“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.