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Yon toun

William Soutar (1898-1943)
A weel-kent makar.

Hae ye come in be yon toun
Ablow the Craigie Knowes?
Hae ye come in be yon toun
Whaur the clear water rows

Merlie and mavie whistle clear;
And when the hour is still
Haickers owre the auld brig hear
The gowk upon the hill.

Birk and rodden on the brae,
Hawthorn in the hauch;
And clear water churlin by
The elder and the sauch.

Wha wudna bide in yon toun
Ablow the Craigie Knowes?
Wha wudna bide in yon toun
Whaur the clear water rows?

At day−daw and at grey−fa
The merry bells ding doun:
At day−daw and grey−fa
There’s music in yon toun.

(reproduced by kind permission of the Trustees of the National Library of Scotland)

Rows: flows;  haickers: walkers;  hauch: low ground;  churlin: gurgling;  day-daw and grey-fa: dawn and twilight.

Thochts aboot the poem

  • The poem sets a scene; is it a place he likes to be?
  • Hoo dae ye ken?
  • There are wirds for trees and birds, can ye identify thaim aw?
  • Hoo effective is his yaise o questions?
  • Why dis he no expect ony disagreement wi his thochts?
  • Hoo dis Soutar draw attention tae the wirds day−da and grey−fa in the hinmaist verse?
  • Scrieve yer ain version o the poem for yer ain toun, wale a spot ye ken weel.
  • Ask ane-twa questions an show fowk hoo special yer toun is.
  • Ye cud describe a pairt o yer toun ye dinna like or that maks ye sad.
  • Ye cud tak a photo or mak a drawin tae get fowk interestit in the place.

Follae up

  • Scrieve yer ain version o the poem for yer ain toun, wale a spot ye ken weel.
  • Ask ane-twa questions an show fowk hoo special yer toun is.
  • Ye cud describe a pairt o yer toun ye dinna like or that maks ye sad.
  • Ye cud tak a photo or mak a drawin tae get fowk interestit or sketch a picter.

Ye can read mair aboot William Soutar at the Friends of William Soutar Society website.

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