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Scottish Poets in America
MacColl, Evan


Here he is ‘having a go’ at us poets !

DEFINITION OF A POET

A player strange on life's rough stage,
Now saint, now sinner, and now sage ;
A dreamer oft of creed unsound,
And yet a prophet frequent found ;
A wayward wight of passions wild,
Yet tender-hearted as a child ;
A spirit like the lark endowed
To sing its sweetest in a cloud ;
A soul to whom, by beauty given,
A frown is hell, a smile is heaven !
The friend of Truth, past contradiction,
And yet the very slave of Fiction ;
The mortal foe of vanity,
Yet no one half so vain as he;
The moralist high-toned, withal
Oft bound in Pleasure's circean thrall---
The vices he can ban so well
Himself the weakest to repel !
A vapour in the whirlwind's pow'r,
A dewdrop glittering for an hour,
A flow'r whose pow'r to charm is due
More to its fragrance than its hue,—
Such aye has been from days cf old
The traits and types that truest shew out
That strange compound of mud and gold,
That Rara Avis called a poet.

by Evan MacColl - 1888

Here is a pdf bio of MacColl, Evan

And here we are going to provide you with "The English Poetical Works" in a series of pdf files below...




Biography
The Mountain Minstrel
Translations

Songs

THE HILLS OF THE HEATHER
Lyrics composed by Evan MacColl in 1888 to the tune for 'The Bonnets of Bonnie Dundee'.

Here with slight word adaptation [in brackets] to suit Robert Farnon's Orchestral version.

Give the swains of Italia 'mong myrtles to rove,
Give the proud, sullen Spaniard his bright orange grove,
Give gold-sanded streams to the sons of Chili,
But O give the hills of the heather to me !
Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens,
Whose heads cleave the welkin, whose feet press the glens:
What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee?
[All] The red heather hills of the Highlands for me !

The hills whose wild echoes delight to prolong
The soul-stirring pibroch, the stream’s gushing song---
Storm-vexed and mist-mantled though often they be,
Still dear are the hills of the heather to me.
Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens,
That fondly look down on the clan-peopled glens:
What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee?
[All] The red heather hills of the Highlands for me !

Brief Interlude

Your carses may boast of their own fertile farms,
Yet give me the glens shielding well in their arms
Blue lakes grandly glassing crag, cliff, tower and tree :
The red heather hills of the Highlands for me !
Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens,
Their deer-haunted corries, and hazelwood dens:
What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee ?
[All] The red heather hills of the Highlands for me !

'Tis there ’neath the tartan beat hearts the most leal—
Hearts warm as the sunshine, yet firm as the steel ;
There only this heart can feel happy or free :
The red heather hills of the Highlands for me !
Then, drink we a health to the old Highland Bens,
Glad-leaving to England her flats and her fens ;
What Scot worth the name would not toast them with glee?
[ The red heather hills ....... The red heather hills .... ]
[ The red heather hills of the Highlands for me. ]

THE LASS WI THE BRICHT GOWDEN HAIR

Lyrics composed by Evan MacColl in 1888 to the tune for 'Jessie, The Flower Of Dunblane'
played here by 'The Music Makars'.

The pride of all Dee-side is fair Jennie Stuart,
How dearly I love her nae words can declare :
The mair I see her, the mair my fond true heart
Is charmed by the lass wi the bricht gowden hair.
Her smile is the dawn breaking o'er the horizon,
Her voice is the lilt of the lark in the air;
Nae mortal can look on her face all-enticing
And not love the lass wi the bricht gowden hair;
Nae mortal can look on her face all-enticing
And not love the lass wi the bricht gowden hair.

I'll fa' them who say I've in vain set my mind on
A lass of whose smile richer wooers despair !
Sic fools naething ken of the love-licht I find in
Ilk look of the lass wi the bricht gowden hair.
Oh, for that blest day this dear maid sae enchanting
Is mine, and mine only—my life's darling care !
This world would to me be a weary world, wanting
The love of yon lass wi the bricht gowden hair.
This world would to me be a weary world, wanting
The love of yon lass wi the bricht gowden hair.

Poems, Songs and Sonnets
Written Chiefly in Canada

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Part 5
Part 6


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