Dipper: 42 - The Paddy
Author(s): Dr James A Begg
Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg
Ayont the station ruif, smeekit wi the reek
O a thousan trains,
The lourin mirk masks the threit
O forecast snaw. Flakes faa.
Ootby's a platform, cleanswept o fowk
By the snell Eastlin win.
'Ay, Ay!'.... a nidge an nod - 'We've company!'
A wee man arrives, briefcase in haun,
Trig in peen-stripe breeks an cuttie coat,
Smilin the smile o a Politeecian;
While twa big gairdian angels
Cairt his bags an luik aroun,
As if tae say - 'Wha daur meddle
Wi Oor Majestie's Secretary o Defence!'
Inby, forgethert, incommunicado,
The nicht trevellers sit, poe-faced,
Keppin their baggage like penned sheep,
Wi ae lug cockit for their neebor's crack,
An the tither for the Paddy.
'Is tat yew, Victor!' scowls an Irish vyce
Intae the pay-phone.
'Oi'm at Ayr Station! Pick me op!'
Slams doun the phone an leaves.
On time, "Andra Carnegie", Airn Maister,
King o the Railroad,
Drub-drubs in, draggin an endless train
That streitches back tae Girvan.
Poe-faces jerk tae life, wi searchin een
Seek oot their billets, fashd
They'll no get aboard afore the wee gaird
Blaws his whustle.
The Meenister trots aheid, his minders
Herd him tae his sleeper - Furst Class
- As we wunner wha'll tak the spare bunk,
An wha'll gaird the door.
In the neist coach doun, A1 an 2,
A wee bleck leddie ticks us aff
For tea or coffee in the mornin.
Hmm.... no bad for Saicont Class!
But.... idle thochts.... will they search
Ane-up for bombs?.... Thae Irish...!
Aicht oors tae London.... aiblins we'll sleep
An get oor money's worth
O warm wool blankets, an snaw-white sheets.
But somethin's no richt - nae clickety-click,
Nae lullaby o linkit rails
Tae send us ower.
Wi steikit een we dover, deep senses alert
Tae the hum o weldit steel;
Slid up an doun oor bunks
By G-Forces on the Nithsdale bends.
Then lang straucht miles sae smooth
Ye'd scarce ken we're movin....
Or are we - ....Keek roun the blinds
- We're sittin at Carlisle!
Coach jerks on coach, heids jerk on necks,
Then rest in sleepy equilibrium
At a hunner mile an oor doun Shap.
Mair stops an sterts, whustles, bangin doors.
A luminous watch tells us
We're at Crewe....
But the sign ootside says Wigan!
An oor late...!
Then, wi haet a chance o sleep,
It's "Deil tak the hinmaist", as we waltz
An sway throu the Hert o England,
At a hunner an twinty.
Past an Arctic land whaur, in the grey licht,
Pentit boats lie idle in pack ice,
An the dreich, ramshackle ferms
Are nane the waur o a lick o whitewash
Frae new faaen snaw.
Comes a chap at the door,
An the wee Caribbean leddie
Hauns in oor tea an biscuits
Wi perfect timin....
As we gang throu Watford Junction,
Ower the pynts,
An jaups o het tea skail ower
The snaw-white sheets!
Lichts blink by in back-kitchens,
As terraced London eats its breakfast.
We slide intae Euston,
An the Meenister glides awa
In his big black caur.
haet/not a whit of
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Cite this Document
Dipper: 42 - The Paddy. 2021. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved January 2021, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=654.
"Dipper: 42 - The Paddy." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2021. Web. January 2021. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=654.
The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 42 - The Paddy," accessed January 2021, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=654.
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