e premte, nëntor 28, 2008

Gëzuar Ditën e Pavarësisë (Peaks of Shala - Rose Wilder Lane)

I am reading a great book just now called "Peaks of Shala" by Rose Wilder Lane.( Published in 1923)
I will post something when I finish.
But I found this part interesting -and by coincidence, I just happened to read it last night!

Mrs Lane has pneumonia, and is struggling to get back to Shkoder from Shala.
She is led by two Albanians and sheltering from the torrential rain in a cave, they find they are sharing the cave with a bandit. The bandit tells them this story...

"It was at this time that the chiefs of Kossova came secretly by night through the Serbian lines to the house of Ahmet Bey Mati, and I was called by Ahmet to take them to Valona. He said that a word would be spoken in Valona to make Albania free. I said to Ahmet:
"The Montenegrins hold Scutari and the seacoast even to San Giovanni, the European Powers are in Durrazo, the Serbs have Kossova and the Dibra, the Greeks are in the south. What is talk of freedom? This is not a time to talk; it is a time to fight."
Ahmet said
"Before the war cry, the council of chiefs."
Ahmet is chief of the Mati, head of the family that has ruled the Mati since the days of Scanderbeg. He was a boy of sixteen, newly come from the court of Sultan Abdul Hamid; he did not wear the clothes of the Malisori and the chiefs of the Mati laced his opangi before every battle, because he did not know how to lace opangi. Yet it must be said that it was his coming that saved the Mati from the Serbs. He came quickly killing seven horses between Monastir and Borelli and he told the chiefs what to do, and they saved the Mati. It was hot fighting. For five months he had been fighting and sleeping on rocks. His chiefs loved him.
"I said, "I am killing Serbs, and have no wish to go to Valona."
Ahmet said,
" When my father died, my older brother sent me from my country to the Turks, I do not know the trails. The chiefs of Kossova are my guests, and they do not know the trails. We must go to Valona through Elbassan where the Serbs are. There is a meeting of all the chiefs of Albania in Valona. If we are killed by the Serbs, there will be no chiefs of Malisori at the meeting. There will be only Toshks - men of the plains."
I said,
"Tonight the moon will be dark. We must start as soon as we can see the small stars."

" In three nights we were at the house of Asif Pasha in Elbassan. No, nothing disturbed us on the way, except that we were obliged to kill with our hands the dogs that sometimes came upon us from the villages. The Serbs were everywhere and we could not use our guns. When we came to the house of Asif Pasha, the chiefs of Kossova with Ahmet slept in one room, and I sat with Asif Pasha by the fire in another room. Elbassan was held by many hundred Serbian soldiers. At midnight five officers with thirty soldiers came to the door. They came in, and would not take coffee. They stood and said,
" Who are the twelve men who sleep tonight in this house? Do not lie for we know that they are here."
"Asif Pasha said,
"This is one of them"
I said,
" I will tell you who they are, but I beg you not to let them know that I have told. I am only a servant, and they are great chiefs. They are byraktors of five villages of the Mati, three villages of Shala and Shoshi. They have come to Elbassan to talk with the Serbs. They have come secretly, hiding from the other chiefs. I do not know why. I beg you not to tell them that I have told, for they are tired and dirty, and they are sleeping while the women clean their clothes so that they will be clean tomorrow when they go to speak to your chiefs."
"The officers sat down then and one of them wrote. He wrote the names of the chiefs as I gave them to him, and he wrote what I said, that the Malisori were tired of fighting, and had little ammunition, and did not like their chiefs that made them fight. While he wrote, Asif Pasha gave them rakejia, and more and more rakejia but no coffee. When the Serbs had become foolish I went to the other room where the chiefs were listening with their rifles in their hands, and I took them all by a way I knew, out of Elbassan.
" So we came to Valona, the the house of Ismail Kemal Bey Vlora, the same who had been Grand Vizier of Abdul Hamid. He had come on an Austrian warship to Durrazo, and there they had tried to kill him, and he had come secretly, as we had come to Valona. Valona was the only free village in Albania then, except our mountain villages. There was a council in his house. Chiefs of all the tribes from Kossova to Janina were there, and when the council was ended Ismail Kemal Bey brought the flag of Scanderbeg, which had always been hidden in his house, and with a rope he made it run to the top of as pole in his house. It was the red flag with the two headed black eagle on it. I stood in the street and saw it go to the top of the pole. The chiefs were on the balcony, and Ismail Kemal Bey wept. Many men had tears on their cheeks. In the street they cried, "Roft Shqiperia!" and embraced one another. They said that the spirit of Scanderbeg lived, and that Albania was free"

