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Poem by James Macaulay


On the Warlike Preparations of 1787


            Bella, horrida bella!

I.

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.

II.

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.

III.

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.

IV.

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.

V.

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.

VI.

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.

VII.

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.

CONTRAIR ORDERS

VIII.

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.

IX.

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: 

X. 

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.

XI.

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.

XII.

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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