― 93 ―


BEN LOMOND is a king of peaks, with clouds upon his knee,
And South Esk is a troubadour a-singing to the sea,
But Sling-pot will be Sling-pot through all the years to be.

The wheeling eagle loves to nest among the cloven crags,
The leaping trout his pleasure takes among the river flags.
But Sling-pot like a beggar goes, a beggar clad in rags.
They say, who ride at Duty's call or Honour's high command,
When rain is heavy on the roof and night is on the land,
On Sling-pot lies a withered moon as white as Naaman's hand;

And homeless winds, the winds that know the sorrow mortals keep,
The pang that chokes the muttered word, the tear too salt to weep,
Cry all night long on Sling-pot when the world is fast asleep.

Haply, the gods that keep the keys, from some high throne of grace
Beheld the shame that walks at noon within a holy place,
And laid a curse on Sling-pot, and a shadow on its face;

That when around the feet of Spring the poppies leap in flame,
And every wind is spilling song adown the road she came,
Nor leaf nor moss on Sling-pot may call upon her name.

  ― 94 ―
And when glad Summer comes to robe the earth in blue and gold
Of miracle and mystery that no man dares unfold,
Sling-pot is like a potter's field; so Hinnom was of old.

Yea, old Ben Lomond is a king that lordly winds obey,
And South Esk is a troubadour that sings the years away,
But Sling-pot will be Sling-pot till the last green leaf is gray.