Imagens da página

An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in,
I own it's past my comprehension.


Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fash't enough ; A cottar howkin in a sheugh, Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke, Baring a quarry, and sic like, Himself, a wife, he thus sustains, A smytrie o' wee duddie weans, An' nought but his han' darg, to keep Them right and tight in thack an' rape.

An' when they meet wi' sair disasters,
Like loss o' health, or want o' masters,
Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer,
An' they maun starve o cauld and hunger;
But, how it comes, I never kenn'd it,
They're maistly wonderfu' contented ;
An' buirdly chiels, an' clever hizzies,
Are bred in sic a way as this is.


But then to see how ye're negleckit,
How huff'd, and cuff'd, and disrespeckit !
L-d, man, our gentry care as little
For delvers, ditchers, an' sic cattle ;
They gang as saucy by poor fo'k,
As I wad by a stinking brock.

I've notic'd, on our. Laird's court-day, An' mony a time my heart's been wae,

Poor tenant bodies, scant o' cash,
How they maun thole a factor's snash;
He'll stamp an' threaten, curse an' swear,
He'll apprehend them, poind their guar;
While they maun stan, wi' aspect humble,
An' hear it a', an' fear an, tremble !

I see how folk live that hae riches ; But surely poor folk maun be wretches !

LUATH. They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think ; Tho' constantly on poortith's brink : They're sae accustom'd wis the sight, The view o't gies them little fright.

Then chance an' fortune are sae guided,
They're ay in less or mair provided ;
An' tho' fatigu'd wi' close employment,
A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.

The clearest comfort o' their lives, Their grushie reans an' faithfu' wives; The prattling things are just their pride, That sweetens a' their fire-side.

An' whyles twalpennie worth o' nappy
Can mak the bodies unco happy ;
They lay aside their private cares,
To mind the Kirk and State affairs :
They'll talk o' patronage and priests,
Wi' kindling fury in their breasts,

Or tell what new taxation's comin
An' ferlie at the folkin Lon'on.

As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returns,
They get the jovial, ranting kirns,
When rural life, o' every station,
Unite in common recreation ;
Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth,
Forgets there's Care upo' the earth.

[ocr errors]

That merry day the year begins,
They bar the door on frosty winds;
The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream,
An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam ;
The luntin pipe an' sneeshin mill,
Are handed round wi' right guid will;
The cantie auld folks crackin crouse,
The young anes rantin thro' the house,
My heart has been sae fain to see them,
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them.

hae said,

Still it's owre true that

Sic game is now owre aften play'd.
There's monie a creditable stock
O'decent, honest, fawsont fo'k,
Are riven out baith root and branch,
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench,
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster
In favour wi' some gentle master,
Wha’ aiblins, thrang a parliamentin,
For Britain's guid his saul indentin


Haith, lad, ye little ken about it ; For Britair's guid !-guid faith, I doubt it! Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead him, An' saying aye or no's they bid him : At operas an' plays parading, Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading; Or may be, in a frolic daft, To Hague or Calais takes a waft, To make a tour, and tak a whirl, To learn bon ton an' see the worl'.

There, at Vienna' or Versailles, He rives his father's auld entails ! Or by Madrid he takes the rout, To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowt; Or down Italian vista startles, Wh-re-hunting among groves o' myrtles: Then bouses drumly German water, To mak himsel look fair and fatter, An' clear the consequential sorrows, Love-gifts of Carnival signoras. For Britain's guid!for her destruction? Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.


Hech man! dear sirs! is that the gate They waste sae mony a braw estate ! Are we sae foughten an' harass’d.

gear to gang that gate at last!


O would they stay aback frae courts,
An' please themselves wi' countra sports,
It wad for every ane be better,
The Laird, the Tenant, an' the Cotter !
For thae frank, rantin, ramblin billies,
Fient haet o' them's ill-hearted fellows;
Except for breaking o'er their timmer,
Or speakin lightly o' their limmer,
Or shootin o' a hare or moor-cock,
The ne'er a bit they're ill to poor folk..

But will


tell me, Master Cæsar, Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure ! Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them, The vera thought o't need na fear them.


L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.

It's true, they need na starve or sweat,
Thro' winter's cauld, or simmer's heat ;,
They've nae sair wark to craze their banes,
An' fill auld age with grips an' granes :
But human bodies are sic fools,
For a' their colleges and schools,
That when nae real ills perplex them,
They mak enow themsels to vex them;
An' ay the less they hae to sturt them,
In like proportion less will hurt them;
A country fellow at the pleugh,
His acres till'd, he's right enough;

« AnteriorContinuar »