I see amid the fields of Ayr A ploughman, who, in foul and fair, Sings at his task So clear, we know not if it is The laverock's song we hear, or his, Nor care to ask. For him the ploughing of those fields A more ethereal harvest yields Than sheaves of grain; Songs flush with Purple bloom the rye, The plover's call, the curlew's cry, Sing in his brain. Touched by his hand, the wayside weed Becomes a flower; the lowliest reed Beside the stream Is clothed with beauty; gorse and grass And heather, where his footsteps pass, The brighter seem. He sings of love, whose flame illumes The darkness of lone cottage rooms; He feels the force, The treacherous undertow and stress Of wayward passions, and no less The keen remorse. At moments, wrestling with his fate, His voice is harsh, but not with hate; The brushwood, hung Above the tavern door, lets fall Its bitter leaf, its drop of gall Upon his tongue. But still the music of his song Rises o'er all elate and strong; Its master-chords Are Manhood, Freedom, Brotherhood, Its discords but an interlude Between the words. And then to die so young and leave Unfinished what he might achieve! Yet better sure Is this, than wandering up and down An old man in a country town, Infirm and poor. For now he haunts his native land As an immortal youth; his hand Guides every plough; He sits beside each ingle-nook, His voice is in each rushing brook, Each rustling bough. His presence haunts this room to-night, A form of mingled mist and light From that far coast. Welcome beneath this roof of mine! Welcome! this vacant chair is thine, Dear guest and ghost!
Read some of the works by the Scottish National Poet, Robert Burns.