Fine div I ken what ails yon puddock, Janet,
That aince would hae her neb set up sae hie;
There’s them that disna’ seem to understan’ it,
I’se warrant ye it’s plain eneuch to me!
Maybe ye’ll mind her man—a fine wee
Owre blate to speak (puir thing, he didna’ daur);
What gar’d him fecht was jist his douce-like natur’;
Gairmans is bad, but Janet’s tongue was waur.
But noo he’s hame again, ye wadna ken her,
He isna’ feared to contradic’ her flat;
He smokes a’ day, comes late to get his denner,
(I mind the time she’d sort him weel for that!)
What’s gar’d her turn an’ tak’
a road divairgint?
Ye think she’s wae because he wants a limb?
Ach! haud yer tongue, ye fule—the man’s a sairgint,
An’ there’s nae argy-bargyin’ wi’ him!
I whiles gang to the brig-side
That’s past the briar tree,
Alang the road when the licht is wide
Owre Angus an’ the sea.
In by the dyke yon briar grows
Wi’ leaf an’ thorn, it’s lane
Whaur the spunk o’ flame o’ the briar rose
Burns saft agin the stane.
An’ whiles a step treids on by me,
I mauna hear its fa’;
And atween the brig an’ the briar tree
Ther gangs na’ ane, but twa.
Oot owre yon sea, through dule an’ strife,
Ye tak’ yer road nae mair,
For ye’ve crossed the brig to the fields o’ life,
An’ ye walk for iver there.
I traivel on to the brig-side,
Whaur ilka road maun cease,
My weary war may be lang to bide,
An’ you hae won to peace.
There’s ne’er a nicht but turns to day,
Nor a load that’s niver cast;
An’ there’s nae wind cries on the winter brae,
But it spends itsel’ at last.
O you that niver failed me yet,
Gin aince my step ye hear,
Come to yon brig atween us set,
An’ bide till I win near!
O weel, aye, weel, ye’ll ken my treid,
Ye’ll seek nae word nor sign,
An’ I’ll no can fail at the Brig o’ Dreid,
For yer hand will be in mine.
THE KIRK BESIDE THE SANDS
It was faur-ye-weel, my dear, that the gulls were
At the kirk beside the sands,
Whaur the saumon-nets lay oot on the bents for dryin’,
Wi’ the tar upon their strands;
A roofless kirk i’ the bield o’ the cliff-fit
And the deid laid near the wa’;
A wheen auld coupit stanes i’ the sea-grass hidin’,
Wi’ the sea-sound ower them a’.
But it’s mair nor daith that’s here on
the hauchs o’ Flanders,
And the deid lie closer in;
It’s no the gull, but the hoodit craw that wanders
When the lang, lang nichts begin.
It’s ill to dee, but there’s waur things
yet nor deein’;
And the warst o’ a’s disgrace;
For there’s nae grave deep eneuch ‘mang the graves in bein’
To cover a coward’s face.