T Whyte Paterson
THE WYSE-SAYINS O' SOLOMON, THE SON O' DAUVID, KING O' ISRAEL.
Anent the airtin o' the hale book.
To ken what's wyse an' what's guid guidin;
To hae an inklin intil the words o' guid understaun'in;
To get advisins intil the cannie dailins o' life,
Intil richteousness, an' jidgment, an' even-doon weys;
To gie pith to the feckless;
To the growin laddie richt-kennin an' discreetness;
That the man o' mense may speel the heicher,
An' that ony body wi' a pickle sense
May be better kent, e'en yet,
For his gleg, straucht-gaun coonsel:
To ken for yer ainsel a wyse-sayin,
An' to grup what may be the ettlin o't,
Ye hae afore ye THE WORDS O' THE WYSE,
An' their AULD SAWS,
Weel-worth an eident sairch.
The saicret at the tap o' a',— THE FEAR O' THE LORD.
THE FEAR O' THE LORD— Begin wi' that;
That's the in-comin o' a' richt-kennins:
But sic-like as hae nae sense ava
Mak licht o' what's wyse,
An' ocht that airts to guid guidin.
(Eftir the fear o' the Lord, the saicret o' life's 'tween yersel an' yer FAITHER an' MITHER.)
My laddie, herken to the advisins o' yer faither,
An' dinna mislippen the biddens o' yer mither;
For they'll e'en be like a bonnie croon On the heid o' ye,
An' braw buskin o' chains
Aboot the neck o' ye.
(A faither's coonsel to his callan.)
Mv laddie, gin sinners wad weise ye awa,
Hae nocht to dae wi' ane o' them.
Gin they micht be sayin t'ye,—
"Hey, my lad! Yoke wi' oorsels;
Lat us be snowkin thegither for blude;
Lat us slink aboot, in hiddlins, eftir the hairmless;
Lat us swallow them ootricht,
As the very grave itsel wad dae't;
Ay! clean oot o' sicht,
As tho' they had a' ploppit ower
Intil some gaipin black moss-hag:
"Eh! but we'll mak a gausie scran o't;
We'll pang oor hooses fu' o' the gettins:
Tak pot-luck wi' us, my lad,
Gang share-an'-share alike,
Jist ae muckle wallet 'mang us a'."
My laddie, for ony sake, I'm sayin,
Cleek nane wi' the sornin loons;
Haud aff their gate;
They're ettlin on naething but wrang,
An' maybe—-wha kens-—the skailin o' blude
Afore a's dune.
It's a gey gawkie bird, is yon same ane,
That haps straucht alang to be trappit
In some kenspeckle girn,
Loopit up an' laid oot,
In the sicht o' its goupin een.
An' sic-like as I'm tellin ye o', enoo,
Are fanklin an' girnin themsels:
They're no thinkin this o't, I wat,
Still-an'-on it's the truth:
It's themsels an' their weal,
Wi' their snowkin an' slinkin aboot,
That, belyve, they'll be whummlin ower.
That's the fac': that's the ootcome to a'
Wha troke wi' the glaumin o' greed;
An' ye'se see't for yersel: their ain lives it'll be,
That they'll taiver an' smoor in the lang-run.
(Wisdom crackin wi' the fulish.)
WISDOM cries oot on the causey,
Athort the braid haudens o' men;
She's thrang ower-by at the merkets,
An' oot an' in by the entries,
An' a' through the toon,
She's cryin, an' sayin:—
"Hoo lang, ye saft, feckless craiturs,
Are ye gaun to be sae thowless—
Geckin at what's guid,
An', like the fules ye are,
Haudin aff frae richt-kennins?
"Swee yersels roun', whan ye hear my repruif.
"Tak tent! For I'm fain to gie ye my speerit,
An' mak my words weel-kent to ilk ane o' ye.
Ower an' ower again I've hoyit an' cry't,
But ye've a' been dour an' deif-luggit;
I've rax't oot my haun,
But ye fash't yersels nane;
The coonsel I spak, ye hae slichtit,
An' wadna hear ocht o' advisins.
"But bide awee! I'll hae the lauch
In the day that ye're trauchl't;
I'll geck at you,
Whan ye're chitt'rin wi' dreid;
Whan on comes yer fricht
Like a blashin spate;
Whan doon comes yer skaith
Like a swirlin blast;
Whan dule an' wae ye maun dree."
Nae doobt, they'll speir for me then;
But I'll answer them nane:
Seekin me then they wad be;
But fin' me they'll no.
For didna they haud aff richt-kennins?
They waled-na the fear o' the Lord;
Ay! they'd herken to nae advisins;
They slichtit a' my repruif.
An' sae, they maun dree their ain weird,
An' be chokit wi' their ain ill-daeins,
Slippin back, an' gaun doon in their fecklessness,
An', like the fules, I tell ye, they are,
They'll be smoored 'neth the routh o' their ain fulishness.
But, whae'er wad herken weel to mysel,
A braw an' a couthie hauden he'll hae;
In a lown, lown howff he'll be happit ower
Wi' nae dreid o' ill ava.
Wisdom can redd the road frae a' mainner o' ills.
Mv laddie, gin ye'll herken to what I tell ye,
An' think muckle o' my commauns;
Gin ye'll gie tentie lug to the ca' o' wisdom,
An' ettle yer hairt to guid understaun'in;
'Deed, gin ye grein for richt insicht,
An' mak a wark aboot gettin an' inklin o't;
Gin ye'll grup at hersel as at siller,
An' howk for her as for a pat o' gowd
Laid awa in some bit hidie-hole:
Then, I'se warrant, ye'll staun in the fear o' the Lord,
An' fin' for yersel the richt-kennin o' God:
For it's the Lord Himsel that gies wisdom;
Knowledge an' understaun'in are His ain hansel:
He lays-by guid guidin for a' the upricht;
He's nane less than a shield to sic-like as are leal;
For weel He wad waird His ain warks for the true,
An' uphaud, oot-through a', ilka ane o' His saunts.
Then, I'se warrant, that fine ye'll be fettl't,—
Fettl't for ocht that airts by the richt,
Fettl't for even-doon dailins wi' a',
'Deed, ilka guid gate ye'll be kennin;
For wisdom, in-ower to yer hairt, 'll gang ben,
An' knowledge ye'se walcome deep doon in yer saul;
Discreetness 'll fen' ye frae ill,
An' guid understaun'in 'll kep ye fu' brawlie.
To redd ye frae airts that are wrang,
Frae folk wi' the ill-scraipit tongues,
Wha sklent awa frae the richt,
An' gang doon whaur the mirk lies thick;
Wha are gleg at the daein o' ill,
An' swick ower the warst they can wale;
Whas weys are as crookit as can be,
An' their gangins a' clean gane agley.
To redd ye frae the ill-deedie wumman,
Frae the fremit craitur, wha fraises wi' her tongue;
Wha gangs-back-on the frien' o' her young days,
An' cuists aff her the tryst o' her God:
For her hoose, lat me tell ye, sklents daith-ward,
An' her fit-pads airt doon to the deid:
No ane 'll come back that taks her gate,
No ane o' them a' has a chance ava
O' the brawest gliff o' life.
An' a' this, my ain laddie,
That ye may gang forrit wi' sic-like as are guid,
An' haud on by the gate o' the richteous;
For the upricht 'll keep their haudens siccar,
Ay! the upricht 'll never be steer't;
But the wicked 'll be sneddit clean aff,
An' the warkers o' deceiverie 'll be rutit oot—
They'll be rutit oot a'thegither.
(The Commauns o' Wisdom:
An' the braw oot-come, gin they're keepit.)
Mv laddie, dinna forget my biddens;
But haud my commauns in yer hairt:
For mony braw days, 'deed, braw years o' life,
An' lownness, wull they eik to yersel.
Dinna mislippen mercy an' truth;
Bin' them aboot the neck o' ye;
See till't, that they're scriven upon yer hairt;
An' ye'se get guid-wull, an' nae sma' respeck
In the sicht baith o' God an' man.
Tryst yersel to the Lord wi' a' yer hairt;
Dinna lippen overlie to yer ain understaun'in:
Ilka gate ye wad tak, gie thocht to Him,
An' He'll airt yer gangins fu' brawlie.
Dinna be thinkin ocht muckle o' yersel;
Hae the fear o' the Lord,
An' haud yont frae the wrang:
That'll be the very health o' ye,
An' marrow till yer banes.
Oot o' the gear that ye gether thegither,
Mind weel that ye gie to the Lord;
Gie the first an' the best o' a'thing:
An' yer barns 'll aye be weel-stockit,
An' yer vats 'll be lippin fu',
They'll be reamin fu' an' skailin,
Wi' the red bree o' the grapes.
(Wisdom—-a hantle better than gowd an' gear.)
Mv laddie, dinna mak licht o' the Lord's correckins,
Nor be yaumerin ower repruifs, that He sen's ye;
For sic-like as He lo'es
He repruves, whan they need it,
As ony faither wad dae
Wi' the callan he likes.
Happy, rale happy is the man wha fin's wisdom,
An' the man wha gets guid understaun'in;
For a stockin o' that
Is better, a hantle, than stockin o' siller;
The oot-come o' that
Is mair than the hainins o' gowd;
She's far abune glisterin rubies;
'Deed, there's naething ava,
O' the things ye micht grein for,
To liken to her.
Lang days--days o' life--
In her richt haun she brings;
In her left she'll hae routh
O' the best gear an' honour:
Her weys, as ye'll fin',
Are pleesant a' through,
An' cannie an' lown
Are the gates o' her gangins.
She's life, wi' the frutes o't,
To a' that haud till her;
An' blythe is ilk ane
That maks her his ain.
(The Warks o' the Wisdom that's abune ony.)
THE Lord, in His wisdom,
Has foondit the yirth;
An' siccarlie set
A' the heichs o' the heavens.
By knowledge, His ain,
Cam the howes o' the sea,
An' the lift, abune a',
Sen's the draps o' the dew.
(Aye tak the company o' Wisdom, an' baith day an' nicht ye'se hae the best o' bields.)
Mv laddie, dinna lat them get oot o' yer sicht;
Aye haud on by the heichest wisdom an' discreetness:
An' ye'll fin' that they're yer life,
Abune a' life ye ken,
An' braw graithin, as weel,
To the neck o' ye.
Then ye'll gang yont yer ain gate siccarlie,
An' yer fit 'll be stoiterin nane.
Whan, at nicht, ye lie doon,
Naething 'll scaur ye;
'Deed, whan ye lie doon,
Ye'll sleep as soun's a tap.
Syne ye needna be fley't for ony stramash,
Or the doon-come o' wrang-doers, whan that ye see;
For ye can brawlie keep up yer hairt,
Lippenin to the Lord Himsel,
An' by His ain cannie airtin
He'll kep yer fit frae ony fanklin.
(Wisdom says--"Dinna"; an' gies guid raison for't.)
DINNA withhaud ony guid ye can dae
To sic-like as are weel-deservin,
Whan fine ye ken this o't yersel,
That ye've routh to dae't wi'.
DINNA be sayin to yer neibour,—
"Weel, weel! Gang yer weys the noo,
An' syne come back the morn,
An' I'se see what I can dae for ye."--
Whan ye've got mair than eneuch in yer pooch
To help him at ance.
DINNA be ettlin ony ill anent yer neibour,
An' him steyin e'en next-door t'ye, jaloosin naething.
DINNA be fechtin wi' onybody needlesslie,
Whan nocht o' hairm's been dune to yersel.
DINNA fash yer hairt anent the camsteerie,
An' gang nane ower-by his gate.
FOR wi' the crookit trokers,
The Lord 'll hae nocht to dae ava;
An' the saicret, that's a' His ain,
Is only kent by the upricht.
The sair, sair ban o' the Lord
Lichts on the hoose o' the wicked;
But the couthie bield o' His blessin
Haps the hauden o' His ain folk.
Tho' He gecks at them wha geck at guid,
He'll gie blythesome grace to the lown-hairtit.
The wyse 'll get the tocher o' His glorie;
But shame itsel 'll be the bombaisement o' fules.
(Wha sets Wisdom tapmaist has a croon set on his ain heid.)
HERKEN, my laddies, to the instruckins o' yer faither,
An' tak tent to get guid understaun'in;
For the coonsel I'm speakin is richt,
Gin ye'se haud by the biddens I gie.
For mysel, I aye held by my faither,
An' clung by the sweet, couthie love o' my mither;
As a callan, like you, I got his advisins,
An' this was what he tell't me:--
"Lat yer hairt lay-by what I say;
Keep my commauns, an' hae life:
"Dinna forget that;
Dinna gang-back-on ocht that I've said;
Dinna mislippen her,
An' she'll no mislippen yersel;
An' she'll look eftir ye brawlie.
Wisdom--that's HER--the bunemaist o' ony:
See till't! Whate'er yer gettins may be,
Get guid understaun'in.
"Set her tapmaist, I'm sayin,
An' yer life she'll upheize;
She'll airt ye to honour
Whan ye mak her yer ain.
"She'll clap on yer heid
A braw graithin o' grace,
A croon--naething less--
Is the buskin she'll gie."
(The twa roads, an' the endins o' baith.)
TAK tent, my laddie, an' herken to what I tell ye,
An' ye'se hae mony braw years o' life afore ye.
I've try't to ettle ye in the wey o' wisdom;
I've airtit ye yont the gate o' what's guid:
As ye gang on, yer feet 'll no be fankl't,
An', gin ye hae ony rinnin to dae,
Ye'se no tummle.
Tak a close grup o' guid coonsel;
Dinna lat her awa;
For she's the very life o' ye.
Ne'er pit a fit on the pads o' the wicked,
An' kep yersel frae the wey o' the ill-daein.
Dinna look the airt o't;
Dinna gang near't;
Haud awa frae't;
An' gang oot-ower.
For ilka day they're thrang ower some mischieff,
An' they canna gang to sleep at nichts,
Unless they've gi'en somebody a jundie.
It's their meat, ye wad think, to dae wrang,
An' their drink, to dae hairm.
The wey o' the richteous airts on
Frae the licht o' the mornin,
That brichtens, an' brichtens the mair,
Till the day's at its brawest.
But, foment that, the wey o' the wicked
Sklents doon, an' doon to the mirk,
An' nocht can they see
O' what whummies them ower.
(Wisdom's ain airtin-- "Straucht forrit".)
Mv laddie, gie tentie care to my words;
Len' yer lugs. to ilk thing that I'm tellin;
Lat nane o' them drap frae yer sicht;
Hap them weel in the mids o' yer hairt.
For they're life to ilk ane that'll grup them,
An' guid health to the body as weel.
Abune a' that ye gaird, gaird yer hairt,
For the ootcome o' life is settl't in-by.
Binna forritsome wi' yer tongue,
An' lat nae smachrie words smit yer lips;
Lat yer een be aye lookin forrit,
An' the skance o' yer e'e, straucht on.
Keep an even-doon pad for yer feet,
An' lat a' yer weys be made shair;
Swee nane to the richt or the left,
An' haud on oot the gate o' the wrang,
A faither's warnin ower the skaiih o' an ill-deedie wumman.
Mv laddie, tak tent to my coonsel,
Len' yer lug to a' my advisins;
That yersel may ettle discreetness,
An' crack as ane haein knowledge.
For the lips o' an ill-deedie wumman
An' her words are fair fraisin,
But, eftirhins,--Eh! they'll be soor,
Soor as wurmwud,
They'll be sherp as a swurd,
The feet o' her sklent to the deid,
An' her fit-steps airt yont by the grave.
For sic-like a hizzie as this
There's nae even-doon life ava;
A' her weys are as shooglie as can be,
Tho', as yet, she may no be awaur o't,
May no tak ae thocht o't hersel.
Noo, my laddie, to mysel herken weel,
An' haud ticht by the words o' my mooth.
Keep yont frae the craitur, far yont,
An' ne'er slink ye near her door-cheek;
Else ye'll niffer the guid name ye hae,
An' the best o' yer years 'll be fyl't;
Yer stren'th 'll be broizl't an' tint,
An' to ithers ye'll wark for yer meat.
At the hinner-en', eh! ye'll be wae,
Whan ye ken that yer life dwinnles oot;
An' ye'll say, "Hoo I slichtit guid coonsel,
An' lauch't to mysel at repruif;
I naither wad lippen richt biddens,
Nor herken to frien's that wad speak them;
Intil a' kinds o' pliskies o' wrang
I gaed on, ramstam, 'thort the toon."
Slocken drouth at the spring that's yer ain,
Frae the waters in-by yer ain waal.
Should yer springs be cuisten abreid,
Like burns rinnin ower on the causey?
Lat them be for nane but yersel,
An' no for the gangrels aboot ye.
Lat the spring-heid o' life fesh ye blessin,
An' be blythe wi' yer young guid-wife.
As a dawtit hynde,
An' a bonnie da,
Lat hersel be eneuch for ye aye;
Wi' her love be ta'en up a'thegither.
My laddie, what for, wi' the ill-deedie wumman,
Or the gangeral lass, wad ye mint to tak up?
For the weys o' a man are afore the Lord's sicht,
An', I'se wad, He kens weel a' the airts o' his gangins.
His daein o' wrang 'll girn the wrang-doer;
He'll tichtlie be bun' by the raips o' his sin,
O' the sin that's his ain;
An' he'll dee, ay! he'll dee,
For no takin advisins;
An' by fulishness glaikit
He'll aye gang the farer the wrang,
An' be lost!
(Anent comin-guid for ither folks.)
Mv laddie, gif yer promise ye've gi'en
To come-guid for some neibour,
Gif yer word ye hae wad
For some gangeral craitur;
Then ye've girn't yer ainsel
By the words o' yer mooth;
Ay! ye've girn't yersel shair
By the words o' yer mooth.
Then, haste ye, my laddie,
An' redd up the pliskie;
For the poo'er o' yer neibour
Is ower ye, atweel!
Gang doon on yer hunkers,
An' beg for his peetie;
An' ne'er gang to sleep,
An' ne'er steek an e'e,
Till yersel ye hae redd,
Like a da frae the hunter,
Or a hynde frae the man wi' the girns.
(The Lazy Loon.)
Awa to the ant, ye lazy loon,
Tak tent to her weys, an' hae sense;
For wi' nane to airt her at ettlin,
An' wi' nae grieve ower-lookin her,
An' wi' nocht o' a maister ava,
She lays-by her meat in the simmer,
An' gethers-in her providin through the hairst.
Hoo lang are ye gaun to lie snoozlin there,
Ye shauchlin sumph?
I wad like to ken
Whan yer sleep-sleepin 'll be dune?
"A wee thing mair o't;
Jist anither blink, man;
Lat my shanks alane
For an hoor or twa."
That's the gate
That poortith 'll pyke ye like a reiver,
An' sned aff a' ye hae,
As gin he had whang't it awa wi' a whittle.
(An ill-hairtit body, an' what comes o' him.)
A SCABBIT, capernoitit craitur,
An ill-daein body--
He strunts aboot wi' an impident gab;
He winks an' winks wi' his een;
He shauchles abreid wi' his feet;
He maks signs wi' his fingers;
He's glaikit at the hairt o' him;
He's aye ettlin some ploy o' wrang;
Ilka day he's the cause o' sair rippets.
The skaith o' siccan a ane
Wull come doon in a gliff;
In the glisk o' a flaucht
He'll be daudit clean sindry,
An' that ayont remeid.
(Sax things--Ay! Seeven, that maun be weel-gairdit against.)
THERE be sax things,
That the Lord 'll hae nane o':
'Deed, the're seeven,
That He abominates a'thegither:—
A leein tongue;
Hauns that herry the hairmless;
A hairt that's aye ettlin thochts o' wrang;
Feet that are stentit intil mischieff;
A dooble-mindit witness wha'll lee like onything;
An' the body wha saws bickerins amang brithers.
(The licht that can redd the feet frae a mirk, mirk road.)
Mv laddie, haud on by the commauns o' yer faither,
An' dinna mislippen the biddens o' yer mither;
Bin' them. tichtlie, an' for aye, roun' the hairt o' ye,
An' buckle them close aboot the neck o' ye.
Whaure'er ye gang,
This 'll airt ye;
Whan ye're sleepin,
This 'll gaird ye;
Whan ye're wauken,
This 'll crack wi' ye.
For the commaun
Is a cruisie in itsel;
The richt bidden
Is a leamin licht;
An' the repruifs o' guid advisins
Are the very life o' ye.
To fen' ye frae the ill-deedie wumman,
Frae the fraise o' her fremit tongue;
Dinna grein for the craitur,
Tho' she be bonnie,
An' dinna lat her grup ye
Wi' the glint o' her een.
For it's jist by sic-like as hersel,
That a man may be brocht to his hunkers;
Ay! doon to the moulins o' bread,
An' nae less than the loss o' his life.
Can a man gether fire in his airms,
An' his claes no be brunt?
Can a man dauner yont ower het shunners,
An' the soles o' his feet no be birslet?
Sae the man, wha daes wrang
Wi' the wife o' his neibour,
Maun dree the hale skaith o't,
An' he'll fin' that the paikin's a sair ane.
Gin a man, whan he's hungry,
Should steal a bit thing
For a bite to his mooth,
Folk dinna think muckle aboot it;
Altho', gif he's nabbit,
He'll hae to pey't back,
Ay Seeven times ower,
By roupin what's left o' his hauden.
But whae'er may dae wrang
Wi' the wife o' his neibour,
Has nae understaun'in ava;
It's his saul, ay! the saul o' himsel
That he's broizlin;
It's disgrace, black disgrace,
That he's gettin;
An' the fleck o't, for him,
Wull ne'er on the yirth dicht awa.
For jailousie steers a rampagin;
Nae man 'll spare ocht o' the skaith o't;
Nae siller he'll look at;
He'll be satisfeet nane
Wi' the biggest an' brawest o' praisents.
(A faither's warnin ance mair ower the skaith o' an ill-deedie wumman.)
My laddie, mind my tellins;
Lay in-by yersel my commauns:
Haud till them siccarlie,
An' ye'se hae life--
E'en my biddens,
Like the aipple o' yer e'e:
Bin' them, an' rink them roun' yer fingers,
An' see till't, that they're scriven upon yer hairt.
Say to Wisdom, "Ye're my ain sister,"
An' Ca' Understaun'in yer cuisen;
An' they'll aye fen' ye weel
Frae the ill-deedie wurnman,
Frae the fremit craitur,
Wha wad be fraise-fraisin ye wi' her tongue.
For at the winnock o' my hoose
I keekit oot ayont the swee o't,
An' I saw amang the gawkie loons--
Little mair than callans they were--
I saw a young chiel,
Wi' nae muckle gumption.
He was gaun alang the causey near her corner;
He was takin the very airt o' her hoose,
In the gloamin,
At the e'enin hoor,
As the darklins o' the nicht were comin doon;
An' there was the hizzie to meet him,
The sleekie, ill-deedie wumman.
She's a licht-heidit, glaikit limmer;
She'll stey nane in her ain hoose;
Noo, she's oot on the causey;
Noo, she's alang by the merkets,
An' at ilka corner she's on the oot-look.
Sae she took him by the airms,
An' there she kiss't him;
An' wi' impidence, the heicht o't,
Glowerin in the face o' her,
Quo' she to the chiel:—
"I hae offerins o' guid-wull wi' me;
This very day I've been takin thocht o't:
Sae I cam oot to meet ye,
To see gin I could meet yersel,
An', noo, I've fand ye here.
"I've buskit the bink wi' braw graithin,
Wi' strippit cleedin frae Egypt itsel;
An' I've strinkl't ower a'
The sweet-scentit fineries:
Come awa; swither nane;
Lat's hae love to oor likins till the mornin,
Lat's hae't to oor likens:
For the guid-man's awa frae hame;
He's gane aff to far-awa pairts;
He's taen a fu' wallet alang wi' him,
An' he'se no be back inside a month."
Wi' her sliddry tongue
She man's to come ower him;
Wi' the fraisin o' her mooth
She gars him gie in.
He gangs eftir her at the meenit
Like the nowte till the slauchter-hoose,
Or like the man that's sneckit in airns
Wha maun herken to the blethers o' a fule--
Till a sherp flane dings through him.
Like a silly bit birdie
He haps intil the girn,
An' the puir, thowless sumph
Doesna ken that he's gaun to his daith.
An' sae, my laddies, herken weel to mysel,
An' tak tent to the words o' my mooth:
Ne'er lat yer hairt ettle yont by her weys,
An' skient nane oot-ower by her pads.
For mony a ane has she cuisten doon,
Ay! mony a ane has she clour't
The airt o' her hoose is that airt--
To the grave,
Doon, aye, an' doon, to thae chaumers
O' daith itsel.
(Wisdom's ca' to ane an' a'.)
Is that no Wisdom
That ye hear cryin?
Is that no Understaun'in,
Wha wad lat ye hear her crackin wi' ye?
On the tap o' the heich places
Oot-ower by the road-side,
Whaur the roads cross,
There she taks her stance;
By the big yetts
At the in-gaun to the toon,
An' at ilka door-cheek aboot the place,
She's cryin that a' may ken.
Till yersels, a' ye carls, this is my ca',
An' my words are to ane an' a'.
O ye feckless chiels,
An' ye thowless craiturs,
Seek guid understaun'in.
Tak tent, for I'm tellin ye, noo,
The brawest things o' ony;
I want ye to ken, abune a',
What's the richt:
It's nocht but the leal an' the true,
That I'll speak,
For I ne'er wad lat wrang
Smit my lips.
Ilka word o' my mooth is a richteous ane;
There's nane o' them crookit ava:
They're as plain as can be,
To him wha wad see;
An' he kens that they're richt,
Wha wad wale the first wale o' richt-kennins.
Gie a walcome to a' my advisins,
Ay! far afore siller;
A walcome to a' thae richt-kennins
Afore ony wale o' gowd:
For wisdom is far abune glisterin rubies,
'Deed, there's naething ava
O' the things ye micht grein for,
To liken to her.
(The Wad o' Wisdom--"I lo'e sic-like as lo'e me.")
I'M Wisdom that's crackin wi' ye;
Cannie prudence an' mysel dwall thegither,
An' I sairch oot nicht-kennins an' discreetness.
The fear o' the Lord, that's leal,
Is to dislike wrang o' a' kinds.
Pride an' upsettin,
An' the gate o' ill-daein,
An' the ill-scraipit, ill-faur't tongue,
I'll hae nocht to dae wi' ava.
Braw coonsel is mine,
An' guid understaun'in:--
I'm the pith o' life.
By mysel, kings grup their poo'er as kings,
An' princes gie the laws that are richt:
By mysel, princes are uphauden,
An' a' the heich anes forbye,
E'en the jidges oot-ower the yirth.
I lo'e sic-like as lo'e me;
An' a' that seek me,
Wi' an eident hairt,
Wull fin' me, shair.
Gear an' respeck gang alang wi' mysel--
The gear that'll no crine awa, an' richteousness;
What I hae to gie is far abune gowd,
Ay! far abune gowd at its brawest--
Better than ony wale o' siller ye micht gether.
My gangins are aye in the airts o' richteousness,
In the mids o' the pads o' jidgment;
That ilka ane, wha lo'es mysel,
May come by the graun'est tocher,
That I may pang a' their awmries fu' o' guid.
(The lang langsyne o' Wisdom.)
THE Lord Himsel set me up,
At the beginnin o' His ain oot-gaun,
Afore a' His warks o' langsyne.
Frae that langsyne,
Frae that beginnin,
Afore there was a yirth ava,
Whan there were nae howes o' the sea,
I cam to life;
Whan there were nae spring-heids
Jawin ower wi' water.
Afore the muckle mountains had been foondit,
Afore a' the bits o' hills,
I cam to life;
Afore that He had shuppen the yirth,
Or the braid acres o't,
Or the very taits o' stoor
For the biggin o' the big warld.
Whan He set up the heavens, I was there mysel;
Whan He laid a spang ower the breidth o' the sea;
Whan the lift abune was made siccar;
Whan the springs o' the sea were reamin fu';
Whan the mairches o' the sea were settl't,
That the waters o't should ken to be biddable.
Whan He merkit oot the foonds o' the yirth,
I was near-haun Him at the time,
As a maister ower the biggin o' sic wonner-warks;
Ilka day His delicht was in me,
An' blythe was mysel to be wi' Him—
Sae blythe ower the yirth He had made for His folks,
An' sae blythe anent them, the bairns o' mankind.
(Dinna say "Na" to Wisdom yersels.)
AN' sae, my ain laddies,
Herken weel to me noo;
For blessin 'll fa' upon a'
That gang yont in the wey that's my ain.
Tak ye tent to instruckins,
An', 'deed, ye'se be wyse,
An' dinna say, Na,
To Wisdom yersels.
For that blessin 'll drap
On the man wha herkens to me,
Ilka day keepin watch at my yetts,
Waitin on at the cheeks o' my door.
An' whae'er fin's mysel
Fin's the gliff o' life,
An' the Lord's guid-wull.
But whae'er wad staun' oot against me
Wad dae wrang to the saul that's his ain;
An' whae'er taks dislikens for me
Taks sair likens for daith itsel.
(The Feast o' Wisdom.)
WISDOM has biggit her hoose,
Uphauden by seeven braw pillars;
The beasts hae been kill't for a feast,
The wine's a' forrit an' ready,
An' the buird's been plenish't wi' galore.
She's order't her lassies athort,
An' frae a' the heich pairts o' the toon
She's hoyin an' cryin:--
"Whae'er is feckless amang ye,
Whae'er has sma' understaun'in,
Here's fine feedin for ye,
Here's wine I hae ready."
Quat the auld gangins, ye feckless craiturs;
Come in-by, an' get a gliff o' life,
An' tak ye the airts o' guid understaun'in.
(Anent correckin the wyse an' the fulish.)
WHA ettles to correck a gecker at guid
May get naething but snash for his pains:
Wha offers repruif to an ill-daein man
May e'en get a fleck o' his ill.
Lat the gecker alane,
Or he'll hate ye;
Gie repruif to the wyse,
An' he'll lo'e ye.
Gie instruckins to him,
An' he'll aye get the wyser;
To the man that's upricht,
An' he'll aye lairn the mair,
The aulder he growes.
(The Spring-heid o' Wisdom.)
THE fear o' the Lord
Is the spring-heid o' wisdom:
The richt-kennin o' the Haly Ane--
That's guid understaun'in.
Get that for yersel,
An' yer days 'll be mony;
Ay! the years o' yer life
Wull be lang streekit oot.
Gin ye're wyse,
Then ye're wyse for yersel an' yer weal;
But geck at what's guid,
An' the skaith o't ye'll dree yer lane.
(The Feast o' Fulishness.)
THE fulish wumman has a rantin tongue;
She's a tawpie,
An' kens naething;
She sits at her ain door-cheek,
Or aboot the heich pairts o' the toon,
Roarin to a' that gang by--
Ilka ane gaun on his ain airt:--
"Whae'er is feckless amang ye,
Whae'er has sma' understaun'in--
"Waters, that are stown,
Are the sweet anes,
An' bread, that's gotten by hiddlins,
Maks a gustie bit bite."
But onybody, wha herkens to siccan a ane,
Doesna ken that her hoose hauds the deid,
An' that a', gaun in-ower by the same,
Are gaun yont, straucht yont to their grave.
THE WYSE-SAYINS O' SOLOMON.
A LADDIE wi' a pickle gumption maks his faither rale prood o' him;
But a thochtless callan gies his mither mony a sair hairt.
Gear that's gether't by scafferie 'll bring blythe ootcome to naebody;
But richteousness 'll redd a man frae the grups o' daith itsel.
The Lord 'll ne'er lat ony o' His ain be sair scrimpit;
But He'll steek the door ticht against the ettlins o' the wicked.
The man that's slack in the haun 'll sune be toom in the purse;
But the haun that's eident is the haun that gethers the gear.
He's a sensible chiel, wha lays-by through the simmer;
But onybody, wha driddles in the hairst-time, 'll shame his ain folk by-ord'nar.
Mony are the blessins that are strinkl't ower the heid o' the richteous;
But mony a sair dour 'll be clankit on the gab o' the wicked.
The memorie o' the guid is aye wi' us in a' its blythesomeness;
But the name o' the ill-doers 'll crine awa to naething.
A' the wyse at hairt tak tent to commauns gi'en them;
But a bletherin coof 'll come doon wi' a daiverin dunt some day.
Wha gangs uprichtly, gangs siccarlie;
Wha taks the crookit gate, 'll hae his name blabbit ower the hale pairish.
The man that's aye wink-winkin wi' his een, ettles muckle ill:
An' a lowse-tongued craitur 'll get a clarty tummle afore he's through wi't.
The crack o' a guid man brings a gliff o' life;
But the crack o' the wicked is nocht but camsteerie clash.
Ill-wull steers up a' mainner o' rippets;
But, whaur there's love, mony bits o' mistaks are quaitly happit oot o' sicht.
Wha has guid insicht, kens hoo to speak sense:
Wha wants gumption, wants a rung reislin on his back.
Men o' mense are aye gleg to pit an eik to what they ken already;
But fules, by their blether-bletherin, dae the warst for themsels.
The gear o' the rich man gairds him like a castle;
But the poortith o' the puir hauds him doon on his hunkers.
The thrangness o' the richteous airts to life:
The thrangness o' the wicked airts to sin.
Wha gangs by guid advisins, hauds on the richt gate:
Wha gecks at repruif, waun'ers frae the straucht road.
Whae'er hides his ill-wull aneth a pretence o' guidwull, is a leear:
An' whae'er keeps himsel thrang clypin clashes, is naething but a coof.
Whaur there's a brattlin blether o' words, some o' them are like to be ill;
Sae the man wi' a pickle sense taks care to keep a steek in his crack.
The crack o' the richteous is like siller--the very wale o't;
But that o' the wicked is no worth a broon bawbee.
The crack o' the richteous feeds an' fen's mony a life;
But silly sumphs dee for want o' guid understaun'in.
The blessin o' the Lord maks the puirest body bien,
An' there's nae back-draw o' dowieness gangs alang wi't.
A fule thinks it's daffin to mell wi' the wrang:
An', to the man o' the richt stamp,
Sic-like is the sairch eftir wisdom--
It's the brawest pleesur' o' ony!
What the wicked are frichtit for,
Upon the wicked that'll fa':
What the richteous hae ettl't,
That'll come their gate in the lang-run.
Whan the din o' the blast has gane by,
The biggins o' the wicked are blawn clean oot o' sicht;
But tak a skance o' the haudens o' the richteous--
They're foondit on a rock for evermair.
Like vinegar seepin aboot the teeth,
An' like reek nippin in the een,
Sae is the lazy, feckless loon
To a' the neibour-folk,
Wha lippen him wi' ony erran'.
The fear o' the Lord pits an eik to the days o' a man's life;
But the years o' the ill-daein 'll be clippit doon.
The houp o' the richteous is aye blythesome;
But the houp o' the wicked 'll get a black begunk.
To the upnicht, the wey o' the Lord is like the bield o' a castle; -
But to a' wha troke wi' wrang, it's like a castle tummlin on the tap o' them.
Sic-like as dae guid 'll ne'er be cowpit ower;
But sic-like as dae ill maun be soopit awa oot o' a' kennin.
The mooth o' the richteous speaks cannily what's wyse;
But the tongue o' the ill-doers 'll be sneckit aff.
The guid at hairt aye ken the nicht word to say:
The ill at hairt are aye pitten in their tongue whaur they shouldna.
TROKIN wi' fause bauks is a thing that the Lord abominates;
But he thinks muckle o' straucht dailin wi' fair wechts.
Whaur there's pride, there's a dunnerin doon-come no far awa;
But the lown-hairtit are cantie neibours wi' wisdom.
The straucht-forrit gangin o' the upricht uphauds them ilka day;
But the crookit gangin o' the ill-daein 'll whummie them to discomfishment.
In the unco day o' jidgment, gear canna dae ocht for onybody;
But richteousness can uphaud a man, e'en fornent daith itsel.
The guidness o' the upricht airts him forrit on the richt gate;
But the wicked 'll ding ower his ain feet by his ain wrang.
The richteousness o' the richteous 'll bield them against ony blast;
But sic-like as troke wi' jookrie-pawkrie 'll be gruppit in the girns o' their ain mischieff.
Whan a wicked man dees, a' his expeckins are whumml't doon alang wi' him,
An' a' the houps, that he biggit on his cheaterie, are cuisten amang the glaur.
The richteous man is ta'en Hame frae a' the warld's cark an' care;
An', maybe, anither, wha's a hantle frae bein' what he ocht to be, steps intil his shoon.
The godless man thinks naething o' broizlin his neibour wi' his clashes;
But the godly, by guid sense, 'll haud aff ony sic unneibourliness.
Whan things gang wee! wi' the nichteous, the hale toon's the blyther for't;
An' whan the wicked are cowpit ower, it's weel-worth a graun' hullaballoo.
By the blessin o' the upricht, the hale toon is uncolie upliftit;
But it's sair cuisten doon, whan the ill tongue o' the wicked gets free wagglin.
The man wha lichtlies his neibour, lats a'body ken that he's a gowk himsel;
But the man o' guid understaun'in aye keeps a lown tongue within his chafts.
Wha raiks aboot as a clishmaclaiver 'll be blabbin what he has nae business to tell;
But the man o' the leal hairt 'll clap his thoom on what he can.
Whaur there's nae cannie coonsel, the guid o' the lave fa's a' sindry;
But whaur there's routh o' wyse coonsellors, things gang forrit wi' a birr.
Wha comes-guid for ony gangrel, 'll suffer weel for't:
Wha'll hae nocht to dae wi' comin—guid for onybody, taks the best care o' himsel.
A douce wumman hauds up her guid name:
An' men o' smeddum haud on by their hainins.
The man that's mercifu' daes weel by his ain saul;
But, gin a carl be canker't an' cruel,
He'se get his ain skin tichtlie het for him sune or syne.
An ill-daein craitur haunles till him the wages o' deceiverie;
But the man that saws richteousness gets a shair crap.
Wha hauds siccarlie by the richt, speels up to life:
Wha hunts eftir the wrang, hunts himsel to daith.
Wi' folk that wark by smachrie tricks, the Lord 'll hae nocht to dae ava;
But He taks unco delicht in sic-like as gang forrit on the straucht.
Collogue wi' ane anither as they like, ill-doers 'll dree their ain skaith;
But the kith an' kin o' a' that are weel-daein 'll be happit oot o' hairm's wey.
Like a gowden jewel
On the grunzie o' a soo,
Sae is a bonnie wumman wantin sense.
The richteous ettle naething but what's guid:
The wicked hae naething to look forrit till, but what'll bedunner themsels.
There's siccan a thing as this--
Gi'ein awa wi' an open loof,
An' yet haein mair:
An' there's siccan a thing as this--
Grabbin an' haudin ayont what's richt,
An' yet haein less.
Whae'er gies awa wi' an open loof, 'll be kent by a' as a gausie chiel;
An' whae'er slockens the drouth o' ithers, 'll be slocken't whan he's drouthie himsel.
The man wha hauds back the corn, whan feedin's scrimp,deserves the ban o' the lave;
But blessins, an' mony o' them, 'll be heapit on him wha taks't to the merket.
Wha sairches eidently for the guid, is sairchin for his ain guid;
But wha sairches for the wrang, my certes! but he'll ken aboot it.
Wha lippens a'thing to his gear 'll get a black begunk;
But the richteous 'll be growthie like the leaves o' the spring.
The man wha brings tribble on his ain hoose, brings the sairest stunt he'll ever ken;
An' he wha plays the fule, 'll hae to play saicond fiddle to the man o' sense.
Wha hauds by the richt, growes like a tree:
Wha gangs the gate o' the guid, wins sauls to the same airt.
Tak tent to this:--
The richteous 'll get their hansel e'en in this warld:
An' naething can be shairer--
Sae wull the glaikit an' the ill-daein',
WHA walcomes guid advisins, walcomes mair richt-kennins:
Wha birses up against cannie correckins, has nae mair gumption than a brute-beast.
A guid man 'll be happit in the guid-wull o' the Lord Himsel;
But ony man o' wrangsome deceiverie maun dree His jidgment.
Nae man need houp to bigg himsel up on wrang-daein:
An' there's nae poo'er on the yirth can ding ower the foond o' the richteous.
A douce wumman is the croon o' her guid-man;
But the wife that affronts him pushions his ben-maist peace.
The thochts o' the richteous are straucht-forrit;
But the coonsels o' the wicked ettle jookrie-pawkrie.
The cracks o' the ill-daein, wi' ane anither, are anent the herryin o' the hairmless;
But the cracks o' the upricht 'll uphaud themsels through thick an' thin.
Gie the wicked jist a wee bit jundie, an' they're clean cowpit ower;
But the hauden o' the richteous 'll staun siccarlie against mony a dirlin blast.
The mair sense a man may hae, the mair he'll be thocht o';
But gin he taks a crookit gate he'll tyne a' respeck.
Ony man, wi' nane but a bit orra servitor aboot him, may no be muckle thocht o';
But he's a hantle better than the neibour, wha strunts wi' pride, but hasna a nirl o' bannock aboot the hoose.
A guid man taks a tentie care e'en ower his brute-beast;
But the saftest haunlins o' the wicked are snarre an' snell.
Wha keeps himsel thrang on the laun', 'll ne'er be fash't wi' a scrimp girnal;
But he wha traiks wi' the glaikit is a gumptionless coof.
The wicked mak a croose fraca ower the ploys o' ill-daein;
But dinna mistak yersel--
Gin ye want to see the brawest ootcome o' things,
Ye maun tak a skance at the growthieness o' the richteous.
An ill-airtit word may sune sen' agley an ill-hairtit man;
But the guid are mair siccar, an' gang yont scart-free.
Whan a man speaks the richt,
He has muckle content anent himsel:
An' ilka ane should ken this o't--
That, dae what a body likes, richt or wrang,
He'll get his hansel for't.
"Ye needna lell me," says the fule; "I'm richt eneuch":
But the man o' sense glegly len's his lug to a' guid coonsel.
Whan a fule gangs staiverin intil ony pliskie, a' the neibours sune hear tell o't;
But a man o' mense claps his thoom on the sairs that are trauchlin him warst.
Wha hauds by the truth, uphauds richteousness:
Whas tongue is fause, cleeks wi' deceiverie.
Thochtless words may cut like the swype o' a swurd;
But the cannie words o' the wyse are couthie an' halesome.
Wha haud by the truth--
They'll be biggit on a shair foond for evermair:
Wha are gleg at leein--
They'll be soopit awa in a gliff.
Cheaterie tirls at the hairt o' sic-like as troke wi' jookrie-pawkrie;
But blythesomeness 'll be the hansel o' ilka ane that ettles guid-wull.
Nae sair mischieff can befa' the richteous;
But the wicked 'll be chokit up wi' the ootcome o' their ain wrang.
Folks that are gi'en to leein are dislikit oot-an-oot by the Lord;
But even-haundit, an' straucht-forrit dailin pleases Him uncolie.
A douce man doesna brag aboot a' that he kens;
But a fule canna keep it hiddlins what a gowk he is.
Sic-like as are eident at their wark 'll get the foreman's job;
But the thowless 'll be pey't by piece-wark.
A sair hairt hauds a man sair doon;
But a bit blythe word gies him anither heize.
The richteous pits a guid swatch o' life doon afore his neibour;
But the on-gaun o' the ill-daein gars a neibour gang agley.
The lazy loon has naething for the denner-pat, for he couldna be fash't daein ocht to get onything;
But there's a hantle o' fine things sotterin by the ingle for the man that's aye thrang at the darg.
Tak the airt o' richteousness,
An' ye'se get life, braw life:
Gang steively alang that gate,
An' there's nae daith to be dreidit ava.
A DOUCE callan taks tent to his faither's advisins;
But a camsteerie loon 'll no tak a tellin.
A guid man gethers a hairst o' guid by his ain guid crack;
But sic-like as speak deceivenie 'll gether a hairst o' hardship, that they've wrocht weel for.
Wha gairds his tongue, gairds his life;
Wha kens-na hoo to keep his gab steekit,
Blethers to his ain discomfishment.
The thowless are aye wheinge-wheingin for this thing or the tither,
An' canna come-at ony o' them;
But the man wha's eident at the darg,
Can get a wamefu' o' onything he taks a notion o'.
A richteous man canna thole leein ava;
But a wicked craitur is scunnersome in his ainsel,
An', at the hinner-en', drees a waesome oot-gaun.
Richteousncss fen's onybody wha gangs the straucht, honest gate;
But wickedness cowps the sinner heels-ower-heid.
There's siccan a thing as this--
Gruppin at a' we can lay oor hauns on,
An' yet haein naething:
An' there's siccan a thing as this--
Gi'ein awa wi' an open loof,
An' yet haein a hantle.
A rich man's gear may pey a ransom for his life;
But the puir man has the best o't ae wey--
He's ower puir for onybody to fash wi' him.
The licht o' the nichteous learns blythesomelie;
But the caunle o' the wicked 'll be blawn oot.
A prood, vauntie speerit is aye raisin rippets;
But the lown-hairtit wale the cannie gangins.
The gear that's haurl't thegither by cheaterie 'll dwinnle awa some day;
But what's gether't by eident wark 'll syne growe mair.
Houps that are putten aff an' aff,
Bring a dowie dwaum ower the hairt;
But whan we come-at what we socht,
Sirss! that's a graun' gliff o' life.
Whae'er lichtlies the word o' heichest coonsel,
Draws the skaith doon on his ain croon;
But whae'er hauds on by the commauns,
He'll tak the gree.
The wyse gang a gate o' their ain,
Whaur the springs o' life are ne'er drumlie,
An' it airts them oot-ower a' the girns,
That daith itsel wad set to sneck them.
A guid understaun'in maks couthie leevin;
But sic-like as troke wi' jookrie-pawkrie--
'Deed, they'll fin' that they've ta'en a gey trauchie in haun.
Ilka man o' mense redds his wey by kennin, deid-shair, what it is he's eftir;
But ony gowk strinkles his senselessness ower a' his on-gauns.
