Monday, January 13, 2014

Logan Braes - Robert Burns

The Logan Water runs through the hills in between Muirkirk, Strathaven and Lesmahagow. It's a rural and remote spot - when this was written in the early 1700s it must have been even more so. Burns wrote the adaptation below. A stirring and emotive account of a young wife and mother wishing for her conscripted husband to return.

O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide, 
That day I was my Willie's bride, 
And years sin syne hae o'er us run, 
Like Logan to the simmer sun: 
But now thy flowery banks appear 
Like drumlie Winter, dark and drear, 
While my dear lad maun face his faes, 
Far, far frae me and Logan braes. 

Again the merry month of May 
Has made our hills and valleys gay; 
The birds rejoice in leafy bowers, 
The bees hum round the breathing flowers; 
Blythe Morning lifts his rosy eye, 
And Evening's tears are tears o' joy: 
My soul, delightless a' surveys, 
While Willie's far frae Logan braes. 

Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush, 
Amang her nestlings sits the thrush: 
Her faithfu' mate will share her toil, 
Or wi' his song her cares beguile; 
But I wi' my sweet nurslings here, 
Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer, 
Pass widow'd nights and joyless days, 
While Willie's far frae Logan braes. 

O wae be to you, Men o' State, 
That brethren rouse to deadly hate! 
As ye make mony a fond heart mourn, 
Sae may it on your heads return! 
How can your flinty hearts enjoy 
The widow's tear, the orphan's cry? 
But soon may peace bring happy days, 
And Willie hame to Logan braes!