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To Robert Louis Stevenson
(With Kirk's Secret Commonwealth)
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

Click here to listen to this in Real Audio read by Peter D Wright

O Louis ! you that like them maist,
Ye're far frae kelpie, wraith, and ghaist,
And fairy dames, no unco chaste.
        And haunted cell.
Amang a heathen clan ye're placed,
        That kens na hell !
 
Ye hae nae heather, peat, nor birks,
Nae trout in a' yer burnies lurks,
There are nae bonny U.P. kirks,
        An awfu place !
Nane kens the Covenant o Works
        Frae that o Grace !
 
But whiles, maybe, to them ye'll read
Blads o the Covenanting creed,
And whiles their pagan wames ye'll feed
        On halesome parritch ;
And syne ye'll gar them learn a screed
        O the Shorter Carritch.
 
Yet thae uncovenanted shavers
Hae rowth, ye sae, o clash and clavers
O gods and etins, - auld wives' havers,
        But their delight ;
The voice o him that tells them quavers
        Just wi fair fright.
 
And ye might tell, ayont the faem,
Thae Hieland clashes o our hame.
To speak the truth, I tak na shame
        To half believe them ;
And, stamped wi Tusitala's name,
        They'll a' receive them.
 
And folk to come ayont the sea
May hear the yowl o the Banshie,
And frae the water-kelpie flee,
        Ere a' things cease,
And island bairns may stolen be
        By the folk o peace.

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