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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

“In This Braif Toun”: No363 Union Street (Bruce Miller’s)

10th December 2012

Afore that this braif toun wis bigged ava
Langsyne the lan wis roch, an taiged wi whin
A puckle staunin stanes raise tae the sky
A Druid circle in the keenin win

The pagan priests were maisters o the dark
The Lang Stane bides … a marker tae their wark
Ony fa sikk tae shift it, coort a curse
Loss o their hearth an hame, their gear, or worse.

A puckle wars, a Celtic thane or twa
Disturbed this airt o muirlan bog an breem
The Causey Mounth — yon auld road frae the coast
Cut ben its braes frae Sooth tae Aiberdeen
The infant toun that traded bi the sea
Bairn o the dimplin Don, the sparklin Dee.

The cruel Montrose set aathin tae the sword
An sacked & plundered wi his Heilan horde
Syne doon yon road the deein an the deid
Fled frae the toun an washed the braes in bluid.

The lan wis tamed, the yalla corn waved heich
An strawberry gairdens ripened in the sun
A country idyll far the tounsfowk strayed
A tryst fur lovers, fin the day wis done
Until the swallin toun raxxed oot an airm
Flang Union Street throw gairden, glebe, an fairm.

Braw granite hooses grew frae corn & peat
An doctors gaithered, snod as Harley Street
In yon, the genteel quarter o the fen
Far swanky gigs an broughams cantered ben
Stablin, an cairriage hire wis ’stablished near
Tae park yer shelt, ooto the business steer.

In 1890, in this self-same neuk
A maister-craftsman warked wi willin bent
Carver & gilder, Thomas Hampton tcyaaved
Tae earn a bawbee an tae pye his rent
Syne Galloway & Sykes tuik ower his gear
An leased the feu fur mair nur echty year.

Noo Music’s selt here, fur the thrivin toun
Piano & fiddle cheer the cassies’ croun
Druid & crofter, doctor, fairmer, tee
They as hae bidden here, at 363.