Author Topic: Scottish Poetry  (Read 101425 times)

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #105 on: February 27, 2009, 12:24:47 PM »
Freedom of the Hills

Mine is the freedom of the tranquil hills
When vagrant breezes bend the sinewy grass,
While sunshine on the widespread landscape spills
And light as down the  fleet cloud-shadowed pass.

Mine, still, that freedom when the storm-clouds race,
Cracking their whips against defiant crags
And mists swirl boiling up from inky space
To vanish on the instant, torn to rags.

When winter grips the mountains in a vice,
Silently stifling with its pall of snow,
Checking the streams, draping the rocks in ice,
Still to their mantled summits I would go.

Sun-drenched, I sense the message they impart;
Storm-lashed, I hear it sing through every vein;
Among the snows it whispers to my heart
“Here is your freedom.   Taste - and come again.”

Douglas Fraser
             1968
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #106 on: March 03, 2009, 08:35:08 AM »
Ken Whut Mum     by Scott Martin

Ken whut, Mum, eh nearly died the day.
Anither twa inches, that's a', and the bullet
Would hae been for me.
Somebody else got it, though.
A new boy, eighteen years young,
Hardly auld enough tae stand in a pub,
But man enough tae cerry thir gun.

Ken whut, Mum, eh thoct o'you the day.
That time, when eh wis eight,
An'sick in yir bed. An'you came hame,
Fae yir work in the Overgate,
An'you washed an' fed is, and left again.
That wis yir break. Some break,eh?
Sae lang ago now, no' even a footnote
In history, jist a fragment o' a memory
O'a different day, different fae this ane.

Eh'm sorry that eh didna dae better
At the skail. Eh should hae stuck in, eh?
Punted oot at fifteen, the polis
Forever at the door, whut a bloody tearaway
Eh wis. Eh jist wanted tae say
Sorry, and if eh git oota this,
Eh'll really dae meh best, yes
Ye dinna hae tae worry
Aboot me anymair, Fur eh swear
Eh'll nivir be a pest again.

Well, it's no self pity, but
Whut chance did we hae?
Beaten before we hud even begun
Late starters on this road o' life,
Like the weedy wee laddie at the skail sports,
Wha nivir wis chosen tae run.

Ken whut, Mum, the day,
Mibbe eh ken how ye felt,
Cus eh held that soul in meh arms,
An eh didna ken whut tae say
Tae mak the pain go awa.
So eh said nothin, jist wept wi shame
For the stupidity o' it a'.
An' they took him, somebody's son,
Wha hud died in the company o' strangers,
Far awa fae hame, an' no even kennin
Whut it wus, that he'd done wrang.

Ken whut, Mum, fur a' that's said and done,
Eh'm peyin the price now fur meh wrangs,
Yir silly, delinquent son.
An' when it's a' forgotten, even if it's lost or won,
Or when the politicians find somethin new-
An' this is between me and you-
Ken whut, it's you eh'll love,
Forever and ever, amen,
Eh'll always be jist yer son,
For eh wish that eh wis hame now,
Hearin the rattle o' cutlery
Fae the scullery, an'yir scratchy records playin,
An seein the green hills o' Fife,
Far awa, ower the Tay.
   
from http://www.ploughmanpoemforscotland.co.uk/index.htm
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Barbara

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #107 on: March 03, 2009, 09:54:00 PM »
Oh, that was a sad one, brought a tear to my eyes.   :'(

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

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #108 on: March 04, 2009, 05:25:25 AM »
It has the same effect on me. But these are the ones that really mean something don't you think?
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Barbara

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #109 on: March 08, 2009, 12:04:26 AM »
Yes I have to agree, the ones that bring out emotions in us are the great ones. 

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

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #110 on: March 08, 2009, 09:59:01 AM »
A Poem for Scotland
Ploughman

by Scott Martin

The year was 1941, my father told me,
And by moonlight, as he ploughed the field,
Plough and harness a dull grey silver
The dark clouds parted, and revealed
Nazi bombers, bound for Clydebank,
High above over Abernyte,
The boy below, frozen in furrow
Reins in hand, awed by the sight.

I never thought he was the weaker,
In the face of brutality he never bowed down
And the boy, with the horse and the plough, entrusted,
Ploughed his seed into the ground.

I saw a man, just like my father,
In a field planting rice, in Vietnam.
So small he looked, against the bombers,
In the face of vain strength, a resolute man,
A ploughman, like my father
And a man of the land,
Although cultures divide them,
Together they stand.

