IT is dark. The forests brood. Unbroken
The empty corries. . . . Then, afar, a cool wind brings
A hint of hushed expectancy. At last, the hills
Sigh in their sleep. Life stirs. Night spreads her wings.
And the dawn, with silver-sandalled feet, robed in a gown
Woven of the sun's tears, shining and palely grey,
Steps lightly, like a wraith or a lost dream, over the brown
Folds of the heather. Light trembles; and it is day.
Day! And the great, white hills awaken, one by one,
And groan, and lift their rugged faces to the sky;
And the burns leap and sing, caressed by the dappling sun,
And the empty moors are loud with the whaup's heart-hungry cry.
So the hours flow on, slowly, relentlessly, bringing
Laughter and tears; joy and the brief eternity of pain;
(And often the hollow hills hide an echo of wee folk singing,
And the glens guard a skirl of pipes where old hosts meet again).
Then evening comes; and the golden hours are laid away.
The shadows lengthen, washing down the dimly-blue
Unchanging hills; and soon the tired white hands of Day
Are folded. The mountains yawn. The watchful stars anew
Hang up their flickering lanterns in the sombre skies
While Night enfolds the earth in her enchantment deep,
And the last thin, quivering bird-note of the day dies,
Echoless, into a void of silence, a waste of sleep.
(Reprinted by kind permission of Chambers's Journal)