Margaret Winefride Simpson

VILLANELLE (Jean Passerat)

My bonnie dou is tint an gane;
Can yon be soon' o her or sign? ...
Efter her to gang I'm fain!
For yer mate ye grieve in vain;
Alack! A grief sic-like is mine;
My bonnie dou is tint an gane!
Leal gin still yer luve remain
As constant is my faith sin syne;
Efter her to gang I'm fain!
Aye ye mak anew yer mane,
Evermair I murn an pines;
My bonnie dou is tint an gane!
Sicht o her beauty sin there's nane
Ilk sicht that's fair ava I tine;
Efter her to gang I'm fain!
Daith, to wha I cry alane,
Tak wha gies himsel for thine!
My bonnie dou is tint an gane,
Efter her to gang I'm fain!


Abed lat's linger noo nae mair!
Behaud the morn
A'ready, rosy-faced an fair,
For us is born!
Noo, when the lift's maist blythe an bricht
In Mey, this month o a' delyte,
Lat's loe, my dear!
Lat's hae oor hert's desire an wiss:
Ilk pleasure in this warl' he'll miss
That bides to speir!
My bonnie lass, this leafy den
Come dauner throu;
Hear hoo the wee birds sings far ben
On ilka bough!
But herken hoo, ayont them a',
The mavis never tires ava
In his sweet sang!
Sae lat's, the while we duil forget,
Mak merry like the mavis yet:
Time's swift to gang!
This lovers' fae's a weary wicht
An wings he weirs;
Oor brawest years far in his flicht
Awa he beirs:
When wrinkled ye sall be ae day
Richt dowie syne, I'll warran', ye'll say:
"My beauty's grace
Ne'er to hae uised I'd little wit,
Sin Time himsel haes herried it
In sic short space!"
Lat's leave sic murnin an sic ruith
To auld age noo;
While yet we're young the flouer o youth
We needs maun pou!
Noo, when the lift's maist blythe an bricht
In Mey, this month o a' delyte,
Lat's loe, my dear!
Lat's hae oor hert's desire an wiss:
Ilk pleasure in this warl' he'll miss
That bides to speir!

SANG (Jean Bertaut)

Sae cruel pruives to me
Heeven's stern, relentless pouer,
Tho sorrows some mey dree
Fou happy is their lot to that whilk I endure!
Ilk oor I only pray
For Daith to come my gate,
For Daith thats lang delay
Aye langer gars me thole the insolence o Fate.
Bedewed wi tears ilk nicht
My couch bides comfortless,
Nor can its chairms aricht
Lull, even when I sleep, my unco weariness.
Gin dreams I chance to hae
Syne I behaud wi fear
Visions whaurin my wae
A sad reality but clearer dis appear.
Juistice an peety baith
Deceit dis sae ensnare
That constancy an faith
Are deid to me in ilka hert for evermair.
Ingratitude again
Is gien for freenship leal,
An calumny wad fain
Lichtly my anguish till compassion nane could feel.
I toss in tempests black
Forhooed bi a' the lave,
For, rinnin to the wrack
Tho a' for me maks mane, ne'er ane I see to save.
An warst o a' to bide
The memory that is left—
While troubles thus betides—
O bliss whauro my life bi Heeven haes been bereft.
O Joy that, noo bygane,
Can nevermair be mine,
Hoo bitter is the pain
To ken thee tint an yet remembrance ne'er to tine!


Sweet sovereigns o my life, frae here
They gang, yon een sae bricht
For envy o whase shinin clear
Wan growes the stars' ain licht!
Whaurfore, ye freen's o innocence,
Ye gods, for what misdeed
Sud sinnerin fess sic recompense
In waes withoot remeid?
Awa she gangs, yon wondrous fair
For wha withooten tire,
Tho rizzon chide me evermair,
I burn wi luve's desire!
Whaurfore, ye freen's o innocence,
Ye gods, for what misdeed
Sud sinnerin fess sic recompense
In waes withoot remeid?
What far an fearsome solitude
Frae ilka ee concealed,
What neuk bi a' the lave forhooed
Sall be my trouble's bield?
Whaurfore, ye freen's o innocence,
Ye gods, for what misdeed
Sud sinnerin fess sic recompense
In waes withoot remeid?
Their miseries in tears altho
The dowie whiles mey tine,
Like fountains were my een to flow
What hope can e'er be mine?
Whaurfore, ye freen's o innocence,
Ye gods, for what misdeed
Sud sinnerin fess sic recompense
In waes withoot remeid?

