Scottish Poetry Selection
- Caledonia

Although he came from the Scottish Borders, James Hogg would be well aware of the Highlands of Scotland - often referred to as Caledonia (the name given by the Romans).

Caledonia is a frequent subject in the songs and poetry of Scotland. Burns wrote (or collected) a song Caledonia and Sir Walter Scott, in his Lay of the Last Minstrel wrote of "O Caledonia! stern and, wild". Hugh Ogilvie wrote a song Hail Caledonia! in 1912 which has become very popular. A modern song "Caledonia" by Dougie Maclean ("Caledonia you're calling me / And now I'm going home") became very popular in the 1980s but that is still under copyright.


Caledonia! thou land of the mountain and rock,
Of the ocean, the mist, and the wind-
Thou land of the torrent, the pine, and the oak,
Of the roebuck, the hart, and the hind;
Though bare are thy cliffs, and though barren thy glens,
Though bleak thy dun islands appear,
Yet kind are the hearts, and undaunted the clans,
That roam on these mountains so drear!

A foe from abroad, or a tyrant at home,
Could never thy ardour restrain;
The marshall'd array of imperial Rome
Essay'd thy proud spirit in vain!
Firm seat of religion, of valour, of truth,
Of genius unshackled and free,
The muses have left all the vales of the south,
My loved Caledonia, for thee!

Sweet land of the bay and wild-winding deeps
Where loveliness slumbers at even,
While far in the depth of the blue water sleeps
A calm little motionless heaven!
Thou land of the valley, the moor, and the hill,
Of the storm and the proud rolling wave-
Yes, thou art the land of fair liberty still,
And the land of my forefathers' grave!

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