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James Chapman Craig


41. GLOAMIN' AN' NICHTFA'

"It's growin' dark": the voice was low
And husky, as the old man spoke;
Beside the bed his dear wife stood,
Her sob the stillness broke.

"There's something comin' in my throat,
I scarce can breathe; wife, gi'e me air-
The window lift, that I may see
The trees and sky aince mair.

"The birds are singin' sweet to-day,
Singin' their auld familiar song;
But, hark ! there's ither voices there
As o' an angel throng.

"Aye! there they are: oh, bonnie sicht.
Look wife: look there and see;
Oh, great and blessed Jesus! look,
They're beckoning on me.

"I canna stay, sweet wife, guid-bye,
With Christ I'm going home;"
A glorious light illumes the sky-
He murmurs low, "I come."

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

A tremulous quiver like a falling leaf;
Borne on the breeze came a lark's sweet trill;
A heart-rent wail, a broken sob-
Then all, all was still.


42. THE WANDERER'S SANG

Eh! I'm gled that I'm back in my bonnie wee land,
Whaur the thistle an' heather an' sweet blue-bells grow,
Whaur the sweet bunnie rins doon the mountains sae grand-
Eh! I'm gled that I'm back in Auld Scotland.
Whaur the hearts are aye leal an' the frien's are aye true,
Although fortune's storms should ha'e shut oot the blue,
Their hands are aye ready to help a man through-
Eh! man, we should be prood o' Scotland.

Then here's to Auld Scotland, the thistle, the heather,
An' here's to the bonnie wee blue-bell an' a',
An' here's to her mountains an' glens a' th'gether,
The land we lo'e best when we're faur faur awa'.

Although in faur lands owre the seas we may roam,
Whaur the sun shines faur brichter an' a' thing looks grand,
The heart a' a Scotsman skips licht ower the foam
An' his thochts are awa' in Auld Scotland;
Though the palm trees are wavin' an' warm waffs the wind,
Nae solace at a' in the scene can he find,
Though the binds are a' bonnie, wi' notes sweetly tuned,
His heart is at hame in Auld Scotland.

Then here's to Auld Scotland, the thistle, the heather,
Her lasses sae bonnie, her lads leal an' a',
An' here's to the bonnie wee land a' th'gether,
The land we lo'e best when we're faur faur awa.


43. MOTHER

There's naebody feels like a mother,
Nane suffers sae deep or sae sair;
When ane o' the flock
Is ta'en frae the stock,
She suffers aye mair than her share.

There's naebody loves like a mother-
Sae watchfu', sae kind, and sae winnin';
Though they've erred an' dune ill,
Her heart yearns still,
For her wanderin' lamb in its sinnin'.

There's naebody sighs like a mother-
The past years are a' like a look;
An' aften through tears,
She looks through the years,
An' sees a' oor life in a'e look.

There's naebody greets like a mother-
Hoo often, alone and untold;
An' if tears could atone
For the wanderin' one,
They'd a' he brocht back to the fold.

There's naebody prays like a mother,
For she cares nae at a' for hersel';
It's aye for her offspring
To God she is whisp'ring-
Hoo often, He only can tell.

Be guid, then, an' kind to yer mother-
She's worth a' that you can bestow;
A fine sculptured stone
Can never atone
For neglect o' her while here below.



44. A FACE I SAW YESTREEN

A bonnie face I saw yestreen
Has set my heart aglow-
Pierced through an' through wi' glances keen,
As by the lance o' foe!
I kenna what it's really been
That's laid me low.

I wonder what it was ava'
That did the harm?
Was it her broo, as white's the snaw,
That hid the charm?
Or was't her cheeks that did it a'
Wi' blushes warm?

Or was't the smile that roond her moo'
Like sunbeams played?
Or was't her hair that bonnie grew
O' gowden shade?
Or was't because I thocht her true,
Nae jiltin' jade?

It micht ha'e been her winsome form
That wrecked my peace;
'Twas trig an' neat, an' fu' o' charm
An' quiet grace;
Or maybe what did a' the harm
Was her sweet face.

