1734 Poem, William Starrat of Strabane: 'An elegy on Brice Blare'

Author: William Starrat

Date: 1734

Source: An elegy on the much lamented death of Quarter-master Brice Blare: Who died at Strabane. By a Northern Bard [Printed by J. Carson, in Coghill’s-Court, Dame-street, 1734]

Comments: This poem by a ‘Northern Bard’ was identified as the work of William Starrat and re-published in Philip Robinson’s ‘William Starrat of Strabane: the first Ulster-Scots Poet’, Ullans 5, 1997. His earliest poems were written as early as 1722.

Doc. ref. no.: USLS/TB/Poetry/1700-1799/002

An elegy on Brice Blare

An Elegy on the Much Lamented Death

of Quarter-master Brice Blare; Who died at Strabane.

By a Northern Bard.

SCARCE had the bells the News began,

That honest Brice his Threed had span;

But Wives frae Cam’s to Moran’s ran,

And rugg’d their Head,

Crying, Alass! we’re quite undon,

Since Blare is dead.

Oh! Wha will hansel our New Tapp,

Or sit Twelve Hours without a Napp,

An when they scarce can turn the Capp,

Will reckon fair;

Trouth there is few cou’d e’er do that,

We’ honest Blare.

We weel black’d Shoon, and dressed right Neat,

He’d cantily come o’er the Gate,

We’ ane or two that was na bleat,

To tak their Mault;

And gin they stay’d till it was late,

’Twas ne’er his Fault.

For the first Hour, nae new made Priest,

Or maiden at a Christning Feast,

We’ Hicky Stick hang at his Briest,

Cou’d be mair mim

Nae Ill he said, but bad the neist,

His Bicker trim.

But gin he pleas’d nae Ale or mug,

Nae Carle frae Congregation Tub,

Wad round a fault into the Lugg,

Of list’ning Sinner;

Or we’ a mair Emphatick Shrugg,

Point out his Finger.

To Quart, or Glass, or Pint, or Flask

He’d tack the Wife or Lass to Task,

For Faults in either Maut or Mask,

Right weel he kenn’d;

He’d garr them Peg another Cask,

Their Hand to mend.

But gin it was right Nappy Beer,

Like it he by degrees wad clear,

And say, for seldom wad he swear,

Trouth its good ale;

Come Neighbours, will ye let us hear

Som Song or Tale.

Then Down the Tweed he wad begin,

Whar some Lilt Fethers, others Wing,

Syne Thro’ the Broom, the bonney Spring,

Batt Gallaway Water,

Wha wad not Laugh to hear him sing,

And shake it at her.

Here Nansy ends we’ Grief opprest,

Ursty her kimmer thus Addrest,

Friends, Here’s a Barrel o’ the Best,

And e’er he’s Caull;

Let’s drink a Bumper o’ the best,

To his Kind Saull.

Come, tak your Bicker, never think,

That I a Papist Health wad Drink,

I guess your Meaning by your Wink,

Ne’er fash your Heed;

Nean but a Jacobite wad shrink

To mind the Dead.

Nae whistling Winds thro’ Chink o’ Dore,

Or Winock-Breeds, did e’er before,

Sound sick a melancholy Glore,

As this sad Tale,

Now may we aw the Trade gee o’er,

O brewing Ale.

Curst be this bare goul Banns o’ Death,

For stopping o’ our dear Freend’s Breath,

I wish our Pate and Willy beth,

Had paid the Fee;

For trouth it had been far less skaith,

To me and thee.

Sterrard, they say, foul fa his Heed,

Three twal Months sine fortall his Deed,

But, ah! it was ne out of Feed,

He lov’d him weel -

And bid him mix we carefou heed,

His Maut wi Meel.

But he unwilling to oppress

His stomach, ay eat less and less;

And it was this, as most Foks guess,

That wrought his Feed,

For he us’d neither Teeth nor * * * *

Lang e’er he Deed.

Good Freends, let me advise you all,

Wee Fish or Flesh, or Mutton Spaull,

We’ Beef, cram weell yer Money-saul,

Then never shrink,

Or fear yer * * * * shou’d be mad cald

We muckle Drink.

Now, fare ye weell, my dear Freend Blare:

To part with Thee, my heart’s right sair;

But this I’ll say, - And say ne mair,

For a thy Thirst;

Thou was as Honest and as Fair,

As ever Curst.

The Epitaph

Wha views this tomb without a Tear,

That e’re sald Brandy, Ale or Beer;

Ill be their change, may Maut be dear,

An Wort ay Blink

The king of Customers lies here

For Buying Drink

That baith paid weell, and Counted fair,

Here lies the Corps o’ Mr. Blare,

Wha’ o’ his Drink took far mear Care

Than o’ his Meet,

That gar us a’ beath Rout and Rare,

And Gowl and Greet.


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