Document 997

Jade Lute

Author(s): David Purves

Copyright holder(s): David Purves




1. Orphan: Kennawha (1st Century BC)
2. South o the Gret Sea: do.
3. The Ither Syde: do.
4. Eternitie: do. (1st & 2nd Century AD)
5. Draftit: Su Wu (2nd Century)
6. A Lassie’s Problem: Kennawha (300-500)
7. The Littil Leddie: do. (4th Century)
8. Hame Hinnerlie: T’ao Yuan Ming (365-427)
9. Puir Burds: do.
10. The Ferr Traivlar: Ho Hsun (5th Century)
11. The New Wyfe: Ng Shao (6th Century)
12. Hamecummin: Ho Ch’e Chang (659-744)
13. Gaun ti the Pub: Wang Chi (ca. 700)
14. Hieland Gloamin: Wang Wei (701-761)
15. Kintrie Houss: Ch’u Ch’uang I (Early 8th Century)
16. A Fluit at Loyang: Li Po (701-762)
17. Desert View: Tu Fu (712-770)
18. Clear Eftir Rain: do.
19. Day Daws ower the Bens: do.
20. The Sauch: do.
21. Luiv Foraye: Rehaku (8th Century)
22. Pairtin frae a Freind: do.
23. Eftir Denner: Po Chü-i (772-846)
24 View frae the Hichts: Tu Mu (803-852)
25. Til an Auld Tuin: Lu Kuei Meng (9th Century)
26. The Chrysant Speaks: Huang Chiao (-884)
27. On the Daith o his Guidwyfe: Mei Yao Ch’en (1002-1060)
28. Ower Thrang: do.
29. The Crescent Muin: do.
30. Shilpit Wyne: Su Tung-p’o (1036-1101)
31. The South Room bi the Wattir: do.
32. The Terrace in the Snaw: do.
33. The Aff-Pit: Chou Pang-yen (1057-1121)
34. Keikin Gless: Li Ch’ing Chao (1082-1144)
35. A Wumman in Murnin: do.
36. Spring Morn: Ch’en Yu Yi (1090-1138)
37. A Dauner at Nicht: Lu Yu (1125-1209)
38. Blyth Days: do.
39. Forenicht in the Clachan: do.
40. Leavin the Monastery: do.
41. Rain on the Wattir: do.
42. The Courtesan: do.
43. The Wyld Flouer Man: do.
44. The Boats Float: Chu Hsi (1130-1200)
45. A Midnicht Dauner: Hsin Ch’i – chi (1140-1207)
46. At Hame in the Clachan: do.
47. Tint: Chu Shu Chen (ca.1200)
48. Ma Mornin: do.
49. Ching Ming Splore: Kso Jui-shiuan (13th Century)
50. Thertie-thrie The-day.: Chang Kuo (19th Century)


From the Chinese
Kennawha (1st Century BC)


Whan ma mither an faither war leevin,
Ah uised ti hurl in a cairriage wi fower braw horses.
But whan thay baith dee’d, Ah tell ye:
ma brither telt me ti dae the denner.
Ma guidsister says: “See you til the horses!”
Ah wes never duin climmin up intil the haw,
syne rinnin doun again ti the parlor,
never aff the gae an hattert fair ti daith.
Ah wes aye greitin an ma tears fell lyke the rain.
In the mornins thay sent me ti draw wattir,
an Ah didna win back or the gloamin.
Ma haunds war aw sair, an shuin Ah haed nane.
Ah gaed aboot barefuit, strampin on thrissils.
In wunter, nae tapcoat ti keep oot the cauld,
an in Simmer, Ah haed nae thin claes for the heat.
The’r nae pleisir in leevin an Ah’d suiner be deid.
Ah wad fain skreive a letter an send it
til ma mither an faither doun unner the mouls,
an tell thaim nae mair can Ah thole it
up here, wi ma brither an sister,
bydin in whit wes aye ma hame
an traetit lyke an outlin sorner.


From the Chinese
Kennawha (1st Century BC)


Ma luiv is nou leevin
ti the south o the Gret Sea.
Whit sal Ah send him for a praisent?
Twa paerls an a kaim o tortoise-shell.
* * * *
Ah hear word he is no true:
Thay tell me he clasht ma box ti the grund,
clasht it ti the grund an brunt it,
syne sperfilt its auss ti the wund.
It’s aw yin wi ma brukken hert.
Frae this day til the ends o tyme
Ah maun never think o him---
never think on him again.
Ah hear the cocks ir crawin,
an the dugs ir aw berkin---
Ma brither an his guidwyfe
wul suin ken aw aboot it.
The Back End wund is blawin,
the snell mornin wund is souchin.
In a meinit the sun wul ryse in the East
an syne it wul ken anaw.


From the Chinese
Kennawha (1st Century BC)


Ah im a prisoner in the haunds o the fae,
tholin the shame o ma thirldom.
Ma banes stick oot an ma strenth
is near gaen for want o guid meat.
But ma brither is a Mandarin
that wants aye for naething.
His horses wire in til the best o corn.
He micht hae spared a pikkil siller
ti send here for ti ransom me!
In his steid, Ah wad hae duin
as mukkil for him, sae A wad!


From the Chinese
Kennawha (First to Second Century AD)


Ah caw ma chairiot up til the Aistern Yett;
ferr awa Ah see the graff-yaird North o the Waw.
The whyte esps thare; hou they reishil, reishil!
Pines an cypressess in raws deskrive braid pads.
Ablo liggs men that dee’d langsyne:
Blek, blek’s the lang nicht that hauds thaim.
Deep doun anaith the Yallae Springs,
thousans o year thay ligg athout awaukenin.
Ayebydinlie the licht an mirk abuin tak turn;
awa sants the bounless years lik mornin dew.
The days o Man is lyke a short byde-ower:
they want the siccarness o stane an airn.
An aye the murners in thair turn ir murned.
Sanct an shenachie --- aw is trapp’t the same.
Ettlin frae meat ti win ayelestin lyfe,
monie hae been begowk’t bi unco drogs.
Better bi ferr ti waucht guid wyne
an cleid oorsells in gouns o silk an saitin.
The deid is gaen – wi thaim we canna speak.
The leevin is here an thay soud hae oor luiv.
Quuttin the Ceitie Yett Ah luik aheid
an see afore me nocht but knowes an tombs.
The auld lairs is ploued up intil riggs;
the pines an cypresses cawed doun for timmer.
In the whyte esps the dowf wunds souch;
thair endless whusperin deids ma hert wi dule.
Ah want ti gang hame, ti ryde ti ma toun yett.
Ah wad fain gang hame, but the’r nae road back.


