Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

The Feast Of The

I'm a lamiter, Girzie, or I wad hae been
At the feast o' the mutches hauden yestreen
In the big City Ha'-the notion was gran':
Thanks to the gude bodies wha thocht o' the plan.
A thoosan' white mutches!-what think ye o' that?
Nae haffitless bannet, nae bloomer or hat,
Was worn by the grannies that nicht in the ha',
Juist snod pipet mutches as white as the snaw.
We've a' heard tell o' 'Rab Rorison's bannet.
It wasna' the bannet, the heid that was in it'-
In that lay its value; the same thing, I trow,
Is said o' the mutches we speak aboot noo.
That heid is as white as the mutch that it wears,
An' aft it's been like to a fountain o' tears,
Aye gushin' and tricklin' doun frae the een-
A puir lanely bodie, wi' few to befrien'.
An' see, there's anither, that aye in the strife,
The dolour an' din in the battle o' life,
Though burnin' an' gowpin wi' sorrow an' pain,
An' bow'd to the yirth, wad rise hopefu' again.
There's ane wi' a face that ne'er glunches nor girns,
Though she wins her bit bread by fillin' o' pirns;
She never was wed, keepit clear o' the men,
A canny auld maiden, o' threescore an' ten.
An' there's a puir heid that's been cutit and clour'd,
But Heaven an' hersel' kens what she endured
Lang years frae a drucken ill-deedie gudeman:
He's yirded, an' sae are the sorrows o' Nan.
An' that is a mither, wha gaed to the bad-
The curse o' her hame, baith to lassie and lad;
For she drank an' she pawned, but, thanks be to Gude!
Was drawn juist in time oot the black burnin' flood.
Aneath the white mutches there's mony a broo,
Wan, wallow't, an' runklet, an dowie yenoo;
Was ance like the lily, an' gowden an' sheen,
The lovelocks that shaded the bonnie blue een.
There's mony a heid that was black as the craw,
Or broun as the berry, noo white as the snaw,
The speerit inside, that's the gist o' the matter-
The heid's the ootside o' the cup an' the platter.
God bless ye, aul' grannies! I wish ye a' weel,
Ye're wearin' awa' to the lan' o' the leal;
May ye in the lan' o' the leal an' the true
Meet the aul' blin' grannie that sings to ye noo!
Kind shepherds wha watch wi' benevolent care
Owre the puir o' the flock-wha stint na nor spare
In labours o' love-ye are blest in your deed;
We honour, an' thank ye, an' bid ye God speed.
We bless ye, kind gentles, an' leddies sae fair,
That oot o' yer plenty hae something to spare
For white-heided grannies. O may it be given
To gentles an' grannies to meet yet in Heaven!
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