Author Topic: Scottish Poetry  (Read 102629 times)

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2008, 02:30:54 PM »
translated by Seamus Heaney

Thanks for that Stu. Interesting to see the name of Seamus Heaney here, he is Poet Laureate of Ireland and has written some amazing stuff in his own right.

Since yours was in regard to Hallaig on an island; here's one of his regarding islands:

Quote
Lovers on Aran by Seamus Heaney

The timeless waves, bright, sifting, broken glass,
Came dazzling around, into the rocks,
Came glinting, sifting from the Americas

To posess Aran. Or did Aran rush
to throw wide arms of rock around a tide
That yielded with an ebb, with a soft crash?

Did sea define the land or land the sea?
Each drew new meaning from the waves' collision.
Sea broke on land to full identity.

Michael
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Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2008, 11:02:37 AM »
Found this one in South Africa!

 
Where Goes my Heart?
If my body lays mouldering 'neath the Hot African soil
Where goes my heart?

 
It soars, with eagles, among snow topped Highland mountains

Among the green Angus Glens it meanders loath to part

High on the Struie it delights in Northern Lights cascading fountains

Along the swift flowing Spey it tumbles joyously through Moray parts

Then to Culloden, Bannockburn, Flodden and Falkirk fields shedding a tear

Remembering our past, Wallace and the Bruce and a Bonnie Prince frae a far

Perchance conversing with Burns, Sir Walter, Andrew Selkirk and Tranter too

It laments with the haunting sound of Great Pipes that rise with the curlew

And humbly looks at the Flowers of the Forest - those Flowers o' Scotland

While I lay slumbering silently in solitude 'neath a different, different land

Must I. with these few words, you convince, for are you not Scottish too?

 

That is where a Scot's heart should be - under Saint Andrew's sky.
 
Terry Isaac
Mombasa, Kenya
20 June 2005
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2008, 11:24:38 AM »
From the Border Reivers website.

To the Scots the Battle of Flodden was more than a defeat, it was a national disaster.  So many fathers, sons, brothers, men and boys, never returned to the families.  Grief was widespread throughout the country and no class was  spared. The cream of the nobility was almost wiped out, including the King.

The poem Flowers of the Forest is generally regarded as the Scots lament for Flodden.  It was written in the mid 18th century by Miss Jane Elliott daughter of Sir Gilbert Elliott of Minto.

 
 
                                 
                                        Flowers of the Forest

I’ve heard the liltin' at our ewe-milkin',
Lasses a-liltin’ before dawn o' day;
Now there’s a moanin’ on ilka green loanin’.                     milking park
The flowers of the forest are a’ wede away.                   withered

As buchts in the mornin’, nae blithe lads are scornin’         sheep- pen
Lasses are lanely, and dowie and wae.                            sad
Nae daffin’, nae gabbin’, but sighin’ and sabbin’,               dallying
Ilk ane lifts her leglin, and hies her away.                        stool

In har’st at the shearin’ nae youths now are jeerin’           harvest
The bandsters are runkled, and lyart, or grey.        binder of sheaves   grizzled
At fair or at preachin’, nae wooin’, nae fleechin’,              flatter
The flowers of the forest are a’ wede away.

At e’en in the gloamin’, nae swankies are roamin’,             gallants
‘Bout stacks, with the lasses at bogle to play.                 hide and  seek
But ilk ane sits dreary, lamentin; her dearie,
The flowers of the forest are a’ wede away

Dool and wae the order sent our lads to the Border,           grief
The English for ance by guile wan the day.
The flowers of the forest, that foucht aye the foremost,
The prime of our land now lie cauld in the clay

We’ll hae nae mair liltin’, at the ewe-milkin’,
Women and bairns are dowie and wae.
Sighin’ and moanin'on  ilka green loanin’,
The flowers of the forest are a' wede away.

 
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2008, 11:03:23 AM »
Cuddle Doon

by Alexander Anderson

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi muckle faught and din.
"Oh try an' sleep, ye waukrife rogues,
Your faither's comin' in."
They niver heed a word I speak,
I try tae gie a froon,
But aye I hap' them up an' cry
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"

Wee Jamie wi' the curly heid,
He aye sleeps next the wa'
Bangs up and cries, "I want a piece!"
The rascal starts them a'.
I rin and fetch them pieces, drinks,
They stop a wee the soun',
Then draw the blankets up an' cry,
"Noo, weanies, cuddle doon."

But ere five minutes gang, wee Rab
Cries oot frae neath the claes,
"Mither, mak' Tam gie ower at aince,
He's kittlin' wi' his taes."
The mischief in that Tam for tricks,
He'd bother half the toon,
But aye I hap them up an' cry,
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"

At length they hear their faither's fit
An' as he steeks the door,
They turn their faces tae the wa'
An Tam pretends tae snore.
"Hae a' the weans been gude?" he asks,
As he pits aff his shoon.
"The bairnies, John, are in their beds
An' lang since cuddled doon!"

