The Blind Boy’s Pranks
by William Thom (1798-1848)
Men grew sae cauld, maids sae unkind,
Love kentna whaur to stay:
Wi’ fient an arrow, bow, or string—
Wi’ droopin’ heart an’ drizzled wing,
He faught his lonely way.
“Is there nae mair in Garioch fair
Ae spotless hame for me?
Hae politics an’ corn an’ kye
Ilk bosom stappit? Fie, O fie!
I’ll swithe me o’er the sea.”
He launch’d a leaf o’ jessamine,
On whilk he daur’d to swim,
An’ pillow’d his head on a wee rosebud,
Syne laithfu’, lanely, Love ’gan scud
Down Ury’s waefu’ stream.
The birds sang bonnie as Love drew near,
But dowie when he gaed by;
Till lull’d wi’ the sough o’ monie a sang,
He sleepit fu’ soun’ and sail’d alang
’Neath Heaven’s gowden sky.
’Twas just whaur creeping Ury greets
Its mountain cousin Don,
There wander’d forth a weelfaur’d dame,
Wha listless gazed on the bonnie stream,
As it flirted an’ play’d with a sunny beam
That flicker’d its bosom upon.
Love happit his head, I trow, that time
The jessamine bark drew nigh,
The lassie espied the wee rosebud,
An’ aye her heart gae thud for thud,
An’ quiet it wadna lie.
“O gin I but had yon wearie wee flower
That floats on the Ury sae fair!”—
She lootit her hand for the silly rose-leaf,
But little wist she o’ the pawkie thief
That was lurkin’ an’ laughin’ there!
Love glower’d when he saw her bonnie dark e’e,
An’ swore by Heaven’s grace
He ne’er had seen nor thought to see,
Since e’er he left the Paphian lea,
Sae lovely a dwallin’-place.
Syne first of a’ in her blythesome breast
He built a bower, I ween;
An’ what did the waefu’ devilick neist?
But kindled a gleam like the rosy east,
That sparkled frae baith her e’en.
An’ then beneath ilk high e’e-bree
He placed a quiver there;
His bow? What but her shinin’ brow?
An’ O sic deadly strings he drew
Frae out her silken hair!
Guid be our guard! Sic deeds waur deen
Roun’ a’ our countrie then;
An’ monie a hangin’ lug was seen
’Mang farmers fat, an’ lawyers lean,
An’ herds o’ common men!