Scottish Poetry Selection
- From the Visitors' Book of Ben Nevis Hotel

Anyone who has stayed in the area around Ben Nevis in the west of Scotland knows only too well the amount of rainfall and low cloud experienced in that area. It is the wettest part of Scotland, as the prevailing winds cause the clouds to rise to surmount the UK's highest mountain - and consequently dump a quantity of rain on the coast! Fort William gets an average of 70-80 inches of rain a year (compared to only 26 inches of rain in Edinburgh).

This poem, written in the 19th century, is said to have been penned in the visitors' book of a hotel in the area.

From the Visitors' Book of Ben Nevis Hotel

Roll by, thou dense and damp pea-soupy shroud!
   Do we thus reach the highest point in vain?
Roll by! we say, and leave behind no cloud
   Our view to mar; but, should'st thou still remain,
Mark well the threat - 'Never shall we come again.'

If at first you don't succeed, try again:
   Mist and rain you should not heed, try again;
When the clouds have rolled away,
   And the sun holds glorious sway,
Climb the path without delay, come again,
   All your labours he'll repay - grand old Ben.

We climbed thy stony sides, oh Ben!
   We groped around thy cloudy head,
We peered, and jeered, and swore - and then,
   In sheer disgust, we went to bed.

We toiled along with saddened hearts - and grief,
And found- ah, well, just mist and tinned Australian beef.

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