The scythe an' the sickle had swept o'er the field,
The barnyard was stored wi' a plentifu' yield,
An' thrifty wee Luggie, the melder tae speed,
Was croonin' awa' o'er its ilka dam-heid.
A view frae the height had but little tae please,
The win's o' October were strippin' the trees,
The thistle was wither't, nae gowan was seen,
An' the pale an' the yellow had smitten the green.
The hare, an' the covies the hunters ca' game,
Had on the hill-side a precarious name;
The lav'rocks bit chirp had a something o' grief,
For he hasna' a sang for the fa' o' the leaf.
The dark clouds in chase as they prest o'er the hills,
Were less'nin' their load in supplyin' the rills,
Impairin' the licht o' the short winter day,
An' marrin' the traveller's view on his way.
The scene was nae pastime for threescore-an-ten,
Tae pairt wi' a seat by a beilded fire-en',
An' dauner thereout 'tween the cauld sleety show'rs,
Tae shift a wee blink frae the wearisome hours.
'Tis cheerin' tae see, on a fine summer day,
The gowany braes, an' the youngsters at play,
The healthy an' able pursuin' their toil,
Improvin' the village, an' dressin' the soil.
'Tis age an' the winter that prove tae the truth
The pleasures an' profits o' summer an' youth ;
The year by its months, an' the man by his years,
An' aye the effect in its season appears.
The brawny an' young on his way wi' a load.
May fret at its weight, or the length o' the road,
But knowin' the spot where he lays it aside,
The case is quite hopefu', an' finished wi' pride.
But lean, tott'ring limbs, 'neath a burden o' years,
The weight aye increasin' as onward he steers,
The man is aware that 'tis needless tae try,
For age is a burden he canna' fling bye.
The winter hands aff till the simmer is gane,
An' youth in its vigour will tarry on nane,
Auld age is a blessin', tho' hamely its fare,
Compar'd wi' the burden o' gallin' despair.
Sae here in a formal an' mental review,
I witness what years an' cauld winter can do;
The landscape is stript o' its verdure sae fair,
An' man meets the frailties to which he is heir.
New leaves an' new gowans will soon tak' the place
O' these that are gane, an' continue the race;
An' man, whan he's gane, to get proof o' his creed,
Mak's room for anither tae come in his stead.
THE SCYTH AND THE SICKLE
The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland