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Best Famous Scotch Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Scotch poems. This is a select list of the best famous Scotch poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Scotch poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of scotch poems.

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Written by Walt Whitman | Create an image from this poem

Proud Music of The Storm

PROUD music of the storm! 
Blast that careers so free, whistling across the prairies! 
Strong hum of forest tree-tops! Wind of the mountains! 
Personified dim shapes! you hidden orchestras! 
You serenades of phantoms, with instruments alert,
Blending, with Nature’s rhythmus, all the tongues of nations; 
You chords left us by vast composers! you choruses! 
You formless, free, religious dances! you from the Orient! 
You undertone of rivers, roar of pouring cataracts; 
You sounds from distant guns, with galloping cavalry!
Echoes of camps, with all the different bugle-calls! 
Trooping tumultuous, filling the midnight late, bending me powerless, 
Entering my lonesome slumber-chamber—Why have you seiz’d me? 

Come forward, O my Soul, and let the rest retire; 
Listen—lose not—it is toward thee they tend;
Parting the midnight, entering my slumber-chamber, 
For thee they sing and dance, O Soul.
A festival song! The duet of the bridegroom and the bride—a marriage-march, With lips of love, and hearts of lovers, fill’d to the brim with love; The red-flush’d cheeks, and perfumes—the cortege swarming, full of friendly faces, young and old, To flutes’ clear notes, and sounding harps’ cantabile.
3 Now loud approaching drums! Victoria! see’st thou in powder-smoke the banners torn but flying? the rout of the baffled? Hearest those shouts of a conquering army? (Ah, Soul, the sobs of women—the wounded groaning in agony, The hiss and crackle of flames—the blacken’d ruins—the embers of cities, The dirge and desolation of mankind.
) 4 Now airs antique and medieval fill me! I see and hear old harpers with their harps, at Welsh festivals: I hear the minnesingers, singing their lays of love, I hear the minstrels, gleemen, troubadours, of the feudal ages.
5 Now the great organ sounds, Tremulous—while underneath, (as the hid footholds of the earth, On which arising, rest, and leaping forth, depend, All shapes of beauty, grace and strength—all hues we know, Green blades of grass, and warbling birds—children that gambol and play—the clouds of heaven above,) The strong base stands, and its pulsations intermits not, Bathing, supporting, merging all the rest—maternity of all the rest; And with it every instrument in multitudes, The players playing—all the world’s musicians, The solemn hymns and masses, rousing adoration, All passionate heart-chants, sorrowful appeals, The measureless sweet vocalists of ages, And for their solvent setting, Earth’s own diapason, Of winds and woods and mighty ocean waves; A new composite orchestra—binder of years and climes—ten-fold renewer, As of the far-back days the poets tell—the Paradiso, The straying thence, the separation long, but now the wandering done, The journey done, the Journeyman come home, And Man and Art, with Nature fused again.
6 Tutti! for Earth and Heaven! The Almighty Leader now for me, for once has signal’d with his wand.
The manly strophe of the husbands of the world, And all the wives responding.
The tongues of violins! (I think, O tongues, ye tell this heart, that cannot tell itself; This brooding, yearning heart, that cannot tell itself.
) 7 Ah, from a little child, Thou knowest, Soul, how to me all sounds became music; My mother’s voice, in lullaby or hymn; (The voice—O tender voices—memory’s loving voices! Last miracle of all—O dearest mother’s, sister’s, voices;) The rain, the growing corn, the breeze among the long-leav’d corn, The measur’d sea-surf, beating on the sand, The twittering bird, the hawk’s sharp scream, The wild-fowl’s notes at night, as flying low, migrating north or south, The psalm in the country church, or mid the clustering trees, the open air camp-meeting, The fiddler in the tavern—the glee, the long-strung sailor-song, The lowing cattle, bleating sheep—the crowing cock at dawn.
8 All songs of current lands come sounding ’round me, The German airs of friendship, wine and love, Irish ballads, merry jigs and dances—English warbles, Chansons of France, Scotch tunes—and o’er the rest, Italia’s peerless compositions.
Across the stage, with pallor on her face, yet lurid passion, Stalks Norma, brandishing the dagger in her hand.
I see poor crazed Lucia’s eyes’ unnatural gleam; Her hair down her back falls loose and dishevell’d.
I see where Ernani, walking the bridal garden, Amid the scent of night-roses, radiant, holding his bride by the hand, Hears the infernal call, the death-pledge of the horn.
To crossing swords, and grey hairs bared to heaven, The clear, electric base and baritone of the world, The trombone duo—Libertad forever! From Spanish chestnut trees’ dense shade, By old and heavy convent walls, a wailing song, Song of lost love—the torch of youth and life quench’d in despair, Song of the dying swan—Fernando’s heart is breaking.
Awaking from her woes at last, retriev’d Amina sings; Copious as stars, and glad as morning light, the torrents of her joy.
(The teeming lady comes! The lustrious orb—Venus contralto—the blooming mother, Sister of loftiest gods—Alboni’s self I hear.
) 9 I hear those odes, symphonies, operas; I hear in the William Tell, the music of an arous’d and angry people; I hear Meyerbeer’s Huguenots, the Prophet, or Robert; Gounod’s Faust, or Mozart’s Don Juan.
10 I hear the dance-music of all nations, The waltz, (some delicious measure, lapsing, bathing me in bliss;) The bolero, to tinkling guitars and clattering castanets.
I see religious dances old and new, I hear the sound of the Hebrew lyre, I see the Crusaders marching, bearing the cross on high, to the martial clang of cymbals; I hear dervishes monotonously chanting, interspers’d with frantic shouts, as they spin around, turning always towards Mecca; I see the rapt religious dances of the Persians and the Arabs; Again, at Eleusis, home of Ceres, I see the modern Greeks dancing, I hear them clapping their hands, as they bend their bodies, I hear the metrical shuffling of their feet.
I see again the wild old Corybantian dance, the performers wounding each other; I see the Roman youth, to the shrill sound of flageolets, throwing and catching their weapons, As they fall on their knees, and rise again.
I hear from the Mussulman mosque the muezzin calling; I see the worshippers within, (nor form, nor sermon, argument, nor word, But silent, strange, devout—rais’d, glowing heads—extatic faces.
) 11 I hear the Egyptian harp of many strings, The primitive chants of the Nile boatmen; The sacred imperial hymns of China, To the delicate sounds of the king, (the stricken wood and stone;) Or to Hindu flutes, and the fretting twang of the vina, A band of bayaderes.
12 Now Asia, Africa leave me—Europe, seizing, inflates me; To organs huge, and bands, I hear as from vast concourses of voices, Luther’s strong hymn, Eine feste Burg ist unser Gott; Rossini’s Stabat Mater dolorosa; Or, floating in some high cathedral dim, with gorgeous color’d windows, The passionate Agnus Dei, or Gloria in Excelsis.
13 Composers! mighty maestros! And you, sweet singers of old lands—Soprani! Tenori! Bassi! To you a new bard, carolling free in the west, Obeisant, sends his love.
(Such led to thee, O Soul! All senses, shows and objects, lead to thee, But now, it seems to me, sound leads o’er all the rest.
) 14 I hear the annual singing of the children in St.
Paul’s Cathedral; Or, under the high roof of some colossal hall, the symphonies, oratorios of Beethoven, Handel, or Haydn; The Creation, in billows of godhood laves me.
Give me to hold all sounds, (I, madly struggling, cry,) Fill me with all the voices of the universe, Endow me with their throbbings—Nature’s also, The tempests, waters, winds—operas and chants—marches and dances, Utter—pour in—for I would take them all.
15 Then I woke softly, And pausing, questioning awhile the music of my dream, And questioning all those reminiscences—the tempest in its fury, And all the songs of sopranos and tenors, And those rapt oriental dances, of religious fervor, And the sweet varied instruments, and the diapason of organs, And all the artless plaints of love, and grief and death, I said to my silent, curious Soul, out of the bed of the slumber-chamber, Come, for I have found the clue I sought so long, Let us go forth refresh’d amid the day, Cheerfully tallying life, walking the world, the real, Nourish’d henceforth by our celestial dream.
And I said, moreover, Haply, what thou hast heard, O Soul, was not the sound of winds, Nor dream of raging storm, nor sea-hawk’s flapping wings, nor harsh scream, Nor vocalism of sun-bright Italy, Nor German organ majestic—nor vast concourse of voices—nor layers of harmonies; Nor strophes of husbands and wives—nor sound of marching soldiers, Nor flutes, nor harps, nor the bugle-calls of camps; But, to a new rhythmus fitted for thee, Poems, bridging the way from Life to Death, vaguely wafted in night air, uncaught, unwritten, Which, let us go forth in the bold day, and write.

