I canna' see ye, lad, I canna' see ye,
For a' yon glory that's aboot yer heid,
Yon licht that haps ye, an' the hosts that's wi' ye,
Aye, but ye live, an' it's mysel' that's deid!
They gae'd frae mill and mart; frae wind-blawn places,
And grey toon-closes; i' the empty street
Nae mair the bairns ken their steps, their faces,
Nor stand to listen to the trampin' feet.
Beside the brae, and soughin' through the rashes,
Yer voice comes back to me at ilka turn,
Amang the whins, an' whaur the water washes
The arn-tree wi' its feet amangst the burn.
Whiles ye come back to me when day is fleein',
And a' the road oot-by is dim wi' nicht,
But weary een like mine is no for seein',
An', gin they saw, they wad be blind wi' licht.
Daith canna' kill. The mools o' France lie o'er ye,
An' yet ye live, O sodger o' the Lord!
For Him that focht wi' daith an' dule afore ye,
He gie'd the life - 'twas Him that gie'd the sword.
But gin ye see my face or gin ye hear me,
I daurna' ask, I maunna' seek to ken,
Though I should dee, wi' sic a glory near me,
By nicht or day, come ben, my bairn, come ben!