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Oot O' The World and into Kippen
by Stewart Alan Robertson


The Poem and The Reply to the Poem

Abstracted from Pages 27-29 of THE KINGDOM OF KIPPEN: Its History and Traditions by William Chrystal (Munro & Jamieson, 26 Craigs, Stirling, 1903)

The situation of the village is so sequestered that a common saying of the country folks is as above. The phrase is the title of the following imaginative lines composed by Stewart Alan Robertson, M.A., English Master at The High School of Stirling, (1896-1904), and are supposed to be spoken by a husband to his wife, both natives of the " Kingdom," dwelling in New York:-

"Oot o' the world and into Kippen"
Eh! Jean, d'ye mind the braes
That rise sae bonnie frae the carse?
D'ye mind the summer days
When you and I were bairnies there
And never thocht we'd be
Sae far frae hame in this far land
Across the saut, saut sea?

"Oot o' the world and into Kippen"
The folks wad laugh and say
Losh keep me! lass, hoo things come back
It seems but yesterday
Since you and I forsook the braes
And owre the waters came
To settle in this weary land
Sae far, sae far from hame.

"Oot o' the world and into Kippen"
Eh ! Jean, that that could be?
There isna ocht I hae on earth
But I wad gladly gie
If only we could tread again
The paths where ance we ran
Where the heather grows on Kippen Muir
And the braes abune Boquhan.


Photograph adapted from a print by Susan Breakenridge

Oot o' this world o' noisy streets
Into that place o' calm
Where to the hills men lift their eyes,
D'ye mind they sang that psalm
The Sabbath we were kirkit there?
Aye, fifty years are gone
But ye were then the bonniest bride
'Tween Kippen and Balfron.

Oot. o' this world o' unkent things
Oh ! that we baith could win!
And hear the pee-weep on the hills
And see the yellow whin
And see the bonnie gowans smile
As if they kent us a'
And welcomed us to oor ain land,
The best land o' them a'.

"Oot o' the world and into Kippen"
Jean, lass, it ne'er will be
The burnie's waters ne'er run back
Nor buds the uprooted tree.
The fecht o' life for us is past
Forfochen wi' the fray
Oot o' the world and into-----rest,
Ere lang we baith shall gae.

[The foregoing poem elicited the following reply .... ]

Thy voice across the saut, saut sea
Has reached the "Kingdom" high,
And draws from kindly Kippen folks
The tribute of a sigh.
That a warm, human heart should long,
In New York’s surging city,
For breath o’ auld world Kippen air
Fills all our souls with pity.

Though times are changed sin' ye left here,
And auld folk passed away,
Mayhap as kindly hearts beat now
As flourished in your day.
Whatever changes come to pass
’Mangst men and their affairs,
Still winds the Forth through fair Menteith,
Still blow heaven’s balmy airs
O’er Kippen Muir, through garden bower,
Round many a humble dwelling,
Or doun the glen, by Dougal's tower,
The same brown spate is swelling.

The rushing waters o’ Boquhan
Fall o’er the " Hole of Sneath,"
And rest awhile, from their turmoil,
In the deep, dark linn beneath,
Then onward through the red rock bowls
The "Devil’s Cauldron" boiling,
And round and round, with deaf 'ning sound,
The angry waters tolling.

Anon, through "Belly o’ the Whale,"
Where brown trout dart and quiver,
And laddies throw the baited hook
To-day — the same as ever.
Still the shy clipper lays white eggs
In Cuthbertson's shady glen,
And the grey wagtail rears her brood
Where truant schoolboys ken.

Still slips the burn o’er rocky bed,
O’er "Leckie’s Loup" it dashes,
Round the Keir Knowe, to join the Forth,
Through marigolds and rashes.
Athwart Ben Ledi — Hill of God —
Falls the weird morning light,
And heralds each returning day
Born of the silent night.

The varied gleams of fairy light
Still dance on Flanders Moss,
And glory bathes the ancient oaks
And mansion of Cardross.
Still Glenny and Mondouie's slopes
Look on the "sharp steel sheen"
That girds the holy island which
Once sheltered Scotland's Queen.

O, Hill of God, that doth abide
While generations pass,
I to thy heights will lift mine eyes,
Will sing my morning mass.
The parson from the manse still views
The mountains, plain, and skies,
Still, for men’s sins he cannot cure,
He supplicates and sighs.

"Oot o’ the world and into Kippen,"
Far from the rough worId’s din,
May your spirit come o’er the saut, saut sea
To rest with your kith and kin.

Contributor's Note: Stewart Alan Robertson (1866-1933) was later to become Director of Education in Edinburgh, and author at least three books - "A Moray Loon" ;"With double tongue"; "Variation of Scots Words". It appears unlikely that he himself ventured across the Atlantic to the USA!

Our thanks to John Henderson for sending this in.


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