Satan's warehouse door, or, Water Willie's new mode of purifying his hands

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New Mode of Purifying his HANDS:



Then shewing me the Book o’ Fate,
That hidden myst’ries solved;
Besides, a Glass to penetrate
What was in doubt involved;
Said, “ I shall set before your eyes,
What mortal never saw yet;
The dusky tow’rs o’ terror rise,
Wi’ what is to befa’ yet.”



&c. &c. &c.

When martinmas is drawin’ near
And trade Iooks flat an’ lowran.
It puts poor bodies in a steer
To get a’ matters o’er han’—
Now fast approaching was the hour,
The time the heal half year in,
The landlord, wi’ a greedy glowr,
Comes for the tenant speerin’.

Good right had I to mind the laird—
I push’d—I swat—I rumpet,
Wi' scarcely time to shave my beard,
Aff to the warehouse stumpet;
Where sat a sample o’ our tribe,
That some has made their sport o’,
Wi’ looks sufficient to describe
What telling would fa’ short o’.}}

I there forgather’d wi’ a crew
O’ chills I brawly kent ance;
Then, o’er a glass we maun renew
Our maist-run out acquaintance.
Wi’ right good-will, an’ merry glee,
Aff to a houf we linket,
Whare ream’d the yill, an’ for a wee
The stoupie loudly clinket.
The passing glass, and sight o’ mair.
Set every heart a glowin’;
And now the frozen cords o’ Care
Most rapidly were thowin’:
Mirth universally prevails.
Each face wi’ pleasure brightens;
Whilst wit, in quick successive peals,
The gloom o’ Care enlightens.

But Happiness! thou aim o’ life,
Tho’ for a-wee victorious,
If Care contend, ay in the strife
Thou fa’s, or flees inglorious.
Frugality now frae the nook
Was takin’ observation.
And, wi’ a grave commanding look,
Began this short narration;

“My worthy friends, ye little think
That this is a’ delusion;
Por, in proportion as ye drink,
Ye’re heapin’ up confusion;
The night, tho’ ye forget your lairds,
Your every Care and sorrow,
Be ye assur’d, for your regards,
They’ll think of you to-morrow.
To part in peace is my advice;
Then cease your botheration,
Or it may cost you yet the price
O’ a sequestration.”

Then steering hame, wi’ something mair
Than some folk reckons plenty,
I look’d on every thing as square,
And sung a sang how dainty.
Wi’ plans in plenty now afloat,
Wi’ mair in prospect rising,
And auld resolves amaist forgot,
I gaed to bed revising.

I clearly saw o’er every ill
That had sae lately grieved,
And wonder’d that my stupid skull
Nae sooner had perceived;
But scarcely had I clos’d my ee,
When I began a plungin’;
Then, as I thought, baith bed an’ me,
Into some darksome dungeon.

Now deep an’ deeper down I fell,
Terrific yet to think o’t,
I thought that I was gaun to hell,
An’ just upon the brink o’t,
When, lo! a voice frae Night’s dark womb,
Baith loud and shrill resounded,
And rapidly dispell’d the gloom
By which I was surrounded;
Then presently a hoary Sage,
Wi’ countenance commanding,
Who seem’d the vera sire o’ age,
Was at my elbock standing:
“O what art thou?—and where am I?”
Were my interrogations.
“Come, follow me,” was the reply,
“And have a little patience.”

Then shewing me the Book o’ Fate,
That hidden myst’ries solved;
Besides, a Glass to penetrate
What was in doubt involved;
Said, “I shall set before your eyes
What mortal never saw yet;
The dusky tow’rs o’ terror rise,
Wi’ what is to befa’ yet.”

In deep perplexity immur’d,
A little on he led me,
Then something, just like Jonah’s gourd,
He hoisted up to shed me.
“ See, then———there stands a vale in view,
Whase rising sides, romantic,
Like prison wa’s,o’ dusky hue,
Are mouldering, rude, an’ antique;
Yon grand procession, at the end,
Wha seem sae sair dejected,

In G———w ance were brawly ken’d,
And muckle there respected,
They’re gaun to Satan’s warehouse-door,
’Twixt hope and fear suspended,
Although their warkItalic text has gane before,
And loudly there commended,
Yon chosen guards, wha tak’ the lead,
Keep watching late and early,
Wi’ their bold champion on their head——
Spring Water W—————}}

“He’s fashion’d o’ a cross-grain stock.
That’s sooner broke than bendit;
Yet he’s bell wedder o’ the flock.
Resolving to defend it;
He never yet a step would take
That conscience over-reached;
But when his interest lay at stake,
It canniely was stretched;
And when disputes, o’ church or state,
Ca’d forth his tongue to wield it,
Sae skill'd in law, he would, tho’ beat,
Be sooner damn’d than yield it.

“ He’s set beyond the fear o’ hell,
By conscious approbation,
An’ wish’d his weavers like himsel’,
Were wordy o’ salvation.
He lang had seen the arrogance
Prosperity ingender’d,
And griev’d to think, that by the fence
Sae thoughtlessly they wander’d:
He saw, that keeping up the price
Was just the way to damn them;
But taking aff the tither slice
Was just the way to tame them——

Now wi’ humility an’ rue,
Already he has cram’d them,
And left them just as scant o’ woo
As when their mothers lamb’d them—
Thus he rescues them frae the Tod,
Tho’ maist within his clutches,
A double aim—It serves his God,
And fills his greedy poutches.

