Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
278. On the late Captain Grose’s Peregrinations
 
 
Peregrinations thro’ Scotland, collecting the Antiquities of that Kingdom
 
 
HEAR, Land o’ Cakes, and brither Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat’s;—
If there’s a hole in a’ your coats,
                  I rede you tent it:
A chield’s amang you takin notes,        5
                  And, faith, he’ll prent it:
 
If in your bounds ye chance to light
Upon a fine, fat fodgel wight,
O’ stature short, but genius bright,
                  That’s he, mark weel;        10
And wow! he has an unco sleight
                  O’ cauk and keel.
 
By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin,
Or kirk deserted by its riggin,
It’s ten to ane ye’ll find him snug in        15
                  Some eldritch part,
Wi’ deils, they say, L—d save’s! colleaguin
                  At some black art.
 
Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha’ or chaumer,
Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour,        20
And you, deep-read in hell’s black grammar,
                  Warlocks and witches,
Ye’ll quake at his conjuring hammer,
                  Ye midnight bitches.
 
It’s tauld he was a sodger bred,        25
And ane wad rather fa’n than fled;
But now he’s quat the spurtle-blade,
                  And dog-skin wallet,
And taen the—Antiquarian trade,
                  I think they call it.        30
 
He has a fouth o’ auld nick-nackets:
Rusty airn caps and jinglin jackets,
Wad haud the Lothians three in tackets,
                  A towmont gude;
And parritch-pats and auld saut-backets,        35
                  Before the flood.
 
Of Eve’s first fire he has a cinder;
Auld Tubalcain’s fire-shool and fender;
That which distinguished the gender
                  O’ Balaam’s ass:        40
A broomstick o’ the witch of Endor,
                  Weel shod wi’ brass.
 
Forbye, he’ll shape you aff fu’ gleg
The cut of Adam’s philibeg;
The knife that nickit Abel’s craig        45
                  He’ll prove you fully,
It was a faulding jocteleg,
                  Or lang-kail gullie.
 
But wad ye see him in his glee,
For meikle glee and fun has he,        50
Then set him down, and twa or three
                  Gude fellows wi’ him:
And port, O port! shine thou a wee,
                  And THEN ye’ll see him!
 
Now, by the Pow’rs o’ verse and prose!        55
Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose!—
Whae’er o’ thee shall ill suppose,
                  They sair misca’ thee;
I’d take the rascal by the nose,
                  Wad say, “Shame fa’ thee!”        60
 

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