Tale of three bonnets in four cantos/Canto III



NOW Sol wi' his lang whip gae cracks,
Upon his nighering cooſers' backs,
To gar them tak the Olympian Brae,
Wi' a cart lade of bleezing day:
The country hind ceaſes to ſnore,
Bangs frae his bed, unlocks the door,
His bladder tooms, and gies a rift,
Then tentily ſurveys the lift,
And, weary of his wife and flaes
To their embrace prefers his claes.
Scarce had the lark forſook her neſt,
Whan Jouk, wha had got little reſt,
For thinking on his plot and laſſie,
Got up to gang and deal wi' Bawſy:
Awa' faſt o'er the bent he gade,
And fand him dozing in his bed,
His blankets creiſhy, foul his ſark,
His curtains trim'd wi' ſpider's wark;
Soot-draps hang frae his roof and kipples,
His floor was a' tobacco ſpittles:
Yet on the antlets of a deer,
Hang mony an auld claymore and ſpear,
With coat of iron and target truſty,
Inch thick of dirt and unco ruſty:
Enough appear'd to ſhew his Billy,
That he was lazy, poor and ſilly,
And wadna mak fae great a buſtle,
About his Bonnet as did Briſtle:
Jouk three times rugged at his ſhoulder,
Cry'd three times laigh, and three times louder;
At langrun, Bawſy rak'd his een,
And cries, What's that! What do you mean!
Then looking up he ſees his brither.
Baw. Good-morrow Jouk, what brings you hither.
You're early up,—as I'm a ſinner,
I ſeenly riſe before my dinner:
We'll, what's your news, and how gaes a'!
Ye've been an unco while awa'.
Jouk. Bawſy, I'm blyth to ſee you well,
For me, thank God, I keep me heal:
Get up, get up, ye lazy mart,
I have a ſecret to impart,
Of which, when I give you an inkling,
It will ſet baith your lugs a tinkling.
Bard. Straight Bawſy riſes, quickly dreſſes,
While haſte his youkie mind impreſſes:
Now rigg'd, and morning drink brought in,
Thus did ſlee gabbet Jouk begin.
Joukum. My worthy Brither, weel I wat,
O'er feckleſs is your wee eſtate,
For ſic a meikle ſaul as yours,
That to things greater higher towers;
But ye ly loitering here at hame,
Neglectfu' baith of wealth and fame,
Though, as I ſaid, ye have a mind,
That is for higher things deſign'd.
Baw. That's very true, thanks to the ſkies,
But how to get them there it lies.
Jouk. I'll tell ye Baws,—I've laid a plot,
That only wants your caſting vote,
And if you'll gie't, your bread is baken;
But firſt accept of this love-taken;
Here tak this gowd and never want
Enough to gar you drink and rant;
And this is but an arle-penny,
To what I afterward deſign ye;
And in return I'm ſure that I
Shall naething ſeek that ye'll deny.
Bawſy. And troth now Jouk, and neither will I,
Or after never ca' me Billy;
If I refuſe, wae light upon me,
This gowd, O vow! 'tis wonder bonny.
Joukum. Ay, that it i—'tis e'en the a'
That gars the plough of living draw,
'Tis gowd gars fogers fight the fiercer,
Without it preaching wad be ſcarcer;
'Tis gowd that maks the great men witty,
And puggy laſſes fair and pretty:
Without it ladies nice wad dwindle,
Down to a wife that ſnooves the ſpindle.
But to the Point, and wave Digreſſion,
I mak a free and plain confeſſion,
That I'm in love, and as I ſaid,
Demand from you a little aid,
To gain a bride that eithly can
Mak me fou bleſt, and you a man:
Gi'e me your Bonnet to preſent
My miſtreſs with,—and your conſent,
To rive the daft auld faſhion'd Deed
That bids ye wear it on your head.
Bawſy. O goſh! O goſh! then Jouk ha'e at her,
If that be a' 'tis nae great matter.
Jouk. Theſe granted, ſhe demands nae mair
To let us in her riches ſkair;
Nor ſhall our herds, as heretofore,
Rin aff wi' ane anither's ſtore,
Nor ding out ane anithers harns,
Whan they forgather 'mang the kairns;
But freely may drive up and down,
And fell in ilka market-town
Belangs to her, —which ſoon ye'll ſee,
If ye'll be wiſe, belang to me:
And, whan that happy day ſhall come,
My honeſt Bawſy, there's my thumb,
That while I breathe I'll ne'er beguile ye,
Ye'ſe baith get gowd, and be a bailey.
Bawſy. Faith Jouk, I ſee but little ſkaith,
In breaking of a ſenſeleſs aith,
That is impos'd by doited dads,
(To pleaſe their whims) on thoughtleſs lads,
My Bonnet! welcome to my Bonnet!
And meikle good may ye mak on it.
Our Father's Will I'ſe mak nae din,
Though Roſie ſhould apply't behin:
But ſay, Does Billy Briſtle ken,
This your deſign to mak us men?
Joukum. Ay that he does, but the ſtiff aſs
Bears a heart-hatred to the laſs,
And rattles out a hantla ſtories,
Of blood, and dirt, and ancient glories,
Meaning foul feuds that us'd to be,
Between ours and her family;
Bans like a blockhead, that he'll ne'er
Twin wi' his Bonnet for a'er Gear;
But you and I conjoin'd can ding him,
And, by a vote, to reaſon bring him;
If ſhe ſtand cloſe, 'tis unco eith,
To rive the Teſt’ment ſpite o's teeth,
And gar him ply, for a' his clavers,
To lift his Bonnet to our Beavers.
Bawſy. Then let the doof delight in drudging,
What cauſe ha'e we to tent his grudging;
Though Roſie's flocks feed on the Fells,
If you and I be weel ourſells.
Bard. Thus Jouk and Bawſy were agreed,
And Briſs maua yield, it was decreed.
Thus far I've ſung in Highland ſtrains,
Of Jouk's amours and pawky pains,
To gain his ends wi' ilka brither,
Sae oppoſite to ane anither;
Of Briſtle's hardy reſolutions,
And hatred to the Roſycrucians:
Of Bawſy put in ſlavery neck-faſt,
Selling his Bonnet for a breakfaſt,
What follows on't, of gain or ſkaith,
I'ſe tell when we ha'e ta'en our breath.

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.