Today’s MS puzzle
Spread 2 of the Winter’s Walk notebook contains two versions of a poem which we might call ‘In the weary long ago’ (from the repeated refrain). The first one, on the left-hand side, contains the following two lines
which I am sure you will all be able to read immediately as:
She and I would wander on;
Through the gai?t disfigured land,
So what is the mystery word? A good-ish fit would be ‘gaunt’ but we can see a dot for an ‘i’ and there aren’t enough ‘peaks’ for ‘un’ between the ‘a’ and the ‘t’.
A suggestion made by Neil is ‘gaist’, i.e. Scots for ‘ghost’ – i.e. ‘the ghost-disfigured land’. It would be the only Scots word in the poem, and the conjectural ‘s’ should have come back down to the line (as in the ‘dis’ in the following word)—but then conditions for writing this were possibly not ideal for the correct formation of letters.
Can anyone see any other letter in there that makes a good fit?