“Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace”. John O'Donohue

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Rowan Tree

Rowan Berries - taken on 25th  Aug 2012 - JM

I love Rowans (well, I love trees!) but the Rowan has a special place in my heart. Partly because of its magical and mystical properties. Rowan - Luis- is known for its links to the otherworld, and for protection from evil and dark forces. A native tree, Rowan is often associated with Scotland, although it grows all over  these islands. Perhaps because of its significance in Celtic lore. Often planted at the gateposts or entrances to properties for protection, its significance runs deep in the collective psyche.

The other reason for my connection to the Rowan is this song...a favourite of my Grandfather's. It is also a well loved pipe tune, and it is often heard in medley with Scotland the Brave whenever you hear a pipe band. And there have been a lot of pipes around - it being The Cowal Highland Gathering this weekend.

Combination of tune, pipes and memories and I'm a gonner!

The Rowan Tree

Oh! Rowan Tree Oh! Rowan Tree!
Thou'lt aye be dear to me,
Entwined thou art wi mony ties,
O' hame and infancy.
Thy leaves were aye the first o' spring,
Thy flow'rs the simmer's pride;
There was nae sic a bonny tree
In a' the countrieside
Oh! Rowan tree!
How fair wert thou in simmer time,
Wi' a' thy clusters white
How rich and gay thy autumn dress,
Wi' berries red and bright.
On thy fair stem were many names,
Which now nae mair I see,
But they're engraven on my heart.
Forgot they ne'er can be!
Oh! Rowan tree!
We sat aneath thy spreading shade,
The bairnies round thee ran,
They pu'd thy bonny berries red,
And necklaces they strang.
My Mother! Oh, I see her still,
She smil'd oor sports to see,
Wi' little Jeanie on her lap,
And Jamie at her knee!
Oh! Rowan tree!
Oh! there arose my Father's pray'r,
In holy evening's calm,
How sweet was then my Mither's voice,
In the Martyr's psalm;
Now a' are gane! we meet nae mair
Aneath the Rowan Tree;
But hallowed thoughts around thee twine
O' hame and infancy.
Oh! Rowan tree!

Carolina Oliphant (Lady Nairn)

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