Robert Fergusson ( )

The Sitting of the Session

PHOEBUS, sair cowd wi simmers hight,
Cours near the yird wi blinking light;
Cauld shaw the haughs, nae mair bedight
        Wi simmers claes.
They heeze the heart o dowy wight
        That thro them gaes.

Weel loes me o you, business, now;
For yell weet mony a drouthy mou;
Thats lang a eisning gane for you.
        Withouten fill
O dribbles frae the gude brown cow,
        Or Highland gill.

The Court o Session, weel wat I,
Pitts ilk chiels whittle i the pye,
Can criesh the slaw-gaun wheels whan dry,
        Till Sessions done,
Tho theyll gie mony a cheep and cry
        Or twalt o June.

Ye benders a, that dwall in joot,
Youll tak your liquor clean cap out,
Synd your mouse-wabbs wi reaming stout,
        While ye hae cash,
And gar your cares a tak the rout,
        An thumb neer fash.

Rob Gibbs grey gizz, new frizzld fine,
Will white as ony snaw-ba shine;
Weel does he loe the lawen coin
        Whan dossied down,
For whisky gills or dribbs of wine
        In cauld forenoon.

Bar-keepers now, at outer door,
Tak tent as fock gang back and fore;
The fient ane there but pays his score,
        Nane wins toll-free,
Tho yeve a cause the house before,
        Or agent be.

Gin ony here wi canker knocks,
And has na lousd his siller pocks,
Ye need na think to fleetch or cox;
        Come, shaws your gear;
Ae scabbit yew spills twenty flocks,
        Yes no be here.

Now at the door theyll raise a plea;
Crack on, my lads!for flytings free;
For gin ye shoud tongue-tacket be,
        The mairs the pity,
Whan scalding but and ben we see
        Pendente lite.

The lawyers skelfs, and printers presses,
Grain unco sair wi weighty cases;
The clark in toil his pleasure places,
        To thrive bedeen;
At five-hours bell scribes shaw their faces,
        And rake their ein.

The country fock to lawyers crook,
Ah! Weels me on your bonny buik!
The benmost part o my kist nook
        Ill ripe for thee,
And willing ware my hindmost rook
        For my decree.

But Laws a draw-well unco deep,
Withouten rim fock out to keep;
A donnart chiel, whan drunk, may dreep
        Fu sleely in,
But finds the gate baith stay and steep,
        Ere out he win.

Robert Fergusson's other poems:
  1. Ode to the Gowdspink
  2. To the Tron-Kirk Bell
  3. The Daft-Days
  4. To Sir John Fielding, on His Attempts to Suppress The Beggars Opera
  5. Elegy on the Death of Scots Music

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