From the Chinese
of Su Wu (2nd Century)


Thay mairrit us whan thay pit
up oor hair. We war juist twantie
an fifteeen. An ever sensyne
oor luiv haes never been taigilt.
The-nicht we hae the auld jey
in ither, altho oor bliss,
Ah dout, wul nou suin be ower.
Ah think wi dreid on the lang mairch
that streiks afore me, an oot
Ah gae an goave at the ootlin sterns,
ti see hou the nicht is weirin on.
Ah see that Betelgeuse an Antares
haes baith dwyned oot. It’s tyme
for me nou ti gae for ferrawa
battilgrunds. Nae wey o kennin
if we ir ever lyke ti see
ilk ither again. We claucht
ither wi oor twa begrutten faces.
Sae fare ye weill ma darlin!
Hain aye the Spring Flouers o
yeir bewtie that blooms but aince!
Think on the days you an me
war sae blyth thegither!
Gin Ah leeve, Ah wul cum back.
Gin Ah dee, mynd on me foraye!


From the Chinese
Kennawha (300-500)


In the Spring we gether the mulberry leafs.
At the Simmer’s end we rowe doun the cocoons.
Gin a yung quyne dargs aw day an aw nicht,
hou can she finnd tyme for ti git mairrit?


From the Chinese
Kennawha (ca. 4th Century)


Hir door opent on the whyte wattir
nearhaund the shakkin timmer brig.
That’s whaur the littil leddie bade---
aw hir lane athouten a man.


From the Chinese
of T‘ao Yuan Ming (365-427)


Frae a loun Ah never mukkil lykit the toun.
Ah never forgot the bens whaur A wes born.
The warld claucht me an yokit me
an fairlie harlt me throu the stour
for thertie year awa frae hame.
The swallaes returns til the same tree.
Fish soums back til the puils thay war spawned.
Ah hae been aw ower the haill kintrie
an hae cum back again til ma ain gairden.
Ma ferm is anerlie ten acre lyke.
The ferm houss haes echt or nyne chaumers.
Birks an sauchs beild the back gairden.
Peach trees staun bi the houss door.
The clachan is richt oot o sicht.
Ye can hear the dugs berk in the loans
an cocks craw in the mulberry trees.
Whan ye cum throu the yett inti the court,
ye wul finnd here nae stour or midden.
Saucht an quaeit sains ilka chaumer.
Ah im content ti byde here the lave o ma days,
for at lest Ah hae fund masell.


From the Chinese
of T’ao Yuan Ming (365-427 )


The trees in ma aistlin gairden
birze oot thair new twigs.
They ettil ti kittil new joy.
An men say the sun an muin aye keeps movin
kis thay canna finnd a saft saet,
but the burds flichter ti rest in ma tree,
an Ah hear thaim sayin, thinks Ah:
“It’s no that the’r nae ither men,
but we lyke this cheil the best,
but houever we lang ti speak o’t,
he can never ken o oor dule.”


From the Chinese
of Ho Hsun (5th Century)


The traivlar wi his lourd hert
Gaes aff himlane for a thousan myle.
On the mirk wattir i the teimin rain;
whyte horses skiffin afore the wund.


From the Chinese
of Ng Shao (6th century)


Day eftir day ma silken gouns growes lowss.
The peach an ploum blossoms wede awa.
Ah dream o ma yung guidman at never cums hame.
Whan he dis…… Ai, Ah dout he winna ken me!


From the Chinese
of Ho Ch’e Ch’ang (659-744)


Ah wes a bit loun whan Ah left hame.
Ah cam back a cruppen bodach.
Ah think Ah mynd the kintrie speak,
but ma heid’s inti snaw sen Ah spak it.
The bairns gether an goave at me,
but naebodie richt unnerstauns me.
Thay luik at me an lauch, an yin
wi a richt snotterie-lik neb spiers:
“Whaur div EE cum frae, ma Lord?”


From the Chinese
of Wang Chi (ca. 700)


Thir days, foraye fouzilt wi the drink,
Ah never slokken the drouth o the saul.
But whan Ah see ither men aye rairin fou,
it’s ill for ti byde sober masell!


From the Chinese
of Wang Wei (701-761)


Mang the lanesum bens eftir the new rain,
the forenicht is fresh afore the Back End.
The bricht muin leims atwein the pines.
The kirstal wattir skelters ower the stanes.
Quynes hoyin hame frae the wash in the linn
reishil back slae throu the bamboo shaws.
Lotus leafs dance ahint the fisherman’s boat.
The parfumed whuffs o the Simmer haes gaen,
tho thair maimorie hauds for monie a day.


From the Chinese
of Ch’u Ch’uang I (Early 8th Century)


Ah plantit a hunder mulberry trees
An fullie thertie acre o guid rice.
An nou Ah hae rowth o silk an grain
an can afford ti walcum ma freins.
In the Spring, Ah plant the rice.
In the Faw, Ah gether chrysants
an parfume the wyne wi thair petals.
Ma guidwyfe lykes ti be hostess
an ma bairns is aye keen ti serr.
The late eftirnuin we aw hae a splore
at the fuit o oor kitchen gairden.
In the beild o the birkenshaw
ma freins beb awa or thay ir fou.
A caller saur cuils the heat o the day.

An whan thay hae aw stoitert hame,
Ah dauner oot ablo the nicht lift
an goave at the thousans o outlin sterns
that winks doun at me frae the heivins.
Ah aye hae a hantil jougs o wine left
i the grundhouss, an wha wul hinner me
frae hanselin mair the-morn?


