Reader - Robert Fergusson — Reader - Robert Fergusson

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Robert Fergusson

Sneck on [oreeginal] for tae gang tae the oreeginal orthography. Sneck on the back button on yer stravaiger's menu baur for tae come back.


At Hallaemas, whan nichts growe lang,
An starnies shine fou clear,
Whan fowk, the nippin cauld tae bang,
Thair winter hap-wairms weir,
Naur Edinburgh a fair thare hauds,
A wat thare's nane whase name is,
For strappin dames an sturdy lads,
An caup an stowp, mair famous
Than it that day.

Upo' the tap o ilka lum
The sun began tae keek,
An bad the trig made maidens come
A sichtly jo tae seek
At Hallae-fair, whaur browsters rare
Keep guid ale on the gantries,
An dinna scrimp ye o a skare
O kebbocks frae thair pantries,
Fou saut that day.

Here kintra John in bunnet blue,
An eik his sunday claes on,
Rins efter Meg wi rokelay new,
An sappie kisses lays on;
She'll tauntin say, ye silly cuif!
Be o your gab mair spairin;
He'll tak the hint, an creash her luif
Wi whit will buy her farin,
Tae chowe that day.

Here chapman billies tak thair staund,
An shaw thair bonnie wallies;
Wow, but thay lie fou gleg aff haund
Tae trick the silly fallaes:
Hey, 'ser's! whit cairds an tinklers come,
An ne'er-dae-weel horse-cowpers,
An spae-wifes fenyiein tae be dumm,
Wi aw siclike landlowpers,
Tae thrive that day.

Here Sawny cries, frae Aiberdeen;
'Come ye tae me fa need:
The brawest shanks that e'er war seen
A'll sell ye cheap an gweed.
A wyte thay are as pretty hose
As comes fae weyr or leem:
Here tak a rug, an shaw's your pose:
Forseeth, ma ain's but teem
An licht this day.'

Ye wifes, as ye gang throu the fair,
mak your bargains huily!
O aw thir wylie louns bewaur,
Or fegs thay will ye spulyie.
For fernyear Meg Thamson got,
Frae thir mischievous villains,
A scawt bit o a penny note,
That lost a score o shillins
Tae her that day.

The dinnlin drums alairm oor ears,
The sairgant screichs fou lood,
'Aw gentlemen an volunteers
That wiss your kintra guid,
Come here tae me, an A shall gie
Twa geenies an a croun,
A bowl o punch, that like the sea
Will soum a lang dragoon
Wi ease this day.'

Withoot the cousers prance an nicker,
An ower the lea-rig scud;
In tents the carles bend the bicker,
An rant an rair like wuid.
Than thare's sic yellochin an din,
Wi wifes an weans gabblin,
That ane micht trou thay war akin
Tae aw the tongues at Babylon,
Confuised that day.

Whan Phoebus ligs in Thetis laup,
Auld Reekie gies thaim shelter,
Whaur cadgily thay kiss the caup,
An caw't roond helter-skelter.
Jock Bell gaed furth tae play his freaks,
Great cause he haed tae rue it,
For frae a stark Lochaber aix
He gat a clamihewit
Fou sair that nicht.

'Ohon!' quo he, 'A'd raither be
By swuird or baignet stickit,
Than hae ma croun or body wi
Sic deidly wappins nickit.'
Wi that he gat anither straik
Mair wechty than afore,
That gart his feckless body ache,
An spew the reekin gore,
Fou reid that nicht.

He pechin on the causey lay,
O kicks an cuffs weel serred;
A Hieland aith the sairgant gae,
'She maun pe see oor gaird.'
Oot spak the warlike corporal,
'Pring in ta drunken groat,
For that neist day.

Guid fowks, as ye come frae the fair,
Bide yont frae this black squad;
Thare's nae sic savages elsewhaur
Alloued tae weir cockaud.
Than the strang lions's hungry maw,
Or tusk o Roushien beir,
Frae thair wanruly fellin paw
Mair cause ye hae tae fear
Your deith that day.

A wee soop drink dis unco weel
Tae haud the hert abuin;
It's guid as lang's a canny chield
Can staund steeve in his shuin.
But gin a birkie's ower weel serred,
It gars him aften stammer
Tae ploys that brings him tae the gaird,
An eik the Cooncil-chaumer,
Wi shame that day.


The Daft Days

Nou mirk December's dowie face
Glowers ower the rigs wi soor grimace,
While, throu his meenimum o space,
The bleer-ee'd sun
Wi blinkin licht an stealin pace,
His race doth rin.

Frae nakit groves nae birdie sings,
Tae shepherd's pipe nae hillock rings,
The breeze nae oderous flavour brings
Frae Borean cave,
An dwynin naitur droops her wings,
Wi veesage grave.

Mankynd but scanty pleisur glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain,
Whan Winter, mids his nippin train,
Wi frozen spear,
Sends drift ower aw his bleak domain,
An guides the weir.

Auld Reekie! thoo'rt the cantie hole,
A bield for mony cauldrif saul,
Thare snugly at thine ingle loll,
Baith wairm an couth;
While roond thay gar the bicker roll
Tae weet thair mooths.

Whan merry Yuil-day comes, A trou
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Smaw are oor cares, oor stamacks fou
O gustie gear,
An kickshaws, streengers tae oor view,
Sin Fernyear.

Ye browster wifes, nou busk ye braw,
An fling your sorraes faur awa;
Than come an gie's the tither blaw
O reamin ale,
Mair precious than the wall o Spa,
Oor herts tae heal.

Than, tho at odds wi aw the warld,
Amang oorsels we'll niver quarrel;
Tho Discord gie a cankert snarl
Tae spyle oor glee,
As lang's thare's pith intae the baurel
We'll drink an gree.

Fiddlers, your pins in temper fix,
An roset weel your fiddle-sticks,
But bainish vile Italian tricks
Frae oot your quorum,
Nor fortes wi pianaes mix,
Gie's Tulloch Gorum.

For nocht can cheer the hert sae weel
As can a cantie Hieland reel,
It even vivifee's the heel
Tae skip an dance:
Lifeless is he that canna feel
Its influence.

Lat mirth aboond, lat social cheer
Invest the dawin o the year;
Lat blythesome innocence appear
Tae croun oor joy,
Nor envy wi sarcastic sneer
Oor bliss destroy.

An thoo, great god o Aqua Veetæ!
That sways the empire o this ceety,
Whan fou we're sometimes capernoitie,
Be thoo prepared
Tae hedge us frae that black banditti,
The Ceety-Gaird.