Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Lost Love

Charles Spence was a stone mason by trade in his native Perthshire in the first half of the 19th century. A volume of his poetry entitled "From the Braes of the Carse" was published by subscription in 1898. The poem below on a lost love may well refer to his attachment to a Jeanie Bruce - which was not allowed to progress because her mother was opposed to a match.

The Lost Love

Dear lassie, we must part!
   That might our ruin prove!
Let others whisper in thy ear
   The tender tale of love.
Could I my thoughts command,
   I'd think no more of thee,
For doubly dear-bought were our loves,
   If love dear-bought can be.

Yet still I'll think of thee,
   And of the slow-winged hour
When first we talked of hopeless love
   Beneath the snowy bower;
So warm my bosom glows,
   Enraptured with thy name,
That thus I deem my rustic hand
   Can sweep the lyre of time.

Yes, I will sing of thee,
   So dear to me's the theme,
And distant years shall hear the lay,
   By mountain, vale, and stream;
Fair Scotia's nymphs and swains
   Shall sing thy every charm,
And woo each other with the strains
   That still my bosom warm.

The tree is not yet sown,
   Whose seed shall plant the groves,
That, listening to our tender tale,
   Shall echo back our loves;
The acorn is not formed
   That yet shall grow a tree,
Whose branch shall lull to rest the babe
   That oft shall sing of thee.

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