Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Transformation

Although Walter Wingate wrote many of his poems in his native Scots, he also wrote quite a number in plain English. Here is one about a lapwing (or peesweep - the only Scots word in the poem).

The Transformation

I watched beside a moorland spring
A bird that sipped with folded wing
And nodding crest;
At every graceful move he made
A dancing iridescence played
Upon his breast.

With quaint and pretty nimbleness
He flirted with the sun's caress,
Demure, yet wild;
Alone, and pleased with solitude,
He lived from joyous mood to mood -
A wanton child.

He seemed a spirit blithe as fair,
Incarnate of the mountain air,
Till hark! - a cry -
An atmosphere of sobbing wings -
And lo! An arrant peesweep swings
Against the sky!

Meaning of unusual words:

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

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