A Highland Regiment/Matri Almae

MATRI ALMAE

CITY of hopes and golden dreaming
Set with a crown of tall grey towers,
City of mist that round you streaming
Screens the vision of vanished hours,
All the wisdom of youth far-seeing,
All the things that we meant to do.
Dreams that will never be clothed in being,
Mother, your sons have left with you.

Clad in beauty of dreams begotten
Strange old city for ever young,
Keep the visions that we've forgotten.
Keep the songs we have never sung.
So shall we hear your music calling.
So from a land where songs are few
When the shadows of life are falling.
Mother, your sons come back to you.

So with the bullets above us flying,
So in the midst of horror and pain
We shall come back from the sorrow of dying
To wander your magical ways again.
For that you keep and grow not older
All the beauty we ever knew.
As the fingers of death grow colder.
Mother, your sons come back to you.<

In the Leave Train, 1915