In deid o winter, may ye hae the licht
o friens, lang kent.
And licht o ithers, maybe fowk hauf kent
and gien little thocht, until ae day
ye chaunce tae meet, and blether,
and suddenly it dings ye: here’s a bodie
wi sympathy, and experience o life,
a bodie that can listen, that has wisdom
glowin bricht –
and the licht wis there aa the time.
Ye juist didnae see it.
* * *
In dead of winter, may you have the light
of friends, long known.
And light of others, maybe those half known
and given little thought, until one day
you chance to meet, and chat,
and suddenly it strikes you: here’s a person
with sympathy, and experience of life,
someone who can listen, who has wisdom
glowing bright –
and the light was there all the time.
You just didn’t see it.
Scottish & English versions: Donald Adamson