What ails you, you puir auld body?
    What gars you greet sae sair? 
Hae you tint the man that's been kind to you 
    This forty year and mair? 

0, I didna greet when I tint him, 
    Nor yet on the burrel-day;
But though I saw to the hoose and the byre,
    God kens that my hert was wae.

But this mornin’ I cam on his bauchles;
    What cud I dae but greet?
For I mindit hoo hard he had wrocht for me,
    Trauchlin’ wi’ sair, sair feet. 
Sir Alexander Gray

from Gossip: a book of new poems (Porpoise Press, 1928)

Reproduced by permission of the Estate of Sir Alexander Gray
Sir Alexander Gray

A civil servant and Professor of Political Economy, Sir Alexander Gray’s reputation abides not only in his own field, but as a Scots poet – the author of some of the most-quoted lines in modern Scottish poetry: ‘This is my country, / The land that begat me ...'

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