My Mither Tongue!

My mither tongue! owre seldom heard,
   Your accents thrill me through;
Ye gar my heart loup to my lips,
   My very een rin fu';
Ye waft me back to blither times,
   To days when I was young,
When love an' hope baith spak' in thee,
   My couthie mither tongue!

My mither tongue! my infant cares
   Were soothed to rest in thee;
'John Anderson' an' 'Duncan Gray'
   Hae often closed my e'e;
An' 'Bonnie Doon,' or 'Auld Lang Syne,'
   Aboon my cradle sung,
Hae made me dream that angel choirs
   Used aye my mither tongue.

My mither tongue! a bairn at schule
   In English buiks I read;
An' warsled sair wi' English facts
   To pang my laddie head.
But when my heart was big wi' wae,
   Or lowin' love upsprung;
My feelin's aye gushed out in thee,
   My couthie mither tongue!

My mither tongue! how aft hae I
   My very meals forgot,
While porin' o'er the wizard page
   O' Ramsay, Burns or Scott!
On 'Tam o' Shanter's' Midnight ride,
   Or Hornbrook's pranks I've hung;
Rehearsed wi' matchless power in thee,
   My couthie mither tongue!

My mither tongue! I daurna name
   The loves o' bygane years;
It ill becomes a bearded man
   To blin' his een wi' tears.
I daurna name the welcomes warm
    That roun' my heart hae clung,
The sad fareweels expressed in thee,
   My couthie mither tongue!

I daurna conjure up the spots
   Where cheerfu' childhood played,
The broomy knowes, the fairy howes,
   Where hopefu' manhood strayed.
I daurna name departed frien's,
   Whase hands my hands hae wrung,
An' poured their latest blessin' out
   In thee, my mither tongue!

My mither tongue! some ca' ye rude,
   An' some hae wished ye dead;
Ye winna dee, ye canna dee,
   Sae lang as Burns is read;
An' that will be while warl's rin roun',
   An suns in space are hung;
While wisdom, wit, an' music live,
   Ye'll live, my mither tongue!

My mither tongue! ye'll haud the grip
   While words hae power to teach,
While human feelin's link themsel's
   To blithe or dowie speech;-
While hopes an' fears, an' joys an' griefs,
   While loves are said or sung,
Ye'll haud the grip in spite o' a',
   My couthie mither tongue!-
Till suns grow cauld, an' Natur's sel'
   Creeps feckless o're a rung,
Ye winna dee, ye canna dee,
   Dear Scotia's magic tongue!

David Grant
A Northern Garland
1936