Ony rinner o' an erran', that's ill-hairtit, 'll bring baith himsel an' ither folk intil a sair pliskie;
But ane that's leal, oot-through, keeps a'body conneckit as blythesome as ye like.
Poortith an' shame befa' the feckless, wha'll tak coonsel frae naebody;
But the man wha can tak a tellin 'll win forrit amang the best o' them.
There's muckle blythesomeness in gettin what we've been raxin for;
But there's nae end ava to the greinin an' the glaumin o' the glaikit.
Gang the gate o' the wyse,
An' ye'se gang shares wi' their guid sense;
But gang wi' the gumptionless,
An' my certes! but ye'se get the gowk's crowdie.
Dae as they like, sinners canna rin awa frae the oot-come o' their ain wrang;
But the richteous 'll get the braw hansel o' a' that's guid.
A guid man leaves the best o' tochers to his bairns' bairns;
But the gear o' the ill-daein swees roun' to the richteous in the lang-run.
Frae the warslin o' the puir folk wi' the laun',
Come muckle stackyairds an' routh o' vittles;
But ower aften they're spulyiet o' their share o't
By the grabbin o' wrangsome greed.
The faither wha hauds aff the tawse
Hasna at hairt the weal o' his ain laddie;
For a bit skelpin, noos-an'-thans,
Whan he's weel-deservin o't,
Wad be the daein o' love,
Airtin him yont to what's nicht.
The guid man 'll ne'er want a pickle meal in his girnal;
But the ill-daein, afore a's dune, is shair to fin' the grun' o' his stamack.
ILKA wyse wumman uphauds her ain hoose;
But the wife that's wauff haurles doon her hauden wi' her ain hauns.
The man o' an upricht wey o' leevin
Taks chairge o' himsel in the sicht o' the Lord;
But sic-like as airt themsels on wrangsome roads
Lichtlie a' that's guid.
The mooths o' fules crooslie cairry a stick
That'll syne crunt their ain croons;
But men o' mense gaird their crack
Sae as to gaird their ain weal.
Whan the kye are oot at the gress,
The byre's at its snoddest;
But, lat the byre be clean or clarty,
We're muckle behauden to the kye.
A witness, wha's leal an' aefauld,
Wull be takin tentie care to sae nocht
That he kens to be lee-some;
But a dooble loon 'll be gaun threipin,
For onything or for naething ava,
As mony lees as his braith can skail.
A lowse-tongued craitur may blether aboot wisdom--the thing he canna faddom;
But the man o' guid understaun'in comes at it brawlie.
Gang in-ower, gin ye tak a thocht o't,
To hae a bit crack wi' a fule;
But ye'se no be lang o' kennin this--
That his crack's a gey fushionless kecklin.
The ettlin o' a man o' gumption
Is to ken best hoo to airt his life;
But the silly trantles o' the senseless
Fankle their ain feet.
The glaikit mak muckle daffin an' geckin ower wrang;
But amang the men o' upricht leevin, guid-wull aye cairries aff the gree.
Ilka hairt kens best its ain wae;
An' nae fremit body need try to mell wi' its ain blythesomeness.
The biggin o' fo1ks wha are deid-set on ill-daein 'll be cuisten to the grun';
But the hauden o' the upricht 'll staun siccar.
There's siccan a thing as this--
A road that a body may tak unbekent,
Thinkin that it ettles richt eneuch;
But at the hinner-en' o't
Are the mirk, sliddry fit-pads,
Whaur daith itsel gangs rampin aboot.
E'en in lauchin the hairt may be dowie;
An' ayont the lauchin the dowieness may be waur.
The man wha swees his life the wrang gate,
Wull be chokit wi' his ain ill-daein;
But a guid man 'll gether, in a guid speerit,
A dale o' content anent himsel.
The feckless tak in a' the crack that's gaun,
As gin it were true,
But the man o' gumption looks mair than ance
At the wey o' his gangins.
The man that's wyse is the man that's fley't
At the sicht o' ocht that's sinfu',
An' hauds yont oot the gate o't;
But the fule flings heich his heid,
An' gangs on, cock-shair,
Like the fule he is.
The man that taks a tirrivee, an' bleezes up at ony antrin trifle, bans himsel;
But ither folk 'll ban the man, wha trokes wi' dirty tricks o' cheaterie.
The silly an' the droopit are to be peety't,
For their silliness aften comes aff their forebears;
But men o' mense set a croon on their ain lives,
By seekin oot the wale o' richt-kennins.
Ill-daein folk, sune or syne, maun boo afore the guid:
An' warkers o' wrang maun staun oot o' the gate o' the godly.
The puir man is nane ower weel likit,
E'en by his next-door neibour;
But sic-like as hae routh o' siller in their pooches
Aye hae a hantle o' friens.
Wha lichtlies his neibour, daes a dooble wrang;
But wha keeps a saft hairt for the puir, maks a blythe hairt for himsel.
Ay, ay! Divna they gang far agley,
Wha are thrang ettlin wrang?
But mercy an' truth 'll be the shair hansel
O' ilka ane wha ettles to dae richt.
In a' wark, that's halesome wark,
There's a braw ootcome;
But claiverin here an' there, wi' the darg mislippent--
That's the straucht road to the puirhoose.
Whan folk are wyse, their gear may be their croon;
But oot o' the fasherie o' fules--weel, what can be lookit for, hut fanks o' fulishness?
A witness, wha's leal an' aefauld,
Lays the wyte on the richt shouthers;
But the ane wha taks to leein
Spins hanks o' mischieff for mony mair than himsel.
In the fear o' the Lord, a man graiths himsel wi' suthfast stren'th;
An' his bairns 'll no be in want o' a lown howff, free frae skaith.
The fear o' the Lord slockens a man's life like springs o' caller water,
An' mony a time uphauds his hairt frae the cauld grup o' daith.
The king has the stoop o' his glorie in muckle croods o' folk;
But whan the croods dwinnle awa, eh! but he's sair cuisten doon.
Tholin weel an' keepin the anger frae lowin,--
That's the pruif o' the steive man o' sense;
But lattin the temper bleeze up like tow,
At onything or at naething ava,--
That's the heicht o' senselessness.
A stoot hairt heizes life alang wonnerfu';
But ill-wull cankers to the very bane.
Whae'er herries the puir, misca's his Maker;
Whae'er gies awmous o' kindness to the needy, gies to Him.
Whan days o' dule befa' the warkers o' ill,--
They're lounder't to the laighest;
But the guid hae a graun', couthie happin,
E'en whan daith itsel wad rax a haun on them.
Wisdom bides far ben in the hairt o' the man o' guid understaun'in;
But onything in-by a fule, o' the kind o't, is shair to brattle oot.
Richt-daein uphauds ony nation;
But wrang-daein 'll swirl't to the glaur.
The guid-wull o' the king 'll glegly dawt the servitor wha haunles affairs wi' discreetness;
But he'll fleg wi' crabbitness him wha maks a hash o' the business.
A CANNIE answer quaitens doon a dirdum;
But ony birsin up maks't dooble waur.
A man wi' a wyse tongue in his heid is weel eneuch kent by his crack;
But the mooth o' fules maun aye be blether-bletherin.
The een o' the Lord sairch ben intil ilka neuk,
An' naither richt nor wrang can be hiddlins to Him.
A ceevil, halesome tongue is a biessin to a man's sel;
But lat his tongue be lowse an' loopie,
An' it may e'en brak his ain hairt yet.
A gawkie callan gecks at his faither's correckins;
But the chiel wha taks them in guid pairt, aye gethers the mair sense.
Whaur the richteous hae their haudens,
There's a hantle o' what's brawest an' best;
But the getherins o' sic-like as wark by wrang
Are shair to gether tribble.
Wyse folk help mony mair than themsels
By the richt-kennins they hae waled;
But fules--'deed, they tak anither wey o't!
Anent the offerin o' the wicked,— The Lord 'll hae nocht to dae wi't ava;
But the prayer o' the upricht pleases Him uncolie.
The Lord abominates a'thegither the ongauns o' the wicked;
But He lo'es him abune the lave,
Wha warsles forrit eftir richteousness.
There's a sair, sair correckin bein' laid-by
For the man wha taks the wrang gate
An' there's naething else for't,
But the road doon to the deid-mirk,
Gif a man 'll no tak a tellin.
Baith the grave an' the ill-place are within the kennin o' the Lord;
An' muckle mair sae are the hairts o' the kith an' kin o' men.
A man wha lauchs an' gecks at what's guid,
Doesna like to be checkit himsel:
There's nae fear o' him gaun in-ower
To hae an antrin crack wi' the sensible.
A cantie hairt maks a cheerie face;
But dule an' wae drook the speerit wi' dowieness.
A man o' mense is aye thrang ower the sairch for mair richt-kennins;
But fules ne'er get farer than stechin themsels wi' fulishness.
A' the days are dowie whan there's dule in the hoose;
But the hairt that's cantie has a couthie time a' alang.
Better wi' a hoose that's puir an' pookit,
Whaur there's the fear o' the Lord,
Than a hoose stappit fu' o' braw gear,
Whaur there's aye fasherie.
Better a denner o' cresses,
Whaur ye get them wi' guid-wull,
Than a guzzle ower a hale coo,
Whaur ye're nane walcome.
A crabbit body is aye steerin up a wheen mair bickerins;
But the man wi' the lown temper saves mony a rippet.
The wey o' the lazy loon is border't wi' brammles;
But the gate o' the guid 'll be set on the croon o' the causey.
A callan wi' a pickle gumption maks his faither rale prood o' him;
An' nane but a sumph wad think little o' his mither.
To the man wha has nae sense, fulishness is a graun' ploy;
But the man o' mense hauds his gangins on the straucht.
Whaur guid coonsel is awantin,
Things dinna come oot ocht weel;
But whaur there's routh o' wyse coonsellors,
Things are set up siccarlie.
A body's rale weel pleased wi' himsel,
Whan he's been gleg wi' his answer;
An' the richt word at the richt meenit--
Man, but it's a guid thing!
To sic-like as are wyse,
The wey o' life gangs aye forrit,
An' aye up;
An' the farer it gangs on,
The shairer it's reddin them
Frae the mirk o' the grave.
The Lord 'll up-rute the hauden o' the upsettin;
But He'll mak things deid-siccar anent the belangins o' the weedow-wumman.
Tricks o' cheaterie the Lord abominates a'thegither;
But couthie words o' kindness hae nae fleck on them ava.
The body wha's glaumin an' grabbin wi' greed,
Soors a'thing aboot his ain hoose;
But it's the ither man,
Wha's greinin nane for aye get-gettin,
That kens what's the brawest life.
The guid at hairt are unco cannie anent their answers;
But the mooth o' the wicked jaws ower wi' the skailins o' wrang.
The Lord hauds far oot-ower frae the ill-daein;
But He's aye near-haun an' in-by,
To herken to the prayer o' the richteous.
The licht o' the een maks a licht hairt:
An' guid news maks guid health.
Wha herkens wi' a tentie lug to life's ain instruckins,
Bides in the wale o' company wi' the wyse amang men.
The man wha'll tak nae correckin,
Has sma' regaird for his ain saul;
But the man wha's gleg at takin a tellin,
Gangs on getherin better sense.
The fear o' the Lord is the best airtin to wisdom:
An' afore ye can speel the brae to honour,
Ye'se need a hum'le hairt.
LAT a man tak tent to his ain hairt,
An' syne he can weel lippen to the Lord,
Whan he ettles to use his ain tongue.
Ilka wey o' a man's ettlin is the richt gate,
By his ain thocht o't;
But the Lord Himsel 'll ken whether he's richt or no,
By sairchin the speerit o' him.
Lippen a' yer warks to the Lord,
An' He'll straucht-oot for ye yer very thochts.
The Lord has made ilka thing for an end o' its ain:
Ay! e'en the wicked for the unco day that's comin.
Ilka ane that's vauntie at the hairt o' him,
Is uncolie dislikit by the Lord;
He may collogue wi' onybody he likes,
But he'll no jink the paikin that's waitin for him.
By mercy an' by truth
What's wrang is soopit oot-ower a'thegither:
An' by the fear o' the Lord
Men airt themsels clean awa frae what's wrang.
Whan a man's gangins are to the Lord's likins,
He gars the man's faes, nae less, gie him the lown side.
Better wi' little, whaur there's richteousness,
Than wi' muckle, whaur it's fleckit wi' cheaterie.
A man may ettle his ain wey in his ain hairt,
But it's the Lord Himsel wha airts his ilka fit-step.
Whan the king gies his jidgment, he'll gie't as in the Lord's ain sicht:
An' what may come frae his mooth 'll be nane contrar to that.
Hae yer bauks fair,
An' the Lord 'll ca' them His ain;
An' sae wi' the wechts,
An' the weeghin 'll be the Lord's wark.
It's wrang, an' ower again wrang, for kings to mell wi' wicked pranks,
For naething but richteousness can uphaud a throne.
Kings wha are worth the name o' kings, gie respeck to the richteous;
An' they lo'e, abune the lave, the man wha speaks true.
The anger o' a king is like the on-ding o' daith itsel;
But a man o' cannie sense kens hoo to quaiten't doon.
In the licht o' the king's coontenance there's the gliff o' life;
An' his guid-wull is like the saft, seepin rain eftir the seed's been sawn.
It's a hantle better to get wisdom than gowd:
'Deed, to get guid understaun'in is far abune claughts o' siller.
The upricht airt their gangins oot-ower frae the wrang:
Wha hauds on the straucht gate saves his ain saul.
Pride gangs afore a dunnerin doon-come;
An' a vauntie speerit afore a sossin tummle.
It's better to be lown-hairtit alang wi' the puir,
Than to be gangin shares in wrang alang wi' the prood.
Whae'er gies tentie thocht to the word that's guid--
That's the man wha'll fin' guid for himsel;
An' whae'er trysts wi' the Lord--
That's the man wha's aye maist blythesome.
The wyse in hairt 'll be ca't the wyse by name:
An' by cannie, couthie crack, a man lairns muckle mair for his ain guid.
Wha has guid understaun'in gets a waucht o' life at the spring-heid:
But, foment that, tak thocht o' this o't--
The schulin o' a fule maun a' be gotten oot o' his ain fulishness.
The hairt o' a wyse man keeps his mooth weel instruckit,
An' graiths his lips wi' the braws o' richt-kennins.
Words that are cannie an' couthie,
Are like a hinnie-kaim,
Sweet an' gustie to the saul,
An' guid health to the banes.
There's siccan a thing as this--
A road that a body taks, unbekent,
Thinkin that it ettles richt eneuch;
But at the hinner-en' o't
Are the mirk, sliddry fit-pads,
Whaur daith itsel gangs rampin aboot.
The craikin o' hunger wad gar onybody tak to the darg;
For the needs o' a man's mooth hae a fine wey o' tellin him--Ye maun.
A glaikit craitur trokes wi' mischieff,
An' his crack kinnies mony a bleeze.
A meddlesome body steers up mony a canglin:
An' a clishmaclaiver sinders the best o' friens.
A loon that's camsteerie may man' to come-ower his neibour,
An' weise him awa intil airts that'll no be guid for him.
Wha steeks his een is like to be ettlin ill:
Wha snecks his gab may be hatchin things o' mischieff.
A grey heid's a croon o' glorie,
Whan ye see't gaun nod-noddlin alang the weys o' richteousness.
Better the man o' the lown temper,
Than the upsettin neibour cockit in heich authoritie;
An' better the man wha rules weel his ainsel,
Than the neibour wha taks a hale toon aneth his chairge.
Ye may cast kevils gin ye like,
But the Lord Himsel 'll settle the oots-an'-ins o' the hale maitter.
BETTER wi' a nirl o' an auld bannock,
Whaur there's peace an' quaitness,
Than a hale hoosefu' o' galraivagin,
Whaur there's ill-wull.
Effeirin to a servitor wha daes weel, hear this o't,--
He'll hap ower the heid o' a son wha daes ill;
An' whan the tocher comes a-dividin,
He'll gang shares alang wi' the brithers.
There's a pat for takin the orts oot o' siller,
An' a scowtherin bleeze for the gowd;
But it's the Lord, nane less, wha haunles the hairts o' men.
The man wha swees to ill-daein himsel,
Is gleg to herken to ony ill crack;
An' a leear 'll open his lug to onybody,
Wha'll waggle a tongue sic-like as his ain.
Wha gecks at the puir, gecks at his Maker:
Wha lauchs ower the dule o' his neibour,
He'll get something to greet for himsel.
The croon o' auld men is the bairns o' their bairns;
An' the glorie o' bairns is their faither.
The flummeries o' the tongue befit-na a fule;
An' muckle less dae leein lips befit a prince.
A braw praisent, to the ane that gets't,
Is like a glisterin jewel;
Turn't roun' aboot—this side an' that--
It glisters an' leams the mair.
Wha claps his thoom on ither folks' bits o' mistaks,
Gets the hansel o' love;
Wha hairps, an' hairps on, anent them,
Dings sindry the best o' friens.
A cannie repruif gangs deeper intil ane wi' guid understaun'in,
Than a hunder skelps intil a fule.
Wi' ill jogglin at the hairt o' him,
A man eggs himsel to thrawartness;
But, anent that, he'll hae a veesitor some day,
Wha'll no haunle him cannie!
Better lat a man meet a bear, gaun rampin aboot for her whalps,
Than meet a fule haiver-haiverin wi' nae gumption.
Wha daes an ill turn for a guid ane dune to him,
May look for ill chasin himsel a' the days o' his life.
Lat bickerin jist get a stert,
An' it's like the blash an' swirl o' water,
Whan ance a hole's been made;
Sae, gie ower yer argle-bargle
Afore ye get the length o' a rippet.
Him that wad uphaud the wicked,
An' him that wad ding doon the richteous,--
Baith o' them the Lord abominates uncolie.
Can ye tell me hoo it is,
That e'en a fule wad bode an' niffer for wisdom,
An' him the fule he's kent to be?
A leal frien's aye leal;
An' yer brither's yer brither against the warst that may befa'.
A man wi' nae feck o' sense is aye makin ramstam offers,
An' roarin, afore a'body, that he'll come-guid for onybody.
Wha's keen on canglin, maun be keen on wrang-daein:
Wha cocks himsel ower heich, 'll come doon wi' a waur clash.
The body that's meddlin an' forritsome 'll ne'er come to ony guid:
An' the craitur wi' an ill tongue maks mony sair pliskies for himsel.
Wha gets a fulish laddie, gets a hantle o' grief wi' him;
An' the faither o' a thochtless callan ne'er kens a faither's blythesomeness.
A cantie hairt's the best o' medicine;
But a dowie ane--eh! it's like pushion that bites to the bane.
A man wha has nae conscience, cairries a bit bribe in his fecket-pooch
For weisin straucht jidgment awa frae the straucht.
The man o' mense has his een in his heid,
An' he kens wisdom, see't whaur he likes;
But the een o' the fule gang stravaigin, hereawa-thereawa,
An' to nae guid ettlin, oot-ower a' the yirth.
A thochtless laddie is a waesome trauchie to his faither,
An' mony a sair, sair hairt to his mither.
It's an uncolie like thing to wrang a man for daein richt:
An' it's nae a wheet better to daud doon sic-like as uphaud what's guid.
He's a man o' muckle sense,
Wha keeps his crack raither jimp than jawin:
An' as muckle can be said for him,
Wha cairries a lown temper.
A fule, nae less, gin he only wad haud his tongue,
Wad get credit for haein some gumption:
Gin he only kent hoo to keep his gab steekit,
He micht e'en pass for a man wi' a pickle sense.
THE man that'll hae naething to dae wi' his neibours,
Maun be eftir some sleekie ploy o' his ain
An' it'll be mair than a seeven days' wonner,
Gin he's been thrang seekin wisdom!
A fule has nae brue o' guid understaun'in;
An', 'deed, that's hoo he lats ye ken that he's a fule.
Whan the wicked are alloo't to tak the grup,
Things gang clean scunnersome;
An', ayont the scunner, there's something waur--
There's black disgrace.
The cracks o' some folk may aften be deep an' drumlie;
But, atweel! this can aye be said for the oot-gauns o' wisdom--
They're sweet an' clear like a bit wimplin burn,
It's a sair time whan the wicked hae respeck pey't them:
Ay! whan they that hae been daein richt
Are dang aboot as gin they had dune wrang.
The gibble-gabble o' a fule is the cause o' mony a collieshangie;
An' gin he got what he deserves, he wad get a gey het skelpin.
The bletherin o' a fule 'll bring him to his hunkers belyve;
An' his ain clish-clash 'll lay girns for his ain saul.
The clitter-clatters o' a clishmaclaiver are unco gustie till him,
An' he guzzles ower them himsel as gin they were a haggis.
The man wha daidles ower his wark,
Is a brither to him wha dings a' things sindry.
The name o' the Lord is a castle in itsel:
The richteous rin intil't, an' ken weel what a lown bield they hae.
The castle o' the rich man is his gear;
An' the body thinks that he's dykit-roun' frae a' hairm.
Eftir vauntie pride, a man 'll get a sair whummle ower;
But eftir cannie lown-hairtitness, he'll be heized to muckle respeck.
Wha gies a ramstam answer,
Afore he wed kens what he's speakin aboot,
Shames himsel by his want o' gumption.
A man wi' a spunkie speerit can staun a gey trauchlin;
But wha can be bauldsome wi' a sair hairt.
A man o' mense lairns the mair the aulder he growes;
An' the man that's wyse is aye the-langer-the-keener on gettin richt-kennins.
A man wi' a kindly haun maks room for himsel;
'Deed, ay! room amang the best o' them.
Wha tells his plea first, wad gar onybody believe, that he's richt oot-through;
But his neibour comes on ahint him, an' pykes sindry a' he spak.
Cast kevils for't, an' canglin 'll quat,
An' dortie men 'll gang hame their ain gate in quaitness.
A brither that's been offendit is waur to get at than a toon gairdit by sodgers:
Sic rippets are as dour to haunle as the airn-slots o' a castle.
Afore a's dune, a man may hae to swallow an unco bellyfu', on account o' what he has said himsel:
Or, on the contrar, he may hae a graun' supper o' satisfaction.
Baith daith an' life are in the poo'er o' the tongue;
An' sic-like as keep it waggle-wagglin
Maun tak the ootcome--aither wey o't.
Wha gets a guid wife gets a graun' tocher:
'Deed, she's a hansel frae the Lord Himsel.
The puir hae to speir--an' speak lown:
The rich can answer as they like--an' roar.
Gin ye hae ower mony friens, ye may be nocht the better o' the creelfu' o' them;
But ae guid ane 'll stick closer than a brither.
BETTER be a puir man gangin the gate o' guid,
Than tak the airts o' loopie leevin, an' be a fule.
An' mair than that:--
Dinna think it can be guid for ye,
Gif ye mislippen richt-kennins;
An' dinna be brattlin at a' things wi' a breinge,
Or ye're shair to brattle wrang.
It's a man's ain fulishness that cowps him aff his feet,
Yet he wad try to lay the wyte o't on the Lord.
Routh o' siller brings routh o' friens;
But the puir are sair scrimpit o' baith.
A fause witness 'll no get aff scaithless:
An' a leear 'll he nabbit some day.
Mony a ane 'll seek the help o' him that's open-hairtit:
An' ilka ane wad be the frien o' him that's open-haundit.
E'en the brithers o' a puir man dinna like him;
An' it's a kennin waur wi' his friens,
For they jink him an' leave him to himsel;
He can hoy eftir them gin he likes,
But, na, na!--they've leggit awa.
Wha sairches for wisdom till he fin's, lo'es his ain saul:
Wha keeps't, eftir gettin't, gethers the maist guid o' ony.
A fause witness 'll no get aff scart-free:
An' a leear 'll be soopit aff the yirth.
Fules an' finerie are no weel match't:
An' a servitor, wi' the upper-haun o' princes, is waur.
A man's discreetness--gin he hae ony--'ll ettle him to keep a lown temper;
An' he'll tak a pride in ower-lookin the bits o' mistaks o' ither folk.
The anger o' the king is like the rampagin a' a lion;
But his guid-wull is sic-like as the saft, seepin dew on drouthie gress.
A fulish laddie is the hairt-brak o' his faither:
An' the fasherie o' a fykie wife is like a dreep-dreepin o' water wi' nae end till't.
Hooses an' gear are haundit doon frae faither to son;
But a douce, eident wife is as guid's a tocher frae the Lord Himsel.
Shauchlin laziness swykes a man to anither sleep;
An' he'll daidle an' driddle awa the same wey o't,
Till he's nocht left to stap in the howe o' his stamack.
Wha keeps the commauns, keeps his ain saul:
Wha doesna care a bodle what airt he taks,
Pits himsel far yont intil the grups o' daith.
Wha taks peety upon the puir, len's to the Lord,
An' Himsel 'll gie a bonnie hansel for the daein o't.
There's graun' houp for that laddie o' yours,
Gin ye'll correck the callan weel:
Better hae him greetin,
Than hae him glaikit.
Lat yon man o' the sneistie temper
Dree the ootcome o' his ill tongue himsel;
For, gif ye redd him o' ae pliskie the day,
He'll be bummlin intil anither by the morn.
Tak tent to cannie coonsel,
An' to guid advisins as weel,
Whane'er ye get a glisk o' them; -
An' certes! as ye growe the aulder,
Ye'll aye growe the wyser.
A man may set up a hantle o' fine ettlins o' his ain;
But it's the ettlins o' the Lord that'll staun steively at the end o't a'.
The better a man's hairt,
The better is his kindliness:
An' be a man e'er sae puir,
He's muckle better than a leear.
The fear o' the Lord airts to life, braw life:
Wha has it for himsel, kens hoo weel it satisfees;
An' nae ill ava 'll come in-ower to fash him.
A lazy loon may maun this o't--
To rax his haun to the bread-plate;
But, hech me! it'll be gey sair wark for the lout
Gettin't up the heicht o' his mooth.
Lat the man wha gecks at guid
Get the dour he weel deserves,
An' the feckless, wha see't,
Wull be a hantle the better for't:
An', fornent that, lat the man o' mense
Get a bit repruif whan he's needin't,
An' he'll be rale prood aboot it,
That he's muckle the better o't himsel,
Wha pits to wastrie what belangs to his faither,
Wha pits his mither oot o' hoose an' hauden,
Is a callan that splairges an ugsome slaiger on his ain name.
Gif e'er ye think, my laddie,
To quat herkenin to guid advisins,
Then there's jist ae end o't--
Ye'll gang far agley frae a' richt-kennins.
A thrawart witness warples richt jidgment:
An' the wicked are aye gaipin to swallow wrang.
Jidgments are for sic-like as lauch at what's guid:
An' skelps are for the backs o' fules.
WINE's a cheaterie sorner,
Strang drink's an impident squabbler,
An' onybody that gangs wrang wi' them is a big gowk.
The rampagin o' a king is like the rowtin o' a lion:
Wha eggs him to a tirrivee had best tak care o' his ain heid.
It's nae sma' credit to a man to keep himsel oot o' bickerins;
But ilka fule 'll be breistlin intil them, ramstam.
The lazy loon 'll no stert the plooghin,
On pretence that the frost's no oot the grun' yet;
An' sae, whan the hairst-time comes roun',
He'll hae nae hairst, an' maun gang beggin.
Guid advice is like deep water--
It's ocht but easy gettin to the bottom o't;
But a man o' sense 'll fin' a wey,
I'se wad, For pykin't oot o' onybody that can gie't.
The feck o' folk mak a big fraca aboot their ain kindness;
But whaur's the man that's steive an' leal whether he's kent or no?
A guid man hauds on siccarlie in the gate o' guidness,
An' his bairns eftir him hae the blessin o' bein' bairns o' the like o' him.
A king wha jidges as ony king ocht to dae,
Should fleg an' fley the wrang oot o' his sicht.
Wha can daur to say this o't?--
"My hairt's soopit oot, an' clean,
An' I hinna ae fleck o' wrang."
Fause wechts, an' cheaterie bauks,
Baith o' them the Lord abominates a'thegither.
A bairn, nae less, may be kent by what he daes--
Whether it's dune oot o' a guid hairt, or in a richt wey.
The lug for hearin, an' the een for seein,
Baith o' them are the wark o' the Lord Himsel.
Dinna be ower ta'en up wi' that bed o' yours,
Or ye're shair to come to poortith:
Be gettin up wi' the screigh o' licht,
An' ye'se ne'er be scrimp o' bread.
"Wheetie-whautie, man! It's naething ava,"
Quo' the fause buyer;
But, eftirhins, whan he's gane oot o' hearin,
He craws hoo he's diddl't him.
Gowd in gowpens,
An' routh o' rubies--
But wha has richt-kennins
Has a hantle better than the hale o' them.
Tak awa the duds o' the man,
Wha wad fulishly come-guid for ony gangrel:
An' haud tichtlie the man himsel,
Wha wad come-guid for hauf-a-dizzen o' them.
At the time o't,
A man may think that the trick o' leein
Tastes like a sugar-bannock;
He'll hae to chow his ain lees
As gin they were chuckie-stanes.
Ilka ettlin o' men is made siccar by cannie coonsel:
An' gin fechtin maun be, then gang aboot it wi' the birr o' mensefu' discreetness.
Wha raiks aboot as a clishmaclaiver, 'll be aften bletherin what he shouldna:
Sae, haud weel yont yersel oot the gate o' the man wha's aye gaipin at the gabble.
Whae'er bans his faither or his mither,
Wull be left in the mirk, mirk nicht
Wi' his cruisie clean blawn oot.
A muckle tocher may be gotten a grup o' unco blythely at the first o't;
But naething o' guid may come oot o't at the hinner-en'.
Dinna be sayin,—
"I'll pey the man back for his ill-daein to me."
Jist taigle awee, an' lippen the Lord Himsel--
He'll see that ye're richtit.
The Lord abominates a'thegither wechts that are no what they ocht to be;
An' the bauks that are cheaterie 'll jist no dae ava.
The gates o' a man's gangins are in the Lord's ain hauns;
Hoo, then, can onybody faddom ilka thing o' the wey he's airtit?
That carl has girn't himsel sair,
Wha cries oot ower sune,
"O ay, it's a' richt;"
An' eftir the promise he's gi'en,
Begins to speir intil the maitter,
Maybe to fin' that it's a' wrang.
The king that's wyse 'll wale oot the wicked,
An' gie them a ticht dichtin through the threshin-mill.
The speerit in-by a man is the Lord's ain lamp,
An' the ]icht o't 'll sairch him oot till the benmaist neuk.
Mercy an' truth hap the king in the best bield o' ony:
Mercy is the uphauden o' his throne.
The brag o' young chiels is ower their stren'th:
An' the bonnieness o' the auld is their grey pow.
Bits o' scuds, wi' some stang in them, correck mony a wrang:
They gang a hantle deeper than the het skin.
THE hairt o' the king is in the Lord's ain hauns:
Like the runnle o' the bits o' burns,
He airts't whaur He thinks richt.
Ilka man thinks his ain wey the richt ane;
But the Lord Himsel kens whether he's richt or no,
By weeghin what's at the hairt o' him.
To be even-doon an' even-haundit,
Is mair to the Lord's likins
Than ony kind o' offerin ye could mak.
A vauntie look,
An' a prood hairt--
That's a' the licht that the wicked hae,
An', certes! it's ocht but a guid ane.
The thochts o' the eident mak what they hae intil mair;
But sic-like as brattle on, thinkin nane, mak what they hae intil naething.
Gear that's gotten by jookrie-pawkrie,
Is like reek blawn hereawa-thereawa:
Wha hunt for't are huntin themsels to daith.
The wicked, by their ongauns, soop themsels clean awa,
Because they dinna care a whussle whether a thing's richt or wrang.
It's an unco crookit gate that's ta'en by the man wha ettles ill;
But the man wha ettles guid, hauds on deid-straucht.
Better tak an airin on the riggin o' the hoose,
Than be inside o't, roomie tho' it be, wi' a fykie, flytin wumman.
The wicked are aye hankerin eftir ill-daein,
An' they hae nae brue o' the guid neibour next door,
Nae comins-an'-gauns wi' him ava.
To the body that gecks at guid, gie a ticht paikin,
An' the feckless 'll lairn sense by't;
To the man o' mense, gie richt advisins,
An' he'll aye lairn the mair.
The richteous man has his ain thochts anent the wicked--
They'll be bedunner't at the hinner-en' wi' a dreidfu' discomfishment.
Wha steeks his lugs against the complents o' the puir,
May get nane to tak peety on him,
Whan, some day, he's yirrin an' yaumerin himsel.
A bit hansel, slippit intil a body's haun, may quaiten doon a temper, wonnerfu';
An' some sma' praisent, jist frae yer fecket-pooch, may haud aff a bleeze o' anger.
The richteous are rale blythe daein what's richt;
But the wicked think it's a desperate trauchle whan they try't.
The man wha wauners awa frae the wey o' guid understaun'in,
Taks the gate that gangs straucht yont to the kirkyaird.
Whae'er taks to gallivantin eftir pleesur, 'll pook himsel puir:
Whae'er taks to drinkin an' galraivagin, 'll bring himsel doon to a claut o' cauld parritch.
The wicked, withoot ettlin ony sic thing, may uphaud the richteous,
An' ill-doers, unbekent, may be stoops o' the upricht.
Better hae yer dwallin on a bare, birslet knowe-heid,
Than in-ower wi' ony fykie an' yaffin wumman.
There's braw gear an' scentit finerie in-by the haudens o' the wyse;
But lat ony fule get in amang't, an' he'll mak a waesome guddle o't in a jiffie.
Wha hauds on in the wey o' weel-daein an' kindliness,
Fin's life itsel, richteousness, an' muckle respeck.
A wyse man speels ower the tap o' a toon-fu' o' knabbs,
An' gies their upsettin silly consait an unco ding ower.
Wha steeks his mooth an' hauds his tongue,
Redds himsel frae mony a sair pliskie.
The prood an' vauntie man--
His richt name is Gecker at a' that's guid--
He's aye bizzin hereawa-thereawa
In the impident tantrums o' his pride.
The naitur' o' the lazy loon lounders the life oot o' himsel,
For he'll no dae a haun's-turn that he can lat alane.
Some folk are aye glaumin in their greed frae mornin till nicht;
But the richt-hairtit gie awa wi' an open loof.
The offerin o' the wicked is naething less than scunnersome in itsel;
An' it's a hantle waur, whan it's gi'en to hap his wickedness oot o' sicht.
A witness that's fause 'll be dang clean dwable, afore a's dune;
But the ane that tells what he kens, 'll say his say, nane daurin him.
An ill-daein body hauds on, doursome, by his ain gate;
But the upricht ettles his gangins frae his hairt.
There's nae sic a thing e'er kent,
As wisdom, or understaun'in, or coonsel,
That can haud oot against the Lord.
For the day o' battle there's an unco graithin o' horses,
But the victory o't comes frae the Lord Himsel.
A GUID name is a hantle better than muckle humplocks o' gear;
An' couthie guid-wull is far afore siller an' gowd.
The rich an' the puir maun aften forgether:
Baith o' them cam frae the Lord's ain haun.
A man o' sense looks aheid a blink,
An' gairds himsel against mischance;
But a gowk gangs on wi' his een steekit,
An' suffers weel for't.
The hansel o' lown-hairtitness an' the fear o' the Lord
Is guid gear, muckle respeck, an' life itsel.
Brammles an' girns 'll fankle the feet o' wrang-doers:
Wha wad gaird his ain saul, maun haud far oot-ower frae ony o' them.
Airt a bairn's bairnheid in the richt gate,
An' he'll haud on till't till he's auld an' grey-heidit.
The rich hae the upper-haun o' the puir:
An' the man that borrows siller 'll hae to beck an' boo to him he borrows't fra.
Whae'er saws ill-daein 'll gether a sair hairst o' skaith on himsel:
An' the rung he cairrit for daudin ithers 'll be snappit in twa.
Mony blythe-biddens 'll come the wey o' the man that's kindly;
For he ne'er lats the puir awa withoot a bite o' what's gaun.
Gar the man wha gecks at guid flit at ance,
An' bickerins 'll skedaidle alang wi' him:
Ay! squabblin an' the shame o't 'll sune quat.
Wha hauds clean the benmaist o' his ain hairt,
For the couthie crack o' his lips
The king himsel 'll be friens wi' him.
The skance o' the Lord bields the man o' richt-kennins;
But He'll cowp, heelie-goleerie, the man that speaks deceiverie.
The lazy loon roars oot--
"There's a lion gaun lowse oot-by:
I'll be clour't deid on the causey."
The mooth o' an ill-deedie wumman is like a deep sheuch:
Wha doesna bide in-by the likins o' the Lord 'll fa' intil't.
Thochtlessness an' bairnheid gang thegither;
But a bit taste o' the tawse 'll pit things a' richt.
Whae'er herries the puir,
To gether gear to his ain haun;
Or whae'er gies awa
To sic-like as hae hantle already,
Maks a gey pookit hinner-en' for himsel.
(The worth o' the words o' the wyse.)
Tak tent! An' be hearin the words o' the wyse,
An' ettle yer hairt to a' the richt-kennins I'm tellin;
For this 'll be ane o' the brawest o' pleesurs ye'll ken,
Gin ye'se haud by them, siccar an' leal,
An' set up, on yer lips, the hale o' them a'.
That yer tryst may be wi' the Lord,
This very day I've been airtin ye ben to their saicret:
Ay! I've been tellin yersel.
Can ye say, that I hinna made plain to yer sicht
The graun'est o' a', the heichest o' a',
Anent things o' guid coonsel an' knowledge?
That jist yer ainsel may tak thocht o't,
Hoo shair are the words o' the truth;
That ilk ane o' the same ye may cairry awa
An' ower again tell't to onybody that speirs.
Dinna herry the puir, because he's puir,
Nor ban the forfeuchan an' feckless;
For the Lord Himsel 'll be takin their pairt,
An' wae He'll bring doon on the croon o' a',
Wha bring dule an' wae on them.
Mak nocht o' frien'ship wi' a man wha's short in the temper,
An' keep yont oot the gate o' the crabbit;
For, aiblins, ye micht lairn to be like him,
An' get a girn befankl't aboot yer ain saul.
Dinna troke wi' sic-like as mak ramstam offers,
Or far ower glegly come-guid for ither folks' debts:
At the end o't, gin ye canna pey up,
What'll ye say, gif they pook ye an' rook ye,
An' leave-na a bed to lie doon on?
Meddle nane wi' the auld laun-merks,
That yer faithers afore ye set up.
Ye see yon man wha's sae eident at his wark?
Weel, that's the same wha'll speel amang the best o' them,
An' leave a' the orra-folk glowerin at the brae-fit.
(A denner wi' a "Dinna" anent it.)
Gin ye should gang in-ower to yer denner
Wi' ane o' the knabbs aboot the place,
Dinna forget whas company ye're in;
An' raither pit a nick in that thrapple o' yours
Gif ye're ane o' the kind o' clamjamphry,
Wha mak a racket wi' their stamacks;
Dinna stech yersel wi' the falderals o' his buird,
For, tak ye my word on this o't,
Ye'll fin' a wheen o' the dishes
Nocht less than unchancy slysters.
(The trauchie eftir siller.)
Dinna trauchle the life o' ye
Fecht-fechtin to get siller:
Quat the fulish thocht o't,
That ye can fen', an' can aye fen' weel for yersel:
Wad ye thirl yer very hairt, man,
To what, eftir a', canna be lippen't?
For the brawest gear ye can gether thegither
May sune flee awa,
Flicherin oot o' yer sicht
Like an eagle speelin the lift.
(Whaur there's greed there's a grudge.)
Ne'er tak a bite frae the man whas een glint wi' greed;
Ne'er hae a hanker for the falderals spread on his buird;
For he'll aye be at the thocht o' what it costs him:--
That's the kind o' man the body is.
"Noo," he'll be sayin, "help yersel,
Help yersel to onything;"
But he doesna ettle a hait o't.
It's eneuch by itsel to turn the stamack o' ye
Ower the pickle that ye've swallow't,
An' mak ye tak a soor, cauld grue
At his fair, fause crack.
Dinna be crackin in the company o' a fule,
For the body 'll geck an' lauch at ony sense ye may speak.
(The Faither o' the faitherless.)
Meddle nane wi' the auld laun-merks:
Set nae ill-ettl't fit on the yaird o' the faitherless;
For they hae Ane, wha'll keep tryst for them wi' micht,
An' He'll staun up for them till yer face.
Ettle yer hairt to the gettin o' guid advisins,
An' len' yer lugs glegly to the words o' richt-kennins.
(For the laddie's sake.)
Dinna withhaud the antrin correckin
That ye ocht to gie to yer laddie,
Because ye'll be nane like killin him
Wi' ony skelps o' the tawse.
Na, na! An' tak thocht o' this:
That a bit scud, noos-an'-thans,
May e'en kep him back frae the gate
That sklents doon to the grave.
My laddie, gin ye lairn to be wyse,
Ye'se mak me rale prood o' ye,--my ainsel:
'Deed, my hairt 'll be muckle uplift,
Whan I ken ye haud on by the richt.
(The wrang fash an' the richt fear.)
Dinna fash yersel wi' ony jailousie
Anent sic-like as dae ill;
But, frae mornin till nicht,
Leeve in the fear o' the Lord;
For certes! there's a shair hansel for that,
An' the houp o' yer hairt 'll ne'er be sneddit awa.
(Haudin by the richt means haudin aff the rags.)
Tak tent, my laddie, an' hae sense,
An' kep yersel cannilie intil richt airts:
Collogue nane wi' the dram-drinkers,
Or wi' sic-like as hae an unco racket wi' their stamacks;
For the drucken an' the gutsy 'll be brocht to poortith,
An' thowlessness 'll cleed ony man in raggit duds.
Herken weel to yer faither, because he's yer faither,
An' dinna lichtlie yer mither whan she's auld an' grey-heidit.
For the truth pey onything,
Niffer't for naething--
Sae as ye get a close grup for yersel
O' wisdom, an' soun' coonsel, an' guid understaun'in.
(For yer faither an' yer mither's sake.)
The faither o' a guid laddie
Wull be unco cantie ower him;
An' gin the callan has got gumption as weel,
He'll be rale prood o' him.
Lat yer ain faither an' mither
Be fu' cantie ower yersel;
Ay! Yer mither, man!--
Lat her be prood o' her laddie.
My laddie, gie yer hairt to mysel,
An' lat yer een tak delicht in the airtins I'm tellin;
For an ill-deedie wumman's a sorrowfu' ditch,
I tell ye, she's jist like a sheuch;
Man, she slinks an' jooks like a reiver;
She's rinkit a' roun' wi' nocht but deceiverie.
(The waesome wark o' the dram.)
Wha has wae?
Wha has dule?
Wha has bickerins?
Wha has yaumerins?
Wha has clours an' cuts whaur nane need be?
Wha has the redness o' een?
Jist thae wha taigle ower the pint-stoup,
An' come again for anither dram o' this an' that.
I'se tell ye this:
Tak yer een aff the wine whan it's red,
Whan it's lowin red in the gless,
An' ye'd fain fling't doon yer thrapple at a gulp.
Afore a's dune, it'll pushion-bite ye like a serpent,
An' stang ye like an ether.
Wi' yer blear't een ye'll be seem,
As ye wat, a' the dreidfu' uncos,
An' wi' yer donnart mind ye'll be thinkin
That ye're gaun through a' the uncannie ferlies;
Aiblins dreamin that ye're trow-row-rowin
In the howe o' the waves o' the sea,
Or e'en cockit up on the tap o' a mast.
An' a' the time, in yer drucken wammle,
Ye'll be bletherin to yersel, an' sayin--
"Somebody has dang me doon,
An' I kent-na I was sair;
Somebody has been daudin me wi' a stick,
An' I wasna awaur o't;
I wonner whan I'll wauken,
An' I'se gang straucht back to the drink."
DINNA fash yersel wi' jailousie ower sic-like as dae ill;
Ne'er hanker ava for the company o' ony o' them:
For they're aye gleg eftir herryin somebody,
An', withoot devauld, their crack's anent mischieff.
(The hoose o' Wisdom: weel-biggit an' braw.)
By wisdom the hauden o' life is weel-biggit;
By guid understaun'in the foonds o't are siccarlie laid;
By richt-kennins the chaumers o't are bienly plenish't oot-ower
Wi' a' the uncos an' wi' a' the braws it can haud.
(The pith o' sense.)
A man o' sense is a man o' stren'th;
'Deed, the pith o' a man o' richt-kennins is aye growin mair:
For, gangin by gumption, ye'll fecht alang brawlie;
An' whaur there's routh o' cannie coonsellors there's a wey through.
Wisdom is ower heich-up for a fule:
He daurna unsteek his mooth amang the lave.
Wha lays his plans for ill-daein,
Needna wonner gin he gethers an ill name.
Whan fules think ava, they think o' wrang;
An' whae'er gecks an' lauchs at ocht that's richt,
Deserves naething frae his neibours but the cauld shouther.
Gin ye lat yer hairt tak a sair dwaum,
Whan things are gangin a kennin contrairy,
Man, there canna be muckle smeddum aboot ye.
(Oorsel, oor neibour, an' Him abune a'.)
To the best o' yer poo'er,
Redd yer neibours frae skaith;
Haud them back, a' ye can,
Frae the gruppins o' daith:
An' gin ye should say,--
We kent naething aboot it;"
Wull-na He tak a thocht o't,
Wha sairches men's hairts?
Doesna He ken aboot it,
Wha keeps yer ain saul?
Winna He dail Himsel
Wi' ilk ane on the yirth
By the warks they hae dune?
(Tak a taste o' baith o' them.)
My laddie, tak a pickle hinnie;
Ye'll fin' that it's guid--
Straucht frae the hinnie-kaim,
An' ye'll like it fu' weel.
An' by sic-like a token as that
Tak a taste o' wisdom itsel:
As sune's ye hae pree't it,
Ye'll ken that ye've got a braw hansel,
An', eftirhins, I'se warrant, that naething ava
Wull sned aff the houp o' yer hairt.
(Wha can, an' wha canna fin' their feet eftir a tummle.)
Dinna be slinkin aboot, O ill-daein man,
Wi' ill in yer hairt 'gainst the guid;
Ettle nane o' yer wrangsome reivin
On his hauden o' quaitness an' peace:
For the man wha's upricht in hairt,
May stoiter an' tummle,
Ay! seeven times ower,
An' aye fin' his feet eftir a';
But as for the wicked,
Whan tribble comes on,
They're cowpit clean ower,
An' canna get up ava.
(Crawin ower croose.)
Dinna be uncolie uplift,
Whan yer fae's dang doon:
An', whan he's tirl't tapsalteerie,
Dinna be crawin ocht croose;
For, aiblins, the Lord Himsel micht see't,
An' be nane pleased wi' yer ongauns;
An' He micht haud-aff the skaith frae him.
Dinna gie yersel ony fash anent wrang-doers,
An' dinna be jailous ower the gettins o' the wicked;
For the ootcome 'll be an unco clour to them,
An' the caunle o' the wicked 'll be blawn oot.
My laddie, haud on in the fear o' the Lord, an' that o' the king;
Mell nane wi' sic-like as are aye on the swither:
For I trow that their dule 'll come up in a gliff;
An' wha kens o' the skaith that'll scowther them yet!
YE HAE AFORE YE A WHEEN MAIR WYSE-SAYINS.
(Respeck o' persons.)
To respeck ane afore anither in jidgment is an unco wrang:
Whae'er says to the wicked, "Ye're wicked nane,"
Ither folks 'll wyte him, an' the lave 'll ban him sair;
But sic-like as repruive ill-doers 'll be blythe in themsels,
An' the blessin on their heids 'll no be a sma' ane.
It's as guid's a kiss,
Whan a body gies ye a blythe answer.
Get the oot-by wark forrit,
An' hae a'thing richt ootower the fields;
An', eftirhins, ye can gang on wi' the biggin o' hooses.
Dinna be a witness against yer neibour,
Whan weel ye ken ye've nae occasion for't;
Dinna be makin ony deceiverie
Through what crack ye hae aboot him;
Dinna be sayin--"I'll pey him oot
For what he's dune to me;
I'll gie him tit for tat,
Noo that I've the chance o't."
(The yaird o' the feckless.)
I gaed ower by the fields o' the lazy loon,
An' ayont by the yaird o' the feckless:
Man, the hale o't was fankl't wi' brammles;
The breidth o't was smoored wi' nettles;
An' the dry-stane dyke was a' cuisten hereawa-thereawa.
Sic-like was the sicht that I saw,
An', I'se wad, I had my ain thochts.
Mair than ance I took a swatch o't,
An' ye'll hae an inklin o' what it tell't me aboot the tenant-body:--
"A wee thing mair o' sleep,
Jist anither blink, man;
Lat my shanks alane
For an 'oor or twa."
That's the gate that poortith 'll pyke him like a reiver,
An' sned aff a' his belangins,
As gin they were whang't awa wi' a whittle.
SOME MAIR O' THE WYSE-SAYINS O' SOLOMON,
GETHER'T AN' SCRIVEN BY THE MEN O' HEZEKIAH, KING O' JUDAH.
(Anent kings an' sic-like.)
IT'S the glorie o' God
To hae mony a thing that nae man can ken;
But it's the glorie o' kings
To be sairchin intil a'thing they can.
The heavens for their heicht,
An' the yirth for its deepth,
An' the hairt o' kings--
Nane o' them a' can be seekit oot.
Tak awa the orts frae the siller,
An' there ye are—wi' what'll be dinkit intil a braw caup:
Tak awa the wicked oot o' the gate o' the king,
An' his kingryck 'll be siccarlie set up in richteousness.
Dinna be pitten yersel ower far forrit foment the king,
An' staun'in, maybe, whaur bigger knabbs than yersel should be;
For it'll be a hantle better to be tauld, "Come up heicher, man,"
Than to be sent awa doon laigher,
An' a' this wi' the prince himsel seein the hale o't.
Dinna stert a ramstam bickerin wi' onybody,
For, aiblins, ye may no ken hoo to get through wi't,
An' yer neibour micht man' to get the upper-haun, an' discomfish ye.
Crack ower ony maitter wi' yer neibour himsel;
Gie an inklin to nane o' the saicret atween ye;
In case, gin he hears o't, he wytes ye fu' sair,
An' ye canna get quat o' the shame o't ava.
A bit word, in the by-gaun,
Baith couthie an' pat,
Is like aipples o' gowd
In creels o' siller.
Like gowden rings at the lugs,
An' like buskin o' gowden finerie aboot the breist,
Sae is the man that gies wyse repruif
To him wha's wullin to tak a tellin.
Like a walcome waif o' cauld in the het time o' hairst,
Sae is the trusty body to the folk wha sen' him an erran',
For he maks them a' blythe, wha lippen till him.
Like duds an' wun withoot ony doon-fa',
That's the man wha's aye braggin aboot himsel,
But still-an'-on daein naething.
By cannilie bidin yer time,
Ye'se get the big man roun' to your wey o't;
An' by a saft, fraisie tongue in yer chafts,
Ye may sune get a' ye wantit.
Hae ye got yer haun on a pickle hinnie?
Weel, tak nae mair than's guid for ye;
For, aiblins, ye micht wrang yer stamack,
An' hae to spew't.
Dinna set yer fit ower aften inside yer neibour's hoose,
For, aiblins, he micht think that he could be daein wi' a hantle less o' yer company.
A man wha tells lees anent his neibour— What'll we ca' him?
An aix, an' a swurd, an' a sherp flane.
In time o' tribble, lat's say,
To lippen onybody wha canna be lippen't,
Is like haein a sair shooglie teeth,
Or a fit that's jirtit at the shin-banes.
Like ane takin aff his cosie cleedin on a cauld nicht,
Like vinegar set in collogue wi' nitre,
Sae is the singin o' a cantie sang to a sair hairt.
(The hansel o' kindliness.)
Gin yer fae be stervin wi' hunger,
Gie him a bit bite for his stamack;
An' gin it's wi' drouth that he's craikin,
Then slocken him wi' a waucht o' caller water:
For, by daein jist sic-like as that,
Ye'll kill his ill-wull wi' yer kindness
An' mind ye o' this abune a'thing,
Ye'se get a braw hansel frae the Lord Himsel.
A nor'1an wun brings shoo'erie wather;
An' the clish-clash o' ill-hairtit claiverers steers mony a blashin o' temper.
Better tak an airin on the riggin o' the hoose,
Than be inside o't, roomie tho' it be, wi' a fykie, flytin wumman.
Like a waucht o' caller water
To ane wi' an unco drouth,
Sae is guid news frae friens in far-awa pairts.
Like a drumlie spring,
Whaur the water has been sair fyl't,
Sae is a guid man wha gies-in to the wyles o' the wicked.
It's an unchancy thing to eat muckle hinnie;
An' it's nane less for folk to be aye bounce-bouncin aboot themsels.
The man wha doesna haud a ticht grup o' his ainsel,
Is like a toon o' broken-doon hooses,
Wi' the big wa's o't mullerin awa.
LIKE snaw in simmer,
An' like plash o' rain in the time o' hairst,
Sac is the unseemliness o' the gowk
Wha has got himsel cockit up as gif he were somebody.
Like the sparrow flicherin hereawa-thereawa,
Like the swallow jinkin aboot in the lift,
Sae the ban, wi' nae cause for't, lichts on naebody.
(Anent the haunlin o' fules an' sic-like.)
A whup for a horse,
A tether for a cuddy,
An' a big rung for the back o' fules.
Dinna answer a fule wi' fulishness like his ain,
Or, weel I wat! ye'll maybe turn a fule yersel.
Answer a fule wi' fulishness like his ain,
Or the craitur may act'wally think that he's turn't a wyse man.
Wha lippens an erran' to a thowless coof,
Sneds aff his ain feet,
An' maun e'en dree the ootcome.
The shanks o' the hirplin are a kennin shooglie:
An' the cracks o' the fule are something seemilar.
Think o' a pockfu' o' jewels 'Mang a humplock o' stanes:
That's like the man wha'll gie hoose-room to a gowk.
Like the prog o' a thorn
In the loof o' a drucken man,
Sae is a sensible story
Whan it gets intil the maundrels o' fules.
Like ane shuitin flanes hereawa-thereawa,
Sae is the man wha hires gomerals,
Or fees gangrels.
Like a doug that gangs back to its spewins,
Sae is a fule wha plays the sumph ower an' ower again.
Ye see yon man wi' an unco consait o' himsel?
Weel, I'm tellin ye, there's mair houp o' a feckless loon than o' him.
(Anent the lazy lout.)
The lazy lout is aye roarin--
"Eh, man! there's a lion lowse oot-by;
There's a lion rampin aboot the causey."
Like the door sweein back an' forrit on its hinges,
Sae the lazy loon aye gies himsel anither ower-turn on his bed.
A lazy chiel may man' this o't--
To rax his haun to the bread-plate;
But, hech me! it'll be gey sair wark for the loon
Gettin't up the heicht o' his mooth.
A lazy, shauchlin body 'll aften brag mair aboot his ain daeins,
Than wad seeven men, wha could brag wi' guid raison for 't.
The man wha mells, in the by-gaun,
Wi' bickerins that hae nae belangin to him,
Is like ane that taks a doug by the lugs.
Like a man gane clean wud,
Wha flings aboot him bleezin rungs, flanes, an' daith,
Sae is the man wha warks cheaterie wi' his neibour,
An' says, whan a' comes oot eftirhin,
"Man, dae ye no see that it was nocht but daffin?"
Whaur the kin'lin wud's scrimp,
The ingle gangs oot;
An' whaur there's nae clishmaclaiver,
Bickerins are putten an en' till.
Like mair coal on het shunners,
Like mair wud on the ingle,
Sae is a contramachious body to the settin-up o' collieshangies.
The clitter-clatters o' a clishmaclaiver are unco gustie till him,
An' he guzzles ower them himsel as gin they were a haggis.
Whan oot o' an ill hairt come fair-spoken words,
That's like an auld, crackit cheenie-bowl
Dinkit up wi' siller-flummeries.
(A fair but fause fraca.)
Wha has ta'en a dislike to yersel
May mak a fraca wi' his tongue,
But nocht save deceiverie
Hauds at the hairt o' him.
Whan he cracks fu' fraisie,
Dinna believe him ava;
For, aneth what he says,
There's a hantle o' ill.
Lat him hap, as he may,
His dislike wi' pretence,
It'll brattle oot yet
In the sicht o' the lave.
Wha howks a sheuch, may tummle in't himsel:
Wha taks to trowin stanes, may hae them stottin aboot his ain croon.
A leein tongue hates ilka ane it hurts:
An' a mooth that's aye fraise-fraisin daes nocht but hairm.
YE needna brag ower the morn,
For ye ken-na what it micht bring ye.
Lat some ane else fraise ye:
Dinna dae't yersel--
Some ootral body;
An' keep yer ain gab steekit.
A stane's a deid-solid,
An' saun' has a wecht o' its ain;
But the bletherin botheration o' a fule--
That's waur to pit-up wi' than baith o' them.
Crabbitness is cruel,
An' anger dings a';
But wha can thole against jailousie?
Better repruif gi'en aff—loof,
Than love keepit in hiddlins.
Leal are the lounders o' a frien;
But a fae 'll gie kisses galore.
The fu' stamack grues at the sicht o' a hinnie-kaim;
But, to ane that's howe an' yap, e'en a soor bite 'll lie sweet to pree.
Like a mither-bird that has lost track o' her nest,
Sae is the man wha has waun'er't far awa frae his hame.
Sweet oyles an' scentit gear bring refreshin:
An' sae wi' the couthieness o' a guid frien,
Wha comes in-by wi' his hairtsome crack.
Dinna negleck aither yer ain frien or yer faither's;
An' dinna be rinnin awa ower hetly to yer brither
Whan ony antrin mishanter may befa':
Better a guid neibour next door t'ye
Than a brither far awa.
My laddie, lairn to be douce,
An' ye'se mak me fu' cantie at hairt;
Syne I'll be nane sweirt to contrar onybody,
Wha wad daur to cast-up onything.
A man o' sense looks weel aheid o' him,
An' gairds himsel against mischance;
But a sumph gangs on wi' his een steekit,
An' suffers weel for't.
Tak awa the duds o' the man
Wha's silly eneuch to come-guid for ony fremit body;
An' haud the man himsel
Wha wad come-guid for an ill-deedie wumman.
Gin a man maks an unco fraca aboot some frien'ship,
Gettin up by the screigh o' the mornin to keckle ower't,
Folks 'll hae their ain jaloosins anent it.
A geyan wat day, dreep-dreepin a' through,
An' a contramachious wumman are something seemilar:
Ony man micht jist as weel hae an ettlin
To tak a haud o' the wun', as to haud her,
Or to grup ocht that's creeshie wi' his richt haun.
Aim sherpens aim;
Sae ae frien sherpens up anither.
Wha growes the tree 'll gether the frute:
Wha gies leal service 'll get muckle respeck.
As in cawm waters ye get a keek o' yer ain face,
Sae the hairt o' ae man answers to anither.
The grave an' the ill-place 'll no be satisfeet:
An' for that pairt o't, naither wull the gaipin greedy een o' men.
There's a pat for takin the orts oot o' siller,
An' a scowtherin bleeze for the gowd:
An' whether or no a man's a man,
Ye'll ken whan he's uncolie fraised.
Gin ye were to broizle a fule in a mortar-stane,
An' grun' him to stoor amang the aits,
Aiblins ye wadna man', e'en at that,
To ding the senselessness oot o' him.
(Tentie fermin, an' the ootcome o't.)
See till't that ye ken hoo the yowes are gettin on,
An' be as tentie's ye can ower the kye:
For gear, like ocht else, is no for aye;
An' wha e'er saw e'en a croon't king,
That had leeved frae the day o' oor great-great-graun-faithers?
The hey is putten up in the stack,
An' the new gress begins to be growthie,
An' the craps frae the braes are in-gether't.
Frae the sheep ye'll get yer cleedin;
The goats 'll help to pey the rent;
Ye'll get goats' milk eneuch for yersel,
An' for a'body else 'boot the hauden;
No to speak o' providins for yer lassies.
THE wicked rin awa whan there's naebody rinnin eftir them;
But the richteous are as birrin-bauld as a lion.
Whan the feck o' a nation gangs wrang,
The wyte o't maun lie wi' mony in heich places;
But whaur things are uphauden by men o' mense,
There's nae fear o' the kintra.
A gruppin body, wha herries the puir,
Is like a blashin spate that taks a' the craps afore't.
Wha ettle to jink the commauns themsel,
Are gleg to fraise the wicked:
Wha ettle to keep them,
Contrar the ill-doers a' they can.
Folk that hae ill in their ain hairts canna understaun' richt jidgment;
But sic-like as tryst wi' the Lord understaun' brawlie.
Better be a puir man leevin in an upricht wey,
Than a man wi' a hantle o' braw gear,
Wha tries a' the loopie tricks he can think o'.
He's a wyse callan wha hauds by the biddens gi'en him;
But the ane that gallivants wi' galraivagers 'll bring shame on his ain faither.
Wha warks by fee o' cheaterie,
To mak his siller muckle mair,
Haurles't thegither for somebody else comin on ahint him,
Wha'll, aiblins, hae peety on the puir.
Wha turns awa his lug frae the biddens o' the commauns,
Canna expeck his prayin to dae him ony guid.
