Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

II

10

20

Thro’ lofty groves the cushat roves,

The path o' man to shun it;
The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush,
The spreading thorn the linnet.

III
Thus ev'ry kind their pleasure find,

The savage and the tender;
Some social join, and leagues combine,

Some solitary wander: Avaunt, away, the cruel sway!

Tyrannic man's dominion ! The sportsman's joy, the murd'ring cry, The flutt'ring, gory pinion !

IV But, Peggy dear, the evening 's clear,

Thick fies the skimming swallow, The sky is blue, the fields in view

All fading-green and yellow: Come, let us stray our gladsome way

And view the charms of Nature; The rustling corn, the fruited thorn,

And ilka happy creature.

Hear me, ye venerable core,

As counsel for poor mortals
That frequent pass douce Wisdom's door

For glaikit Folly's portals:
I for their thoughtless, careless sakes

Would here propone defences –
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes,
Their failings and mischances.

III
Ye see your state wi' theirs compared,

And shudder at the niffer;
But cast a moment's fair regard,

What makes the mighty differ?
Discount what scant occasion gave;

That purity ye pride in;
And (what's aft mair than a' the lave)
Your better art o' bidin.

IV
Think, when your castigated pulse

Gies now and then a wallop,
What ragings must his veins convulse,

That still eternal gallop !
Wi’ wind and tide fair i' your tail,

Right on ye scud your sea-way;
But in the teeth o' baith to sail,

It makes an unco lee-way.

30

We'll gently walk, and sweetly talk,

While the silent moon shines clearly; I 'll clasp thy waist, and, fondly prest,

Swear how I lo'e thee dearly: Not vernal show'rs to budding flow'rs,

Not Autumn to the farmer, So dear can be as thou to me,

My fair, my lovely charmer!

See Social-life and Glee sit down

All joyous and unthinking,
Till, quite transmugrify'd, they're grown

Debauchery and Drinking:
O, would they stay to calculate,

Th' eternal consequences,
Or- your more dreaded hell to state-

Damnation of expenses !

ADDRESS TO THE UNCO GUID

OR THE RIGIDLY RIGHTEOUS

VI

My Son, these maxims make a rule,

An' lump them ay thegither :
The Rigid Righteous is a fool,

The Rigid Wise anither;
The cleanest corn that e'er was dight

May hae some pyles o caff in ;
So ne'er a fellow-creature slight
For random fits o' daffin.

SOLOMON (Eccles. vii. 16)

O YE, wha are sae guid yoursel,

Sae pious and sae holy, Ye've nought to do but mark and tell

Your neebours' fauts and folly; Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill,

Supplied wi' store o' water; The heapet happer 's ebbing still,

An' still the clap plays clatter!

[blocks in formation]

30

One point inust still be greatly dark,
The moving why they do it;

Ev’n you, on murd'ring errands toil'd,
And just as lamely can ye mark

Lone from your savage homes exil'd, How far perhaps they rue it.

The blood-stain'd roost and sheep-cote

spoild VIII

My heart forgets,
Who made the heart, 'tis He alone While pityless the tempest wild
Decidedly can try us:

Sore on you beats !
He knows each chord, its various tone,
Each spring, its various bias: 60

VI
Then at the balance let's be mute, Now Phæbe, in her midnight reign,
We never can adjust it;

Dark-muffl’d, view'd the dreary plain;
What's done we partly may compute, Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train,
But know not what's resisted.

Rose in my soul,
When on my ear this plaintive strain,

Slow-solemn, stole :-
A WINTER NIGHT

VII
(Publ. 1786]

“ Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust! Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,

And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost ! That bide the pelting of this pityless storm!

Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows !
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you Not all your rage, as now united, shows 40
From seasons such as these?

More hard unkindness unrelenting,
SHAKESPEARE.

Vengeful malice, unrepenting,

Than heaven-illumin’d Man on brother Man When biting Boreas, fell and doure,

bestows ! Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;

See stern Oppression's iron grip,
When Phæbus gies a short-liv'd glow'r,

Or mad Ambition's gory hand,
Far south the lift,

| Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip, Dim-dark’ning thro' the flaky show'r

Woe, Want, and Murder p'er a land! Or whirling drift:

Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale,

Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale:

How pamper'd Luxury, Flatt'ry by her side, Ae night the storm the steeples rocked; The parasite empoisoning her ear, 51 Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked; With all the servile wretches in the rear, While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up-choked, Looks o'er proud/ Property, extended wide;

Wild-eddying swirl, 10 And eyes the simple, rustic hind, Or, thro' the mining outlet bocked,

Whose toil upholds the glitt’ring show Down headlong hurl:

A creatcare of another kind,

Som é coarser substance, unrefin'd —

| Plac'd for her lordly use, thus far, thus vile, List’ning the doors an’ winnocks rattle,

below! I thought me on the ourie cattle,

Where, where is Love's fond, tender Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle

throe,
O' winter war,
With lordly Honor's lofty brow,

- 60 And thro' the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle

The pow'rs you proudly own ?
Beneath a scaur.

