Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The 24 quotes on Holyrood's wall

People have been asked to nominate a new quotation to join 24 others carved on the Canongate wall of the Scottish Parliament building. Here are the words already on display.

PSALM 19:14

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer."


"There is hope in honest error; None in the icy perfections of the mere stylist."

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON (1850-1894) "Songs of Travel"

"Bright is the ring of words."


"Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation."

SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832) Mrs Howden in "Heart of Midlothian"

"When we had a king, and a chancellor, and parliament-men o' our ain, we could aye peeble them wi' stanes when they werena gude bairns. But naebody's nails can reach the length o' Lunnon."

GEORGE MACDONALD (1824-1905) "Song"

"Sweet ghosts in a loving band
Roam through the houses that stand
For the builders are not gone."


"Put all your eggs into one basket - and then watch that basket."

ALAN JACKSON (1938-) "The Young Politician Looks at the Moon"

"What a lovely, lovely moon.
And it's in the constituency too."

ANONYMOUS "Canadian Boat Song" First appeared 1829

"From the lone sheiling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas -
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides."

GEORGE CAMPBELL HAY (1915-1984) "The Four Winds of Scotland"

"Is i Alba nan Gall's nan Gaidheal is gāire is blāth is beatha dhomh.
It is Scotland, Highland and Lowland that is laughter and warmth and life for me."

HUGH MACDIARMID (1892-1978) "The Little White Rose"

"The rose of all the world is not for me.
I want for my part
Only the little white rose of Scotland
That smells sharp and sweet - and breaks the heart."

ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796) "To a Louse"

"O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An' foolish notion. "


"But Edinburgh is a mad god's dream
Fitful and dark,
Unseizable in Leith
And wildered by the Forth,
But irresistibly at last
Cleaving to sombre heights
Of passionate imagining
Till stonily
From soaring battlements,
Earth eyes Eternity."


"Abair ach beagan is abair gu math e.
Say but little and say it well."

HAMISH HENDERSON (1919-2002) "The Freedom come all ye"

"So, cam' all ye at hame wi' freedom
Never heed whit the hoodies croak for doom
In your hoose a' the bairns o' Adam
Can find breid, barley bree an' painted room."

SIR ALEXANDER GRAY (1882-1968) "Scotland"

"This is my country,
The land that begat me.
These windy spaces
Are surely my own.
And those who toil here
In the sweat of their faces
Are flesh of my flesh,
And bone of my bone."


"tell us about last night
well, we had a wee ferintosh and we lay on the quiraing. It was pure strontian!"

JOHN MUIR (1838-1914)

"The battle for conservation will go on endlessly. It is part of the universal battle between right and wrong. "

ROBERT BURNS (1759-1796) "A Man's A Man for A' That"

"Then let us pray that come it may
(As come it will for a' that)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man the world o'er,
Shall brithers be for a' that."

GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS (1844-1889) "Inversnaid"

"What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."


"Am fear as fheārr a chuireas
'S e as fheārr a bhuineas.
He who sowest best reapest best."


"To promise is ae thing, to keep it is anither."


"I knew a very wise man who believed that) if a man were permitted to make all the ballads, he need not care who should make the laws of a nation."

HUGH MACDIARMID (1892-1978) "Scotland Small?"

"Scotland small? Our multiform, our infinite Scotland small?"

Print Sponsor

Words of wisdom carved in stone
11 Mar 09 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific