Scottish Poetry Selection
- Scottish Emigrant's Farewell

Alexander Hume (1811-1859), the author of the poem below, was a gifted musician and he wrote the beautiful air which is associated with Burn's fine song "Afton Water". Hume was born in Edinburgh and initially earned his living making chairs. A self-taught musician, he became a tenor chorister in St Paul's Episcopal Church and was co-editor of "British Psalmody" to which he contributed a number of fine tunes. But his "convivial habits" lost him one job after another he ended up making a precarious living from his writings in Glasgow.

Most ex-patriate Scots will be able to relate to this short poem "The Scottish Emigrant's Farewell" by Hume.

The Scottish Emigrant's Farewell

Fareweel, fareweel, my native hame,
   Thy lanely glens and heath-clad mountains!
Fareweel thy fields o' storied fame,
   Thy leafy shaws and sparkling fountains.
Nae mair I'll climb the Pentlands steep,
   Nor wander by the Esk's clear river;
I seek a hame far o'er the deep-
   My native land, fareweel for ever!

Thou land wi' love and freedom crowned,
   In ilk wee cot and lordly dwelling
May manly-hearted youth be found,
   And maids in every grace excelling.
The land where Bruce and Wallace wight
   For freedom fought in days o' danger,
Ne'er crouched to proud usurping might,
   But foremost stood, wrong's stern avenger.

Though far frae thee, my native shore,
   And tossed on life's tempestuous ocean,
My heart-aye Scottish to the core-
   Shall cling to thee wi' warm devotion.
And while the waving Heather grows,
   And onward rows the winding river,
The toast be "Scotland's broomy knowes,
   Her mountains, rocks, and glens forever!"

Meaning of unusual words:
shaws=flat piece of ground at the foot of a hill
ilk wee cot=every small cottage
broomy knowes=hillock clad in broom

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