George MacDonald

(10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905 / Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

The Laverock - Poem by George MacDonald

The Man says:

Laverock i' the lift,
Hae ye nae sang-thrift,
'At ye scatter 't sae heigh, and lat it a' drift?
Wasterfu laverock!

Dinna ye ken
'At ye hing ower men
Wha haena a sang or a penny to spen?
Hertless laverock!

But up there you,
I' the bow o' the blue,
Haud skirlin on as gien a' war new!
Toom-heidit laverock!

Haith, ye're ower blythe!
I see a great scythe
Swing whaur yer nestie lies, doon i' the lythe,
Liltin laverock!

Eh, sic a soun!
Birdie, come doun,
Ye're fey to sing sic a merry tune!
Gowkit laverock!

Come to yer nest;
Yer wife's sair prest,
She's clean worn oot wi' duin her best!
Rovin laverock!

Winna ye haud?
Ye're surely mad!
Is there naebody there to gie ye a dad,
Menseless laverock?

Come doon and conform,
Pyke an honest worm,
And hap yer bairns frae the comin storm,
Spendrife laverock!


The Bird sings:


My nestie it lieth
I' the how o' a ban';
The swing o' the scythe
'Ill miss 't by a span.

The lift it's sae cheery!
The win' it's sae free!
I hing ower my dearie,
And sing 'cause I see.

My wifie's wee breistie
Grows warm wi' my sang,
And ilk crumpled-up beastie
Kens no to think lang.

Up here the sun sings, but
He only shines there!
Ye haena nae wings, but
Come up on a prayer.


The man sings:


Ye wee daurin cratur,
Ye rant and ye sing
Like an oye o' auld Natur
Ta'en hame by the king!

Ye wee feathert priestie,
Yer bells i' yer thro't,
Yer altar yer breistie,
Yer mitre forgot-

Offerin and Aaron,
Ye burn hert and brain;
And dertin and daurin,
Flee back to yer ain!

Ye wee minor prophet,
It's 'maist my belief
'At I'm doon in Tophet,
And you abune grief!

Ye've deavt me and daudit
And ca'd me a fule:
I'm nearhan' persuaudit
To gang to your schule!

For, birdie, I'm thinkin
Ye ken mair nor me-
Gien ye haena been drinkin,
And sing as ye see.

Ye maun hae a sicht 'at
Sees gay and far ben,
And a hert, for the micht o' 't,
Wad sair for nine men!

There's somebody's been til
Roun saft to ye wha
Said birdies are seen til,
And e'en whan they fa'!


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010



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