The George Beattie Project - A Poet Lost in Time

~ ORIGINAL POEMS ~





GEORGE BEATTIE'S SIGNATURE




THE MURDERIT MYNSTRELL.

HOW sweitlie shonne the morning sunne
Upon the bonnie Ha’-house o’ Dun:
Siccan a bien and lovelie abode
Micht wyle the pilgrime aff his road;
But the awneris’ hearte was harde as stane,
And his Ladye’s was harder still, I weene.
They neur gaue amous to the poore,
And they turnit the wretchit frae thair doore,
Quhile the strainger, as he passit thair yett,
Was by the wardowre and tykkes besett.
Oh there livit there ane bonnie Maye,
Mylde and sweit as the morning raye,
Or the gloamin of ane summeris daye:
Hir haire was faire, hir eyne were blue,
And the dymples o’ luve playit round hir sweit mou;
Hir waiste was sae jimp, her anckil sae sma,
Hir bosome as quhyte as the new-driven snawe
Sprent o’er the twinne mountains of sweit Caterthunne,
Beamand mylde in the rayes of a wynterie sunne,
Quhair the myde of a fute has niver bein,
And not a cloud in the lift is sein;
Quhen the wynd is slumb’ring in its cave,
And the barke is sleeping on the wave,
And the breast of the ocean is as still
As the morning mist upon Morven Hill.
Oh sair did scho rue, baith nighte and daye,
Hir hap was to be thiss Ladye’s Maye.

=Ae morning a Mynstrell, aged and poore,
Came harping to thiss Ha’-house doore;
His heart seimit light, thoch his hewit was bare,
And spairlie covent wi’ thinne quhyte haire;
His bearde adown his bosome fell
Streamand like snowe in a wynterie gale.
Sae sweit and blythesome was his laye,
The gowd-spinke dancit upon the spraye;
The lint-quhite chirpit frae the busch,
And sweetlie sang the lark and the thrusch;
Quhyle dyght in grein, the fairie crew
Dancit frae the grass the morning dew,
For the daemons of nighte had taken their flighte
As soon as they saw the morning lighte,
And the ghaistis had left the drearie yewe;
Oh they trippit sae lightlie over the lea,
Thair nymble feet scant mocht ane see;
Thair doublettes were grein, as grein mocht be,
And they shonne in the sunne lyke the Spainzie flee.
And aye the Mynstrell harpit and sang,
Till his notes throu’ ilka chamber rang:
Thoch decrepit, forlorne, and raggie was he,
There was merghe in his fingeris, and fyre in his e’e;
Thoch his voice it was broken, and tremmult full sore,
He sung Caledonia’s battels of yore;
Hir mountains sae wylde, and her sweit smyling playns,
And the graces and luves of hir nymphs and hir swayns.
He brushit the wyre wi’ mickle glee;
He lyltit his notes righte merrilie,
As giff nae dolowre michen he dree.

=The Ladye of Dun scho rung hir bell-
"Quhat noyse is thiss - pray quicklie tell;
Quhat meins thiss lylting and deray?
A bonnie-lyke rippit thiss, by my fay!"
-"A Mynstrell, Madam, aged and poore,"
Quod the Damischell, "is harping at the doore:
And oh, my Ladye, I’m wae to see him,
And wishe I had onlie somethyng to gie him,
For his doublette is raggie, his hewit is bare,
And the wind sings throu’ his thinne quhyte haire,
Albeit his layes be blythsome and sweit,
He hasna a bachel to cover his feit."-
-"Harping at thiss tyme of the morne,
Upon my lyfe it canna be borne;
Ye menseless woman, gae tell my men
To flyng the catyffe o’er the Denn,
And let him perische i’ the deip,
For raisand the Ladye o’ Dun frae her sleip."

=The Damischell lookit sae wae and sae meik,
And a pearl of pity stood cleir on ilk cheik,
-"Shall I tell him, my Ladye, to wend o’er the lea,
And he winna come back for bountith or fee;
The sillie auld carl, may peace gae wi’ him,
I’m sure, dear Ladye, thiss tyme ye’ll forgie him."
Her voice was sae sweit, and she bendit hir knee,
And the moisture of ruthe dimm’d hir bonnie blue e’e,
Quhilk glissent lyke the sunne throu’ a cloud in June,
Or the mylder radiance of the moone,
As scho rides in the heavens all alone,
And the thinne mysts of summer sail round her throne:
Ane angell from God mocht hae kisst that sweit face,
And returnit to Heaven all pure from the embrace.
"Swythe, out of my presence! ye heard quhat I said,"
Quod the Ladye - "‘Tis meit that my behests be obey’d."

=The men they had dancit to the Mynstrell’s laye,
But readie their Ladye’s behests to obeye-
Thae fleichin, sinfu’, murtherous men,
They flang the harper o’er the Denn,
And loot him perische i’ the deip,
For raisand the Ladye o’ Dun frae hir sleip.
He priggit for mercie - he prayit for grace,
Quhyle the tearis ran doun his aged face;
He vowit to Heiven he maint nae offence,
And beggit the men to lett him gae hence-
To hirple his waas to the cot - house doore,
And cheir with his layes the semple and poore;
For thoch his comforts here were but few,
His bosome beat to Nature trewe.
"Nae mercie here," quod the men "can be given,
But we hope, auld man, you’ll meet it in Heiven;
Our Ladye’s behests we are bound to obey,
Albeit we hae dancit to your roundelay;
Then stryke on your harpe the last sound of woe,
Before that you sleip in your cauld bed below!"
The Laird o’ Dun had power of the law;
The Mynstrell was flung in, harpe an a’:
The Mynstrell he groan’d, and his harpe it rung,
And mute for aye was his tunefu’ tongue!
A waesome syght it was to see
Him launchit sae quick to eternitie!
Ance kythit o’er the streame his bearde sae hoare-
Syne his spirit wingit its way to gloare;
And niver mair was that Mynstrell sein;
But aye and anon, at morn and at e’en,
His harpe it sounded to the breize,
And a figure was sein to glide throu’ the trees,
And groans were heard, sae loud and sae deip,
The Ladye o' Dun could niver mair sleip;
But aye the mament scho winkit an e’e,
Scho saw before hir, as plain as mocht be,
The Mynstrell wyde gapin and wreathin in paine,
And suein for mercie he couldna obtaine,
And wringin his hands in wylde despaire,
And waggin his head and his thinne quhyte haire,
Quhyle veive in her fancie wad scho see,
The ghastlie glowre of his death-set e’e;
And his clay-cauld hand wad presse hir cheike;
Oh then wad scho start frae hir bedde and shreike,-
"Haud aff that hand! oh, withdraw that e’e;
For Heiven’s sake, take him away from me!
His bearde seemis smearit over wi’ feame:
Oh! I wish it were, but its nae - _a dreame!_
For he looks sae wyldie in my face
That I wish to God he had metten wi’ grace!
Lord! send to my saul the balsame of peace:
Oh, quhen shall I fynde it?  Neuer - neuer!
It has fledde this bosome for euer and euer!"





THE BARK.

OH, red, red was the rising sun,
And red the earth he shone upon,
And red the ocean beneath him roll’d,
And its surface was like burnish’d gold;
Yet hoarse and hollow was its roar,
As it gurlg'd against the rocky shore;
For although the wind seemed fast asleep,
It held its influence over the deep;
And those that heard a sound so hollow,
Prophesied that a storm would follow,
While evermore, as the drowsy wave
Receded from the briny cave,
Soft murmurs stole upon the ear,
Such as the pensive love to hear:
And the raven, perched upon the rock,
To each murmur joined his prophetic croak.
Yet every thing in the sea, in the air,
And on the earth, was mild, serene, and fair!
So lovely, gentle, bright, and bland,
That I thought myself in fairy land.

