Scottish Poetry Selection
- From a Window in Princes Street
The author of this poem, W. E. Henley (1849-1903) came to Edinburgh to be treated by Professor Lister for tubercular arthritis. His two-year stay in the old Royal Infirmary led to a friendship with Robert Louis Stevenson, who famously took Henley as his model for Long John Silver. Henley was also fierce in his support of many emerging literary figures of the time, and published Kipling and Conrad among others.
From a Window in Princes StreetAbove the Crags that fade and gloom
Starts the bare knee of Arthur's Seat;
Ridged high against the evening bloom,
The Old Town rises, street on street;
With lamps bejewelled, straight ahead,
Like rampired walls the houses lean.
All spired and domed and turreted,
Sheer to the valley's darkling green;
Ranged in mysterious disarray,
The Castle, menacing and austere,
Looms through the lingering last of day;
And in the silver dusk you hear,
Reverberated from crag and scar,
Bold bugles blowing points of war.
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