OR A BARGAIN'S A BARGAIN — A TALE
(by Samuel Thomson)
A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
But an honest man's the noblest work of God.
AULD Sim was fam'd for prolix prayers,
And tuneful holy graces,
Weel ken'd at markets, mills and fairs,
And ither public places.
A holy man — his conscience ne'er
Wad suffer him to curse;
But saftly whisper'd in his ear,
That he might jockey horse.
He held it as a crying sin,
At hame, or onie place,
To tak a morsel, thick or thin,
Without a formal grace.
This favorite o' Heaven ae day,
To a neighbouring fair wad gang:—
Favourite of Heaven did I say?
Gude faith I'm aiblins wrang.
Howe'er his Bawsay to the fair,
Took crafty, sleekit Sim:
A noble naig he did declare,
But didna answer him.
Soon up there comes a jockey chiel,
Sim like a Levite winked;
He tried the horse and lik'd him weel,
And soon a bargain clinked.
Quoth Sim — "although I say't mysel,
I'm reckon'd something clever ay;
We'll step in here an tak a gill,
An' then yese get delivery."
They call'd a gill, 'twas quickly there,
The chief gets't in his nieve,
When Simkin, with a holy air,
Says, `stranger wi' yer leave.'
Thrice he gov'd up niest the roof,
As aften shook his head,
Then clos'd his ein, an' rais'd his loof,
A holy man indeed!
The tricky callan, then, to keep
Frae laughin scarcely fit,
Drank out the whiskey every seep,
And down the bicker set.
The grace being done, the fellow leugh,
The whiskey was away!
To pray, quoth he, is not eneugh,
Hereafter watch and pray.
Delivery gien — they part aff han,
So hame our nibour wan'ers:
Niest morn the o'erseen fellow fan'
His gelding had the glan'ers!
Neglecting to ask Simkin's name,
He's in an eirie study:
At length in passion aff he came,
Damning the praying body!
At lang and length he found the place,
Our Simkin's habitation;
Where entering in he kend his face,
And baul'd aloud — damnation!
Ye old infernal hound of hell!
Ye hypocrite deceiver!
A gland'red horse to me to sell —
Swith the money up deliver.
`Hooly,' quo Simkin, unco slee,
`Gie o'er sic sinfu' jargon;
Nae money ye shall get frae me —
A bargain's ay a bargain.'