Sunday, 15 March 2020

fra banc to banc, fra wod to wod

Scotland’s new twenty pound note, printed on durable paper-like polymer continues the series the Fabric of Nature and as a security feature, the frolicking red squirrels’ fur glows under an ultra-violet lamp and showcases an excerpt from the sixteenth century Sonnet of Venus and Cupid by native poet Mark Alexander Boyd (*1562 – †1601), which Ezra Pound declared the most beautiful in the language:

Fra banc to banc, fra wod to wod, I rin

Ourhailit with my feble fantasie,

Lyk til a leif that fallis from a trie

Or til a reid ourblawin with the wind.

Twa gods gyds me: the ane of tham is blind,

Ye, and a bairn brocht up in vanitie;

The nixt a wyf ingenrit of the se,

And lichter nor a dauphin with hir fin.

Unhappie is the man for evirmair

That teils the sand and sawis in the aire;

 Bot twyse unhappier is he, I lairn,

That feidis in his hairt a mad desyre,

And follows on a woman throw the fyre,

Led be a blind and teichit be a bairn.