Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Pest

This poem by W R Darling is "dedicated" to the pest which has spoiled many a camping holiday in Scotland. The poet reckons it is worse than lions and tigers and spoils what otherwise would be perfect Scottish countryside...

      The Pest

Oh ye, wha in your oors o ease,
   Are fashed wi golochs, mauks, an flees,
Fell stingin wasps an bumble bees,
   Tak tent o this:
There's ae sma pest that's waur nor these
   To mar your bliss.

They hing ower hedges, burns, an wuds,
   An dance at een in dusky cluds;
Wi aw your random skelps an scuds,
   They're naeweys worrit:
Gin there's a hole in aw your duds,
   They'll mak straucht for it.

I've traivled wast, I've traivled east;
   I'm weel aquant wi mony a beast;
Wi lions, teegers, bears - at least
   I've kent their claw:
I've been the fell mosquito's feast-
   But this cowes aw.

Auld Scotland, on thy bonnie face,
   Whan Mither Nature gied ye grace,
Lown, birken glens an floery braes,
   Wild windy ridges,
To save ye frae deleerit praise,
   She gied ye midges.

Meaning of unusual words:
fashed wi golochs, mauks, an flees=troubled by carniverous beetles, maggots, and flees
Fell=energetic, vigorous
Tak tent=pay attention
skelps an scuds=slaps and smacks
Lown, birken glens an floery braes=Peaceful, birch-tree valleys and flowery slopes
midges=small, blood-sucking insect

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