Lochnagar, by Kathleen Jamie – Scotland’s Makar on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Scotland’s Makar (national poet) Kathleen Jamie has written a new poem on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral.

Kathleen Jamie
Kathleen Jamie

Of the poem, Jamie said, “A makar’s role is to bring poetry into the heart of our national life. With an extraordinary national event as we are having now, I felt that it was incumbent on me to make a poem for the occasion.”

"I chose to do this in an old-fashioned form to represent the virtues that many people found in the Queen, of constancy and tradition.”

"The poem speaks to the landscape. In this, I find I can have something in common with the Queen: a love of the Scottish landscape. So, when I was thinking about how to make the poem my imagination went to that part of the Scottish landscape that she loved so well.”

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Lochnagar, by Kathleen Jamie

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​The alder boughs hang heavy,

Red weighs the rowan-trees

That line the well-loved path which climbs

To Lochnagar from Dee

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And knows at last the open hill,

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Those ancient wind-honed heights

Where deer stand shy and sky-lined,

Then vanish from living sight,

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Where grief is ice, and history

Is distant roiling skies,

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Where weather chases weather

Across the lands she strived

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To serve, and served supremely well,

Till the call came from afar:

Back to the country kept in her heart,

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the Dee, and Lochnagar.

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