Weel done, Cutty-sark!


Charcoal on paper, 59x86cm.

“Warlocks and witches in a dance:

Nae cotillion, brent new frae France,

But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,

Put life and mettle in their heels.

A winnock-bunker in the east,

There sat Auld Nick, in shape o’ beast;

A tousie tyke, black, grim, and large,

To gie them music was his charge;

He screw’d the pipes and gart them skirl,

Till roof and rafters a’ did dirl.

Coffins stood round, like open presses,

That shaw’d the dead in their last dresses;

And, by some devilish cantraip sleight,

Each in it’s cauld hand held a light:

By which heroic Tam was able

To note upon the haly table,

A murderer’s banes, in gibbet-airns;

Twa span-lang, wee, unchristian bairns;

A thief new-cutted frae a rape-

Wi’ his last gasp his gab did gape;

Five tomahawks wi’ bluid red-rusted;

Five scimitars wi’ murder crusted;

A garter which a babe had strangled;

A knife a father’s throat had mangled –

The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft;

Wi’ mair of horrible and awefu’,

Which even to name wad be unlawful’

Three Lawyers’ tongues, turned inside out,

Three Priests’ hearts, rotten, black as muck,

Lay stinking, vile, in every neuk”.

From Tam O’ Shanter’ by Robert Burns

A scary Hallowe’en to you all!!!!


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