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Duncan was a lad o' grace,
(Ha, ha, the wooin o't!) Maggie's was a piteous case,
35 (Ha, ha, the wooin o't!) Duncan could na be her death, Swelling pity smoored his wrath; Now they're crouse and cantie: baith; Ha, ha, the wooin o't!
I gie them a skelp' as they're creeping
alang, Wi' a coge o' guid swatso and an auld
I whiles clawl, the elbow o' troublesome Thought;
5 But man is a soger, and life is a faught; My mirth and guid humor are coin in my
pouch, And my freedom's my lairdship nae
monarch daur touch.
From THE JOLLY BEGGARS
See! the smoking bowl before us,
Mark our jovial ragged ring;
Liberty's a glorious feast!
Churches built to please the priest. What is title? what is treasure?
What is reputation's care? If we lead a life of pleasure,
Tis no matter, how or where! With the ready trick and fable,
Round we wander all the day; And at night, in barn or stable, 15
Hug our doxies on the hay. Does the train-attended carriage
Through the country lighter rove? Does the sober bed of marriage
Witness brighter scenes of love?
Life is all a variorum,
We regard not how it goes; Let them cant about decorum
Who have characters to lose.
Is there, for honest poverty,
That hings his head, an'a' that?
The man's the gowd 16 for a' that.
Here's to budgets, bags, and wallets!
Here's to all our wandering train! Here's our ragged brats and callets !4
One and all cry out, Amen!
CONTENTED WI' LITTLE AND
CANTIE WI' MAIR
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hodden-gray,17 an'a' that; Gie fools their silks, and knaves their
Their tinsel show, an'a' that;
ale. 10 scratch.
Contented wi' little, and canties wi' mair, Whene'er I forgathero wi' Sorrow and
11 twelve-month. 13 makes it all up. 14 stumble.
15 stagger. 16 gold.
17 bomespun grey
Care, 1 smothered. ? cheerful.
3 happy. b cheerful.
Ye see yon birkie,' ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an'a' that;
His riband, star, an' a' that,
He looks and laughs at a' that.
A prince can mak a belted knight, 25
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
Their dignities, an'a' that, 30
Are higher rank than a' that.
Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee, On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me: “Pipe a song about a Lamb!”
So I piped with merry cheer. “Piper, pipe that song again;
So I piped: he wept to hear. "Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy cheer!" 10 So I sung the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear. “Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read.” So he vanished from my sight; 15
And I plucked a hollow reed,
O, WERT THOU IN THE CAULD
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb, I'll tell thee:
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
THE LITTLE BLACK BOY
THE CLOD AND THE PEBBLE My mother bore me in the southern wild, “Love seeketh not itself to please, And I am black, but oh my soul is white!
Nor for itself hath any care, White as an angel is the English child,
But for another gives its ease, But I am black, as if bereaved of light.
And builds a heaven in hell's despair."
My mother taught me underneath a tree, 5 So sung a little clod of clay,
And, sitting down before the heat of day, Trodden with the cattle's feet, She took me on her lap and kissèd me, But a pebble of the brook
And, pointing to the east, began to say: Warbled out these metres meet:
"Love seeketh only Self to please,
Where the youth pined away with desire, 5 To bind another to its delight,
And the pale virgin shrouded in snow, Joys in another's loss of ease,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem
15 In England's green and pleasant land.
GEORGE CRABBE (1764-1832)
From THE VILLAGE, Book I
The village life, and every care that
reigns O’er youthful peasants and declining
swains; What labor yields, and what, that labor
past, Age, in its hour of languor, finds at last; What form the real picture of the poor, 5 Demand a song—the Muse can give no
more. Fled are those times, when, in harmoni
ous strains, The rustic poet praised his native plains:
Ah, Sunflower! weary of time,
No shepherds now, in smooth alternate And see the mid-day sun with fervid ray verse,
On their bare heads and dewy temples Their country's beauty or their nymphs' play; rehearse;
While some, with feebler heads and fainter Yet still for these we frame the tender hearts
Deplore their fortune, yet sustain their Still in our lays fond Corydons complain, partsAnd shepherds' boys their amorous pains Then shall I dare these real ills to hide, reveal,
In tinsel trappings of poetic pride? The only pains, alas! they never feel. No; cast by Fortune on a frowning On Mincio's banks, in Cæsar's bounte- coast, ous reign,
Which neither groves nor happy valleys If Tityrus found the Golden Age again, boast;
50 Must sleepy bards the flattering dream Where other cares than those the Muse prolong,
relates, Mechanic echoes of the Mantuan song? And other shepherds dwell with other From Truth and Nature shall we widely mates; stray,
By such examples taught, I paint the cot, Where Virgil, not where Fancy, leads the As Truth will paint it, and as bards will way?
not: Yes, thus the Muses sing of happy Nor you, ye poor, of lettered scorn comswains,
55 Because the Muses never knew their To you the smoothest song is smooth in pains:
vain; They boast their peasants' pipes; but peas- O’ercome by labor, and bowed down by ants now
time, Resign their pipes and plod behind the Feel you the barren flattery of a rhyme? plough;
Can poets soothe you, when you pine for And few amid the rural tribe have time 25 bread, To number syllables, and play with By winding myrtles round your ruined rhyme;
60 Save honest Duck, what son of verse Can their light tales your weighty griefs could share
o'erpower, The poet's rapture and the peasant's care? Or glad with airy mirth the toilsome hour? Or the great labors of the field degrade, Lo! where the heath, with withering With the new peril of a poorer trade? 30
brake grown o'er, From this chief cause these idle praises Lends the light turf that warms the neighspring,
boring poor; That themes so easy few forbear to sing; From thence a length of burning sand apFor no deep thought the trifling subjects pears,
Where the thin harvest waves its withered To sing of shepherds is an easy task;
ears. The happy youth assumes the common Rank weeds, that every art and care defy, strain,
35 Reign o'er the land, and rob the blighted A nymph his mistress, and himself a swain; rye; With no sad scenes he clouds his tuneful There thistles stretch their prickly arm
prayer, But all, to look like her, is painted fair. And to the ragged infant threaten war; 70 I grant indeed that fields and flocks have There poppies, nodding, mock the hope of charms
toil, For him that grazes or for him that farms; There the blue bugloss paints the sterile But when amid such pleasing scenes I soil; trace
41 Hardy and high, above the slender sheaf, The poor laborious natives of the place, The slimy mallow waves her silky leaf;