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


The Auld House

By Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne (1766–1845)

O, THE AULD house, the auld house!

What though the rooms were wee?

O, kind hearts were dwelling there,

And bairnies fu’ o’ glee!

The wild-rose and the jessamine

Still hang upon the wa’;

How mony cherished memories

Do they, sweet flowers, reca’!

O, the auld laird, the auld laird!

Sae canty, kind, and crouse;

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

Frae his lang yellow hair.

The mavis still doth sweetly sing,

The bluebells sweetly blaw,

The bonnie Earn ’s clear winding still,

But the auld house is awa’.

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

The bairnies liked to see,

And O, how often did they speir

When ripe they a’ wad be!

The voices sweet, the wee bit feet

Aye rinnin’ here and there,

The merry shout,—O, 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;

Not here we ’ll meet again.

The kirkyaird, the kirkyaird,

Wi’ flowers o’ every hue,

Sheltered by the holly’s shade,

An’ the dark sombre yew.

The setting sun, the setting sun,

How glorious it gaed down;

The cloudy splendor raised our hearts

To cloudless skies aboon!

The auld dial, the auld dial,

It tauld how time did pass;

The wintry winds ha’e dung it down,—

Now hid ’mang weeds and grass.