The Freedom Come-All-Ye

The Freedom Come-All-Ye
Roch the wind in the clear day’s dawin
  Blaws the cloods heelster-gowdie ow’r the bay,
But there’s mair nor a roch wind blawin
  Through the great glen o’ the warld the day.
It’s a thocht that will gar oor rottans
  – A’ they rogues that gang gallus, fresh and gay –
Tak the road, and seek ither loanins
  For their ill ploys, tae sport and play

Nae mair will the bonnie callants
  Mairch tae war when oor braggarts crousely craw,
Nor wee weans frae pit-heid and clachan
  Mourn the ships sailin’ doon the Broomielaw.
Broken faimlies in lands we’ve herriet,
  Will curse Scotland the Brave nae mair, nae mair;
Black and white, ane til ither mairriet,
   Mak the vile barracks o’ their maisters bare.

So come all ye at hame wi’ Freedom,
  Never heed whit the hoodies croak for doom.
In your hoose a’ the bairns o’ Adam
  Can find breid, barley-bree and painted room.
When MacLean meets wi’s freens in Springburn
  A’ the roses and geans will turn tae bloom,
And a black boy frae yont Nyanga
  Dings the fell gallows o’ the burghers doon.
Hamish Henderson

fromCollected Poems and Songs, edited by Raymond Ross (Curly Snake Publishing, 2000)

Hamish Henderson

To sum up Hamish Henderson as a poet, or even to classify or identify what could be termed 'the poetry of Hamish Henderson' is challenging. This is partly due to his almost mythic status as the founding father of Scotland's 20th-century folk renaissance, with its heady blend of culture and politics, but also because Henderson himself rejected modernist concepts of poetry and of being a poet.

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