Margaret Winefride Simpson


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O THOCHT that is ill to thole,
O sorrow that's sair to dree,
Wi sunset reid as a faulded flouer
On the restless hert o the sea!
O beauty bitter to bide,
O puirtith in peetifu plicht,
Wi starlicht white as a deid haun' laid
On the still, black brous o Nicht!


ATTOUR the hill the mists are creepin grey,
The shaidaes lengthens gaistly ‘yont the linn,
An like a fleggit bairn the sabbin win'
Cries cauldrife bi the steekit doors o Day:
Laich lies the cloods whaur late the lift was blue,
An eerie souch rins reeshlin throu the sauchs,
An, whaur they leuch nae langsyne ‘tweesh the hauchs,
O dowie, dowie rowes the watters nou!
Hope dwines an wearies wi the hin'maist licht--
Stowlins comes hirplin Fear, ill-faured an dour,
Wi dreich Despair--Sin's sorry paramour--
Forgaitherin, to lirk in wait for Nicht.
Attour the hill the mists are creepin grey,
The shaidaes lengthens gaistly ‘yont the linn,
An like a fleggit bairn the sabbin win'
Cries cauldrife bi the steekit doors o Day.


As ane bereft nae mair complains nor cries,
Sae, happit ower wi mirk an dolorous Nicht,
The desolate Earth laich in a murnin lies,
Wae, wantin him that was her joy an licht;
Til--dowie as Sorrow frae the doors o Daith--
Stowlins, ane efter ane, the slow dreams creeps,
An glimmerin in their midst her lover's wraith
Leuks on her wanly smilin in her sleep.


THE waukrife win' gangs back an fore
Throu the tuim, mirk ha's o Nicht,
An the blinterin starnies winners an glowers,
Wae at the sorrowfu sicht--
For lang sall he watch or he sees ootby
The grey face o Daylicht:
An lang sall he wait or he hears the Dawn
Come tirlin at the pin...
Troth, there's little content when a cankert carle
Is naither to haud nor bin',
An the heich, black wa's o Midnicht din
Wi the wail o the waukrife win'!


THE hairstin's worn by, an the swallow's on the wing,
An there's nae flouer to blossom, an nae bird to sing,
But a' the waefu Winter nou to weary for the Spring . .
It's nae for bird or blossom that I endure the smert,
Nor yet is't Winter's frosts that lies sae heavy on my hert,
But the Spring that lingers late an lang when twa true lovers pairts!


THERE'S gowd ‘mang the bracken, an hine on the hill
The flouer o the heather blooms hardily still;
Sae sichna for Simmer, an dinna mak mane,
Nor grieve that the days o the Simmer is gane!
For the days o the Simmer wis bonnie an braw,
But swift fled the oors o the Simmer awa;
An the bud an the blossom that Simmer pat forth
Lies withered afore the chill blast frae the North:
But brave flaunts the bracken tho days mey be dour,
An tho win's mey be snell aye the heather shall flouer;
An wha wad be dowie, or grummle an gloom,
Wi the bracken aglow an the heather abloom?
Sae sichna for Simmer, an dinna mak mane,
Nor grieve that the days o the Simmer is gane;
For there's gowd ‘mang the bracken, an hine on the hill
The flouer o the heather blooms hardily still!


"THE rowan's reid, an the Simmer's sped,
There's a sab in the souch o the win';
An wae's me," she said, "for the luve that is deid,
An the sorrow when day draws in!"
The wild-rose dee'd, an the aik-tree siched
In the lanesome licht o the muin;
But ever she cried for the luve denied
When Simmer haed worn duin:
" There's rest," said she, " for a' but me,
An rowth o pleasure forby;
But sorrow maun be aye bitter to pree,
An I wistna that luve could dee:
"But the rowan's reid, an the Simmer's sped,
An a sab's in the souch o the win';
An it's wae's me," she said, " for luve lies deid,
An there's sorrow when day draws in!"


BE canny, lads an lasses, as ye gang
Aboot the closs the nicht, nor dauner lang!
Step saftly ben the hoose--for wha can tell
What grimly gaist for Kirsty waits, or Bell?
At lovers, see, an ill-contriven curn
O wee fowk* lauchs beside the drumlie burn--
They carena by tho Jock frae Jeanie pairts,
Nor feint a haet for a' yer broken herts!

* Wee fowk--fairies, elfs.


THE wee win's rin whaur the heich gress growes,
An, black attour the green,
The shaidaes gangs hirplin on ilka haun'
Wi the white muin in atween:
An wha is't rins wi the win's, onkent,
Wha cries wi the wee win's cry,
When the shaidaes is shauchlin, black an blin',
An the waukrife muin gangs by . .
In the eerie oor when the little wee win's
Cries in frae an eerie airt,
When Time fa's awa in a dwam, an Nicht
Staun's still wi a lowpin hert?