But then, to save the thoughtless brutes,
That here and there had dauner’d,
Sae eager were his sharp look-outs,
That he himsel’ has wander’d;
He thinks na he’s sae near the den
Where Lowrie lurks to watch him,
He blindly goes, nor well he ken,
Till he spring out and snatch him.

See! yonder stands the dismal gate,
Just opening to receive them,
Whilst their last hope, to hear it grate,
Is on the wing to leave them:
Hae, put this trumpet to your lug.
And for a weeock rest ye,
Then ye shall hear, and see incog.
Wi’ naething to molest ye!’

Then I beheld the Service-room,
Black, horrible, and dusky,
Wi’ bleezes mingling wi’ the gloom,
That look’d like lowan whiskey;
And'warkmanship o’ blackest grain,
Wi’ twa three chosen swatches,
That, faith! for some o’ Satan’s ain,
Was even mair than matches;
The fleecing sheers were also there,
Besides the screw and grunstane,
Wi’ Satan, in an easy chair,
O het an’ lowan brunstane,
His under strappers at his lug,
Gleg on the watch were station’d.
Each, like a true Rat-catcher’s dog.
As nimble as impatient.
The grand procession, snug and tight,
Were in the lobby ranged.
And Satan at the pleasing sight,
Frae black to blacker changed.—

O Willy, were na ye a fool
Although ye dinna think it,
Your Colleagues made o’ you a tool,
To echo what they clinket—
But, hark! a sound! now gaping Hell
Re-echoes from its centre,
And you O Willie! at the bell,
As first in hand maun enter.

He scarcely poppet in his nose,
When Hell began to thunder,
Wi’ peals on peals, o’ loud applause;
For Willie was a wonder.

But Satan, frowning, rais’d his voice,
“ Forbear, nor set so high a price
On sic a worthless thing;
Is it for him—For sic as he,
That’s neither good for God nor me,
That hell should loudly ring?
Forbear your cheering for a–wee
There’s plenty at the door
Deserving a’ that ye can gie,
And even rather more—
Then let now, the Gloit now,
Be quickly handed hence,
And moor’d, and secur’d in
The dungeon o’ suspense.”

Then Willie, just like ane o’ worth,
Was by a Daemon handed
Ben to the snug and canny birth,
As Satan had commanded;
But gied a squeak, like oney rat,
In horrid desperation,
When seiz’d securly by the Cat,
And kens there's nae salvation.

Now A———w M———tentily,
Was station’d at the key-hole,
And brawly he cou’d hear and see;
For it was not a wee hole.—
Struck with his predecessor’s fate,
Though loudly ca’d to enter,
The first time in his life grew blate,
And laith was he to venture.

He ca’d on Courage to his aid;
But Courage didna hear him:
He ca’d on Hope; but Hope had fled,
And Mercy cou’d na bear him—
What must be must—He ventures ben,
Wi’ heavy heart, an’daunted,
And, looking just as blunt as ane
That had na been acquainted.

Then Satan, bending frae his throne,
Most heartily caress’d him,
And in a sweet paternal tone,
Endearingly address’d him:
Ye’re welcome to your weel won hame.
My true and trusty servant,
For ye were neither lag nor lame
To make yoursel’ deservin’t;
Haud up your face, and look na blate,
Depend I’ll not neglect ye.
Ye’ve gtown sae like myseP o’ late,
I canna but respect ye.

The child o’ self—your patron’s pride,—
The brag o’ my dominions;
For when your interest chang’d its side,
Then chang’d ye your opinions;
For when wi’ Paisley flock ye fed.
Ye bleather’d loud amang them;
But when ye got to yon Green-bead,
Ye turn’d about to bang them!—
Then, nane wi’ greater glee reveal’d
Another’s fau’ts an’ failings,
But ay right prudently conceal’d
Your ain unhallow’d dealings.

For instance—there’s yon lawless shot—
And hapless she that felt it—
Had not the Third—ye would your throat
Hae sooner cut than tell’d it;
But ye denied as lang’s ye cou’d,
Regardless tho’ ye wrang’d her,
Although, when in yon merry mood,
Ye brewly kent ye bang’d her.

“Let Hell resound,” then Satan cries,
“ Behold a brother in disguise,
That merits your applause;
Tho’ ance clad in a wedder’s skin,
It happet hut a Ted within,
Wi’ gaping, greedy jaws
Just like mysel’—The lyart clock—
AJy chosen hap and biel’,
By which, upon the thonghtless flock,
Insensibly I steal.
Then, hark ye, i’ll mark ye.
Exalted ye shall be,
And fondled, and dandled,
Upon your daddie’s knee.”

Then catching A––w by the lugs,
First face and features traces,
Then fondly his dear darling huggs,
In his rude rough embraces—

Now Humphy G———, your name is cried,
Ye’re noted down a true ane;—
As good a hand as ever tried
The twisting or the screwin’;
Tho’ ye, amang the Vulture breed,
Were never reckon’d ponderous;
Yet, like the Sparrow-Hawk, your greed
An’ cunning has been wonderous,
For ay the Fleecing-Sheers ye plied
Wi’ activeness and keenness,
And gart them bear upon the hide,
Whiles deeper than the skin is:
But yonder stands your just account,
O’ broad and lengthened pages,
O’ which ye’ll get the full amount
O’ your weel earned wages.
Then hearing, as he thought, his praise,
Nae langer douhtfu’ saunter’d,
But just (to use a sodger’s phrase)
Right shoulders forward enter’d.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.