Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Weaver Poet

Robert Tannahill, the weaver poet, was born in Paisley on June 3, 1774.  Tannahill's nickname derives from his being apprenticed at age 12 to his father, a silk weaver.  Tannahill was contemporary with Burns and Scott.  According to Rampant Scotland, Tanahill established a Burns club in Paisley (1803), and among his guests there was Walter Scott's friend James Hogg.

Tannahill shares space in statue form in the Wallace Monument at Stirling with Robert Burns and Walter Scott.

The Braes of Balquhidder (Wild Mountain Thyme)
(Robert Tannahill)

Will ye go, lassie, go, to the braes o' Balquhidder
Where the blueberries grow, 'mang the bonnie bloomin' heather;
Where the deer and the ram, lightly bounding together,
Sport 'he lang summer day 'mang the braes o' Balquhidder
Will ye go, lassie, go,
To the braes o' Balquhidder!
Where the blueberries grow,
'Mang the bonnie bloomin' heather

I will twine thee a bower by the clear siller fountain
An' I'll cover it o'er wi' the flowers o' the mountain;
I will range through the wilds, an' the deep glens sae dreary.
An' return wi' their spoils to the bower o' my dearie

When the rude wintry win' idly raves round our dwellin',
An' the roar o' the linn on the night-breeze is swellin'
Sae merrily we'll sing as the storm rattles o'er us,
Till the dear sheeling ring wi' the light liltin' chorus.

Now the summer is in prime, wi' the flowers richly bloomin'
An' the wild mountain thyme a' the moorlands perfumin'
To our dear native scenes let us journey together
Where glad innocence reigns 'mang the braes of Balquhidder

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