Monday, May 27, 2019


Stars, Moon, and Sun

Robert Burns (1759-1796), "Then Guidewife, Count the Lawin," The Canongate Burns (Edinburgh: Canongate Books Limited, 2003), p. 363:
Gane is the day, and mirk's the night,
But we'll ne'er stray for faute o' light,
For ale and brandy's stars and moon,
And blude-red wine's the rysin Sun.

Then, guidewife, count the lawin, the lawin, the lawin,
Then guidewife count the lawin, and bring a coggie mair.

There's wealth and ease for gentlemen,
And semple-folk maun fecht and fen';
But here we're a' in ae accord,
For ilka man that's drunk 's a lord.
    Then, guidewife, count the lawin, &c.

My coggie is a haly pool
That heals the wounds o' care and dool;
And pleasure is a wanton trout,
An ye drink it a', ye'll find him out.
    Then, guidewife, count the lawin, &c.
A coggie (diminutive of cog) is a drinking cup; fecht = fight, and fen' = fend; dool = dole, sorrow, grief.

Note (op. cit.):
The chorus of this is old but the verses are from Burns. The 'lawin' refers to the reckoning, or bill, an account paid at the end of the night's drinking — in modern colloquial Scots, the 'damage'.


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