Rab Wilson Poet in residence
Rab Wilson is to be the Scots Language Centre’s new poet in virtual residence. The popular, award winning poet from New Cumnock begins his residence on the Scots Language Centre’s web site in September. Well known in the Scots language world and outwith it too, Rab is one of the most successful modern Scots poets.
Sklentin oot, ower victory’s field across,
Æthelstan’s airmy, routit, bate an brucken,
Nou Óengus minds his wird forenenst the veesion;
Cloods that formt the shape o Andra’s cross.
That eemage stounds tae us doun throu the years,
An nou we face agane stairk, vital chyces,
Nou wir nation’s fortune aiblins rises?
Daur we hae thon stieve smeddum o his fieres?
Rax forrit, aiblins twa, three mair decades,
An see a Scotland walthy, bien an free!
Siccar in hersel tae bear the gree,
Destiny mappit oot – it’s yours tae hae!
An syne thon day wull daw tae cast yer vote,
Yer ain crux decussata, markit ‘howp’!
In 832 A.D. Oengus II led his army of Picts and Scots against the english army of Angles led by King Aethelstan.
The Scots army was victorious and this paved the way towards an independent Scotland. Oengus famously prayed to Saint Andrew the night before the battle and stated he would appoint Andrew as Patron Saint of Scotland if he won.
On the day of the battle legend states a white cross appeared in the sky above the battlefield foretelling Oengus’s victory. The day is again approaching when the Scots people will have to decide on their country’s destiny.
The Saltire, or crux decussata, comes from the Latin crux, 'cross', and decussis, 'having the shape of the Roman numeral X' – denoting the shape of the cross Saint Andrew was crucified on.
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