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


The Folk o’ Ochtergaen

By Robert Nicoll (1814–1837)

  • Ochtergaen, so provincially named, is Auchtergaven, a village midway between Perth and Dunkeld.

  • HAPPY, happy be their dwallin’s,

    By the burn an’ in the glen,—

    Cheerie lasses, cantie callans,

    Are they a’ in Ochtergaen.

    Happy was my youth amang them,

    Rantin’ was my boyhood’s hour;

    A’ the winsome ways about them

    Now, when gane, I number o’er.

    Weel I mind ilk wood an’ burnie,

    Couthie hame an’ muirland fauld,—

    Ilka sonsie, cheerfu’ mither,

    An’ ilk father douce an’ auld!

    Weel I mind the ploys an’ jokin’

    Lads and lasses used to ha’e,—

    Moonlight trysts an’ Sabbath wanders

    O’er the haughs an’ on the brae.

    Truer lads an’ bonnier lasses

    Never danced beneath the moon;

    Love an’ Friendship dwelt amang them,

    An’ their daffin ne’er was done.

    I ha’e left them now forever;

    But to greet would bairnly be:

    Better sing, an’ wish kind Heaven

    Frae a’ dule may keep them free.

    Where’er the path o’ life may lead me,

    Ae thing sure,—I winna mane

    If I meet wi’ hands an’ hearts

    Like those o’ cantie Ochtergaen.