Lament for the Makars
We, the unacknowledged legislators ..
sackcloth and ashes .. must keep our own laws.
We, who have renounced worldly success
or learned at least a little compassion for the poor
.. bitter herbs on the roof.
We who are full of sound and fury ..
We who drew lines or were drawn
on hurdles, who fear more killing times,
we Fenians and Huns, Hindus, Mussulmen,
we of creed or ideology or none:
we, the poets, have failed.
See, we spin fine words. Veiled Emperors,
we stand in line, we buy and sell vanities,
tell all the world our mouths of air are full.
Harry Smart was born in Dewsbury, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He went to school in Morley and Batley, then in 1974 to the University of Aberdeen. He has lived in Scotland since. He has published three books of poetry, Pierrot, Shoah, andFool’s Pardon, and one novel, Zaire. He lives in Montrose.