e enjte, nëntor 13, 2008

Dhori Qiriazi

I should have included this in the last post. To be honest i forgot I had this information, and only discovered it today, but still the last post was long enough without this!. Here is some information on Dhori Qiriazi.

( I find it interesting that he has written "Krishterimi në Shqiperi: botohet me rastin e 2000 vjetorit te Krishterimit në Shiperi". I wonder if he is any relation to Gjerasim Qiriazi. That I have not found out yet!)

from the Irvine Burns Club

A special item is the Works of Burns, translated into Albanian, by Dhori Qiriazi, who sent us two copies, one of which is in our library, the other of which we have presented to the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, to include in its excellent Burns section.
Robert Bërns, Poezi, dhe një ese nga T. Karlajli ne shqip nga origjinali: Dhori Qiriazi (Poems: The essay of Thomas Carlyle and Translations from the orginals by Dhori Qiriazi)
Dhori Qiriazi inscribed the volumes: "To Irvine Burns Club - In admiration for my most beloved poet and the most sincere poet in the world. 9 March 2003".
When we sent him booklets, he wrote back: "I saw the photo of the Irvine statue of Robert Burns and I think this is the best statue of the poet that I have seen till now. Also I wish to compliment Colin Hunter McQueen for his album of the life of Robert Burns. My translation of the verses of Robert Burns into Albanian lasted fifteen years and it is the first - and only - translation in Albanian of him from the original language. I am glad to say the poet has lost nothing of his flavour in Albanian. To the crown of world poetry Robert Burns, I am sure, is the brightest jewel. He is very sincere and wrote in an unaffected way the truth and only the truth."
For a flavour of Albanian, here are the lines from Tam O'Shanter, which start "O Tam, had'st thou but been sae wise" where lines 3-6 are telling Tam off for being a "drunken blellum":
O Tam, ti s'mbajte në rradake
asnjë këshillë të Kates sate:
"Një grosh nuk vlen, të thotë, lum miku,
kur flet me grahma pijaniku,
se të gjithë vitin, gjer në fund,
çdo ditë pazari bëhesh thumb!"

I was born on 16 December 1932 in the village of Lëngëzë near the Erseka town in the region of Kolonja in south-eastern Albania. I have studied at the Faculty of History and Philology of the University of Tirana. In 1958 I'm graduated in Albanian language, literature and history. I have worked as a teacher of Albanian language and literature in Erseka and in the region of Kolonja from 1958 till 1988.
I began publishing in the 50' s in varying kinds of publications. From 1958 I have published several verse collections: Kur zemra rreh së pari ('When the heart first beats') 1958, Ballada intime ('Intimate ballad') 1963, (second edition in 2001), Poema e ushtarit ('A soldier's poem') 1968, Pishat me kristale ('The crystal torch') 1971, Vitet ('Years') 1982, Kukuli dhe shigjeta ('Kukul and the arrow' - satires) 1984.

I have also published several short stories. After 1982 I began to focus more on translation work. I know Russian language and I have translated several authors as well as Pushkin, Esenin, Necrasov, Tolstoy, etc.
In the 70's I began to learn English. In 1984 I had translated the book you have now with selected poems songs and ballads of Bums. Some of them are: Tam 0 'Shanter, The Jolly Beggars, The Twa Dogs, The Brigs of Ayr, Poor Mailie's Elegy, Scotch Drink, To a Mouse, Holy Willie's Prayer, John Anderson, My Jo, Mary Morison, My Love is like a Red Red Rose (My Luve's like a red red rose), Afton Water, Duncan Gray, Scots Wha Hae, etc. This book was published only in 1998 with the title: Poetry and an essay by Thomas Carlyle. I have also translated from English George Byron, John Keats, John Cam Hobhouse (A Journey through Albania), etc.
I have translated from Italian language the Italian classical poet Petrarca (The Book of Songs), the poet Salvatore Quasimodo, Leopardi, etc.
I have written a few historical research books: Krishterimi në Shqipëri ('Christianity in Albania'), Dhimitër Kamarda (an Albanian-arbëresh linguist) and I have translated also from Italian language a historical book of Gjon Muzaka (Remembrances) a prince and a general of our national hero Scanderbeg.

