scotland

15th September – On This Day In History

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Born:

1254 Marco Polo (explorer)

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Died:

2007 Colin McRae (rally driver)

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On This Day:

1928 Penicillin is discovered (by Alexander Fleming)

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Have a good Friday, 14th September

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25th August – On This Day In History

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Born:

1930 Sean Connery (actor)

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Died:

1688 Henry Morgan (pirate & privateer) 

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On This Day:

1212 Children’s Crusade (led by Nicholas, aged 10) reaches Genoa 

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Have a good Friday, 25th August

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23rd August – On This Day In History

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Born:

1946 Keith Moon (drummer – The Who)

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Died:

1305 William Wallace (Scottish patriot – hung, drawn and quartered)

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On This Day:

1954 First flight of the C-130 cargo plane 

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Have a good Wednesday, 23rd August

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11th August – On This Day In History

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Born:

1897 Enid Blyton (children’s author)

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Died:

1919 Andrew Carnegie (industrialist and philanthropist) 

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On This Day:

1919 Green Bay Packers football club founded

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Have a good Friday, 11th August

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Scotch Drink

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Let other poets raise a fracas
Bout vines, and wines, an drucken Bacchus,
An crabbit names an stories wrack us,
An grate our lug:
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or Jug.

O thou, my Muse! guid auld Scotch drink!
Whether thro’ wimplin worms thou jink,
Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,
In glorious faem
Inspire me, till I lisp an wink,
To sing thy name!

Let husky wheat the haughs adorn,
An aits set up their awnie horn,
An Pease and beans, at e’en or morn,
Perfume the plain:
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn,
Thou king o’ grain!

On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
In souple scones, the wale o’ food!
Or tumbling in the boiling flood
Wi’ kail an beef;
But when thou pours thy strong heart’s blood
There thou shines chief.

Food fills the wame, an keeps us livin;
Tho life’s a gift no worth receivin
When heavy-dragg’d wi pine an grievin;
But oil’d by thee
The wheels o’ life gae down-hill, scrievin,
Wi’ rattlin glee.

Thou clears the head o’ doited Lear,
Thou cheers the heart o’ drooping Care;
Thou strings the nerves o’ Labour sair,
At ‘s weary toil;
Thou ev’n brightens dark Despair
Wi’ gloomy smile.

Aft, clad in massy siller weed,
Wi gentles thou erscts thy head;
Yet humbly kind in time o’ need,
The poor man’s wine:
His wee drap parritch, or his bread,
Thou kitchens fine.

Thou art the life o’ public haunts;
But thee, what were our fairs and rants?
Ev’n godly meetings o’ the saunts,
By thee inspir’d,
When, gaping, they besiege the tents,
Are doubly fir’d.

That merry night we get the corn in,
O sweetly, then, thou reams the horn
Or reekin on a New-Year mornin
In cog or bicker,
An just a wee drap sp’ritual burn in,
An gusty sucker!

When Vulcan gies his bellows breath,
An ploughmen gather wi their graith,
O rare! to see thee fizz an freath
I’ th’ lugget caup!
Then Burnewin comes on like death
At every chaup.

Nae mercy, then, for airn or steel:
The brawnie, bainie, ploughman chiel,
Brings hard owrehip, wi sturdy wheel,
The strong forehammer,
Till block an studdie ring an reel,
Wi dinsome clamour.

When skirlin’ weanies see the light,
Thou maks the gossips clatter bright,
How fumblin coofs their dearies slight;
Wae worth the name!
Nae howdie gets a social night,
Or plack frae them.

When neebors anger at a plea,
An just as wud as wud can be,
How easy can the barley-brie
Cement the quarrel!
It’s aye the cheapest lawyer’s fee,
To taste the barrel.

Alake! that e’er my Muse has reason,
To wyte her countrymen wi’ treason!
But monie daily weet their weason
Wi’ liquors nice,
An hardly, in a winter season,
E’er spier her price.

Wae worth that brandy, burnin trash!
Fell source o’ monie a pain an brash!
Twins monie a poor, doylt, drucken hash
O’ half his days;
An sends, beside, auld Scotland’s cash
To her warst faes.

Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well!
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell,
Poor, plackless devils like mysel!
It sets you ill
Wi’ bitter, dearthfu’ wines to mell,
Or foreign gill.

May gravels round his blather wrench,
An gouts torment him, inch by inch,
Wha twists his gruntle wi’ a glunch
O’ sour disdain
Out owre a glass o’ whisky-punch
Wi honest men!

O Whisky! soul o’ plays an pranks!
Accept a Bardie’s gratefu thanks!
When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks
Are my poor verses!
Thou comes—they rattle i’ their ranks,
At ither’s arses!

Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost!
Scotland lament frae coast to coast!
Now colic grips, an barkin hoast
May kill us a’;
For loyal Eorbes’ charter’d boast
Is taen awa!

They curst horse-leeches o’ th’ Excise,
Wha mak the whisky stells their prize!
Haud up thy han’, Deil! ance, twice, thrice!
There, seize the blinkers!
An bake them up in brunstane pies
For poor damn’d drinkers.

Fortune! if thou’ll but gie me still
Hale breeks, a scone, an whisky gill,
An rowth o’ rhyme to rave at will,
Tak a’ the rest,
An deal’t about as thy blind skill
Directs thee best

 

– Robert Burns

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To A Mountain Daisy

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Wee, modest, crimson-tippèd flow’r,
Thou’s met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem:
To spare thee now is past my pow’r,
Thou bonie gem.

Alas! it’s no thy neibor sweet,
The bonie lark, companion meet,
Bending thee ‘mang the dewy weet
Wi’ spreck’d breast,
When upward-springing, blythe, to greet
The purpling east.

Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm,
Scarce rear’d above the parent-earth
Thy tender form.

The flaunting flowers our gardens yield
High shelt’ring woods an’ wa’s maun shield:
But thou, beneath the random bield
O’ clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field
Unseen, alane.

There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie-bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!

Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flow’ret of the rural shade!
By love’s simplicity betray’d
And guileless trust;
Till she, like thee, all soil’d, is laid
Low i’ the dust.

Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life’s rough ocean luckless starr’d!
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o’er!

Such fate to suffering Worth is giv’n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv’n,
By human pride or cunning driv’n
To mis’ry’s brink;
Till, wrench’d of ev’ry stay but Heav’n,
He ruin’d sink!

Ev’n thou who mourn’st the Daisy’s fate,
That fate is thine–no distant date;
Stern Ruin’s ploughshare drives elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crush’d beneath the furrow’s weight
Shall be thy doom.

 

– Robert Burns

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Now Spring Has Clad The Grove In Green

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Now spring has clad the grove in green,
And strew’d the lea wi’ flowers;
The furrow’d, waving corn is seen
Rejoice in fostering showers:
While ilka thing in nature join
Their sorrows to forego,
O why thus all alone are mine
The weary steps of woe?

The trout in yonder wimpling burn
That glides, a silver dart,
And safe beneath the shady thorn
Defies the angler’s art —
My life was ance that careless stream,
That wanton trout was I;
But love, wi’ unrelenting beam,
Has scorch’d my fountains dry.

The little flow’ret’s peaceful lot,
In yonder cliff that grows,
Which, save the linnet’s flight, I wot,
Nae ruder visit knows,
Was mine; till love has o’er me past,
And blighted a’ my bloom,
And now beneath the with’ring blast
My youth and joy consume.

The waken’d lav’rock warbling springs,
And climbs the early sky,
Winnowing blythe her dewy wings
In morning’s rosy eye:
As little reckt I sorrow’s power,
Until the flowery snare
O’ witching love, in luckless hour,
Made me the thrall o’ care.

O had my fate been Greenland snows,
Or Afric’s burning zone,
Wi’ man and nature leagu’d my foes,
So Peggy ne’er I’d known!
The wretch whase doom is, “hope nae mair,”
What tongue his woes can tell!
Within whase bosom, save despair,
Nae kinder spirits dwell.

 

– Robert Burns

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