The Sauchs in the Reuch Heuch Hauch

(For George Reston Malloch)

There’s teuch sauchs growin’ i’ the Reuch Heuch Hauch.   
Like the sauls o’ the damned are they,
And ilk ane yoked in a whirligig
Is birlin’ the lee-lang day.

O we come doon frae oor stormiest moods,
And Licht like a bird i’ the haun’,
But the teuch sauchs there i’ the Reuch Heuch Hauch   
As the deil’s ain hert are thrawn.

The winds ’ud pu’ them up by the roots,
Tho’ it broke the warl’ asunder,
But they rin richt doon thro’ the boddom o’ Hell,   
And nane kens hoo fer under!

There’s no’ a licht that the Heavens let loose   
Can calm them a hanlawhile,
Nor frae their ancient amplefeyst
Sall God’s ain sel’ them wile.

Hugh MacDiarmid, “The Sauchs in the Reuch Heuch Hauch” from Selected Poetry. Copyright © 1992 by Alan Riach and Michael Grieve. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.
Source: Complete Poems (Grove/Atlantic Inc., 1993)
More Poems by Hugh MacDiarmid