A Collection of English Poems, 1660-1800

By Ronald S. Crane | Go to book overview

For a Dance is the Thing that I love at my Heart.
So now my dear Mother, &c., &c., &c.


ROBERT FERGUSSON
(1750-1771-1774)

The Daft-Days1

Now mirk December's dowie face
Glours our the rigs wi' sour grimace,
While, thro' his minimum of space,
The bleer-ey'd sun,
Wi' blinkin light and stealing pace, 5 His race doth run.

From naked groves nae birdie sings,
To shepherd's pipe nae hillock rings,
The breeze nae od'rous flavour brings
From Borean cave, 10 And dwyning nature droops her wings,
Wi' visage grave.

Mankind but scanty pleasure glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain,
Whan Winter, 'midst his nipping train, 15 Wi' frozen spear,
Sends drift owr a' his bleak domain,
And guides the weir.

Auld Reikie! thou'rt the canty hole,
A bield for mony caldrife soul, 20 Wha snugly at thine ingle loll,
Baith warm and couth;
While round they gar the bicker roll
To weet their mouth.

When merry Yule-day comes, I trow 25 You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Sma' are our cares, our stamacks fou
O' gusty gear,
And kickshaws, strangers to our view,
Sin Fairn-year. 30

____________________
1
Published in Weekly Magasine, or Edinburgh Amusement, January 2, 1772. Text of Poems by Robert Fergusson, 1773.

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