Written by T S (Thomas Stearns) Eliot | Create an image from this poem

Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat

 There's a whisper down the line at 11.
39 When the Night Mail's ready to depart, Saying "Skimble where is Skimble has he gone to hunt the thimble? We must find him or the train can't start.
" All the guards and all the porters and the stationmaster's daughters They are searching high and low, Saying "Skimble where is Skimble for unless he's very nimble Then the Night Mail just can't go.
" At 11.
42 then the signal's nearly due And the passengers are frantic to a man— Then Skimble will appear and he'll saunter to the rear: He's been busy in the luggage van! He gives one flash of his glass-green eyes And the signal goes "All Clear!" And we're off at last for the northern part Of the Northern Hemisphere! You may say that by and large it is Skimble who's in charge Of the Sleeping Car Express.
From the driver and the guards to the bagmen playing cards He will supervise them all, more or less.
Down the corridor he paces and examines all the faces Of the travellers in the First and the Third; He establishes control by a regular patrol And he'd know at once if anything occurred.
He will watch you without winking and he sees what you are thinking And it's certain that he doesn't approve Of hilarity and riot, so the folk are very quiet When Skimble is about and on the move.
You can play no pranks with Skimbleshanks! He's a Cat that cannot be ignored; So nothing goes wrong on the Northern Mail When Skimbleshanks is aboard.
Oh, it's very pleasant when you have found your little den With your name written up on the door.
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet And there's not a speck of dust on the floor.
There is every sort of light-you can make it dark or bright; There's a handle that you turn to make a breeze.
There's a funny little basin you're supposed to wash your face in And a crank to shut the window if you sneeze.
Then the guard looks in politely and will ask you very brightly "Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?" But Skimble's just behind him and was ready to remind him, For Skimble won't let anything go wrong.
And when you creep into your cosy berth And pull up the counterpane, You ought to reflect that it's very nice To know that you won't be bothered by mice— You can leave all that to the Railway Cat, The Cat of the Railway Train! In the watches of the night he is always fresh and bright; Every now and then he has a cup of tea With perhaps a drop of Scotch while he's keeping on the watch, Only stopping here and there to catch a flea.
You were fast asleep at Crewe and so you never knew That he was walking up and down the station; You were sleeping all the while he was busy at Carlisle, Where he greets the stationmaster with elation.
But you saw him at Dumfries, where he speaks to the police If there's anything they ought to know about: When you get to Gallowgate there you do not have to wait— For Skimbleshanks will help you to get out! He gives you a wave of his long brown tail Which says: "I'll see you again! You'll meet without fail on the Midnight Mail The Cat of the Railway Train.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

Upon Nothing

 Nothing, thou elder brother even to shade,
That hadst a being ere the world was made,
And (well fixed) art alone of ending not afraid.
Ere time and place were, time and place were not, When primitive Nothing Something straight begot, Then all proceeded from the great united--What? Something, the general attribute of all, Severed from thee, its sole original, Into thy boundless self must undistinguished fall.
Yet Something did thy mighty power command, And from thy fruitful emptiness's hand, Snatched men, beasts, birds, fire, air, and land.
Matter, the wickedest offspring of thy race, By Form assisted, flew from thy embrace, And rebel Light obscured thy reverend dusky face.
With Form and Matter, Time and Place did join, Body, thy foe, with these did leagues combine To spoil thy peaceful realm, and ruin all thy line.
But turncoat Time assists the foe in vain, And, bribed by thee, assists thy short-lived reign, And to thy hungry womb drives back thy slaves again.
Though mysteries are barred from laic eyes, And the Divine alone with warrant pries Into thy bosom, where thy truth in private lies, Yet this of thee the wise may freely say, Thou from the virtuous nothing takest away, And to be part of thee the wicked wisely pray.
Great Negative, how vainly would the wise Inquire, define, distinguish, teach, devise? Didst thou not stand to point their dull philosophies.
Is, or is not, the two great ends of Fate, And true or false, the subject of debate, That perfects, or destroys, the vast designs of Fate, When they have racked the politician's breast, Within thy bosom most securely rest, And, when reduced to thee, are least unsafe and best.
But Nothing, why does Something still permit That sacred monarchs should at council sit With persons highly thought at best for nothing fit? Whist weighty Something modestly abstains From princes' coffers, and from statesmen's brains, And Nothing there like stately Nothing reigns, Nothing, who dwellest with fools in grave disguise, For whom they reverend shapes and forms devise, Lawn sleeves, and furs, and gowns, when they like thee look wise.
French truth, Dutch prowess, British policy, Hibernian learning, Scotch civility, Spaniard's dispatch, Dane's wit are mainly seen in thee.
The great man's gratitude to his best friend, King's promises, whore's vows, towards thee they bend, Flow swiftly to thee, and in thee never end.
Written by John Wilmot | Create an image from this poem

Tunbridge Wells

 At five this morn, when Phoebus raised his head
From Thetis' lap, I raised myself from bed,
And mounting steed, I trotted to the waters
The rendesvous of fools, buffoons, and praters,
Cuckolds, whores, citizens, their wives and daughters.
My squeamish stomach I with wine had bribed To undertake the dose that was prescribed; But turning head, a sudden curséd view That innocent provision overthrew, And without drinking, made me purge and spew.
From coach and six a thing unweildy rolled, Whose lumber, card more decently would hold.
As wise as calf it looked, as big as bully, But handled, proves a mere Sir Nicholas Cully; A bawling fop, a natural Nokes, and yet He dares to censure as if he had wit.
To make him more ridiculous, in spite Nature contrived the fool should be a knight.
Though he alone were dismal signet enough, His train contributed to set him off, All of his shape, all of the selfsame stuff.
No spleen or malice need on them be thrown: Nature has done the business of lampoon, And in their looks their characters has shown.
Endeavoring this irksome sight to balk, And a more irksome noise, their silly talk, I silently slunk down t' th' Lower Walk, But often when one would Charybdis shun, Down upon Scilla 'tis one's fate to run, For here it was my curséd luck to find As great a fop, though of another kind, A tall stiff fool that walked in Spanish guise: The buckram puppet never stirred its eyes, But grave as owl it looked, as woodcock wise.
He scorns the empty talking of this mad age, And speaks all proverbs, sentences, and adage; Can with as much solemnity buy eggs As a cabal can talk of their intrigues; Master o' th' Ceremonies, yet can dispense With the formality of talking sense.
From hence unto the upper walk I ran, Where a new scene of foppery began.
A tribe of curates, priests, canonical elves, Fit company for none besides themselves, Were got together.
Each his distemper told, Scurvy, stone, strangury; some were so bold To charge the spleen to be their misery, And on that wise disease brought infamy.
But none had modesty enough t' complain Their want of learning, honesty, and brain, The general diseases of that train.
These call themselves ambassadors of heaven, And saucily pretend commissions given; But should an Indian king, whose small command Seldom extends beyond ten miles of land, Send forth such wretched tools in an ambassage, He'd find but small effects of such a message.
Listening, I found the cob of all this rabble Pert Bays, with his importance comfortable.
He, being raised to an archdeaconry By trampling on religion, liberty, Was grown to great, and looked too fat and jolly, To be disturbed with care and melancholy, Though Marvell has enough exposed his folly.
He drank to carry off some old remains His lazy dull distemper left in 's veins.
Let him drink on, but 'tis not a whole flood Can give sufficient sweetness to his blood To make his nature of his manners good.
Next after these, a fulsome Irish crew Of silly Macs were offered to my view.
The things did talk, but th' hearing what they said I did myself the kindness to evade.
Nature has placed these wretches beneath scorn: They can't be called so vile as they are born.
Amidst the crowd next I myself conveyed, For now were come, whitewash and paint being laid, Mother and daughter, mistress and the maid, And squire with wig and pantaloon displayed.
But ne'er could conventicle, play, or fair For a true medley, with this herd compare.
Here lords, knights, squires, ladies and countesses, Chandlers, mum-bacon women, sempstresses Were mixed together, nor did they agree More in their humors than their quality.
Here waiting for gallant, young damsel stood, Leaning on cane, and muffled up in hood.
The would-be wit, whose business was to woo, With hat removed and solemn scrape of shoe Advanceth bowing, then genteelly shrugs, And ruffled foretop into order tugs, And thus accosts her: "Madam, methinks the weather Is grown much more serene since you came hither.
You influence the heavens; but should the sun Withdraw himself to see his rays outdone By your bright eyes, they would supply the morn, And make a day before the day be born.
" With mouth screwed up, conceited winking eyes, And breasts thrust forward, "Lord, sir!" she replies.
"It is your goodness, and not my deserts, Which makes you show this learning, wit, and parts.
" He, puzzled, butes his nail, both to display The sparkling ring, and think what next to say, And thus breaks forth afresh: "Madam, egad! Your luck at cards last night was very bad: At cribbage fifty-nine, and the next show To make the game, and yet to want those two.
God damn me, madam, I'm the son of a whore If in my life I saw the like before!" To peddler's stall he drags her, and her breast With hearts and such-like foolish toys he dressed; And then, more smartly to expound the riddle Of all his prattle, gives her a Scotch fiddle.
Tired with this dismal stuff, away I ran Where were two wives, with girl just fit for man - Short-breathed, with pallid lips and visage wan.
Some curtsies past, and the old compliment Of being glad to see each other, spent, With hand in hand they lovingly did walk, And one began thus to renew the talk: "I pray, good madam, if it may be thought No rudeness, what cause was it hither brought Your ladyship?" She soon replying, smiled, "We have a good estate, but have no child, And I'm informed these wells will make a barren Woman as fruitful as a cony warren.
" The first returned, "For this cause I am come, For I can have no quietness at home.
My husband grumbles though we have got one, This poor young girl, and mutters for a son.
And this is grieved with headache, pangs, and throes; Is full sixteen, and never yet had those.
" She soon replied, "Get her a husband, madam: I married at that age, and ne'er had 'em; Was just like her.
Steel waters let alone: A back of steel will bring 'em better down.
" And ten to one but they themselves will try The same means to increase their family.
Poor foolish fribble, who by subtlety Of midwife, truest friend to lechery, Persuaded art to be at pains and charge To give thy wife occasion to enlarge Thy silly head! For here walk Cuff and Kick, With brawny back and legs and potent prick, Who more substantially will cure thy wife, And on her half-dead womb bestow new life.
From these the waters got the reputation Of good assistants unto generation.
Some warlike men were now got into th' throng, With hair tied back, singing a bawdy song.
Not much afraid, I got a nearer view, And 'twas my chance to know the dreadful crew.
They were cadets, that seldom can appear: Damned to the stint of thirty pounds a year.
With hawk on fist, or greyhound led in hand, The dogs and footboys sometimes they command.
But now, having trimmed a cast-off spavined horse, With three hard-pinched-for guineas in their purse, Two rusty pistols, scarf about the ****, Coat lined with red, they here presume to swell: This goes for captain, that for colonel.
So the Bear Garden ape, on his steed mounted, No longer is a jackanapes accounted, But is, by virtue of his trumpery, then Called by the name of "the young gentleman.
" Bless me! thought I, what thing is man, that thus In all his shapes, he is ridiculous? Ourselves with noise of reason we do please In vain: humanity's our worst disease.
Thrice happy beasts are, who, because they be Of reason void, and so of foppery.
Faith, I was so ashamed that with remorse I used the insolence to mount my horse; For he, doing only things fit for his nature, Did seem to me by much the wiser creature.
Written by Carl Sandburg | Create an image from this poem

Memoir of a Proud Boy

 HE lived on the wings of storm.
The ashes are in Chihuahua.
Out of Ludlow and coal towns in Colorado Sprang a vengeance of Slav miners, Italians, Scots, Cornishmen, Yanks.
Killings ran under the spoken commands of this boy With eighty men and rifles on a hogback mountain.
They killed swearing to remember The shot and charred wives and children In the burnt camp of Ludlow, And Louis Tikas, the laughing Greek, Plugged with a bullet, clubbed with a gun butt.
As a home war It held the nation a week And one or two million men stood together And swore by the retribution of steel.
It was all accidental.
He lived flecking lint off coat lapels Of men he talked with.
He kissed the miners’ babies And wrote a Denver paper Of picket silhouettes on a mountain line.
He had no mother but Mother Jones Crying from a jail window of Trinidad: “All I want is room enough to stand And shake my fist at the enemies of the human race.
” Named by a grand jury as a murderer He went to Chihuahua, forgot his old Scotch name, Smoked cheroots with Pancho Villa And wrote letters of Villa as a rock of the people.
How can I tell how Don Magregor went? Three riders emptied lead into him.
He lay on the main street of an inland town.
A boy sat near all day throwing stones To keep pigs away.
The Villa men buried him in a pit With twenty Carranzistas.
There is drama in that point… …the boy and the pigs.
Griffith would make a movie of it to fetch sobs.
Victor Herbert would have the drums whirr In a weave with a high fiddle-string’s single clamor.
“And the muchacho sat there all day throwing stones To keep the pigs away,” wrote Gibbons to the Tribune.
Somewhere in Chihuahua or Colorado Is a leather bag of poems and short stories.

Written by Maxine Kumin | Create an image from this poem


 Gassing the woodchucks didn't turn out right.
The knockout bomb from the Feed and Grain Exchange was featured as merciful, quick at the bone and the case we had against them was airtight, both exits shoehorned shut with puddingstone, but they had a sub-sub-basement out of range.
Next morning they turned up again, no worse for the cyanide than we for our cigarettes and state-store Scotch, all of us up to scratch.
They brought down the marigolds as a matter of course and then took over the vegetable patch nipping the broccoli shoots, beheading the carrots.
The food from our mouths, I said, righteously thrilling to the feel of the .
22, the bullets' neat noses.
I, a lapsed pacifist fallen from grace puffed with Darwinian pieties for killing, now drew a bead on the little woodchuck's face.
He died down in the everbearing roses.
Ten minutes later I dropped the mother.
She flipflopped in the air and fell, her needle teeth still hooked in a leaf of early Swiss chard.
Another baby next.
O one-two-three the murderer inside me rose up hard, the hawkeye killer came on stage forthwith.
There's one chuck left.
Old wily fellow, he keeps me cocked and ready day after day after day.
All night I hunt his humped-up form.
I dream I sight along the barrel in my sleep.
If only they'd all consented to die unseen gassed underground the quiet Nazi way.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Ballad Of How Macpherson Held The Floor

 Said President MacConnachie to Treasurer MacCall:
"We ought to have a piper for our next Saint Andrew's Ball.
Yon squakin' saxophone gives me the syncopated gripes.
I'm sick of jazz, I want to hear the skirling of the pipes.
" "Alas! it's true," said Tam MacCall.
"The young folk of to-day Are fox-trot mad and dinna ken a reel from Strathspey.
Now, what we want's a kiltie lad, primed up wi' mountain dew, To strut the floor at supper time, and play a lilt or two.
In all the North there's only one; of him I've heard them speak: His name is Jock MacPherson, and he lives on Boulder Creek; An old-time hard-rock miner, and a wild and wastrel loon, Who spends his nights in glory, playing pibrochs to the moon.
I'll seek him out; beyond a doubt on next Saint Andrew's night We'll proudly hear the pipes to cheer and charm our appetite.
Oh lads were neat and lassies sweet who graced Saint Andrew's Ball; But there was none so full of fun as Treasurer MacCall.
And as Maloney's rag-time bank struck up the newest hit, He smiled a smile behind his hand, and chuckled: "Wait a bit.
" And so with many a Celtic snort, with malice in his eye, He watched the merry crowd cavort, till supper time drew nigh.
Then gleefully he seemed to steal, and sought the Nugget Bar, Wherein there sat a tartaned chiel, as lonely as a star; A huge and hairy Highlandman as hearty as a breeze, A glass of whisky in his hand, his bag-pipes on his knees.
"Drink down your doch and doris, Jock," cried Treasurer MacCall; "The time is ripe to up and pipe; they wait you in the hall.
Gird up your loins and grit your teeth, and here's a pint of hooch To mind you of your native heath - jist pit it in your pooch.
Play on and on for all you're worth; you'll shame us if you stop.
Remember you're of Scottish birth - keep piping till you drop.
Aye, though a bunch of Willie boys should bluster and implore, For the glory of the Highlands, lad, you've got to hold the floor.
" The dancers were at supper, and the tables groaned with cheer, When President MacConnachie exclaimed: "What do I hear? Methinks it's like a chanter, and its coming from the hall.
" "It's Jock MacPherson tuning up," cried Treasurer MacCall.
So up they jumped with shouts of glee, and gaily hurried forth.
Said they: "We never thought to see a piper in the North.
" Aye, all the lads and lassies braw went buzzing out like bees, And Jock MacPherson there they saw, with red and rugged knees.
Full six foot four he strode the floor, a grizzled son of Skye, With glory in his whiskers and with whisky in his eye.
With skelping stride and Scottish pride he towered above them all: "And is he no' a bonny sight?" said Treasurer MacCall.
While President MacConnachie was fairly daft with glee, And there was jubilation in the Scottish Commy-tee.
But the dancers seemed uncertain, and they signified their doubt, By dashing back to eat as fast as they had darted out.
And someone raised the question 'twixt the coffee and the cakes: "Does the Piper walk to get away from all the noise he makes?" Then reinforced with fancy food they slowly trickled forth, And watching in patronizing mood the Piper of the North.
Proud, proud was Jock MacPherson, as he made his bag-pipes skirl, And he set his sporran swinging, and he gave his kilts a whirl.
And President MacConnachie was jumping like a flea, And there was joy and rapture in the Scottish Commy-tee.
"Jist let them have their saxophones wi' constipated squall; We're having Heaven's music now," said Treasurer MacCall.
But the dancers waxed impatient, and they rather seemed to fret For Maloney and the jazz of his Hibernian Quartette.
Yet little recked the Piper, as he swung with head on high, Lamenting with MacCrimmon on the heather hills of Skye.
With Highland passion in his heart he held the centre floor; Aye, Jock MacPherson played as he had never played before.
Maloney's Irish melodists were sitting in their place, And as Maloney waited, there was wonder in his face.
'Twas sure the gorgeous music - Golly! wouldn't it be grand If he could get MacPherson as a member of his band? But the dancers moped and mumbled, as around the room they sat: "We paid to dance," they grumbled; "But we cannot dance to that.
Of course we're not denying that it's really splendid stuff; But it's mighty satisfying - don't you think we've had enough?" "You've raised a pretty problem," answered Treasurer MacCall; "For on Saint Andrew's Night, ye ken, the Piper rules the Ball.
" Said President MacConnachie: "You've said a solemn thing.
Tradition holds him sacred, and he's got to have his fling.
But soon, no doubt, he'll weary out.
Have patience; bide a wee.
" "That's right.
Respect the Piper," said the Scottish Commy-tee.
And so MacPherson stalked the floor, and fast the moments flew, Till half an hour went past, as irritation grew and grew.
Then the dancers held a council, and with faces fiercely set, They hailed Maloney, heading his Hibernian Quartette: "It's long enough, we've waited.
Come on, Mike, play up the Blues.
" And Maloney hesitated, but he didn't dare refuse.
So banjo and piano, and guitar and saxophone Contended with the shrilling of the chanter and the drone; And the women's ears were muffled, so infernal was the din, But MacPherson was unruffled, for he knew that he would win.
Then two bright boys jazzed round him, and they sought to play the clown, But MacPherson jolted sideways, and the Sassenachs went down.
And as if it was a signal, with a wild and angry roar, The gates of wrath were riven - yet MacPherson held the floor.
Aye, amid the rising tumult, still he strode with head on high, With ribbands gaily streaming, yet with battle in his eye.
Amid the storm that gathered, still he stalked with Highland pride, While President and Treasurer sprang bravely to his side.
And with ire and indignation that was glorious to see, Around him in a body ringed the Scottish Commy-tee.
Their teeth were clenched with fury; their eyes with anger blazed: "Ye manna touch the Piper," was the slogan that they raised.
Then blows were struck, and men went down; yet 'mid the rising fray MacPherson towered in triumph - and he never ceased to play.
Alas! his faithful followers were but a gallant few, And faced defeat, although they fought with all the skill they knew.
For President MacConnachie was seen to slip and fall, And o'er his prostrate body stumbled Treasurer MacCall.
And as their foes with triumph roared, and leagured them about, It looked as if their little band would soon be counted out.
For eyes were black and noses red, yet on that field of gore, As resolute as Highland rock - MacPherson held the floor.
Maloney watched the battle, and his brows were bleakly set, While with him paused and panted his Hibernian Quartette.
For sure it is an evil spite, and breaking to the heart, For Irishman to watch a fight and not be taking part.
Then suddenly on high he soared, and tightened up his belt: "And shall we see them crush," he roared, "a brother and a Celt? A fellow artiste needs our aid.
Come on, boys, take a hand.
" Then down into the mêlée dashed Maloney and his band.
Now though it was Saint Andrew's Ball, yet men of every race, That bow before the Great God Jazz were gathered in that place.
Yea, there were those who grunt: "Ya! Ya!" and those who squeak: "We! We!" Likewise Dutch, Dago, Swede and Finn, Polack and Portugee.
Yet like ripe grain before the gale that national hotch-potch Went down before the fury of the Irish and the Scotch.
Aye, though they closed their gaping ranks and rallied to the fray, To the Shamrock and the Thistle went the glory of the day.
You should have seen the carnage in the drooling light of dawn, Yet 'mid the scene of slaughter Jock MacPherson playing on.
Though all lay low about him, yet he held his head on high, And piped as if he stood upon the caller crags of Skye.
His face was grim as granite, and no favour did he ask, Though weary were his mighty lungs and empty was his flask.
And when a fallen foe wailed out: "Say! when will you have done?" MacPherson grinned and answered: "Hoots! She's only ha'f begun.
" Aye, though his hands were bloody, and his knees were gay with gore, A Grampian of Highland pride - MacPherson held the floor.
And still in Yukon valleys where the silent peaks look down, They tell of how the Piper was invited up to town, And he went in kilted glory, and he piped before them all, But wouldn't stop his piping till he busted up the Ball.
Of that Homeric scrap they speak, and how the fight went on, With sally and with rally till the breaking of the dawn.
And how the Piper towered like a rock amid the fray, And the battle surged about him, but he never ceased to play.
Aye, by the lonely camp-fires, still they tell the story o'er- How the Sassenach was vanquished and - MacPherson held the floor.
Written by Charles Bukowski | Create an image from this poem


 she was hot, she was so hot
I didn't want anybody else to have her,
and if I didn't get home on time
she'd be gone, and I couldn't bear that-
I'd go mad.
it was foolish I know, childish, but I was caught in it, I was caught.
I delivered all the mail and then Henderson put me on the night pickup run in an old army truck, the damn thing began to heat halfway through the run and the night went on me thinking about my hot Miriam and jumping in and out of the truck filling mailsacks the engine continuing to heat up the temperature needle was at the top HOT HOT like Miriam.
leaped in and out 3 more pickups and into the station I'd be, my car waiting to get me to Miriam who sat on my blue couch with scotch on the rocks crossing her legs and swinging her ankles like she did, 2 more stops.
the truck stalled at a traffic light, it was hell kicking it over again.
I had to be home by 8,8 was the deadline for Miriam.
I made the last pickup and the truck stalled at a signal 1/2 block from the station.
it wouldn't start, it couldn't start.
I locked the doors, pulled the key and ran down to the station.
I threw the keys down.
signed out.
your goddamned truck is stalled at the signal, I shouted, Pico and Western.
I ran down the hall,put the key into the door, opened it.
her drinking glass was there, and a note: sun of a *****: I waited until 5 after ate you don't love me you sun of a ***** somebody will love me I been wateing all day Miriam I poured a drink and let the water run into the tub there were 5,000 bars in town and I'd make 25 of them looking for Miriam her purple teddy bear held the note as he leaned against a pillow I gave the bear a drink, myself a drink and got into the hot water.
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem

Bridge Over The Aire Book 3



The halcyon settled on the Aire of our days

Kingfisher-blue it broke my heart in two

Shall I forget you? Shall I forget you?

I am the mad poet first love

You never got over

You are my blue-eyed

Madonna virgin bride

I shall carve ‘MG loves BT’

On the bark of every 

Wind-bent tree in 

East End Park


The park itself will blossom

And grow in chiaroscuro

The Victorian postcard’s view

Of avenue upon avenue

With palms and pagodas

Lakes and waterfalls and

A fountain from Versailles.
3 You shall be my queen In the Kingdom of Deira Land of many rivers Aire the greatest Isara the strong one Robed in stillness Wide, deep and dark.
4 In Middleton Woods Margaret and I played Truth or dare She bared her breasts To the watching stars.
5 “Milk, milk, Lemonade, round The corner Chocolate spread” Nancy chanted at Ten in the binyard Touching her ****, Her ****, her bum, Margaret joined in Chanting in unison.
6 The skipping rope Turned faster And faster, slapping The hot pavement, Margaret skipped In rhythm, never Missing a beat, Lifting the pleat Of her skirt Whirling and twirling.
7 Giggling and red Margaret said In a whisper “When we were Playing at Nancy’s She pushed a spill Of paper up her You-know-what She said she’d Let you watch If you wanted.
” 8 Margaret, this Saturday morning in June There is a queue at the ‘Princess’ for The matin?e, down the alley by the blank Concrete of the cinema’s side I hide With you, we are counting our picture Money, I am counting the stars in your Hair, bound with a cheap plastic comb.
9 You have no idea of my need for you A lifetime long, every wrong decision I made betrayed my need; forty years on Hear my song and take my hand and move Us to the house of love where we belong.
10 Margaret we sat in the cinema dark Warm with the promise of a secret kiss The wall lights glowed amber on the Crumbling plaster, we looked with longing At the love seats empty in the circle, Vowing we would share one.
11 There is shouting and echoes Of wild splashing from York Road baths; forty years on It stirs my memory and Will not be gone.
12 The ghosts of tramtracks Light up lanes To nowhere In Leeds Ten.
Every road Leads nowhere In Leeds Nine.
Motorways have cut The city’s heart In two; Margaret, Our home lies buried Under sixteen feet Of stone.
13 Our families moved And we were lost I was not there to hear The whispered secret Of your first period.
14 God is courage’s infinite ground Tillich said; God, give me enough To stand another week without her Every day gets longer, every sleep Less deep.
15 Why can’t I find you, Touch you, Bind your straw-gold hair The colour of lank February grass? 16 Under the stone canopy Of the Grand Arcade I pass Europa Nightclub; In black designer glass I watch the faces pass But none is like your’s, No voice, no eyes, No smile at all Like your’s.
17 From Kirkstall Lock The rhubarb crop To Knostrop’s forcing sheds The roots ploughed up Arranged in beds Of perfect darkness Where the buds burst With a pip, rich pink Stalks and yellow leaves Hand-picked by Candle-light to Keep the colour right So every night the Rhubarb train Could go from Leeds To Covent Garden.
18 The smell of Saturday morning Is the smell of freedom How the bounds may grow Slowly slowly as I go.
“Rag-bone rag-bone White donkey stone” Auntie Nellie scoured Her door step, polished The brass knocker Till I saw my face Bunched like a fist Complete with goggles Grinning like a monkey In a mile of mirrors.
19 Every door step had a stop A half-stone iron weight To hold it back and every Step was edged with donkey Stone in yellow or white From the ragman or the potman With his covered cart jingling Jangling as it jerked hundreds Of cups on hooks pint and Half pint mugs and stacks of Willow-patterned plates From Burmantofts.
20 We heard him a mile off Nights in summer when He trundled round the Corner over the cobbles Jamming the wood brake Blocks whoaing the horses With their gleaming brasses And our mams were always Waiting where he stopped.
21 Double summer-time made The nights go on for ever And no-one cared any more How long we played what Or where and we were left Alone and that’s all I wanted Then or now to be left alone Never to be called in from The Hollows never to be Called from Margaret.
22 City of back-to-backs From Armley Heights Laid out in rows Like trees or grass I watch you pass.
23 The Aire is slow and almost Still In the Bridgefield The Joshua Tetley clock Over the Atkinson Grimshaw Print Is stopped at nineteen fifty Four The year I left.
24 Grimshaw’s home was Half a mile away In Knostrop Hall Margaret and I Climbed the ruined Walls her hair was Blowing in the wind Her eyes were stars In the green night Her hands were holding My hands.
25 Half a century later I look out over Leeds Nine What little’s left is broken Or changed Saturday night Is silent and empty The paths over the Hollows Deserted the bell Of St.
Hilda’s still.
26 On a single bush The yellow roses blush Pink in the amber light Night settles on the Fewstons and the Copperfields No mothers’ voices calling us.
Lilac and velvet clover Grew all over the Hollows It was all the luck We knew and when we left Our luck went too.
27 Solid black Velvet basalt Polished jet Millstone grit Leeds Town Hall Built with it Soaks up the fog Is sealed with smog Battered buttressed Blackened plinths White lions’ paws Were soft their Smiles like your’s.
28 Narrow lanes, steep inclines, Steps, blank walls, tight And secret openings’ The lanes are your hips The inclines the lines Of your thighs, the steps Your breasts, blank walls Your buttocks, tight and Secret openings your Taut vagina’s lips.
29 There is a keening and a honing And a winnowing in the wind I am the surge and flow In Winwaed’s water the last breath Of Elmete’s King.
I am Penda crossing the Aire Camping at Killingbeck Conquered by Aethalwald Ruler of Deira.
30 Life is a bird hovering In the Hall of the King Between darkness and darkness flickering The stone of Scone at last lifted And borne on the wind, Dunedin, take it Hold it hard and fast its light Is leaping it is freedom’s Touchstone and firestone.
31 Eir, Ayer or Aire I’ll still be there Your wanderings off course Old Ea, Old Eye, Dead Eye Make no difference to me.
Eg-an island - is Aire’s True source, names Not places matter With the risings Of a river Ea land-by-water I’ll make my own way Free, going down river To the far-off sea.
32 Poetry is my business, my affair.
My cri-de-coeur, jongleur Of Mercia and Elmete, Margaret, Open your door I am heaping Imbroglios of stars on the floor Meet me by the Office Lock At midnight or by the Town Hall Clock.
33 Nennius nine times have I knocked On the door of your grave, nine times More have I made Pilgrimage to Elmete’s Wood where long I lay by beck and bank Waiting for your tongue to flame With Pentecostal fire.
34 Margaret you rode in the hollow of my hand In the harp of my heart, searching for you I wandered in Kirkgate Market’s midnight Down avenues of shuttered stalls, our secrets Kept through all the years.
From the Imperial on Beeston Hill I watch the city spill glass towers Of light over the horizon’s rim.
35 The railyard’s straights Are buckled plates Red bricks for aggregate All lost like me Ledsham and Ledston Both belong to Leeds But Ledston Luck Is where Aire leads.
36 Held of the Crown By seven thanes In Saxon times ‘In regione Loidis’ Baeda scripsit Leeds, Leeds, You answer All my needs.
37 A horse shoe stuck for luck Behind a basement window: Margaret, now we’ll see What truth there is In dreams and poetry! I am at one with everyone There is poetry Falling from the air And you have put it there.
38 The sign for John Eaton Street Is planted in the back garden Of the transport caf? between The strands of a wire mesh fence Straddling the cobbles of a street That is no more, a washing line And an abandoned caravan.
39 ‘This open land to let’ Is what you get on the Hollows Thousands of half-burned tyres The rusty barrel of a Trumix lorry Concrete slabs, foxgloves and condoms, The Go-Kart Arena’s signboards, Half the wall of Ellerby Lane School.
40 There is a mermaid singing On East Street on an IBM poster Her hair is lack-lustre Her breasts are facing the camera Her tail is like a worn-out brush.
Chimney stacks Blind black walls Of factories Grimy glass Flickering firelight In black-leaded grates.
41 Hunslet de Ledes Hop-scotch, hide and seek, Bogies-on-wheels Not one tree in Hunslet Except in the cemetery The lake filled in For fifty years, The bluebell has rung Its last perfumed peal.
42 I couldn’t play out on Sunday Mam and dad thought us a cut Above the rest, it was another Test I failed, keeping me and Margaret apart was like the Aztecs Tearing the heart from the living flesh.
43 Father, your office job Didn’t save you From the drugs They never gave you.
44 Isaiah, my son, You made it back From Balliol to Beeston At a run via the Playing fields of Eton.
There is a keening and a honing And a winnowing in the wind Winwaed’s water with red bluid blent.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem


 Loving me with my shows off
means loving my long brown legs,
sweet dears, as good as spoons;
and my feet, those two children
let out to play naked.
Intricate nubs, my toes.
No longer bound.
And what's more, see toenails and all ten stages, root by root.
All spirited and wild, this little piggy went to market and this little piggy stayed.
Long brown legs and long brown toes.
Further up, my darling, the woman is calling her secrets, little houses, little tongues that tell you.
There is no one else but us in this house on the land spit.
The sea wears a bell in its navel.
And I'm your barefoot wench for a whole week.
Do you care for salami? No.
You'd rather not have a scotch? No.
You don't really drink.
You do drink me.
The gulls kill fish, crying out like three-year-olds.
The surf's a narcotic, calling out, I am, I am, I am all night long.
Barefoot, I drum up and down your back.
In the morning I run from door to door of the cabin playing chase me.
Now you grab me by the ankles.
Now you work your way up the legs and come to pierce me at my hunger mark