1968 autobiography of the famous animal-lover, writer, adventurer. A closing of the accounts shortly before his death.
[words: 100]


Raven Seek Thy Brother


First published 1968 by Longmans, Green and Co Ltd
This edition published 1970 by Pan Books Ltd,
33 Tothill Street, London, S.W.1
ISBN 0 330 02523 6
© Gavin Maxwell 1968
Drawings and jacket illustration
© Robin McEwen 1968

Printed and bound in England by
Hazell Watson & Viney Ltd
Aylesbury, Bucks

(Chapter 9 starting pp126...)

Slowly through a Land of Stone

So although no ghost was scotched
We were happy while we watched
Ravens from their walls of shale
Cruise around the rotting whale,

Watched the sulphur basins boil
Loops of steam uncoil and coil,
While the valley fades away
To a sketch of Judgement Day.

Rows of books around me stand,
Fence me round on either hand;
Through that forest of dead words
I would hunt the living birds –

Great black birds that fly alone
Slowly through a land of stone,
And the gulls who weave a free
Quilt of rhythm on the sea.

image 1k

Subject: Slowly through a Land of Stone
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 22:51:44 +0000
From: Pwl
To: RavenList


Found this shiny on some dark and moonless night. It glittered at me
with an inner fire. Reminding me of some ancestral spirit-home. So I
stashed it with my piles of unanswered shiny-mail. (:>)

[poem text was here]

From pp126....
Gavin Maxwell ~ Raven Seek Thy Brother
First published 1968. This edition 1970. Pan Books Ltd, London.

Uhh, Maxwell did not write the poem: it *could* be from "Postscript to
Iceland" by Louis MacNiece, but the references are muddled, unspecific.
If anybird can confirm or otherwise, I would be pleased to know.

BTW, despite the title, the book is not about ravens. It's mostly about
Otters, being the sequel to "Ring of Bright Water". These true tales
are of beauty and sorrow in mid-60's Scotland. The explanation may
perhaps be found on pp17....

'A single raven swept by, high on the hustling wind, his deep guttural
croaks almost muted by its force. I remembered how Wilfred Thesiger had
once told me that when a camel caravan in Southern Arabia would sight a
single raven overhead the Bedouin would attempt to annul the evil omen
by calling to it, "Raven, seek thy brother!" It seemed too late now for
that invocation.'

Caw-regards from Pwl.