Prose and Verse

Mrs Staveley

Heh ma! Ye little ken my bonnie wee lassie, what an unco thing it is to me to clink my words we rhyme — in truth it was sic easy wark, to gar them till my thoughts [???] in common plain prose — when my heart wad be speaking. And my heart wad fain speak if it could find guid language to make it understood — for I feel a’the kindness o’ the guid hearts that tried to life up ane who kens right wae she ahd nae pretensions agant what benevolence is aye ready to allow — and ye my ain dear lassie; possessing that same spirit — I doubt, mistake it for approval, when you profess to like could kale, and bid me send anitther dish o’t — Ohon! it cannot be that an English palate can relish a scotch haggis and no that the Gentle Shepherds who used to furnish saie monie dainties for the Norlands and the Southlands frae the bonnie banks of the Tay, the Tweed, and the Tiviot are nae mair — and the melody of the sweet Pipe of air has ceased for ever — Ye maun gang to Wyoming, to Flodden Field, or Benvenue before you can get anything from poor Calidonia worthy a place in the Attic Chest.

Jess Macfarland

wha cou’d nae read

Though Scotland’s cauld kale ye dinna despise
To gie it again may no’ be sae wise
I ken what I said — wi’ truth was expung’d
But truth maun be polish’d, to gie it a zest.
Alas! and Ohon! Auld Scotland’s pair gear
Nae Countenance has frae the Graces I fear
What wadna’ I do! your favour to win?
But what can be done — if I dinna begin?

To that bonnie lassie your fair Editress
My hopes and my wishes I frankly express
But her partial kindess will no’ be the test
That I’m a fit Member for her Attic Chest.
A step to Parnassus I canno’ advance
Nor yet upon Pegasus venture to prance
If ye admit me — in spite of each Muse
I’ll try a Scotch measure or Highland Shauntreuse

Then whistle and I will aye do my best
To scramble my way to the Classical Chest
And if I get there ’twill make my heart glad,
’Tis such the lasses at Helier should gang mad.