Scottish Poetry Selection
- Fareweel to Scotia
This poem by William Air Foster (1801-1864) will strike a chord with many who have left Scotland, especially if the departure is late in life. Inevitably, there is some regret at the loss of even minor things which are familiar.
Fareweel to ScotiaFareweel to ilka hill where the red heather grows,
To ilk bonnie green glen whaur the mountain stream rows,
To the rock that re-echoes the torrent's wild din,
To the graves o' my sires, and the hearths o' my kin.
Fareweel to ilk strath an' the lav'rock's sweet sang -
For trifles grow dear whan we've kenn'd them sae lang;
Round the wanderer's heart a bright halo they shed,
A dream o' the past when a' others ha'e fled.
The young hearts may kythe, though they're forced far away,
But its dool to the spirit when haffets are grey;
The saplin' transplanted may flourish a tree,
Whar the hardy auld aik wad but wither and dee.
They tell me I gang whaur the tropic suns shine
Owre landscapes as lovely and fragrant as thine;
For the objects sae dear that the heart had entwined
Turn eerisome hame-thoughts, and sicken the mind.
No, my spirit shall stray whaur the red heather grows!
In the bonnie green glen whaur the mountain stream rows,
'Neath the rock that re-echoes the torrent's wild din,
'Mang the graves o' my sires, and the hearths o' my kin.
Meaning of unusual words:
ilka / ilk = every
lav'rock = lark
kenn'd = known
kythe = perform (a miracle)
dool = grief, mourning weeds
haffets = locks of hair, especially at the temples
aik = oak
gang = go
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