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Then sometimes, ere they flit their doup, | Weel might ye trow, to see them there,
Or curl an' sleek a pickle hair,
Would be right laith, An' swallow ower a dainty soup,
Whan pacing wi' a gawsya air
In gude Braid Claith. A’ye wha canna staun sae sicker,
If ony mettl'd stirrah green 3 Whan twice you've toom'd the big-ars'd For favour frae a lady's een, bicker,
He maunna care for bein' seen
Before he sheath
His body in a scabbard clean
O'gude Braid Claith. Will thole it better. For gin he come wi' coat thread-bare,
A feg for him she winna care,
But crook her bonny mou' fu' sair,
An' scauld him baith :
Wooers shou'd ay their travel spare Ye wha are fain to hae your name
Without Braid Claith. Wrote i’ the bonny book o' Fame,
Braid Claith lends fouk an unco heeze, Let Merit nae pretension claim To laurel'd wreath,
Maks mony kail-worms butterflies,
Gies mony a doctor his degrees
For little skaith ;
In short, you may be what you please He that some ells of this may fa'
Wi' gude Braid Claith. An' slae-black hat on pow like snaw, For tho' ye had as wise a snout on Bids bauld to bear the gree awa'
As Shakespeare or Sir Isaac Newton,
I'll tak my aith,
Till they cou'd see ye wi' a suit on
O'gude Braid Claith.
At Hallowmas, when nights grow lang,
When fouk, the nippin cauld to bang, On Sabbath-days, the barber spark, Their winter hapwarms wear : Whan he has done wi' scrapin wark, Near Edinburgh a fair there hauds, Wi' siller broachie in his sark,
I wat there's nane wha's name is, Gangs trigly, faith! For strappin dames and sturdy lads, Or to the Meadows, or the Park,
An' cap an' stoup, mair famous
Than it that day.
'Locks. ? Vain, big. 3 Fellow wish. 4 Stars.
Upo' the tap o’ilka lum,
The sun began to keek, An' bad the trig-made maidens come
A sightly joe to seek At Hallow Fair, whare browsters rare
Keep good ale on the gantries, An' dinna scrimp ye o' a skair O'kebbucks frae their pantries
Fu' saut that day. Here country John in bannet blue,
An' eke his Sunday's claes on, Rins after Meg wi' rokelay' new,
An' sappy kisses lays on ; She'll tauntin say, Ye silly coof!
Be o' your gab mair sparin : He'll tak the hint, and creish her loof Wi' what will buy her fairin,
To chew that day.
Here chapmen billies tak their stand,
An' shaw their bonny wallies ; 2 Wow, but they lie fu' gleg aff hand
To trick the silly fallows : Heh, Sirs ! what cairds and tinklers come,
An' ne'er-do-weel horse-coupers, An' spae-wives fenzying to be dumb, Wi' a' sicklike landloupers,
To thrive that day.
For fernyear Meg Thamson got,
Frae thir mischievous villains, A scaw'd' bit o' a penny note, That lost a score o' shillins
To her that day. The dinlin drums alarm our ears,
The serjeant screechs fu' loud, “A' gentlemen an' volunteers
That wish your country gude,
Twa guineas an' a crown,
Wi' ease this day." Without the cuissers2 prance and nicker,
An' o'er the ley-rig scud ;
An' rant and roar like wud.
Wi' wives and wee-anes gabblin,
Confus'd that day. Whan Phæbus ligs 5 in Thetis' lap,
Auld Reekie gies them shelter,
An' ca't round helter-skelter.
Great cause he had to rue it,
Fu' sair that night. “Ohon !" quo' he, “ I'd rather be
By sword or bagnet stickit, Than hae my crown or body wi'
Sic deadly weapons nickit."
Mair weighty than before,
Fu'red that night.
Here Sawney cries, frae Aberdeen,
“Come ye to me fa need ; The brawest shanks that e'er were seen
I'll sell ye cheap an' gweed. I wyt they are as pretty hose
As come frae weyer or leem :3 Here tak a rug, an' shaw's your pose ; Forseeth, my ain's but teem 4
An' light the day." Ye wives, as ye gang through the fair,
O mak your bargains hooly ! O' a' thir wylie lowns beware,
Or fegs they will ye spulzie.
3 Wire or loom.
He peching on the causey lay,
Blythely to skim on wanton wing O'kicks and cuffs weel sair'd ;
Through a' the fairy haunts o' spring. A Highland aith the serjeant gae,
Whan fields hae gat their dewy gift, "She maun pe see our guard.”
An dawnin' breaks upo' the lift, Out spak the weirlike corporal,
Then gang your ways through height an' “Pring in ta drunken sot;'
Or ivy'd craig, or burn-bank brae,
Whare industry shall bid you gae,
For hiney, or for waxen store, Gude fouk, as ye come frae the fair,
To ding sad poortith frae the door. Bide yont frae this black squad ;
Cou'd feckless creature, Man, be wise, There's nae sic savages elsewhere
The simmer o' his life to prize, Allow'd to wear cockade.
In winter he might fend fu' bauld, Than the strong lion's hungry maw, His eild unkend to nippin cauld, Or tusk o' Russian bear,
Yet thir, alas ! are antrin' fouk Frae their wanruly felon paw
That lade their scape2 wi' winter stock. Mair cause ye hae to fear
Auld age maist feckly glowers right Your death that day.
dour A wee soup drink does unco weel
Upo' the ailings of the poor, To had the heart aboon ;
Wha hope for nae comforting, save
That dowie dismal house, the grave.
Then feeble man, be wise, tak tent
How industry can fetch content:
Behold the bees whare'er they wing,
Or thro' the bonny bowers o' spring, An' eke the Council-chaumer,
Where violets or where roses blaw,
And siller dew-draps nightly fa',
The hiney's still as sweet that flows
Frae thristle cauld, or kendling rose.
Instructive bee! attend me still, The bounties of the gleesome year, Owre a' my labour sey 3 your skill : To him whase voice delights the spring, For thee shall hiney-suckles rise, Whase soughs the saftest slumbers bring. Wi' lading to your busy thighs,
The trees in simmer-cleading drest, An' ilka shrub surround my cell, The hillocks in their greenest vest, Whareon ye like to hum an' dwell : The brawest flow'rs rejoic'd we see, My trees in bourachs 4 owre my ground Disclose their sweets, and ca' on thee, Shall send ye frae ilk blast o'wind :
burghshire, in 1757, of very humble as she sung;” on which the poet reparents, and at the age of twelve was marksemployed in herding cattle. Having
Now sound sleeps the dead in his bed of got possession of a copy of Ramsay's
cauld clay, Gentle Shepherd, he was stirred to
For death still the dearest maun sever; attempt verse himself. He enlisted in
But now he's forgot, and his widow's as gay, the Soth Regiment, and served in the And his fiddle's as merry as ever." war in America, where, during the leisure of camp-life, he kept up his
RURAL CONTENT; intimacy with the lyric muse. When the war was ended, he procured his OR, THE MUIRLAND FARMER. discharge, and returned to his native I'm now a gude farmer, I've acres oʻland, parish, where he settled as an agricul
An' my heart aye loups light when I'm tural labourer for the remainder of his viewin' o't, days. In 1805, he first published a An' I hae servants at my command, collection of his poems, of which a An' twa dainty cowts for the plowin' second edition, with additions, appeared o't. in 1808. His last volume of poetry, My farm is a snug ane, lies high on a Poems on various Subjects, was published
muir, at Edinburgh in 1826.
The muir-cocks an' plivers aft skirl at my He died in 1839, at the patriarchal An' whan the sky lowrs, I'm aye sure o'
door, age of 82, and was buried in the Church
a' show'r yard of Bowden.
To moisten my land for the plowin' o't. Andrew Scott's character appears to have been imbued with a considerable Leeze me on the mailin that's fa’n to my share of the “Rural Content " which
share, his muse celebrates; yet though the It taks sax muckle bowes for the sawin' poem of this title is his best, some of his other pieces, as “Symon and Janet,” | I've sax braid acres for pasture, an' mair, contain glimpses of quiet humour, An'a dainty bit bog for the mawin' o't. which evince the possession of keen
spence an'a kitchen my mansion-house observing powers and knowledge of
gies, human nature. The last stanza of I've a cantie wee wifie to daut whan I "The Fiddler's Widow" is a specimen Twa bairnies, twa callans, that skelp ower
please, of his pawky humour. It needs to be
the leas, premised, that the defunct's widow and
An' they'll soon can assist at the plowin' fiddle may be said to have sworn to
o't. sorrow for the rest of their existence, when a knowing hand, who had the art My biggin stands sweet on this south of handling both with equal skill, “ took
slopin' hill, down the fiddle as dowie it hung,” and An' the sun shines sae bonnily beamin' “the young widow dighted her cheeks
An' past my door trots a clear prattlin' rill Now welcome gude weather, or wind, or Frae the loch, whar the wild ducks are
come weet, swimmin' on't.
Or bauld ragin' winter, wi' hail, snaw, or An' on its green banks, on the gay sim
sleet, mer days,
Nae mair can he draigle my crap 'mang My wifie trips barefit, a-bleachin' her his feet, claes,
Nor wraik his mischief, and be spoilin An' on the dear creature wi' rapture I
o't. gaze, While I whistle an' sing at the plowin' An' on the douf days, when loud hurri o't.
Fu' snug i' the spence I'll be viewin' o't, To rank amang farmers I hae muckle An' jink the rude blast in my rush-theekit
ha', pride, But I maunna speak high when I'm tellin'
When fields are seal'd up frae the o't,
plowin' o't. How brawly I strut on my shelty to ride, My bonnie wee wifie, the bairnies, an' me, Wi' a sample to show for the sellin' o't.
The peat-stack and turf-stack our Phæbus
shall be, In blue worset boots that my auld mither
Till day close the scoul o' its angry e'e, span I've aft been fu' vanty sin' I was a man,
An'we'll rest in gudę hopes o'the plowin'
o't. But now they're flung by, an' I've bought cordovan,
SEQUEL TO THE FOREGOING. And my wifie ne'er grudged me shillin' o't.
An' whan the year smiles, an' the lave
rocks sing, Sae now, whan to kirk or to market I gae, My man Jock an' me shall be doin' o't;
My weelfare what need I be hidin' o't? He'll thrash, and I'll toil on the fields in In braw leather boots shining black as the spring, the slae,
An' turn up the soil at the plowin' o't. I dink me to try the ridin' o't.
An' whan the wee flow'rets begin then to Last towmond I sell'd off four bowes o'
blaw, guid bere,
The laverock, the peasweep, and skirlin' An' thankfu' I was, for the victual was pickmaw dear,
Shall hiss the bleak winter to Lapland An' I came hame wi' spurs on my heels awa', shinin' clear,
Then we'll ply the blythe hours at the I had sic gude luck at the sellin' o't.
Now hairst-time is o'er, an'a fig for the An' whan the birds sing on the sweet laird,
simmer morn, My rent's now secure for the toilin' o't; My new crap I'll keek at the growin' o't ; My fields are a' bare, and my craps in th'
Whan hares niffer love 'mang the green yard,
brairdit corn, An' I'm nae mair in doubts o' the spoilin | An' dew-drops the tender blade showin' o't.