Sutherland’s a barren God -forsaken place,
Wi meers, bogs, heathen hills an glens,
Whaun eence a puir bit bold heroic race
Tended their black cattle
An quardit weel their skimpy chattels
Tae the tinkle o sweet human lachter
An the vices o the pibrach far awa.
For a thoosan year there wis human habitation,
An a rich an vibrant culture o the Gaels:
Aa that vanished aifter reid Culloden’s field
Wi the braakin o the Heilan nation.
Soothern industrial progress wis behin it aa
An the makin o cauld babees
That drove that ull - starned race
Clean aff their ancient craftin grun
Tae the new lands owerseas.
Sutherland aince hid a duke,
Wha preferred the soun o bleatin sheep
Tae the voices o his countrymen,
Children’s an weemin’s lachter
The soun o mairchin feet.
He emptied the hills an glens
In search o oo an maet,
An made his Heilan tenants gae
Tae fairm their rochlike tattie patches
Amang the wild an heathery cliffs
Doon by the cauld saut sea
Or aff in shippies crammed aneth
Bound for the far shores o Amenikey:
Their crafties brent
Their stane dykes brook
An biggins pooed doon tae the grun.
Wis there ivver sic a laird
That cleared the Heilan cintraside
In the name o progress
An scientific husbandry?
He hid a wife, a cultured deem,
Wha invitet Harriet Beecher Stowe
Tae view the liberation o the Gaels
In the name o the new an comin age
O reason an humanity.
The abolitionist wis fair teen in
Wi a their swank an chairm
An went back tae Amenikey
Tae liberate black slaves;
Meanwhile the tartan blacks
Were dispossessed an chined
Tae the doorposts o fair Liberty
Or dang doon tae their heathery graves.
O Scotland, hame o rich an grovellin puir,
Ye are a land beloved by many
In their ancient sorrow,
Try tae owercome the past
An big a bricht new morrow:
Whaur man tae man sall neeboor be,
An bairnies’ futures safely keep,
Whaur men sail hear the human voice
An nae the bleatin o the sheep.