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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

The Fairy Man

8th December 2009

The nicht is mirk
The house is toom
O, gowls the wund
Atour ma room.


The house is deid
Daith’s sib tae sleep
The rain dings doun
The nicht is deep.


‘Come ben,  ma dear
Wi the glentan ee,
Why should I fear
Whit thou wad dae?’


He’s up the stair
But maks nae soun
He’s in ma room –
An the wund dees doun!


He taks ma haun
An fell’s his grin
The souch o his breith’s
Like a rairan lynn.


O cauld’s ma hert
O mauch’s ma brou
His oorie breith’s
Upon me nou.


‘G’ awa, g’ awa
Ma fairy man,
Ma hert is cauld
I wad ye’d gang!’


But neer he’ll gang
He’s aye yir ain
Whan nichts are lang
An thochts are lane.

Sydney Goodsir Smith

Poem of the month was selected by the Scottish Poetry Library. We are grateful to Alessandro Gallenzi, Publisher and Managing Director of Alma Books Ltd-Oneworold Classics Ltd, for permission to reproduce.