photograph: Ann Wegmüller

Moses at Mount Sinai

bi

 

T. S. LAW

 

 

 

For Susan

because she mairriet amang thae folko muckle ingyne

 

 

“..         the gayslings cryit Whilk, Whilk and the dukes cryit Quaik,

    and the huddie crawis cryit Varrock, Varrock,

    and the turtil began to greet when the cushat zowlet,

    the titlens followit the gowk and gart her sing Guk-guk,

    the doo croutit, her sad sangs soundit like sorrow.

    The mavis made mirth for to mock the merle,

    the laverock made melody up hie in the skyis.

    The lint-white sang counterpoint when the owzel yelpit;

    the gowd-spink chantit, the rede-shank cryit My fut, my fut.

          ... Summer had nother temperance nor tune.”

 

                                                              Fae The Complaynt of Scotland.

                                      Quotit in her A Forgotten Heritage bi Hannah Aitken

 

 

“..                                                               In Scott, Byron, or Burns, for instance, if you omit a line, ten to one you lose the sense.  With you it is totally different.  I have read a whole production of yours, omitting each alternate line, and getting quite as much sense and literary power out           of it as ever.  Nay, more, if you read the fourth line first, and work back, the effect is quite as wonderful.  The other night my wife pointed out to me that, in experimenting with a recent issue, she managed to derive even more benefit from it      by reading the last line first, the first line next, the penultimate line third, the second                                                        line fourth, and so on till its natural conclusion by exhaustion...”  “...Read the lines in                                                        any order you like; begin at the top, middle, or bottom, and continue in any direction                                                     you choose, and you receive the same benefit.”

 

                                                                  Fae The Book of the Lamentations

                                                                         of the Poet McGonagall.

                                           Quotit bi Hugh MacDiarmid in his Scottish Eccentrics.

 

 

“..         But sit ye down, guidman,’ said she, ‘and I’ll mak’ some porridge for ye before ye         tak’ the road, for it’s a dreary road to Balmoral.’”

 

                                                                  Fae William McGonagall’s accoont o his

                                                                         Journey to Balmoral.

 

 

“..         The lintie sang coonterpoint when the ouzel yelpit...”

 

                                                                  Fae To Circumjack Cencrastus

                                                              bi Hugh MacDiarmid


CONTENTS

 

                        EXODUS

 

AARON JUSTIFIES POOER

                                                                                                 Page

Singin the Cantus Firmus ot                                                          1

An singin the Dyad ot                                                                   2

An singin the Triad ot                                                                   3-4

 

MOSES PROTESTS AGAINSS POOER                                  5

 

                        THE GOWDEN CAUF

 

AARON JUSTIFIES THE GOWDEN CAUF

 

Singin the Cantus Firmus ot                                                          6

An singin the Furst Flypein o the Cantus Firmus ot                        7

An singin the Saecont Flypein o the Cantus Firmus ot                    8

An singin the Dyad ot                                                                   9

An singin the Furst Flypein o the Dyad ot                                      10

An singin the Saecont Flypein o the Dyad ot                                 11

An singin the Triad ot                                                                   12

 

MOSES PROTESTS AGAINSS THE GOWDEN CAUF          13-19

 

HAMEAIRTANCE FOR EYDENT FOLK                                20-22


AARON JUSTIFIES POOER

 

 

Singin the Cantus Firmus ot

 

 

Aa Egypt murns the deid this morn, stoondit fae the maist heech,

Pharaoh hissel, tae the paer bodie even alow the jyler’s whup;

nane in aa the lenth o the braid Nyle watters but has its deid furstborn,

fae the tyke scrabblin i the toon middens tae the flech on the messan’s bellie;

thinkin an thochtless alyke hae thur deid.  And aa for the thinkin

tae see an ken, Moses, for the thinkin tae see an ken:

for the thinkin tae see an ken the micht o the Lorde Gode

o Israel abraid i the luft an black wi the bouin-doon

o his wecht on the shoothers o the slave-maisters for yince.  Ay, this

is thair tyme, Moses, this is thair tyme.  But this is oor day.                                        10

 

Lik the angel wi auld Jacob, we hae Pharaoh bi the hip here noo.

But this timm it’s no Israel maun hirple awo ginn the waarslin’s ower;

this nyaff’ll byde liggin wi’s faa — an faa he wull,

even as his faither and his faither’s faither afore him tae the foremaist generatioun

o thur muckle eemages in stane wull be dung doon

i the hinnerend in the stoor they cam fae.  This day is oors,

a day tae byde aye as oor day, til the muckle eemages

murl back tae the picklin saun that made them or the wechtit hulls inthrangit

thaem aathegither for the quarrieman’s mell an dwang.

 


An singin the Dyad ot

 

 

Thon muckle bodie sterk as a sentinel,                                                                      20

some cut doon, some nameless, some deep in letters cut,

the menseless, an the men o lairit laer, an paer bruits,

folk quick an firie, an thae laith tae burn

that byde ahint the brulyie o the battle

tae speir and hear an swither on the laer

in Israel gentled nane but that Heech Lorde

in his devoirs an the sairie duntin thare

in Tyme roon birlin they were feart o.  It

gurries us, daes this nichtmeer o a waarsle,

an ye micht suppose the bodie ’d waur us aa                                                             30

nae mair nor chuckies onie waen chips doon,

afore the justificatioun o Tyme

o  his kyn that glower fae the unseein een

forever an for aye at thon lang day

wi Israel triumphant on that samin day

they thocht wuid gie thaem an ayebydein grace

whan the micht o the haund o Gode garred that wecht haurden,

dirlin an dingin for a wurkin sang.

 


An singin the Triad ot

 

 

An Egypt murns the deid this morn, stoondit fae the maist heech,

thon muckle bodie sterk as a sentinel,                                                                       40

Pharaoh hissel, tae the paer bodie even alow the jyler’s whup,

some cut doon, some nameless, some deep in letters cut,

nane in aa the lenth o the braid Nyle watters but has its deid furstborn,

the menseless, an the men o lairit laer, an paer bruits

fae the tyke scrabblin i the toon middens tae the flech on the messan’s bellie,

folk quick an firie, an thae laith tae burn,

thinkin an thochtless alyke hae thur deid.  And aa for the thinkin,

that byde ahint the brulyie o the battle,

tae see an ken, Moses, for the thinkin tae see an ken,

tae speir and hear an swither on the laer                                                                    50

for the thinkin tae see an ken the micht o the Lorde Gode

in Israel gentled nane but that Heech Lorde

o Israel abraid i the luft an black wi the bouin-doon

in his devoirs an the sairie dauntin thare

o his wecht on the shoothers o the slave-maisters for yince.  Ay, this

in Tyme roon birlin they were feart o.  It

is thair tyme, Moses, this is thair tyme.  But this is oor day.

 

Gurries us, daes this nichtmeer o a waarsle,

(lik the angel wi auld Jacob, we hae Pharaoh bi the hip here noo)

an ye micht suppose the bodie ’d waur us aa,                                                            60

but this timm it’s no Israel maun hirple awo ginn the waarslin’s ower;

nae mair nor chuckies onie waen chips doon,

this nyaff’ll byde liggin wi’s faa — an faa he wull

afore the justificatioun o Tyme,

even as his faither and his faither’s faither afore him tae the foremaist generatioun

o his kyn that glower fae the unseein een

o thur muckle eemages in stane, wull be dung doon

forever an for aye at thon lang day

i the hinnerend in the stoor they cam fae.  This day is oors,

wi Israel triumphant on that samin day,                                                                      70

a day tae byde aye as oor day, til the muckle eemages

they thocht wuid gie thaem an ayebydein grace

murl back tae the picklin saun that made them or the wechtit hulls inthrangit

whan the micht o the haund o Gode garred that wecht haurden

thaem aathegither for the quarrieman’s mell an dwang

dirlin an dingin for a wurkin sang.

 

 

 


MOSES PROTESTS AGAINSS POOER

 

Ye say mair mibbe nor ye ken, Aaron, mair nor the years’ll forget

or the Nyle watters rowe on fae the leatherin they thole at the suddron cataracts,

inundatioun efter inundatioun whyle aye and on the paer folk plowter i the Nyle glaur,

an the prood deid Pharaohs blacken even-on, happit alow the cuddle o the lint,         80

bydein thur wheesht, yokit on bi the skaithin o Tyme or reiver.

 

I badd amang thir folk o Egypt for monie a year, ye ken,

monie a year o wastrie, mibbe, but gy weel respeckit, weel thocht o;

I’m no cawed aboot as muckle’s yersel wi hate, Aaron,

no lik yersel as wrocht on wi’t as the baurley dirlin tae the fling

o the flail.  Man, gie yersel peace, an think on the saucht o Gode

for a wee whyle: whit’s no drucken’ll byde i the stroop,

an whether it’s the byle o hate or the hinnie o luve,

oor ain folk’ll ken the preein ot or they ken soothfastness

wi the Lorde inwrocht amang thaem abuin aa ither folk.                                             90

A whyle syne, at thur maist sairie, and as fleggit tae the marra a thur baens

at the sicht o an Egyptian as the bairns at the thocht o a bogle —

ay, an the Egyptians’ll byde aye as bogles tae the bairns — a whyle syne,

I say, thare was sic luve in Israel as boore us aa heech abuin

the tyle an tulyie o the puddlin o cly an strae,

abuin the reek o oor sweit an the rypein o the sun on oor backs,

abuin the girdin at us bi the ganger, the girnin o that nyaff sib wi oorsels

at hert-roastit us mair nor aa else.  Ginn lowsin-tyme,

Aaron, an this is no langsyne but gy nearhaun

the day-afore-the-morn, dae ye no myn the sicht o the wemenfolk                             100

begrutten wi luve for the paer craiturs o the clypits, trystin thaem hame

wi the lowe o luve i thur een lappin the paer sowls wi the saucht o kynliness,

an thur herts’ peetie trimmlin fae thur finger-ens as they dichtit the durt

o the darg o the wark awo?  I hae no sae muckle thocht o remeid

for the skaith o past haudin-doon as the skowth o freedom afore us.

This is the great thing, Aaron, tae win abuin oorsels i the end,

oor road the gaet wi Gode alane, alane as the wuins scoor

the huge rocks til they dwyne tae the parent saun on the desert face:

but no juist yit are you an me and Israel Gode Almichtie Hissel —

spyle the Egyptians gin ye daur, ye’se fyle yersel.                                                      110

 

 


THE GOWDEN CAUF

 

AARON JUSTIFIES THE GOWDEN CAUF

 

 

Singin the Cantus Firmus ot

 

 

Man, Moses, the folk will be lik a gairden thare,

in guid hert, baith fae the yae haun that weel can move

in straucht order an graun ettlin, the Law become

the yae lang vista tae the furdest airt, ilka wy

perjink an purposefou as plan can mak it,

as in the guidlie green o the tenderest shorte gress,

saft tae the fuit, glisterin wi the dew o the autumn daw,

ryfe in the spring o the garth, noo florishin fresh in the suimmer

o its growthe.  And ayont ilka gaet, mellin wi buss an tree,

soondryfe as the owercome o the burds i the quick dawlicht,                                     120

or at the gloamin-faa ginn dwynin thare, the wy

the syle is graithit wi the ruid rose an whyte, an peonie

heid-heavie and owerwechtit wi growthe sairsocht enyeuch,

petal-saft as silken claith the lassies dream o,

ruch as thon yella gowd itsel, thon Sharon

lik the breist o a doo, in blae, groo, green an crammasie

quatelik as the cooralin o doos, tae growe thare

lik the folk oor people in the Law, lik the lan

itsel yin wi thaem an the Law, hameairtit, man an man.

 

 


An singin the Furst Flypein o the Cantus Firmus ot

 

 

Man, Moses, the folk will be lik a gairden thare,                                                        130

itsel yin wi thaem an the Law, hameairtit, man an man

in guid hert, baith fae the yae haun that weel can move

lik thae folk oor people in the Law, lik the lan

in straucht order an graun ettlin, the Law become

quatelik as the cooralin o doos, tae growe thare

the yae lang vista tae the furdest airt, ilka wy

lik the breist o a doo, in blae, groo, green an crammasie

perjink an purposefou as plan can mak it,

ruch as than yella gowd itsel, thon Sharon

as in the guidlie green o the tenderest shorte gress                                                     140

petal-saft as silken claith the lassies dream o,

saft tae the fuit, glisterin wi the dew o the autumn daw,

heid-heavie and owerwechtit wi growthe sairsocht enyeuch,

ryfe in the spring o the garth; noo florishin fresh in the suimmer,

the syle is graithit wi the ruid rose an whyte, an peonie

o its growthe, and ayont ilka gaet, mellin wi buss an tree

or at the gloamin-faa ginn dwynin thare, the wy

soondryfe as the owercome o the burds i the quick dawlicht.

