Scottish Poetry Selection
- Gin I Was God
Charles Murray, the author of this poem, was born in Alford, Aberdeenshire in 1864 and wrote a great deal of poetry in his native Doric language (apparently to please his father). Much of it was written while he was living in South Africa where he worked as a civil engineer. His second book of poetry, "Hamewith" (Homewards) was published five times before he died in Banchory, Kincardineshire in 1941. A number of his poems, like this one, have a touch of humour.
There is a glossary of less familiar words at the end - including "gin" meaning "if".
Gin I Was GodGin I was God, sittin' up there abeen,
Weariet nae doot noo a' my darg was deen,
Deaved wi' the harps an' hymns oonendin' ringin',
To some clood-edge I'd daunder furth an', feth,
Look ower an' watch hoo things were gaun aneth.
Syne, gin I saw hoo men I'd made mysel'
Had startit in to 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 lench 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'd cleared the brod,
Start a'thing ower again, gin I was God.
Meaning of unusual words:
darg was deen=day's work was done
pooshan, sheet an' fell=poison, shoot and kill
rowe up my sark=pull up my shirt
dicht the sklate=wipe the slate clean
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