In Bosnia, I saw the children who fled,
Their homes destroyed, their parents dead.
Their fields unploughed and the seeds unsown,
Their graves unmarked and their names unknown.

They spoke to me of the moonlight man,
Standing alone, with horse and plough,
More than speeches or politicians,
He led the way, he showed me how,
That to stand alone is no great shame
If something is taken in another’s name.
And remember, always, that you are a man
And the reins are held in your own hand
And that children are seeds as yet unsown,
Who may, come the harvest, be your own.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Mary

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #111 on: March 09, 2009, 09:25:03 AM »
Well - this one did it for me! My family has been involved in every military 'action' since WW II......and now our son and 2 nephews carry on the tradition so the ploughmen of this country are free to look to the future.

Thanks, Stu.

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #112 on: March 10, 2009, 08:11:05 AM »
I believe the poem below refers to this man...

Joseph Thomson (1858-95), Scottish explorer, who explored many parts of East Africa previously unseen by Europeans and filled his journals with valuable and detailed geographical information. He came upon (1879) Lake Rukwa (in modern Tanzania) and blazed a trail, unarmed, through the hostile Masai country between Zanzibar and present-day Uganda in 1882. Thomson explored (1885) modern northern Nigeria and joined (1890) Cecil Rhodes's British South Africa Company, negotiating mining and trade agreements in what is now Zambia.

Joseph Thomson by Alexander Anderson (1845 - 1909)

He sleeps among the hills he knew,
 They look upon his early rest,
The winds that in his childhood blew—
 They stir the grass upon his breast.


His grave is green in that sweet vale
 Where the fair river flows the same;
It rolls, and gathers to its tale
 The added memory of his name.


And youth is his: though time extends
 The growing years from spring to spring,
He still will be to all his friends
 Secure from what their touches bring.


Calm then will be his wished for rest
 After the weary toil of feet,
To sleep—the grass above his breast—
 And know that perfect peace is sweet.


O better thus than he should lie,
 To mingle with no kindred earth,
In the lone desert where the sky
 Burns all things into fiery dearth,


And where not even one kindly eye
 Could note the grave wherein he slept;
The dusky savage passing by
 Would heed it not as on he swept.


But this was not to be: he lies
 Near to the murmur of his rills;
He rests beneath our Scottish skies,
 And in the silence of his hills.


His feet had travelled far in lands
 Where all was strange and ever new;
And he was girt by swarthy bands
 That round his eager footsteps drew.


But yet, when spending all his strength,
 And when the shadow by his side
The beckoning finger raised at length,
 It was not in those lands he died.


The roar of London and the rush
 Of all that mighty life he heard—
And then the silence and the hush
 By which his early youth was stirred.


Within this hush he sleeps; no call
 To feel the wild desire to roam
Around the hills he knew, and all
 The well-known fields and paths of home.


His grave is green in that sweet vale
 Where the fair Nith flows on the same;
It rolls, and gathers to its tale
 The dear possession of his name.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #113 on: March 12, 2009, 01:51:03 PM »
I got this one from a friend. It could just have easily gone in the Jokes thread, but it's certainly apropos for any of us who've been to a Rabbie Burns supper.

> > TAE A FERT
> >
> > Oh what a sleekit horrible beastie,
> > Lurks in yer belly efter the feastie.
> > Just as ye sit doon among yer kin,
> > There sterts to stir an enormous wind.
> >
> > The neeps and tatties and mushy peas,
> > Stert workin like a gentle breeze.
> > But soon the puddin' wi the sauncie face,
> > Will have ye blawin' all ower the place.
> >
> > Nae matter whit ye try tae dae,
> > A'bodys gonnae have tae pay.
> > Even if ye try to stifle,
> > It's like a bullet oot a rifle.
> >
> > Hawd yer bum tight tae the chair,
> > Tae try and stop the leakin' air.
> > Shift yersel frae cheek tae cheek,
> > Pray tae God it doesny reek.
> >
> > But aw yer efforts go assunder,
> > Oot it comes - a clap o' thunder.
> > Ricochets aroon the room,
> > Michty me, a sonic boom!
> >
> > God almighty it fairly reeks,
> > Hope I huvnae pooed ma breeks!
> > Tae the loo I better scurry,
> > Aw who cares, its no ma worry.
> >
> > A'body roon aboot me chokin,
> > Wan or two are nearly bokin.
> > I'll feel better for a while,
> > Cannae help but raise a smile.
> >
> > "Wis him!" I shout with accusin' glower,
> > Alas too late, he's just keeled ower!
> > "Ye dirty thing!" they shout and stare,
> > I don't feel welcome any mair.
> >
> > Where ere ye go let yer wind gang free,
> > Sounds like just the job fur me.
> > Whit a fuss at Rabbie's perty,
> > Ower the sake o' wan wee ferty!!!
The Reivers Ride Again!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #114 on: March 13, 2009, 11:29:48 AM »

Blows The Wind Today

by Robert Louis Stevenson


Blows the wind today, and the sun and the rain are flying,

Blows the wind on the moors today and now,

Where about the graves of the martyrs the whaups are crying,

My heart remembers how!

 

Grey recumbent tombs of the dead in desert places,

Standing stones on the vacant wine-red moor,

Hills of sheep, and the howes of the silent vanished races,

And winds, austere and pure:

 

Be it granted to me to behold you again in dying,

Hills of home! and to hear again the call;

Hear about the graves of the martyrs the peewees crying,

And hear no more at all.

 
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #115 on: March 16, 2009, 08:50:50 AM »
Pippa Little was born in East Africa and raised in Scotland but has lived in Northumberland for the past 17 years, where she is married to a border reiver descendant and has three sons. She won an Eric Gregory Award, was a Royal Literary Fund mentee with Gillian Allnutt, co-edited Writing Women and her poetry has appeared in many anthologies and magazines. Her collection, The Spar Box, published by Vane Women, was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice.

Shame Go In Thy Company: the title is a line taken from the border ballad Dick o the Cow.

Shame Go In Thy Company

I rarely touch you now,
Hard-boned and bearded,
Bearer of arms, long-
Thighed stranger

But when the wind from the north woke you crying
I’d swing you in my arms, a swaddled bundle,
Feel your fear slip away until you slept on me
Loose-limbed as a cat, if I shifted
You’d mumble and reach out, moulding us
Together, rubbing the corner of my sleeve
Against your mouth,

I knew everywhere of you,
Landscape I was queen of:
Queerness of that exile now,
A wanting, almost,
I cannot recognise
But suffer:

These nights you ride,
Return sweaty, exhausted,
Fling your sword down, unlace your boots,
Refuse to look me in the eye –

I smell my own kind, woman, on your flesh,
In the palms of your hands.
Forced or willing,
I know both

And we, you and I,
Stand divided by a border
Lonely as the end of the world.

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Mary

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #116 on: March 16, 2009, 02:33:35 PM »
Wonderful!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #117 on: March 23, 2009, 12:03:40 PM »
By Robbie Burns...

The Banks Of Bonnie Doon

Ye flowery banks o' bonnie Doon,
How can ye blume sae fair!
How can ye chant, ye little birds,
And I sae fu' o' care!

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings upon the bough;
Thou minds me o' the happy days
When my fause* Luve was true.

Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird
That sings beside thy mate;
For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
And wist na o' my fate.

Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon
To see the woodbine twine,
And ilka* bird sang o' its love;
And sae did I o' mine.

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
Frae aff its thorny tree;
And my fause luver staw* the rose,
But left the thorn wi' me.

*fause = false, ilka = every, staw = stole
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #118 on: March 23, 2009, 07:07:30 PM »
The Banks Of Bonnie Doon

That one brought a wee tear to me eye... :(

The Reivers Ride Again!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #119 on: April 01, 2009, 11:10:16 AM »
It 's Hame, And It 's Hame

It 's hame, and it 's hame, hame fain wad I be,
An' it 's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!
When the flower is i' the bud and the leaf is on the tree,
The lark shall sing me hame in my ain countree;
It 's hame, and it 's hame, hame fain wad I be,
An' it 's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!

The green leaf o'loyaltie 's beginning for to fa',
The bonnie white rose it is withering an' a';
But I 'll water't wi' the blude of usurping tyrannie,
An' green it will grow in my ain countree.
It 's hame, and it 's hame, hame fain wad I be,
An' it 's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!

There 's naught now frae ruin my country can save,
But the keys o' kind heaven to open the grave,
That a' the noble martyrs who dies for loyaltie,
May rise again and fight for their ain countree.
It 's hame, and it 's hame, haim fain wad I be,
An' it 's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!

The great now are gane, a' who ventured to save,
The new grass is springing on the tap o' their grave;
But the sun thro' the mirk blinks blythe in my ee:
"I 'll shine on ye yet in your ain countree."
It 's hame, and it 's hame, hame fain wad I be,
An' it 's hame, hame, hame, to my ain countree!


Allan Cunningham . 1784-1842

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu