« AnteriorContinuar »
The rising sun, owre Galston muirs,
Wi' glorious light was glintin;
The hares were hirplin down the furs,
The lav'rocks they were chantin
Fu' sweet that day.
As lightsomely I glowered abroad,
To see a scene sae gay,
Three hizzies, early at the road,
Cam skelpin up the way.
Twa had manteeles o' dolefu' black,
But ane wi' lyart lining;
The third, that gaed a wee a-back,
Was in the fashion shining
Fu' gay that day.
The twa appeared like sisters twin,
In feature, form, an' claes;
Their visage withered, lang an' thin,
An' sour as onie slaes:
The third cam up, hap-step-an'-lowp,
As light as onie lambie,
An' wi' a curchie low did stoop,
As soon as e'er she saw me,
Fu' kind that day.
Wi' bonnet aff, quoth I, 'Sweet lass,
I think ye seem to ken me;
I'm sure I've seen that bonie face,
But yet I canna name ye.'
Quo' she, an' laughin as she spak,
An' taks me by the han's,
'Ye, for my sake, hae gi'en the feck
Of a' the Ten Comman's
A screed some day.
'My name is Fun-your cronie dear,
The nearest friend ye hae;
An' this is Superstition here,
An' that's Hypocrisy.
I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy Fair,
To spend an hour in daffin:
Gin ye'll go there, yon runkled pair,
We will get famous laughin
At them this day.'
Quoth I, 'Wi' a' my heart, I'll do 't:
I'll get my Sunday's sark on,
An' meet you on the holy spot;
Faith, we'se hae fine remarkin!'
Then I gaed hame at crowdie-time,
An' soon I made me ready;
For roads were clad frae side to side
Wi' monie a wearie body,
In droves that day.
Here farmers gash, in ridin graith,
Gaed hoddin by their cotters;
There swankies young, in braw braid-claith, Are springin owre the gutters.
The lasses, skelpin barefit, thrang,
In silks an' scarlets glitter;
Wi' sweet-milk cheese in monie a whang,
An' farls baked wi' butter,
Fu' crump that day.
When by the plate we set our nose,
Weel heaped up wi' ha'pence,
A greedy glowr black-bonnet throws,
An' we maun draw our tippence.
Then in we go to see the show:
On every side they're gath'rin,
Some carrying dails, some chairs an' stools,
An' some are busy bleth'rin
Right loud that day.
Here stands a shed to fend the showers,
An' screen our countra gentry,
There Racer Jess, and twa-three whores,
Are blinkin' at the entry.
Here sits a raw of tittlin' jads,
Wi' heavin breasts an' bare neck;
An' there a batch o' wabster lads,
Blackguarding frae Kilmarnock,
For fun this day.
Here some are thinkin on their sins,
An' some upo' their claes;
Ane curses feet that fyled his shins,
Anither sighs and prays;
On this hand sits a chosen swatch,
Wi' screwed-up grace-proud faces;
On that a set o' chaps, at watch,
Thrang winkin on the lasses
To chairs that day.
O happy is that man an' blest
(Nae wonder that it pride him!)
Whase ain dear lass, that he likes best,
Comes clinkin down beside him!
Wi' arm reposed on the chair-back,
He sweetly does compose him;
Which, by degrees, slips round her neck,
An's loof upon her bosom,
Unkend that day.
Now a' the congregation o'er
Is silent expectation;
For Moodie speels the holy door
Wi' tidings o' damnation.
Should Hornie, as in ancient days,
'Mang sons o' God present him,
The vera sight o' Moodie's face
To 's ain het hame had sent him
Wi' fright that day.
Hear how he clears the points o' faith
Wi' rattlin an wi' thumpin!
Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
He's stampin an' he's jumpin!
His lengthened chin, his turned-up snout,
His eldritch squeel an' gestures,
O how they fire the heart devout-
Like cantharidian plaisters,
On sic a day!
But hark! the tent has changed its voice;
There's peace an' rest nae langer;
For a' the real judges rise,
They canna sit for anger:
Smith opens out his cauld harangues
On practice and on morals;
An' aff the godly pour in thrangs,
To gie the jars an' barrels
A lift that day.
What signifies his barren shine.
Of moral pow'rs an' reason?
His English style an' gesture fine
Are a' clean out o' season.
Like Socrates or Antonine,
Or some auld pagan heathen,
The moral man he does define,
But ne'er a word o' faith in
That's right that day.
In guid time comes an antidote
Against sic poisoned nostrum;
For Peebles, frae the water-fit,
Ascends the holy rostrum:
See, up he's got the word o' God,
An' meek an' mim has viewed it,
While Common Sense has taen the road,
An' aff, an' up the Cowgate
Fast, fast that day.
Wee Miller niest the guard relieves,
An' orthodoxy raibles,
Tho' in his heart he weel believes
An' thinks it auld wives' fables;
But faith! the birkie wants a manse,
So cannilie he hums them,
Altho' his carnal wit an' sense
Like hafflins-wise o'ercomes him
At times that day.
Now butt an' ben the change-house fills
Wi' yill-caup commentators;
Here's crying out for bakes an' gills,
An' there the pint-stowp clatters;
While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang,
Wi' logic an' wi' Scripture,
They raise a din that in the end
Is like to breed a rupture
O' wrath that day.
Leeze me on drink! it gies us mair
Than either school or college;
It kindles wit, it waukens lear,
It pangs us fou o' knowledge.
Be 't whisky-gill or penny-wheep,
Or onie stronger potion,
It never fails, on drinkin deep,
To kittle up our notion,
By night or day.
The lads an' lasses, blythely bent
To mind baith saul an' body,
Sit round the table weel content,
An' steer about the toddy.
On this ane's dress an' that ane's leuk
They're makin observations;
While some are cozie i' the neuk,
An' formin assignations
To meet some day.
But now the Lord's ain trumpet touts, Till a' the hills are rairin,
And echoes back return the shouts;
Black Russell is na spairin: