Scottish Poetry Selection
- Parritch and Auld Claes

No matter where your mindís fancy takes you, it always brings you back to reality - which sometimes is just, "porridge and old clothes."

Parritch and Auld Claes

From Douglas to Ardrossan light
The churning screw repeats the tune;
From London in the deeps of night
The engine sings it to the moon;
The paddle beating from Dunoon
In every ear the music plays -
The requiem of honeymoon,
          "Parritch and auld claes."

The mist obscures them from our sight;
The mist may never rise again;
But who would live for mere delight?
We are not butterflies, but men.
With hand and brain, with spade and pen
The monument of toil we raise;
A draught of summer wine - and then
          "Parritch and auld claes."

Farewell to stream and shore and height,
The flowery glen, the ferny fall;
The moonlit waters, silver white,
The sandís al fresco concert hall;
We hear afar a sterner call
And bravely with the stoic phrase
We epitaph them one and all -
          "Parritch and auld claes."

Return to the Index of Walter Wingate Poems or the General Index of Scottish Poetry

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