Scottish Poetry Selection
- My Hame

Thomas Carr (1780-1860) was born in Scotland and emigrated to Upper Canada with his brother Andrew in 1819. They were among the first settlers in the Township of Otonabee in Upper Canada (now Ontario). They were the original owners of the entire site of the village of Keene, on Indian River. District councillor, postmaster, road commissioner, and justice of the peace, Thomas Carr was always a man of prominence in Otonabee. When The Cobourg Star was established in 1831 he contributed literary material to its columns. Like many another worthy, he was buried on his own land, and the present owner of the property still points out, between the house and the barn, the grave of the founder of the village of Keene. But, as the poem below suggests, he still thought of Scotland as "home." These verses were published in the Cobourg Star, December 27, 1831. My thanks to Rob Lockhart for sending them to me.

My Hame

I canna ca' this forest hame,
It is nae hame to me;
Ilka tree is suthern to my heart
And unco to my e'e.

If I cou'd see the bonny broom
On ilka sandy know';
Or the whins in a' their gowden pride
That on the green hill grow.

If I cou'd see the primrose bloom
In Nora's hazel glen;
And hear the linties chirp and sing,
Far frae the haunts of men.

If I cou'd see the rising sun
Glint owre the dewy corn;
And the tunefu' lavrocks in the sky
Proclaim the coming morn.

If I cou'd see the daisy spread
Its wee flowers owre the lea;
Or the heather scent the mountain breeze
And the ivy climb the tree.

If I cou'd see the lane kirk yard
Whar' frien's lie side by side;
And think that I cou'd lay my banes
Beside them when I died;

Then might I think this forest hame,
And in it live and dee:
Nor feel regret at my heart's core
My native land, for thee.

Meaning of unusual words:
unco=unknown, strange, unfamiliar
know'=knoll, hill
linties=linnet (a small brown finch)

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