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Longer Narrative Poems

By Josie Whitehead

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By Josie Whitehead

This poem is based on the poem 
Tam O'Shanter - By Robert Burns

Legend of Cutty Sark (The) Part 1

Now here is a story - take heed my good friend -
Of a farmer whose life seemed most certain to end
     At the hands of a witch in a white *cutty sark
     And a warning to those lingering late after dark!

Tam O’Shanter, a farmer, of Scottish renown,
Was travelling home from a neighbouring town
     When he entered an inn for a tankard of ale
     And here was the start of a bloodcurdling tale.

Much later than usual he bid them adieu
But what then befell him is thought to be true.
     He left in the dark on his trusty old mare
     And travelled along without caution or care.

The dark road was lonely as onward they wound
But, through the chill air, came a curious sound.
     In Kirk Alloway graveyard, lights blazed in the night
     On some witches and warlocks – a hideous sight!

A bonfire was blazing - flames flickered and curled.
In their feverish frenzy they swirled and they twirled
     But Tam then saw the devil take on human form
     As wilder and wilder their dance they performed.

Tam noticed a young witch outlined in the dark
Who was dancing and dressed in a white *cutty sark.
     This spellbinding beauty soon captured his heart
     As voluptuous movements quite set her apart. 


                                               Continued on page 2 . . .


* A cutty sark is an old Scottish name for a woman’s short petticoat.

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