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Sir Walter Scott

(1771-1832 / Edinburgh / Scotland)

Bonny Dundee


To the Lords of Convention ’twas Claver’se who spoke.
‘Ere the King’s crown shall fall there are crowns to be broke;
So let each Cavalier who loves honour and me,
Come follow the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,
Come saddle your horses, and call up your men;
Come open the West Port and let me gang free,
And it’s room for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee!’

Dundee he is mounted, he rides up the street,
The bells are rung backward, the drums they are beat;
But the Provost, douce man, said, ‘Just e’en let him be,
The Gude Town is weel quit of that Deil of Dundee.’
Come fill up my cup, etc.

As he rode down the sanctified bends of the Bow,
Ilk carline was flyting and shaking her pow;
But the young plants of grace they looked couthie and slee,
Thinking luck to thy bonnet, thou Bonny Dundee!
Come fill up my cup, etc.

With sour-featured Whigs the Grass-market was crammed,
As if half the West had set tryst to be hanged;
There was spite in each look, there was fear in each e’e,
As they watched for the bonnets of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, etc.

These cowls of Kilmarnock had spits and had spears,
And lang-hafted gullies to kill cavaliers;
But they shrunk to close-heads and the causeway was free,
At the toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, etc.

He spurred to the foot of the proud Castle rock,
And with the gay Gordon he gallantly spoke;
‘Let Mons Meg and her marrows speak twa words or three,
For the love of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.’
Come fill up my cup, etc.

The Gordon demands of him which way he goes—
‘Where’er shall direct me the shade of Montrose!
Your Grace in short space shall hear tidings of me,
Or that low lies the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, etc.

‘There are hills beyond Pentland and lands beyond Forth,
If there’s lords in the Lowlands, there’s chiefs in the North;
There are wild Duniewassals three thousand times three,
Will cry hoigh! for the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, etc.

‘There’s brass on the target of barkened bull-hide;
There’s steel in the scabbard that dangles beside;
The brass shall be burnished, the steel shall flash free,
At the toss of the bonnet of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, etc.

‘Away to the hills, to the caves, to the rocks—
Ere I own an usurper, I’ll couch with the fox;
And tremble, false Whigs, in the midst of your glee,
You have not seen the last of my bonnet and me!’
Come fill up my cup, etc.

He waved his proud hand, the trumpets were blown,
The kettle-drums clashed and the horsemen rode on,
Till on Ravelston’s cliffs and on Clermiston’s lee
Died away the wild war-notes of Bonny Dundee.
Come fill up my cup, come fill up my can,
Come saddle the horses, and call up the men,
Come open your gates, and let me gae free,
For it’s up with the bonnets of Bonny Dundee!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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