Hughie’s Views on Soldiering, pp.65-66.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Nos prælia virginum 

Sectis in juvenes unguibus acrium 

Cantamus.” – CAR. I., 6. 

WAR’S broken oot, an’ the toon’s wives are skirlin’, 

An’ Jock maun awa’ to the muster at Stirlin’. 


A douce lad, Jock, when he lived wi’ ‘s here, 

Stappin’ aboot in his plooman’s gear, 

An’ whustlin’ blithe on his native braes – 

But a deevil for fechtin’ in scarlet claes! 


Nae doot he’s braw wi’ his sabretache 

White gloves, steel sword, an’ a stiff mustache, 

An’ lang strippit-breeks – faith, a strappin’ chiel, 

Wi’ a silver spur like a star at his heel! 


But I’m no’ at hame in the haunts o’ weir, 

Wi’ its gibbles strange, an’ its gibberish queer, 

Wi’ its “limber” here, an’ “echelong” there, 

Its “parks” an’ “parades,” an’ kens what mair. 


I’d the very weel to descrive it a’ 

For the sake o’ Jock, for he looks sae braw, 

But I micht gang wrang in a form or phrase 

An’ earn Jock’s wrath for the rest o’ my days. 


The soger-boys are a sicht to see, 

But their style o’ fechtin’ ‘s no’ for me – 

Wi’ their blawin’ ye up, an’ their ca’in’ ye roun’, 

An’ their stickin’ ye dead when they get ye doun! 


The only fechtin’ I care aboot 

Is when a Meg wi’ her jo fa’s oot – 

She lowses upon him a tinkler jaw 

An’ rugs his hair; an’ he bears it a’; 

An’ it’s a; made up in an ‘oor or twa! 

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