Lament for Flodden
By Jean Elliot, (1727-1805)

  • I’ve heard the lilting at our yowe-milking,
  • Lasses a’lilting before dawn o’ day;
  • But now they are moaning on ilka green loaning-
  • The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
  • At bughts, in the morning, nae blythe lads are scorning,
  • Lasses are lonely and dowie and wae;
  • Nae daffin’, nae gabbin’, but sighing and sabbing,
  • Ilk ane lifts her leglen and hies her away.
  • In hairst, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
  • The bandsters are lyart, and runkled, and gray;
  • At fair or at preaching, nae wooing, nae fleeching-
  • The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
  • At e’en, in the gloaming, nae swankers are roaming
  • ‘Bout stacks wi’ the lasses at bogle to play;
  • But ilk ane sits drearie, lamenting her dearie--
  • The Flowers of the Forest are weded away.
  • Dule and wae for the order, sent our lads to the Border!
  • The English, for ance, by guile wan the day;
  • The Flowers of the Forest, that fought aye the foremost,
  • The prime of our land, are cauld in the clay.
  • We’ll hear nae mair lilting at the yowe-milking;
  • Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
  • Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning-
  • The Flowers of the Forest are a’ wede away.
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  • Notes
  • YOWE: ewe. ILKA: every. WEDE: withered. BUCHTE: cattle-pens. DOWIE: sad. RUNCLED: crumpled.
  • DAFFIN': dallying. GABBIN: chattering. LEGLEN: stool. HAIRST: harvest. BANDSTERS: binders.
  • LYART: grizzled. FLEECHING: coaxing. SWANKERS: young bucks. BOGLE: hide and seek. ILK: each. DULE: sorrow