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Scottish Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Lord Ullin's Daughter by Thomas Campbell
  2. Lochinvar by Walter Scott
  3. Lochiel's Warning by Thomas Campbell
  4. Highland Mary by Robert Burns
  5. My Heart's In The Highlands by Robert Burns
  6. A Man's a Man for A' That by Robert Burns

  1. Lord Ullin's Daughter

    by Thomas Campbell

    A chieftain to the Highlands bound,
    Cries, "Boatman, do not tarry!
    And I'll give thee a silver pound,
    To row us o'er the ferry."

    "Now, who be ye would cross Loch-Gyle
    This dark and stormy water?"
    "Oh! I'm the chief of Ulva's isle,
    And this, Lord Ullin's daughter.

    "And fast before her father's men
    Three days we've fled together,
    For should he find us in the glen,
    My blood would stain the heather.

    "His horsemen hard behind us ride;
    Should they our steps discover,
    Then who will cheer my bonny bride,
    When they have slain her lover?"

    Out spoke the hardy Highland wight
    "I'll go, my chief—I'm ready:
    It is not for your silver bright,
    But for your winsome lady:

    "And, by my word! the bonny bird
    In danger shall not tarry;
    So, though the waves are raging white,
    I'll row you o'er the ferry."

    By this, the storm grew loud apace,
    The water wraith was shrieking;
    And, in the scowl of heaven, each face
    Grew dark as they were speaking.

    But still, as wilder grew the wind,
    And as the night grew drearer,
    Adown the glen rode armed men,
    Their trampling sounded nearer.

    "Oh I haste thee, haste!" the lady cries
    "Though tempest round us gather,
    I'll meet the raging of the skies,
    But not an angry father."

    The boat has left the stormy land,
    A stormy sea before her;
    When, oh I too strong for human hand,
    The tempest gathered o'er her.

    And still they rowed, amid the roar
    Of waters fast prevailing;
    Lord Ullin reached that fatal shore,
    His wrath was changed to wailing.

    For sore dismay through storm and shade
    His child he did discover;
    One lovely hand she stretched for aid,
    And one was round her lover.

    "Come back! come back!" he cried, in grief,
    "Across this stormy water;
    And I'll forgive your Highland chief,
    My daughter! O, my daughter!"

    'T was vain: the loud waves lashed the shore,
    Return or aid preventing;
    The waters wild went o'er his child,
    And he was left lamenting.

  2. Lochinvar

    Walter Scott. Note: This selection is a song taken from Scott's poem of "Marmion." It is in a slight degree founded on a ballad called "Katharine Janfarie," to be found in the "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border."

    Oh, young Lochinvar is come out of the west,
    Through all the wide Border his steed was the best;
    And save his good broadsword, he weapon had none,
    He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone!
    So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war,
    There never was knight like the young Lochinvar!

    He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for stone,
    He swam the Eske River where ford there was none;
    But ere he alighted at Netherby gate,
    The bride had consented, the gallant came late:
    For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war,
    Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar!

    So boldly he entered the Netherby hall,
    Among bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all:
    Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword—
    For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word—
    "Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in war,
    Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?"

    "I long wooed your daughter, my suit you denied;—
    Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide—
    And now am I come, with this lost love of mine,
    To lead but one measure, drink one cup of wine.
    There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far,
    That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar."

    The bride kissed the goblet; the knight took it up,
    He quaffed off the wine, and he threw down the cup.
    She looked down to blush, and she looked up to sigh,
    With a smile on her lips, and a tear in her eye.
    He took her soft hand, ere her mother could bar,
    "Now tread we a measure!" said young Lochinvar.

    So stately his form, and so lovely her face,
    That never a hall such a galliard did grace;
    While her mother did fret, and her father did fume,
    And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume;
    And the bridemaidens whispered, "'Twere better by far
    To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar."

    One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
    When they reached the hall door, and the charger stood near,
    So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
    So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
    "She is won! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur:
    They'll have fleet steeds that follow," quoth young Lochinvar.

    There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan;
    Forsters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran;
    There was racing and chasing on Cannobie Lee,
    But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see.
    So daring in love, and so dauntless in war,
    Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?

  3. Lochiel's Warning

    by Thomas Campbell

    Seer. Lochiel! Lochiel! beware of the day
    When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array!
    For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight,
    And the clans of Culloden are scattered in fight.
    They rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown;
    Woe, woe to the riders that trample them down!
    Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain,
    And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain.
    But hark! through the fast-flashing lightning of war,
    What steed to the desert flies frantic and far?
    'T is thine, O Glenullin! whose bride shall await
    Like a love-lighted watch fire all night at the gate.
    A steed comes at morning,—no rider is there,
    But its bridle is red with the sign of despair.
    Weep, Albin! to death and captivity led!
    Oh, weep! but thy tears can not number the dead:
    For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave,—
    Culloden! that reeks with the blood of the brave.

    Loch. Go preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer!
    Or, if gory Culloden so dreadful appear,
    Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight,
    This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright.

    Seer. Ha! laugh'st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn?
    Proud bird of the mountain thy plume shall be torn!
    Say, rushed the bold eagle exultingly forth
    From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the north?
    Lo! the death shot of foemen outspeeding, he rode
    Companionless, bearing destruction abroad;
    But down let him stoop from his havoc on high!
    Ah! home let him speed, for the spoiler is nigh.
    Why flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast
    Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast?
    'T is the fire shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
    From his eyrie that beacons the darkness of heaven,
    O crested Lochiel! the peerless in might,
    Whose banners arise on the battlements' height,
    Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn;
    Return to thy dwelling! all lonely return!
    For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood,
    And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood.

    Loch. False wizard, avaunt! I have marshaled my clan,
    Their swords are a thousand, their bosoms are one!
    They are true to the last of their blood and their breath,
    And like reapers descend to the harvest of death.
    Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock!
    Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock!
    But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause,
    When Albin her claymore indignantly draws;
    When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd,
    Clanronald the dauntless, and Moray the proud,
    All plaided and plumed in their tartan array—

    Seer. —Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the day!
    For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal,
    But man can not cover what God would reveal:
    'T is the sunset of life gives me mystical lore,
    And coming events cast their shadows before.
    I tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring
    With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king.
    Lo! anointed by heaven with the vials of wrath,
    Behold where he flies on his desolate path!
    Now, in darkness and billows, he sweeps from my sight:
    Rise, rise! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight!
    'Tis finished. Their thunders are hushed on the moors;
    Culloden is lost, and my country deplores.
    But where is the ironbound prisoner? Where?
    For the red eye of battle is shut in despair.
    Say, mounts he the ocean wave, banished, forlorn,
    Like a limb from his country, cast bleeding and torn?
    Ah no! for a darker departure is near;
    The war drum is muffled, and black is the bier;
    His death bell is tolling; O mercy, dispel
    Yon sight that it freezes my spirit to tell!
    Life flutters convulsed in his quivering limbs,
    And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims.
    Accursed be the fagots that blaze at his feet,
    Where his heart shall be thrown ere it ceases to beat,
    With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale—

    Loch. Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale:
    For never shall Albin a destiny meet
    So black with dishonor, so foul with retreat.
    Though my perishing ranks should be strewed in their gore,
    Like ocean weeds heaped on the surf-beaten shore,
    Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains,
    While the kindling of life in his bosom remains,
    Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
    With his back to the field and his feet to the foe!
    And leaving in battle no blot on his name,
    Look proudly to heaven from the deathbed of fame.

  4. Highland Mary

    by Robert Burns

    Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
    The castle o' Montgomery,
    Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
    Your waters never drumlie!
    There Simmer first unfald her robes,
    And there the langest tarry:
    For there I took the last Fareweel
    O' my sweet Highland Mary.

    How sweetly bloom'd the gay, green birk,
    How rich the hawthorn's blossom;
    As underneath their fragrant shade,
    I clasp'd her to my bosom!
    The golden Hours, on angel wings,
    Flew o'er me and my Dearie;
    For dear to me as light and life
    Was my sweet Highland Mary.

    Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,
    Our parting was fu' tender;
    And pledging aft to meet again,
    We tore oursels asunder:
    But Oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
    That nipt my Flower sae early!
    Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,
    That wraps my Highland Mary!

    O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
    I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
    And clos'd for ay the sparkling glance,
    That dwalt on me sae kindly!
    And mouldering now in silent dust,
    That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
    But still within my bosom's core
    Shall live my Highland Mary.

  5. My Heart's In The Highlands

    by Robert Burns

    Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
    The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
    Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
    The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

    Chorus: My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
    My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
    Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
    My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

    Farewell to the mountains, high-cover'd with snow,
    Farewell to the straths and green vallies below;
    Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,
    Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
    My heart's in the Highlands, &c.

  6. A Man's a Man for A' That

    by Robert Burns. Also know as "Is There for Honest Poverty"

    Is there for honesty poverty
    That hings his head, an' a' that;
    The coward slave — we pass him by,
    We dare be poor for a' that!
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    Our toils obscure an' a' that,
    The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
    The man's the gowd for a' that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
    Wear hoddin grey, an' a' that?
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
    A man's a man for a' that.
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    Their tinsel show, an' a' that,
    The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
    Is king o' men for a' that.

    Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord,
    Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
    Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
    He's but a coof for a' that.
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    His ribband, star, an' a' that,
    The man o' independent mind
    He looks an' laughs at a' that.

    A price can mak a belted knight,
    A marquise, duke, an' a' that;
    But an honest man's aboon his might,
    Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    Their dignities an' a' that,
    The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
    Are higher rank than a' that.

    Then let us pray that come it may,
    (As come it will for a' that,)
    That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
    Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
    For a' that, an' a' that,
    That man to man, the world o'er,
    Shall brithers be for a' that.