Allan Ramsay

SCENE I.

PROLOGUE.

A snug thack-hoose, before the door a green,
Hens on the midden, deuks in dubs are seen
On this side stands a barn, on that a byre:
A peat-stack joins, an forms a rural square.
The hoose is Glaud's--there ye mey see him lean,
An to his divot-sate invite his freen'.

GLAUD AN SYMON.

GLAUD.

Guid-morrow, neibour Symon--come, sit doun,
An gie's yer cracks--What's a' the news in toun?
They tell me ye was in the ither day,
An sald yer Crummock, an her bassened quey.
I'll warrant ye've coft a pund o cut an dry;
Lug oot yer box, an gie's a pipe to try.

SYMON.

Wi a' my hert--an tent me nou, auld boy,
I've gaithered news will kittle yer hert wi joy.
I couldna rest till I cam ower the burn,
To tell ye things hae taen sic a turn,
Will gay oor vile oppressors stend like flaes,
An skulk in hidlins on the heather braes.

GLAUD.

Fy, blaw!--Ah, Symie! rattlin chiels ne'er stand
To cleck an spreid the grossest lies aff-hand.
Whilk suin flees roond, like will-fire, far an near;
But lowse yer poke, be't true or fause, let's hear.

SYMON.

Seein's believin, Glaud; an I have seen
Hab, that abroad haes wi oor maister been-
Oor brave guid maister, wha richt wicely fled,
An left a fair estate to save his heid;
Because, ye ken fou weel, he bravely chose
To stand his liege's freend wi great Montrose.
Nou Cromwell's gane to Nick; an ane ca'd Monk
Haes played the Rumple a richt slee begunk,
Restored King Charles, an ilka thing's in tune;
An Habby says, we'll see Sir William suin.

GLAUD.

That maks me blythe indeed! but dinna flaw:
Tell ower yer news again! an swear till 't a'.
An saw ye Hab, an what did Halbert say?
They hae been e'en a dreary time awa.
Nou, God be thanked that oor laird's come hame!
An his estate, say, can he eithly claim?

SYMON.

They that hag-rid us till oor guts did grane,
Like greedy bairs, daur nae mair do't again,
An guid Sir William sall enjoy his ain.

SANG VII.

TUNE--"Cauld kail in Aiberdeen."

Cauld be the rebel's cast,
Oppressors base an bluidy;
I hope we'll see them at the last,
Strung a' up in a wuddy.
Blest be he o worth an sense,
An ever hiech in station,
That bravely stands in the defence
O conscience, king, an nation.

GLAUD.

An mey he lang; for never did he stent
Us in oor thrivin, wi a racket rent
Nor grumbled, if ane grew rich; or shored to raise
Oor mailens, when we pat on Sunday's claes.

SYMON.

Nor wad he lang, wi senseless saucy air,
Allou oor lyart noddles to be bare.
"Put on yer bannet, Symon-tak a sate.
How's a' at hame? How's Elspa? How dis Kate?
How sells black cattle? What gies woo this year?"
An sic-like kindly questions wad he speer.

SANG VIII.

TUNE--"Muckin o Geordie's byre."

The laird wha in riches an honour
Wad thrive, should be kindly an free,
Nor rack his puir tenants wha labour
To rise abuin poverty:
Else, like the pack-horse that's unfoddered
An burdened, will tumble doun faint;
Thus virtue by hardship is smothered,
An rackers aft tine their rent.

GLAUD.

Then wad he gar his butler bring bedeen
The nappy bottle ben, an glesses clean,
Whilk in oor breists raised sic a blythesome flame,
As gart me mony a time gae dancin hame.
My hert's e'en raised!--Dear neibour, will ye stey,
An tak yer dinner here wi me the day?
We'll send for Elspa too--an upo' sicht,
I'll whistle Pate an Roger frae the hicht:
I'll yoke my sled, an send to the neist toun,
An bring a draucht o ale baith stoot an broun;
An gar oor cotters a', man, wife, an wean,
Drink till they tine the gate to stand their lane.

SYMON.

I wadna bank my freend his blythe design,
Gif that it haedna first o a' been mine:
For or yestreen I brewed a bow o maut,
Yestreen I slew twa wathers, prime an fat;
A furlet o guid cakes my Elspa beuk,
An a lairge ham hangs reestin in the neuk:
I saw mysel, or I cam ower the loan,
Oor meikle pat, that scads the whey, put on,
A mutton bouk to boil, an ane we'll roast;
An on the haggis Elspa spares nae cost:
Sma' are they shorn, an she can mix fou nice
The gusty ingans wi a curn o spice:
Fat are the puddins--heids an feet weel sung;
An we've invited neibours auld an young,
To pass this efternuin wi glee an gemme,
An drink oor maister's health an welcome hame.
Ye maunna then refuse to join the rest,
Since ye're my nearest freend that I like best:
Bring wi ye a' yer faimly; an then,
Whene'er ye please, I'll rant wi ye again.

GLAUD.

Spak like yersel, auld birkie; never fear,
But at yer banqet I sall first appear:
Faith, we sall bend the bicker, an leuk bauld,
Till we forget that we are failed or auld.
Auld, said I!--troth I'm younger by a score,
Wi yer guid news, than what I was before.
I'll dance or e'en! hey, Madge, come forth; d'ye hear!

ENTER MADGE.

MADGE.

The man's gane gyte!--Dear Symon, welcome here!
What wad ye, Glaud, wi a' this haste an din?
Ye never let a body sit to spin.

GLAUD.

Spin! snuff!--Gae brak yer wheel, an burn yer tow,
An set the meiklest peat-stack in a low;
Syne dance aboot the banefire till ye dee,
Since nou again we'll suin Sir William see.

MADGE.

Blythe news indeed!--An wha was't tald ye o't?

GLAUD.

What's that to ye?--Gae get my Sunday's coat;
Wale oot the whitest o my bobbit bands,
My white-skin hose, an mittans for my hands;
Syne frae their washin cry the bairns in haste.
An mak yersels as trig, heid, feet, an waist.
As ye were a' to get young lads or e'en,
For we're gaun ower to dine wi Sym bedeen.

SYMON.

Do, honest Madge-an, Glaud, I'll ower the gate,
An see that a' be duin as I wad hae't.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

PROLOGUE.

The open field, a cottage in a glen;
A auld wife spinnin at the sunny end.
At a sma' distance, by a blasted tree,
Wi faulded airms, an hauf-raised leuks, ye see.

BAULDY HIS LANE.

What's this? I canna bear't! its waur than hell,
To be sae burnt wi love, yet daurna tell!
O Peggy! sweeter than the dawin day,
Sweeter than gowany glens or new-mawn hey;
Blyther than lambs that frisk oot ower the knowes;
Strauchter than aucht that in the forest growes;
Her e'en the clearest blob o dew ootshines;
The lily in her briest its beauty tines;
Her legs, her airms, her cheeks, her mouth, her een,
Will be my deid, that will be shortly seen!
For Pate loes her--waes me! an she loes Pate;
An I wi Neps, by some unlucky fate,
Made a daft vow: O! but ane be a beast,
That maks rash aiths till he's afore the priest!
I daurna speak my mind, else a' the three,
But dout, wad prove ilk ane my enemy:
Its sair to thole;--I'll try some witchcraft are,
To brak wi ane an win the ither's hert.
Here Mausy lives, a witch that for sma' price,
Can cast her cantrips, an gie me advice:
She can owercast the nicht, an cloud the muin,
An mak the deils obedient to her cruin.
At midnight oors, ower the kirk-yaird she raves,
An howks unchristened weans oot o their graves;
Boils up their livers in a warlock's pow;
Rins withershins aboot the hemlock low;
An seeven times dis her prayers backward pray,
Till Plotcock comes wi lumps o Lapland clay,
Mixt wi the venom o black taids an snakes:
O this unsonsy picturs aft she maks
O ony ane she hates-an gars expire
Wi slaw an rackin pains afore a fire;
Stuck fou o prins, the devilish picturs melt;
The pain by fouk they represent is felt.
An yonder's Mause--ay, ay, she kens fu weel,
When ane like me comes rinnin to the deil.
She an her cat sit beekin in her yaird;
To speak my errand, faith, amaist I'm feared;
But I maun do't, tho I should never thrive;
They gallop fast that deils an lasses drive. [Exit.

