Rough Scan
Sangs o' Bairns an' Hame

DREAMLAND TOON

Awa' to the ferry o' Dreamland Toon
=That lies in the howe o' sleep,
===Wi' the gloamin' grey
===We are on our way
=When the mune begins to peep.
When the drowsie sun sinks slowly doon,
=An' shimmers the sea wi' gowd,
===When the bairns are a'
===In their hushie-ba,
=And snug in their blankets row'd.

Awa' faur oot on the wide, wide sea,
=The boat rocks up an' doun,
===An' the plashin' waves
===The dim shore laves,
=Wi' their moanin', croonin' soun'.
And O! sae cannie the wee boat sails
=To the haven ayont the mune,
===Owre the waters wide
===We slowly glide
=To the faur-aff Dreamland Toon.

The Auld Grey Man wi' the stoorie pock
=Has command o' the sleepy boat,
===And he airts its way
===Past the waukrife fay,
=Awa' to the land remote.
And the stars shine oot like burnished gowd
=To airt the captain roun'
===The bonnie bend
===At the journey's end,
=In the harbour o' Dreamland Toon.

And the wind adds a sough to the mither's sang,
=Like the echo of a sigh,
===And it kisses the hair
===O' the voyagers fair,
=As it wanders idly by.
And fainter still frae the distant shore
=Comes a soothin', singin' soun',
===And is borne to the ears
===O' the drowsie dears
=On the boat for Dreamland Toon.

The mune grows dim, and ane by ane
=The stars fade frae the sky,
===And in stillness deep
===Of mystic sleep
=Lies the sound o' the lullaby.
The voyage is past and the fairy crew
=Let the anchor gently doon,
===And angel's gled
===Watch roond the bed
=O' the bairns in Dreamland Toon.







WEE TAMMY TANTRUM

Wee Tammy Tantrum,
=Sic a fell to dae,
Winna let his peenie on,
=A' that I can say.
See! he's stiff's a poker,
=Neither bend nor loo;
Funkin' like a frisky foal,
=Or a kittle coo.

Risen aff his wrang side,
=Winna smile ava,
Stanin' in a corner
=Facin' to the wa'.
Winna let me kaim his hair,
=Nor gi'e his face a dicht,
Like a tawtie-bogle,
=Sic a wee fricht.

Han's, I'm shair, juist like the lum,
=Playin' in the stoor;
Frock juist like a coalman's pock,
=An' no' been on an 'oor.
A' this strunt is juist because
=I brocht him frae ootby,
An' didna let him feenish aff
=The bakin' o' a pie.

"Mammy kens what she'll dae,
=An' that very sune-
She'll ging owre to Windy-Wa's
=This very afternune,
An' get anither braw wee lad-
=There's lots to pick an' wyle;
He'll no' greet, nor glunch, nor strunt,
=Bricht'll be his smile."

Wee Tammy Tantrum,
=O'd he's comin' roon'!
Eh! there's no anither bairn
=Like 'im 'i the toon.
Hair kaimed out like siller cloud,
=Face an' haundies clean,
Peenie on sae trig an' snod,
=Like a new preen.

What d'ye say?  Haud doon my head
=Ere ye tell me this.
What?  Eh, ye're a willin' rogue-
="Gie yer 'Mum' a tiss!"
"Oo no det anuzzie boy,
=Me be youse wee man!"
"Very weel.  Noo, there's a peece,
=Rin! as fast's ye can!"







YER AIN NAME

It's funny what an odds it mak's
=Hoo some folks say our names;
For instance, my dear mither
=Never ca'd me ocht but James
Whene'er she'd want me to the hoose
=Frae "tig," or sic like games,
Ye'd hear her frae the stairbead crying-
===JAMES!

My faither wasna sae precise
=In gi'ein' my name an' airin',
'Twas maistly aye "the youngster" or
=The pregnant words-"that bairn";
That micht mean onything ye ken,
=Our language is sae queer,
But nae doot hover'd in yer mind
=When _he said_ HERE!

A lassie leeved at oor stair fit,
=Her nature was but flimsy,
I aften grue whene'er I think
=I hear her cryin' "Jimsie."
She had a peesy-weesy voice,
=Juist like a roostit hingie,
But save us a' frae ever hearin'-
===JIMSIE!

But when I gaed to Fairley's schule,
=Anither form it took,
'Twas Jatnie aye, an' sweet it soonds,
=When owre the years we look;
An' mony a vision sweet comes up,
=An' lingers lovin' wi' me,
O' schule mates dear, an' hear them cryin'-
===JAMIE!

An' later when I gaed to work,
=The gaffer, neat an' prim,
He pared it to the very edge,
=For he juist ca'd me Jim;
An' a' the men I wrocht beside,
=They took their cue frae him,
An' to them a' while I was there
=I aye was JIM.

To coort my wife when I set oot,
=I dinna like to tell
What she ca'd me, for ye maun ken
='Twas whispered to mysel';
But when I spiered wi' anxious heart,
=Gin she wad only ha'e me,
Her heart was fu' an' a' she said was-
===JAMIE.

As years gaed by wi' wife and weans
=(There's mair than a'e fine laddie),
Twa ither names I ha'e annexed
=An' that's "Guidman" an' "Daddy."
But the sweetest soond that greets my ear
=An' mak's me feel richt glad aye,
Is when the bairns begin to lisp oot
===DADDY.







A LADDIE'S POOCH

Was ever a place like a schule-laddie's pooch?
=It's winnerfu', man, what's intill'd;
It's never owre big, though as lang as the leg,
Nae maiter the size, it's stuffed fu' as an egg-
=He'll aye fin' oot something to fill'd.

It ser's for a pantry, a kist, an' a bag,
=For nails, nits, lools, skeelie, or bread;
It's pack't till the leg's scarcely able to wag,
An' the claith on the tap is as thin as a rag-
=By the wecht o'd, it seems filled wi' lead!

Here's Johnnie's breeks laid whaur he's taiken them aff,
=They're sair needin' mendin' I see,
A great muckle hole juist whaur he sits doon;
'Twas ne'er worn oot, I could wager a croon-
='Twas torn oot sclimmin' some tree.

Guid gracious! the wecht! my it's maist half-a-stane;
=I'll e'en hae tae toom them, I doot.
What's in'd?  Seven lools, twa glessies, some peesils,
A plunker, a peerie, a tin thing that wheesels,
=A bit rubber he ca's "blottin' oot."

Twa-three bits o' skeelie, a nail, a bit kauk,
=An auld broken heft o' a knife,
A bit string, a bit leather, a buckle, some beads,
A pen neb, a pencil, some spunks wantin' heads-
=I ne'er saw the like a' my life!

Some muillins o' bread, an' a wheen locust paips,
=An' what's this row'd in a bit paper?
Michty me! it's a tuith! 'od it's ane o' his ain
('Twas slack, an' he pu'd it oot last nicht his lane).
If he burns it wi' saut, it'll grow in again!
=Did ever ye ken sic a caper?

What's this?  Something square,that's a' faulded up
=Wi' maist exterordiner care;
A bit gless, an' aneath it, floo'er leafs red an' green-
He ca's it a peep-show, and chairges a preen
Before he'll alloo ye to look wi' yer een
On "the bonniest peepy-show ever _you've_ seen"-
=He's a showman ootricht, I declare!

There noo! that hole's clootit, that button shoo'd on,
=The gallisis buttoned ana',
An' ilka thing, a' but the muillins o' bread,
Is back in the pooches, an' mind tho' I say'd,
He kens every lool, peesil, plunker, and bead-
'Od it beats me to ken hoo he keeps in his head
=A ledger accoont o' them a'.

But what needs I speak? as there's laddies there's men,
=Aye, an' weemin', wi' weans o' their ain,
Wha houdle th'gither a great lot o' things,
Sic like as auld letters, auld papers, auld rings-
The very sicht o' them the tear swithly brings,
For roond ilka ane some sweet memory clings,
=An' for gowd they wad niffer wi' nane.







MERRY BAIRNIES

The bonnie burnie's croonin' laich a saft, sweet lullaby
=As it ripple-dripples dreamily its staney coorse alang;
The wild floo'rs sweet are bloomin' fair, delichtin' heart an' e'e;
=The happy birds melodiously are trillin' their bit sang.
Enchanted scene, I wander here this peacefu' simmer 'oor,
=My thochts untethered tak' their wing an' at sweet pleasure stray,
But a rarer joy enthrals me wi' some strange magnetic po'er
=As I listen to the daffin' o' the bairnies as they play.

It's comfortin' to sit beside the ingle bleezin' bricht
=When nature's bonnie plaid o' green is happit owre wi' snaw,
It's guid to watch the firstlings o' the spring come into sicht
=An' peepin' timorous like to see if winter's won awa'.
It cheers the heart when simmer roves wi' roses in her cheek,
=An' scatters floo'rs on ilka side-we fain wad ha'e her stay,
But pleasure o' the season's tine whene'er I get a keek
=O' the rompin', rampin', laffin, daffin bairnies as they play.

I've listened aft to maisic's po'er expressed by airt o' man,
=Till wi' the harmony o' soond my senses ha'e been cloyed;
An' in the treasure-hoose o' Art the gems I often scan
=An' thank the Fates that guide the brush for happiness enjoyed;
But a' the image Art can show o' pageantry an' pride,
=Or rustic scenes o' rural life in picturesque array,
An' a' the gems o' maisic's store, though houdled side by side,
=Can never charm the ear or e'e like bairnies at their play.

Eh! leeze me on ye, bonnie bairns, sae fu' o' guileless fun,
=Lang may ye rin, an' loup an' sing, yer mornin' star shine bricht,
Ye ha'e nae thocht to look for clouds, ye only see the sun,
=An' then ye sleep because ye're tired, an' no because it's nicht.
God bless ye a', an' keep ye weel, an' herd ye frae a' ill;
=May joyous sunshine fill your days, an' care ne'er on ye ca';
An' though the years may mak' ye auld, in heart be bairnies still,
=As when ye played in blythesome glee in years lang, lang awa'.







SLEEPIN'

Tread saftly, for sorrow has us in its thra',
An' gloom, mirk as nicht, owre-shadows us a';
For Death, the Fell Reaper, has gi'en us a ca',
==An' oor bonnie bit bairnie is sleepin'.
Though fond care assistit while skill did its best,
An' love sued the Lord wi' a constant request
To spare her to us an' no hairrie oor nest-
==My bit bairnie is oot o' my keepin'.

The credle that I used to think was sae braw,
Wi' its cosie wee blankit an' cover like snaw,
Is noo but a heart-break-my bairnie's awa',
==An' aneath the green gress she is sleepin'.
Though tears scaud my cheeks, an' my een's red and sair,
Her bonnie bit head I can straik nevermair;
An' my reason's maist tint wi' this waefu' despair
==To think that she's oot o' my keepin'.

Nae mair when she's sleepin' will I kiss her broo,
Nor watch angel-smiles dimple cheek, chin, an' mou';
Yet aften I think that it canna be true
==That aneath the green gress she is sleepin'.
Nae mair will she cuddle me, loving an' fain,
Nor cling to my airms as when todlin' her lane;
Nor joyously press to my bosom again-
==For ever she's oot o' my keepin'.

My dear bairnie's een were sae bonnie an' blue,
Wi' love's wondrous licht sae bewitchin' an' true;
But the lustre was stown, an' Death's steekit them noo.
==For aneath the green gress she is sleepin'.
Her care-chasin' smile it is tint wi' the lave,
Her voice is an echo that's lost i' the grave;
But God give me strength, wi' Yer pow'r mak' me brave,
==Though my bairnie is oot o' my keepin'.

Eh! it's easy to thole, when you hinna the burn,
It's easy to lauch, when ye've nae cause to murn,
It's easy to dree, till it comes to your turn,
==An' yer treasure in death's-grip is sleepin'.
Oh! then yer heart opens its flood-gates, an' tears
Maist droons oot the faith that ye've cherished for years,
Till the Lord in due season dispels a' yer fears,
==An' ye ken that yen bairn's in His keepin'.







IN THE GLEN

The bonnie buds are burstin',
=An' wi' the win' they swing,
An' to the floo'rs amang the gress
=That's sleepin' yet, they sing-
"O, waukin up, pit on yer braws,
=An' spangle a' the lea,
The spring is bringin' back the bloom
=The winter stole frae ye.

"He stole the braws ye wore wi' pride,
=Bedraigled a' yer dress,
Yer head he bent, an' nirled your limbs,
=An' lauch't at yer distress:
But spring's been faur across the seas,
=An' gethered plenty gear-
Ye'll sune be buskit braw again,
=Her fit-fa's drawin' near.

"Pout oot yer lips for kisses,
=The dews will sweetly fa'
An' woo ye frae yer shyness,
=An gar ye blush an' a';
The lark will sing yer matin sang,
=The thrush yer lullaby,
Saft zephyrs swing yer cradlie-ba'
=An' hum a harmony."







THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIRTH: HA, HA, HA!

If ye've a lauch aboot ye
=Don't keep it up yer sleeve;
Though some folks swear it's better there,
=That's only mak'-believe:
The fiddle-faces roond aboot
=Are like clouds threat'nin' rain,
A'e hearty lauch 'll send them aff
=An' them frae greetin' spean.

If ye've a lauch aboot ye
=To smother'd dinna try,
Though some folk say that's what to dae
=Wi' visage grim an' wry;
The soor-plooms that are near ye
=They sairly need the sun:
Yer lauch, I think's, as guid's a blink-
=Then let the sunshine in.

If ye've a lauch aboot ye
=Be sham ye gi'e it vent,
For frae the face it's shair to chase
=The wrunkles care has sent.
The een are aye faur bonnier
=When lauchter's roon' the moo':
Whiles young an' dour tirns auld an' soor,
=But letna that be you.

There's some that byde in palaces
=Begirt wi' gowd an' braws;
Puir empty pride, their actions guide,
=Disdain their visage thraws;
They kenna what it is to lauch-
=It's vulgar they declare.
Gin they but kent, some merriment
=Micht waise them frae their care.

There's ithers, too, o' humbler rank,
=Releegion hauds them siccar;
Wha look on mirth as of the earth
=An' ca'd a sin to nicher.
Ye'd think they thocht that lauchin' wad
=Endanger their hereafter,
Forgetful that the genial sun
=Fills a' the warld wi' lauchter.

There's ithers, judgin' by their looks,
=Dae penance a' their days,
Wha winna let, on their regret,
The sun's soul-heezin' rays
To lich'en up the chronic gloom
=That hauds them in its thra';
The sunny sheen to us is gi'en
=To chase oor gloom awa.







NA!  THERE'S NAE ROAD BACK TO YESTERDAY

There's nae road back to yesterday.
=Be carefu' what ye say;
Why will ye act sae heedlessly,
An' injure ithers needlessly?
Regret is useless, tears are vain,
The chance that's lost ne'er ca's again-
=There's nae road back to yesterday.

There's nae road back to yesterday.
=If we'd keep this in mind,
'Twad save us when oor passions rise
An' _man_ assumes his warst disguise.
When anger gi'es the word unkind,
Eh! man, if we wad only mind
=There's nae road back to yesterday.

There's nae road back to yesterday.
=Gin some kind word ye'd say,
Ne'er hesitate but say'd the noo;
Procrastination ye may rue.
The morn winna dae at a',
_The morn's awfu' faur awa'._
For you, though fu' o' hope the day,
The morn may be lifeless clay;
The kind word ye were _gaun to say_
Micht saved yer soul frae muckle wae.
The present moment's a' we ha'e;
=There's nae road back to yesterday.

There's nae road back to yesterday.
=Gi'e what ye can the day
To help to feed the hungry puir-
The morn they micht no' be there.
The puirest aye can share a crust,
A cup o' watter slacks a thirst,
A smile may happiness impart,
A kind word cheer a stricken heart.
Ne'er heed though Croesus gi'es a croon,
An' wi' a bounce may bang it doon,
Your humble faurden may coont mair-
The Lord kens weel what you can spare.
Gi'e what yer gaunnie gi'e the day:
=There's nae road back to yesterday!







BLANKET BAY FOR THE LAND O' SLEEP

Oh! the merry, merry din
When the nicht is drawin' in,
An' the bairnies a' begin
=To prepare to sail away
In the good ship "Hurley-bed,"
Wi' its white sheets nicely spread,
An' the coorse is straucht ahead
=Frae the shores o' Blanket Bay.

Then the mither, fu' o' cares,
Wi' a sigh collects the fares,
Tak's the kiss an' hears the prayers
=O' the passengers on board.
Then she sings a sang sae rare,
Naething could wi' it compare;
While her heart, a thankfu' prayer,
=Sings itsel' unto the Lord.

Noo the harbour lichts are fadin',
Heavy lids the een are shadin',
An' the senses a' seem laden
=Wi' the spell o' drowsy-fay;
An' the restlessness subsidin',
In the Land o' Sleep are bydin',
A' the bairns, wi' angels guidin',
=Till the dawn awakes the day.







FATE

An anxious mither pray'd to the Lord,
=A prayer for her bairnies dear;
But aye for the ane that was faur awa',
Fechtin' brave at his country's ca',
=She had aye a dreadin' feat.
But Death-grim an' ill-faur'd-
=Ne'er fash't the sodger at a';
But he struck at the laddie that steyed at hame
An' crushed oot his life wi' a fa' o' stane,
=An' he spak' never word ava'.

Twa brithers, as brithers often are,
=As unlike as weel cud be;
A rover, ane, an' diel-ma-care,
An' sailed the warld everywhere;
=The ither, hame wadna' lea'.
But the sailor in foreign launds afar
=Through storm an' tempest roar
Lived, though Death was aft a' roond,
While the bnither that stayed at hame was droon'd
=In a pool on the quiet shore.

Again-Hoo often, alas! we see
=Twa oot o' the self-same bruid
Gang diff'rent ways, though their chance seem'd the same;
Ane tirn oot a wastrel in life's great game,
=The ither be a'thing guid.
An' it's strange hoo, often, the guid an' true
=Is laid in an early grave,
While the human wreck lives on for years
Nor heeds entreaties, an' lauchs at tears,
=An' to every vice is slave.







MY BAIRNIE'S MOU'

Oh! bonnie is my bairnie's mou',
'Twas never matched by rosebud's hue
An' dainty though the bud may be,
My bairnie's mou's mair rare to see
Nor can the rosebud bring to view
Ocht but its ain bewitchin' hue,
Nae snaw-white pearlin' coyly peeps
Frae oot the heart o't when it sleeps.

Nae rosebud yet that e'er I saw,
Hooever sweetly it micht blaw,
Could pout an' prim alternately,
An' bud an' bloom frae June to May,
An' a' its lurin' charms retain
Though simmer owre the hills has gane,
Nor cheer the heart in shade or shine
As does this bonnie bud o' mine.

Yon mossy rosebud kent by nane,
That spends its charms unseen, alane,
Nor cares a preen for warldly fraik
Though it be queen o' a' the brake,
Yet lays it's fragrant tale o' love
Upon the win's that careless rove,
An' nane may say hoo it may bliss-
My bairn itsel' is like to this.

Oh! may my bairnie's life be fu'
O' everything that's guid an' true,
An' as the years wi' whirrying speed
Unfaulds the web o' life decreed,
I pray the woof o' hope may twine
The warp o' faith wi' love's design,
An' when the mirk shall end life's day,
"Weel dune," he'll hear the Maister say.







MY BAIRNIE'S EEN

O' bonnie are my bairnie's een-
Sweet love-floo'rs gemmed wi' dewy sheen,
That sparkle through the anxious haze,
That aften cloud a mither's days;
The modest violet that grows
Beside the burn that whimperin' rows,
Aneath the shade o' shelterin' trees,
My bairnie's een are like to these.

Yet something mair; they ope an' close
An' ilka time new joy expose;
The flow'rets arena half sae blue,
Nor sweet, nor loveable, nor true;
Nor can they glint an' sparkle bricht,
Like my dear lam's, wi' heavenly licht,
Revealin' something, kent Above-
The mysteries o' life and love!

Nor can the sweetest floo'r that blows
Compare with what thae een disclose,
O' trustin', sweet simplicity,
Sae coy wi' airtless witchery;
They bring a message o' the plan
O' Heaven's unfalt'rin' love to man,
An' me they constantly adjure
To try an' keep my heart aye pure.

The Man o' Sorrows when on earth
Spak' aften o' the bairnies' worth,
An' telt the croods that roon' Him thranged,
That Heaven to little bairns belanged.
He telt, in words that made men wonder,
What we maun ha'e gin' we'd gang yonder;
But oh! its hard to keep, I ween,
Oor hearts, like bairnies', pure an' clean.







MY BAIRNIE'S FEET

Twa wee plump feet, a' saft an' red,
An' taes that seem wi' dimples hid;
I haud the pilgrims in a'e haund
Or ere they mairch to laddie's laund.
I smaithe them wi' a mither's care,
An' Hope's sweet vista grows a prayer,
That "Truth and Honour" guides may be
Across Life's muir o' mystery.

Sae sweet they look, like blossoms rare,
Juist breakin' wi' spring's vernal air,
That winder fills my anxious heart,
Hoo they'll win owre the thorny pairt;
Or if they'll taigle i' the glaur,
Or bear the brum'le-thorn's scaur,
That edge the gaet like sinfu' skaith
Alang life's road frae birth to death.

Will it be dark the road they gang,
Wi' dule an' sorrow, dreech an' lang;
Or waste life's span some sleaveless-gate,
Nor think to turn till its owre late?
Or will they find the path o' peace
Whaur cares, an' tears, an' sorrows cease;
Whaur joyous sunshine fills the day,
An' floo'rs are strewin' a' the way?

Hoo fain we wish that we could see
Into the veiled futurity,
An' doot the wisdom o' the plan
That hides what is to be frae man.
But we maun trust the Father's care,
An' safely leave the issue there;
Yet anxious prayer maist gars me greet
That He may guide my bairnie's feet.







MY BAIRNIE'S CHEEKS

O' bonnie are my bairnie's cheeks,
Guid health the precious secret keeps
O' hoo to mingle pink an' white,
To charm the e'e an' gi'e delight.
To match the bloom that nestles there
I've searched this warld everywhere,
But vain's the search, 'tis still unmatched,
Though wi' unwearied een I've watched.

The blossom on the aipple tree
Some notion o' their colour gi'e;
That denty white juist tinged wi' pink,
That gars een wi' its glamour blink.
But though the aipple blossom seeks
To match the colour o' his cheeks,
It canna offer ocht I'm shair
To mate the dimples cuddlin' there.

Thae dimples ha'e some witchin' way
To capture hearts, the auld folks say;
E'en hearts that ha'e been frozen up
Thaw oot when dimples tak' a grup.
The fairies, when the world was young
The word aboot new bairnies brung,
An' dimples are the wee bit dints
That's left by angels' finger-prints.

It's only when the bairnies sleep
That angels come an' tak' a peep
An' titches them on cheek or chin,
An' that's hoo dimples aye begin.
The bairn lauchs-ye've seen'd yersel',
An' sae I dinna need to tell
Hoo it remains a feature rare,
For when they smile the dimple's there.







CA' CANNY

When ye're inclined to jibe an' sneer-
====Ca' canny!
Or ca' yer neebor, knave or leear-
====Ca' canny.
What though he's maybe gane astray-
Frae honour's highway lost his way;
Juist mind afore a'e word ye say,
_You've_ maybe faur mair need to pray-
====Ca' canny.

If ye wad rin yer brither doon-
====Ca' canny!
Or at yer sister scowl an' froon-
====Ca' canny;
Wha bade you sit in Judgment Ha',
Yer fa'en brethren to misca',
Or say a single word at a'"
Hoo lang will'd be before _you_ fa'?-
====Ca' canny.

The road through life's a slipp'ry ane-
====Ca' canny!
A careless stap may brak' a bane-
====Ca' canny.
There's ruts an' sink-holes everywhere,
Sae wyle yer staps wi' cautious care;
Perdition's road may seem fu' fair,
But ere ye enter't-Eh, beware!
====Ca' canny.

Some may despise this terse advice-
====Ca' canny.
But fleein' laich an' lang is wice-
====Ca' canny.
To dae guid wark, aye vogie gang;
The cheery heart has aye it's sang
That lich'ens labours, dreich an' lang;
But mind when deed on thocht gaes wrang-
====Ca' canny.

This life is but the mornin' grey-
====Ca' canny;
The prelude to Eternity-
====Ca' canny.
Scan ithers fau'ts wi' charity;
The helpin' haund be ready wi';
The Lord has aye a watchfu' e'e,
A' that ye dae He'll oversee;
An' gin ye want His clemency,
Before the unkind word you gi'e-
====Ca' canny.







OOR JENNY'S BAIRN

(A GRANNIE'S SANG)

Oor Jenny's bairn's the dearest lam'
=That ever blest a woman,
An' gin' we didna' think it best
An' bonnier faur than a' the rest,
=Ye wadna' think us human.

There's a'e thing nae man ever doots
=(Endowed wi' sense at a'),
An' that is what a mither says
Aboot her bairn; nor ca's it praise
=Hooeven she may craw.

For every mither has the richt
=To think her bairn the fairest,
Wi' the stateliest broo, the rosiest moo',
Bewitchin' een o' the loveliest hue,
=An' dimples o' the rarest.

Its skin may be like driven snaw
=An' cheeks juist like the roses,
The ears like twa braw pinky shells
Whaur some wee Wurly fairy dwells,
=Mair wondrous charms discloses.

It's "goo-goo's" maisic, saft an' sweet,
='Twad dae ye guid to hear it
(Juist like some gentle am'rous doo),
Clean frae a' guile, nicht through an' through,
=Yer sinfu' heart 'twad clear it.

Oor Jenny's bairn has a' thae charms
=An' mair I canna tell,
Gin ye cud only come wi' me
An' see the bairn, I'se wager ye,
=Ye'd say faur mair yersel'.

May He wha guides an' guards us a'
=Gie us o' guid oor sairin':
Lang life, guid health, freends staunch an' true,
An' may life's sky aye show some blue
=To Jenny and her bairn.







"DORTY POOCHES"

"Whatna loon is this ava',
=Glunchin', dour, an' dorty,
Hingin' roond oor door ana'?
=My fine man, I'll sort ye!
Oot o' this, ye surly doug,
=Lod! I've mind to whup ye;
Let me pu' ye by the lug,
=Bide ye ere I grup ye.

"I kenna wha't can be ata',
=Stannin' like a stookie;
Eh! but I cu'd mak' him claw
=Whaur he isna yeukie.
Gin he disna' lift his heels
=An' steer himsel' aboot,
I'll ha'e to tak' the bissom shank
=An' dreel the gang'ril oot.

"It seems, gudewife, ye mean to let
=Me yabble till I'm dune,
An' never seek to tell me yet
=What's happened this forenune.
Hoo cam' this fremmit bairn here,
=An' whaur can be his hame;
An' ha'e ye never tried to speer,
=To fin' oot what's his name?

"His daidlie's in an awfu' mess,
=He's clerts frae tap to tae;
An' wha he is it's ill to guess,
=His face I canna see.
His hair is hingin' owre his een,
=His faiple's gey faur doon;
An' yet he's like some bairn I've seen
=At some place in the toon.

"I winder if he winna ha'e
=A daddy fash't aboot 'im,
An' what in a' the warl' he'll dae
=This lee-lang day withoot 'im.
An' shu'd he ha'e a mither fain
=To cuddle an' to kiss 'im,
Will she no greet her leefu' lane
=When'er she comes to miss 'im?

"What's that ye say?  Eh, na, I doot
=It canna be oon hinny;
The gumphie's never cuisten oot
=An' no cheef wi' his minnie?
The reason o' this tirravie
=Is what I'd like to learn,
Sae come awa' anowre wi' me,
=Ye puir, bedraigled bairn.

"We'll ha'e nae hidlin's 'tween us three;
=Sae noo, my glunchin' man,
Juist tell me what's adae wi' ye,
=An' hoo this ploy began.
Ye winna speak, ye gloomin' rogue;
=He's lost his tongue, I doot,
Or will that doug that's on his back
=Ha'e chow'd the morsel oot?

"I'll ha'e to speer yer mither, then,
=What's caused the dour fraca';
I dinna like to see, ye ken,
=A feud atween you twa;
Sae gae an' gi'e her a'e wee kiss,
=An' end this dreech campaign,
An' say what ye ha'e dune amiss
=Ye winna dae again."

He's sclimmin' on his mither's knee,
=His moo' out in a pout,
An' a' his mither's enmity
=Is quickly put to rout,
His airms are roon' her neck close pressed,
=Their lips renew acquaintance;
An' nestlin' cosie on her breast,
=Completes a full repentance.

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

It tirned oot that twice that day
=(The first time he wis waur)
He'd fa'en head first in a bay
=O' scaffie-cleckit glaur.
When I cam' in at sax o'clock
=The pair o' them were singing;
Twa daidlies an' twa new washed frocks
=Upon the raip were hingin'.







SANDIE SOOPLESHANKS

Restless Sandie Soopleshanks,
=Never aff the trot;
I'm shair there's no anither mither
=Sic a job has got.
Shu'd the door be aff the sneck
=He's oot! an' in a meenit
Search the street frae end to end
=Ye winna find him in it.

My! only juist the ither morn,
='Tween aicht an' nine o'clock,
He rase sae fresh an' bonnie like
=An' prattled owre his stock.
I kilted up his "goonie" trig,
=Till I cu'd get 'im washed,
An' then gaed oot to bring some coal
=An' thocht o' him ne'er fashed.

When I cam' in, nae bairn was seen!
=Quo' I, wi' merry chidin',
"Ye may come oot, my braw wee man,
=I ken fine whaur you're hidin'."
But ne'en a cheep!  Eh, gudeness me!
="Whaur can the bairn hae gane?"
"Ahint the press door?"  "Ben the room?"
=A' place I look in vain.

But losh keeps a'!  I canna wait
=Except to lay the table
Wi' daddy's breakfast-tea an' tilt;
=Then fast as I was able
I doon the stair, to the close mooth,
=Wi' hungerin' een I glower'd
Baith up an' doon, e'en in a cairt
=I ran an' look'd anowr'd.

But neither hilt nor hair was seen.
=My bairn!  Whaur cu'd he be?
Wi' Minnie Hynd? or Missey Tosh?
=Na, na! oh, woe is me!
Alang Canmore, an' roond the Bleach,
=Or up Auld Wulkie's back
Beside, or in the awesome well
=Sae dank, an' deep, an' black.

Nae word o' him although I spiered
=At ilka neebor body,
Till half the Newry was tirned oot
=A' searchin' for my laddie.
Up Pearson's close, in Johnnie Gray's,
=In Wishart's auld loom shop;
Roond Bullion's yaird, in Mistress Braund's
=I maistly tint a' hope.

Some fact'ry lasses frae Auld Reid's
=Were hurryin' doon the hill,
An' ane I was acquantit wi'
=Said "Gudeness! are ye ill?"
"My bairn's lost!" was a' I said
=Quo' she, "Keep up yer heart,
I saw a bairn alang the street
=Ahint a bleachfield cairt."

"He'd naething but a 'goonie' on,
=His head an' feet were bare;
I didna see his face, but he
=Had lang, white, fluffy hair."
I didna stop to gi'e her thanks,
=But up the Newry ran,
Syne 'yont the street an' near the Cross
=I fand my wanner't man.

I gethered him up in my airms,
=My love wi' anger strove,
His lauch danced aff wi' a' my rage
=An' left me juist the love.
An' so I ran richt hame wi' him,
=Close huggit to my heart,
An' 'gainst his faithen's angry words
=I had to tak' his pairt.

"Oo, aye! of coorse; that's woman-like,"
=I hear some o' ye say:
Weel! in the name o' common-sense
=What wa'd ye ha'e folk dae?
Staund by an' see a bairn abused
=For rinnin' oot?  I'm sure
I'm mair to blame-ere I gaed oot
=I shu'd ha'e shut the door.

Ye may think freen's this story's cheuch,
=An' something like a lee,
But every word that I've set doon
=Is true as true can be.
The only thing that isna true,
=As shair as cley's no' caundy,
Is this: I've cheenged the bairn's name-
=They didna ca' him Sandie.







ROBBIE RED CHEEKS

Wee Robbie Red Cheeks,
=Sic an awfu' loon,
Packit fu' o' mischief,
=Aft-times gars me froon;
Sclimmin' on the taps o' chairs
=On else into the sink,
Whaur he isna wanted, lod!
=There he's in a wink.

Gie him ocht to mak' a noise,
=Poker, tangs, or shuil,
Drums and fifes are soon on hand
=Played on wi' a will:
Roond the hoose ye'll ha'e to mairch
=If ye've legs at a',
Needless sayin' that you're tired-
='Twinna dae ava'.

Wee Robbie Red Cheeks
=Rinnin' doon the street,
Crawin' lood, he is sae gled,
=Daddy dear to meet:
Hoistit on his shouther quick,
=Haudin by his hair,
Kickin' heels for very joy,
=Ne'er were sic a pair.

A' the neebors roond aboot,
=Be they slack or thrang,
Gin they dinna get a ca'
=Think there's something wrang:
He's a cosie corner in
=The heart o' ilka ane,
If onything cam' owre 'im, eh!
='Twa'd cause them muckle pain.

Every meal his daddy tak's
=Robbie maun be there,
An' rather up on daddy's knee
=Than stannin' on the flair;
For the man maun ha'e his ride
=At ilka rate o' hallup-
The "Leddy's Pace," the "Genty Trot,"
=The fearless "Cadgers' Gallop."

Wee Robbie Red Cheeks
=Roond my heart has cast
Chains o' love that will endure
=Lang as life shall last:
Sweet's the sunshine o' his smile,
=Love lurks in his e'e;
An' oh! his cuddle an' his kiss
=Are mair than gowd to me.







AFTER MANY DAYS

I ha'e been whaur I ance used to bide,
=To the auld hoose in whilk I was born,
An' I speired at some folks, my feelin's to hide,
=Why the place was sae sad an' forlorn.
When abroad, in my dreams aft I've been
=In the auld hame wi' them that's awa',
But the mornin's first beam dispelled ilka dream
=An' left me fu' lanely ana'.

==But the dreams were sae real,
==The good-bye I could feel
===O' my faither's hand grippin' me fast,
==An' my mither, sae true,
==Laid her kiss on my broo,
===Never thinking it would be the last.

I ha'e knelt on the place whaur, langsyne,
=My mither sat croonin' to me,
An' the quaint bits o' stories she telt me sae fine
=Cam' back, an' the tears fill'd my e'e.
Auld Time rows life's web swithly back:
=I'm a young thochtless laddie ance mair,
An' my mither's sweet voice mak's my fond heart rejoice,
=An' the place fills wi' visions fu' rare.

==But owre sune, alas!
==The visions a' pass;
===Nor faither nor mither is spared,
==They're free frae a' care,
==I'll ne'er see them mair,
===For they sleep in the Auld Kirkyaird.







DARK-HAIRED NANCY BROON

When I leave the ploo an' horses,
=When my darg o' wark is dune,
An' I gang to meet my Nancy
=At the dowin' o' the sun,
A' the ither chiels are jealous,
=I'm as happy as can be,
For I ken my dark-haired darlin'
=Is lookin' out for me.

==Dark-haired is my Nancy,
===Wincey is her goon,
==Ilka lad does fancy
===Bonnie Nancy Broon;
==Singin' like a lintie,
===On her face nae froon,
==Guid as ony, blithe an' bonnie-
===Charming Nancy Broon.

Oh, her cheeks are broon an' ruddy,
=But her een are clear an' bricht,
An' her lips are like ripe cherries,
=An' her soul is pure as licht;
Tho' her goon is only wincey,
=She's a lauch wad banish care,
An' she's like the queen o' simmer
=Wi' the rosebuds in her hair.

==Dark-haired is my Nancy,
===Wincey is her goon,
==A' the ladies fancy
===Lovely Nancy Broon;
==Singin' like a lintie,
===Like a floo'r in June,
==Trig an' neat, sae coy an' sweet-
===Dainty Nancy Broon.

It was juist the ither Friday
=That I spiered gin she'd be mine,
An' she telt me in a whisper
=That her love wad never tine,
An' at the 'hind o' hervest time,
=Gin God should spare oor life,
My winsome, dark-haired Nancy Broon,
=Will be my ain dear wife.

==Dark-haired is my Nancy,
===Wincey is her goon,
==Ilka lad does fancy
===Bonnie Nancy Broon;
==Singin' like a lintie,
===O' my life the croon,
==Lovin' fain, an' a' my ain-
===Winsome Nancy Broon.







WHEN MEG HAS A BAWBEE TO SPEND

Ye maun ken Meg's the youngest,
=An' there's ither five,
A' sturdy an' steery,
=An' a' like to thrive;
An' aye on the pey-day,
=They're round me like bees,
An' Meg, bless her wee face,
=Maun get on my knees;
She'll cuddle an' wheedle me,
=Kiss me an' a',
Till oot o' my pooch
=I the siller maun draw,
==An' Meg gets a bawbee to spend.

As sune as she gets it,
=She's aff doon the street,
To Mistress MacFuffle,
=Wha sells a'thing sweet;
An' there they'll conseeder,
=Juist like millionaires,
What they will invest in-
="Lang candy" or "pears";
While ane suggests "toffy,"
=Anither says "plooms,"
But Meg, i' the middle,
=Stands sookin' her thooms,
=An' keeks at the bawbee to spend.

Then Mistress Dulrymple's
=Wee nickum, ca'ed Johnnie,
Tells Meg he ga'e her
="Yon stane, smooth and bonnie";
But in an aff-haunded an'
=Dinna-care style-
"It's no for yer wealth
=That I'm coortin' yer smile"
That's what ye wad think,
=But, eh man ! he's sighin'
That he'll get a taste o'
=What Meg thinks o' buyin'
==Wi' the bawbee that she has to spend.

An' wee Jeanie Messer
=Reminds her wi' care-
"I aye let ye come up
=An' play in oor stair";
Anither injunction
=Is on wee Meg ser'd,
Jimmie Elshander says-
="Ye can come up oor yaird";
An' Willie Macduff
=Hopes to share in the "doles"-
"I'll let ye hurray
=When my mither gets coals,"
An' adds as a mak'-wecht-
=Wi' consummate airt-
"I'll let ye inowre,
=It's my gran'faither's cairt-"
=='Cause Meg has a bawbee to spend.

They a' tirn coortyers
=An' leddies-in-waitin',
As guid as though cleaded
=In fine silk or saitin;
Meg's queen for the nonce,
=Aye, queen o' the toon,
An' needs ne'er a sceptre
=To rule, nor a croon;
Her slichtest desire
=Becomes law in the laund,
An' leal is the fealty
=O' this joyous baund,
==When Meg has a bawbee to spend.

May blessin's gang wi' them
=In' a their young mirth,
There's nae sweeter sicht
=On a' this braid earth,
Than a wheen merry bairns
=A' loupin' wi' joy,
At spending a bawbee
=Or sicna like ploy;
As floo'rs in the simmer
=The bumbee allures,
While shop windows ye scan,
=A like pleasure is yours,
==When you ha'e a bawbee to spend.

Oh! the pleasures o' life
=When we've grewn muckle men,
Is nocht to compare
=Wi' the joy we had, when
A' guileless and young
=In the years lang awa',
Ene soor Daddy Care
=Thocht on gi'en's a ca';
A' the gowd in the warld
=Is no half sae guid,
As when at some window
=Wi' comrades we stuid,
==When we had a bawbee to spend.







A MITHER'S SANG

Wheesht ye noo, my bonnie bairn, dinna greet sae sair,
Mammie's gaen to mak' the tea, sit ye on the flair,
An' yer ta'll sune be hame, an' tak' ye on his knee,
And ride a horsey up an' doon, wheest ye, jist awee.

Greetin' yet, my bonnie man?  It winna dae at a',
Gin ye dinna haud yen tongue, I'll jist greet ana';
See, man, there's yer purley pig, rattled up like mad!
There's yer doll ne'er says a word, she's no a greetin' jaud.

Greetin' yet? preserve us a'! what'll mammie dae?
I scarcely ha'e got time to dae a guid hands-tirn the day;
There's the bellises to blaw, blaw wi' a' yer micht,
Noo, there's pussy, hoo she rins, eh! she's got a fricht.

Sair, sair mouthie? puir wee thing, mammie kens fu' weel
What it is that mak's her bairn just a little deil;
Wheesht ye noo, there's somebody comin' up the stair,
Hide in mammie's bosie, quick, loo-man no get there.

There he's noo, I hear his voice, jist ootside the door,
"This whaur little Johnnie lives?"  Sic an awfu' roar.
What ye want?  "I've come to tak' a' the weans that greet."
Weel ye canna get my bairn; try the ither street.

Certes! but I've frichted him! hear his muckle feet!
Scliffin', sclaffin' down the stair, ech! it mak's me sweat;
Sic a farce! he has a stock o' impidence I'm shair,
To come here seekin' my wee man, he'll better just tak' care!

Quiet at last? ah! there's yer ta comin' up the stair,
Weel I ken his welcome fitstep; come an' sort his chair;
There he is.  "Whaur's my wee man?" listen to his voice,
He's frank, guid nat'red, just the kind to make a wife rejoice.

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Noo he's sleepin', puir wee man, roun' his mou's a smile,
Helplessness an' innocence pictured there the while.
Guardian angels hover round him, keep him in yer care,
Spare him, God, an' may he be to us a blessing rare.

Spare him, help him ower life's troubles, wha kens what's in store,
Rough, rough roads, an' maybe pitfa's, wha kens what's before;
But wi' God's kind help an' guidance, may he win abune,
When he's filled his purpose here an' his journey's dune.







THE AULD KIRKYAIRD

While poets o' fame sing o' launds they ha'e seen,
O' graund lofty mountains, o' valleys aye green,
O' beauties o' nature, the floo'rs an' the trees,
The sun an' the blue lift, the birds an' the breeze,
There nocht speaks to me wi' a voice sae divine,
Nor tells me sae plainly mysel'to resign,
As the spot whaur my heart's dearest treasures are laid
Aneath the green turf in the Auld Kirkyaird.

In simmer the sod looks fu' bonnie an' sweet,
Bespangled wi' daisies sae modest an' neat;
The brier an' the haw tree their sweet fragrance throw
To cheer the sair hearts in this gairden o' woe;
A lesson we read in the sweet simmer time-
An' it's work while ye may when ye're life's in its prime-
The simmer is brief, lod, it disna lang last,
An' ye canna dae ocht in the days that are past.

In autumn the floo'rs dee, the leaves tirn broon,
An' ilk breath o' win' brings them rustlin' doon;
Their brief day is ended, wi' wae we repine,
They min' us o' frien's that we kent in langsyne-
Frien's wha, ane by ane, quietly slippit awa'
(Nae option ha'e we when the King gie's the ca');
But let's dae oor best, on His word aye depend,
An' He'll no mislippen's when nearin' the end.

When stern winter comes, like the gloamin' o' life,
An' snell are the tempests an' lood is the strife,
When the trees are a' leafless and deid are the floo'rs,
Snaw haps oor lost treasures, an' dark the lift lours;
'Tis then we find solace when ilka thing's bare,
Juist like oor ain greetin' hearts, love-stript an' sair,
Wi' the snaw for a shroud, auld Nature seems laid
To rest wi' the lave i' the Auld Kirkyaird.

But spring comes again, Nature wakes frae her sleep.
The bonnie wee snawdrap will first be to peep,
Syne crocus an' nose-leaf an' bud will appear,
An' birdies will mak' the day sweet wi' their cheer;
An' sae will we wauken again when we dee,
An' bonnier sichts than before we sall see,
An' a' oor lost treasures will meet us fu' fain,
An' couthie we'll be gin we've lived na in vain.







THE AULD KIRK SEATS

The "Auld Kirk," what a warl' o' thochts
=The very name reca's;
An' faces keek frae oot the nooks
=Whaur mem'ry's search-licht fa's;
An' voices that were dearly lo'ed,
=In fastly-fadin' years,
Seem wauken'd by some mystic po'er,
=An' thrills my list'nin' ears.

The auld seats wi' the snibbit doors,
=They've ta'en them a' awa';
They've pitten in some graund new seats,
=To mak' the kirk look braw.
But the straucht auld seats had mony ties
=That made them dear to me,
An' oh! the sweet remembrances
=Bring saut tears to my e'e.

'Twas in yon seat juist midway doon,
=In by the nor'mest door,
When juist a bairn-that tak's me back
=A bit ayont twa score-
My mither led me by the haund,
=Wi' mony a pridefu' smirk,
(I was the aipple o' her e'e)
=An' took me to the kirk.

I min' the folks that used to sit
=A' in the seat th'gither--
My uncle, aunty an' my dey,
=My faither an' my mither,
My mither's aunty neat an' prim,
=A weel-hained carefu' craiter,
A lovin', genty, kind auld maid
=Till trouble soored her natur'.

On Sawbaths when it didna rain
=She wore a silken goon
An' Paisley plaid-a brawer ane
=There wasna in the toon.
The plaid was fixed wi' denty care
=Wi' twa braw jewel'd preens,
Baith tethered wi' a chain o' gowd,
=An' set wi' Precious stanes.

Her "sprenticles" she used to wear
=The Saums an' that to read,
But a'e day she was fair ashamed,
=An' blushed at my misdeed!
For when her een were closed in prayer
=I got them on my face!
The smile that gaed a' roond oor seat
=Was sadly oot o' place.

As years gaed by wi' tentless heed
=Fu' mony a cheenge I saw;
My uncle he got married, then
=He brocht his wife ana'.
An' then their bairns as they grew up
=Cam' in to fill the places
O' ithers wha had slipped awa';
=Fond mem'ry limns their faces.

I mind them a' that are awa'
=An' mingle wi' the cley-
My mither's aunty an' my ain,
=My uncle an' my dey,
My sister an' my brithers-a'
=Frae earthly cark set free;
Nae winder that the Auld Kirk seats
=Were very dear to me.

When I gang to the Auld Kirk noo
=It disna' seem the same.
But losh, I needna' shirk the faut,
=It's maybe me's to blame;
Yet though we maybe canna' 'gree
=On what may please the sicht,
It maitters nocht to you or me
=As lang's oor hearts are richt.







THE DAYS THAT NE'ER RETURN

Fondly the heart clings
=To the scenes of yore,
And, oft when grief stings,
=Clings still the more;
Oh! what a longing
=For some vanished face,
Visions come thronging
=In a wild chase;
Cheered by the sun's rays
=Hope bright will burn,
Oh! could those happy days
=Once more return.

Anon the memory
=Of a mother's voice,
Fills our cold heart with joy-
=Bids us rejoice;
But should the ghost rise
=Of some careless deed,
Memory of weeping eyes
=Makes our heart bleed;
Thought which our peace slays
=Deep, deep will burn,
Wishing to recall the days
=That ne'er return.

Oft through the dim mists
=Voices we hear,
Keenly our soul lists
=For one more dear;
Memory recalls the sound,
=Cheats our list'ning ear
And keeps us spell-bound
=With the music near,
Till the wandering tear betrays
=How our hearts yearn
For these bright, happy days
=That ne'er return.

With us are friends true,
=Strong and steadfast,
But to the dreamer's view
=Hearts of the past
More of his love share
=Than friends of to-day;
Things here are less rare
=Than things lost for aye.
For smiles departed,
=For faces gone,
Well-nigh broken-hearted
=Weep we oft alone.







HORSE AND DRUM

A wooden horse-all dappled grey-
=And a little toy drum
Are waiting patiently to-day
=For a little chap to come.
They stand behind a little chair
=In a corner on the floor,
But the little chap with the sunny hair
=Will play with them no more.

The horse's mouth is open wide,
=Its brass eyes idly stare,
But to my wet eyes they seem to chide
=For their master not being there
To tap the drum with a rataplan,
=And trot the "dappled grey,"
And resume the romps that the little man
=Had with them yesterday.

Ah! yesterday, my heart was light,
=And had no load of care;
My sky was blue, my sun shone bright,
=And all the world seemed fair,
For the little man the whole day long
=Was happy as could be,
And my heart was atune with a mother's song
=Of wonderful melody.

To-day my sky is overcast,
=My sun's no longer bright-
The air is chill, for a biting blast
=Wailed eerily through the night-
For a little soul, all pure and white,
=Has left its house of clay,
And on angels' wings has taken flight
=To realms of endless day.

I bow my head and try to say,
="Father, Thy will be done,"
But my stricken heart cries out all day-
="O, give me back my son."
I cry in vain, for the vernal grass
=Is o'er him where he lies;
But we shall meet when the shadows pass
=In the land beyond the skies.







NINETEEN-AN'-TWA

=Eh! Nineteen-an'-twa,
=Man, ye're slippin' awa',
Yer coorse is aboot nearly run.
=Ye're hirplin' twa-fauld,
=Ye're donnert an' auld,
Ye're lookin' yer last on yon sun.
=Ye're sune to be laid
=In the grave that we've made.
We'll hap ye wi' turf dank an' green,
=An' lay ye awa'
=In the lang or short raw,
Wi' the lave o' the years we ha'e seen.

=Ye've seen some queer things
=While ye flew on yer wings,
An' watch kept frae faur pole to pole.
=Ye've seen the weans greet
=When they'd naething to eat,
An' hunger's a sorrowfu' thole.
=Ye've seen fine hearts broken,
=Ye've heard prayers unspoken
Frae mither's in sorrow repinin'.
=Ye've seen the cheek pale
=Wi' some cankerin' tale,
An' ye've seen ithers droopin' an' dwinin'.

=Ye've keekit in there
=Whaur gloomy Despair
Sat muffled in black to the een.
=Ye've glower'd thro' the place
=Whaur shamefu' Disgrace
Sat doon whaur she ne'er shu'd ha'e been.
=Ye've seen the false smile
=Maskin' cunnin' an' guile,
An' lives wracked ayont a' repair,
=Through no' peyin' heed
=To the prayer-sown seed
Sown by them that can pray never mair.

=Ye ha'e seen sorrow's clouds
=Dreepin' tears on the shrouds
O' the faithers laid low in their prime.
=Ye ken the heart sobbed
=When the husband was robbed
O' his bairn an' his wife at a'e time.
=Ye've heard the clods fa'
=On the black shells ana'
O' them wha had pined lang an' sair,
=Wi' sufferin' distressed,
=Fainly sighin' for rest
Frae this warl's eatin' canker an' care.

=Ye ha'e seen horrid war
=In its bluid-bedecked can,
Ridin' rouch owre the dead an' the dyin'.
=Ye ha'e heard the last sigh
=An' the waefu' death cry
Frae the sodgers on Afric's veldt lyin'.
=Ye've heard thoosands preach peace,
=An' yet nae surcease
Frae ill-will, an' fechtin', an' sinnin',
=For still obstinate
=Man gangs his ain gate
E'en as he has frae the beginnin'.

=Ye ha'e seen as ye went
=Scenes o' sweetest content
In some o' the hames o' the puirest,
=An' owre weel ye ken
=That the richest o' men
Dinna aye ha'e the hearts that are rarest.
=For aft riches rust
=Roond the heart like a crust,
An' keeps oot the licht o' the love,
=That mak's aft the cot,
=Although puirtith's their lot,
Like a glint o' the Heaven above.

=Ye ha'e seen every phase
=Iii the hale o' the days
O' what mak's the life o' a man,
=Frae the faint cry at birth
=To the happin' wi' earth,
Ye ha'e seen the mysterious plan.
=Ye had yer ain spring
=Whilk sune took its wing,
Yer simmer an' autumn ana'.
=Yer winter has come,
=Yer minstrels are dumb,
They ken ye're fast slippin' awa'.

=Aye!  Nineteen-an'-twa,
=Ye're slippin' awa,
Yer coorse is aboot nearly run.
=Ye're hirplin' twa-fauld,
=Ye're donnert an' auld,
Ye're lookin' yer last on yon sun.
=The soond that'll tell
=O' yer funeral knell
Will be smoored owre wi' mirth an' wi' singin',
=For as sune as ye dee
=Young nineteen-an'-three
Will be hailed wi' hurrahs loodly ringin'.







IN MEMORIAM

[ANDREW MONTEITH, _the city bellringer, a faithful servant.  Deeply regretted._]
"Act well your part, there all the honour lies." - POPE.

And so he died!  A pauper's end!
Whom everybody thought a friend.
Who morning after morning rung
=The warning bell.
To wake the sleeping throng, and tell
"'Tis time to waken; time to work
Come on, do not your duty shirk-
Wake up, wake up, wake up each one
='Tis five o'clock; the day's begun!

"'Tis time for bed; the bairns' bell
Is rung.  I've heard my mother tell,
'Tis time from romping play to cease,
'Tis time for sleep, 'tis time for peace."
The warning bell he always tolled,
And on the air the deep tones rolled,
And oftentimes I've deeply pondered
About that chiming bell, and wondered
How it could know, how it could tell
The bairns' bedding time so well?

Full oft the joyous bell he's rung,
And told the story with its tongue,
Of courtly joys, of natal days,
And often sung Victoria's praise,
And then, when death the great would steal,
He rung of woe as well as weal,
And in the muffled monotone
He'd tell of all the greatness gone,
And on the bell he loved so well
He'd ring a measured solemn knell.

And those who knew him best doth tell
He was a man few could excel
For honesty and uprightness,
Nor would he stoop to fawn and kiss
The hand that chance had rendered rich,
But sterling, honest, humbly proud,
He worshipped no one save his God,
And truer Christian could not be
Than this man, who from guile was free.
His life was peace, nor sought he strife,
But lived a quiet, godly life;
To many more pretentious far,
His life might be a guiding star.

And did I say a pauper's end?
Well, mark me well, he did forefend,
For with his scanty pittance he
From the poor man's demon, debt, kept free.
Kept clear of debt, but he did more,
For carefully he kept a store
Against the day he knew must come
When he'd be laid in his long home,
And in a good and true man's hand
He left his money and commands.
A weight was off the old man's mind
For knowing that he left behind
Enough to pay the last expense,
Appeared to give him confidence
To face the King of terrors grim.
Sweet solace it afforded him
To know that though he had to slave
He'd never fill a pauper's grave.

If only half of the regret
Had been expressed ere 'twas too late
This good man might have closed his eyes
In his own earthly paradise.
For to an independent soul
His home's his castle though a hole;
Nor would he change for courtly halls
The home within his own four walls,
And from his own poor home to part
Might well-nigh break the old man's heart.
Some paltry pence from some full purse
The doctor would have paid, and nurse;
And so his good and honest pride
Had not been broken ere he died.

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

"A heap of dust alone remains of thee,
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud will be."







PITTENCRIEFF GLEN

O blessings on oor Andra
=For gi'en us the Glen,
The sweetest gift he'll ever gi'e
=I carena' hoo or when.
Some o' his gowd micht mak' us rich
=But wi' it we'd ha'e care,
But roon' ilk turn doon by the burn
=There's nocht but pleasure there.

It's bonnie in the Springtime
=When life bursts forth anew,
When ilka blade o' gress glints fresh
=Wi' words o' hope sae true.
When birds that ha'e been chitterin' cauld
=Begin their pipes to tune,
An' frae their throats rich golden notes
=Gi'e thanks to Him abune.

The stalwart trees, their stiff limbs rax
=Then slowly rub their een,
Syne drookin' shoo'rs an' sunny 'oors
=Sune mak' them livin' green.
Ilk branch an' bud is fu' o' life
=An' lauchs wi' joyous ring,
An' wi' sweet charm spread oot each arm
=To clap their hands an' sing.

An' sae throughoot the bonnie Glen
=Ilk inch hauds something sweet:
Unfurlin' fern, or primrose pale,
=Blue-bell, or daisy neat;
In ilka nook that ye may look
=Fresh winders come to view,
On Nature's face it's guid to trace
=God's goodness ever new.







THE WINSOME LASS O' LOGIE

O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen
=In a' the places I ha'e been
There's nane can equal my dear Jean,
=The winsome lass o' Logie.

Though ye shu'd search the country wast
=As far as Stirling Brig,
An' eastward to Saint Andrews Bay
=Ye tramp wi' weary leg,
Ye'll never see in cot or ha',
=Nor ony place I ween,
A lassie half sae trig an' braw
=As my lass, Jean.
===O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen, &c.

Although I'm but a plooman chield,
=An' toil baith late an' early,
I whustle as I turn the field,
=My bosom beatin' rarely.
For hov'rin' near in ilka place
=The birds an' floo'rs I ween
Reca' the voice, an' hint the face
=O' my lass, Jean.
===O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen, &c.

Speed wastlins sun an' coorie doon,
=Come swith, sweet gloamin' grey,
An' I'll be airtin' 'yont the toon
=Wi' my dear lass to stray.
I'll press her to my bosom fain,
=An' pree her moo', I ween,
An' tell love's story owre again
=To my lass, Jean.
===O' a' the lassies I ha'e seen, &c.







LOST LOVE.

I used to sing a sang langsyne,
=When a' my hopes were bricht;
Before death pairted me an' mine,
=And shut out heaven's licht,
When a' the day an' a' the nicht,
=Seemed fu' o' bliss to me;
But noo the tears I often dicht
=When there are nane to see.

I sang it aft when she, my love,
=Was wi' me i' the gloamin',
When in yon weel-remember'd grove
=We carelessly gaed roamin'.
It was a sang o' faithfu' love-
=It micht ha'e been oor ain;
Thought a' the world should disapprove,
=Still faithfu' we'd remain.

An' from the first time that we met,
=Wi' love my heart was fu';
Her beauty I can ne'er forget,
=Her sweetness haunts me noo
Sae gentle, winnin', frank and free,
=She trusted me sincerely;
Her heart I kent was a' for me,
=An' O, I lo'ed her dearly.

But a' my mirth was turned to wae,
=My bricht love-day to nicht,
For death's dark shadow cam' to stay,
=And she was hid frae sicht!
They laid her i' the cauld, cauld ground-
=I lang aft to gang to her;
Nae solace ha'e I ever found,
=For a' my love I gae her.

I wander aften doon the glen,
=Whaur ance we roved thegither;
But nothing seems sae sweet as when
=We roved wi' ane anither.
I used to sing a sang langsyne,
=I sing that sang nae mair;
It sang o' love, an' lost is mine,
=An' O, my heart is sair







THE BAIRNS AT PLAY

I'm auld, maybe, but I love to see
=The noisy bairns at play,
For it mak's me feel that I canna weel
=Be as auld as my ain folks say.
It quickens the bluid an' daes me guid,
=This clamorous mirth sae rare,
An' the merry scene gars my heart grow green,
=Though snaw-white is my hair.

The sparklin' thrill that seems to fill
=The lauch of the merry weans
Juist seems to bizz the rhumatiz
=Richt oot o' my very banes.
An' the lovin' sheen that's in their een
=Sets a lowe to the teen in mine;
Awa' gaes care, an' I'm young ance mair,
=As in the dear langsyne.

Twice forty years wi' a' their cares
=Ha'e bent my shouthers roun',
But I'll ne'er thraw when He gi'es the ca',
=In peace I'll lay me doon.
My days are spent, yet sweet content
=Steals owre me frae the scene
In a sweet day-dream, again I seem
=To dance upon the green.

In harmless mirth dance on, dear weans,
=In a' your noisy glee;
Your jingo-rings a pleasure brings
=That's unco dear to me.
In thocht wi' you I romp amang
=The colls o' the new mown hay,
An' ilka joy that's yours is mines,
=This glorious simmer day.

This warl' at best is a weary fecht
=Frae mornin' sun till mirk.
An' the Valley o' Death, tho' it hauds nae skaith,
=Is a gate we fain wad shirk.
But to see this day the bairns at play
=To me sweet comfort brings,
An' the thochts o' the tomb are bereft o' their gloom
=Wi' a waff frae an angel's wings.







CRADLE SONG

Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
=Daddie's ain darlin' and Minnie's wee doo,
=Heaven's ain sunshine the mirk to beam thro'-
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!

Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
=Yer daddie's awa on the deep, rollin' sea,
=Toilin' for siller to keep you an' me---
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!

Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
=When the win' blaws hie, an' white rides the faem,
=May God guide his boatie, an' bring him safe hame-
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!

Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!
=Sleepin' fu' soond wi' an' angel's saft smile
=Lurkin' anoond yer wee moo' a' the while-
Hushie-baa bairnie, hushie-baa loo!

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Mirk, mirk's the nicht, the skies low'r an' froon,
O Faither in Heaven, wi' kind e'e look doon
On a' yer puir bairnies that's oot on the sea,
An' bring my love hame to the bairnie an' me.







A WEE WOODEN DOLL

Oh! lay it cannie by, John,
=Doon in the bottom draw'r,
Beside her wee bit frocks an' things,
=She'll need, alas! nae mair;
An' hap them up frae sicht, John,
=We'll cherish them wi' care,
For when I see them lying oot
=It mak's my toom heart sair.

Her wee bit bonnie face, John,
=It thrilled my very heart,
When pressed upon my briest to drink
=Did mother's love impart.
It rises up whene'er I see
=A toy or ocht she had,
An' tears, which when she dee'd were dry,
=Come drappin' doon fu' sad.

Nae mair she'll rin to meet ye
=When ye're comin' hame at e'en,
An' clap her bonnie hands, John,
=The welcome aft she's gi'en.
Nae mair she'll claim her dadda's kiss,
=Nor sclim up on yer knee,
Nor row her airms aroond yer neck
=In a' her childish glee.

Her een I'll ne'er forget, John,
=They were sae fu' o' love,
Juist crooded wi' some angel pooer,
=Sent doon frae Heaven above.
She smiled sae sweetly when she dee'd,
=I couldna think her gane;
But ah! her wee bit heart was stilled,
=An' cauld she grew as stane.

But still the smile was there, John,
=An' the licht was in her e'e,
As if she saw some bonnie sicht
=That mortals canna see;
An' peace fell on my troubled soul
=As though some angel nigh,
An' I kent that my wee sufferin' lam'
=Was safely hame on high.

Sae lay it cannie by, John,
=Doon i' the bottom draw'r,
Beside her wee bit frocks an' things,
=She'll need, alas! nae mair;
An' hap them up frae sicht, John,
=We'll gaird them a' wi' care;
But when I see them lyin' oot
=It mak's my toom heart sair.







OOR AIN LITTLE BOB

Oor Bobbie's the sturdiest wean ye e'er saw,
Wi' his cheeks like the roses, an' skin like the snaw
Tho' his face is as aften as black as a craw,
He's the bonniest bairn that ever I saw.
He's ne'er oot a' mischief, his pranks gar me start,
Whene'er I hear onything, thud goes my heart;
For I think that nae mither e'er had sic a job,
As to ha'e sic a wean as oor ain little Bob.

Sometimes he's a sodger, an' armed fu' rare,
The bissim he'll shouther, an' march thro' the flair;
An' aye as he passes his mither or me,
He gi'es us a look, wi' the tail o' his e'e.
Then he'll shoot me, an' I've aye to drap richt doon dead,
Then he brings me to life, by the hair o' th' head;
And deein' or leevin's a grand kind o' job,
For it pleases oor darlin', oon ain little Bob.

Then he'll mak' me his horse, an' owner gey siccar!
For owre hill and dale I've to gang wi' a bicker,
I pace like the leddies, an' like the gent's trot,
But the gallopin' cadger aye beats the hale lot.
Then whiles I've to gang on my hands an' my knees,
An' be a wild beast, the young man to please;
I'll whiles be an elephant, sometimes a bear,
An' as long as we're happy what needs we care.

The cat aften gets its full share o' what's gaun,
Held up by the legs, on its head it'll staun'
An' syne by the tail he'll gi'e her a swing,
An' yell when wi' her claws, to him she'll cling.
His mither's delicht is to see neat an' clean
Her ain little laddie just like a new preen;
But bless you, his peenie is no' clean a minute,
For whaur there's some dirt he is shair to be in it.

He'll play in the coal-hole wi' evident joy,
An' to get in a backet's an' awfu' fine ploy;
He'll eat up the cinders to hear his teeth crunch,
An' laugh wi' enjoyment at his free lunch.
But when wi' his claes aff, he gi'es me a kiss,
I think in the world there's nae greater bliss,
Than weans an' a wife, wi' the blessin' o' Heaven,
An' I pray that wi' grief oor hearts ne'er may be riven.







WHEN E'ENIN' SHADOWS

When e'enin' shadows settle doon,
An' peace fa's saft on a' aroon',
I leave the dinsome noisy toon,
==To wander by the Devon;
An' there I meet my jewel rare-
There's few wi' her that can compare;
What heavenly bliss I ha'e seen there,
==Beside the wimplin' Devon.

Gie gowd to misers, croons to kings-
Gie me the 'oor that Mary brings,
When love a gowden glamour flings
==On a' beside the Devon;
The wimplin' burnie rins alang,
The birds sing out their heartsome sang-
Wi' love's auld story we are thrang,
==While wanderin' by the Devon.

Sing on, sweet birds, thy sangs o' glee,
They aye seem fu' o' love to me-
The love that glints frae Mary's e'e,
==While rovin' by the Devon.
Oh! guard, kind Heaven, my lassie fair,
May snell winds miss my blossom rare,
An' to this lovin' bosom spare,
==Sweet Mary o' the Devon.







A SONG FOR THE QUEEN

=I sing to the Queen a song of love,
==Allegiance true I swear,
=May guardian angels from above
==Be near to hear my prayer.
=Her rights I'll guard and never yield
==Till death shall lay me low;
=My breast shall be the targe to shield
==Her safe from every foe.

CHORUS.
Then here's to the Queen, long may she reign,
=God keep her free from strife.
Long live the Queen!  God bless the Queen!
=The Queen of Queens!  My wife.

=I give to the Queen my heart and hand,
==My labour and my love,
=And only wait for her command
==My faithfulness to prove.
=Should sorrow-clouds obscure the sun,
==Or grief awaken tears,
=Kind Heaven! oh, spare my dearest one,
==And banish all her fears.

CHORUS.
Then here's to the Queen, long may she reign,
=God keep her free from strife.
Long live the Queen!  God bless the Queen!
=The Queen of Queens!  My wife.

=Now some folks may say 'tis a selfish song,
==But all you have to do
=Is to sing this song with a fervour strong
==Of your own wife good and true.
=So fill your glasses to the brim,
==And pledge each man his own,
=The peerless Queen who belongs to him,
==And reigns in his heart alone.

CHORUS.
Then sing this refrain, long may she reign,
=God keep her free from strife.
God bless the Queen!  Long live the Queen!
=The peerless Queen!  My wife.







AULD SCOTLAND FOR ME

Ye needna sing yer sangs to me
=O' launds that's faur awa',
Whaur glit'rin' gowd gars gowks ga'e gyte,
=An' honour's tint an' a'.
Whaur love a' gowd wi' am'rous airms
=Twines roan' an' roan' the heart,
An' captivates wi' Clootie's charms
=Cuifs frae the manly pairt.

Ye needna rave o' fairer scenes,
=Whaur floo'rs are aye in bloom;
Whaur skies are aye o' unfleck'd blue,
=Nor kens o' misty gloom.
Gi'e me the dour an' dorty land,
=Wi' a' her faults, my lads
Her rugged hills, her gurglin' rills,
=Her mosses purple clad.

Let's sing a' Bonnie Scotland, lads,
=The laund we lo'e sae weel;
The laund whaur Bruce an' Wallace focht,
=Fair freedom's brae to spiell.
The laund whaur Allan Ramsay sprang,
=Hogg, Scott, an' Tannahill;
An' Burns, whase strains a' deathless sang
=Gars oor hearts tingle still.

O leeze me on ye Scotland, dear,
=My heart for you is fain;
My a' I'd fling gin I cud sing
=O' thee in worthy strain.
Yer whinny knowes in green an' gowd,
=Yer gowan spangled lea,
Yer lochs an' bens, yer burns an' glens-
=Auld Scotland, aye for me.







