Written Scots language
Scots languageexamples from various sources.
Text from "Legend of the Saints" 14th Century
Ȝete of sancte george is my wil,
gyf I connandes had þere-til
to translat þe haly story,
as wrytine in þe buk fand I.
for he wes richt haly mañ
& fele tynt saulis to god wane,
nocht anerly thru his techynge
bot erare thru sample geffine,
hou men to god suld stedfast be
& thole for hyme perplexite,
of lyfe na ded dout hafand nane,
bot to resyst ay to sathane
& lordis of mykil mycht.
& men callis hym oure lady knycht
& men of armys ofte se I
in til his helpe mykil affy,
& namely quhen þai are in ficht.
Text from "The Brus"
by Barbour (1375 Transcribed by Ramsay in 1489)
(a) THE POET’S PROEM.
Storyß to rede ar delitabill,
suppoß þat þai be nocht bot fabill,
þan suld storyß þat suthfast wer,
And þai war said on gud maner,
Hawe doubill plesance in heryng.
þe fyrst plesance is þe carpyng,
And þe toþir þe suthfastnes,
þat schawys þe thing rycht as it wes;
And suth thyngis þat ar likand
Tyll mannys heryng ar plesand.
þarfor I wald fayne set my will,
Giff my wyt mycht suffice þartill,
To put in wryt a suthfast story,
þat it lest ay furth in memory,
Swa þat na length of tyme it let,
na ger it haly be forȝet.
For auld storys þat men redys,
Representis to þaim þe dedys
Of stalwart folk þat lywyt ar,
Rycht as þai þan in presence war.
And, certis, þai suld weill hawe pryß
þat in þar tyme war wycht and wyß,
And led thar lyff in gret trawaill,
And oft in hard stour off bataill
Wan [richt] gret price off chewalry,
And war woydit off cowardy.
As wes king Robert off Scotland,
þat hardy wes off hart and hand;
And gud Schyr Iames off Douglas,
þat in his tyme sa worthy was,
þat off hys price & hys bounte
In fer landis renoenyt wes he.
Off þaim I thynk þis buk to ma;
Now god gyff grace þat I may swa
Tret it, and bryng it till endyng,
þat I say nocht bot suthfast thing!
Text from "THE TAILL OF THE PADDOCK AND THE MOUS"
by Robert Henrysoun (c.1420-c.1490)
The Bannatyne Manuscript (1568)
Vpone a tyme, as Ysop can report,
A littill mouß come till a rever syd;
Scho mycht nocht waid, hir schankis wer so schort;
Scho cowth nocht sowme, scho had no horß till ryd:
off verry forß behuvit hir to byd,
and to and fro vpone þat rever deip
Scho ran, cryand with mony peteuß peip.
‘Help our, help our,’ the silly mowß can cry,
‘For godis lufe, sum body our this bryme.’
With þat ane paddock, on þe wattir by,
Put vp her heid, and on þe bank cowth clyme,
quhilk be natur gowth dowk and gaylie swyme;
with voce full rawk, scho said on this maneir:
‘gud morne, deme mowß, quhat is ȝour erand heir?’
Text from "Universal Peace Not Possible"
HERE spekis the autour of the tothir questioun,
quhethir it be possible thing þat this warld
be in pes but weris and bataill. And first I say
nay; and the cauß is For be all clerkis of naturale
philosophy þat it is impossible þat the hevin be
still, bot moving, as we se þat dayly it movis fra
the orient to the occident, and fra the occidet to
the orient agayne, and sa furth. Bot the thingis þat
ar corporale in this erde steris nocht na movis nocht
with the moving of it, þat men may persaue; bot
ȝit haue thai othir naturale movementis, as clerkis
kennis. And neuirtheles all thir erdly thingis þat
nature here has maid ar gouernyt and sterit be the
hevin and the corps celestialis. For men seis evi-
dently þat the influence of the hevin gerris all
thingis in erde tak grouth and encrescement, and
gevis thame thair condiciounis and thair properteis
of nature; as wele vnderstandand men may se be
the mone. quhen it is full all thingis þat ar in
erde, þat ar gouernyt be wak or moystnes, ar mare
forssy and vigorouß na quhen it is wane, as is the
fillyng and flowing of the see, the flesch of man
& beste, and thair blude, the grouth of treis and
herbis. And specially the mannis harnis is full in
the full mone and at the full see, and wanis as the
see; and mony othir meruaillouß thingis quha coud
tak tent, as sais the wyß philosophour Arestotil...
