« السابقةمتابعة »
English language formed. In this process, there was no yielding of the one language to the other, but a direct and literal incorporation. Each party advanced half-way; and, by mutual concession, a language was at last formed, neither pure French, nor pure Saxon, but a mixture of both.
remains untouched. To give an example or two of the
"the fell of hair
Rise as if life were in it."
The expression, " fell of hair," is not used in modern Eng-
From this short sketch, it is easy to see the connexion which the German has with the English. It is the root -the original source of our language. Whilst in Saxony, and other parts of Germany, the Old Saxon or Teutonic has remained pure and unmixed, in England its progress was early cut short by the French, which has gradually made greater and greater encroachments, and thus given a Latinized cast to our tongue. On this point, the Germans have not been slow in recognizing their superiority, and holding it forth to the world: -" Whilst The same connexion and relationship of the two lanall the other languages of Europe," says Adelung, with guages which makes it so useful to the student of Engexultation," have been lost in the Latin, or at least lish, contributes much to make the acquisition of German corrupted by an admixture with it, only the German lan-easy. Perhaps the reason why this language has been so guage, with her northern sisters, has known how to little studied may lie partly in the general belief that it maintain herself in her own purity, and has rather cho- is extremely difficult. But though it must be confessed sen to enrich and cultivate herself by her own treasures, that, to an Englishman, and especially to one who has than meanly to stand indebted for her culture to another." learned Latin, it is much more difficult than French and Thus writes Adelung, the greatest of German gramma- Italian-the two living languages most studied with us— <rians; and he speaks the voice of most of his philological yet it is by no means so difficult as is commonly imagined. brethren-many of whom, indeed, have carried the doc- Though the two languages, as already remarked, differ in trine of purism to an extent at once absurd and impossi- respect of compound words, yet there exists the greatest ble. Still the boast of Adelung is not without the best similarity in the roots, and in some parts of the flexion foundation. Well may the German pride himself in the of the language. A glance at a German dictionary will purity of his language. Unaided by any polished and prove this to any one who is unacquainted with the lanalready formed tongue, it possesses a rich and expressive guage. Many of the words are almost identical; others Vocabulary of primitives, which are, with the greatest have only suffered the common change by which consoease, capable of the most multifarious composition-to nants pronounced by the same organ of the voice are insuch a degree, that it has been allowed, in this respect, terchanged with each other. The change of a T into a to equal, if not to excel, the power of the Grecian tongue. D, or a B into a V, and such like, are quite familiar to Our language, on the contrary, has not preserved even every one who has at all attended to the formation of lanthat degree of purity which was left to it after its ad- guages. Such the similarity of the German and Engmixture with the Norman, but has gradually lost more lish languages, that, should an Englishman be thrown and more of its Saxon roots; so that, for example, those into Germany without any knowledge of the language, words of Saxon origin which were used by Chaucer, had he might make his way not badly by using his own become obsolete by the time of Shakspeare, while many tongue. At all events, he would be in no danger of starof his words are at present unknown in the English lan-ving for want of the necessaries of life; for he who guage, or unintelligible to the ordinary reader. As to composition, in which, as I have mentioned, the modern German rivals the Grecian, we have altogether lost such a power in our language. All our compound words, and most of our terminations, are Latin or French. We are not poor in Saxon primitives, but we have lost the power of using them for the enrichment and improvement of our language. To give an example, we, as well as the Germans, have the root, G. "frey," E. "free." From this the German language produces, with the greatest ease, Freygebigkeit," literally "freegivingness," a word quite foreign to the genius of the English language, which is obliged to form "liberality" from the Latin root " liber." This may suffice to give a general idea of the difference between the two languages in this respect.
From the connexion above stated, it is quite evident how necessary it is that he who would understand his own language fully, should be acquainted with German. Here he will find, in classical, and general use, those words which form the basis of the English language. Particularly useful will an acquaintance with the German language prove to him who would study our older authors. There many words occur which an Englishman would make nothing of, but which a German, who had studied English, would recognise as old friends. Not to mention Chaucer and our oldest writers, how much would we profit by an acquaintance with German in the interpretation of our great tragedian, Shakspeare? an author whom all Englishmen profess to read, but not all understand. It is not Greek or Latin that will assist us here. True it is, that these are exceedingly useful in giving an Englishman a command of his tongue; but the work is only half done if the German or Anglo-Saxon
should call for "flesh, bread, beer, wine, milk," would
Much as this similarity must aid an Englishman, it is of yet greater importance to a Scotchman, whose language possesses many remains of the Old Saxon, which one seeks in vain in the present English. Many of our common vulgar Scotch words are in classical use in Germany, and used in the most polished and refined society. This appears very strange to one who has been accustomed to associate vulgarism with such expressions. If, then, it be confessed that one who has studied Latin finds comparatively little difficulty in French or Italian, does it not follow, by the same mode of reasoning, that one acquainted with English and Scotch should find proportionably little difficulty in studying German ?
But this is not the only advantage which Scotchmen possess over their Southern neighbours in learning this
language. Another and a most decided advantage which we enjoy, lies in the similarity of our pronunciation to that of the Germans. If there has arisen a complaint that the German pronunciation forms one of its greatest difficulties, this has, in all likelihood, come from the English, who are often very hard pressed to bring forth the rough and guttural sounds in which the German abounds -for that this is too much the character of the language must be confessed, however much some of the Germans may be inclined to deny it. It is certainly a pity that High German, which, since the time of the Reformation, has been the reigning dialect, should not be the softest that Germany can boast of. This may appear clearer by a few examples. When, for instance, our language is content with the letter "p," the Germans regularly add an "f," which two letters produce together a sound at once harsh to the ear and difficult for the organs to pronounce. Our words "pillar, pool, pipe, pepper," are, in German, "pfaler, pfuhl, pfeife, pfeffer." Our t also they change into ts, a sound by no means agreeable. "Toll," for instance, is " zoll," pronounced "tsoll." Zimmerpronounced tsimmer-is, in English, " timber," in Scotch and Low German, "timmer." The Germans have also that well-known mark of a rough language, the concurrence of many harsh consonants, with very few vowels. In the words " Pfingst,”"—a contraction from Pentecostand "furcht" (fruit), this is very manifest. In the latter example, occurs that sound which Englishmen learn with difficulty to pronounce, though it is quite familiar to Scotchmen. He who finds such an insurmountable obstacle in pronouncing "Loch Lochy," or "Auchtermuchty," will certainly not feel quite at home in reading the two following lines of Schiller's Mary Stuart : "Nimmer lud Lie
Das Joch sich auf dem ich mich unterwarf. Kält ich doch auch anspruchen machen können;" where the unlucky guttural sound of ch occurs only nine times! An Englishman will either slip over the German ch altogether, or make a k of it. A Frenchman finds himself equally at a nonplus here; and will certainly convert this sound into sh.
One circumstance that greatly facilitates the acquisition of a true German pronunciation, is the regularity of the principles on which it depends. In English pronunciation, though a vowel or consonant have a certain pronunciation in one word, it is by no means certain that it will be pronounced so in another. This is a great grievance to foreigners, especially to Germans, who complain greatly of the difficulty of acquiring a good, or even a tolerable pronunciation of our language. No pronunciation, on the contrary, is more easy than the German. Each vowel, diphthong, and consonant, has a certain determinate sound, which it retains in almost all situations. No language possesses more than the German that great perfection in orthoepy, that the words are pronounced as they are spelled.
us, contains also drawbacks, which give no small trouble to the student. One of the greatest of these is the entire want of all rule and analogy in forming the genders of nouns. To this neither the signification, nor the origin, nor the termination of words, forms any tolerable clew. Not only are things without life made masculine and feminine, according to no discernible analogy which they possess with the sexes of the animate creation, but many living creatures, even of the most dignified kind, are, by the application of the neuter gender, degraded into the rank of things. Though one might perhaps tolerate that "weib," a contemptuous appellation for a woman, should receive this gender, yet it is certainly very absurd that we should be compelled to address a dignified lady (das Frauenzimmer) and a beautiful virgin (das Fraulein) in the same debasing manner. One would think that the early Germans must have had a true Miltonic contempt for the female sex, and, to make this their contempt visible to all the world, had interwoven it with the very nature of their language, by making some of the most common appellations of the sex belong to the neuter gender. Besides this, the Germans and their Northern neighbours have had the presumption to alter the order of nature, which the Greek and Roman poets had established, by making the sun a lady, and the moon a gentleman; which conduct, besides the open insult it implies against the dignity of Apollo and Diana, has unspun the theories of those grammarians who have unwarily asserted that the sun, from its majesty and superior dignity, has, by all nations, been made masculine, while the moon, which performs only an inferior part, and disperses only a borrowed and a weaker light, has been as universally considered as a female. So difficult is it to give general rules for the capricious operations of the human mind in affixing genders to inanimate things.
