A stranger gave John Irvine fifteen quid
To take him to West Lingua.
Slow daybreak on their breath,
The two men sailed in silence,
Leaving flickering Whalsay for Lingua’s dark shore.
John was glad for the cash;
But he’d seen this man’s look in other men,
And guessed he was a suicide.
Oo’else would want three days in that manless, Godless place,
Nobbut stones and dust?