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O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice ! She tauld thee well thou was a skellum, A bletherin, blusterin, drunken blellum; That frae November till October, Ae market-day thou was nae sober; That ilka melder wi' the miller, Thou sat as lang as thou had siller ; That ev'ry naig was caʼd a shoe on, The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
A virtuous populace may rise the
while, And stand a wall of fire around their much
And sic a night he taks the road in, As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
That at the Lord's house, even on Sunday,
The wind blew as 't wad blawn its last; The rattling showers rose on the blast; The speedy gleams the darkness swal
lowed ; Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bel
lowed : That night, a child might understand, The Deil had business on his hand.
Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet, To think how monie counsels sweet, How monie lengthened sage advices, The husband frae the wife despises !
But to our tale: Ae market night, Tam had got planted unco right, Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, Wi' reaming swats that drank divinely; And at his elbow, Souter Johnie, His ancient, trusty, drouthy cronie: Tam lo'ed him like a very brither; They had been fou for weeks thegither. The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter; And ay the ale was growing better : The landlady and Tam grew gracious Wi' secret favours, sweet and precious : The souter tauld his queerest stories; The landlord's laugh was ready chorus: The storm without might rair and rustle, Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.
Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg, A better never lifted leg, Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire, Dispising wind and rain and fire; Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet, Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots
sonnet, Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares, Lest bogles catch him unawares. Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
Care, mad to see a man sae happy, E'en drowned himsel amang the nappy: As bees flee hame wi’ lades o' treasure, The minutes winged their way wi' pleas
ure; Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious, O’er a' the ills o' life victorious !
By this time he was cross the ford, Whare in the snaw the chapman smoored; And past the birks and meikle stane, Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane; And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, Whare hunters fand the murdered bairn; And near the thorn, aboon the well, Whare Mungo's mither hanged hersel. Before him Doon pours all his floods; The doubling storm roars thro' the woods; The lightnings flash from pole to pole, Near and more near the thunders roll; When, glimmering thro' the groaning
trees Kirk-Alloway seemed in a bleeze: Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing, And loud resounded mirth and dancing.
But pleasures are like poppies spread, You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed; Or like the snow falls in the river, A moment white — then melts forever; Or like the borealis race, That flit ere you can point their place; Or like the rainbow's lovely form Evanishing amid the storm. Nae man can tether time or tide : The hour approaches Tam maun ride, That hour, o' night's black arch the key
stane, That dreary hour Tam mounts his beast
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn! What dangers thou canst make us scorn! Wi' tippenny we fear nae evil; Wi' usquebae we'll face the devil ! The swats sae reamed in Tammie's noddle, Fair play, he cared na deils a boddle. But Maggie stood right sair astonished, Till, by the heel and hand admonished, She ventured forward on the light; And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight !
Warlocks and witches in a dance;
But Tam kend what was what fu' Nae cotillion brent-new frae France,
brawlie; But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and There was ae winsome wench and wawlie, reels
That night enlisted in the core Put life and mettle in their heels :
Lang after kend on Carrick shore A winnock bunker in the east,
(For monie a beast to dead she shot, There sat Auld Nick in shape o' beast; An' perished monie a bonie boat, A towsie tyke, black, grim, and large, And shook baith meikle corn and bear, To gie them music was his charge; And kept the country-side in fear). He screwed the pipes and gart them skirl, Her cutty sark o' Paisley harn, Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.
That while a lassie she had worn, Coffins stood around like open presses, In longitude tho' sorely scanty, That shawed the dead in their last dresses; It was her best, and she was vauntie. And by some devilish cantraip sleight Ah! little kend thy reverend grannie, Each in its cauld hand held a light, That sark she coft for her wee Nannie, By which heroic Tam was able
Wi’ twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches), To note upon the haly table
Wad ever graced a dance o' witches ! A murderer's banes in gibbet airns; Twa span-lang, wee, unchristened bairns; But here my Muse her wing maun cour, A thief, new-cutted frae a rape
Sic flights are far beyond her power; Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang, Five tomahawks, wi' bluid red-rusted; (A souple jad she was and strang,) Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted; And how Tam stood like ane bewitched, A garter, which a babe had strangled; And thought his very een enriched; A knife, a father's throat had mangled, Even Satan glowered and fidged fu' fain, Whom his ain son o' life bereft
And hotched and drew wi' might and The grey hairs yet stack to the heft;
main : Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Till first ae caper, syne anither, Which even to name wad be unlawfu'. Tam tint his reason a' thegither,
And roars out, “Weel done, Cutty-sark!” As Tammie glowered, amazed and And in an instant all was dark: curious,
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke, They reeled, they set, they crossed, they When plundering herds assail their byke; cleekit,
As open pussie's mortal foes, Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
When, pop! she starts before their nose; And coost her duddies to the wark As eager runs the market-crowd, And linket at it in her sark!
When “Catch the thief !” resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow, Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been Wi' monie an eldritch skriech and hollo.
queans, A’ plump and strapping in their teens! Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,
fairin! Been snaw-white seventeen hunder In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin! linen !
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin!
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
How blythely wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun, Could I the rich reward secure,
The lovely Mary Morison.
But ere the key-stane she could make,
Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
Yestreen when to the trembling string
The dance gaed thro’ the lighted ha', To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard nor saw :
And yon the toast of a' the town,
O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die? Or canst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee? If love for love thou wilt na gie
At least be pity to me shown: A thought ungentle canna be
The thought o’ Mary Morison.
SCOTS WHA HAE Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled, Scots, wham Bruce has aften led; Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victorie ! Now's the day, and now's the hour; See the front o' battle lour; See approach proud Edward's power
Chains and slaverie !
GREEN GROW THE RASHES
CHORUS. - Green grow the rashes, 0;
Green grow the rashes, O;
Wha will be a traitor knave?
Let him follow me!
By oppression's woes and pains ! By your sons in servile chains ! We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free! Lay the proud usurpers low! Tyrants fall in every foe! Liberty's in every blow!
Let us do or die!
The war’ly race may riches chase,
An' riches still may fly them, O; An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O.
But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, 0; An' war’ly cares, an’ war’ly men,
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O.
MARY MORISON O MARY, at thy window be,
It is the wished, the trysted hour! Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser's treasure poor :
For you sae douce, ye sneer at this;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O: The wisest man the warl' e'er saw,
He dearly loved the lasses, O.
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine! And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine; But we've wandered monie a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidled i’ the burn,
From mornin' sun till dine;
Sin' auld lang syne.
And gie's a hand o' thine ;
For auld lang syne.
He brags and he blaws o' his siller,
But when will he dance like Tam Glen? My minnie does constantly deave me,
And bids me beware o' young men; They flatter, she says, to deceive me;
But wha can think sae o' Tam Glen? My daddie says, gin I'll forsake him,
He'll gie me guid hunder marks ten: But, if it's ordained I maun take him,
O wha will I get but Tam Glen? Yestreen at the valentines' dealing,
My heart to my mou gied a sten: For thrice I drew ane without failing,
And thrice it was written, “Tam Glen”! The last Halloween I was waukin
My droukit sark-sleeve, as ye ken: His likeness cam up the house staukin,
And the very gray breeks o' Tam Glen! Come counsel, dear tittie, don't tarry;
I'll gie ye my bonie black hen, Gif ye
will advise me to marry The lad I lo'e dearly, Tam Glen.
OF A' THE AIRTS THE WIND CAN
OF a' the airts the wind can blaw
I dearly like the west,
The lassie I lo'e best :
An' monie a hill between ;
Is ever wi’ my Jean.
I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet an’ fair: I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air :
MY HEART'S IN THE HIGHLANDS FAREWELL to the Highlands, farewell to
the North, The birth-place of valour, the country of
worth; Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.