Poem of the North

Fifty years of the Northern Poetry Library

From Canto 5

Northern clothscape

Flowered calico, lilac-sprigged,
the fabric worn by Betty Burke,
reproduced for Jacobite ladies
by an enterprising manufacturer in Leith;
and, after Culloden, a sute of new highland cloaths
the better to disguise him –
Lady Borrodale’s Gift
to the young Pretender – her bonnie tartan.

In the bedroom on Skye, sheets of fine linen
reaching the mud of the earth when it rains,

kept by his conductress, and buried with her.

View poem in Canto