Allan Ramsay

SCENE I.

PROLOGUE TO THE SCENE.

Beneath the sooth side o a craigy bield,
Where crystal springs their halesome waters yield,
Twa youthfu shepherds on the gowans lay,
Tentin their flocks ae bonny morn o Mey.
Puir Roger granes, till hollow echoes ring;
But blyther Patie likes to lauch an sing.

PATIE AN ROGER.

SANG I.

TUNE.--"The waukin o the fauld."

PATIE.

My Peggy is a young thing,
Juist entered in her teens,
Fair as the day an sweet as Mey,
Fair as the day an always gay.
My Peggy is a young thing,
An I'm nae very auld,
Yet weel I like to meet her at
The waukin o the fauld.
My Peggy speaks sae sweetly,
Whene'er we meet alane,
I wish nae mair to lay my care,-
I wish nae mair o a' that's rare.
My Peggy speaks sae sweetly,
To a' the lave I'm cauld,
But she gars a' my spirits glow,
At waukin o the fauld.
My Peggy smiles sae kindly,
Whene'er I whisper love,
That I leuk doun on a' the toun,-
That I leuk doun upon a croun.
My Peggy smiles sae kindly,
It maks me blythe an bauld,
An naething gies me sic delyte,
As waukin o the fauld.
My Peggy sings sae saftly,
When on my pipe I play,
By a' the rest it is confest-
By a' the rest that she sings best.
My Peggy sings sae saftly,
An in her sangs are tauld,
Wi innocence, the wale o sense,
At waukin o the fauld.
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PATIE.

THIS sunny mornin, Roger, cheers my bluid,
An pits a' natur in a jovial mood.
How hertsome is't to see the risin plants!-
To hear the birds chirm ower their pleasin rants!
How halesome is't to snuff the cauler air,
An a' the sweets it bears, when void o care!
What ails ye, Roger, then? what gars ye grane?
Tell me the cause o thy ill-seasoned pain.

ROGER.

I'm born, O Patie! to a thrawart fate;
I'm born to strive wi hardships sad an great!
Tempests mey cease to jaw the rowin flude,
Corbies an tods to grien for lambkins' bluid;
But I, opprest wi never endin grief,
Maun aye despair o lichtin on relief.

PATIE.

The bees shall loathe the flouer, an quit the hive,
The sauchs on boggy grund shall cease to thrive,
Or scornfu queans, or loss o worldly gear,
Shall spill my rest, or ever force a teir.

ROGER.

Sae micht I say; but it's no easy duin
By ane whase saul's sae sadly oot o tune.
Ye hae sae saft a voice, an slid a tongue,
That ye're the darlin o baith auld an young.
If I but ettle at a sang, or speak,
They dit their lugs, syne up their leglins cleek,
An jeer me hameward frae the loan or bucht,
While I'm confused wi mony a vexin thocht.
Yet I am tall, an as weel built as thee,
Nor mair unlikely to a lass's ee;
For ilka sheep ye hae, I'll number ten,
An should, as ane mey think, come farer ben.

PATIE.

But aiblins, neibour, ye hinna a hert,
An downa eithly wi yer cunzie pairt.
If that be true, what signifies yer gear?
A mind that's scrimpit never wants some care.

ROGER.

My byar tumbl'd, nine braw nowt were smuir'd,
Three elf-shot were--yet I these ills endured;
In winter last my cares were very sma',
Tho scores o wathers perished in the snaw.

PATIE.

Were yer bien rooms as thinly stocked as mine,
Less ye wad loss, an less ye wad repine.
He that haes juist eneuch can soondly sleep;
The owercome only fashes fouk to keep.

ROGER.

Mey plenty flow upon thee for a cross,
That thoo mey thole the pangs o mony a loss!
O mey thoo doat on some fair pauchty wench,
That ne'er will lout the lowin drouth to quench,
Till, bris'd beneath the burden, thoo cry duil,
An awn that ane mey fret that is nae fuil!

PATIE.

Sax guid fat lambs, I sald them ilka clute
At the West-port, an bocht a winsome flute,
O ploum-tree made, wi ivry virles roond-
A denty whistle, wi a pleasant soond;
I'll be mair canty wi't--an ne'er cry duil,-
Than ye, wi a' yer cash, ye dowie fuil!

ROGER.

Na, Patie, na! I'm nae sic churlish beast,
Some ither thing lies heavier at my briest;
I dreamed a dreary dream this hinder nicht,
That gars my flesh a' creep yet wi the fricht

PATIE.

Nou, to a freend how silly's this pretence,-
To ane wha ye an a' yer secrets kens;
Daft are yer dreams, as daftly wad ye hide
Yer weel seen love, an dorty Jenny's pride.
Tak Courage, Roger; me yer sorrows tell,
An safely think nane kens them but yersel.

ROGER.

Indeed, nou, Patie, ye hae guessed ower true,
An there is naething I'll keep up frae ye.
Me, dorty Jenny leuks upon asquint,
To speak but till her I daur hardly mint;
In ilka place she jeers me air an late,
An gars me leuk bumbazed an unco blate;
But yesterday I met her yont a knowe,-
She fled, as frae a shelly-coated cou.
She Bauldy loes, Bauldy that drives the car,
But gecks at me, an says I smell o tar.

PATIE.

But Bauldy loes na her, richt weel I wat:
He sichs for Neps--sae that mey stand for that.

ROGER.

I wish I coudna loe her-but in vain,
I still maun do't, an thole her prood disdain.
My Bawty is a cur I dearly like,
E'en while he fawn'd, she strak the puir dumb tyke;
If I haed filled a neuk within her briest,
She wad hae shawn mair kindness to my beast.
When I begin to tune my stock an horn,
Wi a' her face she shaws a cauldrife scorn.
Last nicht, I played--ye never heard sic spite!-
Ower Bogie was the spring, an her delyte;-
Yet tauntinly she at her cousin speered,
"Gif she coud tell what tune I played?" an sneered.
Flocks, wander where ye like, I dinna care,
I'll brak my reed, an never whistle mair!

PATIE.

E'en do sae, Roger; wha can help misluck,
Saebiens she be sic a thrawn-gabbit chuck?-
Yonder's a craig--sin ye hae tint a' houp,
Gae till't yer wa's, an tak the lover's lowp

ROGER.

I needna mak sic speed my bluid to spill,
I'll warrant daith come suin eneuch a-will.

PATIE.

Daft gowk! leave aff that silly whingein wey;-
Seem careless--there's my hand ye'll win the day.
Hear how I served my lass I loe as weel
As ye do Jenny, an wi hert as leal.
Last mornin I was gey an early oot,
Upon a dyke I leaned glowerin aboot;
I saw my Meg come linkin ower the lee;
I saw my Meg, but Meggy saw nae me-
For yet the sun was wadin throu the mist,
An she was close upon me e'er she wist-
Her coats were kiltit, an did sweetly shaw
Her straucht bare legs, that whiter were than snaw.
Her cockernony snooded up fou sleek,
Her haffet-locks hang wavin on her cheek;
Her cheeks sae ruddy, an her een sae clear;
An O! her mooth's like ony hinny pear.
Neat, neat she was, in bustine waistcoat clean,
As she cam skiffin ower the dewy green:
Blythesome, I cried, "My bonny Meg, come here,
I ferly wherefore ye're sae suin asteer;
But I can guess--ye're gawn to gaither dew."
She scoored awa, an said, "What's that to ye?"
"Then fare ye weel, Meg Dorts, an e'en's ye like,"
I careless cried, an lap in ower the dyke.
I trow, when that she saw, within a crack,
She cam wi a richt thieveless errand back;
Misca'd me first, then bade me hoond my dug,
To wier up three waff yowes strayed on the bog.
I leuch, an sae did she; then wi great haste
I clasped my airms aboot her neck an waist-
Aboot her yieldin waist, an teuk a fouth
O sweetest kisses frae her glowin mouth.
While hard an fast I held her in my grips,
My very saul cam lowpin to my lips.
Sair, sair she flet wi me 'tween ilka smack,
But weel I kend she meant nae as she spak.
Dear Roger, when yer jo pits on her gloom,
Do ye sae tae, an never fash yer thoom-
Seem to foresake her, suin she'll change her mood;
Gae woo anither, an she'll gang clean wud.

SANG II.

TUNE--"Fy! gar rub her ower wi strae."

Dear Roger, If yer Jenny geck,
An answer kindness wi a slicht,
Seem unconcerned at her neglect,
For weemen in a man delyte.
But them despise wha're suin defeat,
An wi a simple face gie wey
To a repulse-then be nae blate,
Push bauldly on, an win the day.
When maidens, innocently young,
Say aften what they never mean,
Ne'er mind their pretty lyin tongue,
But tent the language o their een:
If these agree, an she persist
To answer a' yer love wi hate,
Seek elsewhere to be better blest,
An let her sich when it's too late.

ROGER.

