Monday, September 3, 2007


A hae been here afore.
O whan, whit wey, A ken nae mair:
A mind the girse ayont the door,
The douce saut air,
The hurrin hush, the lichts aroond the shore.

Awreadies ye war mine
Afore the Fluid's first wattergaws:
E'en nou whan tae thon swallae hine
Ye raxt yer hause,
The hap fell back, - A kent it aw lang syne.

Whit wis - again bedeen.
Come wash ma brou in wimplin hair.
Will we no lie as we hae lien
For Luve a pair,
An sleep, an wauk, but sinder-na the cheen?

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Sunday, September 2, 2007


AWA! The muir is mirk aneath the muin,
Fleein cluds haes drunk the hinmaist leam o even:
AWA! The gaitherin winds will cry the gloamin suin,
An the blackest midnicht wynd the serene lichts o hieven.
Bide-na! the time is by! Ilka vyce cries, 'Awa!'
Sey-na wi ae last tear thy freend's ungentie state:
Thy luver's ee, o gless an ice, daurna keep thee ava:
Office an baundlessness airts thee tae places desolate.

Awa, awa! Tae thy drear an seelent haw:
Skail bitter tears on the ingle's fruizen yirth:
Tent the dim shades as like ghaists thay rise an faw,
An complicate streenge wabs o dowf an dowie mirth.
The blads o wastit hairst-end wids will flotter roond thy heid,
The flouers o dewy Spring will leam aneath thy feet:
But thy saul or this warld maun fade in the frost that thrings the deid,
Or midnicht's smool an morntid's smue, or thou an peace, can meet.

The clud shaidaes o midnicht is aucht thair ain repast,
For the wabbit winds is seelent, or the muin is in the deep;
Some upleuk frae its turbulence, wanrestfu sea, thou hast;
Whitiver steers or taws or murns haes its appyntit sleep.
Thou in the lair will rest: - yit, till the ghaists soud flee,
That thon hoose an muir an gairden made dear tae thee or nou,
For thy myndin an forthinkin an prependin isna free
Frae the muisic o twa vyces, an the licht o ae sweet smue.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Throuither Muisic

Life's lairnin, like a fauch muisician, haulds
A dulcimer o tholin in his haund,
Frae whaur sweet soonds we canna unnerstaund,
O God; will in his warlds, the souch unfaulds
In dowf-throuither minors: daithly caulds
Dings doun on's while we hear, tae contermaund
The hert bluid-biggen back frae Faerielonde
Wi philomenes in spaewark's orra warlds.
We murmle 'Whaur is ony siccar tuin
Or meisurt muisic in sic notes as thir?'
But angels, hingin frae the gowden seat,
Wants aw conceit that thair fine hearin's won
The conter-crack o feenisht cadences,
An, smuein doun the starns, thay whisper - SWEET.

Elizabeth Barret Browning (1806-61)

Friday, August 31, 2007


Och lown October daw come roond,
Thy blads haes ripit tae the faw;
Themorn's fell wind will whid thaim doun,
An waste thaim aw.
Tho huidies ower the firth yit caw,
Themorn thay'r like tae scrowe an gae.
Och lown October daw come roond,
Begin the oors o this day thrae,
Gar the day seem tae us less brief.
Saft herts aye leal tae simmer's croun,
Lat temperance time's mairch owergae;
Demit a blad at day's first daw;
At nuintid lowse anither leaf;
Ane frae oor treen, ane hine awa;
Uphaud the sun wi sober mist;
Enchairm the laund wi amatist.
Thrae, thrae!
For the grapes' sake, if thay war aw,
That's blads is sprittelt black wi frost,
Sae that thair sweetness binna lost -
For the grapes' sake alang the waw.

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Haurd by Avalon

A ship wi shields afore the daw,
Sax maidens roond the mast,
A reid-gowd croun on ane an aw,
A green goun on the last.

The flichterin green bratachs thare
Is wrocht wi leddies' heids; thay beir
Depent on ilka sail fou fair
A portraitur o Guenevere.

A ship wi sails afore the wind,
Aboot its helm sax knichts,
Wi ventils doun, an sae, hauf blind,
Thay owerpass fouth o sichts.

The flitterie scarlet bratachs' steer
Or lang will lea the trenchers bare.
Sax knichts wi dowie herts will beir
In aw thair casques some yellae hair.

William Morris (1834-96)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ma Guidwife

Stedfast, hanty, vieve an true,
Wi een o gowd an brammle-dew,
Steel-true an blad-straucht,
The bricht starns' lapidar
Made ma aucht.

Mense an speerit, smeddum, wecht;
A luve nae seyin coud forfecht,
Daith smuir or ill-will teend,
The prince preclare
Ma luver's gien.

Bield an bed-marrae, dominie,
A convoy throu mortality,
Hert-hale an saul-free
The croun illuster
Gied tae me.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-90)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ma Duchess Umwhile

Ma duchess umwhile's pent on thonder waw,
Aye leukin vieve an tae the fore. A caw
Thon darg a wunner, nou: Fra Pandolf's haunds
Wrocht eydent for a day, an thare she staunds.
Ay, sit ye doun an leuk at her. A said
"Fra Pandolf" wilfully, for niver redd
Ootlins lik you thon picturt contenance,
The depth an passion o its inwart glance.
But tae masel thay turnt (the'r nane but me
Pous back the hingin A hae drawn for ye)
An haed the leuk o speirin, if thay durst,
Hou sicna sklent cam thare; ye'r no the first
Tae turn an frain me. Schir, it wisna aye
Her guidman's sicht its lane that cried thon fey
An flichterin rose intae her lyre: Perhaps
Fra Pandolf said "Ma leddy's kirtle haps
In mirk her perfit shackle," or "Nae brush
Coud e'er depent as vieve the infant blush
That steals alang her hause syne dees": his souch
Wis pleisance-born, she thocht, an cause eneuch
For cryin furth thon rose. Ower suin made fain,
A'm thinkin, wis the hert she cried her ain
Ower easy left imprent; awthing she saw,
The sindry airts she leukit, she loued aw.
It wis aw ane tae her! Ma hert's desire,
The bleize o dayligaun in wastlin fire,
The beuch o cherries that some breingin smirn
Brak in the arbour for her, the white girran
She rade wi roond the terrace - near ilkane
Wad draw frae her alike the leefu rane
Or blush, at laist. The men she thankit - guid!
But thankit thaim as war true feelin hid,
As war ma line's nine hunder year o fame
An equal giftie. Wha wad stoop tae blame
This kin o trump'rie? E'en gin ye haed skeel
In wirds - (that A'm athoot) - tae bring tae heel
The ungrate debetrix, an say "Juist this
Or that in you is uggsome; here ye miss
Or thare debord the merk" - e'en gin she lat
Hersel be doctrined sae, nor man'fest pat
Her wits gin yours, atweel, pretendit than
A raison - that war stoopin; an A can
For nae Christian stoop. Schir, she smued, nae dout
Whan A gaed by, but wha wad gang athoot
An equal smue? This growed; A gied commaunds;
Syne aw smues dwyned thegither. Thare she staunds,
Aye leukin vieve. Ye'r sittin stieve. A'd fain
Gang doun an hailse the troop ablo. Again,
The Coont yer maister's weel-kent walth an mense
Gies siccar warrandice nae juist pretence
O mine for tochar will be disalloued
Tho his bairn's bonny sel, as A avoued
At stairtin, is ma ettle. Lat the pair
O us descend. But notice Neptune thare,
Dauntin a sea-horse, thocht a rarity,
That Claus o Innsbruck cuist in bronze for me!

Robert Browning (1812-99)

Monday, August 27, 2007


Habbelt bi fallae-men, cuist doun, ootworn,
We flicht the warld an lat it hae its day,
An, Pautience! in anither life, we say
The warld dounthrung will be, its bairns upborne.

An winna, than, undaithly airmies scorn
The warld's puir, dauntit ootwale? Or can thay
That foondert mid the stour o bleizin day
Uphaud the ferventness o hieven's morn?

Niver! The breingin virr o life can be
Upliftit frae the muilds, but no owergane;
An him that stuid his grund in temporal wae,

Frae strenth tae strenth advancin - only he,
His saul weel-knit, his fechts won, him his lane,
Speels, an that scantlins, life's ayebidin brae.

Matthew Arnold (1822-88)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gin Fernyear's Wares Wis Buskit Up Like New

Gin fernyear's wares wis buskit up like new,
The wale o luck an wanweird setten furth
Wad A devoid the ane that gart me grue
Or lap in airms the greetin wi the mirth?
Coud hert's bluid thole the sauntit oors tae miss
Whan luve begoud, unspoken an unthocht
The still, het day whan wi a breingin kiss
Tae wauken tent twa dernit howps wis brocht?
Niver, no e'en tae pit frae mynd the hell
O whit A dree'd o flytin an o pain
In fruster fleein frae thee an masel,
Ma darg a midden, till ma strenth owergane
A kent at last that baunds predestinate
Helt fast, an aw forthinkin wis ower late.

Augusta, Lady Gregory (1852-1932)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Her Vyce

THE bummler reels frae beuch tae beuch
Wi his foggy clead an his gauzy wing.
Nou in a lily-flouer, his souch
Will whid the hyacinth bell aswing,
A silly thing;
Come ben inower, luve: here, in a feuch
While sweet ye leuch,

A hecht twa lifes soud be like ane
Sae lang's the sea-maw loued the sea,
An the sunflouer didna seek the muin, -
It will be, A said, for eternity
Wi you an me!
Ma jo, thae times is past an duin,
Luve's wab is thin.

Leuk upwith whaur the poplar trees
Swags an sweys in the simmer air,
Here in the glen the'r niver a breeze
Wad waff the thristle-tap, but thare
Gret winds blaws fair
Frae athort the black an gowsty seas,
An the droukit leas.

Leuk upwith whaur the white maw tuims
Its hert for something we canna see.
Is thon a starn? Or the laump that leams
On some furthwart-viagin argosy, -
Och! can it be
We hae wared oor lifes in a laund o dreams!
Murnfu it seems.

The'r nocht tae say forby this thing
The truith that luve is niver lost,
Tho winter stob the breests o spring
That's crimson roses birst his frost
Ships tempest-tossed
Will find a ludge new sails tae hing
We winna loss't.

An nocht remeins tae dae e'en nou
But pree again thae lips an pairt.
The'r nocht ava that we soud rue.
A hae ma beauty, - you yer Airt,
Na, dinna stairt,
Ae lift haedna starns enew
For me an you.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Friday, August 24, 2007


Steekit confessionals, thay sklent
Lood nuins o ceeties, giein back
Nane o the scances thay ingest.
Licht glaizie gray, airms on a plaque,
At causey's side thay come tae rest:
Aw streets in time will draw thair tent.

Weans sperfelt ower the road an staps,
An wifies gaun thair messages
By waffs o neebours' kail, owerleuks
The bluidless faces, effigies
Hauf obumbrate in streetcher-neuks,
Keekin feart-fauch ootower the haps,

An senses sinderin emptiness
Inunder brastle's wecht, an hou
Juist for a seicont life's devaul
Is evendoun an blank an true.
The sneckit doors withdraws. Puir saul,
Thay whitter in unquietness;

For cairtit aff in deident air
Gangs aft the suddent shut o loss
Roond something near the hinnerend,
An awthing hauden in't across
The years, the maikless luck's-heid blend
O flesh an bluid an fashions, thare

At last begins tae lowse itsel.
Dwyned o aw howp o luve or mirth
Thay cooch lockfast intil a staw.
The traffic pairts tae caw thaim furth,
Brings nearer whit's afore us aw,
An dulls tae dowfness aw we tell.

Philip Larkin (1922-85)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

At a Brithal

Whan furth ye gaed tae bide maternity,
A dream o bairns ungotten fixed ma thocht,
Wraiths knittit frae us twa in fainness claucht;
A clan that corporate nou will niver be.

If A thirl masel forby tae mode's decreet,
An ilkane plants apairt, o dowf desire,
A race o tumshies nae heich ettles' fire
Coud licht like oors, tho niver yit we see't;

An, stung that weirdit lifes coud miscompone
Baith murns the dooble dounset; daurs tae speir
At thon Gret Dame that heids oor carnate loan
Forwhy the unfurmed regents isna here:
Whit will she answer? That she'll shed nae tear
Tho warld's end the tide o bluid postpone.

