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Old Scullion

by William G Greenhorn, Oakbank - written in the 1930's

The following poem was written in the 1930's by Oakbank man "Wull" Greenhorn, who at that time worked in the Engineering Shop at Pumpherston Oil Refinery. The poem is about "Old Scullion" - a likeable old tramp who lived in a primitive shelter constructed entirely of rubbish picked up on his "rounds" near the refinery. "Wull" Greenhorn, being one of the many workers who regularly visited Old Scullion, was sadly impressed by the way in which he lived and he was prompted to write these lines. The poem was sent to us by Mr John Reynolds. The clay road is a well-known landmark and always referred to in the Doric as the "clie" road.

The weil of the wind as the shadows feere falling,
O'er the "howl" of Old Scullion on yonder clay road,
Oft woke his night's slumber while the storm it was raging,
O'er his home 'mong the whins on Drumshoreland's clay road.

Tho' long he's been searching ash dump and shale bing.
He's known by his gait and his sly, glinting eye.
His heart found it's focus where rabbits were scuttling,
In ditch and in corrie 'neath Drumshoreland's grey sky.

To live in such calling and never complaining,
When Winter's white mantle is seen on his "ben",
Seemed not too well for his game and his gaining,
Of gathering refuse thrown out by the men.

But touch as the saplings that bind his lone dwelling,
The oncoming Winter will ne'er put to shame.
Tho' the mist and the rain at times unrevealing,
The home of Old scullion by the side of the lane.

And year may roll on and fever o'ertake him.
Or some other illness that's never been known,
The wail of the night-birds, his own friends near him,
And that he will die, as he lived- all alone.

© William G Greenhorn

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