Near the middle o’ May, in the year ninety-one,
The snaw like a carpet enveloped the grun;
It fell in the morning unsparing an’ thick,
Tae it measured three inches by rule, or by stick.

The very thorn hedges wur strange tae the sight,
As the green struggled up through its coverin’ o’ white;
The wee bit whin blossoms, in rage, seemed to say,
Is this like the simmer we’re gaun tae hae.

If it is, we had better be packin’ oor traps,
An’ steer away south, frae such wuntry haps;
Leein’ Boyd’s hill an e’e sore in spectral gloom,
A blank on the landscape for want o’ oor bloom.

Then the blackbird gat up and he whistled a note
That gaur’t ilka feather stan oot frae his throat,
Though the hail bounced like peas aff his bonnie black gown
He seemed na tae mind, but went on wye his tune.

His song seemed o’ hope and frae it you could draw
That the sunshine o’ midday wad scatter the snaw,
Like the dark clouds o’ life whun they’re heavy an’ grim
They are only the nearer the silver streaked rim.

The robin stood up on the apple tree high,
An’ the gaze o’ a critic he turned tae the   sky;
Gi’ed his neb a bit dicht on a branch as it hung,
An’ thus tae the morning in rapture he sung.

Tho’ snaw is noo deep in the flowery May,
I hae seen it ten waurs aboot Christmas Day;
When the sun gi’en a blink, then away he was gane,
Leein’ sich as me hungry an’ caul as a stane.

Then doon was my stomach unless I cud spy
A bit worm when the fother was pu’d tae the kye;
If no, ‘neath the thatch, in a shiverin’ heap,
Wae the bat an’ the sparrow I tried for tae sleep.

Noo why should we mourn at this bluster in May,
That wunna be wi’ us the half o’ the day;
For mysel’ and the sparrow, we’re fairly secure,
We can fadge for oor pick ‘mang the hens at the door.

Thus mankind sae mighty a lesson may learn,
To sing an’ be cheerful though prospects be stern;
Though dark clouds may gather obscuring the licht,
Tae whistle at fortune an’ glam for the richt.

Cullybackey Auld Nummer, 16th May 1891

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