EPITAPH (Mathurin Régnier)

I've lived wi never a thocht,
An ever as Natur socht
I've cannily gane my gate;
An sae muckle I winner hoo-e'er
Daith daured think upon me that ne'er
Haed thocht upon her ae haet.


Lady, gin on my face appears
Age written somewhat plain to see,
Min' that when ye'll hae reached my years
But little better ye sall be!
The brawest, bonniest things ava
To blaud an lichtly Time dis loe;
He'll gar your roses fade awa
That wrote these wrinkles on my broo.
To ae same coorse o star an star
Are subject oor ilk day an nicht;
The warl' ance saw me as ye are,
Suin yours sall be my present plicht.
An yet a hantle chairms I hae
Thats worth I reckon sae sublime
That I've sma' rizzon to growe wae
Ower a' these ravages o Time.
Sic chairms as a' adore are yours,
But mine, whilk ye despise an scorn,
Micht prove o stuff that still endures
When a' your ain awa haes worn.
Mine sall hae pouer the fame to save
O een that noo I mey admire,
For centuries to gar the lave
Believe o you as I desire.
Amang the fowk o that new race—
Honour wi wha my name sall hae—
Ye sallna pass for fair o face
Save jist as far as I sall say.
Ponder this, luvely lady, noo:
Dreidfu altho a greybeard be,
His favour it were weel to woo
When Fate haes fashioned him like me!

EPITAPH (Paul Scarron)

Wha here at last lies sleepin soon'
Steered envy less than ruith,
A thoosan' times he kent Daith's stoun
Afore he dee'd in truith.
Here bygaun mak nae soon' ava,
Frae waukenin gaird him weel,
For this nicht is the first o a'
That Scarron's slept, puir chiel!

PLUTO'S SANG (Philippe Quinault)

Ilk ane comes here an nane sall miss;
Man's born for this—
To dee again:
Daith freedom gies frae mony an ill,
That seeks life still
Seeks but for pain.
Syne to oor shaidowy borders speed!
Rest socht sae fain
Is fand alane
Here in the dwallin o the Deid:
Here a' withoot devaul repairs,
But furth to fare
There's nane haes need.
To ilka ane this fate maun fa'
Sae vain is a'
Man's care indeed:
Wad wisdom wiss
To flee frae this?
A tempest it is
To port sall lead.

SANG (Antoine Hamilton)

She's naither dark nor fair to wha my hert's true luve I gie;
Her chairms in but ae wird to sing,
O a' the warl' the bonniest thing
Is she!
An yet o her allurements reckonin's nae that ill to tak:
Five hunner beauties whilk appears,
Five hunner hid, a thoosan' clear
Daes mak.
Heeven's gifts to her in saul an purity are manifest;
Her thoosan' chairms to me still shows
The pairtial Graces did bestow
The rest.
Beside her glowin' colour bricht what hue sic radiance weirs?
Her rosy bloom maks Flora's wan,
Her throat for whiteness wi the swan
Her airms an shapely form to Venus' ain is marrow true;
Nose, mou for Hebe's weel micht pass;
An bi her een jalouse what lass
I loe!

EPITAPH (François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire)

Here lies a man that law haed nane
Save for himsel to live alane.
Bewaur the like! For it micht fa'
They'd say o you: "Here lies ane
That never sud hae lived ava."

TO MADAME LULLIN (François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire)

Ah! Ye're surprised at this, ye say,
Wi auchty winters weel awa
That my Muse, weak an worn, sud hae
The hert to lilt a verse ava?
An antrin trace o green mibbie
Glimmers oor frozen fields amang,
Solace to Natur it mey gie,
But deid an withered it is or lang.
An antrin bird we'll aiblins hear
When the fine days haes taen their flicht,
But sweet nae mair his voice nor clear,
Nae langer sings he luve's delyte.
Sae still to touch my lyre I'm fain,
Sweir at my biddin tho it be;
Sae dae I seek to sing again
The very oor my sang maun dee.
Ance to his luve Tibullus said:
"My deein haun sall you caress,
My een, when last fareweels are made,
Sall dwall on your een's luveliness!"
But when ane feels the saul some day
Oot on Life's ebbin tide fast gaun,
Fond een for Delia can ane hae,
Or yet a fain, caressin haun?
Ilk in that moment sall forget
What's duin while health an strength endures;
What mortal's been deluded yet
Ower trystin at Daith's dowie oor?
Hersel into eternal nicht
Delia in turn maun suin be gane,
Forgettin a' her beauty bricht
An that she's lived for luve alane.
We're born, we live, we'll dee, my lass,
Whaurfore or hoo ne'er kennin clear;
Mated to naethingness a' pass:
Whaur syne?...Guid only kens, my dear!


