As market days are weeping late,
An folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
And getting fou and unco happy…
This truth fand honest Tam o’Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne’ver a town surpasses
For honest men and bonnie lasses.)…
But our tale–Ae market-night,
Tam had got planted unco right…
And at his Elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
Tam lo’ed him like a vera brither–
They had been fou weeks thegither!
The night drave on with sangs and clatter
And ay the ale was growing better;
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
wi’ favours secret, sweet, and precious
The Souther tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord’s laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whiste
Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E’en drown’d himsel’ amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi’ladies o’ treasure
The minutes wing’d their way wi’ pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious.
O’er a’ the ills o’ life victorious!
But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white–then melts for ever..
Neither man can tether time or tide…