The vixen skreichs I the wuid
at the hinmaist o’ the day;
thon’s an eldritch cry
frae the day-daw o’the warld
yit souns for us this nicht.
It hauds intilt oor desires, oor hopes,
forby oor benmaist fear.
It’s you an me alane my luve
aye seekin ane the ither,
it’s dreid unchancie weird
micht thwart oor socht thegitherness.
I’ll ne’er faddom my luve for you
mair nor the tod kens his desire,
gyte for the vixen.
Based on a poem in Cornish ‘An Lowarnes’ (The Vixen) by Donald Rawe.
About this poem
This poem was included in Best Scottish Poems 2019. 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 2019 was Roseanne Watt.
Anyone who’s heard the mating call of foxes can attest to the ‘eldritch’ nature of their sound, especially in the uncanny way it seems to sit at the edge of a human scream. Here, in the night’s domain, the vixen’s cry unleashes all those shadowy feelings of dread and fear which comes from the profound love for another, and the sheer vulnerability required of this act — lyrically expressed in the meeting point between two minoritised leids.