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RAVINES
For Marilyn Wright
by David C Purdie

Gin ye reenge the ravines o Auld Reekie,
Up the West Bow, or lang Royal Mile,
Doun yon caivernous canyon o Coogait;
Whiles ye staun there an think a wee while.
An ye think on the kings an the princes,
The heroes in breist-plate an mail,
That lowp oot frae history's pages,
An leeve yet in ballant an tale.

Kin ye seen them on chairger or chairiot,
Hear the rackle o steel on pullane,
See the wavel o pennant an banner,
Hear the trattle o war-drums again?
Kin ye picter the bluid an the booty,
The lordlins an leddies sae braw,
The joy o the warrior's hame-gaun,
Lichtit baistle an banquetin haa?

Yet here in the veins o Auld Reekie,
That are cobbilt an wormed thro wi wynds,
There taigles the ghaists o the guffs still,
Frae the stawsome auld gardyloo synds.
Ye can hear yet the echoes o lauchter,
Smell the yill frae the chynge-hoose an howff
Whaur the gangrels an halflins an hooers,
Drank ti mak life a mention less dowf

An think then on Reekie's richt heroes,
Nae airmour, nae flichterin flags,
Nae flagons o mead nor o clairet,
Juist cauld kail an 'row-yer-ain' fags.
Juist byler suits, bib an braced denim,
Wirk-buits an the piece in the pootch;
On the tram or the bike afore day-daw;
Takkin sair banes ilk nicht til their cootch.

An think on the wifles o Embro,
Tyauvin lang owre the range or the sink,
Fennin aff aa the stour o Auld Reekie,
Fechtin fulyie an puirtith an stink.
Nae screivers nor menstrals wull mind them,
For they haed naither caistle nor croun,
Yet the win sings their glore throu the vennels,
An ravines o wir scaurie Auld Toun.

David C Purdie (right) receiving the Clement Wilson trophy from Sam Gilliland

Ravines was placed first in the Scots section of the Scottish International Open competition. The photograph shows David C Purdie (right) receiving the Clement Wilson trophy from Sam Gilliland at Irvine Burns club March 2000.

David C Purdie is the chairman of the well known performing group Merchants o Renoun. He is a regular contributer to magazines such as Lallans.

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