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Significant Scots
David Herschell Edwards - Special Collection


Cauld Winter's Come At Last
by Don Keith who was born in the Parish of Stracathro, near Brechin, in 1848.

Mount Battock's donn'd her dress o' white,
The wind blaws cauld and snell ;
Nae mair we see the daisy bright,
Or purple heather-bell.

The furrow'd fields look bleak and drear,
The lowerin' sky's o'ercast,
And naked-like the trees appear ;
Cauld winter's come at last.

Nae mair we hear the mavis sing,
To greet the early morn ;
Nae mair we see the dew-draps hing
Upon the growing corn.

But blinding showers of sleet and snow
Drive onward wi' the blast,
Sweeping and whirling to and fro,
For winter's come at last.

But why should man sit down and mourn,
Though a' looks cauld and drear ?
Wi' hollies green your roofs adorn,
To greet the coming year.

The spring will come wi' sunny showers,
And breezes from the wast,
And deck the plain wi' little flowers
When wintry days are past.

Then birds will sing on ilka bush,
And lambs loup on the lea ;
The lark, the blackbird, and the thrush
Will mix their melody.

The sun will spread its smiling rays,
To cheer the labouring swain ;
We'll pull the gowanies on the braes
When summer comes again.

by James Taylor who was born in 1813 at Mains of Nairn, near Stanley, Perth.

Sweet breathings of morn, from earth ether-borne,
To bright sunny realms above,
Like angels of light, on a heavenward flight,
Bearing the incense of love.

In life's early dawn I have lain on the lawn,
And gazed with enraptured eye
On your sun-lit home, in the starry dome,
Afar in the azure sky.

My young fancy flew through the boundless blue,
And climbed up the bright sunbeams,
And journeyed afar, beyond sun, moon, or star,
And dreamt celestial dreams.

But the sun sped on, the bright vision was gone,
The Storrn-king mounted the sky,
And the clouds flew past on the wings of the blast,
Cast down from their home on high.

So my youth's bright dreams, and fortune's sunny gleams,
From Hope's high heaven were torn ;
But after the rain comes sunshine again,
And after the night comes morn.

by John Taylor who was born in 1837
near Huntingtower, Perth.

Wat ye wha I lo'e the best,
Far the best o' ony ?
It's just a wee bit lauchin' lass,
They ca' her Toddlebonny.

Ye may look through a' the Ian',
An' may see bairnies mony ;
But nane ye'll see mair dear to me
Than wee Toddlebonny.

Toddle but, an' toddle ben,
Toddle, toddle, on ... ay ;
Through the house an' through the worl',
Toddle, Toddlebonny.

Roses in the garden grow,
An' cherries sweet as honey ;
But rosy cheeks an' cherry mou'
Are sweeter far than ony.

Though the bairnie's wee she'll grow
As she toddles on .... ay ;
Big an' braw, an' mair than a',
She'll be as guid as bonny.

Toddle but, an' toddle ben,
Toddle, toddle, on ... ay ;
Through the house an' through the worl',
Toddle, Toddlebonny.

Little starnies in the sky
Twinkle bricht an' bonny ;
But twa wee lauchin' een I ken
Are brichter far than ony.

O ! the very sun itsel',
Shinin' doun upon ye,
Seems twice as bricht just wi' the sicht
O' wee Toddlebonny.

Toddle but, an' toddle ben,
Toddle, toddle, on ... ay ;
Through the house an' through the worl',
Toddle, Toddlebonny.

Wimplin' Burnie
by Rev. J. Eames Rankin, D.D., of Scottish ancestry, born in Thornton, Grafton County, New Hampshire, USA

Wimplin' burnie, whither awa'
Through the wood, an' doun the fa',
Black wi' shade, an' white wi' faem,
Whither awa' sae fast frae hame ?

Wood-birds on yer sparklin' brink
Dip their bills, an' thankfu' blink,
Mak' the forest-arches thrill
Wi' their warblin' sang an' trill.

Where yer stanes are green wi' moss,
Barefit bairnies wade across,
Thrustin' in ilka covered neuk,
Writhin' worms on treach'rous hook.

Clover-breathin' humane cows,
Stan' beneath the apple-boughs,
Lash their tails and chew their cud,
Knee-deep in yer coolin' flood.

Ye are glidin' smooth an' meek,
While craigs lie upon yer cheek ;
Through the simmer an' the glow,
'Neath the winter an' the snow.

What's yer life, I dinna ken ?
But ye are to earth an' men,
Fit Gweed gie's, a rich, rich gift,
Frae His hame within the lift.

Ye Wise Old Owl
by R. Fleming who was a native of Bathgate, having been born there in 1856.

An old owl sat on an old, old tower...
And watch'd the fading twilight hour...
With thoughtful look and glancing eye,
He view'd the stream go meand'ring by,
And joined its murmur with his cry...
Echo returning prompt reply,

Softly wail'd the balmy breeze
Through the stately beechen trees
The warbling tenants of the wood
Enjoyed repose in solitude,
Nor seem'd disturb'd by him so shrewd,
Who sang as in a mournful mood,

Beneath an old tree in the dell
Two lovers met to say farewell
And says the youth, " O love, will you
Remember me when far from view ?"
The maiden sigh'd "I'll e'er be true ;"
And the owl chimed-in as off he flew,

The bright youth sail'd to lands afar
To aid the fiery god of war
He fought our good old flag to save,
Which proudly o'er his head did wave ;
But soon he fell amidst the brave ;
And oft that wail went o'er his grave,

Adown the dell, sad, and alone
A maiden sighed for him long gone
Silent she stood, with drooping head,
Then stoop'd to pray for her soldier lad ;
But rose not again ; for pale and dead
She lay, while the old owl mourn'd o'erhead

And now within yon old church-yard
She sleeps, whose heart was worn and tired
And oft yet by that same old tower,
And near the ill-starr'd lovers' bower,
Toward the silent midnight hour
The owl sings with his wonted power,

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