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POEM - 002
'A Trip to Muirdrum'
Alex. M. Soutar


'TIS holiday ! released from toil,
I seek the haunts where in life's morn
I roamed with joy, ere yet my heart
Had felt of care the bitter thorn.

The 'iron horse' conveyed me o'er
With speed the barren Buddon Sands,
To where Carnoustie, like a bride
Arrayed in summer vesture' stands.

Here, springing from the 'mettled steed,'
I gaze far o'er the silver sea ;
While gentle billows lave the beach,
And break in sweetest melody.

Though balmy zephyrs try to woo
My feet along the shore to stray,
A stronger voice within my breast
Prompts me to turn the other way.

The voice within my fancy wins :
I leave the sandy shore behind,
And o'er Carlogie's braes I stray
'Mong scenes more genial to my mind.

Eastward upon the slope I see
The heavenly watch-tower of Panbride ;
Where, waiting for the final day,
My forbears sleep close by its side.

Now past Carlogie woods, I pause :
Here Muirdrum meets my eager gaze ;
Each object that mine eyes behold
Recalls sweet thoughts of former days.

The dear old homes are getting few,
Time rolling on great changes brings ;
Yet still, as in the days of yore,
Around each cot the ivy clings.

There, nestled in their flowery plots,
They seem inviting me to stay ;
But strangers linger by the door,
So northward still I wend my way.

Beneath the beeches' shady boughs
There stands the school, where oft in tears
The seeds of knowledge were instilled
That brought me joy in after years.

Forth come the little ones to play,
Their pent-up mirth now bursts amain :
I see them romping round the trees,
And fancy I am young again.

Their voices ringing in mine ears,
Along the road I slowly roam
To yon green spot, where horses graze :
In days gone by there stood my home.

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But now the iron hand of Time
Has quite erased it from the earth ;
There's not a single stone remains
Memento of my place of birth.

Yet in imagination I
Can rear the dear old walls again ;
And cover o'er with cosy thatch
A cottar's humble but and ben ;

And place around the cheery hearth
A picture of true happiness—
Kind parents, with their offspring round,
Exhorting them to godliness.

Though o'er the battlefield of life
My lot has been to roam afar,
The dear old home that graced this spot
Was aye to me a guiding star.

Musing upon the days now gone,
I reach the black woods' shady side,
Where golden-headed furze and broom
Are spreading fragrance far and wide.

The feathered choristers above
Are pouring forth their melody ;
And from the blushing flowers I hear
The lively hum of honey-bee.

Here, resting on the ancient wall,
A lovely landscape can be seen—
The lordly mansion of Panmure,
Enshrined in wreath of varied green.

Enraptured with such fairy scenes,
Here willingly I 'd longer stay ;
But, looking on 'the face of Time,'
It bids me southward wend my way.

Ye haunts of Youth, with feeling heart
I bid you all a fond adieu !
Yet, while life's blood pervades my veins,
I ever will remember you.
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