A Settler's Lament

At the time of the Union of the Crowns, when Scotland and England came under the rule of a single monarch, serious efforts were made to eradicate the Border lawlessness which had been rampant for centuries. Those clans associated with raiding elements, whether involved or not, were vigorously dealt with. Many were forced (or chose) to escape their persecution by moving west into Northern Ireland and  on to North America. You could be descended from one especially if you have a Border surname. 

Many of these people had never been beyond the immediate bounds of their homestead and being uprooted and persuaded to find a future in a strange place must have been very traumatic. No wonder many longed for their familiar surroundings and the folks they had known and lived with. They yearned for home…… 

A Settler’s Lament

Away with Canada's muddy creeks
And Canada's fields of pine
Your land of wheat is a goodly land
But oh, it is not mine
The heathy hill, the grassy dale
The daisy spangled lea
The purling burn and craggy linn
Auld Scotland's glens give me.

Oh, I would like to hear again
The lark on Tinny's Hill
And see the wee bit gowany
That blooms beside the rill
Like banished Swill who views afar
His Alps with longing e'e
I gaze upon the morning star
That shines on my country.

No more I'll win by Eskdale glen
Or Pentland's craggy comb
The days can ne'er come back again
Of thirty years that's gone
But fancy oft at midnight hour
Will steal across the sea
And yestereve, in a pleasant dream
I saw the old country.

Each well-known scene that met my view
Brought childhood's joys to mind
The blackbird sang on Tushey linn
The song he sang, 'lang syne'
But like a dream time flies away
Again, the morning came
And I awoke in Canada
Three thousand miles from hame.

Sandy Glendenning  Circa 1850


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