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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
332. The Auld House
 
Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766–1845)
 
 
OH, the auld house, the auld house!
  What though the rooms were wee?
Oh, kind hearts were dwelling there,
  And bairnies fu’ o’ glee!
The wild rose and the jessamine        5
  Still hang upon the wa’:
How mony cherished memories
  Do they, sweet flowers, reca’!
 
Oh, the auld laird, the auld laird,
  Sae canty, kind, and crouse!        10
How mony did he welcome to
  His ain wee dear auld house!
And the leddy, too, sae genty,
  There sheltered Scotland’s heir,
And clipt a lock wi’ her ain hand        15
  Frae his lang yellow hair.
 
The mavis still doth sweetly sing,
  The blue-bells sweetly blaw;
The bonnie Earn’s clear winding still
  But the auld house is awa’.        20
The auld house, the auld house!
  Deserted though ye be,
There ne’er can be a new house
  Will seem sae fair to me.
 
Still flourishing the auld pear tree,        25
  The bairnies liked to see;
And oh, how often did they speir
  When ripe they a’ wad be!
The voices sweet, the wee bit feet
  Aye rinnin’ here and there;        30
The merry shout—oh! whiles we greet
  To think we’ll hear nae mair.
 
For they are a’ wide scattered now,
  Some to the Indies gane,
And ane, alas! to her lang hame;        35
  Not here will meet again.
The kirkyaird! the kirkyaird!
  Wi’ flowers o’ every hue,
Sheltered by the holly’s shade,
  And the dark sombre yew.        40
 
The setting sun, the setting sun,
  How glorious it gaed doun!
The cloudy splendour raised our hearts
  To cloudless skies abune.
The auld dial, the auld dial,        45
  It tauld how time did pass;
The wintry winds ha’e dung it doun,
  Now hid ’mang weeds and grass.
 

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