by Alexander McLachlan

Ev'rybody kens that spirits
Walk abroad on Hallowe'en,
And the little playful fairies
Hold their revels on the green;
Ev'rybody kens they're partial
To auld Scotland's bonnie glens—
No' a lintie o' the valley
Ilka green nook better kens.

Mony a shepherd at the gloamin'
Scarcely can believe his e'en,
Coming unawares upon them
Dancing in their doublets green;
Singing sangs, and drinking dew-drops
Out o' cowslip cups sae pale,
Or a' riding on the moonbeams
Doun the dingle and the dale.

Mony a chuffy-cheekit laddie
They hae wiled by birken-shaw,
Mony an' mony a bonnie bairnie
On that nicht they've charm'd awa';
Weel it's kent they watch o'er lovers,
A' their hearts to them are seen,
A' their quarrels and their matches
They mak' up on Hallowe'en.

Weel it's kent they're faithfu' ever
To the genius o' oor laun',
And in a' her cares and troubles
Send her aye a helping haun';
They it is, should Donald waver
'Mid the battle's loudest din,
That keep yelling thro' the bagpipes
Till he gars the foeman rin.

'Tis frae them the Scottish minstrels
Learn sae weel their melting art,
Get the magic words that open
A' the fountains o' the heart.
Nane can dance oor "Gillie Callum,"
Sing oor Scottish sangs, I ween,
Saving them wha've tippl't wi' them
On the dews o' Hallowe'en.

On that nicht, there's nae denyin't,
Mony a Scot, as weel's mysel',
Hae had munelicht dealings wi' them,
Gin the truth they like to tell.
Weel, ae Hallowe'en at gloaming,
Drowsy sleep bow'd doun mine e'e,
And to my surprise I wauken'd
Daundering on the midnicht lea.

There the big horn'd mune was glow'ring
Doun upon me frae the sky,
And the wee bit stars a' trembling
Like the tears in Beauty's eye.
Suddenly I heard a rustle
Doun beside the lonely spring;
Gliff't was I nae doubt to see there
Elves and fairies in a ring.

There they were a' sitting singing
Blithely on the velvet green,
And the owrecome o' the sang was
"Hey, for Scotland's Hallowe'en!"
Frae their lips ilk word was fa'ing
Sweet as ony dewy gem—
Kennedy himsel' ne'er warbled
Scotia's ballads like to them.

In the midst a hoary matron
Wi' auld Scotland's spinning-wheel—
"Scotland's auld, respected Mither,"
Oh, I kent her face fu' weel!
Gazing on her rugged features
What unutterable things
Stirr'd my spirit, while above me
Flapt innumerable wings.

Shades o' ancient Scottish worthies,
Heroes wi' the laurel crown'd,
Martyrs, patriots, and prophets,
Saints and sages, hover'd round;
A' the preachers and the poets,
A' the spirits great indeed,
Wha hae twin'd a wreath immortal
Round oor puir auld Mither's heid.

A' the stalwart chiels wha perish'd—
Perish'd ! no, they never dee !—
Scotland, 'neath thy bluidy banner
Wha lay down their lives for thee.
Lovingly she gazed upon them,
Proudly claimed them for her sons;
And wi' a' a mither's fondness
Ca'd them " her immortal ones."

Then she turned, as to her children
Exiled far across the sea, Saying,
"Lads and bonnie lasses
That I nurs'd upon my knee,
Tho' the ocean rolls between us
Distance canna hearts divide;
Still in spirit ye are with me
By the Forth, the Tweed, the Clyde.

"Tho' amid Canadian forests
Or on Ganges' banks ye be,
Or in Afric's wilds, ye ever
Turn wi' longing hearts to me;
Tho' in distant lands ye triumph,
Still for Scotia's hills ye pine—
Ever thinking o' oor ingles,
And the Hallowe'ens lang syne ;

"And the quiet o' oor Sabbaths,
And oor psalm-tunes' solemn tones,
And oor altars, old and hoary,
'Mid the grey memorial stones.
Weel I ken my early lessons
Deep in a' your hearts are set—
Ah ! the Bible and the ballads,
No, ye never can forget!

"Ne'er be Fenian fules amang ye ;
Stick to country, kirk, and Queen,
And wherever ye may wander,
Aye keep up auld Hallowe'en !"
Even while she spoke, the grey cock
Clapt aloud his wings and crew,
And, or e'er I wist, the pageant
Past awa' like morning dew.

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