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Thursday, 10 April 2014

I for An Inspirational Land

Welcome to a Look Around 
"My Scottish Borders"

I is for:

The beauty and heritage of the Scottish Borders has proved an INSPIRATION  for many writers.   Sir Walter Scott is the best known and will feature later in this A-Z Journey, but here are two poets you may be less familiar with - James Hogg, and Will Ogilvie. 

JAMES HOGG (1770-1835). known as "The Ettrick Shepherd", was a poet and novelist. He was born into  a farming family in the Ettrick Valley in the Scottish Borders.  After leaving school at the age of 7,  he became a shepherd. Largely self-educated he began publishing poems and longer works and rose to become a star of the Edinburgh literary scene and a friend of Sir Walter Scott. and Robert Burns.  His statue, in the Yarrow Valley of Selkirkshire,  overlooks  St. Mary's Loch.  Here are the first  two verses from one of his most popular poems.

Where the pools are bright and deep
Where the grey trout lies asleep
Up the river and over the lea
That's the way for Billy and me. 

 Where the blackbird sings the latest
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest
Where the hawthorn blooms the sweetest
Where the nestlings chirp and flee
That's the way for Billy and me.

WILL OGILVIE  (1869-1963) was born near Kelso, but his spirit of adventure  took him, to Australia where he spent twelve years in the outback, becoming an accomplished stationhand, drover and horse breaker.  He also started to make a name for himself as a writer with poems published in the "Sydney Bulletin".    He also spent some time in the USA before the First World War as Professor of Agricultural Journalism in Iowa State College.

He returned to the Scottish Borders in 1901 and wrote stirring poems of his homeland.  He died aged 94 and  his ashes were scattered near the hill road to Roberton where a stone memorial marks the spot.  
The hill road to Roberton's  a steep road in the clouds
But where your foot has crawled in it, you can smell the scented thyme
And if your heart's  Border heart, look down on Harden Glen
And hear the blue hills ringing with the restless hoofs again.

Last night a wind from Lammermuir came roaring  up the glen,
With the tramp of trooping horses and the laugh of reckless men
And struck a mailed hand on the gate and cried in rebel glee: 
 "Come forth.  Come forth, my Borderer, and ride the March with me!" 

Follow the next stage of this A-Z Journey 
through the Scottish Borders


The Scottish Borders 
The old counties of Berwickshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire & Selkirkshire
Scottish Borders in Scotland.svg
Do take a look at earlier  posts in "My Scottish Borders

A-Z Challenge Preview
A-Z Challenge A - Abbeys,Abbotsford and Armstrongs
A-Z Challenge B - Border Reivers, Border Ballads and Blackmail
A-Z Challenge C - Common Ridings and Carter Bar 
A-Z Challenge D - Dryburgh Abbey,  Duns Scotus and The Douglas Tragedy 
A-Z Challenge E - Elliots, Earlston, Enigma Hero and Eyemouth Tart 
A-Z Challenge F - Flodden, Fletcher and Flowers of the Forest  
A-Z Challenge G - A Green & Pleasant Land and Galashiels 
A-Z Challenge H - Hermitage Castle and Hawick 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like poetry my Uncle Henry would have liked and recited at the drop of a hat.


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