Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland


Fair Caledonia! honoured name!
The Muse shall boast thy worth and fame;
The circling seas that dash and boil
Around thy shores with loud turmoil;
The beauteous vales where winds the Clyde,
Where Tweeda rolls her lucent tide;
The Tay-the Forth-majestic stream-
So oft the Scottish Muse's theme;
Thy woods, thy lakes, thy purple hills,
The soul with fire poetic fills.
Amidst thy mountains, wild and cold,
Thy hardy sons in days of old
Did boldly stem the impetuous tide
Of Roman power, and forced their pride
That aimed at universal sway
To turn its course another way!
And when proud Anglia strove in vain
Around thy neck to wreathe the chain,
Thy patriot sons-a filial band-
As oft rescued their motherland,
And say, dread spirit of the plain,
Where Gaul's usurping pride was slain-
Where Europe's allied hosts were spread-
Where even the great Napoleon fled-
Didst thou not mark, midst that fell strife,
That thirst of glory, scorn of life,
That martial flame, which kindling high,
Illumed the Scottish warrior's eye,
When thundering o'er the field of death
They won the victor's proudest wreath?
And truest-bravest-boldest still-
Brave dwellers of the heath and hill-
The first to scale red Alma's steep
With bayonet's point and sabre's sweep;
And foremost in the deadly fray,
On Balaklava's bloody day
Ye rode to death, and fearless braved
The storm of fire that flamed and raved
In pealing thunders on your track.
Ye went-alas! how came ye back?
Oh, Caledonia! not alone
For valour famed; from her bright throne
Fair Science smiles, and proudly owns
Thy great, thy good, illustrious sons;
Thy trading cities teem with wealth-
Thy sturdy sons are gay with health;
For honest pride and moral worth-
The honour of their native North!
Still may thy warriors overcome,
Thy virtuous maids in beauty bloom;
May learning, genius, virtue, smile,
And freedom bless and crown our isle!
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