Once There Dwelt A Scotsman

Story of isolation, death, and how a burglar was more Christian than the townsfolk…, the latest of the old poems restored to the website.

Once there lived a Scotsman
Whose years nobody knew
Who was seen by all in town
And known by very few.
For men, for loners such as he
Were left that way… alone…
Scorn and pity and indifference
By the townspeople to him was shown.

This Scotsman was nobody
None knew from where he came
Bar the obvious. from Scotland…
Few even knew his name.
And the children in the dusty streets
Making song of him… the sang
For he was also a simple sort
Who spoke in Scottish slang.

And all unknowing of him went
About their business from day to day
None spoke of him when he was not seen
Bar the children when at play
‘Where is Mad Jock, the Scotsman:
By this way he has not walked,
So we get to mock no more’
So of him the children talked.

Some months passed until one day
A burglar an open door spied
It looked an easy job, he thought
As an escape route he eyed.
But upon entering the house
He did not rob, but instead,
Stopped to mouth a silent prayer
As he found Mad Jock rotted and dead.

And though long passed to the other side
God to love him never ceased
To pray for the passing of his mortal soul,
God sent the burglar… not the priest.
‘For God was with him at his end,
As through his life’ the church bells to ring began…
As the cortege passed by the house…
Where once there lived a Scotsman.

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