THE hin'maist o the heather's on the hill,
An I my lane,
Wi heavy hert for a' that's by an gane,
Hauds up the tuim glen road an greets my fill:
Amang the larick-bous the slow rains dreeps,
(Ah, weel I mind
Hoo bonnie wis the laricks, lad, langsyne!)
As I gang by my sorry tryst to keep:
Ay, sair an sorry sall oor trystin be,
My dear, my dear--
But this ae day, o a' the dreary year,
Daith sanna seek to sinner you an me!


NAE a bird on the birken-bough,
Nae a bloom on the brae;
An wearily nou the burnies rowes,
Wearily nou an wae!
For mony a sorrow maun yet befa',
An mony a joy maun lack,
Or ever the Winter wier awa,
An the kin'ly days come back;
Or the sunshine glint throu the saft hill rain,
An the merle an the mavis sing;
Or the primrose biaw in the lythe again,
An the glens growe sweet wi Spring!


THE busy hiech-road streetches
Bare, an dreich, an lang--
Gie me the kin'ly by-road
That gangs liltin like a sang;
For I'm weariet an forfochen,
An fain to be, at e'en,
Back upon the by-road
When the day's darg's duin!
Nae fret is there for pleasure,
Nor fashious thocht ava--
It only taks the mavis
To sing the ‘oors awa;
It jist taks twa for coortin,
Aneth a simmer mime,
On the quait bit couthie by-road
When the day's darg's duin!
When I'm throu wi a' the trauchle,
An clear o a' the care,
I'll leave the hiech-road lyin
Lang, an dreich, an bare;
It's a cauld road for comfort,
An I ken that--late or suin--
I'll be lyther on the by-road
When the day's darg's duin!


THERE'S storm abuin Ben Nevis, an black ayont the rain
The muckle cloods, like frichtened fowk, forgaithers ane bi ane,
An a' the wailin win's are met thegither makkin mane...
There's storm abuin Ben Nevis, an white anent the sky
The gulls are cryin inland wi a lang an eerie cry,
For, ridin on the shudderin shaidaes, Daith an Duil gangs by.


THE wild win's gangs their ain gate,
An sair they souch an sings,
An a black fear lowps, an a sorrow beats
In the hert o the on-ding:
An sorrow's sel an a sorrow's soon'
Cries oot in the roarin spate,
But the singin win's, an the souchin win's,
They gang their ain wild gate:
An wha kens whatna gate they gang,
An wha sall lowse or bin'
The win's that souchs, an the win's that sings,
But God when He gaithers them in?


GLIMMER o gowd in the braid, black lift
Whaur an antrin star shines throu--
An a thocht o luve when the nicht growes mirk
Wi sorrow, an sichin, an rue:
Reid o the berry that burns sae bricht
The white, white snaw aneth--
An a memory o luve when the hert o life
Is happit attour wi daith.


O, IT'S crawin an unco crouse ye mey gang--
An vantie, awyte, forby--
But it's the lang, tuim road in the hinner-en',
An laich in the muils to lie!
Ay, it's laich in the muils an quait to lie--
Siller an gear an a'--
Deep doon, an happit attour wi duil,
For a' that ye're blythe an brawl
Sae gaither yer gowd, an coont yer kine--
Ye can lippen to me to bide
Or the sinnerin come, an the black day daw
For the pairtin o you an yer pride:
For gane it sall be--as a caunle-lowe
Gangs oot wi a fuffin braith--
When the wauges fa's due, an I lauch to mysel
At the fuil that leuch at Daith!


NAE wi an unco steer or clash o warl's--
But daunerin like Nicht, slow-fitted, up the glen--
Gin ye sud come, coorsest o cankert carles,
Chappin at my ha' door some mirk day's en',
I'd nae be laith to cast awa Life's arles,
Nor sweir to lift the sneck an bid ye ben!



A GEY curn year--twal oot come Caunlemas--.
Haes worn awa sin yon day Bell was taen,
An the hale warl' grew dowie, dreich, an dank,
An I was left to trauchle in't my lane,
Doitered, an duin, an feckless, weel awyte...
Haith, it's a cauidrife warl' for fowk like me--
Ye maunna winner gif, when my time comes,
It's her I'm thinkin langest, Lord, to see!
For hertless ilka Simmer, nou, an Spring,
That uised to be sae shortsome in the Glen,
An waur the forenichts when I miss her crack,
Wearyin to watch her steppin but an ben;
Ay, an I'll warran' she's gey an lanely, whiles,
Daunerin aboot amon' the stars hersel--
Forby that ficherin an haiverin wi a herp
Maun leuk a fushionless bit job to Bell!
Sae, when my darg's duin an I win upby--
Some bashfu-like, nae dout--to Paradise,
Wi angels reeshlin in raws a' roon' aboot,
An a' that guid I winna ken their weys--
Lord, Lord, I'm lippenin to You to unnerstaun
(Wi a'thing bonnie, faigs, but unco frem'!)
Hou Bell bein there'll mak Your braw shinin Heeven
A hantle couthier place, an mair like hame!