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Birthday

Ma hert is like a pleepin bird
That's bield is in a wattert shuit;
Ma hert is like an aiple tree
That's beuchs is laden sair wi fruit;
Ma hert is like a lustert shell
That's lappert bi a weel-faured sea;
Ma hert is blyther faur nor thir,
Acause ma jo is come tae me.

Plant me a stage o alasant;
Gie it a skyre an purpie mien;
Busk it wi dous an garnets rare,
An pownies wi a hunder een;
Wi gowd an siller muscadels,
Wi blads an siller fleurs-de-lys;
Acause the birthday o ma life
Is come, ma jo is come tae me.

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Spaelass

Seelent is the hoose: aw is laid asleep:
Ane her lane leuks oot ower the snaw-wreaths deep,
Tentin ilka clud, dreidin ilka souch
That dings the whummlin drift, an bends the grankin beuch.

Blythsome is the ingle, saft the strae an ess;
No ae bluffert knidges throu door or gless;
The wee bit laump burns straucht, its leam shuits strang an braid:
A airt it weel, tae be the starnless wanderer's aid.

Glunch, ma pauchtie sire! Flyte, ma angry dame;
Set yer sclavies speein; thraiten me wi shame:
But naither sire nor dame, nor snowkin thrill will knaw,
Whit angel nichtlins traipses thon waste o lappert snaw.

Whit A loue will come like veesitant o air,
Shuir in dernit pouer fae lourin human snare;
Nae wird o mines will iver gie up the ane A loue,
Tho for faith unsusteined ma life be unlaw due.

Burn, than, wee bit laump; skimmer straucht an clear -
Wheesht! A reeslin weeng, A'm thinkin, steers the air:
Thusgate him A wait on aye will come tae me;
Orra pouer! A trust yer maucht; ma constancy trust ye.

Emily Bronte (1818-48)


Acause o the licht o the muin
Siller is fund on the muir;
An acause o the licht o the sun,
The'r gowd on the waws o the puir.

Acause o the licht o the starns,
Warlds is fund in the stream;
An acause o the licht o yer ee
The'r luve in the howe o ma dream.

Francis Carlin (1881-1945)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mirk Throu a Keekin-Gless

Whit we, whan breest tae breest we see
The Faither o oor sauls, will be,
John tells us, isna nominate;
We ken-na whit or whan oor fate.

Ingine for thocht tae pass intil;
A hert for luvers' fain guidwill;
Five senses deprehends things near:
Is this the hale that we ar here?

Wand stymies natur - natur's wuid,
Wice men is ill - an fuils the guid,
Howps pauchtie seems, tho aye sae dear;
We canna ken forwhy we'r here.

Och grant that for persuasion's cause
Some solemn juidgment hap-nap faws
That we can at the last declere
For whit plain ettle we ar here.

Or is it richt, whit recks it nou,
Tae trail the black confusion throu
An say: - It isna nominate
Whit we will be, an whit oor fate?

An yit, in fouth o thocht an deed,
The hert aye still owergangs the heid;
But whit we howp we maun believe,
An whit is gien us blyth receive;

Maun yit believe, for aye we'v socht
That, in a warld o faurder raucht,
Whit here wi aefauld hert's begoud
Micht be perfurnisht as it soud.

Bit bairn, we aye maun think, us twa:
Whan life perpetual comes tae daw,
Some true result will yit compear
O whit we ar, thegither, here.

Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-61)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blyth is the Darger

Blyth is the darger in his Sabbath claes!
Wi fauchie coat, prink weskit, rantert taes,
An hat on heid, it's tae the kirk he gaes;
He aft, wi conscious pride, a sklent assays,
Dounleukin on the muckle plettit straes
That's buskit his tap button-hole for days,
No thinkin on thae Lunnon louns' bouquets.
He taks his seat amang his freends an faes,
An offers in thon haly steid his ruise,
Likes best the prayers, tho orra wirds bumbaze,
Hearkens the sermon in a saftenin daze,
An blythsome wauks tae feel again sun's rays.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Mark 13

Mark 13

AS HE WIS gingin out the temple, ane o the disciples said til him, "luik, Maister! Whattan stanes! Whattan Biggins!"
Jesus answert, "Ye see thir muckle biggins? No ae stane o them will be left abuin anither; the hailwar s' be dung doun an disannulled."
Syne, as he wis sittin his lane on the hill o Olives, forenent the Temple, Peter cam up wi Jeames an John an Andro an speired at him: Tell us," qo he, "whan is thir things tae happen? What sign will be gíen whan they ar aa a-weers o comin tae pass?"
Jesus tuik speech in haund an said til them: "Tak tent at nae man mislairs ye. Monie feck will kythe caain themsels bi my name an threapin, 'I am the Christ', an monie-ane will they gar gae will. Whan ye hear tell o wars an souchs o war, binna nane pitten about. Thir things maun een happen, but the end will be ey tae come. First fowk mak war on fowk, an kinrick on kinrick. There will be yirdquauks in orra pairts, there will be faimins, but thir is nae mair an the oncome o birth-thraws.
"But ye maun luik til yersels. Ye will be haundit owre tae councils an loundert wi wands in sýnagogues: mairfortaiken, ye will hae tae compeir afore governors an kíngs for my sake, tae gíe them your testimonie; for afore the end the Gospel maun first be preached in aa launds. Whan they harl ye afore courts an juidges, fashna yoursels aforehaund for what ye ar tae say: say ye een what is gíen ye tae say whan ye ar staunin there, for it winna be ye at speaks, but the Halie Spírit.
"Brither will betray brither tae deith, an faithers their bairns, an childer will rise up again their paurents an cause pit them tae deith. Ye will be hatit bi aa men, because ye beir my name: but him at staunds steive tae the end will be saufed. But, whaniver ye see the Deidlie Scunner staundin whaur staund it suidna" - ye at reads this , tak tent! - "syne them at bides in Judaea maun tak the hills wi speed; him at is on his houss-heid maunna come doon an gae ben tae lift ocht frae the houss, an him at is outbye i the fíeld maunna ging back tae claucht up his coat. Pítie help the wuman wi babe i the wyme an the wuman wi bairn at the breist i thae days! Pray tae God at this comesna in winter; for thae days will be days o dule an wae at there hesna been the like o frae God first made the warld till nou, nor winna be again i the time tae come. Troth, gin God hedna shortent thae days, no a bodie-kind wad win throu wi his life. But for the sake o the eleck at he hes waled for his ain he hes shortent them.
"Gin onie-ane says tae ye at that time, 'Luik, here's the Christ', or, 'see, there he's thonder', lippen-him-na. For fauss Christs an fauss prophets will kythe, an will wurk míracles an ferlies tae gar the eleck gae will, could sic a thing be. But tak tent: I hae tauld ye aathing aforehaund. I thae days, whan the dule an wae is by wi,

The sun will be mirkit,
an the muin winna gíe her licht;
The stairns will be faain frae the carrie,
an the pouers i the lift will be dinnelt.

Than will they see the Son o man comin i the clouds wi unco micht an glore, an belyve he will send furth his angels an gether his eleck frae the fower airts, frae the laichmaist bound o the yird tae the buinmaist bound o heivin.
"lat the feg-tree lairn ye a lesson. Whan its ryss is sappie an saft, an its leafs onfaulds, ye ken at the simmer is naur. Siclike, whan ye see thir things happnin, ye maun ken at the end is naur - ay, at your verra doors! Atweill; I tell ye, this generâtion winna pass awà or aa thir things hes happent. The lift an the yird will pass awà, but my wurds they winna pass awà nane. But the day an the hour whan thae things will be nae-ane kens, no een the angels in heiven, nor the Son himsel, but the Faither alane. Be ye tentie an haud ye wauken, for ye kenna whan the time is tae come. It is as gin a man hes gane furth o hame an kintra, lippnin his houss tae the chairge o his servans. Ilkane o them hes been gíen his nain wark tae dae, an the janitor's orders is no tae steik an ee, but be waukrif. Siclike ye maun be waukrif, for ye kenna whan the Maister will be back - i the gloamin or howe o the nicht, the smaa hours or the dawin: gin no, he will aiblins cast up o a suddentie an finnd ye sleepin. What I say tae ye, I say til aa: be waukrif!"

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - Listen Tae The Teacher

He's 5 year auld, he's aff tae school
Fairmer's bairn wi a pencil and a rule
His teacher scoffs when he says "hoose"
"The word is house, you silly little goose"
He tells his ma when he gets back
He saa a mouse in an auld cairt track
His faither laughs fae the stackyard dyke
"Yon's a MOOSE ye daft wee tyke"


Listen tae the teacher, dinna say dinna
Listen tae the teacher, dinna say hoose
Listen tae the teacher, ye canna say maunna
Listen tae the teacher, ye maunna say moose

He bit his lip an shut his mooth
Which one could he trust for truth
He took his burden o'er the hill
Tae auld grey Geordie o' the mill
"An did they mock thee for thy tongue
Wi them sae auld and you sae young?
They werena makin a fool o' ye
They were makin a fool o' themsels ye see"

Say hoose tae the faither, house tae the teacher
Moose tae the fairmer, mouse tae the preacher
When yer young it's weel for you
Tae dae in Rome as Romans do
But when ye grow an ye are auld
Ye needna dae as ye are tauld
Don't trim yer tongue tae suit yon dame
That scorns the language o' her hame

Then teacher thoucht that he was fine
He kept in step, he stayed in line
Faither says that he was gran'
He spoke his ain tongue like a man
An when he grew and made his choice
He chose his Scots, his native voice
And I charge ye tae dae likewise
Spurn yon pair misguided cries.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - Beasties

Clok-leddy, clok-leddy
Flee awa' hame,
Your lum's in a lowe,
Your bairns in a flame;
Reid-spottit jeckit,
An' polished black e'e,
Land on ma luif an' bring
Siller tae me!

Ettercap, ettercap,
Spinnin' your threid,
Midges for denner, an'
Flees for your breid;
Sic a mischanter
Befell a bluebottle,
Silk roond his feet-
Your hand at his throttle!

Moudiewarp, moudiewarp,
Howkin' an' scartin',
Tweed winna plaise ye,
Nor yet the braw tartan,
Silk winnasuit ye,
Naither will cotton,
Naething, my lord, but the
velvet ye've gotten.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - Ille Terrarum

FRAE nirly, nippin', Eas'lan' breeze,
Frae Norlan' snaw, an' haar o' seas,
Weel happit in your gairden trees,
A bonny bit,
Atween the muckle Pentland's knees,
Secure ye sit.

Beeches an' aiks entwine their theek,
An' firs, a stench, auld-farrant clique.
A' simmer day, your chimleys reek,
Couthy and bien;
An' here an' there your windies keek
Amang the green.

A pickle plats an' paths an' posies,
A wheen auld gillyflowers an' roses:
A ring o' wa's the hale encloses
Frae sheep or men;
An' there the auld housie beeks an' dozes,
A' by her lane.

The gairdner crooks his weary back
A' day in the pitaty-track,
Or mebbe stops awhile to crack
Wi' Jane the cook,
Or at some buss, worm-eaten-black,
To gie a look.

Frae the high hills the curlew ca's;
The sheep gang baaing by the wa's;
Or whiles a clan o' roosty craws
Cangle thegether ;
The wild bees seek the gairden raws,
Weariet wi' heather.

Or in the gloamin' douce an' gray
The sweet-throat mavis tunes her lay;
The herd comes linkin' doun the brae;
An' by degrees
The muckle siller müne maks way
Amang the trees.

Here aft hae I, wi' sober heart,
For meditation sat apairt,
When orra loves or kittle art
Perplexed my mind;
Here socht a balm for ilka smart
O' humankind.

Here aft, weel neukit by my lane,
Wi' Horace, or perhaps Montaigne,
The mornin' hours hae come an' gane
Abüne my heid
I wadnae gi'en a chucky-stane
For a' I'd read.

