Coldwaterjohn Does it Again

First posted MyT December 14th 2007

My first blog was inspired by the man, and my third one is going to be as well.

Tonight, while blogging about something completely different, he introduced me to a poet, Charles Murray, whom I had never read before.

Murray (1865-1941) wrote in Doric, which is the dialect of the North East of Scotland, and which is pretty incomprehensible to most Scots outside that area and probably completely unintelligible to the rest of the world. I googled him tonight and the poem of his which really struck home to me was one called ‘Gin I were God’.

I print the poem below, followed by my own attempt to render it into English. Thanks again, Coldwaterjohn.

‘Gin I was God, sittin up there abeen,
Weariet nae doot noo a’ my drag was deen,
Deaved wi’ the harps an’ hymns oonendin’ ringin’,
Tired o’ the flockin’ angels hairse wi’ singin’,
To some clood-edge I’d daunder furth an’, feth,
Look ower an’ watch hoo things were gyaun aneth.
Syne, gin I saw hoo men I’d made mysel’
Had startit into pooshan, sheet an’ fell,
To reive an’ rape, an’ fairly mak’ a hell
O’ my braw birlin’ Earth,–a hale week’s wark
I’d cast my coat again, rowe up my sark,
An’ or they’d time to aench a second ark,
Tak’ back my word an’ sen’ anither spate,
Droon oot the hale hypothec, dicht the sklate,
Own my mistak’, an, aince I cleered the brod,
Start a’thing ower again, gin I was God.’

If I were God and sitting there on high,
Wearied, no doubt, a day’s work ended and gone by,
Deafened by harps and endless praises ringing
Tired of the host of angels, hoarse with singing,
I’d wander to some cloud’s edge and, I vow,
Look down to see how things were going there below.
Then, if I saw how men, who I had made from clay,
Used poison, shooting, murder day on day.
Thieved and raped, made Hell in every way,
Of my fine spinning Earth, a whole week’s work,
I’d doff my coat, roll up my sleeves and I’d not shirk,
And, ere they’d time to launch another ark,
Revoke the Covenant, put all the seas in spate,
I’d drown the lot, completely wipe the slate,
Admit my error, and, once I’d cleared man’s brood,
I’d start again from scratch, if I were God.

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One response to “Coldwaterjohn Does it Again

  1. A future career as a Doric/English translator beckons, John – you made a great job of it!

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