Margaret Winefride Simpson

RONDEL (Charles d'Orléans: 1391-1465)

HOO fair dis God mak her to see,
A' beauty, grace, an kin'liness!
Her praise ilk ane dis fain confess
For rowth o a' guid gifts haes she.
Wha e'er o her could weary be?
Forever fresh her luveliness!
Hoo fair dis God mak her to see,
A' beauty, grace, an kin'liness!
Nor ken I here, nor 'yont the sea,
Or lass or lady to possess
Perfect gifts as she dis fess;
Dreams sic fancies dwallin gies.
Hoo fair dis God mak her to see!

SONNET (Joachim du Bellay: 1525-1560)

GIN measured wi Eternity we see
Oor life less than a day, gin oor days wiers
Wi the year's coorse awa to come nae mair,
Gin a'thing born maun perish, dwine, an dee,
What then, my prisoned saul? Whaurfore to thee
Dis this the mirk o oor brief day seem fair
Gin wings fou strang an siccar thoo dis bear
Wi whilk to an abode mair bricht to flee?
There is the guid ilk speerit dis desire;
There is the rest to whilk a' men aspire;
There luve an pleasure dwalls withoot devaul:
There, o the heichest heichts o Heeven made free,
Beauty's true bein thoo shall ken an see
Whilk in this warl' I worship, O my saul!

TO MADAME DU CHATELET (Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire: 1694-1778)

GIN ye wad hae me loe again
The age for loein gie me back!
My twilicht an my dawin tak
An, gin ye can, unite the twain!
A place amang the blythesome baun',
Whaur Luve reigns wi the god o Wine,
I've warnin that I maun resign
Frae Time that taks me bi the haun'.
Frae this his ruithless pouer an dreid
Lat us at least some profit gain!
That sense to suit his age haes nane
Haes a' his age's duil indeed.
Its passions, wanton weys an gay,
Lat's leave to braw an bonnie youth!
But moments twa we live, in truith:
Lat's ane o them for wisdom hae!
What! noo ye flee me evermair
Sweet fancy, folly, tenderness!
Heeven's gifts whilk 'mid life's bitter stress
Wis aye my three consolers fair!
O daiths ane, weel awyte, haes twa:
To cease to loe an loed to be-
That is a daith that's ill to dree;
To cease to live--it's nocht ava.
Sae youth's wild years, fou free an fain,
At tynin I was unco wae;
My saul, to langin still a prey,
Fretted for follies by an gane.
Frae Heeven to succour my distress
Syne doon cam Freenship graciously;
Tender perchance as Luve was she,
But Luve's licht hert she couldna fess.
Touched bi her beauty fresh an fair,
Enlichtened bi her speerit true,
I follaed her; but sair my rue
Nane ither could I follae mair!


THERE are these locks whilk time haes whitened noo!
O a lang union they are pledge as weel.
Naething I grudge whilk age haes socht to steal
For it haes left me freens for ever true.
Loed 'maist as much, mair luve I daur to feel.
Wi likin', trust, an time, grown bricht an clear
The star o freenship lichts life's winter drear;
Mistaen nae mair, ane cedes its ryal richt:
Nor ane, bi leave o snawy locks, is sweir
Wi luve confessed to couple luve's delyte.

MY DWALLIN (Marceline Desbordes-Valmore: 1786-1859)

HEICH my dwallin abuin
To the heevens fou close;
Its host is the muin
Sae wan an morose:
Ablo what to me
Tho they chap noo an ca's?
Sin nae mair it is he
It is nae ane ava!
Here hidden, I sew
At my flouers nor devaul;
Tears tranquilly flows
In the quait o my saul:
The blue lift sae clear,
The stars shinin nigh,
I behaud them frae here,
An the tempest forby!
My ain chair anent
A chair waitin I see;
For his it was kent,
Ance't was oors for a wee:
There bides it fou quait,
Wi a ribbon for sign,
Weel resigned to its fate
As am I there to mine!

THE FIRST SMILE O SPRING (Théophile Gautier: 1811-1872)

Wi thrawn bit dargs for dreary oors
Forfochen fowk are trauchlin' sair
While Mairch, that lauchs despite the shouers,
In secret dis the Spring prepare.
Sleely for daisies roon' aboot,
While slumberin soon' is a' the lave,
Braw collarettes he irons oot
An gowden buttons dis engrave.
Throu yaird an orchard slips the wicht,
A stealthy perruquier is he
That taks a tuft o swansdoon licht
Wi rime to poother ilka tree.
Doon to the gairden teem an bare,
While Natur rests abed, I ween,
He steals to lace the rosebuds there
In velvet bodices o green.
While lilts o sang he dis compose,
An to the merles sowfs ower the tune,
Snawdraps attour the lea he sows
An violets in the wids aroon'.
'Mang cresses whaur the clear spring wells,
Whaur, watchfu, drinks the deer sae fleet,
The fair Mey-lily's bonnie bells
He shaks oot, stowlins, siller-sweet.
An for thy gaitherin reid to be
Aiverins he lays the gress below,
An braids owerheid wi leaves for thee
A shelter frae the sunlicht's glow.
Syne when his darg is duin indeed,
His reign near at an end an a',
At Aprile's door he turns his heid
An says: "Noo, Springtime, come awa!"

