Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Bothwell Brig

O, Bonnie Clyde! a shimmering gleam
Oot owre thy rippling bosom plays,
Whan frae the bricht blue sky o' June
The sun leuks doun on simmer days.
But ne'er did glancin' sunbeams glint,
An' owre thy dancin' waters play
Mair bricht, than whan to 'Bothwell Brig'
We teuk the road ae Sabbath day.
An' ne'er owre 'Bothwell banks sae fair,'
Sae aft by Scottish minstrels sung,
Were wafted higher, holier strains,
Till bank an' brae wi' echoes rung.
Auld Scotlan's stout an' stalwart sons,
An' bonnie lasses gather'd there,
An' mithers douce, wi' restless bairns,
Auld men an' wives wi' siller hair.
An' een grew dim, and hearts were fu',
As owre the vera grun' they trod,
Whaur their forbears, for conscience sake,
Had pour'd their life-bluid on the sod.
My granny's gutcher bare a sword
At Bothwell brig that dolefu' day,
An' ne'er had left the bluidy fiel'
But for his guid an' gallant grey.
She swam wi' him across the Clyde,
An' bare him to his ain door stane;
Lang after that he hidin' lay
Till he was hunted oot an' ta'en.
For Christ, his croun an' covenant, he
Laid doon his life in Embro' toun,
An' frae the scaffold rose to wear
The victor's palm, the martyr's croun.
Noo, God be prais'd, sic times are gane;
Let Scots be Scots-they'll ne'er return;
Nor king nor priest again ha'e power,
Gude men, an' true, to hang an' burn.
An' noo, frae a' the airts that blaw,
By thoosan's folk cam' thrangin' in,
An' roun' an' roun' they sat them doun,
Until the holy wark begin.
They raised the Psalm, it swell'd, it thrill'd,
It mounted to the gates o' heaven,
An' ne'er mair sweet, mair solemn joy,
By singin' o' the Psalms was given.
Wi' pleadin' voice, an' words o' power,
The preacher poured his soul in prayer-
Prayed that the martyrs' covenant God
Wad bless them wi' His presence there.
An' O! what witnesses unseen
May us that day ha'e compass'd round,
Wha loved their lives not to the death,
An' noo wi' Christ in glory crown'd.
An' bless'd be God, we noo can sit
Beneath oor vine an' fig tree shade-
May raise the Psalm, an' preach, an' pray,
Nane daurin' to mak' us afraid.
Wha, noo, frae aff his ain hearth-stane,
Will drag the husband an' the faither,
Syne leave him to his wife an' bairns
A bluidy corpse upon the heather?
Nae dark Dalzell, nae Claver'se stern,
Ride forth wi' sword an' bridle ringin',
Oor sufferin' covenanted sires
To prison an' the scaffold bringin'.
The memories o' her martyred dead
May Scotlan' dearly cherish ever;
They sowed the seed, we reap the grain-
Their names, their deeds, shall perish never.
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