Scottish Poetry Selection
- Nae Day Sae Dark

Nae Day Sae Dark William Soutar (1898-1943), the author of this poem, was born in Perth. While serving in the navy during the First World War he contracted an illness which left him paralysed, apart from his arms and hands. He was confined to bed for the last fourteen years of his life but nevertheless produced a number of lyric poems - including this uplifting one.

The illustration is of a sculpture in Perth entitled "Nae Day Sae Dark".

The words of this poem are reproduced by kind permission of the copyright holder, the National Library of Scotland.

Nae Day Sae Dark

Nae day sae dark; nae wüd sae bare;
Nae grund sae stour wi' stane;
But licht comes through; a sang is there;
   A glint o' grass is green.

Wha hasna thol'd his thorter'd hours
And kent, whan they were by,
The tenderness o' life that fleurs
  Rock-fast in misery?

Meaning of unusual words:
thorter'd=thwarted (thorter-ill is a kind of paralysis of sheep, causing distortion of the neck)

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