But while this irregularity in the genders of nouns must be a great difficulty to him who would speak and write the German language with classical accuracy, it is manifest that it does not in the least degree stand in the way of those who study the language (as many do) only with the view of being able to consult the works which it contains, belonging to their peculiar vocations. To such I can say from experience, that the German language, if studied with any tolerable degree of diligence and zeal, will be very easily acquired; and when it is acquired, the way is open to an excellency and an extent of genius and learning, which will amply repay any pains taken in the acquisition. Of this, indeed, our literary men are becoming more and more convinced, and the study of this language, long neglected, is now beginning to be more general-the language itself is no longer considered as a barbaric tongue, unworthy the attention of civilized nations and its literature, though long despised, is now looked upon with the admiration and the esteem which it deserves. That the state of public opinion in this matter may still continue to improve, is the sincere
Gottingen, 17th July, 1829.
J. S. B.
But while I thus assert what, I believe, every one will find to be true, that the German language is, on many accounts, by no means so difficult as it is often represented, I would not be understood as representing a knowledge of it attainable without considerable labour. The Germans themselves say that their language is START not, gentle reader, at the sombre, uninviting title amongst the most difficult of cultivated European tongues. of these brief notices. Antiquarian pursuits, it is true, Let not, then, the student suppose that he will master it are often but a species of laborious trifling, yet they some in as short a time, and meet in it with as few difficulties times present points of interest and humour, and should as he may have found in the study of French or Italian. not be condemned en masse. There is an indescribable Both these languages are a mere trifle to a tolerable clas-pleasure in striving to dissipate a portion, however small, sical scholar. In studying German, the student does of that mist which mantles between the land of oblivion not find that assistance from a knowledge of Latin which and the region of authentic record; and, though it is he experiences in studying those languages which are perilous in some companies to avow a lurking fondness formed on that of ancient Rome. Nor would I conceal for mouldy parchments and faded ink, I confess I must, that this language, besides the difficulty which arises as Mrs Malaprop says, "own the soft impeachment." from its being unconnected with Latin, and the two mo- Life has few things better than a quiet chamber, a clear dern European tongues which are generally studied with coal fire, a glass or two of racy port, and a midnight spell,
by the light of a pair of tapers, over a venerable tome or an ancient manuscript.
In assisting a legal friend in some enquiries relative to a disputed election case in an English burgh, I was amused with the variation in the style and wording of old charters and public documents. The most ancient charter extant, is that of the city of London. It was granted by William the Conqueror, and forms a striking contrast to the copia verborum in which our modern lawgivers and jurisconsults love to luxuriate. The following translation is from the pen of an able antiquary, Mr Bailey, one of the present keepers of the records in the Tower:-" William the King friendly salutes William the Bishop, and Godfrey the Portreeve, and all the Burgesses ('Burghwaller') within London, both French and English, and I declare I grant you to be all lawworthy, as you were in the days of King Edward, and I grant that every child shall be his father's heir, after his father's death, and I will not suffer any one to do you wrong. God preserve you." The brevity of Domesday Book, with its enumeration of taini-villani-milites and homines, is well known. King John improved upon the style of his royal predecessors. The following full and flowing enumeration, I copy from a charter of date 1206"The same borough and burgesses shall have and hold the same liberties and free customs as any other borough and free burgesses of England do have, well and in peace, freely and quietly, entirely, fully, and honour ably, in wood and plain, in ways and paths, in meadows and pastures, in fees and lordships, in waters and mills, in vivaries and fisheries, in moors and marshes, within borough and without, and in all places and things." For this comprehensive grant, the monarch took care to exact "the ancient fee-farm rent, with L. 10 of yearly increase, payable to exchequers; to wit, one moiety at Easter, and the other moiety at St Michael." As these fee-farm rents added considerably to the revenue of the crown, each succeeding monarch was careful to have the burgh charters renewed immediately on his accession, generally raising the amount of each, as the clergy still strive to do the tithes on their induction.
The following curious notice occurs in a charter of Edward I. :-"In his well-known hatred to the enemies of the Christian faith, the King also grants the burgesses, from every Jew or Jewess passing over the bridge on horseback, one penny, or on foot, one halfpenny.' In those days, the poor Jews were indeed a doomed race. Three years before the date of the charter alluded to (in 1277), fifty were drawn at horses' tails and hanged, and all the synagogues ordered to be destroyed, in consequence of some of their number having crucified a child at the town of Northampton. In 1287, they were all banished, and their property confiscated; at this time there were 15,600 Jews resident in England. They remained banished for upwards of three centuries, till Cromwell restored them; in return for which, the Rabbis wished to prove that Oliver was the new Messiah, or the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
pigs, goats, kids, lambs, calves, capons, hens, pullets, pigeons, and other birds; conies, wild beasts, eggs, salt, hay, straw, timber, wood, underwood, billets, coals, and other utensils and victuals." Edward VI., "in consideration of rents owing by the dissolution of the abbeys," released about 40s. of the annual-rent. Elizabeth seems barely to have recited and confirmed the former charters. Charles I., in language worthy of his father, " of his special grace, and certain knowledge, and mere motion," granted fresh charters to most of the burghs, defining more clearly and definitely their respective immunities; and, in several instances, incorporating the ruling powers under the title of "Mayor and Aldermen," instead of the old title of "Bailiffs and Burgesses." We may here close the list, for but little alteration was made by subsequent monarchs, and the practice of renewing burgh charters has, as our lawyers say, fallen into desuetude.
Fresh light might still be thrown upon our Constitutional history, if the ancient returns of members of Parliament, made by the Sheriffs, were printed and published. Among the records in the Tower, there are returns for some of the burghs, in regular consecutive order, from the twenty-third of Edward I.—the earliest epoch of acknowledged representation. It is well known that, for several centuries, the office of member of Parliament was eagerly avoided, on account of its being considered an intolerable burden; and, to release themselves of the tax of two shillings per day, which the burghs were bound to pay their members, many of the corporations wholly neglected the precept, and made no return, or prevailed upon the Sheriff to get them exempted, on the plea of poverty and incapacity. Some of the old returns have the names of sureties indorsed on the writ, in order to secure the attendance of the members. I have seen a written agreement, between the major part of the burgesses of a borough and their representatives, so late as 1645, in which the member stipulated that he would serve in Parliament, "without requiring or demanding any manner of wages or pay from the electors." The patriotic Andrew Maxwell, member for Hull, in the reign of Charles II., is commonly said to have been the last who received this honourable salary.
I shall close these Scraps, with an extract from an ancient will, registered, with many others, in the office of the Archdeacon of Huntingdon :-" William Ferrers, late Prest and Parsone of the parishe churche of Seynt John the Baptiste in Huntyngdon, (the church, by the way, in which Oliver Cromwell was baptized,) bequethes to the parishe churche of Seynt John thirteen shillings and fourpense, to be bestowede abowte most necessarie things ther needfull to be don; and to bye and proviede a canapye of silk for the holie sacramente ther, and that they may provide for the Bybullis, a desk, and a chayne, after the honeste manere; to the four parishe Clerks fourpense everie one of them; to every poure housholder in my parishe, at the day of my buriall, fourpense; to thirteen bedemen, holding thirteen tapirs abowte my heryse, to the honoure and glorie of Almyghtie God, at dyrge In the charters of Edward III. frequent mention is and masse, fourpense to everie one of them." The will made of the "mortal pestilence," and "dire adversities," is dated in 1542-two years after the date of the royal in consequence of which the King had to lower his fee- proclamation, enjoining every curate and parish to profarm rents. The awful calamity of the plague disappear-vide themselves with the Bible of the largest size. ed almost as soon as the city of London had been rebuilt, was wonderful," says Strype," to see with what joy the after the great fire of 1666; so the land-scurvy, and, be- book of God was received, and what resort there was to fore that, the leprosy, became gradually extinct, when the the places appointed for reading it." So eager, indeed, reformation of religion and improvements of agriculture were the people to see and hear the blessed Book, that it had removed the necessity of eating salt fish and salted became necessary to fasten the "Bybullis" with a chain meat during the greatest portion of the year. to the desk, after the "honest manner" alluded to by the priest of Huntingdon.
But to return for a moment to the burgh charters.Richard III. was laudably minute in his enumeration of the exemptions and privileges granted to the burgesses on the payment of their fee-farm rent; they were duly assoilzied from "all prisages, chiminages, and taking of carriages, horses, carts, waggons; and also of wheat, barley, rye, oats, beans, pease, oxen, cows, sheep, hogs,
SOME ACCOUNT OF MY OWN LIFE.