Text from "The Spectacle of Luf"
A translation from the Latin by G. Myll, 1492.
As I was musing apone the restles besynes of this
translatory warld, quhilkis thochtis and fantesyes
trublit my spreit, and for to devoyd me of sic
ymaginationis, I tuk a lytill buk in Latyñ to paß
mye tyme; the quhilk as I had red and consederit,
me thocht the mater gud and proffitable to be had
in to our wulgar and maternall toung, for to cauß
folkis to mair eschew the delectatiouñ of the flesche,
quhilk is the modir of all vicis. Tharfor, be sufferans
of God, I purpoiß to endur me to the translatiouñ
of the samyñ, becauß of the gud and proffitable
mater it treitis of, that was, How a gud anceant
knycht, that in his youthheid had frequentit his
body in the deidis of chevalrye to the encressing of
his name to honour, nochtwithstanding his gret
besynes in the factis merciall, inlykwyß he had
occupiit him self in the study of naturall philosophy,
to the end that he suld eschew vice; the quhilk gud
ald knicht opnyt and declarit vnto a Ȝoung Squyar,
his sone, that was to gretly amoruß, the evillis and
myshappis that men cummys to throw the gret
plesans they haif in wemen, be the delectatiouñ of
the flesche, except the luf quhilk is detfully vsit in
tha haly band of matirmoney; tuiching the quhilk I
will nocht speik in my sempill translatioun: Besek-
ing all ladyes and gentillwemen quhar it is said in
ony poynt to thar displesour they put nocht the
blaim therof to me, bot to myn Auctour that was
the first compylar of this buk, the quhilk is intitillit
& callit The Spectakle of Luf; for in it apperis &
schawis sum evillis & myshappis that cummys to
men therthrow, as the filth or spottis of the face
schawis in the myrour of glas.
Text from The "Chepman & Myllar’s Prints" (1508)
XVI: THE PORTUUS OF NOBILNES
I NOBILNES, Lady of weile willing, qwene of
wisdome and princes of hie doyng: To all þam
þat has will and corage of worthines pece and greting,
to 3ow be þir presentis to make knawin þat, to remove
and draw out þe wikit rutis of wrang and ewill deidis
That welany or carlichnes has wndirtakin to ground
& stable in noble hert, euery man þat will be maid
parfyte Say and reid contynually his matynnis &
houris on þis porteus. I may complene sorowe &
bevale mony men that in all thingis has countirfeit
myne estait, and, setting werteu at nocht, has takin
my name, levyng all gud deidis according þairto, mis-
fassonit & degradit þaimself, Inclinand þair hertis to
vicious and ewill sayng and ewill doyng. Bot neuir-
þeles quha þat will haf forgifnes and remit of all his
trepassis saye dayly his matynnis and ȝouris onn þis
portuos. Quha þat is of ane noble & gud man þe aire
and successour suld nocht haue þe proffet of his
landis and gudis without þe perseute and folloving
of werteu & gud deidis. For gif he be nocht aire
and successour to his wertuis and worschipe, þe gudis
of ane nother man ar vnperfytly in him, and sa he has
forfalt and tynt all loving & honour quhen him self is
þe myrrour & example of velany. Neuirþeles, quha
þat is accusable of þar misdeidis and dampnable vycis
say daly þar houris and matinnis on þis portuos. O
noble man, for to wnderstand how nobillis ar maid
perfyte, thar is xij wertuis behuffull And þat schawis
werray nobilite: herfor he þat will be ane werray noble
stable & rute in his hert thir xij wertuis and exerce
þaim daly, sayng his matinis and howris on þis porteus
Text from "Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis" (1554)
Heir sall the Carle loup aff the scaffald.
Swyith begger bogill, haist the away,
Thow art over pert to spill our play.
