Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Old Memories

Bright flashes of sunshine-sweet snatches of song-
Warm gushings of kindness, come thrilling along
The chords of old memories, melting the tone,
And sweet the weird voices of years that are gone.
I hear the brisk hum of the dear spinning wheel;
Again, the kind hand of Old Granny I feel,
As she strokes down my hair, singing soft, as I stood
By her side, the 'Blaeberries' or 'Babes of the Wood.'
I see my dear village-it basks in the sun;
And the barefooted children, that tumble and run
On the pathway-the rattle of looms, and the song
Of the weaver, that sounded the summer day long.
Again, a gay party of youngsters I meet,
Dressed out in their best, two and two on the street;
'Tis a large penny wedding-the fiddler before
Plays gaily 'midst firing and merry uproar.
On the Sovereign's birth-day every cot was a bower;
The birch wore its greenest-the broom was in flower;
Each window was dressed with its neighbour to match,
And the wealth of the woodlands hung low from the thatch.
Then Wilkes, shoulder high, through the village was borne
By the boys, with sound of the whistle and horn-
With a tin pail for drum; on the old beechen tree
They hanged, and then burned, the old scarecrow with glee.
Again my flower treasures I see in their prime:
Nancy-pretty, sweet Willy, white lilies and thyme,
Appleringy and spearmint-the old folk's delight-
With bachelor's buttons both yellow and white.
The old churchyard often I wander around-
Oft passing to stoop o'er a lone grassy mound;
The dear ones who left me are waiting below,
Nor long will I tarry-'tis time I should go.
No gay garden roses plant ye on my grave-
A briar from the banks of sweet Calder I crave,
With its flush of wild roses to curtain my bed,
Where the robin a requiem will sing o'er my head.
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