Tom Hubbard - THE LEGEND O THE LEDDY RICHMODIS
Tom Hubbard was the first Librarian of the Scottish Poetry Library, and his last full-time posts, successively in 2011-12, were Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut (Scottish and American literature) and Professeur invité at the University of Grenoble (Scottish and comparative literature; aesthetics), followed by a writer's residency at Lavigny in Switzerland. He is the author of ten books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, and editor or co-editor of other works. His most recent book is The Devil and Michael Scot (Grace Note, 2020). He is retired (sort of).
THE LEGEND O THE LEDDY RICHMODIS
Whan oor leddy Richmodis deed o the pest,
Her lord fair went his dinger;
‘Come, lay my bonnie bride ti rest,
Wi my waddin ring aye on her finger.’
Tam the grave-howker spies the gowd
(Puir sowel, his duds were manky),
Chaps aff the finger, pits by the shroud,
And withoot a ‘please’ or ‘thank ye’
Wraps the bleedin chunk in his snottery hanky.
‘Guidsakes!’ cries Tam. ‘The leddy awakes!’
He draps the ring in fleein.
‘I’m sair,’ groans the leddy, ‘I’ll tak nae mair –
Lat somewan else dae aa this deein.’
Sae her lord streetched oot oor Tam insteid.
The leddy – nae word o a lee –
Seeven braw bairns gaed on ti breed,
And their fingers numbered saxty-three.