An' just afore we bed oorsel's
We look at oor wee lambs,
Tam has his airm roun' wee Rab's neck
An Rab his airm roun' Tam's.
I lift wee Jamie up the bed
An' as I straik each croon,
I whisper till my heart fills up:
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht
Wi' mirth that's dear tae me.
But soon the big warl's cark an' care
Will quaten doon their glee.
Yet come what will to ilka ane,
May He who rules aboon,
Aye whisper, though their pows be bald:
"Oh, bairnies, cuddle doon!"


Any know what the highlighted terms mean? I'm easily confused.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #49 on: October 05, 2008, 07:49:25 PM »
Waukrife is wakeful. See The Waukrife Minnie by Robert Burns.
http://www.worldburnsclub.com/poems/translations/a_waukrife_minnie.htm

Kittlin' is tickling. I imagined so from the context, and confirmed it at
http://www.britannia.org/scotland/scotsdictionary/k.shtml

Cark is worry or trouble, also as one might imagine from the context. The phrase "cark and care" even appears in the Arabian Nights and other places.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cark
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Ernest Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2008, 10:41:32 PM »
Michael,
I hope you still have that dictionary open.
We have a term commonly used here in Oz when someone dies in that we say "they carked it".
Anybody know it's origin.

Aye
Ern

MACTAVISH

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #51 on: October 06, 2008, 03:37:58 AM »
G'DAY ERNIE..............TO CARK IT HER IN THE MOTHERLAND....WE MAKE IT WATERFPROOF; WONDER IF IT COMES FROM CARCUSS?/

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #52 on: October 06, 2008, 12:06:06 PM »
We have a term commonly used here in Oz when someone dies in that we say "they carked it".
Anybody know it's origin.

Most commentators either don't talk about origins, or speculate that it's related to carcass, but I think the latter is only based on the sound of the word.

I did find one fellow who put them together:

Quote
“cark it”  verb, Aussie slang: to die

From Middle English carken; Old French carkier; Late Latin carcare > carricare, to load

So it seems to stem from a word meaning load or care, burden, etc. Maybe the Aussies take it to mean dumping a burden or dropping the load of life.
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Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #53 on: October 08, 2008, 03:06:12 PM »
Loch Lomond
There are many interpretations of this song, the most common is that two of Bonnie Prince Charlie's men were captured and left behind in Carlisle after the failed rising of 1745. One of the young soldiers was to be executed, the other released. The Spirit of the dead soldier travelling by the 'low road' would reach Scotland before his comrade, who would be struggling along the actual road over high, rugged country

By yon bonnie banks
And by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright
On Loch Lomond
Oh we twa ha'e pass'd
sae mony blithesome days,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks
O' Loch Lomond.

Oh ye'll tak' the high road
and I'll tak' the low road,
An' I'll be in Scotland before ye',
But wae is my heart until we meet again
On the Bonnie, bonnie banks
O' Loch Lomond.

I mind where we parted
In yon shady glen
On the steep, steep side
O' Ben Lomon'
Where in purple hue
The highland hills we view
And the morn shines out
Frae the gloamin'

Oh ye'll tak' the high road
and I'll tak' the low road,
An' I'll be in gloaming before ye',
But wae is my heart until we meet again
On the Bonnie, bonnie banks
O' Loch Lomond.

The wee bird may sing
An' the wild flowers spring;
An' in sunshine the waters are sleepin'
But the broken heart
It sees nae second spring,
And the world does na ken
How we're greetin'

Oh ye'll tak' the high road
and I'll tak' the low road,
An' I'll be in greeting before ye',
But wae is my heart until we meet again
On the Bonnie, bonnie banks
O' Loch Lomond.

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #54 on: October 08, 2008, 07:47:29 PM »
Here's the version of the story I learned:

Quote
The Jacobite Rebellion Rising came to an end with the Jacobites' disastrous loss at the Battle of Culloden, April 16, 1746. After the battle, many of the captured Scottish soldiers were taken by the English to Carlisle, where they were imprisoned at Carlisle Castle. The English treated the Scotsmen rather capriciously, selecting some -- apparently at random -- to be hanged. Others, also seemingly chosen at random, were simply released, and told to walk home, over the roads, to Scotland.

One of the captured Scottish soldiers was Donald MacDonald. He felt sure that he would be one of those hanged by the English, and he wrote this song. One can suppose it was meant as a memorial, a message of hope for his fellow Scotsmen, and a last love letter to his beloved Moira, who lived back in the Scottish highlands, near Loch Lomond.

The song is originally written to be sung not by Donald, but by Moira. It tells of the journey of Donald's spirit after his death. He returns to Scotland not by the high road -- the ordinary road over which his countrymen are walking home -- but by the low road of death, a much faster and surer route. Donald's spirit visits Moira and makes love to her one last time. But she can tell that he is gone, and that she will not see him again, in this life.

And then there is this older, possibly original version of the lyrics, as it would be sung by Moira:

Quote
O whither away my bonnie month of May
Sae late and sae dark in the gloamin?
The mist gathers gray oer moorland and brae.
O whither sae far are ye roamin? CHORUS

I trusted my ain love last night in the broom,
My Donald wha loves me sae dearly.
For the morrow he will march for Edinburgh toon,
Tae fecht for his King and Prince Charlie. CHORUS

O, weel may I weep for yestreen in my sleep.
We lay bride and bridegroom together.
But his touch and his breath were cold as the death,
And his hairtsblood ran red in the heather. CHORUS

As dauntless in battle as tender in love,
Hed yield neer a foot tae the foeman.
But never again frae the fields o the slain
Tae his Moira will he come by Loch Lomond. CHORUS

The thistle may bloom, the king hae his ain,
And fond lovers will meet in the gloamin.
And me and my true love will yet meet again
Far above the bonnie banks o Loch Lomond. CHORUS

Of course it's been reinvented and reinterpreted over the years, so it's hard to say what the original version actually was.

Michael

« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 01:22:30 PM by Michael Thompson »
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MACTAVISH

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #55 on: October 09, 2008, 10:06:17 AM »
NEVER EVER EVER EVER USE THE TERM JACOBITE REBELLION HERE IN SCOTLAND. IT GIVES GREAT OFFENCE. THE TERM IS THAT COINED BY THE ENGLISH.IF YOURE TALKING TO A SCOT AND USE THAT TERM YOU'LL SEE HIS EXPRESSION CHANGE AND HIS ATTITUDE WILL BECOME BRUSQUE. ENSURE THAT; AS JACOBITE DESCENDANTS, YOU USE THE CORRECT TERM=
JACOBITE RISING


Michael Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #56 on: October 09, 2008, 08:59:27 PM »
Thanks for the tip, MacT, I wasn't aware of the difference. I'm familiar with Irish history more than Scottish. In Ireland, we have the 1798 Rebellion and the 1916 Rising and nobody makes much difference between the two. So I was unaware that the Scots make a distinction. I'll be more careful in the future.

Cheers,

Michael
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Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2008, 08:18:15 AM »
The Poet King!

James I (1394 - February 21, 1437) reigned as king of Scotland from 1406 until 1437. However, from 1406 to 1424 he was king in name only.

He was born on the July 25 or December ??, 1394, the son of Robert III. He had an eventful childhood. In 1402 his elder brother, David, was starved to death in prison at Falkland in Fife. Before the death of his father in 1406 James was sent to France for safety.

On the way there, he was captured by the English and handed over to Henry IV of England who imprisoned him and demanded a ransom. Robert III was said to have died from grief over the capture of James. His uncle, Robert, Duke of Albany, who became Regent on the death of Robert III, was in no hurry to pay for his release. Robert secured the release of his son Murdoch, who was captured at the same time, but not so with James. So for the next 18 years, James languished imprisoned in the Tower of London.

After the death of his uncle in 1420, the ransom of £40,000 was finally paid, and in 1424 James returned to Scotland to find a country in chaos. He took his bride with him - he had met and fallen in love with Joan Beaufort whilst imprisoned. He married her in London in February, 1424. They would have eight children, including the future James II of Scotland, and Margaret, wife of Louis XI of France.

James was formally crowned King of Scotland at Scone Abbey, Perthshire on May 2 or 21, 1424. He immediately took strong actions to regain authority and control. One such action was to execute the Albany family, who had opposed his actions. The execution of Murdoch, Duke of Albany and two of Murdoch's sons took place on 24th of May, 1425 at Castle Hill, Stirling.

He proceeded to rule Scotland with a firm hand, and achieved numerous financial and legal reforms. For instance, for the purpose of trade with other nations, foreign exchange could only be exchanged within Scottish borders. He also tried to remodel the Scottish Parliament along English lines. However, in foreign policy, he renewed the Auld Alliance, a Scottish-French (and therefore anti-English) alliance, in 1428.

His actions throughout his reign, though effective, upset many people. During the later years of his reign, they helped to lead to his claim to the throne coming under question.

James I's grandfather, Robert II, had married twice and the awkward circumstances of the first marriage, from which James was descended, led to it being disputed. Conflict broke out between the descendants of the first marriage and the unquestionably legitimate descendants of the second marriage over who should be on the Scottish throne. Matters came to a head in February, 1437, when James was assassinated by a group of Scots led by Sir Robert Graham while staying at the Friars Preachers Monastery in Perth.

A wave of executions followed in March, 1437 of those who were part of the plot. Amongst those executed by hanging, drawing and quartering were James' uncle, Walter, Earl of Atholl, and his grandson, Robert, Master of Atholl (both of whom were descended from Robert II's second marriage). ..


The Argument
   
 
  GOD gives not Kings the style of Gods in vain,
For on his Throne his Scepter do they sway:
And as their subjects ought them to obey,
So Kings should fear and serve their God again
If then ye would enioy a happy reign,
Observe the Statutes of your heavenly King,
And from his Law, make all your Laws to spring:
Since his Lieutenant here ye should remain,
Reward the just, be stedfast, true, and plain,
Repress the proud, maintaining aye the right,
Walk always so, as ever in his sight,
Who guards the godly, plaguing the profane:
And so ye shall in Princely virtues shine,
Resembling right your mighty King Divine

James I of Scotland

 
Perhaps he should taken his own advise!
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #58 on: October 23, 2008, 11:09:55 AM »
The poet visited Robert Burns on a day he had fallen from his horse and broken his arm

On A Visit To Mr. Burns by Janet Little (1759 - 1813)


IS't true? or does some magic spell
My wond'ring eyes beguile ?
Is this the place where deigns to dwell
The honour of our isle?
The charming BURNS, the Muse's care,
Of all her sons the pride;
This pleasure oft I've sought to share,
But been as oft deni'd.
Oft have my thoughts, at midnight hour,
To him excursions made;
This bliss in dreams was premature,
And with my slumbers fled.
'Tis real now, no vision here
Bequeaths a poignant dart;
I'll view the poet ever dear,
Whose lays have charm'd my heart
Hark! now he comes, a dire alarm
Re-echoes through his hall!
Pegasus  kneel'd, his rider's arm
Was broken by a fall.
The doleful tidings to my ears
Were in harsh notes convey'd;
His lovely wife stood drown'd in tears,
While thus I pond'ring said:
"No cheering draught, with ills unmix'd,
Can mortals taste below;
All human fate by heav'n is fix'd,
Alternate joy and wo."
With beating breast I view'd the bard;
All trembling did him greet:
With sighs bewail'd his fate so hard,
Whose notes were ever sweet.
 
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #59 on: October 24, 2008, 09:52:18 AM »
Perhaps this one is about a Thompson...

The Outlaw by Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832)

O, Brignall banks are wild and fair,   
 And Greta woods are green,   
And you may gather garlands there,   
 Would grace a summer queen:   
And as I rode by Dalton Hall,     
 Beneath the turrets high,   
A Maiden on the castle wall   
 Was singing merrily:—   
 
'O, Brignall banks are fresh and fair,   
 And Greta woods are green!   
I'd rather rove with Edmund there   
 Than reign our English Queen.'   
 
'If, Maiden, thou wouldst wend with me   
 To leave both tower and town,   
Thou first must guess what life lead we,   
 That dwell by dale and down:   
And if thou canst that riddle read,   
 As read full well you may,   
Then to the green-wood shalt thou speed   
 As blithe as Queen of May.'   
 
Yet sung she, 'Brignall banks are fair,   
 And Greta woods are green!   
I'd rather rove with Edmund there   
 Than reign our English Queen.   
 
'I read you by your bugle horn   
 And by your palfrey good,   
I read you for a Ranger sworn   
 To keep the King's green-wood.'   
'A Ranger, Lady, winds his horn,   
 And 'tis at peep of light;   
His blast is heard at merry morn,   
 And mine at dead of night.'   
 
Yet sung she, 'Brignall banks are fair,   
 And Greta woods are gay!   
I would I were with Edmund there,   
 To reign his Queen of May!   
 
'With burnish'd brand and musketoon   
 So gallantly you come,   
I read you for a bold Dragoon,   
 That lists the tuck of drum.'   
'I list no more the tuck of drum,   
 No more the trumpet hear;   
But when the beetle sounds his hum,   
 My comrades take the spear.   
 
'And O! though Brignall banks be fair,   
 And Greta woods be gay,   
Yet mickle must the maiden dare,   
 Would reign my Queen of May!   
 
'Maiden! a nameless life I lead,   
 A nameless death I'll die;   
The fiend whose lantern lights the mead   
 Were better mate than I!   
And when I'm with my comrades met   
 Beneath the green-wood bough,   
What once we were we all forget,   
 Nor think what we are now.'   
 
Chorus

Yet Brignall banks are fresh and fair,   
 And Greta woods are green,   
And you may gather flowers there   
 Would grace a summer queen.

 
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!
Stu