Слике страница


This excellent song is also the composition of my worthy friend, old Skinner, at Linshart.

When first I cam to be a man

Of twenty years or so,
I thought myself a handsome youth,

And fain the world would know;
In best attire I stept abroad,

With spirits brisk and gay,
And here and there and every where

Was like a morn in May;
No care I had nor fear of want,

But rambled up and down,
And for a beau I might have past

In country or in town;
I still was pleas'd where'er I went,

And when I was alone,
I tun'd my pipe and pleas'd myself

Wi' John o' Badenyon.

Now in the days of youthful prime

A mistress I must find,
For love, I heard, gave one an air,

And ev'n improved the mind :

On Phillis fair above the rest

Kind fortune fixt my eyes,
Her piercing beauty struck my heart,

And she became my choice;
To Cupid now with hearty prayer

I offer'd many a vow;
And danc'd and sung, and sigh'd, and swore,

As other lovers do ;
But, when at last I breath'd my flame,

I found her cold as stone;
I left the girl, and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon,

When love had thus my heart beguild

With foolish hopes and vain;
To friendship’s port I steer'd my course,

And laugh'd at lovers' pain ;
A friend I got by lucky chance,

'Twas something like divine, An honest friend's a precious gift,

And such a gift was mine; And now whatever might betide,

A happy man was I, In any

strait I knew to whom I freely might apply; A strait soon came: my friend I try'd;

He heard, and spurn’d my moan;

I hy'd me home, and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon.

Methought I should be wiser next

And would a patriot turn,
Began to doat on Johnny Wilkes,

And cry up Parson Horne. *
Their manly spirit I admir'd,

And prais'd their noble zeal,
Who had with flaming tongue and pen

Maintain'd the public weal ;
But e'er a month or two had past,

I found myself betray’d,
'Twas self and party after all,

For a' the stir they made;
At last I saw the factious knaves

Insult the very throne,
I curs'd them a', and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon.

What next to do I mus'd a while,

Still hoping to succeed,
I pitch'd on books for company,

And gravely try'd to read:

* This song was composed when Wilkes, Horne, &c. were making a noise about liberty.

I bought and borrow'd every where

And study'd night and day,
Nor mis’d what dean or doctor wrote

That happen'd in my way:
Philosophy I now esteem'd

The ornament of youth,
And carefully through many a page

I hunted after truth.
A thousand various schemes I try'd,

And yet was pleas’d with none,
I threw them by, and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon.

And now ye youngsters every where,

That wish to make a show,
Take heed in time, nor fondly hope

For happiness below;
What you may fancy pleasure here,

Is but an empty name,
And girls, and friends, and books, and so,

You'll find them all the same; Then be advised and warning take

From such a man as me ; I'm neither Pope nor Cardinal,

Nor one of high degree;

You'll meet displeasure every where;

Then do as I have done,
Ee'n tune your pipe and please yourselves

With John o' Badenyon.


This song is mine, all except the chorus.*

* This is part of the “ BARD'S SONG," in the “ Jolly Beggars," a Cantata, which is printed at the end of this volume.

It is observed of Gay that he had long formed the idea of writing a NEWGATE PASTORAL, and that the conception, when matured, produced the BEGGARS' OPERA. In the “ JOLLY BEGGARS” of Burns the reader will see Gay's first sketch completely illustrated; but here the design and the execution are equally original, and perhaps no poem of our Bard more abounds in those genuine and lively strokes of character which display the band of a master, and which so happily realize the maxim of Horace-ut pictura poësis.-Ed.

« ПретходнаНастави »