But noo the auld city, street by street,
An' winter fu' o' snaw an' sleet,
Awhile shut in my gangrel feet
An' goavin' mettle;
Noo is the soopit ingle sweet,
An' liltin' kettle.

An' noo the winter winds complain;
Cauld lies the glaur in ilka lane;
On draigled hizzie, tautit wean
An' drucken lads,
In the mirk nicht, the winter rain
Dribbles an' blads.

Whan bugles frae the Castle rock,
An' beaten drums wi' dowie shock,
Wauken, at cauld-rife sax o'clock,
My chitterin' frame,
I mind me on the kintry cock,
The kintry hame.

I mind me on yon bonny bield;
An' Fancy traivels far afield
To gaither a' that gairdens yield
O' sun an' Simmer:
To hearten up a dowie chield,
Fancy's the limmer!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - A Lowden Sabbath Morn

THE clinkum-clank o' Sabbath bells
Noo to the hoastin' rookery swells,
Noo faintin' laigh in shady dells,
Sounds far an' near,
An' through the simmer kintry tells
Its tale o' cheer.

An' noo, to that melodious play,
A' deidly awn the quiet sway
A' ken their solemn holiday,
Bestial an' human,
The singin' lintie on the brae,
The restin' plou'man.

He, mair than a' the lave o' men,
His week completit joys to ken;
Half-dressed, he daunders out an' in,
Perplext wi' leisure;
An' his raxt limbs he'll rax again
Wi' painfü' pleesure.

The steerin' mither strang afit
Noo shoos the bairnies but a bit
Noo cries them ben, their Sinday shüit
To scart upon them,
Or sweeties in their pouch to pit,
Wi blessin's on them.

The lasses, clean frae tap to taes,
Are busked in crunklin' underclaes;
The gartened hose, the weel-filled stays,
The nakit shift,
A' bleached on bonny greens for days,
An' white's the drift.

An' noo to face the kirkward mile:
The guidman's hat o' dacent style,
The blackit shoon, we noo maun fyle
As white's the miller.
A waefü' peety tae, to spile
The warth o' siller.

Our Marg'et, aye sae keen to crack,
Douce-stappin' in the stoury track,
Her emeralt goun a' kiltit back
Frae snawy coats,
White-ankled, leads the kirkward pack
Wi' Dauvit Groats.

A thocht ahint, in runkled breeks,
A' spiled wi' lyin' by for weeks,
The guidman follows closs, an' cleiks
The sonsie missis;
His sarious face at aince bespeaks
The day that this is.

And aye an' while we nearer draw
To whaur the kirkton lies alaw,
Mair neebours, comin' saft an' slaw
Frae here an' there,
The thicker thrang the gate an' caw
The stour in air.

But hark ! the bells frae nearer clang;
To rowst the slaw, their sides they bang;
An' see! black coats a'ready thrang
The green kirkyaird;
And at the yett, the chestnuts spang
That brocht the laird.

The solemn elders at the plate
Stand drinkin' deep the pride o' state:
The practised hands as gash an' great
As Lords o' Session;
The later named, a wee thing blate
In their expression.

The prentit stanes that mark the deid
Wi' lengthened lip, the sarious read;
Syne wag a moraleesin' heid,
An' then an' there
Their hirplin' practice an' their creed
Try hard to square.

It's here our Merren lang has lain,
A wee bewast the table-stane;
An' yon's the grave o' Sandy Blane;
An' further ower,
The mither's brithers, dacent men !
Lie a' the fower.

Here the guidman sall bide awee
To dwall amang the deid; to see
Auld faces clear in fancy's e'e;
Belike to hear
Auld voices fa'in saft an' slee
On fancy's ear.

Thus, on the day o' solemn things,
The bell that in the steeple swings
To fauld a scaittered faim'ly rings
Its walcome screed;
An' just a wee thing nearer brings
The quick an' deid.

But noo the bell is ringin' in;
To tak their places, folk begin;
The minister himsel' will shüne
Be up the gate,
Filled fu' wi' clavers about sin
An' man's estate.

The times are up- French, to be shüre,
The faithfü' French, an' twa-three mair;
The auld prezentor, hoastin' sair,
Wales out the portions,
An' yirks the tüne into the air
Wi' queer contortions.

Follows the prayer, the readin' next,
An' than the fisslin' for the text
The twa-three last to find it, vext
But kind o' proud;
An' than the peppermints are raxed,
An' southernwood.

For noo's the time whan pows are seen
Nid-noddin' like a mandareen;
When tenty mithers stap a preen
In sleepin' weans;
An' nearly half the parochine
Forget their pains.

There's just a waukrif' twa or three:
Thrawn commentautors sweer to 'gree,
Weans glowrin' at the bumblin' bee
On windie-glasses,
Or lads that tak a keek a-glee
At sonsie lasses.

Hirnsel', meanwhile, frae whaur he cocks
An' bobs belaw the soundin'-box,
The treesures of his words unlocks
Wi' prodigality,
An' deals some unco dingin' knocks
To infidality.

Wi' sappy unction, hoo he burkes
The hopes o' men that trust in works,
Expounds the fau'ts o' ither kirks,
An' shaws the best o' them
No muckle better than mere Turks,
When a's confessed o' them.

Bethankit! what a bonny creed !
What mair would ony Christian need ?
The braw words rumm'le ower his heid,
Nor steer the sleeper;
And in their restin' graves, the deid
Sleep aye the deeper


Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - A Mile An' A Bittock

A MILE an' a bittock, a mile or twa,
Abüne the burn, ayont the law,
Davie an' Donal' an' Cherlie an' a',
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

Ane went hanie wi' the ither, an' then
The ither went hame wi' the ither twa men,
An' baith wad return him the service again,
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

The clocks were chappin' in house an' ha',
Eleeven, twal an' ane an' twa;
An' the guidman's face was turnt to the wa',
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

A. wind got up frae affa the sea,
It blew the stars as clear's could be,
It blew in the een of a' o' the three,
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

Noo, Davie was first to get sleep in his head,
"The best o' frien's maun twine," he said ;
I'm weariet, an' here I'm awa' to my bed."
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

Twa o' them walkin' an' crackin' their lane,
The mornin' licht cam gray an' plain,
An' the birds they yammert on stick an' stane,
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

O years ayont, O years awa',
My lads, ye'll mind whate'er befa'
My lads, ye'll mind on the bield o' the law,
When the müne was shinin' clearly.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - The Maker To Posterity

FAR 'yont amang the years to be
When a' we think, an' a' we see,
An' a' we luve, 's been dung ajee
By time's rouch shouther,
An' what was richt and wrang for me
Lies mangled throu'ther,

It's possible- its hardly mair
That some ane, ripin' after lear
Some auld professor or young heir,
If still there's either
May find an' read me, an' be sair
Perplexed, puir brither !

"What tongue does your auld bookie speak?"
He'll spier; an' I, his mou to steik :
"No bein' fit to write in Greek,
I wrote in Lallan,
Dear to my heart as the peat reek,
Auld as Tantallon.

"Few spak it than, an' noo there's nane.
My puir auld sangs lie a' their lane,
Their sense, that aince was braw an' plain,
Tint a'thegether,
Like, runes upon a standin' stane
Amang the heather.

"But think not you the brae to speel ;
You, tae, maun chow the bitter peel ;
For a' your lear, for a' your skeel,
Ye're nane sae lucky ;
An' things are mebbe waur than weel
For you, my buckie.

"The hale concern (baith hens an' eggs,
Baith books an' writers, stars an' clegs)
Noo stachers upon lowsent legs
An' wears awa';
The tack o' mankind, near the dregs,
Rins unco law.

"Your book, that in some braw new tongue,
Ye wrote or prentit, preached or sung,
Will still be just a bairn, an' young
In fame an' years,
Whan the hale planet's guts are dung
About your ears ;

"An' you, sair gruppin' to a spar
Or whammled wi' some bleezin' star,
Cryin, to ken whaur deil ye are,
Hame, France, or Flanders
Whang sindry like a railway car
An' flie in danders."

WHEN aince Aprile has fairly come,
An' birds may bigg in winter's lum,
An' pleisure's spreid for a' and some
O' whatna state,
Love, wi' her auld recruitin' drum,
Than taks the gate.

The heart plays dunt wi' main an' micht;
The lasses' een are a' sae bricht,
Their dresses are sae braw an' ticht,
The bonny birdies!
Puir winter virtue at the sicht
Gangs heels ower hurdies.

An' aye as love frae land to land
Tirls the drum wi' eident hand,
A' men collect at her command,
Toun-bred or land'art,
An' follow in a denty band
Her gaucy standart.

An' I, wha sang o' rain an' snaw,
An' weary winter weel awa',
Noo busk me in a jacket braw,
An' tak my place
I' the ram-stam, harum-scarum raw'
Wi' smilin' face.


Friday, August 10, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - Thrawn Janet

The Reverend Murdoch Soulis was long minister of the moorland parish of Balweary, in the vale of Dule. A severe, bleak-faced old man, dreadful to his hearers, he dwelt in the last years of his life, without relative or servant or any human company, in the small and lonely manse under the Hanging Shaw. In spite of the iron composure of his features, his eye was wild, scared, and uncertain ; and when he dwelt, in private admonition, on the future of the impenitent, it seemed as if his eye pierced through the storms of time to the terrors of eternity. Many young persons, coming to prepare themselves against the season of the Holy Communion, were dreadfully affected by his talk. He had a sermon on 1st Peter, v. and 8th, "The devil as a roaring lion," on the Sunday after every seventeenth of August, and he was accustomed to surpass himself upon that text both by the appalling nature of the matter and the terror of his bearing in the pulpit. The children were frightened into fits, and the old looked more than usually oracular, and were, all that day, full of those hints that Hamlet deprecated. The manse itself, where it stood by the water of Dule among some thick trees, with the Shaw overhanging it on the one side, and on the other many cold, moorish hill-tops rising toward the sky, had begun, at a very early period of Mr. Soulis's ministry, to be avoided in the dusk hours by all who valued themselves upon their prudence; and guidmen sitting at the clachan alehouse shook their heads together at ,the thought of passing late by that uncanny neighbourhood. There was one spot, to be more particular, which was regarded with especial awe. The manse stood between the high road and the water of Dule, with a gable to each; its back was towards the kirktown of Balweary, nearly half a mile away; in front of it, a bare garden, hedged with thorn, occupied the land between the river and the road. The house was two storeys high, with two large rooms on each. It opened not directly on the garden, but on a causewayed path, or passage, giving on the road on the one hand, and closed on the other by the tall willows and elders that bordered on the stream. And it was this strip of causeway that enjoyed among the young parishioners of Balweary so infamous a reputation. The minister walked there often after dark, sometimes groaning aloud in the instancy of his unspoken prayers; and when he was from home, and the manse door was locked, the more daring schoolboys ventured, with beating hearts, to "follow my leader" across that legendary spot.
This atmosphere of terror, surrounding, as it did, a man of God of spotless character and orthodoxy, was a common cause of wonder and subject of inquiry among the few strangers who were led by chance or business into that unknown, outlying country. But many even of the people of the parish were ignorant of the strange events which had marked the firt year of Mr. Soulis's ministrations; and among those who were better informed, some were naturally reticent, and others shy of that particular topic. Now and again, only, one of the older folk would warm into courage over his third tumbler, and recount the cause of the minister's strange looks and solitary life.

Fifty years syne, when Mr. Soulis cam' first into Ba'weary, he was still a young man-a callant, the folk said-fu' o' book-learnin' an' grand at the exposition, but, as was natural in sae young a man, wi' nae leevin' experience in religion. The younger sort were greatly taken wi' his gifts and his gab; but auld, concerned, serious men and women were moved even to prayer for the young man, whom they took to be a self-deceiver, and the parish that was like to be sae ill-supplied. It was before the days o' the moderates-weary fa' them; but ill things are like guid-they baith come bit by bit, a pickle at a time; and there were folk even then that said the Lord had left the college professors to their ain devices, an' the lads that went to study wi' them wad hae done mair an' better sittin' in a peatbog, like their forbears of the persecution, wi' a Bible under their oxter an' a speerit o' prayer in their heart. There was nae doubts, onyway, but that Mr. Soulis had been ower lang at the college. He was careful and troubled for mony things besides the ae thing needful. He had a feck o' books wi' him-mair than had ever been seen before in a' that presbytery; and a sair wark the carrier had wi' them, for they were a' like to have smoored in the De'il's Hag between this and Kilmackerlie. They were books o' divinity, to be sure, or so they ca'd them; but the serious were o' opinion there was little service for sae mony, when the hail o' God's Word would gang in the neuk o' a plaid. Then he wad sit half the day and half the nicht forbye, which was scant decent-writin', nae less ; an' first they were feared he wad read his sermons ; an' syne it proved he was writin' a book himsel', which was surely no' fittin' for ane o' his years an' sma' experience.
Onyway it behoved him to get an auld, decent wife to keep the manse for him an' see to his bit denners; an' he was recommended to an auld limmer-Janet M'Clour, they ca'd her-an' sae far left to himsel' as to be ower persuaded. There was mony advised him to the contrar, for Janet was mair than suspeckit by the best folk in Ba'weary. Lang or that, she had had a wean to a dragoon; she hadna come forrit for maybe thretty year; and bairns had seen her mumblin' to hersel' up on Key's Loan in the gloamin', whilk was an unco time an' place for a Godfearin' woman. Howsoever, it was the laird himsel' that had first tauld the minister o' Janet; an' in thae days he wad hae gane a far gate to pleesure the laird. When folk tauld him that Janet was sib to the de'il, it was a' superstition by his way o' it; an' when they cast up the Bible to him an' the witch of Endor, he wad threep it doun their thrapples that thir days were a' gane by, an' the de'il was mercifully restrained.
Weel, when it got about the clachan that Janet M'Clour was to be servant at the manse, the folk were fair mad wi' her an' him thegither; an' some o' the guidwives had nae better to dae than get round her door-cheeks and chairge her wi' a' that was ken't again' her, frae the sodger's bairn to John Tamson's twa kye. She was nae great speaker; folk usually let her gang her ain gate, an' she let them gang theirs, wi' neither Fair-guid-een nor Fair-guid-day; but when she buckled to, she had a tongue to deave the miller. Up she got, an' there wasna an auld story in Ba'weary but she gart somebody lowp for it that day; they couldna say ae thing but she could say twa to it ; till, at the hinder end, the guidwives up an' claught haud of her, an' clawed the coats aff her back, and pu'd her doun the clachan to the water o' Dule, to see if she were a witch or no, soom or droun. The carline skirled till ye could hear her at the Hangin' Shaw, an' she focht like ten; there was mony a guidwife bure the mark o' her neist day an' mony a lang day after; an' just in the hettest o' the collieshangie, wha suld come, up (for his sins) but the new minister!
" Women," said he (an' he had a grand voice), "I charge you in the Lord's name to let her go."
Janet ran to him-she was fair wud wi' terror-an' clang to him, an' prayed him, for Christ's sake, save her frae the cummers ; an' they, for their pairt, tauld him a' that was ken't, an' maybe mair.
"Woman is this true?"
"As the Lord sees me," says she, "as the Lord made me, no' a word o't. Forbye the bairn," says she, " I've been a decent woman a' my days."
"Will you," says Mr. Soulis, "in the name of God, and before me, His unworthy minister, renounce the devil and his works?"
Weel, it wad appear that when he askit that, she gave a girn that fairly frichit them that saw her, an' they could hear her teeth play dirl thegither in her chafts ; but there was naething for it but the ae way or the ither; an' Janet lifted up her hand an' renounced the de'il before them a'.
"And now," says Mr. Soulis to the guidwives, "home with ye, one and all, and pray to God for His forgiveness."
An' he gied Janet his arm, though she had little on her but a sark, and took her up the clachan to her ain door like a leddy o' the land ; an' her screighin' an' laughin' as was a scandal to be heard.
There were mony grave folk lang ower their prayers that nicht; but when the morn cam' there was sic a fear fell upon a' Ba'weary that the bairns hid theirsels, an' even the menfolk stood an' keekit frae their doors. For there was Janet comin' doun the clachan-her or her likeness, nane could tell-wi' her neck thrawn, an' her heid on ae side, like a body that has been hangit, an' a girn on her face like an unstreakit corp. By an' by they got used wi' it, an' even speered at her to ken what was wrang; but frae that day forth she couldna speak like a Christian woman, but slavered an' played click wi' her teeth like a pair o' shears; an' frae that day forth the name o' God cam' never on her lips. Whiles she wad try to say it, but it michtna be. Them that kenned best said least ; but they never gied that Thing the name o' Janet M'Clour; for the auld Janet, by their way o't, was in muckle hell that day. But the minister was neither to haud nor to bind; he preached about naething but the folk's cruelty that had gi'en her a stroke of the palsy; he skelpit the bairns that meddled her; an' he had her up to the manse that same nicht, an' dwalled there a' his lane wi' her under the Hangin' Shaw.
Weel, time gaed by: and the idler sort commenced to think mair lichtly o' that black business. The minister was weel thocht o' ; he was aye late at the writing, folk wad see his can'le doon by the Dule water after twal' at e'en; and he seemed pleased wi' himself an' upsitten as at first, though a' body could see that he was dwining. As for Janet, she cam' an' she gaed; if she didna speak muckle afore, it was reason she should speak less then; she meddled naebody; but she was an eldritch thing to see, an' nane wad hae mistrysted wi' her for Ba'weary glebe.
About the end o' July there cam' a spell o' weather, the like o't never was in that country-side ; it was lown an het an' heartless ; the herds couldna win up the Black Hill, the bairns were ower weariet to play; an' yet it was gousty too, wi' claps o' het wund that rumm'led in the glens, and bits o' shouers that slockened naething. We aye thocht it but to thun'er on the morn; but the morn cam' an' the morn's morning, an' it was aye the same uncanny weather, sair on folks and bestial. O' a' that were the waur, nane suffered like Mr. Soulis; he could neither sleep nor eat, he tauld his elders ; an' when he wasna writin' at his weary book, he wad be stravaguin' ower a' the country-side like a man possessed, when a'-body else was blithe to keep caller ben the house.
Abune Hangin' Shaw, in the bield o' the Black Hill, there's a bit enclosed grund wi' an iron yett; an' it seems, in the auld days, that was the kirkyaird o' Ba'weary, an' consecrated by the Papists before the blessed licht shone upon the kingdom. It was a great howff, o' Mr. Soulis's onyway; there he wad sit and consider his sermons; an' indeed it's a bieldy bit. Weel, as he cam' ower the waist end o' the Black Hill, ae day, he saw first twa, an' syne fewer, an' syne seeven corbie craws fleein' round an' round abune the auld kirkyaird. They flew laigh an' heavy, an' squawked to ither as they gaed; an' it was clear to Mr. Soulis that something had put them frae their ordinar. He wasna easy fleyed, an' gaed straucht up to the wa's; an' what suld he find there but a man, or the appearance o' a man, sittin' in the inside upon a grave. He was of a great stature, an' black as hell, and his e'en were singular to see. Mr. Soulis had heard tell o' black men, mony's the time; but there was something unco about this black man that daunted him. Het as he was, he took a kind o' cauld grue in the marrow o' his banes; but up he spak for a' that; an' says he: "My friend, are you a stranger in this place?" The black man answered never a word; he got upon his feet, an' begoud on to hirsle to the wa' on the far side; but he aye lookit at the minister; an' the minister stood an' lookit back; till a' in a meenit the black man was ower the wa' an' rinnin' for the bield o' the trees. Mr. Soulis, he hardly kenned why, ran after him; but he was fair forjeskit wi' his walk an' the het, unhalesome weather; an' rin as he likit, he got nae mair than a glisk o' the black man amang the birks, till he won doun to the foot o' the hillside, an' there he saw him ance mair, gaun, hap-step-an'-lawp, ower Dule water to the manse.
Mr. Soulis wasna weel pleased that this fearsome gangrel suld mak' sae free wi' Ba'weary manse; an' he ran the harder, an', wet sheen, ower the burn, an' up the walk; but the de'il a black man was there to see. He stepped out upon the road, but there was naebody there; he gaed a' ower the gairden, but na, nae black man. At the hinder end, an' a bit feared as was but natural, he lifted the hasp an' into the manse; and there was Janet M'Clour before his e'en, wi' her thrawn craig, an' nane sae pleased to see him. An' he aye minded sinsyne, when first he set his e'en upon her, he had the same cauld and deidly grue.
"Janet," says he, "ave you seen a black man?"
"A black man !" quo' she. "Save us a' ! Ye're no wise, minister. There's nae black man in a' Ba'weary."
But she didna speak plain, ye maun understand; but yam-yammered, like a powney wi' the bit in its moo.
"Weel," says he, "Janet, if there was nae black man, I have spoken with the Accuser of the Brethren."
An' he sat doun like ane wi' a fever, an' his teeth chittered in his heid.
"Hoots," says she, "think shame to yoursel', minister"; an' gied him a drap brandy that she keept aye by her.
Syne Mr. Soulis gaed into his study amang a' his books. It's a lang, laigh, mirk chalmer, perishin' cauld in winter, an' no' very dry even in the top o' the simmer, for the manse stands near the burn. Sae doun he sat, and thocht of a' that had come an' gane since he was in Ba'weary, an' his hame, an' the days when he was a bairn an' ran daffin' on the braes; an' that black man aye ran in his heid like the owercome of a sang. Aye the mair he thocht, the mair he thocht o' the black man. He tried the prayer, an' the words wouldna come to him; an' he tried, they say, to write at his book, but he couldna mak' nae mair o' that. There was whiles he thocht the black man was at his oxter, an' the swat stood upon him cauld as well-water ; and there was ither whiles, when he cam' to himsel' like a christened bairn an' minded naething.
The upshot was that he gaed to the window an' stood glowerin' at Dule water. The trees are unco thick, an' the water lies deep an' black under the manse; an' there was Janet washin' the cla'es wi' her coats kilted. She had her back to the minister, an' he, for his pairt, hardly kenned what he was lookin' at. Syne she turned round, an' shawed her face ; Mr. Soulis had the same cauld grue as twice that day afore, an' it was borne in upon him what folk said, that Janet was deid lang syne, an' this was a bogle in her claycauld flesh. He drew back a pickle and he scanned her narrowly. She was tramp-trampin' in the cla'es croonin' to hersel' ; and eh ! Gude guide us, but it was a fearsome face. Whiles she sang louder, but there was nae man born o' woman that could tell the words o' her sang; an' whiles she lookit side-lang doun, but there was naething there for her to look at. There gaed a scunner through the flesh upon his banes; an' that was Heeven's advertisement. But Mr. Soulis just blamed himsel', he said, to think sae ill o' a puir, auld afflicted wife that hadna a freend forbye himsel' ; an' he put up a bit prayer for him an' her, an' drank a little caller water-for his heart rose again' the meat-an' gaed up to his naked bed in the gloamin'.
That was a nicht that has never been forgotten in Ba'weary, the nicht o' the seeventeenth o' August, seeventeen hun'er an' twal'. It had been het afore, as I hae said, but that nicht it was hetter than ever. The sun gaed doun amang unco-lookin' clouds; it fell as murk as the pit; no' a star, no' a breath o' wund ; ye couldna see your han' afore your face, an' even the auld folk cuist the covers frae their beds an' lay pechin' for their breath. Wi' a' that he had upon his mind, it was gey an' unlikely Mr. Soulis wad get muckle sleep. He lay an' he tummled ; the gude, caller bed that he got into brunt his very banes; whiles he slept, an' whiles he waukened ; whiles he heard the time o' nicht, an' whiles a tyke yowlin' up the muir, as if somebody was deid ; whiles he thocht he heard bogles claverin' in his lug, an' whiles he saw spunkies in the room. He behoved, he judged, to be sick ; an' sick he was-little he jaloosed the sickness.
At the hinder end, he got a clearness in his mind, sat up in his sark on the bed-side, an' fell thinkin' ance mair o' the black man an' Janet. He couldna weel tell how-maybe it was the cauld to his feet-but it cam' in upon him wi' a spate that there was some connection between thir twa, an' that either or baith o' them were bogles. An' just at that moment, in Janet's room, which was neist to his, there cam' a stramp o' feet as if men were wars'lin', an' then a loud bang; an' then a wund gaed reishling round the fower quarters o' the house ; an' then a' was ance mair as seelent as the grave.
Mr. Soulis was feared for neither man nor de'il. He got his tinder-box, an' lit a can'le, an' made three steps o't ower to Janet's door. It was on the hasp, an' he pushed it open an' keeked bauldly in. It was a big room, as big as the minister's am, an' plenished wi' grand, auld solid gear, for he had naething else. There was a fewer-posted bed wi' auld tapestry; an' a braw cabinet o' aik, that was fu' o' the minister's divinity books, an' put there to be out o' the gate; an' a wheen duds o' Janet's lying here an' there about the floor. But nae Janet could Mr. Soulis see; nor any sign o' a contention. In he gaed (an' there's few that wad hae followed him) an' lookit a' round, an' listened. But there was naething to be heard, neither inside the manse nor in a Ba'weary parish, an' naething to be seen but the muckle shadows turnin' round the can'le. An' then, a' at aince, the minister's heart played dunt an' stood stock-still; an' a cauld wund blew amang the hairs o' his heid. Whaten a weary sicht was that for the puir man's e'en! For there was Janet hangin' frae a nail beside the auld aik cabinet: her held aye lay on her shouther, her e'en were steekit, the tongue projected frae her mouth, an' her heels were twa feet clear abune the floor.
"God forgive us all!" thocht Mr. Soulis, "poor Janet's dead."
He cam' a step nearer to the corp ; an' then his heart fair whammled in his inside. For by what cantrip it wad ill beseem a man to judge, she was hangin' frae a single nail an' by a single wursted thread for darnin' hose.
It's a awfu' thing to be your lane at nicht wi' siccan prodigies a' darkness; but Mr. Soulis was strong in the Lord. He turned an' gaed his ways oot o' that room, an' lockit the door ahint him ; an' step by step, doun the stairs, as heavy as leed; and set doun the can'le on the table at the stair-foot. He couldna pray, he couldna think, he was dreepin' wi' caul' swat, an' naething could he hear but the dunt-dunt-duntin' a' his am heart. He micht maybe hae stood there an hour, or maybe twa, he minded sae little; when a' o' a sudden he heard a laigh, uncanny steer upstairs ; a foot gaed to an' fro in the chalmer whaur the corp was hangin' ; syne the door was opened, though he minded weel that he had lockit it; an' syne there was a step upon the landin', an' it seemed to him as if the corp was lookin' ower the rail and doun upon him whaur he stood.
He took up the can'le again (for he couldna want the licht), an' as saftly as ever he could, gaed straucht out o' the manse an' to the far end a' the causeway. It was aye pit-mirk; the flame o' the can'le, when he set it on the grund, brunt steedy and clear as in a room; naething moved, but the Dule water seepin' and sabbin' doun the glen, an' yon unhaly footstep that cam' ploddin' doun the stairs inside the manse. He kenned the foot ower weel, for it was Janet's; an' at ilka step that cam' a wee thing nearer, the cauld got deeper in his vitals. He commended his soul to Him that made an' keepit him; "and, O Lord," said he, "give me strength this night to war against the powers of evil."
By this time the foot was comin' Through the passage for the door ; he could hear a hand skirt alang the wa', as if the fearsome thing was feelin' for its way. The saughs tossed an' maned thegither, a long sigh cam' ower the hills, the flame o' the can'le was blawn aboot ; an' there stood the corp of Thrawn Janet, wi' her grogram goun an' her black mutch, wi' the heid aye upon the shouther an' the girn still upon the face o't-leevin,' ye wad hae said-deid, as Mr. Soulis weel kenned-upon the threshold o' the manse.
It's a strange thing that the soul of man should be that thirled into his perishable body ; but the minister saw that, an' his heart didna break.
She didna stand there lang ; she began to move again an' cam' slowly towards Mr. Soulis whaur he stood under the saughs. A' the life o' his body, a' the strength o' his speerit, were glowerin' frae his e'en. It seemed she was gaun to speak, but wanted words, an' made a sign wi' the left hand. There cam' a clap o' wund, like a cat's fuff; oot gaed the can'le, the saughs skreighed like folk; an' Mr. Soulis kenned, that, live or die, this was the end o't.
"Witch, beldame, devil !" he cried, "I charge you, by the power of God, begone-if you be dead, to the grave-if you be damned, to hell."
An' at that moment the Lord's ain hand out o' the heevens struck the Horror whaur it stood; the auld, deid desecrated corp a' the witch-wife, sae lang keepit frae the grave and hirsled round by de'ils, lowed up like a brunstane spunk an' fell in ashes to the grund; the thunder followed, peal on dirlin peal, the rairin' rain upon the back o' that; and Mr. Soulis lowped through the garden hedge, an' ran, wi' skelloch upon skelloch, for the clachan.
That same mornin', John Christie saw the Black Man pass the Muckle Cairn as it was chappin' six ; before eicht, he gaed by the change-house at Knockdow; an' no' lang after, Sandy M'Lellan saw him gaun linkin' doun the braes frae Kilmackerlie. There's little doubt but it was him that dwalled sae lang in Janet's body; but he was awa' at last; an' sinsyne the de'il has never fashed us in Ba'weary.
But it was a sair dispensation for the minister ; lang, lang he lay ravin' in his bed; an' frae that hour to this, he was the man ye ken the day.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Table Of Common Scottish Vowel Sounds

