Tis the brightest, the foremost, aye high in renown,
In this paper that comes from famed Berwick Town-
Like a breath o’ pure air o’er the sweet morning dews
Is a blink and a read of the Berwickshire News”
No, not one of Huttonian’s deathless verses but from a poem by a certain Alex Buglass from his collection: ‘Merse Musings’. Yes, Merse Musings and Huttonian thought he was safe from confusion and imitation with a rant called Musings from the Merse. The book turned up on an American website of rare books and arrived in Hutton this week. Published in Selkirk –undated but from its language and subject matter likely to be early last century. Some stirring martial stuff in an international setting:
Though wily Boers with their cunning craft,
By the British have been defeated
Yet British blood’s been profusely shed,
Ere the victory’s been completed
But Mr Buglass is a true Borderer, clearly unhappy away from his native hearth, and his poems wander via ‘Norham’s Castle walls’ and Polwarth’s Auld Kirkyaird to Coldingham and back to Swinton:
Oh! Let my Muse untiring be,
By poetic art inspired,
To sing the praise of Swinton Town,
And its beauties much admired.
For here my thoughts all fondly rest;
And here it shall be seen.
My greatest aim’s to praise that town,
And each beloved scene.
It’s a lengthy tome and the Hutton Think Tank, Cultural Section is scanning it for more local references*. Watch this rant.
* Please Exercise restraint. Neo Victorian poets can be quite sickly, sentimental and cloying. Ed.Blog