Tam O Shenter
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When chapman billies leave the street, pedlar lads And drouthy neebors neebors meet; thirsty neighbours As market-days are wearing late, An' folk begin to tak the gate; take the road While we sit bousing at the nappy, boozing/ale An' getting fou and unco happy, drunk/mighty We think na on the lang Scots miles, The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles, bogs/pools/openings That lie between us and our hame, Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame, Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to keep it warm. This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter, found As he frae Ayr ae night did canter; one (Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses, For honest men and bonnie lasses.) O Tam, had'st thou but been sae wise, As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice! to have taken She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum, good-for-nothing A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum; chattering/babbler That frae November till October, Ae market-day thou was nae sober; every meal-grinding That ilka melder wi' the miller, Hugh Broun of Ardlochan Thou sat as lang as thou had siller; money That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on, nag The smith and thee gat roaring fou on; John Smith of Carrick That at the Lord's house, even on Sunday, Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday. Jean Kennedy, who kept She prophesied, that, late or soon, a pub in Kirkoswald Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon, Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk wizards/dark By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk. in decay since 1690 when Alloway parish was joined to Ayr Ah! gentle dames, it gars me greet, makes/weep To think how monie counsels sweet, How monie lengthen'd, sage advices The husband frae the wife despises! But to our tale:- Ae market-night, Tam had got planted unco right, just Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, fireside/blazing Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely; foaming/ale And at his elbow, Souter Johnie, John Davidson, a cobbler His ancient, trusty, drouthy cronie: Tam lo'ed him like a very brither; They had been fou for weeks thegither. The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter; And ay the ale was growing better: The landlady and Tam grew gracious Wi' secret favours, sweet and precious: The Souter tauld his queerest stories; told The landlord's laugh was ready chorus: The storm without might rair and rustle, roar Tam did na mind the storm a whistle. Care, mad to see a man sae happy, E'en drown'd himsel amang the nappy. As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure, loads The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure: Kings may be blest but Tam was glorious, O'er a' the ills o' life victorious! But pleasures are like poppies spread: You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed; Or like the snow falls in the river, A moment white-then melts for ever; Or like the Borealis, race, Aurora or Northern Lights That flit ere you can point their place; Or like the rainbow's lovely form Evanishing amid the storm. Nae man can tether time or tide; The hour approaches Tam maun ride: must That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane, That dreary hour Tam mounts his beast in; And sic a night he taks the road in, such As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in. The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last; would have blown The rattling showers rose on the blast; The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd; Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd: That night, a child might understand, The Deil had business on his hand. Weel mounted on his grey mare Meg, A better never lifted leg, Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire, spanked/puddle Despising wind, and rain, and fire; Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet, Now Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet, Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares, staring Lest bogles catch him unawares: bogies Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Where ghaists and houlets nightly cry. ghosts/owls By this time he was cross the ford, Slaphouse Burn Where in the snaw the chapman smoor'd; smothered And past the birks and meikle stane, birches/big Where drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane; And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, Cambusdoon Where hunters fand the murder'd bairn; And near the thorn, aboon the well, Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel. St. Mungo's Well Before him Doon pours all his floods; The doubling strorm roars thro' the woods; The lightnings flash from pole to pole; Near and more near the thunders roll: When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees, Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze, Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing, every chink And loud resounded mirth and dancing. Inspiring, bold John Barleycorn! What dangers thou canst make us scorn! Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil; twopenny beer Wi' usquabae, we'll face the Devil! whisky The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle, brain Fair play, he car'd na deil's a boddle. farthing But Maggie stood, right sair astonish'd, Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd, She ventur'd forward on the light; And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight! wondrous Warlocks and witches in a dance: Nae cotillion, brent new frae France, brand But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, Put life and mettle in their heels. A winnock-bunker in the east, window seat There sat Auld Nick, in shape o' beast; A tousie tyke, black, grim, and large, shaggy dog To gie them music was his charge: He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl, made/squeal Till roof and rafters a' did dirl. ring Coffins stood round, like open presses, cupboards That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses; And, by some devilish cantraip sleight, magic device Each in its cauld hand held a light: By which heroic Tam was able To note upon the haly table, A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns; -irons Twa span-lang, wee, uncristen'd bairns; babies A thief new-cutted frae a rape --- rope Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape; mouth Five tomahawks wi' bluid red-rusted; Five scymitars wi' murder crusted; A garter which a babe had strangled; A knife a father's throat had mangled --- Whom his ain son o' life bereft --- The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft; Wi, mair of horrible and awefu', Which even to name wad be unlawfu', As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious, stared The mirth and fun grew fast and furious; The piper loud and louder blew. The dancers quick and quicker flew, They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit, took hold Till ilka carlin swat and reekit, beldam/sweated/steamed And coost her duddies to the wark, stripped off clothes And linket at it in her sark! tripped/chemise Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans, these/girls A' plump and strappin' in their teens! Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen, greasy flannel Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen! --- fine (1700 thread gauge) Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair, These breeches That ance were plush, o' guid blue hair, once I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies buttocks For ae blink o' the bonie burdies! one/glimpse/maidens But wither'd beldams, auld and droll, Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal, Withered/abort Louping and flinging on a crummock, Leaping/cudgel I wonder did na turn thy stomach! But Tam kend what was fu' brawlie: knew/well There was ae winsome wench and walie, comely/choice That night enlisted in the core, crew Lang after kend on Carrick shore (For monie a beast to dead she shot, death An' perish'd monie a bonie boat, And shook baith meikle corn and bear, barley And kept the country-side in fear). Her cutty sark, o' Paisley harn, short shift/coarse cloth That while a lassie she had worn, In longitude tho' sorely scanty, It was her best, and she was vauntie... proud Ah! little kend thy reverend grannie, That sark she coft for her wee Nannie, bought Wi' twa pund Scots (`twas a' her riches) 3s4d sterling Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches! But here my Muse her wing maun cour, must curb Sic flights as far beyond her power: To sing how Nannie lap and flang (A souple jad she was and strang); And how Tam stood like ane bewitch'd, And thought his very een enrich'd; Even Satan glowr'd and fidg'd fu' fain, fidgeted/fondly And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main; jerked Till first ae caper, syne anither, then Tam tint his reason a' thegither, lost And roars out: `Weel done, Cutty-sark!' And in an instant all was dark; And scarcely had he Maggie rallied, When out the hellish legion sallied. As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke, fret When plundering herds assail their byke; hive As open pussie's mortal foes, hare's When, pop! she starts before their nose; As eager runs the market-crowd, When `Catch the thief!' resounds aloud: So Maggie runs, the witches follow, Wi' monie an eldrich skriech and hollo. unearthly Ah, Tam! Ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin! In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin'! In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin! Kate soon will be a woefu' woman! Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg, And win the key-stane of the brig, bridge There, at them thou thy tail may toss, A running stream they dare na cross! But ere the key-stane she could make, The fient a tail she had to shake; not For Nannie, far before the rest, Hard upon noble Maggie prest, And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle; aim But little wist she Maggie's mettle! Ae spring brought off her master hale, whole But left behind her ain grey tail: The carlin claught her by the rump, clawed And left poor Maggie scarce a stump. Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, Ilk man, and mother's son, take heed: Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, Or cutty sarks run in your mind, Think! ye may buy the joys o'er dear: Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.
http://samlib.ru/k/knjazew_j/321.shtml Tam O'Shenter by Robert Burns