Song of the Rowan Tree

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Thu, 2009-11-26

When asked to name a tree associated with Scotland both the Scots Pine and the Rowan tree spring to mind. Here is a poem by someone who also associated the rowan with Scotland – Carolina Oliphant, also known as Lady Nairne.

The Rowan Tree

Oh! Rowan Tree Oh! Rowan Tree! Thou’lt aye be dear to me, Entwined thou art wi mony ties, O’ hame and infancy. Thy leaves were aye the first o’ spring, Thy flow’rs the simmer’s pride; There was nae sic a bonny tree

In a’ the countrieside

Oh! Rowan tree!

How fair wert thou in simmer time, Wi’ a’ thy clusters white How rich and gay thy autumn dress, Wi’ berries red and bright. On thy fair stem were many names, Which now nae mair I see, But they’re engraven on my heart.

Forgot they ne’er can be!

Oh! Rowan tree!

We sat aneath thy spreading shade, The bairnies round thee ran, They pu’d thy bonny berries red, And necklaces they strang. My Mother! Oh, I see her still, She smil’d oor sports to see, Wi’ little Jeanie on her lap,

And Jamie at her knee!

Oh! Rowan tree!

Oh! there arose my Father’s pray’r, In holy evening’s calm, How sweet was then my Mither’s voice, In the Martyr’s psalm; Now a’ are gane! we meet nae mair Aneath the Rowan Tree; But hallowed thoughts around thee twine

O’ hame and infancy.

Oh! Rowan tree!

Meaning of unusual words: simmer=summer sic=such bairnies=children


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