GIN I haed twice ten hunder sangs
A' freely in my gift--
O the lintie in the larick,
An the laverock in the lift--
Sweet sangs o win's an watters
When simmer skies is blue--
Tho blythe was ilka ane, I'd hain
The blythest aye for you!
Or gin I'd gairdens fair an fine,
The luveliest in the land,
Bedecked wi bloom o bud an bell,
An a' at my command--
Whaur the feck wis bricht an bonnie,
Sic pleasure syne to pou
The bnichtest, an the bonniest,
An the brawest flouer for you!
But tho I've nae wale o blythesome sangs,
Nor gairdens fine or fair,
Nor yet a hantle canty things
I'm fain for you to share--
Ye can coont I'll aye mak siccar
That, gin ony ill sud bode,
Ye'll hae luve to licht the darkest day,
An cheer the dreichest road!
An tho whiles there's antrin shaidaes
As the years gangs slippin by,
Ye'd need naither sich nor sorrow
Gin I sud hae my wey--
Ay, tho birds sud sing but seldom,
An flouers be mibbie few,
Life wad still hae some bit blossom,
An some lilt o sang for you!


O, Luve is like the wanderin win'
That canna be at rest,
An memory like a waukrife bird
That steers within its nest!
An wha that loesna recks hou sair
The stoun' that Memory gies,
Or wha that kensna Luve's delyte
Can measure Luve's unease?


GIN I haed a' the bonnie ships
That sails the grey North Sea,
An a' the lands that lies betwixt
The Deveron an the Dee:
I'd forfeit a', an freen's an hame,
For luve, an never rue--
Wi leal an lichtsome hert to tak
The fremmit road wi you!
For mony are the ships that gang
The Northern Seas upon,
An pleasant are the lands that lies
‘Tweesh Dee an Deveron:
But nae for wealth on sea or land,
Nor yet for gowd or gear,
Nor for the ties O kith or kin,
Wad I forsake my dear!


GIN simmer suns their gowden licht should tine,
Or bleak December's stars forbear to shine,
I'd thole the lack--ance mair to ken thee mine:
Ance mair to ken thy smile, an sae be blest--
Content wi thee an careless o the rest--
Mysel the host, an thoo the wished-for guest:
Lang welcome an awaited lang--as when
Shy Spring steals sweetly hame across the glen--
Steal ower my sowel's dim threshold . . . saftly ben!


SOME day the buds will blaw, when Aprile gleams
Throu Winter's win' an weet--
Sae langs I for the dawn when a' my dreams
Will flouer as sweet!
Some day, when Aprile hastens ower the hill,
Yon silent bird will sing--
Sae in my hert a secret sang lies still
An waits for Spring!


THERE'LL be nae mair thocht o the mirk an the rain,
An nae mair need to tak
Tent o the sad an the sorrowfu things
When the blythe-like things is back:
There'll be nae mair thocht o the dowie days
When the smilin days comes in,
When the lintie sings, an the roadside's sweet
Wi the sicht an scent o the whin:
For peace shall fa' on the troubled win's,
An the restless storms growe still,
When yon licht-herted callant, Spring,
Rides, lauchin, ower the hifi!


(A Rondel frae the French o Charles d'Orléans.)
BLYTHE bi ilka buddin shaw
Aprile's up an buskit braw--
Trig, an gleg, an unco thrang,
For the jaud's been latchen lang:
The merlin whistles clear an shrill,
The whins is oot on hauch an hill,
An blythe bi ilka buddin shaw
Aprile's up an buskit braw:
Lichtly the rivers lilts an sings,
Ilk burn forby, an glintin spring--
A' canty in new gouns bedicht,
Cleid attour wi siller bricht--
For blythe bi ilka buddin shaw
Aprile's up an buskit brawl


HAME to the Glen, hame to the Glen--
O, it's a' in a nicht an afore ye ken
She's rankit oot her bit balas an braws--
Winter steekit the yetts, but she's lowpit the wa's,
An, cannily creepin by dyke an by den,
Spring comes, stowlins, het-fit to the Glen!
O, it's nae for the douce an the wice-like men--
But the fairy-fowk an the bairnies kens,
An mibbie an antrin birdie'll hear
An sing to itsel as the licht growes clear--
When the Nicht wears but, an the Day wears ben,
An Spring comes hurryin hame to the Glen!
O, it's up an awa, an hame to the Glen--
Ye can lippen to her in the hinner-en'--
Wi her ploys, an her pliskies, an cantrips begoud,
Wi the win' for her shuin, an the sun for her snood--
An it's a' in a nicht an or ever ye ken
That Spring comes couthily hame to the Glen!


