A letter from Pavis

From: CWARD@srv0.bio.ed.ac.uk
Date: Wed 25 Feb 1998 - 17:25:17 EET


Sir,

 I enclose a letter routinely intercepted from --------- to an associate in Peloria.
Needless to say the has sender been placed under close observation. I recommend the
arrest of --------- and his correspondent.
Our Irripi "comrades" see some value in the study of inferior cultures, but there are
limits to what should be tolerated. ----------- has clearly overstepped the boundary
between academic study and the dissemination of alien propaganda.

All Hail the Goddess,

Sardonicus

Dear Antonius,

 I apologise for my delay in writing - the interminable collecting of figures for the
Imperial Auditors will one day take over my entire life ! As consolation for the
overlong absence of your name from my quill (though not my thought, rest assured) I am
sending you another song transcribed from the barbarians. This one seams to be of recent
and local origin - only the Pavic barbarians surely have the cosmopolitan mix of tribal
cultures to produce a work such as this. I need not point out perhaps that this is not
one for you public lectures on primitive cultural music. The "tune" is an unfamiliar
one, played on those awful drone-sacks, though fortunately the song is usually
unaccompanied by those instruments of torture. I enclose a translation of the words into
a more civilised language at the end.

Always your friend and pupil,

Verdigris

 [Roch the wind in the clear days dawnin'
 Blaws the cloods heelster-gowdy o'er the bay
 But it's mair nor a roch wind blawin'
 Through the great glen o' the wurld the day
 It's a thote that wid gar oor rottans
 A' they rogues that gang gallus fresh an' gay
 Tak the road an' seek ither loanins
 For their ill ploys tae sport an' play.] (1)

 Nae mair will oor [bonnie callants] (2)
 Bend the knee when a braggart crously craws
 Nor wee weans (3) fi longhouse an' clachan
 Mourn the freedoms of their faithers lost
 The broken faimilies o' oor land sae harried
 Will unavenged mourn nae mair, nae mair
 As a' the clans, yin tae ither married
 Sweeps the vile barracks o' an empire bare

 So come a' ye at hame wi' freedom
 Never mind whit the hoodies croak fur doom
 In oor hoose a' the bairns (3) o' Sartar
 Will find breid, barley-bree (4) an' biddin' room
 When Argarth (5) lights the flame in Whitewall
 A' the roses an' geans (6) will turn tae bloom
 An' the thunder of the raging white bull (7)
 Knocks the fel temples o' the rid moon doon

               

(1)Rough the wind in the clear days dawning
   Blows the clouds head-over-heels" over the bay
   But it's more than a rough wind blowing
   Through the great glen of the world today
   It 's a thought that would make our rats
   All those rogues that strut about/posture
   Take to the road and find other places/locations
   Their evil plans to carry out

(2) "fine young folk"

(3) weans & bairns are both words for children

(4) a local drink

(5) not as others assume a proper name, but rather a barbarian word
 translating as he/she who will come/ the promised one i.e. a son
(or daughter) of Sartar

(6) apple trees

(7) I am unable to locate this allusion in the traditional barbarian myths,
perhaps I misheard this phrase.

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(Apologies to Hamish Henderson)

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Save the Jags.
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