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George Gordon Byron, 6th Lord Byron

Away ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses
In you let the minions of luxury rove
Restore me the rocks where the snowflake reposes
If still they are sacred to freedom and love.
Yet Caledonia, dear are thy mountains
Round their white summits tho' elements war
Tho' cataracts foam 'stead of smooth flowing fountains
I sigh for the valley of dark Lochnagar.

Ah, there my young footsteps in infancy wandered
My cap was the bonnet, my coat was the plaid
On chieftains departed my memory pondered
As daily I strayed thro' the pine covered glade.
I sought not my home till the day's dying glory
Gave place to the rays of the bright polar star
For fancy was cheered by traditional story
Disclosed by the natives of dark Lochnagar.

Years have rolled on, Lochnagar, since I left you
Years must elapse ere I see you again
Tho' nature of verdure and flowers has bereft you
Yet still thou art dearer than Albion's plain.
England thy beauties are tame and domestic
To one who has roved on the mountains afar
Oh! For the crags that are wild and magestic
The steep frowning glories of dark Lochnagar.

Footnote:  Although usually regarded as the most English of romantic poets, Lord Byron (1788-1824) was in fact half-Scots. 

"But I am half a Scots by birth, and bred
A whole one, and my heart flees to my head."

He spent his early childhood in Aberdeen where he attended the grammer school.  He wrote the poem Lachin Y Gair in 1807.

I used to greatly enjoy this fine song as sung by the late Jimmy McDermid, father of the crime writer Val McDermid.  Jimmy brought out the full passion of Byron's words.  His other great claim to fame was his discovery of the incomparable Jim Baxter and persuading his beloved Raith Rovers to kick-start the career of one of Scotland's finest footballers.



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