To celebrate the rich history of the General Register of Sasines, Scotland’s makar Jackie Kay has written a poem to tie in with its 400th anniversary. Read the verse by the country’s third national laureate below.
Sasine // Jackie Kay
Then my auld freend, as the furst sign
Let’s haund ower a clod o’ earth
And ken that ye and I will keep our wurd
Over time’s lang in-between.
Ye came tae life in a dwam, a dream,
A name here shows whaur you’ve been, lang syne.
To measure time, your deeds, this record –
Seizer! The auldest o’ the wurld.
Auld Caledonia: front runner, streaks ahead;
So far that you kin turn and look back;
The slow, timeless stare o’ the stag,
A heap o’ stones, a sma’ time-lag.
Plot, bothy, shack, croft, lease.
A writ stamped, counterpart, peace.
This land register – across these four centuries:
Fast furward, back; here’s your old stories.