“Non semper. . . foliis viduantur orni;
Tu semper urges flebilibus modis
Mysten ademptum.” – CAR. II., 9.
IT’S winter wi’ us here amang the mountains,
Patient they stand wi’ leaden clouds opprest;
Silent are a’ the birds an’ singin’ fountains,
Weary they seem, an’ auld, an’ wantin’ rest.
The braes are white wi’ snaw instead o’ gowans;
Sorrow an’ Care gang murnin’ doun the glen;
The wind is soughin’ thro’ the leafless rowans
For beauty gane that canna come agen.
But wi’ the spring auld Earth puts aff her murnins
For a’ her bonnie bairns that dee’d last year,
An’ smiles as prood-like o’ her braw new-born anes
As if she neither kent regret nor fear.
Fra the bereavit boughs the young buds peep oot
Till a’ the wauken’d wud ‘s a wavin’ green;
Fra the fa’en leaves below the wee flooers creep oot,
Raxin’ themsels an’ openin’ their een.
But wi’ the comin’ spring, my gude friend Allan,
To you comes neither pleasure nor relief;
It winna bring ye back your auldest callan’,
It canna keep ye company in grief.
Sorrow like yours endures the dark December,
Lasts an’ ootlives the lauchin’ licht o’ May;
Nature forgets, but Man maun aye remember,
Aye miss what’s ta’en awa’, and murn it aye.
An’ yet, my friend, this loss, this gey ill-spar’d ane,
Lies no’ like a dead leaf, a lifeless thing;
It’s mair like flooer-seed sawn intil a gairden
Certain to rise a’ radiant in the spring.
Tho’ distant far that spring, its pleasures gaither
Sweetness proportioned to the present pain;
Meanwhile, be to the faitherless a faither –
In ithers’ gude ye’re sure to find your ain.
Note. – The Care and the Sorrow unite to form the Dolour, a tributary of the Devon. The glen referred to is a romantic ravine of the Ochils, directly under Castle Campbell.