Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.

Nith, the River


By John M’Diarmid (1790–1852)

WHEN the lark is in the air, the leaf upon the tree,

The butterfly disporting beside the hummel bee;

The scented hedges white, the fragrant meadows pied,

How sweet it is to wander by bonnie Nithside!

When the blackbird piping loud the mavis strives to drown,

And school-boys seeking nests find each nursling fledged or flown,

To hop ’mong plots and borders, arrayed in all their pride,

How sweet at dewy morn to roam by bonnie Nithside!

When the flies are on the stream, ’neath a sky of azure hue,

And anglers take their stand by the waters bright and blue;

While the coble circles pools, where the monarch salmon glide,

Surpassing sweet on summer days is bonnie Nithside!

When the corncraik’s voice is mute, as her young begin to flee,

And seek with swifts and martins some home beyond the sea;

And reapers crowd the harvest-field, in man and maiden pride,

How exquisite the golden hours on bonnie Nithside!

When stubbles yield to tilth, and woodlands brown and sear,

The falling leaf and crispy pool proclaim the waning year;

And sounds of sylvan pastime ring through our valley wide,

Vicissitude itself is sweet by bonnie Nithside!

And when winter comes at last, capping every hill with snow,

And freezing into icy plains the struggling streams below,

You still may share the curler’s joys, and find at eventide

Maids sweet and fair, in spence and ha’, at bonnie Nithside!