In the year 1332, at auld Dupplin Moor,
Wi' a shimmering Dagger of War,
Ah pierced the Looking Glass,
And amid so wild a Fire Mass,
Ironclad and devastating,
Mine awn Wraith cam.
Owre He beheld me!
His Claymore gleaming, unsheathed,
Into a darkness no one could see,
Ghaist, I winna yield to thee!
Across yon shield wa, quo' He,
In tyme of war ah threw myself,
Wi' gilded Targe and unforgiving Fury,
High flames falling athwart my iron wame,
While thoosan times boiling wapin fell
O'er that clan of skellums (Wundor Sceawian!)
Frae the white barbican, before the black well,
While thoosan times rising nae fellow-mortal
Amid thoosan deadly onslaughts
Ironclad frae the Fire;
But now man, to my warlike whisper do listen:
Ere the rust, in robes of Time,
Shall curse thy blade,
Airn fist ye maun ay wear,
To hold the Firestorm,
To avenge yon star shining still,
And auld Duntulm's stane,
Sae ah shall be strolling forth
In battle ahead of thee!
And when before Dirleton's Wa,
Wi' Colour of Hell reddening,
And next to auld South Ruin,
Yell warlike, enraged Wha Daur!
To thy enemies, and to thy consumed flesh
Doomed I say no longer
Within a forerunning Shade of Death;
And now advance! thy lane, and faithfu'
To thy auld Emblem of Steel,
Whar moorlan winds gaed,
Whar Immortality gleamingly dwells.
There is a semiotic version of this poem, which is written in a potent, altogether martial medieval Scottish tone. It contains my own image "Ghost of Iron". The main theme remains the speaking double, or alter ego, as generated from within a very mirror, and as leading the narrator to immortality. In this light, the underlying message can be looked upon as proving antithetical, although no doubt related to Edgar Allan Poe's own tale William Wilson. The title refers to Dirleton Castle, in Scotland.