Rough Scan








(_In the Southron Idiome_.)

It is a daring thing, now-a-days, to write a long poem in Scottish. Yet that language, the richest, perhaps, and most flexible for humorous purposes, of any dialect of modern Europe, — that in which our accomplished and facetious Stewarts once deigned to sport their wit, and to pen their lively lays, — which was once honourably sounded from our pulpits, at our tribunals, and in the halls of our nobility, — deserves to be recalled now and then, if possible, to the eats and recollections of this our anglicised and prim generation, that they may know in what terms their forefathers spoke, and jested, and laughed.
The author has borrowed the style and manner and diversified strophes of Sir David Lindsay.  He may be considered the Chaucer of Scotland; and in his writings, and in those of Dunbar, appear, more than in those of any other of our vernacular poets, the facetious strength, fluency, and vivacity of our native speech.
The Dmolition, which is the theme of these verses, is of some interest in the history of Fife.  Hardly has it ever been much applauded, it has been palliated rather as an extraordinary achievement of popular excitement, as an ebullition of ultra-protestantism, condemned or at least disclaimed by the principal leaders.  It may therefore he deemed _fair game_ for a humourist, who intermeddles not with principles, — these are too deeply seated, too sacred for his light and playful touch, — but who has a right to appropriate to himself acts of popular violence or extravagance as a proper subject for facetious narration or animadversion.  Knox himself has set a good example of this sort of humour against his adversaries.  His ludicrous relations of Popish disasters, distresses, and discomfitures, show much dexterity in their kind, and prove him to have been a man not only of sound head, but, had he chosen to indulge it, of excellent jocularity.
For the introduction of one or two allegorical personages, the Author has to plead the example of the poets of Southern Europe, who scruple not, in their serious as well as ludicrous poems, to employ such actors, and to mix up their shadowy and symbolical names in the same stanzas with those that are real and historical.




The Muse, invokit for this wark,
=Screeds aff her dainty dittie,
How folk begoud to gowl and bark
=Contrair the Roman city,
And how Dan Momus stirr’d a clark
=Of stalwart saul and witty,
And how wi’ dreams a chieftain stark
=Was fir’d withouten pity.

I sing the steir, strabush, and strife,
Whan, bickerin’ frae the towns o’ Fife,
Great bangs of bodies, thick and rife,
=Gaed to Sanct Androis town,
And, wi’ John Calvin i’ their heads,
And hammers i’ their hands and spades,
Enrag’d at idols, mass, and beads,
=Dang the Cathedral down.
I wat the bruilzie then was dour,
Wi’ sticks, and stanes, and bluidy dour,
Ere Papists unto Calvin’s power
=Gaif up their strangest places,
And fearfu’ the stramash and stour,
Whan pinnacle cam doun and tow’r,
And Virgin Maries in a shower
=Fell flat and smash’t their faces;
The capper roofs, that dazzlit heaven,
Were frae their rafters rent and riven;
The marble altars dash’t and driven;
=The cods wi’ velvet laces,
The siller ewers and candlesticks,
The purple stole and gowden pyx,
And tunakyls and dalmatyks,
=Cam tumblin’ frae their cases;
The Devil stood bumbaz’d to see
The bonny cosy byke, whair he
Had cuddlit monie a centurie,
=Ripp’t up wi’ sic disgraces!

O Muse, that frae Parnassus’ crown,
Cam in thy multi-spanglet shoon,
Lampin’ alang in joveus glee
Frae jaw to jaw athort the sea,
To meet the Chian king o’ sang,
That in his cave the lee day tang,
Sat culyieing thee beside the shore
Whairon th’ Aegean’s jappers roar,
There sat he, on lone bink reclin’d,
Deep musin’ in his mightie mind,
Some famous argument to find,
Thou at his elbuck stood unseen,
And wi’ thy glamour glaik’d his een,
=Bewitchin’ them to joy,
Than, than, by him was brightlie seen
The bitter collieshangie keen
=That wrocht the Greeks annoy,
Ilk bluidy brulziement and battle
Wi’ swords, and stanes, and chariots’ brattle,
That never blindit nor did sattle,
Till erthlins wi’ a dunderin’ rattle
=Tummlet the tow’rs o’ Troy;
O come down frae thy cloud on hie
Whair thou art singin’ merrilie,
And wi’ thy wings owrshadow me,
=And fan my spreit to joy;
And up thy magic lantern hold,
That in its lookin’—glass o’ gold,
My glaikit ee may well behold
=The Papists and their faes comminglit
In monie a fecht and tulzie-mulzie,
Herryin’ o’ kirks, and image-spulzie,
=Whairwi’ nae ear as yet hath tinglet;
Thou kenn’st it a’; for thou wert there,
Pitch’t on the steeple’s tap in air,
Markin’ the faces, everilk one,
O’ them by wham the wark was done,
And notin’ down within thy book
Ilk motion, gesture, speik, and look,
Aiblins to use on future time,
And blazon them abraid in rhime:
Till, underneath thy feet, I trow,
Dinnelin’ _Deaf Meg_ and _Crookit Mou_
Begoud wi’ ane terrifick blatter
At the great steeple’s found to batter,
=Garrin’ the stanes to dance;
The steeple rock’t at itka swack;
Thou saw’st the comin’ crash and wrack;
And flafft thy wings, and in a crack
=Ftew frae th’ unsicker stance!

Say, first, what set the fotks a-fire,
And made them wraithly to conspire,
Contrair Cathedral, monk, and spire?
The Cardinal’s bluid (now rest his saul!)
Lay clotter’t on the castill-wall,
And bauld Johne Knox, now grown the baulder,
That Beaton lay in’s kist the caulder,
Past like a lion round the land,
And wi’ the wangyle in his hand,
And wechtie Calvin in his wallet,
Was as it were an iron matlet
To break the Man o’ Sin to flinders,
And hurl the _mass_ amang the cinders;
He preachit east, he preachit wast,
His voice was as the whirlwind’s blast,
=That aftentimes, in days o’ simmer,
Comes swirlin’ sudden frae the sea,
And swoops the hay-cocks aff the lea,
=And tirls the kirks, and strips the timmer;
The vera steeples round about
Rebellow’d to his nobill shout,
And rang wi’ texts baith in and out;
The dows and daws that there aboundit,
As if affrichtit and confoundit,
Out-whirr’d and whitter’t at the sound o’t;
The bells and bartisans reboundit;
Strang pupits flew about in blads,
Breakin’ the hearers’ pows wi’ dads;
Men, women, kirtled girls, and lads,
Were fir’d and furiated in squads;
Sae wud and wicket was their wraith
Gainst Papish trash and idol-graith,
=The patter’d prayers and beads,
They scarce could sattle on the benches,
But cock’t their fists in fearfu’ clenches,
And slappit furiouslie their henches,
=And shook their angrie heads.
Ae man bang’t upwarts frae his place,
And toss’d his nieve, withouten grace,
Richt i’ the Virgin Mary’s face.
Anither wicht was mair uncivil:
He brak St Ayle owr by the neevil,
And bann’d haith pieces to the deevil.
Some say, — maybe ‘twas but a clatter, —
That the town’s piper, wi’ a blatter,
Whummlet and skail’t the halie water,
Be’t true, be’t fause, it’s little matter:
Had Bellarmine been sittin’ cockin
In Anster kirk, he’d gat a yokin’
Yon day, that wou’d hae cow’d his croakin’,
And garr’d his head hing like a doken:
The vera dead men’s mooler’t banes,
=That i’ the kirk-ayle lay at rest,
Amaist caught life aneath their stanes,
=And bowtit up amang the rest
To smash the stany saints, whilk they
Had worship’t on a former day
Whan tabernaclin’ i’ their clay!

But hoolie, Muse! reprime your haste;
=Descrybe mair gently a’ the matter;
Ye needna rin as ye were chas’d,
=And blast and blaw wi’ sic a blatter!

Now, had the Sun’s meridian chair
Been heiz’d up heicher i’ the air,
The fiery Bull, that, e’en and morn,
Keeps ever buttin’ at Orion,
Had toss’d Apollo up in scorn
Aff frae his star-betippet horn,
=And up the zodiack sent him flyin’;
The Twins, where up they stand on heicht,
Stretch’d out their arms, aye glitterand bricht,
=And caught him mid a show’r o’ beams,
That halflins blindet wi’ their sheen,
As down they fell intil his een,
=The gentle Castor wi’ their gleams:
And merry May, fram whare she lay
=In Abyssinia’s gardens sleepin’,
Wak’d by the Hours frae bonnie bowers,
=Up Titan’s peth comes lampin’, leapin’;
And ever as she gaes a-trippin’,
Her fingers in her basket dippin’,
Pick witch-bells out, dear daffodillies,
Kingcups and spinks, and livelie lilies,
And sparple them in frisky mirth
Ow’r the great waist o’ mither Yerth.
Auld mither Yerth, now sick o’ frost,
=Unwrinkles a’ her cauldrife face,
And shines abraid thro’ ilka coast,
=And breirds and beautifies apace:
‘Mid sic joyeusitie, I wot,
Th’ east neuk o’ Fife was nae forgot:
The aits and barley there were springin’,
The lavricks i’ the lift were singin’,
The leas wi’ ploughmen’s lilts were ringin’;
Auld grandshers at their doors sat beikin,
While younksters, by the sea-side streikin’,
Gaed paidlin’ in without a breik on,
E’en senseless kye did rowt wi’ glee,
The sillie fishes i’ the sea
Lap frae their element in play
To kiss the gowden gleam o’ day.
Nae marvel then, that, to his mither,
=Cried Piper-Jock, "May I be licket,
Gin there has been sic guid spring-weather
=Syn’ Cardinal Beaton’s craig was sticket!"
Sic was the season, siccan wedder,
=Whan Maister Knox and Maister Rough,
Twa cronies link’t in love thegidder,
=Merrilie march’d frae Edinbrogh,
To hunt the Roman beast in Fife,
And ettle fiercely at his life
Wi’ Calvin’s Lang sharp-nebbit knife
The tane atween Kinghorn and Crail
=Eastlins frae town to town gaed preachin’;
The tither, nae less brym in zeal,
=In landwart parochins gaed stretchin’;
Kirkcaldy Papists, iron-heartit,
Now wi’ their stany idols partit;
The Gallowtown was clean convertit;
The Dysart heughmen left their places
O’ darkness now, and wash’d their faces,
Ardent for homilies and graces.
The Upper Largo and the Nether
Deem’d Papistry now but a blether;
Weems cried out, "_Hang it in a tether._"
The sinfu’ bodies o’ the Elie
Were spain’d frae image-worship hailly;
St Monan’s fishermen, brain-wud,
Flang their auld dead stock-saint o’ wood
Aff their puir pier intil the flood,
Mad Pittenweem waged deadly weir
Wi’ their fat capon-lined prior;
(Need little wonder be o’ that;
They were his lean, and he sae fat!)
Wast Anster town was clean uprisen;
East Anster burghers, monie a dozen,
Were fraithin’ at the mou’, and fizzin’
=At beads and halie water;
Cauld Cellardyke had ta’en the gee;
Her boats, deil ane was now at sea,
Haddocks and skate were let abee
=For mair important matter;
Crail town was up wi’ gashin’ gabs;
Wabsters, throu’ zeal, forgat their wabs;
Tailors’ fierce mou’s gaif bitter stabs,
And brewsters’ tongues, wi’ dads and dabs,
=Rome’s skelpie-limmer thumpet;
Clerk Diston ca’d the Paip an ass;
And the strang craig o’ Baillie Glass,
Through ilka Street as he did pass,
Against our Ladie and the mass
=Gaed rairin’ like a trumpet.

While thus in town and royal bough
=The burghers’ tongues were set a-birrin’,
Nae less, inflam’t by Maister Rough,
=The lairds in landwart pairts were stirrin’:
Kilbrachmont Ramsay raise in anger,
The laird o’ Grange could thole nae langer,
Stout Fisher-Willie swore, gin he
=Drew but anither drave o’ fish up,
He’d sooner fling them back i’ the sea
=Than gi’e ae teind-skate to the bishop:
Balcaskie’s tongue rapp’t out a rippet
‘Gainst shaven-crowns sae trigly clippit,
And Cordelier, round cap, and tippet:
Ane beggin’ freir he frae his wicket
Wi’ terrible fierce birr he kicket;
He gave his lunzie sic a lounder
As did the sillie man dumfounder,
And dang him flatlins like ane flounder.
Sour Sipsie showl’d a saucy mou’
Whan onie idol met his view;
He bann’d thir Virgins made o’ stane;
He’d never kneel again to ane.
But Barns, a laird o’ gentler breedin’,
Held at his Latin Bible readin’,
Pickin’ out pithfu’ texts and strang,
Wharewi’ Crail’s gaukit priest he dang
Garrin’ him ride John Calvin’s stang.
Carnbee, though sober, grave, and douce,
Turnin’ tongue-ferdy now and crouse,
Gaed stormin’ round frae house to house,
Blasphemin’ with a glorious din
The king-corruptin’ bawd o’ sin;
Pitcorthie, though his wife yet wavers,
=His faith confessit manfullie:
"_Sorrow gin Paip was boil’d to taivers,_
=_And I’d a platefu’ o’ the bree!"

While thus the furious folk o’ Fife
At Paip and idol in their strife,
=Were murgeonin’ and mockin’,
Lo! on Olympus’ taps preclair
The goddess o’ men-blessin’ lear,
Owr-archit by a rainbow bricht,
That, ow’r her dribblet blobs o’ licht,
=Sat workin’ at her stockin’;
For she had task’d hersel, perfay,
To work before a certain day
=A pair o’ stockins to her daddy,
And there, upon the mountain’s tap,
Her clew o’ worsit in her lap,
=Sat Wisdom’s winsome lady:
The wyres were gowden, braw to see,
Wharewi’ her fingers prettilie
=Did niddle i’ their play;
As hitch on hitch succeedin’ fast,
Aff frae the gowden points were cast,
And, sattlin’ on the dazzlin’ hose,
Heigher and heigher still arose,
=In texture rich and gay:
Sae was she busy, whan, by chance,
Stravaigin throu’ the sky, her glance
Saw far ayont the hills o’ France
=The folk o’ Fife in stirr;
Her lairds on kirk-reform intent,
Her burghers on the bruilzie bent,
Clerk Diston wud at painted saint,
And Barns, at’s Latin Testament,
=Fast readin’ wi’ a birr:
She saw, and joyeus at the view,
Down on the yird she drave and threw
Stockin’, and wire, and worsit-clew,
=And to her feet upsprang;
"What! maun I see yon bairns o’ mine,"
She cry’d, "sae bown on deeds divine,
And I na help their weak ingyne
=Wi’ my suggestions strang?
Mine be the wark!"  And, as she said,
=She weeglit her wing-wavin’ shoon,
And frae Olympus’ gowany head
=Aff-flew like fairy frae the moon.

There is within the warld somewhair
=(I ken it, though I downa tell)
A hollow, happie place, where Care,
That hunts poor mortals late and air,
=Hath never yet been kent to dwell.
For why?  Fun at the door-stane stands,
And slaps him back wi’ baith his hands.
That temple’s flures and wa’s are lined
Wi’ leifsum pictures a’ kinkind;
Ilk comic scene of ilka age,
Glean’d out of ilka sayar’s page,
Frae him wha sang how mouse and frog
Waged bluidy bruilzie i' their bog,
Garrin’ its rashies shake and shog,
Down to that later baird wha tauld,
How, for ane useless bucket auld,
The Lombard hosts ilk ither maul’d:
A’ thae, ensculptur’d bricht and braw,
Garnish’d ilk bonnie marble wa’;
Great gaulfs o’ lauchter aye resound
In ilka corner round and round,
Like rorie-buckies, i’ their din,
Loud soundin’ as the sea comes in:
Syk is the nature o’ that grot
To echoe sae, e’en should there not
Be gaupin body on the spot;
Around the altar prance and pace
Globe-cheekit Fun, whase fatty face
Bonnily blumes wi’ glad grimace,
And Comus, his renownit brither,
(Twin-bairns o’ Revelry their mither,)
Ticklin’ to frenzy ane anither;
As priests and as attendants, they
Wait on and serve baith nicht and day,
=Enravishin’ Dan Momus’ nose
Wi’ fumes frae comedie and play,
Ballad, and mime, and roundelay,
=The marrow o’ sweet verse and prose,
Whairwi’ that altar aye is fed,
Makin’ wi’ smeik his naistrills gled:—
Aloft the godkin sits in pride,
=Exultin’ in the jokes o’ men,
And thro’ his mask, that jimp can hide
The glee that on his cheeks doth ride,
=Blinks waggish glances now and then,
And flytes upon his priests sae jolly
For heaviness and melancholy;
The friskier for the flytin’, they
Gaffaw and smirkle in their play
‘Mid sic like daffery and glaikin’,
Baith god and priest were merry-makin’,
Whan, hark! upon the gowden door,
Tirl! comes a rap, as seld’ before;
=Sir Fun uplifts the sneck,
And, lo! the goddess in her glore
=Gaes in and mak’s her beck;
Dan Momus look’t bombas’t a wee
Her learnit ladyship to see;
Quo’ she, — "All hail, sweet son o’ Nox!
Father o’ daffin, jaips, and jokes!—
=O, be na put in fricht,
That thus I bang upon thine een
Sae sudden, wi’ confoundin’ sheen,
=Down fram Olympus heicht;
I hae a sma’ demand to make,
Whilk, for mine and my deddy’s sake,
I houp thou’lt think na scorn to take
=Some fashery to do richt."
Quo’ he, — "Speik out your will mair clear;
Mass! I am glad to see you here;
You’ve been a stranger monie a year;
=Ye’re welcome to my sicht."
Quo’ she, — "I maunna tarry lang;
Fife’s merry bodies now are thrang
Berappin’ wi’ their tongues, ding-dang,
Sir Paip and a’ his rotten gang;
=Their cause is your’s and mine,
And it is Learning’s; thairfore come
And let us at the bawd o’ Rome.
Her bordel-house maun down be plucket,
Her huge Augean stable muckit,
=Ere Lear shoot up and shine:
Gang you then to auld Caryl town,
(An ancient brogh o’ some renown,
=Near to the neis o’ Fife,)
There catch and cleik her cunnin’ clark,
And in his bosom clap a spark,
Enflamin’ him for this guid wark
=O’ kirk-rapyne and strife;
While I sall aff to Anster town,
And raise a chieftain o’ renown,
Makin’ him fiery-wud and bown
=To seek the harlot’s life.
Gude Fisher-Willie is his name,
For lollardie o’ meikle fame,
Wha sits within his house o’ Dreil
Blasphemin’ with a valiant zeal
Twa ne’er-do-weels, the Paip and deil,
=Wi’ gleeks at Guise and Mary;
He and the clerk, twin-heroes baith,
At our suggest, shall no he laith
=(Bein’ wally wichts and wary)
To raise the mob, for ‘sault and scaith,
And sailzie kirk wi’ weir and wraith,
=And make a fierie-farie."

This said, Dan Momus wasna slaw,
By lauchter, his assent to shaw;
He nicker’t sic a lang gaffaw
The cavern rang frae wa’ to wa’:
=Anon, he, in a blink,
Tucks up his pyrnit tunic bra,
And, whirrin’ throu’ the key-hole sma’,
Down, down the heav’n’s star-studdit ha’
Gaes whizzin’ like a fiery ba’,
=Mair quick than man can think:
He lichts, preceese at aucht o’clock,
On Crail’s auld steeple’s weathercock;
Tip-taes upon its capper crown
=He stands, and casts his een about
Round the hale houses o’ the town,
=To spy the noble not’ry out.

Now sae it chanc’d, that, on that nicht,
Girt wi’ a groupe o’ gossips bricht,
Clerk Diston, thron’d and seatil richt,
=In Luckie Kay’s was sittin’:
A burde afore him, braid and lang,
Whare stoups and jinglin’ glasses thrang,
Wi’ helter-skelter cling-and-clang,
=Gaed flyckerin’ and flittin’;
The flotter’t table maist was steepit,
Wi’ claret-dubs that drapt and dreepit,
As the mad bottles never sleepit,
But firstlins ae cork, then the ither,
Hetly they chasit ane anither,
In bousy Bacchanalian flither,
=As fast as they could bicker;
Heigh at ae end in elbuck-chair
He sat, and royalees’d it there
Wi’ jokes and ready wit, and lear,
=That flash’t out quick and quicker;
His bottle-cionies’ faces a’
Gilt rubicond, and bernish’t bra,
Glister’t on ilk side like a raw
=O’ hairst-moons down the table;
And aye as jaip and jest he brak
On Papistrie and her vile pack,
As thunder on the fire-slacht’s back,
Tempestuouslie there cam’ a crack
=O’ gaulps incomparable,
Sae that the chalmer, in and round it,
Wi’ thuds o’ merriment resoundit;
And Luckie Kay, at the rebound o’t,
Sat in her chimla-nook astoundit!

Dan Momus, frae the steeple’s heicht,
Pryin’ and prievin’ wi’ his sicht,
=Saw, throu’ the stany wa’,
(‘Twas wi’ his een like crystal clear,)
The clerk upon his tavern-cheir,
Thron’d gloriouslie amid his feir
=O’ fellow-bousers braw;
He saw, and gave his wings a flaff,
And frae the cock’s kaim flotit aff:
Scrimply there pass’t a stound o’ time,
Ere, throu’ the thick stane and the lime,
He slippit like a beam throu’ glass;
(For heathen gods, like ghaists, can pass
Throu’ wa’s o’ stane, or yells o’ brass.)
There was a sough, like flann or flaw,
As in he whihher’d throu’ the wa’,
But nane his gawey godship saw;
For why?  He will’d it should be swa:
Fornent the clerk, the burde aboon,
Himsel’ he pitch’t and poisit soon,
And flichter’t baith his wings, whareby
Their tipsy cheeks, they kent na why,
=Were fanned wi’ the flaff;
Than to the not’ry’s een alane,
Mair bricht than pearl or ruby stane,
His frame shone out in licht serene,
=Garrin the chalmer lauff;
The jollu gossips saw the light
On roof and flure refleckit bricht,
But nane, except the favour't wicht,
Kent whence it bleized on their sicht;
And he alane it was whase ear
The godkin’s guid discourse did hear;
=‘Twas ettled for nane ither;
(The rest, as he his parle out-spoutit,
Sat gazin’ goutherfow, and doutit,
=Glowerin’ at ane anither;)
"O thou that thus in Bacchus’ chaire
Sits governin’ in glorie there,
Direckin’ wi’ thy voice’s rair
=The storm o’ tavern-glee,
Waesucks, man! this is na the time
For sangs, and jaips, and raivin’ rhime,
And rants and rhaposodies sublime
=That ding the saul a-jee;
A doucer and a better wark
Befits thee now, renownit clark;
Whan folks are strippin’ to the sark,
=And lab’rin’ a’ their micht
To batter down a sinfu’ kirk,
Up, up, and gie the Paip a jerk,
And in his droddum clap the dirk
=O’ reformation richt:
Arise, and ring the gatherin’-bell,
And head the multitude yoursell;
Wi’ hammer, halbert, maul, and mell,
=March to Sanct Androis town,
And batter down baith stane and timmer,
O’ th’ brothel whare the scarlet limmer 
Has toss'd her head for monie a simmer,
=And worn th’ unwerdy crown;
Lay bare her pridefu’ biggings braw;
Root, root her out o’ house and ha’;
Turn her adrift to rain or snaw,
=Stript naket to the skin,
That the vile vermin that ha’e crawl’d
Sae lang about her garment’s fauld
May perish in the winter’s cauld,
=And clean the warld o’ dirt and sin.
Rise, then; and heave aside the cup;
And grip the knappin’-hammer up;
=March, muster, cry, Hurro!
Down wi’ the mass and monkish squad,
Down wi’ the jad in scarlet clad;
=Up, up and lay her low!"
This said, Dan Momus frae his face
His mask upliftit for a space,
That the bauld-bosom’d clerk mith get
A waff o’ his face ere aff he set:
His face wi’ lauchter’s mirth-mad licht
Burn’d sae insufferablie bricht,
That, butten jeopardie, nae wicht
Could stand that lauchter-lowin’ sicht;
Whairfore, to save the man frae scaith,
Lest lookin’ lang he’d die the death,
=Dan Momus, frae the place,
Evanish’t like a dead man’s wraith,
Or candle blawn out by the breath,
Or bellerin’ bubble made o’ fraith,
=That does na leave a trace;
A canny waff o’ sweet perfume
Was blawn in breezes throu’ the room:
I wot, th’ astonay’d not’ry then
Felt wodeness bernin’ in his brain;
Upwards he boltit frae his chaire,
=As if his hand begrasp’t already
An iron-geddock, swerd, or spear,
=To damnifie the scarlet lady;
The table stotter’t on the floor
=Wi’ straiks that frae his neif descendit;
Stoups, bottles, glasses, tumblin’ o’er,
=Were smash’t and wi’ their claret blendet;
Ho, hearts! up, ane and a’! and at her!
Have at a fousomc kirk, and batter
Her lustfu’ bancs untill they clatter!
=Smite! Ettle at the life!
On, on, and cry na, _Barlafummill_,
Till down amang the dirt she tummle,
And bury beggin’-freir and bummel;
That wi’ the ruin and the rummle
=The Deil be frichtet out o’ Fife!

While Momus thus in Luckie Kay’s,
Blew Diston’s saul up in a blaise,
Lo! on a nicht-cloud in mid-air,
The goddess o’ men-blessin’ lear
Against Sir Knicht was plottin’ sair:
And monie a slee and paukie scheme
Her head did generate and freme,
At last she chose the stratageme
O’ wauk’nin’ Willie wi’ a dreme.
Aff to the house o’ dremes she gangs,
Whair round the wa’s they stick in bangs,
=Like lempets stickin’ upon rocks;
Or flee about on skinkin’ wing,
Like butterflies in days o’ spring,
=Around the flow’rs or cabbage-stocks;
She wale’d out ane, a pretty fairy,
Beltit wi’ ribbons glairy-flairy,
And monie a tassel and fleegarie,
Whase colours aye did shift and vary;
Her body, as it mov’d, did ever
Like to an opal gleam and quiver;
(Sister to that sweet dreme that went
To Agamemnon in his tent:)
She tauld the friskie fairy thing
Whairtill to flee on rapid wing;
The thing at her command gaed scrievin’
Wi’ sic a breesil down the heivin,
It beat the thunder-boltit leven:
You scarce could say, your een could see
Its motion spinnerin’ fram on hie;
Ae moment its celestial stance
Was up near whair the Pleiads dance;
The tother, it had downwarts fled,
And hover’t its slim airy head
Our Fisher-Willie’s carvit bed;
By this time, Anster’s steeple-bell
Had wi’ her hammer chappit twell;
And the knicht-fisher, ere the chap,
Angarlandet wi’ bien nicht-cap,
In bed lay sleepin’ like a tap;
Sith he was aye ane sober wicht,
And gaed to bed guid time o’ nicht,
As douce folks do that walk upricht:
Heigh owr the bolster, near his head,
The feeble vision took its stede;
And throu’ his naistrills-valves began
To werk upon the slummerin’ man:
Ere that his brain was clear o’ dreams;
But now wi’ gowden lichts it gleams,
As streamers aft throu’ clearest sky
In merry-dance flash out and fly.
He dream’d that he gat wings whairwi’
He flew, as wi’ an angel’s glee,
Owr Fife frae Stirling to the sea;
And aye he look’t down in his flicht
To spy her bonnie lairdships bricht
Glitterand wi’ gowans and wi’ licht,
As in a sunny simmer day,
Th’ horizon’s air aft seems to play,
And flicht in waves and flash away;
Sae bleme’d, unto that dreamer’s sicht,
Fife’s grassy hills and valleys bricht
Wi’ gowden undulatin’ licht:
Ilk laird’s domain was clearly seen
Defin’d wi’ streaps o’ silver sheen,
That intervein’d the manors green;
A’ things were goodlie, glorious, grand,
Exceptin’ that in ilk laird’s land
A great tar-barrel seem’d to stand;
And in that uglie tun stood, lair’d
Up to the chin and clotter’t beard,
Greetin’ and grumple-faced, a laird,
Sir Knicht did hing a while on wing,
Marvellin’ the meanin’ o’ that thing;
Whan, lo! out frae his castill came,
Wi’ his braid hat as red as flame,
And a’ his cardinal’s attire,
He that in his ungodlie ire,
Damn’d godlie Wishart to the fire;
A great wax-taper, redly lowin’,
That frae the altar he had stowin’,
He carry’t in his murd’rous hand,
And us’d it as a kendlin’ brand,
As he gaed martyrin’ thro’ the land:
To ilk tar-tun he pat the lowe;
At ance it flew up in a glowe;
East, wast, he in a mament flees;
That mament’s space did wed suffees
To set the haill land in a bleis:
Three hundred pillars lang and high
O’ smeik gaed curlin’ to the sky:
Ah! than he saw the wretchit men
Wreein’ and wreethin’ wi’ the pain,
As the flame ate them to the bane:
And siccan hidyous yells and skreiks!—
A’ the warld soundit wi’ their skreiks:—
Tears rappit down the dreamer’s cheeks!
Than on _himsel_ his thochts recule;
He, too, might ha’e his share o’ dool,
He glancit down on bonnie Dreel;
He saw _his ain_ barr’l burnin’ weil,
And bleisin’ a tremendous bele.
He saw _himsel_ amid the blaze,
As round and round his head it plays!—
He waken’t at the frichtsom gaze;—
His limbs were quakin’ ‘neath the claes,—
Albeit he was sterk carl and strang,
The cauld sweat frae his marrow sprang:
Ten times he turn’t frae side to back,
Ere he anither souff could tak;
Its stance meanwhile the Dream did keep
Ready, whan ance he fell asleep,
Down on his harns again to leap:—
He slept; — he dreamit ance again;
He dreamit, that, on ocean’s plain,
He in his paintit pleasure-boat,
At mid-day, whan the sun was hot,
Did sail for pastime and for play,
Far, far ayont the isle o’ May;
The lift was clear throughout and bricht
Wi’ rivers o’ sun-shiney licht;
The sea in clearness seem’t to vie
Wi’ the round looking-glass o’ sky;
He saw the rocks and tangly meads
Whair the big meer-swine mak their beds,
A thousand faddom deep and mair,
As clear as gin he walkit there;
Great skulls o’ haddock, cod, and ling,
Like siller arrows frae the wing,
Gaed skuddin’ thro’ the mighty deep;
He heard them whizzin’ in his sleep:
His nets he cast; and, lo! wi’ fish
His nets were gluttit to his wish;
He drew them up wi’ toyle and fecht,
His yawl near swampit wi’ the wecht:
But sic a draft o’ fishes sheen
He never saw yet wi’ his een;
Siller lay shimmerin’ on their skins;
Gowd was affrontit by their fins;
As glower’d he on his fishy heaps,
Lo! lo! cam sailin’ owr the deeps
(Three frae the east, three down the Forth,
Twa frae the south, twa frae the north,)
Ten bonnie boaties, skimmin’ licht,
Garnish’t wi’ gowden foolyie bricht;
And in ilk boatie’s fore-stem cockit
A lang bra’ bishop in his rocket;
A mitre prank’d his pow; his hand
Dangl’d about a crosier wand
Sic gallant bishops wi’ sic mitres
Rome ne’er admyr’d in her Sanct Peter’s;
But Fisher-Willie, whan he saw
Thir burlie bishops big and bra’,
Thrang swallowin’ wi’ their greedy een
His drave o’ haddocks clear and clean,
He waxed wod wi’ vera teen;
=But mair pertrubill’d was his case
Whan chasin’ fast the tane the tither
They cam a’ round him in a fluther,
And sieg’d his boat frae stem to ruther,
=Yeipin’ and youtin’ in his face:
_My teinds! gi‘e me my teinds, Sir Knicht!_
_I canna want my teinds till nicht!_
And in a gliffin’ iika bishop
Ramm’d in his hand and cleik’d his fish up;
And aye they glampt, and aye they glaum’d,
And aye the tither teind they palm’d,
Till feint a haddock, ling, or potley,
Remain’d o’ a’ that i’ the boat lay;
Whairat the mauchty Knicht took fire;
His bluid birr’d thro’ his buik wi’ ire;
As whan a pat wi’ beef and bane
Is hung owr fire by Kate or Jane,
The ragin’ lowes gae up its sides,
Garrin’ plish-plash the internal tides,
As to the swey-crook Vulcan rides
=Curlin’ in smeeky majestie;
The broo boils up wi’ sotterin’ sound;
Whummils the beef its dainty dainty pound;
Sebows and leeks dance up and bound;
And barley-pickles flee round and round
=Hilliegileerie ‘mang the bree:
E’en sae did that fierce fisher’s blood
Mount up and bubble wild and wud,
As he beheld ilk bishop’s claw
Glaum at his fish and cleik them a’;
Than frae his bed he spang’d and shot;
(Perde! he thoucht he was in’s boat
Sailin’ for pastime and for play
Sax miles ayont the Isle o’ May),
The bed-clains to the roof he dang,
Sheer to his feet he upwarts sprang
To whair his guidly sword did hang
=Ahoon his head for need;
He haul’d it wraithly frae its pin;
He gript, he swang it round wi’ din,
He smasht and smote thae men o’ sin
=For their gear-graspin’ greed;
He drave it on the puir cod-wares,
He gulligaw’d the posts wi’ scars;
The coverlets dree’d ne’er sic wars;
=The fecht was loud and lang;
He slasht awa for near ane hour;
The sweat frae lith and limb did pour;
The Knicht ne’er blindit nor gave owr,
Until wi’ gastly gash and dour
=Thir bishops dead he dang;
The like before was never kent,
That sakeless sheets should sae be shent,
And cods should dree what wraith was meant
For mensless men whase sauls were bent
=On covetize and wrang!