Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Rhymes For The Times: Ii: 1865

Juist noo there are mony wha rin to an' fro,
An' knowledge increases, abune an' below;
The yird's like a riddle, pits, tunnels, an' bores,
Whaur bodies, like mowdies, by hunners an' scores,
Are houkin', an' holin', an' blastin' the rocks;
An' droonin's an' burnin's, explosions an' shocks,
An' a' ither meagries, amang us are rife:
Oh, mony's the slain in the battle o' life!
It's Mammon we worship, wi' graspin' an' greed,
Wi' sailin' an' railin' at telegraph speed,
Get gowd oot the ironstane, an' siller frae coal,
An' thoosan's on thoosan's draw oot o' a'e hole.
Wi' oil shale aneath us, an' fire-warks abune,
I think we'll tak' lowe, an bleeze up to the mune.
The kintra's contentit' an' hale at the heart;
That gleg birkie, Gladstone, has weel dune his part;
Exchequer's big pouches o' siller are fu',
An' mony's the taxes that's dune awa' noo;
An' labour's weel paid, an' the flour an' the meal
At a wanworth-an' sae we micht fen unco weel.
Oor Premier has promised to stan' for reform;
The Fins an' the Yankees are brewin' a storm,
They're swallin' an' frothin' wi' bunkum an' bosh,
But they daurna come near oor bit islan' sae cosh.
There's a bee in the bannet o' some o' the cloth,
The Sabbath's the subject, an' wow but I'm wroth
To see the blin' leaders lead blin' men awa',
Till into the ditch they baith stummle an' fa'.
'The soul is immortal,' tak' that for a text,
'The body is perishin',' tak' for the next;-
To whilk o' the twa shou'd the Sabbath be given?
To the body?-then what for the soul an' for heaven?
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