Monday 23 January 2023

Robert E. Howard in Scots: Aye Comes Antrum

A small tribute to my eternal inspiration Robert E. Howard, and to an auld freen, who shared his birthday. I am glad to have met and talked with him in person. We had great fun at the poetry slams outside Howard's house. This translation covered some of the themes we talked about the last time we met. No Empire lasts forever.

"Aye Comes Antrum"

Screivit by Rabert E. Howard

Ridin doon the road at antrum wi’ the starns or steed an shoon

I hae haurd an auld maun singin underneth a copper muin;

"God, wha gemmit wi’ cairngorm gloamins, opal portals o’ the day,

"Oan oor amaranthine muntains, why mak human sowels o’ clay?

"For I rade the muin-mare's horses in the glore o’ ma yowth,

"Wrastlit wi’ the braes at dayset— till I met bress-tinterit Trowth.

"Till I saw the temples tottle, till I saw the eedols reel,

"Till ma brain had turnit tae airn, an ma hert had turnit tae steel.

"Sautie, Sautie, brither Sautie, fill ma sowel wi’ frozen fire;

"Feed wi’ herts o’ rose-white wummen ashes o’ ma deid desire.

"For ma road rins oot in thistles an ma dreams hae turnit tae dust.

"An ma pinions fade an faltar tae the corbin weengs o’ rust.

"Trowth has smitten me wi’ airras an her haun is in ma hair—

"Yowth, she hides in thonder muntains — gang an see her, if ye daur!

"Wark yer gramarie, brither Sautie, fill ma brain wi’ fiery spells.

"Sautie, Sautie, brither Sautie, I hiv kent yer faircest Hells."

Ridin doon the road at evening whan the wind wis oan the sea,

I hae heard an auld maun singin, an he sang maist dowiely,

Streenge tae hear, whan derk loch shimmer tae the greetin o’ the loun,

Amatist Oisin singin unner antrum copper muin.