PF, in the course of his troubadouresque wanderings, has washed up for the night here in Peekskill, where he has brought to my attention the remarkable Douglas Young translations from Greek into Scots, in particular his translation of The Frogs [which he called The Puddocks] by Aristophanes:
Aeschylus will heave his verses,
ruit and word, and gar them flee,
breenge, and skail the monie stourbaths
whaur he rowes his poesie.
C’wa then, begin, and gie us your crack. And mak it braw and witty;
nae similes and siclike stuff; nae sentimental ditty.
(It turned out he had mentioned this translation in the comments to this entry, which would have embarrassed me except that I’ve grown impervious to embarrassment at my own negligence and/or forgetfulness; besides, PF says that the comment had slipped his own mind.) Young sounds like someone well worth investigating:
Auntran Blads, in the space of fifty-two pages, constitutes a truly extraordinary demonstration of the range of Young’s intellect as well as his literary talent. In accordance with the internationalism which was a central aim of the Scottish Renaissance writers, the book contains translations from ten languages (though those from Lithuanian, Russian and Chinese were made from English versions) as well as an original verse in Latin, translations of two poems by Burns into Greek, and a short squib stated poetically in English, Latin, Greek, French and German. Scots is the medium of most of the translations as well as of the original poems in the collection: a passage from Dante’s La Vita Nuova is rendered in a quasi-mediaeval register:
Ae time that I our flownrie life appraisit
and saw hou brief and bruckil its duratioun,
i ma hert, whaurin he wones, Luve sabbit sairlie,
and wi Luve’s sabban then my saul was frazit,
sae that I sychit and spak in conturbatioun:
“Siccar my luve maun dee, maun dee fu shairly”.
and the scene of Hector’s farewell to Andromache from the Iliad is in continuous prose but with a consistent rhythm suggestive of the Homeric hexameter:
Sae spak gesserant Hektor, and raxt out his hand til his bairnie. Och, but the wean outskraugh, sclentan back on the breist o his nourrice, fairlie dumbfounert he was at the sicht o his daddie that loed him, fleggit sair at the bress and the crest wi its wallopan horsehair, kelteran doun frae the tap o the bassanat, unco the sicht o’t.
He did another translation of Aristophanes called The Burdies, and “in 1942 he was put on trial and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for refusing conscription.” A man after my own heart.