“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!