Westlin Winds

It's my tenth wedding anniversary today, so this poem by Robert Burns is in honor of my husband (even though the poem is not seasonally appropriate). One of the (many) nice things about my husband is that he came with a lot of great music, including a cd by the great Scottish singer, Dick Gaughan (Handful of Earth) that has a most lovely setting of this poem. When the words meet the music, it becomes one of the most beautiful songs I know (and makes me weep every time).

Westlin Winds

Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns
Bring autumn's pleasant weather
The moorcock springs on whirring wings
Among the blooming heather
Now waving grain, wild o'er the plain
Delights the weary farmer
And the moon shines bright as I rove at night
To muse upon my charmer

The partridge loves the fruitful fells
The plover loves the mountain
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells
The soaring hern the fountain
Through lofty groves the cushat roves
The path of man to shun it
The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush
The spreading thorn the linnet

Thus every kind their pleasure find
The savage and the tender
Some social join and leagues combine
Some solitary wander
Avaunt! Away! the cruel sway,
Tyrannic man's dominion
The sportsman's joy, the murdering cry
The fluttering, gory pinion

But Peggy dear the evening's clear
Thick flies the skimming swallow
The sky is blue, the fields in view
All fading green and yellow
Come let us stray our gladsome way
And view the charms of nature
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn
And every happy creature

We'll gently walk and sweetly talk
Till the silent moon shines clearly
I'll grasp thy waist and, fondly pressed,
Swear how I love thee dearly
Not vernal showers to budding flowers
Not autumn to the farmer
So dear can be as thou to me
My fair, my lovely charmer.

There's a bit of the song at Dick Gaughan's website--the music really does make it much more so.

The Poetry Friday roundup is here at Writer2be today!


  1. Congratulations on your tenth! Thanks for participating today. I'll return tomorrow to follow the link to the song version.

  2. Lovely poem, Charlotte. Happy Anniversary!


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