SCENE III.

PROLOGUE.

A green kail-yaird: a little fount,
Where water poplin springs;
There sits a wife wi wrinkled front,
An yet she spins an sings.

SANG IX.

TUNE--"Carle, an the king come."

MAUSE.

Peggy, nou the king's come!
Peggy, nou the king's come!
Thoo shall dance an I shall sing,
Peggy, nou the king's come!
Nae mair the hawkies shall thoo milk,
But change thy plaiden coat for silk,
An be a lady o that ilk,
Nou Peggy, since the king's come!

ENTER BAULDY.

BAULDY.

How dis auld honest lucky o the glen?
Ye leuk baith hail an fair at threescore ten.

MAUSE.

E'en twinin oot a threid wi little din,
An beekin my cauld limbs afore the sun.
What brings my bairn this gate sae air at morn?
Is there nae muck to lead?--to thresh, nae corn?

BAULDY.

Eneuch o baith-but something that requires
Yer helpin hand, employs nou a' my cares.

MAUSE.

My helpin hand! alake! what can I do,
That underneath baith eild an puirtith bow!

BAULDY.

Ay, but ye're wice, an wicer far than we,
Or maist pairt o the pairish tells a lee.

MAUSE.

O what kind wisdom think ye I'm possessed,
That lifts my character abuin the rest?

BAULDY.

The wird that gangs, how, ye're sae wice an fell,
Ye'll mibbie tak it ill gif I should tell.

MAUSE.

What folk say o me, Bauldy, let me hear;
Keep naething up, ye naething hae to fear.

BAULDY.

Weel, since ye bid me, I shall tell ye a'
That ilk ane tauks aboot ye, but a flaw.
When last the wind made Glaud a ruifless barn;
When last the burn bore doun my mither's yarn;
When Brawny elf-shot never mair cam hame;
When Tibby kirned an there nae butter cam;
When Bessy Freetock's chuffy-cheeked wean
To a fairy turned, an couldna stand its lane;
When Wattie wandered ae nicht throu the shaw,
An tint himsel amaist amang the snaw;
When Mungo's meir stuid still, an swat wi fricht,
When he brocht east the howdy under nicht;
When Bawsy shot to deid upon the green;
An Sara tint a snood was nae mair seen:
Ye, Lucky, gat the wyte o a' fell oot,
An ilk ane here dreids ye, a' roond aboot;
An sae they mey that mint to do ye skaith;
For me to wrang ye, I'll be very laith-
But when I neist mak grots, I'll strive to please
Ye wi a furlet o them, mixt wi pease.

MAUSE.

I thank ye, lad--Nou, tell me yer demand,
An if I can, I'll lend my helpin hand.

BAULDY.

Then, I like Peggy; Neps is fond o me;
Peggy likes Pate; an Pate is bauld an slee,
An loes sweet Meg;--but Neps I downa see.
Coud ye turn Patie's love to Neps, an than
Peggy's to me, I'd be the happiest man.

MAUSE.

I'll try my airt to gar the bowles row richt;
Sae gang yer weys, an come again at nicht:
'gainst that time I'll some simple thing prepare,
Worth a' yer pease an grots; tak ye nae care.

BAULDY.

Weel, Mause, I'll come gif I the road can finnd:
But if ye raise the deil, he'll raise the wind;
Syne rain an thunder, mibbie, when it's late,
Will mak the nicht sae mirk, I'll tine the gate.
We're a' to rant in Symie's at a feast,
O! will ye come like badrans for a jest!
An there ye can oor different 'haviours spy;
There's nane shall ken o't there but ye an I.

MAUSE.

It's like I mey--but let nae on what's past
'tween ye an me, else fear a kittle cast.

BAULDY.

If I aucht o yer secrets e'er advance,
Mey ye ride on me ilka nicht to France.

[Exit Bauldy.

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MAUSE HER LANE.

