Sunday, February 3, 2008

My Native Land by Sir Walter Scott

My Native Land

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd,
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung.
--Sir Walter Scott

This poem, or actually the last five lines of it, were quoted in the movie Groundhog Day, which Peter and I watched yesterday (for obvious reasons). I've always liked this movie, and I think it suffered from a poor advertising campaign. I thought they should have said something like, "See Groundhog Day Again!"

I remember that Mom was especially impressed with this movie as well. Something about it matched up with something she was reading in the Koran at the time (she was majoring in Religion/Judaic and Near Eastern Studies at Oberlin College). I think he went through some stages of enlightenment or something. Anyway, she thought it was so significant that she had us watch the movie in Seminary as some kind of object lesson. You can see how successful she was at getting her point across -- sorry Mom, it was 5 in the morning, and even I didn't pay attention all the time.

Well, the baby's crying to be fed, and it's hard to keep typing with just my left hand while she eats on the right side, so I'll stop here.


  1. Oh karen...that IS my all time favorite poem. I do not know when I memorized it but I have never forgotten it. I hope you have seen the movie, Man Without A Country. It goes hand in hand with that poem.

    I love the movie...i think i need to go see it again and cry, cry, cry.

  2. I wish I could have "do overs" like in 'Groundhog's Day'. I would NOT show the movie in Seminary again: NO ONE got the point, especially a couple of the parents who were REALLY mad at me. Oh well, I thought it depicted repentance and eternal progression really well . . . but then I also use Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' to teach about Biblical Symbolism. I remember Linda Bruderer saying I could probably find Biblical Symbolism even in 'Mary had a Little Lamb'. Well, um, OK; I do.
    Love Mom