Underwoods

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Trout in the burn grow great as herr'n, The simple sheep can find their fair'n'; The wind blaws clean about the cairn Wi' caller air; The muircock an' the barefit bairn Are happy there.

Sic-like the howes o' life to some: Green loans whaur they ne'er fash their thumb. But mark the muckle winds that come Soopin' an' cool, Or hear the powrin' burnie drum In the shilfa's pool.

The evil wi' the guid they tak; They ca' a gray thing gray, no black; To a steigh brae, a stubborn back Addressin' daily; An' up the rude, unbieldy track O' life, gang gaily.

What you would like's a palace ha', Or Sinday parlour dink an' braw Wi' a' things ordered in a raw By denty leddies. Weel, than, ye cannae hae't: that's a' That to be said is.

An' since at life ye've taen the grue, An' winnae blithely hirsle through, Ye've fund the very thing to do - That's to drink speerit; An' shune we'll hear the last o' you - An' blithe to hear it!

The shoon ye coft, the life ye lead, Ithers will heir when aince ye're deid; They'll heir your tasteless bite o' breid, An' find it sappy; They'll to your dulefu' house succeed, An' there be happy.

As whan a glum an' fractious wean Has sat an' sullened by his lane Till, wi' a rowstin' skelp, he's taen An' shoo'd to bed - The ither bairns a' fa' to play'n', As gleg's a gled.

IX - THE COUNTERBLAST IRONICAL

It's strange that God should fash to frame The yearth and lift sae hie, An' clean forget to explain the same To a gentleman like me.

They gutsy, donnered ither folk, Their weird they weel may dree; But why present a pig in a poke To a gentleman like me?

They ither folk their parritch eat An' sup their sugared tea; But the mind is no to be wyled wi' meat Wi' a gentleman like me.

They ither folk, they court their joes At gloamin' on the lea; But they're made of a commoner clay, I suppose, Than a gentleman like me.

They ither folk, for richt or wrang, They suffer, bleed, or dee; But a' thir things are an emp'y sang To a gentleman like me.

It's a different thing that I demand, Tho' humble as can be - A statement fair in my Maker's hand To a gentleman like me:

A clear account writ fair an' broad, An' a plain apologie; Or the deevil a ceevil word to God From a gentleman like me.

X - THEIR LAUREATE TO AN ACADEMY CLASS DINNER CLUB

Dear Thamson class, whaure'er I gang It aye comes ower me wi' a spang: "LORDSAKE! THEY THAMSON LADS - (DEIL HANG OR ELSE LORD MEND THEM!) - AN' THAT WANCHANCY ANNUAL SANG I NE'ER CAN SEND THEM!"

Straucht, at the name, a trusty tyke, My conscience girrs ahint the dyke; Straucht on my hinderlands I fyke To find a rhyme t' ye; Pleased - although mebbe no pleased-like - To gie my time t'ye.

"WEEL," an' says you, wi' heavin' breist, "SAE FAR, SAE GUID, BUT WHAT'S THE NEIST? YEARLY WE GAITHER TO THE FEAST, A' HOPEFU' MEN - YEARLY WE SKELLOCH `HANG THE BEAST - NAE SANG AGAIN!' "

My lads, an' what am I to say? Ye shurely ken the Muse's way: Yestreen, as gleg's a tyke - the day, Thrawn like a cuddy: Her conduc', that to her's a play, Deith to a body.

Aft whan I sat an' made my mane, Aft whan I laboured burd-alane Fishin' for rhymes an' findin' nane, Or nane were fit for ye - Ye judged me cauld's a chucky stane - No car'n' a bit for ye!

But saw ye ne'er some pingein' bairn As weak as a pitaty-par'n' - Less used wi' guidin' horse-shoe airn Than steerin' crowdie - Packed aff his lane, by moss an' cairn, To ca' the howdie.

Wae's me, for the puir callant than! He wambles like a poke o' bran, An' the lowse rein, as hard's he can, Pu's, trem'lin' handit; Till, blaff! upon his hinderlan' Behauld him landit.

Sic-like - I awn the weary fac' - Whan on my muse the gate I tak, An' see her gleed e'e raxin' back To keek ahint her; - To me, the brig o' Heev'n gangs black As blackest winter.

"LORDSAKE! WE'RE AFF," thinks I, "BUT WHAUR? ON WHAT ABHORRED AN' WHINNY SCAUR, OR WHAMMLED IN WHAT SEA O' GLAUR, WILL SHE DESERT ME? AN' WILL SHE JUST DISGRACE? OR WAUR - WILL SHE NO HURT ME?"

Kittle the quaere! But at least The day I've backed the fashious beast, While she, wi' mony a spang an' reist, Flang heels ower bonnet; An' a' triumphant - for your feast, Hae! there's your sonnet!

XI - EMBRO HIE KIRK

The Lord Himsel' in former days Waled out the proper tunes for praise An' named the proper kind o' claes For folk to preach in: Preceese and in the chief o' ways Important teachin'.

Underwoods Page 15

Robert Louis Stevenson

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Robert Louis Stevenson
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