I include Qiriazi's translation of the classic "A red, red rose" again by Robert Burns.

Dashuria ime

Si trëndafil më je, moj dashuri,
që hapet në qershor
dhe kaq e ëmbël rrjedh si melodi
që derdhet nga një kor

Si ty moj çupë kurrë nuk kam hasur,
të dua, dot s'përmbahem,
do të të dua ty gjithmonë, e dashur,
gjer detet krejt të thahen.

E dashur, gjer të thahen detet
gjithnjë do të të dua,
gjer guri copa-copa të tretet,
të bjerë baltë mbi mua.

Ah, lamtumirë e vetmja dashuri
ah, lamtumirë për pak
nga fundi i dheut do vija përsëri
tek ty, po t'isha larg.

Burns Original

O, my luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my Dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my Dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun!
O I will luve thee still, my Dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only Luve,
And fare thee weel a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile!

e mërkurë, nëntor 12, 2008

Tam O'Shanter

This is a long post, so I hope you have the patience to read it!

I recently found a book that I have been wanting to read for some time.
“Poezi” dhe nje ese nga T. Karlajli në Shqip nga origjinali by Dhori Qiriazi.
The book is a collection of (translated) poems by Robert Burns.

I found this interesting as I am interested in Dhori Qiriazi.
I still am on the lookout for his book on Christinaity in Albania, but back to his Burns translations.
What really interested me, was not the fact that the Irvine Burns Club have made him an honarary member for his translations of Burns poetry, but what struck me was the fact that he had translated my favourite of all Burn’s poems, maybe even my favourite poem – Tam O’Shanter.

As a young lad at school we were taught Scottish history, and Scottish poems, and although it must be over 30 years ago, I can still remember the teacher’s joy as she taught us the delights of Burns’ writing – especially Tam O’Shanter.

There is something about this poem that connects with me....
I cannot explain it.
Maybe it is the rhythym of the poem, building up slowly till the chase takes place. (Please watch the you tube video- even though you may not understand it - to get an idea of the change of speed in the poem).
Maybe it is humour in the poem – there are some really good “auld Scots” words in the poem.
(O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
Maybe it is the fact that we all have drunk too much and done something stupid….
But, this is a favourite of mine.

I was very interested to read how Qiriazi had translated the poem, and I must be honest, that although it is not word for word – a very difficult task indeed. His translation is absolutely fantastic. He really gets across the spirit of the poem.

When I first came to Albania in 1994, I remember passing a shop with some books on sale. An Albanian with me told me that they had translated Burns into Albanian. I refused to believe him, I told him that there was no way an Albanian could first of all understand the Scottish language, and secondly, there was no way of conveying the picture into Albanian.
I was wrong!
Dhori Qiriazi has proved that it can be done – and it can be done very well!!

This poem is an absolute delight.

I have included it here, and also after a video of the poem in Scots, and also the text.
I hope you enjoy it.

( You must realise that Burns is commenting on Scottish life – there is much humour, and social comment in this poem. His patient wife Katie waiting at home for the drunken Tam to return. Tam with his friend Souter Johnnie drinking buddies. B
ut still there are some of the most beautiful poetry ever written.
But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white--then melts for ever;

You must also realise that witches cannot cross running water – so a safe place for Tam was to cross a bridge over the River Doun)

Tam O’Shentër

Kurçertexhitë lënë rrugën shkret
Dhe shoku shokun përshendet,
Pazari shuhet, afron nata
E nisen njerëzit nëper fshatra,
Të bëjm’ orgji, seç na vjen mirë,
E na ndez flakë një kriko birrë,
harrojmë të Skocisë udhë
Me gardhe, ura, ujra shumë
Që na ndajn’ ne edhe shtëpinë,
Ku zonjat tona kanë selinë
Dhe tok me vetull ngrehin shqotë,
Sikur t’i mbajë inati ngrohtë.

Kështu u ndodh në Er, në qendër,
Një nat’ i ndershmi Tam O’Shentër,
(megjithse Eri i lasht’ me ura,
Nuk shquhet shumë për gra dhe burra).

O Tam, ti s’mbajte në rradake
Asnjë këshillë të Kates sate:
“Një groshë nuk vlen, të thotë, lum miku,
Kur flet me grahma pijaniku,
Se të gjithë vitin, gjer në fund,
Çdo ditë pazari bëhësh thumb!”

Me një mullis u bëtë shokë
E pit’ të dy sa ratë në tokë,
Po ti çdo nat’ ia shtroke mirë
Me farkëtarë u frytë në birrë,
Në kabare na hyn të shtunë
E del të hënën, ti, o lumë!
Siç parasheh ajo e mjerë
Në Dun do mbytesh ndonjëherë,
O se te kish e Alloisë
Djajt do të zënë në netët pisë.”

“Ah, xhan, o grua, shpirt, o xhan,
Me ç’porosi më bën derman!
Si ta përçmoj qortimin tënd
Që burrin do të sjellë ndër mend ?!”

Mirëpo një natë, ç’ta përmend,
Ky Tamiynë e pa me vend
T’ia shtronte prapë me të pirë...
Valonte shkumba përmbi birrë,
Dy miqt e vjetër pranë një zjarri:
Ai dhe Jani këpucari
Që donte Tami porsi vëllanë,
Të dy ia shtronin jave për javë.

Po këtë nat’ u bënë shumë,
Si pinë bënë dhe rrëmujë
Dhe kabaresha mërmliste
Me Tamin ëmbël diçka fliste.
Për bëma fliste këpucari
Të tjerët qeshnin, ah, qyqari
Dhe Tami s’mori vesh më shumë
Qe vërshëllimë, apo furtunë.

A kini parë ndonjëhere mirë
Kur marinarët na gjejnë birrë?
Si bletër mblidhin, zhuzhullojnë,
Me krahë minutat fluturojnë,
M’i fort nga mbreti në nj’oborr
Këtu del Tami triumfator!

Mirëpo dëfrimi si lulukuqet
Që bien fletët sapo këputet,
O si dëbora që bie në lumë
Që sa zbardh pak e bëhët ujë,
A si gushkuqi që kund s’qendron
E mer në shenjë, të fluturon,
O si ylber me ngjyrë të qartë
Që shkrin në qiellin me shtërngatë,
Ah, koha ikën, s’mund të ndalet,
Për Tamin erdh një çast të ndahet,
Po nata ish e zezë, pisë,
Mërzija sillej si një bishë;
U nis ai në natën varr,
Në rrugë gjëkund s’kish udhëtar.

Po frynte erë e shfrynte tepër,
Kërciste trendafili i egër
Dhe larg rrufeja shkrepëtinte,
Dhe thellë e rëndë bubullinte,
Në net të tilla, lemeri,
Veç djalli del bën tregëti.

Shaloi Megin, pelën gri,
Që kush s’ia del për shpejtësi
Dhe fluturoi me të për pakë
Nuk pyeti për shi, për flakë.
Kapuçi blu nga pas i mbet,
Me mend po thoshte një sonet
Dhe tek po ecte pa merak,
I ngjau se e kapi një lugat,
Si kukuvajk’ u ndje një klithmë
Aty të kish e Alloisë.

Aty ish shkëmbi, o lum miku,
Ku qafën theu Çarl Pianiku,
Ku në mes ferrash, në gërmadhë,
Ish gjetur një ferishte e vrarë
Dhe ku nën degët në çinar,
E ëm’ e Margos na u var;
Në vah sa kishte kapërcyer
Kish ngar’ e fryma i qe rrëmbyer.

Shkumbonte Duni përmbi gurë,
Shtërngata çirrej nëpër drurë,
Rrufeja qiellin mbushte zjarr,
Gjëmimi mblidhej si vilar,
Kur ja, mes drurësh zu të ndritë
Kjo kishëza e Alloisë.
Nën atë dritë, atë mazgalle
Dikush kërcente, hidhej valle.

“më jep guxim, o Xhon fisnik* * i flet birres
Tani që ndodhem në rrezik!
Pse pimë pak birrë ne nga halli
Një pikëz visk, të na marrë djalli?”
Kështu ky Tami na tha broçkull
Nga birra mend’ i vinin rrotull,
U ndal kjo Megi me dinjitet
Desh të qertonte të zotn’ e vet
E bëri para me trimëri,
Kur Tami vetë pa një çudi:

Skelete kërcisnin, magjistare,
Një kotilon nga Franca marrë,
I binin bririt hidhëshin rëndë, sikur të shkelnin dhe ty me këmbë.
Mbi një dritare, në ca parvazë,
plakushi Nik* u shfaq si shtazë *djalli
si qen i zi po turfullonte
atë muzik’ ai drejtonte,
pastaj ktheu bririn, fryri fort,
u mbush çatia me shpirtra plot.
Zun’ e rrethonin me ulurimë
Të gjithë të veshur qenë me qefinë,
Si djalli vetë bënin dredhi
Në duar mbanin nga një qiri.

E cili Tam, cili qyqar
S’do kthente syt’ përmbi altar
Të shihte varur dy ferishte
Me dy si gremçe, hekurishte,

Dhe një kaçak me thikën gjak
Me to po qeshte si torollak!
Pesë me ndryshk, kishin ca shpata
Dhe pesë në duar kishin spata.

Një fashë llastiku foshnjën mbyste,
Një thik një bab’ po e përmbyste,
Ish biri i tij qe e shkelmonte
Atë flokëbardhë që po mbaronte.
Ah ç’poshtersi, në shpirt të ther
Sa keq, sa vaj, sa tmerr!

Sa pa ky Tami, sa qe përmendur,
Shpertheu një çast një klithm e çmendur
Një fyell çirrej si një i marrë
Me shpejt vraponin gjith kërcimtarët,
U bënë gardh, zën krah për krah,
Në udhë i dolën përball’ ca gra,
I flakën leckat ato mbi kishë,
Mben lakuriq, veç nder këmishë.

He, Tam, o Tam, pse ta bësh hasha,
Ato s’qenë gra, po ishin vasha,
në ca këmishë në ngjyrë jëshile,
si top dëbore, gargi, bandille!
Të brennëshmet mbanin përmbi vithe
Dhe flokët blu, të butë, kadife.
Ti mer e jep, kush ta di hallë,
ato me sy, fët me qepallë
edhe sakaq na qenë zverdhur,
tamam si mëzet që sa kanë zvjerdhur.
Pickojnë, të ngasin nga meraku,
Çudi, të dridhet vetë stomaku!

Po Tami zgjodhi. Kish dëshirë
Atë që ishte yll, e mirë,
Që dinte nder t’i bënte mikut
(u ndodh në vahun e Kërrikut
Kur ajo vëtë iu kthye bishe
E zu përqark gjithçka të prishë
Po shkelte elb, e bimë, e drithë)
Këmish’ e saj na ishte endur
Atje në Pejzlin e përmendur
Që i bëjn çupat lozonjare
Edhe për to të jenë krenare.
Atë këmishë, ta themi ndryshe,
Asaj ia bleu e gjora gjyshe,
Po Nënit nuk i vajti mbarë,
Kërcen tani me magjistarë!

Po këtu Muza ime e ngratë
Lë të pushojë, të çlodhet pak,
Mjaft tha për Nënin si kerceu
(si xhinde ish, s’e mbante dheu)
Qysh Tami griu si me magji,
Ç’mendoi e ç’pa me syt e tij,
Si fryu e ç’ndodhi pas kësaj,si e përqeshi satanaj,
Që nga fillimi në mbarim,
Kur humbi çdo arsyetim
Dhe thirri: “Rroft këmish e shkurtër!”
Dhe erdhi ai çast i bukur,
Kur ia dha vrapit Megi i tij,
Sikur ta ndiqte një ushtri!

Siç ngrihen bletët me potere,
Kur djali i prap’ godit kosheren,
Si ther një lepur me xigua,
Kur brrof e ndjek pas një langua,
Siç turret cubi nëpër treg,
Kur “kapeni” gjithkush thërret,
U sul kjo Megi, ngriti bishtin,
Dhe djaj e shpirtra pas e ndiqnin.

Ah, Tam, o Tam, ç’shpërblim po merr,
Si peshk do thekesh ti në ferr,
dhe vajit Katja do t’ia mbushë,
do mbetet kaq e re vejushë!

Tash fluturim, moj Megi, merr,
Të kalosh urën mbi qemer
Dhe ngrie bishtin, qimeshumin,
Me aq guxim, si kërcen lumin!
Por ah, ku kulmi i urës hapet
Vetë satanaj pas bishti kapet!
E mira Meg terheq një çast
Dhe Nënin vetë e le nga pas
Më larg guximshëm po vraponte
Mbi të dhe Tami fluturonte
Të zotin jasht’ rreikut qiti,
Kur “frrap” u ndje, iu këput bishti,
Kjo shtig iu hodh pas mizorisht,
Të gjorën Meg e la pa bisht.

Kush këtë ngjarje të lexojë
Bir nënë qoftë të mos kuptojë,
Kur pi e birrës i përkulet
Atë këmishën mbetur çule
Dhe Tam O’Shentrin, sigurisht
Të tijën pelë që mbet pa bisht.

Here is the original version....and followed for the less fortunate , by a translation into English.! :-(

Tam o' Shanter (Original)
When chapmen billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors meet,
As market days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
And getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky sullen dame.
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonie lasses.)
O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That every naig was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
That at the Lord's house, even on Sunday,
Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied that late or soon,
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon;
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.
Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen'd, sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises!
But to our tale:-- Ae market-night,
Tam had got planted unco right;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither--
They had been fou for weeks thegither!
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter
And ay the ale was growing better:
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
wi' favours secret,sweet and precious
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.
Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himsel' amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious.
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious!
But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You sieze the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white--then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.--
Nae man can tether time or tide;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd:
That night, a child might understand,
The Deil had business on his hand.
Weel mounted on his gray mare, Meg--
A better never lifted leg--
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire;
Despisin' wind and rain and fire.
Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet;
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet;
Whiles glowring round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares:
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
By this time he was cross the ford,
Whare, in the snaw, the chapman smoor'd;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Whare drunken Chairlie brak 's neck-bane;
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel'.--
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll:
When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze;
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing;
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae, we'll face the devil!--
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood, right sair astonish'd,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight
Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillion brent-new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He scre'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.--
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some develish cantraip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light.--
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murders's banes in gibbet-airns;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi blude red-rusted;
Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted;
A garter, which a babe had strangled;
A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The gray hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which even to name was be unlawfu'.
Three lawyers' tongues, turn'd inside out,
Wi' lies seam'd like a beggar's clout;
Three priests' hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Lay stinking, vile in every neuk.
As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The piper loud and louder blew;
The dancers quick and quicker flew;
They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it her sark!
Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans,
A' plump and strapping in their teens,
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linnen!
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush, o' gude blue hair,
I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Louping and flinging on a crummock,
I wonder did na turn thy stomach!
But Tam kend what was what fu' brawlie:
There was ae winsome wench and waulie,
That night enlisted in the core,
Lang after ken'd on Carrick shore;
(For mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd mony a bonie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country-side in fear.)
Her cutty-sark, o' Paisley harn
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie,-
Ah! little ken'd thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for he wee Nannie,
Wi' twa pund Scots, ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches!
But here my Muse her wing maun cour;
Sic flights are far beyond her pow'r;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
(A souple jade she was, and strang),
And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'd,
And thought his very een enrich'd;
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main;
Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason ' thegither,
And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.
As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie's mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi' mony an eldritch skriech and hollo.
Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin'!
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin'!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy commin'!
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane o' the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle -
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail;
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.
No, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
Ilk man and mother's son take heed;
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think! ye may buy joys o'er dear -
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.

Tam o' Shanter (Translation)
When the peddler people leave the streets,
And thirsty neighbours, neighbours meet;
As market days are wearing late,
And folk begin to take the road home,
While we sit boozing strong ale,
And getting drunk and very happy,
We don’t think of the long Scots miles,
The marshes, waters, steps and stiles,
That lie between us and our home,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame (wife),
Gathering her brows like a gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath, to keep it warm.
This truth finds honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he from Ayr one night did canter;
Old Ayr, which never a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonny lasses.
Oh Tam, had you but been so wise,
As to have taken your own wife Kate’s advice!
She told you well you were a waster,
A rambling, blustering, drunken boaster,
That from November until October,
Each market day you were not sober;
That instead of milling with the miller,
You sat as long as you had money,
For every horse he put a shoe on,
The blacksmith and you got roaring drunk on;
That at the Lords House, even on Sunday,
You drank with Kirkton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied, that, late or soon,
You would be found deep drowned in Doon,
Or caught by warlocks in the murk,
By Alloway’s old haunted church.
Ah, gentle ladies, it makes me cry,
To think how many counsels sweet,
How much long and wise advice
The husband from the wife despises!
But to our tale :- One market night,
Tam was seated just right,
Next to a fireplace, blazing finely,
With creamy ales, that drank divinely;
And at his elbow, Cobbler Johnny,
His ancient, trusted, thirsty crony;
Tom loved him like a very brother,
They had been drunk for weeks together.
The night drove on with songs and clatter,
And every ale was tasting better;
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
With secret favours, sweet and precious;
The cobbler told his queerest stories;
The landlord’s laugh was ready chorus:
Outside, the storm might roar and rustle,
Tam did not mind the storm a whistle.
Strange to see a man so happy,
Even have drowned himself in his ale.
As bees fly home with loads of treasure,
The minutes winged their way with pleasure:
Kings may be blessed, but Tam was glorious,
Over all the ills of life victorious.
But pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow fall on the river,
A moment white - then melts forever,
Or like the Aurora Borealis rays,
That move before you can point to where they're placed;
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form,
Vanishing amid the storm.
No man can tether time or tide,
The hour approaches Tom must ride:
That hour, of night’s black arch - the key-stone,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in
And such a night he takes to the road in
As never a poor sinner had been out in.
The wind blew as if it had blown its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The sspeedy gleams the darkness swallowed,
Loud, deep and long the thunder bellowed:
That night, a child might understand,
The Devil had business on his hand.
Well mounted on his grey mare, Meg.
A better never lifted leg,
Tom, raced on through mud and mire,
Despising wind and rain and fire;
Whilst holding fast his good blue bonnet,
While crooning over some old Scots sonnet,
Whilst glowering round with prudent care,
Lest ghosts catch him unaware:
Alloway’s Church was drawing near,
Where ghosts and owls nightly cry.
By this time he was across the ford,
Where in the snow the pedlar got smothered;
And past the birch trees and the huge stone,
Where drunken Charlie broke his neck bone;
And through the thorns, and past the monument,
Where hunters found the murdered child;
And near the thorn, above the well,
Where Mungo’s mother hung herself.
Before him the river Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars throught the woods;
The lightnings flashes from pole to pole;
Nearer and more near the thunder rolls;
When, glimmering through the groaning trees,
Alloway’s Church seemed in a blaze,
Through every gap , light beams were glancing,
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.
Inspiring, bold John Barleycorn! (whisky)
What dangers you can make us scorn!
With ale, we fear no evil;
With whisky, we’ll face the Devil!
The ales so swam in Tam’s head,
Fair play, he didn’t care a farthing for devils.
But Maggie stood, right sore astonished,
Till, by the heel and hand admonished,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, wow! Tom saw an incredible sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance:
No cotillion, brand new from France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
In a window alcove in the east,
There sat Old Nick, in shape of beast;
A shaggy dog, black, grim, and large,
To give them music was his charge:
He screwed the pipes and made them squeal,
Till roof and rafters all did ring.
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That showed the dead in their last dresses;
And, by some devilish magic sleight,
Each in its cold hand held a light:
By which heroic Tom was able
To note upon the holy table,
A murderer’s bones, in gibbet-irons;
Two span-long, small, unchristened babies;
A thief just cut from his hanging rope -
With his last gasp his mouth did gape;
Five tomahawks with blood red-rusted;
Five scimitars with murder crusted;
A garter with which a baby had strangled;
A knife a father’s throat had mangled -
Whom his own son of life bereft -
The grey-hairs yet stack to the shaft;
With more o' horrible and awful,
Which even to name would be unlawful.
Three Lawyers’ tongues, turned inside out,
Sown with lies like a beggar’s cloth -
Three Priests’ hearts, rotten, black as muck
Lay stinking, vile, in every nook.
As Thomas glowered, amazed, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The piper loud and louder blew,
The dancers quick and quicker flew,
They reeled, they set, they crossed, they linked,
Till every witch sweated and smelled,
And cast her ragged clothes to the floor,
And danced deftly at it in her underskirts!
Now Tam, O Tam! had these been queens,
All plump and strapping in their teens!
Their underskirts, instead of greasy flannel,
Been snow-white seventeen hundred linen! -
The trousers of mine, my only pair,
That once were plush, of good blue hair,
I would have given them off my buttocks
For one blink of those pretty girls !
But withered hags, old and droll,
Ugly enough to suckle a foal,
Leaping and flinging on a stick,
Its a wonder it didn’t turn your stomach!
But Tam knew what was what well enough:
There was one winsome, jolly wench,
That night enlisted in the core,
Long after known on Carrick shore
(For many a beast to dead she shot,
And perished many a bonnie boat,
And shook both barley corn and beer,
And kept the country-side in fear.)
Her short underskirt, o’ Paisley cloth,
That while a young lass she had worn,
In longitude though very limited,
It was her best, and she was proud. . .
Ah! little knew your reverend grandmother,
That skirt she bought for her little grandaughter,
With two Scots pounds (it was all her riches),
Would ever graced a dance of witches!
But here my tale must stoop and bow,
Such words are far beyond her power;
To sing how Nannie leaped and kicked
(A supple youth she was, and strong);
And how Tom stood like one bewitched,
And thought his very eyes enriched;
Even Satan glowered, and fidgeted full of lust,
And jerked and blew with might and main;
Till first one caper, then another,
Tom lost his reason all together,
And roars out: ‘ Well done, short skirt! ’
And in an instant all was dark;
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.
As bees buzz out with angry wrath,
When plundering herds assail their hive;
As a wild hare’s mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts running before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When ‘ Catch the thief! ’ resounds aloud:
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
With many an unearthly scream and holler.
Ah, Tom! Ah, Tom! You will get what's coming!
In hell they will roast you like a herring!
In vain your Kate awaits your coming !
Kate soon will be a woeful woman!
Now, do your speedy utmost, Meg,
And beat them to the key-stone of the bridge;
There, you may toss your tale at them,
A running stream they dare not cross!
But before the key-stone she could make,
Not a tail she had to shake;
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie pressed,
And flew at Tam with furious aim;
But little was she Maggie’s mettle!
One spring brought off her master whole,
But left behind her own grey tail:
The witch caught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.
Now, who this tale of truth shall read,
Each man, and mother’s son, take heed:
Whenever to drink you are inclined,
Or short skirts run in your mind,
Think! you may buy joys over dear:
Remember Tam o’ Shanter’s mare.

e martë, nëntor 04, 2008

Value for Money

Where do you get true value for money?
It's got to be Albania.

Went to Elbasan today. We didn't have a good start, as we never got as far as 5 Heronjte without the second car running out of diesel. So off I set to get some bottles of diesel. I found a garage and filled up 3 x 2litre bottles of diesel.

Neither of the 3 x 2litre coke bottles were full. They would have been at a level just about less than full. Yet the reading on the petrol pump was not under 6 litres, but was almost SEVEN litres.

So, what conclusion can I make?
That the Coke company in Albania actually give you more than 2 litres of coke in their 2 litre coke bottle!

I mean, surely that is the only reasonable conclusion, is it not?
Surely, the petrol pump was right, and not cheating me!
Next, someone will tell me that the diesel was watered down!