Tale of three bonnets in four cantos/Canto IV

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NOW ſoon as e'er the Will was torn,
Jouk wi' twa Bonnets, on the morn,
Frae Fairyland faſt bang'd away,
The prize at Roſie's feet to lay;
Wha ſleely, when he did appear,
About his ſucceſs 'gan to ſpeer.
Jouk. Here, bonny laſs, your humble ſlave,
Preſents you with the things you crave,
The riven Will and Bonnets twa,
Which maks the third worth nought ava.
Our power giv'n up, now I demand
Your promis'd love, and eke your hand.
Bard. Roſe ſmil'd to ſee the lad outwitted,
And bonnets to the flames committed;
Immediately an awfu' ſound,
As ane wad thought, raiſe frae the ground:
And ſyne appear'd a ſtalwart Ghaiſt,
Whaſe ſtern and angry looks amaiſt
Unhool'd their fauls,———ſhaking they ſaw
Him frae the fire the Bonnets draw;
Then came to Jouk, and wi' twa drugs,
Encreas'd the length of baith his lugs,
And ſaid,——
Ghaiſt. ——— Be a' thy days an aſs,
And hackney to this cunning Laſs:
But for theſe Bonnets I'll preſerve them,
For bairns unborn that will deſerve them.
Bard. With that he vaniſh'd frae their een,
And left poor Jouk wi' breeks not clean.
He ſhakes, while Roſie rants and capers,
And ca's the viſion nought but vapours:
Rubs o'er his cheeks and gab wi' ream,
Till he believes't to be a dream:
Syne to the cloſet leads the way,
To ſoup him up with uſquebae.
Roſie. Now, bonny lad, ye may be free,
To handle ought pertains to me;
And ere the ſun, though he be dry,
Has driven down the weſtlin ſky,
To drink his wamefu' o' the ſea,
There's be but ane of you and me.
In marriage ye ſhall hae my hand;
But I maun hae the ſole command,
In Fairyland to ſaw and plant,
And to ſend there for ought I want.
Bard. Ay, ay, cries Jouk, all in a fire,
And ſtiff'ning into ſtrong deſire.
Jouk. Come, haſte thee, let us ſign and ſeal,
And let my Billies gae to the ———.
Bard. Here it would mak o'er lang a tale,
To tell how meikle cakes and ale,
And beef, and broe, and gryce, and geeſe,
And pies, a' running o'er wi' creeſh,
Was ſerv'd upon the wedding-table,
To mak the lads and laſſes able,
To do, ye ken, what we think ſhame,
(Tho' ilk ane does't) to gie't a name.
But true it is, they ſoon were buckled,
And ſoon ſhe made poor Jouk a cuckold,
And play'd her baudy ſports before him,
With chiels that car'dna tippence for him,
Beſides a Roſycrucian trick,
She had a dealing wi' auld nick;
And, whene'er Jouk began to grumble,
Auld Nick in the neiſt room would rumble,
She drank, and fought, and ſpent her gear,
Wi' dice, and ſelling o' the mare.
Thus living like a Belzi's get,
She ran her fell fae deep in debt,

By borrowing money at a' hands,
That yearly income of her lands,
Scarce paid the int'reſt of her bands.
Jouk, ay ca'd wiſe behind the hand,

The daffing of his doings fand;
O'er late he now began to ſee,
The ruin of his family;
But paſt relief, lair'd in a midden,
He's now oblig'd to do her biddin'.
Awa' wi' ſtrict command he's ſent,
To Fairyland to lift the rent,
And with him mony a catterpiller,
To rug frae Briſs and Bawſy filler;
For her braid table maun be ſerv'd,
Though Fairy-fowk ſhould a' be ſtarv'd.
Jouk thus ſurrounded with his guards,
Now plunder hay-ſtacks, barns, and yards,
They drive the now't frae Briſtle's fauld,
While he can nought but ban and ſcald.
Briſtle. Vile ſlave to a hiſſey ill begotten,
By mony dads, with clap ha'f-rotten,
We'rt na for honour of my Mither,
I ſhou'd na think ye were my Brither.
Jouk. Dear Brither, why this rude reflection?
Learn to be gratefu' for protection;
The Petereneans, bloody beaſts,
That gars fowks lick the dowps of prieſts,
Elſe on a brander, like a haddock,
Be broiled, ſprawling like a paddock,
Theſe monſters lang e'er now had come,
With faggots, taz, and tuck o' drum,
And twin'd you of your wealth and lives,
Syne, without ſpeering, ——— your wives,
Had not the Roſycrucians ſtood,
The bulwark of your rights and blood;
And yet forſooth, ye girn and grumble,
And with a gab unthankfu' mumble
Out mony a black unworthy curſe,
When Roſie bids you draw your purſe;
When ſhe's ſae gen'rouſly content,
With not aboon thirty per cent.
Briſtle. Damn you and her! tho' now I'm blae,
I'm hopefu' yet to ſee the day,
I'll gar you baith repent that e'er
Ye reav'd by force awa' my gear,
Without, or thanks, or making price,
Or ever ſpeering my advice.
Jouk. Peace Gouk, we naething do at a',
But by the letter of the law,
Then nae mair wi' your din torment us,
Growling like ane non compos mentis,
Elſe Roſie iſſue may a writ,
To tye ye up baith hand and fit,
And dungeon ye, but meat or drink,
Till ye be ſtarv'd and die in ſtink.
Bard. Thus Jouk and Briſtle, when they met,
With ſic braw language ither treat.
Juſt fury glows in Briſtle's veins:
And though his Bonnet he retains,
Yet on his creſt he may not cock it,
But in a coffer cloſe maun lock it.
Bare-headed, thus he e'en knocks under,
And let's them drive away the plunder,
Sae hae I ſeen beſide a tower,
The King o' brutes oblig'd to cour;
And, on his royal paunches thole,
A dwarf to prob him with a pole!
While he wad ſhaw his fangs and rage,
With bootleſs brangling in his cage.
Now follows that we tak a peep,
At Bawſy, looking like a ſheep;
By Briſtle hated and deſpis'd.
By Jouk and Roſe as little priz'd.
Soon as the Horſe had heard his Brither,
Jouk and Roſe were prick'd the gither,
Awa' he ſcour's, o'er height and how,
Fou fidging fain, whate'er he dow,
Counting what things he now did miſter,
That wad be gi'en him by his ſiſter.
Like ſhallow Bards wha think they flee,
Becauſe they live ſax ſtories high,
To ſome poor lifeleſs lucubration,
Prefix a fleeching dedication,
And blythly dream they'll be reſtor'd,
To ale houſe credit by my Lord.
Thus Bawſy's mind in plenty row'd,
While he thought on his promis'd gowd,
And Baileyſhip, which he with fines,
Wad mak like the Weſt-Indian mines,
Arrives, with future greatneſs dizzy,
Ca's, Whare's Meſt Jouk?
Beef.——— Meſt Jouk is biſy.
Bawſy. My Lady Roſie, is ſhe at leiſure?
Beef. No, Sir, my Lady's at her pleaſure.
Bawſy. I wait for her, or, him, go ſhew.—
Beef. And pray ye, Maſter, wha are you?
Bawſy. Upo' my ſaul, this porter's ſawſy:
Sirrah, Go tell my name is Bawſy,
Their Brither who made up the marriage.
Beef. And ſo I thought it by your carriage.
Between your houghs gae clap your gelding,
Swith hame, and feaſt upon a ſpelding;
For there's nae room beneath this roof.
To entertain a ſimple coof.
The like o' you, that nane can truſt,
Wha to your ain hae been unjuſt
Bard. This ſaid, he dadded to the yate.
And left poor Bawſy in a fret,
Wha loudly gowl'd and made a din.
That was o'erheard by a' within
Quoth Roſe to Jouk, come let's away
. And ſee what's yon maks a' this fray.
Away they went, and ſaw the creature,
Sair runkling ilka ſilly feature,
Of his dull phiz, with girns and glooms,
Stamping and bitting at his thumbs.
They tented him a little while,
Then came full on him with a ſmile.
Which ſoon gart him forget the torture.
Was rais'd within him by the porter.
Sae will a ſucking weanie yell.
But ſhake a rattle or a bell.
It bauds its tongue—Let that alane,
It to its yamering fa's again:
Lilt up a ſang, and ſtraight it's ſeen.
To laugh with tears into its een.
Thus eithly anger'd, eithly pleas'd.
Weak Bawſy hang they tantaliz'd,
When promiſes right wide extended,
They ne'er perform'd, nor ne'er intended:
But now and then, when they did need him,
A ſupper and a pint they gied him!
That done, they hue nae mair to ſay,
And ſcarcely ken him the neiſt day.
Poor fallow, now this mony a year,
Wi' ſome faint hope, and routh o' fear.
He has been wreſtling wi' his fate,
A drudge to Joukum and his mate;
While Briſtle ſaves his manly look,
Regardleſs baith of Roſe and Jouk;
Maintains right quietly 'yond the carns.
His honour, conſcience, wife and bairns;
Jouk and his rumlegary wife,
Drive on a drunken gaming life,
'Cauſe ſober they can get nae reſt,
For Nick and Duniwhistle's Ghaist,
Wha in the garrets often tooly,
And ſhore them with a bloody gully.
Thus I have ſung in hamlet rhyme,
A ſang that ſcorns the teeth of time.
Yet modeſtly I hide my name.
Admiring virtue mair than fame.
But tent ye wha deſpiſe inſtruction.
And gi'e my wark a wrang conſtruction,
Frae 'hind my curtain, mind I tell ye,
I'll ſhoot a ſatire thro' your belly:
But wha wi' havins jees his Bonnet,
And ſays. Thanks t'ye for your Sonnet,
Ye ſhanna want the praiſes due
To generoſity. Adieu.



This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.