Hugh MacDiarmid


from On a Raised Beach

All is lithogenesis — or lochia,
Carpolite fruit of the forbidden tree,
Stones blacker than any in the Caaba,
Cream-coloured caen-stone, chatoyant pieces,
Celadon and corbeau, bistre and beige,
Glaucous, hoar, enfouldered, cyathiform,
Making mere faculae of the sun and moon,
I study you glout and gloss, but have
No cadrans to adjust you with, and turn again


Aulder than mammoth or than mastodon
Deep i’ the herts o’ a’ men lurk scaut-heid
Skrymmorie monsters few daur look upon.
Brides sometimes catch their wild een, scansin’ reid,
Beekin’ abune the herts they thocht to lo’ e
And horror-stricken ken that i’ themselves
A like beast stan’ s, and lookin’ love thro’ and thro’

The Sauchs in the Reuch Heuch Hauch

There’ s teuch sauchs growin’ i’ the Reuch Heuch Hauch.
Like the sauls o’ the damned are they,
And ilk ane yoked in a whirligig
Is birlin’ the lee-lang day.

O we come doon frae oor stormiest moods,
And Licht like a bird i’ the haun’,
But the teuch sauchs there i’ the Reuch Heuch Hauch
As the deil’ s ain hert are thrawn.