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“In the highlands in the country places,
Where the old plain men have rosy faces,
And the young fair maidens
Quiet eyes;
Where essential silence cheers and blesses,
And for ever in the hill-recesses
Her more lovely music
Broods and dies.

O to mount again where erst I haunted;
Where the old red hills are bird-enchanted,
And the low green meadows Bright with sward; And when even dies, the million-tinted,
And the night has come, and planets glinted,
Lo, the valley hollow
Lamp-bestarred!

O to dream, O to awake and wander
There, and with delight to take and render,
Through the trance of silence,
Quiet breath;
Lo! for there, among the flowers and the grasses,
Only the mightier movement sounds and passes;
Only winds and rivers,
Life and death.”

RLS, “In the Highlands”, in Songs of Travel.

Country Places is a companion blog for www.rothi.co.uk but will also look at current affairs affecting places like Rothiemay.

Local government centralisation, school reorganisation, changes in shopping patterns, population movements, demographics, farming, fishing, and forestry changes, fuel costs and other issues increasingly threaten the social fabric and heritage of country places, and the various lobby groups such as landowning, farming and fishing may not have the same interests in mind as local residents.

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