[Page 220]


Air Fy, gae rub her o'er wi' strae.
1 THE wars for many a month were o'er
1. A real incident which took place in the Highlands. Mrs Brown.
2 Ere I could reach my native shed,
3 My friends ne'er hoped to see me more,
4 But wept for me as for the dead.
5 As I drew near, the cottage blaz'd,
6 The evening fire was clear and bright;
7 And through the windows long I gaz'd,
8 And saw each friend with dear delight.
9 My father in his corner sat;
10 My mother drew her useful thread;
11 My brothers strove to make them chat;
12 My sisters bak'd the household bread:
13 And Jean oft whisper'd to a friend,
14 Who still let fall a silent tear;
15 But soon my Jessy's griefs shall end,
16 She little thinks her Henry's near.
[Page 221]
17 My mother heard her catching sighs,
18 And hid her face behind her rock;
19 While tears swam round in all their eyes,
20 And not a single word they spoke.
21 What could I do! If in I went,
22 Surprise might chill each tender heart;
23 Some story, then, I must invent,
24 And act the poor maim'd soldier's part.
25 I drew a bandage o'er my face,
26 And crooked up a lying knee,
27 And soon I found in that blest place
28 Not one dear friend knew aught of me.
29 I ventur'd in; Tray wagg'd his tail,
30 And fawning to my mother ran;
31 "Come here," they cry, "what can he ail?"
32 While my feign'd story I began.
33 I changed my voice to that of age,
34 "A poor old soldier lodging craves,"
35 The name and form their loves engage;
36 "A soldier! aye, the best we have!"
37 My father then drew in a seat,
38 "You're welcome," with a sigh, he said;
39 My mother fry'd her best hung meat,
40 And curds and cream the table spread.
41 "I had a son," my father sigh'd,
42 "A soldier too, but he is gone."
[Page 222]
43 "Have you heard from him?" I replied,
44 "I left behind me many a one;
45 And many a message I have brought
46 To families I cannot find;
47 Long for John Goodman's I have sought
48 To tell them Hal's not far behind."
49 "And does he live!" my father cried,
50 My mother did not try to speak;
51 My Jessy now I silent ey'd,
52 Who sobb'd as if her heart would break.
53 "He lives indeed; this kerchief see,
54 At parting his dear Jessy gave;
55 He sent it her, with love, by me,
56 To show he yet escapes the grave."
57 No arrow darting from a bow
58 More quickly could the token reach;
59 The patch from off my face I throw,
60 And give my voice its well-known speech.
61 My Jessy dear! I softly said;
62 She gaz'd, and answer'd with a sigh;
63 My sisters look'd as half afraid,
64 My mother fainted quite with joy.
65 My father danc'd around his son,
66 My brothers shook my hand away,
67 My mother said her glass might run,
68 She cared not now how soon the day.
[Page 223]
69 Hout! woman, cried my father dear,
70 A wedding first I'm sure we'll have;
71 I warrant us live these hundred years,
72 Nay, may-be, Meg, escape the grave!


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Title (in Source Edition): THE SOLDIER'S RETURN.
Genres: song

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Blamire, Susanna, 1747-1794. The Poetical Works of Miss Susanna Blamire “The muse of Cumberland.” Now for the first time collected by Henry Lonsdale, M.D. with a preface, memoir, and notes by Patrick Maxwell, ... Edinburgh: John Menzies, 61 Princes Street; R. Tyas, London; D. Robertson, Glasgow; and C. Thurnam, Carlisle. MDCCCXLII., 1842, pp. 220-223.  (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [42.256].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Susanna Blamire