A bonnie face I saw yestreen
Has set my heart aglow-
Pierced through and through wi' glances keen,
As by the lance a' foe!
It was her glancin', spanklin' een
That's laid me low.



45. SWEET ANN O' SALINE

The sky was clean, an' fresh the morn,
The dew on fields had fallen,
The air was scented wi' the thorn
As I gaed up to Saline.
A treasure's there that's sweeter far
Than gear or gowd to man-
At least to me she's meeter far,
My lichtsome, lo'esome lassie Ann.

Amang the leaves the saft winds played;
It was owre sune to fa';
The sun shone doon on hill an' glade,
An' a' the scene was braw;
Fu' sweet the early blossoms flang
Their fragrance, care to ban,
While ilka bird had tuned its sang
Aboot my charming lassie Ann.

It's bonnie when the spring awakes
An' tells the floo'rs to bloom,
The tender ferns strew the brakes,
The tassels deck the broom;
For a' the smiles that fortune's gi'en,
Since e'er the world began,
I haud them lichtly as a freen'
Beside my dearest lassie Ann.



46. FOUR SCORE

Eh, megstie me! I'm awfu' dune,
I'm scarcely fit to walk,
The only thing there's smeddum in
'S my tongue, I aye can talk;
But, waes me, man, my sicht's faur through,
I'm nae use wantin' specs;
But mind ye, man, I'm eichty noo,
An' sae I needna vex.

I've seen the day I cu'd ha'e run
A mile juist fast eneuch,
But noo at a' I cu'dna rin,
I ha'e nae ony puff;
An' though I had, I cu'dna dae't,
My legs are stiff an' sair,
Wi' that confoonded rhumatiz
I scarce can cross the flair.

What? my hearin'? No sae bad,
No mebbie juist sae gleg,
As when a weel-faured, strappin' lad,
I coorted my wife Meg;
But, man, though I was deaf's a post,
I cu'dna weel complain,
For I'm gey auld, an' age ye ken
It disna come it's lane.

But, man, wi' a' my troubles,
I'd bauld be to complain,
For I've a ruif abune my head,
An' what's mair, it's my ain.
An' there's my guid auld wife besides,
Aye joggin' on fu' cannie,
Richt prood to share whate'er betides,
An' cling to her auld mannie.

Oor bairns a' are spared to us,
A' spared an' daein' weel,
An' mind us aye at certain times,
An' young again we feel;
As when oor waddin' day comes roond,
A' that can come are there,
Eh, man! but it's a bonnie sicht,
An' ane that's unco rare.

Oo aye, we ken the time's gey short,
That nicht-fa's drawin' near;
But, man, He's aye been guid to us,
An' we ha'e nocht to fear.
For we've aye dune oor very best,
To keep the narrow road,
An' aft we've gi'en a helpin' hand
To lich'en some yin's load.

But there! I needna boast o' that,
For what we could we did,
An' He abune tak's tent o' a'
Frae Him there's naething hid.
An' sae we trust Him fairly,
Though we hinna ony claim;
An' houp when darkness settles doon,
He'll tak' us safely Hame.


47. FLORA M'KANE

The lauds are a' sighin' for Flora M'Kane,
They're manein' an' cryin' for Flora M'Kane,
An' ilka ane's jealous o' a' ither fellows,
For favour, they're zealous for Flora M'Kane.

She's snod an' she's sweet is dear Flora M'Kane,
She's coy an' she's neat is dear Flora M'Kane,
She's juist as complete as ane weel could meet,
A rich an' rare treat is dear Flora M'Kane.

Hoo gracefu' an' denty is Flora M'Kane,
Hoo kindly and genty is Flora M'Kane,
The floo'rs seem to sigh when she passes them by,
An' boo doon their heads to my Flora M'Kane.

Dark blue are the een o' sweet Flora M'Kane,
Lips, temptin' I ween, has neat Flora M'Kane,
'Twere owre muckle bliss e'en to think o' a kiss
Frae the sweet mou' o' this charmin' Flora M'Kane.

