While rustic, wrothy reckless Scots,
Reviewed from crags the glistening tarns,
Amid the gales and gusts of yore,
You can believe their knees were sore.
The warmest hose, which have not trod,
Through bog or kyll to martial tune,
But else have kept to road and brig,
Still, lack a certain latitude–
And choose to venture not above
The Tropic of the Fatted Calf.
In liked-manner woolen twill
Of partied-colors, tartaned pleats,
Ere many trepidation, girt,
But dares not descend,
In fear lest it be called a Skirt!
Bereft of covering, to lurk,
This most of all neglected joints,
By Winters’ hard eternal work
The knee is reddened, roughed and rouged.
No doubt the Scots’ renown-ed scowl,
Of dour men, of mien and brow,
Is due to knees in part or whole
Which lack some lotion to console.
[written for Joseph H Boutwell in a gift of a kilt, his first]