Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Sermon on Daniel

One of the hardest things about being a minister must be deciding what the sermon on Sunday is going to be - and then getting the time to actually write it. The minister in this humorous poem by Barbara Ross M'Intosh produced a cracker - with the help of his dog.

      The Sermon on Daniel

The minister sat in his study at e'en,
   An' steered up his thochts wi' a clerical mien;
He was sairly disjaskit an' sadly perplexed
   To wile for the Sabbath a suitable text!
Ower Pentateuch problems he waggit his heid,
   An' fast frae the Romans he heestit wi' speed,
Syne turnin' an auld theological manual,
   He plumped ower the lugs in the precepts o' Daniel.

Argumentative lions were thrashin' their tails,
   An' het exhortations were hurtlin' like flails!
The buiks in their cases, they shook wi' the din,
   As he ruggit the prophecies ootside an' in:
Three callers laid siege to the manse, a' thegither, -
   A weddin', a christenin' - ae thing an' anither:
Says the minister's wife, 'Mair folk I maun han'le,
   To lat ye get peace wi' the sermon on Daniel.'

North, south, east an' west, was that sermon esteemed,
   Deputations that harkened, grew canty an' beamed:
Folk said that its phrases were rich an' sublime,
   An' it aye lat them hame for their tatties in time:
I' the plate there was few o' that broon copper carl,
   When that movin' discoorse cam furth frae the barrel;
Jist ane or twa kent that the minister's spaniel
   Had chowed up three leaves o' the sermon on Daniel.

Meaning of unusual words:
sairly disjaskit=sorely dejected
ruggit=pull forcibly,
canty=cheerful, merry

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