John Greenleaf Whittier (18071892). The Poetical Works in Four Volumes. 1892. Appendix I. Early and Uncollected Verses
The Drunkard to his Bottle
I was thinking of the temperance lyrics the great poet of Scotland might have written had he put his name to a pledge of abstinence, a thing unhappily unknown in his day. The result of my cogitation was this poor imitation of his dialect.
H OOT!daur ye shaw yere face again,
Ye auld black thief o purse an brain?
For foul disgrace, for dool an pain
An shame I ban ye:
Wae s me, that eer my lips have taen 5
Your kiss uncanny!
Nae mair, auld knave, without a shillin
To keep a starvin wight frae stealin
Ye ll sen me hameward, blin and reelin,
Frae nightly swagger, 10
By wall an post my pathway feelin,
Wi mony a stagger.
Nae mair o fights that bruise an mangle,
Nae mair o nets my feet to tangle,
Nae mair o senseless brawl an wrangle, 15
Wi frien an wife too,
Nae mair o deavin din an jangle
My feckless life through.
Ye thievin, cheatin, auld Cheap Jack,
Peddlin your poison brose, I crack 20
Your banes against my ingle-back
Wi meikle pleasure.
Deil mend ye i his workshop black,
Een at his leisure!
I ll brak yere neck, ye foul auld sinner, 25
I ll spill yere bluid, ye vile beginner
O a the ills an aches that winna
Quat saul an body!
Gie me hale breeks an weel-spread dinner
Deil tak yere toddy! 30
Nae mair wi witches broo gane gyte,
Gie me ance mair the auld delight
O sittin wi my bairns in sight,
The gude wife near,
The weel-spent day, the peacefu night, 35
The mornin cheer!
Cock a yere heids, my bairns fu gleg,
My winsome Robin, Jean, an Meg,
For food and claes ye shall na beg
A doited daddie. 40
Dance, auld wife, on your girl-day leg, Ye ve foun your laddie! 1829.