Saturday, July 14, 2007


At Hallaemas, whan nichts growes lang,
An starnies shines fou clear,
Whan fowk, the nippin cauld tae bang,
Thair winter hap-wairms weir,
Naur Edinburgh a fair thare hauds,
A wat thare's nane that's name is,
For strappin dames an sturdy lads,
An caup an stoup, mair famous
Than it that day.

Upo the tap o ilka lum
The sun began tae keek,
An bad the trig made maidens come
A sichtly jo tae seek
At Hallae-fair, whaur brewsters rare
Keep guid ale on the gantries,
An dinna scrimp ye o a skare
O kebbucks frae thair pantries,
Fou saut that day.

Here kintra John in bunnet blue,
An eik his sunday claes on,
Rins efter Meg wi rokelay new,
An sappie kisses lays on;
She'll tauntin say, ye silly cuif!
Be o your gab mair spairin;
He'll tak the hint, an creash her luif
Wi whit will buy her fairin,
Tae chowe that day.

Here chapman billies taks thair staund,
An shaws thair bonnie wallies;
Wow, but thay lie fou gleg aff haund
Tae trick the silly fallaes:
Heh, Sirs! whit cairds an tinklers comes,
An ne'er-dae-weel horse-cowpers,
An spae-wifes fenyiein tae be dumm,
Wi aw siclike landlowpers,
Tae thrive that day.

Here Sawny cries, frae Aiberdeen;
'Come ye tae me fa needs:
The brawest shanks that e'er war seen
A'll sell ye cheap an gweed.
A wyte thay are as protty hose
As comes fae weyr or leem:
Here tak a rug, an shaw's your pose:
Forseeth, ma ain's but teem
An licht this day.'

Ye wifes, as ye gang throu the fair,
mak your bargains huily!
O aw thir wylie louns bewaur,
Or fegs thay will ye spulyie.
For fernyear Meg Thamson gat,
Frae thir mischievous villains,
A scawt bit o a penny note,
That lost a score o shillins
Tae her that day.

The dinlin drums alairm oor ears,
The sergeant screichs fou lood,
'Aw gentlemen an volunteers
That wiss your kintra guid,
Come here tae me, an A shall gie
Twa guineas an a croun,
A bowl o punch, that like the sea
Will soum a lang dragoon
Wi ease this day.'

Athoot the cuissers prance an nicker,
An ower the ley-rig scud;
In tents the carles bends the bicker,
An rant an rair like wud.
Than thare's sic yallochin an din,
Wi wifes an weans gablin,
That ane micht trow thay war a-kin
Tae aw the tongues at Babylon,
Confuised that day.

Whan Phoebus ligs in Thetis laup,
Auld Reekie gies thaim shelter,
Whaur cadgily thay kiss the caup,
An caw't roond helter-skelter.
Jock Bell gaed furth tae play his freaks,
Great cause he haed tae rue it,
For frae a stark Lochaber aix
He gat a clamihewit
Fou sair that nicht.

'Ohon!' quo he, 'A'd raither be
By swuird or bagnet stickit,
Than hae ma croun or body wi
Sic deidly wappins nickit.'
Wi that he gat anither straik
Mair wechty than afore,
That gart his feckless body ache,
An spew the reekin gore,
Fou reid that nicht.

He pechin on the causey lay,
O kicks an cuffs weel sert;
A Hieland aith the sergeant gae,
'She maun pe see oor gaird.'
Oot spak the warlike corporal,
'Pring in ta drunken groat,
For that neist day.

Guid fowks, as ye come frae the fair,
Bide yont frae this black squad;
Thare's nae sic savages elsewhaur
Alloud tae weir cockaud.
Than the strang lions's hungry maw,
Or tusk o Roussaen beir,
Frae thair wanruly fellin paw
Mair cause ye hae tae fear
Your daith that day.

A wee soop drink dis unco weel
Tae haud the hert abuin;
It's guid as lang's a canny chiel
Can staund steeve in his shuin.
But gin a birkie's ower weel sert,
It gars him aften stammer
Tae ploys that brings him tae the gaird,
An eik the Cooncil-chaumer,
Wi shame that day.


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