manhood when the principles of the French Revolution first began to be disseminated in this country. Of an ardent disposition, and totally unacquainted with the world, I was intoxicated with the proud hopes for society which they held out. Nature had endowed me with a facility of expressing myself, and, borne up by my enthusiasm, I soon became a leading orator in the numerous clubs formed by those who held like principles with myself. It is not unlikely that my reckless disposition might have involved me in some deeper plots, but my career was luckily put a stop to before I had engaged in any treasonable enterprise. An attempt was to be made to rescue some of the most marked English democrats, who had been arrested for the purpose of having them tried for high treason. Our Scottish leaders recommended me to their southern correspondents, as one whose fearless character might render him of use. My services were called for, and I agreed to lend them with an ardour and singleness of purpose, of which, although long satisfied of the folly, not to say the criminality, of the scheme, I have not, even at my advanced age, learned to be altogether ashamed. Our attempt was frustrated. Some of my comrades were tried for it; but as my family, besides being wealthy and influential, had been uniformly distinguished for their loyalty, a friendly hint was given that I was in danger if I remained in the country. I was willing enough to quit it. My father was of opinion that sending me to the continent of Europe, with the sentiments I then entertained, would only be exposing me to greater dangers. I was therefore sent to America, to keep me quiet and out of harm's way.
A branch of our family had emigrated some forty years before that time, and their descendants were living prosperously in Virginia. To Virginia I was dispatched, with a liberal allowance, and letters of introduction to some of the best families in the state. I took up my abode, at the old man's earnest request, with a cousin of my father's, a man who had travelled much. He was one of those who, to the most sedate and correct notions of life, unite the power of entering into, and making allowance for, the enthusiasm of youth. Under his guidance, and with the example of his truly great and good friend Washington before my eyes, I was taught, though with all the reluctance natural to wrong-headed youth, to see the folly and impracticability of the principles I had imbibed.
There is no country worse adapted for a man who has no business to attend to, than America. Every one is so engrossed with his own pursuits, that an idler can find no way of killing time. I traversed, during the six years that I remained there, almost every state that then belonged to the Union, and even made some excursions into the forests which were still the exclusive habitation of the natives. Tired at last of being the only idle man in the nation, I embarked for Hamburg, in company with a friend of my relative, a German, who had joined the standard of Washington along with Lavalette.
The French Revolution, as it is commonly called, might with more propriety be designated the European Revolution. The principles which gave birth to it had been disseminated over the whole Continent; they had been adopted and patronized by many crowned heads, who did not foresee the consequences of their dissemination. The state of society, too, which awakened them into such fearful activity in France, was not without its parallel in other countries. The declaration of hostilities by the sovereigns of Europe, under the direction of the Duke of Brunswick, was not an uncalled-for interference with the internal arrangements of another state, but a natural attempt to extinguish a spirit, which they saw waiting but a successful example to break out in a similar manner in their own territories. The injudicious operations of the aggressors taught France her own strength; and the consciousness of the sympathy of a large portion of every nation in Europe, suggested the
plan of defending themselves by carrying the war into the enemy's country. They were resisted at first by the military alone. The civil population received them as apostles of a new and better order of things. But they soon experienced, that whatever the projectors of the Re| volution might be, and however fair the protestations of their invaders, the mass of the French nation had learned nothing of the universal philanthropy of the new philosophy but its language. They oppressed the inhabitants, and ravaged the countries, as unphilosophically as any army that ever marched through them.
The consequence was, that at the time my friend Von Wolfram and I reached his native place, a pretty strong reaction was beginning to be felt. It was the time of vintage when we arrived at his estate in Upper Saxony. The festivities of the season, heightened by the joy diffused at his return, engrossed us for a while. The ne cessity of arranging his affairs, which had got into considerable confusion during his absence,—a matter in which, as much from a sense of friendship as from a desire to get a more intimate acquaintance with the common business of human life, I lent him my assistance,-sufficiently occupied us during the winter months. But, on the approach of spring, the renewal of hostilities, and their nearer approach, drew our attention to the state of the country. The re-awakening national spirit carried Wolfram along with it; and an unwillingness to part from him, joined to man's natural love of fighting, led me on to unite my fortunes with his. We joined the army of the Archduke Charles. I hope it will not be ascribed entirely to the vanity of an old soldier, when I say that I served not altogether without distinction. We fought it manfully, until the reverses of Wagram and Austerlitz compelled Austria to sue for peace. My friend retired to his paternal estate, and I, in hopes that my long exile had sufficiently atoned for my youthful indiscretions, returned to England.
I found that I had nothing to fear; but, on my reaching Scotland, I found not what I had left. My parents were dead; my youthful friends had either left the country, or had forgotten me. I had acquired the habits of a foreign land, and there was little sympathy between me and my new acquaintances. Never-not when yearning for my native vales at midnight, on the banks of some lone American river—not when, on the eve of battle, I had none near me who spoke the language of my fathers-did the cup, which my own folly had brewed, taste more bitterly. I had wilfully torn myself from the soil on which I grew, and could not strike root again. I had cast myself before the unpausing car of destiny; its wheels had passed over me, and crushed the affections of my heart, the household loves in which man breathes and lives.
The moment I had brought my possessions into order, I applied for a commission, instigated to this step by the vacuity I felt at home, and the predilection which habit had given me for a military life. It was readily granted to me on the strength of the testimonials I had from my several commanders. Never have I experienced an emo tion, like that which thrilled through my frame when I heard, for the first time, the banner of my native land rustling over my head. I was again a Briton! The stirring times gave me employment enough. I have followed Wellington in every campaign he made till the first abdication of Napoleon, when, warned by the increasing infirmities of age, I retired. I have no reason to complain of my success. In our service, a man of competent fortune, who has a decent share of talent, and does his duty faithfully, never fails.
After I laid down my commission, I made a short excursion through France and Italy; and since that time my residence has been, the greater part of the year, in a small villa about half a mile out of Edinburgh. I come into town every good day, chiefly for the purpose of having half-an-hour's talk with my amiable and conversative friend M
I may be generally seen about
three o'clock walking along Princes' Street, towards the Calton-hill, where it is my delight to contemplate the magnificent views which it commands on every side. When the Exhibitions are open, I am generally to be found in one of them, sitting before some favourite picture. I am also a great frequenter of dioramas, panoramas, and popular lectures. When the rheumatism permits, I am frequently to be seen in the theatre. These indulgences of a desire to feel myself in a crowd, without being of it, are the only remains of my Continental habits; in every thing else I am a very Englishman. When the theatre is closed, or when the state of my health is not such as to admit of my visiting it, three or four friends of my own age to dine, and spend the evening in conversation, or at a quiet game of whist, are indispensable, My forenoon is spent in reading, except once aweek that I devote it to regulating my household affairs and other business. My books consist of a pretty extensive collection of English literature, from the time of Shakspeare down to the writers of Queen Anne's age, the classics, the best French authors, and books of voyages and travels. These were the favourites of my younger days, my noon of life was too earnestly employed to leave me much time for study, and I am now too old to enter into the spirit of the literature of the day, so different in its tone from my accustomed habits and tastes.
I can tolerate all opinions, but hold fast to my own. I think this world, with all its faults, a vastly good one; but hope to be able to quit it when the time comes, and it cannot now be far distant, with resignation. I do not trouble my head with politics, but I believe I am, if any thing, a whig of the old school, and a loyal man. I am a sincere, though faulty, son of the Episcopalian church; although I reckon among my most esteemed and tried friends, some of our Presbyterian clergymen. Finally, I am, if you, respected Editor, whose Journal is the only one that crosses my threshold, think an old man's prattling about what he has seen, felt, and thought, likely to be at all interesting and instructive, your very humble servant and contributor, A. H. M.
By Robert Chambers.
SCOTLAND! the land of all I love,
The land of all that love me;
Land, whose green sod my youth has trod,
Hail, country of the brave and good,
Like mother's bosom o'er her child,
And all by memory cherish'd!
Oh, Scotland, through thy wide domain,
Adown thy hills run countless rills,
With noisy, ceaseless motion; Their waters join the rivers broad,
Those rivers join the ocean: And many a sunny, flowery brae, Where childhood plays and ponders, Is freshen'd by the lightsome flood, As wimpling on it wanders.
Within thy long-descending vales,
Which childhood loves to gather.
Oh, for that pipe of silver sound,
On which the shepherd lover, In ancient days, breathed out his soul, Beneath the mountain's cover!
Oh, for that Great Lost Power of Song,
To make thy every hill and dale
And not alone each hill and dale,
For where is there the spot of earth,
But from some noble deed or thing Has taken consecration
First, I could sing how brave thy sons,
How pious and true-hearted,
Who saved a bloody heritage
For us in times departed;
Who, through a thousand years of wrong,
Ever the generous, righteous cause
I'd sing of that old early time,
When came the victor Roman,
And, for the first time, found in them
Then that proud bird, which never stoop'd
Met eagles of a sterner brood
In this our northern eyry.
Next, of that better glorious time,
Next, how, through ages of despair,
To vary that of slaughter.
How, in a later, darker time,
When wicked men were reigning, Thy sons went to the wilderness, All but their God disdaining;