15 November 2007

In Atholl Time Stood Still



Impressed, why yes – to see what now is
commonplace – while we may be just steps
removed each from each yet still see gaps
in tapestry. When we strolled in Castle Blair,
listened to the ancient tales of earls, barons
and marquesses, traced the duke’s descent
from Mormaer of Picts, no-one could be less.

For sure, hereditary rank carries little weight
except mystique these days – while portraits
hung on castle walls acclaim a vastly different
path was walked, or ever thus restored by acts
of antique history or fate. And where we paid
to see this slice of History reviewed we truly
knew of currency quite wisely spent.

The present Duke commands one hundred
men, a private army man for man all proudly
tartan-dressed resplendent of the Murray Clan,
a once-a-year parade in ceded easy-duty days.
In Atholl thus it was back then – and ever will,
we glimpse intrigued that here was where they
justly claim that time stood still...
© 15 November 2007, I. D. Carswell