Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE DAFT DAYS.

(Corresponding in Scotland to Christmas holidays in England.]

Now mirk’ December's dowie ? face
Glowrs’ owr the rigs wi’ sour grimace,
While, thro' his minimum of space,

The bleer-ey'd sun,
Wi' blinkin light and stealing pace,

His race doth run.

From naked groves nae birdie sings ;
To shepherd's pipe nae hillock rings ;
The breeze nae od’rous flavour brings

From Borean cave ;
And dwyning * Nature droops her wings,

Wi’ visage grave.
Mankind but scanty pleasure glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain,
Whan Winter, ’midst his nipping train,

Wi' frozen spear,
Sends drift owr a' his bleak domain,

And guides the weir.
Auld Reikie! thou'rt the canty hole,
A bield" for mony caldrise? soul,
Wha snugly at thine ingle loll,

Baith warm and couth;
While round they gar the bicker® roll

To weet their mouth.

When merry Yule-day comes, I trow,
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Sma' are our cares, our stamacks fou

O'gusty gear,
And kickshaws, strangers to our view,

Sin fairn-year 10.

1

[ocr errors]

I dark.
* shelter.

gloomy.
chilly.

' failing.
9 wooden dish.

• Edinburgh

stares. social.

10 last year.

Ye browster wives ! now busk ye bra,
And fling your sorrows far awa';
Then, come and gie's the tither blaw

Of reaming ale,
Mair precious than the Well of Spa,

Our hearts to heal.
Then, tho' at odds wi' a' the warl,
Amang oursells we'll never quarrel ;
Tho' Discord gie a canker'd snarl

To spoil our glee,
As lang 's there's pith into the barrel

We'll drink and 'gree.
Fiddlers ! your pins in temper fix,
And roset weel your fiddlesticks,
But banish vile Italian tricks

From out your quorum,
Nor fortes wi' pianos mix-

Gie's Tullochgorum".
For nought can cheer the heart sae wcel
As can a canty Highland reel;
It even vivifies the heel

To skip and dance :
Lifeless is he wha canna feel

Its influence.
Let mirth abound ; let social cheer
Invest the dawning of the year ;
Let blithesome innocence appear

To crown our joy ;
Nor envy, wi' sarcastic sneer,

Our bliss destroy.
And thou, great god of aqua vitæ !
Wha sways the empire of this city-
When fou we're sometimes capernoity:

Be thou prepar'd
To hedge us frae that blank banditti,

The City Guard.
2 Printed four years before Skinner's "Tullochgorum' (p. 491)

s ill-tempered.

I brewer.

BRAID CLAITH.

Ye wha are fain to hae your name
Wrote in the bonny book of fame,
Let merit nae pretension claim

To laurel'd wreath,
But hap' ye weel, baith back and wame,

In gude Braid Claith.

He that some ells o' this may fa',
An' slae-black 3 hat on pow like snaw,
Bids bauld 4 to bear the gree awa',

Wi' a' this graith,
Whan bienly clad wi' shell fu' braw

O'gude Braid Claith.

Waesuck for him wha has nae fek? o't!
For he's a gowk 8 they ’re sure to gecko at,
A chield that ne'er will be respekit

While he draws breath,
Till his four quarters are bedeckit

Wi' gude Braid Claith.

On Sabbath-days the barber spark,
Whan he has done wi' scrapin wark,
Wi' siller broachie in his sark 10,

Gangs trigly, faith!
Or to the Meadow or the Park,

In gude Braid Claith.

11

Weel might ye trow, to see them there,
That they to shave your haffits bare,
Or curl an' sleek a pickle hair,

Wud be right laith",
When pacing wi' a gạwsy air 13

In gude Braid Claith.

cover. 6

pre-eminence. toss tae head.

possess or deserve.

accoutrements.

6

[blocks in formation]

.

10 shirt.

11 cheeks.

If ony inettled stirrah? grien
For favour frae a lady's ein,
He mauna care for being seen

Before he sheath
His body in a scabbard clean

O'gude Braid Claith.

For gin he comes wi’ coat thread-bare
A feg for him she winna care,
But crook her bony mou' fu' sair,

An' scald him baith.
Wooers shou'd.

l-ay their travel spare
Without Braid Claith.

Braid Claith lends fouko an unco heese
Makes mony kail-worms butter-flies,
Gies mony a doctor his degrees

For little skaith :
In short, you may be what you please

Wi' gude Braid Claith.

For thof ye had as wise a snout on,
As Shakespeare or Sir Isaac Newton,
Your judgment fouk wud hae a doubt on,

I'll tak’ my aith,
Till they cou'd see ye wi' a suit on

O'gude Braid Claith.

FROM CALLER WATER.'

Whan father Adie? first pat spade in
The bonny yeard of antient Eden 8
His amryo had nae liquor laid in,

To fire his mou',
Nor did he thole his wife's upbraidir.'

For being fou.

fellow.

2

young

long for.

4 folk.

o lift.

8 if.

6 harm. ' Adam 8 •I arigoyne in Eden's bonny yard.'

Burns' Address to the Deil,

• cupboard.

A caller burn o'siller sheen,
Ran cannily out o'er the green,
And whan our gutcher's? drouth had been

To bide right sair,
He loutit ? down and drank bedeen

A dainty skair
His bairns a' before the flood
Had langer tack o’ flesh and blood,
And on mair pithy shanks they stood

Than Noah's line,
Wha still hae been a feckless brood

Wi' drinking wine.
The fuddlin' Bardies now-a-days
Rin maukin"-mad in Bacchus' praise,
And limp and stoiter thro' their lay's

Anacreontic,
While each his sea of wine displays

As big 's the Pontic.
My muse will no gang far frae hame,
Or scour a' airths to hound for fame;
In troth, the jillet' ye might blame

For thinking on’t,
Whan eithly 8 she can find the theme

Of aqua font.
This is the name that doctors use
Their patients' noddles to confuse;
Wi' simples clad in terms abstruse,

They labour still,
In kittle words to gar you roose

Their want o' skill.
But we'll hae nae sick clitter-clatter,
And briefly to expound the matter,
It shall be ca'd good Caller Water,

Than whilk, I trow,
Few drogs in doctors' shops are better

For me or you. 'grandfather.

hastily.

4share. of sky or earth. 7 skittish damsel. easily. o ticklish.

10

2 bent.

[ocr errors]

share.

regions praise.

8

« AnteriorContinuar »