صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[blocks in formation]

Some shake the pelting dice upon the Round through the vast circumference of

broad backgammon.

Others, of travell'd elegance, polite,

With mingling music Maggie's house surround,

And serenade her all the live-long night With song and lyre, and flute's enchanting sound,

Chiming and hymning into fond delight The heavy night air that o'ershades the ground;

While she, right pensive, in her chamber

nook,

sky,

Scarce can the eye one speck of cloud behold,

Save in the East some fleeces bright of

dye,

That hem the rim of heav'n with woolly gold,

Whereon are happy angels wont to lie

Lolling, in amaranthine flow'rs enroll'd, That they may spy the precious light of God,

Flung from the blessed East o'er the fair Earth abroad.

Sits pond'ring on th' advice of little The fair Earth laughs through all her

Tommy Puck.

boundless range,

fruits, and possibly the immediate occasion of the setting up of the Auchinleck press, was a unique copy of the disputation between John Knox and Quentin Kennedy, at Maybole, in 1562, which Sir | Alexander found in the Auchenleck library, and wished to have reprinted in fac-simile for his literary friends. He is connected with the origin of another and more extensive Ayrshire manufacture than that of books— namely, the celebrated Mauchline woodwork, which is affirmed by the Scots Times to have originated in the mending of the snuff-box of a French gentleman, who was a guest at Auchinleck, by an ingenious Mauchline mechanic. Sir Alexander having taken a fancy to it, wished to have one made of the same pattern, and it was made so well that a demand sprung up for more. To this incident the present extensive and beautiful wood-work which is known as Mauchline manufacture owes its existence. It is said that the present President of the Royal Scottish Academy first used his brush in painting the lids of Mauchline snuff-boxes.

|

[ocr errors]

frewshires a short time previously. But he did not always act with equal judiciousness; and soon after he took a part in the heated politics of the time which it would be difficult to justify, and for which he paid a melancholy penalty. In politics he was an extreme Tory, and as a partizan of that political section, he wrote a squib, entitled a "New Whig Song," reflecting on the courage of Mr Stuart of Dunearn, who at once challenged him. The meeting took place at Auchtertool, in Fife, on the 26th March 1822, and resulted in Sir Alexander's being mortally wounded. He died next day, at Balmuto, the original seat of the Boswells. Sir Alexander's sense of being in the wrong determined his having resolved, if his opponent missed aim, to fire blank. Stuart escaped to the continent, but gave himself up for trial about a year afterwards, when he was acquitted.

Humour is Boswell's chief characteristic as a poet, and his "East Nuik o' Fife" shows how broad, how graphic, and original was his humorous vein. "Jenny's Bawbee" also ranks Sir Alexander's chief claim to remem- with "Tibbie Fowler" and "Kate brance, besides his own contributions | Dalrymple," our best songs, satirising

matrimonial fortune-hunting.

SKELDON HAUGHS;

OR, THE SOW FLITTED.

to literature, is his noble efforts in get-
ting the Ayr Burns' monument erected,
the foundation-stone of which he laid on
the poet's birthday, 1820, in his capa-
city of Depute Grand-master Mason
of Ayrshire. Although the grandson Crawford o' Kerse sat in his ha',
of Lord Auchinleck (a courtesy title), it
was not till 1821 that he obtained his
rank of Baronet of the United Kingdom,
which was the reward of his tact and
zeal in suppressing the disturbance that
threatened the peace of Ayr and Ren-

[ocr errors]

White were his locks as drifted snaw;
For stealin' change o' shrivelin' time
Had quench'd the vigour o' his prime :
And totterin' limbs poor service yield,
Whan rivals struggle in the field.
His shrunken arm refused its part,

Ilk awfu' tramp he gave the ground, Garr'd aik-trees shake their heads a' round And lions rin hame cowerin'.

To shaw his pow'r unto the people, Ance in his arms he took the steeple,

Kiss'd it, and ca'd it brither; Syne from its bottom up it wrung, And in the air three times it swung,

Spire, bell, and a' thegither!

And when he'd swung it merrily,
Again upon its bottom he

Did clap it down sae clever;
Except a sma' crack half-way round,
The steeple stood upon its found,
As stout and straucht as ever!

Ae king's birth-day, when he was fu', Twa Tangier chaps began to pu'

His tails; when, on a sudden, Ane by the richt leg up he grippit, The tither by the neck he snippit,

And sent them skyward scuddin'.

On earth they ne'er again cam down ;
Ane in a tan-pit i' the moon

Fell plump, and breath'd his last;
The tither ane was jammit ticht
'Tween twa stars o' the Pleiads bricht,
Whare yet he's sticking fast.

Ae day, when he stood near the sea,
A fleet o' Tyrian ships in glee

Was sailing gawcy by--
He gript ae frigate by the mast,
And frae the deep wi' powstie vast
He rais'd her in the sky :

And then the great ship up he tumml'dHer mast was down, her hulk upwhumml'd,

Her keel high i' the lift;

Captain and cargo down cam rummlin', Marines, and men, and meat, cam tummlin'

Down frae her decks like drift.

He had a mammoth for his horse,
Whareon wi' michty birr and force
He rade haith up and down;
My certy! whan on him he lap,
For hill nor tree he didna stap-
For tower, nor yet for town.

From Calpe to the Chinese wa' He travell'd in a day or twa;

And as he gallop't east,

The tower of Babel down he batter'dFor five miles round its bricks were scatter'd,

Sic birr was in his beast!

But whan he cam to Ecbatan,
A terrible strabusch was than ;

He soucht na street nor yett,
But hurly-burly, smash, smash, smash,
Through wa's and roofs he drave slap
dash,

Down-dundering a' he met :

What wi' his monster's thunderin' thud, And what wi' brusch, and smusch, and scud,

O' rafters, slates, and stanes, Ten thousand folk to dead were devell'd Ten thousand mair were eirthlins levell'd, Half-dead wi' fractur'd banes.

He travell'd, too, baith north and south,
Whiles for his hunger, whiles for drouth,
At Thebes he brak his fast;
And at the far Cape o' Good Houp,
He took his denner, and a stoup
O' wine for his repast.

He tried, too, on his fearsome horse,
His way up to our Pole to force,
To spy its whirlin' pin ;
Up to the arctic ice-ribb'd flood
Nicherin' he cam, as he were wud,
Wi' dirdom and wi' din.

Weapons are sharp, and hides are tender,
And some maun fa', or else surrender;
Troops charge on troops, and slay and
slash,

And soughin bullets smite and smash;
Nae time, I trou, to shilly-shally,
Aff gaes the tae side, then they rally,
And on again, in mad delusion,
While heads and legs flee in confusion;
Some turn their backs and skelp awa',
And they that follow cry huzza:
Half o' the hale dung aff their feet,
Then is a Victory complete.

Crawford o' Kerse sat at his yett,
Mournin' a dowie carle's fate,
That he, when stalwart bands were gane,
Fourscore, maun hurkle there his lane :
He gazed as lang as darklin' sight
Could trace their march oure ilka height;
"And now," thought he, they're bye
Drumloch,

"

And bye the Kraigans and the Trough, And bye the Knowe and Bright-burn birk,

And down upon Dalrymple Kirk-
And now stark Esplin rushes on-
Had ever man a braver son?
Come on ye Kennedys, come now!
Fight on my sons! the loons shall rue
The day they trod on Kerse's land:
Now is the pingle, hand to hand,
Esplin stand till't, nor flinch nor bend,
Forward, ye Crawfords, wi' a stend,
The bloody toolyie settle soon,
And drive the reiffars oure the Doon !"
'Twas fancy a', his aged trunk
Worn and fatigued supinely sunk ;
On wayward chance he ponder'd deep,
And sorrow felt, but scorn'd to weep,
Then roused again; again the fight
Flitted before his dazzl'd sight.

His anxious ee, but firm and fierce,
Wander'd bewast the Loch o' Kerse,
Watchin some messenger o' speed,
Tidings to bear in time o' need:

Whan lightsome Will o' Ashyntree
Cam breathless pechin oure the lea.
Lang, lang or he cou'd parley hear,
The auld man cried, fu' loud and clear,
"Is the Sow flitted? tell me loon,
Is auld Kyle up and Carrick down?"
Mingl'd wi' sobs, his broken tale
The youth began.—“Ah! Kerse bewail
This luckless day-your blithe son John
Now, waes my heart, lies on the loan;
And he could sing like ony merle "—

Is the Sow flitted?" cried the carle, "Gie me my answer, short and plain, Is the sow flitted? yammerin wean." "The sow, deil tak her, 's oure the water And at their backs the Crawfords batter; The Carrick cowts are cow'd and bitted"

"My thumb for Jock ! the Sow is flitted."

JENNY'S BAWBEE.

I met four chaps yon birks amang
Wi' hinging lugs and faces lang;
I speered at neebour Bauldy Strang,
Wha's they I see?

Quo' he, ilk cream-faced pawky chiel
Thought himself cunnin' as the deil,
And here they cam', awa' to steal
Jenny's bawbee.

The first a Captain to his trade,
Wi' skull ill-lined, but back weel-clad,
March'd round the barn, and by the shed,
And papped on his knee :

Quo' he, "My goddess, nymph, and queen,

Your beauty's dazzled baith my een!"
But deil a beauty he had seen

But-Jenny's bawbee.

A Lawyer neist, wi' blatherin' gab,
Wha speeches wove like ony wab,
In ilk ane's corn aye took a dab,
And a' for a fee.

[blocks in formation]

JENNY DANG THE WEAVER.

At Willie's wedding on the green,
The lasses, bonnie witches,
Were busked out in aprons clean,

And snaw white Sunday mutches;
Auld Maysie bade the lads tak' tent,
But Jock wadna believe her;
But soon the fool his folly kent,
For Jenny dang the Weaver.

And Jenny dang, Jenny dang,
Jenny dang the Weaver;
But soon the fool his folly kent,
For Jenny dang the Weaver.

In ilka country dance and reel,
Wi' her he wad be babbin' ;
When she sat down then he sat down,
And till her wad be gabbin';
Where'er she gaed, baith butt and ben,

The coof would never leave her;
Aye kecklin' like a clockin' hen,
But Jenny dang the Weaver.

Jenny dang, &c.

Quo' he, My lass, to speak my mind,
In troth I needna swither;
You've bonnie een, and if ye're kind,

I needna seek anither.

He humm'd and haw'd, the lass cried Pheugh!

And bade the coof no deave her ;
Syne snapt her fingers, lap and leugh,
And dang the silly Weaver.

And Jenny dang, Jenny dang,
Jenny dang, the Weaver;
Syne snapt her fingers, lap and leugh,
And dang the silly Weaver.

EAST NEUK O' FIFE.

Auld gudeman, ye're a drucken carte, drucken carle;

A' the lang day ye're winkin', drinkin', gapin', gauntin';

« السابقةمتابعة »