Margaret Winefride Simpson
TO NORTH-COUNTRY EXILES
As ye warstle on wi Fate oot there, in countries faur an frem',
I'll wauger nou an than ye're dowie, hine awa frae hame--
In the oors ye're nae sae thrang, when gloamin closes in to dark,
When the day's darg's duin an feenished, an it a' seems thankless wark--
For a sicht o some bit misty strath ye'll mony a time be fain,
Whaur the Hielan' hills staun's black an bauld anent the drivin rain:
Ye'll be thinkin lang for glens ye linkit throu as lass or loon--
Glens whaur the Dullan mibbie flows, or A'an rins lauchin doun--
Or mibbie ye'll be mindin on the fair an pleasant miles
That leads bi shaw an shore to whaur the Laich o Moray smiles:
There's some o ye wad gie a hantle, whiles, I dinna dout,
Again bi Deveronside to watch the simmer stars come oot,
Or back bi Spey to herken as blythe the blackbirds sings,
When the bloom is on the brier, an the nichts is sweet in Spring:
An aften, as ye trauchle on throu dreich an dreary days,
Weariet for the North, its bonnie burnies, hauchs, an braes,
O a kin'ly, couthie, Scottish wird I'se warran' ye'll ken the lack--
Tho we hinna routh o wirds, awyte, that bids ye haiste ye back--
Still, for herts baith strong an steidfast, for a'thing leal an true,
Ye're safe to trust to Scotland yet--as Scotland trusts to you!
SANG O THE LOCHANS
(Muir o Dava, near Grantown-on-Spey.)
ON the bosom o the muirland
The blue lochans lies,
The lovely lochans smilin
Aneth a simmer sky,
The little, lanely lochans
Whaur the wild birds cries:
The settin sun at even
Mey sink towards the west,
An still amangst the heather
The whaup mey safely nest,
But sweet bi muir an lochan
Nae mair sall be my rest:
For lang the years an laggard,
An faur awa am I,
But the memory o the muirland
Will be wi me till I dee--
The dear an distant muirland
Whaur the blue lochans lies!
THE SINGIN BURN
Fou mony a secret langin dis the years o exile bring,
But sair, an sairer yet than a', I miss the strath in Spring--
Ay! I miss the rowan-blossom, an the yellow broom aflame,
An the liltin o the burnie rinnin by the door o hame!
In a' the shire there's nae anither burn that rins as clear,
Nor ane that sings sae sweet in a' the country faur or near,
An aye as Spring draws on it sings the sweetest sang o a',
O coortin-time, an trysts, an lads an lasses twa bi twa.
It's as happy an as heedless as a thochtless bairn at play,
But its singin growes in glammer wi the lengthenin o the day,
An still its spell's upon me, tho I've wandered lang an faur,
For it's kin to a' the fairy-fowk, an sib to ilka star.
It's Springtime in the strath again, an I'm nae there to see
The broom upon the braeside, or the blossom on the tree--
But aye I hear ye singin, an yer bonnie sang's the same,
My blythe bit liltin burnie rinnin by the door o hame!
THERE'S folly in foretellin,
But mibbie yet I'll hae
A bonnie wee bit dwellin
In faurawa Strathspey--
Bi weel-kent roads gang linkin
The lee-lang day, until
The stars is bricht an blinkin
Attour the hiechest hill:
Syne, free frae care or grievin,
Contented wi a beuk,
I'll canty be at even
An cosy in the neuk
There, close aside the ingle,
In my couthie but an ben,
While luve an lauchter mingles
Aboot my ain fire-en':
A snod-like place, an cheery,
Amang the flouerin whin--
A door, when nichts is dreary,
To bid the wanderer in . .
Tho folly's in foretellin,
Heeven send that I mey hae
My hamely wee bit dwellin,
Or lang, in sweet Strathspey!
FRAE the hills o the North the piper cam,
An back an forrit, up he played an doun,
Maistly for siller--an whilies for a dram--
In the douce-like streets o the stranger toun:
His pipes, awyte, was a' his gear--
But his kilt was the tartan o the Gordon clan;
An suin the fowk was gaitherin frae faur an near
To herken to the pipin o the Hielandman:
For a hertsome thing, in a land that's frem',
Is a blythe step-tune or a wild reel's din,
An the countrysides o Scotland an the glens o hame
Was a' in the soon' o the bagpipes' skin!
To the douce-like toun the piper cam,
An up an doun an back he gaed an forth--
An I'll warran' he was welcome to the siller an the dram--
The braw Hielan' piper frae the hills o the North!
DOUN BI DULLANSIDE
THERE'S a lintie in the larick-tree
Doun bi Dullanside--
An faur awa the waitin
Growes gey an sair to bide:
Gey an sair to bide it growes
When fain am I to be
Herkenin to the lintie
In the bonnie larick-tree:
When I ken the mornin mists is grey
Against a smilin sky,
An the wids is sweet wi Simmer
Whaur the river wimples by!
Aye sairer growes the waitin,
An sairer yet to bide,
When the lintie's in the larick-tree
Doon bi Dullanside!
THE HILLS O HAME
PEACE haes nae place in countries faur an frem'--
Whaure'er I gang, or in whatever airt--
For still my dearest dream remains the same,
An aye my hert
Beats but for Scotland an the hills o hame!
Yet never mair, as aft in bygane days--
Tho fast upon the hills the nicht mey fa'--
Shall I return bi weel-remembered weys
Whaun, hine awa,
The Scottish heather blooms upon the braes!
The reid deer to his cover mey repair,
The weary bird at even seek its nest,
Across the muir the wanderer mey fare--
But I shall rest
Beside the hills o hame nae mair, nae mair!
THE HAUCHS O SPEY
THE hin'maist years gangs trauchlin by,
The journey's weirin duin--
But a dreary length the lang leagues lies,
Braid rowes the seas between;
For aye the memory's dear to me,
An aye, baith nicht an day,
I weary for the North Countrie,
An the bonnie Hauchs o Spey!
I'll never gang that gate again,
Nor watch the river rin,
Nor see the glint, throu mist an rain,
O bloom upon the whin;
Nae mair I'll hear the birdies sing
The blythesome sang an gay
That telt o luve, langsyne in Spring,
Beside the Hauchs o Spey!
It's strange to ken I'll never mair
Return to yonder glen,
Nor feel the keen an caller air
That sweeps attour the Ben;
But still an on my thocht maun be
An aye my hert growe wae--
For Scotland, an the North Countnie,
An the bonnie Hauchs o Spey!
IN DISTANT PLACES
As ye gang up, when nichts is sweet in Simmer,
Bi Avon's Glen,
Or, days when Winter's dank aboot the steidin,
Gang but an ben:
Hae ye an antrin sich to spare--or mibbie
A teir to fa'--
Thinkin on me in fremmit lands, sae lanely
An faur awa?
For aye whaur Avon rins my dreams is dwellin,
The hale year throu,
An a' my thochts, like nestin birds in Springtime,
Turns hame to you!
I'M fain to be whaur ilka den
Is sweet wi the wild rose--
Whaur, in yon weel-remembered glen,
The bonnie bluebell growes:
The wisp o clood that lingers lang
To wreathe the mountain's brou,
The Springtime, an a laverock's sang--
I'm weary for them nou!
For me the torrents crashes in vain,
Saft mey the breezes sigh--
I'd gie my a' to hear again
A burn rin liltin by:
Nor can the sun that gilds this shore
Beguile my hert frae gloom
As when it wooed, bi some wee door,
The lilac into bloom!
For a' I ca' fair Fortune mine,
Inconstant aft she's pruived--
Blythe was the tryst I kept langsyne
Wi ane that truly loe'd:
Nou a' my pride in gear is past,
An I've cast oot wi Fame--
I only lang to rest at last
Near by the hills o hame!
THE ROAD TO MORAYSHIRE
THERE'S a road that leads bi lanely muirs, whaur mony a lochan gleams,
Throu the land o a' my langin, an the country o my dreams,
Whaur I'll aye be fain to follow--an never ken a tire--
Hine across the Northern hills an hame to Morayshire!
Hine across the Northern hills an east the gate ance mair,
Whaur a' the roads is shortsome, an the feck o them is fair,
An there's some sae braw to min' on that I canna weel forget--
Tho oot amon' them a' the hameward road's the blythest yet!
I'm faur awa frae Moray, but aye I'm thinkin lang
For the ae road that still an on I'm wearyin to gang--
But when Spring's athrill, bi hauch an hill, I'll hae my hert's desire,
An be back in bonnie Scotland on the road to Morayshire!
THERE'S mony a year that I'm awa, but yet--
Year in, year oot--the thocht o you an hame
Is ruggin at my hert--tho a' the same,
Whiles throu the steerin day I maun forget:
But when the sun's gane doun, an ane bi ane
The stranger stars comes keekin ower yon hill,
Again I see the green strath lyin still,
The gloamin gaitherin grey... an you yer lane!
THE BANKS O DEVERON
BI Deveronside the laverocks sings
In Aprile, hie an clear--
But on the banks o Deveron
Aye lanely gangs my dear:
Aye lanely gangs my only dear,
An aye she thinks on me
Sae faur frae whaur the Deveron
Rins eastward to the sea:
An still between their pleasant banks
The Deveron's waters flows,
An still she waits, nor wearies yet,
Nor seeks anither jo:
Upon the banks o Deveron
A lassie waits her lane--
An O that I were wi my dear
Bi Deveronside again!
O, TO win hine awa, hine awa hame,
Hine awa to the North Countrie--
Gear's gey little uise in a country that's frem',
An Fortune gey sweir wi the fee;
An, for a' that's sae braw, there is naething ava
O a sicht that's sae bonnie to see
As the birds biggin blythe, whaur it's couthie an lythe,
When it's Spring in the North Countrie:
An it's O to win hame, when the whins is aflame,
An the leaf's buddin green on the tree,
An the clear river lauchs, ‘tweesh the hills an the hauchs,
Hine awa in the North Countrie!
O, haud awa hine awa, hine awa hame,
Bi burnie, an braeside, an muir--
Mibbie Spring's worn by, but the Glen's aye the same
In the glint o the sun or the shouer;
An tho Simmer be duin, an the hairstin be suin,
It's swack an it's swippert I'll be
Gin I'm gaun yon airt, wi a sang in my hert,
Haudin harne to the North Countrie:
An it's haud awa hame, for the heather's aflame,
Tho the leaf's hingin grey on the tree,
An the same river rowes, ‘tweesh the hills an the howes,
Hine awa in the North Countrie!
THE GLEN ROAD
MONY an mony a mile
The road winds up the Glen--
An, gin I were to hae my wyle
O a' the roads I ken,
Nae langer here I'd be--
Hou braw sae e'er the hire--
But up Glen Avon linkin free,
Wi ne'er a thocht O tire!
For think ye I wad bide
Gin I micht be the day
Back again bi Avonside,
Upon the hameward wey;
Seein abuin the Ben
Slow mists at gloamin wreathe--
An the lang road windin up the Glen
The freen'ly stars beneath?
A NICHT AT MARTINMAS
WHEN snell the win' was blawin an November haed begun,
An ilka country kitchen haed its peat fire weel aglow--
D'ye min' on a' the daffin, an the fiddlers, an the fun,
When the nicht wore by to dancin in the winters lang ago?
Man, there's whiles I tak a notion still as Martinmas comes roon'--
An days growes dreich an dour--to hear a cheery-like strathspey,
Wi a guid Scotch reel to follow, a rousin, rantin tune,
Say, "The Deil amang the Tylors "--ay, or mibbie "Rachel Rae "!
Haith, I think that I could step it to "The Braes O Tulimet,"
Or hooch as herty as the lave in some schottische or fling--
An for a' my threescore years an ten I'd try't if, even yet,
Some fiddler chiel frae hame wad haiste him oot an gie's a spring!
IN THE SPRING O THE YEAR
HAME to Strathspey when the year's at the Spring-time--
It's a dream that hauds hertenin, when a'thing is drear,
To think on the North an the day I'll be gaun
Hame to Strathspey in the Spring o the year!
Tho muckle the future mey hae in its proffer,
There's gey little pleasure in siller or gear
When hameward the thochts o the exile is turnin
To bonnie Strathspey in the Spring o the year!
In the Spring o the year, when the river is ca'in,
Hameward to Scotland at last an at lang--
For there's only ae country that haesna a marrow
An only ae gate that I ken o to gang!
Hame to the heather hills, hame to the Hielan's
Back to the burnies an birds singin clear,
When the birks is in bud, or the brier's in blossom,
Hame to Strathspey in the Spring o the year!
ILK oor gangs licht an linkin, for I'll suin be hame again,
Wi a' the grievin by, lass--a' the pairtin an the pain;
An when ance mair bi burn an brae the bluebells sweetly blaws
I ken ye'll keep your tryst for a' that I've been lang awa!
I'll meet ye doun bi yon green birk that growes beside the linn,
When the sunset's reid ayont the hill an day is closin in;
Syne, as the simmer gloamin fa's, we'll plicht oor troth anew,
For aye I've kept for you, my dear, a leal hert an a true!
THE MUIR O DAVA
THE bloom is on the heather,
An fair the bluebells springs,
An whaur the Dava flows I ken
Fou blythe the birdies sings;
But wae's me for the wanderer
That ne'er shall see again
The bonnie Muir o Dava
That lies ayont the main!
The days o youth was lichtsome
Tho skies was grey abuin,
An sweet was luve in Spring-time
When the Aprile stars shone doun;
An still the Spring mey blossom,
An clear the stars mey shine,
But youth an luve on Dava
Is a' gane by langsyne!
The lintie an the laverock
May sing bi Dava's Burn,
But ower the Muir the exile
Shall never mair return;
As fair mey growe the bluebell,
An the heather bloom the same,
But never mair to Dava
Shall the weary hert come hame!
THE HINMAIST SANG
WHEN betimes the shaidaes gaithers on the road that I maun gang,
A' for hame an Scotland shall be my hin'maist sang,
For mirk at length the nicht mey fa', but memory still shall be
Loyal to the hills o the North Countrie!
Tho muckle joy mey yet betide, an mony a sang seem braw,
The hills o hame, I vou, shall hae the hin'maist sang o a',
For a spell's in the thocht o Scotland faur ayont the sea,
An a glamour in the name o the North Countrie!
An tho I watch nae langer nou the laverock on the wing
Whaur sweet the broom an brier bespeak a Scottish Spring,
For hame an for Scotland my hin'maist sang shall be--
For hame an the hills o the North Countrie!