“For the islands I sing”
and this becomes “For Scotland I sing”
“For workers in field
and mill and mine”
and at last “Praise tinker and saint”.
Such was the scope of his poetry. It was about a service of the common good, and a way of being with and for that he kept to through battles with alcohol and depression. As a pastor, I am encouraged by that; perhaps parliamentarians can be too.
Culture, law and religion; poets, parliamentarians and pastors: my hope is that we can all be people of soul, and that we can sing—even while quarrelling—for Scotland, for humanitas, for tinker and saint, and that we can always honour what is deepest and truest in us, what Cicero called the divine spark and the bible the image and likeness of God.