Allan Ramsay

SCENE I.

PROLOGUE.

See how puir Bauldy stares like ane possessed,
An roars up Symon frae his kindly rest;
Bare-legged, wi nicht-cap an unbuttoned coat,
See, the auld man comes forward to the sot.

SYMON AN BAULDY.

SYMON.

What want ye, Bauldy, at this early oor,
While drowsy sleep keeps a' beneath its pouer?
Far to the north the scant approachin licht
Stan's equal 'twixt the mornin an the nicht.
What gars ye shake, an glower, an leuk sae wan?
Yer teeth they chitter, hair like bristles stan'.

BAULDY.

O len me suin some water, milk, or ale!
My heid's grown dizzy-legs wi shakin fail;-
I'll ne'er daur venture oot at nicht my lane;
Alake! I'll never be mysel again.
I'll ne'er owerput it! Symon! O Symon! O!

[Symon gies him a drink.

SYMON.

What ails thee, gowk! to mak sae lood adae?
Ye've waked Sir William-he haes left his bed-
He comes, I fear, ill-pleased-I hear his tread.

ENTER SIR WILLIAM.

SIR WILLIAM.

How gaes the nicht? Dis day-licht yet appear?
Symon, ye're very timeously asteer.

SYMON.

I'm sorry, Sir, that we've disturbed yer rest;
But some strange thing haes Bauldy's spirit opprest;
He's seen some witch, or warsled wi a gaist.

BAULDY.

Ay-dear Sir, in troth it's very true,
An I am come to mak my 'plaint to ye.

SIR WILLIAM SMILIN.

I lang to hear't-

BAULDY.

Ah! Sir, the witch ca'd Mause,
That wins abuin the mill amang the haws,
First promised that she'd help me, wi her ert,
To gain a bonny thrawart lassie's hert.
As she haed trysted, I met wi'er this nicht;
But mey nae freend o mine get sic a fricht!
For the curst hag, insteed o daein me guid,
(The very thocht o't's like to freeze my bluid)!
Raised up a gaist, or deil, I kenna whilk,
Like a deid corse, in sheet as white as milk:
Black hands it haed, an face as wan as daith;
Upon me fast the witch an it fell baith,
An gat me doun; while I, like a great fuil,
Was laboured as I uised to be at schuil.
My hert oot o its hool was like to lowp,
I pithless grew wi fear, an haed nae houp,
Till, wi an elritch lauch, they vainished quite;
Syne I, hauf deid wi anger, fear, an spite,
Crap up, an fled straucht frae them, Sir, to ye,
Houpin yer help to gie the deil his due,
I'm shuir my hert will ne'er gie ower to dunt,
Till, in a fat tar-barrel, Mause be brunt.

SIR WILLIAM.

Well, Bauldy, whate'er's juist shall granted be;
Let Mause be brocht this mornin doun to me.

BAULDY.

Thanks to yer honour, suin shall I obey;
But first I'll Roger raise, an twa three mae,
To catch her fast, e'er she get leave to squeel,
An cast her cantrips that bring up the deil.
[Exit.

SIR WILLIAM.

Troth, Symon, Bauldy's mair afraid than hurt,
The witch an gaist have made themsels guid sport.
What silly notions croud the clouded mind,
That is, throu want o education, blinnd!

SYMON.

But dis yer honour think there's nae sic thing
As witches raisin deils up throu a ring,
Syne playin tricks? - a thoosand I coud tell-
Coud never be contrived on this side hell!

SIR WILLIAM.

Sic as the deevil's dancin in a muir,
Amangst a few auld weemen, crazed an puir,
Appearin sometimes like a black-horned cou,
Aft-times like bawty, baudrans, or a sou:
Then wi his train throu airy paths to glide,
While they on cats, or clowns, or broom-staffs ride;
Or in an egg-shell skim oot ower the main,
To drink their leader's health in France or Spain:
Then aft, by nicht, bumbaze hare-herted fuils,
By tumblin doun their cupboards, chairs, an stuils.
Whate'er's in spells, or if there witches be,
Sic whimsies seem the maist absurd to me.

SYMON.

It's true eneuch, we ne'er heard that a witch
Haed aither meikle sense, or yet was rich;
But Mause, tho puir, is a sagacious wife,
An lives a quiet an very honest life-
That gars me think this hobbleshew that's past
Will end in naething but a joke at last.

SIR WILLIAM.

I'm shuir it will:- but see, increasin licht
Commands the imps o darkness doun to nicht;
Bid raise my servants, an my horse prepare,
Whilst I walk oot to tak the mornin air.

SANG XXI.

TUNE - "Bonny Grey-ee'd Morn."

The bonny grey-ee'd morn begins to peep,
An darkness flees before the risin ray,
The herty hynd starts frae his lazy sleep,
To follow healthfu labours o the day;
Ithoot a guilty sting to wrinkle his brou,
The lark an the linnet 'tend his levee,
An he joins their concert drivin his plou,
Frae toil o grimace an pageantry free.
While flustered wi wine, or maddened wi loss
O hauf an estate, the prey o a main,
The drunkard an gamester tumble an toss,
Wishin for calmness an slumber in vain.
Be my portion health an quietness o mind,
Placed at a due distance frae parties an state,
Where naither ambition nor avarice blinnd,
Reach him wha haes happiness linked to his fate.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

PROLOGUE.

While Peggy laces up her bosom fair,
Wi a blue snood Jenny binds up her hair:
Glaud, by his mornin ingle, tak a beek,
The risin sun shines motty throu the reek;
A pipe his mouth, the lasses please his een,
An nou an then his joke maun intervene.

GLAUD, JENNY, AN PEGGY.

GLAUD.

I wish, my bairns, it mey keep fair till nicht,
Ye dinna uise sae suin to see the licht.
Nae dout, nou, ye intend to mix the thrang,
To tak yer leave o Paitrick or he gang:
But do ye think, that nou, when he's a laird,
That he puir landwart lassies will regaird?

JENNY.

Tho he's young maister nou, I'm very shuir,
He haes mair sense than slicht auld freends, tho puir.
But yesterday, he gae us mony a tug,
An kissed my cousin there frae lug to lug.

GLAUD.

Ay, ay, nae dout o't, an he'll do't again;
But be advised, his company refrain:
Before, he as a shepherd socht a wife,
Wi her to live a chaste an frugal life;
But nou grown gentle, suin he will forsake
Sic godly thochts, an brag o bein a rake.

PEGGY.

A rake what's that? - Shuir, if it means aucht ill,
He'll never be't, else I hae tint my skill.

GLAUD.

Daft lassie, ye ken nocht o the affair;
Ane young, an guid, an gentle's unco rare.
A rake's a graceless spark, that thinks nae shame
To do sic deeds I canna think to name.
Be wary, then, I say, an never gie
Encouragement, or bourd wi sic as he.

PEGGY.

Sir William's virtuous, an o gentle bluid;
An mey nae Paitrick, too, like him, be guid?

GLAUD.

That's true; an mony gentry mae than he,
As they are wicer, better are than we,
But thinner sawn: they're sae puffed up wi pride,
There's mony o them mocks ilk haly guide,
That shaws the gate to Heeven. I've heard mysel,
Some o them lauch at doomsday, sin, an hell.

JENNY.

Watch ower us, faither! heh ! that's very odd,
Shuir him that douts a doomsday douts a God.

GLAUD.

Dout! why, they naither dout, nor judge, nor think,
Nor hope, nor fear; but curse, debauch, an drink;
But I'm nae sayin this, as if I thocht
That Paitrick to sic gates will e'er be brocht.

PEGGY.

The Lord forbid! Na, he kens better things:
But here comes aunt; her face some ferly brings.

ENTER MADGE.

MADGE.

Haste, haste ye! we're a' sent for ower the gate,
To hear, an help to redd some odd debate
'tween Mause an Bauldy, 'boot some witchcraft spell,
At Symon's hoose: the knicht sits judge himsel.

GLAUD.

Lend me my staff; - Madge, lock the ooter door,
An bring the lassies wi ye: I'll step on before.
[Exit Glaud.

MADGE.

Puir Meg! Leuk, Jenny, was the like e'er seen!
How bleered an reid wi greetin leuk her een!
This day her brankan wooer taks his horse,
To strut a gentle spark at Embro cross:
To change his kent, cut frae the brainchy plain
For a nice sword an glancin-heided cane;
To leave his ram-horn spuins, an kitted whey,
For gentler tea, that smells like new-won hey;
To leave the green-sward dance, when we gae milk,
To rustle 'mang the beauties clad in silk.
But Meg, puir Meg! maun wi the shepherds stey
An tak what God will send, in hodden-gray.

