Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Scotland Yet, by Jessie Miller

Scotland Yet

My heart is far away in that dear land
Of heath-clad, purple hills and rocky strand,
Where spreading bracken in their shadows hide
The wild, sweet violets growing side by side,

Where silver streamlets softly wind their way,
And murmur music sweetly all the day,
Or dash in cascades down the mountain's side,
And streak the russet moorland, wild and wide.

I hear again the lark's glad, joyous song
Poured forth in thrilling torrents clear and strong,
As up he soars to greet the dawning morn,
Whose shafts of light proclaim the day is born,

Where bright-eyed daisies deck the verdant lea
And wild rose garlands lure the passing bee,
Where graceful bluebells and the primrose pale
With golden daffodils adorn the vale.

And when the sky is grey and leaves are shed
And birds have ceased to sing and flowers are dead,
When tempests fiercely rage and high seas roll
And storm and dark combine to awe the soul,

My heart but loves thee more, and fain would fly
Where white mists gleam and deep snows drifted lie,
Where danger waits to meet the sons of toil,
To make them strong defenders of their soil.

Brave Scotland, where the flowers in beauty spring,
We far away thy songs will ever sing,
And though for Empire's sake we widely roam
Our hearts still turn to thee, our father's home.

- Jessie Miller


Last week I posted a poem which was also an advertisement. This week's poem has more serious intent, but much of the same patriotic Scottish sentiment. Jessie Miller was a distant relative of mine and her book of poems, Duty and Ease, is in my collection of family history materials. She wrote at about the time of the First World War, and her poems were published regularly in the Kinross Advertiser, so she seems to have been quite well-renowned, in her local area at least.

Many of the poems are quite martial and stirring, as well as pious - no doubt intended to uplift at a time when the nation was at war. They may seem quaint now, but I wonder what will future generations make of the bulk of poetry written now? Only time will tell what has lasting value and what doesn't.

I've been a bit lax lately in sending out requests for permission to post poems, or in writing any of my own, but I hope to remedy that in the next few weeks and post something more modern.
In the meantime, for more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

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