Author Topic: Scottish Poetry  (Read 101192 times)

Stirling Thompson

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Scottish Poetry
« on: August 11, 2008, 06:16:17 AM »
I have always loved poetry so lets try some here!

From Best Scottish Poems of 2007   http://www.spl.org.uk/best-poems/006.htm

The Big Mistake by Jim Carruth

The Big Mistake

the shepherd on the train told me

is to clip hill milking ewes too soon

I put my newspaper down;
he'd got my attention.

Nothing puts the milk off them quicker
than just a day like last Wednesday.
And when it goes off at this time of year,
it never comes back.


His warning continues

They never get so rough in the backend,
and have less protection
against the storms and the winter chill.


He glances up,
checks his crook in the luggage rack

And another thing
is that the wool neither weighs so heavy
nor looks so well. It's the new growth
that brings down the scales.

A fleece from a ewe that's near
hasn't the same feel as one from a ewe
that has plenty of rise and a good strong stoan.

In the beginning of July the new wool on a thin ewe
will grow more in one week under the fleece
than it will do in three with the fleece clipped off.


He summarised his argument for me

Experienced flock masters never clip hill stocks
before the second week of July.
In terms of the sheep's sufferings
a strong sun is little less severe than a cold rain.


He stopped there
looked out the window at the passing fields
then fell asleep to Waverley
content that a stranger in a suit
had listened to his wisdom
this wisdom I now share with you.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 06:20:26 AM by Stirling Thompson »
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2008, 06:32:21 AM »
“This poem is said to have been a favourite of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Considering the last verse (by the boastful McAllister) it must be assumed that the Queen Mum had that famous twinkle in her eye when she said she liked it! The poem is by the late D.M. Mackenzie”

McAllister Dances Before the King

Clansmen, the peats are burning bright,
Sit round them in a ring,
And I will tell of that great night
I danced before the king! For as a dancer in my youth,
So great was my renown,
The king himself invited me,
To visit London town.

My brand new presentation kilt
And ornaments I wore;
And with my skein dhu,
I rapped upon the door.

Soon I heard a Lord or Duke
Come running down the stairs,
And to the keyhole put his mouth,
Demanding who was there!

“Open the door” I sternly cried,
“As quickly as you can.
Is this the way that you receive
A Scottish gentleman?”

The door was opened; word went round,
“McAllister is here.”
And with the news, the palace rang
With one tremendous cheer.

The King was sitting on his throne,
But down the steps he came.
Immediately the waiting Lord,
Pronounced my magic name.

And all the ladies of the court
With pearls and jewels bedecked,
Did blush and tremble as I
Bowed to them with due respect.

Slowly at first with hands on hips,
I danced with ease and grace.
Then raised my hands above my head,
And swifter grew my pace.

At last no human eye could see
My step so light and quick.
And from the floor great clouds of dust
Came rising fast and thick.

The King was greatly moved,
And shook my hand in friendship true.
“Alas,” he said, “Although a king,
I cannot dance like you.”

And then the gracious queen herself
Came shyly o’er to me,
And pinned a medal on my breast,
For everyone to see.

Her whisper I shall n’er forget,
Nor how her eyes grew dim.
“Ach, where were you, McAllister,
The day I married him!”

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Barbara

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 09:06:50 PM »
 ;D  Love that poem.  ;D  Always liked the Queen Mum too, think she was a better Queen than her daughter.

Barbara
"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

Donna

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2008, 10:51:46 PM »
Thank you for the poem, Stirling.

Donna

ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2008, 06:09:09 AM »
Can't do Scottish poetry without Rabbie Burns!

Robert Bruce's March To Bannockburn

Robert Burns

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victorie!

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour;
See approach proud Edward's power-
Chains and Slaverie!

Wha will be a traitor knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a Slave?
Let him turn and flee!

Wha, for Scotland's King and Law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Free-man stand, or Free-man fa',
Let him on wi' me!

By Oppression's woes and pains!
By your Sons in servile chains!
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud Usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in every foe!
Liberty's in every blow!-
Let us Do or Die!



Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Graham Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2008, 08:29:12 PM »
I love that poem
Guess what!? I'm here to spread my words of wisdom also. Everybody fear them!!! Hahaha

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 02:56:55 PM »
I also am owned by a cat named Smokey so how could I resist this one! The lead-in is from the site where I found this poem.

This poem appeals to me on two counts. Firstly, I used to be owned by a cat called Smokey (anyone who owns a cat will know what I mean). Secondly, because of the story of "Towser" the former distillery cat at Glenturret Distillery near Crieff. She lived in the distillery for almost 24 years and during that time caught 28,899 mice. While it is well known that the barley stores in a distillery attract mice like bees to a honeypot, that's an average of over three a day. I'm not sure how the numbers of mice were measured so accurately, but Towser is now in the Guiness Book of Records as a result of her feat!

The poem below is by Robin Laing.



Smokey the Cat

Smokey the cat came from nowhere;
Just whisped in under some door;
Sniffed quietly around
And knew that she'd found
The best place to stay in Bowmore.

She'd arrived at Bowmore distillery
Where the finest malt whisky is made.
There was no welcome mat
For Smokey the cat
But she liked the place - so she stayed.