=A little bark, with seeming glee,
Was rocking on the golden sea,
And spreading wide her snow-white sail
To catch on its breast the coy gale.
But not a breath on its bosom blew;
Albeit the saying is noways new-
Still women and wind prove oft untrue;
And which of them vex poor seamen worst,
If I can tell - may I be *****.
Now methinks I hear the landsmen cry-
"Hear is the bathos profound - O fy!
A tarry sailor is the poet."
Say I, "that’s true any lubber might know it."
Yet seamen feel as keen as others,
And why should not seamen and landsmen be brothers?

=As yet this bark, with seeming glee,
Was rocking on the golden sea;
And no distinction ‘twixt windward and lee.
Around her the playful sea birds lave
Their plumage in the sparkling wave;
And they sported upon the glassy sea,
Like guileless lambs, on the flowery lea:
They dived below, and they rose again,
And they seemed like speckles on the main-
Now disappearing, now returning,
Like the watery beams of an April morning;
But the sail that hung as white and as still
As the snow upon Benvoirlich Hill,
Now shook and flapped against the mast,
Precursor of the coming blast,-
Though from what point that blast might blow,
As yet the steersman did not know.

=A blackened blast now blew from the sea,
And soon it was seen the land was the lea.

=The bark now lay to the leeward side;
And along the surface began to glide;
Dipping her gunwale in the ocean,
She shot ahead with a rapid motion.
The breast of the sail was full, and now
The waves in wrath were dashed from the prow;
Spitting, splashing, she floundered along-
Strait in each stay, and stiff in every thong.
The hollow sound was heard no more,
But the breakers in vengeance lashed the shore,
The clouds, erewhile of a crimson dye,
Now mustered murky in the sky;
They marched in front of the morning sun,
And his shining for that day was done.
No more the sportive sea birds lave
Their plumage in the sunny wave;
The curlew’s melancholy wail
Came deep and plaintive on the gale-
A solemn sad foreboding cry:
The startled mew flew screaming by.
The breast of the ocean gleamed no more
Like a yellow lake of molten ore;
But soon it assumed a dark, dark hue-
I pity that bark and her weary crew.

=The wind and the sea still louder roar;
There is no safety in seeking the shore, -
A pile of rocks, both bold and steep,
There frown majestic over the deep;
And evermore, on the topmost rock,
Is heard the raven’s dismal croak.

=The lovely morn - the magic light
That gilded the earth and the ocean so bright,
And painted all creation gay -
Like happiness, had passed away:
I look’d yet wistful from the strand,
But I saw no more of fairy land.

=Still louder it blew; and the briny spray
Was blown like drift athwart the bay,
White and thick as the winter snow,
That scours the plain when tempests blow;
And often over the deck it flew
In showers upon the dripping crew;
In balls the yesty foam flew past,
Borne to landward on the blast.
A sunken rock in the offing lay,
Unknown to strangers in that bay;
No buoy, nor beacon, erected there,
To guard against the fatal snare.
The labouring bark, with sudden shock,
Was impelled against that hidden rock!
It seemed that an opening in her side,
Voracious, drank the briny tide, -
For she yawed around with a palsied motion,
Then sunk to the bottom of the ocean,
Down in the navel of the bay,
Quick as the sea-fowl after its prey.
As anxious I gazed with pity and awe,
The crew, like specks, on the surface I saw;
I sorrowed to see their woful case,
And the tears and the spray mixed on my face,
I saw them grapple with the wave,
And I saw them sink to a watery grave!
Their hour was come, and they soundly sleep
In the roomy bosom of the deep.
I either heard a distant cry,
Or the wail of the wind as it whistled by;
But which of these now matters not -
It cannot change their awful lot.
I listened again, but I heard no more,
Save the howl of the blast and the ocean’s roar,
And the scream of the mew and the curlew’s wail,
As they flitted past upon the gale:
Then mournfully I bore away,
And I swabbed from my cheeks the tears and the spray,
But I’ll never forget what I saw that day.





NATIVE MUSIC

OH, strains! for ever, ever dear;
=While thus you swell your varied note,
Methinks angelic forms are near,
=Aerial warblings round me float!

Now sadly sweet the numbers glide,
=And pity mourns the tender woes
Of her who wept a "widowed bride,"
=Where soft the classic Yarrow flows.

And now the strains, in tears they steep,
=For him who leaves his native shore;
Who, doomed to cross the western deep,
=Shall never see Lochaber more.

Breathe, gentle airs! and draw the tear
=For her, the maid in beauty’s pride,
Who mourns her absent lover dear,
=By Logan’s fairy-haunted side.

Symphonious sounds! whose warbled strain
=Comes caroled sweet from yonder glade;
Ye bring my childhood back again-
=Ye speak of days for ever fled!

Days of delight! when free to stray
=Where slow the North Esk winds along,
I listened to your love-lorn lay -
=I joyed to hear your Doric song.

So the poor Swiss, as pensive slow,
=He journeys o’er some foreign clime,
If chance he hear these wild notes flow,
=That soothed him on his hills sublime.

So with delighted ear attends;
=So courts their magic melody;
Bethinks him of his home and friends,
=And gives them sad, a tear - a sigh.





KETTY PERT

TUNE - "The Boatie Rows."

THEY ca’ me auld Ketty Pert,
=And my man Tammie Allen,
But ne’er did I my Tam dezert,
=For a’ that’s ‘tween us fallen.

==CHORUS.

By zellin’ mussels, vlukes, an’ eels,
=I win my daily breed;
At night wi’ meat I vill my creels;
=To beg I ne’er ‘ad need.

When ance, wi’ murlin by my zide,
=Down to the zands I gaed;
Zurrounded was I by the tide,
=Upon a mussel bed.

This prayer unto my zell I zays-
=Lord, a’ my zins vorgee;
I’ve lived by mussels a’ my days,
=Now ‘mang them I maun dee.

When young I was baith vair and vleet;
=And now, the Lord be thankit,
I can gae up throu’ a’ the street,
=And nane gan bo’ my blanket.

Oh that some honest gentlemand
=Ahint wad turn free;
And as by chance come to the zands
=And zee auld Ketty dee.

God provideth, in his providence,
=Vor low as weel as high:
Just when I thought I wou’d go hence,
=Twa gentlemend cam by.

By this time I began to float,
=And heedeously to roar;
The angels cam aff in a boat,
=And reach’d me wi’ an oar.

I, wi’ a zair and beating heart,
=The boat at last did reach;
And thus was zaved auld Ketty Pert,
=And laid upon the beach!





KETTY PERTS PETITION.

INVOCATION.

MY blessin’s on that face, ye bonny creature -
Benevolence sheens in ilka feature;
Blythe that ye seem to lean on pity’s side,
In thee my present errand, freely, I’ll confide.
I crave your grace, not for mysel’, but for anither,
Wha fifty years sin’ syne might been my mither;
To tell you a’ her wants wad mak you eery,
For, oh! the tale’s baith lang, and unco dreary.
The muse said mildly - "Tune thy harp,
And round the chords meet strains shall warp;
For well I know the case is such
As needs a smooth, but smarting touch."
‘Tune thy harp,’ quoth I: ‘in troth, I coudna duid,
Though ‘twere to save my dearest drap o’ bluid:
I am, ye ken, to this trade young and raw yet -
I’ll need to rise a wee fore I can fa’ yet.’
She, smiling, took my harp, - and with her lily hand,
To real concert pitch screwed up every band;
Then, handing it to me, said, now ‘tis compleat.
With a scrape and a bow, I made my retreat.

===-----

Hear, gentlefolks, an’ brithers a’,
Frae Fishergate to Rotten Ra’;
Our sister Ketty’s like to fa’,
===Wi’ cauld an’ hunger;
She, honest woman’s, what we ca’
===A mussel-munger.

Her purse is tuim - her house is bare;
For want o’ Tam her heart is sair:
I’m sure, ‘mang Christians, sic a share
===She ill deserves!
Oh! I could tell you mickle mair -
===Wad shak’ your nerves.

Tam was for lang as blind’s a mole;
With patience Ketty did the burden thole;
But mony a silent sob and sigh there stole
===Frae her auld breast;
When he slipt aff, the thing did her console,
===Was - Tam’s at rest.