Wha wyles the upricht agley intil wrang,
Himsel 'll gang ower wi' a slaigerin soss,
Heid-ower-heels, in the sheuch that his ain hauns howkit;
But the tocher o' a' that's guid 'll come to the richteous, belyve.
The man wi' the fu' wallet may think a dale o' himsel;
But the puir man wi' some gumption 'll sune pyke the consait oot o' him.
Whan the richteous hae the best o't,
There's graun' occasion for blythesomeness;
But gin the wicked get their shanks on the riggin,
It's high time for stappin oor heids oot o' sicht.
Whae'er trokes wi' ill-daein, in hiddlins, canna come to ony guid;
But whae'er owns his faut, an' quats't, 'll be forgi'en.
The man's aye blythe,
Wha leeves in the fear o' the Lord;
But sic-like as are cauld an' dour at hairt
Tummle intil tribbles o' their ain makin.
Like a rowtin lion,
An' a rampin bear,
Sae is a wicked man
Wi' the upper-haun o' puir folk.
Ony prince, wi' nae muckle gumption, is like to be a herryin loon;
But the ane wha dislikes, uncolie, the glaumin o' greed 'll see braw days.
The man that has fleckit himsel wi' somebody's blude
Is staucherin straucht on to the mirksome hole:
Haud aff him!
Wha airts the richt 'll fin' that the wey's redd for him;
But wha taks the crookit gangins 'll sune get a dreidfu' doon-come.
Wha struissles alang an' sticks in at the fermin 'll pang his girnals fu';
But onybody that gallivants wi' the glaikit 'll toom his ain awmries.
A man that's siccar in richt-daein is rinkit roun' wi' blessins;
But the ane that's gleg aboot naething ayont the gruppin o' mair gear 'll get his paikins for't some day.
To respeck ae man afore anither is far frae richt:
An' it's a geyan peetifu' thing, atweel!
Whan onybody's eggit to wrangsome weys o' daein
For the act'wal want o' a bite o' bread.
The man wi' the gaipin, greedy een
Is aye brattlin eftir mair gear:
An' the silly body's no awaur o't,
That poortith may be hechlin at his heels.
Wha gies a bit repruif to the ane in need o't, wull be mair respeckit eftirhin,
Than gin he had been aye fraise-fraisin him wi' a saft gab.
The laddie that steals frae his faither or mither,
An' says, "Aweel, whaur's the wrang o't?"
Is a callan wha's dingin ower his ain feet.
The man that's aye glaumin eftir something raises mony a het shindie;
But he that trysts wi' the Lord growes sonsie at the hairt o' him.
Wha lippens to nane but himsel is a fule:
The wyse ken better, an' hae a better stoop.
Wha gies to the puir 'll ne'er be scrimp himsel;
But whae'er steeks his een to their need 'll dree the warst.
Whan the wicked ride the riggin,
Folks are gleg to get their heids oot o' sicht onywhaur;
But whan they're dang doon,
The richteous hae a braw time o't.
WHA hears the repruif he weel deserves,
But hauds on his ain gate dourer than afore,
Wull be brangl't to flinders whan he's nane expeckin't,
An' that ayont remeid.
Whan the richteous hae the best o't,
Folk are as blythe as laverocks;
But whan the wicked get their shanks ower the riggin,
Eh! but the lave are the dowie anes.
The laddie that wales the wey o' wisdom
Maks his faither rale cantie;
But gin he taks the gate o' ill-deedie weemen,
He'll gang a' to pigs an' whussles.
The king, by even-doon jidgments,
Keeps his kintra on a shair foond;
But gin he taks the scraipens o' scafferie,
He'll cowp it to the laighest.
The man wha's aye fraise-fraisin at his neibour
Is spreadin a net to warple him.
In the wrang dune by ae ill-doer
There's a girn that may sneck mony anither;
But the upricht are nane besturtit ower't,
Atweel! they gang on liltin blythely.
The richteous tak a tentie care ower the lot o' the puir:
The wicked hinna the hairt to tak ony thocht o't.
Wha geck at the richt,
Set girns for a' in the toon;
But wyse folk are the skonce o' their neibours
Frae the days o' dowiest dreid.
Gin a man o' sense alloos himsel till't,
An' gangs argle-barglin wi' a gomeral,
He may rampage aboot it,
Or he may lauch ower't,
But, aither wey, he'll mak naething o't.
Sic-like as ettle the warst,
E'en to the drawin o' blude,
Uncolie dislike the upricht;
'Deed, they wad hunt for the life o' him,
Gin they had ony antrin chance.
A camshauchle body lats a' his anger brattle oot;
But a wyse man hauds a siccar grup o't,
An' cannilie quaitens't doon.
Gin ony ane in heich authoritie len's his lug to leein,
A' his servitors 'll gang the gate o' ill-daein at the tail o' him.
The puir man an' the man that herries him forgether in the lang-run:
Ay! An' the Lord Himsel 'll unsteek the een o' them baith some day.
The king wha jidges the puir in a' guid faith,
Siccarlie sets his ain throne on the shairest foond.
A bit skelp wi' the tawse an' a gliff o' repruif
Bring better sense to the fore;
But lat a bairn get a' he wants his ain wey,
An' he'll shame his ain mither.
The mair that the wicked gang bizzin aboot,
The mair are the wrangs that are wrocht:
But bide awee, jist bide awee;
The richteous 'll see them dang doon afore lang.
Gie yer callan the correckin that he needs,
An' ye'll hae nae fash wi' him:
'Deed, ye'll hae muckle occasion, atweel!
For bein' rale prood o' the laddie.
Whaur the ben-maist meanins o' things are no gruppit,
The feck o' the folk gang a' agley;
But whae'er haud on by the heichest commauns
Gang forrit brawlie wi' a cantie hairt.
It's a kittle concern sayin ocht to correck a servitor,
For, tho' he be gleg eneuch at the uptak,
He may be dour to dae what ye tell him.
Ye ken yon man wha pokes a ramstam tongue intil a' affairs?
Weel, there's mair houp, I wat, for a fule than for him.
Wha brings up, wi' tentie care an' kindness, a servin-bairn frae bairn-heid,
Maks a son o' him for his ain auld age.
A thrawart body is aye steerin up rippets,
An' ony ill-temper't loon is aye stappin himsel intil some new faut.
Upsettin pride 'll bring a man laigh eneuch afore a's dune;
But cannie lown-hairtitness 'll tak the gree amang the lave.
Wha gangs hauvers wi' a thief,
Daes the warst for his ain saul:
He's weel eneuch awaur o' the wrang,
But hauds his thoom on the ploy,
An' ne'er says eechie nor ochie.
The fear o' man 'll fankle onybody's feet;
But whae'er trysts wi' the Lord kens the brawest bield.
Mony mak an unco fraca
To swee to their ain side the big man's guid-wull;
But, at the hinner-en' o't,
A man's jidgment is settled by the Lord Himsel.
The ill-daein are dislikit uncolie by the richteous:
An', weel I wat, the upricht are as muckle abominated by the wicked.
THE WORDS O' AGUR THE SON O' JAKEH:
(HIM ABUNE A'--Can His name be kent?)
I'M weary't o' mysel, O God,
I'm weary't o' mysel, O God;
I'm dwinin awa.
For shairly there's mair o' the brute-naitur in mysel than in ony,
An' shairly I've nane o' the guid understaun'in o' a man:
I'm fley't that, as yet, I hinna come-at the true wisdom,
Or gotten ben, far ben, to the kennin o' the Haly Ane.
Wha has speel't to the glorie o' the heavens, or come doon there-frae?
Wha has gether't the wun' in the howe o' his haun?
Wha has row't the deeps o' the sea in his lap?
Wha has foondit weel a' the en's o' the yirth?
What can be the name o' him?
An' what can be the name o' his son,
Gin ony o' ye ken?
(The word ye can tryst wi'.)
Ilka word o' oor God
Is weel proven an' shair;
Like a shield He'll be bield
To a' trystin wi' Him.
Pit nae words o' yer ain
To the words He has gi'en,
Lest yours binna true,
An' repruif fa's upon ye.
(Atween the twa.)
Twa things I hae been speirin o' ye;
Afore I dee, I wad fain hae three:
Tak awa frae me the fushionless an' the fause;
Gie me naither poortith nor routh o' gear;
Jist sen' me the providin that's a needcessitie:
For, gin I had a hantle in haun,
I micht be forgettin yersel,
An' micht daur to say, "Wha's the Lord?"
Or, gin I were scrimp, I micht steal,
An' lichtlie the name o' my God.
Speak nae ill o' a servin-man till his maister,
For maybe he'll ban ye for yer pains,
An' wyte ye as mair in the wrang yersel.
(Folk we ken.)
There are folk we ken,
Wha ban their faithers,
An' hae nae guid word for their mithers.
There are folk we ken,
Wha think themsels withoot a fleck,
But, hech me! the clarty slaigers on their character want some dichtin yet.
There are folk we ken--
Eh! but they've vauntie een,
An' the looks o' them are as prood as paicocks.
There are folk we ken,
Whas teeth are like swurds;
Whas bite cuts like whittles:
They'd herry the puir aff the face o' the yirth,
They'd fain hae the needy an' helpless
Clean soopit awa frae 'mang men.
The horse-leach has twa dochters--Gie, Gie;
There are three things that canna be satisfeet;
'Deed, fower o' them that dinna ken hoo to say,
The grave itsel;
The wumman wi' nae bairns o' her ain;
The yirth that's birslet for want o' water;
An' the ingle-lowe;--
That'll ne'er say, Eneuch.
The een o' the laddie wha gecks at his faither,
An' snirts at the biddens o' his mither,
Wull be dabbit some day by the corbies o' the glen,
An' by the young o' the eagles frae the craigs.
There are, aiblins, three things sae wonnerfu',
That they're clean ayont me;
'Deed, I micht say fower:
The wey o' an eagle in the heichs o' the lift;
The wey o' a serpent sprauchlin on the grun;
The wey o' a ship in the mids o' the sea;
An' the wey o' a lad an' a lass.
Sic-like is the ongaun o' an ill-deedie wumman--
Whan she's dune guzzlin, she gies her mooth a dicht,
An' quo she, "Whaur's the wrang o't?"
For three things the yirth taks a trimmlin,
Ay! for fower, that it canna thole:
For a servitor turn't a king;
For a fule wi' his wame weel-stockit;
For a tawpie wumman whan she's mairrit;
An' for a lassie wha's fa'n heir to her mistress.
(Wee but wyse.)
Fower things on the yirth are o' nae bouk ava,
Yet they're uncolie wyse:
The Ants ye wad think were but feckless,
But lay-by their providin in simmer:
The Conies are blate bits o' beasties,
But bield in the boles o' the craigs:
The Locusts hae nane to ca' king,
But forgether in bauns for their reivin:
The Lizard, sae sma', yer gowpen wad haud,
But she'll speel to the prince's ha'.
(Sae braw in the gangin.)
There are three things,
That are braw in the gangin to look at;
'Deed, I ocht to say fower,
That are braw in the gangin:
The Lion, sae michty amang beasts,
That'll turn tail for nane;
An' there's the Grew-houn';
An' the Billy-goat;
An' then there's the King,
Whan he mairches at the heid o his airmy.
(The fash o' fulish forritsomeness.)
Gif ye've been a kennin fulish,
Aiblins, in makin an unco racket aboot yersel;
Or gif the ettlins o' yer thochts
Hae been airtit the wey o' the wrang,
Syne clap yer loof ower yer mooth:
For the kirnin o' milk brings up the butter,
An' a snyte on the nose draws the blude,
Sae a bleeze o' ill-temper causes mony a shindie.
THE WORDS O' KING LEMUEL:
THE WYSE-SAVINS TAULD HIM BY HIS MITHER.
(A mither to her laddie, wha's a king.)
WHAT'S this o't, my laddie?
What's this o't, bairn o' my ain?
What's this o't, bairn o' my vows?
Gie nane o' yer stren'th ower to weemen,
An' tak nane o' thae wrangsome gates,
That can whummle doon kings themsels.
It's no for kings, O Lemuel,
It's no for kings to be daiblin wi' wine;
An' it's no like princes ava,
To be roarin, "Whaur's that drink?"
Aiblins, they'll mak themsels the waur o't,
An' mislippen the pleas brocht afore them,
An' by their crookit jidgments
Dae mair wrang to helpless craiturs.
Lat the drink gang to him
Wha's forfeuchan wi' tribble,
An' the wine to sic-like
As is dowie at hairt:
Lat him be haein't,
An' poortith 'll be forgotten,
An' a' his dule an' wae
Wull jink awa oot o' kennin.
An' tak ye speech in haun for ony
Wha canna speak for themsel;
Tak the pairt o' them a'
Wha hae nae friens to fen' them:
I'm tellin ye, tak speech in haun yersel;
jidge, as ye ocht, richteouslie;
An' by a' the puir an' the needy
Dail straucht an' even-doon.
(A weel-meanin, weel-daein wumman.)
A douce an' guid wumman--
Wha'll man' to get her for himsel?
For the worth o' her
Is far abune jewels, red-skinklin.
The hairt o' her ain guidman lippens her brawlie,
An' mony's the blessin she brings him;
It's guid that she daes him, an' nae ill ava,
A' the days o' her life.
She's gleg on the sairch baith for woo' an' for lint,
An' aye wi' her hauns is as eident as can be;
She's e'en like the ships o' the wide-rowin sea,
She draws her providin frae far-awa pairts.
She's up in the mornin by the screigh o' licht,
Makin ready for a' 'boot the hauden,
An' reddin the wark for the lassies.
She taks thocht o' an acre or twa, peys the mailin,
An' oot o' her ain hainins maks a braw gairden o't:
She's nane laith to kilt her coats to the wark hersel,
An' steively pit tae her hauns.
She's quite weel awaur that the wallet's the better o' her;
An' the licht o' her cruisie glimmers intil the nicht:
She keeps hersel thrang wi' the rock-an'-the-tow,
An' fu' cantie ower the spinnin-wheel.
But, for a' that, she's an open-hairtit body to the puir,
An', e'en to gangrels, she's kent to hae a raxin haun.
She's nane fley't for the snellest snaws o' the owrie winter,
For ilk ane o' the hoose is cled in her hame-spun plaiden:
She's nackie at the makin o' rugs, dinkit wi' tirlie-wirlies;
An' her ain buskin's the finerie o' linen.
Her guid-man is weel-kent at the merket,
An' afore the public taks the croon o' the causey wi' the best o' them.
She maks cleedins o' the woven lint, an' niffers them,
An' sells belts an' braws to the cadgers.
She's weel set-up, sonsie, an' shair o' hersel,
An' lauchs at the glunch o' the time comin on.
She cracks fu' doucelie,
An' aye wi' the law o' kindness on her tongue:
Wi' tentiest care she man's a' the affairs o' her hoose,
An' eats-na a bite o' idle doon-sittin.
Her bairns growe up aroun' her, an' think a dale o' her;
An' as for her ain guid-man, he's fraisin her a' 'oors:
"Mony's the dochter that has dune unco weel,
But there's nane to haud the caunle to yersel."
Crackin o' ane abune anither is ticklish wark,
An' bonnieness itsel is only for a gliff;
But a wumman wi' the fear o' the Lord
Is ane that canna be dawtit eneuch;
Lat a' her weel-daein, in this thing an' that,
Be putten doon clear to her credit,
An' sae lat the lave ken richtly aboot it,
Lat the lave o' folks ken hoo she ocht to be laudit.