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My Native Land
By Robert White Yetholm, Roxburghshire,  Died sometime after 1858


Fair Scotland! dear as life to me
Are thy majestic hills,
And sweet as purest melody
The music of thy rills.
The wildest cairn, the darkest dell,
Within thy rocky strand,
Possess o'er me a living spell-
Thou art my native land.
 
Loved country, when I muse upon
Thy dauntless men of old,
Whose swords in battle foremost shon-
Thy Wallace brave and bold;
And Bruce who, for our liberty,
Did England's sway withstand;
I glory I was born in thee,
Mine own ennobled land!
Nor less thy martyrs I revere,
Who spent their latest breath
To seal the cause they held so dear,
And conquer'd even in death.
Their graves en\vince, o'er hill and plain,
No bigot's stern command
Shall mould the faith thy sons maintain,
My dear devoted land.
 
Anad thou hast ties around my heart,
Attraction deeper still-
The gifted poet's sacred art,
The minstrel's matchless skill.
Yea; every scene that Burns and Scott
Have touch'd with magic hand,
Is in my sight a hallow'd spot,
Mine own distinguish'd land!
 
Oh! when I wander'd far from thee
I saw thee in my dreams;
I mark'd thy forests waving free,
I heard thy rushing streams.
Thy  mighty dead in life came forth,
I knew the honour'd band;
We spoke of thee-thy fame-thy worth-
My high exalted land!
 
Now if the lonely home be mine
In which my fathers dwelt.
And I can worship at the shrine
Where they in fervour knelt;
No glare of wealth, or honour high,
shall lure me from thy strand;
Oh, I would yield my parting sigh
In thee, my native land!

Thanks to Jean Watson for sending this into us

Robert White, an indefatigable antiquary, and pleasing poet, was born at Yetholm, in Roxburghshire. His youth and early manhood were spent at Otterburn in Redesdale, where his father rented a farm. Possessed of an ardent love of reading, he early became familiar with the English poets, and himself tried metrical composition. while a very young man he ranked among the poetical contributors to the Newcastle Magazine.  In 1825 he accepted the situation of clerk to a respectable brassfounder in Newcastle.  After a period of nearly forty years spent in the counting-room, he has been enabled to retire from business in affluent circumstances.

Mr. White has been an industrious writer. In 1829 he published "The Tynemouth Nun", an elegantly versified tale.  his other poetical works consit in "the Wind, a Poem," 1853; "England, a Poem", 1856; and a collected edition of his poems, songs, and metrical tales, which was published at Kelso in 1867. Mr. White has afforded evidence of diligent research and superior historical talent in his works on the battles of Otterburn, Flodden, and Neville's Cross.  In 1858 he published, at Kelso, a new edition of the poetical works of Dr. John Leyden; and he has announced a work on the Battle of Bannockburn. Mr. White is an extensive traveller, the friend of men of genius, and a zealous collector of ancient and mordern works illustrative of the national history.

As a song writer, his name is familiar to the readers of "Whistle Binkie," and "the Book of Scottish Song."


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