Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Banks o' the Dee

Here is a poem by George Outram which tells of a man who is as happy as can be, walking on the banks of the river Dee, despite his obvious misfortunes - and then explains why! The meanings of words which may not be familiar are listed at the end.

The Banks o' the Dee

I met wi' a man on the banks o' the Dee,
And a merrier body I never did see;
Though Time had bedrizzled his haffits wi' snaw,
An' Fortune had stown his luckpenny awa',
Yet never a mortal mair happy could be
Than the man that I met on the banks o' the Dee.

When young, he had plenty o owsen an' kye
A wide wavin' mailin, an' siller forbye;
But cauld was his hearth ere his youdith was o'er,
An' he delved on the landss he had lairdit before;
Yet though beggared his ha' an' deserted his lea,
Contented he roamed on the banks o' the Dee.

'Twas heartsome to see the auld body sae gay,
As he toddled adoun by the gowany brae,
Sae canty, sae crouse, an' sae proof against care;
Yet it wasna through riches, it wasna through lear;
But I fand out the cause ere I left the sweet Dee -
The man was as drunk as a mortal could be!

Meaning of Unusual Words:
owsen an' kye=oxen & cattle
delved=dug over
gowany brae=daisy covered hill

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?

Separator line