Traditional Scottish Songs
- Beauty

John Mitchell (1786-1856) was born in Paisley and relieved the tedium of working as a weaver by writing songs and poems, eventually making a reasonable living from his pen. His graceful simplicity was accompanied by an elegant pathos.


What wakes the Poet's lyre?
   'Tis Beauty;
What kindles his poetic fire?
   'Tis Beauty;
What makes him seek, at evening's hour,
The lonely glen, the leafy bower,
When dew hangs on each little flower?
   Oh! it is Beauty.

What melts the soldier's soul?
   'Tis Beauty;
What can his love of fame control?
   'Tis Beauty;
For oft, amid the battle's rage,
Some lovely vision will engage
His thoughts and war's rough ills assuage:
   Such power has Beauty.

What tames the savage mood?
   'Tis Beauty;
What gives a polish to the rude?
   'Tis Beauty;
What gives the peasant's lowly state
A charm which wealth cannot create,
And on the good alone will wait?
   'Tis faithful Beauty.

Then let our favourite toast
   Be Beauty;
Is it not king and peasant's boast?
   Yes, Beauty;
Then let us guard with tender care
The gentle, th' inspiring fair,
And Love will a diviner air
   Impart to Beauty.

Return to the Index of Traditional Scottish Songs

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