Grey Weather by John Buchan

Grey Weather

Moorland Tales of My Own People


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subjects: Historical Fiction

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Grey Weather is the first collection of sketches from John Buchan, author of The Thirty-nine Steps. The subtitle, Moorland Tales of My Own People, sets the theme of these fourteen stories. Shepherds, farmers, herdsmen and poachers are Buchan’s subjects and his love for the hills and the lochs shines through.

219 pages, with a reading time of ~3.5 hours (54,756 words), and first published in 1899. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, .

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Cold blows the drift on the hill, Sere is the heather, High goes the wind and shrill, Mirk is the weather. Stout be the front I show, Come what the gods send! Plaided and girt I go Forth to the world’s end.

My brain is the stithy of years, My heart the red gold Which the gods with sharp anguish and tears Have wrought from of old. In the shining first dawn o’ the world I was old as the sky,— The morning dew on the field Is no younger than I.

I am the magician of life, The hero of runes; The sorrows of eld and old strife Ring clear in my tunes. The sea lends her minstrel voice, The storm-cloud its grey; And ladies have wept at my notes, Fair ladies and gay.

My home is the rim of the mist, The ring of the spray, The hart has his corrie, the hawk has her nest, But I—the Lost Way. Come twilight or morning, come winter or spring, Come leisure, come war, I tarry not, I, but my burden I sing Beyond and afar.

I sing of lost hopes and old kings, And the maids of the past. Ye shiver adread at my strings, But ye hear them at last. I sing of vain quests and the grave,— Fools tremble, afraid. I sing of hot life, and the brave Go forth, undismayed.

I sleep by the well-head of joy And the fountain of pain. Man lives, loves, and fights, and then is not,— I only remain. Ye mock me and hold me to scorn,— I seek not your grace. Ye gird me with terror—forlorn, I laugh in your face.