The Doo'ucot Up The Braes

A poem by Violet Jacob

Beside the doo'cot up the braes
The fields slope doon frae me,
An fine's the glint on blawin' days
O' the bonnie plains o' sea.

Below's my mither's hoosie sma',
The smiddy by the byre
Whaur aye my feyther dings awa'
And my brither blaws the fire.

For Lachlan lo'es the smiddy's reek,
An' Geordie's but a fule
Wha' drives the plough his breid to seek,
And Rob's to teach the schule;

He'll haver roond the schulehoose wa's,
And ring the schulehoose bell,
He'll skelp the scholars wi' the tawse
(I'd like that fine mysel'!)

They're easy pleased, my brithers three -
I hate the smiddy's lowe,
A weary dominie I'd be,
An' I canna thole the plough.

But by the doo'cot up the braes
There's nane frae me can steal
The blue sea an' the ocean haze
An' the ships I like sae weel.

The brigs ride oot past Ferryden
Ahint the girnin' tugs,
And the lasses wave to the Baltic men
Wi' the gowd rings i' their lugs.

My mither's sweir to let me gang.
My feyther gi'es me blame,
But youth is sair and life is lang
When yer he'rt's sae far frae hame.

But i' the doo'cot up the braes,
When a'tumn nichts are mirk,
I've hid my pennies an' my claes
An' the Buik I read at kirk,

An' come ae nicht when a' fowks sleep,
I'll lift them whaur they lie,
An' to the harbour-side I'll creep
I' the dim licht o' the sky;

An' when the eastern blink grows wide,
An' dark still smoors the west,
A Baltic brig will tak' the tide
Wi' a lad that canna rest!

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