Robert Louis Stevenson gied the follaein wittins anent his orthograpy.

ae, ai = open A as in rare.
a', au, aw = AW as in law.
ea, ee = open E as in mere, but this with exceptions, as heather=heather, wean=wain, lear=lair.
ei, ie = open E as in mere.
oa = open O as in more.
ou = doubled O as in poor.
ow = OW as in bower.
u = doubled O as in poor.
ui or ü before R = (say roughly) open A as in rare.
ui or ü before any other consonant = (say roughly) close I as in grin.
y = open I as in kite.
i = pretty nearly what you please, much as in English, Heaven guide the reader through that labyrinth! But in Scots it dodges usually from the short I, as in grin, to the open E, as in mere. Find and blind, I may remark, are pronounced to rhyme with the preterite of grin.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Oreeginal Orthographies - Address To A Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftan o' the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn they stretch an' strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethanket hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scronful' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow's wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if you wish her gratefu' pray'r,
Gie her a Haggis!

The last stanza was originally written out as follows:-

"Ye Pow'rs wha gie us a' that's gude
Still bless auld Caledonia's brood,
Wi' great John Barleycorn's heart's bluid
In stoups or luggies;
And on our boards, that king o' food,
A glorious Haggis!"


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Oreeginal Orthographies - Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!


For auld land syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us briad hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Oreeginal Orthographies - Gude Ale Keeps The Heart Aboon


O gude ale comes and gude ale goes;
Gude ale gars me sell ma hose,
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon -
Gude ale keeps my heart aboot!

I HAD sax owsen in a pleugh,
And they drew a' weel eneugh:
I sell'd them a' just ane by ane -

Gude ale hauds me bare and busy,
Gars me moop wi' the servant hizzie,
Stand i' the stool when I hae dune -


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Oreeginal Orthographies - Address To The Toothache

My curse upon your venom'd stang,
That shoots my tortur'd gums alang,
An' thro' my lugs gies sic a twang,
Wi' gnawing vengeance,
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
Like racking engines!

When fever burn, or agues freeze us,
Rheumatics gnaw, or colics squeeze us,
Our neibor's sympathy can ease us,
Wi' pitying moan;
But thee - thou hell o' a' diseases -
They mock our groan.

Adown my beard the slavers trickle,
I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle,
While round the fire the giglets keckle,
To see me loup,
An' ravin mad, I wish a heckle
Were in their doup!

In a' the numerous human dooles,
Ill-hairsts, daft bargains, cutty stools,
Or worthy frien's rak'd i the mools,-
Sad sight to see!
The tricks o' knaves, or fah o' fools,
Thou bear'st the gree!

Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
Where a' the tones o' misery yell,
An' rankèt plagues their numbers tell,
In dreadfu' raw,
Thou, TOOTHACHE, surely bear'st the bell,
Amang them a'!

thou grim, mischief-making chiel,
That gars the notes o' discord squeel,
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel
In gore, a shoe-thick,
Gie's a' the faes o' SCOTLAND'S weal
A towmond's toothache!


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Oreeginal Orthographies - The Country Lass

In simmer, when the hay was mawn
And corn wav'd green in ilka feild,
While claver blooms white o'er the lea
And roses blaw in ilka bield!
Blythe Bessie in the milking shiel,
Says - I'll be wed, come o't what will:
Out spake a dame in wrinkled eild-
O' gude advisement comes nae ill.

It's ye hae wooers ane,
And lassie, ye're but young, ye ken,
Then wait a wee, and cannie wale
A routhie butt, a routhie ben;
There's Johnie o' the Buskie-glen,
Fu' is his barn, fu' is his byre;
Tak this frae me, my bonie hen,
It's plenty beets the luver's fire.

For Johnie o' the Buskie-glen,
I didna care a single flie;
He lo'es sae weel his craps an kye,
He has nae luve to spare for me;
But blythe's the blink o' Robie's e'e,
And weel I wat he lo'es me dear:
Ae blink o' him wad na gie
For Buskie-glen and a' his gear.

O thoughtless lassie, lifes a faught;
The canniest gate, the strife is sair;
But ay fu'-han't is fechtin best,
A hungry care's an unco care:
But some will spend and some will spare,
An' wilfu' folk maun hae their will;
Syne as ye brew, my maiden fair,
Keep mind that ye maun drink the yill

O gear will buy me rigs o' land,
And gear will buy me sheep and kye;
But the tender heart o' leesome luve,
The gowd and siller canna buy;
We may be poor - Robie and I-
Light is the burden luve lays on;
Content and luve brings peace and joy
What mair hae Queens upon a throne?


Friday, August 3, 2007

Oreeginal Orthographies - Comin Thro' The Rye


O Jenny's a' weet poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry;
She draig'lt a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye.

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need the warld ken?


Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - The Daft Days

Now mirk December's dowie face
Glours our the rigs wi' sour grimace,
While, thro' his minimum of space,
The bleer-ey'd sun
Wi' blinkin light and stealing pace,
His race doth run.

From naked groves nae birdie sings,
To shepherd's pipe nae hillock rings,
The breeze nae od'rous flavour brings
From Borean cave,
And dwyning nature droops her wings,
Wi' visage grave.

Mankind but scanty pleasure glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain,
Whan Winter, 'midst his nipping train,
Wi' frozen spear,
Sends drift owr a' his bleak domain,
And guides the weir.

Auld Reikie! thou'rt the canty hole,
A bield for mony caldrife soul,
Wha snugly at thine ingle loll,
Baith warm and couth;
While round they gar the bicker roll
To weet their mouth.

When merry Yule-day comes, I trow
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Sma' are our cares, our stamacks fou
O' gusty gear,
And kickshaws, strangers to our view,
Sin Fairn-year.

Ye browster wives, now busk ye bra,
And fling your sorrows far awa';
Then come and gie's the tither blaw
Of reaming ale,
Mair precious than the well of Spa,
Our hearts to heal.

Then, tho' at odds wi' a' the warl',
Amang oursells we'll never quarrel;
Tho' Discord gie a canker'd snarl
To spoil our glee,
As lang's there's pith into the barrel
We'll drink and 'gree.

Fiddlers, your pins in temper fix,
And roset weel your fiddle-sticks,
But banish vile Italian tricks
From out your quorum,
Nor fortes wi' pianos mix,
Gie's Tulloch Gorum.

For nought can cheer the heart sae weil
As can a canty Highland reel,
It even vivifies the heel
To skip and dance:
Lifeless is he what canna feel
Its influence.

Let mirth abound, let social cheer
Invest the dawning of the year;
Let blithesome innocence appear
To crown our joy,
Nor envy wi' sarcastic sneer
Our bliss destroy.

