Robert Fergusson ( )


To the Tron-Kirk Bell


WANWORDY, crazy, dinsome thing,
As eer was framd to jow or ring,
What gard them sic in steeple hing
        They ken themsel,
But weel wat I they couldna bring
        War sounds frae hell.

What deil are ye? that I should bann,
Your neither kin to pat nor pan;
Nor ugly pig, nor maister-cann,
        But weel may gie
Mair pleasure to the ear o man
        Than stroke o thee.	

Fleece merchants may look bald, I trow,
Since a Auld Reikies childer now
Maun stap their lugs wi teats o woo,
        Thy sound to bang,
And keep it frae gawn thro and thro
        Wi jarrin twang.

Your noisy tongue, theres nae abideint:
Like scaulding wifes, there is nae guideint:
Whan Im bout ony busness eident,
        Its sair to thole;
To deave me, than, ye tak a pride int
        Wi senseless knoll.

O! war I provost o the town,
I swear by a the powrs aboon,
Id bring ye wi a reesle down;
        Nor shud you think
(Sae sair Id crack and clour your crown)
        Again to clink.

For whan Ive toomd the muckle cap,
An fain wad fa owr in a nap,
Troth I could doze as souns a tap,
        Wert na for thee,
That gies the tither weary chap
        To waukin me.

I dreamt ae night I saw Auld Nick;
Quo he, this bell o mines a trick,
A wylie piece o politic,
        A cunnin snare
To trap fock in a cloven stick,
        Ere theyre aware.

As langs my dautit bell hings there,
A body at the kirk will skair;
Quo they, gif he that preaches there
        Like it can wound,
We douna care a single hair
        For joyfu sound.

If magistrates wi me wud gree,
For ay tongue-tackit shud you be,
Nor fleg wi anti-melody
        Sic honest fock,
Whase lugs were never made to dree
        Thy doolfu shock.

But far frae thee the bailies dwell,
Or they wud scunner at your knell,
Gie the foul thief his riven bell,
        And than, I trow,
The by-word hads, the deil himsel
        Has got his due.



Robert Fergusson's other poems:
  1. The Daft-Days
  2. Ode to the Gowdspink
  3. The Sitting of the Session
  4. To Sir John Fielding, on his Attempts to Suppress The Beggars Opera
  5. Elegy on the Death of Scots Music


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