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Ae night thy're mad wi' drink an’ wh-ring,
THE COTTERS’ SATURDAY NIGHT.
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sught The short'ning winter-day is near a close; The miry beats retreating frae the pleugh; The black'ning trains o' craws to their repose; The toil-worn cotter frae his labour goes, This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does homeward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view, Beneath the shelter of an aged tree; Th’ expectant wee-things, todlin, stacher through To meet their dad, wi' flichterin noise an' glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonily, His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie’s smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee, Does a' his weary carking cares beguile, An' makes him quite forget his labour and his toil.
Belyve the elder bairns come drappin in, At service out, amang the farmers roun'; Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentierin A cannie errand to a neebor town: Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown, In youthful bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to shew a braw new gown, Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee, To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi'joy unfeign'd brothers and sisters meet, An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers;
The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet; Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears;
The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Anticipation forward points the view.
The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers, Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new; The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their master's an' their mistress's command,
“An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,
An' O! be sure to fear the Lord alway!
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
They never sought in vain, that sought the Lord aright!”
But hark: a rap comes gently to the door;
Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor,
The wily mother sees the conscious flame -
With heart-struck anxious care, inquires his name, While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;
weel pleas'd the mother hears, it's nae wildworthless rake.
wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;
Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;
The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi'joy,
The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy what makes the youth sae bashfa'an' sae grave;
weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the lave.
O happy love! where love like this is found!
I've paced much this weary, mortal round,
“If heaven a draught of heav'nly pleasure spare,
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the ev'ning gale."
Is there, in human form, that bears a heart-
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,
Curse on his perjur'd arts! dissembling smooth !
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth,
Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild !
But now the supper crowns their simple board! The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food:
The soupe their only hawkie does afford, That'yont the hallan snugly chows her cud:
The dame brings forth in complimental mood,
The cheerful supper done, wi' serious face, They, round the ingle, form a circle wide; The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace, The big Ha-Bible, ance his father's pride: His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside, His lyart hassets wearin thin an’ bare; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, He wales a portion with judicious care; And “letus worship God!” he says, with solemn air.
Then homeward all take off their sev'ral way; Yew The youngling cottagers retire to rest: Th The parent-pair their secret homage pay, A few And proffer up to Heaven the warm request Ag That he who stills the raven's clam’rous nest, o And decks the lily fair in flow'ry pride, Ca Would in the way his wisdom sees the best, For them and for their little ones provide; * I as Butchiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside. Th From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur o springs, No That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd abroad: o Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, Na “An honest man's the nobles work of God." But I And certes, in fair virtue's heav'nly road, An The cottage leaves the palace far behind: *I've What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous load, (in Disguising oft the wretch of human-kind, lwan Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness refin'd! Ali O Scotia! my dear, my native soil! Unhe For whom my warmest wish to heavenissent! so Long may thy hardy sons of rustic toil, stent for si Be blest with health, and peace,and sweeteor Lie And, O! may Heaven their simple lives prevent “And From luxury's contagion, weak and vile' My Then, howe'er crowns and coronets be tent, The fl A virtuous populace may rise the while, His And stand a wall offire around their much-lov'disk. lowe O thou! who pour'd the patriotic tide o That stream'd thro' Wallace's undauntedheart; And Who dar'd to, nobly, stem tyrannic pride, On Or nobly die, the second glorious part. "Aw (The patriot's God, peculiarly thou art, Th His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward') s Awal O never, never, Scotia's realm desert: Th But still the patriot and the patriotbao, And In bright succession raise, her ornament” guill T, Atto LAMENT For JAMES, EARL OF Th GLENCAIRN. | “h The wind blew hollow frae the hills, o By fits the sun's departing beam s Look'd on the fading yellow woods 1. That wav'd o'er Lugar's winding strea" T Beneath a craigy steep, a bard, , The Laden with years and meikle pain, B. In loud lament bewail'd his lord, w whom death had all untimely ta'e". o M He lean'd him to an ancient aik, - Mus whose trunk was mould'ring do" with years; F His locks were bleached white wi't". Wh His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears! A And as he touch'd his trembling h"P. | 0. And as he tun'd his doleful sang, W The winds, lamenting thro' their " “T To echo bore the notes alang. \ “Ye scatter'd birds that faintly sing, n The reliques of the vernal quire! |
And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol.
Ye woods that shed on a’ the winds
“I am a bending aged tree,
“I've seen sae monie changeful years, On earth I am a stranger grown; I wander in the ways of men, Alike unknowing and unknown: Unheard, unpitied, unreliev'd, I bear alane my lade o' care, For silent, low, on beds of dust, * Lie a' that would my sorrows share.
“And last (the sum of a my griefs!) ... My noble master lies in clay; The flow'r amang our barons bold, His country's pride, his country's stay: In weary being now I pine,
For a' the life of life is dead,
*And hope has left my aged ken, * On forward wing for ever fled.
“Awake thy last sad voice, my harp!
“In poverty's low barren vale,
“O! why has worth so short a date,
“The bridegroom may forget the bride Was made his wedded wife yestreen ;
The monarch may forget the crown That on his head an hour has been ;
oa O Tam! hads’t thou but been sae wise, Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg, -**::::: As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice A better never lifted leg, -**- She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum, Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire, ' 'o, A blethring, blustering, drunken blellum ; Despising wind, and rain, and fire ; ** That frae November till October, Whyles holding fast his guid blue bonnet; ** Ae market-day thou was na sober; Whyles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet; **** That ilka melder, wi' the miller, Whyles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares, or. Thou sat as long as thou had siller; Lest bogles catch him unawares; a That ev’ry naig was ca'd a shoe on, Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, o The smith and thee gat roaring fou on ; Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry. o That at the L–d's house, ev'n on Sunday, By this time he was cross the ford, o - Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday. Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd; *...* She prophesy'd, that, late or soon, And past the birks and meikle stane, *** Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon; Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck bane; ** * Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk, And through the whins, and by the cairn, o: By Alloway's auld haunted kirk. Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn; so Ah, gentle dames ; it gars me greet, And near the thorn, aboon the well, -- To think how monie counsels sweet, Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel. ** How monie lengthen'd sage advices, Before him Doon pours all his floods; The doubling storm roars through the woods;
The husband frae the wife despises!
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn
er - - *
e sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
The Deil had business on his hand.