1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Frederick Deacon

James Hogg, "A Grand new Blacking Sang" Edinburgh Literary Journal (15 May 1830) 290.



Black-makers now their shops may seal,
Warren may gang an' black the deil;
For a' their whuds an' a' their wiles,
They'll ne'er compare wi' Jamie Kyle's:
I've tried them a', by burnish'd gold!
And Kyle's is best a thousandfold.

But gude preserve my glancin' clouts—
The cocks come fightin' wi' my boots!
The dogs sit gurrin' at their shadows,
An' a tom cat completely mad is!
The birds come hanging' wing an' feather,
To woo upon my upper leather;
An' the bull trout, (the warst of a',)
Whene'er my glancin' limb he saw,
Came splashin' out frae 'mang the segs,
An' bobb'd an' swatter'd round my legs;
For in these mirrors, polish'd gleaming,
He saw a mate in crystal swimming:
This I ca', joking all apart,
Complete perfection o' the art.

Sae a' the blousterin' Blacking-makers
May claw their pows, an' turn street-rakers,
Or gang wi' ane that's right auld farren,
The sly, redoubted Robin Warren,
To hunt the otter an' the beaver
By sources of Missouri river,
Or fly to Afric's sultry shores,
An' help to black the blackamores;
For business here they can have none—
Othello's occupation's gone.
While Kyle, the sprightly Kyle, shall stand
The chemist of his native land—
A blacking-maker, all uncommon,
Is equall'd or excell'd by no man—
The greatest ever born of woman!

N.B. Pray call, before 'tis over late,
At hunder an' twall the Canongate.