Hughie’s Winter Excuse for a Dram, pp.58-60.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Vides ut alta stet nive candidum 

Soracte.” – CAR. I., 9. 

FRA whaur ye hing, my cauldrife frien’, 

Your blue neb owre the lowe, 

A snawy nightcap may be seen 

Upon Benarty’s pow; 

An’ snaw upon the auld gean stump, 

Whas’ frostit branches hang 

Oot-owre the dyke abune the pump 

That’s gane clean aff the fang. 

The pump that half the toun’s folk ser’d, 

It winna gie a jaw, 

An’ rouch, I ken, sall be your beard 

Until there comes a thaw! 

– 

Come, reenge the ribs, an’ let the heat 

Doun to oor tinglin’ taes; 

Clap on a gude Kinaskit peat 

An’ let us see a blaze. 

An’ since o’ watter we are scant 

Fess ben the barley-bree – 

A nebfu’ baith we sanna want 

To wet oor whistles wi’! 

Noo let the winds o’ Winter blaw 

Owre Scotland’s hills an’ plains, 

It maitters nocht to us ava – 

We’ve simmer in oor veins! 

– 

The pooers o’ Nature, wind an’ snaw, 

Are far abune oor fit, 

But while we scoog them, let them blaw; 

We’ll aye hae simmer yet. 

An’ sae wi’ Fortune’s blasts, my frien’, – 

They’ll come an’ bide at will, 

But we can scoog ahint a screen 

An’ jook their fury still. 

Then happy ilka day that comes, 

An’ glorious ilka nicht; 

The present doesna fash oor thooms, 

The future needna fricht! 

– 

The future! – man, there’s joys in store, 

An’ joys ye little ken, 

The warld has prov’d them sweet afore, 

The warld will again! 

The lasses, min! the dearest gift 

An’ treasure time can gie – 

Here’s to the love that lichts the lift 

O’ woman’s witchin’ ee! 

An’ vainly till that licht expire 

Should storn or winter low’r – 

It’s sune aneuch to seek the fire 

When simmer days are owre! 

Note. – Kinaskit, as its inhabitants pronounce Kinnesswood, is a small village at the foot of the Lomond Hill and not far from Lochleven. In its neighbourhood is a small peat moss, from which the surrounding villages and farm-towns used to be supplied with fuel. To the student of English literature the village of Kinnesswood has other associations – those, namely, connected with Michael Bruce.

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