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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

from Caller Water

29th April 2008

As simmer rains bring simmer flow’rs,
And leaves to cleed the birken bow’rs,
Sae beauty gets, by caller show’rs,
Sae rich a bloom
As for estate, or heavy dow’rs
Aft stands in room.

What makes Auld Reikie’s dames sae fair?
It canna be the halesome air
But caller burn beyond compare,
The best of ony,
That gars them a’ sic graces skair,
And blink sae bonny.

On May-day in a fairy ring,
We’ve seen them round St Anthon’s spring,
Frae grass the caller dew draps wring
To weet their een,
And water clear as crystal spring,
To synd them clean.

O may they still pursue the way
To look sae feat, sae clean, sae gay!
Then shall their beauties glance like May,
And, like her, be
The goddess of the vocal spray,
The Muse, and me.

Robert Fergusson.

selected by the Scottish Poetry Library