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Unto The Hills
Sleeping out

A LONELY BOTHY, March 1944

THE flame of the pine-logs
Leapt high against the timbered walls.
We sat
Huddled in overcoats, toasting our toes
And eating bacon, like savages,
Out of the frying-pan!
Then we lay down, still in our coats and mufflers,
On sacks of straw to sleep.
And the cold crept in
And the wind crept in
And the fire died;
And the floor-boards prodded our bodies through the sacks.

And I thought
Of a comfortable hotel in Aberdeen
With hot and cold running water, and beds like thistledown
(But dared not, of course, mention it!)
Yet, it was worth it
Everything was worth it
To be alone again-among the mountains
To know that they were gathered all about us
That we had only to go outside to see them standing
In all their naked beauty in the moonlight
With their white heads pillowed on the sky
And the dark
Forests folded, like blankets, round their feet.
And we knew
That we would have endured much more than this
Just to feel that they were near us
While we tried to sleep.

A winter dawn in the high hills, Fuar Tholl and Sgurr Ruadh
seen from the bridge over the River Carron

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