I wil not gif for al ȝour play worth an sowis fart,
For thair is richt lytill play at my hungrie hart.
Quhat Devill ails this cruckit carle?
Marie Meikill sorrow :
I can not get, thocht I gasp, to beg, nor to borrow
Quhair deuill is this thou dwels or quhats thy intent?
I dwell into Lawthiane ane myle fra Tranent.
DILLI [GENCE] .
Quhair wald thou be, carle, the suth to me shaw?
Sir, evin to Sanct-Androes for to seik law.
DILI [GENCE] .
For to seik law in Edinburgh was the neirest way.
Sir I socht law thair this monie deir day;
Bot I culd get nane at sessioun nor Seinȝe :
Thairfoir the mekill dum Deuill droun all the meinȝe.
DILI [GENCE] .
Shaw me thy mater, man, with al the circumstances,
How that thou hes happinit on thir vnhappie chances.
Gude-man will ȝe gif me ȝour Charitie,
And I sall declair how the black veritie.
My father was ane auld man and ane hoir,
And was of age fourscoir of ȝeirs and moir;
And Mald, my mother was fourscoir and fyfteine :
And with my labour I did thame baith sustein.
Wee had ane Meir, that caryit salt and coill,
And everie ilk ȝeir scho brocht vs hame ane foill.
Wee had thrie ky that was baith fat and fair,
Nane tydier into the toun of Air.
My father was sa waik of blude and bane,
That he deit, quhairfoir my mother maid great Maine.
Then scho deit within ane day or two ;
And thair began my povertie and wo.
Our gude gray Meir was baittand on the field,
And our Lands Laird tuike hir for his hyreild.
The Vickar tuik the best Cow be the head,
Incontinent, quhen my father was deid.
And quhen the Vickar hard tel how that my mother
Was dead, fra-hand he tuke to him ane vther.
Then meg my wife did murne both evin & morrow
Till at the last scho deit for verrie sorow :
And quhen the Vickar hard tell my wyfe was dead,
The third cow he cleikit be the head.
Thair vmest clayis, that was of rapploch gray,
The Vickar gart his Clark bear them away.
Quhen all was gaine, I micht mak na debeat,
Bot with my bairns past for till beg my meat.
Now haue I tald ȝow the black veritie,
How I am brocht into this miserie.
DIL [IGENCE] .
How did the person, was he not thy gude freind?
PAU [PER] .
The devil stick him, he curst me for my teind,
And halds me ȝit vnder that same proces,
That gart me want the Sacrament at Pasche.
In gude faith, sir, Thocht he wald cut my throt,
I haue na geir except ane Inglis grot,
Quhilk I purpois to gif ane man of law.
Thou art the daftest fuill that ever I saw.
Trows thou, man, be the law to get remeid
Of men of kirk? Na, nocht till thou be deid.
PAUP [ER] .
Sir, be quhat law tell me, quhairfoir, or quhy
That ane Vickar sould tak fra me thrie ky?
Thay haue na law, exceptand consuetude,
Quhilk law to them is sufficient and gude.
PAUP [ER] .
Ane consuetude against the common weill
Sould be na law I think be sweit Sanct Geill.
Quhair will ȝe find that law tell gif ȝe can
To tak thrie ky fra ane pure husband man?
Ane for my father, and for my wyfe ane vther,
And the third Cow he tuke for Mald my mother.
It is thair law all that thay haue in vse,
Thocht it be Cow, Sow, Ganar, Gryce, or Guse.
Sir, I wald speir at ȝow ane questioun.
Behauld sum Prelats of this Regioun:
Manifestlie during thair lustie lyvfis,
Thay swyfe Ladies, Madinis and vther mens wyfis.
And sa thair cunts thay haue in consuetude.
Quhidder say ȝe that law is evill or gude?
Text from the "REGISTER OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL" (1567)
Volume of the Acta of June 1567-Dec.1569
(a) PROCLAMATION AGAINST THE EARL OF BOTHWELL.
THE quhilk day þe lordis of secreit counsale
and nobilitie, vnderstanding þat James erll
bothuile put violent handis in oure sourane ladiis
maist nobill persoun, vpoun þe xxiiij day of apprile
lastbipast, and þaireftir wardit hir hienes in þe
castell of Dunbar, quhilk he had in keping, and be
a lang space þaireftir convoyit hir maiestie, invironned
with men of weir and sic freindis and kynnismen of
his as wald do for him euir, in sic places quhair he
had maist dominioun and power, hir grace beand
destitute of all counsale and servandis; Into þe
quhilk tyme þe said erll seducit be vnlesum wayis
oure said soverane to ane vnhonest mariage with
him self, quhilk fra þe begynning is null and of nane
effect, for sindrie caußs knawin alsweill to vþeris
nationis and realmis as to þe inhabitantis of þis
commoun weill, and als expres contrair þe law of
god and trew religioun professit within þis realme,
quhilk þai ar in mynd to manteine to þe vttirmest
point of þair lyff. Attour, þe saidis lordis and
nobilitie ar assuredlie informit þat þe same James
erll bothuile, for to bring þe mariage betuix oure
said soverane ladie and him till effect, wes þe
principall authour, devysar, and instrument of þe
cruell and maist abhominabill murthour committit
vpoun vmquhile oure souerane lord king Henry
stewart, of gude memorie; quhilk apperis to be of
veritie, Becaus þat þe said James erll bortuile,
being mariit and coniunit with ane wyff þe tyme
of þe murthour foirsaid, hes sensyne, and specialie
quhen he had þe quenis maiesties persoun into his
handis, causit ane pretendit diuorcement to be maid
and wranguslie led, - all þe proces and sentences
þairof begun, endit, and sentence gevin þairintill
within twa dayis; quhilk confirmis þe informatioun
gevin to þe saidis lordis and nobilitie of þe said
erll bothuile. Als he, nocht being content and satis-
fiit with þe cruell murthour done vpone oure said
soverane king henrie stewart, Revesing, warding,
and seduceing of þe quenis maiestie to ane vnlauch-
full mariage, and halding hir ȝit in captiuitie, is now,
as þe saidis lordis and nobilitie ar informit, makand
sum assembleis of men, tyiscing and perswading þame
to assist to him, quhilk we luke can be for na vþer
effect bot to commit the lyke murthour vpoun þe
sone as wes vpoun þe fader. To þe quhilkis þe
saidis lordis and nobilitie myndis with all þair
forceis to resist, and als to deliuer þe quenis grace
furth of maist miserabill bondage foirsaid. Thairfoir
ordanis ane maser or officiar of armes to pas to þe
marcat croces of Edinburgh, perth, dunde, sanct-
androis, striuling, glasgow and vþeris places neid-
full, and þair be oppin proclamatioun command and
charge all and sindrie liegis of þis majesty realme, alsweill
to burgh as to land, that þai be in reddines, vpoun
thre houris warning, to pas furthwartis with þe saidis
lordis of secreit counsall and nobilitie, to deliuer
þe quenis maiestie maist nobill persoun furth of
captiuitie and presoun; And vpoun þe said erll
bothuile and all his complices þat sall assist vnto
him, to bring þame to vnderly þe lawis of þis
realme for þe cruell murthour of our said vmquhile
soverane king Henrie, Revesing and detening of þe
quenis maiestie persoun, and to obuiate and resist
to þis maist wickit interpryiß, quhilk we ar informit
he intendis to do againis þe Prince. Attour, we
command all and sindry sic as will nocht assist to
the revenge of þe premisß and to deliuer þe
quenis grace persoun furth of thraldome, to gidder
with all sic as ar assistaris, complices, or partakeris
with þe said erll bothuile, that þai within four
houris eftir þe publicatioun of þis present act, void
and red þame selffis furth of þis burgh of Edin-
burgh; with certificatioun in caiß þai failȝe, that
þai salbe repute and haldin as ennemeis, and pvneist
in body and gudis as efferis.
Text From On Praying in Latin
reformationpamphlet printed abroad and circulated in Scotland.
B. Thair be tua kynd of prayeris in the kirk, the
ane is priuat, quhilk euerie man sayis be him self, the
vthir is publik, quhilk the preistis sayis in the name of
the hail kirk. As to the priuate prayeris, na Catholik
denyis bot it is verie expedient that euerie man
pray in his auin toung, to the end he vndirstand that
quhilk he sayis, and that thairbie the interior prayer
of the hairt may be the mair valkinnit, and conseruit
the bettir; and gif, onie man pray in ane vther toung,
it is also expedient that he vnderstand the mening of
the vordis at the lest. For the quhilk caus in the
catholik kirk the parentis or godfatheris ar obleist
to learne thame quhom thay hald in baptisme the
formes of prayeris and belief, and instruct thame
sufficiently thairin, sua that thay vndirstand the
same: Albeit the principal thing quhilk God requiris
is the hairt, that suppois he quha prayis vndirstand
nocht perfytlie the vordis quhilk he spekis, yit God
quha lukis in the hairt, vill nocht lat his prayer be in
vane. As to the publik prayeris of the kirk, it is not
necessar that the pepill vndirstand thame, becaus it
is nocht the pepill quha prayis, bot the preistis in the
name of the hail kirk, and it is aneuche that thay
assist be deuotione liftand vp thair myndis to God or
saying thair auin priuate oraisonis, and that be thair
deuotione thay may be maid participant of the kirk.
As in the synagogue of the Ieuis, the peopill kneu not
quhat all thay ceremonies signifeit, quhilk vas keipit
be the preistis and vtheris in offering of thair sacri-
fices and vther vorshipping of god, and yit thay
did assist vnto thame; ye, sum of the preistis thame
selfis miskneu the significatione of thir cerimoneis
Than gif it vas aneuche to the pepill to vndirstand
that in sik ane sacrifice consisted the vorshipping of
God, suppois thay had not sua cleir ane vndirstand-
ing of euerie thing that vas done thairin, sua in the
catholik kirk, quhen the people assistis to the sacrifice
of the Mess, thay acknaulege that thairbie God is
vorshippit, and that it is institute for the remem-
brance of Christis death and passione. Albeit thay
vndirstand nocht the Latine toung, yit thay ar not
destitut of the vtilitie and fruit thairof. And it is
nocht vithout greit caus that as in the inscrptione
and titil quhilk pilat fixed vpone the croce of Christ
Iesus thir thre toungis var vritt in, Latine, Greik,
and Hebreu, sua in the sacrifice and the publik prayeris
of the kirk thay ar cheiflie retenit for the con-
seruatione of vnitie in the kirk and nationis amang
thame selfis; for, gif al thingis var turnit in the
propir langage of euerie cuntrey, na man vald studie
to the Latine toung, and thairbie al communicatione
amangis Christiane pepil vald schortlie be tane auay,
and thairbie eftir greit barbaritie inseu. Mairatour
sik publique prayeris and seruice ar keipit mair
perfytlie in thair auin integritie vithout al corrup-
tione; for gif ane natione vald eik or pair onie
thing, that vald be incontinent remarkt and reprouit
be vther nationis, quhilk culd not be, gif euerie
natione had al thai thingis turnit in the auin propir
langage; as ye may se be experience, gif ye vald
confer the prayeris of your deformit kirkis, togidder
vith the innumerabil translationis of the psalmes,
quihlk ar chaingit according to euerie langage in
the quhilk thay ar turnit. It is not than vithout
greit caus, and ane special instinctione of the halie
Ghaist, that thir toungis foirspokin hes bene,
as thay vil be retenit to the end of the varld. And
quhen the Ieuis sall imbrace the Euangel than sall
the sacrifice and other publik prayeris be in the
Hebreu toung, according to that quhilk I said befoir,
that on the Croce of Christ thai thrie toungis onlie
var vrittin, to signifie that the kirk of Christ suld
vse thay thre toungis cheiflie in his vorshipping, as
the neu and auld testament ar in thir thre toungis
in greitast authoritie amangis al pepill.
In this text the anglicised pronouns like "quhom" and "quha" were starting to appear.
Written Scots (Modern Scots)
Union of the Crownsin 1603 and more so after the Union of the Parliaments in 1707 English influence on the orthography of written Scots increased, as did the increasing use of Standard English grammar and idiom - the language in which literacy was acquired. Many writers and publishers found it advantageous to use English forms in order to secure a larger English readership unfamiliar with Scots. The pronunciation undoubtedly remained Scots as the rhymes reveal.
Text from "The Life and Death of the Piper of Kilbarchan"
or, The Epitath of Habbie Simpson
Now who shall play, the day it daws?
Or hunt up, when the Cock he craws?
Or who can for our Kirk-town-cause,
stand us in stead?
On Bagpipes ( now ) no body blaws,
sen Habbie's dead.
Or wha will cause our Shearers shear?
Wha will bend up Brags of Weir,
Bring in the Bells, or good play meir,in time of need?
Hab Simpson cou'd, what needs you speer?
but ( now ) he's dead.
So kindly to his Neighbours neast,
At Beltan and Saint Barchan's feast,
He blew, and then held up his Breast,
as he were weid;
But now we need not him arrest,
for Habbie's dead.
Text from "The Prospect of plenty by Allan Ramsay" (1721)
THALIA anes again in blythsome Lays,
In Lays immortal chant the North-Sea's Praise.
Tent how the Caledonians lang supine,
Begin, mair wise, to open baith their Een;
And as they ought, t' imploy that store which Heav'n
In sic Abundance to their Hands has given.
Sae heedless Heir born to a Lairdship wide,
That yields mair plenty than he kens to guide;
Not well acquainted with his ain good Luck,
Lets ilka sneaking Fellow take a Pluck;
Till at the _ru. R.L. Stevenson] (1850-1894)
My faither, Tam Dale, peace to his banes, was a wild, sploring lad in his young days, wi' little wisdom and less grace. He was fond of a lass and fond of a glass, and fond of a ran-dan, but I could never hear tell that he was muckle use for honest employment. Frae ae thing to anither, he listed at last for a sodger and was in the garrison of this fort, which was the first way ony of the Dales cam to set foot upon the Bass. Sorrow upon that service! The governor brewed his ain ale; it seems it was the warst conceivable. The rock was proveesioned frae the shore with vivers, The thing was ill-guided, and there were whiles when they but to fish and shoot solans for their diet. To crown a', thir was the Days of the persecution. The perishin' cauld chalmers were all occupeed wi sants and martyrs, the saut of the yearth, of which it wasnae worthy. And though Tam Dale carried a firelock there, a single sodger, and liked a lass an a glass, as I was sayin', the mind of the man was mair just than set with his position. He had glints of the glory of the kirk; there were whiles when his dander rase to see the Lord's saints misguided, and shame covered him that he should be haulding a can'le (or carrying a firelock) in so black a business. There were nights of it when he was here on sentry, the place a' wheesht, the frosts o' winter maybe riving in the wa's, and he wad hear ane o' the prisoneres strike up a psalm, and the rest join in, and the blessed sounds rising from the different chalmers-or dungeons, I would raither say-so that this auld craig in the sea was like a pairt of Heev'n. Black shame was on his saul; his sins hove up before him muckle as the Bass, and above a', that chief sin, that he should have a hand in hagging and hashing at Christ's Kirk. But the truth is that he resisted the spirit. Day cam, there were the rousing compainions, and his guid resolve depairtit.
Text from "A Window in Thrums"
THE LAST NIGHT
'Ay, I ken.'
'An' I pictur ye ilka hour o' the day. Ye never gang hame through thae terrible streets at nicht but I'm thinkin' o' ye.
'I would try no to be sae sad, mother,' said Leeby. 'We've haen a richt fine time, have we no?'
'It's been an awfu' happy time,' said Jess. 'we've haen a pleasantness in oor lives 'at comes to few. I ken naebody 'at's haen sae muckle happines one wy or another.'
'It's because ye're sae guid, mother,' said Jamie.
'Na, Jamie, 'am no guid ava. It's because my fowk's been sae guid, you an' Hendry an' Leeby an' Joey when he was livin'. I've got a lot mair than my deserts.'
'We'll juist look to meetin' next year again, mother. To think o' that keeps me up a' the winter.'
'Ay, if it's the Lord's will, Jamie, but 'am gey dune noo, an Hendry's fell worn too.'
Jamie, the boy that he was, said 'Dinna speak like that, mother,' and Jess again put her hand on his head.
' Fine I ken, Jamie,' she said "at all my days on this earth, be they short or lang, I've you for a staff to lean on.'"
Ah, many years have gone since then, but if Jamie be living now he has still those words to swallow.
By and by Leeby went ben for the Bible, and put it into Hendry's hands. He slowly turned over the leaves to his favourite chapter, the fourteenth of John's Gospel. Always, on eventful occasions, did Hendry turn to the fourteenth of John.
Other 20th Century Changes
An outcome of the Scots revival of the Twentieth century, was an increasing rejection of
apostrophes representing 'missing' English letters and an increased use of spellings, often older traditional ones, more indicative of the pronunciation. Standard English grammar and idiomatic patterns still prevailed.
Text from "The Watergaw"
Ae weet forenicht i' the yow-trummle
I saw yon antrin thing,
A watergaw wi' its chitterin' licht
Ayont the on-ding;
An' I thocht o' the last wild look ye gied
Afore ye deed!
There was nae reek i' the laverock's hoose
That nicht - an' nane i' mine;
But I hae thocht o' that foolish licht
Ever sin' syne;
An' I think that mebbe at last I ken
What your look meant then.
To Robert Fergusson
by Robert Garioch (1909-1981)
A hameil, Scottish place eneuch,
whas life was steiran, het and reuch
whilst yet the fairmer wi his pleuch
turned owre the sod
whar classie Queen Street and Drumsheugh
nou stand sae snod.
or Ramsay wi his curlin-tangs,
guid makar baith of wigs an sangs,
or, Fergusson, yoursel; sae lang's
ye werena blate,
they were your friens, whatever bangs
were sair'd by fate.
Text from "A Drive to Lanark"
The grocer pat my messages into the bogie, and held the door for me till I gat in, syne shut it for me, wiped his hauns on his apron, though I'm shair the door haunle wasna dirty, and gied me a wee bou.
'Dinna let it be lang afore we see ye again,' he said.
He gied me a wave frae the shop door, and I had haurdly gien the reyns a bit joggle to gee Nancy up, whan I saw the polis. He was staunin watchin me frae the big closs at the fute o the tannery wynd, and whan I drew forenent him he walkit forrit and held up his haund.
I kent something was wrang.
'are you in chairge o this vehicle?' he said.
'What age are ye?'
'Are ye aware,' said he, gey solemn like, 'that ye arena alloued to be in chairge o a vehicle till ye're fowerteen?
'I'm sorry son, but I'll hae to book ye.'
He brocht oot a pencil and a notebook.
There were folk gaun bye and they aa stoppit to watch.
I could hae sunk through the grun wi the disgrace.
I stertit to greit.
'What's the laddie dune?' a wumman askit.
'He's in chairge o a vehicle, an he's no auld eneuch.'
'Let the wee sowel gang. He's daein nae hairm.'
'It's against the law.'
'It's a vehicle within the meanin o the act.'
'The meanin o the act. Ye're juist a bumptious big bruit.'
'Ay, leave the laddie alane,' said anither.
The polis began to turn gey reid in the face. He cam and leaned owre me and whispert in my lug.
'Stop greitin, for God's sake an win awa hame. and let this be a lesson to ye. Dinna let me see ye near Lanark again.'
In 1983 W.L. Lorimer's translation of the New Testament was published. On the whole Lorimer adhered to the prevailing spelling conventions, although he did introduce accents to aid pronunciation for those unfamiliar with Scots.Remarkably, Lorimer adhered faithfully to Scots grammatical and idiomatic forms and avoided the anglicisms of others, setting a model seldom followed.
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 g¡en 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.
* [http://www.dsl.ac.uk/ Dictionary of the Scots Language]
* [http://www.scotsdictionaries.org.uk/ Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd]
* [http://www.scots-online.org/airticles/AwAeWey.pdf Aw Ae Wey (Written Scots in Scotland and Ulster)]
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