From the Chinese
of Li Po (701-762)


Frae whas houss airts the soun
o this clear fluit A hear?
Its wheipil thirls throu the mirk
atwein the Spring wunds
that fills Lo Ceitie.

On hearin this ae forenicht,
the lilt o, “Brekkin the Widdies”,
wha wul no bring ti mynd
lown gairdens langsyne?


From the Chinese
of Tu Fu (712-770)


A clear Back End. Ah goave intil
endless skowth. The easin kelters
in bands o skaum. Ferr awa
the river rins on lyke intil the lift.
The lane ceitie is bleirit wi reik.
The wund blaws the lest leafs awa.
The hills growe dim as the sun gaes doun.
A singil cran flies late ti reist.
The gloamin trees ir thrang wi craws.


From the Chinese
of Tu Fu (712-770)


The Faw, an cloud on the easin.
The Wast wund blaws frae ten thousan myle.
At dawin, i the clear mornin air,
the fermers ir eydent eftir the lang rain.
The desert trees skail thair lest green leafs.
The peirs on the bens ir wee but maumie.
A Tertar fluit wheipils bi the toun yett.
A singil wyld guiss sklims intil the tuim lift.


From the Chinese
of Tu Fu (712-770)


The ceitie is lown,
soun synds awa, biggins
sant in the dawin’s licht,
cauld sunlicht glents
on the heichmaist peak,
the lourd stour o nicht
haps aye on the brae face.
The yird reveals itsell,
the river boats swither,
the quaet lift abuin---
the reishil o fawin leafs.
A mukkil dae trips delicat
richt up til the gairden yett,
sindert frae the herd,
fair lost an feartlyke—
seekin aye its freins.


Frae the Chinese
of Tu Fu (712-770)


The sauch in ma neibor’s gairden
reishils its delicat brainches.
Doucelyke an fou o grace,
it brings me in mynd, lyke,
o a bonnie quyne o fifteen.
The-day Ah’m fair dowie,
kis this mornin the coorse wund
dung doun its langest brainch.


From the Chinese
of Rihaku (8th Century)


Whan ma hair wes yit cut strecht on ma brou,
Ah played aboot the front yett, pouin the flouers.
Ye lampit by on bamboo stilts, be-in a horse, lyke.
Ye daunert aroun ma saet, playin wi blue ploums
an we gaed on leevin in the clachan:
twa smaw bodies, wi nae ill in thaim.

At fowerteen Ah mairrit Ma Lord Fou.
Ah never laucht, no be-in forritsum, lyke.
Bouin ma heid, Ah goaved at the waw.
Cryit a thousan tymes, Ah never gledged back.

At fifteen A stappit glowerin.
Ah wantit ma stour ti be melled
wi yours forever, an aye an foraye.
Whit for soud Ah be sklimmin the look-oot?

At saxteen ye gaed awa.
Hyne awa ye gaed ti Ku-to-yen,
bi the river o swurlin swaws,
an ye hae been gaen fullie five munth.
The monkeys girn dulesum abuin.

Ye trauchilt yeir feet whan ye gaed oot.
Bi the yett nou, ither mosses haes growne,
ower deep for ti clear thaim awa!
In the wund this Back End, the leafs ir suin doun,
an butterflie pairs turnt yallae wi August
birl ower the gress in the Wastlin gairden.
Aye Ah growe aulder an it hurts me ti see thaim.
Gin ye cum throu the cleuch o the River Kiang,
please tell me afore an Ah’l hoy on oot
for ti meet ye, the lenth o Cho-fu-Sa?


From the Chinese
of Rihaku (8th Century)


Blue bens up ti the North o the waws,
whyte wattir rinkin aboot thaim;
here we maun pairt frae ither ti gae
throu a thousan myle o deid gress.

Mynd lyke a floatin braid cloud,
the sunset lyke the pairtin o auld feres
that bou ower clespit haunds frae aferr.
Oor cannie horses nicher til ither,
in taiken, lyke, as we sinder.


From the Chinese
of Po Chü-i (772-846)


Eftir denner – ae short nap:
on waukenin up – twa cups o tea.
On liftin ma heid, Ah see the sun’s licht
airtin aince mair ti the south-wast.
Thaim that is blyth is vext
at the shortness o the day;
thaim that is dowie whyles staw
at the lang wearie oors.
Whas herts ken naither joy or dule,
juist cairrie on leevin for aw.


From the Chinese
of Tu Mu (803-852)


Ah sklim the cauld ben bi
a stey gait up throu the craigs
til ma wee bit biggin here abuin,
in the steid whaur the clouds ir born.
Ah stap ma cairt an luik oot
ower the forest o maples
in the crammasie sunset---
the freistit leafs mair kenspekkil
nor onie o yeir flouers o Spring.


From the Chinese
of Lu Kuei Meng (9th Century)


Men howp ti leeve a hunder year.
Flouers lest but the ae Spring,
but ae day o blatterin wund,
thay ir sperfilt on the grund.
Gin thay kent whit wes befawin thaim,
thay wad be as dowie as men.


From the Chinese
of Huang Chiao (-884)


Ither flouers ir in bluim, but no me.
Aince Ah cum oot, see thair petals chitter!
Ah hae gowden airmor, an cled in it,
Ah’m graithed ti fecht even Boreas blaws.


From the Chinese
of Mei Yao Ch’en (1002-1060)


Sen we war first mairrit,
seivinteen year haes gaen in.
Ah luikit up bedein, an she wes awa.
She said she wad never leave me.
Ma haffets haes gaen whyte.
Whit hae Ah ti growe auld for nou?
In daith we wul be thegither
in the lair, but nou Ah’m aye leevin,
an ma tears rins doun even on
ma begrutten face athouten end.


