go,
By Lady Catherine's Walk.

In dreams the year I linger through,
In that familiar town,
Where all the youth I ever knew,
Burned up and flickered down.

There's not a rock that fronts the sea,
There's not an inland grove,
But has a tale to tell to me
Of friendship or of love.

And so I keep, and ever shall,
The best place in my heart for Scotland,
Scotland, Scotland,
The best place in my heart for Scotland!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Mary

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #102 on: February 16, 2009, 08:33:08 AM »
I know we don't take the time to thank you for posting the poetry often enough.....I just want to let you know that we DO read your posts and enjoy them thoroughly.  It's just like anything else - taking the time to post instead of just 'reading on the fly'.

THANK YOU! Keep it up!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #103 on: February 24, 2009, 10:45:41 AM »
Scotland by William Soutar


Atween the world o' licht
And the world that is to be
A man wi' unco sicht
Sees whaur he canna see:

Gangs whaur he canna walk:
Recks whaur he canna read:
Hauds what he canna tak:
Mells wi' the unborn dead.

Atween the world o' licht
And the world that is to be
A man wi' unco sicht
Monie a saul maun see:

Sauls that are stark and nesh:
Sauls that wud dree the day:
Sauls that are fain for flesh
But canna win the wey.

Hae ye the unco sicht
That sees atween and atween
This world that lowes in licht:
Yon world that hasna been?

It is owre late for fear,
Owre early for disclaim;
Whan ye come hameless here
And ken ye are at hame.

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Barbara

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #104 on: February 26, 2009, 04:07:55 PM »
Stu, thanks for all your postings.  You were right in that I have never heard all of "Little Bo Peep" before, very interesting!

Barbara
"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain