The Burnin o the Schoolie
by: Flann, Anne
Fit acrid smell wis thon that stained the air
Fit sense tae licht a conflagration there?
Timmers o age and finest parquet fleer
Trodden for years by multitudinous bairns
Heids bent ower books, or sookin on pencil ends
Jist waitin for the clangin o the bell
Tae set them free frae Central Schoolie hell.
Sizzlin sacrifice o years o learnin lost.
Nae mair the soon o tackety beets on steen stair
Echoin through the lofty heights.
The shrill tin glaze o voices raised
In earnest hymn or muttered prayer
Or the smothered wail o some peir loon
Recipient o the gnat-like whine o Heidie’s cane.
The chatter o the ringlet-heided quines
Discussin aathing but their lessons learnt
But fit they learnt stuck fast in their young minds
Tae stand them steid for mony years te come.
Nae computer tae relieve the mind o nine times table then
But an education beyond the day’s bairn’s ken.
Wi a thon funcy gadgets and broad curriculum
They canna recite the nine times table noo
Nor yet quote frae Shakespeare and Rabbie Burns.
Mony a clever lass or chiel
Departed frae that Central School
Tae reign supreme in some far land
And bring acclaim on their Scot’s hame.
Scatterin ower the hale wide world
They proved tae a fit Scots can dae
When cast upon their ain device
Wi a thon knowledge dinned intae heids
By teachers hard – that earned respect
Aye, and even live in memories yet.
Nae mair the soon o music fills the air
The scraich o bow on despised fiddle set
The dedication o years lost in a puff o smoke.
Fit ill-conceived ghastly joke
Could wipe awa the history o yon ancient school?
O wad some ghostly speerit frae its past
Use Heidie’s cane against the fool.