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Poem by James Macaulay
On the Expulsion of the Scots Language
I. Gae wa’, gae wa’, óe antique wight, An’ ne’er be seen by day or night; Out o’er the muntains tak your flight, – Be’t west or north, But never mair come in o’ sight O’ bonny Forth. II. You dinna suit the present age. Whan pure refinement is the rage, An’ ilka birky maun engage In some new ferlie, – No like your antiquated sage, In times mair early. III. The modes, the fashions, an’ the laws, Hae seen in you a heap o’ flaws; An’ folk, wi’ ony feck o’ braws, That wont to prize you, – I winna say I ken the cause, But they despise you. IV. Some wad-be bardies, now an’ then, Will try to flourish wi’ their pen, An’ mak an unco clumsy fen’ To paint your beauty; But a’ wha reads may easy ken Their aim’s but fouty. V. Na, na; fin’ Habby Simpfon1 sung, Thy Muse her harp has seldom strung; For ane may as weel on a rung Ride o’er to Five, As finish ought as he begun, An’ sang thro’ life. VI. Now Fergusson contends the bays In vain, wi’ Ramsay’s hame-spun lays; They’re gotten baith their skair o’ praise, An’ now they’re gane Whar ilka chieldy’s words an’ ways Maun stan’ their lane. VII. They had their day; – an’ sae hae you, An’ (’tween us twa) they’ve no been few, For fernyear after fernyear grew Your hydra head, – But southran lingo, now, I trow, Maun tak the lead. VIII. We a’ maun cour to JONNY BULL, Sin’ now our ilka law’s his will; For he can hand as weel as pull, Do what we like, An, wha wad risk a broken scull Wi’ fic a tyke? IX. You needna wonder you’re address’d In rhimes sae mony now detest; It’s just because you ken them best, An’ naething ither, For fair I’m griev’d, I maun confess’t, To drive you thither. X. I own, whan ane stays in a place, An’ dinna kith nor kin disgrace, It’s hard they dare na’ shaw their face But now an’ then’ Like some far-aff outlandish race, That few folk ken: XI. For naething can be to your charge Sae laid, as may your good name splarge; Tho’ drest in superfine, or serge, You graced the causey: Frae poortith you may yet emerge, An’ look sou gawsey? XII. I’m sure, I wish it may be sae, An’ that you stay na lang away; For mony a canty, happy day, Us twa hae seen, Whan minding naething but our play Frae morn till e’en: XIII. An’ gin you ever shou’d come back, An’ a’ your former honours tak; Whan that day comes, I’s no be slack – To use you brawly, For I’m your friend (tho’ thus I crack), While JAMES MACAULEY. 1. Late piper of Kilbarchan.
James Macaulay's other poems:
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