Scottish Poetry Selection
- Scotia's Thistle
Henry Scott Riddell (1798-1870) was a native of Sorbie, north of Langholm, Dumfries & Galloway. His parents both came from Teviotside. His poetry was deeply influenced by Teviotdale, the valley of the river Teviot, in what is now the Scottish Borders. He became a minister there and was buried at Teviothead.
A number of his poems are very patriotic and nationalistic - he wrote Scotland Yet while out for a walk in a lonely glen at Teviothead. This is another in a similar vein.
Scotia's ThistleScotia's thistle guards the grave,
Where repose her dauntless brave;
Never yet the foot of slave
Has trod the wilds of Scotia.
Free from tyrant's dark control —
Free as waves of ocean roll —
Free as thoughts of minstrel's soul,
Still roam the sons of Scotia.
Scotia's hills of hoary hue,
Heaven wraps in wreathes of blue,
Watering with its dearest dew
The healthy locks of Scotia.
Down each green-wood skirted vale,
Guardian spirits, lingering, hail
Many a minstrel's melting tale,
As told of ancient Scotia.
When the shades of eve invest
Nature's dew-bespangled breast,
How supremely man is blest
In the glens of Scotia!
There no dark alarms convey
Aught to chase life's charms away;
There they live, and live for aye,
Round the homes of Scotia.
Wake, my hill harp! wildly wake!
Sound by lee and lonely lake,
Never shall this heart forsake
The bonnie wilds of Scotia.
Others o'er the oceans foam
Far to other lands may roam,
But for ever be my home
Beneath the sky of Scotia!
Meaning of unusual words:
aye = always
Where else would you like to go in Scotland?
News & Views>
All Features Index>
Search This Site>
Scottish Pictorial Calendar>
Places to Visit>