Address to Sandy

O Sandy what makes you grumble and growl,
   A mind discontented will ne'er do weel,
It's nought but but a harrowing out o' your soul,
   To think on, or whinge at the trade or the meal.
What though ye should wallow like swine in a gutter
   Divested at ance o your tea and your butter
Be silent or soon you will raise sic a splutter
   As mak' you bankit, and run neck and heel.

A cog o' gude brose to a Scot was a feast,
   When Scotland stood single, but now when she's join'd
To her pamper'd sister she's altered her taste
   To feed on rich dainties she now is inclin'd.
But she has nae siller then how is she able,
   To place sic luxuries upon her table,
I doubt when she's run out the length o' her cable
   She'll hae to stop short or come happin behind.

The stout camlet claith that was worn by our dads
   Is now thrown aside for best superfine,
Pelisses and great-coats instead o' the plaids
   An' beavers, alas, for the jewels o' langsyne.
Our fathers were happier wi' brose and wi' bonnets
   Than fools now-a-days wi' their silks, wine and wannets,
An' lad, since our heads are gaun round like the planets,
   We'll sure rin daft if sic dainties we tyne.

A few years ago, in the midst o' war,
   Our trade flourished finely and haughty were we
But now by the piper we've gotten a scar,
   Which we'll ne'er forget till the day that we die.
Our guineas and bullets flew thick in the struggle,
   At length we prevail'd o'er the Corsican bogle,
But still I'm afraid that we shortly maun shogle,
   Or shake like the leaf on the tall aspen tree.

Then Sandy be silent, but dinna be sad,
   Altho' ye are scrimpit o' mair than your tea,
Tho' meal should be costly and scarce to be had,
   Ye e'en maun submit to the great pow'rs that be.
Wi bauchles for boots, and your braw Sunday coats
   Turned threadbare, or covered wi' patches and mots,
Wi' brochan instead o' fat broth in your pots,
   Be thankfu' and ken it's your duty to dree.

Altho' you should grumble it matters not much,
   You ne'er will do better, an' that you will see,
The lads that are fens fed and haughty and rich,
   Will mock at your cares nor regard ye a flee.
Ye mind when ye sent up petitions to Lunnon,
   They laugh at your want and began wi' their punnin,
An' should ye grow furious you're sure o' a gunnin,
   Or wizzens weel rax'd wi' the hemp on a tree.

Ye ken the bees foster and honour their drones,
   An' birds wi' gay plumage demand aye esteem,
Be frank then an' frugal and honour your dons,
   Altho' they threefourths o' your living should claim.
It's this that will make you respeckit and happy
   An' fortune may aid you altho' she's a taupie,
But rather chace knots in your niggard brose cappie
   Than growl tho' your rulers in luxuries swim.

Ilk part o' creation is ruled by another,
   The small birds maun yield to the howlets and hawks;
Then though you may think a great man your brither,
   You dare not cry too at a deed that he acts.
Should grand Habeas Corpus be under suspension,
   Be cautious and guard wi' the the strictest attention
For then should ye twa or three seditious words mention,
   Ye'll get a dark dungeon or death for your cracks.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin