Do want to know something I love? I love Scottish poetry. I could live and breath Scottish poetry. I enjoy poetry in general, and am the proud possessor of several volumes, the majority of which is Robert Frost. American poems and English poems are lovely. But Scottish poetry is the most beautiful thing I have ever read! When I read it, I seem to find myself sitting on a grassy hillside with a cool breeze blowing the fragrance of wildflowers around. Call me a nerd, but I’d rather read a Scottish poem than a popular novel any day.
The Return (A Piper's Vaunting)
Och hey! for the splendour of tartans!
And hey for the dirk and the targe!
The race that was hard as the Spartans
Shall return again to the charge:
Shall come back again to the heather,
Like eagles, with beak and with claws
To take and to scatter for ever
The Sasennach thieves and their laws.
Och, then, for the bonnet and feather!
The pipe and its vaunting clear:
Och, then, for the glens and the heather!
And all that the Gael holds dear.
The Fairy Dance
The fairies are dancing — how nimbly they bound!
They flit o'er the grass tops, they touch not the ground;
Their kirtles of green are with diamonds bedight,
All glittering and sparkling beneath the moonlight.
Hark, hark to their music! how silvery and clear —
'Tis surely the flower-bells that ringing I hear, —
The lazy-wing'd moth, with the grasshopper wakes,
And the field-mouse peeps out, and their revels partakes.
How featly they trip it! how happy are they
Who pass all their moments in frolic and play,
Who rove where they list, without sorrows or cares,
And laugh at the fetters mortality wears!
But where have they vanish'd? — a cloud 's o'er the moon,
I'll hie to the spot, — they'll be seen again soon —
I hasten — 'tis lighter, — and what do I view? —
The fairies were grasses, the diamonds were dew.
And thus do the sparkling illusions of youth
Deceive and allure, and we take them for truth;
Too happy are they who the juggle unshroud,
Ere the hint to inspect them be brought by a cloud.
23rd. Psalm in Scots
The Lord is my Shepherd in nocht am I wantin'
In the haugh's green girse does He mak me lie doon
While mony puir straiglers are bleatin' and pantin'
By saft-flowin' burnies He leads me at noon.
When aince I had strayed far awa in the bracken,
And daidled till gloamin' cam ower a' the hills,
Nae dribble o' water my sair drooth to slacken,
And dark grow'd the nicht wi' its haars and its chills.
Awa frae the fauld, strayin' fit-sair and weary,
I thocht I had naethin' tae dae but tae dee.
He socht me and fand me in mountain hechts dreary,
He gangs by fell paths which He kens best for me.
And noo, for His name's sake, I'm dune wi' a' fearin'
Though cloods may aft gaither and soughin' win's blaw.
"Hoo this?" or "Hoo that?" -- oh, prevent me frae spearin'
His will is aye best, and I daurna say "Na".
The valley o' death winna fleg me to thread it,
Through awfu' the darkness, I weel can foresee.
Wi' His rod and His staff He wull help me to tread it,
Then wull its shadows, sae gruesome, a' flee.
Forfochen in presence o' foes that surround me,
My Shepherd a table wi' denties has spread.
The Thyme and the Myrtle blaw fragrant aroond me,
He brims a fu' cup and poors oil on my head.
Surely guidness an' mercy, despite a' my roamin'
Wull gang wi' me doon tae the brink o' the river.
Ayont it nae mair o' the eerie an' gloamin'
I wull bide in the Hame o' my Faither for ever.