Souter Johnnie's Cottage

The Bachelors' Club

A Short History of Robert Burns

Death and Doctor Hornbook

Tam O'Shanter

John Barleycorn

Kirk Alloway

On the late Captain Grose’s Peregrinations

'The Antiquities of Scotland' by Captain Grose

Captain Grose met Burns for the first time at the 'hospitable board of Captain Riddel of Friar's Carse'. He was struck by the very full size of the Captain, his intelligence and by the poetic feeling with which he spoke of old friends. Grose was the author of several well known treatises on antiquities including the 'Antiquities of England and Wales' and the 'Antiquities of Scotland'. He visited Ireland in 1791, for the purpose of executing a similar antiquarian work for that country; but shortly after his arrival in Dublin he was seized with an apoplectic fit, and died in his fifty-second year.

 

On the late Captain Grose’s Peregrinations


Peregrinations thro’ Scotland, collecting the Antiquities of that Kingdom


HEAR, Land o’ Cakes, and brither Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnny Groat’s;
If there’s a hole in a’ your coats,
        I rede you tent it;
A chiel’s amang you, takin notes,
        And, faith, he’ll prent it:

If in your bounds ye chance to light
Upon a fine, fat fodgel wight,
O’ stature short, but genius bright,
        That’s he, mark weel;
And wow! he has an unco sleight
        O’ cauk and keel.

By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin,
Or kirk deserted by its riggin,
It’s ten to ane ye’ll find him snug in
        Some eldritch part,
Wi’ deils, they say, L—d save’s! colleaguin
        At some black art.

Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha’ or chaumer,
Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour,
And you, deep-read in hell’s black grammar,
        Warlocks and witches,
Ye’ll quake at his conjuring hammer,
        Ye midnight bitches.

It’s tauld he was a sodger bred,
And ane wad rather fa’n than fled;
But now he’s quat the spurtle blade,
        And dog-skin wallet,
And taen the—Antiquarian trade,
        I think they call it.

He has a fouth o’ auld nick-nackets:
Rusty airn caps and jinglin' jackets,
Wad haud the Lothians three in tackets,
        A towmont gude;
And parritch-pats and auld saut-backets,
        Before the flood.

Of Eve’s first fire he has a cinder;
Auld Tubalcain’s fire-shool and fender;
That which distinguished the gender
        O’ Balaam’s ass:
A broomstick o’ the witch of Endor,
        Weel shod wi’ brass.

Forbye, he’ll shape you aff fu’ gleg
The cut of Adam’ philibeg;
The knife that nickit Abel’s craig
        He’ll prove you fully,
It was a faulding jocteleg,
        Or lang-kail gullie.

But wad ye see him in his glee,
For meikle glee and fun has he,
Then set him down, and twa or three
        Gude fellows wi’ him:
And port, O port! shine thou a wee,
        And THEN ye’ll see him!

Now, by the Powers o’ verse and prose,
Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose!
Whae’er o’ thee shall ill suppose,
        They sair misca’ thee;
I’d take the rascal by the nose,
        Wad say, “Shame fa’ thee!”
 

 

 
   

 References:

The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Burns

Robert Burns The Complete Poetical Works - Edited by James A. Mackay

 

 

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