Nou Spring comes sweetly in, but nane the less
Shall Sorrow blossom 'neth an Aprile sky,
For a' the glamour o the Springs gane by
Lies hidden in ilk antrin loveliness:
Mibbie it's some bit sang the blackbird sings,
Some bud or bell, that brings frae years lang past--
Sudden an swift--fond memories flockin fast
To beat aboot my hert wi restless wings!


SING hie an low, sing hie an low,
O Win's, sing hie an low
An weary fa' the bitter fate
That pairts me frae my jo!
An weary fa' the cruel fate
That hauds me frae my dear,
When the wee birds biggs bi ilka bush,
An burns is rinnin clear!
It's nae the lands that lies atween,
Nor yet the soondin sea,
But thrawn Misfortune's sorry chance
That sinners her an me!
Nou glintin gay, bi bower an brae,
Sweet Spring beguiles in vain,
Sin still an on I grievin gangs,
An murns my leefu lane!
Sing hie an low, sing hie an low,
O Win's, sing hie an low--
But wae an heavy is his hert
That's pairted frae his jo!


O, LUVELY is the lilac-flouer
That blossoms in the Mey,
An blythely suin's the blackbird's note
At dewy brak o day!
Yet pleasureless his sweetest sang
If thoo disdainfu be,
Delyteless a' the bonnie bloom
That decks the lilac-tree!
But gowden-bricht for me again
The simmer day shall shine,
An win's blaws saftly frae the Sooth,
Gin ye should prove but kin':
Syne fairest hope anew shall flouer
An in my bosom spring,
While joy, like ony bird at dawn,
Ance mair shall steer an sing!


(A Ballad o Spring.)
O, I KEN a mey--an a weel-faured mey
As ane micht wiss to see--
She gangsna girt in a goon o grey,
Nor cleid in the cramasie:
But wrocht wi siller are her sheen,
Her goun wi gowd an a';
She's set a girdle o the green
Aboot her middle sma':
A woven girdle o the green,
Wi perlins fine bedicht--
An I wot the shinin o her e'en
Is clearer than sunlicht!
"Hae ye come frae afaur, my bonny mey,
An whither awa are ye gaun?"
"I gang," says she, "to the dwallin o Day,
An I come frae the hoose o Dawn."
"O, yer voice is sweet, an sweetly-tuned
As ony lintie's sang!"
But aye she turns her richt an roond,
Wi, "I downa tarry lang!"
"O, the curlin hair attour your broo,
An your white skin, white as milk,
An the reid bit flouer o your hinny mou,
Reid as the scarlet silk!"
She's up an turned her richt an roond--
"I've a faurawa road to gang!"
An I wot her wird haed a murnfu soond,
Wi, "I maunna linger lang!"
"Nou bide ye, bide ye, my bonny mey,
Sae fain's wi ye I'd speak!"
She's up an hied her on her wey,
An the rose was on her cheek.
As she's gane doon bi yon laich land,
A licht, licht lauch gaed she--
But it's or she's come whaur yon hie hills stands
The teir will dim her ee:
O, it's or she's won to yon hie hillside
The teir stuid in her ee!
But aye she said, "For I downa bide!"
"For I downa bide!" said she.
"Will ye consent to tryst wi me?"
Says I to the weel-faured mey;
"I'll tryst wi ye by yon aiken-tree,
In a twalmonth an a day!"
"O, cleid in claith o the cramasie
Gangs mony a lady gay,
An fair as ane micht wiss to see
Is mony a weel-faured mey!
"But dowie the days or I see ance mair
(Dowie the days an dour!)
Your e'en sae clear, an the curlin hair
Your bonny broo attour:
"An the lang months sall lie laith atween
(A twalmonth laith an lang!)
Or I hear the soond o your siller shuin,
An your voice like the lintie's sang:
"Or I see your goon wi its gowden shine,
An your white skin, white as milk,
An your girdle green wi its perlins fine,
An your lips like the scarlet silk!
"Syne speed ye, speed ye, my weel-faured mey,
On the faurawa road ye're gaun
Or ye fare again to the dwallin o Day,
Frae the dim white hoose o Dawn!"