Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Song for Scotland

This time next week we will all know the outcome of the Scottish referendum and the immediate reaction to the result. You don't have to be born in Scotland  to grow up with a great love for Scotland and its people. One of our first family holidays was spent touring Scotland. We drove there in our car with my brother and I asleep on the back seat. It was a real adventure, going to sleep in England and waking up in Scotland. Most people I know have some Scottish connection, a greatly loved grandfather or uncle  or friend or just a love of wide open unpolluted spaces, heather covered hills, salmon or beautiful lochs and intriguing castles. So my poem for the day is by Robert Burns (1759 -1796). I have written about him in many posts. If it wasn't for the success of poetry he would have emigrated to Jamaica. He supported the French Revolution and although deeply in love with his wife Jean he was a bit of a playboy. On New Year's Eve there are not many people that don't  stand in a circle holding hands and sing Auld Lang Syne which means for old time's sake and that is  his most famous song world wide. Anyway this poem, which is quite beautiful seems appropriate if the Yes wins....

One Fond Kiss And Then we Sever

One fond kiss, and then we sever!
One farewell, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of Hope she leaves him?
Me, no cheerful twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.

I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
Nothing could resist my Nancy,
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love forever.

Had we never loved so kindly,
Had we never loved so blindly,
Never met or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee well, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee well, thou best and dearest!
Thine be every joy and treasure,
Peace, enjoyment, love and pleasure!

One fond kiss, and then we sever!
One farewell, alas, for ever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.

What a lovely bitter sweet poem.For those of you who can see it here is a link to a rousing Scottish song These are my mountains performed by Daniel O'Donnell,We used to listen to Scottish music all the time on Sunday lunchtime along with Acka Bilk... There aren't any mountains in England not proper ones with snow on the top, but in Scotland there are and of course in Italy too. Many Italians love the mountains and no-one is that far away from them. Eighty per cent of Italy is covered in mountains, so lots of Italians might relate to this song too.

A few Scottish words from the song

Glen - a narrow valley
Braes - steep banks or hillsides
Loch - lake
Ingle - domestic fireplace
Burn - a small stream
Whaup - a curlew (type of bird)

Italian mountains at sunset never far away from most Italian towns

The countryside near Inverness north of the  Great Glen

Hadrian's Wall was 118 km long (73 miles). It was evacuated after AD 383

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