Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Auld Mither Scotlan': A Lay Of The Doric

Na, na, I wunna pairt wi' that,
I downa gi'e it up;
O' Scotlan's hamely mither tongue
I canna quat the grup.
It's 'bedded in my very heart,
Ye needna rive an' rug;
It's in my e'e an' on my tongue,
An' singin' in my lug.
O leeze me on the Scottish lass,
Fresh frae her muirlan' hame,
Wi' gowden or wi' coal-black hair,
Row'd up wi' bucklin'-kame;
Or wavin' roun' her snawy broo,
Sae bonnie, braid, an' brent,
Gaun barefit wi' her kiltit coat,
Blythe singin' ower the bent.
I heard her sing 'Auld Robin Gray,'
An' 'Yarrow's dowie den'-
O' Flodden, an' oor forest flouris
Cut doon by Englishmen;
My saul was fir'd, my heart was fu',
The tear was in my e'e:
Let ither lan's hae ither sangs,
Auld Scotlan's sangs for me.
What words mair tender, kin', an' true,
Can wooer ha'e to say,
Whan doun the burn at gloamin' fa',
He meets his bonnie May?
Or words mair sweet, mair saft an' dear,
Can lassie ha'e to speak,
Whan love is dancin' in her e'e
An' glowin' on her cheek?
For, oh, the meltin' Doric lay,
In cot or clachan sung,
The words that drap like hinny dew
Frae mither Scotlan's tongue,
Ha'e power to thrill the youthfu' heart
An' fire the patriot's min';
To saften grief in ilka form,
It comes to human kin'.
I saw a waefu' mither kneel
On weary, tremblin' knee,
Beside the cradle, where she laid
Her bairnie doon to dee.
An' aye she kissed the cauld white cheek,
An' aye she made her mane,
'My ain wee lamb, my ain sweet doo,
Frae me for ever gane!'
The faither straikit back her hair,
An dichtit saft her een,
'Wee Willie's gane, thy marrow's here,
Thy life-lang, lovin' frien'.'
She leant her on his faithfu' breast,
An' sabb'd 'Wilt thou forgi'e
My sinfu' grief for bairnie lost,
Whan I ha'e God an' thee?'
'My mither, tho' the snaws o' eld
Are on my pow an' thine.
My heart is leal to thee as in
The days o' auld langsyne.
Thy hamely worth, thy couthie speech,
Are dear-hoo dear to me!
An' neist to God, my John, an' bairns,
Thy place sall ever be.'
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