by: John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895)

      WAY from the roar and the rattle,
      The dust and the din of the town,
      Where to live is to brawl and to battle,
      Till the strong treads the weak man down!
      Away to the bonnie green hills
      Where the sunshine sleeps on the brae,
      And the heart of the greenwood thrills
      To the hymn of the bird on the spray.

      Away from the smoke and the smother,
      The veil of the dun and the brown,
      The push and the plash and the pother,
      The wear and the waste of the town!
      Away where the sky shines clear,
      And the light breeze wanders at will,
      And the dark pine-wood nods near
      To the light-plumed birch on the hill.

      Away from the whirling and wheeling,
      And steaming above and below,
      Where the heart has no leisure for feeling,
      And the thought has no quiet to grow.
      Away where the clear brook purls,
      And the hyacinth droops in the shade,
      And the wing of the fern uncoils
      Its grace in the depth of the glade.

      Away to the cottage so sweetly
      Embowered 'neath the fringe of the wood,
      Where the wife of my bosom shall meet me
      With thoughts ever kindly and good.
      More dear than the wealth of the world,
      Fond mother with bairnies three,
      And the plum-armed babe that has curled
      Its lips sweetly pouting for me.

      Then away from the war and the rattle
      The dust and the din of the town,
      Where to live is to brawl and to battle
      Till the strong treads the weak man down.
      Away where the green twigs nod
      In the fragrant breath of the May,
      And the sweet growth spreads on the sod,
      And the blithe birds sing on the spray.

"A Song of the Country" is reprinted from The Selected Poems of John Stuart Blackie. Ed. Archibald Stodart Walker. London: John Macqueen, 1896.




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