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Fortune's' and Hunter's? gane, alas!
And Bayle's 3 is lost in empty space;
And now if folk would splice a brace,
Or crack a bottle,
They gang to a new-fangled place
They ca' a Hottle.
The deevil Hottle them for Meg!
They are sae greedy and sae gleg,
That if ye're served but wi' an egg,
(And that's puir picking) In comes a chiel and makes a leg,
And charges chicken!
“ And wha may ye be,” gin ye speer,
“ That brings your auld-warld clavers here?"
Troth, if there's ony body near
Tbat kens the roads,
I'll haud ye Burgundy to beer,
He kens Meg Dodds.
[Fortune's Tavern - a house on the west side of the Old Stamp Office Close, High Street, and which was, in the early part of the last century, the mansion of the Earl of Eglintoun.The Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the day held his levees and dinners in this tavern.]
* [Hunter's — another once much-frequented tavern, in Writer's Court, Royal Exchange.]
* [Bayle's Tavern and Coffeehouse, originally on the North Bridge, east side, afterwards in Shakspeare Square, but removed to admit of the opening of Waterloo Place. Such was the dignified character of this house, that the waiter always appeared in full dress, and nobody was admitted who had not a white neckcloth — then considered an indispensable insignium of a gentleman.
I came a piece frae west o’ Currie ;
And, since I see you're in a hurry,
Your patience I'll nae langer worry,
But be sae crouse
As speak a word for ane Will Murray,'
That keeps this house.
Plays are auld-fashion'd things, in truth,
And ye've seen wonders more uncouth ;
Yet actors should na suffer drouth,
Or want of dramock,
Although they speak but wi' their mouth,
Not with their stamock.
But ye take care of a' folk's pantry;
And surely to hae stooden sentry
Ower this big house, (that's far frae rent-free,)
For a lone sister,
Is claims as gude's to be a ventri-
How'st ca'd - loquister.
Weel, sirs, gude'en, and have a care,
The bairns mak fun o' Meg nae mair;
For gin they do, she tells you fair,
And without failzie,
As sure as ever ye sit there,
She'll tell the Bailie.
The sages-for authority, pray, look
Seneca's morals, or the copy-book-
The sages, to disparage woman's power,
Say, beauty is a fair, but fading flower ;
I cannot tell — I've small philosophy-
Yet, if it fades, it does not surely die,
But, like the violet, when decay'd in bloom,
Survives through many a year in rich perfume.
Witness our theme to-night, two ages gone,
A third wanes fast, since Mary fill’d the throne.
Brief was her bloom, with scarce one sunny day,
"Twixt Pinkie's field and fatal Fotheringay:
But when, while Scottish hearts and blood you boast,
Shall sympathy with Mary's woes be lost?
O’er Mary's memory the learned quarrel,
By Mary's grave the poet plants his laurel,
Time's echo, old tradition, makes her name
The constant burden of his falt'ring theme;
In each old hall his grey-hair'd heralds tell
Of Mary's picture, and of Mary's cell,
And show-my fingers tingle at the thought-
The loads of tapestry which that poor Queen wrought.
[" I recovered the above with some difficulty. I believe it was never spoken, but written for some play, afterwards withdrawn, in which Mrs. H. Siddons was to have spoken it in the character of Queen Mary.”—Extract from a Letter of Sir Waller Scott to Mr. Constable, 220 October, 1824.!
In vain did fate bestow a double dower
Of ev'ry ill that waits on' rank and pow'r,
Of ev'ry ill on beauty that attends -
False ministers, false lovers, and false friends.
Spite of three wedlocks so completely curst,
They rose in ill from bad to worse, and worst,
In spite of errors—I dare not say more,
For Duncan Targe lays hand on his claymore.
In spite of all, however humours vary,
There is a talisman in that word Mary,
That unto Scottish bosoms all and some
Is found the genuine open sesamum !
In history, ballad, poetry, or novel,
It charms alike the castle and the hovel,
Even you— forgive me — who, demure and shy,
Gorge not each bait, nor stir at every fly,
Must rise to this, else in her ancient reign
The Rose of Scotland has survived in vain.
FOR THE MONUMENT OF THE REV. GEORGE SCOTT.
To youth, to age, alike, this tablet pale
Tells the brief moral of its tragic tale.
Art thou a parent? Reverence this bier,
The parents' fondest hopes lie buried here.
[This young gentleman, a son of the Author's friend and relation, Hugh Scott of Harden, Esq., became Rector of Kentisbeare, in Devonshire, in 1828, and died there the 9th June, 1830. This epitaph appears on his tomb in the chancel there.]
Art thou a youth, prepared on life to start,
With opening talents and a generous heart,
Fair hopes and flattering prospects all thine own!
Lo! here their end-a monumental stone.
But let submission tame each sorrowing thought,
Heaven crown'd its champion ere the fight was fought.
Assist me, ye friends of Old Books and Old Wine,
To sing in the praises of sage Bannatyne,
Who left such a treasure of old Scottish lore
As enables each age to print one volume more.
One volume more, my friends, one volume more,
We'll ransack old Banny for one volume more.
And first, Allan Ramsay, was eager to glean
From Bannatyne's Hortus his bright Evergreen ;
Two light little volumes intended for four)
Still leave us the task to print one volume more.
One volume more, &c.
His ways were not ours, for he cared not a pin
How much he left out, or how much he put in ;