PEGGY.

Dear aunt, what need ye fash us wi yer scorn?
It's no my faut that I'm nae gentler born.
Gif I the dochter o some laird haed been,
I ne'er haed noticed Patie on the green.
Nou, since he rises, why shoud I repine?
If he's made for anither, he will ne'er be mine;
An then-the like haes been-if the decree
Designs him mine, I yet his wife mey be.

MADGE.

A bonny story, troth! - But we delay;
Prin up yer aprons baith, an come awa.
[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

PROLOGUE.

Sir William fills the twa-airmed chair,
While Symon, Roger, Glaud, an Mause,
Attend, an wi lood lauchter hear
Daft Bauldy bluntly plead his cause:
For nou it's telled him that the taws
Was handled by revengefu Madge,
Because he brak guid-breedin's laws,
An wi his nonsense raised their rage.

SIR WILLIAM, PATIE, ROGER, SYMON, GLAUD, BAULDY, AN MAUSE.

SIR WILLIAM.

An was that a'? - Well, Bauldy, ye was served
No itherwice than what ye well deserved.
Was it sae sma' a maiter, to defame
An thus abuise an honest wumman's name?
Besides yer gaun aboot to have betrayed,
By perjury, an innocent young maid.

BAULDY.

Sir, I confess my faut throu a' the steps,
An ne'er again shall be untrue to Neps.

MAUSE.

Thus far, Sir, he obliged me on the score,
I kendna that they thocht me sic before.

BAULDY.

An't like yer honour, I believed it weel;
But, troth, I was e'en doilt to seek the deil:
Yet, wi yer honour's leave, tho she's nae witch,
She's baith a slee an a revengfu-----,
An that my some-place finds: - but I haed best
Haud in my tongue, for yonder comes the gaist,
An the young bonny witch, whase rosy cheek
Sent me, ithoot my wit, the deil to seek.

ENTER MADGE, PEGGY, AN JENNY.

SIR WILLIAM, LEUKIN AT PEGGY.

Whase dochter's she that wears th' aurora goun,
Wi face sae fair, an locks o lovely broun?
How sparklin are her een what's this? I finnd
The girl brings a' my sister to my mind.
Sic were the features ance adorned a face,
Which daith too suin deprived o sweetest grace.
Is this yer dochter, Glaud?---

GLAUD.

-----Sir, she's my niece-
An yet she's no; - but I shoud haud my peace.

SIR WILLIAM.

This is a contradiction! - What d'ye mean?-
She is, an isna! - pray thee, Glaud, explain.

GLAUD.

Because I dout, if I shoud mak appear
What I hae kept a secret threteen year-

MAUSE.

Ye mey reveal what I can fully clear.

SIR WILLIAM.

Speak suin; I'm a' impatience!-

PATIE.

-----Sae am I!
For much I hope, an hardly yet ken why.

GLAUD.

Then, since my maister orders, I obey.
This bonny fundlin, ae clear morn o Mey,
Close by the lea-side o my door I found,
A' sweet an clean, an carefully happed roond
In infant weeds, o rich an gentle mak.
What coud they be - thocht I - did thee forsake?
Wha, warse than brutes, coud leave exposed to air
Sae much o innocence, sae sweetly fair,
Sae helpless young? - for she appeared to me
Only aboot twa towmonts auld to be.
I teuk her in my airms - the bairnie smiled
Wi sic a leuk, wad made a savage mild.
I hid the story - she haes passed sinsyne
As a puir orphan, an a niece o mine:
Nor do I rue my care aboot the wean,
For she's weel worth the pains that I hae tane.
Ye see she's bonny; I can swear she's guid,
An am richt shuir she's come o gentle bluid-
O wham I kenna. - Naething I ken mair,
Than what I to yer honour nou declare.

SIR WILLIAM.

This tale seems strange!--

PATIE.

-----The tale delytes my ear!

SIR WILLIAM.

Command yer joys, young man, till truith appear.

MAUSE.

That be my task. Nou, Sir, bid a' be hush;
Peggy mey smile; - thoo hast nae cause to blush.
Lang hae I wished to see this happy day,
That I micht safely to the truith gie wey;
That I mey nou Sir William Worthy name,
The best an nearest freend that she can claim:
He saw't at first, an wi quick ee did trace
His sister's beauty in her dochter's face.

SIR WILLIAM.

Auld woman, dinna rave - prove what ye say;
It's dangerous in affairs like this to play.

PATIE.

What reason, Sir, can an auld woman have
To tell a lie, when she's sae near her grave?
But how, or why; it should be truith, I grant,
I every thing that leuks like reason want.

OMNES.

The story's odd! we wish we heard it oot.

SIR WILLIAM.

Mak haste, guid woman, an resolve each dout.

MAUSE

[GOES FORWARD, LEADING PEGGY TO SIR WILLIAM.]

Sir, view me weel-haes fifteen years sae plou'd
A wrinkled face that ye hae aften viewed,
That here I, as an unkent stranger, stand,
Wha nursed her mither that nou hauds my hand?
Yet stronger pruifs I'll gie, if ye demand.

SIR WILLIAM.

Ha! honest nurse-where were my een before?
I ken thy faithfuness, an need no mair;
Yet frae the labirinth, to lead oot my mind,
Say, to expose her, wha was sae unkind?
[SIR WILLIAM EMBRACES PEGGY, AN MAKS HER SIT BY HIM.]
Yes, surely, thou'r my niece-truith must prevail,
But no mair wirds till Mause relate her tale.

PATIE.

Guid nurse gae on; nae muisic's hauf sae fine,
Or can gie pleasure like thae wirds o thine.

MAUSE.

Then it was I that saved her infant life,
Her daith bein threatened by an uncle's wife.
The story's lang-but I the secret kent,
How they pursu'd, wi avaricious view,
Her rich estate; o which they're nou possessed:
A' this to me a confidant confest.
I heard wi horror, an wi tremblin dreid,
They'd smoor the sakeless orphan in her bed.
That very nicht, when a' were sunk in rest,
At midnight oor the fluir I saftly prest,
An staw the sleepin innocent awa,
Wi wham I traivelled some few miles or day.
A' day I hid me; - whan the day was duin,
I kept my journey, lichted by the muin,
Till eastward fifty miles I reached these plains,
Where needfu plenty gleds yer cheerfu swains.
Afraid o bein found oot, I, to secure
My chairge, e'en laid her at this shepherd's door,
An teuk a neibourin cottage here, that I,
Whate'er should happen to her, micht be by.
Here honest Glaud himsel, an Symon, mey
Remember weel, how I that very day
Frae Roger's faither teuk my little cruve.

GLAUD

[WI TEARS O JOY HAPPIN DOUN HIS BEARD.]
I weel remember't - Lord reward yer love!-
Lang hae I wished for this; for aft I thocht
Sic knowledge some time should aboot be brocht.

PATIE.

It's nou a crime to dout; - my joys are full,
Wi due obedience to my parent's will.
Sir, wi paternal love, survey her chairms,
An blame me na for rushin to her airms.
She's mine by vows; an wad, tho still unkent,
Hae been my wife, whan I my vows durst ain.

SIR WILLIAM.

My niece, my dochter, welcome to my care!
Sweet image o thy mither, guid an fair,
Equal wi Paitrick. - Nou my greatest aim
Shall be to aid yer joys an well-matched flame.
My boy, receive her frae yer faither's hand,
Wi as guid will as aither wad demand.

[PATIE AN PEGGY EMBRACE, AN KNEEL TO SIR WILLIAM.]

PATIE

Wi as much joy this blessin I receive,
As ane wad life that's sinkin in a wave.

SIR WILLIAM [RAISES THEM.]

I gie ye baith my blessin;-mey yer love
Produce a happy race, an still improve!

PEGGY.

My wishes are complete-my joys arise,
While I'm hauf dizzy wi the blest surprise.
An am I then a match for my ain lad,
That for me sae much generous kindness haed?
Lang mey Sir William bless thae happy plains,
Happy while Heeven grant he on them remains.

PATIE.

Be lang oor guardian, still oor maister be;
We'll only crave what ye shall please to gie:
The estate be yours, my Peggy's ane to me.

GLAUD.

I hope yer honour nou will tak amends
O them that socht her life for wicked ends.

SIR WILLIAM.

The base unnaitral villain suin shall ken,
That een above watch the affairs below.
I'll strip him suin o a' to her pertains,
An mak him reimburse his ill-got gains.

PEGGY.

To me the views o wealth, an an estate,
Seem licht, when put in balance wi my Pate;
For his sake only, I'll aye thankfu bow
For sic a kindness, best o men, to ye.