And thou, great god of Aqua Vitæ!
Wha sways the empire of this city,
When fou we're sometimes capernoity,
Be thou prepar'd
To hedge us frae that black banditti,
The City-Guard.


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - Comin Thro' The Rye


O Jenny's a' weet poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry;
She draig'lt a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye.

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need the warld ken?


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Oreeginal Orthographies - Hallow-Fair

At Hallowmas, whan nights grow lang,
And starnies shine fu' clear,
Whan fock, the nippin cauld to bang,
Their winter hap-warms wear,
Near Edinbrough a fair there hads,
I wat there's nane whase name is,
For strappin dames an sturdy lads,
And cap and stoup, mair famous
Than it that day.

Upo' the tap o' ilka lum
The sun bagan to keek,
And bad the trig made maidens come
A sightly joe to seek
At Hallow-fair, whare browsters rare
Keep gude ale on the gantries,
And dinna scrimp ye o' a skair
O' kebbucks frae their pantries,
Fu' saut that day.

Here country John in bonnet blue,
An' eke his Sunday claise on,
Rins efter Meg wi' rokelay new,
An' sappy kisses lays on;
She'll tauntin say, ye silly coof!
Be o' your gab mair spairin;
He'll tak the hint, and criesh her loof
Wi' what will buy her fairin,
To chow that day.

Here chapman billies tak their stand,
An' shaw their bonny wallies;
Wow, but they lie fu' gleg aff hand
To trick the silly fallows:
Heh, Sirs! what cairds and tinklers come,
An' ne'er-do-weel horse-coupers,
An' spae-wives fenzying to be dumb,
Wi' a' siclike landloupers,
To thrive that day.

Here Sawny cries, frae Aberdeen;
'Come ye to me fa need:
The brawest shanks that e'er were seen
I'll sell ye cheap an' guid.
I wyt they are as protty hose
As come fae weyr or leem:
Here tak a rug, and shaw's your pose:
Forseeth, my ain's but teem
An' light this day.'

Ye wives, as ye gang thro' the fair,
mak your bargains hooly!
O' a' thir wylie lowns beware,
Or fegs they will ye spulzie.
For fairn-year Meg Thamson got,
Frae thir mischievous villains,
A scaw'd bit o' a penny note,
That lost a score o' shillins
To her that day.

The dinlin drums alarm our ears,
The serjeant screechs fu' loud,
'A' gentlemen and volunteers
That wish your country gude,
Come here to me, and I shall gie
Twa guineas and a crown,
A bowl o' punch, that like the sea
Will soum a lang dragoon
Wi' ease this day.'

Without the cuissers prance and nicker,
An' our the ley-rig scud;
In tents the carles bend the bicker,
An' rant an' roar like wud.
Then there's sic yellowchin and din,
Wi' wives and wee-anes gablin,
That ane might true they were a-kin
To a' the tongues at Babylon,
Confus'd that day.

Whan Phoebus ligs in Thetis lap,
Auld Reekie gies them shelter,
Whare cadgily they kiss the cap,
An' ca't round helter-skelter.
Jock Bell gaed furth to play his freaks,
Great cause he had to rue it,
For frae a stark Lochaber aix
He gat a clamihewit
Fu' sair that night.

'Ohon!' quo' he, 'I'd rather be
By sword or bagnet stickit,
Than hae my crown or body wi'
Sic deadly weapons nicket.'
Wi' that he gat anither straik
Mair weighty than before,
That gar'd his feckless body aik,
An' spew the reikin gore,
Fu' red that night.

He pechin on the cawsey lay,
O' kicks and cuffs weel sair'd;
A Highland aith the serjeant gae,
'She maun pe see our guard.'
Out spak the weirlike corporal,
'Pring in ta drunken groat,
For that neist day.

Good focks, as ye come frae the fair,
Bide yont frae this black squad;
There's nae sic savages elsewhere
Allow'd to wear cockade.
Than the strong lions's hungry maw,
Or tusk o' Russian bear,
Frae their wanruly fellin paw
Mair cause ye hae to fear
Your death that day.

A wee soup drink dis unco weel
To had the heart aboon;
It's good as lang's a canny chiel
Can stand steeve in his shoon.
But gin a birkie 's owr weel sair'd,
It gars him aften stammer
To pleys taht bring him to the guard,
An' eke the Council-chawmir,
Wi' shame that day.


Monday, July 30, 2007

The Maukin An The Hurcheon

This auld sang is sweir tae tell, laddies, but it's suithfast aw the same, acause ma gutcher, wha A hae it fae, wis aye mynt, whan he telt it me, tae say,
"Suithfast it maun be, ma son, acause ye canna tell it ony ither wey."
The story happent lik sae. It wis on a Sawbath morn juist afore the hairst, juist as the buckwheat wis flouerin. The sun haed hoven bricht in the hievins, the mornin wind blew wairm oot ower the stibble, the laverocks singit in the lift, the bumbees bummed in the buckwheat an the fowk gaed til the kirk in thair Sunday braws, an aw craiturs wis canty. The hurcheon an aw. The hurcheon stuid afore his door, plettit his airms, keekit oot intil the mornin wind an liltit a wee sang intil hissel, sae guid an sae ill as a hurcheon coud sing on a braw Sawbath morn. An as he wis liltin hauf souch intil hissel, he mynt his wife haed sin syne wuishen an dryit the bairns, an thay coud gang daunder in the pairk an see hou his neeps wis daein. The neeps wis the neist anes til his hoose an he wis aye mynt tae eat thaim wi his faimly, that's hou he seen thaim as his ain. Said an duin. The hurcheon steekit the hoose door ahint him an strack his gate intil the pairk. He wisna gey an faur fae his hoose an wis juist aboot tae gang aboot the slaebuss that grew afore the pairk for tae turn up til the neep field, whan he comes ower the maukin, wha wis oot an aboot wi seemlar ploy, that wis, for tae see his kail. Whan the hurcheon coud see the maukin he bid him a freendly guid morn, but the maukin, wha wis a bien chiel in his ain wey, an gruesome heich-heidit wi't, didna repone til the hurcheon's goamin, but said til the hurcheon, pittin on a mauchtie murgeon.
"Hou come ye're awreddies daunderin aboot the pairk on sic a canty morn?"
"A'm awa for a daunder", said the hurcheon.
"Daunder?" leuch the maukin, "A thocht ye coud uise yer shanks for mair better things."
Thon repone fasht the hurcheon a fair bit, for he can thole awthing, but he winna tak ocht anent his shanks, acause by naitur thay war camshauchelt.
"Ye hae a guid conceit o yersel", said the hurcheon tae the maukin,
"Lik ye coud dae mair wi yer shanks?"
"A think that", said the maukin.
"A s' warren on thon" thocht the hurcheon.
"A wad, gin we rin a kemp A s' rin past ye."
"thon gars me lauch, ye wi yer camshauchelt shanks", said the maukin.
"For ma sakes mak it yer ain gin ye're sae keen on't. Whit's the wad?"
"A gowden louis-d'or an a bottle o whisky", said the hurcheon.
"It's a deal", spak the maukin, "crack luifs, an we can stairt straucht awa."
"Nae, A'm no needin sic a breeshle", thocht the hurcheon.
"Ma kyte is aye still tuim; first A want tae gang hame for tae hae a bit brakfast, in a hauf oor A'll be back here on ma steid."
Wi thon the hurcheon gaed, for he wis pleased wi the maukin.

Unnerwey the hurcheon thocht til hissel,
"The maukin is lippnin on his lang shanks, but A'll lat him see. Deed ay, he's a bien chiel, still an on a dunder-heid an aw, an he'll hae tae pey."
As the hurcheon gat hame, he spak til his wife,
"wife cleid yersel fast, ye maun gang oot the pairk wi me."
"Whit's gaun on?" said his wife.
"A'v a wad agin the maukin for a gowden louis-d'or an bottle o whisky, A want tae rin a kemp wi him an ye're gaun tae be alang wi's."
"By crivens man" scraicht the hurcheon's wife, "hiv ye tint aw yer mense? Hou can ye want tae rin a kemp wi the maukin?"
"Haud yer tongue wife" said the hurcheon, "Thon's ma maiter. Dinna pit yer spuin in men's dealins. Mairch, cleid yersel an come wi us."
Whit shoud the hurcheon's wife dae? She maun follae, gin she wants tae or no. As thay wis unnerwey thegither, the hurcheon spak til his wife,
"Nou tak tent tae whit A hae tae say. D'ye see, up thare? Thon lang field's waur we're gaun tae rin wir kemp. The maukin rins in the ae furr an me in anither, an we stairt tae rin fae up thare. Nou ye dinna hae tae dae ocht ense but tae stell yersel doun here in the furr, an whan the maukin comes up the tither side, sae ye cry til him - 'A'm here awreddies!' "

Wi thon thay haed wun til the field, the hurcheon shawed his wife her steid an syne gaed up the field. As he gat til the tap the maukin wis thare awreddies.
"Can it stairt?" said the maukin.
"Ay!" said the hurcheon. "On wi't!"
An wi thon ilkane stellt thirsels in thair furr. The maukin coontit,
"ane, twa, three"
An aff he gaed doun the field lik a storm wind. But the hurcheon ran aboot three staps, syne he joukit hissel doun in the furr an bade sittin quate. As the maukin wan doun the field, the hurcheon's wife cryed til him,
" A'm here awreddies!"
The maukin stoppit deid an wis a bittie stammygastert. He thocht it wis nane ither nor the hurcheon hissel that wis rinnin til him, as is weel kent, the hurcheon's wife is the marrae o her guidman. But the maukin thocht,
"Thare's something joukerie-pawkerie wi thon."
He cryed,
"rin again, the tither airt!"
An awa he gaed again, lik a storm wind, sae that his lugs flew aboot his heid. The hurcheon's wife bade quate in her steid. As the maukin gat til the tap, the hurcheon cryed til him,
"A'm here awreddies!"
The maukin wis reid wud an scraicht,
"rin again, the tither airt!"
"Thon's no owre waur for me." answert the hurcheon, "for ma sakes sae aft as ye want."
Sae the maukin ran anither three an sieventie times, an the hurcheon coud aye keep up wi him. Ilka time the maukin wan up or doun the field, the hurcheon or his wife said,
"A'm here awreddies!"
But the maukin didna end the fower an sieventiet rin, in the mids o the field he fell til the grund, the bluid flew oot his hause an he bade liggin thare. The hurcheon teuk the gowden louis-d'or an his bottle o whisky he'd won, cryed til his wife for tae git oot the furr an baith gaed blythly hame thegither, an gin thay'v no dee'd, thay're aye til the fore.

Sae it happent up on thon muirland. The hurcheon that ran thare wi the maukin, an sin syne nae maukin haes thocht on rinnin a wad agin a muirland hurcheon. But firstlins, this tale lears us , that nae body, e'en gin thay think thirsel sae bien, sall lat thirsel be learnt no tae miscaw a wee-er man, e'en gin he wis a hurcheon. An seicontly, it's wice whan a body's wooin that he taks a wife fae his ain ilk, an ane that leuks juist like hissel. Sae wha's a hurcheon, shoud see til it that his wife's a hurcheon an aw, an sae on.


