“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!