Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Grannie's Dream: A True Incident

Beside the winter e'ening fire,
A gleg wee lass o' towmonds ten,
Sat nestlin' close to Grannie's knee,
Upon the cozie clean fire-en'.
The mither, croonin' ower a sang,
Sat spinning in the ingle neuk,
An' aften on the twasume she
Wad cast a couthie, kin'ly leuk.
In cowl and bauchless faither sat,
Aft nodding in his muckle chair;
The supper sowens stood on the bink-
A supper whilk a queen micht share.
Wi' pawkie e'e, the farrant bairn
Keek'd up in Grannie's face, and said,
'O, ye maun min' the promise noo
That but yestreen to me ye made.
'I heard ye say maist feck o' dreams
Were nocht but nonsense, yet it seems
That aften warnin's gude and true
Are sent us frae the lan' o' dreams.
'An' noo ye'll tell me, Grannie dear,
Some dreams that ye hae had yersel',
That afterhen ye ne'er forgat,
An' proven true by what befell.'
The croonin' sang, the birrin' wheel,
Had stoppit baith; the mither raise
An' brocht some peats to beet the fire,
An' syne sat doun to warm her taes.
'Noo tent me, lassie,' Grannie said,
'I was a gilpie like thysel',
Whan sic a dream ae nicht I had
That aye it grues my heart to tell.
'I thocht no ane was in the house,
That by the fire alane I sat,
Had in my haun a water jug,
An' at my feet the auld grey cat.
'The beast sprang up wi' glow'rin' e'en,
An' ran to hide the bed beneath,
I leukit doun an' there I saw
What I sall min' while I hae breath.
'A muckle haun, nocht but a haun,
Was lyin' on the floor outspread;
A haun as big as ony ten,
The colour o't a bluidy red.
'I had nae fear, but lichtly lauch'd,
An' at the haun I flang the jug;
O never till the 'crack o' doom'
Will fa' sic soun' on mortal lug.
'A soun', mair loud than thunner far,
Rang through the air, aroun', abroad;
An' whan it ceas'd, an awfu' voice
Bade me prepare to meet my God.
'The wee short hour ayont the twal,
Frae oot the clock that moment rung;
I wauken't wi' a fearfu' skreigh,
An' fast to mither's neck I clung.
'I tauld to her my dream. She said,
'Noo frae thy dream this lesson learn,
Ne'er to despise the haun o' God,
Or cast contempt on it, my bairn.
'An' if thou come to woman's years,
An' aye through life hast meekly trod
In wisdom's ways, thou'lt be prepared
Whan soun's the ca' to meet thy God.'
'It's threescore years sinsyne, yet aft
Comes to my min' that dream sae clear;
The haun I see, the soun,' the voice,
The awsume words I seem to hear.
'Whan in the howe o' nicht I hear
The clock ring oot her single knell,
'Prepare to meet thy God' it seems
To say-how soon we canna tell.
'An' noo, my bairn, my dream is tauld,
I houp that it may bring thee gude;
That dream a blessin' was to me,
Though at the first ill unnerstude.'
'O Grannie,' said the frichtit bairn-
Her cheek was white, her dark broun e'e
Was fu' o' tears-'I'll ne'er forget
The dream ye tauld this nicht to me.'
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