“The Flowers of the Forest” Summary


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“The Flowers of the Forest”


This song relates to Flodden where so many young men, “the flowers of the forest”, lost their lives. “I’ve heard them lilting, at the ewe milking” emphasises the loneliness of the young women left without partners and illustrates the occasions when mourning has replaced the singing and laughter prevalent when the young men were present.

Scott also included a variant of the song and  included it as “Part Second”: “I’ve seen the smiling of fortune beguiling” speaks especially of the action of fickle fortune when early promise of joy is disappointed.