Allan Ramsay ( ())


Elegy on Maggie Johnston


AULD Reekie, mourn in sable hue,
Let forth o tears dreep like May-dew:
To braw tippeny bid adieu,
        Which we wi greed
Bended as fast as she could brew,
        But, ah! shes dead.

To tell the truth now, Maggie dang,
O customers she had a bang;
For lairds and souters a did gang
        To drink bedeen;
The barn and yard was aft sae thrang,
        We took the green;
 
And there by dizzens we lay down;
Syne sweetly cad the healths aroun,
To bonny lasses, black or brown,
        As we loed best:
In bumpers we dull cares did drown,
        And took our rest.

When in our pouch we fand some clinks,
And took a turn oer Bruntsfield Links,
Aften in Maggies, at high-jinks,
        We guzzled scuds,
Till we could scarce, wi hale-out drinks,
        Cast aff our duds.
 
We drank and drew, and filled again,
O wow, but we were blythe and fain!
When ony had their count mistane,
        O it was nice!
To hear us a cry, Pike yer bane
        And spell yer dice.
 
Fu close we used to drink and rant
Until we did baith glower and guant,
 and yesk, and maunt,
        Right swash I trow;
Then of auld stories we did cant
        When we were fou.
 
Whan we were wearied at the gowff,
Then Maggie Johnstons was our howff;
Now a our gamesters may sit dowff,
        Wi hearts like lead;
Death wi his rung raxd her a yowff,
        And sae shes dead.
 
Maun we be forced thy skill to tine,
For which we will right sair rapine?
Or hast thou left to bairns o thine
        The pawky knack
O brewing ale amaist like wine,
        That gard us crack.
 
Sae brawly did a pease-scone toast
Biz i the queff, and fley and frost:
There we got fou wi little cost,
        And meikle speed;
Now, wae worth Death! our sports a lost,
        Since Maggies dead.

Ae summer nicht I was sae fou,
Amang the rigs I gaed to spue,
Syne down on a green bawk, I trow,
        I took a nap,
And soucht a night balillilow,
        As sounds a tap.

And when the dawn begoud to glow,
I hirsled up my dizzy pow,
Frae mang the corn, like wirricow,
        Wi banes sae sair,
And kennd nae mair than if a ewe
        How I cam there.
 
Some said it was the pith o broom
That she stowd in her masking-loom,
Which in our heads raised sic a foum;
        Or some wild seed,
Which aft the chappin-stoup did toom,
        But filled our head.

But now since its sae that we must
Not in the best ale put our trust,
But whan were auld return to dust,
        Without remead,
Why should we tak it in disgust
        That Maggies dead?

O warldly comforts she was rife,
And lived a lang and hearty life,
Right free o care, or toil, or strife,
        Till she was stale,
And kennd to be a canny wife,
        At brewing ale.
 
Then fareweel, Maggie, douce and fell,
O brewers a thou boor the bell:
Let a thy gossips yelp and yell,
        And, without feid,
Guess whether yere in heaven or hell.
        Theyre sure yere dead.



Allan Ramsay's other poems:
  1. Give Me a Lass with a Lump of Land
  2. My Peggy Is a Young Thing
  3. Katy's Answer
  4. The Young Laird and Edinburgh Katy
  5. , To the Memory of Sir Isaac Newton: Inscrib'd to the Royal Society of London, for the Improving of Natural Knowledge


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