Page images

Their lot auld Scotland ne'er envies,

But blythe and frisky,

She eyes her free-born, martial boys

Tak aff their whisky.

What tho' their Phoebus kinder warms,

While fragrance blooms and beauty charms!
When wretches range, in famish'd swarms,
The scented groves,

Or hounded forth, dishonour arms


In hungry droves :

gun 's a burden on their shouther;
They downa bide the stink o' pouther;
Their bauldest thought's a hank'ring switherb
To stan' or rin,

Till skelp-a shot!-they're aff a' throwther,
To save their skin.

But bring a Scotsman frae his hill,
Clap in his cheek a Highland gill,d
Say, such is royal George's will,

An' there's the foe,

He has nae thought but how to kill
Twa at a blow.

Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings tease him;
Death comes, wi' fearless eye he sees him;
Wi' bluidy hand a welcome gies him :

An' when he fa's,

His latest draught o' breathin' lea'ese him
In faint huzzas.

Sages their solemn een may steek,
An' raise a philosophic reek,g

All pell-mell, or in confusion. d A gill of Highland whisky.

a Cannot.

• Leaves.

b Hesitation.

ƒ Shut.

g Smoke.

An' physically causes seek,

In clime an' season;

But tell me whisky's name in Greek,
I'll tell the reason.

Scotland, my auld respected Mither!
Tho' whylesh ye moistify your leather,
Till whare ye sit, on craps1 o' heather,
Ye tine your dam;

(Freedom and Whisky gang thegither!)
Tak aff your dram!!



THE sun had clos'd the winter day,
The curlers" quato their roaring play,
An' hunger'd maukinP ta'en her way

To kail-yards green,

While faithless snaws ilk step betray
Whar she has been.

The thresher's weary flingin-treer
The lee-langs day had tired me;

And whan the day had clos'd his e'e,

Far i' the west,

Ben i' the spencet right pensivelie,
I gaed to rest.

There, lanely, by the ingle-cheek,"
I sat and ey'd the spewing reek,w

h Sometimes. i Crops. k Lose your urine. Burns was not so much the votary of Bacchus as this and 'Scotch Drink,' the preceding poem, would lead the reader to suppose. When Auld Nanse Tinnock,' the Mauchline landlady, found her name celebrated in this poem, she said, Robin Burns may be a clever enough lad, but he has little regard to truth; for I'm sure the chiel was never in a' his life aboon three times i' my house.'

m Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a digressive poem. See his Cath-Loda. n A game on the ice.

Did quit.

A hare.
9 Each.
In the country parlour.
w Smoke.

r A fail. Fire-side.

That fill'd, wi' hoast-provoking smeek,

The auld clay biggin ;

An' heard the restless rattons squeak
About the riggin'.

All in this mottie, misty clime,
I backward mus'd on wasted time,
How I had spent my youthfu' prime,
An' done nae-thing,

But stringin' blethers up in rhyme,
For fools to sing.

Had I to guid advice but harkit,b
I might, by this, hae led a market,
Or strutted in a bank and clarkit,c

My cash-account:
While here, half-mad, half-fed, half-sarkit,
Is a' th' amount.

I started, mutt'ring, blockhead! coof!
And heav'd on high my waukit loof,'
To swear by a' yon starry roof,

Or some rash aith,8

That I, henceforth, would be rhyme proof

Till my last breath

When click! the string the snickh did draw;
And jee! the door gaed to the wa';

An' by my ingle lowel I saw,

Now bleezin' bright,

A tight, outlandish Hizzie, braw,

Come full in sight.

Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht;m
The infant aith, half-form'd, was crusht;

Cough-provoking smoke.

z Full of motes. Hearkened. c Wrote.

y Building. a Foolish or romantic ideas.

d Badly provided with shirts.

e Ninny. fThick or clumsy hand. g Oath.

The latch of a door.

i Flame of the fire.


[blocks in formation]

I glow'r'd as eerie 's I'd been dush't"

In some wild glen;

When sweet, like modest Worth, she blusht,
And stepped ben."

Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs
Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows;
I took her for some Scottish Muse,

By that same token;

An' come to stop those reckless vows,

Wou'd soon been broken.

A hair-brain'd sentimental trace,'
Was strongly marked in her face;
A wildy-witty, rustic grace

Shone full upon her;

Her eye, ev'n turn'd on empty space,

Beam'd keen with Honour.

Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen,p
Till half a leg was scrimply seen;

And such a leg! my bonnie Jean

Could only peerr it;

Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean,

Nane else came near it.

Her mantle large, of greenish hue,

My gazing wonder chiefly drew;

Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling, threw
A lustre grand;

And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,

A well known land.

Here, rivers in the sea were lost;

There, mountains to the skies were tost;
Here, tumbling billows mark'd the coast,

With surging foam;

o Into the parlour.

n Stared frightfully, as if I had been suddenly pushed, or attacked by an ox. PA bright, or shining tartan, or chequered woollen stuff, much worn in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands.

9 Scantily.


s Straight.

There, distant shone Art's lofty boast,

The lordly dome.

Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods
There, well-fed Irwine stately thuds;t
Auld hermit Ayr stawu thro' his woods,
On to the shore;

And many a lesser torrent scuds,

With seeming roar.

Low, in a sandy valley spread,
An ancient borough rear'd her head;
Still, as in Scottish story read,

She boasts a race,

To ev'ry nobler virtue bred,

And polish'd grace.

By stately tow'r or palace fair,

Or ruins pendent in the air,

Bold stems of heroes, here and there,

I could discern;

Some seem'd to muse, some seem'd to dare,
With feature stern.

My heart did glowing transport feel,

To see a racew heroic wheel,

And brandish round the deep-dy'd steel
In sturdy blows;

While back-recoiling seem'd to reel

Their Suthron foes.

His Country's Saviour, mark him well;
Bold Richardton's, heroic swell;
The chief on Sark2 who glorious fell,
In high command;

To make a loud continued noise.

u Stole. w The Wallaces. r William Wallace. y Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the inmortal preserver of Scottish Independence.

2 Wallace, laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas, earl of Ormond, at the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1448. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct and intrepid valour of the gallant laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »