Rough Scan
BOOK X - LITERATURE



140 - THE ORIGIN OF POETRY

WHAT'S a' your jargon o' your schools,
Your Latin names for horns an' stools;
If honest Nature made you fools,
=What sairs your grammars?
Ye'd better ta'en up spades and shools,
=Or knappin-hammers.

A set o' dull, conceited hashes,
Confuse their brains in college classes!
They gang in stirks, and come out asses,
=Plain truth to speak;
And syne they think to climb Parnassus
=By dint o' Greek!

Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire!
That's a' the learning I desire;
Then, though I drudge thro' dub and mire
=At pleugh or cart,
My Muse, though hamely in attire,
=May touch the heart.

=======_Robert Burns_.



141 - HELICON

THE Muse, nae poet ever fand her,
Till by himsel' he learn'd to wander,
Adown some trottin burn's meander
=An no think lang;
O sweet to stray an' pensive ponder
=A heart-felt sang!

=======_Robert Burns_.



142 - DUNBAR TO HIS MASTERS

O REUEREND Chaucere, rose of rethoris all,
As in oure tong ane flour imperiall,
=That raise in Britane evir, who redis rycht,
Thou bearis of makaris the tryumph riall;
Thy fresch anamalit termes celicall
=This mater coud illumynit have full brycht:
=Was thou noucht of our Inglisch all the lycht,
Surmounting eviry tong terrestriall,
=Alls fer as Mayes morow dois mydnycht?

O morall Gower, and Lydgate laureate,
Your sugurit lippis and tongis aureate,
=Bene to oure ens cause of grete delyte;
Your angel mouthis most mellifluate
Our rude langage has clere illumynate,
=And faire our-gilt oure speche, that imperfyte
=Stude, or your goldyn pennis schupe to wryte;
This Ile before was bare, and desolate
=Off rethorike, or lusty fresch endyte.

Thou lytill Quair, be evir obedient,
Humble, subiect, and symple of entent,
=Before the face of eviry connyng wicht:
I knaw what thou of rethorike hes spent;
Off all hir lusty rosis redolent
=Is nonn in to thy gerland sette on hicht;
=Eschame thar of, and draw the out of sicht,
Rude is thy wede, disteynit, bare, and rent,
=Wel aucht thou be afferit of the licht.

=======_William Dunbar_.



143 - LAMENT OF THE MAKARIS

I THAT in heill wes and glaidnes,
Am trublit now with grit seiknes
And feblit with infirmitie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Our plesance heir is all vain glory,
This fals world is bot transitory,
The flesh is brukle, the Feynd is sle:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

The state of man dois change and vary,
Now sound, now seik, now blyth, now sary,
Now dansand mirry, now like to de:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

No state in Erd heir standis sicker;
As with the wind wavis the wicker,
So wavis this warldis vanitie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Unto the Deth gois all estaitis,
Princis, prelattis and potestaitis,
Bayth rich and pure of all degree:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

He taikis the knychtis in to the feild
Enarmit under helme and scheild;
Victor he is at all mellie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

That strang unmerciful tyrand
Takis on the muderis breist sowkand
The bab, full of benignitie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

He taikis the campioun in the stour,
The capitane closit in the tour,
The lady in bour full of bewtie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

He spairis no lord for his puissance,
Nor clerk for his intelligens;
His awful straik may no man fle:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Art, magicianis and astrologis,
Rethoris, logicianis and theologis,
Them helpis no conclusionis sle:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

In medicyne the most practitianis,
Leichis, surrigianis and phisicianis,
Them self fra Deth may not supple:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

I see that makaris amang the laif
Playis heir thair pageant, syne gois to graif;
Sparit is nocht thair facultie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

He hes done petouslie devour
The noble Chaucer of makaris flouir,
The Monk of Berry, and Gowyir, all thre:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

The gude Schir Hew of Eglintoun,
Ettrik, Heryot, and Wyntoun,
He hes tane out of this countrie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

That scorpioun fell hes done infek
Maister Johine Clerk and James Afflek,
Fra balat-making and tragedie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Holland and Barbour he has berevit;
Allace! that he nocht with us levit
Schir Mungo Lokkart of the Le:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Clerk of Tranent eik he has tane,
That made the Awnteris of Schir Gawane;
Schir Gilbert Hay endid has he:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

He has Blind Hary and Sandy Traill
Slain with his schot of mortal haill,
Whilk Patrik Johnstoun mycht nocht fle:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

He has reft Mersar his indyte,
That did in luve so lyfly wryte,
So schort, so quick, of sentens hie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

He has tane Roull of Aberdene,
And gentle Roull of Corstorphyne;
Twa bettir fallowis did no man sie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

In Dumfermelyne he hes done roune
With Maister Robert Henrisoun;
Schir John the Ross embrast hes he:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

And he has now tane, last of aw,
Gude gentill Stobo and Quintyne Schaw,
Of whom all wichtis has pitie:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Gude Maistir Walter Kennedy
In poynt of deth lyis veraly;
Grit rewth it wer that so suld be:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Sen he has all my brether tane,
He will nocht lat me leif allane,
On forss I mon his nixt prey be:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

Sen for the deid remeid is none,
Best is that we for deth dispone,
Eftir our deth that leif may we:
=_Timor Mortis conturbat me_.

=======_William Dunbar_.



144 - THERE WAS A LAD WAS BORN IN KYLE

THERE was a lad was born in Kyle,
But whatna day o' whatna style
I doubt it's hardly worth the while
=To be sae nice wi' Robin.
==Robin was a rovin boy
===Rantin rovin, rantin rovin;
==Robin was a rovin boy,
===Rantin rovin Robin!

Our monarch's hindmost year but ane
Was five and twenty days begun,
'Twas then a blast o' Janwar win'
=Blew hansel in on Robin.

The gossip keekit in his loof,
Quo' she, "Wha lives will see the proof,
This waly boy will be nae coof—
=I think we'll ca' him Robin.

"He'll hae misfortunes great and sma',
But aye a heart aboon them a';
He'll be a credit till us a'
=We'll a' be proud o' Robin."

=======_Robert Burns_.



145 - THEOCRITUS IN SCOTS

====THE FISHERS (Idyll xxi.)

'Tis puirtith sooples heid and hand
And gars inventions fill the land;
And dreams come fast to folk that lie
Wi' nocht atween them and the sky.

Twae collier lads frae near Lasswade,
Auld skeely fishers, fand their bed
Ae simmer's nicht aside the shaw
Whaur Manor rins by Cademuir Law,
Dry flowe-moss made them pillows fine,
And, for a bield to kep the win',
A muckle Craig owerhung the burn,
A' thacked wi' blaeberry and fern.
Aside them lay their rods and reels,
Their flee-books and their auncient creels.
The pooches o' their moleskin breeks
Contained unlawfu' things like cleeks,
For folk that fish to fill their wame
Are no fasteedious at the game.
The twae aye took their jaunts thegither;
Geordie was ane and Tam the ither.
Their chaumer was the mune-bricht sky,
The siller stream their lullaby.

When knocks in touns were chappin' three,
Tam woke and rubbed a blinkin' e'e.
It was the ‘oor when troots are boun'
To gulp the May-flee floatin' doun,
Afore the sun is in the glens
And dim are a' the heughs and dens.

TAM:"Short is the simmer's daurk, they say,
But this ane seemed as lang's the day;
For siccan dreams as passed my sicht
I never saw in Januar' nicht.
If some auld prophet chiel were here
I wad hae curious things to speir."

GEORDIE:"It's conscience gars the nichtmares rin,
Sae, Tam, my lad, what hae ye dune?"

TAM:"Nae ill; my saul is free frae blame,
Nor hae I wrocht ower hard my wame,
For last I fed, as ye maun awn,
On a sma' troot and pease-meal scone.
But hear my dreams, for aiblins you
May find a way to riddle't true....

"I thocht that I was castin' steady
At the pule's tail ayont the smiddy,
Wi' finest gut and sma'est flee,
For the air was clear and the water wee;
When sudden wi' a rowst and swish
I rase a maist enormous fish . . .
I struck and heuked the monster shure.
Guidsakes! to see him loup in air!
It was nae saumon, na, nor troot;
To the last yaird my line gaed oot,
As up the stream the warlock ran
As wild as Job's Leviathan.
I got him stopped below the linn,
Whaur verra near I tumbled in,
Aye prayin' hard my heuk wad haud;
And syne he turned a dorty jaud,
Sulkin' far doun amang the stanes.
I tapped the butt to stir his banes.
He warsled here and plowtered there,
But still I held him ticht and fair,
The water rinnin' oxter-hie,
The sweat aye drippin' in my e'e.
Sae bit by bit I wysed him richt
And broke his stieve and fashious micht,
Til sair fordone he cam to book
And walloped in a shallow crook.
I had nae gad, sae doun my wand
I flang and pinned him on the sand.
I claucht him in baith airms and peched
Ashore—he was a michty wecht;
Nor stopped till I had got him sure
Amang the threshes on the muir.

"Then, Geordie lad, my een I rowed:
The beast was made o' solid gowd!-
Sic ferlie as was never kenned,
A' glitterin' gowd frae end to end!
I lauched, I grat, my kep I flang,
I danced a step, I sang a sang.
And syne I wished that I micht dee
If wark again was touched by me....

"Wi' that I woke; nae fish was there—
Juist the burnside and empty muir.
Noo tell me honest, Geordie lad,
Think ye yon daftlike aith will haud?"

GEORDIE:"Tuts, Tam, ye fule, the aith ye sware
Was like your fish, nae less, nae mair.
For dreams are nocht but simmer rouk,
And him that trusts them hunts the gowk....
It's time we catched some fish o' flesh
Or we will baith gang brekfastless."

=======_John Buchan_.



146 - VIRGIL IN SCOTS

====THE ENTRANCE TO HELL

====(AEneid VI. 268—284)

THAY walkit furth so derk oneith they wist
Whidder thay went amyddis dim schaddois thare,
Whare ever is nicht, and never licht doth repare,
Throwout the waste dungeoun of Pluto king,
Thay roid boundis and the gousty ring;
Siklyke as wha wald throw thick woodis wend,
In obscure light whare none may not be kend,
As Jupiter the king etherial
With erdis skug hydis the hevynnys al,
And the mirk nicht with her vysage gray
From every thing has reft the hew away.

=Befor the portis and first jawis of hel
Lamentacioun and wraikful Thochtis fel
Thare loging had, and thereat dwellis eik
Pale Maledyis that causis man be seik,
The fereful Drede and als unweildy Age,
The felone Hunger with her undantit rage:
There was also the laithly Indigence,
Terribil of schape and schameful her presence;
The grisly Dede that mony ane has slane,
The hard Laubour and diseisful Pane,
The slottry Slepe Dedis cousin of kynd,
Inordinat Blithnes of perversit mind:
And in the yett, forganis thaym did stand
The mortal Battel with his dedely brand,
The irne chaimeris of hellis Furies fel,
Witles Discord, that woundring maist cruel.
Womplit and buskit in ane bludy bend,
With snakis hung at every haris end.
And in the myddis of the uttir ward,
With brade branchis sprede over al the sward,
Ane rank elme tre stude, huge, grete and stok auld,
The vulgar pepil in that samyn hauld
Belevis thare vane Dremes makis thare dwelling,
Under ilk leif ful thik they stik and hing.

=======_Gawain Douglas_.



147 - HORACE IN SCOTS

====(1)
====_Car_. III. 15

KIRSTY, ye besom! auld an' grey,
=Peer Sandy's wrunkled kimmer,
Death's at your elbuck, cease to play
=Baith hame an' furth the limmer.

Ongauns like yours lads weel may fleg
=Fae lasses a' thegither;
Tibbie may fling a wanton leg
=Would ill set you her mither.

She Anra's bothy sneck may tirl
=An' loup like ony filly;
Love stirs her as the pipers' skirl
=Some kiltit Hielan' billie.

Nane pledge or bring you posies noo;
=Auld wives nae trumps set strummin',
For runts like you the Cabrach woo'—
=It's time your wheel was bummin'.

=======_Charles Murray_.

====(2)
====Epod. II

HAPPY is he, far fae the toon's alairm
Wha wons contentit on his forbears' fairm;
Whistlin' ahint his owsen at the ploo,
Oonfashed wi' siller lent or int'rest due.
Nae sodger he, that's piped to wark an' meat,
Nae bar'fit sailor, fleyed at wind an' weet,
Schoolboard nor Sessions tempt him fae his hame,
Provost or Bailie never heard his name;
His business 'tis to sned the larick trees
For lichened hag to stake his early peas,
Or on his plaid amang the braes to lie
Herdin' his sleekit stots an' hummel kye,
Here wi' his whittle nick a sooker saft,
There mark a stooter shank for future graft;
Whiles fae a skep a dreepin' comb he steals,
Or clips the doddit yowes for winter wheels.
When ower the crafts blythe Autumn lifts her head
Buskit wi' aipples ripe an' roddens red,
He speels the trees the hazel nits to pu',
An' rasps an' aivrins fill his bonnet fu'....
When stormy winter comes an' in its train
Brings drivin' drift an' spates o' plashin' rain,
Wi' dog an' ferret then he's roon the parks
Whaur rabbits in the snaw hae left their marks;
Or brings wi' smorin' sulphur thuddin' doon
The roostin' pheasant fae the boughs aboon,
Or daunders furth wi' girn an' gun to kill
White hares an' ptarmigan upon the hill.
Wha 'mid sic joys would ever stop to fash
Wi' trystin' queyns, their valinteens an' trash?
But gin a sonsy wife be his, she'll help
Wi' household jots, the weans she'll clead an' skelp
An'—Buchan kimmers ken the way fu' weel
Or Hielan' hizzies—tenty toom the creel
O' lang hained heath'ry truffs to reist the fire
Against her man's return, fair dead wi' tire,
An' byre-ward clatter in her creeshie brogues,
Syne fae the press the cakes an' kebbuck draw
An' hame-brewed drink nae gauger ever saw—
Plain simple fare; could partans better please
Or skate or turbot fae the furthest seas,
Brocht to the market by the trawler's airt,
Hawkit fae barrows or the cadger's cairt?
Nae frozen dainties, nae importit meat,
Nae foreign galshochs, taste they e'er sae sweet,
But I will match them fast as ye can name
Wi' simple berries that we grow at hame—
Wi' burnside soorocks that ye pu' yoursel',
Wi' buttered brose, an' chappit curly kail,
Wi' mealy puddins fae the new killed mart,
Or hill-fed braxy that the tod has spar'd.
What happier life than this for young or auld?
To see the blackfaced wethers seek the fauld,
The reekin' owsen fae the fur' set free
Wear slowly hamewith ower the gowan'd lea,
An' gabbin' servants fae the field an' byre
Scorchin' their moleskins at the kitchen fire.

_The banker swore 'mid siccan scenes to die,_
=_"Back to the land" was daily his refrain;_
_A fortnicht syne he laid his ledgers by,_
=_The nicht he's castin' his accounts again!_

=======_Charles Murray_.



148 - HEINE IN SCOTS

====(I)
====THE GRAVE OF LOVE
====(Die alten bosen Lieder)
=======_Lyrischer Intermezzo_ 65

THE auld sangs soored and cankered,
=Ill dreams that keep me fleyed,—
Let's get a michty coffin,
=And stow them a' inside.

There's muckle I maun lay there,
=Though what I daurna tell;
The coffin maun be bigger
=Than St. Andrews' auld draw-well.

And bring a bier, weel-timmered,
=O' brods baith lang and wide:
Needs be they maun be longer
=Than the auld brig ower the Clyde.

And bring me twal' great giants,
=A' men o' muckle worth—
As strang as William Wallace
=That looks across the Forth.

And they maun tak' the coffin
=And sink it in the wave,
For sic a michty coffin
=Maun hae a michty grave.

D'ye ken what way the coffin
=Maun be sae great and strang?
It's my love I mean to lay there,
=And the dule I've tholed sae lang.


====(2)

====THE KINGS FROM THE EAST
====(Die heil'gen drei Kon'ge aus Morgenland)
=======_Die Heimkehr_ 39

THERE were three kings cam' frae the East;
=They spiered in ilka clachan:
"O, which is the way to Bethlehem,
=My bairns, sae bonnily lachin'?"

O neither young nor auld could tell;
=They trailed till their feet were weary.
They followed a bonny gowden starn
=That shone in the lift sae cheery.

The starn stude ower the ale-hoose byre
=Whaur the stable gear was hingin';
The owsen mooed, the bairnie grat,
=The kings begoud their singin'.


====(3)
====LASSIE, WHAT MAIR WAD YE HAE?
====(Du hast Diamenten und Perlen)
=======_Die Heimkehr_ 64

O, YOU'RE braw wi' your pearls and your diamonds,
=You've routh o' a' thing, you may say,
And there's nane has got bonnier een, Kate:
='Od, lassie, what mair wad you hae?

I've written a hantle o' verses,
=That'll live till the Hendmost Day;
And they're a' in praise o' your een, Kate;
='Od, lassie, what mair wad you hae?

Your een, sae blue and sae bonny,
=Have plagued me till I am fey;
'Deed, I hardly think I can live, Kate:
='Od, lassie, what mair wad you hae?

=======_Alexander Gray_.