from the Wee Raggit Laddie to the Laird of Blackford Hill

We present this work in honor of the 145th anniversary of the poet’s death.

James Ballantine
Scots
1806 – 1877

 

Stout Laird o’ Blackford Hill, let me
But gain your honour’s lug a wee,
I fain wad let your lairdship see
Sufficient cause
To mak your hill to a’ as free
As ance it was.

Weel mind I o’ the joyous days
I gathered hips, an’ haws, an’ slaes,
Climbing ower Blackford’s heathy braes
Birds’ nests to herry,
Or smearing face, an’ hands, an’ claes,
Wi’ bramble berry …

Then shall a laird whase kindly heart
Has ever ta’en the puir man’s part,
Be reckon’d like some mean upstart,
O’ saulless stature,
Wha sells, as at an auction mart,
The face o’ nature?

Though bairns may pu’, when yap or drouthy,
A neep or bean, to taste their mouthy,
Losh, man! their hames are no sae couthy
As your bien Ha’;
Though puir folks’ bairns are unco toothie,
Their feeding’s sma’.

An’ a’ the neeps, an’ a’ the beans,
The hips, the haws, the slaes, the geens,
That e’er were pu’ed by hungry weans,
Could ne’er be missed
By lairds like you, wi’ ample means
In bank and kist.

Then listen to my earnest prayer,
An’ open Blackford Hill ance mair;
Let us a’ pree the caller air
That sweeps its braes,
An’ mak it worth the poet’s care
To sing your praise.

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