John Lyon (poet)

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My bonnie Wee Hugh was a canty bird

John J. Lyon (4 March 1803, Glasgow – 28 November 1889) was a Scottish Latter Day Saint poet and hymn writer from Kilmarnock


The night! the night!
the dark, dull night,
Is gliding fast away;
Sweetly the breath of infant morn,
Wafts on its wings, fair day.
See! see! the rays with pressing might,
Now grey, now blue, now lost in white,
Far, far, o’er hill and sea are borne:
Glad life-inspiring light of morn! - "Ode to Morn"

The Harp of Zion (1853)

  • "I knew him, ere the roots of bitterness
    "Had grown to putrid cancer in his soul.
    "Then Revelation's light gleamed o'er his mind
    "In strange fantastic dreams of future bliss,
    "He saw the dawn, and this was quite enough

"For Speculation's visionary claim" - The Apostate

  • "But he'll ne'er wake us mair,
    "For Hughie is deid" - Elegy on Wee Hughie - A Pet Canary
  • "Lust is the offspring of a thousand sighs,
    "Intrigue, deception, and as many lies;
    "A strange compound of hidden, plotting ill,
    "To fire with rage, to torture, or to kill"
  • "Thou representative of something great,
    What wert thou in thine unconverted state?" - Reflections on a Banknote
  • "It’s a cauld barren blast that blaws nobody good.” - title of poem.

Songs of a Pioneer

O the snow, the dreadful snow!
It comes like a friend, and goes out like a foe

The prairie has no solitude
When music lifts her voice,
The distant mountains echo loud
When Mormon boys rejoice;
The barren waste, the hills, and dales
In rapture clap their hands
Whene’er they hear in Utah’s vales
Our instrumental band
- “Song for a Musical Festival”

We’ll sing of humbler, happier men,
Who live by daily toil—
Who ply the plow-share and the spade
To break the stubborn soil.
- “Farmer’s Song”

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