Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Banks of Tay

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

Tay, the River

The Banks of Tay

By Robert Nicoll (1814–1837)

THE SHIP is on its seaward path,

An’ frae the shore the breezes blaw;

Now Scotland’s cliffs sae dear to me

Aneath the wavin’ waters fa’.

My hame is growin’ far awa’,

It lies aneath yon hill-tap gray;

Yon last-seen spot o’ Scotland’s soil

That rises by the banks of Tay.

Fareweel, ye mossy fountains wild!

Where you fair stream doth softly rin:

To ilka wildwood-shaded pool

To ilka tumblin’ roarin’ linn;

To ilka burnie that doth win

Through heathery muirs its silent way,—

I bid fareweel; for now my hame

Is biggit far frae bonnie Tay.

Fareweel, ye hames o’ pure delight,

That I ha’e lo’ed sae weel and lang!

Ye simmer birdies! ye maun sing

To others now your cheering sang!

Fareweel, ye holms, where lovers gang

Upon the peaceful Sabbath-day:

In youth I loved, in age I ’ll mind,

The green an’ bonny banks of Tay.

Be blessin’s on ilk cot an’ ha’

That by thy braes o’ hazel rise;

Be a’ thing bonnie where thou rins,

An’ a’ thing happy ’neath thy skies.

Though far frae thee my boatie flies,

The friends I love beside thee stray;

My heart fu’ dead an’ cauld will be

Ere I forget the banks of Tay.

The streams are wide where I am gaun,

An’ on they row through boundless woods;

But dearer is thy Hieland wave

Than yonder wild and foreign floods.

Thy haughs sae green,—the simmer clouds

That o’er thy sheltered hamlets stray,—

I ’ll mind for love an’ friendship’s sake:

Fareweel, ye bonnie banks of Tay.