The Squire in the family chantry sleeps,
The marble still his memory keeps:
Remember, when the name you spell,
There rest Fidele’s bones as well.
For the Sexton’s grave you need not search,
’Tis a nameless mound by the island church:
An ignorant fellow, of humble lot—–
But. he knew one thing that a Bishop did not.
Past seven o’clock: time to be gone;
Twelfth-night’s over and dawn shivering up:
A hasty cut of the loaf, a steaming cup,
Down to the door, and there is Coachman John.
Ruddy of cheek is John and bright of eye;
But John it appears has none of your grins and winks;
Civil enough, but short: perhaps he thinks:
Words come once in a mile, and always dry.
Has he a mind or not? I wonder; but soon
We turn through a leafless wood, and there to the right,
Like a sun bewitched in alien realms of night,
Mellow and yellow and rounded hangs the moon.
Strangely near she seems, and terribly great:
The world is dead: why are we travelling still?
Nightmare silence grips my struggling will;
We are driving for ever and ever to find a gate.
“When you come to consider the moon,”
says John at last,
And stops, to feel his footing and take his stand;
“And then there’s some will say there’s never a hand
That made the world!”
A flick, and the gates are passed.
Out of the dim magical moonlit park,
Out to the workday road and wider skies:
There’s a warm flush in the East where day’s to rise,
And I’m feeling the better for Coachman John’s remark.
Do ye ken hoo to fush for the salmon?
If ye’ll listen I’ll tell ye.
Dinna trust to the books and their gammon,
They’re but trying to sell ye.
Leave professors to read their ain cackle
And fush their ain style;
Come awa’, sir, we’ll oot wi’ oor tackle
And be busy the while.
‘Tis a wee bit ower bright, ye were thinkin’?
Aw, ye’ll no be the loser;
‘Tis better ten baskin’ and blinkin’
Than ane that’s a cruiser.
If ye’re bent, as I tak it, on slatter,
Ye should pray for the droot,
For the salmon’s her ain when there’s watter,
But she’s oors when it’s oot.
Ye may just put your flee-book behind ye,
Ane hook wull be plenty;
If they’ll no come for this, my man, mind ye,
They’ll no come for twenty.
Ay, a rod; but the shorter the stranger
And the nearer to strike;
For myself I prefare it nae langer
Than a yard or the like.
Noo, ye’ll stand awa’ back while I’m
Wi’ my snoot i’ the gowans;
There’s a bonny twalve-poonder a-sleepin’
I’ the shade o’ yon rowans.
Man, man! I was fearin’ I’d stirred her,
But I’ve got her the noo!
Hoot! fushin’s as easy as murrder
When ye ken what to do.