In May 1941, this nostalgic poem about the village of Garvald, in East Lothian, appeared in the East Lothian Courier. It is attributed to a Matt Freeland.
'Oh would I were by Garvald where Papana's lilting stream Adown the hillside gurgles to the sea. Where the zephyrs from the moorland bring a fragrance as they breathe Their whisperings soft to each awakening tree. Could I but take yon quiet way that winds by high Traprain Around whose crest the circling Curlews cry Till above the gentle hill-brow little red tiled houses peep From out the dale where clustering snug they lie. And oh! To tread the woodland path beside the waters clear Where silver birch like mirrored naiads bend To ivy covered ruin and the greensward at its feet When the daffodils their gold profusion spread. Oh! Would I were by Garvald now where Spring her mantle spreads And hedgerows ope from sleep in every lane Oh! To see the old world hamlet shyly hiding in the hills And hear Papana's lilting once again.' Matt Freeland, 1941.
The poem features in Irene Anderson’s ‘Garvald – The History of an East Lothian Parish’, 1991. The village of Garvald sits on the ‘lilting stream’ or burn of the Papana Water.
Does anyone know more about the poet, Matt Freeland? We haven’t been able to track him down in the course of preparing this website and hope that he will be happy to see the poem being shared. Perhaps we’ll learn more through your comments. A digital download of Irene Anderson's 'Garvald – The History of an East Lothian Parish', 1991, is available here: https://www.garvald.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Garvald-History20apr_webversion.pdf