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The Lass of Loch Linne
by John Campbell Shairp
circa 1870

The spray may drive, the rain may pour,
Knee-deep in brine, what careth she?
Her brother's boat she'll drag to shore,
Aloud she'll sing her Highland glee.  

Her feet and head alike all bare,
A drenched plaid swathed about her form,
Around her floats the Highland air,
Within the Highland blood beats warm.

All night they've toiled and not in vain:
To count and store the fish be thine;
Then drench thy clothes in morning rain,
And dry them in the noon sunshine!

The gleam breaks through, the day will clear,
Then to the peats up yonder glen;
O there is life and freedom here!
That cannot breathe 'mid throngs of men.

What has thy life and history been?
Brave lass upon this wind-beat shore!
I may not guess - at distance seen,
A nameless image, and no more.

Sweet chime the sea beside thy home,
Thy fire blink bright on heartsome meal!
No more of dearth or clearance come
To darken down thine own Lochiel!

Editor's Notes: "Loch Linne," also known as "Loch Linnhe."

Principal John Campbell Shairp of St. Andrews University (1819-1885.)  This poem may be found in his "Glendessary and Other Poems, Lyrical and Elegiac," which was posthumously released in 1888.

The date of origin listed for this poem is a "best guess," and may be off by a decade or so, either way.