Jock, to the First Army

Jock, to the First Army
O Rab an’ Dave an’ rantin’ Jim,
    The geans were turnin’ reid
When Scotland saw yer line grow dim,
    Wi’ the pipers at its heid;
Noo, i’ yon warld we dinna ken,
    Like strangers ye maun gang—
'We've sic a wale o’ Angus men
  That we canna weary lang'

An' little Wat — my brither Wat — 
    Man, are ye aye the same?
Or is yon sma’ white hoose forgot
    Doon by the strath at hame?
An’ div ye mind foo aft we trod
    The Isla’s banks before ?—
—'My place is wi' the Hosts o’ God,
  But I mind me o’ Strathmore'

It’s deith comes skirlin’ through the sky,
    Below there’s nocht but pain,
We canna see whaur deid men lie
    For the drivin’ o’ the rain;
Ye a’ hae passed frae fear an’ doot,
    Ye’re far frae airthly ill —
—'We're near, we're here, my wee recruit,
      An' we fecht for Scotland still.'
Violet Jacob

from More Songs of Angus and Others (London: Country Life, 1918)

Violet Jacob

Violet Jacob, known for her novels of Scottish history and her poetry written in the rich dialect of Angus, was born into an aristocratic family, and lived her adult life as an officer’s wife in England and abroad.

Read more about this poet