Author Topic: Scottish Poetry  (Read 232157 times)

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2008, 12:23:50 PM »

"Pride comes before a fall" is a constant theme in Scots poetry (and life) and that comes through in this poem about Mrs Purdie's apple tart by an anonymous writer.

      Mrs Purdie's Aipple Tart

The bakin' at oor village show's the best ye've ivver seen.
   Fowk come frae far an' near, frae ilka airt.
But listen till I tell ye a' aboot ma guid aul' freen,
   An' the tale o' Mrs Purdie's aipple tert.
Pair Mrs Purdie took it as an unco fashious slight
   That her pastry nivver seemed tae mak' the grade.
For the judges didna even cut a slice tae hae a bite
   O' the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

It wis in an' oot the freezer wis Mrs Purdie's pie,
   Sma' wunner that ma freen wis losin' hert.
It nivver won a mention an' the judges passed it by.
   Whit could be wrang wi' Mrs Purdie's tert?

'I doot,' said Mrs Thomson, ' that the judges must hae kent
   Her d'oyley' (upon which the tert wis laid).
For in ivvery flooer show roon aboot, the plate wis evident
   Wi' the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Last spring the frost had nipped the blossom: aipples there were nane.
   Dame Nature cam' tae Mrs Purdie's aid.
For naebody had ony fruit, an' so it stood alane,
   The aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Her aipple tert wis nae the best, nor wis it yet the worst.
   But by itssel' an' in a class apairt.
Sae the judges had nae option an' they had tae pit it first
   And gie the prize tae Mrs Purdie's tert.

She wis a happy wumman: she wis quite puffed up wi' pride.
   Ower the triumph that pit ithers in the shade.
She'd be mentioned in the paper, tellin' fowk the coonty wide
   O' the aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

The show wis ower: she picked it up and went tae tak' it hame.
   'We'll hae this tae oor Sunday tea,' she said.
An' she proodly gethered up the winnin' ticket wi' her name
   Aside the tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Bit then, pride aften gangs afore a fa', o' that I'm shair.
   She drapt the plate, an' crash! Awa' it gaed.
It lay in near a hunner wee bit pieces on the flair,
   The aipple tert that Mrs Purdie made.

Meaning of unusual words:
frae ilka airt=from every part
unco fashious=very vexacious
d'oyley=a small round piece of linen or paper placed under a dish or bowl

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Ernest Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2008, 04:48:54 PM »
I must admit I've been enjoying this poetry section so much I thought I'd throw my tuppence worth in.
Poetry is not my forte as with my horrific memory I can never remember the words so here's just a couple of facts relating poetry to Thom(p)sons'.
that Robbie Burns poem "COMPOSED IN AUGUST" is said to have been inspired when he met Margaret Thompson at Kirkoswald.
George Thomson of Limekilns, Dumfernline, FIFE. who had a long term relatioship with Robbie Burns  was responsible for putting music to his poetry. George was married to Katherine Miller of Kelso. One of their Grand Daughter's married the famous writer Charles Dickens. George is buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, London and the inscription on his tombstone was written by Charles Dickens. Raeburn painted his portrait.
Buried in the same cemetery is Charles Thompson (1st Lord Ritchie of Dundee)(1836-1906) Politician.

Ern of Oz

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2008, 07:05:16 AM »
Marriott Edgar
was born in Scotland in 1880 and died in London on May 5th, 1951.
He worked with Stanley Holloway as writer and performer and wrote
many of the monologues that made Holloway famous.

The Lion And Albert
by Marriott Edgar
There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was young Albert
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

They didn't think much to the Ocean
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded
Fact, nothing to laugh at, at all.

So, seeking for further amusement
They paid and went into the zoo
Where they'd lions and tigers and camels
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big lion called Wallace
His nose were all covered with scars
He lay in a somnolent posture
With the side of his face on the bars.

Now Albert had heard about lions
How they was ferocious and wild
To see Wallace lying so peaceful
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.

So straight 'way the brave little feller
Not showing a morsel of fear
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And shoved it in Wallace's ear.

You could see the lion didn't like it
For giving a kind of a roll
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im
And swallowed the little lad 'ole

Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence
And didn't know what to do next
Said "Mother! Yon lions 'et Albert"
And Mother said "Well, I am vexed!"

Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Quite rightly, when all's said and done
Complained to the Animal Keeper
That the lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it
He said "What a nasty mishap
Are you sure it's your boy he's eaten?"
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!"

The manager had to be sent for
He came and he said "What's to do?"
Pa said "Yon lion's 'et Albert
And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too."

Then Mother said, "Right's right, young feller
I think it's a shame and a sin
For a lion to go and eat Albert
And after we've paid to come in."

The manager wanted no trouble
He took out his purse right away
Saying "How much to settle the matter?"
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?"

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone
She said "No! someone's got to be summonsed"
So that was decided upon.

Then off they went to the Police Station
In front of the Magistrate chap
They told 'im what happened to Albert
And proved it by showing his cap.

The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing
"And thank you, sir, kindly," said she
"What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy lions? Not me!"

Come back tommorrow for the rest of the story! Stu
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Ernest Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2008, 05:38:45 PM »
Hey Stu,
I thought I might spur you on to Scotlands Greatest Poet or possibly poetry related in some way or other to Thom(p)sons. Obviously you have an extensive knowledge in this area and even though I am a fan I have to use reference books to jog the memory. I look forward to this segment and your input. In the mean time here's another Thomson involved in the poetic world.
Jessy Lewars (1778-1855)
The last of Robbie Burns' heroines.
Jessy was heard by the Bard singing 'the Robin cam' to the Wren's Nest' and composed for the air in his own words 'O wert thou in the cauld blast'.
Jessy helped nurse him in his last 6 months and after his death cared for the poets' 4 small boys.
Jessy Lewars married James Thomson, a writer in Dumfies, in June 1799 and had 5 sons and 2 daughters. She was buried in St. Michael's Churchyard, Dumfies not far from Burns's own grave.


O wert thou in the cauld blast,
On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
My plaidie to the angry airt,
I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee;
Or did Misfortune's bitter storms
around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
Thy bield should be my bosom,
To share it a', to share it a'.

Or were I in the wildest waste,
Sae black and bare, sae black and bare.

The desert were a Paradise,
If thou wert there, if thou wert there;
Or were I Monarch o' the globe,
Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
The brightest jewel in my Crown
Wad be my Queen, wad be my Queen.

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2008, 05:25:51 AM »
Ern, Thanks for the kind words! I must admit however that my expertise is virtually non-existent. I simply enjoy poetry and like to share that with others. Whatever notes may accompany the poems I post were most likely also on the site where found the poem and has been included in the hope it will add to your enjoyment of the poem. Truth to tell also, I've rather been avoiding posting Burns material simply because he is so well known. I look for lesser known Scots poets and poems of a more humorous nature (these tend to appeal more to those that say they don't like poetry) to broaden exposure.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2008, 05:31:28 AM »
As promised (threatened?) the rest of the story!

Albert's Return
by Marriott Edgar
You've 'eard 'ow young Albert Ramsbottom
At the zoo up at Blackpool one year
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle
Gave a lion a poke in the ear?

The name of the lion was Wallace,
The poke in the ear made 'im wild
And before you could say, "Bob's yer uncle!"
E'd upped and 'e'd swallowed the child.

'E were sorry the moment 'e done it;
With children 'e'd always been chums,
And besides, 'e'd no teeth in his muzzle,
And 'e couldn't chew Albert on't gums.

'E could feel the lad movin' inside 'im
As 'e lay on 'is bed of dried ferns;
And it might 'ave been little lad's birthday-
'E wished 'im such 'appy returns.

But Albert kept kickin' and fightin'...
And Wallace got up, feelin' bad.
Decided 'twere time that 'e started
To stage a comeback for the lad.

Then puttin' 'ead down in one corner,
On 'is front paws 'e started to walk;
And 'e coughed, and 'e sneezed, and 'e gargled
'Till Albert shot out... like a cork!

Now Wallace felt better directly
And 'is figure once more became lean.
But the only difference with Albert
Was 'is face and 'is 'ands were quite clean.

Meanwhile Mr. and Mrs. Ramsbottom
'Ad gone back to their tea, feelin' blue.
Ma said, "I feel down in the mouth, like.
" Pa said, "Aye, I bet Albert does, too."

Said Mother, "It just goes to show yer
That the future is never revealed;
If I'd thowt we was goin' to lose 'im,
I'd 'ave not 'ad 'is boots soled and 'eeled."

"Let's look on the bright side," said Father,
"Wot can't be 'elped must be endured;
Each cloud 'as a silvery lining,
And we did 'ave young Albert insured."

A knock on the door came that moment
As Father these kind words did speak.
'Twas the man from Prudential - 'e'd come for
Their tuppence per person per week.

When Father saw 'oo 'ad been knockin',
'E laughed, and 'e kept laughin' so -
The man said, "'Ere, wot's there to laugh at?"
Pa said, "You'll laugh an' all when you know!"

"Excuse 'im for laughing," said Mother,
"But really, things 'appen so strange
Our Albert's been et by a lion;
You've got to pay us for a change!"

Said the young man from the Prudential,
"Now, come, come, let's understand this...
You don't mean to say that you've lost 'im?"
Pa said, "Oh, no, we know where 'e is!"

When the young man 'ad 'eard all the details,
A purse from 'is pocket he drew
And 'e paid them with interest and bonus
The sum of nine pounds, four and two.

Pa 'ad scarce got 'is 'and on the money
When a face at the window they see
And Mother cried, "Eee, look, it's Albert!"
And Father said, "Aye, it would be."

Albert came in all excited,
And started 'is story to give;
And Pa said, "I'll never trust lions
Again, not as long as I live."

The young man from the Prudential
To pick up the money began
But Father said, "'ere, wait a moment,
Don't be in a 'urry, young man."

Then giving young Albert a shilling,
'E said, "'Ere, pop off back to the zoo;
Get your stick with the 'orse's 'ead 'andle...
Go and see wot the tigers can do!"
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2008, 06:03:24 AM »
This one's a crossover just for Ern of Oz!

The Scottish hospital

An English doctor is being shown around a Scottish hospital. Towards the end of his visit he is shown into a ward with several beds, whose occupants seem to have no obvious signs of injury. But as he approaches the first bed, the patient pipes up:

"Fair fa' yer honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain e' the puddin' race!
Aboon them a'ye tak your place, painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace as lang's my arm."

Being somewhat taken aback, he goes to the next patient and is immediately greeted with:

"Some hae meat, and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it.
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit."

This continues with the next patient:

"Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what aq panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need not start awa sae hasty,
Wi bickering brattle
I wad be laith to run and chase thee,
Wi murdering pattle!"

He quietly asks the doctor accompanying him if they have unexpectedly entered the psychiatric ward. "Och, Nay," replies his guide; "this is the serious Burns unit."
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Ernest Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2008, 03:56:34 PM »

You've made my day.


Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2008, 04:54:59 AM »
By one of our own!

Gifts by James Thomson

GIVE a man a horse he can ride,
Give a man a boat he can sail;
And his rank and wealth, his strength and health,
On sea nor shore shall fail.

Give a man a pipe he can smoke,
Give a man a book he can read:
And his home is bright with a calm delight,
Though the room be poor indeed.

Give a man a girl he can love,
As I, O my love, love thee;
And his heart is great with the pulse of Fate,
At home, on land, on sea.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!


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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2008, 12:34:52 AM »
Ohhhhhh!   How sweet!


Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2008, 06:59:07 AM »
I first heard this as a song by the Chad Mitchell Trio! Shows how old I am!

A. A. Milne - Disobedience

James James            
Morrison Morrison         
Weatherby George Dupree         
Took great            
Care of his Mother         
Though he was only three.      
James James            
Said to his Mother,         
"Mother," he said, said he;      
"You must never go down to the end of the town, if
you don't go down with me."      

James James            
Morrison's Mother         
Put on a golden gown,         
James James            
Morrison's Mother         
Drove to the end of the town.      
James James            
Morrison's Mother         
Said to herself, said she:      
"I can get right down to the end of the town and be
back in time for tea."         

King John            
Put up a notice,         
JAMES JAMES            
LAST SEEN            

James James            
Morrison Morrison         
(Commonly known as Jim)         
Told his            
Other relations            
Not to go blaming him.         
James James            
Said to his Mother,         
"Mother," he said, said he,      
"You must never go down to the end of the town with-
out consulting me."         

James James            
Morrison's Mother         
Hasn't been heard of since.      
King John            
Said he was sorry,         
So did the Queen and Prince.      
King John            
(Somebody told me)         
Said to a man he knew:         
"If people go down to the end of the town, well, what
can anyone do?"            

(Now then, very softly)         
J. J.               
M. M.               
W. G. du P.            
Took great            
C/o his M*****            
Though he was only 3.         
J. J.               
Said to his M*****         
"M*****," he said, said he:      
you-don't-go-down-with ME!"   
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2008, 10:34:40 AM »

Bernard Barton (1784 - 1849) was born of Quaker parentage and passed nearly all his life at Woodbridge, for the most part as a clerk in a bank. Although he has no known genealogical connection with Scotland, one of the poems he wrote concerned the story of Robert the Bruce and the motivation provided by a spider, to continue with his fight against the English who were occupying Scotland. As all Scottish schoolchildren used to know: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again."

   Bruce and the Spider

For Scotland's and for freedom's right,
   The Bruce his part has played;
In five successive fields of fight,
    Been conquered and dismayed:
Once more against the English host,
    His band he led, and once more lost
The meed for which he fought;
    And now from battle, faint and worn,
The homeless fugitive, forlorn,
    A hut's lone shelter sought.
And cheerless was that resting-place,
    For him who claimed a throne;
His canopy, devoid of grace,
    The rude, rough beams alone;
The heather couch his only bed -
    Yet well I ween had slumber fled,
From couch of eider down!
    Through darksome night till dawn of day,
Absorbed in wakeful thought he lay,
    Of Scotland and her crown.

The sun rose brightly, and its gleam
    Fell on that hapless bed,
And tinged with light each shapeless beam,
    Which roofed the lowly shed;
When, looking up with wistful eye,
    The Bruce beheld a spider try
His filmy thread to fling
    From beam to beam of that rude cot -
And well the insect's toilsome lot,
    Taught Scotland's future king.

Six times the gossamery thread
    The wary spider threw;
In vain the filmy line was sped,
    For powerless or untrue,
Each aim appeared, and back recoiled,
    The patient insect, six times foiled,
And yet unconquered still;
    And soon the Bruce, with eager eye,
Saw him prepare once more to try
    His courage, strength, and skill.

One effort more, his seventh and last!
    The hero hailed the sign!
And on the wished-for beam hung fast
    That slender silken line!
Slight as it was, his spirit caught
    The more than omen; for his thought
The lesson well could trace,
    Which even "he who runs may read,"
That Perseverance gains its meed,
    And Patience wins the race.

Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2008, 08:06:35 AM »
Border Ballad by Sir Walter Scott

March, march, Ettrick and Teviotdale,
Why the deil dinna ye march forward in order!
March, march, Eskdale and Liddesdale,
All the Blue Bonnets are bound for the Border.
Many a banner spread,
Flutters above your head,
Many a crest that is famous in story.
Mount and make ready then,
Sons of the mountain glen,
Fight for the Queen and our old Scottish glory.

Come from the hills where your hirsels are grazing,
Come from the glen of the buck and the roe;
Come to the crag where the beacon is blazing,
Come with the buckler, the lance, and the bow.
Trumpets are sounding,
War-steeds are bounding,
Stand to your arms, then, and march in good order;
England shall many a day
Tell of the bloody fray,
When the Blue Bonnets came over the Border.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!

Stirling Thompson

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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #28 on: September 03, 2008, 09:31:12 AM »
MacT, this one's for you! Could you translate the acronyms in the last stanza?

Marksman Sam
by Marriott Edgar
When Sam Small joined the regiment,
'E were no' but a raw recruit,
And they marched 'im away one wint'ry day,
'Is musket course to shoot.

They woke 'im up at the crack o' dawn,
Wi' many a nudge and shake,
'E were dreaming that t' Sergeant 'ad broke 'is neck,
And 'e didn't want to wake.

Lieutenant Bird came on parade,
And chided the lads for mooning,
'E talked in a voice like a pound o' plums,
'Is tonsils needed pruning.

"Move to the right by fours," he said,
Crisp like but most severe,
But Sam didn't know 'is right from 'is left,
So pretended 'e didn't 'ear.

Said Lieutenant, "Sergeant, take this man's name."
The Sergeant took out 'is pencil,
'E were getting ashamed o' taking Sam's name,
And were thinking o' cutting a stencil.

Sam carried a musket, a knapsack and coat,
Spare boots that 'e'd managed to wangle,
A 'atchet, a spade... in fact, as Sam said,
'E'd got everything bar t'kitchen mangle.

"March easy men," Lieutenant cried,
As the musket range grew near,
"March easy me blushing Aunt Fanny," said Sam,
"What a chance with all this 'ere."

When they told 'im to fire at five 'undred yards,
Sam nearly 'ad a fit,
For a six foot wall, or the Albert 'All,
Were all 'e were likely to 'it.

'E'd fitted a cork in 'is musket end,
To keep 'is powder dry,
And 'e didn't remember to take it out,
The first time 'e let fly.

'Is gun went off with a kind o' pop,
Where 'is bullet went no-one knew,
But next day they spoke of a tinker's moke,
Being killed by a cork... in Crewe.

At three 'undred yards, Sam shut 'is eyes,
And took a careful aim,
'E failed to score but the marker swore,
And walked away quite lame.

At two 'undred yards, Sam fired so wild,
That the Sergeant feared for 'is skin,
And the lads all cleared int' t' neighbouring field,
And started to dig 'emselves in.

"Ooh, Sergeant! I hear a scraping noise,"
Said Sam, "What can it be?"
The noise that 'e 'eard were lieutenant Bird,
'Oo were climbing the nearest tree.

"Ooh, Sergeant!" said Sam, "I've 'it the bull!
What price my shooting now?"
Said the Sergeant, "A bull? Yer gormless fool,
Yon isn't a bull... it's a cow!"

At fifty yards 'is musket kicked,
And went off with a noise like a blizzard,
And down came a crow looking fair surprised,
With a ram-rod through 'is gizzard.

As 'e loaded 'is musket to fire agen,
Said the Sergeant, "Don't waste shot!
Yer'd best fix bayonets and charge, my lad,
It's the only chance yer've got.

Sam kept loading 'is gun while the Sergeant spoke,
Till the bullets peeped out of the muzzle,
When all of a sudden it went off bang!
What made it go were a puzzle.

The bullets flew out in a kind of a spray,
And everything round got peppered,
When they counted 'is score... 'e'd got eight bulls eyes,
Four magpies, two lambs and a shepherd.

And the Sergeant for this got a D.C.M.
And the Colonel an O.B.E.
Lieutenant Bird got the D.S.O.
And Sam got... five days C.B.
Semper Fidelis! Semper Familia!


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Re: Scottish Poetry
« Reply #29 on: September 03, 2008, 10:56:24 PM »