Lines 10 -14

The two short sentences that begin the final section of the sonnet draw our attention, Memory of men! That was to come! The use of caesura– a deliberate break in the line of poetry - contrasts with the flowing, eloquent description of the Great Glen and changes the pace of the poem.

These sentences seem relatively abrupt and underline the fact that human's history in Scotland is a mere moment when considering the millions of years taken to etch the contours of the landscape. This is also emphasised in the construction of the poem - ten lines are devoted to how the land was shaped, while the mention of humanity is given only one line.

When thinking of the political context of the poem, this could be considered to be a hopeful image– a reminder that setbacks and impediments do not necessarily prevent change but merely slow it down.

Morgan’s word choice when describing the sorry glory/of a rainbow is interesting. It appears as a fairly mean description of a natural phenomenon. This encourages us to consider why a rainbow is described in this way. What this might appeal to is the idea that a rainbow is something transitory, a brief colourful burst for a moment of time, whereas the rugged beauty of Scotland is something altogether more indelible and tangible.

The landscape itself is personified, depicted as hungry and throwing walls to the sky. The effect of this is playful and defiant. The surroundings come alive, impatiently kicking their heels and waiting for change. The imagery brings to mind a petulant individual, frustrated by any check to progress. The listing of flint, chalk, and slate closes the poem with a reminder that Scotland is rooted in its landscape.