She mussels sheel’d, an’ wan her bread,
Till abler fouk took up the trade;
Now, puir auld stock, she gaes a’ claed
===In bits o’ raggies;
Troth, little profit has she made
===By fisher maggies.

When Wellington o’erthrew Bonaparte,
Illumin’d winnocks shone in ilka airt, -
Ketty deck’d her’s up as clean an smart
===As ony san’le;
Tho’ little light was there, it shew’d her heart,
===A bawbee can’le.

Oh! strike your purses, dinna stare,
There’s little doubt ye’ll gather mair;
To th’ puir ye surely ay can spare
===Some few bit orts!
Oh! help a widow claed wi’ care
===O’ mony sorts.





THE DREAM.

----------Hence, terrible shadow!
Unreal mockery, hence!
=======SHAKESPEARE.

LAST night I dreamed a dream of horror.  Methought,
That at the hour of midnight, the bell tolled,
With slow and solemn peal; and straight, beneath
The pale cold moon, a thousand spectres moved,
In "dread array," along "the church-way-path,"
All swathed in winding-sheets as white as snow -
A ghastly crew!  Methought I saw the graves
Yawn and yield up their charge; and I heard the
Coffins crack, and the deadal drapery
Rustle against their hallow sides, like the
Wings of the renovated _Chrysali_,
As they flutter against the ruins of
Their winter dormitory, when the voice
Of spring awakes them from their drousy couch,
To float aloft upon the buxom air.

=Although the round full moon shone bright and clear,
Yet did none of these awful phantoms cast
Their shadows on the wan and silent earth;
Nor was the passing breeze interrupted
By their presence.  Some skimmed along the earth,
And others sailed aloft on the thin air;
And I observed, when they came between me
And the moon, they interrupted not her
Pale rays; for I saw her majestic orb
Distinct, round, and clear, through their indistinct
And airy forms: and although they moved
Betwixt me and the tomb-stones, yet I read
Their sculpture (deeply shaded by the bright
And piercing beams of the moon) as distinctly
As if nought, dead or living, interposed
Between my eyes and the cold monuments.

=The bell ceased to toll; and when the last peal
Died away on the ear, these awful forms
Congregated in various groups, and seemed
To hold converse.  The sound of their voices
Was solemn and low, and they spoke the language
Of the "days of other years."  In seeming
Woe, they spoke of events long gone by; and
Marvelled at the changes that had taken
Place since they left this mortal scene, to sleep
Within the dark and narrow house.  Voices
Issued from the mould, where no forms were seen:
These were still more hollow and sepulchral;
They were as the sound of the cold, bleak wind,
In the dark and danky vaults of death when
It moans low and mournful, through the crannies
Of their massy doors, shattered by the hand
Of time - a serenade for owls most meet,
And such the raven loves, and hoarsely croaks
His hollow response from the blasted yew.
Often have I heard, when but a stripling,
‘Twas meet to speak a troubled ghost, to give
It peace to sleep within the silent grave.
With clammy brow, and joints palsied with fear,
I said, in broken accents - "What means this
Awful congress, this wild and wan array
Of shadowy shapes, gliding here, and moaning
At the silent, solemn hour of midnight?
Have the crying sins and unwhipt crimes
Of mortals, in these latter days, reached you
Ev’n in the grave, where silence ever reigns,
At least as we believe?  Or complain ye
Of holy rites unpaid, - or of the crowd
Whose careless steps those sacred haunts profane?"
-Straight a fleshless hand, cold as ice, was pressed
Upon my lips; and the spectres vanished
Like dew before the morning sun; and as
They faded on my sight, a sound was heard
Like the peal of many organs, solemn,
Loud, and sonorous; or like the awful
Voice of thunder in the sky, - or mighty
Tempest, roaring in a boundless forest,
Uprooting trees, razing habitations,
And sweeping the earth with desolation;
Or like the voice of millions, raised in song:
Or the dark ocean, howling in its wrath;
Or, rather, like all those together, in
One wild concert joined.  Now the mighty coil
Died gradually away, till it resembled
The last murmur of the blast on the hill;
Of storms, when it lulls itself to rest; and
The echo of its wrath is faintly heard
In the valley; or the last sigh of the
AEolian harp, when the breeze, that erewhile
Kissed its trembling strings, is spent and breathless!
The next whisper was still lower; and the last
Was so faint and feeble that nothing seemed
To live between it and silence itself.
The awful stillness was more appalling
Than its dread precursor; and I awoke
In terror!  But I never shall forget
What I heard and saw in that horrid dream.





