SOME FAMILIAR PLACES ‘ROOND MY HAME

 

 

 

We’re gaun far’s the Lily Loch

This lee-lang day in June

We’ll speel the braes abune Shotts-Burn

An’ sit on Cant Hills croon

 

 

Round Kirk-O’-Shotts we’ll dauner slow

An’ muse on bygane days

When Glegly Grossart rambled

oot ower the glens an’ braes

 

 

Syne we’ll ca’ at Myres an’ Wastfield

Muirhoose an’ Birniehill

While up by at auld Fortissat

The view oor een will fill

 

 

We’ll see Roughdyke an’ Jersey

Green-Hill an’ Fernieshaw

An’ Hillhooserig an’ Penty

While mid-day sunbeams fa’

 

 

We’ll strap alang by Hills-O’ Hirst

The ‘Rigs an’ Highmuirheid

We’ll kindly keek at Wellesley

As yont road we speed

 

 

We’ll see the Hill an’ Blairmakhole

Knoweheid an’ Quarryneuk

An’ think o’ ither places syne

While forward we maun look

 

 

South Blair an’ Blairmains near the loch

We’ll scan while toddlin’ on-

Dewshill, Bentfit an’ Papperthills

Upraised as on a Throne

 

 

We’ll westward by Duntilland gang

An’ whiles we’ll fondly see

Some Faint an’ fadin’ traces

O’ Hamestead, Bush an’ tree

 

 

By Lane Mountcow an’ Braco Glen

oor feet will hameword turn

Doon past Loch-Hill and Annies-Hill

ower Tipper-Davy Burn

 

 

There may be brawer places ‘tweel

than thae wild rugger hills

But aye some glamour lingers

Roond sic moors an’ mossy rills

 

 

There’s calm the toon can never ken

there’s halesome caller air

There are whisp’rings in the silence

That I hear nae ither where

 

 

Far, far awa’ there’s mony a ane

Wha weel would like to stray

‘Mang kindly friends on Hills O’ Shotts

The Green, the Grim, the Grey

 

 

May peace an’ joy be in the hearts

O’ friends ayont the sea

Baith here an’ there may a’ leal folk

In harmony agree

 

 

 

JERSAY  BRIG.

 

 

Should ye care for soothin’quateness

  Awa’ frae car or gig,

Come ye wi’ me, if ye’re willin’

  The road by Jersay Brig.

 

Far oot on a peacefu’ muirlan’

  Broon, and rocky, and big,

There’s a hantle sykes and burnies

  And a’e wee auld-time brig.

 

Langsyne aroon’ this high muirlan’

  Mony a weel-plooghed rig,

And mony a lowly homestead

  Was seen near Jersay Brig.

 

Aft atweel in years depairted

  The feck o’ folk would dig,

A stack o’ peats for the winter

  Frae muirs around the brig.

 

A’e day when the wind was reezie

  An auld man lost his wig,

An his hat forby, in crossing’

  The open muirlan’ brig.

 

It is telt that steerin’ ladies

  Wha caired na e’en a’ a fig,

In sicht o’ the Kirk folk dookit

   In burnie near the brig.

 

Braw lads and lassies at nicht fa’

  Unco fond o’ a jig,

Merrily danced on the green swaird

  Abune the auld stane brig.

 

Syne quately when drooped the gloamin’

  A’e lassie, weel-faured, trig,

Crackit lang time wi’ her laddie

  In bield o’ Jersay Brig.

 jersay_brig_2

 

 

 

THE  SILENT  MILL.

 

Owre the waistlin’ rim o’ the Parish o’ Shotts

  Doon the braes frae the Linnrigs twa,

There’s a deep, steep Glen weel clad wi’ trees

  Airts onward near Chapelha’,

And weel I wat ilka time I see ‘t

  To me it’s by-ordinar’ braw.

 

In days lang gane an auld Meal Mill

  Hummed blithe at heid o’ the Glen,

And the water that  made the wheels gang roond

  Cam’ frae hills o’ Shotts ye ken,

O, a bonnie place and a cheery place

  Was the Glen o’ the Fairies then.

 

The Shotts burn wimples frae yont the Kirk

  Up by on the bare braeside,

Then sings its sang roon mony a turn

  ‘Tween Peatpots and Langside,

To me atweel it’s a loe’some burn

  Tho’ it isna deep or wide.

 

Noo, there’s roofless wa’s and a Silent Mill

  Whaur the Fairy Glen begins,

Nae mill wheen’s splash, nor happers click

  I’ the lade nae water rins,

And lanesome like the burn slips by

  In its track frae the muirlan’ linns.

 

 

         ON  THE  SLATE?

 

The Kirk roof, we have found o’ late,

Is badly in the need o’ slate;

Nae shame tae roof, the puir, auld fella,

But soon we’ll need oor umbarella!

 

Through rain, hail, snaw, up on the hill,

The Kirk may staun’ a long time still,

But, if we dinna act the noo,

We’ll sit there in a soggy pew!

 

Some men went up tae check the slate,

And cam doon wi’ an estimate;

Haunded it ower, wi’ dooncast een,

And then we made an awfu’ scene!

 

Thirty thou! – the figure quotit,

Needless to say, we hivna got it!

But, though the sum sounds much too dear,

It could be paid – ower a year …..

 

Three hunder member we do hiv,

And now must ask then all to give

Twa pund a week;  it’s no’ too much,

If we cut doon on cigs. and such!

 

Whit’s this?  The Kirk takin’ on tick?

“It’s frae the deil!”  “We’ll no hae it!”

But “slate” is now the world’s way,

If what we want, we canna pay.

So dig in deep, yir haun’ tae pockit,

Or when in Kirk, ye may get soakit!

 

I know this is a lot tae ask,

The fundin’ o’ this awesome task;

But think, you people shy to pay,

You may yet want the Kirk some day.

 

                -David J. Nelson (Sept. 1997)

 

 

    Thoughts on Kirk O Shotts


The cauld March wind blaws frae the East
The blast comes o'er Shotts mair
and we seldom gie a passing thocht
To our forbears lying there

Nae cairn is there to mairk the spot
of folk we proudly own
Nae sculptured marble has been their  lot
Nor yet an inscribed stone

But we who bear that ancient name
And maintain it with great honour
Commit ourselves its right to fame
Our glorious name of Connor 

Ephraim Connor [1891-1980]

 
 
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