Scottish Lyrics, Book 3

by Francis George Scott (1880 - 1958)

Word count: 1209

1. Twist ye, twine ye [sung text not yet checked]

Twist ye, twine ye! even so,
Mingle shades of joy and woe,
Hope, and fear, and peace, and strife,
In the thread of human life.

While the mystic twist is spinning,
And the infant's life beginning,
Dimly seen through twilight bending,
Lo, what varied shapes attending!

Passions wild, and follies vain,
Pleasures soon exchanged for pain;
Doubt, and jealousy, and fear,
In the magic dance appear.

Now they wax, and now they dwindle,
Whirling with the whirling spindle.
Twist ye, twine ye! even so,
Mingle human bliss and woe. -

Authorship

Confirmed with Sir Walter Scott, Scott's Poetical Works,Wordsworth Edition Limited, Ware, Hertfordshire, 1995, page 475.

Songs of Meg Merrilies - Guy Mannering or The Astrologer Vol 1, Chap iii
Researcher for this text: Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

2. The auld man's mear's dead [sung text not yet checked]

The auld man's mear's dead;
⁠The puir body's mear's dead;
⁠The auld man's mear's dead,
⁠A mile aboon Dundee.

There was hay to ca', and lint to lead,
A hunder hotts o' muck to spread,
And peats and truffs and a' to lead —
⁠And yet the jaud to dee!

She had the fiercie and the fleuk,
The wheezloch and the wanton yeuk;
On ilka knee she had a breuk —
⁠What ail'd the beast to dee?

She was lang-tooth'd and blench-lippit,
Heam-hough'd and haggis-fittit,
Lang-neckit, chandler-chaftit,
⁠And yet the jaud to dee!

Authorship

Confirmed with, The Book of Scottish Song, edited by Alexander Whitelaw, Blackie and Son, Glasgow, 1843, page 128. This is the first version.


Researcher for this text: Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

3. Rorate caeli desuper (Of the Nativity of Christ) [sung text checked 1 time]

Rorate, celi, desuper!
Hevins distill your balmy schouris,
For now is rissin the brycht day ster
Fro the ros Mary, flour of flouris.
The cleir sone quhome no clud devouris,
Surminting Phebus in the est
Is cumin of His hevinly touris;
Et nobis puer natus est.

[ ... ]

Syng, hevin imperiall, most of hicht,
Regions of air mak armony;
All fische in flud and foull of flicht
Be myrthfull and mak melody.
All Gloria in excelsis cry -
Hevin, erd, se, man, bird, and best -
He that is crownit abone the sky
Pro nobis puer natus est.

Authorship

Confirmed with, William Dunbar - Poems, edited by James Kinsley. Published by Oxford University Press 1958. Page 1

English translation of the title is: "Drop down, ye heavens, from above" (King James Bible: Isaiah Chapter 45, Verse 8)

Modernized version of Stanzas 1 and 7(used by Scott):
Rorate, celi, desuper!
Heav’n distil your balmy show’rs,
For now is ris’n the bricht day ster,
Fro the Rose Mary, flow’r of flow’rs:
The clear sun, whom no cloud devours,
Surmounting Phoebus in the east,
Is coming of his heav’nly towers;
Et nobis puer natus est.

Sing, heav’n imperial, most of hicht,
Regions of air mak harmony;
All fish in flood and fowl of flight,
Be mirthful and mak melody.
All Gloria in excelsis cry,
Heav’n, Earth, Sea, Man, Bird, and Best,
He that is crown’d above the sky,
Pro nobis puer natus est.

Researcher for this text: Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

4. Wheesht, wheesht [sung text checked 1 time]

Wheesht, wheesht, my foolish hert
 [ ... ]

Authorship

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ENG English (Iain Sneddon) , "Quiet, quiet", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

Confirmed with The Complete Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, Volume 1, edited by Michael Grieve and W R Aitken, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1985, page 45.


5. The eemis stane [sung text checked 1 time]

I’ the how-dumb-died o’ the cauld hairst nicht
 [ ... ]

Authorship

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

Confirmed with The Complete Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, Volume 1, edited by Michael Grieve and W R Aitken, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1985, page 27


6. Crowdieknowe [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh to be at Crowdieknowe
 [ ... ]

Authorship

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

Confirmed with The Complete Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, Volume 1, edited by Michael Grieve and W R Aitken, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1985, page 26.


7. Moonstruck [sung text checked 1 time]

When the warl’s couped soon’ as a peerie
 [ ... ]

Authorship

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

Confirmed with The Complete Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, Volume 1, edited by Michael Grieve and W R Aitken, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1985, page 24.


8. St. Brendan's graveyard: Isle of Barra [sung text checked 1 time]

High up here they rest, their long day’s work done,
Above the stark rocks that bastion the shore.
They are drench’d by the rain, warm’d by the sun,
Awaiting the day when Time is no more.
Coarse grass their coverlet, tansy of gold,
Rude cross their headstone, with “Pray for the soul,”
“Rest here in peace,” till the Book’s leaves unfold.
They rest as they lived, where the green breakers roll,
Where waves surge and thunder, surf dashes high;
Grey mist and chill rains watch over their sleep.
High over their beds the white seabirds cry,
Winds’ sough and seas’ moan are the dreich lullaby
Of souls that still cling to the shadowy deep.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

9. Love [sung text not yet checked]

A luvin’ wumman is a licht
 [ ... ]

Authorship

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

Confirmed with, The Complete Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, Volume 1, edited by Michael Grieve and W R Aitken. Published by Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1985. Page 102


10. Cupid and Venus [sung text checked 1 time]

Fra bank to bank, fra wood to wood I rin, 
Ourhailit with my feeble fantasie; 
Like til a leaf that fallis from a tree, 
Or till a reed ourblawin with the win. 
Twa gods guides me: the ane of them is blin, 
Yea and a bairn brocht up in vanitie; 
The next a wife ingenrit of the sea, 
And lichter nor a dauphin with her fin. 

Unhappy is the man for evermair 
That tills the sand and sawis in the air; 
But twice unhappier is he, I lairn, 
That feedis in his hairt a mad desire, 
And follows on a woman thro the fire, 
Led by a blind and teachit by a bairn.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

11. Milkwort and Bog-cotton [sung text checked 1 time]

Cwa’ een like milk-wort and bog-cotton hair!
 [ ... ]

Authorship

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

Confirmed with The Complete Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, Volume 1, edited by Michael Grieve and W R Aitken, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1985, page 331


12. An Apprentice Angel [sung text checked 1 time]

As the dragonfly’s hideous larva creeps
 [ ... ]

Authorship

This text may be copyright, so we will not display it until we obtain permission to do so or discover it is public-domain.

Confirmed with The Complete Poems of Hugh MacDiarmid, Volume 1, edited by Michael Grieve and W R Aitken, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1985, Page 333.