Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
Johnnie Cope
By Adam Skirving (1719–1803)
COPE sent a letter frae Dunbar:—
‘Charlie, meet me an ye daur,
And I’ll learn you the art o’ war,
  If you’ll meet me in the morning.’
    Hey, Johnnie Cope, are ye wauking yet?        5
    Or are your drums a-beating yet?
    If ye were wauking I wad wait
      To gang to the coals i’ the morning.
When Charlie looked the letter upon,
He drew his sword the scabbard from:        10
‘Come, follow me, my merry, merry men,
  And we’ll meet Johnnie Cope in the morning!
‘Now Johnnie Cope, be as good’s your word;
Come, let us try both fire and sword;
And dinna flee away like a frighted bird,        15
  That’s chased frae its nest in the morning.’
When Johnnie Cope he heard o’ this
He thought it wadna be amiss
To ha’e a horse in readiness
  To flee awa’ in the morning.        20
Fye now, Johnnie, get up and rin;
The Highland bagpipes mak’ a din;
It’s best to sleep in a hale skin,
  For ’twill be a bluidy morning.
When Johnnie Cope to Dunbar came        25
They speered at him, ‘Where’s a’ your men?’
‘The deil confound me gin I ken,
  For I left them a’ i’ the morning.’
Now, Johnnie, troth, ye are na blate
To come wi’ the news o’ your ain defeat,        30
And leave your men in sic a strait
  Sae early in the morning.
‘Oh, faith,’ quo’ Johnnie, ‘I got sic flegs
Wi’ their claymores and philabegs;
If I face them again, deil break my legs!        35
  So I wish you a gude morning.’

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.