BONNIE BIELDSIDE.

O bonnie Bieldside by the auld river Dee,
Whaur kind hearts are waitin' a welcome to gi'e,
Whaur simmer seems taigled bewitched wi' the scene
O' the clachan that lies smoor'd in purple and green.

The heich hills aroon' it, majestic and graund,
A' rugged an' silent, like sentinels staund;
Below lies the valley, enchantin', serene,
Arrayed in a rich broider'd mantle o' green.

The sleepless auld Dee cuddles close in the howe,
An' jinks mony witch-stane an' fay-haunted knowe.
Whiles brawlin' an' whiles like a wean sleepin' soun',
Whiles clear as a crystal, whiles drumlie an' broon,

The lav'rock hings hiech owre the ripenin' grain,
An' pours fourth a sang makin' weary hearts fain,
In e'ein' the mavis's music rings clear,
An' the win' wafts the chimes o' the Blair to oor ear.

O fair is the dell whaur yon wee burnie rins,
An' bonnie's the tassels o' gowd on the whins,
The green shady lane that leads doon to the Dee,
Luxuriously verdant, delichts heart and e'e.

O bonnie Bieldside wi' yen heather-clad braes,
Though puir, its a heart-sang I sing in your praise,
May peace aye abide an' may joy ever be,
Wi' a' in Bieldside by the auld river Dee.







GLOAMIN' AN' NICHTFA'

"It's growin' dark": the voice was low
=And husky, as the old man spoke;
Beside the bed his dear wife stood,
=Her sob the stillness broke.

"There's something comin' in my throat,
=I scarce can breathe; wife, gi'e me air-
The window lift, that I may see
=The trees and sky aince mair.

"The birds are singin' sweet to-day,
=Singin' their auld familiar song;
But, hark ! there's ither voices there
=As o' an angel throng.

"Aye! there they are: oh, bonnie sicht.
=Look wife: look there and see;
Oh, great and blessed Jesus! look,
=They're beckoning on me.

"I canna stay, sweet wife, guid-bye,
=With Christ I'm going home;"
A glorious light illumes the sky-
=He murmurs low, "I come."

*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

A tremulous quiver like a falling leaf;
=Borne on the breeze came a lark's sweet trill;
A heart-rent wail, a broken sob-
=Then all, all was still.







THE WANDERER'S SANG

=Eh! I'm gled that I'm back in my bonnie wee land,
Whaur the thistle an' heather an' sweet blue-bells grow,
Whaur the sweet bunnie rins doon the mountains sae grand-
=Eh! I'm gled that I'm back in Auld Scotland.
Whaur the hearts are aye leal an' the frien's are aye true,
Although fortune's storms should ha'e shut oot the blue,
Their hands are aye ready to help a man through-
=Eh! man, we should be prood o' Scotland.

=Then here's to Auld Scotland, the thistle, the heather,
==An' here's to the bonnie wee blue-bell an' a',
=An' here's to her mountains an' glens a' th'gether,
==The land we lo'e best when we're faur faur awa'.

=Although in faur lands owre the seas we may roam,
Whaur the sun shines faur brichter an' a' thing looks grand,
The heart a' a Scotsman skips licht ower the foam
=An' his thochts are awa' in Auld Scotland;
Though the palm trees are wavin' an' warm waffs the wind,
Nae solace at a' in the scene can he find,
Though the binds are a' bonnie, wi' notes sweetly tuned,
=His heart is at hame in Auld Scotland.

=Then here's to Auld Scotland, the thistle, the heather,
==Her lasses sae bonnie, her lads leal an' a',
=An' here's to the bonnie wee land a' th'gether,
==The land we lo'e best when we're faur faur awa.







MOTHER

There's naebody feels like a mother,
=Nane suffers sae deep or sae sair;
==When ane o' the flock
==Is ta'en frae the stock,
=She suffers aye mair than her share.

There's naebody loves like a mother-
=Sae watchfu', sae kind, and sae winnin';
==Though they've erred an' dune ill,
==Her heart yearns still,
=For her wanderin' lamb in its sinnin'.

There's naebody sighs like a mother-
=The past years are a' like a look;
==An' aften through tears,
==She looks through the years,
=An' sees a' oor life in a'e look.

There's naebody greets like a mother-
=Hoo often, alone and untold;
==An' if tears could atone
==For the wanderin' one,
=They'd a' he brocht back to the fold.

There's naebody prays like a mother,
=For she cares nae at a' for hersel';
==It's aye for her offspring
==To God she is whisp'ring-
=Hoo often, He only can tell.

Be guid, then, an' kind to yer mother-
=She's worth a' that you can bestow;
==A fine sculptured stone
==Can never atone
=For neglect o' her while here below.







A FACE I SAW YESTREEN

A bonnie face I saw yestreen
=Has set my heart aglow-
Pierced through an' through wi' glances keen,
=As by the lance o' foe!
I kenna what it's really been
=That's laid me low.

I wonder what it was ava'
=That did the harm?
Was it her broo, as white's the snaw,
=That hid the charm?
Or was't her cheeks that did it a'
=Wi' blushes warm?

Or was't the smile that roond her moo'
=Like sunbeams played?
Or was't her hair that bonnie grew
=O' gowden shade?
Or was't because I thocht her true,
=Nae jiltin' jade?

It micht ha'e been her winsome form
=That wrecked my peace;
'Twas trig an' neat, an' fu' o' charm
=An' quiet grace;
Or maybe what did a' the harm
=Was her sweet face.

A bonnie face I saw yestreen
=Has set my heart aglow-
Pierced through and through wi' glances keen,
=As by the lance a' foe!
It was her glancin', spanklin' een
=That's laid me low.







SWEET ANN O' SALINE

The sky was clean, an' fresh the morn,
=The dew on fields had fallen,
The air was scented wi' the thorn
=As I gaed up to Saline.
A treasure's there that's sweeter far
=Than gear or gowd to man-
At least to me she's meeter far,
=My lichtsome, lo'esome lassie Ann.

Amang the leaves the saft winds played;
=It was owre sune to fa';
The sun shone doon on hill an' glade,
=An' a' the scene was braw;
Fu' sweet the early blossoms flang
=Their fragrance, care to ban,
While ilka bird had tuned its sang
=Aboot my charming lassie Ann.

It's bonnie when the spring awakes
=An' tells the floo'rs to bloom,
The tender ferns strew the brakes,
=The tassels deck the broom;
For a' the smiles that fortune's gi'en,
=Since e'er the world began,
I haud them lichtly as a freen'
=Beside my dearest lassie Ann.







FOUR SCORE

Eh, megstie me!  I'm awfu' dune,
=I'm scarcely fit to walk,
The only thing there's smeddum in
='S my tongue, I aye can talk;
But, waes me, man, my sicht's faur through,
=I'm nae use wantin' specs;
But mind ye, man, I'm eichty noo,
=An' sae I needna vex.

I've seen the day I cu'd ha'e run
=A mile juist fast eneuch,
But noo at a' I cu'dna rin,
=I ha'e nae ony puff;
An' though I had, I cu'dna dae't,
=My legs are stiff an' sair,
Wi' that confoonded rhumatiz
=I scarce can cross the flair.

What? my hearin'?  No sae bad,
=No mebbie juist sae gleg,
As when a weel-faured, strappin' lad,
=I coorted my wife Meg;
But, man, though I was deaf's a post,
=I cu'dna weel complain,
For I'm gey auld, an' age ye ken
=It disna come it's lane.

But, man, wi' a' my troubles,
=I'd bauld be to complain,
For I've a ruif abune my head,
=An' what's mair, it's my ain.
An' there's my guid auld wife besides,
=Aye joggin' on fu' cannie,
Richt prood to share whate'er betides,
=An' cling to her auld mannie.

Oor bairns a' are spared to us,
=A' spared an' daein' weel,
An' mind us aye at certain times,
=An' young again we feel;
As when oor waddin' day comes roond,
=A' that can come are there,
Eh, man! but it's a bonnie sicht,
=An' ane that's unco rare.

Oo aye, we ken the time's gey short,
=That nicht-fa's drawin' near;
But, man, He's aye been guid to us,
=An' we ha'e nocht to fear.
For we've aye dune oor very best,
=To keep the narrow road,
An' aft we've gi'en a helpin' hand
=To lich'en some yin's load.

But there!  I needna boast o' that,
=For what we could we did,
An' He abune tak's tent o' a'
=Frae Him there's naething hid.
An' sae we trust Him fairly,
=Though we hinna ony claim;
An' houp when darkness settles doon,
=He'll tak' us safely Hame.







FLORA M'KANE

The lauds are a' sighin' for Flora M'Kane,
=They're manein' an' cryin' for Flora M'Kane,
An' ilka ane's jealous o' a' ither fellows,
For favour, they're zealous for Flora M'Kane.

She's snod an' she's sweet is dear Flora M'Kane,
She's coy an' she's neat is dear Flora M'Kane,
She's juist as complete as ane weel could meet,
A rich an' rare treat is dear Flora M'Kane.

Hoo gracefu' an' denty is Flora M'Kane,
Hoo kindly and genty is Flora M'Kane,
The floo'rs seem to sigh when she passes them by,
An' boo doon their heads to my Flora M'Kane.

Dark blue are the een o' sweet Flora M'Kane,
Lips, temptin' I ween, has neat Flora M'Kane,
'Twere owre muckle bliss e'en to think o' a kiss
Frae the sweet mou' o' this charmin' Flora M'Kane.

Sae tunefu's the voice o' rare Flora M'Kane,
The echoes rejoice owre fair Flora M'Kane,
The birds in the brake their ain sang forsake
An' list to the flute notes o' Flora M'Kane.

The lauch is heart-cheerin' frae Flora M'Kane,
Does ane guid the hearin' frae Flora M'Kane,
The sun dispels gloom, so care kens his doom,
For rapture sits doon wi' bricht Flora M'Kane.

May rich blessin's gang wi' ye, Flora M'Kane,
Alang wi' my sang to ye, Flora M'Kane,
Though haltin' its measure my heart will aye treasure
The mem'ry o' meetin' wi' Flora M'Kane.







WHAUR ARE A' THE KENT FOLKS

O whaur are a' the kent folks?
=Come, say whaur are they gane;
Has mither earth closed owre their mirth
=An' am I left alane?
The music o' their voices ring
=In cadence on my ear,
An' in the haze o' bygane days
=Dream faces hover near.

In yonder land across the sea
=My hungerin' heart aft yearned,
Aince mair to rove, by burn an' grove,
=Whaur nature-love I learned.
To grip the hand o' comrades dear
=An' ha'e their welcome fain,
An' in an 'oor wi' mem'ry's po'er
=Live auld days owre again.

But wae's me! sirs, they're a' awa',
=Gane as they'd never been:
Some sleepin' soond in holy ground,
=Some wanderers are I ween.
An' a' the joy I conjured up
=Has juist been grief to me,
For the dear auld place wi' nae kent face
=I canna thole to see.







A BAIRN

What is it mak's a happy hame,
What is it feeds love's golden flame,
An' a' body's attention claim?
=A cheerie, steerie bairn.

What is it gars a mither ha'e
Mair patience than the Lord e'er ga'e
To ony puir man wed to wae?
=A peengin', wheengin' bairn.

What multiplies a mither's wark
Frae early morn when springs the lark,
Till gloamin' deepens into dark?
=A fykie, fashous bairn.

What is it when yer heart strings throb
Wi' angel charm yer pain can rob,
An' steal the grief oot o' yer sob?
=A leesome, lo'esome bairn.

What is it mak's the hoose resoond
Wi' rosy mirth the hale day roond,
An' fills the heart wi' joy profoond?
A lithesome, blythesome bairn.

Hoo can a lovin' mither pree
A sweeter blossom than the bee?
Just kissin' fain wi' am'rous glee
=A rosie, cosie bairn.







LITTLE CURLY POW

There's the gem o' bairns, there
Lyin' scram'lin' on the flair;
Losh! his feetie maun be sair-
=Puir wee Curly Pow;
Lift him up an' kiss the sair-
=Bonnie Curly Pow.

Dimpled cheeks, an' stumpy feet,
Ruby lips, like cherries sweet,
Een that scarcely ken to greet-
=Little Curly Pow;
Ne'er a mither had a treat,
=Like my wee Curly Pow.

Een o' blue, an' ruby moo,
Rosy cheeks, an' stately broo,
Faither's pet an' mither's doo-
=Little Curly Pow;
That's a picture fair an' true
=O' my wee Curly Pow.

Things he does wad mak' ye stare!
See him sclim on daddy's chair!
Losh! he's up on't I declare!-
=Fearless Curly Pow;
But ye're safer on the flair,
=Bonnie Curly Pow.

Did ye dunt yer headie, dear,
When ye tummled doon the stair?
Raised a lump! it wasna fair
=Puir wee Curly Pow;
Certies, but I'll lick it sair,
=For hurtin' Curly Pow.

Gallopin' on daddy's knee,
Hear him crawin' lood wi' glee
When his daddy cries "gee-gee"-
=Lauchin' Curly Pow;
"Banb'ry Cross" he's aff to see,
=Wi' little Curly Pow.

Sleepin' in his cosy bed,
Gently lay his little head,
Mither's prayers are owre him said,
="Spare wee Curly Pow;
An' mak' a man baith wise an' guid
=O' my wee Curly Pow."







HUSHIE-BA' LOO

==Cuddle in cosie,
===Close as ye can,
==In mammie's bosie,
===Bonnie wee man.
==Mammie'll sing ye
===A bonnie wee sang;
==Daddie'll bring ye
===Something ere lang.
Hushie-ba', lammie, hushie-ba' loo,
Lammie-loo, shut yer een, hushie-ba' noo.

==What can I dae noo?
===No sleepin' yet?
==Eh, man! I'm wae noo,
===Bonnie wee pet.
==What is't that ails ye?
===What gars ye greet?
==Cuddle in cosie,
===Sweetest o' sweet.
Hushie-ba', lammie, hushie-ba' loo,
Lammie-loo, shut yer een, husbie-ba' noo.

==Up in the black lum
===Geordie's aye near;
==Doon here he daurna come,
===Na, na, nae fear.
==Into his stoorie pock
===Gang weans that greet;
==Wheesht, and you'll hear him knock
===Wi' his big feet.
Hushie-ba', lammie, hushie-ba' loo,
Lammie-loo, shut yer een, hushie-ba' noo.

==What's that he's speerin'?
==="Wha's here the nicht?"
==O'd sakes, I'm fearin'
===A'thing's no' richt.
=="Naebody's here, man,
===But 'winkie-wee.'
==What mak's ye spier, man?
===Wha is't ye see?"
Hushie-ba', lammie, hushie-ba' loo,
Lammie-loo, shut yer een, hushie-ba' noo.

=="There's a wean greetin'
===Ken ye his name?
==I cam' to meet 'im,
===An' tak' 'im hame."
=="Aye, man, there was ane,
===But he's awa;
==Sae you'd best be gane,
===Mak' nae fraca'."
Hushie-ba', lammie, hushie-ba' loo,
Lammie-loo, shut yer een, hushie-ba' noo.

==Certies, he's got a fricht,
===Clean up the lum;
==Back here anither nicht
===He'll no daur come.
==*=*=*=*=*
==Women and muckle men
===Aft need a fley,
==Something tae keep them
===Frae gangin' agley.
Eh! he's asleep at last-gled am I noo;
Steekit his een are fast, sweet lammie-loo.

===*=*=*=*=*

==Eh, mithers! the fecht
===When the bairnies are wee;
==But for gowd, wecht for wecht,
===We wadna them gi'e.
==We lo'e them 'bune a',
===Tho' often we chide;
==An' we ken for ilk ma'
===That the Lord will provide.

==We gaird them wi' care
===Till they toddle alane,
==And bid them beware
===O' the slippery stane;
==An' often we pray
===To the wise Ane abune,
==That they'll ne'er gang astray,
===An' keep free frae sin.

==An' when, wi' the nicht fa,
===We gang the lang road,
==Oh, may kindly licht fa'
===An' airt us to God.
==The King o' the land
===I trust we will see;
==An' He'll rax out His hand,
===Kindly welcome to gi'e.







THE AULD KIRK BELLS: A WANDERER'S PLAINT

The Auld Kirk Bells, hoo sweet the soond
=O' the sang they sing to me,
I hear them aft in my thochts o' hame,
=In this laund faur owre the sea;
An' morn an' e'en, awake I dream,
=For it hauds me in a spell-
An' my een grows dim, when I hear the chime
=O' the soond a' the Auld Kirk Bell.

It's mony a year sin' I left the toon,
=Sin' I looked at the graund auld pile,
Wi' it's buttress'd wa's, an' it's steepled to'er
=O' it's ain queer faushioned style;
But I see it fine, as I did langsyne,
=What I feel I canna tell-
On my cheek there's a tear, when I think I hear
=The clang o' the Auld Kirk Bell.

I see the folks i' their Sunday braws
=A' airtin' to God's hoose
Wi' cannie gait, an' tak' their seat
=Decorously an' douce;
I hear the minister gi'e oot
=The Psaulm, an' hear them singin',
An' the sweet refrain o' the sacred strain
=Faint in my ear is ringin'.

The singin' soond o' the Auld Kirk Bells
=Brings a warm flood frae my heart,
An' breeds a bliss, like a bairnie's kiss
=Gars heart hame-hungerin' start;
An' misty faces come an' gang,
=An' voices we loved well,
Seem circlin' roond an' blends wi' the soond
=O' the sough a' the Auld Kirk Bell.

O juist to see the place aince mair,
=An' hear the bells again,
An' hear the cheer o' some comrade dear,
=I'm yearnin' aft fu' fain;
The very thocht o't mak's me gled,
=Wi' joy my bosom swells
For the Auld Grey Toon an' the hauntin' soond
=O' the bonnie Auld Kirk Bells.







THE BANNOCKS THAT MY MITHER USED TO MAK'

Lang years ha'e passed sin' I left hame,
=An' mony launds I've seen,
Sin' last I trod the weel-kent streets
=Some sairly cheenged ha'e been;
But yesterday I got a sniff
=That made my sair heart crack,
For it brocht to mind the bannocks
=That my mither used to mak'.

I was walkin', fondly dreamin',
=An' no seein' ocht I'm shair,
When a warm waff o' bakin'
=Cam' frae oot an open door,
An' roond aboot my heart it gaed,
=It took me lang years back,
An' I saw the raw o' bannocks
=That my mither used to mak'.

I stood an' saw, as in a dream,
=A scene fu' sweet an' rare-
A wee auld hoose, wi' open door,
=An' bairnies on the flair-
Some sax or seven hungry weans,
=An' me amang the pack,
A' waitin' on the bannocks
=That my mither used to mak'.

An' as the tears welled owre my een,
=I saw my mither's face
As it was in the days langsyne,
=Ilk feature I could trace;
Her sleeves row'd up, her aipron on,
=Her mutch strings hingin' slack,
While she tended to the bannocks
=That she used sae weel to mak'.

She could mak' a kind wi' tawties
=Feenished aff wi' halesome meal
(Wi' a half ane in my pouch weel stow'd
=I've aft set oot to schule):
An' when we had a routh o' floor
=Some treackle she micht tak',
An' pit some in the bannocks
=That my mither used to mak'.

I ha'e feasted wi' the Yankees,
=I ha'e dined wi' Parley-voos;
I ha'e filled my wame wi' fricassees,
=Wi' entrées an' ragoos;
But midst it a' I've aften sighed
=For a'e bit tuithsome snack-
A bit butter an' the bannocks
=That my mither used to mak'.







JOHN NEVER-PLEASED

A rhymin' chield in days gane by,
=John Grumlie pictured fine,
But 'odsake dinna think he's dead,
=There's plenty o' his kin'.
They're hardly ever in the richt,
=But aye "It's you that's wrang";
They'll yerp an' argy owre a threed
=Till it's a tether lang.

Their claes are auld, their hats are bashed,
=Their buits are lettin' in;
An' blamin' some ane else for'd a'
=Is their besettin' sin.
There's something wrang at breakfast time,
=But gin the truth was kent,
'Twas started ere he left the wark,
=An' noo it's gettin' vent.

Some faut he's dune, an' kent fu' weel
=That he shu'd bear the strife;
But na! he sulks an' hauds his tongue,
=Then pits it on his wife.
Puir sowl, she kens na what to do,
=She wants to soothe his ire,
But gin a single word she says-
=Phoof! the fat is in the fire!

He'll tell her then "her tongue ne'er lies,
=But wags for evermair;
She deaves him wi' her constant clack
=Until his lugs are sair."
But he'll yerp on far hauf-an-'oor
=An' aye the angrier grow,
His ain tongue actin' like the wind
=That fresher fans the lowe.

If parritch be upon the board-
="Huh! parritch every day!"
If ham an' eggs, I'll wager ye
=That he wad quickly say-
"Ye've shairly plenty siller-'od
=Ye'd think we're made o't-fegs
Whaever saw a workin' man
=Fed up an ham an' eggs?"

At denner time, shu'd it be kail
=That's laid doon on the table,
He'll likely say "What, kail again?"
=An' raise a din like Babel.
"The peas are hard," the "leeks owre big,"
="I'm sham they're faur owre saut,"
"They're scant a' barley," "faur owre green,"
=An' mony anither fau't.

Gin't had been soup it's very like
=The fau't had been the same-
The tawties tastin' badly, then
=The wife is still to blame.
I've seen me aften winder, hoo
=A woman's bluid could stand
Sic snash frae onything on legs,
=An' tholin', haud her hands!

I've aften windered hoo it cam'
=Thae kind e'er got a wife,
An' hoo they coorted is to me
=A queery a' my life,
They are sae scrimp o' human love
=Nor ken o' earthly bliss;
I dinna think they ken the wey
=To cuddle or to kiss.

I canna think hoo women folk
=E'er taigle wi' sic men,
Unless it be, they're fear'd a chance
=May never come again;
But better faur to bide a maid
=In a'e wee room wi' pleasure,
Than drudge an' toil for ony man
=Wha thinks himsel' a treasure!

I dinna like to stir up strife-
=That's no the way wi' me-
I'd raither dae my very best
=To mak' a'body 'gree;
An' sae although I tell this tale
=Ye maunna think I'm sayin'
It's what you wives should ever think
=On gaun awa an' daein'.

==*=*=*

John Never-Pleased was mairrit to
=A lass ca'd Leezebeth Loman;
I kent her in her maiden days
=A cheery, cracky woman;
A better winder never stuid
=An' carefu' watched a frame;
But efter she got mairrit! man-
=She never seemed the same.

Hooever, ere a year had gane,
=Mair trouble to be sharin',
Puir Leebie's haunds were sairer tied
=Wi' a bit bonnie bairn.
But Leebie's life hung by a threed,
=An' dreech, dreech was her mendin';
John didna muckle seem to care
=Whether 'twas "mend" or "endin'."

Hooever, Leeb at last got weel,
=Her strength cam' slowly back;
'Twas little sympathy or help
=She got frae John, alack!
But roon' an' roon' her hungerin' heart,
=E'en to its inmost core,
The bairn twined an' filled her heart
=As't ne'er had been before.

Noo ere the first (the lassie bairn)
=Was turned three year auld,
A wee bit brither cam' to claim
=A sta' in Leebie's fauld;
But spite o' care an' doctor's skill,
=An' a'thing o' the best,
He dwin'd an' dee'd-the bonnie lam'
=Was better faur at rest.

Twa years passed by-the wee bit lass
=Was five year auld that day,
By way o' celebratin' it
=Her mither fond did say-
"I'll mak' a sandwiche puddin', lass
=(If guid ye'll mind an' be),
Wi' plenty fine strawberry jam-
=Ye'll get it to your tea."

At sax o'clock in stappit John,
=His broos pursed wi' a froon,
The puddin' wis juist aff the fire,
=An' Leeb wis lowsen'd doon;
He grumphed aboot "extravagance
=O' a' the women kind,"
Hoo puir folks' siller was misspent,
=According to his mind.

Leeb's cheeks lowed up, her lips gaed ticht,
=Then on the impulse sudden
She threw wi' a' her micht at him
=The bilin' jeely puddin'.
It struck him on the chafts an' neck
=An' scoudered him, I'll swear
He yelled an' danced, an' turned aboot,
=An' bolted doon the stair.

The neebours when they saw John rin,
=Wi' puddin' ornamented,
Declared his brains had been ca'd oot,
=An' twa-three nearly fented.
But John ne'er halted in his speed
=Till weel ootside the toon,
Nor ventured to seek hame again
=Till darkness settled doon.

It cured him, though, I'm prood to say-
=Leeb's onslacht cured him fairly-
An' frae that day it cheenged him sac
=He grummles unco rarely;
An' shu'd it chance that ony day
=He'll no dae what he's buddin',
Leeb's juist to look an' nod her head,
=An' whisper-"Mind the puddin'!"







A TREACKLE PEECE

There's joy a' roond the very soond
=O' my dear mither's voice;
My bosom thrills, an' gladness fills
=My heart, an' I rejoice
When I think on my bairnhood days,
=My petty cares a' cease,
I'm young aince mair an' stand to share
=A muckle treackle peece.

The scene I see in my mind's e'e
=Hauds nocht ye cu'd ca' rare-
A kitchen dear wi' simple gear,
=An' bairnies in the flair,
A mither busy wi' her wark
=That never seems to cease,
The noisy brood a' cryin' lood
=An' yammerin' for a peece.

"What I peeces noo?  I seena hoo
=Ye can be needin' bread,
Gin ye had claut yer coggies toom
='Twad ne'er been in yer head."
"It's juist a sin, ye're never dune,
=My pantry ye fair fleece;"
But as she spak' the loaf she'd tak'
=An' cut ilk ane a peece.

There's Tib an' me cu'd ne'er agree
=Wha'd get the thickest slice,
My mither aften seemed to doot
=If we were really wice.
She'd tell me to gang doon the stair
=Or else she'd "kaim my heckle,"
An' Tib wad bounce that she had got
=An extra slaik o' treackle.

Oh, mony waes since thae sweet days
=Ha'e wrung my mither's heart,
My faither's, too, though dull an' wae
=To mither's maistly airt;
But owre them a', the Wise abune
=Has cannie held her up,
An' o' her faith through dule an' death
=She's never lost her grup.

Baith west an' east, to fair an' feast,
='Mang "gentles" an' 'mang "commons,"
Baith late an' ear' I've aft been there,
=But, man! in a' my roamin's
Sometimes we canna help but sigh,
=For siclike ploys surcease,
Shove Auld Time back, an' stand to tak'
=A muckle treackle peece.







PLAYIN' SHOP

Yesterday was very wet,
=An' mother had to go
To town-she had some things to get-
=It often happens so.
But when it's fine, of course we play
=At some game in the garden,
Like "Water, water wallflower"
=or "Dolly, Dolly Varden."

But yesterday, I said, was wet,
=And so, of course, we couldn't
Play any games outside; at least
=Our mother said we shouldn't.
So we got some partic'lar friends,
=Who live quite close beside us,
To come and say they'd spend the day,
=And mother didn't chide us.

Now, Ella, she's the mother
=When the mother "goes to town,"
And when she tells us what to do
=It's done without a frown.
She kissed wee Babbsy's tears away
=When he fell with a flop,
And made him smile because she said
="You'll help me to keep shop."

We'd Mable Webb-she stays next door-
=And little Johnny Skinner,
His mother made us promise
=That we'd send him home to dinner.
We'd little Willie with his watch,
=And little Molly Hope,
And Fanny, too, they all were in
=To help us playin' shop.

A chair that hasn't got a back
=(It fell and ne'er was mended)
It was the shop, and then two stools
=On right and left extended,
They were the counters, laden well
=With line on line of treasure;
We'd everything to satisfy
=Necessity or pleasure.

For scales we took our Daddy's hats,
=His stick was made the beam;
And with some strings we tied them on
=And they all right did seem.
A paper torn up into bits
=Was ready money found,
A small piece was a penny,
=And a large bit was a pound.

Ella was the grocery man
=And sold most everything,
And put on airs as if she were
=Purveyor to the King.
Of course, she could do as she liked,
=We dared not disagree;
She knew there was no other shop
=Where we could go, you see.

Her goods were very, very dear;
=But then we were quite willing
To buy up little biscuits
=At a sixpence and a shilling.
Her weights were very, very light,
=At least it seemed to me,
Two pounds of sugar you would need
=To sweeten a cup of tea.

Some shells we gathered at the sea
=Were nuts and things like these
Sand was sugar, bread was ham,
=And coal was sold as cheese;
Some buttons and some bits of string
=Were sold for chains and watches,
For "bundled wood for kindling fires"
=We tied up half-burnt matches.

Some little bits of broken delf
=Were sold for crockery ware,
And cups were sold, I give my word,
=At two-and-six a pair;
And all our caps and jackets, too,
=Were added to the stock,
And sold by Mistress Ella quick,
=While we were playin' shop.

Whenever anything was asked
=That wasn't asked before,
The keeper of the store would look
=All round the well-stocked store,
And say, with quite a pleasing air,
="I'm really very sorry
We're out of it just now, but we
=Will have it in to-morry."

To-morry in some minutes came
=(Time didn't count a button)
And then the coal that had been cheese
=Was sold for beef and mutton.
And so we went on playing shop
=As happy as could be,
Till all at once there came to pass
=A sad catastrophie.

Wee little Babs who seemed to think
=The shop was splendid fun,
Took up a piece of crockery
=In mistake for a bun.
On the unhappy incident
=I need not longer linger,
He howled, nor would be pacified
=Because he'd cut his finger.

A rat-tat sounded on the door,
=Who was it?  Mistress Skinner!
She'd come for little Johnnie, dear,
=To take him home for dinner;
And then our mother she came in,
=Our game we had to stop,
But we were happy as could be
='Cause we'd been playin' shop.







A BIRTHDAY GREETING

ACROSTIC

Another milestone you pass to-day,
=Come let us joy together
Now that the smiling month of May
=Reigns with genial weather,
Nature opes the buds, and flowers
=Anew to life are springing,
In leafing trees, and budding bowers,
=Inspired birds are singing,
E'en so sing I, and fondly pray
=God send you many a natal day.







SCOTTISH WISDOM

Auld Allan Ramsay said lang syne
=In language terse an' bricht,
That happiness springs frae a mind
=Whase principles are richt,
An' o' the means to keep it aye
=In healthy clear condition,
So that ane can keep up the crack
=Whate'er be his position,
Is learnin' sayings, quaint and auld,
=That ha'e come doon through ages,
An' haud mair wisdom in their fauld
=Than beuks wi' many pages.

His strong appeal nae doot did weel
=In thae days lang awa,'
But careless rust an' ages' dust
=Ha'e happit maist them a'.
They're lost as gin' they'd never been,
=Except at ant'rin times,
When some auld buddy strings aff ane
=That wi' the confab rhymes.
The young ears that the "proverb" hears
=Are cockit-dinna doot,
An' waukened wits are keen to ken
=What ilka word's aboot.

The pawky words - auld-farrant, queer,
=Are juist like Greek and Laitin,
An' fair upset the young folks-yet
=The truth I'm laithfu' statin'.
They kenna that for pith an' po'er
=There mither-tongue's historic,
An' that thochts tak' a firmer grup
=Expressed in bonnie Doric.
Noo, here are some "proverbial" lines,
=That arena waled wi' care,
But ta'en haphazard frae a stock
=Whaur there are plenty mair:-

"Lat alane mak's mony a lurden";
="Mony haunds mak' licht wark";
Thowlessness has aye a burden;
=Gaun-tae never weesh a sark;
"Thole, aye thole, is gweed for burns";
="Kame sindle, kame sair"
Canna, winna, never learns;
=Sulky carle coorts care.
"A gangin' fit is aye gettin,
=Gin it be but a thorn,"
"Pampered bairns are aft begrutten,"
="Thangs are easier coft than corn."

"He rives the Kirk to theik the quire"
=Is just oor wey o' sayin'
We're robbin' Peter o' his hire
=That Paul we may be payin'.
A chield that mak's a story lang
=Is brankit by the Scot,
"Gi'e him a hair" he isna thrang
=He'll mak' a tether o't.
"Ye're as lang in tunin' yer pipes, my lad,
=As another wad play a spring"
Is lattin' the airn black and cauld
=Ere we gar the anvil ring.

"A brank-new bissom soops clean"
=But owre it "mak' nae sang,"
An "he that will to Cupar, freen,
=Maun e'en to Cupar gang."
"Bourd na wi' bawtie lest he bites,"
="Aince peyed should ne'er be craved,"
"Wary deem, an' wat wha' wytes"
=Adders arena easy deaved.
"Mony sma's sune mak' a muckle,"
=An' "Ill weeds wax aye weel."
Sypin' leglans waste a puckle,
="Tell the truth an' shame the deil."

"Mair whistle than woo, as the souter said
=When shearing the baxter's soo,"
"Ilka ane to her taste as the auld wife said
=When she kissed the brockit-coo"
Baudrons lippened wi' a bird
=Is plainly coortin' skaith,
"As sure as death's" yer hinmaist word
=An' bindin' as an' aith.
"Reivers shouldna rewers be"
="Dummy canna lee at a'"
"Aye flee laich if lang ye'd flee"
="Nae plie is best o' a'."
"There's watter whaur the stirkie droons"
="Folly's a bonnie doug,"
"Ye canna weel mak' silken goons
=Frae oot an auld soo's lug."

There's plenty sayings juist like thae
=That only want the seekin',
Let ilka ane up an' buckle tae
=An' keep the puddin' reekin'."
I hinna tried to lat ye ken
=What's in the auld words linkin,'
Thae verses will ha'e gained my en'
=Gin they but set ye thinkin'.







MY GRANNIE

I lauch at what my Grannie says
She had to dae in her young days,
Or rather what she didna dae,
An' what her mither wadna ha'e.
Like dirty haunds on smudgy face,
An' naething hung in its richt place,
Frae what she says it's plain to me
The bairns were auld when she was wee.

