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How aft hae I paused in thae green retreats,
O' the hare and the foggy-bee,
As blithe as a bird could be;
In the cheery morn o' spring,
To fauld up her weary wing.
And the mavis sang in the thorny brake,
And the blackbird on the tree, And the lintwhite lilted to his love,
Far down in the gowany lee;
Sae close to the crystal spring,
And awa' like a living thing.
And it sang its way through the green retreats,
In a voice so sweet and clear,
And the hazel leaned to hear;
And the primrose came wi' its modest face, A' wat wi' the balmy dew.
And the hoary hawthorn hung its head—
As lapt in a blissful, dream, While the honeysuckle strained to catch
The murmurs o' that stream; And the buttercup and the cowslip pale,
To the green green margin drew, And the gowan cam and brought wi' her
The bonnie wee violet blue.
And the red red rose and the eglantine,
And the stately foxglove came, And mony an' mony a sweet wee flower,
That has died without a name;
In her ain blithe merry din,
And roared in the boiling lin.
And churned hersel into silver white,
And rumbled round in her wild delight,
'Neath the rainbow's lovely ray;
Like the snawdrift on the lee,
She sang awa' to the sea.
But the trees are felled and the birds are gone.
And the banks are lone and bare,
Wi' the heavy sough o' care;
In the lang lang simmer's e'en,
Of the birk and the beech sae green.
In a' my wanderings far or near,
Through thir woods sae wild and lane,
That I hoped to see again;
For my heart is sick and sair,
O' a place sae sweet and fair.
But why should I mourn o'er the haunts o' youth,
Why sigh over beauty gane,
Man lives but by bread alane;
To the sound of wheels and steam,
His dear, his delightful dream.
All is a mystery,
Man's troubled history,
Man's mortal destiny,
All is a mystery,
Fall from a fountain,
Beyond the great mountain, Whose summits forever are lost in the blue.
All is a mystery, The sigh of the night winds, the song of the waves;
The visions that borrow
Their brightness from sorrow, The tales which flowers tell us, the voices of graves.