 

 


An singin the Saecont Flypein o the Cantus Firmus ot

 

 

Lik the folk oor people in the Law, lik the lan

quatelik as the cooralin o doos, tae growe thare                                                        150

in guid hert, baith fae the yae haun that weel can move

in straucht order an graun ettlin, the Law become

lik the breist o a doo, in blae, groo, green an crammasie

ruch as thon yella gowd itsel, thon Sharon

the yae lang vista tae the furdest airt, ilka wy

perjink an purposefou as plan can mak it,

petal-saft as silken claith the lassies dream o,

heid-heavie and owerwechtit wi growthe sairsocht enyeuch,

as in the guidlie green o the tenderest shorte gress

saft tae the fuit, glisterin wi the dew o the autumn daw;                                              160

the syle is graithit wi the ruid rose an whyte, an peonie,

or at the gloamin-faa ginn dwynin thare, the wy

ryfe in the spring o the garth, noo florishin fresh in the suimmer

o its growthe.  And ayont ilka gaet, mellin wi buss an tree,

soondryfe as the owercome o the burds i the quick dawlicht,

man, Moses, the folk will be lik a gairden thare,

itsel yin wi thaem an the Law, hameairtit, man an man.

 

 


An singin the Dyad ot

 

 

Made lik a sang whan wurds and air thegither stoond,

scryvein athorte the paper, the maik o the haerns and haun

lik the ordert growthe o the boond o the sang itsel                                                     170

as the wecht o a wurd i the richt place, as the note coonts kin wi’t

here, lik the owercome o a melodie, the ayebydein walcome

noo in the quate o the year an bydein its wheesht,

noo brust oot in a young braird, sherp an shill as spears

i the fuhll ruch sang o the bass grund chorusin;

and inwrocht wi the singin o the sang o the order o the yirth,

the sperflin o the blink o morn for man’s delyte,

the garth growne hiddlins as the secrets o its lyfes,

the bluid an baen o man, his lyfe hung doon,

as thon flooer the Rose a Sharon velvet i the leafs,                                                     180

bricht berriet purpour an black in its tyme an ruch

as a hunder hardie heathers thare, an dooce

o quatest colours aa days o the year tae growe

as divers in order an perjink ilka yin i the plan

itsel yin wi thaem an the Law, hameairtit, man an man.

 

 

 


An singin the Furst Flypein o the Dyad ot

 

 

Made lik a sang whan wurds and air thegither stoond,

itsel yin wi thaem an the Law, hameairtit, man an man,

scryvein athorte the paper, the maik o the haerns and haun

as divers in order an perjink ilka yin i the plan

lik the ordert growthe o the boond o the sang itsel                                                     190

o quatest colours aa days o the year tae growe

as the wecht o a wurd i the richt place, as the note coonts kin wi’t,

as a hunder hardie heathers thare; an dooce

here lik the owercome o a melodie, the ayebydein walcome

bricht berriet purpour an black in its tyme an ruch

noo in the quate o the year an bydein its wheesht;

as thon Rose o Sharon velvet i the leafs

noo brust oot in a young braird, sherp an shill as spears,

the bluid an baen a man, his lyfe hung doon

i the fuhll ruch sang o the bass grund chorusin,                                                           200

the garth growne hiddlins as the secrets o its lyfes,

and inwrocht wi the singin o the sang o the order o the yirth,

the sperflin o the blink o morn for man’s delyte.

 

 


An singin the Saecont Flypein o the Dyad ot

 

 

As divers in order an perjink ilka yin i the plan

o quatest colours aa days o the year tae growe,

scryvein athorte the paper, the maik o the haerns and haun

lik the ordert growthe o the boond o the sang itsel

as a hunder hardie heathers thare, an dooce,

bricht berriet purpour an black in its tyme an ruch

as the wecht o a wurd i the richt place; as the note coonts kin wi’t                             210

here, lik the owercome o a melodie the ayebydein walcame

as thon flooer the Rose o Sharon velvet i the leafs:

the bluid an baen o man his lyfe hung doon

noo in the quate o the year an bydein its wheesht;

noo brust oot in a young braird sherp an shill as spears,

the garth growne hiddlins as the secrets o its lyfes,

the sperflin o the blink o morn for man’s delyte

i the fuhll ruch sang o the bass grund chorusin;

and inwrocht wi the singin o the sang o the order o the yirth,

made lik a sang whan wurds and air thegither stoond,                                                220

itsel yin wi thaem an the Law, hameairtit, man an man.

 

 


An singin the Triad ot

 

 

Man, Moses, the folk will be lik a gairden thare,

made lik a sang whan wurds and air thegither stoond

in guid hert, baith fae the yae haun that weel can move,

scryvein athorte the paper the maik o the haerns and haun

in straucht order an graun ettlin, the Law became

lik the ordert growthe o the boond o the sang itsel,

the yae lang vista tae the furdest airt, ilka wy

as the wecht o a wurd i the richt place, as the note coonts kin wi’t,

perjink an purposefou as plan can mak it,                                                                  230

here, lik the owercome o a melodie, the ayebydein walcome

as in the guidlie green o the tenderest shorte gress,

noo in the quate o the year an bydein its wheesht,

saft tae the fuit, glisterin wi the dew o the autumn daw,

noo brust oot in a young braird, sherp an shill as spears

ryfe in the spring o the garth, noo florishin fresh in the suimmer

i the fuhll ruch sang o the bass grund chorusin

o its growthe.  And ayont ilka gaet, mellin wi buss an tree,

and inwrocht wi the singin o the sang o the order o the yirth,

soondryfe as the owercome o the burds i the quick dawlicht,                                     240

the sperflin o the blink o morn for man’s delyte;

or at the gloamin-faa ginn dwynin thare, the wy

the garth growne hiddlins as the secrets o its lyfes,

the syle is graithit wi the ruid rose an whyte, an peonie

the bluid an baen o man, his lyfe hung doon

heid-heavie and owerwechtit wi growthe sairsocht enyeuch;

as thon flooer the Rose o Sharon velvet i the leafs

petal-saft as silken claith the lassies dream o,

bricht berriet purpour an black in its tyme an ruch,

ruch as thon yella gowd itsel, thon Sharon                                                                 250

as a hunder hardie heathers thare, an dooce

lik the breist o a doo in blae, groo, green an crammasie

o quatest colours aa days o the year tae growe

quatelik as the cooralin o doos, tae growe thare

as divers in order an perjink ilka yin i the plan

lik thae folk oor people in the Law, lik the lan

itsel yin wi thaem an the Law, hameairtit, man an man.

 


MOSES PROTESTS AGAINSS THE GOWDEN CAUF

 

 

Ye didnae lick that aff yer ain herthstane —

mair lyker mynes amang the paelace makars.

 

Licht-fuitit needs nae kent tae lowp a shuch.                                                              260

Glyd-eed luks furrit sydiewys tae pree.

 

Aaron, mynd we’re nae mair non feckless bit things

daudit bi the dunt o the wecht o ilka wuin —

or nae wuin avaa even, daudit bi fears an greinins

that hae nae booke ootwith oor haerns.  We juist

footer aboot lik folk ower tentie wi naething, we juist

gae as we gang, goavein lik gomerils, gaein even

whan we daenae hae tae gan avaa.  Luk here, noo,

here’s a neivefou o saun.  See hoo it rins atweesh

ma fingers an skails ower and awo lik watter fae the tassie                                         270

o ma loof.  Strauchten the haun and awo gaes the feck

o the lave the samin gaet, tuimmin on the muckle wurld

o the parent saun alow, tynt amang the lave

o the sib stoor an stanes.  We see’t nae mair, nae mair

nor we see ocht but the byordnar and auntrin stane

alang the stoorie boond o the haill airt o the desert,

nocht but a sairie puckle o the smaa grush o frit lik oorsels,

bydein oor wheesht for the tholein o the fire can haurden us gless-cleir

an shape us or deleever us dowie in oor deid, vernear yin

wi the samin stoor.  Pheu!  A fuff o caller braith                                                         280

blaws the haun clean, and ilka haet o the saun’s as scarce

as polis-manure on the muckle ruckies alow a murlin sgurr,

on shairn amang the sklit an sklate o the screes.

 

Sae cood oor folk sperfle awo an be tynt amang

the mixter-maxter o the mellin o the muckle clanjamphrie

o the folk o the mappamoond, an wi thaem gang aa wys,

nocht left o the darg an devoirs o oor young days

but the auntrin broo o the yae an tither byordnar man

here an yonder tae merk an witness us and oors

and oor wys o daein.  An syne the braith o the rowth                                                290

o natiouns tae fuff us oot o oor ain an thair kennin,

an we are duin, the grun made yin wi us,

lik ricklie auld hooses the grund growne intae them,

oor devoirs noo seen then nae mair avaa

nor scartin oor wy thru hell for a hapennie;

for this is oor beild the lown dyke o the Law tae share,

renewin the mortar o the wechtie Wurd

as it murls awo tae the pootherie graff wurds that made it,

til it byde constant as the folks’ ingyne

makkin again and aye yince mair the murlin stane                                                       300

tae growe a biggin and a bothie for thur beild.

 

But mairattoore, luk at this haunfou o saun.

See ma neive shut, ma fingers bent ower, beildin the stowp

o ma loof, wi the saun cuppit an gruppit ticht an shair

atween, as lown as the lee o a rock fae the scoor

o sun an wuin.  Here’s ma neive lik a brazen baa,

sterk an stoore tae stryke an stoond, or, gin strucken, byde

steivelie wi the micht o its ingethert strenth:

ocht in yaething wrocht in aathing here, for yaeness

has nae purpose ootwith haillness, a bookein that breists                                           310

the breenge an brustle o aa the wuins o the wurld in yin.

 

An sae oor folk graithit an girdit wi the grace o the Law,

a mell in needcessitie, and a target tae guaird an ward.

Nae wuin’ll ever blaw thaem awo, nor even the fash

o weire tae waur them,  nor weare an teare them syne.

 

Whit is yer gairden o the folk and it be no beildit

bi the Law fae the birlaboot o the divers blast

but liggs thare endlangwys tae the ryvein wuin

that gowls an tashes lik a brulyie o barbarians?

Be a morn in Mye bonnie ayont mair desire wi’t,                                                       320

an braw abuin onie greinin micht aspire tae’t,

kennin kens nocht but yae realitie,

the day ye see an the day ye daenae see.

 

Licht-fuitit lowps weel enyuch athoot a kent.

“Straucht aheid”, said Skellie, glowerin wast his shoother.

 

 

This ia tae be nae true man tae yersel,

but juist tig-toyin wi treasoun tae the mynd:

luk up, Aaron, man, luk up, for whyles ye’re thirled

tae the grund as the grush tae the syle alow the buits;

whyles craikin for the bent on the brae and a joukin burn                                           330

as the desert bodies dream o sploonjin gress;

whyles greinin for the growthe o the grund lik a lassie in her tyme

greinin for the growthe o a bairn, ye’re that bumbaized

wi’t ye ken nane hoo ye’re moniefauldit i the haerns,

no aa thare, mense mixter-maxtered lik a Jennie Aathings’,

lik the squeechlin an the squachlin o a curn

o wemen forgetherin roond some new bit bairn

as hens can sprachle roond a wyfe wi corn,

til the mynd becomes as nichtit as the endmaist day

birlin heid-ower-hurdies amang the staurs o the luft,                                                   340

as daurk an deidlie, dowie an deceitfou

in fairheid as thon whyte-lichtit candelabram

o the green day-nettle i the flooers o the gairden thare.

 

Caller i the park, lown in soothairtit garth,

in Apryle, green Mairch gress is naething warth.

 

Forbye, whye suid ye fash yersel wi the fasheries

the folk skail-oot lang-tonguit for the waant

o a coggie o thocht tae haud thur haverins haill?

Ye’ll mak nae note, tho mibbe the bit skreichin noise

whan playin saecont-fiddle tae drummer boys.                                                          350

Whye listen tae clash for the sake o clashin mair?

Whan a chowe o folk get thegither, whyles, ye ken,

they mowt nocht else nor a curmurrin o gabble-guts

says ilka stairheid fecht’s a Battle Royal.

Thir folk are as bluidless as they’re brainless; they cannae mak

mair haerns nor they hae bluid tae growe them wi.

And, Aaron, whan I luk at thaem ye’re awfie thirled tae,

I’m lyke tae say o the baith o ye as the folk say

o the thrawart amang them, “Gode it was made thaem,

did He, but He left Auld Nick tae manage them.”                                                      360

Yer best freens syne’ll be the faur-awo yins.

 

Whan the strenth o a waant is in the folk, daenae think

ye speak lik a man o pooer gin ye mowt awo

at the mibbe-ays an mibbe-naws o that kinna greinin:

the waiker man, raxin-oot tae the haun o the strang,

thinks, whan catcht an gruppit wi’t, the pooer is his.

The waik aye maun toadie tae the strenth o a freen,

but stachers aboot as tho on the sklidderiness

o thowein yce, fornent a contar strenth,

thinkin the sklidderiness is strenth itsel,                                                                      370

that strang men think sae tae; he will expec,

but never will get onie respec fae men o pooer

that winnae laichen thur ain respec for thursel

bi siccan toadiein tae the waiker man.  He will

expect an (for aa it’s warth) will get the respect

o ither waik folk until they hae a strang man

they can bou doon tae, for that’s the wy o thaem

an the wy o the wame hame tae for waens lik hissel.

Whit’s wrocht in the genes wurks-oot in the means, ye ken.

Pree the haill calendar, speir, keek, an seek,                                                             380

maun-dae maks siccar ilka day o the week.

 

It’s no a case o may-dae wi a muckle maun-dae:

gin thare is ocht tae be cawed, then cawed it will be,

for the man o pooer maun aye be contarlyke,

maun aye set strenth tae strenth an glower tae glower,

maun aye dree the weerd o daein, maun waarsle aye

an win or be waured, an will aye hae the respect o folk

o the samin strenth.  He will command the waik,

an weel tho they be feart o him then, and hate him,

he wull hae thair respect, an tho that’s gien                                                                390

wi the garl, yit never will they gansh for they daurnae,

kennin thare’s nae baetin o the man for thaem excep

for respec for the samin strenth in thaem.  A baet man

maun heeze his waikness or byde pooterie.

The man o pooer isnae concerned wi respec for oniebodie;

he is at hame wi the wy o his ain wame,

but lyke the artist chiel that hauds guid craftsmen

in respect, he cannae thole his fieres avaa

that cannae bear awo the gree fae craftsmen.

 

Graft hie on the heech hills, or laich i the pits alow,                                                    400

maun-dae’s the maister never says, “Naw, I’ll no.”

An daenae be sae forfairn, as tho ye’d made a tooshie at,

and haein gotten the fou o yer een, gaed hingin huddrie

an wheengein, wi a face lik a collie in the strunts.

Staun furrit steivelie an tyuch as the makar at kens

the Wurd itsel is tyuch as gundie for tae chowe,

the-tane as aften gubbed-oot as the-tither gabbed-in.

An think, Aaron, the Law is abuin the folk as a tree

is abuin the steer an stishie o the garth the wy

the Wurd itsel upsteerin maks sooch an soond                                                          410

an waxes an wintles awo i the wys o the Law

as the wuin can wheech an whyne an waver awo

amang the branches o the forest leafs tae steer.

 

The Law is nocht man’s pleesure nor the Wurd

his praise; the Wurd alane maks manifest

the Law that can alane mak manifest

Gode’s Sel as soond an sense thegither mell,

as the burds’ blythe chorus i the groo o daw

is sib wi thur owercome i the gloamin-faa

whaur in thur place in that syle gies them beild                                                           420

o thur kynd, perfay, growe the guairdian trees o the Law

in conswitheratioun o the wys o the Wurd:

thon braid great gurlie-barkit tree, the aik

thrawn-staunin, ruch, unmoodgeable in truith

that’s grundit deep i the strenth o the wechtie Wurd

o the Law; the waarm groo o the hichtit buck tree gentie

in the saft green silk o the spring leaf unfauldin i the cleir licht

athorte the parks, or dernin aathing in its bous black in the ruch

purpour o its leafs the licht an scadd o the meanin o the Wurd;

yonder the ryfe rowan in its glore o leaf an flooer                                                       430

an berrie in the lang growein tyme o the year the endless

interpretatioun o the Wurd, at furst an ettlin

o kennin young as the aer leaf, then florishin fresh

wi laer livelie as the suimmer wuins i the shaws,

syne endmaistlyke evendoon faur ben in blytheheid

as the fruit its ruid ootsheenin; and as rowthie

as the rowan, the buskie boore tree in the haidge wi its wyne

o crammasie at the back-en o the year the savour o the Wurd

pleesurt in its burthen o hertsome praise an sang;

and ayont them, the hardie straucht ruid wuid o the pyne                                           440

lichtenin the black daipth o the daurk green ranks

o the shaws waarm-sheenin in the winter air,

confort in that tree lik the benmaist ruid hert o the Wurd;

and abuin them, the muckle plane wi its loaf-braid leafs,

the buirdlie tree, swaet-hertit lik the Wurd

ingethert in itsel, the differ in aa wys fae the birk

o the fedderit fingers dichtin the air thonder siller

as the mornin o the wurld i the shaws o Eden, the tree

the saft sooch o the Wurd, the restorer, the cleanser o the wurld,

lik thon in Eden never was, the rain                                                                           450

gentlin the grund as tho the praise we hichtit

rose lichtsome as the haur upon the hills

tae gar oor burns rowe on as swaet an cleir

as butter-bap-broon hinnie fae the kaim,

a calleratioun upon the morn as pure

as the burds’ blythe chorus in the groo o dawn

is sib wi thur owercome in the dayligaun.

 

This is mair lyker the wather noo, ma freen,

that I gie willant, aroon yer heid tae poore

a blessin in its wysslik witterin bree                                                                           460

I didnae the wuin aff-tak, but mynes tae gie,

tho kennin whaa gies whyles gets nane that back

gif whaa can tak keeps his ain sooch in hainin,

as secret wi’t as the sacrait name o Gode

His Ainsel dernin deep in hiddlins thare.

 

Gin you ken that thing, Aaron, and its wecht,

tak tent o this, for it is yae Commandment:

hooeer we sayt, we ken the wy o the speak,

that Maun-dae wull dae, onie day o the week.

 


HAMEAIRTANCE FOR EYDENT FOLK

 

1 In the justificatioun o pooer bi Aaron in “Exodus”, sicna pooer is mair an ettlin nor

a fact, an the poem is made thareanent in whit may be caad hameil or plain contarpynt.

Here, the furst verse is the cantus firmus, the saecont the dyad, and the thurd the triad.

 

2 The furst lyne o the cantus firmus begins the triad sang, then the furst lyne o the dyad, syne ilka lyne o the cantus firmus contarpyntit wi everilk neist lyne o the dyad.

 

3 In the justificatioun o “The Gowden Cauf” bi Aaron, the grund bydes the same wy hameil contarpynt as in “Exodus”, but as this justificatioun is pooer weel-heezeit, the cantus firmus an the dyad are flypeit the twyce, makkin aathegither seeven verses, the triad bein the hinmaist, a Saubbath sang, the end and aim o the week, ye micht say.

    In the furst flypein o the cantus firmus, the lynes o the verse are set in repetitioun

but contarairtit:

 

                        Cantus Firmus                          Furst Flypein

   

                              1, 19              become(s)          1, 2

                              2, 18                                       3, 4

                              3, 17                                       5, 6

                              4, 16                                       7, 8

                              5, 15                                       9, 10

                              6, 14                                     11, 12

                              7, 13                                     13, 14

                              8, 12                                     15, 16

                              9, 11                                     17, 18

                            10                                           19

 

 

    In the saecont flypein o the cantus firmus, the lynes o the verse are set in dooble

contarpynt:

 

                        Cantus Firmus                          Saecont Flypein

   

                            18, 17              become(s)          1, 2

                              2, 3                                         3, 4

                            16, 15                                       5, 6

                              4, 5                                         7, 8

                            14, 13                                       9, 10

                              6, 7                                       11, 12

                            12, 11                                     13, 14

                              8, 9                                       15, 16

                            10                                           17

                              1                                           18

                            19                                           19

 

 

 

 

    In the furst flypein o the dyad, the lynes are set as for the furst flypein o the cantus firmus.

   

                            Dyad                                   Furst Flypein

 

                            1, 18           become                  1, 2

                            2, 17                                         3, 4

                            3, 16                                         5, 6

                            4, 15                                         7, 8

                            5, 14                                         9, 10

                            6, 13                                       11, 12

                            7, 12                                       13, 14

                            8, 11                                       15, 16

                            9, 10                                       17, 18

 

    In the saecont flypein o the dyad, the lynes are set as for the saecont flypein o

the cantus firmus:

 

                            Dyad                                   Saecont Flypein

 

                            17, 16         become(s)              1, 2

                              2, 3                                         3, 4

                            15, 14                                       5, 6

                              4, 5                                         7, 8

                            13, 12                                       9, 10

                              6, 7                                       11, 12

                            11, 10                                     13, 14

                              8, 9                                       15, 16

                              1                                           17

                            18                                           18

 

4 Tho ilka protestatioun o Moses may be thocht o as sib wi moniefauldit melodie in

musical contarpynt, an tho appoggiaturas an chromatic tones cannae be at hame (micht ye say?) in hameil contarpynt, the aunswers o the leal makar Lawgier tae the justificatiouns o the fause poet Priest may be conseedert akin tae free contarpynt, an the reader micht weel be tentie for the auntrin birlie bittock an the swee up an doon o the orra figur an soond.

 

5 In his saecont protestatioun, Moses contarairts a treed grund againss the garthie

grund o the pooer o Aaron.  The trees in order are the aik, buck, rowan, boore, pyne, plane, birk, seeven trees for the seeven days o the Lorde’s Creatioun o the Yirth.  The kenmerks o the trees are guairdianship, laer, kennin, sweerness, caunnieness, wyssheid, gentilitie, notit in the furst seeven lynes o the dyad in “Exodus”.

 

6 In a personal sense, but no ootwith the swee o the poem, the aik was seen in Morvern near Loch Arienas; the buck bi the Maurlage road fornent the hoose here; the rowan in the gairden ootbye, the twaa o them indeed as thare aye are; the boore hichtit abuin oor haidge; the (Scots) pyne seen thru oor front windae; the plane near Cleadale in the Isle o Eigg; an the birk in aa the airts o Scotland.

 

7 It is nae skaithin tae poetic reasoun aither that oor gairden here at the Maurlage hauds the growthieness o the garth o Aaron in his “Exodus” sangs: gress; ruid rose an

whyte; peonie; Rose o Sharon; heather.  Mak whit ye will o the kenmerks o thaem, or o the cushie doos in the shaws at the front o the hoose an thur hamein cuisins in the

doocottie at the back.

 


WURDLEET

 

aa: all

aathegither: altogether

aathing: everything

aboot: about

abuin: above

aer: early

aff-tak: take off

afore: before

ahint: behind

aik: oak

airt: direction, point of compass

aither: either

alane: alone

Almichtie: Almighty

alow: below

amang: among

an: and

and: and (intensive or before vowel or aspirate)

aroon: around

at: that

athorte: across, athwart

atweesh: between

Auld Nick: Satan

auntrin: occasional

avaa; at all

awaa; away

awo: away

ay: yes

aye: always

ayebydein: eternally

ayont: beyond

 

baa: ball

back-en: autumn

badd: stayed, abode, lived

baens: bones

baetin: beating

bairns: children

baith: both

bap: breakfast roll

begrutten: tear-stained

beild (bield): shelter

benmaist: innermost

berriet: berried

bi: by

biggin: building

birk: birch

birlaboot: turnaround, agitation

birlie: twiddly

birlin: twisting, turning

bittock: little bit

blae: blue-gray

blaws: blows

bluid: blood

blytheheid: joy

bogle: hobgoblin

bonnie: attractive

booke: bulk, significance

boond: scope, bound

boore (tree): elder (tree)

boore: bore

bothie: farm quarters

bous: boughs

bouin-doon: bowing-down

brae: slope, bank

braid: broad

braird: sprouting

braith: breath

braw: agreeable

bree: juice, essence

breenge: impetuousity

breist: breast

bricht: bright

broo: brow

bruits: brutes

brulyie: commotion

brust: burst

brustle: rushing

buck: beech

buirdlie: stalwart

buits: boots

bumbaized: bewildered, stupified

burds: birds

burn: stream

buskie: adorned

buss: bush

byordnar: extraordinary

 

caller: fresh

calleratioun: freshness

catcht: caught

cauf: calf

cawed: driven

chiel: fellow, chap

chips: throws, casts

chowe: chew

chowe (o folk): group of arguers

chuckies: small stones, pebbles

claith: cloth

clanjamphrie: mob

clash: talk, gossip

cleir: clear

cly: clay

coggie: cup, dish

confort: comfort

contar: opposing, opposite

contarairtit: directed contrarily

contarpynt: counterpoint

conswitheratioun: general high debate

conseedert: considered

cood: could

coonts: counts

cooralin: cooing

craikin: yearning

craiturs: creatures

crammasie: crimson

croutit: cooed

cuisins: cousins

curmurrin: rumbling

curn: small party, group

cushat: wood pigeon

cushiedoos: wood pigeons

 

dae: do

daenae: do not

daes: does

daipth: depth

darg: task

daudit: struck

daur: dare

daurnae: dare not

daw: dawn

dawlicht: dawnlicht

dayligaun: twilight

deid: dead, death

delyte: delight

dernin: hiding

dichtit: wiped

dingin: beating

dirlin: vibrating

doo: dove, pigeon

dooble: double

dooce: sober

doocottie: pigeon loft

dowie: sad

dree: endure

drucken: drunken

dukes: ducks(modern Scots spelling deuks, dyucks)

dung: overpowered, beaten

durt: dirt

dwang: wooden insert or drift

 

een: eyes

endlangwys: lengthwise

endmaistlyke: finally

enyeuch: enough

enyuch: enough

ettlin: intention

evendoon: thoroughly

everilk: each

 

faa: fall

fae: from

fairheid: beauty

faither: father

fash: trouble; worry

fasheries: vexations

faur awo: far away

faur ben: intimate, at one with

fause: false

feart: frightened

feck: bulk, larger portion

feddert: feathered

fieres: friends, associates

flech: flea

fleggit: frightened

flooer: flower

flypein: turning outside in

flypeit: turned outside in

footer: fuss, fiddle

forfairn: forlorn

fornent: in opposition to, in face of

fou: fill

freen: friend

fuhll: full

fuit: foot

fuitit: footed

furdest: furthest

furrit: forward

furst: first

fut (fuit): foot

fyle: foul

 

gae: go

gaed: went

gaet: road

gairden: garden

gang: go

gansh: snap, snatch (as a dog does)

gar: compel

garred: compelled

garth: garden

gayslings: goslings

gets (nane): does not get

gentie: elegant

gie: give

gif: if

gin: if

ginn: when, by the time

girnin: snarling

glaur: mud

gless: glass

gloamin-faa: twilight fall

glower: scowl

glore: glory

glyeed: squint-eyed

goavin: staring vacantly

gomerils: fools

gowd: gold

gowden: golden

gowd-spink: gold finch

gowls: growls hollowly

graff: vulgar

graft: work hard

graithit: equipped

graun: grand

gree (bear awo the): win the prize, be superior

greet: weep

greinin(s): yearning(s)

gress: grass

groo: gray

growthe: growth

growthieness: luxuriance:, fertility

grun(d): ground

gruppit: gripped

grush: small stones (in the mass)

gubbed: ‘bad-mouthed’, coarsely-spoken

guid: good

guidman: mister, sir

gundie: toffee

gurl: growl (as a dog does)

gurlie: gnarled

gurries: puts into confusion

gy: very

 

haerns: brains

haet: particle

haill: whole, wholly

haillness: wholeness

hainin: protection, preservation

hame: home

hameairtit: directed home, home-going

hameil: homely, plain

hamein: homing

happit: covered over

hauds: holds

haudin-doon: holding down

haun: hand

haur: mist

haverins: incoherencies

heech: high

heeze: exalt, make as much as possible of

heid-ower-hurdies: head-over-heels

hert: heart

hie: high

hichtit: high-standing

hiddlins: secret

hingin: dispirited

hinmaist: hindmost

hinnerend (i the): long last (at)

hinnie: honey

hirple: limp, hobble

hissel: himself

hoo: how

hooeer: however

huddie crawis: hoodie crows

huddrie: slovenly

 

i: in

ilka: each

ingethert: ingathered

ingyne: genius

inthrangit: pressed-in

ither: other

 

Jennie Aathings: ‘Jenny Allthings’, small shop which sells everything

jookin: meandering, twisting

jyler: jailer

kaim: comb

keek: peep

ken: know

kenmerks: attributes

kennin: knowing, knowledge

kent: staff

 

laer: learning, education

laich: low

laichen: lower

lairit: stored

laith: loath

lang: long

langsyne: long ago

lave: rest, remainder

laverock: lark

lawgier: lawgiver

leafs: leaves

leal: loyal, true

lenth: length

lichtsome: lightsome

liggs: lies

liggin: lying

lik: like (non-intensive)

lint-white: linnet                                                                                                       

loof: palm of the hand

lowe: flame

lowp: leap

lown: serene

lowsin-tyme: time when one ceases work

luft: sky

luk: look

lyfes: plural of ‘life’                                                                                                  

lyke: like (intensive)

lyker: likely

 

maik: image, model

mair: more

mairattoore: moreover

mair lyker: more like

maist: most

maister: master

makar: poet

marra: marrow                                                                                                        

maun: must

maun-dae: must-do (a ‘Monday’ or ‘maun-dae’ hammer is a large one)

mavis: thrush

mell: large hammer

mense: propriety

menseless: uncultured

merle: blackbird

messan: dog

micht: might

midden: dunghill

mixter-maxter (ed): confusion (disordered)

monie: many

moniefauldit: resembling a psalterium

mowt: mouth, speak

muckle: much, great

murl: crumble

murns: mourns

mynes: mine

 

nae: no

naething: nothing

nane: none

naw (s): no (es)

needcessitie: necessity

neist: next

neive: hand

neivefou: handful

nichtit: blanked-out

nichtmeer: nightmare

no: not

nocht: not, nothing

noo: now

nother: neither

nyaff: despicable person

 

o: of

ocht: anything

onie: any

ootbye: nearby outside

ootwith: outside

ootsheenin: outshining

orra: curious, strange

ot: of it

ower: over, too

owercome: chorus

owerwechtit: overweighted

owzel: blackbird

 

paer: poor

paelace: palace

park: field

perjink: precise

picklin: trickling

plane: sycamore

plowter: splash through mud or water

polis-manure: town dung

poore: pour

pooterie: insignificant, aimless

pootherie: powdery

pree: examine

preein: tasting

puckle: small amount

purpour: purple

 

quate: quiet

 

raxin-oot: reaching-out

rede-shank: redshank, sandpiper

reiver: raider, robber

remeid: redress

richt: right

rins: runs

roon: round

rowan: mountain ash

rowe: roll

rowth: abundance

rowthie: abundant

ruch: rough

ruckies: lumps of rock

ruid: red

rypein: scouring, scratching

ryvein: raging

 

sacrait: secret

sairie: grievously, sorrowful

sairsocht: sorely sought

samin: same

sang: song

Saubbath: Sabbath

saucht: peace

sayt: say it

scadd: shade

scartin: scratching

scoor: scratch, scrape, attrition

screes: beds of detritus

scryvein: writing

sgurr: rocky crag

shair: sure

shairn: cow pat(s)

shaws: woods, forest

sherp: sharp

shill: assertive

shoothers: shoulders

shuch: ditch

sib: akin

sic: such

sicna: such a

sicht: sight

siller: silver

skails: spills

skaith(in); harm, hurt

sklate: slate

sklidderiness: slipperiness

sklit: stone laminates

skowth: scope

skreichin: screeching

smaa: small

sooch: meaning, import

soondryfe: full of sound

soothairtit: south-facing

soothfastness: trustworthiness

speak: saying, adage

speir: enquire

sploonjin: drenched, soaked

sperflin: dispersing

sprachle: scramble

spyle: spoil

squeechlin: squealing

squachlin: shrilling

stachers: totters

stairheid fecht: quarrel between women on apartment stairhead

stane: stone

staun: stand

steer: stir

steivelie: firmly

sterk: potent

stishie: uproar

stoond: throb

stoondit: stunned

stoor: dust

stoore: sturdy

stoorie: dusty

stowp: vessel, cup

strae: straw

strang: strong

straucht: straight

strenth: strength

stroop: spout

strunts: sulks

suimmer: summer

swaet: sweet

swee: sway

sweerness: reluctance

sweit: sweat

swither: consider, be undecided about

sydiewys: sideways

syle: soil

syne: since, then

 

‘t: it

tae: to

tak: take

tak tent: pay attention

tassie: cup, glass

tashes: frays, wears

target: shield

teare: tear

tentie: careful

thae: those

thaem: them (intensive)

thair: their

thare: there

thareanent: concerning that

the-tane: the one

the-tither: the other

thir: these

thirled: subject to

thochtless; thoughtless

thole: endure, bear

thon: that

thonder: yonder

thowein: thawing

thrawart: perverse

thrawn: stubborn

thur: their

tig-toyin: ‘touching-and-going’ , ‘playing with fire’, playing ‘Russian roulette’

titlens: meadow pipits, tit-larks

toon: town

tooshie: mess, failure

trimmlin: trembling

truith: truth

tuimmin: emptying

tulyie: hard work

turtil: turtle dove

twyce( the): twice

tyle: toil

tyme: time

tynt: lost

tyuch: tough

 

vernear: very nearly

 

waarsle: struggle, fight, wrestle

waen: child

waik: weak

wame: womb

wark: work

warth: worth

wast: west

wastrie: profligacy

wather: weather

waur: defeat

weare: wear

wecht: weight

wechtit: weighted

weerd: fate

weire: war

whaa: who

wheech: move quickly

wheengein: whining

wheesht: hush

whit: what

whup: whip

whyles: at times

willant: willingly

winnae: will not

wintles: writhes

witterin: informing

wrocht: wrought

wuid: wood

wuin: wind

wull: will

wurdleet: glossary

wurld: world

wurkin: working

wy: way

wyssheid: wisdom

wysslik: sensible, wise

 

 

yae: one, single

yaeness: singleness, individuality

yaething: one thing

yce: ice

yin: one

yince: once

yirth: earth

yit: yet

yokit (on): attacked

 

zowlet: yowled (the ‘z’ spelling is the ancient yoch letter, now superseded by the ‘y’.                                                                                                                                                                                                 The word is therefore “yowlet”.) 

 

    This haill byeuk was made at East Kilbride in 1959

    and at The Maurlage in 1971/72/82.

 


Explication of Moses at Mount Sinai culled from letter to Susan dated 6 May 1982

 

 

    The poem has two actions, the first covering the Exodus, the second the Golden Calf.  Each action is concerned with Aaron’s justifications and Moses’ protestations

against Aaron’s attitudes.

    Thus, Aaron justifies power and his Golden Calf.  In both instances, he is made atypical of the organising religious, a false Priest Poet whose name meaning Mountainous or Lofty is belied in his being rooted in the beguiling garden of religious form and ritual: these things are underscored by his capacity for revenge in Exodus when given the taste of power, and by his preoccupation with the mental subversion of the lieges through incantation.  The poem makes this of him by ringing the changes on statements which reiterate and better reiterate the same statement about a garden pleasance.  These things are part of the counterpointing of the poem.  Beneath it all, in the first seven lines of the Dyad in Exodus,  Aaron makes seven statements which are hostages to poetic fortune since they are attributes of seven trees, oak, beech, rowan, elder, pine, plane, birch.  Moses seizes on them in the Golden Calf section, for they are part of the Word, being of the tree alphabet. 

    Unlike Aaron, Moses whose name means Drawn out, Saved from the water, is a true Poet Lawgiver, a man created by the desert and whose essential ground is treed, not flowered.  Thus, his statements in both Exodus and The Golden Calf are counterpoised and counterpointed plainly, compared with Aaron’s lyrical statements and variations on a spurious theme. 

    In Exodus, Moses makes a thoughtful statement which is concerned ultimately with

consideration of the situation, and with pity, and with aloneness with God, and with

warning.  Here, he says, the great thing is to win above ourselves in the end, our road

the way with God alone, mindful that not just yet are we and Israel at one with God:

his warning says that if we spoil the Egyptians, we shall foul ourselves in the process. 

The statement about not yet being one with God must be read against the basic Jewish

idea that one can never be at one with God.  Most folk outwith the Jewish people will

not realise that. 

    In The Golden Calf,  Moses dismisses Aaron’s contrivements, counterpointing with a treed ground, desert images, the Word and the Law and their interdependence.  God and Commandment are posed and poised from first to last, for Israel is a fist clenched

full of sand and God is a hammer against which none may prevail.  Rather than the

garden flowers of nitual, the trees of the Law direct the minds of the people to guardianship, learning, knowledge, unwillingness, carefulness, wisdom, gentility: in these things, we are meant to take care of one’s own; we must learn; we have to know; we must be loth to move until necessary; we must exercise care; we must acquire wisdom; we must exhibit good manners, make our own worth plain to see. 

    Generally, it should be remembered that Aaron was, traditionally, the mouthpiece of Moses.  In accordance with that consideration, Aaron’s speech is diffuse whilst that of Moses is strait in the sense of sturdily-constructed. 

    Over and above those matters, it is nothing remarkable that the scenes of Aaron’s

garden and Moses’ desert are all present in Scotland, whether in fact or fancy, and that

the references bore-in deeply to the aboriginal sources of the Scots and the Jews.  The notes which follow the poem state that all those figures were taken from originals in Scotland, and all of them in some form or another grow in the garden at The Marlage. 

    Of the relationship of the poem to modern Israel as well as the ancient, that is left

to your imagination.  Of the relationship of the poem to Scotland, that is left to the

imagination of the maker of the poem.  Of the relevancies of the extracts from Scots writings which precede the poem, those are left to the imaginations of the Scots. 

    The tree alphabet information was drawn from The White Goddess by Robert Graves. 

 

                                                                                T. S. Law