Her face an' haunds were aye kept clean,
Her peenie like a new-made preen,
Her claes hung on the nail at nicht,
An' for the mornin' aye were richt.
My Grannie's auld an' fykie noo,
Has wrunkles whaur aince dimples grew,
She says the years ha'e ca'd ajee
An' cheenged maist things since she was wee.

If what my Grannie says is true,
It's plain to me, an' maun to you,
She's never kent a baker's woe
O' makin' pies wi' cley for dough.
An' never, when it's rained pell-mell,
A gushel has she made hersel',
Nor sailed boats in the guit'ry stream-
To dae sic things she didna dream!

She never screwed her face, she says,
At medicine in her young days,
But took the "sinny-tea" or "ile,"
Her "story" maistly gars me smile.
I daurna say, "Noo, that's a lee,"
For a'e thing 'cause I'm faur owre wee;
But hoo a wean without a scunner
Drank "sinny-tea" fills me wi' wunner.

When auld folks were in deep confab
She cud aye steckit keep her gab,
She micht be seen but never heard,
She never tried to add her word;
An' never questioned what was dune,
"What for?" or "Whey?" was maist a sin,
As shure as ocht I canna see
Hoo Grannie lived when she was wee.

But even though my Grannie's thrawn
Aboot the gaits the weans are gaun,
I wadna niffer her ava
For ony Grannie e'er I saw;
For when I gang to bed at nicht
She haps me up an' packs me ticht,
An' whiles I keek atowre an' see
A tear o' love in Grannie's e'e.

I dinna speer what wey she greets
When wi' me she the rhyme repeats-
"This night when I lie dawn to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take."
Bless Daddy, Mum, an' Grannie, dear,
Good Lord in Thy great mercy hear.







O WEARY FA' THE SILLER

O weary fa' the siller, the queer illusive siller;
=Man! wi' it we are vauntie; without it-feckless trash.
O weary fa' the siller, the quick evasive siller,
=We ha'ed-ilk ane is booin'; we hinna'd-we get snash.

O weary fa' the siller, the generative siller;
=The root o' a' the evil in the warld the Guid Book says.
But mankind o' every station, tend the root wi' much elation;
=A' watch its growth wi' a'e e'e, while wi' ither steek't he prays.

O weary fa' the siller, the sleek assuasive siller;
=Baith breed an' brains maun hirsle yont when Mammon seeks a place.
An' though in much we differ, few there be wha wadna niffer,
=Their sowl for siller ony day an' think it nae disgrace.

The Israelites in lang syne days set up a Gowden Cauf,
=An' booed the knee in worship tae'd an' sang it sangs o' praise.
But Mammon took their homage a', an' never heard their praise ava',
=An' cudna', for baith blin' an' deaf has gowd been a' the days.

But some things are beyond the po'er o' siller e'en to buy;
=Sic like as life, an' love, an' weans, an' guid health best o' a'.
For though the pooch be toom indeed, an' sair may be the fecht for bread,
=Wi' health we're kings compared wi' some held fast in troubles thra'.







OOR TIB

Nae mither's heart was e'er sae gay
As mine's, an' a' because I ha'e
A wee bit lass-a restless fay,
==An' that's nae fib-
Although my heart gets mony a fley
==Frae oor wee Tib.

Frae morn till gloamin' shrouds the skies
Her merry prattlin' tongue ne'er lies;
Aye apein' something weemin-wise,
==Wi' dolls for weans.
She aften fills me wi' surprise
==At what she kens.

Gin ane should tummel aff a chair,
An' wi' a dunt fa' on the flair,
'Twill only earn it ten times mair
==O' kisses gaun,
An' mak' the ithers wish, I'm shair,
==That they had fa'en.

There's ane o' her bairns is made o' wid;
The trunk is solid, strong, an' guid,
The hair's black pent, the checks are rid;
==But legs an' airms
She tint withoot the loss o' bluid
==Or childish charms.

For Tib ne'er heeds the sair affliction
On love, the loss pits nae restriction;
In fact, it's my sincere conviction
==That dire misfortune
Mak's mither-love a rare addiction,
=='Thoot ony courtin'.

Anither was a gaucy maid,
Wi' fluffy locks an' waxen head;
An' "sleepit"-least that's what Tib said-
==Whene'er she telt it.
Alas! the heatin' that she ga'ed
==The features meltit.

The nose was meltit clean awa',
The e'ebroos disappeared ana',
An' flettened sair was mou' an' jaw;
==The glessie een
Wi' awesome stare looked doon on a'
==The sorry scene.

Anither bairn that she's ha'en
A whiley, is a fine plump wean.
Nane o' yer skranky skin-an'-bane
==Thin skalliwags,
Is shapit frae a bit delaine,
==An' stuffed wi' rags.

An' when she tak's her bairns oot,
She has a "pram." ye needna doot-
The stuill tirned up lined wi' a cloot
==Is a' she needs.
An' though fu' laich she has to loot
==She never heeds.

Gin it should hap, as whiles it will,
That something may upset the stuill
An' gi'es the weans an unco spill
==Upon the stairs,
She lifts them wi' a mither's skill
==An' dauts their sairs.

She mak's a shoppie o' her chair,
An' ser's it wi' a pawky air;
I lauch whiles till my sides are sair
==At what she says;
But she ne'er kens-I wadna dare
==To show my face.

Come nicht oor Tib's a braw wee leddy,
Her cosie goonie on she's ready;
But ere she nestles in her beddie,
==She cuddlin' clings
Aroond his neck and kisses daddy,
==While mammy sings.

When soond asleep she looks maist fair,
The mither's sang becomes a prayer,
Beseechin' Him on hie to spare
==Oor bonnie lass,
An' guard her wi' a Faither's care
==Till life shall pass.







A'BODY'S BAIRN

A'body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
==In a' the wide, wide warld.
It's skin can match the driven snaw,
It's the bonniest bairn that ever you saw.
It's checks-there never were sic twa
For roses red an' lilies white
An' cherries a' their charms unite
==On cheeks an' lips bewitchin' ye,
==Their simple beauty titchin' ye.
An' ye needna expec' to get paurdon ye ken,
If ye dinna pey heed noo to what I am sayin'.
That you wi' yours an' us wi' oors,
An' them wi' theirs wi' truth declares
That a'e body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
==In a' the wide, wide warld.

A'body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
==In a' the wide, wide warld.
For when ye've heard, as I'm maistly sure,
Some score o' mithers a' declare
That nae ither bairn is half sae fair,
It sune grows plain that a'e is a';
For ilk ane thinks they've the whitest craw;
==Nae ither's as big or braw or bonnie,
==As oor wee Meg, Jean, Bob or Johnnie.
It may ha'e hair or nane at a',
Red, black or white coonts nocht ava;
The een may be big an' filled wi' winder
Or be like holes brunt wi' a cinder;
It's nose may be bent a wee up or doon,
It may aye lauch or may aye froon;
But to somebody's e'e it'll be mair worth
Than a'thing else on this braid earth,
For a'e body's bairn's the bonniest bairn
==In a' the wide, wide warld.







A WELCOME HAME

=Oor Postie lad is hame again,
==Safe an' soond at hame again-
=Richt through the war withoot a scaur,
==An' oh, we're glad he's hame again.

It's three lang years sin' he gaed awa',
He laid doon the bag when he heard the ca',
He shouthered his gun an' he mairched awa',
==Oor ain brave Postie Laddie, O.
At Magersfontein, where oor brave lads fell,
Shot doon wi' a fearfu' blast frae hell,
'Mang the few that were left the tale to tell
==Was oor gallant Postie Laddie, O.

For seventeen 'oors on that field o' death
He lay a' free frae the deadly skaith;
The sicht he'll mind till his deein' breath-
==God bless oor Postie Laddie, O.
The ranks o' oor noble Highland Brigade
Were thin wi' the awfu' gaps death made,
An' mony an earnest prayer was said
==For oor bonnie Postie Laddie, O.

For some weeks after the terrible blicht
They couldna' dae ocht but sit fu' ticht
Till the gaps were filled an' a' made richt,
==An' wae was oor Postie Laddie, O.
Brave Wauchope, an' their comrades a',
Wha in the slaughter chanced to fa',
Were laid to rest i' the land faur awa'
==But spared was oor Postie Laddie, O.

Then Hector Macdonald he took command,
An' mairched them faur owre Afric's sand -
Till at Koodoosberg they made a stand,
==An' bothered the enemy sairly, O.
For though the cavalry were gey late
('Twas here we lost young Freddy Tait),
The Highland Brigade were obstinate,
==An' stuck to their posts fu' rarely, O.

An' a' this fecht was for naething ava,
But juist the wily Boers to draw
Frae Kimberley, an' bring them awa',
==An' let French in to relieve it, O.
The Boers fell readily into the trap,
An' focht the ground fierce every stap,
An' when the news fell like a clap
==They scarcely could believe it, O.

'Twas then the Cronje hunt began,
Oor ain loved Bobs he hatched the plan,
An' weel he kent that every man
==Wud dae his best to help him, O.
For days they marched, nor did complain,
They thirsted to wipe oot Majuba's stain,
Their dearest bluid they vowed they'd drain
==To capture or to skelp him, O.

Auld Cronje skilfully did evade
The troops that did his movements shade,
But 'mong the troops were the Highland Brigade,
==Wha followed him helter skelter, O.
At last he cam' to Paardeberg,
An' vainly a "parley" tried to beg,
But eh! he got an awfu' fleg,
==An' in the river took shelter, O.

They howkit holes i' the river side,
An' thocht to stem the victor's tide,
An' through oor ranks they tried to glide,
==In troth they werena' blately, O.
But aye we drove them back again,
To force oor lines they tried in vain;
Though many a braw young lad was slain
==We kept up the siege fu' stately, O.

An' then Macdonald took up his stance,
An' owre his brave lads ga'e a glance,
Then ordered, "Highland Brigade advance,"
==A' danger they were scornin', O.
Oot owre the veldt, whaur scarce a blade
O' grass was seen, nor kindly shade
To shelter gi'e; oor braw Brigade
==They marched at early mornin', O.

Ere half the distance had been passed
The Boers let go a deadly blast-
They kent that this move meant the last-
==Their grup o' hope grew slender, O.
For fifteen oors on the open plain
Oor brave lads lay in cauld an' rain;
But God be praised, 'twas not in vain,
==Next mornin' the Boers surrendered, O.

To Bloomfontein, then Sanna's Post,
Whaur guns an' transports a' were lost,
An' mair than a'e guid life it cost
==Through some folks bunglin' sairly, O.
The Highland lads cam' up owre late,
The Boers were aff wi' joy elate,
An' took their stance anither gate,
==Nor stood to fecht richt fairly, O.

At Driefontein and River Vet,
An' Rennoster-ye'll min' o't yet-
Their share a' fechtin' they did get,
==Nor thocht they'd got their sairin', O.
At Retif Nek they cuist aff care,
For Prinsloo and five thoosan' mair
O wily Boers they captured there,
==An' ga'e them a' their fairin', O.

Then Wittibergen dearly won-
A fecht richt on frae sun to sun;
Then five days' mairch to Heilbron,
==The hale transport we nicked them, O.
For man oor movement was sae quick
The Boers ne'er thocht we could be slick,
They bolted juist as if Auld Nick
==Had wi' his lang horn pricked them, O.

Then Harrismith held up their hands,
Wi' a' their stores, an' guns, an' lands-
The country scarcely understands
==Hoo brave Macdonald did it, O.
But it was dune, as I ha'e said,
Nor loss o' precious life was made,
But we may thank the braw Brigade,
==An' ye may say I said it, O.

Then followed mony a weary day
O' what folks micht ca' "sodgers' play"-
That's mairchin' till the mornin' grey
==The wearifu' nicht has ended, O.
They huntit high, they huntit low,
Owre hunners a' miles withoot strikin' a blow,
An' a' because oor shifty foe
==Ne'er ony place defended, O.

Then Kitchener quietly as a moose,
Began his system o' block-hoose
An' close an' closer drew the noose.
==Success his method attended, O.
An' sma' an' sma'er the enemy dwined,
To fecht they werena sair inclined,
Till in a'e surrender the hale lot join'd,
==An' the driech job it was ended, O.

Oor laddie, of coorse, had juist to wait
Until the poo'rs wad fix the date
To let him gang his ain dear gate,
==An' airt his way to Dumfarlin, O.
Syne swith the 'oors an' days they flew,
An' near an' nearer hame he drew,
An' in his dear wife's airms sae true
==He clean forgot a' his haurlin', O.

The postmen a' turned oot in glee,
An' sang wi' joy their mate to see,
An' early shook his airm agee
==They were sae fond to meet him, O.
They hadna a graund triumphal car
Nor trophy brocht hame frae the war,
But they had something better far-
==They had loyal hearts to greet him, O.

An' through the toon they rode wi' pride;
Tears doon the sodger's cheek did glide;
An' many an e'e was wet beside
==Wi' draps o' dew o' gladness, O.
The pipers played a welcome hame
An' gin he'd been a man o' fame,
An' troth they werena sair to blame,
==Though some folks thocht it madness, O.

=We're gled oor lad is hame again,
===Safe an' soond at hame again;
=Richt through the war withoot a scaur,
===An' oh, we're glad he's hame again.







SCHULE DAYS

It's no sae awfu' lang sin' syne
=Thae schule days o' my ain,
Some thretty years or sae, but, man,
=Whaur's a' oor schule mates gane?
Some sleep aneath the muils, while sone
=Are faur in foreign lands,
An' some ha'e risen high in life
=An' prood in honour stands.

An' some, alas!  I'm wae to say,
=Ha'e wandered faur astray,
Eh! little did we think yon time
=What's come to pass this day.
Na, na, we thochtna o' the seed
=That we were sawin' then,
Nor fashed oor heids aboot the time
=When we'd be grewn men.

The mem'ry o' thae days are fresh
=As deeds o' yesterday,
An' mony a time my mind rins owre
=Some o' the pranks we'd play.
Hoo, when the snaw was on the grund,
=We never were content
Until we marshalled a' oor lads
=An' doon to Dickie's went.

Ye talk o' "weel-facht fields o' war,"
=Ye ocht to seen us close,
Wi' snaw for ammunition
=We pelted at oor foes.
We werena aye victorious,
=For whiles we got oor licks,
But what although? if dour we focht,
=We were accounted "bricks."

We fairly cowed a' Spittal's schule,
=An' ga'e them many a nailin',
Although they fortified themselves
=Ahint their muckle railin'.
But wi' true-born invaders' cheek
=Richt in the gate we ga'ed,
An' chased them oot an' up the road,
=We werena easy fleyed.

The Maister had a daur owre us,
=An' yet I needna say,
If richt we did we got his smile,
=If wrang, we kent what wey.
For "Sam," his faithfu' henchman,
=Wi's three weel-burnt taes,
Oor palmies het; I feel it yet
=Across thae lang, lang days.

Hoo prood we were when fortune smiled,
=We thocht oorsel's nae mawkin,
When we wad get the maister's word
=To staund an' watch the talkin'.
We'd strut across the flair an' watch
=Withoot a thocht o' salary,
An' wap the tawse at some puir sowl
=For talkin' in the gallery.

Some names crood roond my pen th' noo,
=By which we kent each ither,
Sic like as "Tadger," "Chow," an' "Bounce,"
=Names ne'er kent by oor mither.
An' "Missie" to an' "Davie Dites,"
=An' "Jessie," " Poof" an' "Peichle,"
An' "Daw" an' "Dad" an' "Dumpy Doup,"
=An' "Bulsher," "Rat" an' "Dreichle."

An' then the games we used to ha'e
=At "leave-time" or at "skellin',"
Like "Teenie-Orrie," "Save the Craw,"
=Aye gi'ed us plenty yellin'.
Then "Plunkie," "Dykie," "Ringie" too,
=An' then the "Cuddies' Funkin',"
"Hurley-burley" an' the rest,
=To tell is mair than tongue can.

"Roonders," "Trip," "Cross Tig" an' "Spy,"
="Fit-an'-a-half" an' "Spanish,"
"French-an'-English," "Racin'-base,"
="Koo-k," an' then ye vanish.
"Haupin'-Davie," "Tally-ho,"
=A guid game ca'd "Au-boo,"
"Horse an' riders," "Dummie's trade,"
=The "Butcher an' the Soo."

An' ilka game juist had its time,
=A' werena aye in season,
But hoo or why gin ye should speir
=I cudna gi'e a reason.
But "Bools an' Plunkers" had their time,
=An' then were laid awa',
Then "Peeries" wad be a' the go
=Until they ga'e the sta'.

The "Peeries" were a varied lot,
=Some "strecht," some "shuttle-nebbit,"
The "Wummers" had a pickle saut
=In whilk the neb was beddit.
Some traivelled faur while they were gaun,
=Some "howkit a grave an' lay";
I dinna see the laddies try
=Thae "Peenie" games the day.

The time wad come when every ane
=Wad ha'e a "bootrie-gun,"
An' chowin' towe to mak' the balls
=Aye had its slice a' fun.
Gin it should hap that tow was scarce,
=That didna trouble bring,
Paper or "raivlins" made a wad,
=Or taised a wee bit string.

Then "haws" an' "spoots" wad mak' a bid
=An' claim oor hale attention,
Though trouble whiles resulted frae
=The use a' this invention.
For gin ye got on cheek or neck
=A haw-stane weel directit,
Some worry wad be brewin' gin
=The "spooter" was detectit.

'Twas maistly aye gey quiet, the schule,
=Though whiles there was a racket,
Sic like as when an auld wife cam'
=An' said we broke her "backit."
An' aince I mind an awfu' scene
=That ne'er was seen before,
A'e young yin had the cheek to gie
=The maister chat-an' swore.

I saw the maister's broo gang up,
=An' ane a' us was sent
To bring the laddie's faither,
=Juist to see if he'd repent.
His faither held him owre the desk,
=The maister makin' play
Wi' "Sam" across his trousers, eh
=I'll ne'er forget yon day.

But there, there, I maun e'en say halt,
=For fancies crood in fast,
An' I cud gang on writin' mair
=O' mem'ries o' the past.
Like when Pete Muffle ran awa'
=An' never daured come back,
Or Jock Macelly played the "skech"
=For three weeks at a tack.

Or when the "aivications" cam',
=An' some auld folks were there
To see the wonders we had done
=On "specimens" fu' rare.
Or pentit maps o' foreign lands,
=On "Lord's Prayers" brawly printit,
Or the "Beatitudes" in style
=That weeks o' labour hinted.

But juist a'e word afore I close,
=May God wha minds us a',
Look kindly doon on a' thae folk
=At hame or faur awa'.
An' when at last we close oor een
=On a' this wae an' dule,
Maybe we'll meet some ane we kent
=When we were at the schule.





MINNIE'S WEE MAN

Kent ye ever sic a bairn,
=Aft he gars me sweat;
Up an' doon an' in an' oot,
=Never aff his feet.
Cheery, steerie, lauchin' wild,
=Guileless as can be,
Kindest love frae Heaven above
=Keeks frae oot his e'e.

Ne'er a bannet on his head,
=Huh! he disna mind
A' his wealth o' sunny hair
=Fluffin' i' the wind.
Cheeks aglow wi' hardy health,
=Een alowe wi' glee;
Ne'er his marra' ye can find
=Or his equal see.

Oot an' in amang the weet
=Like a drookit moose,
Lauchin' at the plashin' rain,
=Winna keep the hoose.
Catchin' at the muckle draps
=In his wee bit han',
Lickin' them oot o' his loof,
=Minnie's ain wee man.

Rakin' a' the clerts up,
=Packin' them fu' ticht,
Ne'er a sowl daur titch it,
=Else they're no richt;
Gushel-makin's rare sport,
=Sune the gutter's filled,
Then his glee is at its hicht
=Sailin' boats intilled.

When his dad comes hame at nicht,
=Ere he tak's his tea,
He's to kiss an' cuddle him,
=Fond wi' faither's glee;
When he's sleepin' in his crib,
=Mony a braw life's plan
Is laid oot by the auld folk
=For Minnie's wee man.

Bairnies aft get blamed for biggin'
=Castles in the air,
Aulder bairns aften build
=Fairy mansions there.
Nor wad we wish it werena sae,
=Wi' hope the heart it fills,
An' better faur wi' joy to sup
=Than brood owre fancied ills.





A'E YEAR AULD

A king cam' to oor hoose
=A twal'month the day,
An' ever sin' syne
=He has held full sway;
He's maister an' mistress,
=Yet a' his commands
Are gi'en wi' a nod
=On a wag o' his haunds.

This wad maist mak' ye think
=That he hadna a tongue,
But, my certies! he has,
=An' he's strong i' the lung;
But he speaks in a language
=That winna staund spellin',
The same kind, they say,
=That the angels excel in.

His laughter is sunshine
=To mither an' me,
An' happy's the glint
=O' his bonnie blue e'e.
'Twad gledden yer heart
=To see him on my knee,
As he rides a cock-horse
=The "white leddy" to see.

His mither she ca's him
=Her jewel an' king,
An' then in-his praises
=Some queer rhymes she'll sing;
He's the "brawest" an' "best,"
=But atween you an' me,
There's nae ither e'e
=But a mither's can see.

But whiles I maun tell
=There's a split in the camp,
For his mither whiles ca's him
=A sautin or scamp;
But, losh! the next meenit
=She'll lift him an' kiss him,
An' ask for her Faither
=In Heaven to bless him.

Frae mornin' till nicht
=He's aye in a steer,
An' some o' his pranks
=Are auld farrant an' queer;
For breakin' new toys
=Or touslin' the cat,
There ne'er was anither
=Cud lick him at that.

There's times o'd again
=He'll sit quiet as a moose,
An' watch ilka thing
=That's gaun on i' the hoose;
Wi' his haund on his pow,
=An' his look faur awa',
I winder aft what
=He'll be thinkin' ava'.

His mither's richt gled
=When he's aff to his bed,
An' on the saft pillow
=His wee head is laid;
A blessin' she breathes
=As she covers him in-
An' prays far his sake
=To the wise God abune.







JOHNNIE

O' a' the weans I ever saw,
=An' I ha'e seen fu' mony,
There's nane at hame or faur awa'
=A match for oor wee Johnnie.
He's like a lammie fu' o' fun,
=His face is unco bonnie,
His hair's like clippens aff the sun,
=His mither's heart's in Johnnie.

His cheeks are red, his een are blue,
=He's plump as a polonie,
His pearly teeth keek frae his mou',
=A roguish look has Johnnie.
His skin's as pure's the driven snaw,
=He's like a braw peony,
His daddie thinks he has nae flaw,
=He's awfu' fond o' Johnnie.

Nae winder that the chield is fat,
=He cudna weel be bony,
He'll ha'e a share whate'er ye're at,
=A healthy ga' has Johnnie.
It maitters nae what diet ye're at,
=Awa' gaes ceremonie,
His ain wee chair is at yer fit,
=An' on it's little Johnnie.

Frae early morn he's in a steer,
=I'll gi'e my testimonie,
There's nae anither wink I fear
=When waukened up is Johnnie.
He's up at aince an' on the flair,
=He'll gallop like a pownie,
A waggonette made o' a chair
=Is hauled aboot by Johnnie.

Whate'er his mither has to dae
=She's shair to ha'e a cronie,
Be't steerin' parritch-nae gainsay
=He'll help his mum will Johnnie.
He'll ha'e some meal upon a stuil,
=An' "tugar" if there's ony,
An' lick it clean up every muil,
=A through-gaun laud is Johnnie.

He wadna dae for parliment,
=He's bothered wi' dysphony,
An' yet he'll wage an argument,
=A wilfu' chap is Johnnie.
The cat an' him wage deadly strife,
=She claws wi' acrimonie,
Syne ben the hoose she rins for life,
=Fast huntit up by Johnnie.

For ane sae young, I'm feared to say'd,
=He's weel kent by the polis,
The blue-coat mak's na him afraid,
=But then there is this solace-
Whene'er they say, "Come on wi' me,"
=He'll gang an' never tairry,
'Twas only juist the ither day
=He marched awa' wi Hairry.

His "mum" an' him they whiles fa' oot,
=She'll say he's juist a nonny,
But losh! ere lang, I ha'e nae doot,
=She'll kiss an' cuddle Johnnie.
She'll pack him in his credlie-ba,
=An' sing to him fu' bonnie,
An' linkit wi' her sang ana'
=She'll breathe a prayer for Johnnie.







OOR JAMIE

Ech, man, but I'm sweatin', I've juist ha'en a tussle
====Wi' oor little Jamie
I've danced an' I've sung till I'm dry as a whussle
====To oor little Jamie.
He's the king o' guid fellows, o' men he's the wale,
He's a voice like a mavis, his lungs never fail;
An' if ye can bear it I'll tell ye a tale,
===An' it's a' aboot oor little Jamie.

He speirs unco questions wad puzzle a priest,
====Does oor little Jamie-
"Wha nails on the stars?" was ane gar'd me say wheesht
====To oor little Jamie.
"What wey hiv I whuskers?" an' "Whaur's a' the hair
That should ha'e been growin' on that place that's bare?"
"If my teef hasna growed yet?"  I leuch, I declare,
===Leuch hearty at oor little Jamie.

He speired at me "What wey the cat had a tail?"
====He's a "niccar" is Jamie;
An' then "What it was that it used for a nyell?"
====He's a siccar ane Jamie.
An' "Whey oor ain never had kitlins at a'
While Johnny M'Gibbon's had fower an' drooned twa?"
Of coorse o' the sex he kens naething ava-
===He's a pawky wee pester is Jamie.

He speired "Whaur the hens got the eggs that they lay?"
====He's a "taster" is Jamie;
An' as shair as I live, I kentna what to say-
====He's the maister is Jamie.
I'm fairly bambaized wi' the questions he speirs,
An' o' my richt reason I sometimes ha'e fears,
For I think that there's mair than at first sicht appears
===In the questions o' oor little Jamie.

The ither nicht waukrife he cudna get slept-
====Puir wee little Jamie;
An' he row'd an' he tummled, then close to me crept,
====Did oor little Jamie.
But steerin' he happened to see the bricht mune,
To speir some queer questions he sune did begin-
"Wha lichts it?" "An' wha is'd that hauds it abune?"
===Were twa o' the queries o' Jamie.

O Faither in heaven, wha looks doon owre a',
====Look kindly on Jamie;
An' spare him to us, dinna tak' him awa',
====We lo'e little Jamie.
That he may be kept guid, I'll hope aye an' pray,
May he choose the richt path in life's stormy way,
An' when the nicht's shadows shall darken the day,
==="Come Hame" ye'll can say to oor Jamie.







NAEBODY'S LADDIE

Naebody's laddie's a laddie I ken,
He staunds in a corner, his head hingin' doon,
His hair owre his een, an' a glunch on his face;
He's broken a cup, an' he's in deep disgrace.

I juist ha'e come in frae my wark i' the toon,
An' see i' the corner this wee glunchin' loon.
"What wee laddie's that?" at his mither I speir;
"He's shairly a stranger, an' disna bide here!

"He's gey like a laddie that maist aye I see
Meetin' his dad comin' hame to his tea;
But it canna be him, for he sooks na his thoom,
But lauchs aye, while this ane daes naething but gloom."

His mither, meanwhile, had been sortin' the table,
An' to keep in her smile she scarcely was able,
But tryin' to look as if she wasna' carin',
She said, "Man I think he's some gangeril's bairn."

The pitcher aye gangs aince owre aft to the well;
E'en roses are no always sweet to the smell,
An' so the wee man burstit oot wi' a sob,
"I'm no, 'oo ten fine, I'm daddie's wee Bob!"

"What?  Are you my wee Bob?  Then come on to me;
Come an, heestye fast, an' get up on my knee,
I've been wonderin' whaur my wee Bobbie could be,
That he wasna oot welcomin' me to my tea."

=*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Eh! faithers an' mithers there's naething sae fine
As the love o' the weans, roond yer hearts they entwine;
An' may the kind Faither wha looks doon on a',
Aye spare them to us, an' no tak' them awa'.







NEVER LEET BUT LAUGH

When I was but a laddie, young
=An' thochtless at the schule,
I aft, through lows'ness o' my tongue,
=Got ca'd a muckle fule;
My mither, fu' a' sayin's odd,
=Wad pawky lay them aff,
An' say a wink's as guid's a nod-
=Sae never leet but laugh.

A'e day the maister said to me,
="Wha put wax on my chair?"
Of coorse the chairge was laid to me-
=He grabbed me by the hair,
I took the "stendies" on my loofs
=A dizzen an' a half;
But he was wrang, the silly coof-
=Huh! never leet but laugh.

I min' when I began to coort
=The lass that's noo my wife,
My bashfu'ness made me the sport
=O' frien's wha plagued my life.
They said that I was awfu' green,
=An' naething but a cauf;
But I wad slyly wink my een
=An' never leet but laugh.

Noo a' you buddies mind this rule
=An' save yersels frae vexin'-
For mind this warld's an unco schule,
=Baith tryin' an' perplexin'.
Keep weel yer tongue, I coonsel ye,
=Gi'e care a passin' waif;
A nod's as guid's a wink ye'll see,
=An' never leet but laugh.







BY THE BURNSIDE

While some folks rave o' gowfin' games,
=O' "drives" an' "putts" an' a',
O' hazards an' o' bunkers bad,
=In whilk they aften fa'.
Gie me a rod by some burnside,
=Some worms or flees an' gibble,
The King himsel' can ga'e to-France
=Gin I but get a nibble.

It's something fine to feel the line
=Ga'e "chug" an' bend the rod;
The pawky troot jinks in an' oot,
=An' coonts my flee a fraud.
While I, wi' a' the airt I ha'e,
=Fling licht the baited line,
Till, caution tint, he gi'es a glint-
=He's on!  I ha'e him fine.

There's some folks blessed wi' plenty cash,
=While ithers are gey scant;
It's no juist but they ha'e eneuch
=To keep them free frae want.
But they ken fine they canna gi'e
=What ithers aften pay
For fishin' in some lordly loch
=At pounds an' pounds per day.

But, man, there's juist as muckle sport
=To him in hodden grey,
In playin' for a burnie troot
=Through half a drumlie day,
As what there is to men o' means
=Wi' boat an' boatmen haundy,
Wha daudle a' day on a loch
=An' canna fish for caundy.

Gi'e me a rod an' same guid graith
=An' leisure for the day,
A gurlin' burn, wi' yestreen's rain,
=A mornin' dull an' grey.
For warldly gowd or kingly croon
=I'd never fash the wishin';
Gin I but tak' a troot or twa
=An ha'e a guid day's fishin'.







WEE WILLIE WAUKRIFE

Wee Willie Waukrife
=Winna close an' e'e,
Though it's lang past bed-time
=Yet he'll no agree
Wi' his mither, wha looks tired,
=An' says that he maun sleep;
"A sleepless wean" she says to me
='S an' awfu wean to keep."

Wee Willie Waukrife
=Winna close an' e'e,
"Here, man, tak' him aff my airm,
=Juist for a wee;
See if he'll be guid wi' you,
=An' try an' gar him sleep,
For I ha'e Jamie's breeks to mend,
=An' claes to lay asteep."

Wee Willie Waukrife
=On his faither's knee,
Winna sit, winna staund,
=Kickin' to be free.
Pu's his whuskers, scarts his nose,
=An' 'ither siclike tricks;
"Come, my man, juist stop it noo,
=Else ye'll get yer licks!"

"Lick a wean o' fifteen months?
=Shame be on ye, man!
Hoo sic' thochts come in men's heads,
=I canna understaun'.
Rise an' walk him through the hoose,
=An' try same ither plan;
Ta' winna get to lick my wean,
=Puir wee little man!"

Wee Willie Waukrife
=Walkin' winna dae,
Ne'er a smile although I sing,
=An' funny things I say.
Shoggie-shoo him up an' doon
=Till I'm in a sweat,
Winna please the wee man,
=Winna stop his greet.

Jamie's brecks are mended noo,
=The claes are sortit richt,
An' a' the wark is feenished,
=That I ha'e to dae the nicht.
Come to me my bonnie lam'
=We'll try anither drink,
An' see'f the stour o' Sandie's pock,
=Will gar thae wee een blink.

Wee Willie Waukrife
=Prees his mither's breest,
A'e comforter in this world,
=He thinks he has at least;
He drinks an' blinks an' rubs his een,
=Till a' his cares are drooned,
Wrocht oot at last, though ill to beat,
=He's sleepin' unco soond.

Wee Willie Waukrife
=Tuckit in his bed,
A' his fauts forgotten as
=His mither straiks his head;
While frae her heart a silent prayer
=Gangs to the Lord abune,
That he may spare Wee Willie lang
=An' keep him free frae sin.

While faur across the future life
=She sees wi' mither's e'e,
A picture fu' o' lichts an' shades,
=That nane but her can see.
An' as the web o' life unfaulds,
=May nocht but guid be there,
That he be honest an' upricht,
'S his faither's earnest prayer.







LINES IN A YOUNG LADY'S ALBUM

A rhymin' chield in days gane by
=Sang o' a nameless quean,
But mine's the task to sing a sang
=O' a lass I've never seen,
But I ha'e gripped her faither's haund
=An' watched her faither's smile,
An' I jalouse this lass o' his
=Is something o' his style.

I kenna if she's dark or fair
=Or if her een are blue,
But gin she be her faither's bairn
=Her heart maun e'en be true.
She may be stoot, she may be slim,
=She may be big or little,
But she'll be richt, for she maun ha'e
=Some a' her faither's mettle.

As lang as Nith rins to the sea
=Roond a' yon bonnie bends,
May she ne'er ken the lack o' gear
=Or love o' honest friends.
May she live lang an' prosper weel
=An' sorrows seldom ca',
An' when they dae may sunny rays
=Chase a' her cares awa'.

May heavens sun shine saftly doon
=On her an' on her hame,
May honour ever closely cling
=Aroond her faither's name,
An' as the whirryin' moments flee
=That hastens us awa',
May she whiles mind o' him wha sang
=O' the lass he never saw.







THE LASSES' HATS

This is the first time I ha'e sung,
I may sune wish I'd ne'er begun,
For some stoot kimmer wi' a rung
==May dour my noddle-orum;
But I will sing "The Lasses' Hats,"
Heich an' fluffy, laich an' duffy,
I will sing "The Lasses' Hats,"
==Wi' millinery-orum.
Yes!  I will sing "The Lasses' Hats,"
There's some like lids for muckle pats,
An' some like creels for haudin' sprats,
==Devoid o' a' decorum.

Puir MAN may ha'e a "roond" or "square,"
A "lum's" the graundest he can dare,
But WEEMIN frae ten hunner mair
==May choose their head-dress-orum.
"Felt" or "frame" or "gress" or "straw,"
Big or little, pan or scuttle,
The rainbow disna cover a'
==Their multi-colour-orum.
Nae rainbow yet was ever seen
Wi' every shade o' blue an' green,
Frae black to white an' what's between
==_Ad-libitum_-er-orum.

The lasses' hats they me bambaize,
My silly wits they seem to daze,
Comes owre my een a misty haze
==As if I'd toomed a jorum.
E'en at the kirk gin ye gang there,
Ye hirsle yon't, but richt in front,
When at the kirk ye only stare
==At some cockytoo-orum.
E'en at the kirk ye sit an' stare
At straw or felt a' deckit rare,
Ye canna see the man o' prayer
==For fur or feather-orum

But at the kirk it's no sae bad,
Ye dinna think that you've been had,
Although ye glower at some huge pad
==O' straw an' floo'rey-orum.
The seats are no sae very dear,
Jock an' Jenny twa a penny,
The Auld Kirk isna near sae dear
==As Free or You-Pee-orum.
An' though the Auld Kirk cost ye mair,
To raise a din wad scarce be fair-
Ahint a stack there's houdin' there
==For drowsy snitter-orum.

It's juist the same in quire an' pew,
The veeshion offered to yer view
Is hats o' every size an' hue
==Made up o' chiffon-orum.
Wi' floo'rs o' every size an' kind-
Roses, lilies, daff-o'-dilies-
Floo'rs that maistly tirn ye blind,
==Sae great's their variorum.
For ART lea's NATURE faur behind,
An' colours as she has a mind,
Nor sticks as NATURE seems inclined
==To be what's been before-em.

But when ye've paid a "bob" or twa
To sit doon in the sixteenth raw,
To see a play ye never saw
==O' bluid-an'-thunder-orum.
Atween the hats that tower in front,
Broad or bunchy, heich or hunchy,
Wi' the hats that low'r in front
==Ye canna see before 'em.
For wi' the hats sae heich an' broad
Ye canna see the stage, "I'm blowed,"
An' feathers in derision nod
==At your miseeri-orum.

This year they seem to be faur waur
Than ever they ha'e been before,
"Beehive" an' "Basket" joins the core
==O' "Merry Widow"-orum.
Some's cockit up, some's hingin' doon,
Big an' gawsie, hides the lassie,
Coontless blossoms roond the croon,
==Ribbons _ad_ galore-um.
Noddin' blossoms roond the croon,
Pansies, daisies, fret an' froon,
On roses, blue, green, black an' broon,
==An unkent variorum.

There's money gi'en for this-an'-that's,
For housin' puir stray'd dowgs an' cats,
For killin' germs an' flees an' rats
==An' siclike vermin-orum.
But there is nocht as faur's I ken,
Meal or money gi'en to ony
O' the real heroic men
==Wha thole yon hats before 'em.
Sae lasses owre yer shouther keek,
A'e blink will colour up his cheek,
To see ocht else he'll never seek,
==He'll think that ye adore-im.







THE LIFE-BOAT PROCESHION

Oh, I cam' to the Auld Grey Toon
=Upon last Saturday, man,
To see the sichts wi' some mair wichts,
=An' hear the baunders play, man.
We juist got in at twa o'clock,
An' mixed in wi' a lot a' folk,
==An' wi' some wark
==Got to the Park,
==For by my sang
==The place was thrang
==Wi' lasses gay
==An' laddies tae,
==A' come like me
==To try and see
The Graund Life-boat Proceshion.

The fisher lasses buskit braw
=Were first to tak' my e'e, man,
An' lod! if they had got their way
=They'd even taiken me, man.
Wi' rosy cheeks an' glancin' een,
Their marra', man, I've never seen.
==Wi' short goons braw
==An' 'coats an' a',
==An' shawls sae graund
==Tied in a baund
==Aroond the heads
==O' wives an' maids,
==An' neat an' clean
==As ony queen
They graced the Graund Proceshion.

Then next we had a graund display
=O' corn an' hay an' straw, man,
Wi' sacks o' bran, an' sheaves sae gran',
=The like I never saw, man.
An' richt ahint cam' Toonhill Baund,
Their playin' was juist something graund.
==Syne Shepherd lauds
==Wi' crooks an' plaids,
==An' bless my heart!
==Perched in a cart
==Bedecked wi' floo'rs
==Like Flora's bowers,
==Some braw young folks
==Attendin' flocks
Were in the Graund Proceshion.

Then here's the fisher lasses next,
=They're drawin' in the clink, man,
An' then the blacksmith's sturdy chields,
=They made their anvils clink, man.
Then joiners joined the graund array,
An' brisk oor ain Toon Baund did play,
==Then Forresters frae Erin's Isle,
==Then bicyclers wha raised a smile,
==Then men o' micht
==Wi' cleavers bricht,
==An' Milkmen spruce
==Wi' guid kye-juice,
==An' then o' fish
==A denty dish
A' in the Graund Proceshion.

Then cam' the faur-famed Rifle Baund,
=An' then the Cycle Corps, man,
Then Fellows Odd, then Railway chields,
=They're aye weel to the fore, man.
An' then the man wha sells the eggs,
Wi' cocks an' hens wi' feathery legs,
The hen-wife wi' her soo-back'd mutch,
Her shouthers bent weel owre her crutch.
==Wi' watchfu' e'e
==She looked to see
==If ony hen
==Had laid; an' then
==A touzie ga'e
==The pickle strae,
==In case they made
==A fell to-dae,
==Or slip't their fit
==Gaun doon the brae
While in the Graund Proceshion.

Ah! here's a sicht to gled the heart,
=O' inland chaps like me, man,
The Life-boat true, wi' noble crew!
=The tear cam' to my e'e, man,
To see the men in very truth
I've read o' since I was a youth
==Wha rin whene'er
==The signal's gi'en,
==Haul oot the boat
==An' launch her in,
==An' face fu' brave
==The angry wave,
==An' wage a strife
==To save a life;
God bless the life-boat crew, man.

Losh! man, the sicht I'll ne'er forget,
=It does a buddy guid, man;
It lets us see that after a'
=We're a' a'e flesh an' bluid, man,
That hero's are juist mortal men,
An' God has gi'en's them juist on len'.
==Sae whether ye gi'e
==The broon bawbee,
==Or siller croon,
==Juist pap it doon,
==An' help to keep
==Upon oor coast
==Sic boats an' men,
==They're Britain's boast!
God keep the gallant crews, man.

As lang as we ha'e men like thae
=We needna ha'e a fear, man,
Aboot oor country crum'lin' doon,
=It's juist an empty jeer, man;
We've Volunteers an laund as weel,
=Wha'd face, if need, the very deil.
==Wi' men like these
==To guard the seas,
==An' ha'e on haund
==A gallant baund,
==To nip up foes
==That chance to land,
==We ne'er need fear
==The Rooshan Bear,
==Nor turn blue
==At German crew,
==Nor sweat at pores
==For fear o' Boers-
Stop, stop, this rhyme's awa wi' me
As fast as ony horse can flee,
But dinna lay the wyte on me,
Lay't on the Graund Proceshion.







MISSIE KEIR: A MEMORY SHARED BY MONY

I've haen a sang aboot me noo
=For mony an' mony a day,
But hained my haund-ye understand,
=An' wadna gied fair-play;
The subject o' my liltin' rhyme
=Was and that a' held dear,
An' e'en to see her name in prent
=Micht made the body queer.

She was sae gentle in her ways,
=Sae kind to ane an' a';
A cheerie word-a winnin' smile
=For a' wha ga'e a ca';
But noo she's laid aneath the gress
=Nae mair we'll see her here,
But lang will lads an' lasses mind
=O' lo'esome Missie Keir.

My pow is gettin' scant o' hair
=An' what I ha'e is grey,
But weel I mind the untauld joy
=In childhood's happy day,
When wi' some chum a bawbee rich
=The window we wad speir
Wi' fashious fyke what best we'd like
=To buy frae Missie Keir.

Be't brandy-nips or chocolate cream,
=Ripe aipples, pears or nits,
Dates or locust, grapes or figs,
=Tablement in bits:
For mind she kept an unco' stock
=O' a'thing quaint an' queer.
Whate'er ye cudna get elsewhere
=Ye'd get frae Missie Keir.

She'd pens an' ink, an' pirns an' preens,
=Pencils, caum an' skeelie,
Saut an' whitnin', sugar, tea,
=Tawties fine an' mealie,
Treackle-peerie, gundy, rock,
=Biscuits, ginger-beer,
Tapes (a' sizes), hooks and eyes
=Ye'd get frae Missie Keir.

Ginge'-bread horses-noble steeds,
=Puggies, aye a wheen,
An' rabbits wi' weel cuttit lugs
=An' muckle curran' een;
Leeks an' like for makin' kail,
=Peas an' barley-here,
I'd tak' a week to gang owre a'
=Ye'd get frae Missie Keir.

She'd sugar men, an' sugar staffs,
=A' hingin' up on strings,
An' sweetie cherries stuck on wires,
=An' roond red sugar rings.
For some things every bairn wad came
=Frae a' place faur an' near-
The best "black man" in a' the toon
=Was made by Missie Keir.

Her "sugar-bools" were kent by a',
="Cheugh-chows"they whiles were ca'd;
Across the years my very teeth
=Seem wi' the mem'ry thaw'd;
Whene'er we had a "maik" to spend
=On "what" we weel micht speir;
But "whaur" held ne'er a doot at a'-
=Haud straucht for Missie Keir.

In my young days the spendin' "maiks"
=Were never very rife,
A faurden or an auld bawbee
=We micht get frae some wife.
Auld bawbees naebody wad tak',
=At faurdens they looked queer,
But auld bawbees an' faurdens passed
=The bank wi' Missie Keir.

The faurdens were fair barter for
=A "sugar-doodle" to ye,
The "auld bawbees" were value for
=Whate'er she liked to gi'e ye.
I dinna mean to say, ye ken,
=That a' oor "maiks" were queer,
But guid or bad "gut-rake" was had
=Wi' them frae Missie Keir.

Whene'er oor copy-books were filled
=Wi' what we ca'd oor writin'
(Some painfu' efforts in the airt
=O' "strokes" an' "decks" unitin'),
If sae be that the book was clean,
=An' frae big "blotches" clear,
We'd get a stick a' rare "black man"
=For it frae Missie Keir.

An' even when wi' coffers toom
=We'd staund an' glaw'r fu' fain
Wi' een enriched an' noses flet
=Bruized on her window pane,
An' tell each other a' we'd buy
=Come Fair-day or New-'ear,
An' lauch wi' glee in hopes to pree
=The stares o' Missie Keir.

Her shop was four or five staps doon,
=Wi' fittrin' muckle worn;
To me it seem'd as she'd been there
=Lang, lang ere I was born;
I kent her till I grew a man
=Wi' wife an' bairns asteer,
My bairns had just as muckle "troke"
=As me wi' Missie Keir.

She never altered in her way,
=Aye charmin' was her smile,
Her kindly word to young an' auld,
=Her mainner free frae guile.
Lang will her name be keepit green,
=An' aiblins whiles a tear
Will mingle when fond memory
=Reca's dear Missie Keir.

I'd maistly written "auld" for "dear"
=But, lod! I cudna thol'd;
Sic folk wi' age of coorse may dee
=But, man, they ne'er grow auld.
She'll aye remain as in the days
=That's faur back in the rear,
The ever-smilin', ne'er-beguilin'
=Lo'esome Missie Keir.







THE FLYING DUTCHMAN

Ye a' maun ken wha read yer books
=That ance upon a time
The Dutch sailed a' their bonnie ships
=To conquer oor ain clime;
An' leadin' o' the ships o' war
=Van Tromp was in his glory,
An' o' his deeds o' derring do
=You'll read in poem an' story.

It's no to tell o' deeds he did
=That this epistle's penned;
It's maistly juist to tell the name
=By which he's since been kenned.
The "Flying Dutchman" he was dubbed-
=A guidish kind o' name-
Twa hunner years ha'e gane an' we've
=Anither o' the same.

But eh! man, Tromp he came to fecht,
=An' sailed his ships wi' pride,
An' tho' he didna conquer us,
=Luck wasna on his side;
But he'd the same idea as Paul
=(Oom Paul ye'll understand)-
Tromp had his broom to sweep the sea,
=Paul was to sweep the land.

Tromp vowed he'd sweep us _aff_ the sea,
=In fact he said he'd din'd;
An' Paul, because he dwelt inland,
=He said he'd drive us _in'd;_
But Tromp's a man we can admire,
=He focht his battles brawly,
Paul likes to tell the rest to fecht
=While he gaes creepy-crawly.

He gethers a' the gowd he can,
=And gies his sodgers paper,
An' shifts his capital an' a',
=An' cuts an unco caper;
He says that he was by the Lord
=The Preesident annointed,
An' looked to Him to help him, but
=He's been sair disappointit.

He's safe eneuch whaur he is noo,
=He'll dae nae ill at a';
He'll row his muckle een aboot
=An' tak the ither draw.
But what I want tae finish wi'-
=I'll eat my auld wife's mutch, man,
If he's no what I claim he is-
=The wily "Flying Dutchman!"







THE STRICKEN HAME

There's a hushed awe in the household,
=There's a dull pain in the heart,
For the death-shade doth appal us,
=And the tears unbidden start;
For the voice we loved is silent,
=And the form and face so dear
Is hid away for ever
=In the churchyard cold and drear.

Oh! we miss her kindly greeting,
=And we miss her gentle word,
And we weep with hearts bereaved,
=Piercéd by affliction's sword;
But we weep not as they do weep
=Who have no blessed hope,
Who are blind and who so vainly
=In the unknown darkness grope.

For we know that over yonder,
=In the land beyond the grave,
That her spirit watches o'er us,
=And whispers to be brave;
To keep free from all evil,
=To be pure and do the right,
And she'll wait and welcome give us
=When our day shall turn to night.







LAUREL AND CYPRESS

What though the sounds of victory
==Re-echo along the air;
And what though, through the fire of death,
=Unconquered they get there:
What though same are glory reaping!
What of them for even sleeping?-
===Sleeping with the dead.

See in yon far off Highland cot,
=A lonely woman sits;
Her thoughts are with her soldier son,
=His face in the shadow flits.
Never a thought of bullets flying,
Never a sound save a fond heart sighing,
===Sighing, but not for the dead.

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

"Missing?"  Was that all they said?
=No word of a last good-bye?
No word of a gallant comrade near
=To see my poor boy die?
No kindly lips his cold brow kissing,
No prayer save that of bullets hissing-
===Hissing their thren of dread.

*=*=*=*=*=*=*

Twine the laurel for the victors,
=Let them wear it on their brow!
Twine the cypress for the loved ones
=Who are silent ever now!
And for the homes where flowers are missing,
Let us ask for God's rich blessing
===On each sorrow-bowed head.







MATES

"Mates?"  I should think so, Jim and me
=Stood shoulder to shoulder.
In the whole of the regiment, than we,
=No two were bolder.
The bugle said, "To the battlefield-
Your country's honour demands your shield,
Go!  Conquer!  Never dare to yield,"
And we marched with our hearts against love steeled,
=Marched shoulder to shoulder.

Into the battle bloody and grim,
=Still shoulder to shoulder;
One step, one purpose, me and Jim,
=No two were bolder.
"Is't yours or mine, this bullet flying?"
But ere lips could be replying
Jim is down! shot through and dying,
I saw him stumble, yet proudly trying
=To keep shoulder to shoulder.

I dare not tarry, comrade Jim,
=Though it tears my heart;
I can only commend your soul to Him,
=He'll play a comrade's part.
I have still to load and still to try
My country's honour to hold on high;
I can only bid you a fond good-bye-
It may be my turn next to die,
=And we'll be no more apart.







THE FIRST FITTIN'

=I'm the maist unlucky chap
=That ever took a stap;
=I aince met a fell mishap,
=A' through takin' a wee drap;
==If ye'll spare as muckle time,
==I'll tell ye in a rhyme,
What befel me on the New Year's mornin'.

=My battle i' my pooch,
=My hat I gied a slooch,
=Then I daundered doon the street
=Whaur some chaps I had to meet;
=='Twas nearin' twel' o'clock,
==An' an awfu' lot a' folk
Were waitin' on the New Year's mornin'.

=When the clock was strikin' twel',
=I'll ne'er forget the yell,
='Twas like Auld Nick an' a' his weans
=Had come oot a' the puirshoose;
==An' wi' many a ringin' cheer,
==An' a hearty "Guid New Year,"
We welcomed in the New Year's mornin'.

=Then we warsled doon the street,
=An' ilk ane we chanced to meet
='Twas "tak' a taste," an' "here ye are,"
=An "wish us a' a Guid New Year,"
==When no faur on my way,
==To mysel' I had to say,
"Ye're 'balmy,' man, gey early in the mornin'."

=I got doon past the Cannon,
=The folks doon there were thrangin'
=Like bees oot o' a byke,
=Or like colliers oot on strike.
==A burly chield cried "Tam!
==Tak' ye're time an' ha'e a dram,"
But I ne'er loot on I heard him that mornin'.

=The street ca'd Pittencrief
=Was whaur I cam' to grief;
=An' hoo it cam' aboot
=I'll tell ye very brief.
==There's a snod bit lass lives there
==Wi' her auld folks, up a stair,
An' I'd promised to first fit them in the mornin'.

=Sae doon the street I gaed,
=An' the door I sune cam' tae'd;
=I never knockit at it,
=But boldly in I gaed.
==But it was a fell mishap,
==For a big lang-leggit chap
Gi'ed my chafts an awfu' clootin' that mornin'.

=He lifted me wi' a'e haund,
=An' skelped me wi' the ither,
=An' said he'd gi'e me something
=For disturbin' his auld mither;
==Then he turned me inside oot,
==An' made me do a scoot
Wi' his boot doon the stair that mornin'.

=When I launded at the fit,
=For a while I had to sit
=Till I cam' to mysel'.
=I ha'e scarce recovered yet;
==Then I rose as quiet's a moose,
==An' saw I'd mista'en the hoose,
An' gone up the wrang stair this mornin'.

=But I thocht he micht ha'e askit
=Wha I wis, on my address,
=Before he gaed an' startit
=An' made me in sic a mess;
=='Twas owre much to sweesh the flair,
==An' rub the whitenin' aff the stair,
Wi' me an a New Year's mornin'.

=Noo a word I'd like to say
=Before I go away,
=I've never pree'd strong drink
=Sin' that very self-same day,
==An' I never will again,
==For the fact is very plain,
It's bad to drink, sae young chaps tak' a warnin'.

=When Meg an' me got wed,
='Mang the first things that we did,
=We gaed and jined the Templars-
=Took the vows upon oor head,
==To neither touch nor taste,
==Nor oor bits o' bawbees waste
On drink; the pledge oor kitchen wa's adornin'.







THE OLD HANDLOOM WEAVERS' DRIVE



I.

Last Friday week I got a keek
=O' earthly happiness,
An' that's the way I send the day
=This screed to your address.
I'm shair I've seen, an' aft ha'e been
=At ploys o' ev'ry kind;
But this affair, I'm certain shair,
=Beats a' thing e'en I mind.

Doon at the Cannon scores were thrangin'
=An' gettin' into brakes-
The fact'ry folk, wi' laugh an' joke,
=Were there for the auld folks' sake;
It warmed their bluid an' did them guid,
=Far mair than tongue can tell,
=To see the trace in ilka auld face,
=O' joy's expectant spell.

But there-we're aff wi' merry laugh
=An' mony a lood hurray,
An' up the street wi' clat'rin' feet
=The horses mak' their way.
But, losh keep a'! what is't ava?
=We hinna gotten faur
Before we halt an' sample "malt,"
=Juist at the "Royal" door.

We're aff ance mair, a' fair an' square,
=An' a' alang Pilmuir
The bairnies troup in merry group
=Wi' auld folks roon' ilk door;
An' in the steer, cheer after cheer
=Rings on the mornin' air;
Upon my word a titled Lord
=Cudna' ha'e gotten mair.

At Hawkiesfauld the young an' auld
=Were oot to cry "Hurray,"
The Dominie raise frae his tea
=To help the send-away.
Syne up the hill, wi' richt guid will,
=The horses canter fast,
Wi' laugh an' sang the road's ne'er lang,
=An' Dunduff sune is passed.

We stop at Outh to quench the drooth
=An' feed the inward man,
But dinna think we wasted drink
=For ilk ane juist got "wan."
Owre hill an' dale, thro' woody vale,
=The auld hearts fain did thrill
To see wi' pride the country side
=Look bonnie roon' Powmill.

An' when we're nearin' Rumblin' Brig
=A "tootin' horn" we hear,
An' doon the road, wi' lively load,
=A coach an' fow'r draws near;
An' seated mang the merry thrang
=The twa Dumfarlin laddies,
Wha willin' ga'e o' what they ha'e
=To treat the "weavin'" daddies.

But bide ye yet, we've set oor fit
=At last on braw Blair-hill;
The grunds are free, an' you an' me
=May roam at oor sweet will;
A muckle park whaur we may lark,
=Or dance, or lounge at ease,
Or lie like logs, or "bleachfield dogs"
=Aneath the shady trees.

When a' are seated on the grass
=A score o' willin' hands.
Took to each man a sonsie pie
=To stey the wame's demands;
An' lemonade on bitter beer,
=Or _aqua vitae pura_,
Or water, caller, mindin' ane
=O' the auld well doon the Newry.

Syne burly Pete ga'e a' a treat
=Wi' "Philadelphia" singin';
An' when "Jock Tamson" lost his horse
=Nae lip was dolefu' hingin';
Then in the race Auld "Davie's" pace
=Ootstript the rest by faur,
He lost the wage, because o' age,
=But got a guid seegaur.

The young anes there were made to stare
=Wi' mony an' auld warl' story,
Aboot the time, when in their prime,
=The hand-lim was their glory-
Sae free they were, no tethered up
=Like folk in fact'rys noo;
They wrocht juist when they liked, an' when
=They cared, they could be "through."

In the afternoon (before I'm dune
=I've juist a word to say),
The crood cam' owre frae the coach an' fow'r
=Wi' us some time to stay;
Then auld John D., an' auld Rob A.,
=Recited wi' rare unction;
An' Archie sang wi' rantin' bang,
=An' helped the social function.

The "Laughin' Nig," in coatless rig,
=Made everybody grin;
Then J. B. Dick made blood pulse quick
=Wi' the "Macgregor's Gath'rin'";
An' Craig sang then o' "Laird Cockpen"
=Arrayed in a' his glory,
An' on his mare-but there, I'm shuir
=Ye a' ken the auld story.

The Bailie, prood, spoke for the crood
=In words o' guid soond sense;
Then Duncan F. returned thanks,
=His speech was juist immense;
Then aff they set, for it got wet
=('Twas comin' on to rain),
The echoes rung as load we sung
="Will ye no come back again?"

Noo let me see-we had oor tea
=An' then anither dram;
Syne doon the lane we tramp again
=An' sune the brakes we cram;
Before we start auld Tammy Clark
=Tak's doucely off his hat,
An' glibly speers for hearty cheers
=To Messrs Dick an' Watt.

We didna come the way we gaed,
=For at the Powmill burn
We kept richt on by Blairingone,
=Roon mony a bonnie turn;
Up Saline brae we canter tae,
=The horses had their wark;
An' past Gowkha' we come ana',
=An' in through auld Milesmark.

Richt frae Parknock doon tae the clock
=The folk lined a' the street;
They wer'na feared, the way they cheered
=Micht pit folk aff their meat;
Noo we're a' richt! we say guid nicht,
=An' as we tak' oor airt
Ye needna speir, we're unca sweer
=Wi' sic a day to pairt.

We hope the Lord will amply bless,
=In basket an' in store,
The lads wha ga'e the treat this day
=An' a' expenses bore;
May they live lang an' prosper weel,
=An' sorrows ne'er them plague,
Gi'e care a clout an' turn her oot
=Is the wish o' Jamie Craig.



II.

Last year, ye'll mind, I ha'e nae doot,
=I sent a screed o' rhyme
Aboot the famous Weavers' Drive,
=An' here I am this time-
Wi' juist as much to write aboot,
=But lo'd the "muse" is lazy,
An' huntin' roon' for rhymes to clink
=Is like to send me crazy.

I've tried it ance in ilka form
=That's likely to pan oot;
I tied my yaukin' head up in
=A muckle water cloot;
I've smoked an' smoked till like to choke,
=And then I've tried a "nip,"
But dour an' dorty sits the "muse,"
=She winna wauken up.

Hooever, here's another trial-
=I'll speak fu' laich an' kindly,
I'll swear to woo her till I dee
=An' follow her fu' blindly;
I'll glamour her wi' a' my airt
=Until her heart is jeel,
Then rhymes 'll ca' each ither yont
=As in a foursome reel.

The same twa lads wha drew their purse
=An' stood the treat last year
Sent word to Watt some weeks ago
=The sere auld hearts to cheer,
An' telt him to "arrange" again-
='Twas kindly dune, I say-
To gi'e the guid auld sowls again
=A real red-letter day.

On Friday morn by half-past nine,
=A' roond the Newry tap,
The auld men gethered by the score,
=A ripe an' guidly crap;
By ten o'clock they seated were,
=A' smiles an' licht o' heart,
Wi' pipes an' drums an' banners gay,
=A' ready for the start.

Frae the East Port we drove awa',
=The horses briskly prancin',
The pipes struck up a merry tune
=That made folk fidge for dancin';
Alang the High Street, whaur the crood
=Were stanin' cheerin' loodly,
We passed an' ga'e them cheer for cheer
=An' waved oor bannets proodly.

We pass the Cannon, doon the Brig,
=Syne roond the corner whirl;
Up Chalmers Street the cavalcade
=Gaed wi' a merry dirl,
Then whuppit into Pittencrieff,
=That ance was famed for clashin',
Ilk door was filled wi' wives an' weans
=Wha cheered in hearty fashion.

Noo doon the "cut" wi' caution rare
=We're quickly past "oor ferm,"
An' thro' Crossford a' decked wi' bloom
=Each heart glowed wi' the charm,
The roses wi' their sweet perfume
=Pleased baith the nose an' een;
The village looked sae bonnie-man,
='Twas like some fairy scene!

The hooses a' sae neat an' clean-
=Altho' they're mebbe wee-
Wi' routh o' gairden roond the back
=They're bonnie, man, to see;
The place sae quiet an' decent like
=I canna but gied praise,
Juist like the very place whaur I
=Wad like to end my days.

We're trottin' past Pitfirrane gates
=An' in the country lane,
The hedges heich an ilka side,
=An' syne the witch's stane-
A stane which, as the story goes,
=She cairried in her lap,
An' juist when here she loot it fa'
=Her apron string gaed snap.

Hooever, we maun hurry on
=Thro' sleepy Cairneyhill,
Deserted village-man, I'm wae
=To see a'thing sae still.
Wi' half the hooses tumblin' doon,
=Nor soond a' loom or hammer,
Nor lads an' lasses i' their glee,
=Nor bairns wi' cheery clamour.

Owre "Conscience Brig" withoot a fear
=We gang nor look ahint us;
An' sing, as doon the hill we drive,
=As tho' dull care had tint us;
Syne past Craigflo'er an' Torryburn
=(Lang famous for its races)
We merry gang, an' up the hill
=Oor horses show their paces.

Here's Newmill Brig, whaur Tammy M.,
=In stirrin' days lang syne,
Ootwitit a' the po'ers that be-
=They're here that mind o't fine;
Noo doon thro' braw Lowvalleyfield
=We skirt alang the shore;
When roond the bend we a' draw up
=An' tap the pic-nic store.

A host a' willin' workers gi'e
=The auld folks a' they want
O' sandwiches, an' something tilt,
=Nor meat nor drink was scant.
But losh keeps a', we're aff again,
=For each has got his sairin',
An' quickly we are a' the gate
=Thro' Cu'ross an' Kingcairn.

Frae Kennet road the sicht is graund,
=The Ochil Hills look bonnie,
An' auld hearts thrill wi' pride an' say
=They're no excelled by ony;
An' aye the sang comes to their mind-
="Auld Scotland's hills for me,
We'll drink a cup to Scotland yet
=Wi' a' the honours three."

An' juist upon the chap o' wan
=We drive thro' Alloa,
I question if the toon e'er saw
=A sicht e'en half sae braw;
They cheered each brake as if we'd been
=Some folks o' high estate,
An' kept it up until we drove
=Richt thro' the big hoose gate.

We quickly got oot o' the brakes,
=An' raxed oor crampit legs,
An' mairched ahint the pipers' band
=Wi' dirks an' philabegs;
Then in the park we a' sat doon,
=A pie each man did munch,
An' washed it doon wi' what he liked,
=This constituted lunch.

The Bailie's face was guid to see
=A' beamin' owre wi' joy,
'Twas easy to be seen that he
=Had pleasure in the ploy.
He had some words a' couthie cheer
=To gi'e frae aff the larrie,
An' mair than ane was heard to say,
='Twere ill to find his marrow.

An' then the Doctor, glib o' tongue,
=Frae distant Alleghany,
Began to speak, an' sune he showed
=He wisna ony nannie.
The auld folks cheered an' shook their pows,
=Juist like the ither sages,
An' urged him on as owre he turned
=The auld historic pages.

He spake as gin he'd been inspired
=O' Scotland an' her glory,
Her dorty grund, her lochs an' glens,
=Her mountains auld an' hoary.
He spake o' Burns an' what he did
=For oor auld Doric tongue,
An' when he stopt wi' lusty cheers
=The echoes fondly rung.

Then Archie sang a canty sang,
='Twas "Rantin Robin" shairly,
We a' jined in wi' chorus lilt
=An' helped him oot fu' rarely;
Then Andrew C. a word o' praise
=Gae Messrs P- an' M-
To every word be said, I'm shair,
=We a' could say-Amen!

An' then we a' got rankit up,
=An' got oor picters tookin';
An' tho' the sun was in oor een,
=We a' oor best are lookin'.
Then "Willie brewed a peck o' maut"-
=Wi' a' the drucken fun-
Was sang wi' glee by Doddie M.,
=An' Cooper Dick an' son.

Syne Peter sang an Irish rant,
=But still he had to figure
Ance mair to please the auld folks weel,
="Juist gie's the 'Lauchin' Nigger.'"
Then Robert Anderson held forth,
=As only Robert can,
An' proved that "Liberty" is still
=The greatest boon to man.

Then Dod sang fine "The Auld Scotch Sangs,'
=A lady, "Annie Lowrie";
An' Johnny M. ga'e aff a screed,
=That made us cauld an' oorie,
Aboot some beast alow a bed,
=Which tirned oot anon
Naething mair nor less than juist
=Some leddy's new chignon.

Then Craig sung sangs in hamely Scotch,
=An' mony an e'e was glancin'
When Ella tript upon the sward
=To strains o' bagpipe dancin';
Then races keen were run again,
=A prize each sprinter got,
The first prize was for winnin',
=The last ane was for not.

Anither dram an' something tae'd
=An' then we saw the floo'rs,
An' mony o' the guid auld folks
=Could steyed there 'oors and 'oors;
But time is even on the wing,
=We've juist a'e day ye see,
An' Mistress C. is waitin' wi'
=A rale fine cup o' tea.

An' after that auld Duncan F.
=Had some kind words to say
Aboot the way that Dick an' Watt
=Had carried oot the day.
The auld folks cheered the sentiment
=As only auld folks can,
To hear'd I'm shair it wad ha'e peyed
=The wark o' ony man.

Then in the brakes we settle doon
=An' back the bonnie road,
Each brake filled up wi' lichtened hearts,
=An' auld an' precious load;
An' on the road we halt again,
=An' gi'e each what he likit-
A dram, a cake, or sandwiche-till
=The banes were a' clean pykit.

The villagers in ilka place
=A' cheered us as we passed,
An' aye the next cheer seemed to be
=Far better than the last.
An' when we cam' to Pittencrieff
=The Baund got oot an' walkit,
While close ahint wi' stately pride
=Our horses slowly stalkit.

Then on the Brig we a' got oot,
=An' mony folks were there
To wait an' welcome hame their ain.
=It made my heart feel sair
To see sae mony auld grey pows,
=Weel kennin' that they must
Fu' sune aneath the daisies sleep
=An' mingle dust wi' dust.

But may the Lord wha minds us a'
=Look kindly on ilk ane,
An' ease the burden aff the back
=That's bendin' doon wi' pain,
An' when the glorious mornin' breaks
=(To some it maun be sune)
May kindly faces cheer the road
=An' welcome them abune.



III.

Gin ye ha'e threshed the craps ye ha'e
=Till nocht to thresh remain,
What can ye dae gin ye are telt
=To yoke an' thresh again?
Ye e'en may flap yer flail aboot
=An' dae nae guid ava,
But possibly ye'll chance to ca'
=Some o' yer grain awa'.

That's just hoo I this meenit feel,
=As I sit doon to scribble,
An' sae I'm maistly feared ye'll get
=Nocht but a rhymin' dribble.
O' a' the sully things I've dune
=(An' I've dune lots, I ken),
This screed aboot the Weavers' Drive
='s the warst I've tried to pen.

Gin I'd been pleased to write a'e year
=An' never tried again,
I feel jist as my rantin' rhyme
=Hadna been penned in vain,
But na! I had to write last year.
=An' noo it's plain to see
If there is nocht this year, ye'll think
=There's something wrang wi' me.

Some folks gi'e money to the Kirk,
=Same wad to pu' it doon,
Some gie'd if to nourish any airt
=That helps to mak' a toon;
Some gie'd for organs, baths, an' baunds-
=A' guid things in their way;
An' lang may they be spared to gi'e
=Is what I fondly pray.

It's no sae much the sum ye gi'e
=In whilk there lies the merit
(The Lord abune, wha judges a',
=Looks only at the spirit.)
An' weel we ken-at least, that is
=As faur's frail man can judge-
There's some Dumfarlin' laddies gi'e,
=An' gi'e withoot a grudge.

Carnegie opens wide his loof,
=His gowd he freely shares;
For this, for that he gies-the while
=A winderin' world stares.
There's nocht in a' the realms o' fact,
=Nor equal o'd in fiction,
To match oor Andrew-that's a'e thing
=That staunds nae contradiction.

It's no' sae much aboot him though
=That I shu'd tak' time writin',
Although the subject I maun say
=Is really maist invitin'.
But I maun speak a' ither twa,
=Ye ken them I'm assumin',
To name them plainly in my rhyme
=I needna be presumin'.

Forbye, their names are unco hard
=To find oot rhymes to suit them,
An' I'll be a' the better pleased
=Gin ye can dae withoot them.
The task a' rhymin' them I'll leave
=Till same bit better day;
This screed is wanted to be "set"
=An' "oot" on Satterday.

Besides this treat that they provide,
=There's ither things they dae,
But what they are, an' wha they're for,
=It's no for me to say.
But if they never did ocht else
=Than gi'e this treat, I ween
They'll leave ahint them something that
=Will keep their mem'ries green.

Some weeks ago the word was sent
=To Maister Edward Watt
To organeese the trip again,
=An', losh! he sune did that.
He wrote at ance to Lord Balfour,
=An' he permission ga'e
For a' the Weavin' Daddies
=In his grunds to spend the day.

On Friday morn' at nine o'clock
=(The sun fu' bricht did shine),
The auld men got into the brakes,
=A' marshalled into line;
Jist at the fit o' Bonnar Street,
=An' richt alang East Port,
The folks turned oot as if they had
=Seen naethin' o' the sort.

The Kilties wi' their pipes an' drums
=Marched aff to martial strain,
The kindly crood their bannets raised
=An' cheered wi' micht an' main.
Wi' prancin' staps the horses gaed
=Richt doon the High Street stately,
The auld folks echoed back the cheers,
=Ise warrant 'twasna blately.

Up Chalmers Street, an' then Woodhead,
=An' richt alang Golfdrum,
The doors an' windows o' ilk hoose
=Were thranged to see us come;
Then when we reached the Auld Coal Road
=We stoppit for a meenit,
An' ilka brake was then complete
=Wi' a'e guid piper in it.

Hurrah! we're aff thro' Rum'lin'well,
=We're briskly past it a',
An' richt alang the bonnie road
=Past quaint an' quiet Gowkha';
Thro' Carnock, whaur the douce auld folks
=Look'd as they'd a' gane wud,
The women louped, the bairnies sang-
=It did the auld hearts guid.

Past Oakley sune we find a spat
=Weel sheltered wi' the trees,
At ance the scene is likened to
=A hive o' busy bees;
For willin' haunds set richt to wark,
=An' drams are sune decanted,
An' sandwiches laid oot on trays,
=An' a' seem quite enchanted.

When I say "drams," ye needna think
=There's juist the whuskey bottle;
Oh, no! there's lemonade an' that
=For them that are teetotal;
An' while a pickle o' the men
=Ne'er kent the taste o' whuskey,
There's ithers gin there was nae gaird
=Wad play a bonnie pliskie.

But there, we're up an' aff again
=Alang the bonnie road
To Kennet, whaur the Ochil hills
=A welcome seem to nod;
Then up the shady avenue
=To Kennet Hoose we rin,
An' in the coortyard a' draw up-
=Oor ootward journey dune.

Then in the park we rax oor legs,
=An' quickly a' are seated,
An' pies an' til't-in fact, its juist
=The last year's treat repeated;
Then after ilka ane's been ser'd
=We ha'e some speechifyin',
An' a' the speakers' "pat" remarks
=Were really edifyin'.

The Bailie said some words o' pith
=Aboot the po'er o' riches
(He speaks frae sic a gentle sowl
=His hearers he bewitches).
He said that they had brocht a book
=To gi'e to Lord Balfour,
Ta mind him o' oor veesit there
=An' wile a cannie 'oor.

Then Dan'l Thamson took his place
=An' ga'e a glorious speech
Aboot the weavers an' their weys-
=A sermon he did preach;
An' telt us a' the bards ha'e sung
=Aboot the gallant weavers,
Frae Burns doon thro' a' the scribes
=To "Kate Dalrump's" deceivers.

His speech was graund-in fact, he seemed
=Juist steepit to the een
In weaver's bore, frae auldest times,
=Till yesterday I ween;
Wi' kings an' queens an' goddesses
=He seemed richt weel acquentit,
An' wi' an artist's airt an' skill
=A picture graund he pentit.

When he was dune the echoes rang,
=The cheerin' it was lood;
Then Airchie sang a cantie sang,
=An' cocked his head fu' prood;
Then Robert Anderson ance mair
=Stood oot upon the green,
An' as he spake, unbidden tears
=Cam' swith to mony een.

"He's failin'," a'e auld man remarked
=Wi' waesome nod to me;
"His voice is no sae lood, an', man,
=His tongue is no sae free;
But losh it's little winder neh,
=It's lang since he first ran!
I'll never see _his_ age; ye ken
=That Robert's ninty-wan!"

Then Doctor Christie, frae the wast
=(Ye'll mind he spoke last year),
When he got up we welcomed him
=Wi' many a couthie cheer;
An' when he feenished, ilka ane
=Was fain to hear some mair;
The chance o hearin' folk like yon
=Is shairly faur owre rare.

Then efter that fine sangs were sung
=By Peter, Jim an' Bob,
An' Jamie Spaldin' tried a stave,
=An' made a gey guid job;
But man the sang abune them a'
=That pleased them ane an' ither,
Was Andrew Flockhart's guid auld thren-
="When we were boys thegither."

Then ance again a' were refreshed,
=An' then wi' aspect dooce
The auld men got their portraits ta'en
=In front a' Kennet Hoose.
Then in the grunds at their sweet will
=They roamed aboot richt free
Till-losh keeps a'! it's five o'clock
=An' time we had oor tea!

Then votes o' thanks to Dick an' Watt,
=To Peacock an' to Morrison,
Was gi'en by Duncan F-, an' we
=A' helpit wi' the chorusin'.
An' Lord Balfour was thankit to,
=His servants got their share,
For a' their kindness to us-man,
=They cudna shown us mair.

Then safely into ilka brake
=We stowed its precious load,
The horses, nicherin', pawed the grund,
=A' anxious for the road;
Then cheerin' loodly aff we set
=(Juist after six 'twas wearin'),
Wi' joke an' sang, it wasna lang
=Till we were thro' Kingcar'in.

We jinkit roun' ilk bonnie bend,
=The Forth maist aye in view;
The sicht, man, made the auld hearts glow,
=It's auld, yet aye it's new;
An' when we got thro' Cu'ross toon
=(Its girdles ga'e it fame),
We stop an' ha'e anither taste!-
=The last till we get hame.

Thro' Valleyfield, an' then Newmill,
=An' syne comes Torryburn;
Next Cairneyhill, an' then Crossford,
=The folks cheer our return;
Syne up the "cut" to James' Place,
=Juist as 'twas wearin' grey,
We stopt an' let the baund get oot
=An' mairch in front an' play.

Then on the Brig we a' draw up
=An' laund oor precious loads,
An' mony freends are waitin' to
=Convoy them on their roads;
They're gled to see them safe an' soond
=An' hame again ance mair;
The lovin' looks an' kindly words
=Mak's gled each heart, I'm shair.

Sin last we met there's two-three heads
=Been happit in the yaird;
An' e'er we meet again some mair
='ll gang the road I'm feared;
But God wha guides an' rules us a'
=Has a' the plans in haund,
We're safe to trust, He'll tak' us to
=A bricht an' better laund.

For gin we dae the best we can
=While here, there is nae fear
That He'll desert us when the gates
=O' Death we're drawin' near.
Na, na, we ha'e His promise graund
=He never will forsake us;
But frae the nicht to endless licht
=He'll to His mansions take us.



IV.

Three times afore I've been beguiled
=To write a rhymin' jingle
Aboot the famous Weavers' Drive
=I'm shair my lugs micht tingle,
For, man, when a'thing's said an' dune
=It's naething but a haiver,
Or, as some unco wice folks ca'd,
=An' auld wife's rhymin' claiver.

Hooever, here we are again,
=We juist maun thole their snash,
For weel I ken that plenty folks
=Are unco fond o' clash;
But, man! the thing that brugs me on
=To tak' my pen again,
Is juist the pleesure that I ken
=It gi'e's some fine auld men.

An' efter a': what does the scribe
=Wha writes in lofty strain
O' scienteefick wonders, or
=Some ither sic like vein,
Gin he had nae like goal in view
=Wad he his story tell?
Unless he wrote (as whiles we maun)
=For pleesure to himsel'.

There's plenty folk wi' routh o' gowd
=Wha ne'er ha'e ocht to spare,
There's ithers wha ha'e gethered gear
=An' likes to gi'e a share
To ithers, wha in life's dreech faucht
=Ha'e warsled in the ditches,
An' wha, while owin' nae man debt,
=Ha'e ne'er been bless'd wi' riches.

Sometime bygane the word was sent
=To Maister Watt ance mair
To see aboot the Auld Men's Drive
=He did it quick I'm shair,
He wrote to Maister Ferguson,
=Wha owns the Raith estate,
An' telt him a' aboot the ploy
=An' wha was stan'in' treat.

He ga'e consent-on Friday last
=Whaever chanced to be
Near the East Port at nine o'clock
=Saw what they seldom see,
Mair than a hunder fine auld men
=A' lauchin' lood an' crackin'
As if they had tint every care
=An' nocht in life was lackin'.

By hauf-past nine, a' seated were
=In brakes that had been waitin',
An' doon the street-the pipers first-
=The cheerin' was elatin';
Then doon the Kirkgate, past the Kirk,
=The crood lined ilka street,
Till at the Priory corner-man,
=The thocht maist gars me greet.

'Twas juist afore the hin'maist brake
=Had pass'd yon awkward bend,
Ane o' thae sudden sorrow clouds
=That God sees fit to send
Spread owre us!  "God keep's a'I" they cry
=(A sick'nin' dread we feel).
Alas! owre late the warnin' cry,
=A bairn's aneath the wheel.

Puir lam', in spite o' doctor's skill,
=An' nurse's kindly care,
On Sawbath nicht his wee bit heart
=Was stilled for evermair.
I'm shair that many a kindly heart
=Wi' sympathy was swellin',
An' mony a kindly thocht gaed to
=That sorry-stricken dwellin'.

I canna stop to say a' that
=Micht easily be said,
But maun get on-the Spittal's reached,
=An' there we were delayed
Till in each brake a piper chield
=Was seated brawly playin';
An' aff we set at genty trot-
=The crood aloud hurrayin'.

Richt roond the "Cottage" corner, man,
=We gaed at merry pace;
The country folks that haw'd the dreels
=Cheer'd gin't had been a race;
At Digitty cots the folk cam' oot
=Dumfoun'er'd they did glow'r,
An' cheer on cheer assailed us
=As we drove through Aberdour.

At yon stey broo, ayont the toon,
=A cannie halt was made,
An' on the roadside a' sat doon
=An' roond the waiters gaed
Wi' sandwiches an' toothsome snacks,
=An' a' were busy soon,
Wi' lemonade or akkey vee,
=Or beer to wash them doon.

When a' had ha'en eneuch to ser'
=The hungry inner man,
We're quickly in oor seats, and soon
=Through Burnt Ellen ran.
An' what a lot o' weel-kent folk
=At ilka place stood cheerin';
The natives wondered what was up,
=But sune kent for the speerin'.

Alang the fine, straucht road we gaed,
=But stop to view the scene
Whaur ane o' Scotia's Kings fell owre,
=An' unco fa' it's been.
The drivers gied their horse a drink,
=An' a'e auld man, fu' sly,
Remarked to me, wi' merry e'e,
="There's mair than horses dry."

But noo we're aff again, wi' speed
=We through Kingorn ran,
The clock upon the Toonhouse said
=The time o' day was "wan."
Withoot anither halt we got
=Richt to oor journey's en',
An' in a park they ca' the "Scaur,"
=We raxed oor legs again.

Then quickly a' were ser'd again
=Wi' pies, an' what they wanted,
An' then the singin' was begun,
=An' each ane was enchanted.
For startin' aff wi' richt guid vim,
=The young chields sang the glee,
"Hail, Smilin' Morn," the auld folk smiled,
=Wi' pleasure i' their e'e.

Then Archie Heggie ga'e the lilt,
="The Lad was born in Kyle,"
An' aye the chorus got a lift
=In rousin', rantin' style.
Then Robin sang a canty sang,
=That pleased the Daddies rarely;
They seemed to gree wi' "Na, na, na,
=No' up in the mornin' early."

Then Johnny Martin ga'e a screed
=Aboot a "Hieland Crafter,"
An' whan he ended, echoes rang
=Wi' load hurrahs an' laughter.
Then young John Dick ga'e them a "stave,"
=Of coorse, that's in his line,
An' Davie sang the "Village Smith,"
=His graund voice soonded fine.

Auld Johnny Douglas then stood oot
=An' ga'e us sad Culloden;
An' Jamie sang an auld Scotch sang,
=That set the auld heads noddin'.
This year there was nae graund harrangue
=To rouse the auld folk's bluid;
I think it was a peety, for
=I'm shair it does them guid.

Hooever, man, the time seemed short
=For what we had to dae,
Wi' races for the youngest
=An' the auldest ye may say-
The kind o' races rarely seen,
=Nae rinnin' till ye burst-
Wi' prizes for the hin'maist
=As weel as for the first.

An' then we a' got groupit up,
=Richt for oor phottygraff,
An' some o' the "asides" ye heard
=Were like to gar ye laff-
"All steady," Maister Norval cries,
=But someone steps agee-
"Stand yont," "Sit doon," "Haud up."
="Here man! yer richt in front o' me!"

Then Andrew Flockhart sang the sang,
="Richt merry boys were we";
An' Johnny Dowie lilted fine,
="The woods o' Craigilea";
Then Jamie Spaldin' sang a sang
=Aboot some "Tam Gibb's soo";
Then Dick, an' Craig, an' Stewart sang-
="Oh, no, we're no that fou."

By this time, lo'd, 'twas five o'clock,
=An' time we had oor tea,
An' that was ready in a trice,
=An' served upon their knee;
Wi' fancy cakes o' every shape-
=Some roond, some square, some fluffy,
An' some wad ha'e a buttered scone,
=An' some a jeelly puffy.

Then votes o' thanks took up some time,
=For Johnny M. spoke grand,
In movin' thanks to the twa lads
=Wha in a foreign land
Aye think upon their native place
=An' some auld buddies there,
An' gi'e them when the time comes roond
=An' ootin' rich an' rare.

I wad ha'e gi'en a siller croon,
=For baith the twa to heard 'im,
For a' the siller that they've spent,
=That vote o' thanks wad ser'd them.
For, man, the tear was in his e'e,
=A fu', fu' heart betrayin',
An' then ye micht ha'e heard them here
=Sae lood was the hurrayin'.

Then Thamas Clark returned thanks
=To him wha lent the park;
His speech was neat as cud be wished,
=Up to high-water mark.
Then Thamas Cook next had his say,
=His words were guid and "pat,"
He ca'd for three guid hearty cheers
=For Maister Edward Watt.

The brakes are here, an' soon ilk ane
=Has got its precious load;
The whussle blaws, an' soon we're aff
=Upon the hameward road.
To tell ye a' the gates we cam'
=Wad tak' owre lang to stiddy,
But a'e bit road we had to pass
=Was roond by Bairner's Smiddy.

When mair than hauf-road's hame we halt,
=An' gi'e the banes a pyke,
An' ilka ane gets meat an' drink
=As muckle as they like.
Awa' again, up through Dirthill,
=Crossgates an' Ha'beath's past,
Fodbank, Tooch, syne Garvock Farm,
=We're nearin' hame at last.

Appin Crescent, lod keep's a'!
=What croods are oot to meet us,
An' in East Port we a' draw up,
=An' hunders kindly greet us.
An' kindly words, an' lovin' looks
=Are gi'en to ilka ane,
They're gled to see the guid auld folks
=A' safe at hame again.

Last year, ye'll mind, I had my doots,
=Afore we met again,
That some wad sleep aneath the mools;
=Owre true it was I ween.
It needs na the prophetic e'e,
=When leaves are dried an' broon,
To tell that wi' the gurly gale
=They maun come russlin' doon.

Some fa' when green an' fu' o' sap,
=As some men in their prime,
For nocht can stey the cauld, cauld hand
=When comes th' allotted time.
But may the gloamin' saftly fa'
=On ilka auld man there,
God grant them a' a peacefu' nicht,
=An' shoo'rs o' blessin's rare.

An' let us pray that He wha guides
=An' rules wi' richest love,
May airt the feeble footsteps
=To the promised Laund above.
An' may the heart o' ilka ane
=Be trustin' aye an' hopin',
An' when the shades o' death shall fa'
=They'll ha'e nae thowless gropin'.



V.

There's buck in "odds" a wheen folk say,
=But I'm inclined to doot
If this hauds guid regairdin' rhymes
=When ye've to write aboot
The same thing aye year efter year,
=To dae my best I strive,
An' this screed is the odd ane,
=Ye can ca' it chapter five.

I've telt ye twa-three times afore
=The pinglin' job I've ha'en,
To write aboot this Weavers' Drive,
=I needna dae't again.
I had determined same weeks syne
=I wadna write this year,
But kindly words frae some auld men
=Has changed my mind I fear.

It's unco easy to advise
=Some ane to yoke aworkin'
Withoot e'er thinkin' o' the toil
=That 'neath the tap is lurkin'.
But pleasin' auld folk seems to me
=Beyond the richest treasure;
To add a'e glint o' sunshine there
=Mak's ony toil a pleasure.

To Maister Edward Watt ance mair,
=As in the years gane by,
The word was sent "Arrange again,"
=He couldna but comply.
He wrote to Tubbiallan's laird
=(A man o' virtues rare)
To see'f he'd let the weavers spend
=Their annual pic-nic there.

Sir James replied at ance that he
=Wad be mair than delighted,
An' hoped that a'thing wad gang richt,
=Nor a'e wee wish be blighted.
He said that he was awfu' vexed
=He couldna be there wi' us,
He'd sent word to his servin' folks
=To every comfort gi'e us.

On Friday morn by half-past eicht,
=They had begun to gether;
By half-past nine the hale eicht-score
=Had gotten a' th'gither.
As ten was chappin' on the Toon,
=The baund begun to play,
Wi' lood huzzahs an' kindly cheers,
=We started on oor way.

Frae the East Port, wi' stately pride,
=The horses started aff,
An' as alang the street we gaed
=Pride gar'd the auld men laugh.
This joy is fykie to define,
=It's sib to youngsters' hearts,
I've mind o't when I've been astride
=Yon trams ahint the cairts.

The folk lined ilka side the street,
=As yont the Brig we gaed,
Frae Chalmers Street, richt to the Kirk,
=The cheers micht tirn'd oor head;
Alang Golfdrum the wives and weans,
=Were oot wi' a' their charms,
An' a'e puir lam', that wisna weel,
=Was in her grannie's arms.

The blanket was a' roond her sweeled,
=An' held wi' tenty care;
She saw a sicht that made her gled,
=For gran'faither was there.
The ither side-a'e dooce auld wife
=Had ne'er a'e thocht ava
That she'd been at the butcher's cairt-
=Her half-pund lookit braw.

Roond the Coal Road, up Rum'lin'well,
=Through Milesmark we are steerin'-
At ilka door an' winnock wee
=Some kindly soul was cheerin'.
We're past Gowkha', a' garbed in green,
=An' smoored wi' routh a' floo'rs;
Sae quiet an' peacefu' seems the scene,
=Contentment might be yours.

At Carnock a' the folk tirned oot
=To see that we were richt
At Oakley, maistly bairns appeared,
=An' seemed to like the sicht.
An' some a' them, I'm maistly sure,
=Ran after us a mile,
An' for their pains they pennies got-
=Ye shu'd ha'e seen them smile.

Through Comrie's Howe- we quickly rin,
=An' pass "oor ain new shop";
An' juist ahint the Castle wuds
=The cavalcade draws up.
An' mony willin' hands assist
=Till each has got his sair'n;
An' soon we're roon' by Kennet's end
=An' dirlin' to Kingkairn.

When we cam' to the Laird's estate,
=The factor-kindly man-
Atowre the brakes we daurna steer
=Till roond the 'state we ran;
Through avenues o' richest green,
=O' hazels, birks, an' beeches-
The benmaist soul o' ilk auld man
=The scene it fair bewitches.

Ye craik aboot yer Alpine wuds
=For gi'en weak folks health,
Ye tell hoo Yankees ha'e amassed
=Frae forests untold wealth,
But gi'e me Tulliallan Wuds
=An' liberty to see them,
I'd gi'e ye a' the ither wuds
=Whaure'er they like to be, man.

For here ye come on nocht to spoil
=Sweet nature's best endeavour,
She's had her way-nae cantrip plans
=Ha'e been hatched to enslave her;
For a'thing's kindred to the soil,
=Non wi' exotics mended
(As some Lairds dae wi' questioned taste)
=But juist as God intended.

Gin James had heard the sang o' praise
=Frae some men I could name,
Abroad again he'd never rove
=But anchor firm at hame.
(Ye'll notice that I dropt the _Sir_,
=I'm liable to a fine,
But dinna blame it on to me,
=It wadna fa' in line.)

Noo efter seein' roond the grunds
=We get into the park,
An' men wi' trays o' muckle pies
=Get started to their wark,
An' whiskey, beer, an' lemonade,
=Is very sune decanted,
Until each man has filled his wame
=Wi' a'thing that he wanted.

Then Bailie Rollan', genty man,
=Spoke words o' kindly cheer,
Ye canna match this couthie man
=Tho' ye search far an' near,
He read a wire that he had got
=Frae faur across the sea,
Hopin' that a' wad pass aff richt
=An' happy a' wad be.

Then Maister Jamie Watt stood up
=An' ga'e a brilliant speech,
That pleased the auld folks awfu' weel,
=Their heart strings he did reach;
Wi' weavin' lore an' weaver phrase,
=His speech he weel did fatten,
He said their webs were nearly oot
=Because their beams were spattin'.

An' tears unbidden swiftly cam
=To mony a guid man's een,
But sune the sunshine cleared them aff
=As they had never been;
Then Peter sang "The Farmer's Life,"
=An' young John Dick, "Macgregor,"
An' Jamie as "Jock Tamson" droll
=Had aince again to figure.

An' Robin set their bluids on fire
=Wi' the fervour o' his singin',
When wi' the "Mairch o' Cameron men"
=The echoes lood were ringin'.
Then Johnny Martin ga'e a turn
='Twixt singin' an' recitin',
'Twas easy kent by ilka face
=That he was them delightin'.

'Twas "Stage Struck" that he started wi'
=(Your pardon "scribes" I crave),
He started that, but finished wi'
=The "true land of the brave."
Then Johnny Douglas gaed them ane
=Aboot some "Sneeshin' Mull,"
An' then to get their portraits ta'en
=They a' sat mim an' still.

Then Maister Aiken brocht a box,
=Weel wi' tibaukie filled,
And ilka man a paper got
="Twa ounces" row'd intill'd.
Anither bite an' sup, an' then
=The gairdens were inspec'it,
An' as they sauntered cannie on,
=Auld tales were resurrec'it.

To tell them a' gin I had time,
=Wad mak a sonsie vollum,
But this screed maun be clippit to
=The confines o' a collum.
Back to the park, fu' leisurely
=(The baund in front were playing),
The auld men cam', then races ran,
=The pleesure ne'er delayin'.

Then little Isa Baxter gar'd
=The auld folks rub their een,
Sae nim'ly she the Heelan' Fling
=Did dance upon the green.
An' Johnny Dowie lilted fine
=('Twas rether heich, its true)
The sang aboot the blade o' gress
=That keps its drap o' dew.

Then Johnny Cochrane sang fu' weel
='Boot "Janet an' himsel',
The joy that's in this guid auld thren
=Is unco ill to tell.
Syne Henry Birrell capped the lot,
=An' pleasure gied to a',
As wi' rare skill he sang aboot
=The time "when we were sma'."

The Dean o' Guild "Killarney" sang,
=Wi' his accustomed vigour,
An' Peter had to gi'e aince mair
=His "Jolly Lauchin' Nigger."
Then everybody had their tea,
=Wi' buttered scones an' pastry,
Till ilka man cu'd say "I'm fu'.
=To tak' mair wad be wastrie."

Then Johnny Martin made a speech,
=Returnin' heartfelt thanks,
The cheers, I'm sure, micht ha'e been heard
=On Alleghany's banks.
The Bailie then gied every due
=To Sir James an' his Leddy,
For a' their kindness shoored on them,
=To cheer each man was ready.

For factor an' for gairdner, too,
=Rare cheers had to get vent,
The joiner also got his mead
=For pitten up the tent.
Then Tammy Clark, sae glib o' moo',
=He aye says something "pat,"
Gat "three times three" for Bailie R.
=An' Maister Edward Watt.

Wi' some mair thanks to ilka ane
=Wha'd help'd to cheer the day,
Fu' quickly a' the brakes were filled
=An' started on their way;
I needna tell that a' the road
=Frae Auld Kingkairn toon,
Frae every hoose we cheerin' got,
=They'll no forget it soon.

Frae James' Place richt to the Brig
=The folks in hunders stuid,
An' cheered, an' cheered, wi' hearty will
=That stirred the auld folks bluid;
An' mony lovin' hands were there
=To help the auld men hame,
If tears o' joy were in their een
=They wer'na sair to blame.

For joy that reaches to the "quick"
=Fu' aft yer cheek will weet,
Yer heart fills up, an' gin ye try
=To speak yer sure to greet,
An' sae ye tirn awa' yer head
=To hide the drappin tears,
But a' the tears o' joy ye shed
=Ye'll mind in efter years.

Sin' last wi met, Auld Allan Hynd
=An' Andrew Russell tae,
An' Jamie Spaddin' are awa'
=An' happit in the clay,
An' Andrew Nicol wha had seen
=A hunder years gae by,
M'Arthur, Walker's, Kennedy,
=A' still an' silent lie.

An' sure it is whaever's spared
=To see anither year,
Some kindly soul will ha'ed to say
=That sicna ane's no here;
But may the God wha rules abune
=Send blessin's doon in shoo'rs,
An' when oor span o' life is dune
=May sweetest peace be oors.

May gloamin' shadows saftly fa'
=On ilka fine auld man,
An' may God's grace aye stey them up
=To dae the best they can,
An' when the sun o' life dooks doon
=Ahint the hills o' time,
May kindly welcome wait us a'
=In our Heavenly Father's clime.



VI.

O' a' the days that's in the year
=Frae Jan'war to December,
There's nane that hauds sae muckle cheer,
=As faur as I remember,
As does the day that sees the trip
=To auld Dumfarlin' weavers,
Gi'en kindly in guid fellowship
=By twa unscrimpin' givers.

Seven times afore (they ha'e gi'en six,
=While ane was gi'en by ithers)
The twa Dumfarlin' worthy bricks
=Ha'e helped their elder brithers,
By gi'en them a glorious day,
=Wi' meat, drink, sangs an' speeches
That proves man's britherhood faur mair
=Than he wha only preaches.

Though preachin's guid an' guid eneuch-
=I've heard it frae the pu'pit-
The Kirk is realisin' noo
=Owre lang they ha'e been stupit,
An' left their puirer brethren aft,
=Wi' hungerin' wives an' weans,
To fill their wames as best they could
=Aff theologic banes.

They're comin' noo to understaund
=The roads their Maister leads them,
For aft ere tendin' to their sowls
=He tak's the loaves an' feeds them.
The kirks are mair for airin' braws
=An' criticeesin' ithers,
Than spreadin' wide the glorious licht
=That a' mankind are brithers.

An' sae I think this annual treat
=Is better faur than preachin',
If sae be that it stops at words-
=It's deeds that's faurest reachin'.
Of coorse some words o' couthie cheer
=Gars auld folks' een grow bricht,
But days like this it seems to me
=Are beacons in the nicht.

This was a real momentous year,
=Wi' a'e thing an' anither;
The weather-clerk, for instance, tint
=His reason a' th'gither,
For aince he turned the watter on
=It seemed that he forgot
To tirn it aff, an' sae for weeks
=No a'e dry day we got.

The weeks a' rain was bad eneuch,
=An' like to gar us greet,
But waur than a'-a rumour ga'ed
="They're gaun to stop the treat"!!
But losh keep's a'! the clouds broke up,
=The sun shone forth anew,
An' though the rain kept comin' doon,
=_The rumour wasna' true._

Though Maister Watt, wha a' the years
=Had wrocht wi' rare guidwill,
Ga'e up the job, twa ither lads
=Stepped in the breach to fill.
Baith Finlayson an' Adamson
=Seemed wi' rare ardour fired,
An' hoo they carried oot their plans
=Left nocht to be desired.

I needna' tell hoo committees
=Were chosen wi' decorum,
Nor need I say that "Parliament"
=Put numbers on the quorum;
But I maun praise the Weather-Clerk,
=Wha took a thocht an' mended;
An' Sol, to us his warmest rays
=Wi' smilin' face extended.

On Wednesday by half-past eicht
=The "crap" began to gether,
By half-past nine the hale eicht-score
=Were forrit a' th'gither;
Then kindly sowls wi' carefu' help
=Got a' the auld folk seated,
An' aff we set at cannie pace,
=An' wi' rare cheers were treated.

Richt frae the East Port to the "Cut"
=The folk in hunders stuid,
Ilk face betrayin' happiness
=That quickens up the bluid.
The auld folks lookin' for their ain,
=As prood as millionaires,
Seem'd born to ride in carriages
=An' ne'er had neebor'd cares.

I've often tried in days gane by
=This joy to define,
Yet never could command the words
=To tummle into line.
I ken it's sib to bairnhood days,
=An' sae I ken it's pure,
Gin ane could only tether it
=A guid life wad be sure.

Alang the Brig, then cautiously
=Up Chalmers Street we tirn,
Then into clashin' Pittencrieff,
=The sicht micht made ye girn.
The street was lined frae end to end
=Wi' folk to see's awa'-
Frae Golfdrum, Milesmark, Rumlin'well,
=The Jig, an' Ba'thrick Raw.

Through James' Place an' doon the "Cut,"
=Past Orthick quick we're hiein';
Frae Logie's tap we see the Forth
=Like streaks o' silver lyin'.
An' then Crossford bursts on the view
=Like some sweet fairy scene,
Limned lavishly by Nature's hand
=An' framed in livin' green.

Past Keavil an' Pitfirrane gates
=We gang wi' merry dirl,
An' through a mile o' country lane
=Wi' freshnin' speed we whirl.
Then Cairneyhill is wa'knin' up,
=An' showin' some elation,
'Cause some ane's tethered to its tail
=A graund new railway station.

Owre Conscience Brig an' up the brae
=A walkin' pace we thole,
Then owre the railway by the brig
=That's buried the Auld Toll;
Then doon the bonnie avenue,
=Sune Torrie Kirk's in sicht,
Then jinkin' roond the end o' it
=We get the tirn richt.

Some folk in Torrie rise gey late-
=They maybe bed gey early-
An' some folks I am bound to say
=Could use mair "Sapo" surely.
A'e wife, wha's door is juist her size,
=Had a face like a coalman's pock:
An' mind ye, noo, the time o' day
=Was near eleeven o'clock.

We're owre the brig that marks the line
='Tween Coonty Perth an' Fife,
Whaur Tammy M. in Chartist days
=Did ane o' the deeds o' his life.
Instead o' skirtin' roond the shore
=We slowly climb the hill,
An' when we reach the level bit
=The cavalcade staunds still.

Sune many willin' haunds unpack
=Pairt o' the pic-nic store,
An' ilka man gets meat an' drink
=The same as heretofore.
Then aff we set at merry pace,
=In happiest o' moods;
Then through the sooth-east gate we drive,
=Through Tulliallan woods.

'Od man, the scene was so replete
=Wi' beauty rich an' rare,
Auld Nature has been prodigal,
=An' spent some labour there.
The paths aneath the spreadin' trees,
=The song-birds singin' sweetly,
The lakes, the lawns, the carpet turf
=Enchanted me completely.

Hooever, here we are at last
=Into the pic-nic park,
An' then wi' trays o' muckle pies
=We a' get to oor wark.
An' after gi'en the inner man
=A fairish bite an' sup,
John Finlayson began the fray
=By houdlin' us close up.

The reason was, we were sair spread,
=Each seekin' oot a high place;
An' though the sun was blazin' hot,
=Ye had to wale a dry place.
He ga'e a rale fine little speech,
=Pithy, plain and pat,
Then wi' some eulogistic words
=Brocht forward Jamie Watt.

Ye'll mind that Jamie twa year syne
=Ga'e a delightfu' speech,
Of coorse, ane kens ye canna weel
=The tapmaist rung aye reach.
But Jamie said his speech that day
=Had caused an unco pingle,
An' virtually begged excuse
=The poortith o' his "single."

But sure I am that every man
=That heard him was delighted,
An' sure am I that when he stopped
=His labour was requited.
For cheer on hearty cheer rung oot,
=Ilk face beamed wi' true pleasure;
An' sae I feel that Maister Watt
=Was peyed wi' heapit measure.

Then Dr Christie ga'e a speech
=Filled up wi' mony a story:
He's steepit to the lips wi' a'
=That hints o' Scotia's glory.
Her bens, her glens, her maids, her men,
=Her poets, painters, singers,
He kens them a', an' lovingly
=He owre their story lingers.

The echoes rang when he was dune,
=An' hearty cheers were gi'en
For him to tak' to Yankee-land
=An' gi'e them to his frien'.
But gin the wind had just been east
=When they tried to encore 'im,
I'm maistly sure the cheers wad been
=In Yankee-land afore 'im.

Then Maister Macintyre prepared
=Oor phottygraff to tak',
An' some folks werena pleased at a'
=For bein' at the back.
An' some are hidden oot o' sicht-
=Juist see the caird an' scan it:
Ye'll ken that some yin has been there
=For ye can see his bannet.

At intervals throughoot the day
=A great big gramaphone
Ga'e sangs, an' Maister Lowe was there
=To put the records on.
An' Harry Lauder to the life
=Kept "partin' on the shore,"
An' wi' his laughin' chorus
=Set the auld folks in a roar.

But after a' is said an' dune,
=The thing that's maist excitin'
Is when the auld yins settle doon
=To singin' an' recitin'.
There's plenty talent in the crood
=To fill the day I'm shair,
An' gin ye ga'e them a' a chance
='Twad last a week an' mair.

I cudna help but think the day,
=When sicna ane recitit,
That there were aye some ithers yet
=Wha hadna been invitit.
An' then I thocht, amang the young
=That's growin' up to-day,
Hoo many will recite like yon
=When they are auld an' grey?

Hooever, Johnny Dowie sang
=Aboot "The Drap o' Dew,"
An' weel thae guid auld hearts can tell
=The sentiment is true.
Then Willie Wilson sang wi' vim
="The Land he loved the most,"
An' Johnny Combs ga'e wi' a bang
="The True Highlandman's Toast."

Then Henry Birrell, wi' pawky airt,
=Ga'e forth "When we were sma',"
An' to "The Band o' Shearers" sune
=He treated them ana'.
Then Marshall, Martin, Smith an' Craig
=A' helpit wi' a turn
Wi' sang an' story while ane said
=That "Man was made to murn."

Then, what between this thing an' that,
=The day sped quickly by;
Refreshments, races, tea an' tilt,
=Syne cracks that made ye dry.
Then Maister Finlayson proposed
=To Sir James and his leddy
Three hearty cheers, an' every man
=Responded quick and ready.

Then Johnny Kinnicum, in words
=Betrayin' deep emotion,
A rousin' vote o' thanks proposed
=To the lads across the ocean
Wha, in the midst o' busy lives,
=Can mind on auld folks here,
An' wi' guid-will send something owre
=A gloamin' 'oor to cheer.

Some ither votes o' thanks were gi'en
=That needna be repeatit,
An' quickly a' were at the yaird
=An' in the brakes got seated,
I needna tell, Kingcairn folks
=Were turned oot _en masse,_
Oor wa'gaun was triumphant for
=They cheered us as we passed.

We cam' the low road, roond the bends
=The rovin' Forth has made,
Through Cu'ross and Lowvalleyfield
=Nae moment we delayed.
Owre Newmiln Brig an' doon the brae
=The auld wife kept her place,
But losh! we hardly kent her when
=The dirt was aff her face.

Through Cairneyhill an' up the Lane,
=The gloamin' sweetly fa'in',
An' wi' the sultry atmosphere
=The horses a' were blawin';
Through Crossford, Orthick, up the Cut,
=Oor hameward gate we trace,
An' sune the welcome hame's begun
=Wi' cheers frae James' Place.

There's nae use sayin' that this ploy
=Is ocht but a success;
The happiness that it creates
=Is unco ill to guess.
For every man that's there has frien's
=At hame an' owre the sea;
An' joys o'erflowin' ecstacy
=The tear brings to the e'e.

We drew up whaur we started frae,
=Juist at the Newry tap,
An' mony husbandmen were there
=To oxter hame the crap,
An' hear the story frae their lips
=Hoo quick the time had fled,
An' a' the day's wark's wrocht again
=Or ere they gang to bed.

Sin' last we met-but no; Ill stop,
=The thocht o't gars me greet,
An' tells me that the days o' life
=Are slippin' past too fleet.
But may oor feet be ever in
=The gude an' Godly airt,
An' may we ever try an' keep
=A pure an' lowly heart.

An' when the gloom a' eild comes doon,
=An' shakie seems oor faith,
May confidence in Providence
=Aye haud us free frae skaith.
An' sae I trust when come it must
=Life's gloamin' fa' to you,
May steadfast licht aye airt ye richt
=Ayont the furthest blue.



VII.

Aince mair the whirryin' wheels o' time
=Has brocht this annual outin',
An' though the whole affair is owre
=I've still to dae same spoutin';
For though I'm scunnered wi' this mode
=O' writin' rhyme aboot it,
It seems that lots a' ither folks
=Juist winna do withoot it.

There's some folks ha'e gey funny thochts
=Hoo certain things are dune,
For instance a'e committee man,
=Sax weeks syne, daundered in
An' said, "Yer gaun again this 'ear?"
=I said-"If I am spared."
Wi' pawky, philosophic touch,
=He readily declared-

"Of coorse!  I understand, my man,
=An' may the Po'ers protect ye,
But gin ye are na' spared till then
=We'll ken no' to expect ye."
"That's no what I cam' in aboot,"
=An' as his chin he scartit,
"I've juist been winderin' gin ye've got
=Yer rhymin' version startit!"

When Maister Peacock sent the word
="Arrange _the trip_ once more,
An' Maister Morrison an' me
=Will gladly 'foot' the 'score,'"
The relatives o' thae twa men,
=Finlay an' Adam's son,
They had a meetin' wi' the men
=An' saw the work begun.

The auld men wha meet day by day
=In confab in the Glen
A committee appointed
=To assist the ither men,
An' some discussions that ensued
=On whaur they were to gang,
Gin they were a' recorded here,
=Wad mak' a langish sang.

Same voted east, while some said wast,
=But sune they settled a'
By sayin' if they cu'd get they'd like
=To gang to Allawa.
The noble Earl wha bydes yont there
=A frank permission ga'e
To veesit a' his policies
=An' pic-nic for the day.

That settled, then the job began
=To get the crood th'gither,
The men discussed the "pros" and "cons"
=Ilk day wi' ane anither;
An' so for twa-ree weeks they had
=The joys o' expectation-
The doot that fears, the hope that cheers,
=To life they've "sib" relation.

The auld sang says that Friday nicht
=Is awfu' lang in comin',
But that's when youthfu' bluid rins quick
=An' no' in life's grey gloamin:
For while in youth Time's measured pace
=To hasten aft we try;
In eild, when we wad fain gang slow,
=The days gang fleein' by.

An' so the 'oors between the time
=The word cam' owre the watter
Until the joyfu' day sped past,
=Helped on wi' cheery chatter.
On Friday morn by eicht o'clock
=The crood began to gether,
An' ere the bell rang nine o'clock
=They a' had came th'gither.

We started frae the Royal door
=(The Baund in front was playin'),
An' as the cavalcade moved aff
=The crood began hurrayin';
Richt doon the High Street, yont the Brig,
=Up Chalmers Street we gang,
An' as we tirn doon Pittencrieff
=The street wi' croods was thrang.

The Banner specially designed
=Displayin' weavin' craft,
Weel tethered on twa muckle poles,
=Was bravely held alaft;
An' a' the folk doon Pittencrieff
=To joy seemed newly wed,
The very bairns to cry hurray
=Had hurried frae their bed.

For some had juist their goonies on-
=Huh! what does bairns came-
An' a'e wee chap was greetin' 'cause
=He tummiled doon the stair;
Some bairns were in their grannies' arms,
=Some stuid upon the staps,
Some on their faither's shouthers perched,
=Some in their mither's laps.

An' every face was fu' o' joy,
=They really cudna hide it,
The cheers they ga'e, the hearty lauch
=Was pleasure maist decided.
An' sae when summin' up the joy
=That this ploy gi'es to a'
The figures gin they were wrocht oot
=Wad mak' a muckle raw.

Noo, when we got to James Place
=The brakes were a' drawn up,
The drivers gethered up their reins
=An' tichter grupped the whup;
The Baund that had been on parade
=Were seated in a crack,
They played their trombones owre the sides,
=The drum hung owre the back.

At last we're aff an' doon the "Cut,"
=Past Orthick fermyaird,
An' yont the heich bit o' the road
=Oor een wi' seein' ser'd.
Awa' owre sooth the ripenin' fields
=Seem in the laund o' dreams,
While here an' there doon i' the howe
=The Forth in beauty gleams.

When frae the hill we see Crossford,
=Fair smoored in garb o' green,
I'll say again the "witchin" place
=Is like some fairy scene;
The hill ahint it wi' its crest
=A' studdit owre wi' trees,
The perfumed air harmonious
=Wi' drowsy, wummin' bees.

It seems richt strange that a'e short mile
=Frae oot the dinsome toon
Should find sae quiet a restin'-place
=Whaur peace seems settled doon.
But we maun haste; Pitfirrane Gates
=Are quickly left behind,
An' yont the brawest country lane
=For miles aroond ye'll find.

Gin ye should tak' oor weel-loved laund
=An' search't whaure'er ye will
Ye winna match the road between
=Crossford an' Cairneyhill:
Luxurious verdure everywhere,
=The woods wi' music ringin',
The hawthorn hedges perfume rare
=On tempered breezes flingin'.

Auld Cairneyhill seems wauk'nin' up,
=They've snoddit up the place,
They've built a dyke a' roond the schuil
=An' washed the auld schuib's face;
The bairns ha'e a playgrund noo
=Whaur they can safely rin,
An' no juist on the hie-road
=As heretofore they've dune.

The clachan since its got its trains,
=Hooever scarce they be,
Seems comin' back to life again
=I'm awfu' prood to see.
Some years gane by I wrote aboot
=The lack o' life oot here,
The feelin' o' desertion reigned
=Wi' nocht the heart to cheer.

I spoke aboot the lack a' weans
=At play aboot the doors,
But what a change, I see the day
=The bairns are oot in scores;
I think the word maun ha'e passed round
=To mak' a guid display,
An' that they've gane an' got the lend
=O' some weans for the day!

We raised oor bannets to the cheers
=An' answered wi' elation,
An' syne owre Conscience Brig we trot,
=Richt past their braw wee station.
Noo doon through Craigflo'er Woods we rin,
=An' roond yon cranky turn,
The minister a welcome gae's
=To Auncient Tornyburn.

He seemed a' smiles, but weel I ken,
=Though I your favour loss
An' for the pun ye punish me,
=That he was really Cross.
The butcher lookit oot his door
=Oor tirnoot critiseesin',
Some hints he got I dinna doot
=For future moraleesin'.

The crood aroond the hotel door
=Raised up a wee bit shindy,
An' Andrew ga'e us a' good cheer,
=No' through, but owre the window
The Torry kimmers took the hint,
=An' had their faces clean,
An' stood in doors a' buskit braw
=An' snod's a new-made preen.

Through Newmill an' Low Valleyfield,
=Roond a' its ins an' oots,
An' while some o' the folks waved flags,
=Some flappit bits o' cloots.
But whether flags or bits o' cloots,
=Or stockin's needin' heelin',
The heart that gar'd the airm wag
=Betrayed a kindly feelin'.

In Cu'ross it was juist the same,
=They cheered us as we gaed,
An' syne alang the road we on
=The "Mercies" made a raid.
An' efter ilka ane had got
=O' meat an' drink his sairin',
We dirled on till we were through
=The Auld Toon o' Kingcairn.

The toon was tirned inside oot,
=The folk filled every door;
The very "boolers" left their rinks,
=An' maist forgot their score.
An' a' the road that lies between
=Kingcairn an' Clackmannan,
As we drove by at ilka door
=Bewildered folks were stan'in'.

At length we reach the trig wee lodge
=That airts us to oor mark,
An' up the braw road past the Hoose,
=We sune are in the park.
The servants at the windows cheered,
=An' welcomed us fu' rarely;
The Earl and his Leddy were
=Awa' some journey shairly.

When a' assembled in the park,
=The men on the estate
Brocht frae the Tower a lot o' forms,
=An' ilk ane had a seat.
Syne baund and choir struck up a tune
=That warmed every heart,
An' auld an' young joined wi' gudewill-
=It made the tear-drop start.

'Twas the "Auld Hunder," an' the words
="All people" filled the air;
I dinna think I ever heard
=A Psaulm sae sweet an' rare.
The echoes dee'd, an' then the scene
=Was cheenged as quick's a wink,
An' every ane was munchin' pies
=Wi' something til't to drink.

An' while the meat was bein' ser'd
=O' time Lowe made a grab,
An' on the gramaphone gied oot
="The Waddin' a' Shon M'Nab."
'Twas graund, an' plenty ither discs
=Wi' records rare an' guid-
Caruso an' some ither staurs
=Stirred up the auld folks' bluid.

Then Maister Finlaysan stood forth,
=An' ga'e a wee bit speech,
An' an the gracious donors' part,
=A welcome ga'e to each.
Then Adamson a letter read,
=That Maister Peacock sent;
An' man, the contents o' that note
=Richt to the heart-strings went.

The cheers that followed echoed lang,
=An' hovered in the trees.
Then Maister Finlayson set forth
=The pleasure gi'en gi'es,
An' telt in a delichtfu' style
=What Morrison had said,
An' when he stopt we waved oor hats
=An' loudly we hurrayed.

Then Maister J. B. Mackie ga'e
=A speech crammed fu' o' lore
O' laddie days in oor auld toon,
=Culled frae a wealthy store.
It was a reminiscent speech,
=In which the mem'ry mellows
The thochts that micht ha'e set doon ill
=To ony o' oor fellows.

'Twas really a poetic speech,
=An' locally historic,
An' wad ha'e ha'en anither cherm
=Had it been in the Doric.
When it was dune the choir sang fine,
=By Maister Marshall led,
A sang o' love, an' o' the Scots
=Wha aince wi' Wallace bled.

Then Maister Macintyre again
=Took us a' as we stood;
Then roond the gairdens aff they set,
=A happy, yatterin' crood.
Then back they cam' by twas an' threes,
=An' something got to eat,
An' sat an' crackt o' by-gane days-
=To hear them was a treat.

Then sangs were sung by Combes an' Bower,
=By Dowie an' by Birrell;
An' Wilson sang o' "Scotland Yet,"
=The hale crood he did thirl.
An' Charlie Grieg an' Roxburgh
=Sang sangs on themes invitin',
An' Miss Scott gar'd the auld men lauch
=Wi' her quaint tales recitin'.

Then Sinclair telt o' Watt an' Meg
=An' a' their hamely worry,
An' as the day was lang an' warm
=He wisna in a hurry;
Then Martin raised his voice aloft
=An' ga'e us Tam o' Shanter,
An' hoo at hunted Alloway
=He met wi' sair mishanter.

Then Marshall sang, and so did Craig,
=The Baund, selections gi'e;
The gramaphone was set agaun,
=An' then we had oor tea.
Then votes o' thanks to feenish up
=Oor hale attention takes,
An' while the young yins had a dance
=The auld yins filled the brakes.

The greatest triumph o' the day
=(At least it seemed to me),
Was how the toon o' Allawa
=Tirned oot to guid-bye gi'e;
They lined the streets that we passed through,
=The police kept them back,
An' doon a lane o' happy folks
=We soucht the hameward track.

I needna tell hoo we cam' hame,
=Wi' jokes an' sangs galore,
An' hoo we stoppit on the road
=An' cleaned the pic-nic store.
Hoo when we cam' into the toon,
=As nicht was drawin' in,
We feenished up whaur we began,
=Juist at the back o' nine.

An' many kindly folks are there,
=A' lookin' for their ain,
An' gled to clasp wi' kindly grip
=Their kindred's haunds again.
Then oxter them awa' wi' pride,
=An' lauch juist like a wean
When they are telt "this day has been
=The best we've ever ha'en."

As years gang by, by twas an' threes,
=Since this affair was startit,
Kent faces are for ever missed-
=The veil for them's been parted.
An' in aside their kith an' kin
=The Lord has ta'en them hame,
An' for their peacefu' gloamin' fa'
=We ever bless His name.

Some fa' when in the pride o' life,
=When a' the warld looks bricht;
Some gang the gate when, as we think,
=They've scarcely seen the licht.
But let it be on sune or late,
=When'er he gi'es the ca'
May we be ready for the road,
=An' cannie slip awa'.

To hear some o' the auld folks speak
=Wad dae ye guid I'm shair,
Hoo bravely many a ane can say
="We'll maybe meet nae mair."
An' gin ye've lichtened up the mirk
=That's slowly comin' doon,
Yer share to get a rich reward
=When ye win Hame Abune.



VIII.

I needna fash to say again
=What I ha'e said afore,
Aboot the fykie job I've ha'en
=To write aboot this splore;
Nor need I rake aboot to find
=Some guid excuse to gi'e ye,
For ye ha'e shown ye're no' inclined
=To tak' an excuse frae me.

I'm no' a man that wishes ill
=Should come to ony ane,
But I ha'e had o' this my fill,
=An' fain wad leaved alane.
If only same yin else wad try
=An' lowse the fetters frae me,
I'd be content that they for aye
=Should for a debtor ha'e me.

It's mebbie easy aince or twice
=To write a pleasin' rhyme,
An' say a lot o' things that's nice
=An' happy a' the time.
But when it comes to seven or eicht,
=It's diff'rent ye'll alloo;
Ye canna twist a twine owre much,
=In case ye twist it through.

Frae June to May there's no' a day_
=Of coorse I mean in Oor Toon;
If ye're a stranger ye may ha'e
=Anither day in your toon-
But in this glorious Auld Grey Toon,
=The day owre a' the rest,
Is when the Weavers' Drive comes roon';
=That's coontit faur the best.

It hauds mair pleasure in it's thra'
=Than ony ither week;
The cause, gin ye but saw the ploy,
=Is no' that ill to seek.
For gin ye saw the beams o' joy
=Upon the auld folks' faces,
Ye'd ken the cheery wards they gi'e,
=O' happy hearts were traces.

The auld folks are made young again
=For a'e day at the least,
An' weeks afore life's fu' o' hope,
=Expectant o' the feast.
Nor is this joy confined to them
=That happen to be there;
It's wider spread, an' reaches owre
=A gey wheen hunders mair.

The bairns' gala day is fine,
=The sicht is maist bewitchin',
To see sae many hunder bairns
=A' joy-filled is titchin';
It grups my heart wi' same queer spell
=That fairly baffles me,
For though my bosom's fu' o' joy,
=My blether's near my e'e.

It really is beyond my po'er
=To tell the cause o' this,
Nor can I think hoo happiness
=Should cause the least distress;
But there it is, try as I may
=To keep the tear-draps back,
They will come sypin' doon my cheeks,
=Juist like's the crane was slack.

A gey wheen weeks ha'e slippit by
=Since word aince mair was sent,
To gi'e the guid auld folks again
=Their holiday event.
Baith Finlayson an' Adamson
=Sune buckled to their wark,
An' quickly a' the odds an' ends
=A' bore the "checkit" mark.

A committee o' the auld men
=Was pickit carefu' oot,
Then wha was a' to get again
=Was quickly set aboot.
Then "whaur to gang," of coorse, is aye
=A fykie kind o' plague,
But Blairhill was the chosen spot,
=That's owned by Maister Haig.

He ga'e permission wi' guid-wull,
=An' frankly us invited
To spend the day on his estate,
=An' said he was delighted;
An' ilka ane was real weel pleased
=To ken the howf was sure,
It was like visitin' auld freens-
=We had been there before.

The auld folks' names were a' gane owre
=To see wha was to get,
An' when the lists were a' made oot
=There was some spare room yet;
An' by some awfu' happy thocht,
=Wi' that ye will agree, man,
The managers made up their mind
=To invite same auld weemin.

Auld weemin wha in days gane by
=Had ha'en to fill the pirns,
Besides attendin' to their hoose,
=Their gudeman, an' their bairns.
Eh, man! their trauchle maun ha'e been
=Richt sair frae morn till nicht;
Pit some young wives to try it noo,
='Twad be a sorry plicht.

They hadna a' been tethered to
=A strappin' handloom weaver;
Some still retain their maiden names-
=Nane cud o' it relieve her;
They were juist in thae by-gane days
=As they are e'en the noo;
Some never see the man they want,
=An' to themsel's are true.

When we are young, Auld Faither Time
=Is blamed for bein' slow;
Some weeks we'd tak' withoot a'e thocht,
=An' owre oor shouther throw;
We ha'e nae wit to ken ilk 'oor
=Has steeve within it's thra';
Some precious meenits that, aince past,
=For ever are awa'.

When we are auld, the wheels o' time
=We fain wad try an' sprag,
We dinna think the days are lang,
=Or that the meenits lag.
Eh, na! they rin owre fast for us,
=An' soople are, I trow,
An' aye the fleeter seem to get
=As we the aulder grow.

An' sae the days flew quickly by,
=Till Friday mornin' saw
The men a' gethered in aboot,
=The weemin folk ana'.
By eicht o'clock they had begun
=To gether, an' by nine
They were a' packit into brakes,
=An' marshalled into line.

Juist at the back o' nine o'clock
=We started as before;
The leadin' brake wi' flag aloft
=Was at the Royal door.
The Toon Baund bravely stappit oot,
=Some bonnie muisic playin',
The crood set up a heezin cheer,
=The auld folks lood hurrayin'.

Richt frae the Newry, a' the street
=Was lined on ilka side,
An' doon the lane o' smilin' folks
=We rade wi' smirkin' pride.
Richt doon the High Street, a' the crood,
=Maintained the cheerin' shindy:
The Provost's lassies took a keek
=At us frae owre the window.

The keepers o' the shops were oot,
=An' in their doors were stannin',
An' mony a score were gethered roon'
=Oor auld historic cannon.
Ayont the Brig 'twas juist the same,
=An' Chalmers Street ana'.
The tap o' Pittencrieff was filled
=Wi' many a cheerie raw.

Richt up Woodhead, we tirn in
=By Grieve Street corner cannie,
Whaun lots o' weemin folks were oot,
=A' lookin' for auld grannie.
They scarcely cheered the men at a',
=They'd seen them a' afore,
But when the weemin's cars appeared
=They ga'e an unco roar.

They cheered until their very throats
=Maun ha'e been like to crack;
Some waved their hankies, some had towels;
=The baker's wife-a sack.
The cheerin' let Gowfdrum folks ken
=That they had missed the sicht;
Some o' them sagely wagged their head,
=An' said it wasna richt!

Richt past the Westfield gates we gang-
=They were on holiday-
But Davie ga'e us frae his door
=A cordial send-away;
His sister waved a muckle cloth
=Richt owre the upper sill,
An' lood she cheered, while, back again,
=We answered wi' guid-will.

Juist at the corner we draw up,
=An' staund in the Coal Road;
The brake reserved for the Toon Baund
=Was very quickly load;
Then aff we set at quicker pace,
=An' roond the Auld Toll turn,
An' awfu' crood had come alang
=An' toomed a' Ba'thrickburn.

Through Rumblin'well-I hardly kenned:
=They've made a braw new place o't,
The graund new hooses they ha'e built
=Has altered a' the face o't,
The only odds on Milesmark is,
=Some storm windows addit;
The Quarry hole fornenst the doors
=Wi' rubbish is bein' paddit.

Alang the road wi' merry dirl
=We pass by auld Gowkha',
There's something happened there, I doot,
=To wyle the folks awa';
The hooses are a' tum'lin' doon,
=Some gairdens are neglectit;
In sic a charmin', quiet retreat
=That's no what I expectit.

In Carnock a' the folks were oot,
=In Saline 'twas the same,
The Provost waved a warm salute,
=He wasna sair to blaim;
A pic-nic like oor's disna pass
=Through Saline ilka day;
Nae winder then that a' the folks
=Set up a lood hurray.

A wee bit past the Ramshorn Inn,
=We a' cam' to a halt,
An' men an' weemin' a' were ser'd
=Wi' some guid meat an' malt;
Then we were up an' on again,
=Roond many turns until,
The time was almost one o'clock;
=We anchored at Blairhill.

We quickly got atowre the brakes,
=Oor legs were kind o' crampit;
But circulation was restored
=As doon the hill we stampit.
The park we had to pic-nic in
=Was fu' o' heichs an' howes;
The big braw hoose looked doon on us
=Frae aff the east-'ard knowes.

Before we started aff the day,
=Baith men an' weemin sang
"All people that on earth do dwell,"
=The echoes fondly rang.
"Sing to the Lord wi' cheerful voice,"
=We did it I can tell.
The auld folks' voices thrilled me through,
=An' tears unbidden fell.

Then a' were helpit to mair meat,
=Then speeches were set forth
The start was Maister Finlayson's,
=An' was o' weavin' worth.
He telt hoo Messrs Morrison
=An' Peacock were richt prood,
To ha'e the pleasure aince again
=To entertain the crood.

I'd maist forgot-ere he began,
=He read a letter sent
Frae oor ain Andrew, faur up North,
=That to the auld hearts went.
It gi'es an' added joy, ye ken,
=When men like him tak's leisure
To write a letter, hopin' nocht
=Wad man oor hale day's pleasure.

He set the weavers a' the task
=To seek a motto for him,
Embracin' baith his faither's side
=An' her wha fondly bore him.
A shuttle an' shoemaker's knife
=Fit emblems are, I ween;
A motto sib to model life
=Micht weel be "clean and keen."

To listen weel to Maister Watt
=The hale crood gethered roon';
But losh! he'd scarcely got begun
=Before the rain cam' doon;
Nane o' yer cannie drookin' shoo'rs,
=But great big muckle spats,
That very sune through everything,
=E'en richt through topcoats, wats.

Hooever, doon the hill we gaed,
=An' sheltered by the trees;
He held on wi' his pithy speech,
=As hearty as ye please;
His mind is juist fair packit fu'
=O' happy memories;
An' well he kens hoo auld folks like
=To hear o' laddie days.

'Twas only richt that, first o' a',
=The weemin he should name,
An' picture graphic'ly the wark
=They had to dae at hame.
Yet aye took tent to point the road,
=Whaur truith an' honour lies;
Nae winder bairns born a' them,
=To highest honours rise.

He took us through the auld loom shop
=(Wi' it he's weel acquantit),
An' wi' deft skill afore oor e'en
=A truithfu' picture pentit.
Ye'd thocht that, wafted on the breeze,
=Ye heard the "pistel-den";
For when auld days are spoken o'
=The memory grows green.

He spak' aboot the "treddle-hole,"
=Sangs pasted on the door,
The "tallow-brad," the "fan," the "caums,"
=The "dressin'-can," the "bore,"
The "lingoes," an' the "lay," the "sole,"
=The airn "tillie-pin,"
The "seat-tree," breast-beam, an' the "reed,"
=The cairds an' the machine.

Frae there he took us some fine roads,
=Like roond by Berrylaw,
An' on St John's, wi' flambeaus lit,
=The merry Masons saw.
We howkit neeps, an' lanterns made,
=An' runts for "reekies" pickit,
We fished for minnows i' the dam,
=An' for weet claes were lickit.

He airted us frae sic like sports,
=Richt roond to auld kirk days,
An' wi' the trash o' anthems noo
=Compared the auld time praise.
Soul-heezin' was the guid auld tunes,
=Sung frae the heart by a',
An' offerin' meeter to the Lord
=Than anthems ere sae braw.

When he was dune, richt hearty cheers
=The hale assemblage ga'e;
The rain gaed aff, an' aince again
=Bricht sunshine filled the day.
The photograph was taken then,
=Then sangs were sung galore;
The choir led aff wi' "Hearts of Oak,"
=The auld folks cried "Encore."

A lassie then did "Bowl aboot,"
=An' "Sandy Gray's Jeckdaw";
The Marshalls, Grieg, an' Watson sang-
=I canna tell ye a'.
Then Henry Birrell sang aince mair,
=The sang "When we were sma'";
An' "Robin Tamson's Smiddy," syne,
=He had to gi'e ana'.

Then Wilson let "The White Squall" go,
=Though some heich notes did crumple;
An' then ane o' the weemin folks
=Sang o' auld "Kate Dalrymple."
A wheen mair sangs were sung, I trow,
=But what-I dinna ken,
For we had a' to seek the trees,
=To shelter frae the rain.

I should ha'e telt ye lang ere this,
=The men were awfu' pleased,
To get twa unce o' bogey-roll-
=An' some began to use't.
The weemin folks a package got,
=Wi' half-a-pound o' tea;
The joy that lit the auld een up
=Wad dune ye guid to see.

Although it didna spoil the tea,
=That we'd been busy makin',
The rain that keepit peltin' doon,
=It kind o' spoiled the takin'.
The usual votes o' thanks were gi'en,
=Then toddlin' up the hill
We fand the brakes were waitin' for's,
=An' them we quickly fill.

We didna leave the grounds, ye ken,
=Withoot same hearty cheers;
Ye micht ha'e heard them i' the toon,
=Gin ye had cock't yer ears.
Of coorse, we halted on the road,
=In ane o' the bonnie lanes,
An' had the last refreshment,
=An' pykit a' the banes.

Frae Hawkiesfauld, richt to Queen Anne,
=Some thousan's lined the street,
An' many a rousin' cheer gaed up
=The guid auld folk to greet.
An' when at last we a' drew up,
=Fu' mony an' anxious freen'
Was there to welcome back their ain,
=An' spier hoo they had been.

Each ane was perfectly amazed,
=To ken we had ha'en rain;
They scarcely could conceive it true,
=Because they had haen nane.
But a' the rain that fell on us
=It didna mar oor pleasure,
Although, gin it had keepit dry,
='Twad heapit up the measure.

As sure as ilka year comes roond,
=Some kent face isna there;
The Lord has gathered in his ain
=An' ta'en them frae a' care.
A'e fine auld man had a'thing richt
=To spend wi' us the day,
The Fell Destroyer, in the nicht,
=Had stown him away.

When eild comes on, the sun o' life
=Grows sadly, slowly dim;
But braver grows the heart o' them
=Wha' place their trust in Him.
In Faith they ever fondly clasp
=The Faither's outstretched hand,
Nae skaith for them is in the road
=That leads to shadow-land.

May He whase everlastin' love
=The warld but kens in part,
Wi' every comfort you surround,
=An' fill wi' joy your heart.
An' may He guard an' keep ye
=In His gracious loving care,
An' drook the head o' every ane
=Wi' heavenly blessings rare.







THE BONNIE LASS O' CU'ROSS

When the sun is growin' drowsie
=An' the twilight shadows fa',
When the mune shines oot sae bonnie
=An' the toon looks unco braw,
I gang whistlin' sae cheery
='Lang the road frae Tonnyburn,
To meet my bonnie dearie
=Whaur the auld road tak's the turn.

==Oh she's winsome, sweet an' fair,
===An' to meet her I am fain,
==For the bonnie lass o' Cu'ross,
===She is a' my ain.

She has checks like new blawn roses,
=Lips like cherries wat wi' dew,
Heaven is what her een discloses,
=Love and Truth seen through the blue.
It's no her witchin' lips or een,
=Nor yet her winnin' voice;
It's because I ken her heart's my ain
=That mak's my heart rejoice.

==For she's winsome, sweet an' fair,
===An' she's dear to me as life,
==For the bonnie lass o' Cu'ross,
===She's to be my wife.







WHAT IS A LADDIE?

What is a laddie?  Noo, don't think it queer
If ony ane should sic a droll question spier;
An' ye needna lauch oot, an' think that they're daft,
Or that their bit noddle has tirned kind o' saft;
For what a wee laddie is, maistly depends
On what or wha you are, for-bye hoo he stands
In his near relation to yours, or to you-
I'll let ye see here hoo this comes to be true.

What is a laddie to a tailor, say?
He's juist sae mony inches frae his tap to his tae,
His airm'll be measured an' so will his leg,
He may e'en spier his age an' say that he's big;
An' efter the tape-line a' owre him has been,
He may say wi' a twinkle in his "specit" een,
As he gethers his gibbles a' th'gether,
"You'll be a big man bang afore yer mither!"

What is a laddie?  Whaur does he byde?
For that will the problem in some pairt decide;
If he bydes i' the toon in some thrang bustlin' street,
Hoo often he'll gar his puir, fond mither sweat;
If he's oot o' her sicht an' awa' frae the door,
She imagines he's lost on maybe run owre,
She'll say he's a heart-break, but, losh, for a' that
She'll cuddle an' kiss him though ca'in' him a brat.

If he bydes i' the country he'll be chasin' the hens,
Or be in the byre, for what? naebody kens;
If ye hear the pig squealin', yer lugs fit to deave,
Ye can maistly be certain he's fa'en i' the creave;
He'll ha'e been leanin' owre to gi'e guissie a claw,
An' held on by the birse when the soo ran awa',
Frae the head to the heels he'll ha'e to be strippit,
An' into a tubfu' o' watter be dippit.

Does he byde by the sea?  Weel, maist every day
He'll ha'e to be telt whaur he hasna' to play,
"Dinna gang on the rocks that are slip'ry an' green"-
But ye easily ken that's juist whaur he's been-
When ye see him gaun girnin' like some drookit moose,
An' he's feared, though he's hame, to gang into the hoose,
His mither'll flyte, an' she'll lick him be shair,
But she'll no tell his faither for fear he gets mair.

What is a laddie when his faither is tired,
When the "Hoo's" an' the "Whey's" an' the "What for's" are fired?
He'll say he's a nuisance, but, man, for a' that,
He'll tell wi' great glee hoo the rogue knocked him flat
When he spiered "If the chickens came oot o' the eggs,
Whaur did they get haud o' the first yin?"  My fegs
His faither's dumfounert an' only can glow'r,
When he spiers whey we've twa legs while horses ha'e fow'r.

To his grannie he's perfect's a laddie can be,
Ye ken fine by her speech he's the pride a' her e'e,
He's a'thing that's guid, an' he canna dae wrang-
Gin she saw him sometimes it micht alter her sang,
When he's gie'in some less burly laddie a nailin',
Or hung by the kilt sclimmin' owre the heich railin',
Or yellin' nick-names to puir fiddle-feet Rab,
While butter, she thinks, couldna' melt in his gab.

His gran'faither lauchs at his pranks, an' he'll tell
Some queer things he did when a laddie himsel',
An' the sweet joy awakened brings tears to his een
When thae faur-awa days to his vision grows green.
He'll let him sclim owre him, an' tousle his hair,
An' rype a' his pooches for what may be there;
He'll len' him his knife or his wub-gless, nor clype
Though he breaks, when he's fillin', his new-fangled pipe.

His auntie aye coddles him, gi'ein' him preasants,
Like a broach for his bannet an' feathers o' pheasants,
Or graund tappit stockin's to wear wi' his kilt,
On a new purley-pig wi' some bawbees intilt,
A gravit wi' tassels to row roond his neck,
Or gut-rake that many digestions wad wreck,
To mither-love, Auntie's is sibbest o' sibb,
"Sheer stark love an' kindness, the male Rab Gibb."

To some neebor wife wha has ne'er ha'en a wean,
He's welcomed an' treated as he'd been her ain,
To yon stricken mither wha's heart-grief keeps green,
He minds her a' what her wee laddie wad been;
To Auld Sulkie Sandie wha lives by himsel'-
It's a different story that he has to tell,
'Cause he looks owre his dyke, he's a lim' o' Auld Nick,
An' he'll threaten to reeshle his rump wi' his stick.

To his sister that's aulder he's waur than the tawse,
To and that is younger he'll champion her cause,
Though maybe he'll ca' her a "wick" when she greets,
He'll see that she comes to nae skaith on the streets;
To brithers, wha seem faur owre auld for their years,
He's nocht but a pest 'cause some question he spiers,
They seem to forget-in their haste to be men-
That wi' him they could live a' their young days again.

Noo, should ony ane sic a droll question spier
As what a wee laddie is, don't think it queer,
For what he is, ye see, maistly depends
On what or wha you are, for-bye hoo he stands
In his near relation to yours or to you,
I've ettled to show here hoo this is true;
Ye may e'en shake yer head, but I ken ye wad fain,
Though grey i' the pow, be a laddie again.







TO DAINTY DAISY: A NEW YEAR'S WISH

To Dainty Daisy, curls an' a',
Her rosie cheeks sae fresh an' braw,
Her een sae sparklin', lips sae rare,
Her buoyant spirit free as air;
Long may ye rin, an' romp, an' play,
An' clean Care's cob-webs all away,
And as the future years unfold,
And makes you what the world calls old,
May you retain your lo'esome ways,
Your charms an' graces a' your days.







GOLDEN: TO MR AND MRS B.

Golden years, a long decade,
Golden webs of life have made;
Golden threads, snapped and broken,
Golden thoughts of Heaven the token.
Golden links of Friendship's chain
Stretching over Life's domain;
Glorious rays of sunshine shedding
Golden light on your Golden Wedding.







EVERY DARK CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING

_An anonymous writer, whose pardon I crave for using it, wrote the following:-_

The inner side of every cloud
=Is bright and shining;
I therefore turn my clouds about
And always wear them inside out
=To show the lining.

_To the writer of above_
I'm afraid, my dear friend, your philosophy's wrong,
You had better still stick to the old-fashioned song;
For 'tis something to know when the heavy clouds lour
That they'll soon pass away like a short summer shower.
Your clouds may look braw to the friends at your side,
But you're aye in fear for ye ken what's inside;
Eh! it's better by faur to be hoping for licht
Than fearing ye're gaun to be shrouded in nicht.







A SELECTION OF REPLIES TO BURNS' CLUB GREETINGS



I.

TO GREENOCK

Like you, Dumfarlin buddies think
==That Daddy Time
Will never, never dim the chink
==O' Robin's rhyme.
But as the years roll an apace
==He'll ha'e to thole
The deathless fame o' Robin's name
==Frae pole to pale.



II.

TO ST ANDREWS

I kenna what "Dum Spero" means,
I'm mair acqua'nt wi' beef an' greens
==An' sic-like fairin'.
But as ye say ye ha'e a rowth
O' a'thing that may help the growth
O' kindly feelin', love an' truth,
==See'n tak' yer sairin'.

We'll no be faur ahint oorsels-
Oor duty to the Bard compels-
==As I'm a sinner,
A' to dae something-each his best,
Be't sang on sentiment or jest;
Gin ane be dumb-weel! wi' the rest
==He'll tak' his dinner.



III.

AYR IN 1902 SENT OUT

Burns needs nae monumental stanes
=To keep alive his name;
Auld Grannie Scotland and her weans
=Will ever sing his name.

_Reply_

It's no because folk thinks Rab needs
=Ocht his name to preserve,
But juist to show what they think noo
=In life he did deserve.
If oor club had a thousan' pounds
=(To help't I sell my sark!)
We'd ha'e a monument the morn,
=An' place it in oor park.



IV.

TO STIRLING

_Who used the Toast given by Burns to the Dumfries-shire Volunteers, beginning at the 5th line_

The next in succession I gi'e you-the Deevil,
=Rab glibly some words in his favour has sung,
But, bless me! yer greetin' I'd scarce ca' it ceevil
=To speak sae unkindly o' folk being hung.
There's juist a'e wee word I'd like to say to ye
=If ye'd stretch yer neck till I speak i' yer ear,
We wish that guid health an' guid luck may gang wi' ye,
=An' kindly remember We're a' Loyal here!



V.

TO DUNDEE

A' richt, my hearties, here's my han',
==Noo a'e guid shake;
Syne let ilk man tak' aff his can
==For Robin's sake.
An' may the shade a' Rab be near ye,
Wi' some o' his guid-will to cheer ye,
May dule an' sorrow never steer ye, -
==Nor cause an ache;
The best a' fellowship we bear ye-
==Anither shake.






VI.

DUMFRIES

_Whose greeting was_

Fraternal greetings, frank an' free,
We send by land an' "owre the sea,"
For by the shrine o' Rab we see
=A licht divine,
An' wish to share't in social glee,
=For Auld Lang Syne.

=_To which was sent_

For Auld Lang Sync! man, hoo the phrase
=Brings richt afore oor een
A vista sweet of days too fleet,
=Days that ha'e happy been;
An' 'mang the happiest a' them a',
=At least we feel that's sae,
Is when we meet, an' brithers greet,
=On Robin's natal day.



VII.

A CERTAIN CLUB

_Which for obvious reasons shall be nameless, sent out the following:-_

This Janwar nicht the name o' Burns
=Sets a' opr hearts a-throbbin'
The world o'er, let Scots unite
=To canonize oor Robin
===This very nicht.

_To which was sent_

What d-d hypocracy is this
=To raise Rab to a saint!
Ye micht as sune improve the mune
=Wi' twa-three punds a' paint.
Did Rab no sing, an honest man
=Was King o' a' oor race?
Wa'd he aspire to something higher?
=Na, na! he'd claim his place.

_Entre-nous_

Excuse me if I criticise
Your lines, and ask you to revise;
I care not how you idolize,
Immortalize or eulogize,
=The rhymes come mobbin'.
My feelings I can not disguise,
I do not think it would be wise
For you to try and canonize
=Oor darling Robin.



VIII.

CUPAR

_Greeting.  "King Robert to King Edward"_

Guid mornin' to your Majesty,
=May heaven augment your blisses;
On every new birthday we see
=The Scottish Bardie wishes.
But noo, please, gi'e auld Britain peace
=Her broken shins to plaister;
Your sair taxation does her fleece,
=Till she has scarce a tester.

_Reply_

A' richt, my hearties, let us drink
=A bumper to the King;
An' may the Po'ers send bliss in sho'ers,
=An' joy abundant bring.
But as for gi'en Britain peace,
=That lies na wi' the Croon;
Besides! wha wishes war to cease
=Till tyranny's put doon!

An' e'en although we ha'e to stand
=Alane for freedom's cause,
On land or sea oor bluid we'll gi'e,
An' never seek applause.
But while the sun shall serve the world,
=An' streams seek to the sea,
Oor flag will aye remain unfurled
Till every man is free.



IX.

KILMARNOCK

Auld Killie, in sending her greeting,
=Would ca' your attention to a'e thing,
If ye juist eat an' drink at your meeting,
=Ye may total the profit at naething.

There's routh o' guid objects in view,
=If ye'd grip tae and buckle your graithing,
And silence the Henleyan crew,
=Wha deride us as doers o' naething.

When you pay your respects to the Bard
=In the cup that is baith fu' and fraithing,
Gif his teaching live in your regard,
Yell be backed up by auld number naething.

_Reply_

Dumfarlin' on gettin' your greetin'
=Their attention bestowed upon a'e thing,
'Twas the meat an' the drink for oor meeting,
=For till then we were gaun to ha'e naething.

There's mouth o' puir objects on view,
=And there's many that lack meat for a'e thing;
Ta H- wi' the Henleyan crew,
=We value their spuein's at naething.

When we pay oor respects to the Bard,
=On oor marrow-banes we should be kneelin',
An' the puir an' the thowless regard
=Wi' some sma' spark o' britherly feelin'.



X.

STIRLING

"The Stirling Burns' Club sends fraternal greetings, and pledges with you 'The Immortal Memory.'"

_Reply_

Dumfarlin' lads are awfu' prood
==To ha'e your caird,
An' hope to ha'e an am'rous crood
==To pay regaird
To Robin's natal day aince mair,
An' yerk the bugs o' Daddy Care,
An' spend a nicht that's faur owre rare,
==Gin we be spared;
Wi' speeches, sangs an' guidly fare
==We'll be weel ser'd.



XI.

TO MOSSGIEL

Dumfarlin' grasps the outstretched hands
=O' kindly chiels in Hamilton,
The same's we dae wi' Burns' Bands
=Frae Land's End up to Cam'ellton.
Oor thochts are wi' the Bard this nicht,
=His spirit's owre us stealin';
We weep to see his hopeless fecht,
=And conjure up his feelin'.
The sad neglect he had to thole-
=But there-we're growin' better,
For Robin's bound the world a' roond
=Wi' loving, living fetters
==O' deathless sang.



XII.

TO MARKINCH

Dumfarlin' lads are glad to ha'e
=Your cordial greeting;
And hope, on Rabin's natal day,
That you and yours, and us and oors,
=And hunners mair,
May feel the depths o' Rabin's po'ers,
And may his spirit drook wi' sho'ers,
And freshen up the dowie flo'ers,
=O' Friendship rare;
So that wi' truth each may declare
"'Twas guid for me to ha'e been there,"
If that be sae, ye'll ha'e, I swear,
=A glorious meeting.



XIII.

TO DUNDEE

To a' leal hearts beside the Tay,
Wha own that Robin has a sway,
An' meet to celebrate the day,
=That he saw licht;
Dumfarlin' kindly greeting sends,
Her guid richt hand she frank extends,
To shake wi' a' dear Robin's friends,
=This august nicht.



XIV.

TO "GLENCAIRN," COWDENBEATH

Dumfarlin' lads are glad to ha'e your caird,
An gladder still to ken o' your regaird,
=For Robin's name.
Gin ye live canny, maybe ye'll live lang,
To cheer ilk ither up wi' speech an' sang.
=It's a' the same,
Sae lang's yer meetin's keepit free frae guile,
Ye'll honour gie him that was "born in Kyle."



XV.

ST ANDREWS' GREETING

In his name and in Scotland's name
=We send you kindly greetin',
The Keynote o' oor mirth's the same
=In ilka place o' meetin',
Here's your guid health! a canty nicht,
=Grim care and sourness scornin',
May your tap-storey feel a' richt
=When ye wauken in the mornin'.

_Reply_

St Andrews! man your caird is fine,
It's like a sough frae Auld Lang Syne
Far better than the senseless clatters,
O' some o' thae upsettin' "yatters,"
Wha speak o' Burns wi' condescension,
An' seem afraid his name to mention.
To speak guid "Scotch" they're faur owre mim,
They like to haun'le words like "prim,"
Awa wi' them! an gie's your hand,
Fill up your glass and upricht stand,
And aye as a'e dear day returns,
We'll pledge the name of Robert Burns.



XVI.

TO LEITH

Your greetin's graund,
==Man gie's your haund,
It's juist what it should be;
==May ye be thrang,
==Wi' speech an' sang,
=An' draps o' barley-bree;
==A canty nicht,
==An' a'thing richt,
=Dull care an' sorrow scornin';
==Wi' loving heart,
==Like brithers part,
=Sometime in early mornin'-
==We'll dae the same.



XVII.

TO TANNAHILL GLENIFFER CLUB, PAISLEY

In days lang syne its been set doon,
"The King sat in Dumfarlin' Toon,
=Drinking his bluid-red wine."
Wi' anither King this nicht we're thrang,
Rantin' Robin-King o' sang;
=Dull care he gars us tine;
We'll speak a' his ups an' doons,
His thrawart fate 'gainst fortune's froons,
=An' quote ilk line;
We'll pass aroond the loving cup,
An' "Yon't the twal'" we'll feenish up
=Wi' Auld Lang Syne.



XVIII.

LONDON BURNS' CLUB

_Sent on the 25th the following:-_

This nicht we meet with festive board
To pledge our troth with one accord
To him wha touched the rustic chord
=And topped Parnassus,
And scans afar the critic horde
=Of braying asses.
Green will the mem'ry be of Burns,
As every natal day returns,
While sympathetic passion burns
=In lads and lasses.
When pigmy Crosslands from their urns,
=Return to gases.===_Menzies._

_Reply_

The cannie folk that live in Fife
=Ca' asses-cuddies,
An' pey as muckle heed to them
=As senseless buddies.
We ha'e a law to govern them
=An' lock them up,
An' when the lang-eared anes are dour
=We use the whup.
Let Crossland sneer, and Henley bite,
=It's juist the "bile";
They're juist mauch-eatin' carrion craws-
=Their nests they file.
We hope ye'll spend a glorious nicht
=Wi' sang an' speechie,
We're only vexed 'twill a' be owre
=Before this reach ye.



XIX.

CUPAR'S GREETING

The Powers that deal mankind their share,
An' mak's ane rich for fifty puir,
We pray that they may tak' guid care
=To change their plan;
An' send ye wealth enough to spare
=For every man.

_Reply_

Had Nature ever had a plan,
To give alike to ilka man,
Whaum ye'd ha'e looked for something gran'
=Like "Robin" dear,
It's mair than I can understan'
=Even whaur ye'd speer.

And riches to! wha wants the pelf,
As lang's ye've o't to serve yerself;
What need has ane to stock a shelf
=Wi' surplus gold,
To turn guid bairns to surly elf
=When ye grow old.

Pray rather to the Po'ers abune,
That true love roon' the warld may rin,
An' bind us a' in closest kin,
=An' no lament
The lack o' riches, whilk micht blin'
=Oor sweet content.



XX.

TO LONDON

We're prood that ye ha'e sent this way
=Yer snod bit caird,
An' gled to ken that ye're to ha'e
A ploy on Robin's natal day,
An' honour to his name to pay,
=Wi' due regaird.

We'll drink the toast that you ha'e gi'en
=In silence a'
An' pause awee, wi' rev'rent mien,
In homage to the mem'ry green
O' ane, the whilk the warld's ne'er seen
=His like at a'.

To Burns-wha is oor very ain,
=We pledge wi' you;
An' fond renew oor vows again,
To spread his gospel micht an' main,
Till every man be brithers fain,
=The warld through.



XXI.

TO PAISLEY

_On its centenary celebration_ (_instituted in_ 1805)

Preserve us a'! ye're grawin' auld!
But praises gi'e, yer bluid's no cauld,
Nor are ye creepin', near twa-fauld.
==Wi' a' yer age,
Yer history will yet be tauld
==On many a page.

Ye're stronger noo than e'er before,
Yer stap is firmer than o' yore,
Yer head is high noo at five score.
==Ye're trig an' smairt;
For Burns has touched the very core
==O' every heart.

When ye were born, the warld was slow
Respect to Rabin's name to show,
An' mony tried to strike a blow
==At the puir plooman,
But there! thank God, we're prood to know
==It's diff'rent noo, man.



XXII.

TO STIRLING

_Who used the_ 8_th stanza of Wordsworth's "Thoughts" as a greeting_

The pen that made the pages live
=Wi' words o' fire,
His very heart's-bluid freely gave
=Truth to inspire
Into the lives o' a' his kin,
=To mak' them bricht,
An' never shall the ages dim
=His glorious licht.



XXIII.

TO KIPPEN

To Kippen callants ane an' a',
==Wha meet this nicht,
To gar a cantie 'oor or twa
==Speed by fu' licht;
Dumfarlin' sends her wishes warm,
That Robin's shade may, like a charm,
Hing owre ye a', an' keep frae harm
==Ilk social wicht.

May harmony in high degree
==Reign roond the room,
May cark an' care be ca'd ajee,
==Nor cause a'e gloom.
For Robin-rare iconoclast
Nailed ilka sham fast to the mast,
His name and fame are bound to last
==Till day o' doom,

The cantin', sneev'lin', sleekit saint,
==He cu'dna bide;
Wi' ruthless pow'r he fearless rent
==Their shams an' pride.
But aye, for honesty and worth,
Oor country joys, oor rustic mirth,
Fu' mony a burnin' line took birth,
==Nane may deride.

Then here's to a' the Kippen Crood
==O' weel-met fellows;
Bricht may the flame o' Britherhood
==Burn withoot bellows.
Wi' you we pledge a reamin' glass,
An' pray that sune may come to pass
The time, when Burns-aye, every class
==To kinship mellows.



XXIV.

TO IPSWICH

It's guid to be social ye ken,
=As lang as ye keep to the richt;
It's guid aye to honour a King amang men
=As ye're to be daein' this nicht.



XXV.

TO "PRIMROSE," GLASGOW

Yer couthie greetin' mak's us glad,
==An' we are fain
To grip the hand o' ilka lad,
==An' shake again.
Wi' a' wha meet this august nicht,
When Rantin' Robin' first saw licht;
An' pray ilk meetin' may be bricht,
==Mind what I'm sayin'-
Aye haud for honour an' the richt,
==Wi' micht an' main.



XXVI.

TO ST ANDREWS

St Andrews to your kindly greeting,
We hope ye'll ha'e a glorious meeting;
Wi' speech and sang, and cantie glee,
Frae a' that hinders freendship free.

There's routh o' sangs that Robin wrote
That ne'er can be by Scots forgot;
Sae may ye cheer the cannie 'oor
Wi' swatches o' dear Robin's po'er.

And when The Toast ye honour pay,
Cast a'e bit thocht Dumfarlin' way,
And when we're that length in oor feast,
We'll airt guid wishes to the East.



XXVII.

TO MARKINCH

Eh, man!  Dumfarlin's glad to ha'e
==Yer kindly card,
An' prood a' what ye ha'e to say
==Aboot the Bard.
His name, as lang as ages roll,
==Shall aye grow dearer,
An' man to man, frae pole to pole,
==Shall be drawn nearer.
An' even as this day returns,
==Whaure'er we be,
We'll pledge the name of Robert Burns
==Wi' am'rous glee.



XXVIII

TO LEITH

Dumfarlin' raxes oot her hand
=Across the Firth,
To a' the guid leal-hearted band
=Wha' meet wi' mirth,
To celebrate in style richt grand
=Oor Robin's birth.

We hope yer meetin' may be free
=Frae every ill.
O' speech an' sang an' cantie glee,
=Each ha'e his fill.
To a' mankind yer feelin's be
=The best guid-will.

Wi' you we pledge the Poet's name
=In glasses fu',
An' drink to his undyin' fame
=In honour true.
An' try the thowless to reclaim,
=An' help them through.







LETTERS



I.

TO MR C.

Dear Mr C., my best respects and love
=Herewith I send you humbly as can be,
May peace around you hover like a dove,
=And gloamin' shadows saftly fa' on thee.
The Sun of Life grows sadly, slowly dim,
=But with a lion-heart you view the distant goal,
Beyond whose portals ever standeth Him
=Whose rich reward's the gentle, loving soul.
I fain would grasp thy manly hand again,
=And look for welcome from your kindly eye;
But sweet, sweet though the longing be, alas! 'tis vain,
=For many hindrances and miles between us lie,
And so I send this line of friendly cheer.
=In thought I gladly clasp the outstretched hand,
And watch with you the flickering, dying year
=Fade out into the realms of shadowland.
May He whose love the world but knows in part,
=Be very near you with His gracious care,
To comfort you and fill with joy your heart,
=And drook your head wi' heavenly blessings rare.



II.

TO MR SHEPHERD, CANADA

(_In reply to a poem which appeared in the "Dunfermline Press"_)

This rhyme ye sent across the sea
Maist made the tear come to my e'e;
To think that ane should write o' me
==As ye ha'e dune
Has gar't me steer my wits awee
==An' claw my chin.

I thank ye, though I maun confess
That wha ye are I canna guess,
Yet that need cause me nae distress
==Nor mem'ry blame:
I trow it's only through the "Press"
==Ye ken my name.

Hooe'er it be, it mak's me gled
To think that ocht I've dune or said
Has pleasure gi'en to man or maid
==Frae oor auld toon,
Wha, fortune-tossed, afaur ha'e strayed
==An' settled doon.

To stir the heart an' tune the chord
That sings o' Hame I'm weel assured
Is o' itsel' a rich reward
==For a' the trouble,
An' amply peys the humble bard
==Faur mair than double.

An' efter a', what ha'e I dune?
I've written nocht but passes sune,
An' crooned belike an ant'rin tune
==To gi'e words wings
That by the morn's efternoon
==Naebody sings.

But, man, for that we needna' care,
The daein' o't gi'es pleasure rare;
There's hunners wha ha'e dune faur mair
==Are never mentioned,
An' ithers dune faur less, I'm sure,
==Are richly pensioned.

Again I thank you, unkent friend,
My love herewith to you I send,
An' maybe ere the journey's end
==Has come in sicht
We'll meet some moments sweet to spend
==In friendship bricht.



III.

TO D.R., JUNIOR

Dumfarlin' city, auld an' grey, an' this the nineteenth day o' May,
Dear Maister R., there was nae need for oor kind freend M'K-
To gar you write, in words polite, an' ask the fares to pay;
It seems to me an' Mistress C., that John an' his dear wife
Ha'e heaped mair favours on oor heads than's happened a' oor life.
But Johnnie's heart is guid an' great, wi' kindness rinnin' owre,
An' his auld freends in low estate he drooks them wi' its sho'er;
I only wish my humble pen could catch the tinglin' thrill
That's in my bosom as I write, I'd push it wi' guid will.
I'd tell o' a' his glorious fecht, to win his high position,
An' aye to be a man 'mang men, the hicht o' his ambition;
His head erect, his e'e on fire, his bearin', like the oak,
Sturdy an' strong-nor wad he boo, aneath the tyrant's stroke.
Juist ane o' Scotland's stalwart sons, wha gang whaure'er Fate sends them,
An' gars the warld at large aye bless the dour auld land that lends them;
The same auld spirit that imbued oor men in days o' yore,
Wha 'gainst great odds, still unsubdued, aloft our banner bore.
An' while I write sae o' oor freend, I thank-wi' a' my heart,
The fates that sent a wife to him, sweet sunshine to impart;
She's like some bonnie wannert fay, that frae some land unknown
Has strayed to chinks the sun neglects to cheer it with her own.
Her een are bonnie, an' her cheeks are like twa blushin' roses,
Her lips aye pairted wi' a smile, her pearly teeth discloses.
'Mang a' the weemin folk I've met, her like I've seldom seen;
Kind Heaven, I thank she's what she is, no what she micht ha'e been;
For man is frail, an' aft, alas! when wealth surrounds the fair,
The canker pride eats up the love, an' leaves the nature bare;
But here we find the gem unspoiled, sae guileless, sweet, an' human,
The joy o' her dear husband's heart, a faithfu', peerless woman.
Dear D., to your ain "Dad" an' "Mum," baith Mistress C. an' me,
Return oor thanks for ha'en parta'en their hospitality;
May a' the blessin's roond them cling, an' troubles ne'er be haurlin',
Guid health t'ye a's the earnest wish o' freends in auld Dumfarlin'.



IV.

TO D.R., SENIOR

My dearest Dan, its funny, man, ye cudna link the rhymes;
But dinna blame Pegasus lame, lay't on the awfu' times,
The fleein' faur, on motor caur, the sichts ye saw galore,
The whummel't state o' your auld pate, on that-an' nothing more.

It's easy dune, beast that's the tune o' them that never try
To rhyme a measure, at their leisure, an' gin they dae't they sigh! oh, my!
They then begin to claw the skin, an' scart their pows an' a', man,
For words are scairch, an' sense seems wersh, words winna clink at a', man.

But here's the plan exposed, my man, we'll tak' the word "prolong,"
Then some words fling roond onything, an' feenish up wi' "song."
Then go the pace, an' win the race, an' ride wi' grace-that's if ye can,
An' keep yer place, as on through space, yer way ye trace-tak' care, my man;
Then interlace, wi' sweet grimace, upon yer face-this aye succeeds,
Some words on "gress," or weemin's dress, a'e verse, nae less-'twill serve yer needs.

Noo ye may slack, an' straucht yer back, an' then attack yer rhyme again,
An' in a crack, ye'll ha'e the knack, yer words'll smack in time again;
Ye needna lack, yer way to track, nor gnash wi' grin, demoniac,
But slash or hack, yer very clack, yer freends'll vote symposiac.

Then at this stage ye can engage, a half-a-page, contemplative;
Throw doon yen gage, yer soul enrage, an' wi' words sage an' sensitive,
Speak o' the age an' equipage, duke's heritage-provocative,
Then put a cage on a' yer rage, yer storm assuage-restorative.

Then grow fu' fain, an' entertain, wi kindly strain an' amorous,
Aboot same plain, or loving swain in lassie's train aye clamorous;
But aye refrain frae words profane, for in the main they're hazardous;
An' aye disdain gi'en needless pain to ony ane; be generous.

Then tak' the chance, bring in a dance, an' gar them prance, original;
The lasses' glance, that like a lance, and in romance, is tragical;
An' mak' them sing, an' hooch, an' fling, then in ye bring the madrigal,
In consonance wi' circumstance, extravagance and prodigal.

Ye needna swear, nor tear yer hair, nor stare wi' care calamitous,
I'll e'en forbear, frae sayin' mair; it's hardly fair, it's villainous!
Now on the square, I'd never dare, to send sic ware-ridiculous,
But you're aware, a couthie pair, had tried gey sair, wi' time to spare,
Thochts to prepare, but in despair, had to declare, the whole affair too frivolous.



V.

TO THE HON. SECRETARY OF THE AULD BRIG O' AYR RESTORATION FUND

Your intimation juist to hand,
=For Friday's forenoon meetin',
But item you ca' number three,
=Has maistly set me greetin';
I scarcely can believe my een,
=But sure it's set doon there-
A guarantee that we will pey
=Gin it should cost us mair.

Is't likely when we've dune sae weel,
=To raise the gowden lump,
We'll ape the man wha ate the coo,
=An' cuist-oot at the rump?
Na, na, the country winna let
=The Brig come to an en',
An' if the thing's richt gane aboot
=We could get ither TEN.

But, mind ye, a'e thing I maun say
=(It's aft been thrown at me),
Hoo is it that ye've come
=To let the pride o' Auld Ayr dee?
Folks winder at the spirit shown
=By Councillors o' Ayr
Towards the Brig; an' what they say,
=Folk speer me "Hoo they dare?"

May Guid forgi'e the cautious (?) crew
=Wha rule Auld Ayr's affairs,
They're awfu' feared we're gaun to seek
=A brawn bawbee o' theirs;
For shame! can't be they dinna thank
=The happy freak o' fortune,
That ga'e them Burns for their bairn
=Withoot the toil o' courtin'.

Or can it be they dinna ken,
=Hoo much they owe to Robbie,
Or has guid fortune tirned their heads,
=An' made them a' owre snobbie?
It disna maitter what they think,
=For a'e wey an' anither,
Rab puts mair siller in their pooch,
=Than a'thing else th'gither.

There's thoosands come frae every land,
=To visit Robin's shrine,
An' gang the gates, and see the sichts,
=That Robin did lang syne;
An' this will last, as lang's the sun
=Shines on Auld Scotia dear;
For Robin's power will never wane,
=But Stronger grow ilk year.

Yer Councillors, it's evident,
=Ha'e naething in their naiters
Like poetry or sentiment-
They're puir commercial craiters;
An' that's the wey I hinna said
=A word in Robin's worth,
As poet, patriot, prophet,
Peer in pathos and in mirth.

They've sneered at this, they've glunched at that,
=Juist like same pampered bairn;
An' what the warld thinks o' them
=I don't suppose they're carin'.
When ye're in Rome, ye e'en maun boo
=Yer head to Roman laws;
But gin ye'd fecht wi' men like thae,
=Ye want a pair o' tawse.



VI.

TO JOSH MACRAE, TINKLER

God bless ye, Josh, I'm gled to read
In last week's sheet yer thochtfu' screed;
I'm gled yer noddle's been that clear
That you the burnie's sang could hear,
For weel I min' yae nicht lang syne
(I little doot ye'll min' o't fine),
We never saw the burn until
We were intil't-a' through the gill.

No yin, nor twa, nor yet was't three
That yon day ser'd to slocken me;
I hed been on the hain for weeks,
An' siller had steeve in my breeks.
I tint it a' an' pawned my wheel
Wi' yon auld pawky blacksmith chiel';
You pairtit wi' yer pans an' a',
Nor at the sma' price gied a thraw.

We never raise till a' was dune,
The lichtsome 'oors flew faur owre sune,
Syne oot across the muir we stappit,
An' in the plantin's edge we drappit
An' sleepit soun'; the waukrife mune
Looked doon on a' this world o' sin,
An' murky clouds crept owre her face
As if to hide puir man's disgrace.

The feathered choir within the wood
Awake us, and a paitrick's brood,
Wi' frichted skraik, quick skurried ben
The plaintin's cover, wi' the hen.
E'en in this life we meet to pairt,
An' ilka chiel' gangs his ain airt,
Sae you that mornin' stappit oot,
An' I gaed to the richt aboot.

I ha'e my wheel an' gibbles a',
An' roon your way I sune maun ca'
To sharp or set be't shears or saws,
Or razors blunt frae ony cause.
We'll ha'e a dram-aye, maybe twa-
An' gi'e dull care an awfu' ca';
Rax oot yer haun'! noo, hear me say,
Lang life an' luck to Josh Macrae.



VII.

TO A.H.

Dear Annie, I am wae to say,
Pegasus seems to "reest" the day,
An' winna steer a single fit,
Although I claw my head, an' sit
An' chew my pen, and rake my hair
(I have to dae this noo wi' care,
For you ken weel it's awfu' scanty,
There's "singles" noo whaur aince were plenty,
No' that I'm greetin' for its lack,
I've aye a pickle at the back);
But I deplore a dorty muse,
Wha'll only gallop gin she choose,
An' gars my sister think I'm dour,
Though for this state I ken nae cure.
Sometimes ye ha'e the wish to write,
But no a'e line can ye indite,
For a' thing seems to turn oot wrang,
It's neither sermon nor a sang.
Hooever, here's yer envelope,
Yer wishes it will meet, I hope,
An' if it disna, let me ken,
An' I'm prepared to try again.



VIII.

TO A WEE LADDIE

Dumfarlin' Ceety, auld and grey,
=An' July 26th the day,
I'm writin' this as you can see,
=Frae High Street number one-three-three.

My dear Wee Ian, juist a note
=To raise the stour aboot ye,
An' let ye ken hoo we a' are
=At hame in Fife withoot ye.

Yer Mither's lip is hingin' doon,
=She seems to miss ye sairly,
But she's been keepin' up her pluck
=By workin' late an' early.

She's sellin' chocolate dougs an' men,
=An' pies an' tairts an' caundy,
An' peppermints an' rock an' scones,
=An' anything that's haundy.


Sic like as gingerbread and snaps
=An' perkins, puffs an' paurleys
An' lucky-bags an' penny pocks,
=She hasna time for baurleys.

An' Ella's no hersel' at a',
=She's naebody to rage on,
An' Major, gin he disna mend,
=He'll ha'e to get a cage on.

He barks at a' the dougs that pass,
=Ye needna think I'm leein',
An' then he looks up in my face,
=An' plainly spiers, whaurs Ian.

Yer daddy's hair is fa'in' aff,
=He's growin' kind o' sully,
An' Jamie's gane clean aff his meat,
=An' so has Bob an' Wullie,

But you are livin' like some duke,
=Wi' pleasure juist surrounded,
The word that Maister Burtlet brocht
=Yer mother fair astounded.

Ye've been to see Rob Roy's cave,
=Whaur he had aince a hidin';
My lad! ye wadna been sae brave
=If there he'd still been bydin'.

He micht ha'e cuttit aff yer head
=An' row'd it in a blanket,
It's juist as weel that he was dead
=Ere to his cave you shankit.

For what wad ye ha'e dune at a',
=We'd a' ha'e been afraid,
If we had seen oor little man
=Come hame withoot his head.

An' hoo wad ye ha'e kent the road
=I winder, I assure ye,
Ye micht ha'e gane alang East Port,
=On run richt doon the Newry.

Or richt alang by Campbell Street,
=Or doon by Comely Park,
For mind ye, if yer head was aff,
It wad be awfu' dark.

Hooever, Robert Roy was dead
=Afore ye gaed to Stirlin',
But if he hadna, I'd ha'e come
=An set his lugs baith dirlin'.

I wad ha'e brocht yon muckle stick
=An' yon auld farrant gun,
Whene'er he clapped his e'e on me
=He wad ha'e turned an' run,

His kilts wad flap as faur's they could,
=I'll wager ye twa curdies,
An' though it may be coonted rude,
=Ye'd maistly seen his hurdies.

Hooever, I'll no need to come,
=As you're still to the fore,
An' when I can find some mair time
=I'll try an' write some more.