Document 623

Dipper: 11 - Lament for Connel Burn

Author(s): Dr James A Begg

Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg


On a braid knowe-tap by Connel Burn
Whaur ance stood Auld Bank Pit,
Lang raws o excavators
An giant bulldozers sit -

- Or raither crouch like muckle beasts
Wi great metallic jaws,
For rivin oot the bonny hert
O braes, an holms an shaws,

Whaur peesies ance birlt ower their nests
An whaups cried frae the hill,
While doun ablow, the tree-clad glen
Wad echo tae the trill -

As shelfies, reidbreists, blackies,
Cushie-doos an wheetie-wrens,
Sang in chorus oot o every buss
Frae Laglaff, doun by Stepends;

As dippers doukit in the burn
An flew frae puil tae puil,
An stane-chippers "chakkt" atap the dyke,
When a roe-buck drank its fill.

Frae Burnfuit, Bank an Connelpark,
- Like blin-bats tae a flame –
The magic o that wild glen
Drew laddies faur frae hame.

Wi brammlin worms they'd fish for troots,
Play sodgers in the wid,
In heid-high bracken mak their dens
As frae their pals they hid.

Burnt berry-broun frae heid tae fuit
They'd dam the burn wi stanes,
An a gleefu glen wad ring wi cries
O bare-scud doukin weans.

Nou wae's the herts o daunerin men
Harkin back whan they were boys,
Tae hear the Connel Burn resoun
Tae anither kin o noise -

- As screivin, scartin, roarin beasts
Wi blades, or clawin airm,
Obliterate the hatchery,
An auld Culcreoch Ferm;

Rivin earth, an trees an rocks,
Strivin tae win their goal -
Ance hard-wrocht juist wi miners' picks,
Yon rich black diamonds - COAL.

They maun only hope, as years gae by,
When aa the howkin's duin,
That muckle bings are levellt oot
An craters aa fillt in;

Aiblins then the scaurs will heal,
The burn rin kirstal clear,
An the bairns'll play in Connel Glen
Juist like yesteryear.

cushie-doo/wood pigeon
wheetie-wren/willow warbler

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Dipper: 11 - Lament for Connel Burn. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 11 - Lament for Connel Burn." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 11 - Lament for Connel Burn," accessed 25 July 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 623

Dipper: 11 - Lament for Connel Burn


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1984
Word count 344
General description Anthology of prizewinning and other Scots poems, and short stories in Ayrshire Scots.

Text medium

Other Audiocassette

Text publication details

Publisher Luath Press
Publication year 1991
Place of publication Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils: Tales and Poems in Ayrshire Scots
Editor Authors: Dr. J. A. Begg and J. Reid
Page numbers 23-24

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 623
Title Dr
Forenames James
Initials A
Surname Begg
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work