Hughie Takes his Ease in his Inn, pp.25-26.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Vates quid orat de patera novum 

Fundens liquorem.” – CAR. I., 31. 

NOO, by my croon, the sun sends doun 

Uncommon drouthy weather, 

But here’s an inn – if it were sin 

We’ll spill a dram thegither! 

An’ while we sit an’ rest oor fit, 

Surveyin’ man’s dominion, 

We’ll tak’ a glance at things that chance, 

An’ freely pass opinion. 


Yon stookit grain that dots the plain – 

We canna ca’ a lead o’t; 

The herd that strays on yonder braes – 

We canna claim a head o’t. 

It’s no’ in beeves an’ baundit sheaves 

That we can coont oor wealth, Tam; 

Yet, nane the less, there’s happiness 

To puir folk wi’ their health, Tam. 


There needs but sma’ estate to ca 

Awa’ the wants that fear folk, 

While mony wares bring mony cares 

That never trouble puir folk, 

An’ for the yield o’ hill or field – 

It’s little that we’re spar’d o’t, 

But to the ee it’s juist as free 

To hiz as him that’s laird o’t. 


Gie knaves their wine – this drink be mine, 

Auld Scotland’s native brewin’! 

O’ this bereft, there’s watter left, 

Wi’ that we’ll e’en be doin’! 

Gie fules their braws – they’ve aiblins cause 

To be sae finely wrappit; 

The man that’s in a healthy skin 

He’s brawly if he’s happit. 


Gie him a horse wha wants the force 

To drive his ain shanks’ naigie; 

What can he ken o’ wud or glen, 

Or mountain wild an’ craigie? 

Wad Fortun’ grant me what I want 

I’d pray for health o’ body, 

A healthy mind to sang inclin’d, 

An’ nae distaste for toddy! 

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