Hughie’s Anticipation of Hogmanay Night, pp.9-11.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Seu tu querlos sive geris jocos, 

Seu rixom, et insanos amores, 

Seu facilem, pia testa, somnum.” – CAR. III., 21. 

HOO cam’ this bonnie greybeard here, 

Sae trimly to the time o’ year, 

When folk maun lay ‘t in, tho’ it’s dear? 

But this, I’se wauger, 

Cost but the buyin’ o’ the bere 

An’ miss’d the gauger. 


It’s smuggled – faith, I canna doot it! 

The smell o’ peat-reek hings aboot it! 

But still it’s whusky – to dispute it 

Wad be a sin – 

Sae wi’ the leechence, or withoot it, 

We’se tak’ it in. 


This verra night it’s Hogmanay – 

When Hab an’ Rab an’ twa-three mae 

Weel-geizen’d guisers up the brae 

May be expeckit; 

An’ they maun cake an’ caulker hae 

Or they’re negleckit. 


An’ juist as likly ‘s no, the folk 

That brew’d, an’ brocht this bonnie crock, 

An’ left it hingin’ at my lock 

May be amon’ them – 

Surely a mutchkin o’ the stock 

‘S weel wair’d upon them. 


It’s whusky noo; but ere the morn 

The deil kens what may be i’ horn, 

What acks and antics may be born 

O’ this elixer! 

The humours o’ John Barleycorn – 

They’re a queer mixtur’! 


Here Willie wi’ a warlike ee, 

There Hab upon his bendit knee, 

Dave amorous daft, an’ Roger ree, 

An’ Patie snorin’, 

An’ Geordie wi’ his jaws ajee 

A ballant roarin’! 


Rab sits an’ sulks, – a dour ane Rab! 

Wee Johnnie gets a gift o’ gab, 

Lang Sandie grows a perfeck blab 

An’ tooms his mind; 

While Tam, wi’ aye the ither sab, 

Swears he’s resign’d. 


I see them in their various places, 

Oblivious o’ their blacken’d faces; 

They sit, ae hour the ither chases, 

Nor think o’ risin’, 

Nor hoo John Barleycorn disgraces 

Them an’ their guisin’. 


At last it comes, the warnin’ click 

The auld clock gi’es afore it strik’; 

They warstle up, an’ i’ the nick 

Roar oot their greetin’; 

Then Patie’s wauken’d wi’ a kick, 

An’ skells the meetin’! 

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