The hills in the Hielands…

Today’s picture by Steve Carter is a fantastic view of Strathcarron on the scenic railway line between Inverness and Kyle of Lochalsh (http://stevecarter.com)

  This poem by Alexander Anderson (1845-1909) paints an attractive picture of Highland hills, contrasting them with city streets. Anderson had a mixture of occupations, at times working in the open-air working on railway tracks and at other times as a librarian in Edinburgh University.

The hills in the Hielands are bonnie, 
    Wi’ the licht an’ the shadow at play; 
An’ the winds that mak’ redder the heather 
    Far up on the cliff an’ the brae. 
The white clouds are floatin’ abune them, 
    Like snawdrifts that never can fa’, 
The hills in the Hielands are bonnie, 
    The hills in the Hielands are braw!

The streets o’ the city grow weary 
    For want o’ the glint an’ the sheen; 
An’ the wast wind has never a murmur 
    O’ woods that are wavin’ wi’ green: 
But O, for the bound o’ the red deer, 
    An’ the curlew that bugles to a’; 
The hills in the Hielands are bonnie, 
    The hills in the Hielands are braw.

I sigh for the roar o’ the river 
    Far down in the depths o’ the glen, 
The rush an’ the whirr o’ the blackcock 
    As he springs frae the side o’ the ben; 
For the sweep o’ the sky-cleavin’ eagle, 
    Whose wings are the bounds o’ his law– 
The hills in the Hielands are bonnie, 
    The hills in the Hielands are braw.

Then, O, to be up in the Hielands, 
    Where the winds draw not bridle nor stay; 
Where the forests are tossing their banners, 
    An’ the breckans are thick on the brae. 
Where the loch lies in shadow or sunshine, 
    Or leaps to the winds as they blaw; 
The hills in the Hielands are bonnie, 
    The hills in the Hielands are braw.

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