SCOTTISH HISTORY LESSONS
The Romans came
And Brittania stretched
As far as the Antonine Wall
But the Picti in Caledonia
With their faces and bodies painted
Forced them back to Hadrian’s Wall.
Then the Gaelic Kingdom of Dal Riata
Welcomed Columba to Iona,
Who turned the pagan Scotti Christian.
Soon the Anglo Saxons of Bernecia
And the Viking hordes came too
And so the first Kingdom of Scotland was born.
Down the years it was
House of Alpin
House of Dunkeld
House of Baliol
And House of Stuart
In a rule of three uncontested centuries.
James V1 also inherited the Throne of England
And Stuart Kings and Queens
Ruled both independent Kingdoms
Until that fateful Act of Union in 1707
Finished Scotland as a country
In its own right.
Bonnie Prince Charlie tried and failed
At Culloden his protest stalled
And Cumberland his forces mauled
For him there was no other chance
He ran the gantlet back to France.
Now Scotland has its chance again
You had it once, a nation then.
Independent, free, no tyrant’s yoke
For Scotland freedom’s not a joke
Fight like a fishfag, Union be damned!
Your hills, Your lochs, your lives, your land.
BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS
Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?
That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.
The above poem, often called The Land Of Lost Content, was written by A E HOUSMAN, an English classical scholar and one of the great Victorian lyric poets. The poems wistfully evoke the dooms and disappointments of youth in the English countryside with their beauty, simplicity and distinctive imagery. His best known collection is called A SHROPSHIRE LAD, a cycle of 63 poems, which was published at his own expense in 1896. It rapidly became a lasting success and has been continuously in print ever since.
From Clee to heaven the beacon burns,
The shires have seen it plain,
From north and south the sign returns
And beacons burn again.
Look left, look right, the hills are bright,
The dales are light between,
Because ’tis fifty years to-night
That God has saved the Queen.
Now, when the flame they watch not towers
About the soil they trod,
Lads, we’ll remember friends of ours
Who shared the work with God.
(first 3 verses from his poem 1887)
THE GREEN FORGOTTEN VALLEYS
Those green forgotten valleys,
No longer can be seen
Lying hidden behind the tall fir and larch
That have made these brown hills green
Relentlessly marching down the hills
Burying everything in their wake
The dead are long gone from this place
The pike no longer in the lake
The houses just hollow shells now
Where the past ghosts eerily through
The vacant windows and doors
With rotted frames and jambs that once were new.
Back then there was no silence, only the sound
Of human laughter, and bird-calls to each other
The dogs growling at a wayward sheep.
And children’s scrapes kissed better by their mother
Nature is having the last laugh now
Soon there will be no trace of us at all
As the trees come marching down the hillside
No one hears the lonesome curlew’s call.