The Flowers of the Forest by Jean (Jane) Elliot (with rough translation by flusteredduck)

I’ve heard them lilting at our ewe-milking,
Lasses a-lilting before the dawn of 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,
The lasses are lonely, and dowie, and wae;
Nae daffin’, nae gabbin’, but sighing and sabbing,
Ilk ane lifts her leglin and hies her away.

In har’st, at the shearing, nae youths now are jeering,
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 younkers 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.

Dool 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 our ewe-milking;
Women and bairns are heartless and wae;
Sighing and moaning on ilka green loaning
The Flowers of the Forest are a’  wede away.

The Flowers of the Forest by Jean (Jane) Elliot (rough translation by flusteredduck)

I’ve heard them lilting at our ewe-milking,
Lasses singing before the dawn of day;
But now they are moaning on every green common—
The Flowers of the Forest are all scythed away.

At folds, in the morning, no blythe lads are teasing,
The lasses are lone, and melancholy, and sad;
No teasing, no prattling, but sighing and sobbing,
Every one lifts her milk pail and goes on her way.

In harvest, at the shearing, no youths now are jeering,
The workers are hoary, and wrinkled, and grey;
At fair or at preaching, no wooing no flattering—
The Flowers of the Forest are all scythed away.

At evening, in the twilight, no youngsters are roaming
‘Bout stacks with the lasses at games to play;
But every one sits dreary, lamenting her dearie—
The Flowers of the Forest are scythed away.

Grief and woe for the order sent our lads to the Border!
The English, for once, by guile won the day;
The Flowers of the Forest, that fought ever at the fore,
The prime of our land, are cold in the clay.

We’ll hear no more singing at our ewe-milking;
Women and children are heartless and sad;
Sighing and moaning on every green common—
The Flowers of the Forest are all scythed away.

From: http://www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poems/flowers-forest

Date: 1776

By: Jean (Jane) Elliot (1727-1805)

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