The Wigtoun Martyrs 1685

The souch o the wind in the sauchs on the walk tae the
merse could aamaist hae suithed them, but it wes drouned by
the sounds o the huifs, the swurds, the shouts o the sodgery,
the cries and craiks o the tounsfowk follaein.

Margaret Lauchlan, sixty-three, lyart-heidit,
Margaret Wilson, eichteen, hair like a bairn, stocher tae their daiths wi their ain last
souchs and their dunk tolbuith hoasts deavin their lugs.

Syne the souch o the rashes roun their feet
as they traipse tae the eternal souch o the sea,
wi the cavalry keepin the clammerin crouds at bey and the horses
whickerin, whickerin, ahint them.

Ablow the flude-mark, thirty fit apairt, 
twa stakes set in the sand tae wait their comin:
the lawer stake for the aulder woman, 
the heicher stake the lassie, in the howp

that when she sees the auld wife drounin she will repent, abjure, and sweir the aith: 
‘God save the King and aa his bishops, Amen!’ At least, that’s Major Windram’s earnest ettle.

The twa stake-raipit wemen stand and wait at the conventicle o sea and river
for the bapteezin flude that comes, feet first, tae seil their sauls and tak them tae their Makar.

The tide souchs up and up, the wind souchs about their heids, the tounsfowk souch abuve; 
the martyrs souch their psalms and prayers thegither:
the Covenant o waters washes the feet

 o Margaret Lauchlan, syne o Margaret Wilson; the saut, blissin spray stings in the een 
o the aulder Margaret, brack sabs on her lips, hushes her souch, her sooth, her braith, her harns.

Margaret Wilson souchs Psalm Twinty-five and Romans Eicht – the
Authorised Version: ‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’

 The tide’s again her: Margaret Lauchlan’s covert, she canna see her: the faem sapples her hair 
and sloggers in her mouth, her souch gaes oot for the last time. Afore it cauls her een

 wide Wigtoun Bay dwines tae a sma howp. Souch, Margaret Lauchlan,
martyr, souch. Souch, Margaret Wilson, martyr, souch.
Souch. Souch. Souch.

Robert Maxwell Duncan