From the Chinese
of Mei Yao Ch’en (1002-1060)


Ye maunna fash, man
kis Ah’m sweir ti gae oot
wi ye. Ye ken me ower weill
for that. On ma lap Ah haud
ma wee quyne. At ma knees,
stauns ma braw wee son.
The tane haes juist stertit ti speak.
The tither yammers on even on.
Thay hing aye on til ma claes
an follae ilka step Ah tak.
Ah juist canna manage ower
the houss door, an Ah dout
Ah’l never win til yeir houss.


From the Chinese
of Mei Yao Ch’en (1002-1060)


The crescent muin leims
ower the neuk o ma houss.
Ma neibor’s dugs yowl.
Ah dout thon faimlie is in truibil
throu the middil o the nicht.
Bogils flies aboot an unco things steir.
A souch whuspers ower the hie gress,
altho nae wund blaws.


From the Chinese
of Su Tung p’o (1036-1101)


The waeker the wyne the easier
it is ti waucht twae glesses.
But the waekest wyne is aye
better nor lew-warm wattir.
Auld duds is better nor nae claes ava.
An ugsum wyfe an a fashiuss byde-in
is aye better nor a tuim houss.

But whan ye ir fou it maks nae odds—
whitever Ah weir Ah never feel the cauld;
gruesum wyfes an randie byde-ins---
the aulder lyke thay growe
the mair thay’r the same!


From the Chinese
of Su Tung p’o (1036-1101)


The chaumer is redd up, the incense burnt,
Ah steik the shutters afore Ah shut ma een.
The paiterns o the quilt ir lyke the swaws on the river.
The gauze curtain hings doun lyke a haar.
Syne a dream cums ti me, an whan Ah wauken,
for a wee, Ah kenna whaur Ah im ava.
Ah open the wast winnok an goave at the swaws
kelterin on oot ma sicht til the ferr easin,
awa at the ferr end o ma warld.


From the Chinese
of Su Tung-p’o (1036-1101)


In the gowden gloamin, the rain
wes lyke sae monie silken threids.
Throu the nicht it cleared awa.
Syne it grew caulder lyke.
Ma bed cuivers felt damp
an cauld. Athout ma kennin,
the snaw haed driftit intil
ma chaumer, lyke haeps o saut.
At the fift watch, at the first glisk
o dawin, Ah steik the curtains
o the study. Throu the lave
o the nicht, Ah ligg an listen
til the ice, bauchlin the culort
tyles on the ruif. In the mornin,
Ah soup the snaw frae the norlin terrace
an keik oot at the Saidil Law.
The ben is clear o clouds an Ah
can see baith peaks. Abuin
the clachan i the aerlie sunlicht,
a hantil craws begins ti sweil.
The glaur o the streets is happit wi whyte.
Nae cairt wheels haes fylt it yit.
The ice haes turnt the shop ruifs
inti whyte jade an the snaw in the entries
is fair inti gless. The lest o the chirkers
haes gaen ti grund langsyne.
Nou thay wul hae ti howk deep doun.
Sum clouds forgether, the culor o dry moss.
But here, ma kist is batherin me again!
Ah im nithert an cruppen thegither wi cauld.
Ah feel Ah hae tint the wull ti wryte
awthegither. The icicles on the easins
dirl i the wund like the swords
o bangster murderers.


From the Chinese
of Chou Pang-yen (1057-1121)


She peels fresh oranges for hir jo,
waidgin a blade that haes a watterie leim.
Raisin hir een til his, she offers him
a reed-pype an pits yin til hir ain lips.
Thegither thay wheipil, the notes dwynin intil
the scentit haze whufft bi the incense burner.
She draps hir een an whuspers:
“Hae ye no thocht whaur ye micht finnd
sum cosie place for ti byde the nicht?
Frae the ceitie waws ye maun hae heard
the signal for the third nicht watch?
The freist wul be dour an slippy ootby,
the streets desertit. Wad it no be wyce
for ti byde …………or the morn’s mornin?”


From the Chinese
of Li Ch’ing Chao (1082-1144)


Year eftir year Ah hae watched
ma keikin gless. But nou ma rouge
an creams skunner me. Ae mair
year at he haesna cum back!
Ma flesh trummils whan a letter
cums frae South o the River.
Ah canna drink wyne sen he gaed,
but the Faw haes drakkit ma tears.
Ah hae tint ma mynd, ferr awa
in the jungle rouks o the South,
an the yetts o Heivin ir nearer nou
a whein, nor the bodie o ma man.


From the Chinese
of Li Ch’ing-chao (1082-1144?)


Seekin, fouterin, wi ma frozen hert,
a fauss close spell turns ti cauld again,
wi caups o wyne at dawin, the’r nae
end til the wund, whyle the wyld geese abuin,
Ah uised ti send in days bygaen ti cairrie
messages o luiv til ma guidman,
hae tint thair meanin awthegither nou,

In the gairdens, wuthert chrysants
haes cuist a fauch lyke shroud.
Wha wul ever pick onie flouer for me?
Ah hing ootowre the bare winnok,
waitin on the dreidit nicht ti faw.
On the pagoda the smirr o rain gethers
inti draps that dreip doun in the gloamin.
Gin this is murnin, ower mukkil’s here
for me ti thole—or comprehend!


From the Chinese
of Ch’en Yu Yi (1090-1138)


Ai Mercie, here the dawin!
The blyth burds lilts in the yaird,
An Spring owerhails the wuids
wi bricht flouers. Aw at aince
a lousum poem kyths afore me.
But whan Ah try ti claucht it
in the wab o ma ain leid,
lyke a flichtermouss i the derk,
it jouks awa intil Eternitie,
sae that Ah canna finnd it
oniewhaur, oniewey at aw.


From the Chinese
of Lu Yu (1125-1209)


The muin is that hie, it is
amaist inti the Plou.
Ah walk oot the ceitie
alang the gait ti the Wast.
The damp wund bumfils ma coat.
The dewie gress drouks ma sandals.
Fishermen ir singin awa,
blyth lyke, on the ferr wattir.
Tods lowp on the connacht lairs.
A snell wund gethers an fills
me wi dowiness. Ah try for
ti think on the richt wurds
ti claucht this unco lanesumness.
Ah stodge hame late. The nicht
is nou hauf duin. Ah staun for
a lang whyle bi the houss door.
Ma wee son is aye up, readin.
Aw at aince, he bursts oot lauchin,
an aw the birn o dule o the
gloamin o ma lyfe haes flaen awa,
lyke winnelstrae afore the wund.


From the Chinese
of Lu Yu (1125-1209)


Aince we haed a chapper
hingin on the front yett.
Nou we haurlie open it,
but Ah dinna want fowk
skliffin up the green fug.
The sun growes warm lyke.
Spring haes fair cum at lest.
Whyles ye can juist hear,
cairrit on the lown saur,
the dirdum o the street.
Ma guidwyfe reads the clessics.
She speirs at me the meanin
o the auld characters.
Ma son fleitches for a sowp o wyne.
He gollops doun the haill cappie
afore Ah can richt stap him.
Ir the oniething ava better,
nor a wawed gairden,
wi yallae an purpie ploums
plantit tyme aboot?


From the Chinese
of Lu Yu (1125-1209)


Here i the Heich Clachan
the forenicht faws lichtsum.
Hauf fou, AH slounge bi the
houss door. The muin leims in the
gloamin lift. The breeze is that
douce the wattir is haurlie
lippert. Ah hae wun free frae
lees an mishanter. Ah im nou
nae langir o onie importance.
Ah never want ma brankin naigs
an rummlin chairiots. Here at hame
Ah hae rowth o pigs an hens.


From the Chinese
of Lu Yu (1125-1209)


In ma sleepin bed, Ah dream.
It seems Ah im a butterflie.
A crawin cock waukens me
lyke a skelp. The sun cums up
the lest tyme atwein the mukkil bens,
an mist haps the distant craigs.
Ma lang retreat is ower
an ma worries growe again.
Lauchin monks ir getherin
brainches o braw peach blossoms
for a fareweill myndin for me.
But ma stirrup cup wul cheer me
on ma lang traivil back
til the dule of the warld:
intil a warld o truibils.


From the Chinese
of Lu Yu (1125-1209)


In the blinnd haar we drift here
an thare owre the derk swaws.
At lest oor wee boat finnds
a beild anaith a sauchie bank.
At midnicht Ah im waukrif,
fair fou wi the wyne. The reikie
lentern is foraye smouderin.
The smaw rain is souchin aye
i the bamboo theik o the boat caibin.


From the Chinese
of Lu Yu (1125-1209)


Pink an whyte haunds lik roses an rice cake!
Caups fou wi gowden puils o wyne!
The-day the sauchs ir in blossom
bi the Pailace waw. The Spring wund
brings me nae pleisir, an Ah hate
it nou. Ma intimmers is fair
cruppen wi bitterness. Ah canna
lowse the ticht cord o the years
that haes bund us baith thegither.
The Spring is aye the Spring
o ither days, but nou Ah im tuim
an wuzzent wi pyne an dule.
Ma rouge is aw fair begrutten
an ma goun is smirdit wi ma tears.
The peach trees ir in flouer again
abuin ma chaumer here, bi the lown
lochan at mirrors the mukkil bens.
Ah dout Ah nae langir hae the smeddum
for ti feinish this bit skreid
an rowe it in the gowden claith.
Whan it is in yeir haund, awthing
wul be aw by an duin, foraye.


From the Chinese
of Lu Yu (1125-1209)


Div ee ken thon auld caird that
sells the flouers bi the South Yett?
He fair leeves on flouers lik a bee.
In the forenuin he sells mallaes;
In the forenicht, he haes poppies.
His shantie ruif lets in the blue lift.
His rice girnal is aye tuim.
Whan he haes ingethert aneuch siller
frae flouers, he heids for a tea-houss.
Whan his siller is gaen, he
gethers mair flouers. Aw throu
the Spring wather, whyle the
flouers ir in bloom, he is lyke
in bloom, tae. Ilka day he
is fou the haill tyme. Whit dis
he care gin new laws ir posted
at the Emperor’s pailace?
Whit dis it maitter ti him
gin the government is biggit
on sand? An ye mak ti speak
til him, he winna aunsir; but
onlie gie ye a drukken smirtil
frae ablo his tousilt heid.


From the Chinese
of Chu Hsi (1130-1200)


Yestrein alang the river banks,
the fluids o Spring haes risen.
Gret warships an mukkil bairges
float alang as licht as feathers.
Afore, naething coud shift thaim frae the glaur.
The-day thay snuve easylyke in the fest current


From the Chinese
of Hsin Ch’i-chi (1140-1207)


Midnicht---a leim frae the muin
glifs the pyot frae the spaik,
a caller souch steirs the chirkers
inti sang an whuffs o douce parfume
skails frae the breirdin paddy hauchs.
The craiks frae merdils o countless
threipin puddoks deives the nicht air.

Juist the seivin or echt sterns
skinkils in the lift abuin;
twae-thrie raindraps, nae mair,
splatters on the brae face,
afore a suiden blatter---
a simmer dounpour sterts,
garrin me breinge for beild:
an auld weill-kent den o mynes!

Ah rin for the burn, win ower the brig,
an aw at aince, asyde the wuiden chaipel,
Ah see the yill-houss wi its theikit ruif.
Ma een ir filled wi maimories lik wyne.


From the Chinese
of Hsin Ch’i-chi (1140-1207)


Laich, laich ower nairrae easins
hings the lousumness o thatch
an shallae streams ir daibelt
emerant wi gress. An syne……
a dwaumie burr Ah hear:
twa tungs frae the South!
Wha dae thay belang til?
Aha, thon auld couple
yammerin awa in the shade.
Hou divertin this is!
On the ferr bank the burn,
ma auldest son lamps
aw ower the pea-riggs,
howein awa at the weeds.
His brither plaits anither hen coup,
an ma yungest lyke laddie,
aye sae guid at finndin nocht
ti dae, liggs speldert bi the wal,
splittin the lotus pods
aye in his ain tyme.


From the Chinese
of Chu Shu Chen (ca.1200)


Lest year at the Lentern Festival
the flouer buiths war bricht as day
whan the muin rase ower the sauchs.
Ah daunert in the muinlicht wi ma jo.
Anither year – the same festival –
the muin an the lenterns haena chynged,
but ma man is tint, Ah canna finnd him,
an Ah dicht awa ma tears wi ma sleeve.


From the Chinese
of Chu Shu Chen (ca. 1200)


Ah ryse up. Ah im that seik
o rougin ma chowks. Ma gizz
in the gless fair gies me the bowk.
Ma shilpit shouthers ir boued doun
wi howplessness. Tears o lanesumness
wals in ma een. Wearilie lyke,
aince mair, Ah hirpil til ma dresser.
Ah airch an pent ma eebrous
an steam ma heavy plets.
Ma maid is that donnert, she offers
me ploum blossoms* for ma heid.

*A preparation for sexual adventure


From the Chinese
of Kso Jui-shiuan (13th Century)


The knowes til the North an South ir fou o lairs
an at Ching Ming, the leevin ir thrang anaw,
haiglin thair praisents til thair forbeir’s lairs.
lik butterflies the joss-paper auss flies by,
an reid azaleas dreip as bairnies greit.
But eftir sundoun, the lairs ir lowries’ dens
aince mair.
The bairns, gaun hame,
lauch i the lentern licht. Man, wul Ah no git fou
the-nicht, an aw the nichts as lang’s Ah leeve,
for nou it’s shuirlie clear aneuch ti me
the neist drap guid strang whusky
thay pour in the eftir warld
wul be the first!


From the Chinese
of Ch’ang Kuo Fan (19th Century)


Mair as thertie year haes stoured
by me lik a rinawa chairiot.
In siclyke wey Ah hae spent
ma lyfe breingin here an thare
frae ae end the kinrik til tither.
Nou Ah grein for the steid
Ah wes born, ten thousan bens awa.
Lik the runkilt yallae leafs
at the Simmer’s end, a whein
whyte hairs haes kythed
areddies on ma heid. An aw
ma traivel haes duin nae mair
nor sklif the driftin sand.
Ah gethert leir lik a snaw baw.
Ah sklum gret craigs. A passed exems
an blethert lairnit lecters
at fowk daft aneuch ti heed me.
But whit did Ah gain at aw?
Better haed Ah bidden at hame
for ti growe the prize melons.



This glossary is intended to be no more than an aid to readers unfamiliar with the Scots language. The Scots spellingas used are in accordance with the guidelines published by the Scots Language Society in 1985 for Scots orthography. In general, these spellings avoid many of the anomalies associated with English orthography and give useful guidance to the pronunciation of Scots words. The equivalent meaning given in English, represents the appropriate meaning in the text. Many of the Scots words covered have several other meanings, or synonyms, and these may be found in the Concise Scots Dictionary (Aberdeen University Press, 1985) or in the Scottish National Dictionary.

ablo, prep, away
aboot, adv, about
abuin, prep, above
ae, a, one
aerlie, adv, early
aferr, adv, afar
afore, adv, before
Ah, pron, I
aheid, adv, ahead
ahint, prep, behind
Ai, interj, Oh
ain, a, own
aince, adv, once
airmor, n, armor
airn, n, iron
airt, n, art, direction
aistern a, east
aistlin, a, easterly
alang, prep, along
altho, c, although
amaist, adv, almost
amang, prep, among
an, c, and
anaith, prep, beneath
anaw, adv, also
ane, a, one
anelie, a, only
aneuch, a, enough
anither, a, another
areddies, adv, already
athout(en), prep, without
atwein, prep, between
auld, a, old
aunsir, n, answer
ava, adv, at all
aw, a, all
awa, a, away
awauken, v, awaken
awthegither, adv, altogether
awthing, n, everything
aye, adv, always
ayebydinlie, adv, eternally
ayelestin, a, everlasting

bade, v, dwelled
banes, n, bones
bangstar, n, bully
bairn, n, child
barefuit, a, barefoot
bauchil, v, distort
beb, v, drink
becum, v, become
bedein, adv, suddenly
befaw, v, befall
beglaumert, a, enchanted
begowk, v, deceive
begrutten, a, tear-stained
behauden, a, beholden
beild, n, v, shelter
beir, v, bear
beirial, n, burial
beiss, n, animals
belanged, v, belonged
ben, prep, in
bens, n, mountains
bern, n, barn
bewtie, n, beauty
bi, prep, by
biggin, n, building
birl, v, rotate
biggit, v, built
birk, n, birch
birkenshaw, n, group of birches
birn, n, burden
birze, v, press
blatter, v, rattle
blaw, v, blow
blek, a, black
blether, v, chatter
bluim, v, bloom
blyth, a, happy
bodach, n, old man
bogil, n, scarecrow
bonnie, a, beautiful
bou, v, n, bow
bowk, v, retch
braes, n, slopes
braid, a, broad
brainches, n, branches
braw, a, fine
breinge, v, charge
breird, v, sprout
brek, v, break
bricht, a, bright
brig, n, bridge
brither, n, brother
brocht, v, brought
brou, n, brow
brukken, v, broken
brunt, v, burnt
buith, n, booth
bumfil, v, pucker
bund, v, bound
byde, v, stay
byde-ower, n, sojourn
bygaen, n, bygone

caibin, n, cabin
caird, n, old man
cairriage, n, carriage
cairt, n, cart
caller, a, fresh
cam, v, came
canna, v, cannot
cauld, a, cold
caw, v, call, drive
ceitie, n, city
chairiot, n, chariot
chapper, n, knocker
chaumer, n, chamber
cheil, n, fellow
chirker, n, cricket
chitter, v, shiver
chowks, n,
clachan, n, village
claes, n, clothes
claith, n, cloth
clash, v, throw
claucht, v, clutch
cleid, v, clad
cled, v, clad
cleuch, n, glen
connach, v, spoil
coorse, a, wild
craig, n, crag
craik, v, croak
crammasie, a, crimson
cran, n, crane
craw, n, crow
croun, n, crown
cruppen, a, shrivelled
cuil, v, cool
cuist, v, cast
cuiver, v, cover
cum, v, come

dae, v, do
daibil, v, dabble
daith, n, death
darg, v, toil
dauner, v, wander
daunert, v, wandered
dawin, n, dawn
dee, v, die
deid, a, dead
deive, v, deafen
denner, n, dinner
deskrive, v, describe
dicht, v, wipe
didna, v, did not
dirdum, n, noise
dirl, v, vibrate
div, v, do
douce, a, soft
doun, prep, down
dout, v, n, doubt
dowf, a, sad
dowie, a, sad
drak, v, soak up
dreid, n, dread
dreip, n, v, drip
drog, n, drug
droukit, a, drenched
drouth, n, thirst
drukken, a, drunken
duds, n, rags
dug, n, dog
duin, v, done
dule, n, sorrow
dulesum adv, sorrowfully
dung, v, broke
dwaiblie, a, feeble
dwaumie, a, dreary
dwyne, v, dwindle

easin, n, horizon
echt, a, eight
eebrou, n, eyebrow
eftir, prep, after
eftirnuin, n, afternoon
esp, n, asp
ettil, v, intend
exem, n, examination
eydent, a, industrious

faimlie, n, family
fain, v, like to
fareweill, n, farewell
fash, v, worry
fashiuss, a, irritating
fae, n, foe
faither, n, father
fauch, a, feeble
faw, v, n, fall, autumn
feartlyke, a, frightened
fere, n, companion
ferm, n, farm
ferr, a, far
finnd, v, find
fleitch, v, implore
flichter, v, flutter
flichtermouss, n, bat
flouer, n, flower
fluid, n, flood
fluit, n, flute
flyte, v, scold
follae, v, follow
foraye, adv, forever
forby, adv, also
forebeir, n, ancestor
forenuin, n, forenoon
forenicht, n, evening
forgether, v, assemble
forritsum, a, forward
fortuin, n, fortune
fou, a, full
fouter, v, fuss
fouzilt, a, confused
fower, a, four
fowk, n, people
frae, prep, from
frein, n, friend
freist, n, frost
fuit, n, foot
fund, v, found
fyle, v, defile

gae, v, go
gaed, v, went
gaen, v, gone
gairden, n, garden
gait, n, way
gang, v, go
gar, v, compel
gether, v, collect
gin, c, if
girn, v, complain
girnal, n, grain store
git, v, get
gizz, n, face
glaur, n, mud
gledge, n, v, glance sideways
glent, n, gleam
gless, n, glass
glif, v, scare
glisk, n, glance
gloamin, n, dusk
goave, v, stare
goun, n, gown
gowd, a, gold
glower, v, glare
gollop, v, gulp
graff-yaird, n, graveyard
graithed, v, equipped
greinin, n, longing
greit, v, weep
gress, n, grass
gret, a, great
growe, v, grow
gruesum, a, disgusting
grund, n, ground
grundhouss, n, cellar
guid, adj, good
guidsister, n, sister-in-law
guidwyfe, n, housewife
guiss, n, goose

haar, n, sea mist
hae, v, have
haep, v, n, heap
haffets, n, temples
haigil, v, carry with difficulty
haill, a, whole
hain, v, conserve
hame, n, home
hansil, v, inaugurate
hap, n, v, cover
hantil, a, many
hauch, n, low field
haud, v, hold
haurlie, adv, hardly
haw, n, hall
heich, a, high
heid, n, head
heidmaist, a, foremost
heivin, n, heaven
hert, n, heart
hicht, n, height
hie, a, high
himlane, pron, himself
hing, v, hang
hinner, a, final
hir, pron, her
hirpil, v, hobble
hou, adv, how
houss, n, house
howe, n, v, hoe
howk, v, dig
howp, v, n, hope
hoy, v, hurry
hunder, n, a, hundred
hyne-awa, adv, far away
hyst, v, raise

ilk, a, each
ill, a, difficult
im, v, am
ingethert, a, brought in
inti, prep, into
intimmers, n, internal organs
ir, v, are
ither, a, other

jey, n, joy
jo, n, sweetheart
joug, n, jug
jouk, v, avoid
juist, a, just

kaim, n, v, comb
keik, v, peer
kelter, v, undulate
ken, v, know
kennawha, n, anonymous
kenspekkil, a, conspicuous
kinrik, n, kingdom
kintrie, n, country
kirstal, a, n, crystal
kis, c, because
kist, n, chest
knowe, n, hillock
kyth, v, appear

laich, a, low
lair, n, grave
lamp, v, stride
lang, a, long
langir, a, longer
lanesum, a, lonely
langsyne, adv, long ago
lauch, v, laugh
lave, n, remainder
law, n, hill
lecter, n, lecture
ledder, n, ladder
leddie, n, lady
leeve, v, live
leim, n, v, gleam
lentern, n, lantern
leir, n, learning
lichtsum, a, joyful
lift, n, sky
ligg, v, lie
lik, a, like
lilt, v, sing
linn, n, pool, waterfall
lippert, a, disturbed
littil, a, little
loun, n, boy
lourd, a, heavy
lousum, a, lovable
lowe, n, flame
lown, a, calm
lowrie, n, fox
lowp, v, leap
lowse, n, loosen
lowss, a, loose
luik, v, look
luiv, n, love

ma, a, my
mair, a, more
mairch, v, march
mairrie, v, marry
masell, pron, myself
maumie, a, ripe
maun, v, must
meinit, n, minute
mell, v, mix
merdil, n, crowd
micht, n, might
midnicht, n, midnight
mirk, n, v, dark
mishanter, n, misfortune
mither, n, mother
monie, a, many
mouls, n, soil
muin, n, moon
mukkil, a, big
murner, n, mourner
mynd, v, remember
myndin, n, remembrance

nae, a, no
naebodie, n, nobody
naething, n, nothing
nane, pron, none
naither, c, neither
nearhaund, prep, nearby
neibor, n, neighbor
neist, a, next
neuk, n, recess
nicht, n, night
nicker, v, neigh
nithert, a, chilled
no, adv, not
norlin, n, northerly
nou, adv, now