Hard luck, alake! when poverty an eild
Weeds oot o fashion, an a lanely bield,
Wi a sma' cast o wiles, should, in a twitch,
Gie ane the hatefu name, A wrinkled witch!
This fuil imagines, as do mony sic,-
That I'm a wretch in compact wi Auld Nick;
Because by education I was tocht
To speak an act abuin their common thocht.
Their gross mistak shall quickly nou appear;
Suin shall they ken what brocht, what keeps me here:
Nane kens but me; an if the morn were come,
I'll tell them tales will gar them a' sing dumb.

[Exit.

SCENE IV.

PROLOGUE.

Behind a tree upon the plain,
Pate an his Peggy meet;
In love, ithoot a vicious stain,
The bonny lass an cheerfu swain
Change vows an kisses sweet.

PATIE AN PEGGY.

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PEGGY.

O Patie, let me gang, I maunna stey;
Were baith cried hame, an Jenny she's awa.

PATIE.

I'm laith to pairt sae suin, nou we're alane,
An Roger he's awa wi Jenny gane;
They're as content, for aucht I hear or see,
To be alane themsels, I judge, as we.
Here, where primroses thickest paint the green,
Hard by this little burnie let us lean.
Hark, how the laverocks chant abuin oor heids,
How saft the westlin winds souch throu the reeds!

PEGGY.

The scented meidows, birds, an healthy breeze,
For aucht I ken, mey mair than Peggy please.

PATIE.

Ye wrang me sair, to dout my bein kind;
In speakin sae, ye ca' me dull an blinnd,
Gif I could fancy aucht's sae sweet or fair
As my dear Meg, or worthy o my care.
Thy braith is sweeter than the sweetest brier,
Thy cheek an briest the finest flouers appear.
Thy wirds excel the maist delytefu notes,
That warble throu the merl or mavis' throats.
Wi thee I tent nae flouers that busk the field,
Or riper berries that oor mountains yield.
The sweetest fruits that hing upon the tree
Are far inferior to a kiss o thee.

PEGGY.

But Paitrick, for some wicked end, mey fleetch,
An lambs shoud tremble when the foxes preach.
I daurna stey; ye joker, let me gang,
Anither lass mey gar ye change yer sang;
Yer thochts mey flit, an I mey thole the wrang.

PATIE.

Suiner a mither shall her fondness drap,
An wrang the bairn sits smilin on her lap;
The sun shall change, the muin to change shall cease,
The gaits to dim, the sheep to yield their fleece,
Or aucht by me be aither said or duin,
Shall skaith oor love--I swear by a' abuin.

PEGGY.

Then keep yer aith. But mony lads will swear,
An be mansworn to twa in hauf a year.
Nou, I believe ye like me wonder weel;
But if a fairer face yer hert shoud steal,
Yer Meg, forsaken, buitless micht relate,
How she was dawted ance by faithless Pate.

PATIE.

I'm shuir I canna change; ye needna fear;
Tho we're but young, I've loed ye mony a year.
I mind it weel, when thoo coud hardly gang,
Or lisp oot wirds, I chuised ye frae the thrang
O a' the bairns, an led thee by the hand,
Aft to the tansy knowe, or rashy strand,
Thoo smilin by my side. I teuk delyte
To pou the rashes green, wi ruits sae white;
O which, as weel as my young fancy coud,
For thee I plot the flouery belt an snood.

PEGGY.

When first thoo gade wi shepherds to the hill.
An I to milk the yowes first tried my skill,
To bear a leglin was nae toil to me,
When at the bucht at e'en I met wi thee.

PATIE.

When corn grew yellow, an the heather-bells
Bloomed bonny on the muir an risin fells,
Nae birns, or briers, or whins, e'er troubled me
Gif I could finnd blae-berries ripe for thee.

PEGGY.

When thoo did wrestle, run, or putt the stane,
An wan the day, my hert was flichterin fain:
At a' these sports thoo still gie joy to me-
For nane can wrestle, run, or putt wi thee.

PATIE.

Jenny sings saft the "Broom o Cowdenknowes;"
An Rosie lilts the "Milkin o the Yowes;"
There's nane like Nancy "Jenny Nettles" sings;
At turns in "Maggy Lauder," Marion dings;
But when my Peggy sings, wi sweeter skill,
The "Boatman," or the "Lass o Patie's Mill,-
It is a thoosand times mair sweet to me;
Tho they sing weel, they canna sing like thee.

PEGGY.

How eith can lasses trow what they desire!
An, roosed by them we love, blaws up that fire;
But wha loes best, let time an cairiage try;
Be constant, an my love shall time defy.
Be still as nou, an a' my care shall be
How to contrive what pleasant is for thee.

SANG X.

TUNE--"The yellow-haired laddie."

PEGGY.

When first my dear laddie gaed to the green hill,
An I at yowe-milkin first sayed my young skill,
To bear the milk-bowie nae pain was to me,
When I at the buchtin foregaithered wi thee.

PATIE.

When corn-riggs waved yellow, an blue heather-bells
Bloomed bonny on muirland an sweet risin fells,
Nae birns, briers, or breckans, gae trouble to me,
Gif I found the berries richt ripened for thee.

PEGGY.

When thoo ran, or wrestled, or putted the stane,
An cam aff the victor, my hert was aye fain;
Thy ilka sport, manly, gae pleasure to me,
For nane can putt, wrestle, or run swift as thee.

PATIE.

Oor Jenny sings saftly the "Cowden-broom-knowes,"
An Rosie lilts sweetly the "Milkin the Yowes;"
There's few "Jenny Nettles" like Nancy can sing,
At "Throu the Wud Laddie," Bess gars oor lugs ring.
But when my dear Peggy sings wi better skill,
The "Boatman," "Tweedside," or the "Lass o the Mill"
It's mony times sweeter an pleasin to me;
For tho they sing nicely, they canna like thee.

PEGGY.

How easy can lasses trow what they desire!
An praises sae kindly increases love's fire,
Gie me still this pleasure, my study shall be,
To mak mysel better an sweeter for thee.

PATIE.

Were thoo a giglet gawky like the lave,
That little better than oor nowt behave;
At nocht they'll ferly, senseless tales believe;
Be blythe for silly hechts, for trifles grieve-
Sic ne'er coud win my hert, that kenna how
Aither to keep a prize, or yet prove true;
But thoo, in better sense ithoot a flaw
As in thy beauty, far excels them a'.
Continue kind, an a' my care shall be,
How to contrive what pleasin is for thee.

PEGGY.

Agreed.--But herken! yon's auld aunty's cry,
I ken they'll wonder what can mak us stey.

PATIE.

An let them ferly! Nou, a kindly kiss,
Or five-score guid anes wadna be amiss;
An syne we'll sing the sang wi tunefu glee.
That I made up last owk on ye an me.

PEGGY.

Sing first, syne claim yer hire.

PATIE.

Weel, I agree!

SANG XI.

PATIE.

By the delicious warmness o thy mouth,
An rowin een that smilin tell the truith,
I guess, my lassie, that as weel as I,
Ye're made for love, an why should ye deny?

PEGGY.

But ken ye lad, gin we confess ower suin,
Ye think us cheap, an syne the wooin's duin;
The maiden that ower quickly tines her pouer,
Like unripe fruit, will taste but hard an soor.

PATIE.

But gin they hing ower lang upon the tree,
Their sweetness they mey tine, an sae mey ye.
Reid-checked, ye completely ripe appear,
An I hae tholed an wooed a lang hauf-year.

PEGGY

(Fa's into Patie's airms).

Then dinna pou me, gently thus I fa'
Into my Patie's airms, for guid an a';
But stint yer wishes to this kind embrace,
An mint nae far'er till we've got the grace.

PATIE,

(Wi his left hand aboot her waist).

O chairmin airmfu! hence, ye cares, awa!
I'll kiss my treasure a' the live-lang day!
A' nicht I'll dream my kisses ower again,
Till that day come that ye'll be a' my ain!

Sung by baith.

Sun, gallop doun the westlin skies,
Gang suin to bed, an quickly rise;
O lash yer steeds, post time awa,
An haste aboot oor bridal day!
An if ye're wearied, honest licht,
Sleep, gin ye like, a week that nicht.