Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
 
III. War
The Bonnets of Bonnie Dundee
Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)
 
[About 1688]

TO the lords of convention ’t was Claverhouse spoke,
“Ere the king’s crown shall fall, there are crowns to be broke;
So let each cavalier who loves honor and me
Come follow the bonnets of bonnie Dundee!”
 
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can;        5
Come saddle your horses, and call up your men;
Come open the Westport and let us gang free,
And it ’s room for the bonnets of bonnie Dundee!
 
Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street,
The bells are rung backward, the drums they are beat;        10
But the provost, douce man, said, “Just e’en let him be,
The gude toun is well quit of that deil of Dundee!”
 
As he rode doun the sanctified bends of the Bow,
Ilk carline was flyting and shaking her pow;
But the young plants of grace they looked cowthie and slee,        15
Thinking, Luck to thy bonnet, thou bonnie Dundee!
 
With sour-featured whigs the Grass-market was thranged,
As if half the west had set tryst to be hanged;
There was spite in each look, there was fear in each ee,
As they watched for the bonnets of bonnie Dundee.        20
 
These cowls of Kilmarnock had spits and had spears,
And lang-hafted gullies to kill cavaliers;
But they shrunk to close-heads, and the causeway was free
At the toss of the bonnet of bonnie Dundee.
 
He spurred to the foot of the proud castle rock,        25
And with the gay Gordon he gallantly spoke:
“Let Mons Meg and her marrows speak twa words or three,
For the love of the bonnet of bonnie Dundee.”
 
The Gordon demands of him which way he goes.
“Where’er shall direct me the shade of Montrose!        30
Your grace in short space shall hear tidings of me,
Or that low lies the bonnet of bonnie Dundee.
 
“There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth;
If there ’s lords in the Lowlands, there ’s chiefs in the north;
There are wild Duniewassals three thousand times three        35
Will cry ‘Hoigh!’ for the bonnet of bonnie Dundee.
 
“There ’s brass on the target of barkened bull-hide,
There ’s steel in the scabbard that dangles beside;
The brass shall be burnished, the steel shall flash free,
At a toss of the bonnet of bonnie Dundee.        40
 
“Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks,
Ere I own an usurper I ’ll couch with the fox;
And tremble, false whigs, in the midst of your glee,
You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me.”
 
He waved his proud hand, and the trumpets were blown,        45
The kettle-drums clashed, and the horsemen rode on,
Till on Ravelston’s cliffs and on Clermiston’s lea
Died away the wild war-notes of bonnie Dundee.
 
  Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can;
  Come saddle the horses, and call up the men;        50
  Come open your doors and let me gae free,
  For it ’s up with the bonnets of bonnie Dundee!
 
 
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