Hughie’s Indignation at the Conduct of the Absconding Elder, pp.6-8.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Mala soluta navis exit alite.” – CAR. V., 10. 

HE’S aff the kintra at a spang! 

He’s on the sea – they’ve tint him! 

The warst o’ weather wi’ him gang! 

Gude weather bide ahint him! 

O for a rattlin’ bauld Scots blast 

To follow an’ owretak’ him – 

To screed his sails, an’ brak’ his mast, 

An’ grup his ship, an’ shak’ him. 


Yet wha was less possessed wi’ guile, 

Or prayed wi’ readier unction? 

He brocht the sweetness o’ a smile 

To every public functrion. 

There wasna ane had half the grace 

Or graciousness o’ Peter; 

There wasna ane in a’ the place 

For the millenium meeter. 


He’s fairly aff, he’s stown awa’, 

A wolf that wore a fleece, man! 

He’s cheated justice, jinkit law, 

An’ lauch’d at the policeman. 

The mission fund, the parish rate, 

He had the haill control o’t; 

The very pennies i’ the plate – 

He’s skirtit wi’ the whole o’t! 


It’s juist a year – it’s no’ a year, 

I’m no’ a hair the belder, 

Since in the Session Chaumer here 

We made him rulin’ elder. 

An’ juist a month as Feursday fell 

He gat the gold repeater, 

That in a speech I made mysel 

We handit owre to Peter. 


A bonnie lever, capp’d an’ jew’ld, 

Perth never saw the mak’ o’t, 

An’ wi’ his character in goold 

Engraven on the back o’t. 

He’s aff! He’s aff wi’ a’ the spoil, 

Baith law and justice jinkit! 

O for wind o’ winds the wale 

To chase his ship an’ sink it! 


To lift the watter like a fleece 

An’ gie him sic a drookin’, 

Whaur on his growf he groans for grace 

But canna pray for pukin’. 

Then wash’d owre seas upon a spar, 

Wi’ seaweeds roun’ the head o’m, 

Let neither licht o’ sun nor star 

Shine down upon the greed o’m! 


But let a shark fra oonderneath, 

It’s jaws wi’ hunger tichtenin, 

Soom round him, shawin’ izzet teeth 

At every flash o’ lichtnin’! 

Till in the end the angry waves 

transport him to a distance 

To herd wi’ wolves an’ sterve in caves 

An’ fecht for an existence! 

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