Dear keep us ! quo' Girzy, as Meg was gaun bye,
Yer wonnerfu' braw, an' yer leukin' sae high,
I've seen ye gaun barefit in far caulder weather,
Au' noo yer gaun jiggin' awa' in cauf-leather ;
A new gingham wrapper, an' bords roun' yer mutch,
Wi' stuffin' an' plaits, like a vera nonsuch ;
Gin things be gaun waur in the kintry, I trow,
There's no muckle sign o' their waurness wi' you_
My claes are my ain, an' I ken hoo I gat them,
Ye needna be glowrin' an' wonnerin' sae at them ;
The profits o' sellin' a nine-gallon keg,
Wad buy a' the grandeur ye see aboot Meg.
Jis leuk tae yersel' an' yer daughters a wee,
There's nae flegmageeries like yours aboot me;
Yer Leghorn's a' flaffin' wi' ribbons an' veils;
Yer three-storey flounces o' silk roun' yer tails,
Yer lugs an' yer fingers a' glancin' wi' goud
'Tis said, an' it's verra weel seen, that yer proud.
Yer claes are yer ain ! so, an' wha's ca' ye mine,
Ye littleworth piece o' a littleworth kin'
They're a' bocht an' paid ere they enter the door,
An' I've baith claith an' siller for mae to the fore;
It chaws ye, my leddy it chaws ye, I see,
That ye canna pit on like my dochters an' me.
'Deed, Girzy, there's scores o' our nei'bo'rs can min'
Sin' yer rings an' yer ribbons were as scant as mine;
Though now ye ha'e changes baith costly an' braw,
'Tis your sellin' o' whisky that brought ye them a' ;
For aye as a fair or a fuddle cam' roun',
It brought ye a head-dress, a shawl or a gown ;
While I boost gae daidlin' barefittet aboot,
An' gi'e my auld cleadin' anither bit clout ;
But, lass, gin our " Temp'rance Society " stan',
A great reformation will come tae our lan',
An' I'll get new mutches, new wrappers an' shoon,
Tae lie in my drawers till auld yins gae done ;
An' ye'll be fu' chaw't tae sit doun tae yer wark,
An' temper yer bit an' yer brat by yer daurk.
Come, nane o' your impudence, temper your tongue,
Or I'll come an' temper yer croup wi' a rung;
Yer Temp'rance Societies ! sorrow mak' care
Tho' they wha invented them danc't in the air ;
A wheen o' yer doun-leukin' dominie sinners,
Wha flatter the lairds for tea-doin's an' dinners,
Wad gar ye believe that a guid hearty gill
Can dae ye nae guid, but may gar ye dae ill ;
But if ye employ them, an' pay them their due,
They carena a snuff tho' ye drink till yer fou ;
But yet wi' their preachin' an' arguments on't,
They're like tae deprive us o' "auld use an' wont ";
But just tak' yer leisure till New Year's Day come,
I'll sort our first-fitters wi' whisky an' rum,
An' braw muckle glasses tae glance in their een,
I'll set them a' switherin', an' that will be seen,
An' if I can get them tae step owre the line,
A fig for your Temp'rance Societies syne.
Yer whisky an' rum, as ye ken, are yer ain,
Yet maybe ye'll use yer enchantments in vain;
A man's resolution is stronger, I think,
Than gi'e way at the sicht o' a glassfu' o' drink ;
But if, thro' advice, they may chance tae gae wrang,
I trust they'll no lie in yer snare vera lang;
Experience teaches his lessons sae weel,
His scholars obey, for they baith see an' feel
That plenty an' peace, at their ain ingle-side,
Are better to them than a whisky-wife's pride.
I carena a flee tho' yer auld mairret men
Sit still wi' their fam'lies aboot the fire-en',
Gi'e me the young fallows wha ramble away,
An' fuddle at e'en what they win through the day ;
I'll bring in their lassies tae carry them on,
An' saiir them as canty's a queen on a throne.
The mair is the pity our braw clever lads
S'ou'd toil tae hand up a wheen fair-gibbet bawds,
An' squan'er awa' what wad plenish a house,
Tae keep a wheen change-wives sae canty an' crouse;
Aye, that sen's ye ben tae the tangs for a wee,
Ye hinna made muckle by meddlin' wi' me
Let honour and honesty aye keep the fiel',
Ye ken the auld sayin - "The truth shames the De'il."
DIALOGUE BETWEEN GIRZY AND MEG
ON THE TEMPERANCE ASSOCIATION
The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland