(4 November 1872 - 1934 / Scotia, Lake Erie, Ontario)

Fool's Luck

The Allans o' Airlie they set muckle store
On ancestry, acres, and siller,
Nor cared to remember the good days of yore,
Nor grandfather Allan, the miller-
The honest old miller.

'We're wealthy fowk now, tak' oor place wi' the best,'
Said the heid o' the Allans, one Dougal,
A man whom Dame Fortune had royally blest,
Of sensible habits, and frugal-
Uncommonly frugal.

'We're honored by great fowk and wise fowk, now min',
O' the kirk each Allan's a pillar-
What more could we spier o' a providence kin',
Unless 'twere a little more siller-
A little more siller.

'For it's get what ye can, and keep what ye get;
Ye'll fin' this an unco' guid motto,
We chose it lang syne, and we stick to it yet,
Altho' not sae close as we ought to-
Not nearly sae close as we ought to.

'There is ane o' the name is a spendthrift, an ass;
The reason tae ye I'll discover:
Oor gran'faither marrit an Inverness lass,
Juist because he happened to luve her-
Foolish mon, he happened to luve her!

'And the wild Highland strain is still i' the bluid-
'Tis i' Colin, as sure's you're leeving;
Ye ken how it is wi' the whole Highland brood-
'Tis a' for spending and geeving.

'Gin ye're freen' o' the clan, why, ask what ye may,
Ye'll get o' the best, ay, get double;
Gin ye're foe o' the clan, weel, juist gang your way
If so be ye're no hunting trouble.

'Brither Colin was daft when a lad at the school,
Wi' ways and wi' morals improper,
Had high flowing notions-poor family fool,
His notions ha' made him a pauper.

'What owns he? Bare acres a few, and a house,
Yet when we, last year, were expecting
Twa relatives, ane puir as ony church mouse,
Ane freighted wi' wealth, unreflecting,

'He spat oot graun' like, 'Sin' ye're ower fond o' pelf
'Ye can hae,' said he, 'the rich pairty,
But I'll tak' the mon that is puir as mysel'
And gie him a welcome right hearty'-
A welcome right hearty.

'Gosh! I had tae lauch at the feckless auld mon
As he stood there, his bonnet-strings twirling;
Ye'd think he was chief o' a whole Highland clan
That marched to the pibroch's mad skirling.

'Ah! hot-headed, high-handed, go as you please,
These Highlanders no worth a copper,
Wi' their kilt and hose, and their uncovered knees-
A bold dress, and highly improper!

'Oor Colin's the same; hark ye, Davy and Jock,
Go no to the hills for your mating;
Twa weel dowered lassies o' guid lowland stock,
'Tis for such I'd hae ye both waiting.

'Ho! it's get what ye can, and keep what ye get,-
What is it ye whisper amang ye?
What! oor rich uncle's deid-weel, weel, dinna fret,
Ah'm certain that he wouldna wrang me.

'He promised to leave everything he possest-
Before witness promised it fairly-
To the most deserving, the noblest and best
O' a' the Allans o' Airlie.

'Ye ken I'm the mon. Here's the lawyer at hand,
(I'm richer a'ready and prooder)
Hark ye! 'Give and bequeath my gowd and my land'-
Mr. Grant, I pray ye, speak looder.

'I'll buy me the laird's castle doon by the park-
Oh, me! but I'll step aboot rarely.
'To my nephew, Colin'-it canna' be-hark!
'To the grandest Allan o' Airlie.'

'To Colin! I'd ficht, but I've no got the pluck,
I'm auld, and I'm broken, I tell ye;
I ca'd him a fool-he has had a fool's luck,
And noo he can buy me and sell me.

'Now hearken ye, lads, frae the morn till the nicht
It pays best tae act quite sincerely;
Get what ye can-aweel, the motto's a'richt,
But some things are gotten too dearly.
Ay, some things are gotten too dearly.

'I'm thinkin' o' gran'faither's Inverness wife,
Nor cattle nor siller she brought him,
Juist a hairt fu' o' luve-some queer views o' life-
How runs that auld ballad she taught him?

'I've a lowly cot and a wide open door,
Neither old nor young need pass by, sir;
A piece of red gold for the brother that's poor-
Ho, a rich, happy man am I, sir!'

'Aweel! there be lessons ye'll no learn in school,
It tak's my breath away fairly-
The ne'er-do-weel Colin, the family fool,
And the graundest Allan o' Airlie!'

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