Rewarded now with summer calm,
Two lovers lie upon a Scottish hill
Beneath a sky that deepest blue
Bereft of limit to its end;
Oh, listen now, my dearest one
To all the things I’d wish for you:
A hundred lovely days like this,
A sun that lingers, hardly sets
And evenings that are barely dark,
The briefest pause before the dawn.
Behind them as he speaks these words,
The slow currents of the Sound of Mull
Move past the island’s shores;
There is so much to love in this country,
When it is like this, and is at peace,
When its crouching hills
Are the guardians of these hidden glens
Where heather and Scots pines
Remind us of evenings past
When the world was less a place of wrong,
When love, not distrust, was the key
In which the nations sang their song.
May soft winds blow about your head,
May sun caress your tender cheeks,
May tears of gentle rain then wash
The marks of fretful care away;
May you remember from this day
Good resolutions and great plans,
Our promises once made believed,
The sharing of our private hopes,
In letters that are signed with love,
With secret names, with pencilled signs.
About this poem
This poem was included in Best Scottish Poems 2020. Best Scottish Poems is an online publication, consisting of 20 poems chosen by a different editor each year, with comments by the editor and poets. It provides a personal overview of a year of Scottish poetry. The editor in 2020 was Janette Ayachi.
Usually, I would personally avoid archaic format like this when reading contemporary poetry but there was something about the yearning for another time passed, a rally for a better time to come even, but thankful that there is still time to crochet the distance closer between lovers with a string of words and wishes that just held me captive and captivated! I was capsized by the beauty of the romantic serenade… it sirened a recital of Andrew Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’… ‘Had we but world enough and time’… and I can only hope that a whole crusade of longing lovers used the imposed time apart of 2020 to find comfort, solace and a means of seduction induced by letter-writing or exchanging sentences. This poem reminds us of our always-near passion for language and the natural power of love.