The droonin’ o’ timorous Tam

An old fashioned Burns theme of farewell in a modern vein; on the dangers of drink, drink driving and neglecting family

Oh poor sma’ smitten timorous Tam tumbled by this bridled border
‘Twas half past twa: midnight awa’ an’ Tam wiz ‘oot o’ order
As sure the bells toll twelve at twelve, ‘twas truly Tam’s last tipple, or I should say a dram
For he did swoon an’ crack his croon then headed hame tae Lauder
 
Now Tam delighted not wi’ the law nor the Lord’s commands
Frequent tae say decreed his ain’ disquieted demands
‘Twas his undoin’ sure, for there by that dreich day
Yin angry river rose tae sweep baith steer an’ Tam away

As pigeons peered frae poles tae peck at pavements wry
Oor legless Tam appeared upright an’ staggered hapless by
Tae his melancholy maker in wan rain swept ‘oor wuid go
Ne’er did he know that solemn doon yon swollen stream sma’ drunken Tam wuid flow

Had weil Tam knew jist by a wa’ bode a holy hoose o’ sorts
Where aw’ door ilk wiz washed awa’ wi’ doleful humour bright
As bold sharp spires speared doon oan customs vain aw’ garbed in gleakit glory
Genuine sprites o’ herts contrite span their ain’ wan sorry story
 
There’s nae threnody here fir Tam whose farewell folly wiz his ain’ sare wan
A slated soul o’ rejoice an’ cheer who put nane afore his device an’ beer
Ne’er paid he tithes nor dues or took ony heed o’ his ain’ sweet seed
Instead awoke each wasted day tae a fair sare wasted heed

An’ idle timorous Tam weil kent whit lay beneath that towerin’ Leckie spire
God’s contrite bairns aw’ gaithered oan auld year’s night tae quench their trial by fire
So come awa’ disheartened man and sing wi’ me this one guid song
A drink’s a drink for aw’ that Tam, but a cup o’ suffering’s wrong

Nae angel stooped by there tae save oor Tam frae the wanton wave
And tae the drink did oor Tam go, hence merrily tae the grave
Now Tam cannae rise tae repent his sin an’ spoil his dear loved ones
Tho’ if yi’ e’re mean tae dig his grave, he’s buried doon by Duns
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"The droonin’ o’ timorous Tam" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/45226/the-droonin’-o’-timorous-tam>.

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