Search This Blog

Saturday, 5 September 2015


                                                 ROBERT FERGUSSON (1750-1774)

                                                May he rest in peace, and rise in glory



                                                 FROM SCOTTISH POETRY LIBRARY



Auld Reikie Auld Reikie, wale o’ ilka Town 
That Scotland kens beneath the Moon; 
Where couthy Chiels at E’ening meet 
Their bizzing Craigs and Mous to weet; 
And blythly gar auld Care gae bye
Wi’ blinkit and wi’ bleering Eye: 
O’er lang frae thee the Muse has been
Sae frisky on the Simmer’s Green, 
Whan Flowers and Gowans wont to glent 
In bonny Blinks upo’ the Bent; 
But now the Leaves a Yellow die 
Peel’d frae the Branches, quickly fl y; 
And now frae nouther Bush nor Brier 
The spreckl’d Mavis greets your ear; 
Nor bonny Blackbird Skims and Roves 
To seek his Love in yonder Groves. 

Then, Reikie, welcome! 
Thou canst charm Unfl eggit by the year’s Alarm; 
Not Boreas that sae snelly blows, 
Dare here pap in his angry Nose:
 Thanks to our Dads, whase biggin stands 
A Shelter to surrounding Lands.

Now Morn, with bonny Purpie-smiles, 
Kisses the Air-cock o’ St. Giles; 
Rakin their Ein, 
the Servant Lasses Early begin their Lies and Clashes;
 Ilk tells her Friend of saddest Distress, 
That still she brooks frae scouling Mistress; 
And wi’ her Joe in Turnpike Stair 
She’d rather snuff the stinking Air, 
As be subjected to her Tongue, 
When justly censur’d in the Wrong. 

On Stair wi’ Tub, or Pat in hand, 
The Barefoot Housemaids looe to stand, 
That antrin Fock may ken how Snell 
Auld Reikie will at Morning Smell: 
Then, with an Inundation Big as 4 
The Burn that ‘neath the Nore Loch Brig is,
They kindly shower Edina’s Roses, 
To Quicken and Regale our Noses. 
Now some for this, wi’ Satyr’s Leesh, 
Ha’e gi’en auld Edinburgh a Creesh: 
But without Souring nocht is sweet; 
The Morning smells that hail our Street, 
Prepare, and gently lead the Way 
To Simmer canty, braw and gay:
 Edina’s Sons mair eithly share, 
Her Spices and her Dainties rare, 
Then he that’s never yet been call’d 
Aff frae his Plaidie or his Fauld.

Now Stairhead Critics, senseless Fools,
 Censure their Aim, and Pride their Rules, 
In Luckenbooths, wi’ glouring Eye, 
Their Neighbours sma’est Faults descry: 
If ony Loun should dander there, 
Of aukward Gate, and foreign Air, 
They trace his Steps, till they can tell 
His Pedigree as weel’s himsell. 

Whan Phoebus blinks wi’ warmer Ray 
And Schools at Noonday get the play, 
Then Bus’ness, weighty Bus’ness comes;
 The Trader glours; he doubts, he hums:
 The Lawyers eke to Cross repair, 
Their Wigs to shaw, and toss an Air; 
While busy Agent closely plies, 
And a’ his kittle Cases tries. 

No comments:

Post a Comment