Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
The Scot abroad
By Daniel Wilson (1816–1892)
OH, to be in Scotland now,
  When the yellow autumn smiles
So pleasantly on knoll and how;
Where from rugged cliff and heathy brow
  Of each mountain height you look down defiles        5
Golden with the harvest’s glow.
Oh, to be in the kindly land,
  Whether mellow autumn smiles or no.
It is well if the joyous reaper stand
Breast-deep in the yellow corn, sickle in hand;        10
  But I care not though sleety east winds blow,
So long as I tread its strand.
To be wandering there at will,
  Be it sunshine or rain, or its winds that brace;
To climb the old familiar hill;        15
Of the storied landscape to drink my fill,
  And look out on the grey old town at its base,
And linger a dreamer still.
Ah! weep ye not for the dead,
  The dear ones safe in their native earth;        20
There fond hands pillowed the narrow bed
Where fresh gowans, starlike, above their head
  Spangle the turf of each spring’s new birth
For the living, loving tread.
Ah! not for them; doubly blest,        25
  Safely home, and past all weeping;
Hushed and still, there closely pressed
Kith to kin on one mother’s breast
  All still, securely, trustfully sleeping,
As in their first cradled rest.        30
Weep rather, aye, weep sore,
  For him who departs to a distant land.
There are pleasant homes on the far-off shore;
Friends too, but not like the friends of yore
  That fondly, but vainly, beckoning stand        35
For him who returns no more.
Oh, to lie in Scottish earth,
  Lapped in the clods of its kindly soil;
Where the soaring laverock’s song has birth
In the welkin’s blue, and its heavenward mirth        40
  Lends a rapture to earth-born toil—
What matter! Death recks not the dearth.

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