Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
The Flowers of the Forest
By Jane Elliott (1727–1805)
A Lament for Flodden

I’VE heard them lilting, at our ewe-milking,
  Lasses a’ lilting before dawn o’ day;
But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning—
  The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
At bughts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,        5
  Lasses are lonely and dowie and wae;
Nae daffing, nae gabbing, but sighing and sabbing,
  Ilk ane lifts her leglin and hies her away.
In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
  The bandsters are lyart, and runkled and grey;        10
At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching—
  The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
At e’en, in the gloaming, nae swankies are roaming
  ’Bout stacks wi’ the lasses at bogle to play;
But ilk ane sits eerie, lamenting her dearie—        15
  The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
Dool and wae for the order sent our lads to the Border!
  The English, for ance, by guile won the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the foremost,
  The prime of our land, lie cauld in the clay.        20
We’ll hear nae more lilting at our ewe-milking,
  Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning,
  The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.

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