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

WHERE the Grampians rise in dread array,
An’ their awful forms to the south display,
An’ grimly frown, as they did of yore,
Owre the swampy plains of red Strathmore.

On the sunnie airt o’ a dun hill side
Rears an ancient town, an’ a town o’ pride,
For gude drink fam’d, - where, tradition says,
A housekeeper winned in other days.

‘Twas late on a Saturday afternoon,
In the waning o’ a September moon,
When the e’ening dews were ting’d wi’ frost,
The hero o’ our tale for a time was lost.

The crops were safe in the farmer’s yard,
An’ smugglers a’ for the warst prepar’d;
The waukrife gaugers lounging about,
When this maist pitifu’ case fell out.

They sought him up, an’ they sought him down,
An’ they sought him roun’ about the town;
They sought him far, an’ they sought him near,
But never a word o’ him could hear:

Nae marvel they were fashed an’ grieved,
For they thought him tint, or else mischieved;
Nae marvel ane an’ a’ were vext,
For they kentna where to seek him next.

O! had ye seen his radical spouse,
Wi’ her angry een, an’ her dusky brows;
It was a sight to hae speaned, through life,
The warmest youth frae the thochts o’ a wife!

Her maidens saw that her grief was great,
An’ humbly did in attendance wait;
An’ ay they sigh’d, but naething did say,-
Yet they cuist in their minds where the loun might gae.

O! then she bade them up an’ rin,
An’ no come back till they brought him in;
An’ ay the saut tear stood in her e’e,
An’ the woman was grieved as a woman might be.

O! then the children forth she sent,
To ransack every houff they kent;
An’ specially, wherever they past,
Nae to look the alehouses last.

An’ hour an’ something mair did glide
Sin’ he was snug at his ain fireside,
An’ twenty minutes were aff an’ gane
Sin’ his dear mate was makin’ a mane.

Weil ye may guess that her heart was sair,
Weil ye may trow she had cause for care;
Blythe ye may learn that naebody leugh,
For the woman had cause to be grieved aneugh.

Lang, lang, they sought him, baith out an’ in;
An’ lang the bairns throu’ the streets did rin,
Until they snuffed his retreat at last
In a cellar dark, but the door was fast.

There high on an anker he sat stride-ride,
Wi’ a gill-stoup cronie safe at his side -
Mair-be-token wi’ the gauger; a’ the three
As warm an’ as happy as carles might be.

There dimly they boozed by the glimmering light
Throu’ the chinky wa’s, but their joy was bright;
An’ they quaffed awa’ at the barley bree,
For the drink was guid, an’ the drink was free.

The drink was free; an’ the matron’s care
Was chiefly caused by the stranger pair,
Wha, while they got it sae, wadna fash
To trouble her wi’ the needfu’ cash.

She wrung her hands, an’ she screwed her mou’,
An’ she wished them onie thing but fou;
Na, na, the carlin had better sense
Than to wish them sae at her ain expense.

Some will lament, baith loud an lang,
An’ make a din when little is wrang;
But she had cause for sorrow an’ thought -
The rogues were getting a dram for nought!





THE GERMAN LAIRDIE.

FIRST PRINTED IN THE "MONTROSE REVIEW."

TUNE - "Neil Gow’s Fareweel to Whisky."


O GEORDIE Geulp is on the Sea,
The cliffs of Dover on his lee;
For shame! that Britian’s King should be
=A wee bit German lairdie O.

An’ is it come to this, ohon!
That royal James maun flee his throne,
For sic a maughtless weary drone
=As a puir bit German lairdie O.

