Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

A Pi Skye boat song
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"Speed, bonny boat," the sailors cry,
But hearts ashore begin to beat;
The Sabbath-fearing folk of Skye
Prepare this bonny boat to meet,
The Wee Free Kirk is on its feet,
The minister will never run:
("There, little one, you must not greet,
Hush, Flora, it is only fun.")

Another Flora, years gone by,
Sped hither with a hunted fleet,
For her fair Prince to risk or die —
A noble cause that proved a cheat.
One's poison is another's meat,
Can innocence and sin be one?
Can Sabbathpeace be Sunday treat?
("Hush, Flora, it is only fun.")

The jagged Cuillin rears on high;
From Vaternish to Aird of Sleat
Climb blue against the rain-washed sky
The long smokes of the crofters' peat.
In but and ben they leave their seat,
Knock out the the pipes, the wee drams shun;
The men of Skye brook not defeat:
("Hush, Flora, it is only fun.")

Envoy

Prince of the world retreat, retreat —
Not thrust of sword nor blast of gun
Shall turn the Gaels from Kyleakin's street:
("Hush, Flora, it is only fun.")


There was a fracas at a demonstration at Kyleakin on the inauguration of the Sunday ferry service to Skye.  A mother was heard comforting her crying child with the poem's refrain.

Oxford Times, 11 June 1965