bardachd: (Default)
2014-03-03 08:56 pm
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The Queen's Marie

Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane,
Wi' ribbons in her hair;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
Than ony that were there.

Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane
Wi' ribbons on her breast;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
Than he listen'd to the priest.

Marie Hamilton 's to the kirk gane,
Wi' gloves upon her hands;
The King thought mair o' Marie Hamilton
Than the Queen and a' her lands.

She hadna been about the King's court
A month, but barely one,
Till she was beloved by a' the King's court
And the King the only man.

She hadna been about the King's court
A month, but barely three,
Till frae the King's court Marie Hamilton,
Marie Hamilton durstna be.

The King is to the Abbey gane,
To pu' the Abbey tree,
To scale the babe frae Marie's heart;
But the thing it wadna be.

O she has row'd it in her apron,
And set it on the sea—
'Gae sink ye or swim ye, bonny babe,
Ye'se get nae mair o' me.'

Word is to the kitchen gane,
And word is to the ha',
And word is to the noble room
Amang the ladies a',
That Marie Hamilton 's brought to bed,
And the bonny babe 's miss'd and awa'.

Scarcely had she lain down again,
And scarcely fa'en asleep,
When up and started our gude Queen
Just at her bed-feet;
Saying—'Marie Hamilton, where 's your babe?
For I am sure I heard it greet.'

'O no, O no, my noble Queen!
Think no sic thing to be;
'Twas but a stitch into my side,
And sair it troubles me!'

'Get up, get up, Marie Hamilton:
Get up and follow me;
For I am going to Edinburgh town,
A rich wedding for to see.'

O slowly, slowly rase she up,
And slowly put she on;
And slowly rade she out the way
Wi' mony a weary groan.

The Queen was clad in scarlet,
Her merry maids all in green;
And every town that they cam to,
They took Marie for the Queen.

'Ride hooly, hooly, gentlemen,
Ride hooly now wi' me!
For never, I am sure, a wearier burd
Rade in your companie.'—

But little wist Marie Hamilton,
When she rade on the brown,
That she was gaen to Edinburgh town,
And a' to be put down.

'Why weep ye so, ye burgess wives,
Why look ye so on me?
O I am going to Edinburgh town,
A rich wedding to see.'

When she gaed up the tolbooth stairs,
The corks frae her heels did flee;
And lang or e'er she cam down again,
She was condemn'd to die.

When she cam to the Netherbow port,
She laugh'd loud laughters three;
But when she came to the gallows foot
The tears blinded her e'e.

'Yestreen the Queen had four Maries,
The night she'll hae but three;
There was Marie Seaton, and Marie Beaton,
And Marie Carmichael, and me.

'O often have I dress'd my Queen
And put gowd upon her hair;
But now I've gotten for my reward
The gallows to be my share.

'Often have I dress'd my Queen
And often made her bed;
But now I've gotten for my reward
The gallows tree to tread.

'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
When ye sail owre the faem,
Let neither my father nor mother get wit
But that I'm coming hame.

'I charge ye all, ye mariners,
That sail upon the sea,
That neither my father nor mother get wit
The dog's death I'm to die.

'For if my father and mother got wit,
And my bold brethren three,
O mickle wad be the gude red blude
This day wad be spilt for me!

'O little did my mother ken,
The day she cradled me,
The lands I was to travel in
Or the death I was to die!
bardachd: (Default)
2012-11-27 12:29 am

Tessa Ransford, "August 3rd"

August 3rd

The hill is tossing high, frail wisps of
rosy cloud to glide in steady gale
along a turquoise sky, around, above the
perpendicular and slightly askew columns,
above the triangular gap
between crown and crag.

The moon, full at midnight,
is now high and faded
almost a lazy eyelid:
day’s eye opening
or night’s eye closing.

Birds chase and ride the wind
reeling, wheeling,
aware that in a moment
ordinary flight of day will have to be resumed.

The hawk alone is steady,
keeps position despite the gale
to pinpoint a victim

and far below
grasses tinge in flower:
harebell, yarrow, lady’s yellow bedstraw
Among the rangy thistles and fatted doves.

-Tessa Ransford, "August 3rd"


(Arthur's seat)
bardachd: (Default)
2012-11-27 12:19 am
Entry tags:

Lament - Lt-Colonel Lord of Poltalloch DL JP

As I walked under the African moon,
I heard the piper play;
And the last place ever I heard that tune
Was a thousand miles away.

Far to the west, in a deep-cut bay
By the ceaseless sound of the sea,
We lived and laughed in a happier day,
Archie and Johnnie and me.

