Sunday Poetry – Happy New Year!

I can’t think of a more appropriate poem for this time of year than Robert Burns’s Auld Lang Syne. Written in 1788, the title literally means “old long since” or “long long ago”. Even though it’s often sung to a jaunty tune, it’s also a melancholy song about remembrance of those who are no longer with us & also a farewell to the year that’s ending. I’ll be back before New Year’s with my Top 10 books of the year & maybe even another review so I won’t wish you all a Happy New Year just yet. Enjoy the last few days of 2013, whatever you’re doing.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

    CHORUS:
    For auld lang syne, my jo,
    for auld lang syne,
    we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
    for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

    CHORUS

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

    CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

    CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

    CHORUS

Sunday Poetry – Obsessions

I’ve chosen Robert Burns (picture from here) again today. Where would Scottish love poetry be without Burns? The young man in this poem seems quite languidly obsessed by his beloved, I imagine him sighing as he thinks about her & waits for her to notice his obsession.

O were I on Parnassus hill,
Or had o’ Helicon my fill,
That I might catch poetic skill,
To sing how dear I love thee!
But Nith maun be my Muse’s well,
My muse maun be thy bonie sel’;
On Corsincon I’ll glow’r and spell,
And write how dear I love thee!


Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay!
For a’ the lee-lang simmer’s day,
I couldna sing, I couldna say,
How much, how dear, I love thee.
I see thee dancing o’er the green-
Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean
Thy tempting lips, thy rouguish een, –
By Heaven and earth I love thee!


By night, by day, a-field, at hame,
The tholughts o’ thee my breast inflame;
And ay I muse and sing thy name,
I only live to love thee.
Tho’ I were doom’d to wander on,
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun;
Till my last, weary sand was run, –
Till then – and then I love thee!

Sunday poetry – Encounters

Today’s Scottish love poem is one of the most famous poems by the most famous Scottish poet. Robert Burns (picture from here) wrote some of the lightest, loveliest love lyrics in the language & I always hear this one in my mind as a song, traditionally sung to the tune of Common Frae the Town.

Comin’ thro’ the rye, poor body,
Comin’ thro’ the rye;
She draigl’t a’ her petticoatie,
Comin’ thro’ the rye.

Oh, Jenny’s a’ weet, poor body,
Jenny’s seldom dry;
She draigl’t a’ her petticoatie,
Comin’ thro’ the rye.

Gin a body meet a body
Comin’ thro’ the rye;
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Comin’ thro’ the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need the warld ken?