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HomeWorld Tour > ScotlandPoetry & PoetsDeath in Yarrow

Death in Yarrow Poem

by JB Selkirk

It's no' the sax month gane,
sin' a' our cares began -
sin' she left us here alane,
her callant and grudeman.
It was in the spring she dee'd,
and noo we're in the fa',
and sair we've struggled wi't,
sin' his mother gaed awa'.

An awfu' blow was that -
the deed that nane can dree,
and lang and sair we grat,
for her we coulna see.
I've aye been string and fell,
and can stand a gey bit thraw,
but the laddie's no' hissel',
sin' his mother gaed awa'.

In a' the water gate,
ye couldna find his marrow -
there wasna ane his mate,
in Ettrick shaws or Yarrow.
But he hasna noo the look,
he used to hae ava,
he's grown sae little buik,
sin' his mother gaed awa'.

I tak' him on my back,
in ilka blink o' sun,
rin roun' about the stack,
nd mak' believe it's fun.
But weel he kens I warrant,
there's something wrang for a',
he's turned sae auld farrant,
sin' his mother gaed awa'..

For when he's layed his fill,
I canna help but see,
how he draws the creepie stool,
aye the closer to my knee.
And he turns his muckle een,
to the picter on the wa',
wi' a face grown thin and keen,
sin' his mother gaed awa'.

I mak' his pickle meat -
and i think i mak' it weel,
and i warm his little feet,
when i hap him i the creel.
And he kisses me fu' couthie,
for he downa sleep at a',
till he hands up his but mouthie,
sin his mother gaed awa'.

And then I dander oot,
when I can do nae mair,
and walk the hills aboot,
I dinna aye ken where.
For my hairts's wi' ane abune,
and the ane is growin' twa,
he's dwined sae sair sae sune,
sin his mother gaed awa'.

And noo the lang day's dune,
and the nicht's begun to fa',
and a bonnie harvest mune,
rises up on Bourhope Law.
It's a bonnie warlt this,
but it's no' for me at a',
for a' thing's gane amiss,
sin' his mother gaed awa'.

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