BALLYMENA PAST AND PRESENT
Oh, City o’ the Seven Towers
Securely hid ‘mang rural flowers,
By hill, an’ hedge an’ stream
Nature’s hand, wi’ lavish gift,
Has gi’en your name an’ place a lift
Beyount a poet’s dream.
Whun you wur theek’t wi’ scraws an’ strae,
An’ surocks sought the healthy ray
Aboun the wee filled pew
Your sons wur then as trig an’ braw,
An’ even kept the moral law
As weel as they dae noo.
Since then oor barns we hae pit doon,
While great big new yins grace the toon
Frae Smithfield tae the Moat.
The oaten fadge oor fathers kent
We look on wi’ disdainful’ sklent,
It wunna get oor vote.
Sheer bosh an’ bombast caps the tree,
Neither wanes nor big folks can agree
Ambition rules the roast.
If dull o’ spunk an’ little brains
Why praise yoursel’, and what remains?
Your fit for ony post.
Tae Local Board should you aspire
You needna don poetic lyre
Or oratoric flicht;
The sound that Nature gi’es the ass
Wull steer you through amang the class
That keeps oor Workhoose richt.
Tae get there let nae pains be spared,
Then gull an’ hoax the common herd
An’ keep them on your side.
If on the local Bench you sit
Why should you no’ mount higher yet,
By promises untried.
And wherefore wait for man tae shift,
Or wish for his uncertain lift
That seldom breaks the shell.
When, Moses-like, your leader born,
Ne’er let the unwashed toot your horn,
But blaw it strong yoursel’.
As P.L.G. you’ll need tae shine,
Trip up each member book an’ line
Wha strives tae loup the fence.
Let this your motto ever be,
Nae man need think tae rival me
In killin’ common sense.
Cullybackey Auld Nummer,
25th October 1891