We built of old a stately house,
Its pillars were a people's vows, —
The sun is set!
Our house was glorious in its day:
We were not worthy there to stay, —
Its sun is set.
God's sun on moor and hill arose;
Screamed in its face the kites and crows,
And round our towers the eagles came,
With beak of blood and wing of flame, —
Whene'er it set.
Our holy house they stained with blood,
They tore apart its carven wood:
The kings we died for trode us down,
The land we loved forgot its own, —
The sun is set.
The house we built in days of old,
With bars of iron, with bands of gold,
That house has vanished, bars and bands;
O for a house not made with hands, —
In Scotland yet!
We turn from all that's past and done,
We look to an eternal Sun, —
That shall not set.
Not in the Stewart or the Guelph,
Our Covenant stands in God himself.
Behold, a house comes down from heaven,
Behold, a house by God is given, —
To Scotland yet!
The house we loved of old was clay;
Fashioned by man, it passed away.
Man's walls of clay must fall aside,
God's true house evermore abide, —
We loved our Covenant-house, because
It mirrored God's eternal laws;
That ancient form among us stood,
A passing image of the good.
We hold the old, we hold the new,
We cling to the eternal true, —
From hill and moor the shadows fly,
A better morning floods the sky;
Above our house, with broken bands,
Stretches a house not made with hands, —
In Scotland yet!
And though that house no more is here,
Its very dust to us is dear;
Their bones who built its walls of old
Have long since crumbled into mould, —
Their sun is set.
But may our hands forget their skill,
When we forget
Graves that are green on every hill, —
Of Scotland yet!