Wednesday 4 June 2014

Robert E. Howard in Scots: "Men of the Shadows" (Poem)

Ever since my first post on the subject, I've wanted to try my hand at translating some more Howard into Scots. Of course, the problem with Broad Scots is that it varies so much by region: Doric is distinct from Lallans, Ulster from Orcadian, and so forth. As such, I looked mostly to the writings of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Fergusson, John MacPherson, John Buchan and Lewis Grassic Gibbon.

I've tried a balance between including as many Scots words as possible, while also not "overdoing" it and making it a pile of gibberish.

Men o' th' Shadaes

Frae th' blee reid daw o' Creation,
Frae th' rouk o' timeless time,
Cam we, th' first gey nation,
First on th' upwart clim.

Savage, untaucht, unkennin,
Glaumin' thro' eildit nicht,
Yet mirkly keppin th' lowin',
Th' hint o' th' comin Licht.

Raikin th' lands untraivelt,
Biggin oor laundmerks o' stane.
Doutitly gresping at glore,
Gaupin ayont oor ken
Dummly th' eildins' lore
Naurin on carse an fen.

See, hou th' Tint Gleed smouders,
We are ane wi' th' eons' maun.
Nations hae trod on oor shouders,
Pauterin us intae th' coum.

We, th' first o' th' rmenyie,
Airtin th' Auld an th' New―
Leuk, whaur th' sea-clood aurie
Blandin wi' ocean-blae.

So we hae blandit wi' eildins,
An th' yird-wind oor eshes steers,
Vainisht are we frae Time's pages,
Oor Myndin? Wind in th' firs.
Stonehenge o' faur-yont glore
Mirksome an lane in th' nicht,
Curmur th' eildit lore
Hou we kinnelt th' first o' th' licht.

Speak, nicht-winds, o' man's creation,
Whisper ower craig an fen,
Th' sang o' th' first gey nation,
Th' lest o' th' Stane Eild men.

Pict (or Caledonian), who lived in northeastern Scotland in Late Iron Age / Early Mediaeval times;William Howitt, John Cassell, John Cassell's Illustrated History of England: From the earliest period to the reign of Edward the Fourth., Editor: John Frederick Smith, Publisher W. Kent and Co., 1857. Page 6