from Seeker, Reaper

from Seeker, Reaper
She’s a solan, she’s a tramper, she’s a sea-shaker,
she’s a hawk, she’s a hammer, she’s a big-sea-breaker,
she’s a falcon, she’s a kestrel, she’s a wide-night-seeker,
she’s a river, she’s a render, she’s a foam-spray-waker.
She’s a stieve sea-strider, she’s a storm-course-keeper,
she’s a tide-scour-bucker, she’s a quick-light-leaper,
she’s a stem-teerer, keel-teerer, seeker, finder, reaper.
She’s Cast off! Anchor up! deid anchor-weary, 
she’s a chain-snubber, moorin’-strainer, restless herbour peerie.
She’s a skyline-raiser, skyline-sinker, hulldown horizon-crosser,
she’s foreland, foreland, on and on, a high-heid-tosser.
She’s a glint, she’s a glimmer, she’s a glimpse, she’s a fleeter,
she’s an overhauler, leave-astern, a hale-fleet-beater;
she’s a kyle-coulter, knot-reeler, thrang-speed-spinner,
her mood is moulded on her and the mind that made her’s in her.
She’s a wake-plough, foam-plough, spray-hammer, roarer,
she’s a wind-anvil, crest-batterer, deep-trough-soarer,
she’s a dance-step-turner, she’s a broad-wake-scorer.
she’s a sound-threider, bight-stringer, her hert runs oot afore her. 
When the big long seas come on lik walls, cold-white-heided,
she doesna flinch a point for them. Straight her wake is threided.

Though they come from the world’s rim
      along wi’ a livin’ gale,
she’ll gap and batter through them
      and teer her chosen trail.
She’s stieve, thrawn, light, quick,
      fast, wild, gay;
she’ll curtain the world wi hammered seas,
    she’ll drench the stars wi spray.
They can tower atween her and the sky –
      she never felt their awe;
she’ll walk them aa, thon trampin’ boat,
      she’ll rise and walk them aa.
She’s a solan’s hert, a solan’s look;
      she canna thole a lee.
I’ll coil her ropes and redd her nets,
      and ease her through a sea.
She’s a seeker, she’s a hawk, boys.
      Thon’s the boat for me.
George Campbell Hay

from Wind on Loch Fyne (Oliver and Boyd, 1948), and included in Collected poems and songs of George Campbell Hay (Deòrsa Mac Iain Dheòrsa), edited by Michel Byrne (Edinburgh: EUP for The Lorimer Trust, 2000)

Reproduced by permission of the W.L. Lorimer Memorial Trust Fund
George Campbell Hay

George Campbell Hay is unique among the poets of the interwar Scottish Renaissance movement in having written in all three of Scotland's principal literary languages.

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