NOW WESTLIN’ WINDS
The other day I was listening to the radio and heard a great recording of this song. I have previously read this on my website but I thought it was worth another outing.
Written by Robert Burns at the age of 16, when studying mathematics at a summer school in Kirkoswald. ‘Peggy’ in the fourth verse refers to a girl who lived next door to the school and diverted his thoughts from trigonometry.
“Now westlin’ winds and slaught’ring guns bring Autumn’s pleasant weather;
The moorcock springs on whirring wings amang the blooming heather
Now waving grain, wide o’er the plain, delights the weary farmer;
And the moon shines bright, as I rove by night, to muse upon my charmer.
The paitrick lo’es the fruitfu’ fells, the plover lo’es the mountains,
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells, the soaring hern the fountains;
Thro’ lofty groves the cushat roves, the path o’ man to shun it;
The hazel bush o’erhangs the thrush, the spreading thorn the linnet.
Thus ev’ry kind their pleasure find, the savage and the tender;
Some social join and leagues combine, some solitary wander:
Avaunt, away, the cruel sway! Tyrannic man’s dominion!
The sportsman’s joy, the murd’ring cry, the flutt’ring gory pinion!
But, Peggy dear, the ev’ning’s clear, thick flies the skimming swallow;
The sky is blue, the fields in view, all fading green and yellow.
Come let us stray our gladsome way, and view the charms of nature;
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn, and ilka happy creature.
We’ll gently walk and sweetly talk, while the silent moon shines clearly:
I’ll clasp thy waist, and, fondly prest, swear how I lo’e thee dearly:
Not vernal show’rs to budding flow’rs, not Autumn to the farmer;
So dear can be as thou to me, my fair, my lovely charmer.”