RONDEAU (Guillaume de Machault)

White as the lily, rosier than the rose,
As balas frae the Orient glamorous an bricht,
Behaudin hoo yer beauty withoot a marrae shows
White as the lily, rosier than the rose,
'Raptured sae am I that my hert kens nae repose,
Eident aye to ser' as luve decrees for your delyte,
White as the lily, rosier than the rose,
As balas frae the Orient glamorous an bricht.

SANG (1) (Clément Marot)

That seeks a sicht that rowth o cheer
An pleasure sall provide
Mey weel mak haste to see my Dear
That God gaird an guide:
Sae fou o chairm an grace is she
That wha behauds her mey
Redd o a thoosan' sorrows be
An mair, gin mair he hae.
Winner at virtues that surpass
Dis still my saul inspire;
Remembrance o the bonnie lass
Awakes my hert's desire
Sic luveliness gars me endure
The very stouns o Daith,
But aye her kin'ness haes the pouer
To shield me frae his scaith.

SANG (2) (Clément Marot)

Kin' coontenance sin ye are laith to gie,
As hermit to some wilderness I gang
To pray that, gin anither loe, as lang
Leal for your sake an constant he mey be!
Fareweel delyte! Fareweel this denty ee,
This genty form, this colour rosy-reid!
O little profit hae ye been to me;
That'll loe the less mey come the better speed!

SANG (3) (Clément Marot)

I ken nor wiss to ken in truith
Hoo hard an hertless hate mey be;
But canny luve that's sib to ruith
Is ill eneuch, awyte, to dree!
Anither name't were weel to gie
To luve, an ca't a flouer, forsuith,
Whilk but for a brief while we see.
O syne an antrin flouer, forsuith,
Ca' it in my inconstant Dear;
But ca' my hert's ower steidfast truith
The siccar rock or diamond clear!
For aye I loe, nor see appear
Nae end in Daith withooten ruith
That sic a luve need ever fear.

ON HIMSEL (Clément Marot)

As ance I was nae mair am I,
Nor e'er can be what I hae been;
My Spring an Simmer-time forby
Haes throu the windae lowpit clean.
O Luve, my maister thoo haes been,
I've ser'd 'buin a' the gods thy will;
An life-times twa gin I were gien
O better wad I ser' thee still!


"I pray ye, gallant gay o France,
As to the war ye fare,
Gin't be your pleasure, to my luve
A greetin kin' to bear!"
"Hoo greetin kin', that kensna him,
To your luve sall I bear?"
"My luve is weel to ken
Bi his airmour white an fair;
"Twa spurs o shinin gowd
An a white cross he dis wier,
His lance's end forby is wrocht
An gilt wi siller rare."
"Nae langer plead, my bonnie mey,
For dowie daith's his share:
Bi Bretons slain in Brittany
Yer true luve is nae mair!
"A new grave I gat made him
Bi a green meedow there,
Wi friars fower to sing his Mass
An speed his saul wi prayer."

VILLANELLE (Joachim du Bellay)

Like the lave beguiled to loe,
In this radiant month an rare,
Ane an a' is vyin noo
In ilk day's delyte to share;
But a cruel an fashious care
Gars me murn my sorrow sae:
Bonnie Margaret, frank an fair,
Yours the wyte o a' my wae!
In your kin'ly een, it's true,
Sweetness dis itsel declare,
But wi bitterness o rue
Are their sweets possessed, I sweir;
Aft the serpent unawaur
Dwalls aneth some blossom gay:
Bonnie Margaret, frank an fair,
Yours the wyte o a' my wae!
Sin my youth dis me forhoo,
An nae fash avails me mair,
Hope a' tint o better noo,
A hermit's lot sall be my share;
A hermit's lot sall be my share,
I'll fitter murn my sorrow sae:
Bonnie Margaret, frank an fair,
Yours the wyte o a' my wae!
But this buin micht Heeven allou--
That to yon wids ye'd repair,
Whaur, hope tint o better noo,
A hermit's lot sall be my share;
Peety syne for sic despair
Aiblins ye'd, relentin, hae:
Bonnie Margaret, frank an fair,
Yours the wyte o a' my wae!

SONNET (Pierre de Ronsard)

O tak this rose, sweet, luvable like thee,
That dis for rose ser' to ilk rose maist rare,
For flouer to ilka flouer maist fresh an fair,
Thats fragrance chairms my very saul frae me!
O tak this rose an wi't the hert I gie
Into thy bosom's bield for evermair--
My hert that haes nae wings, that kens to bear
A hunner wounds yet leal an constant be!
In ae thing dae I differ frae the rose:
Ae sun behauds her birth an her life's close;
A thoosan' suns my luve re-born haes seen;
For never kens its restlessness repose:
O, wad to God sic luve haed, like a rose,
Blossomed an dee'd wi but a day atween!


Aye in her siccar coorse the muin
Is ilka month re-born;
But at the hinneren', dim an duin
When ance oor licht haes worn,
Sleepin a lang time we maun lie
Or wird o waukenin come the wey.
Oors noo to live while Life's oor ain,
Whaurfore come gie to me
Ae kiss, syne hunners mair as fain!
Nae laws for Luve there be!
Infinity itsel maun deem
An awn him sovereign supreme!


Come, dawtie, see gin yonder rose,
That did to this morn's sun disclose
Her goon o cramasie sae fain,
Haesna at gloamin tint, weel-nigh,
Her faulded robe o reid forby
Her colour, marrow o your ain!
Behaud hoo suin, alace! alace!
Her beauties, shed, attour the gress
Mislippened lies on ilka side!
Step-mither Natur staun's confessed
Gin sic a flouer can only lest
Frae dawin until even-tide!
Syne, dawtie, gin ye'll e'en tak heed,
While in green rowth an radiance cleid
Yer bonnie Spring-time buds an flouers
Gaither yer youth, for Age the jaud,
That staws yon blossom's pride, will blaud
The beauty an the bloom o yours!

TO MARGARET (Pierre de Ronsard)

Nae image in my hert is set
O rose or ither flouer sae-e'er;
It's a' for thy sake, Margaret,
That noo this pallid hue I wier!
Are thoo nae she thats bonnie een
Swift captive teuk
My senses wi ae kin' glance gien,
Ae gracious leuk?
Sin thy prood sister's beauty brook
Nae may's for marrow--an It's yet
Nae faut o hers this duil I bear,
Thine is the wyte then, Margaret,
That noo this pallid hue I wier!
Thus wan my leuks begood to be
When fain my hert
First learned a lover's need o thee;
But frae the smert
That suin I gat for my desert,
When Luve's seekness on me set,
Haes come this pallid hue o care
Throu loein o thee, Margaret,
An o thy rosy chairms ower sair!
Sic weary wae as I endure
What chairm could steal,
An a' my pallor hae the pouer
To cure as weel?
Only were my luve sae leal
Wi requital sudden met,
Redd could I be o despair
Caused alane bi Margaret
For wha this pallid hue I wier!

SPRING SANG (Jean Antoine de Baïf)

Noo the cauldrife days is past,
Worn awa wi Winter sweir;
Blythe an smilin see at last
Pleasant Spring ance mair appear!
A' the yirth wi gress is green,
A' the gress wi flouers arrayed;
Brainches, wudland weys atween,
Yield anew a leafy shade:
Noo the lass when mornin daws,
Or the sun dispels the dew,
Whaur the first rose buds an blaws
Gangs a blossom sweet to pou:
Whether in her breest to wier,
Aye the brawer yet to be,
Or for taiken gin it ser'
To the lad she's trystin wi:
Wha, when she sic taiken gies
For remembrance o Luve's bliss,
Gazes on't withooten cease,
Keeps't wi mony a stowlins kiss.
Hark! As yonder shepherd gangs
Whistlin throu the leafy den
Merles maks answer wi their sangs
A' the bonnie wudland ben!
See the watter wimplin clear
Whaur the ripplin burnies rins;
See the saplin's growin near
Cast a shadow green within!
Calm an gentle are the seas,
Cloodless is the lift an clear;
Sped bi mony a kin'ly breeze
Ships towards the Indies steers:
Thrifty bees a peacefu soon'
Here an there wi hummin maks,
Hoverin noo the flouers aroon'
Gaitherin a' they please to tak:
In their hives awa they lay
Sweets frae ilka sweetest flouer,
Sae that frae sic store they mey
Sweetest hinny syne procure:
A' the air wi echoin cry
Ilka kin o bird dis fill,
Laverocks soarin heich up-bye,
Swans upon the watters still:
Swallaes in the hooses' lythe,
Merles in yonder wud's retreat,
Lift in carols new an blythe
Ane an a' their voices sweet:
Pleasure syne an pain o Luve
In my turn I'll sing them baith,
Passion as perchance I prove
Fou o sweetness or o scaith:
Rizzon hae I nae an richt
Gin it please me sae to sing,
Sin a' Natur dis delyte
Thus to welcome merry Spring?