Sae tunefu's the voice o' rare Flora M'Kane,
The echoes rejoice owre fair Flora M'Kane,
The birds in the brake their ain sang forsake
An' list to the flute notes o' Flora M'Kane.

The lauch is heart-cheerin' frae Flora M'Kane,
Does ane guid the hearin' frae Flora M'Kane,
The sun dispels gloom, so care kens his doom,
For rapture sits doon wi' bricht Flora M'Kane.

May rich blessin's gang wi' ye, Flora M'Kane,
Alang wi' my sang to ye, Flora M'Kane,
Though haltin' its measure my heart will aye treasure
The mem'ry o' meetin' wi' Flora M'Kane.


48. WHAUR ARE A' THE KENT FOLKS

O whaur are a' the kent folks?
Come, say whaur are they gane;
Has mither earth closed owre their mirth
An' am I left alane?
The music o' their voices ring
In cadence on my ear,
An' in the haze o' bygane days
Dream faces hover near.

In yonder land across the sea
My hungerin' heart aft yearned,
Aince mair to rove, by burn an' grove,
Whaur nature-love I learned.
To grip the hand o' comrades dear
An' ha'e their welcome fain,
An' in an 'oor wi' mem'ry's po'er
Live auld days owre again.

But wae's me! sirs, they're a' awa',
Gane as they'd never been:
Some sleepin' soond in holy ground,
Some wanderers are I ween.
An' a' the joy I conjured up
Has juist been grief to me,
For the dear auld place wi' nae kent face
I canna thole to see.



49. A BAIRN

What is it mak's a happy hame,
What is it feeds love's golden flame,
An' a' body's attention claim?
A cheerie, steerie bairn.

What is it gars a mither ha'e
Mair patience than the Lord e'er ga'e
To ony puir man wed to wae?
A peengin', wheengin' bairn.

What multiplies a mither's wark
Frae early morn when springs the lark,
Till gloamin' deepens into dark?
A fykie, fashous bairn.

What is it when yer heart strings throb
Wi' angel charm yer pain can rob,
An' steal the grief oot o' yer sob?
A leesome, lo'esome bairn.

What is it mak's the hoose resoond
Wi' rosy mirth the hale day roond,
An' fills the heart wi' joy profoond?
A lithesome, blythesome bairn.

Hoo can a lovin' mither pree
A sweeter blossom than the bee?
Just kissin' fain wi' am'rous glee
A rosie, cosie bairn.



50. LITTLE CURLY POW

There's the gem o' bairns, there
Lyin' scram'lin' on the flair;
Losh! his feetie maun be sair-
Puir wee Curly Pow;
Lift him up an' kiss the sair-
Bonnie Curly Pow.

Dimpled cheeks, an' stumpy feet,
Ruby lips, like cherries sweet,
Een that scarcely ken to greet-
Little Curly Pow;
Ne'er a mither had a treat,
Like my wee Curly Pow.

Een o' blue, an' ruby moo,
Rosy cheeks, an' stately broo,
Faither's pet an' mither's doo-
Little Curly Pow;
That's a picture fair an' true
O' my wee Curly Pow.

Things he does wad mak' ye stare!
See him sclim on daddy's chair!
Losh! he's up on't I declare!-
Fearless Curly Pow;
But ye're safer on the flair,
Bonnie Curly Pow.

Did ye dunt yer headie, dear,
When ye tummled doon the stair?
Raised a lump! it wasna fair
Puir wee Curly Pow;
Certies, but I'll lick it sair,
For hurtin' Curly Pow.

Gallopin' on daddy's knee,
Hear him crawin' lood wi' glee
When his daddy cries "gee-gee"-
Lauchin' Curly Pow;
"Banb'ry Cross" he's aff to see,
Wi' little Curly Pow.

Sleepin' in his cosy bed,
Gently lay his little head,
Mither's prayers are owre him said,
"Spare wee Curly Pow;
An' mak' a man baith wise an' guid
O' my wee Curly Pow."


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