Kind Patie, nou fair fa' yer honest hert,
Ye're aye sae caidgy, an hae sic an are
To herten ane; for nou, as clean's a leek,
Ye've cherished me since ye began to speak.
Sae, for yer pains, I'll mak ye a propine,
My mither, (rest her saul!) she made it fine-
A tartan plaid, spun o guid haslock woo,
Scarlet land green the sets, the borders blue,
Wi spraings like gowd an siller, crossed wi black;
I never haed it yet upon my back.
Weel are ye wordy o't, wha hae sae kind
Redd up my raivelled douts, an cleared my mind.

PATIE.

Weel, haud ye there--an since ye've frankly made
To me a present o yer braw new plaid,
My flute's be yer's, an she tae that's sae nice,
Shall come a-will, gif ye'll tak my advice.

ROGER.

As ye advise, I'll promise to observ't;
But ye maun keep the flute, ye best deserv't.
Nou tak it oot, an gies a bonny spring-
For I'm in tift to hear ye play an sing.

PATIE.

But first we'll tak a turn up to the hicht,
An see gif a' oor flocks be feedin richt;
By that time bannocks, an a shave o cheese,
Will mak a brakfast that a laird micht please;
Micht please the daintiest gabs, were they sae wice
To season meat wi health, insteed o spice.
When we hae taen the grace-drink at the well,
I'll whistle syne, an sing t'ye like mysel. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.

PROLOGUE.
A flouerie howm, between twa verdant braes,
Where lasses uise to wash an spreid their claes;
A trottin burnie wimplin throu the grund,
Its channel peebles, shinin, smooth an roond,
Here view twa barefit beauties, clean an clear;
First please yer ee next gratify yer ear-
While Jenny what she wishes discommends,
An Meg, wi better sense, true love defends

PEGGY AN JENNY.

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JENNY.

Come, Meg, let's fa' to wark upon this green,
This shinin day will bleach oor linen clean;
The water's clear, the lift unclouded blue,
Will mak them like a lily wet wi dew.

PEGGY.

Gae far'er up the burn to Habbie's How,
Where a' the sweets o spring an summer growe:
There 'tween twa birks, oot ower a little lin,
The water fa's an maks a singin din;
A puil briest-deep, beneath as clear as gless,
Kisses wi easy whirls the borderin gress.
We'll end oor washin while the mornin's cool;
An when the day growes het, we'll to the puil,
There wash oorsels--'tis healthfu nou in Mey,
An sweetly cauler on sae warm a day.

JENNY.

Daft lassie, when we're naked, what'll ye say
Gif oor twa herds come brattlin doun the brae,
An see us sae?--that jeerin fallow Pate
Wad tauntin say, "Haith, lasses, ye're no blate!"

PEGGY.

We're far frae ony road, an oot o sicht;
The lads they're feedin far beyont the hicht.
But tell me nou, dear Jenny (we're oor lane),
What gars ye plague yer wooer wi disdain?
The neibours a' tent this as weel as I,
That Roger loes ye, yet ye carena by.
What ails ye at him? Troth, between us twa,
He's wordy ye the best day e'er ye saw!

JENNY.

I dinna like him, Peggy, there's an end;
A herd mair sheepish yet I never kend.
He kaims his hair, indeed, an gaes richt snug,
Wi ribbon knots at his blue bannet lug,
Whilk pensylie he wears a-thocht ajee,
An spreids his gartanes diced beneath his knee;
He falds his owerlay doun his briest wi care,
An few gang trigger to the kirk or fair:
For a' that, he can naither sing nor say,
Except, "How d'ye?"--or, "There's a bonny day."

PEGGY.

Ye dash the lad wi constant slichtin pride,
Hatred for love is unco sair to bide:
But ye'll repent ye, if his love growe cauld-
What like's a dorty maiden when she's auld?
Like dawted wean, that tarrows at its meat,
That for some feckless whim will orp an greet:
The lave lauch at it, till the denner's past,
An syne the fuil thing is obliged to fast,
Or scart anither's leavins at the last.

SANG III.

TUNE--"Polwart on the Green."

The dorty will repent,
If lovers' herts growe cauld;
An nane her smiles will tent,
Suin as her face leuks auld.
The dawted bairn thus taks the pet,
Nor eats tho hunger crave;
Whimpers an tarrows at its meat,
An's lauched at by the lave.
They jest it till the denner's past;
Thus by itsel abuised,
The fuil thing is obliged to fast,
Or eat what they've refuised.
Fy! Jenny, think, an dinna sit yer time.

JENNY.

I never thocht a single life a crime!

PEGGY.

Nor I:--but love in whispers lets us ken,
That men were made for us, an we for men.

JENNY.

If Roger is my jo, he kens himsel,
For sic a tale I never heard him tell.
He glowers an sichs, an I can guess the cause;
But wha's obliged to spell his hums an haws?
Whene'er he likes to tell his mind mair plain,
I'se tell him frankly ne'er to do't again.
They're fuils that slavery like, an mey be free;
The chiels mey a' knit up themsels for me.

PEGGY.

Be daein yer weys; for me, I hae a mind
To be as yieldin as my Patie's kind.

JENNY.

Heh, lass! how can ye be that rattle-skull?
A very deil, that aye maun hae his wull,
We'll suin hear tell, what a puir fechtin life
Ye twa will lead, sae suin's ye're man an wife.

PEGGY.

I'll rin the risk, nor hae I ony fear,
But raither think ilk langsum day a year,
Till I wi pleasure mount my bridal-bed,
Where on my Patie's briest I'll lean my heid.
There we mey kiss as lang as kissin's guid,
An what we do there's nane daur ca' it rude.
He's get his will: Why no? it's guid my pairt
To gie him that, an he'll gie me his hert.

JENNY.

He mey, indeed, for ten or fifteen days,
Mak meikle o ye, wi an unco fraise,
An daut ye baith afore fouk, an yer lane;
But suin as his newfangleness is gane,
He'll leuk upon ye as his tether-stake,
An think he's tint his freedom for yer sake.
Insteed then o lang days o sweet delyte,
Ae day be dumb, an a' the neist he'll flyte:
An mey be, in his barlichoods, ne'er stick
To lend his lovin wife a lounderin lick.

SANG IV.

TUNE--"O dear mither what shall I do?"

O dear Peggy, love's beguilin,
We ocht na to trust his smilin,
Better far to do as I do,
Lest a harder luck betide ye.
Lasses, when their fancy's cairied,
Think o nocht but to be mairied;
Rinnin to a life, destroys
Hertsome, free, an youthfu joys.

PEGGY.

Sic coorse-spun thochts as thae want pith to move
My settled mind; I'm ower far gane in love.
Patie to me is dearer than my braith,
But want o him I dreid nae ither skaith.
There's nane o a' the herds that tread the green
Haes sic a smile, or sic twa glancin een:
An then he speaks wi sic a takkin ert-
His wirds they thirle like muisic throu my hert.
How blithely can he sport, an gently rave,
An jest at feckless fears that fricht the lave!
Ilk day that he's alane upon the hill,
He reads fell beuks that teach him meikle skill.
He is--but what need I say that or this?
I'd spend a month to tell ye what he is!
In a' he says or dis, there's sic a gate,
The rest seem cuifs compared wi my dear Pate.
His better sense will lang his love secure;
Ill-natur hefts in sauls that's weak an puir.

SANG V.

TUNE--"How can I be sad on my weddin day?"

How shall I be sad when a husband I hae
That haes better sense than ony o thae
Soor weak silly fellows, that study like fuils,
To sink their ain joy, an mak their wifes snuils?
The man wha is prudent ne'er lichtlies his wife,
Or wi dull reproaches encourages strife;
He praises her virtues, an ne'er will abuise
Her for a sma' failin, but finnd an excuise.

JENNY.

Hey, Bonny lass o Branksome! or't be lang,
Yer witty Pate will put ye in a sang.
O tis a pleasant thing to be a bride;
Syne whingein getts aboot yer ingle-side,
Yelpin for this or that wi fasheous din:
To mak them brats, then ye maun toil an spin.
Ae wean fa's seek, ane scads itsel wi bree,-
Ane braks his shin,--anither tines his shae;
The Deil gaes ower Jock Wabster, hame growes hell
An Pate misca's ye waur than tongue can tell!

PEGGY.

Yes, it's a hertsome thing to be a wife,
When roond the ingle-edge young sproots are rife.
Gif I'm sae happy, I shall hae delyte
To hear their little plaints, an keep them richt.
Wow! Jenny, can there greater pleasure be,
Than see sic wee tots toolyin at yer knee;
When a' they ettle at-their greatest wish,-
Is to be made o, an obtain a kiss?
Can there be toil in tentin day an nicht
The like o them, when love maks care delyte?

JENNY.

But puirtith, Peggy, is the warst o a';
Gif ower yer heids ill-chance should beggary draw,
But little love or canty cheer can come
Frae duddy dooblets, an a pantry tuim.
Yer nowt mey dee-the spate mey bear awa
Frae aff the howms yer denty rucks o hey.
The thick-blawn wreaths o snaw, or blashy thows,
Mey smoor yer wathers, an mey rot yer yowes.
A dyvour buys yer butter, woo, an cheese,
But, or the day o peyment, bleaks, an flees.
Wi gloamin brou, the laird seeks in his rent;-
It's no to gie; yer merchant's to the bent.
His honour maunna want--he poinds yer gear;
Syne, driven frae hoose an hald, where will ye steer?
Dear Meg, be wice, an live a single life;
Troth, it's nae mows to be a mairied wife!

PEGGY.

Mey sic ill luck befa' that silly she
Wha haes sic fears; for that was never me.
Let fouk bode weel, an strive to do their best;
Nae mair's required, let Heeven mak oot the rest.
I've heard my honest uncle aften say,
That lads should a' for wifes that's vertuous pray;
For the maist thrifty man could never get
A weel stored room, unless his wife wad let:
Wherefore nocht shall be wantin on my pairt,
To gaither wealth to raise my Shepherd's hert.
Whate'er he wins I'll guide wi cannie care,
An win the vogue at market, tron, or fair,
For halesome, clean, cheap, an sufficient ware.
A flock o lambs, cheese, butter, an some woo,
Shall first be sauld to pey the laird his due;
Syne a' behin's oor ain.--Thus, ithoot fear,
Wi love an rowth we throu the warld will steer:
An when my Pate in bairns an gear growes rife,
He'll bless the day he gat me for his wife.

JENNY.

But what if some young giglet on the green,
Wi dimpled cheeks, an twa bewitchin een,
Shoud gar yer Patie think his hauf-worn Meg,
An her kend kisses hardly worth a feg?

PEGGY.

Nae mair o that--Dear Jenny, to be free,
There's some men constanter in love than we:
Nor is the ferly great, when natur kind
Haes blest them wi solidity o mind.
They'll reason calmly, an wi kindness smile,
When oor short passions wad oor peace beguile.
Sae, whensoe'er they slicht their maiks at hame,
It's ten to ane the wifes are maist to blame.
Then I'll employ wi pleasure a' my are
To keep him cheerfu, an secure his hert.
At e'en, when he comes weary frae the hill,
I'll hae a' things made ready to his will.
In winter, when he toils throu wind an rain,
A bleezin ingle, an a clean hearth-stane;
An suin as he flings by his plaid an staff,
The seethin pat's be ready to tak aff;
Clean hag-a-bag I'll spreid upon his board,
An serve him wi the best we can afford;
Guid humour an white bigonets shall be
Guards to my face, to keep his love for me.

JENNY.

A dish o mairied love richt suin growes cauld,
An dosens doun to nane, as fouk growe auld.

PEGGY.

But we'll growe auld thegither, an ne'er finnd
The loss o youth, when love growes on the mind,
Bairns an their bairns mak shuir a firmer tie,
Than aucht in love the like o us can spy.
See yon twa elms that growe up side by side-
Suppose them some years syne bridegroom an bride;
Nearer an nearer ilka year they've prest,
Till wide their spreidin brainches are increast,
An in their mixtur nou are fully blest:
This, shields the ither frae the eastlin blast,
That, in return, defends it frae the wast.
Sic as stand single--(a state sae liked by ye!)-
Beneath ilk storm, frae every airt, maun bow.

JENNY.

I've duin!--I yield, dear lassie, I maun yield;
Your better sense haes fairly won the field,
Wi the assistance o a little fae
Lies darned within my briest this mony a day.

SANG VI.

TUNE.--"Nancy's to the greenwud gane."

JENNY.

I yield, dear lassie, ye hae won;
An there is nae denyin,
That shuir as licht flows frae the sun.
Frae love proceeds complyin.
For a' that we can do or say,
'gainst love, nae thinker heeds us,
They ken oor bosoms ludge the fae
That by the hert-strings leads us.

PEGGY.

Alake, puir prisoner! Jenny, that's no fair,
That ye'll no let the wee thing tak the air:
Haste, let him oot; we'll tent as weel's we can,
Gif he be Bauldy's or puir Roger's man.

JENNY.

Anither time's as guid--for see the sun
Is richt far up, an we're no yet begun
To freath the graith--If canker'd Madge, oor aunt,
Come up the burn, she'll gie's a wicked rant:
But when we've duin, I'll tell ye a' my mind;
For this seems true--nae lass can be unkind.

[Exeunt.