THE SPELL OF SCOTLAND
BY - Clark, Keith
There is an American who has
written of the Hill, a young inland American 
whom the gods loved to an early death. I re-
member hearing Arthur Upson talk of days and
nights on the Calton, and his sonnet catches
the note 
"High and alone I stood on Calton Hill
Above the scene that was so dear to him
Whose exile dreams of it made exile dim.
October wooed the folded valleys till
In mist they blurred, even as our eye upfill
Under a too-sweet memory; spires did swim,
And gables, rust-red, on the gray sea's brim
But on these heights the air was soft and still,
Yet, not all still; an alien breeze will turn
Here, as from bournes in aromatic seas,
As round old shrines a new-freed soul might yearn
With incense of rich earthly reveries.
Vanish the isles : Mist, exile, searching pain,
But the brave soul is freed, is home again." 
Far across the shimmering green meadows
and through the fragrant orchards came the
sound of bagpipes on this my first evening in
Scotland ! And whether or not you care for the
pipes, there is nothing like them in a Scottish
twilight, a first Scottish twilight, to reconstruct
all the Scotland that has been. 
It is a walk of perhaps eight miles through a
charming memory-haunted land, lovely cer-
tainly, lonely; there were few people to be met
with, but there was no sense of desertion. It
was a day of quick clouds, rushing across a
deep blue, compact white clouds which say noth-
ing of rain, and very vivid air, the surfaces and
the shadows being closely defined. The birch
leaves played gleefully over the path as we left
the highway, and that sweet shrewd scent of the
birch leaf, as I "pu'd a birk" now and then,
completed the thrill, the ecstasy if one may be
permitted the extravagance. 
And one man, buried here, was brought all
the way, as the tombstone publishes, from "St.
Peter, Minnesota." It's a historic town, to its
own people. But what a curious linking with
this very old town. I thought of a man who
had hurried away from Montana the winter be-
fore, because he wanted to "smell the heather
once more before I die." And he had died in
St. Paul, Minnesota, only a thousand miles on
his way back to the heather.