Rough Scan
BOOK IX - CHARACTERS



129 - OF JAMES DOG, KEPAR OF THE QUENIS WARDROP

====TO THE QUENE

THE Wardraipper of Venus' boure,
To giff a doublett he is als doure,
As it war off ane futt syd frog:
=Madame, ye hey a dangerouss Dog!

When that I schawe to him your markis,
He turnis to me again, and barkis,
As he war wirriand ane hog:
=Madame, ye hey a dangerouss Dog!

When that I schawe to him your wryting,
He girnis that I am red for byting;
I wald he had ane hevye clog:
=Madame, ye hey ane dangerouss Dog!

When that I speik till him freindlyk,
He barkis lyk ane midden tyk,
War chassand cattell through a bog:
=Madame, ye hey a dangerouss Dog!

He is ane mastyf, mekle of mycht,
To keip your wardroippe ower nycht
Fra the grytt Sowdan Gog-ma-gog:
=Madame, ye hey a dangerouss Dog!

He is owre mekle to be your messan,
Madame, I red you get a less ane,
His gang garris all your chalmeris schog:
=Madame, ye hey a dangerouss Dog!

=======_William Dunbar_.



130 - AGANIS THE THIEVIS OF LIDDISDALE

THAE thiefis that stealis and tursis hame,
Ilk ane of them has ane to-name:
=Will of the Lawis,
=Hab of the Shawis;
=To mak bare wa's,
They think na shame.

They spuilye puir men of their packis;
They leif them nocht on bed nor backis;
=Baith hen and cock,
=With reel and rock,
=The Lairdis Jock
All with him takis.

They leif not spindle, spoon, nor spit,
Bed, bowster, blanket, serk, nor sheet:
=John of the Park
=Ripes kist and ark;
=For all sic wark
He is richt meet.

He is weil kend, John of the Side;
A greater thief did never ride:
=He never tires
=For to break byres;
=Owre muir and mires
Owre gude ane guide.

There is ane, callit Clement's Hob,
Fra ilk puir wife reifis her wob,
=And all the laif,
=Whatever they haif:
=The devil resave
Therefor his gob! ...

Of stouth thoch now they come gude speed
That neither of men nor God has dreid,
=Yit, or I die,
=Some sall them see
=Hing on a tree
Whill they be deid.

=======_Sir Richard Maitland_.



131 - EPITAPH ON CAPTAIN MATTHEW HENDERSON

STOP, passenger !— my story's brief,
=And truth I shall relate, man;
I tell nae common tale o' grief—
=For Matthew was a great man.

If thou uncommon merit hast,
=Yet spurn'd at fortune's door, man,
A look of pity hither cast—
=For Matthew was a poor man.

If thou a noble sodger art,
=That passest by this grave, man,
There moulders here a gallant heart—
=For Matthew was a brave man.

If thou on men, their works and ways,
=Canst throw uncommon light, man,
Here lies wha weel had won thy praise—
=For Matthew was a bright man.

If thou at friendship's sacred ca'
=Wad life itself resign, man,
Thy sympathetic tear maun fa'—
=For Matthew was a kind man!

If thou art staunch without a stain,
=Like the unchanging blue, man,
This was a kinsman o' thy ain—
=For Matthew was a true man.

If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire,
=And ne'er guid wine did fear, man,
This was thy billie, dam, and sire—
=For Matthew was a queer man.

If ony whiggish whingin' sot,
=To blame poor Matthew dare, man,
May dool and sorrow be his lot!
=For Matthew was a rare man.

=======_Robert Burns_.



132 - THE MILLER

====(1)

O MERRY may the maid be
=Who marries wi' the miller,
For foul day or fair day
=He's ay bringing till her;
Has ay a penny in his pouch,
=Has something het for supper,
Wi' beef and pease, and melting cheese,
=An' lumps o' yellow butter.

Behind the door stand bags o' meal,
=And in the ark is plenty;
And good hard cakes his mither bakes,
=And mony a sweeter denty.
A good fat sow, a sleeky cow,
=Are standing in the byre;
Whilst winking puss, wi' mealy mou,
=Is playing round the fire.

Good signs are these, my mither says,
=And bids me take the miller;
A miller's wife's a merry wife,
=And he's ay bringing till her.
For meal or maut she'll never want
=Till wood and water's scanty;
As lang as cocks and cackling hens,
=She'll ay hae eggs in plenty.

In winter time, when wind and sleet
=Shake ha-house, barn and byre,
He sits aside a clean hearth stane,
=Before a rousing fire;
O'er foaming ale he tells his tale;
=And ay to show he's happy,
He claps his weans, and dawtes his wife
=Wi' kisses warm and sappy.

=======_Sir John Clerk of Pennycuik_.


====(2)

THE miller's rung did deeds o' weir,
=For mortal fray it aye was ready;
The miller kent nor sloth nor fear
=When he fought for king or bonnie leddy!
His head was pruif o' stane or steel,
=His skin was teucher than bend-leather;
He could pu' against his ain mill-wheel,
=Or snap in bits his horse's tether.

=======_George Outram_.



133 - THE PARDONER

MY patent Pardons, ye may se,
Cum frae the Cane of Tartarie,
=Weill seal'd with oster-schellis.
Thoch ye have na contritioun,
Ye sall have full remissioun,
=With help of buiks and bellis.

Heir is ane relict, lang and braid,
Of Fine Macoull, the richt chaft blaid.
=With teith and al togidder:
Of Colling's cow heir is ane horne,
For eating of Makconnal's corne
=Wes slane into Balquhidder.

Heir is ane cord baith greit and lang,
Whilk hangit Johne the Armistrang,
=Of gude hemp soft and sound:
Gude halie pepill!  I stand for'd
Wha ever beis hangit with this cord
=Neids never to be drownd.

The culum of Sanct Bryd's cow,
The gruntill of Sanct Antonis sow,
=Whilk buir his halie bell;
Wha ever he be heiris this bell clink,
Gif me ane ducat for till drink,
=He sall never gang to hell.

=======_Sir David Lyndsay_.



134 - THE SOUTERS OF SELKIRK

UP wi' the souters of Selkirk,
=And down wi' the Earl of Home;
And up wi' a' the braw lads
=Wha sew the single-soled shoon!
O! fye upon yellow and yellow,
=And fye upon yellow and green;
But up wi' the true blue and scarlet,
=And up wi' the single-soled shoon!

Up wi' the souters of Selkirk—
=Up wi' the lingle and last!
There's fame wi' the days that's comin',
=And glory wi' them that are past:
Up wi' the souters of Selkirk—
=Lads that are trusty and leal;
And up wi' the men of the Forest,
=And down wi' the Merse to the Deil!

O! mitres are made for noddles,
=But feet they are made for shoon:
And fame is as sib to Selkirk
=As light is true to the mune:
There sits a souter in Selkirk
=Wha sings as he draws his thread—
There's gallant souters in Selkirk
=As lang's there's water in Tweed.



135 - THE EPITAPH OF HABBIE SIMSON, PIPER OF KILBARCHAN

KILBARCHAN now may say alas!
For she hath lost her game and grace,
Both _Trixie_ and _The Maiden Trace_:
=But what remead?
For no man can supply his place:
=Hab Simson's dead.

Now who shall play _The Day it Dawis_,
_Or Hunts Up_, when the cock he craws?
Or who can for our kirk-town cause
=Stand us in stead?
On bagpipes now nobody blaws
=Sen Habbie's dead.

Or who will cause our shearers shear?
Wha will bend up the brags of weir,
Bring in the bells, or good play-meir
=In time of need?
Hab Simson could, what needs you speir,
=But now he's dead.

So kindly to his neighbours neist
At Beltan and St. Berchan's feast
He blew, and then held up his breast,
=As he were weid;
But now we need not him arrest,
=For Habbie's dead.

At fairs he play'd before the spear-men,
All gaily graithed in their gear, man:
Steel bonnets, jacks, and swords so clear then
=Like ony bead:
Now wha will play before such weir-men
=Sen Habbie's dead?

At clerk-plays when he wont to come,
His pipe played trimly to the drum;
Like bikes of bees he gart it hum,
=And tun'd his reed:
Nowall our pipers may sing dumb,
=Sen Habbie's dead.

And at horse races many a day,
Before the black, the brown, the grey,
He gart his pipe, when he did play,
=Baith skirl and skreed:
Nowall such pastime's quite away
=Sen Habbie's dead.

He counted was a waled wight-man,
And fiercely at football he ran:
At every game the gree he wan
=For pith and speed.
The like of Habbie was na than,
=But now he's dead.

And then, besides his valiant acts,
At bridals he wan many placks;
He bobbit ay behind folk's backs
=And shook his head.
Now we want many merry cracks
=Sen Habbie's dead.

He was a convoyer of the bride,
With Kittock hanging at his side;
About the kirk he thought a pride
=The ring to lead:
But now we may gae but a guide,
=For Habbie's dead.

So well's he keeped his decorum,
And all the stots of _Whip-meg-morum_;
He slew a man, and wae's me for him,
=And bure the feid!
But yet the man wan hame before him,
=And was not dead.

And when he play'd, the lasses leugh
To see him teethless, auld, and teugh.
He wan his pipes besides Barcleugh,
=Withouten dread!
Which after wan him gear eneugh;
=But now he's dead.

Ay when he play'd the gaislings gedder'd,
And when he spake the carl bleddered,
On Sabbath days his cap was fedder'd,
=A seemly weid;
In the kirk-yeard his mare stood tedder'd,
=Where he lies dead.

Alas! for him my heart is sair,
For of his spring I gat a skair,
At every play, race, feast, or fair,
=But guile or dread;
We need not look for piping mair,
=Sen Habbie's dead.

=======_Sir Robert Sempill of Beltrees_.



136 - THE BEADLE'S LAMENT

NAE mair, auld Sabbath Book, nae mair
Shall we twa tak' the poopit stair;
Aneth my airm wi' decent care
=Ye've traivelled lang;
But noo, like bauchles past repair,
=We twa maun gang.

For yon sleek Herd, wi' face o' whey,
Wha cam' last Spring frae yont Glenspey,
Has set his will, has wrocht his wey,
=Wi' laird and cottar;
Till e'en the Session are as cley,
=And he the potter!

He's turned the auld kirk upside-doon;
Pentit the wa's blue, green, and broun;
The book-brod, tossled roun' and roun',
=Glowers wi' red, plush on't;
And in the pews ilk glaiket loon
=Cocks whare he's cushion'd!

The douce precentor, Dauvit Parks,
Nae mair in his bit boxie barks;
An organ, stuffed wi' water-warks,
=Mak's a' lugs dirl:
And twa-three lads in lang white sarks
=Start aff the skirl.

A braw new Bible has been bocht,—
Revised, to clink wi' Modern Thocht;
A braw new beadle has been socht,
=Soople and snod;
And this new Herd, himsel' has wrocht
=A braw new God!

A God wha wadna fricht the craws;
A God wha never lifts the taws;
Wha never heard o' Moses' laws,
=On stane or paper
A kind o' thowless Great First Cause,
=Skinklin' thro' vapour.

As for the Bible, if you please,
He thinks it's true,—in twa degrees;
Some pairt is chalk, some pairt is cheese;
=But he'll engage
To riddle oot the biggest lees
=Frae ilka page!

The Fall, he thinks, is nocht but fable;
Adam ne'er delved, nor killed was Abel;
Men never built the Tower of Babel;
=Nor lenched an Ark;
While auld Methuselah's birthday-table
=Clean jumps the mark!

No that he says sic things straucht oot;
Lord! he's as sly's Loch Leven troot;
But here wi' Science, there wi' Doot
=He crams his sermons;
Thrawin' the plainest text aboot
=To please the Germans.

The auld blue Hell he thinks a haiver;
The auld black Deil a kintry claver;
And what is Sin, but saut to savour
=Mankind's wersh luggies?
While Saunts, if ye'd believe the shaver,
=Are kirk-gaun puggies!

The Lord have mercy on sic teachin'
And on the kirk that tholes sic speech in;
A heathen-man, wi' heathen screechin',
=Were less to blame;
Satan himsel' would damn sic preachin'
=For very shame!

Oh! for the days when sinners shook
Aneth the true Herd's righteous crook;
When men were telt that this auld Book
=Is God's ain Word;
When texts were stanes waled frae the brook
=And prayer a sword.

Four ministers I've seen ta'en ower
To yon kirkyaird; and a' the four
Were men o' prayer, were men o' power,
=In kirk and session;
Preachers wha nailed ye wi' a glower
=To your transgression.

Oh! for sic men o' godly zeal;
Men wha could grab ye, head and heel,
And slype ye to the Muckle Deil,
=Withoot a qualm;
The sinner thro' the reek micht squeal,—
=They sang a psalm!

Stout Herds were they, and steeve their creed:
But this chiel drones a wee bit screed,
In which God's will, and what Christ dreed,
=Are things to guess on;
Yammers for our Eternal need
=A bairn's schule-lesson.

A wee schule-lesson dull and dowff;
Scribbled atween twa games at gowff;
For at the tee he mak's his howff
=Baith syne and sune:
But wha cares for a beadle's bowff
=Wha's day is dune.

My day is dune; and richt or wrang
The thocht comes like a waefu' sang;
This Book and me, we've traivelled lang
=The poopit stair;
But that's a gate we twa shall gang
=Nae mair, nae mair.

=======_Hamish Hendry_.



137 - THE AUCTIONEER

ThERE's nae sic men a-makin' noo
=As ane I kent near Robslaw quarries;
His een are closed, cauld, cauld his broo,
=He's deen wi' a' life's cares and sharries:
==Daavit Drain o' Hirpletillim,
==Drink never yet was brewed wad fill him;
==Stout an' swack, broad breist, straucht back,
==Gied strength and swing to Hirpletillim.

At kirk and market, Daavit Drain
=Ower elder, factor, got a hearin';
On dootfu' pints to mak' things plain
=He exerceesed the gift o' swearin':
==Daavit Drain o' Hirpletillim,
==Storm and stour ne'er dang could kill him;
==Up wi' the lark—fae morn to dark
==Was heard the soun' o' Hirpletillim.

He held things gaun in barn and byre,
=At judgin' sLock he own'd nae marrow;
‘Nent horse and nowt he'd never tire,
=His skill confoonit Farrier Harrow:
==Daavit Drain o' Hirpletillim,
==Wi' fear nae soul micht try instil him;
==Even Ury's laird, wi' feint and gaird,
==Was scarce a match for Hirpletillim.

Bauld Daavit was an unctioneer,
=At plenishin's he flourish't bravely:
His "Going, gone" rang firm and clear,
=Slow higglers he admonished gravely:
==Daavit Drain o' Hirpletillim,
==What mortal horn could e'er ill-will him?
==But noo he's gane—and ‘neath yon stane
==Nae bode can wauken Hirpletillim.

=======_William Carnie_.



138 - HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER

O THOU, wha in the heavens dost dwell,
Wha, as it pleases best Thysel',
Sends ane to heaven, and ten to hell,
=A' for Thy glory,
And no' for ony guid or ill
=They've done afore Thee!

I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
When thousands Thou hast left in night,
That I am here, afore Thy sight,
=For gifts an' grace,
A burning an' a shining light
=To a' this place.

What was I, or my generation,
That I should get sic exaltation?
I, wha deserve sic just damnation,
=For broken laws,
Sax thousand years 'fore my creation,
=Thro' Adam's cause.

When frae my mither's womb I fell,
Thou might hae plung'd me into hell,
To gnash my gums, to weep and wail,
=In burnin' lake,
Whare damned devils roar and yell,
=Chain'd to a stake.

Yet I am here, a chosen sample,
To show Thy grace is great and ample;
I'm here a pillar o' Thy temple,
=Strong as a rock,
A guide, abuckler, and example
=To a' Thy flock.

But yet, O Lord! confess I must,
At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust;
And sometimes, too, wi' warldly trust,
=Vile self gets in;
But Thou remembers we are dust,
=Defil'd in sin....

Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn
Buffet Thy servant e'en and morn,
Lest he owre high and proud should turn,
=That he's sae gifted;
If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne,
=Until Thou lift it.

Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
For here Thou hast a chosen race!
But God confound their stubborn face,
=And blast their name,
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace,
=An' open shame....

=*=*=*=*=*

But, Lord, remember me and mine,
Wi' mercies temporal and divine,
That I for grace an' gear may shine,
=Excell'd by nane;
An' a' the glory shall be Thine—
=Amen, Amen!



139 - THE TINKLERS

THE mist lies like a plaid on plain,
The dyke-taps a' are black wi' rain,
A soakit head the clover hings,
On ilka puddle rise the rings.

Sair dings the rain upon the road,—
It dings, an' nae devallin' o'd;
Adoun the gutter rins a rill
Micht halflins ca' a country mill.

The very roadman's left the road:
The only kind o' beas' abroad
Are dyucks, rejoicin' i' the flood,
An' pyots, clatterin' i' the wud.

On sic a day wha tak's the gate?
The cadger? maybe; but he's late.
The carrier? na! he doesna flit
Unless, _D.V._, the pooers permit.

On sic a day wha tak's the gate?
The tinkler, an' his tousie mate
He foremost, wi' a nose o' flint,
She sour an' sulky, yards ahint.

A blanket, fra her shouthers doun,
Wraps her an' a' her bundles roun';
A second rain rins aff the skirt;
She skelps alang through dub an' dirt.

Her cheeks are red, her een are sma',
Her head wi' rain-draps beadit a';
The yellow hair, like wires o' bress,
Springs, thrivin' in the rain, like gress.

Her man an' maister stalks in front,
Silent mair than a tinkler's wont;
His wife an' warkshop there ahint him,—
This day he caresna if he tint them.

His hands are in his pouches deep,
He snooves alang like ane in sleep,
His only movement's o' his legs,
He carries a' aboon like eggs.

Sma' wecht ! his skeleton an' skin,
And a dour heavy thocht within.
His claes, sae weel wi' weet they suit him,
They're like a second skin aboot him.

They're doun the road, they're oot o' sicht;
They'll reach the howff by fa' o' nicht,
In Poussie Nancy's cowp the horn,
An tak' the wanderin' gate the morn.

They'll give their weasands there a weet,
Wi' kindred bodies there they'll meet,
Wi' drookit gangrels o' the clan,
The surgeons o' the pat an' pan.

Already on the rain-washed wa'
A darker gloom begins to fa';
Sooms fra the sicht the soakin' plain,—
It's closin' for a nicht o' rain.

=======_James Logie Robertson_.