Auld Neptune, this is what I crave -
Oh may he meet a wat’ry grave,
An’ soundly sleep beneath the wave -
=A droukit German lairdie O.

We swear that ne’er a foreign loun
Shall ever wear the British crown;
By Heaven! we’ll put the sharger down -
=The wee, wee German lairdie O.

Waesucks that sic a feckless thing
Should ever mint at being a king!
But Scotia soon will cow his wing,
=An’ pu’ his German beardie O.

An’ Scotland’s sons will send him over
To his hungry hame, Hanover;
Again he’ll never be a rover,
=But delve in his kail-yardie O.

An’ he’ll sup kail and guid kail-brose,
He’ll clite his shoon an’ darn his hose,
An’ lead a life of sweet repose -
=The cantie German lairdie O.

Till death, wi’ his wanchauncie dart,
Shall spit him through the hollow heart;
Wi’ life itsel’ he syne maun part,
=To rot in some kirk-yardie O.







ON MR. KINLOCH OF KINLOCH

LEAVING HIS NATIVE COUNTRY.


YE poor auld man, why grieve sae sair,
=Whase locks are waving barely?
What means the sigh, the starting tear?
=What gars you weep sae sairly?
Has cauld misfortune’s with’ring hand
=Hung o’er thy grey head sairly?
Or hae you lost in foreign land
=Your ain kind-hearted Charlie?"

It’s no misfortune’s bitter blast
=That blaws baith late and early;
It’s no my son - he’s safe at last -
=That gars me grieve sae sairly:
But it’s for _honest Geordie_ gane,
=My heart for him is burning -
An exile frae his native hame,
=He’s barr’d frae a’ returning.

Poor Scotia mourn’d when he took leave;
=She saw his tears come sairly,
She hung her head and sair did grieve -
=She minded on Prince Charlie.
He wept not for his ain sad fate,
=Tho’ he was prest unfairly;
He saw his country’s bitter state -
=‘Twas that that wrung him sairly.

"Adieu, my native hills, adieu!"
=He said, in silent sorrow;
"The bonny sun I winna view
=Rise o’er your tops to-morrow."
A silent gloom the hills o’erhung,
=The heather dowie waving,
The birds a lamentation sung,
=As he "farewell" was raving.

"My country bleeds - my country faints!
=But nane, nane will relieve her;
Those that should soften her complaints
=Most cruelly deceive her.
Her sons, wha a’ her waes regret,
=They daurna try to save her;
Her _day_ is gane! her _sun_ is set!
=And _freedom’s_ fled for ever!"





A FRAGMENT.

LET everything in the creation,
=_Igo and ago,_
Be keepit in its proper station;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Meaning man, or beast, or thing,
=_Igo and ago,_
Priest or prophet, prince or King.
=_Iram, coram, dago._

Let politicians rave and rant,
=_Igo and ago,_
And rich old misers roar for want;
=_Iram, coram, dago._

Let lawyers keenly watch each handle;
=_Igo and ago;_
Let tabbies deal out tea and scandal;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let blackguard gamesters cheat and quarrel;
=_Igo and ago;_
Let drunkards bouse and drain the barrel;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let honest men declare the trouth;
=_Igo and ago;_
Gi’e hempies in a halter scouth;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let kings sit mighty on their thrones,
=_Igo and ago,_
While their bedesmen beg for scones;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let taylors keep upon dry land;
=_Igo and ago,_
Let rabbits burrow in the sand;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let navies float upon the tide,
=_Igo and ago,_
And witches upon broomsticks ride;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let dolphins tumble i’ the sea,
=_Igo and ago;_
And lampkins bleat upo’ the lea;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let loathsome toads squat in a syre,
=_Igo and ago,_
And salamanders live in fire;
=_Iram, coram, dago;_

Let dandies put on proper airs;
=_Igo and ago;_
And let the clergy mind their prayers -
=_Iram, coram, dago_-

Leave aff their fawnin’ and their fleechin’,
=_Igo and ago,_
And mind their Bibles and their preachin’!
=_Iram, coram, dago._





JAMIE WEST.

