On His Heid-ake
My heid did yak yester nicht,
this day to mak that I na micht.
so sair the magryme dois me menyie,
perseing my brow as ony ganyie,
that scant I luik may on the licht.
[My head did ache last night, so much that I cannot
write poetry today. So painfully the migraine does
disable me, piercing my brow just like any arrow,
that I can scarcely look at the light.]
And now, schir, laitlie, eftir mes
to dyt thocht I begowthe to dres,
the sentence lay full evill till find,
unsleipit in my heid behind,
dullit in dulnes and distres.
[And now, Sire, shortly after mass, though I tried
to begin to write, the sense of it lurked very hard
to find, deep down sleepless in my head, dulled
in dullness and distress.]
Full oft at morrow I upryse
quhen that my curage sleipeing lyis.
for mirth, for menstrallie and play,
for din nor danceing nor deray,
it will not walkin me no wise.
[Very often in the morning I get up when
my spirit lies sleeping. Neither for mirth,
for minstrelsy and play, nor for noise nor
dancing nor revelry, it will not awaken in
me at all.]
Scotland - Late 16th/17th century