Scottish Poetry Selection
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Charles Murray (1864-1941) who wrote this poem, was born and raised in Alford in north east Scotland. However he wrote much of his poetry while living in South Africa where he spent most of his working life as a successful civil engineer. He wrote a number of poems (including a volume entitled "Hamewith" (Homewards) which owed much to his thoughts as an expatriate. When he retired in 1924, Murray returned to Scotland and settled in Banchory, not far from where he was raised. He died there in 1941.


There's a wee, wee glen in the Hielan's,
    Where I fain, fain would be;
There's an auld kirk there on the hillside
    I weary sair to see.
In a low lythe nook in the graveyard
    Drearily stands alane,
Marking the last lair of a' I lo'ed,
    A wee moss-covered stane.

There's an auld hoose sits in a hollow
    Half happit by a tree;
At the door the untended lilac
    Still blossoms for the bee;
But the auld roof is sairly seggit,
    There's nane now left to care;
And the thatch ance sae neatly stobbit
    Has lang been scant and bare.

Aft as I lie 'neath a foreign sky
    In dreams I see them a'--
The auld dear kirk, the dear auld hame,
The glen sae far awa'.
Dreams flee at dawn, and the tropic sun
Nae ray o' hop can gie;
I wander on o'er the desert lone,
There's nae mair hame for me.

Meaning of unusual words:
glen = valley
fain = gladly
auld kirk = old church
lythe nook = sheltered corner
lair = grave
happit = covered
sairly seggit = badly sagging
stobbit = staked down

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