View Full Version : The Daft Days, by Rober Fergusson.

05-Dec-09, 10:08
The Daft Days
By Robert Fergusson 1750-1774

Now mirk December’s dowie face
Glowrs owre the rigs wi’ sour grimace
While, thro his minimum o’ space
The bleer-e’ed sun,
Wi’ blinkin light and stealin’ pace,
His race doth run.

Frae naked groves nae birdie sings
To shepherd’s pipe nae hillock rings
The breeze nae od’rous flavour brings
Frae Borean cave;
And dwynin Nature droops her wings
Wi’ visage grave.

Mankind but scanty pleasure glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain
Whan Winter, ‘midst his nippin’ train,
Wi’ frozen spear,
Sends drift owre a’ his bleak domain,
And guides the weir.

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

Whan merry Yule-day comes, I trow,
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.

Ye browster wives! Now busk ye braw,
And fling your sorrows far awa;
Then, come and gie’s the tither blaw
O’ reaming ale,
Mair precious than the Well o’ Spa
Our hearts to heal.

Then, tho’ at odds wi’ a’ the warl’
Among oursels we’ll never quarrel,
Tho’ Discord gie a canker’d snarl
To spoil our glee,
As lang’s there’s pith into the barrel,
We’ll drink and gree.

Fiddlers! Your pins in temper fix,
And roset weel your fiddlesticks,
But banish vile Italian tricks,
Frae out your quorum;
Nor fortes wi’ pianos mis –
Gie’s Tullochgorum.

For nought can cheer the heart sae weel,
As can a canty Highland Reel,
It even vivifies the heel
To skip and dance;
Lifeless is he wha canna feel
It’s influence.

Let mirth abound; let social cheer
Invest the dawnin’ o’ the year;
Let blithsome Innocence appear,
To crown our joy;
Nor Envy, wi’ sarcastic sneer,
Our bliss destroy.

And thou, great god of Aquavitae!
Wha sways the empire o’ this city –
Whan fou, we’re sometimes capernoity –
Be thou prepared
To hedge us frae that black banditti
The City Guard.