Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Trout

A very clever fish able to elude the most experienced fisherman!

The Trout

Up, faur up, the fishers come
To a pool that's fearsome deep,
Whaur the swirl is sudden dumb,
Like a watter fa'en asleep.

Whaur the bottom-bleckened firs
Deep oot owre a scaur o' whin,
Tak' a word o' warnin', sirs;
Lift your line, and try abune.

Up, faur up, a fisher gaed
Ance a day, and camna hame.
Nor by ony kirk was laid
Till the Jidgment cries his name.

But within the water mirk
Whaur the plummet fears to fa',
Lies a muckle trout alerk
Frichtin' a' the lave awa'.

Owre him mony a haund has piled
Mennan, maggot, worm, and flee:
And it's owre the countryside
He's a trout that daurna dee.

Ye may see him soom abune,
Liftin' wearifu' and wae,
Like some auncient, fishin-dune,
Speerin' whatna bait ye hae.

Ye may see him fadin' dim,
Like a ghaist at mornin'-craw:
But the bed is bye wi' him
That can say he stood and saw.

Sirs, row in; ye may as weel
Fish till a' the licht is lost,
Fish till day begins to speel -
Ye'll get naething but a hoast.

Meaning of unusual words:
scaur=steep, eroded hill
mirk=murky, dark
plummet=lead weight
muckle=a lot
lave=all the rest
daurna=dare not
wae=wretched, sorrowful
mornin'-craw=cock's crow

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

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