Poems by J.W. Brodie-Innes



Once, on a golden summer's day,
We left the road, we climbed th brae.
The sweet hills all around us lay
In royal robes of heather.
Scarce felt the wooing scented air,
I only knew we two sat there
Jeannie and I together.


O life hath brought full many a boon
When young blood thrilled in life's mid-noon,
In bounding time to love's sweet tune,
And loves and joys were many.
Yet sooth that hour was worth them all
To watch the lengthening shadows fall,
And hear the distant curlew call,
Out on the moors with Jeannie.


And clear, and calm, and sweet to see,
The young moon rose o'er Logan lea,
With promise fair for her and me
of all love's dearest blisses.
All radiant hues of seas and skies
Reflect themselves in Jennie's eyes
And dreamland all around us lies,
As sweet as Jeannie's kisses.


So bide for aye thou lovely dream!
When from life's dark and gloomy stream
For ever fades that one bright gleam,
And, like some prisoned startling,
I cry to years grown dull and grey,
Oh, give me back my summer's day,
Out on the moors of Logan brae,
With my unforgotten darling.

-- J.W. Brodie Innes



OH! once I was gay
As a child at play,
I'm sadder now and wiser,
For it's mine to boast
I've seen the ghost
Of my maiden aunt Eliza.
I own, with a sigh,
That never I
Much did idolize her.
A Vigilant
Old termagant
Was my gaunt aunt Eliza.

I did not know,
When I laid her low
Beneath the ancient minster,
That her coffin lid
could fail to keep hid
That venerable spinster.

She told me oft
(But I hear I scoffed)
That nought on earth could stop her,
She'd rise from her grave
Should I behave
In a way she thought improper.

So I tried for days
Her ghost to raise,
Committed crimes by the dozen,
I forged a will,
Ran a private still,
 And scraged my second cousin.
But she heeded nought,
And I rather thought
Perhaps she didn't get out
From the place where she was gone to.

But on Christmas day,
Sad to say!
(It was somebody else's sister),
I saw her to
'Neath the mistletoe,
Then and there I kissed her.

Then, gaunt and grim,
through blue lights dim,
Appeared my aunt Eliza,
And from my bones
With moans and groans,
That I did surprise her.

And, since that night,
A weary wight,
Haunted by aunt I wander,
That vigilant
Old termagant
Keeps up her mournful daunder.
And never a whit
Cant I get quit
Of that grim moralizer,
I'm always watched,
and mostly "cotched,"
By my gaunt aunt Eliza.

--J.W. Brodie-Innes.

from The Beggar's Wallet (1905).

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