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Here in the uplands
the soil is ungrateful; The fields, red with sorrel, are stony and
A few trees,
wind-twisted - or are they but bushes? - Stand stubbornly guarding a
home here and there.
Scooped out like a
saucer, the land lies before me, the waters, once scattered, flow
Through fields where
the ghosts of the marsh and the moorland still ride the old marches,
despising the plough.
The marsh and the
moorland are not to be banished; the bracken and heather, the glory
Usurp all the balks
and the field's broken fringes, and claim from the sower their
portion of room.
This is my country,
the land that begat me. These windy spaces are surely my own.
And those who here
toil in the sweat of their faces are flesh of my flesh and bone of
Hard is the day's
task - Scotland, stern Mother! - Wherewith at all times thy sons
have been faced.
Labour by day, and
scant rest in the gloaming with want an attendant not lightly
Yet do thy children
honour and love thee, harsh is they schooling yet great is the gain.
True hearts and
strong limbs, the beauty of faces kissed by the wind and caressed by
Sir Alexander Gray