AMONG your group of public men
Take Jamie West of Ferryden,
The king of a’ the fisher crew -
A fisher and a pilot too:
Sometimes sober - often mellow;
Still he was a pushing fellow;
Industrious as the busy bee,
He drew his riches from the sea:
For mony vessel from afar
He, skaithless, brought across the Bar,
When waves were rolling mountains high,
And tempests howling in the sky:
And moored them safely at the quay,
Where they lay snug as ships could be.
And mony _Mary_, _Jean_, and _Janet_,
He steered between the Leads, and Annet,
Down the river to the ocean,
With pleasant breeze and gentle motion;
And then the breeze that he liked best
Was his namesake breeze, from the lovely west;
For it filled their sails, and made them glide
Upon the bosom of the tide,
Some south, some north, some o’er the sea,
Like fillies frisking on the lea.
Nor did he search with less devotion
The dark recesses of the ocean, -
With hook and line and tempting bait,
Alluring to their awful fate
Cod, ling, and turbot, plaice and skate;
Which straight were carried to Monross,
And whilom vended at the Cross,
But now they’ve found a mart more meet
Than just the centre of the street.
Still Jamie West increased his store,
For he had goods and gear galore:
Besides a leal and loving wife,
The pride and comfort of his life;
With health and walth of buirdly weans,
Baith strapping lads and sturdy queans!
And, still as fortune on him smiled,
A house was reared for every child;
A clock in each to watch old time,
And cheer the inmates with its chime.
Still Jamie ran his busy race,
In health, in happiness, and peace,
Till drink - the curse of human life,
The source of sorrow and of strive -
At times, its wicked pranks began
To work upon his inner man!
For oft he moistified his skin
In jolly Ruixton’s little inn,
And other houffs - I need not tell -
The very counterparts of hell:
And then he dealt abuse and blows
Promiscuously ‘mang friends and foes.
His vengeance knew no bounds or rule;
No man was spared - not e’en Slag Coul!
Poor ill - less creature! ‘twas a sin
To het him for the constant grin
That mantled aye upon his face:
There was no laughing in the case,
Tho’ Jamie thought - (’twas all mistake)
Poor Slag was smiling at his neck:
And woe betide them, man or brat,
That dared to say "Your thrapple’s fat."
Then words would pass we dare not name -
Dark epithets of sin and shame,
And vengeful threats and foul reproach,
In neither English, Erse, nor Scotch,
But in some strange outlandish speech,
Transposing evermore the "h";
For sooth these people deem it better
To throw aside this useless letter,
Except in that especial case
Where others never give it place.
But here the mischief is not ended;
Assaulted fame must be defended;
And reparation made for blows,
Discoloured eyes and bloody nose,
With other wrongs; likewise the payment
Of broken glass and riven raiment;
And eke the worst of all disasters,
The doctors’ fees and doctors’ plasters.
But, last ava, and warst ava,
The gudgeons too maun gae tae law;
And steps are ta’en, by Lawyer Pillage,
To ruin and herry half the village.





FAREWELL SONNET.

FAREWELL, maid, thy love has vanish’d -
=Gone off like the morning dew;
Farewell, maid, my peace is banish’d -
=Adieu! a sad, a long adieu!

Weary world, I now must leave thee;
=Sun and moon, a long farewell;
Farewell, maid, no more I’ll grieve thee,
=Soon you’ll hear my funeral knell.

Soon the lips that oft have kiss’d thee,
=Mouldering in the dust will lie;
And the heart that oft hath blessed thee,
=Soon must cease to heave a sigh.

Soon the tongue that still rehearses
=All thy beauty, fickle fair -
Soon the hand that writes these verses
=Shall to kindred dust repair.

Friends that constant were, and true aye,
=Fare-you-well, my race is run;
Heartless, lorn, benighted, weary,
=Every earthly hope is gone.

Gloomy grave, you’ll soon receive me,
=All my sorrows here shall close;
Here no fickle fair shall grieve me;
=Here my heart shall find repose.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~










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