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Anent The Fisher An His Wife

Thare wis ance a fisher an his wife that steyed thegither ablo a cowpit chantie aneist the sea. Ilka day the fisher gaed til the sea for tae fish, an he fisht an he fisht. Ance he sat fishin an glowerin intil the clear watter, he sat an he sat. Syne the line gaed tae grund, deep doun, an as he heezed it oot, he heezed oot a muckle rodden fleuk. Syne the rodden fleuk says til him,
"tak tent, fisher, A fleetch at ye for tae lat's leeve, A'm no a real rodden fleuk A'm a bewitchit prince. Hou's it gaun tae help ye gin ye kill me? A wadna taste richt guid tae ye onywey, pit us back intil the watter an lat us soum."
"Crivens!", says the man,
"ye dinna need haiver a hantle sicht, A wad as lief lat a rodden fleuk that can speak gang soum."
Wi thon he pit the rodden fleuk back intil the clear watter. Syne the rodden fleuk gaed tae grund lea'in a lang straik o bluid ahint him. Syne the man gat up an gaed til his wife ablo the chantie.
"Guidman" says the wife,
"Hae ye no catcht onything the day?"
"Na" says the man, "A catcht a rodden fleuk that said he wis a bewitchit prince, sae A lat him gang soum."
"Did ye no wiss for onything?" speirt the wife.
"Na" says the man, "whit shoud A wiss masel?"
"Och!" says the wife, "it's sae awfu, aye haein tae stey ablo a chantie at stews an is sae scunnersome. Ye coud hae wisst us a wee bothy. Gang back an cry on him. Tell him we want a wee bothy, he's boond tae dae thon."
"Och!" says the man, "whit for shoud A gang thare?"
"Ah!" says the wife, "ye catcht him, an syne lat him gang soum, he's boond tae dae thon. Gang straucht thare."
The man didna richt want tae, but he didna want tae fash his wife sae he gaed til the sea. Whan he gat thare the sea wis gey an green an yellae, an no sae clear ony mair. Sae he gaed an stuid thare an says:

"Mannie, mannie, Timpee Tee,
Fleukie, fleukie in the sea,
Ma lief wife the Iseabail
Winna dae as A her tell."

Syne the rodden fleuk soums up an speirs: "Ah, whit's she efter?"
"Och", says the man, "A catcht ye an nou ma wife says A shoud hae makkit a wiss. She disna want tae stey ablo a chantie ony mair, she wad sair like a bothy."
"gang back man" says the rodden fleuk, "she awreadies haes hit."
Syne the man gaed back, an his wife wisna sittin ablo a chantie ony mair, but a wee bothy stuid thare, an his wife wis sittin afore the door on a bink. Syne his wife teuk him by the haund an says til him,
"Come awa ben, see, nou thon's a guid bit mair better".
Syne thay gaed awa in, an in the bothy wis a wee entry, an a braw wee stove, an a chaumer whaur ilkane's bed stuid, an a keetchin, an a press. Aw the bestest gear, an aw the bonniest polisht pewther an bress thingmies, an awthing that's aucht thon. Oot the back wis a wee yaird wi chuckies an deuks, an a bit gairden wi green yerbs an fruit.
"See", says the wife, "is thon no braw?"
"Ay", says the man, "an sae it shoud bide, nou we're gaun tae leeve gey an blythesome."
"We'll think on thon", says the wife.
Wi thon thay haed a bit meat an gaed til thair beds.

Sae it gaed on for aicht or fowerteen days. Syne the wife said,
"Tak tent guidman, the bothy's grawn ower hampert, an the yaird an gairden's sae wee. The rodden fleuk coud hae gien us a mair muckle hoose. A want tae stey in a muckle stanern castle. Gang til the rodden fleuk, he shoud gie's a castle."
"Och wife" says the man, "the bothy's aye guid eneuch, whit will we dae in a castle?"
"Och whit!", says the wife, "gang ye thare, the rodden fleuk can aye dae't."
"Nae wife", says the man, "the rodden fleuk first gied us the bothy, A dinna want tae aye be comin back, it micht coud mismey the rodden fleuk."
"Gang onywey", says the wife, "he can dae thon richt guid, an he likes tae. Gang ye thare."
The man didna want tae an his hert wis wechty. He says intil hissel,
"Thon's no richt"
but he gaed thare onywey. Whan he cam til the sea the watter wis fair purpie an daurk blae, an gray an stieve, an no sae green an yellae ony mair, but it wis aye still lown. He gaed an stuid thare, an says:

"Mannie, mannie, Timpee Tee,
Fleukie, fleukie in the sea,
Ma lief wife the Iseabail
Winna dae as A her tell."

"Nou, whit's she efter?" speirs the rodden fleuk.
"Och", says the man, hauf dowie-like, "she wants tae stey in a muckle stanern castle."
"Gang back man" says the rodden fleuk "she's staundin afore the door."
Syne the man gaed back an thocht he wad be gaun tae the bothy, but whan he gat thare, a muckle stanern palace stuid thare, an his wife haed juist gane on the stair for tae gang in. She teuk him by the haund an says, "come awa ben."
Wi thon he gaed in wi her. In the castle wis a muckle haw wi a seamless merble fluir, an the war sae mony servands that poud the muckle doors open, an the waws wis happit wi braw wawpaper, an in the chaumers wis mony gowden chairs an tables, an creestal chandeleeries hingin fae the camceil, an aw the rooms an chaumers haed cairpets, an meat an the brawmaist wine stuid on the tables, naur garrin thaim brak thegither. Ahint the hoose wis a muckle yaird wi a horsestable an byre, an the best maist horsecairts, an thare wis a muckle byous gairden, wi the bonniest flouers an rerr fruit trees, an a maize, a fou hauf mile lang. The war rae-deer an donies intil't, an awthing that a body coud aye wiss for.
"Na!" says the wife, "is thon no braw?"
"Och ay", says the man, "an sae it shoud bide, nou that we stey in this braw castle, we shoud be contentit."
"We'll think on thon", says the wife, "We shoud sleep."
Wi thon thay gaed til thair beds.

The neist morn the wife wis the first waukent. It wis juist dawin, an fae her bed she seen the braw laund liggin afore her. The man wis aye still oot-raxed, sae she proggit him in the side wi her elbucks an says,
"Staund up guidman an keek ower the windae. See, can we no be the laird ower aw thon laund? Gang til the rodden fleuk, we want tae be the laird."
"Och wife", says the man, "Whit for dae ye want tae be the laird? A dinna want tae be the laird."
"Na", says the wife, "gin ye dinna want tae be the laird A'll be the laird. Gang til the rodden fleuk A want tae be the laird."
"Och wife", says the man, "whit for dae ye want tae be the laird?, A dinna want tae tell him thon."
"Hou no?", says the wife, "gang straucht thare, A maun be the laird."
Syne the man gaed, he wis gey an dowie acause his wife wantit tae be the laird.
"Thon's no richt, it's no richt ava" thocht the man.
He didna want tae gang, but he gaed onywey. Whan he gat til the sea, the sea wis aw black-gray an the watter wis hotterin up fae aneath, an stewed awfu fersell an aw. He gaed an stuid thare an says:

"Mannie, mannie, Timpee Tee,
Fleukie, fleukie in the see,
Ma lief wife the Iseabail
Winna dae as A her tell."

"Nou, whit's she efter? speirs the rodden fleuk.
"Och", says the man, "she wants tae be the laird."
"gang back man" says the rodden fleuk "she's awreadies hit."
Syne the man gaed, an as he cam til the palace it haed become mair muckle, wi a heich touer wi braw whigmaleeries on it, an the airmed gaird stuid afore the door an the war sae mony sodgers, an pipes an drums. An as he gaed in the hoose awthing wis wrocht fae pure merble, wi gowd an saitin plaids an muckle gowden tossles. Syne the doors o the muckle haw opent, thare wis the hail coort, an the wife sittin on a muckle throne o gowd an diamont. She haed a muckle gowden croon on, an a sceptre o pure gowd an precious stanes in her haund, an at baith her sides, young lassies stuid in a raw, an aye ane a heid wee-er nor the neist. He gaed an stuid thare an says,
"Och wife, are ye the laird nou?"
"Ay", says the wife, "A'm the laird nou."
Thare he stuid an leukit at her, an efter he'd leukit at her a whilie, he says,
"Och wife, lat it be, nou ye're the laird! Nou we're no gaun tae wiss for ony mair."
"Nae guidman", says the wife, an becam awfu fykerie,
"The time's ower langsome. A canna thole it ony mair. Gang til the rodden fleuk, A'm the laird, nou A maun be the keeng an aw."
"Och wife says the man, "whit for dae ye want tae be the keeng?"
"Guidman", she says, "gang til the rodden fleuk, A want tae be the keeng."
"Och wife", says the man, "he canna mak keengs, A dinna want tae tell the rodden fleuk thon. Thare's juist the ae keeng in the kinrick. The rodden fleuk canna mak ye the keeng. He canna dae siclike."
"Whit!" says the wife, "A'm the laird an ye're ma guidman, are ye gaun tae gang richt nou? Gang straucht thare, gin he can mak a laird he can mak a keeng an aw, A want tae be the keeng, gang straucht thare."
The man buid gang. But as he gaed he becam awfu fleyed, an thocht intil hissel,
"thon winna gang guid. Keeng is ower sneistie, the rodden fleuk will be fauchelt by the end o't."
Wi thon he cam til the sea. The sea wis aye still sair mirk an stieve, an begoud tae hotter up sae as tae thraw up bubbles, an thare blew sic a snell wind ower it that it breinged up, an the man wis richt feart. He gaed an stuid thare an says:

"Mannie, mannie, Timpee Tee,
Fleukie, fleukie in the sea,
Ma lief wife the Iseabail
Winna dae as A her tell."

"Nou, whit's she efter?" speirs the rodden fleuk.
"Och rodden fleuk" says the man "ma wife wants tae be the keeng."
"gang back man" says the rodden fleuk "she's hit awreadies."
Syne the man gaed back, an as he gat thare, the hail castle wis happit wi polisht merble an alabastrine feegurs, an gowden whigmaleeries. Afore the door, mairchit the sodgers blawin the pipes an dingin the drums. But in the hoose the lairds an yerls wis gaun aboot lik servands. Thay opent the doors o pure gowd, an as he gaed in, he sees his wife sittin on a throne wrocht fae the ae daud gowd twa mile heich, She haed a muckle gowden croon on, that wis three ell heich, an plaistert wi diamonts an carbuncle stanes. In the ae haund she haed a sceptre an in the tither a glentin orb, an at baith her sides stuid the bairns in twa raws, ane wee-er nor the neist ane, fae the maist muckle ettin that wis twa mile heich, til the smawest droich that wis sae wee as ma pinkie. Afore her stuid sae mony princes an dukes. The man gaed an stuid atween thaim an says,
"Wife, are ye the keeng nou?"
"Ay!" she says, "A'm the keeng."
Syne he gaed an stuid thare an haed a richt guid leuk at her, an efter he'd leukit a whilie he says,
"Och wife, lat it be nou, nou that ye're the keeng."
"Guidman", she says, "whit ye daein staundin thare? A'm the keeng nou, but nou A want tae be the Pape, gang til the rodden fleuk."
"Och wife," says the man, "whit dae ye no want? Ye canna be the Pape, Thare's juist the ae Pape in Christendie, he canna dae thon."
"Guidman", she says, "A want tae be the Pape, gang straucht thare, A maun be the Pape the day."
"Na wife", says the man, "A dinna want tae tell him thon, thon winna gang weel, thon's ower coorse, the rodden fleuk canna mak ye the Pape."
"Guidman whit blethers!" says the wife, "Gin he can mak a keeng, he can mak a Pape an aw. Gang awa thare, A'm the keeng an ye're ma guidman will ye git on wi't?"
He wis sair feart an gaed thare, but he felt gey wammle an grue, an his knees an shanks wis tremmlin. An sic a wind blew ower the laund, an the cloods flew. As the gloamin cam agin the forenicht, the blads wis jachelt aff the trees, an the watter breinged up agin the lip o the sea, an hyne awa he seen ships that wis thrawn in an ill wey, dancin an lowpin in the swaw. The mids o the lift wis aye still a bittie blue, but at the sides it wis gaun richt reid, lik a sair storm. He gaed an stuid thare richt disjaskit an feart, an says:

"Mannie, mannie, Timpee Tee,
Fleukie, fleukie in the sea,
Ma lief wife the Iseabail
Winna dae as A her tell."

