The Wild Geese

Surely one of the most evocative pieces of writing Scotland can offer. Violet Jacob’s beautiful poem written in the Doric of Angus is ripe with emotion of a returning exile once more in the heart of his beloved Angus glens and overhead, ‘a lang, lang skene o’ beatin’ wings wi’ their heids towards the sea’.

‘Oh, tell me what was on yer road, ye roarin’ norlan
As ye cam’ blawin’ frae the land that’s niver frae my mind?
My feet they trayvel England, but I’m deein’ for the north—’
‘My man, I heard the siller tides rin up the Firth o’ Forth.’

‘Aye, Wind, I ken them well eneuch, and fine they fa’ and rise,
And fain I’d feel the creepin’ mist on yonder shore that lies,
But tell me, ere ye passed them by, what saw ye on the way ?’
‘My man, I rocked the rovin’ gulls that sail abune the Tay.’

‘But saw ye naethin’, leein’ Wind, afore ye cam’ to Fife?
There’s muckle lyin’ yont the Tay that’s mair to me nor life.’
‘My man, I swept the Angus braes ye haena trod for years—’
‘O Wind, forgie a hameless loon that canna see for tears!—’

‘And far abune the Angus straths I saw the wild geese flee,
A lang, lang skein o’ beatin’ wings wi’ their heids towards the sea,
And aye their cryin’ voices trailed ahint them on the air—’
‘O Wind, hae maircy, haud yer whisht, for I daurna listen mair!’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: