Hughie Lectures a Vain Old Maid, pp.53-54.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Fis anus, et tamen 

Vis formosa videri.” – CAR. IV. 13. 

EH, Nance! this is a sair come-doun; 

An’ ye were ance sae braw, 

The pridefu’est lass in a’ the toon, 

Coortit by ane an’ a! 

Ay, wumman, at oor time o’ life 

Thae youthfu’ memories are rife – 

Surely ye winna yet maintain 

Your courtin days are no by-gane? 


Ye ken your raven ringlets noo 

Are grizzle-grey or white, 

Your een are blear’d that were sae blue 

An’ sparkled sae wi’ spite. 

Wha wad prefer your runkled chaft 

To rosy Meg’s, sae smooth an’ saft? 

An’ faith, to ca’ your crackit quaver 

Melodious noo is juist a haver! 


But bonnie Meg can lilt fu’ weel 

Wi’ that bit modest mou’, 

An’, while she warbles, whaur’s the chiel’ 

Wad lend a lug to you? 

Ye needna fash to busk yersel’, 

For what ye’ve on there’s nane could tell: 

Lay by your silks an’ pearlins noo, 

A worset goon’s the liker you. 


You looks that were sae bauld an’ free, 

Your bloom that was sae bonnie – 

Ance, an ye mind, they maister’d me; 

I was as daft as ony! 

Ay! nane but Bess cam’ near ye than, – 

An’ this is Bess’s second man, 

While you – ye’re never oot i’ bit, 

An’ dressin’ like a young lass yet! 

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