“Da lunæ propere novæ,
Da noctis mediæ.” – CAR. III., 19.
AY, here they come, thrang warstlin’ up the brae
Like sheep in single file,
No’ ane o’ them wi’ langidge left – they’re sae
Forfoughen wi’ their toil.
Tammy, ye’re first – but tailors for a broose!
Willie, my man, your paw!
Ye’re pechan’, Pate! Weel, Watty, what’s the noos?
An’ Lowrie’s last o’ a’!
What! no a wird? Weel, stand an’ tak’ a breath,
An’ view the scene awhile;
I weel believe it, Pate, withoot the aith –
It was that hin’most mile.
Ay, lads, ye’re high – ye’re up amang the groose;
That was the muir-cock’s craw!
But in! ye’re welcome to the Shepherd’s hoose;
I’m glad to see ye a’.
Draw in your chairs – na! no’ untilI see
Five auld frien’s plantit richt!
An’ noo, afore I fesh the barley-bree,
Nae politics the nicht!
There’s Watty wi’ the budget in his wime –
Noo, Watty, huad your haund;
The wise man says that a’ thing has its time,
But here – ye’re aff your laund.
Gude-fallowship’s the fashion i’ the hills,
An’ fechtin’ i’ the toun:
If either Whig or Tory ventur’d till’s –
Man, we wad shute them doun!
Come, come! a bargain be’t. An’ hoo’s your hoast?
An’ what’s the price o’ woo’?
Has Bauby gotten owre that bairn she lost?
But was the deacon fu’?
That whusky duty! – but we’ll lat it be;
It mayna get oor length!
Here’s to ye, Pate! Willie – it’s wat your ee!
Lad, that’s the stuff for strength!
Here’s a big bumper for us a’ thegither!
But wha’s that at the pane?
The new mune keekin’ in a kind o’ swither!
‘Faith, we maun gie her ane!
Ane for the nicht; an’ ane for Jock the cadger
Wha brocht the tappit hen;
An’ ane for him, tae, honest man! the gauger
Wha lost himsel’ i’ glen!
Nae pressin’ – na! ilk man should ken his score!
A sober gauge is six!
There’s watter in a stoup ahint the door
For them that want to mix.
Na, but I’m blythe – I’m daft to see ye a’!
Lowrie, produce your flute,
We maun hae music; – first we’ll take your blaw,
An’ syne a sang fra Pate.
Then in a chorus sang we’ll soop the heather
Till the waste places ring,
An’ social conveys sleepin’ soun’ thegither
Break aff on startled wing.
An’ let that churlish Nawbal o’ a fermer,
Oor nippit neebor, hear;
An’ lovely Abigail, as I may term her,
That should be – Dauvit’s dear!
O Tam, ye’re happy in your love for Meg,
Ye’re blest – ye’re free o’ blame;
But I maun burn for what I daurna beg, –
For her I daurna name!
Note. – The reference in the 9th stanza is to the increased duty on whisky, threatened by Mr Childers’ Budget (1885).