John Buchan Poems >>
Home Thoughts From Abroad

Aifter the war, says the papers, they'll no be content at hame,
The lads that hae feucht wi' death twae 'ear I' the mud and the rain and the snaw:
For aifter a sodger's life the shop will be unco tame:
They'll ettle at fortune and freedom in the new lands far awa'.

No me!
By God! No me!
Aince we hae lickit oor faes
And aince I get oot o' this hell
For the rest o' my leevin' days
I'll mak a pet o' mysel'.
I'll haste me back wi' an Eident fit
And settle again in the same auld bit.
And oh! The comfort to snowk again
The reek o' my mither's but-and-ben,
The wee box-bed and the ingle neuk
And the kail-pat hung frae the chimley-heuk!
I'll gang back to the shop like a laddie to play,
Tak doun the shutters at skreigh o' day,
And weigh oot floor wi' a carefu' pride,
And hear the clash o' the contraside.
I'll wear for ordinar' a roond hard hat,
A collar and dicky and black cravat.
If the weather's wat I'll no stir ootbye
Wi'oot an umbrella to keep me dry.
I think I'd better no tak a wife -
I've had a' the adventure I want in life. -
But a nicht, when the doors are steeked, I'll sit,
While the bleeze loups high frae the aiken ruit,
And smoke my pipe aside the crook.
And read in some douce auld-farrant book;
Or crack wi' Davie and mix a rummer,
While the auld wife's pow nid-nods in slum'er;
And hark to the winds gaun tearin' bye
And thank the Lord I'm sae warm and dry.

When simmer brings the lang bricht e'en,
I'll dauner doun to the bowling-green,
Or delve my yaird and my roses tend
For the big floo'er-show in the next back-end.
Whiles, when the sun blinks aifter rain,
I'll tak my rod and gang up the glen:
Me and Davie, we ken the pules
Whaur the troot grow great in the hows o' the hills:
And, wanderin' back when the gloamin' fa's
And the midges dance in the hazel shaws,
We'll stop at the yet ayont the hicht
And drink great wauchts o' the scented nicht,
While the hoose lamps kin'le raw by raw
And a yellow star hings ower the law.
Davie will lauch like a wean at a fair
And nip my airm to make certain shure
That we're back frae yon place o' dule and dreid,
To oor ain kind warld -

But Davie's deid!
Nae mair gude nor ill can betide him.
We happit him doun by Beaumont toun,
And the half o' my hert's in the mools aside him.