For they'd be piping half of the night
At every ceilidh by,
And I'd be dancing with all my might
As long as they played, would I.

Many a time we were at the Games,
And many a prize had we;
And never a one but called our names,
Archie and Johnnie and me.

But Archie's dead on the Libyan sand.
And Johnnie was left in Crete,
And I'm alone in a distant land
With the music gone from my feet.

I heard him under the African moon,
That piper I could not see;
Yet certain I am he played that tune
For Archie and Johnnie and me.

-Lt-Colonel Lord of Poltalloch DL JP
Duntroon Castle, Lochgilphead, Argyll
Died March 1976. "Lament"

(George Ian Malcolm?)
bardachd: (Default)
2012-05-31 12:52 am

Lord Randall

"Oh where ha'e ye been, Lord Randall my son?
O where ha'e ye been, my handsome young man?"
"I ha'e been to the wild wood: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"Where gat ye your dinner, Lord Randall my son?"
Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young man?"
"I dined wi' my true love; mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"What gat ye to your dinner, Lord Randall my son?
What gat ye to your dinner, my handsome young man?"
"I gat eels boiled in broo: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"What became of your bloodhounds, Lord Randall my son?
What became of your bloodhounds, my handsome young man?"
"O they swelled and they died: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down."

"O I fear ye are poisoned, Lord Randall my son!
O I fear ye are poisoned, my handsome young man?"
"O yes I am poisoned: mother make my bed soon,
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie down."
bardachd: (Default)
2011-07-24 04:29 pm
Entry tags:

Washing My Husband's Kilt Hose: A 32-Bar Reel

You wash wool with shampoo. If you learn nothing
else today, learn that, to use shampoo
and water the temperature of a baby's bath.
What I have in the sink here aren't argyles,

but proper kilt hose I knit stitch by stitch, gray
for daytime, formal whites, choosing among
dozens of possible cuffs, customized gussets
to accommodate the bulging calves

of Scottish country dancers, whose heels must never
touch the floor, perpetual Barbie-feet
moving through jigs, reels, strathspays, till sweat and effort
equal ease and grace. The ones who say

"the important thing is just to have fun" miss
the most fun and the point, which is not fun
but joy, daughter of the difficult.
It's the kind of lesson climate teaches,

climates where sheer survival is success,
complaint as bad as cowardice, the humor deadpan,
self-control a given, not a goal --
an attitude empires find useful. Thermopolae, Dunkirk;

to delay catastrophe they place the best
regiments behind, the Spartans, Scots,
murdered or interned for the duration.
The Spartans combed and died. The Scots composed

a dance for captured warriors, "The Reel
of the 51st." Bemused Nazi guards
watched them practice, muscles taut as barbed wire.
It's hell to dance. These socks are stomped to felt,

dancing defiance of Nazis long since dead. No one
would knit these hose for any amount of money
a Scot would pay. Only one currency
is deep enough. I pat them out to dry.

- by Susan Ramsey
bardachd: (Default)
2010-09-02 11:45 pm
Entry tags:

Lewis Spence: The Prows O' Reekie

O wad this braw hie-heapit toun
Sail aff like an enchanted ship,
Drift owre the wad's seas up and doun
And kiss wi' Venice lip to lip,
Or anchor into Naples Bay
A misty island far astray,
Or set her rock to Athen's wa',
Pillar to pillar, stane to stane
The cruikit spell o' her backbane,
Yon shadow-mile o' spire and vane
Wad ding them a'! Wad ding them a'!
Cadiz wad tine the admiralty
O' yonder emerod fair sea,
Gibraltar frown for frown exchange
Wi Nigel's Crags at elbuck-range,
The rose-red banks o' Lisbon make
Mair room in Tagus for her sake.

A hoose is but a puppet-box
To keep life's images frae knocks,
But mannikins scrieve oot their sauls
Upon its craw-steps and its walls:
Whaur hae they writ them mair sublime
Than on yon gable-ends o' time?





Reekie Edinburgh
hie-heapit high-built
owre over
cruikit crooked
ding beat, defeat
tine lose

elbuck elbow
scrieve write
bardachd: (Default)
2010-09-02 10:30 pm

MacLean: Rinn mi luaidh...

Rinn mi luaidh air àilleachd t' aodainn
an dè 's an diugh, cha tric ach daonnan;
's nì mi luaidh air àilleachd t' anama
's cha chan am bàs gur h-e an arraghloir.


I spoke of the beauty of your face
yesterday and today, not often but always;
and I will speak of the beauty of your spirit
and death will not say it is idle talk.


-Somhairle MacGill-Eain