They say cats have more than one life
With re-incarnation and that.
Whether it's true
All that cat déja vu,
Smokey's a born again cat.

There's something about her that takes you
Back to the Lords of the Isles
When the cats of Finlaggan
Would go scallywaggin'
For miles and miles and miles.

It's the way she melts into the shadows
Or suddenly creeps up on folk
She'll always find you
Slinking behind you
The cat who was named after smoke.

She sits on the sill of the maltings
On days when the weather is nice
And while one eye sleeps
The other one keeps
A lookout for small birds and mice.

Small birds and mice eat the barley
So Smokey confronts them foursquare
But she pulls in her claws
And quietly ignores
The Angels who come for their share.

Felines don't care for whisky
Everyone understands that
But that peaty odour
Beneath the pagoda
Owes something to Smokey the cat.

On Islay people made whisky
Long before it was chic.
The cat from Bowmore
Is nothing more
Than the ghost of the island's peat-reek.



Meaning of unusual words:
The Angels who come for their share=When whisky is maturing, a small percentage evaporates - that's the "Angel's share"
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Donna

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 07:48:12 PM »
Now that was a nice one, Stu!   I'm owned by two little heathen cats and I wouldn't have it any other way!  They're either eating, sleeping, or thinking how I might make their lives more wonderful.

Donna
ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

Donna

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 08:36:13 PM »
         I am a small and precious child,
           my Daddys been sent to fight.
         The only place I will see his face
           is in my dreams at night.
         He will be gone too many days
           for my young mind to keep track.
         I may be sad, but I am proud,
           my Daddys got your back.

         
          I am a caring mother,
            my son has gone to war.
          My mind is filled with worries
            that I have never known before.
          Every day I try to keep my
            thoughts from turning black.
          I may be sad, but I am proud,
            my son has got your back.


          I am a strong and loving wife,
            with a husband soon to go.
          There are times that I am terrified
            in ways most never know.
           I bite my lip and force a smile
            as I watch my husband pack.
           My heart may break but I am proud,
             my husbands got your back.


            I am a soldier, serving proudly,
              standing tall.
            I fight for freedom, yours and mine,
              by answering this call.
            I do my job while knowing
              the thanks it sometimes lacks.
            Say a prayer that I come home,
              its me that's got your back.
           


Donna


         
ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2008, 05:11:54 AM »
Donna, Did you write this? It is absolutely beautiful... brought a tear to my eyes. If this is yours would you mind if I pass it on to my Nam Vet buddies and others?
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Barbara

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2008, 11:24:41 AM »
Donna, that was beautiful!  So poignant and heart felt.

Barbara
"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

Donna

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2008, 03:05:40 PM »
The poem was given to me attached to a small American flag, last Memorial Day, when I visited the National Cemetery near my home.  The Boy Scouts place a small flag at each grave.  It's a beautiful thing to see!
I don't know who wrote the poem but I'm sure it was ment to be shared.

Donna
ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2008, 07:06:25 AM »
Take warning lads!

The Women Folk
by James Hogg

O Sarley may I rue the day
I fancied first the womenkind;
For aye sin syne I ne’er can ha’e
Ae quiet thought or peace o’ mind!

They ha’e plagued my heart, an’ pleased my e’e
An’ teased an’ flatter’d me at will,
But aye, for a’ their witchery,
The pawky things I lo’e them still.

O, the women folk! O, the women folk
But they ha’e been the wreck o’me;
O, weary fa’ the women folk,
for they winna let a body be!

I ha’e thought an’ thought, but darena tell,
I’ve studied them wi’ a my skill,
I’ve lo’ed them better than mysel,
I’ve tried again to like them ill.
Wha sairest strives, will sairest rue,
To comprehend what nae man can;
When he has done what man can do,
He’ll end at last where he began.

That they ha’e gentle forms an’ meet,
A man wi’ half a look may see;
An gracefu’ airs, an’ faces sweet,
An’ waving curls aboon the bree;
An’ smiles as soft as the young rose-bud,
An’ e’en sae pawky, bright, an’ rare,
Wad lure the laverock frae the clud-
But, laddie, seek to ken nae mair!

Even but this night, nae farther gane,
The date is neither lost nor lang,
I tak ye witness, ilka ane,
How fell they fought, and fairly dang,
Their point they’ve carried, right or wrang,
Without a reason, rhyme, or law,
An’ forced a man to sing a sang,
That ne’er could sing a verse ava’.
 
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Donna

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008, 10:56:15 AM »
              Mom Doesn't Want A Dog
                by Judith Voirst

      Mother doesn't want a dog.
        Mother says they smell
        and never sit when you say sit
        or even when you yell.
     
      When you come home late at night
         and there is ice and snow,
         you have to go back out because
         the dumb dog has to go.

       Mother doesn't want a dog.
         Mother says they shed,
         and always let the strangers in
         but bark at friends instead.

       They do disgraceful things on the rug
         and track mud on the floor,
         and flop upon your bed at night
         and snore their doggy snore.

       Mother doesn't want a dog.
         She's making a mistake.
         Because, more than a dog, I think
         she will not want this SNAKE!
       

Donna
ANY DAY ABOVE GROUND IS A GOOD DAY !

Barbara

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2008, 04:19:41 PM »
Liked your poem, Donna.   ;D

Barbara
"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain