Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    GeneD is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Belarus
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    859

    Ye Jacobites by name: difficulties with understanding some words

    Could you please help me to understand some places in this poem by R. Burns? I've typed in bold the English equivalents for the Scottish words (underlined) as I understand them. Have I got them right?

    Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear,

    Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear,
    Ye Jacobites by name,
    Your fautes (faults) I will proclaim,
    Your doctrines I maun ('m going to) blame, you shall hear, you shall hear
    Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear.


    What is Right, and What is Wrang (Wrong), by the law, by the law?
    What is Right and what is Wrang by the law?
    What is Right, and what is Wrang?
    A weak arm and a strang (strong),
    A short sword, and a lang (long), for to draw, for to draw
    A short sword, and a lang, for to draw.

    What makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar?
    What makes heroic strife famed afar?
    What makes heroic strife?
    To whet th' (the?) assassin's knife,
    Or haunt a Parent's life, wi' (with) bluidy (bloody) war?

    Then let your schemes alone, in the state, in the state,
    Then let your schemes alone in the state.
    So let your schemes alone,
    Adore the rising sun,
    And leave a man undone, to his fate, to his fate.
    And leave a man undone, to his fate.

    And I'm not sure I understand what "haunt a parent's life" means. Does it mean that the "parent's life" was going to be haunted by the fear for his/her son's safety?

    By the way, is there an error in the name of the thread? Should I have written "understanding of some words"? And is there a way to change names of threads?
    Last edited by GeneD; 30-Aug-2017 at 21:23.

  2. #2
    Tarheel's Avatar
    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    22,902

    Re: Ye Jacobites by name: difficulties with understanding some words

    The thread title is fine. And you did an excellent job of interpretation.

  3. #3
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,828

    Re: Ye Jacobites by name: difficulties with understanding some words

    I think your interpretation of "haunt a parent's life" is correct.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,059

    Re: Ye Jacobites by name: difficulties with understanding some words

    Maun means must.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •