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Poem by James Macaulay

On the Warlike Preparations of 1787

            Bella, horrida bella!


Ye kintry birkies, round about,
Gin e can haud a gun, or shoot,
Scour in to Embro while yere stout,
	An fit for ought;
Were gaun to gie the French a clout,
	They lang hae sought.


The petty lads hae taen the strum,
Because we winna let them come,
An kick the poor Mynheerss ;
	Wae worth the trick!
We care na for their glunch or gloom,
	A fiddlestick.


They think because our trades turnd thrang, 
To tak it frae us in a bang; 
Theyll fin themsells a i the wrang:
	Gin we be wise, 
Wes put an end, ere it be lang,
	To a this noise.


Gin we come anes to tak the field,
Nae fear but we will mak them yield,
An see wha best their arms can wield:
	Whan face to face,
Theyll need to hae some better shield,
	Or yelp for peace.


Some folk that wish weel to our land, 
Hae taen the listing craft in hand; 
Come ye to them, an dinna stand,
	To tell your tale;
They gat it frae us in command
	To use ye weel.


Without a moments lost, than come, 
An tak the siller aff the drum;
An dinna think it is a hum,
	For were no jesting;  
We mean to gar our faes sing dumb,
	Wi a good basting.


Yell find it worth your while in future, 
To counteract this ill-fard splutter: 
Gin yeve a wife, come aff without her;
	Leave her, at hame, 
To mind the wanes, an kirn the butter
	To staigh their wame.



Wharas, by Royal proclamation,
We did let wit to a the nation,
To leave a while their occupation,
	An fight the French;
They needna sash:  the botheration
	Theyre gaun to quench.


Wes no say what they did design,
By fitting out their ships o line; 
But Willie Eden spak his min
	In sic a tone,
As gart them trow theyd something tine,
	Gin they gaed on: 


For tho theyre wily, slee, an sleek,
Fou weel they ken weve no to seek 
A tale, whan were obligd to speak
	Out our desire;
An that whareer we mak a reek,
	There aye some fire.


Sac thinkingt better to gie oer, 
Than let their callans get a clour, 
Theyre put an end to a the stour
	That they had raisd,
An were nae mair gaun to look sour,
	Or yet bumbazd.


Sae lang may GEORDIEs sapient reign
Our privileges a maintain;
An Mars, wi a his butcher train,
	Aye bide aback; 
An never let us o our slain
	Be beard to crack!

James Macaulay

James Macaulay's other poems:
  1. On the Expulsion of the Scots Language
  2. To Mr. R***** B****, Ayrshire

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