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Poem by Robert Nicoll
The Toun Where I Was Born
THE loch where first the stream doth rise Is bonniest to my e'e; An' yon auld-warld hame o' youth Is dearest aye to me. My heart wi' joy may up be heez'd Or down wi' sorrow worn: But O! it never can forget The toun where I was born! The lowly hames beside the burn, Where happy hearts were growin'; The peasant huts where, purely bright, The light o' love was flowin'; The wee bit glebes, where honest men Were toilin' e'en an' morn,— Are a' before me, when I mind The toun where I was born. O! there were bonnie faces there, An' hearts baith high an' warm, That neebors loved, an' strained fu' sair To keep a friend frae harm. Nae wealth had they; but something still They spared when ane forlorn, The puir auld beggar bodie, ca'd, The toun where I was born. The gray auld Plan was honour'd The matron's words were cherish'd An' honesty in youthfu' hearts By age's words was nourish'd. An' though e'en there we couldna get The rose without the thorn, It was a happy, happy place, The toun where I was born. Yon heather-theekit hames were blithe, When winter nights were lang, Wi' spinnin' wheels, an' jokin' lads, An' ilka lassie's sang. At Hansel-Monday we had mirth, An' when the hairst was shorn, The maidens cam'—'twas cheerfu' aye, The toun where I was born. I maist could greet, I am sae wae— The very wa's are gane— The autumn-shilfa sits an' chirps Upon ilk cauld hearthstane; Ae auld aik-tree, or maybe twa, Amang the wavin' corn, Is a' the mark that time has left O' the toun where I was born.
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