Poems and Songs

Auld Caledonia's Queen

I’ve travelled far in foreign lands

And noted what I’ve seen

But ne’er fell in wi’ views sae grand

As lately met my een.

I’m proud o’ this my native toon

Where often we forgether,

And stuffy was the crowded room

Whaur we’ve been huddled a’ thegither.

Discussin’ knotty points o’ taste

An’ shades oot o’ position;

An’ whiles I’ve thought our time we waste

In wandrin’ disquisition.

Ye mauna think the waur o’ me

For speaking truths out plainly

I’d rather see guid honest wark

Than boastin’ o’ it vainly.

Gang on, then, douce young canny Scot,

Wi’ deep-set, thoughtfu’ e’e,

An’ blately bring us what ye’ve got

To criticise an’ see.

I, like the patient, ploddin’ lads

Who work and dinna’ haver;

Societies oft waste guid time 

Ower wranglin’ and palaver.

I’ve tried to gie ye my ain thoughts

In a plain, straightforward way;

I trust ye’ll find a wheen o’ them

Worthy to tak’ away

There’s some among ye here may mind,

Wi’ tunefu’ songs at the Archer’s Ha’,

Warm-hearted Harry Watson kind,

Troth he entranced us a’

His voice was clear, melodious, sweet;

He’d music in his soul,

He’d touch some chord that garred ye greet

While ye quaff’d the jovial bowl.

The truest tests o’ nature’s gifts

In music or fine Arts

Is when they’ve got the power to lift

An’ elevate our hearts.

His words fell sweet upon my ear,

they caused us true delight,

His voice was like a clarion clear,

’Twad haunt ye a’ the night.

Fu’ weel I mind a stern’ song,

To roth’riemurchus’ rant,

He wrote the words an’ some were strong,

We a’ joined in the chant.

Fair ye weel auld Edinburgh,

Fair Caledonia’s Queen,

The brawest lass in a’ the land,

That ever I hae seen.

I’ve tried to carry out the thought

Sae tenderly expressed 

By ane whose memory we ought

To cherish in our breast.

But noo, it’s time to turn about,

An’ wish ye a’ success

My twenty minutes maun be out,

I’ve feenished my address.

 Dr. A Hunter  -  1885

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