Ilka Blade o' Grass
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
The air is Sweet Dawns the Morn. The lyrics were written by James Ballantine (1808-1877).

Ballantine wrote the words after hearing the story of a woman who had opened a shop. A neighbor remarked that there were already too many shops like hers in the village. The woman replied, "Ah, but Providence is kind; every blade o' grass carries its ain drap o' dew." (Tomlyn, p xv).

After completing his apprenticeship as a painter, Ballantine attained notoriety as a glass painter. He was commissioned to illustrate the windows of the House of Lords. Many of his literary works were published in the magazine Whistle Binkie (1832-53).

Confide ye aye in Providence,
For Providence is kind,
And bear ye a' life's changes wi'
A calm and tranquil mind,
Tho' press'd and hemm'd on ev'ry side,
Hae faith and ye'll win through,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,

Gin reft frae friends, or cross'd in love,
As whiles nae doubt ye've been,
Grief lies deep hidden in your heart,
Or tears flow frae your een;
Believe it for the best,
An' trow there's gude in store for you,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,

In lang, lang days o' simmer,
When the clear an' cloudless sky,
Refuses ae wee drap o' rain,
To Nature parch'd an dry,
The genial night, wi' balmy breath,
Gars verdure spring anew,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,

So lest 'mid Fortune's sunshine
We should feel owre proud an' hie,
An' in our pride forget to wipe
The tear frae poortith's e'e;
Some wee dark cluds o' sorrow come,
We ken na whence or how,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,
For ilka blade o' grass,
Keps its ain drop o' dew,

From Scottish Songs
See Bibliography for full information.