« PreviousContinue »
Lay the proud usurpers low!
Forward! let us do or die!
250. THE BANKS O' DOON.
Ye flowery banks o' bonnie Doon,
Thou'll break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
Thou minds't me o' the happy days
Thou'lt break my heart, thou bonnie bird,
That sings beside thy mate;
Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon,
Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
And my fause luver staw the rose,
251. THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;
The shortening winter-day is near a close; The miry beasts retreating frae1 the pleugh;
The blackening trains o' craws to their repose; The toil-worn cotter frae his labor goes,
This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th' expectant wee3 things, toddlin,* stacher' through
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftie wifie's smile,
Does a' his weary carking cares beguile,
Belyve"1 the elder bairns come drappin in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun';
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,
Wi' joy unfeigned, brothers and sisters meet,
An' each for other's weelfare kindly spiers;
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new; The father mixes a' with admonition due.
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Their master's and their mistress's command,
An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play:
An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Implore His counsel and assisting might:
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
While Jenny hafflins 22 is afraid to speak;
Weel pleased the mother hears it's nae wild worthless rake.
Little. 4 Tottering in their walk. 6 Stagger. 6 Fluttering. 7 Fire. 8 Shining at intervals.
14 Kindly, dexterous. 15 Fine, handsome
4 Sorely won. 17 Wages.
Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben;"
The father cracks 25 of horses, pleughs, and kye."
But blate 27 an' laithfu',28 scarce can weel behave:
What maks the youth sae bashfu' an' sae grave,
O, happy love! where love like this is found!
And sage experience bids me this declare,
"Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair
In other's arms breathe out the tender tale,
Is there, in human form, that bears a heart, -
Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?
Points to the parents fondling o'er their child?
But now the supper crowns their simple board!
To grace the lad, her weel-hained 36 kebbuck,37 fell,
The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell,
How 'twas a towmond 39 auld,40 sin 41 lint was i' the bell."
The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,
They round the ingle form a circle wide;
Into the parlor. 28 Reluctant.
24 Tall and handsome.
30 Mercy, kind feeling.
12 Sauce, milk.
26 K.ne, cows.
35 A partition wall in a cottage
41 Since. 48 Flax was in blossom. 43 The great Bible kept in the hall.
His bonnet reverently is laid aside,
His lyart "haffets 45 wearin' thin an' bare;
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,
They chant their artless notes in simple guise;
They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim; Perhaps Dundee's " wild warbling measures rise, Or plaintive Martyrs,47 worthy of the name; Or noble Elgin 47 beets the heavenward flame,
The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays: Compared with these, Italian trills are tame;
The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise; Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
How Abram was the friend of God on high; Or, Moses bade eternal warfare wage
With Amalek's ungracious progeny;
Or, how the Royal Bard 48 did groaning lie
Or, Job's pathetic plaint and wailing cry;
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed; How He, who bore in heaven the second name,
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head: How His first followers and servants sped,
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land: How he 49 who lone in Patmos 50 banished,
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand,
And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's
Then kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King,
The saint, the father, and the husband prays; Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing,”
That thus they all shall meet in future dayɛ }
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
Gray. The temples, the sides of the head. 46 Chooses. 17 The names of Scottish psalm--tunes