Strong Ale.

Alas! for ance ye've spoke owre true! When madness reigns, calm thought adieu ! Yet hark ye, friend, ere parting;

Though for a day fools mount in air, When mirk night comes, in dumb despair, Sa't tears will then be starting.


Tears! tears for what?

Strong Ale-For follies past;

For ruin hurl'd in thriftless waste;
For uproar and confusion.

For friends and kindred scattered wide;
For bairns, pale shivering at their side,
To prove the mad delusion.


The picture's waefu', we confess;

But for the cause, the learn'd may guess,
We poor folk canna spell it :

Strong Ale.

Weel, weel, ye ken! tho' laith to speak,
If a' shame hadna fled your cheek,

Your blushing face wad tell it.

Weel, weel ye ken! five years and mair
Can hardly yet the skaith repair
O' a' your midnight keeping.

The wounds that bled are scarce skinn'd o'er, The wretch that mourn'd frae door to door, Is hardly yet done weeping.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Pugh! what the sorrow was't I did?..

I took the folk aft by the head;

Did ye ne'er do the same now ?

Drunk, ay is drunk, what maks the sin?
Is't whisky think ye, ale, or gin,

That brings the skaith or shame now?

Strong Ale.

When drunk wi' ale, fools dose to rest;
Painfu' niest morn wi' unrack'd breast,...

They taste health's recreation; ¡
But drunk wi' you, ilk brain, red wood,
Scatters wi' rage and boiling blood,

Destruction round the nation.

Madd'ning wi' you, the sage turns fool;
Mild woman sinks frae virtue's school,
And laughs at a' decorum ;

Affection flees the parent's heart!
And misery sees the double dart

O' slight and want before him!..

Poison'd by thee wi' knawing pain,
The stomach tries its powers in vain,
To save the stem that's dowin;

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Fast, fast the blooming blossoms fly!
While drink, drink, drink, is a' the cry,
To quench the flame that's lowin!

Tutor❜d by thee, infernal guide!

Vice spreads his crime-stain'd banners wide
To mar ilk sweet affection!

Dark rapine prowls in midnight death;
And urged by want, the murderer bleeds
By justice' stern correction.

These are thy blessings! reptile vile!
Wha' dares wi' taunt, and jeer, and smile,
To vent your senseless gabble!

Upstarted now, forsooth, and crouse!
Fit comrade for yon black change-house,
And a' its drukin' rabble!

There, blackguard! there ye'll had your reign,
Feeding wi' flame the fev'ring brain

O' thieves, and hell-fir'd fallows;
Till round and round the furies reel,
And rinning head-lang to the de'il,
Ye string a' on ae gallows.".

Scar'd at the speech, aff in a fright
Swith! whisky fled wi' a' his might,

[ocr errors]

While ilka virtue hiss'd him ;


Trembling, vile wretch! he reach'd the door,

Whar loud in riot's dru'kin roar

Whores and distillers kiss'd him."

SCOTS MAGAZine, 1802.

1 ..


WHAT the Germans call a Diligence, or Post-wagen, dragging its slow length through this delicious scene, is a bad feature in the picture. Much as we laugh at the meagre cattle, the knotted rope-harness, and slumbering pace of the machines which bear the same name in France, the French have outstripped their less alert neighbours in every thing that regards neatness, and comfort, and expedition. The German carriage resembles the French one, but is still more clumsy and unwieldy. The luggage, which generally constitutes by far the greater part of the burden, (for your Diligence is a servant of all work, and takes a trunk just as cheerfully as a passenger), is placed, not above, but in the rear. Behind the carriage a flooring projects from above the axle of the hind wheels, equal, in length and breadth, to all the rest of the vehicle. On this is built up a castle of boxes and packages, that generally shoots out beyond the wheels, and towers far above the roof of the carriage.. The whole weight is increased as

much as possible by the strong chains intended to secure the fortification from all attacks in the rear ; for the guard, like his French brother, will expose himself neither to wind nor weather, but forthwith retires to doze in his cabriolet, leaving to its fate the edifice which has been reared with much labour and marvellous skill. Six passengers, if so many bold men can be found, are packed up inside; two, more happy or less daring, take their place in the cabriolet with the guard. The breath of life is insipid to a German without the breath of his pipe; the insides puff most genially right into each other's faces. With such an addition to the ordinary mail-coach miseries of a low roof, a perpendicular back, legs suffering like a martyr's in the boots, and scandalously scanty air-holes, the Diligence becomes a very Black Hole. True, the police has directed its denunciations against smoking, and Meinherr the conducteur (he has no native appellation) is specially charged with their execution; but Meinherr the conducteur, from the cravings of his own appetite, has a direct interest in allowing them to sleep, and is often the very first man to propose putting them to rest. To this huge mass, this combination of stage-coach and carrier's cart, are yoked four meagre, ragged cattle, and the whole dashes along, on the finest roads, at the rate of rather more than three English miles an hour, stoppages included. The matter of refreshments is conducted with a very philanthropical degree of leisure, and at every con

« VorigeDoorgaan »