Is there, beneath Love's noble name,
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,

To bless himself alone ?
Ilk happing bird — wee, helpless thing in

ing! Mark Maiden-Innocence a prey That in the merry months o' spring

To love-pretending snares:
Delighted me to hear thee sing, po

This boasted Honor turns away,
What comes othee?

Shunning soft Pity's rising sway, Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing. Regardless of the tears and unavailing An' close the e'e ?

pray’rs !

II

III

IV

20

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

II

VIII

80

IV

Perhaps this hour, in Misery's squalid nest, The hunter now has left the moor, She strains your infant to her joyless The scatt'red coveys meet secure; breast,

While here I wander, prest with care, And with a mother's fears shrinks at the Along the lonely banks of Ayr. rocking blast!

The Autumn mourns her rip’ning corn “O ye ! who, sunk in beds of down, By early Winter's ravage torn; Feel not a want but what yourselves Across her placid, azure sky, create,

She sees the scowling tempest fly; Think, for a moment, on bis wretched Chill runs my blood to hear it rave: fate,

I think upon the stormy wave, Whom friends and fortune quite disown! Where many a danger I must dare, Ill-satisfy'd keen nature's elam'rous Far from the bonie banks of Ayr. call,

III Stretch'd on his straw, he lays himself to sleep;

'Tis not the surging billows' roar, While through the ragged roof and chinky 'Tis not that fatal, deadly shore; wall,

Tho' death in ev'ry shape appear, Chill, o'er his slumbers piles the drifty The wretched have no more to fear: 20 heap!

But round my heart the ties are bound,
Think on the dungeon's grim confine, That heart transpierc'd with many a wound;
Where Guilt and poor Misfortune These bleed afresh, those ties I tear,
pine!

To leave the bonie banks of Ayr.
Guilt, erring man, relenting view !
But shall thy legal rage pursue
The wretch, already crushed low Farewell, old Coila's hills and dales,

By cruel Fortune's undeserved blow? Her heathy moors and winding vales;
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress; The scenes where wretched Fancy roves,
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the Pursuing past unhappy loves !
bliss !

Farewell my friends I farewell my foes !
My peace with these, my love with those –

The bursting tears my heart declare, 31 I heard pae mair, For Chanticleer Farewell, my bonie banks of Ayr.

Shook off the pouthery snaw,
And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
A cottage-rousing craw.

TAM O' SHANTER
But deep this truth impress at my mind

A TALE
Thro' all His works abroad,
The heart benevolent and kind

[Publ. 1791]
The most resembles God.

Of Brownyis and of Bogillis full is this Buke.

GAWIN DOUGLAS. THE GLOOMY NIGHT IS

Alloway Kirk was oziginally the church of the GATHERING FAST

Il quoad civilia parish of Alloway; but this parish having been annexed to that of Ayr in 1690, the

hurch fell more or less to ruin, and when Burns (Publ. 1786]

I wonte had been roofless for half a century. Tune: Roslin Castle

w en chapman billies leave the street,

WHi 'routhy neebors neebors meet; The gloomy night is gath'ring fast,

And de-et-days are wearing late, Loud roars the wild inconstant blast;

As mark egin to tak the gate;

An' folk uit bousing at the nappy,
Yon murky cloud is filled with rain, While we sou and unco happy,
I see it driving o'er the plain;

An' getting to

о

in;

We think na on the lang Scots miles, Kings may be blest but Tam was glorious,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles, O'er a' the ills o' life victorious !
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,

But pleasures are like poppies spread: Gathering her brows like gathering storm, You seize the flow'r, its blooun is shed; 60 Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

Or like the snow falls in the river,

A moment white — then melts for ever; This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter, Or like the borealis race, As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:

That flit ere you can point their place; (Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses, Or like the rainbow's lovely form For honest men and bonie lasses).

Evanishing amid the storm.

Nae man can tether time or tide;
O Tam, had'st thou but been sae wise, The hour approaches Tam maun ride:
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!

That hour, o' night's black arch the keyShe tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,

stane, A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum; That dreary hour Tam mounts his beast That frae November till October,

70 Ae market-day thou was nae sober;

And sic a night be taks the road in,
That ilka melder wi' the miller,

As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on,

The wind blew as 't wad blawn its last; The smith and thee gat roaring fou on; The rattling showers rose on the blast; That at the Lord's house, even on Sunday, The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd; Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday. Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd: She prophesied, that, late or soon,

That night, a child might understand,
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon, The Deil had business on his hand.
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk 31
By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.

Weel mounted on his gray mare Meg,

A better never lifted leg,
Ah! gentle dames, it gars me greet, Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
To think how monie counsels sweet,

Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
How monie lengthen’d, sage advices Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet,
The husband frae the wife despises ! Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots son-

net, But to our tale: Ae market-night, Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares, Tam had got planted unco right,

Lest bogles catch him unawares: Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,

Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely; 40 Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry. And at bis elbow, Souter Johnie, His ancient, trusty, drouthy cronie:

By this time he was cross the ford, Tam lo'ed him like a very brither;

Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor’d; They had been fou for weeks thegither. And past the birks and meikle stane, 90 The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter; Whare drunken Charlie brak 's neck-bane; And ay the ale was growing better:

And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, The landlady and Tam grew gracious Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn; Wi' secret favours, sweet and precious: And near the thorn, aboon the well, The Souter tauld his queerest stories; Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel. The landlord's laugh was ready chorus: 50 Before him Doon pours all his floods; The storm without might rair and rustle, The doubling storm roars thro' the woods; Tam did na mind the storm a whistle. The lightnings flash from pole to pole;

Near and more near the thunders roll: 100 Care, mad to see a man sae happy, When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees, E'en drown'd himsel amang the nappy. Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze, As bees flee bame wi' lades o' treasure, Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing, The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure: | And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn,

| Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair, What dangers thou canst make us scorn! That auce were plush, o' guid blue hair, Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil;

I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies Wi' usquabae, we 'll face the Devil ! For ae blink o'the bonie burdies! The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle, Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle. 110 But wither'd beldams, auld and droll, But Maggie stood, right sair astonishid, Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,

160 Till, by the heel and band admonish'd, Louping and flinging on a crummock, She ventur'd forward on the light;

I wonder did na turn thy stomach! And, vow! Tam saw an ủnco sight!

But Tam kend what was what fu' brawWarlocks and witches in a dance:

lie: Nae cotillion, brent new frae France, Tbere was ae winsome wench and wawlie, But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, That night enlisted in the core, Put life and mettle in their heels.

Lang after kend on Carrick shore A winnock-bunker in the east,

(For monie a beast to dead she shot, There sat Auld Nick, in shape o' beast; 120 An' perish'd monie a bonie boat, A tousie tyke, black, grim, and large, And shook baith meikle corn and bear, To gie them music was his charge:

And kept the country-side in fear). 170 He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl, Her cutty sark, o' Paisley barn, Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.

That while a lassie she had worn, Coffins stood round, like open presses, In longitude tho' sorely scanty, That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses; It was her best, and she was vauntie. ... And, by some devilish cantraip sleight, Ah! little kend thy reverend grannie, Each in its cauld hand beld a light:

That sark she coft for her wee Nannie, By which heroic Tam was able

Wi' twa pund Scots ('t was a' her riches), To note upon the haly table,

130

Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches! A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns; Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns; But here my Muse her wing maun cour, A thief new-cutted frae a rape —

Sic flights are far beyond her power: 180 Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;

To sing how Nannie lap and flang Five tomahawks wi' bluid red-rusted; (A souple jad she was and strang), Five scymitars wi' murder crusted;

And how Tam stood like ane bewitch'd, A garter which a babe had strangled; And thought his very een enrich'd; A knife a father's throat had mangled — Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain, Whom his ain son o' life bereft

And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main; The grey-bairs yet stack to the heft; 140 Till first ae caper, syne anither, Wi' mair of horrible and awefu',

| Tam tint his reason a' thegither, Which even to name wad be unlawfu'. And roars out: “Weel done, Cutty-sark!”

And in an instant all was dark;
As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious, And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furi | Wben out the hellish legion sallied."

ous;
The piper loud and louder blew,

As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke, The dancers quick and quicker flew, When plundering herds assail their by ke; They reeld, they set, they cross'd, As open pussie's mortal foes, cleekit,

When, pop! she starts before their nose; Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,

As eager runs the market-crowd, And coost her duddies to the wark,

When “Catch the thief!" resounds aloud: And linket at it in her sark!

150 So Maggie runs, the witches follow,

Wi' monie an eldritch skriech and hollo. 200 Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans, A'plump and strapping in their teens! | Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou 'll get thy Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,

fairin! Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen! - | In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin!

190

they

« AnteriorContinuar »