Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

A Plea For The Deric

Forgi'e, O forgi'e me, auld Scotlan', my mither!
Like an ill-deedie bairn I've ta'en up wi' anither;
And aft thy dear Doric aside I hae flung,
To busk oot my sang wi' the prood Southron tongue.
They say that our auld hamelt tongue, my ain mither,
Is deein', and sune will be dead a'thegither;
Whan thy callants hae ceased to be valiant and free,
And thy maids to be modest, oh juist let it dee!
Shall the tongue that was spoken by Wallace the wicht,
In the sangs o' thy poets sae lo'esum and bricht,
Sae pithy an' pawkie, sae tender an' true,
O' sense and slee humour an' feelin' sae fu';
Shall the tongue that was spoken by leal Scottish men,
Whan they stood for their richts on the hill an' the glen-
Oh sae, maun it dee, when the last words that hung
On the lips o' the martyr war ain mither tongue?
Oh, think ye the tongue that at red Bannockburn
Bade charge to the onset-think ye it maun turn
To a thing o' the past, that our bairns winna ken
To read mither tongue on that mither's fire en'?
Juist think gif the 'Cottar's ain Saturday Nicht'
War stripped o' the Doric, wi' English bedicht-
To the leal Scottish heart it wad ne'er be the same;
Wi' sic truth and sic feeling' it wadna strike hame.
At the saft gloamin' hour, 'when the kye's comin' hame,'
And the young heart is loupin' to hear the dear name,
What tongue like the Doric love's saft tale can tell,
'Neath the lang yellow broom, an' the red heather-bell?
I'm wae for Auld Reekie; her big men o' print
To Lunnon ha'e gane, to be nearer the mint;
But the coinage o' brain looks no a'e haet better,
Though Doric is banish'd frae sang, tale, and letter.
But there's a'e thing I'm sure o'-ere lang I maun gang,
Yet aye whan I dow I maun lilt a bit sang;
And sae soun' shall I sleep 'neath the auld mossy stane,
That I'll never hear tell whan the Doric is gane.
240 Total read