"Nou, whit's she efter?" speirs the rodden fleuk.
"Och", says the man, "She wants tae be the Pape."
"Gang back man, she's hit awreadies", says the rodden fleuk.
Syne he gaed back an whan he gat thare, thare stuid a muckle kirk surroondit wi mony palaces. He oxtert his wey throu the fowk. Inby awthing wis lichtit wi thoosands an thoosands o laumps, an his wife wis cleidit in pure gowd, an sat on an e'en mair muckle throne, an haed three muckle gowden croons on, an aboot her wis sae mony meenisters, an at baith her sides stuid twa raws o lichts, fae the maist muckle, sae muckle an braid as the muckle maist lichthoose, til the wee-est cruisie. An aw the keengs an queens boud doun ontil thair knees afore her an kisst her baffies.
"Wife", says the man, giein her a guid leuk ower, "Are ye the Pape nou?"
"Ay!", she says, "A'm the Pape."
Syne he gaed an stuid an haed a guid leuk, an it wis lik he wis leukin at the bricht sun. Efter he'd leukit a whilie, he says,
"Och wife, lat it be nou, nou that ye're the Pape!"
But she sat sae stieve as a tree, an didna tremmle or muive.
"You", he says, "wife be contentit, nou that ye're the Pape, ye canna be onything mair nou."
"A'll think on thon", says the wife.

Wi thon the baith o thaim gaed til thair beds, but she wisna contentit, an greed wadna lat her sleep, she aye thocht on whit she micht coud become. The man sleepit richt guid an deep, he'd traivelt a guid bit thon day, but the wife coudna faw aff at aw, an threw hersel fae the ae side til the tither the hail nicht, an aye thocht on whit she coud aye still become, an she coudna think on ocht forby. Wi thon the sun hove, an as she seen the dawin reid, she richtit hersel up in her bed an leukit ootby, an as she seen the sun raisin ower the windae,
"Ha", she thocht, "can A no gar the sun an the muin hove an aw?"
"Guidman", she says, an duntit her elbucks intil his kist-banes,
"wauken, an gang til the rodden fleuk, A want tae be lik God awmichtie."
The man wis aye still maistlins asleep, an he gied hissel sic a fricht that he fell oot the bed. He thocht that he haed mishaurd, dichtit his een an says,
"Och wife, whit did ye say?"
"Guidman" she says, "gin A canna gar the sun an the muin hove, an maun watch the sun an muin gaun up A coudna thole it, an wadna hae a quate meenit ony mair gin A coudna gar thaim hove masel."
Syne she glowert at him, awfu ugsome, sae that it gart him grue.
"Gang straucht thare, A want tae be lik God awmichtie.
"Och wife" says the man, an gaed doun ontil his knees afore her, "the rodden fleuk canna dae siclike. He can mak ye the keeng an the Pape, A bid ye, be mensefu, bide the Pape."
Syne she gaed gyte, her hair flew wild-like aboot her heid, she heezed up her bouk an gied him a dunt wi her fit an scraicht,
"A canna thole thon, A canna thole it ony langer, will ye gang thare?"
Syne he hault on his breeks an rin aff lik he wis begowkit. But ootby the storm gaed on, an bluffert siclike that he coud haurdly staund on his feet. The hooses an trees wis dingit doun an the bens dinnelt, an the craigs rowt intil the sea, an the lift wis pick-mirk, an it thunnert an flauchtert, an the sea rowed wi black swaws sae heich as kirk touers an the bens, an upon thaim thay haed white crouns o faem. Syne he scraicht, an he coudna hear his ain wirds,

"Mannie, mannie, Timpee Tee,
Fleukie, fleukie in the see,
Ma lief wife the Iseabail
Winna dae as A her tell."

"Nou, whit's she efter?" speirs the rodden fleuk.
"Och" says the man, "she wants tae be lik God awmichtie."
"Gang back, she's sittin ablo a chantie ance mae."
Thare thay aye still sit, till this verra day.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Brithers Grimm

The war ance a man an a wife that didna hae ony bairns sae lang as thay wis rich, but whan thay becam puir, thay haed a wee laddie. But thay coudna find a Godfaither for him. Syne the man said he wad gang tae anither airt for tae see gin he coud find ane thare. On his gate he cam ower a puir man. The puir man speirt waur he wis gaun. The man said he wantit awa for tae find a Godfaither, but he's puir an nae body wantit tae be Godfaither.
"Och", said the puir man,
"ye're puir an A'm puir, A want tae be the Godfaither; but A'm sae puir A canna gie the bairn ocht. Gang hame an tell the howdie-wife she shoud come til the kirk wi the bairn."
As aw the mengie cam til the kirk, the gaberlunzie wis awreddies ben, he gied the bairn the name Fergus Suithfast. As thay gaed oot the kirk the gaberlunzie said,
"gang hame nou, A canna gie ye ocht an ye shoudna gie's ocht aither."
But he gied the howdie-wife a key an said she shoud gie it til the faither whan she gits hame, he shoud tak tent o't till the bairn's fowerteen year auld, syne the bairn shoud gang up til the muir, thare's a castle that the key fits, an aw whit's inby belangs him.

Whan the bairn wis a weel grawn sieven year auld, he gaed daffin wi the tither laddies, the tane haed gotten mair aff his Godfaither nor the tither. He coudna say muckle an grat an gaed hame an said til his faither,
"Hiv A no gotten ocht aff ma Godfaither?"
"Och ay", said the faither,
"ye wis gien a key. Gin ye see a castle up on the muir, gang til it an open it."
Syne he gaed thare but thare wisna a castle tae be seen or haurd.

Ance mair, efter anither sieven year, whan he wis fowerteen year auld, he gaed back an thare stuid a castle. Whan he opent it thare wis nocht inby but a horse an saidle. The laddie wis sae up tae hie doh that he haed the horse, he sat hissel on it an breishelt til his faither,
"nou that A hae a saidle A want tae stravaig an aw."
Syne he gaed awa, an as he wis on his gate, he seen a scrievin-quill liggin on the grund. At first he wantit tae tak it up, but he thocht til hissel,
"Och, ye shoud lea' it liggin, nae maiter whaur ye come til ye'll aye find a quill whan ye hae want o ane."
As he gaed it cryit efter him,
"Fergus Suithfast tak it wi ye."
He leukit aboot him but didna see onybody, he gaed back again an pickit it up. Efter he haed ridden a whilie, he cam ower a loch. A fish wis liggin on the bank, pechin an pechin for air. Sae he said,
"haud on ma lief fish, A want tae help ye git back intil the loch."
Syne he gruppit the fish by the tail an flang it intil the loch. Syne the fish raxed his heid oot the watter an said,
"nou that ye hae helpit me, A want tae gie ye a penny-whistle, an gin ye drap onything intil the loch, whistle an A will rax it oot tae ye."

He nou rade awa. Syne a man cam til him an speirt whaur he wis gaun.
"Och, til the neist clachan."
"whit's yer name?"
"Fergus Suithfast."
"See thare, we naurhaund hae the same name, A'm cryit Fergus Suithless."
Syne the baith o thaim gaed til the neist clachan, tae the inn. Nou it wis ill that Fergus Suithless aye kent awthing that the tither haed thocht an wantit tae dae. He kent thon throu aw kins o wickit cantrips.

In the inn wis an upricht lassie that haed sic a pure face an cleidit hersel sae bonnie. She wis smitten wi Fergus Suithfast. She wis a lousome body an speirt whaur he wis gaun. Och, he wantit tae stravaig aboot. Syne she said he shoud juist bide thare. Here in the kintra wis a keeng that wad blythe tak on a servand or an ootrider. Still an on he shoud gang intil the service. He answert that he coudna weel gang thare an bode hissel. Syne the lassie said,
"A'll e'en dae't."
An wi thon she gaed straucht til the keeng an telt him she kent a braw servand. That wis awricht an the keeng lat him come til him for tae mak him a servand. But he wad liefer be an ootrider, acause whaur his horse is, he maun be an aw. Sae the keeng taen him on as an ootrider.
Whan Fergus Suithless fund oot aboot thon he said til the lassie,
"Haud on, ye helpit him an no me?"
"Och ", said the lassie, "A want tae help ye an aw."
She thocht: "A maun keep an ee on him acause he's no tae lippen til."
She gaed an stuid afore the keeng an bode him as a servand. The keeng wis weel sert. Mornins whan Fergus Suithless gaed til his maister, the keeng aye yammert,
"och! gin A haed ma lassie wi me."
Fergus Suithless wis aye schemin agin Fergus Suithfast, ance mae as the keeng wis yammerin he said,
"Ye hae the ootrider send him, he coud bring her here, an gin he disna dae it, his heid maun be liggit afore his feet."
Syne the keeng lat Fergus Suithfu be brocht til him an telt him, he haed a lassie an he shoud bring her here, an gin he didna dae it he maun dee.

Fergus Suithfast gaed til his saidle in the stable an grat an yammert.
"Och! Whitna puir craitur A am."
Syne a body cryit oot ahint him,
"Fergus Suithfast whit for are ye greetin?"
He leukit aboot but didna see onybody, an aye yammert on,
"Och ma lief saidleockie, nou A maun lea' ye, nou A maun dee."
It syne cryit again,
"Fergus Suithfast whit for are ye greetin?"
Syne he jaloused that it wis the saidle that speirt at him.
"Are ye daein thon, ma saidleockie, can ye speak?" An said ower: "A maun gang awa an bring the trystit ane back, dae ye no ken hou A micht coud begin?"
Syne the saidleockie answert,
"Gang til the keeng an say, gin he gies ye whit ye maun hae, ye will bring her, gin he gies ye a ship laiden wi flesh an a ship laiden wi breid, than ye can win throu. Thare's muckle etins in the loch, gin ye dinna bring thaim ony flesh thay will rive ye, an thare's muckle birds, that will pick oot the een fae yer heid gin ye dinna hae ony breid for thaim."
Syne the keeng lat aw the fleshers in the airt slauchter an aw the baxters bak, sae that the ships'll be laiden fou. An whan thay wis laiden fou, the saidleockie said til Fergus Suithfast,
"Nou sit upo me an ride abuird the ship, an whan the etins comes say:

'Wheesht, wheesht ma lief etinies,
A hiv on ye thocht,
A hiv brocht ye ocht.'

An whan the birds comes, ance mae ye say:

'Wheesht, wheesht ma lief birdies,
A hae on ye thocht,
A hae brocht ye ocht.'

Than thay winna skaithe ye, an whan ye win til the castle, the etins will help ye. Syne gang intae the castle an tak twa-three etins wi ye. The princess ligs thare sleepin but ye maunna wauken her. The etins maun heeze up her an the bed, an cairy her abuird the ship.

An as thay cam til the keeng, she said she coudna lou him. She maun hae her screeds, thay war left liggin in her castle.

Syne Fergus Suithless wis schemin for tae hae Fergus Suitfast cryit an the keeng telt him he maun fesh the screeds frae the castle, ithergates he maun dee. Ance mae he gaed intil the stable an grat an said,
"Och ma lief saidleockie, Nou A maun gang awa ance mae, hou shoud A dae thon?"
Syne the saidleockie said,
"ye maun laid the ships fou ance mae."
As thay wan til the castle the saidleockie telt him, he shoud gang in, in the princess's bedchaumer, the screeds is on the desk. Syne Fergus Suithfast gaed in an gat a haud o thaim. As thay wis on the loch he lat his quill faw intil the watter, syne the saidleockie said,
"A canna help ye nou."
Syne he mynt the penny-whistle, he begoud tae play, syne the fish cam wi the quill in his mooth an raxed it up til him. Syne he brocht the screeds til the castle waur the waddin wis tae be hauden.

The queen coudna thole the keeng acause he didna hae a neb, but she wis sair lief on Fergus Suithfast. Efter aw the menfowk o the coort wis foregaithert, the queen said she coud dae cantrips, she coud sned a body's heid aff an pit it back on, juist ae body daur come forrit. But naebody wantit tae be the first, Fergus Suithless haed tae acause o Fergus Suithless' schemin. She sned aff his heid an pit it back on again, an it wis healt straucht awa, an leukit lik he haed a reid threid roond his hause. Syne the keeng said til her,
"hen, whaur did ye learn tae dae thon?"
"Ay", she said, "A unnerstaund sic cantrips, shoud A ettle an dae it wi ye an aw?"
"Och aye!" he said.
Syne she sned aff his heid but didna pit it back on again, she lat on she coudna git it back on, acause he wadna sit still. Syne the keeng wis yirdit. She wantit Fergus Suithfast but he aye rade his saidle, an as he sat on it, it said til him, he shoud gang til anither muir that he shawd him, an ride aboot it thrice, an efter he haed duin thon it gaed up on its hint-legs an chynged intae a prince.