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Scottish Poetry

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Stirling Thompson:
Come ferry me o'er to Charlie By John Milne

                                                Come ferry me o'er, come ferry me o'er
                                                Come ferry me o'er to Charlie;
                                                I'll gie John Ross anither bawbee
                                                To ferry me o'er to Charlie.
                                                Though Cumberland is marching North,
                                                He'll find we winna parley;
                                                Wi' Lewie Gordon at our head,
                                                We a' will fecht for Charlie.
                                                To deal a blow at good Fa'kirk
                                                 I last did cross the ferry;
                                                Though 'twere to do ten times again,
                                                There's no a man would tarry.
                                                Aboyne is up! Glentanner's up!
                                                And left unsown their barley;
                                                Come here, John Ross! - anither bawbee -
                                                An' ferry me o'er to Charlie!   

Stirling Thompson:
Robert Burns - Tam o' Shanter

Stirling Thompson:
To a Mouse - Robert Burns

Stirling Thompson:
The Watergaw

in the original Scottish vernacular

by Hugh MacDiarmid (1892-1978)

The Watergaw

            Ae weet forenicht i’ the yow-trummle
            I saw yon antrin thing,
            A watergaw wi’ its chitterin’ licht
            Ayont the on-ding;
            An’ I thocht o’ the last wild look ye gied
            Afore ye deed!

            There was nae reek i’ the laverock’s hoose
            That nicht–an’ nane i’ mine;
            But I hae thocht o’ that foolish licht
            Ever sin’ syne;
            An’ I think that mebbe at last I ken
            What your look meant then.

translated from the Scotts Gaelic version by Hugh MacDiarmid

The Watergaw

            One wet, early evening in the sheep-shearing season
            I saw that occasional, rare thing–
            A broken shaft of a rainbow with its trembling light
            Beyond the downpour of the rain
            And I thought of the last, wild look you gave
            Before you died.

            The skylark’s nest was dark and desolate,
            My heart was too
            But I have thought of that foolish light
            Ever since then
            And I think that perhaps at last I know
            What your look meant then.


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