Page images




aim ;

pare !

The wily mother sees the conscious flame The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek; The big Ha’-Bible, ance his father's pride: Wi' heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside, name,

His lyart haffets wearin' thin and bare;
While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak ; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion
Weel pleased the mother hears it's nae glide
wild, worthless rake.

He wales a portion with judicious care ;

And “Let us worship God!” he says with Wi' kindly welcome, Jenny brings him ben

solemn air.
A strappan youth, he taks the mother's

They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
Blythe Jenny sees the visit 's no ill ta'en ; They tune their hearts, by far the noblest
The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and
kye ;

Perhaps Dundee's wild, warbling measures The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' rise, joy,

Or plaintive Martyr's, worthy o'the name ; But blate and laithfu', scarce can weel be- Or noble Elgin beets the heavenward flamehave ;

The sweetest far o' Scotia's holy lays; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy Compared with these, Italian trills are tame; What makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae The tickled ears no heart-felt raptures grave

raiseWeel pleased to think her bairn's respected Nae unison hae they with our Creator's like the lave.

praise. O happy love! where love like this is found !

The priest-like father reads the sacred page : O heart-felt raptures ! bliss beyond com

How Abraham was the friend of God on

high ; I've paced much this weary mortal round,

Or Moses bade eternal warfare wage
And sage experience bids me this declare-

With Amalek's ungracious progeny ;
If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure

Or how the royal bard did groaning lie spare,

Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging One cordial in this melancholy vale, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair

Or Job's pathetic plaint, and wailing cry;
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,

Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire ;
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents

Or other holy seers that tune the sacred the evening gale.

lyre. Is there, in human form that bears a heart,

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme : A wretch, a villain, lost to love and truth,

How guiltless blood for guilty man was. That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,

shed; Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth ?

How He, who bore in Heaven the second Curse on his perjured arts ! dissembling

name, smooth!

Had not on earth whereon to lay His head; Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled ?

How His first followers and servants spedIs there no pity, no relenting ruth,

The precepts sage they wrote to many a Points to the parents fondling o'er their land; child

How he, who lone in Patmos banished, 1. Then naints thn.mpin') mnid, and their dis

Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand, The soup their only hawkie does afford,

And heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounced

Hur That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her That thus Heaven's command. cud ;

There ever bask in The dame brings forth, in complimental mood, No more to sigh, or shed the bitter zternal King,

husband To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck

Together hymning their Creator's praise, fell,

In such society, yet still more dear, An' aft he's press'd, and aft be ca's it good ; While circling time moves round in an The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell

eternal sphere. How 'twas a towmond auld, sin’ lint was i' the bell.

Compared with this, how poor religion's pride,

In all the pomp of method and of art, The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face When men display to congregations wide

They, round the ingle, form a circle wide; Devotion's every grace except the heart !

ire ;



The Power, incensed, the pageant will desert,

The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole; But haply, in some cottage far apart, May hear, well pleased, the language of the

soul, And in His book of life the inmates poor


Then homeward all take off their sev'ral way;

The youngling cottagers retire to rest; The parent-pair their secret homage pay, And proffer up to Heaven the warm re

quest That He who stills the raven's clam'rous nest,

And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, Would, in the way His wisdom sees the best,

For them and for their little ones provide But chiefly in their hearts with grace di

vine preside.

From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur

springs, That makes her loved at home, revered

abroad. Princes and lords are but the breath of kings" An honest man's the noblest work of

And, certes, in fair virtue's heavenly road,

The cottage leaves the palace far behind. What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load,

Disguising oft the wretch of human kind, Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness re

fined !

1593.-A VILLAGE SCOLD SURPRISING HER HUSBAND IN AN ALE-HOUSE. I'the thrang o' stories tellin,

Shakin hands and jokin queer, Swith ! a chap comes on the hallan

“Mungo! is our Watty here?” Maggy's weel-kent tongue and hurry

Darted through him like a knife : Up the door flew-like a fury

In came Watty's scoldin wife. “Nasty, gude-for-naething being!

O ye snuffy drucken sow ! Bringin wife and weans to ruin,

Drinkin here wi' sic a crew ! " Rise! ye drucken beast o' Bethel !

Drink 's your night and day's desire; Rise, this precious hour! or faith I'll

Fling your whisky i' the fire ! ”
Watty heard her tongue unhallow'd,

Paid his groat wi' little din,
Left the house, while Maggy fallow'd,

Flyting a' the road behin'.
Folk frae every door came lampin,

Maggy curst them ane and a',
Clapp'd wi' her hands, and stampin,

Lost her bauchels i' the snaw. Hame, at length, she turn'd the gavel,

Wi' a face as white's a clout, Ragin like a very devil,

Kickin stools and chairs about.. “ Ye'll sit wi' your limmers round ye

Hang you, sir, I'll be your death! Little hauds my hands, confound you,

But I cleave you to the teeth!” Watty, wha, 'midst this oration,

Eyed her whiles, but durst na speak, Sat, like patient Resignation,

Trembling by the ingle-cheek, Sad his wee drap brose he sippet

(Maggy's tongue gaed like a bell), Quietly to his bed he slippet,

Sighin aften to himsel "Nane are free frae some vexation,

Ilk ane has his ills to dree; But through a' the hale creation Is nae mortal vex'd like me."

A. Wilson.Born 1766, Died 1813.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

O Scotia ! my dear, my native soil !
For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is

sent! Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet

content! And, oh! may Heaven their simple lives pre

vent From luxury's contagion weak and vile! Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be rent,

A virtuous populace may rise the while, And stand a wall of fire around their much

loved isle.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

0 Thou ! who pour'd the patriotic tide That stream'd through Wallace's undaunted

heartWho dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride,

Or nobly die, the second glorious part(The patriot's God peculiarly Thou art

His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward !) O never, never Scotia's realm desert ;

But still the patriot and the patriot bard In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard !

Robert Burns.-Born 1759, Died 1796.

[ocr errors]

1594.-A PEDLAR'S STORY. I wha stand here, in this bare scowry coat, Was ance a packman, worth mony a groat; I've carried packs as big's your meikle table ; I've scarted pats, and sleepit in a stable : Sax pounds I wadna for my pack anco taen, And I could bauldly brag 'twas a' mine ain.

Ay! thae were days indeed, that gar'd me

hope, Aiblins, through time to warsle up a shop; And as a wife aye in my noddle ran, I keun'd my Kate wad grapple at me than. Oh, Kate was past compare ! sic cheeks !

sic een ! Sic smiling looks! were never, never seen. Dear, dear I loed her, and whene'er we met, Pleaded to have the bridal day but set ; Stapp'd her pouches fu'o' preens and laces, And thought mysel weel paid wi' twa three

kisses : Yet still she put it aff frae day to day, And aften kindly in my lug would say, “Ae half-year langer's no nae unco stop, We'll marry then, and syne set up a shop.”

Oh, sir, but lasses' words are saft and fair, They soothe our griefs and banish ilka care : Wha wadna toil to please the lass he loes ? A lover true minds this in all he does. Finding her mind was thus sae firmly bent, And that I couldna get her to relent, There was nought left but quietly to resign, To heeze my pack for ae lang hard campaign ; And as the Highlands was the place for meet, I ventured there in spite o' wind and weet.

Cauld now the winter blew, and deep the

The loss o' fair-won wealth, though hard to

bear, Afore this-ne'er had power to force a tear. I trusted time would bring things round again, And Kate, dear Kate! would then be a' mine

ain: Consoled my mind in hopes o' better luckBut, oh! what sad reverse! how thunder.

struck ! When ae black day brought word frae Rab

my brither, That-Kate was cried and married on anither! Though a' my friends, and ilka comrade

sweet, At ance had drapp'd cauld dead at my feet ; Or though I'd heard the last day's dreadful


Nae deeper horror owre my heart could fa':
I cursed mysel, I cursed my luckless fate,
And grat-and sabbing cried, Oh Kate! oh

Frae that day forth I never mair did weel,
But drank, and ran headforemost to the deil !
My siller vanish'd, far frae hame I pined,
But Kate for ever ran across my mind;
In her were a' my hopes—these hopes were

vain, And now I'll never see her like again.

A. Wilson.-Born 1766, Died 1813.


1595.—THE ALE-HOUSE. In a howm whose bonny burnie

Whimpering row'd its crystal flood, Near the road where travellers turn aye,

Neat and beild a cot-house stood : White the wa's wi' roof new theekit,

Window broads just painted red; Lown 'mang trees and braes it reekit

Haflins seen and haflins hid.

For three hale days incessantly did fa';
Far in a muir, amang the whirling drift,
Where nought was seen but mountains and

the lift, I lost my road and wander'd mony a mile, Maist dead wi' hunger, cauld, and fright, and

toil. Thus wandering, east or west, I kenn'd na

where, My mind o'ercome wi' gloom and black

despair, Wi' a fell ringe I plunged at ance, forsooth, Down through a wreath o' snaw up to my

mouthClean owre my head my precious wallet flew, But whar it gaed, Lord kens-I never knew! What great misfortunes are pour'd down

on some ! I thought my fearfu' hinder-end was come! Wi' grief and sorrow was my saul owercast, Ilk breath I drew was like to be my last ; For aye the mair I warsled roun' and roun', I fand mysel aye stick the deeper down ; Till ance, at length, wi' a prodigious pull, I drew my puir cauld carcass frae the hole.

Lang, lang I sought and graped for my pack, Till night and hunger forced me to come back. For three lang hours I wander'd up and down, Till chance at last convey'd me to a town ; There, wi' a trembling hand, I wrote my Kate A sad account of a' my luckless fate, But bade her aye be kind, and no despair, Since life was left, I soon would gather mair, Wi' whilk I hoped, within a towmont's date, To be at hame, and share it a' wi' Kate.

Fool that I was ! how little did I think That love would soon be lost for faut o'clink!

Up the gavel-end thick spreading

Crap the clasping ivy green,
Back owre firs the high craigs cleadin,

Raised a' round a cosey screen.
Down below a flowery meadow

Join'd the burnie's rambling line ; Here it was that Howe the widow

The same day set up her sign. Brattling down the brae, and near its

Bottom, Will first marvelling sees “Porter, Ale, and British Spirits,"

Painted bright between twa trees. “Godsake, Tam! here's walth for drinking !

Wha can this new-comer be?" “Hout," quo' Tam, “ there's drouth in think.

ingLet's in, Will, and syne we'll see.”

Hector Macneill.-Born 1746. Diel 1818


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Hae ye mark'd the dew o' morning

Glittering in the sunny ray, Quickly fa', when, without warning,

Rough blasts came and shook the spray ? Hae ye seen the bird fast fleeing,

Drap when pierced by death mair float ? Then see Jean wi' colour deeing,

Senseless drap at Willie's feet. After three lang years' affliction

(A' their waes now hush'd to rest), Jean anco mair, in fond affection, Clasps her Willie to her breast.

Hector Macneill.-Born 1746, Died 1818.

1596.—THE HUSBAND'S RETURN. Sometimes briskly, sometimes flaggin',

Sometimes helpit, Will gat forth; On a cart, or in a wagon,

Hirpling aye towards the north. Tired ae e'ening, stepping hooly,

Pondering on his thraward fate,
In the bonny month o' July,

Willie, heedless, tint his gate.
Saft the southland breeze was blawing,

Sweetly sughed the green aik wood ;
Loud the din o' streams fast fa'ing,

Strack the ear wi' thundering thud :
Ewes and lambs on braes ran bleating;

Linties chirp'd on ilka tree ;
Frae the west the sun, near setting,

Flamed on Roslin's towers sae hie.
Roslin's towers and braes sae bonny!

Craigs and water, woods and glen i Roslin's banks unpeer'd by ony,

Save the Muses' Hawthornden ! Ilka sound and charm delighting,

Will (though hardly fit to gang)
Wander'd on through scenes inviting,

Listening to the mavis' sang.
Faint at length, the day fast closing,

On a fragrant strawberry steep,
Esk's sweet dream to rest composing,

Wearied nature drapt asleep. "Soldier, rise !—the dews o' e'ening

Gathering, fa' wi' deadly skaith !Wounded soldier ! if complaining,

Sleep na here, and catch your death.”

1597.—MARY OF CASTLE-CARY. Saw ye my wee thing, saw ye my ain thing,

Saw ye my true love down on yon leaCross'd she the meadow yestreen at the

gloaming, Sought she the burnie where flowers the

haw-tree; Her hair it is lint-white, her skin it is milk.

white, Dark is the blue of her soft rolling e'e ; Red, red are her ripe lips, and sweeter than roses.

Where could my wee thing wander frae me?

I saw nae your wee thing, I saw nae your ain

thing, Nor saw I your true love down by yon lea; But I met my bonnie thing late in the

gloaming, Down by the burnie where flowers the haw.

tree : Her hair it was lint-white, her skin it was

milk-white, Dark was the blue of her soft rolling o'e; Red were her ripe lips and sweeter than

rosesSweet were the kisses that she gave to me.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Silent step he on, poor fallow !

Listening to his guide before,
O'er green knowe and flowery hallow,

Till they reach'd the cot-house door.
Laigh it was, yet sweet and humble;

Deck'd wi' honeysuckle round ; Clear below Esk's waters rumble,

Deep glens murmuring back the sound. Melville's towers sae white and stately,

Dim by gloaming glint to view ; Through Lasswade's dark woods keek sweetly

Skies sae red and lift sae blue. Entering now in transport mingla

Mother fond and happy wean, Smiling round a canty ingle

Bleezing on a clean hearthstane. “Soldier, welcome ! come be cheerie

Here ye'se rest and tak' your bedFaint, waes me ! ye seem, and weary,

Pale's your cheek sae lately red !” “ Changed I am,” sigh'd Willie till her ;

“Changed, nao doubt, as changed can be; Yet, alas! does Jeanie Miller

Nought o' Willie Gairlace see?"

It was nae my weo thing, it was nae my ain

thing, It was nae my true love ye met by the tree: Proud is her leal heart, and modest her nature,

She never loved ony till ance she loed me. Her name it is Mary, she's frae Castle-Cary,

Aft has she sat when a bairn on my knee: Fair as your face is, wert fifty times fairer, Young bragger, she ne'er wad gie kisses to


It was then your Mary; she's frae Castle-Cary,

It was then your true love I met by the tree; Proud as her heart is, and modest her nature,

Sweet were the kisses that she gave to me. Sair gloom'd his dark brow, blood-red his cheek

grew, Wild flash'd the fire frae his red rolling e'e : Ye'se rue sair this morning your boasts and

your scorning, Defend ye, fause traitor, fu' loudly ye lie.

[ocr errors]


‘Away wi' beguiling, cried the youth, smiling, But far to the camp they hae march'd my

Off went the bonnet, the lint-white locks flee, dear Johnnie, The belted plaid fa'ing, her white bosom And now it is winter wi' nature and me. shawing,

Then ilk thing around us was blithesome and Fair stood the loved maid wi' the dark

cheerie, rolling e'e.

Then ilk thing around us was bonnie and Is it my wee thing, is it my ain thing,

braw; Is it my true love here that I see ? O Jamie, forgie me, your heart's constant to me,

Now naething is heard but the wind whistling

drearie, I'll never mair wander, dear laddie, frae thee.

And naething is seen but the wide-spreading Hector lacneill.-Born 1746, Died 1818.

The trees are a' bare, and the birds mute and


They shake the cauld drift frae their wings
1598.—THE BRAES O' BALQUHITHER. as they flee;
Let us go, lassie, go,

And chirp out their plaints, seeming wae for
To the braes o’ Balquhither,

my Johnnie;

'Tis winter wi' them, and 'tis winter wi' me. Where the blae-berries grow

'Mang the bonnie Highland heather; Yon cauld sleety cloud skiffs alang the bleak Where the deer and the roe,

mountain, Lightly bounding together,

And shakes the dark firs on the steep rocky Sport the lang summer day

brae, On the braes o' Balquhither.

While down the deep glen bawls the snaw

flooded fountain, I will twine thee a bower By the clear siller fountain,

That murmur'd saesweetto myladdieand me.
And I'll cover it o'er

It's no its loud roar on the wintry wind
Wi' the flowers of the mountain;

swellin', I will range through the wilds,

It's no the cauld blast brings the tear i' my
And the deep glens sae drearie,

e'e; And return wi' the spoils

For oh! gin I saw but my bonnie Scot's callan,
To the bower o' my dearie.

The dark days o' winter were summer to me.

Robert Tannahill.-Born 1774, Died 1810. When the rude wintry win'

Idly raves round our dwelling, And the roar of the linn

On the night breeze is swelling, So merrily we'll sing,

1600.—THE FLOWER O' DUMBLANE. As the storm rattles o'er us,

The sun has gane down o'er the lofty BenTill the dear shieling ring

lomond, Wi' the light lilting chorus.

And left the red clouds to preside o'er the Now the summer's in prime

scene, Wi’ the flowers richly blooming,

While lanely I stray in the calm summer And the wild mountain thyme

gloamin, A’ the moorlands perfuming •

To muse on sweet Jessie, the flower o'
To our dear native scenes

Let us journey together,

How sweet is the brier, wi' its saft fauldin'
Where glad innocence reigns

blossom! ’Mang the braes o' Balquhither.

And sweet is the birk, wi' its mantle о'green;

Yet sweeter and fairer, and dear to this bosom, Robert Tannahill.-Born 1774, Died 1810.

Is lovely young Jessie, the flower o' Dum

She's modest as ony, and blithe as she's

bonnie; 1599.--THE BRAES O' GLENIFFER.

For guileless simplicity marks her its ain: Keen blaws the win' o'er the braes o' Gleniffer, And far be the villain, divested of feeling,

The auld castle turrets are cover'd with snaw; Wha'd blight in its bloom the sweet flower How changed frae the time when I met wi' o' Dumblane.

Sing on, thou sweet mavis, thy hymn to the Amang the broom bushes by Stanley green e'ening; shaw !

Thou’rt dear to the echoes of Calderwood The wild flowers o' summer were spread a' sae glen: bonnie,

Sae dear to this bosom, sae artless and winning, The mavis sang sweet frae the green birken Is charming young Jessie, the flower o


my lover


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »