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Elphinstone Kist   Doric Verse

    by: Mackie, Dr Lewis

The chandler sits among his gear,
An’ fishers cam frae far an’ near
For beets an ither claes they weer’
Tae keep them dry.
He his a loon he keeps in fear,
That keeps him spry.

Auld Sandy sits an’ tends the books
The puir loon his tae search the neuks
For floats an’ lines an’nets an’ heuks
The fishers need.
Bit aye the black an’ thunderous looks
Gar him tak speed.

Pernickity an’ aften waur,
Auld Sandy’d check for evermore
On ilka rope an’ ilka oar
Kept in its place.
He’d powk an’ peer an’ sweer an’ roar
Wi’ little grace.

“Gretlin ower there” ye’d speer?
“A’ve tell’t ye that’s a’ sma’ line there.
Ye’ve een tae look an’ ears tae hear
Ye little tyke.
Foo mony times div I mak it clear?
Ye’re thick’s a dyke!”

Och, thinks the loon, wi’ sullen face
I wish my mither’d hid the grace
Tae let me fin’ my ain workplace.
The bonny sea!
For I cam frae a fisher race
Bit it canna be!


Ye see she lost ma faither there
It widna really hiv bin fair
Tae pit her throw anither scare
she got wi’ Dad,
A’ll hae this job forever mair
Tae drive me mad.

Maybe a’ll get ma ain ship’s store
An’ shout an scowl an’ sweer an’ roar
An’ grow as coorse as Sandy Moar
Wi’ his ill-natur.
Bit a’ll mak money sure as sure.
A’m nae feel cratur.

Sae lift the boxes, clear the shelves,
Stash awa the axes helves
Set up a’ the floats in twelves.
My wealth’s nae given.
A’ll hae tae trust the Fates themsels,
An earn a livin!



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