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The Exile's Song (1841)

This land is rich--baith tree and bower,
An' hill an' plain, are cover'd o'er
Wi' flow'rs o' monei, monie dyes,
Till maist it seems a paradise,
Where Love an' Beauty make their hame,
Beside ilk flowin' silver stream--
I ken the land is heavenlie ;
But, oh! its nae my ain countree !

Thae hills are green--nae heather there
Waves in the caller mornin' air ;
Fu' pleasantly than streamlets rin ;
But, oh ! they want the cheerfu' din
O' hames sweet burns that ever sung
To me, my ain, my mountain tongue--
I ken the land is fair to see ;
But, oh! it's nae my ain countree !

The bonnet doesna hap the brow,
The plaidie wraps na bosoms true ;
The harp's sweet tones 'mang echoes stray,
Whar I wad like the pipes to play ;
The nightlingale sings a' night lang,
Whar I wad like the throstle's sang--
The land is fair as fair can be ;
But, oh ! it's nae my ain countaee !

When mirth's warm voice is laughin' hie,
The grane o' care doth daunton me ;
I canna rest, I canna smile,
Away frae yonder rocky isle !
An exile's waefu' fate Is mine,
Wha for his hame doth ever pine ;
My heart is sick, and I will dee,
If I win na to my ain countree !

Robert Nicholl.


From the Sydney Newspaper the Australasian Chronicle Saturday 31 July 1841 p. 1.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory