Tuesday, 3 July 2018

From the Scots Skald: Tha Coo Reed

Tavish McTavish, th' laird o' th' nairth,
Staun in th' entran’tae his stoatin loaby 'n' keeked oot.
Ha staired intae kenspeckle feecies.
Feecies o' fowk ha’ad groon up wi', faot wi' 'n' git blootert wi'.
Th' feecies staird back a’im. 'Twas a' thay cuid dae.

“Wha Euan, ha cam? Wae went weel, tames wur guid.
Whit maed thaim thenk tha’ thay cuid raemaeve me as laird?”

Hae tairnd awa’ fae th’ heids oan speers 'n' stairted
Tae donder back intae th' loaby.
Th’ raivault craishd 'n' th' gaffaz essacutied fa tha desloylty.
“Laiss hawp thess’ull bae a lais’n tae thaim a'.
Ah'm th’ laird o' th' nairth, nay’n’kin tak' tha’fa mai!”

“Laird! Reedas oan th' sath’n bairda!”
A maisager bolted ap tae Tavish.
“Ay thenk thair efter oor haylen coos!”

Swiflay, Tavish saent aff hais Thayns tae support th' Waryers
awready keekin efter th' coos.
“A'll gather mair men 'n' catch ye up.”
Awa' th' fields th' Soer-Chele wur waiten whin th' Thayns arrayv'd.
Th' haird wa' sprayd-oot.
Maist wur in thray groops tae thair richt fernent
A-marshy neuk o' th' feld.
A wee groop a'coos wa' fa' tae th' laift.

“Hair tha' cam”.

Leif th' Jammy
Staun wi' a unit o' Bonnachts aitha saide a' hin
Wi' twa wee groops a' Narsmen aith' saide a' thaim.
Aff tae th' laift a wee groop o' Narsmen
Wur smoukin up oan th' wee group o' coos.

“Laive thaim fur noo, wakin git thaim efter.
Th' mayn pairt o' th' haird as marem pourtaint”.

Th' mayn boady o'Narse-Geels
Avanc'd apaun th' haird
Wa' th' Scots mairchd tae ketchup wi` thaim.
Th' Narse-Geel Bonnachts
Avanc'n tae wi`in chargin' distence
Hairld thair javlens at th' braive Scotsmen,
Killen ba yin.

Th' unet wi' Dean exes gaed plooin' intae th' Thayns.
Th' haun tae haun comba' wis bludy
Bit th' wis Scots hame groon.
Th' Bonnachts stugg'd bak wi' th' loss o' faive o' th' echt,
Th' stroanger Scots staun fairm wi'oot lauss.

Th' Narse-Geel Waryers wi' javlens chairgd
Intae th' Soer-Chele.
Mair bludshaid,
Agin th' Bonnnachts stugg'd bak,
Lusen saix main, th' Scots ba' lusen fower.

Twa' th' Scot tairn tae atteck:
Baith unets hairld thair javlens.
Th' Thayns waipd oot th' Bonnachts
Causen feteeg oan th' nairby Narse-Geels.
Th' Soer-Chele wur nae sae keyn
Bit th' Bonnachts tha' faut wa doon tae yin Jimmy.
An' chairgd in tae dicht oot th' wen man laift.

Twa unets o' Narse-geels waiped oot.

Th' Narsemen chairged intae th' Scots Waryers
Killen tae 'n' drayven thaim beck.
Maenwheel th' unet o' Narsemen
Sneekie sassenachs
Steelin' ap th' laift saide o' th' feel twar th' wee groop o' coos.

A' lest Tavish arraiv'd wi' hi' Waryers
Thay dooble-mairchd tward th' ainamy
Hailden thair groon 'n' rownden oop coos.

Enspayaird bai Euean's roosen spaich
Tavish 'n' hi' maen
Shreg'd aff thair feteeg!
An' et th' doobel kutup wi' th' Narse-Geels.
Th' Scots Waryers hed a go agin
An' agin
Tae destrawy th' wee unet o' Narsemen,
Bit fayled 'n' avenchalee
Gev oop.

Realaisen th' reed wa' faylen,
hes Narsemen smoukin up th' lef haun saide
Wunnae git awa' wi' th' coos,
Leif dasaidid ta'ettack.

Tha Narsemen oan th' richt
Chairgd th' Thayns.
Failen, 'n' wur dustrayd.

Seyen Tavish claise oop,
Leif chairged in tae kell th' Laird.
Bit naytha ded nae damedge.
N' Tavish fayell bak awa' fae th' bloaws.

Anreeg'd ba' th' batter oan thair Laird,
Th' freish Soar-Chele hairld tha' javlens a-Leif,
N' Tavish haird hez tae.
Th' Soar-Chele chairg'd
An' faytel bloaze fayell oan th' Narse-geel Warlaird.
Hae fayell dayed tae th' groon
En a pulavis awm blud.

Th' bettle woan,
Th' dregs o' th' Narsemen gied the pitch
A-runnin' awa' levin' th' coos bahin.

Euan laft alood:
“Nae mair Leif th' Jammy,
Jus' Leif th' Dayed”

Ba Tavish shuk haes haed.
“Ah shuid hae murdurred haim wi' mah ain hends,”
Hae sayed.
“Thes wayen’t ba th' lest taim wa sae they Suthen basteds,
Thay wull ba beck, merk ma woards.
Afta'oor heilen coos
A-spaylen fa' ravenge.”

Ba Euan jus' smaild.

“Layt thaim cam, Tavish, layt thaim cam.”

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