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Elphinstone Kist   Doric Verse

Daith in Time     by: Gardner, Rev. Dr. Bruce K.

That peer tinker, James Macpherson,
- funcy name fur a hielan kyard! -
stauns up ‘ere, oan the plain, cauld steens,
unner a rape, fa’s loop is hung
like a teem portrait o th’ man 'imsel.

Jamie, prood hairs tan’gle’t,
glum but gallus, staurs abeen ‘im
gin he wes somewye else -
- Aye, in ‘is heid.

Oot on ‘e raid, nae doot,
or charmin lassies fae their maidenheids
afore faain again tae fell purpose –
- an nane as roch fur him nor ‘at
teuch tyauve ca’d daith!

Nae smilin noo, nae funcy fleerin.
He’ll jig in Hell, nae doot, richt seen.

Alow ‘im, stauns us, ‘e common fowk,
‘e Banffers fa hes suffer’t lang.
Gey trickit are we, ane an aa,
Tae see ‘e bugger catch’t an deem’t.

Ahin the kyard, ‘e Maugistrait
jaws ‘e hale argyment agin ‘im
fae a lang scroll in his ring’it fing’ers,
shiftin - gey nervous, like.
His een muive tae the clock
an back again. Some’ins up.
Fit wey daes he gyng oan sae lang?

‘e fashin crood’s heids fix abeen
oan ‘e clock, fa’s fing’er craawls
roon ‘e fat, smug face o time -
time, ‘at hes aye belangit tae the rich
an daurk injustice.

Maybe ‘e hielan kyard kens fit we dinna?
‘twad nae be ‘e first time ‘at roup of thieves,
‘e Scottis Parlymint,
tuik gilt fae reivers, skellums, rogues
tae set ane free jist like ‘emsels!

Macpherson begs tae play – ‘e crood gyngs wild,
nae tae hear ‘im, but see ‘im hingit,
an, rais’t wi fear, bawl oot ‘e Maugistrait,
‘Git oan wi’t man! Fit ails ye here?
‘is cooard pig’s fit fer yer knife,
sae hing ‘im hie! An hing ‘im noo!’

But na – ‘e lowsit kyard steps oot,
wi ‘at kenspeckle swagger in ‘is step,
sure o’ some’in, taks fiddle an bow
an sterts tae play a jig in pertly daunce,
file sodgers wi ‘eir bayonets haud us back!

The crood roars oot, wi ragin fit:
‘The anely jig we need fae ye
is fan yer heels kick oot ow’r Hell!’
Yet aye he plays,
nae skill’t, but… some’in ‘ere,
Some’in. Maybe.

Yet ithers scorn ‘e very thocht:
‘Fit wye play at a time like ‘is?
It’s jist tae haud ‘e daurk hoor back!’

Ane or twa loons hes hed eneuch;
They’re scalin up ‘at smug-like clock
Tae rax its fing’er hiecher still –
- sae noo the hoor is oot and gane
an Time itsel is maistered, hale!

The loons see oot ow’r yon hie too’er,
far ben across the Brig, a man
fa rides wi Pardon in ‘is haund
tae lowse fell murder fae revenge.

‘O hing ‘im noo an hing ‘im hie!’
We cry, aa yearnin in oor throats.
e’ Maugistrait fa’s back, e’ sodgers tae:
e’ crood is maister o the murder scene!

Macpherson, wi ‘is hielan sneer,
cock o the midden, een ablaze,
noo smashes doon his fiddle, deem’t,
shouts some’in. But we dinna hear.

Fur syne, as ‘twere a common haund,
Bi oor michty airm, oor nieve o will,
‘e rape’s teem face, ‘e man’s full ane
baith yokit are; ‘e stool kicks free!

Raxin and wriggling oan e’ rape,
fell justice wrochts its ancient will
nae horse, nor parlymint can cheynge.

But, here’s ‘e chiel ‘at winna ding,
an here, in hert-wrung duil, I speir:
fa dees upon ‘e gallows hie?
Is’t Jamie, or oor ain gweed name?

Fur murder is a speerit, like.
It swirls aboot, like haar at sea.
We mean aa fur the best, but, aye,
Queer Fate maks feels o you an me.

Naebody speirs fa stauns aroon.
Naebody spicks o justice fine.
Aa thochts are o a dauncin man.
A fiddle broke. A lee in Time.

An history’s Maugistrait, The Deil,
‘at faither o aa lees, an mair,
wull spick fit’s true, anely tae deem
the crood, fa hingit Time in air.

Fur Jamie wrocht his true-born airt;
‘e crood wrocht but a lee.
Macpherson daunc’t oot tae his deem,
but sae maun you, an me.

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