The Bijou

The Bijou;

or Annual of Literature and the Arts

compiled by William Fraser

London: William Pickering,


[Page 108] page image and link
Ane Waefu' Scots Pastoral
By James Hogg, the Ettrick Shephard
1 1
1. 2
O MOOR- COCK, moor- cock, dinna craw 3
Sae crouse on wing of mottled feather, 4
Nor spread that boardly breast sae braw 5
Upon thy height of Highland heather; 6
For that's a brewing on the sea 7
Will mar thy pride afore the even, 8
And hap thy teemfu' mate and thee 9
Deep frae the glowing light o' heaven. 10

2. 11
Thy voice gars a' the echos blair 12
From viewless dens of rock and river; 13
Like some wild spirit of the air 14
Thou mak'st its billows quake and quiver, 15

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Proud of the mate thou lovest best; 16
But o'er her hame nae mair thou'lt craw, 17
Her grave maun be her lowly nest, 18
Her winding- sheet the wreathe o' snaw. 19

3. 20
Thou lawless black- cock dinna spread 21
That speckled fan so bright of hue, 22
Why all that pride of evil deed 23
Pruning thy wing of glossy blue, 24
In wooing of a silly dame, 25
Who knows full well thy love's a flam, 26
And that for her 'tis much the same, 27
As raven's for the sickly lamb? 28

4. 29
Begone thou heartless libertine, 30
And locker in thy sheltered glade; 31
For soon that motely love of thine, 32
And thou shall both be lowly laid; 33
Yet I will miss thee in the glen 34
When August winds breathe o'er the fell, 35
As mounting from thy braken den, 36
Or skimmering o'er the heather bell. 37

5. 38
The laverock lilts within the lift, 39
The mavis touts upon the tree; 40

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The blackbird hardly makes a shift 41
To strain one note of melody; 42
For ay he cowers his sooty wing 43
An' points his yellow bill on high, 44
And fears he has foreflown the spring 45
Misled by winter's courtesy. 46

6. 47
For the sand- lark I needs must wail 48
Sae ruefully he pours his pain, 49
And as he sits and wags his tail, 50
And whews upon his cauldrife stane; 51
He sees the lapper on the stream, 52
And Yarrow's banks sae sternly piled, 53
That Sandy 2 thinks he's in a dream, 54
Or landed in some polar wild. 55

7. 56
The curlew's neb's a weary length, 57
The pease- weep's crest is like a tree, 58
The chirping wagtail scarce has strength 59
To turn his white cheek to the lee, 60
Their necks are lang, their shanks are sma' 61
Through perfect downright consternation, 62
An' ay they cower by holt an' ha' 63
Like thriftless weavers in starvation. 64

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8. 65
The shilfu clars amang the firs, 66
The yellow yorline in the thorn, 67
But a' the simmer's harbingers 68
Are buried ere the break of morn, 69
The lambs lie smothered in the dean, 70
The ewes stand bleating loud an' lang, 71
While the poor shepherd dights his een, 72
And thinks the world is a' gane wrang. 73

Mount Benger, April 24th, 1827. 74
from The Bijou, 1828, pp. 108-111
TEI-encoded version

1. [Note to "Ane Waefu' Scots Pastoral":] These verses were written on the evening of the 23rd of April, 1827, about the time the great storm of snow was at the height. Next morning many of the snow wreathes on the hills of Ettrick Forest were from twelve to twenty feet deep, and many thousands of lambs, singing birds, and moor game perished. All those of the latter that had begun incubation were literally destroyed. [Author, James Hogg.] Back

2. [Note to "Ane Waefu' Scots Pastoral":] SANDY or SANDY-LAVEROCK is the local name in Ettrick for the sand piper. [Author, James Hogg.] Back