Janet Hamilton

(1795-1873 / Scotland)

A Ballad Of Memorie - Poem by Janet Hamilton

Nae mair, alas! nae mair I'll see
Young mornin's gowden hair
Spread ower the lift-the dawnin' sheen
O' simmer mornin' fair!
Nae mair the heathery knowe I'll speel,
An' see the sunbeams glancin',
Like fire-flauchts ower the loch's lane breast,
Ower whilk the breeze is dancin'!

Nae mair I'll wanner ower the braes,
Or thro' the birken shaw,
An' pu' the wild-wud flowers amang
Thy lanely glens, Roseha'!
How white the haw, how red the rose,
How blue the hy'cinth bell,
Whaur fairy thim'les woo the bees
In Tenach's breken dell?

Nae mair when hinnysuckle hings
Her garlands on the trees,
And hinny breath o' heather bells
Comes glaffin on the breeze;
Nor when the burstin' birken buds,
And sweetly-scented brier,
Gi'e out their sweets, nae power they ha'e
My dowie heart to cheer.

Nae mair I'll hear the cushie-doo,
Wi' voice o' tender wailin',
Pour out her plaint; nor laverock's sang,
Up 'mang the white clouds sailin';
The lappin' waves that kiss the shore,
The music o' the streams,
The roarin' o' the linn nae mair
I'll hear but in my dreams.

When a' the house are gane to sleep
I sit my leefu' lane,
An' muse till Fancy streaks her wing,
An' I am young again.
Again I wanner thro' the wuds,
Again I seem to sing
Some waefu' auld warld ballant strain,
Till a' the echoes ring.

Again the snaw-white howlit's wing
Out ower my heid is flaffin,
Whan frae her nest 'mang Calder Craigs
I fley't her wi' my daffin;
An' keekin in the mavis' nest
O' naked scuddies fu',
I feed wi' moolins out my pouch
Ilk gapin' hungry mou'.

Again I wanner owre the lea,
'An' pu' the gowans fine;
Again I paidle in the burn,'
But, oh! it's lang-sin-syne!
Again your faces blithe I see,
Your gladsome voices hear-
Frien's o' my youth-a' gane, a' gane!
An' I sit blinlins here.

The star o' memory lichts the past;
But there's a licht abune,
To cheer the darkness o' a life
That maun be endit sune.
An' aft I think the gowden morn,
The purple gloamin' fa',
Will shine as bricht, and fa' as saft,
Whan I hae gane awa'.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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