Drumsheugh's Secret

It’s you dear Margaret

All these years

And no man knows the tale

‘Ceptin dearest Doc Maclure

He swore he’d ne’er tell.

I played the fool long years ago

When we were closely housed

And you so fair

Beyond compare

And I a timid mouse.

And just to see the harvest come

And you rake swathes beside

Was all of autumn’s golden warmth

And I near burst inside.

But soon the news

Your lease to lapse

And William Howe to wed.

I roared a bit

The pain of it

And rathered I were dead.

But life moves on

The moment gone

And you a wee bairn held

Young Geordie Hoo

A bright one too

Who took the cloth anon.

The pride of Domsie’s little school

His Greek.beyond compare

And no small joy

I helped the boy

With funds for college fare.

A scholar come to your proud home

(A secret lover pays.

Dismiss the thought.

It ever brought me joy

To pave his ways.)

And Willum, kindly Willum tried

Without much luck at funds

And once near lost

Until the cost

A “distant cousin” sends.

‘Twas me, Dear Heart

You’ve guessed the whole

And put the clues in line

So long my bit to cover it

And dare not pout or pine.

And folk would mock

My bargains hard

At Muirtown Market days:

“A wifeless, cranky harvester

Who groans each time he pays.”

But pay I would a thousand times

To bring my Love relief

And bear it all, and tow the line

Yes even in your grief.

When Geordie died

So young he was

And barely launched apace

Of times I brought him bits and books

A smile back on his face.

Your hand comes close

Your clear eyes plead

Your visit come to this

A yearning seems to beckon you

To plant the forehead’s kiss.

But pity not, you’ve made a man

Who might have been a churl

Who worked and saved

And gossip braved

To help his hallowed girl.

I have enough

We know, we both

And short now run our days.

We’ll ken it all

At Heaven’s call.

The Lord proves all His ways.

Note: With tears in my eyes I have just finished this touching section of the Scots book “The Days of Auld Lang Syne” (1895) by Ian Maclaren. My poem here is a tribute to his matchless, memorable fiction from a gentler era. (A misunderstood farmer does all he can over the years to bless unrecognized  the life and household of the only woman he ever loved, the one who married another man...)

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