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The Old Highland Piper
by Alexander McLachlan
circa 1874

Afar from the land of the mountain and heather,
An old Highland piper look'd sad o'er the sea,
And sigh'd o'er the time when the sound of his chanter
Was known from the isles to the bank of the Dee.

And oft, as the shades of the night would foregather,
And day was forsaking the weary pine plains,
He sang of the hills of the dark purple heather,
The hills that so often re-echo's his strains.

Oh!  Sad was the heart of the old Highland piper,
When forced from the hills of Lochaber away.
No more to behold the gigantic Ben Lomond,
Nor wander again on the banks of the Tay.

But still, as sleep comes to my lone, weary pillow,
I hear Corrybrechtan again in my dreams,
I see the blue peaks of the lone cliffs of Jura,
And wander again by her wild, dashing streams.

What who' I must roam in the land of the stranger,
My heart's 'mong the hills of Lochaber the while;
Tho' welcom'd, ach! tis in the tongue of the Sassenach,
'Tis not the heart-welcome they give in Argyle.

They know not the heart of the old Highland piper,
And little they think that it bleeds to the core,
When, weary with mirth and the dance they invite me
To play them the wail of "Lochaber No More."

How little they know the weight of affection,
The scattered descendants of mighty Lochiel,
Still bear in their bosom to aught that reminds them
Of the dark purple heather and land of the Gael.

They ne'er saw the tempest of Glen Avin gather,
Nor heard the storm shreaking round Colonsay's shore,
Nor felt the cliffs quake 'neath the tramp of the thunder,
Nor heard the hills join in the mighty uproar.

And little they know of the tie that still binds us -
A tie which the stranger, no, never can feel -
The love which we bear to the land left behind us,
The wounds of our parting which never can heal.

And still, as day fades o'er the placid Pacific,
To brighten the hills that look'd lovely of yore,
I seek the lone sea-beach and play till the water
And pine forests ring with "Lochaber No More."

Editor's Notes The works of this Canadian Bard were published after his death as "The Poetical Works of Alexander McLachlan."  This specific song was from "The Emigrant" portion of his incomplete work "Idyls of the Pioneer."