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October 19, 2017

Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/words-of-burns/nithdales-welcome-hame 


Robert Burns often expressed Jacobite sympathies, believing that his forebears were ‘out’ in support of the deposed Stuart monarchy in 1715. He considered Mrs Winifred Constable-Maxwell to be a “Common Sufferer…..in the cause of Heroic Loyalty” The lady’s grandfather, Willam Maxwell the 5th Earl of Nithdale, had also come out in the 1715 Rising, thereafter losing his titles and estates and almost his life. These were later restored to his son and in 1789 Mrs Constable –Maxwell began the task of rebuilding their former ancestral home at Terregles near Dumfries. Burns sent this poem to her to mark the return of the Maxwells.


"The noble Maxwells and their powers Are coming o'er the border,

And they'll gae big Terreagles' towers And set them a' in order.

And they declare Terreagles fair, For their abode they choose it;

There's no a heart in a' the land But's lighter at the news o't.


"Tho' stars in skies may disappear, And angry tempests gather;

The happy hour may soon be near That brings us pleasant weather:

The weary night o' care and grief May hae a joyfu' morrow;

So dawning day has brought relief, Fareweel our night o' sorrow."



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© 2014 Neil Macgillivray