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Poems by Charles MacKay
To My Old Highland Plaid


Posthumously published in 1890
A poem by Charles Mackay, LLD., [1814-1889]

For forty years thou'st been mine own,
Cozie aye and ready,
Over my breast and shoulders thrown,
My faithful plaidie !
My sheltering shield in wintry days
And in the nights of summer,
My pillow when the needful sleep
Was an uncertain comer.

Never hast thou been false to me,
Cozie aye and ready,
Warm at my neck, snug at my knee,
My faithful plaidie !
We've clomb the hills, we've tracked the streams,
We've trod the moorland heather,
We've wandered through remotest lands,
And braved the storms together.

Since first I donned thee, fresh and new,
Cozie aye and ready,
We have been comrades tried and true,
My faithful plaidie !
While suits, full twenty, that I've worn,
And spent a pile of cash on,
Have faded into shabbiness,
And perished out of fashion.

What changes we have seen since then,
Lingering and unready,
In fate, in circumstance, in men,
My faithful plaidie !
Old friends, old loves, estranged and dead.
Have dimmed to shadows only,
And flit before my mournful thought
To whisper that I'm lonely.

And when thy folds I round me wrap,
Cozie aye and ready,
I often think it sore mishap,
My faithful plaidie !
That thy stout fabric should endure
When youth's fond hopes have perished,
Or the grave holds the senseless clay
Of those I loved and cherished.

The years have robbed my limbs of strength,
To spoil me ever ready ;
But thou art staunch in width and length,
My faithful plaidie !
Thy web is firm in warp and woof ;
But flesh and bones grown weary,
Make life no longer what it was
When we were young, my dearie !

Stay with me still, mine ancient friend !
Cozie aye and ready,
Until the fast approaching end,
My faithful plaidie !
And when the hand of Fate shall snap
The mortal chain that bound me,
I'll ask no better burial-cloth
Than thou to wrap around me !


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