Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Grannie Visited At Blackhill, Shotts, July, 1805

It's fifty towmonds since, an' mair,
Wi' lichtsome fit an' richt guid-wull,
Ae simmer day I teuk the gate
Oot ower the muirs to auld Blackhill.
The July sun was in the lift,
The laverock's sang was clear an' shrill.
Nae ither soun' but muirfowls' ca',
An' lammies baain' on the hill.
I birz't oot thro' the jaggy whins,
Aneath whase gowden blooms her nest
The lintie bigs-sweet birdie! thine
O' a' the sangs I lo'e the best.
Nae dyke, nae yett, I had to loup;
Fock teuk the gate that pleas'd themsel's,
An' sae did I wi' kiltit coat,
Knee-deep amang the heather bells.
O! lown an' laigh that lanely cot,
The dwallin' o' my sainted grannie,
Whaur, at the winnock laigh an' wee,
Sat at her wheel my Auntie Nannie.
Wi' velvet fug the thack was green,
That lay abune the aul'-warl' biggin';
An' thick an' strang the fouet grew
A' roun' the divot-happit riggin'.
Twa humil't kye, like moudies sleek,
An' gabblin' ducks an' kecklin' hens;
A green kail-yard, a big peat-stack,
An' mony ither odds an' en's.
A stane-cast doun, the gowany brae,
Ahint the hoose, a trottin' burnie,
Wi' trouts an' mennin's plenish't weel,
Was singin' blithely on its journey.
Nae need had I at grannie's door
To staun an' tirl at the pin,
For couthie tongues an' kin'ly hearts
War there to gi'e me welcome in.
For that was ane o' Scotlan's hames-
Her peasant hames in 'auld-langsyne;'
An' never till my heart be caul'
Shall I their precious memories tine.
There sat my granny spinnin' thrang,
Aye cronin' o'er some godly saum,
Tho' wrunkl't sair her face wi' eld,
It brichen't wi' a holy calm.
An' gutcher wi' a neebor sat
Thrang crackin' aboot sheep an' kye;
An' gutcher said he had a beast
That 'thretty pund Scots' wouldna buy.
But siccan cracks war nocht to me,
I boud to hear the martyr's story
Frae granny's lips; her ain forbear
Had dee't for Christ, his croon an' glory.
An' whan the gloamin' saftly fell,
My grannie sat ootside the door,
An' drew me kin'ly to her side,
As aften she had dune before.
The kye cam' routin' frae the fiel';
The e'enin' air was rich wi' balm;
Stown frae the bean an' clover blooms,
The dews were fa'in' saft an' calm.
The corncraik chirm't amang the corn,
The mavis on the bourtree bush,
Maist darklin's sang; an' up the brae
Cam' trottin' burnie's siller gush.
'God bless thee, bairn-my Jamie's bairn,'
She said, an' straikit doun my hair;
'O may the martyr's God be thine,
And mak thee his peculiar care.'
I laid my heid intil her lap,
My heart was fu', I couldna speak;
An', leukin up, I saw her dicht
A tear that tremblit on her cheek.
I've seen a length o' days sinsyne,
An' muckle baith o' guid an' ill;
But yet, thro' a', I ne'er forgat
That simmer gloamin' at Blackhill.
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