The Deil’s Forhooit His Ain by George MacDonald

The Deil’s forhooit his ain, his ain!
The Deil’s forhooit his ain!
His bairns are greitin in ilka neuk,
For the Deil’s forhooit his ain.

The Deil he tuik his stick and his hat,
And his yallow gluves on he drew:
“The coal’s sae dear, and the preachin sae flat.
And I canna be aye wi’ you!”

The Deil’s, etc.

“But I’ll gie ye my blessin afore I gang,
Wi’ jist ae word o’ advice;
And gien onything efter that gaes wrang
It’ll be yer ain wull and ch’ice!

“Noo hark: There’s diseases gaein aboot,
Whiles are, and whiles a’ thegither!
Ane’s ca’d Repentance–haith, hand it oot!
It comes wi’ a change o’ weather.

“For that, see aye ‘at ye’re gude at the spune
And tak yer fair share o’ the drink;
Gien ye dinna, I wadna won’er but sune
Ye micht ‘maist begin to think!

“Neist, luik efter yer liver; that’s the place
Whaur Conscience gars ye fin’!
Some fowk has mair o’ ‘t, and some has less–
It comes o’ breedin in.

“But there’s waur nor diseases gaein aboot,
There’s a heap o’ fair-spoken lees;
And there’s naething i’ natur, in or oot,
‘At waur with the health agrees.

“There’s what they ca’ Faith, ‘at wad aye be fain;
And Houp that glowers, and tynes a’;
And Love, that never yet faund its ain,
But aye turnt its face to the wa’.

“And Trouth–the sough o’ a sickly win’;
And Richt–what needna be;
And Beauty–nae deeper nor the skin;
And Blude–that’s naething but bree.

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“But there’s ae gran’ doctor for a’ and mair–
For diseases and lees in a breath:–
My bairns, I lea’ ye wi’oot a care
To yer best freen, Doctor Death.

“He’ll no distress ye: as quaiet’s a cat
He grips ye, and a’thing’s ower;
There’s naething mair ‘at ye wad be at,
There’s never a sweet nor sour!

“They ca’ ‘t a sleep, but it’s better bliss,
For ye wauken up no more;
They ca’ ‘t a mansion–and sae it is,
And the coffin-lid’s the door!

“Jist ae word mair—and it’s verbum sat
I hae preacht it mony’s the year:
Whaur there’s naething ava to be frictit at
There’s naething ava to fear.

“I dinna say ‘at there isna a hell–
To lee wad be a disgrace!
I bide there whan I’m at hame mysel,
And it’s no sic a byous ill place!

“Ye see yon blue thing they ca’ the lift?
It’s but hell turnt upside doun,
A whummilt bossie, whiles fou o’ drift,
And whiles o’ a rumlin soun!

“Lat auld wives tell their tales i’ the reek,
Men hae to du wi’ fac’s:
There’s naebody there to watch, and keek
Intil yer wee mistaks.

“But nor ben there’s naebody there
Frae the yird to the farthest spark;
Ye’ll rub the knees o’ yer breeks to the bare
Afore ye’ll pray ye a sark!

“Sae fare ye weel, my bonny men,
And weel may ye thrive and the!
Gien I dinna see ye some time again
It’ll be ‘at ye’re no to see.”

He cockit his hat ower ane o’ his cheeks,
And awa wi’ a halt and a spang–
For his tail was doun ae leg o’ his breeks,
And his butes war a half ower lang.

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The Deil’s forhooit his ain, his ain!
The Deil’s forhooit his ain!
His bairns are greitin in ilka neuk,
For the Deil’s forhooit his ain.

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