1949JJG-PJ

John J. Graham & Peter Jamieson: 1949

The New Shetlander;  No 15 March-April & No 16 May-June, 1949
Lerwick, Shetland Isles

 

FROM “THE SEAFARER”
(After the Anglo-Saxon)

 

I can sing you a sang o me vaeges:
Hou in driech oors, troo days o dadderi,
I hiv dree’d mony stangs ida hert,
Hiv raked ower da haagless seas
Whaur dule hed its hame.
Aft, stivvened wi cowld, I keepit da nightwatch
At da boos o me boat as shu huived
Ida shorebod. Me feet wis pinnished wi frost,
Wis hochbund wi shakkels o ice,
Yet hot wis da toarments happit aroond
Me sea-forfochen an blud-fastin hert.
Him dat’s eart-fast kens no a dis,
Nor hou, waesom an stirned in ice
Frae da onding o hail,
I wintered among da fremd.
Dere I heard nocht bit da brimtud,
Da ice-cowld waves, and anterin sang fae da swan.
For lichtsomeness da scriech o da solan saired me,
Da kittiwakes klaag for lauchter o men,
An uibin o sea-maws instead o da foy.
Whan da vaelensi baert on da banks, da tirrick,
Wi icy fedders, sang fornenst it;
An aft, da erne, wi brim-sabbit wings,
Lowsed a scriech laek a mellishon.
But dere, nane a me ain fok
Could lichten me wanless sowl.
Little vaars he wha lichtsom lives
Ida toun, croose an aglud wi drams,
Wi but little a traachles aroond him,
Hou aft I’ve aandu’d disjaskit on da face o da sea.
Da mirknin kam doon, it moored frae da nort,
Da eart wis happit in haar, an hail wis faain —
Cowldest o hairsts frae da lyft. Yit me hert-tochts
Are tiftin to be awa tae da haaf.
Ta baffel fornenest da stramash o da sea;
An amp at me hert aye iggs
Me speerit to waunder tae unkan laands
Ta seek oot da hame o da fremd.

FROM “THE SEAFARER”
(After the Anglo-Saxon)

Our contributor, “Stooralaand”, has sent the following part of the poem “The Seafarer”, done into Shetlandic, and starting from the place where John Graham left off in his translation in the previous issue: —–

Dir nenn sae heich-minded among men,
Nor yit hanselled wi’ a lokk i’ da waarld
Nor sae braa wi’ yung-bluid,
Nor sae steev in wark, wi’ a mester naar till ‘is hert,
Dat he haena dül in his haaf-vaige —
Da Loard’ll no’ doe muckle fur ‘im.
He tinks na a da harp nor giein rings
Nor yit a da wumman’s waarm lips and breest
Nor a da waarld’s hope,
Nor a owt forbye aless da rowin waves;
Bit aye he tinks lang wha gengs apo da haaf.
Boannie flooers ir athin da widds, fagr ir da toons,
Moors glim wi’ loveliness, da waarld tifts wi’ life;
Aa diss iggs da aaber hert
Ta geng stravaigin, fir da sheeldir ‘at tinks
Ta geng fram apo da mar-gaets.
An da cuckoo waarns wi’ fey voice;
Da spae-burd oa simmer nuns, an murrnd
Wi’ a saad breest. Da man ‘ats weel-aff
Kens na a whit dey pit up wi’
‘At gengs awa fram.
Sae me towt waanders ower whit me hert haes a keepin-apun,
Me inner maroo gengs ower da mar-flöd,
Ower da whaal’s-gaet a da muckle haaf,
Da brodd mar-burns. Dat wye ir da fellisom things a da Loard
Haetter athin me dan diss puir amiss life
Gjaa’n ower da laand. I dunna hadd wi’ it
‘At da walt a da ert’ll aye staand.
Dir tree things aye oon-siccar
Ere a sheeldir’s time comes ta geng awa.
Ill-helt, being oot-aald an depoorpirt,
or da ill-towts a da swird-edge
Takks da braeth frae da fey man —
An sae fur aa da yarls whits roessd
A dem ‘at live an spaek lang eftir diss
Is ‘at he wrocht ere he good apo ‘is wya
Da best things apo da ert fornenst ill-willied men,
Daarin ta doe fornenest swart sheeldirs,
Sae ‘at da sonns a men
Sall roess ‘im aa da days a man,
An ‘is glory live wi’ da heich angels
Fur aye an aye, hellisom hefts a life never-saesin,
Hert’s solya wi’ strang eens.
Days ir gaan bye
Is weel is da sheenin makk-a-doe a ert’s keengdoms.

STOORALAAND (Peter Jamieson)

 

[Shetland Library; Lerwick]

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