Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
 
Johnnie Cope
By Adam Skirving (1719–1803)
 
COPE 1 sent a challenge frae Dunbar:—
Charlie, meet me an ye daur,
And I ’ll learn you the art o’ war,
  If you ’ll meet wi’ me i’ the mornin.
 
    Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet?        5
    Or are your drums a-beating yet?
    If ye were wauking, I wad wait
      To gang to the coals i’ the morning.
 
When Charlie looked the letter upon,
He drew his sword the scabbard from:        10
Come follow me, my merry merry men,
  And we ’ll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning.
 
Now, Johnnie, be as good ’s your word,
Come let us try both fire and sword;
And dinna flee away like a frighted bird,        15
  That ’s chased from its nest in the morning.
 
When Johnnie Cope he heard of this,
He thought it wadna be amiss,
To ha’e a horse in readiness,
  To flee awa’ in the morning.        20
 
Fy now, Johnnie, get up and rin,
The Highland bagpipes mak’ a din;
It is best to sleep in a hale skin,
  For ’twill be bluidy in the morning.
 
When Johnnie Cope to Dunbar came,        25
They speer’d at him, Where ’s a’ your men?
The deil confound me gin I ken,
  For I left them a’ i’ the morning.
 
Now, Johnnie, troth ye are na blate, 2
To come wi’ the news o’ your ain defeat,        30
And leave your men in sic a strait,
  Sae early in the morning.
 
Oh! faith, quo’ Johnnie, I got sic flegs 3
Wi’ their claymores and philabegs;
If I face them again, deil break my legs—        35
  So I wish you a’ gude morning.
 
Note 1. The reader need hardly be reminded that Sir John Cope commanded the English forces at Preston Pans, and was defeated by the Young Pretender. [back]
Note 2. shy. [back]
Note 3. fears. [back]
 
 
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