SYMON.

What dooble blytheness wakens up this day!-
I hope nou, Sir, ye'll no suin haste awa.
Shall I unsaidle yer horse, an gar prepare
A dinner for ye o hale country fare?
See how much joy unwrinkles every brou;
Oor leuks hing on the twa, an doat on ye:
E'en Bauldy, the bewitched, haes quite forgot
Fell Madge's taws, an pawky Mause's plot.

SIR WILLIAM.

Kindly auld man-remain wi ye this day?
I never frae these fields again shall stray:
Masons an wrichts shall suin my hoose repair,
An busy gairdeners shall new plantin rear;
My faither's herty table ye suin shall see
Restored, an my best freends rejoice wi me.

SYMON.

That's the best news I heard this twenty year!
New day braks up, ruch times begin to clear.

GLAUD.

God save the king! an save Sir William lang,
T' enjoy their ain, an raise the shepherd's sang!

ROGER.

Wha winna dance, wha will refuse to sing?
What shepherd's whistle winna lilt the spring?

BAULDY.

I'm freends wi Mause--wi very Madge I'm gree'd,
Altho they skelpit me when woodly flee'd:
I'm nou fou blythe, an frankly can forgie,
To join an sing, "Lang mey Sir William live!"

MADGE.

Lang mey he live-an, Bauldy, learn to steek
Yer gab a-wee, an think before ye speak;
An never ca' her auld that wants a man,
Else ye mey yet some witch's fingers ban.
This day I'll wi the youngest o ye rant,
An brag for aye that I was ca'd the aunt
O oor young lady-my dear bonny bairn!

PEGGY.

Nae ither name I'll ever for ye learn-
An, my guid nurse, how shall I gratefu be
For a' thy matchless kindness duin for me!

MAUSE.

The flowin pleasures o this happy day
Dis fully a' I can require repay.

SIR WILLIAM.

To faithfu Symon, an, kind Glaud, to ye,
An to yer heirs, I gie, in endless feu,
The mailens ye possess, as justly due,
For actin like kind faithers to the pair,
Wha have eneuch besides, an these can spare.
Mause, in my hoose, in calmness, close yer days,
Wi nocht to do but sing yer Makker's praise.

OMNES.

The Lord o Heeven return yer honour's love.
Confirm yer joys, an a' yer blessins roove!

PATIE,

[PRESENTIN ROGER TO SIR WILLIAM.]

Sir, here's my trusty freend, that always shared
My bosom secrets e'er I was a laird:
Glaud's dochter, Janet (Jenny, think na shame!)
Raised, an maintains in him a lover's flame.
Lang was he dumb; at last he spak an won,
An hope's to be oor honest uncle's son:
Be pleased to speak to Glaud for his consent,
That nane mey wier a face o discontent.

SIR WILLIAM.

My son's demand is fair-Glaud let me crave,
That trusty Roger mey yer dochter have,
Wi frank consent; an, while he dis remain
Upon these fields, I mak him chamberlain.

GLAUD.

Ye croud yer bounties, Sir-what can we say,
But that we're dyvours that can ne'er repay?-
Whate'er yer honour wills, I sall obey.
Roger, my dochter, wi my blessin tak,
An still oor maister's richt yer business mak.
Please him, be faithfu, an this auld grey heid
Sall nod wi quietness doun amang the deid.

ROGER

I ne'er was guid o speakin a' my days,
Or ever bed to mak ower great a fraise;
But for my maister, faither, an my wife,
I will employ the cares o a' my life.

SIR WILLIAM.

My freends, I'm satisfied ye'll a' behave,
Each in his station, as I'd wish or crave,
Be ever virtuous, suin or late ye'll finnd
Reward an satisfaction to yer mind.
The maze o life sometimes leuks dark an wild;
An aft, when hopes are hiechest, we're beguiled.
Aft when we stand on brinks o dark despair,
Some happy turn, wi joy, dispels oor care.
Nou, a's at richt, wha sings best, let me hear.

PEGGY.

When ye demand, I readiest should obey;
I'll sing ye ane, the newest that I hae.

SANG XXII.

TUNE - "Corn-riggs are Bonny."

My Patie is a lover gay;
His mind is never muddy;
His braith is sweeter than new hey;
His face is fair an ruddy:
His shape is handsome, middle size,
He's comely in his walkin;
The shinin o his een surprise;
It's heeven to hear him talkin.