John Davidson

Kinnoull Hill

We sat on the verge of the steep 
    In a coign where the east wind failed. 
In heaven's top, cradled, asleep, 
The young sun basked, and deep 
    Into space the universe sailed. 

And eastward the cliff rose higher, 
    And westward it sloped to the town, 
That smoked like a smouldering fire 
Built close about spire after spire ; 
    And the smoke was pale-blue and brown. 

The smell of the turf and the pine 
    Wound home to our heart's warm core; 
And we knew by a secret sign 
That earth is your mother and mine ; 
    And we loved each other the more. 

And out of the rock, scarred and bare, 
    The daws came crying in crowds, 
And tossed themselves into the air, 
And flew up and down, here and there. 
    And cast flying shadows, like clouds. 

We heard not the lark, but we heard 
    The mellow, ineffable tune 
Of a sweet-piping, wood-haunting bird. 
Our heart-strings were stricken and stirred, 
    And we two were happy that noon. 

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