The Howe O' The Mearns

By Violet Jacob

    Laddie, my lad, when ye gang at the tail o’ the plough
        An’ the days draw in,
    When the burnin’ yellow’s awa’ that was aince a-lowe
        On the braes o’ whin,
    Do ye mind o’ me that’s deaved wi’ the wearyfu’ south
        An’ it’s puir concairns
    While the weepies fade on the knowes at the river’s mouth
        In the Howe o’ the Mearns?

    There was nae twa lads frae the Grampians doon to the Tay
        That could best us twa;
    At bothie or dance, or the field on a fitba’ day,
        We could sort them a’;
    An’ at courtin’-time when the stars keeked doon on the glen
        An’ its theek o’ fairns,
    It was you an’ me got the pick o’ the basket then
        In the Howe o’ the Mearns.

    London is fine, an’ for ilk o’ the lasses at hame
        There’ll be saxty here,
    But the springtime comes an’ the hairst – an it’s aye the same
        Through the changefu year.
    O, a lad thinks lang o’ hame ere he thinks his fill
        As his breid he airns –
    An’ they’re thrashin’ noo at the white fairm up on the hill
        In the Howe o’ the Mearns.

    Gin I mind mysel’ an’ toil for the lave o’ my days
        While I’ve een to see,
    When I’m auld an’ done wi’ the fash o’ their English ways
        I’ll come hame to dee;
    For the lad dreams aye o’ the prize that the man’ll get,
        But he lives an’ lairns,
    An’ it’s far, far ‘ayont him still – but it’s farther yet
        To the Howe o’ the Mearns.

    Laddie, my lad, when the hair is white on yer pow
        An’ the work’s put past,
    When yer hand’s owre auld an’ heavy to haud the plough
        I’ll win hame at last,
    An we’ll bide our time on the knowes whaur the broom stands braw
        An’ we played as bairns,
    Till the last lang gloamin’ shall creep on us baith an’ fa’
        On the Howe o’ the Mearns.

Browse Collections By Category

Select from our entire catalogue of poetry collections: