Saturday, May 15, 2021


Coin in My Pouch

Poem by Robert Burns:
Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair,
Whene'er I forgather wi' Sorrow and Care,
I gie them a skelp as they're creeping alang,
Wi' a cog o' gude swats and an auld Scottish sang.

I whiles claw the elbow o' troublesome thought;        5
But Man is a soger, and Life is a faught;
My mirth and gude humour are coin in my pouch,
And my Freedom's my Lairdship nae monarch dare touch.

A towmond o' trouble, should that be my fa',
A night o' gude fellowship sowthers it a':        10
When at the blythe end o' our journey at last,
Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past?

Blind Chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her way;
Be't to me, be't frae me, e'en let the jade gae:
Come Ease, or come Travail, come Pleasure or Pain,        15
My warst word is: "Welcome, and welcome again!"
Glosses borrowed from The Northern Muse: An Anthology of Scots Vernacular Poetry, ed. John Buchan (1924; rpt. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd., 1947), p. 208:
1 cantie: jolly
3 skelp: whack
4 cog o' gude swats: a pot of good new ale
5 claw: scratch
6 soger: soldier; faught: fight
9 towmond: twelvemonth; fa': lot
10 sowthers: solders [or rather mitigates, alleviates?]
13 snapper and stoyte: stumble and stagger

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