o, prep, of
oor, n, hour
oorsells, pron, ourselves
oot, pron, out
outlin, n, stranger
ower, adv, too, over
owerhail, v, overtake

pad, n, path
paerl, m, pearl
pailace, n, palace
pairt, n, part
paitern, n, pattern
peir, n, pear
pikkil, n, small quantity
pit-aff, n, procrastinator
pleisir, n, pleasure
plet, v, plait
plou, v, n, plow
ploum, n, plum
pou, v, pull
pou, v, pull
praisent, a, n, present
puddok, n, frog
puil, n, pool
pul, v, pull
pyot, n, magpie

quut, v, quit
quyne, n, lass

rair, v, roar
randie, a, wild
raw, n, row
redd, v, tidy
reik, n, smoke
reishil v, rustle
reist, v, roost
riggs, n, fields
rin, v, run
rink, v, surround
rouk, v, fog
rowe, v, roll
rowth, n, abundance
ruif, n, roof
rummil, v, rumble

sae, adv, soul
saet, n, seat
saft, a, soft
sain, v, bless
saitin, n, satin
sanct, n, saint
sant, v, disappear
sauch, n, willow
saucht, n, peace
saul, n, soul
saur, n, breeze
saut, n, salt
saxteen, a, sixteen
seik, n, sick
seivin, a, seven
seivinteen, a, seventeen
sen, adv, since
serr, v, serve
shaw, n, copse
shouther, n, shoulder
shenachie, n, bard
shilpit, n, iil-thriven
shuin, n, shoes
siccarnss, n, certainty
sicht, n, sight
siller, n, money
simmer, n, summer
sinder, v, divide
singil, a, single
skail, v, empty
skelp, n, v, slap
skelter, v, rush
skaum, n, vapor
skiff, v, brush
skinkil, v, twinkle
skliff, v, graze
sklim, v, climb
sklum, v, climbed
skowth, n, scope
skreid, n, letter
skreive, v, write
skunner, n, v, disgust
slokken, v, quench
slounge, v, loiter
smaw, a, small
smeddum, n, gumption
smird, v, smudge
smirr, n, small rain
smirtil, n, smirk
smouder, v, smoulder
snaw, n, snow
snell, a, cold
snuive, v, glide
souch, n, sigh
soud, v, should
souk, v, suck
soum, v, n, swim
soup, v, sweep
sowp, v, sup
spak, v, spoke
spaik, n, spar
speir, v, enquire
sperfil, v, scatter
splore, n, celebration
stap, v, stop
stane, n, stone
staun, v, stand
staw, n, stall
steid, n, place
steidin, n, dwelling
steik, v, shut
steir, v, stir, move
stern, n, star
stert, v, start
stey, v, stay
stodge, v, stump
stoiter, v, stagger
stour, n, dust
stramp, v, tramp
strecht, a, straight
streik, v, stretch
suin, adv, soon
swaw, n, swell
sweil, v, circulate
sweir, a, reluctant
swurl, v, swirl
suiden, a, sudden
synd, v, rinse
syne, adv, then

taigil, n, burden
taiken, n, token
tak, v, take
tane, pron, one
tapcoat, n, overcoat
teim, v, pour down
thay, pron, they
thaim, pron, them
thair, a, their
thare, adv, there
the-day, adv, today
thegither, adv, together
theikit, a, thatched
the-morn, adv, tomorrow
the-nicht, adv, tonight
the’r, v, there is
thir, a, these
thirldom, n, servitude
thole, v, endure
thon, a, that
thousan, a, n, thousand
thrang, a, busy
thrissil, n, thistle
throu, prep, through
ti, prep, to
til, prep, to
timmer, a, timber
tint, a, lost
tither, a, other
toun, n, town
traivel, v, journey
traivlar, n, traveler
trauchilt, v, oppressed
truibil, n, trouble
trummil, v, tremble
tuim, a, empty
tuin, n, tune
twantie, a, twenty
twa(e), a. two

ugsum, a, ugly
uise, v, use
unco, a, strange
unner, prep, under
unnerstaun, v, understand

wab, n, web
wad, v, would, wed
wal, n, well
walcum n, welcome
war, v, were
warld, n, world
wastlin, a, westerly
wattir, n, water
waucht, v, quaff
wauken, v, waken
waukrif, a, wakeful
waw, n, wall
wede, v, vanish
weill, adv, well
weir, v, wear
wes, v, was
wha, pron, who
whas, pron, whose
whan, adv, when
whaur, adv, where
whein, a, few
wheipil, v, whistle
whit, pron, what
whusper, v, whisper
whuff, n, scent
whyles, adv, sometimes
wi, prep, with
winnelstrae, n, witheredgrass
winnok, n, window
wuiden, a, wooden
wuids, n, woods
wul, v, will
wumman, n, woman
wunds, n, winds
wunter, n, winter
wuzzent, a, withered

yallae, a, yellow
yammer, v, chatter, lament
ye, pron, you
yeir, a, your
yestrein, adv, yesterday
yett, n, gate
yill, n, ale
yin, n, one
yird, a, earth
yung, a, young
yungir, a, younger

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Jade Lute. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 24 July 2024, from

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"Jade Lute." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 24 July 2024.

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Information about Document 997

Jade Lute


Text audience

General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2003
Title of original (if translation) Various
Author of original (if translation) Various - see text for details
Language of original (if translation) Chinese
Word count 7581
General description Poetry collection

Text medium

Other Some poems previously published in magazines

Text publication details

Publisher Various
Part of larger text
Contained in Some poems previously published in "Lallans", "Northwords", "Chapman" magazines

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 17
Forenames David
Surname Purves
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1920
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Biochemist
Place of birth Selkirk
Region of birth Selkirk
Birthplace CSD dialect area Slk
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Edinburgh
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Master Grocer
Father's place of birth Selkirk
Father's region of birth Selkirk
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Slk
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Selkirk
Mother's region of birth Selkirk
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Slk
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes All circumstances
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes