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Poem by Robert Nicoll

The Folk o Ochtergaen

Ochtergaen, so provincially named, is Auchtergaven, 
a village midway between Perth and Dunkeld.

HAPPY, happy be their dwallins,
  By the burn an in the glen,	
Cheerie lasses, cantie callans,
  Are they a in Ochtergaen.

Happy was my youth amang them,
  Rantin was my boyhoods hour;
A the winsome ways about them
  Now, when gane, I number oer.

Weel I mind ilk wood an burnie,
  Couthie hame an muirland fauld,
Ilka sonsie, cheerfu mither,
  An ilk father douce an auld!

Weel I mind the ploys an jokin
  Lads and lasses used to hae,
Moonlight trysts an Sabbath wanders
  Oer the haughs an on the brae.

Truer lads an bonnier lasses
  Never danced beneath the moon;
Love an Friendship dwelt amang them,
  An their daffin neer was done.

I hae left them now forever;
  But to greet would bairnly be:
Better sing, an wish kind Heaven
  Frae a dule may keep them free.

Whereer the path o life may lead me,
  Ae thing sure,I winna mane
If I meet wi hands an hearts
  Like those o cantie Ochtergaen.

Robert Nicoll

Robert Nicoll's other poems:
  1. We'll A' Go Pu' the Heather
  2. The Provost
  3. Bonnie Bessie Lee
  4. Fiddler Johnnie
  5. The Ha' Bible

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