Loss of the pack (1828–1831) by Alexander Wilson
Loss of the Pack
3218962Loss of the pack — Loss of the Pack1828-1831Alexander Wilson (1766-1813)



‘Bout-gates I hate, quo' girning Maggy Pringle
Syne harl'd Watty, greeting, thro' the ingle.
Since this fell question seems sae lang to hing on
In twa-three words I‘11 gie ye my opinion.

I wha stand here, in this bare scoury coat,
Was ance a Packman wordy mony a groat:
I‘ve carried Packs as big's your meikle table
I've scarted pats, and sleepet in a stable:
Sax pounds I wadna' for my pack ance ta'en,
And I could bauldly brag ‘twas a' mine ain.
Ay! thae were days indeed, that gart me hope
Aiblins, thro' time, to warsle up a shop:
And as a wife aye in my noddle ran
I kend my Kate wad grapple at me than.

O Kate was past compare! sic cheeks! sic een!
Sic smiling looks, were never, never seen.
Dear, dear I lo'ed her, and whane'er we met,
Pleaded to have the bridal-day but set:
Slapped her pouches fu’ o’ prins and laces,
And thought mysel weel paid wi’twa three kisses
Yet still she put it aff frae day ta day,
And aften kindly in my lug wad say,
“Ae half year langer is nae unco stop,
“We’ll marry then, and syne set up a shop”.

O, Sir, but lasses words are saft and fair
Ihey soothe our griefs, and banish ilka care;
Wha wadna toil to please the lass he lo’es?
A lover true minds this in a’ he does.
Finding her mind was thus sae firmly bent,
And that I cou’dna’ get her to relent,
There was nought left, but quietly to resign,
To heeze my pack for ae lang hard campaign;
And as the Highlands was the place for meat,
I ventur‘d there in spite of wind and weet.
Cauld now the winter blew and deep the snaw
For three haill days incessantly did blaw.
Far in a muir, amang the whirling drift,
Whar nought was seen but mountains and the lift,
I lost my road, and wander‘d mony a mile,
Maist dead wi' hunger, cauld, and fright, and toil.

Thus wand'ring east or west, I kend na‘where
My mind o'ercome wi’ gloom and black despair
Wi' a fell ringe, I plung'd at ance, forsooth,
Down thro' a wreath o‘ snaw, up to my mouth
Clean o'er my head my precious wallet flew,
But whar it gaed, Lord kens! I never knew.

What great misfortunes are pour‘d down on some,
I thought my fearfu' hinderen' was come;
Wi‘ grief and sorrow was my soul o'ercast,
Ilk breath I drew was like to be my last,
For aye the mair I warsl'd round and roun'.
I fand mysel‘ aye stick the deeper down;
Till ance, at length, wi‘a prodigious pull,
I drew my poor cauld carcase frae the hole.
Lang, lang I sought, and graped for my pack,
Till night and hunger forc’d me to come back.
For three lang hours I wander’d up and down,
Till chance, at last convey’d me to a town;
There, wi’ a trembling hand, I wrote my Kate
A sad account of a’ my luckless fate;
But bade her aye be kind, and no despair,
Since like was left, I soon wad gather mair;
Wi’ whilk, I hop’d, within a'towmond’s date
To be at hame, and share it a’ wi’ Kate.

Fool that I was, how little did I think
That love would soon be lost for fa’t, o’ Clin(illegible text)
The loss of fair won wealth, tho’ hard to beat
Afore this—ne’er had pow’r to force a tear.
I trusted time wad bring things round again.
And Kate, dear Kate, wad then be a’ mine ai
Consol’d my mind, in hopes o’ better luck,
But, O! what sad reverse!—how thunder struck!
When ae black day brought word frae Ra(illegible text) my brither,
That Kate was cried, and married on anither.

Tho' a' my friends, and ilka comrade sweet,
At ance, had drapped cauld dead at my feet;
Or, tho’ I‘d heard the last day‘s dreadfu' ca',
Nae deeper horror on my heart could fa':
I curs'd mysel', I curs'd my luckless fate,
And grat—and, sobbing, cried—O Kate! O! Kate

Frae that day forth, I never mair did weel
But drank, and ran headforemost to the deel.
My siller vanish‘d, far frae hame I pin'd,
But Kate for ever ran across my mind.
In her were a' my hopes—these hopes were vain,
And now—I'll never see her like again.
'Twas this, Sir President, that gart me start.
Wi' meikle grief and sorrow at my heart,

To gi'e my vote, frae sad experience, here,
That disappointed love is waur to bear,
Ten thousand times, than loss o’warld’s gear

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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