The Kirk Beside The Sands

A poem by Violet Jacob

It was faur-ye-weel, my dear, that the gulls were cryin'
At the kirk beside the sands,
Whaur the saumon-nets lay oot on the bents for dryin',
Wi' the tar upon their strands;

A roofless kirk i' the bield o' the cliff-fit bidin',
And the deid laid near the wa';
A wheen auld coupit stanes i' the sea-grass hidin',
Wi' the sea-sound ower them a'.

But it's mair nor daith that's here on the hauchs o' Flanders,
And the deid lie closer in;
It's no the gull, but the hoodit craw that wanders
When the lang, lang nichts begin.

It's ill to dee, but there's waur things yet nor deein';
And the warst o' a's disgrace;
For there's nae grave deep eneuch 'mang the graves in bein'
To cover a coward's face.

Syne, a' is weel, though my banes lie here for iver,
An' hame is no for me,
Till the reid tide brak's like the spate in a roarin' river
O'er the micht o' Gairmanie.

Sae gang you back, my dear, whaur the gulls are cryin',
Gie thanks by kirk an' grave,
That yer man keeps faith wi' the land whaur his he'rt is lyin',
An' the Lord will keep the lave.

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