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 The Tryst
by William Soutar
Read by Marilyn Wright

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William SoutarWilliam Soutar (1898-1943)

Born in Perth, Soutar served in the Navy during the First World War, before taking a degree in English at Edinburgh University in 1923.  He suffered from a progressive spinal disease which kept him at home thereafter, and from 1930 he was confined to bed.  He kept diaries, journals and dream books throughout his long illness, selections from which have been published as ‘Diaries of a Dying Man’.  He was a socialist, a pacifist and a Scottish Nationalist.  Convinced that cultural revival could only come by making the Scots language accessible to children, he wrote ‘Bairnrhymes’, riddles and ‘Whigmaleeries’ with that audience in mind, as well as songs and poems much influenced by the ballad tradition.  A close friend of Hugh MacDairmid, Soutar played an important part in the Scottish Literary Revival.

 

 

O luely, luely cam she in

And luely she lay doun:

I kent her be her caller lips

And her breists sae sma’ and roun’.

 

 

A’ thru the nicht we spak nae word

Nor sinder’d bane frae bane:

A’ thru the nicht I heard her hert

Gang soundin’ wi’ my ain.

 

 

It was about the waukrife hour

Whan cocks begin to craw

That she smool’d saftly thru the mirk

Afore the day wud daw.

 

 

Sae luely, luely, cam she in

Sae luely was she gaen

And wi’ her a’ my simmer days

Like they had never been.

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