She slipped awa in bairnheid while
Fair innocence dwalt in her smile
An luve in ilka lineament;
Or mony months awa haed worn
That simple hert micht weel hae kent
The thrill o tenderness new-born:
But Heeven condemned, withooten ruith,
To dowie daith her bonnie youth;
To Heeven her life she yielded free—
Nor murmur made 'gainst its decree—
Syne into slumber sweet did fa':
Sae frae the lips a smile micht gang,
Sae in the wids a birdie's sang,
Leavin nae echo, fade awa.

SANG (Marceline Desbordes-Valmore)

Ye haed my hert to keep,
An I haed yours forby:
Hert for hert to keep,
Bliss for bliss as deep!
Yours is gien back again,
Nae ither noo hae I:
Yours is gien back again,
Tint an gane's my ain!
Leaf an flouer sae fair,
The fruit that sweet did seem,
Leaf an flouer sae fair,
Fragrance an colour rare,
What hae ye duin wi't a',
Thats luve I held supreme?
What hae ye duin wi't a',
This pleasure I reca'?
As some puir bairn its lane
A mither leaves bereft,
As some puir bairn its lane
Succour for wham there's nane,
Bi you in my despair
Am I forhooed an left,
Bi you in my despair,
But God sall see an care!
Ken ye ae day ilk ane
Meets laneliness an lack?
Ken ye ae day ilk ane
Fa's in wi Luve again?
O, ye sall ca' an cry,
But nane sall answer mak,
O, ye sall ca' an cry,
An ye sall muse an sich! ...
Dreamin to my ha' door
Ye'll come to chap an speir,
Dreamin to my ha' door,
As luvin as afore;
An syne to you they'll say:
"She's deid!...There's nae ane here!"
But wha, while this they'll say,
Peety for you sall hae?

HUSHIN-SANG (Marceline Desbordes-Valmore)

Gin the bairnie sleep he'll see
Yonder eident, hoverin bee—
When her hinny she's laid by—
Dancin 'tweesh the earth an sky.
Gin the bairnie quait bide,
An angel—whilk at even-tide,
A' rosy-bricht, alane is seen—
Sall come to bid him a "Guid-e'en!"
Gin the bairnie guid remain,
Whisperin wi him, lang an fain,
Sall the Virgin fou o grace
Bend abuin his bonnie face.
Gin my bairnie loe me noo
God Himsel sall say: "I loe
This wee bairn that sleeps sae soon';
A gowden dream gae tak him doon!
"Close his een wi canny care,
An lat colours rich an rare
Frae my gairdens a' aflouer
Steal this bairnie's prayers attour!
"Hem for him new swaddlin-baun's
Wi your denty angel-haun's,
An upon his pillae sma'
Lat your white doun saftly fa'!
"Gie him wings like dous' to wier
Sae that swiftly he mey fare
Hie into my Sun sae clear
To dance till waukenin-time be here!
"In a wave's airms lat him lie
There to mak a voyage forby,
An whaur wi milk my burnies rins
Lat him drink at will therein!
"Gie him yonder room whaur braw
Lammer gleams 'mid pearls like snaw,
An oor diamond cakes to pree
In his sleep to him ye'll gie!
"Broider wi my stars sae fair
A boatie's sails this bairn to bear
On my loch thats shinin tide
Mingles wi the azure wide!
"Lat the muin the watter licht
Yet mair clear for him an bricht,
An lat him or he come back
My bonniest siller fishes tak!
"But tak tent that it's my will
He sud silent bide an still
As ilk birdie, quait an douce,
Sleepin in its mossy hoose!
"For, gin he sud greet, yon bell—
Tollin' oot the oor—sall tell
A' the country, far an braid,
That a bairn haes disobeyed!
"Hiein', het-fit, to the din,
Throu the street sall Echo rin,
When the soon' haes worn by
Again 'The bairnie grat!' to cry!
"An, forby, his mither kin'
For her thankless nurslin syne
Sanna, in her sorrow sair,
Hae the hert for singin mair!
"Gin he greet, or gin he girn,
At the wrathfu Dawn's return
This wee fashious lamb an thrawn
Aiblins sall awa be stawn!
"Up-bye throu the ruif mibbie,
A bit craturie syne sall flee,
Greetin sorrowfu an sair,
Hame returnin nevermair!
"Wannerin throu this warl' alane
Lat him gang, an heed him nane!
Sic a bairn I ne'er sall gie
A sicht o Paradise to see!
"Aye! But gin he guid remain,
Whisperin wi him, lang an fain,
Sall the Virgin fou o grace
Bend abuin his bonnie face!"