To my old Friend and Schoolmate, Gavin Horne.
by: Patterson, John
A Romance of our boyhood days. Old Saybrook, Conn. USA, written approx. 1936.
Your letter ower the Ocean cam'
Tae me ‘twas like a freenly haun,
A lot o' water’s ower the Dam
Since we were loons in Bognie.
Your Brither Geordie he was fine
Was hired a half year at Colyne
A penny gave me for my time
To go get his accordian.
So past your Mither’s I did fly
And in a napkin she did tie
And on the Raich Hill I did try
To play a tune in Bognie
The thing I couldna work ava
I didna ken the Doh, Ray, Faa
But noo the Bagpipes I can blaw
I wish I was in Bognie.
He was a swanky chiel I trow
Like Robbie Burns he held the plough
And he could sing the Quarry Knowe
As ony ane in Bognie.
I love to think on the auld days
We ran aboot the clattern Braes
And climbed up trees and tore oor claes
When we were loons in Bognie.
Your auld Toll Bar I fear is gone
My hillhead Hame for ever flown
Nae interest noo for me tae roam
Aroon the braes o Bognie.
The Rucks my Father he did thatch
for them the Gamie I did watch
and whiles a rabbit I would catch
Among the woods o Bognie.
The hill in back, the highest spot
I wandered roon an’ roon a lot
A view o Buchan there we got
The ither side was Bognie.
The Clattern Howe can I forget
As through the woods we took the gait
That day from school an hour was late
When we were loons in Bognie.
A snuff box aince I took to School
I didna ken the golden rule
Mixed in black pepper and did fool
The Dominie in Bognie.
He took my mull, the Lord I thank
He didna lick me for the prank
He took a pinch and my hert sank
In school, that day in Bognie.
Your Honoured Father, I mind well
Stern like my own, and strange to tell
Each in their ain Kirk rang the bell
Those worthy sons o Bognie.
Glendronach made the mountain Dew
But at that time I never knew
Or thought that I would eer get foo
Or far awa frae Bognie.
Post Nellie she the mail would bring
Auld Milton he the psalm would sing
And Dominie Wright the Tag would swing
Upon the loons in Bognie.
Auld Tamson made the anvil ring
MacKay he danced the Hielant Fling
But I enjoyed to hear you sing
The Bawdie sangs o’ Bognie.
But Oh these days are far awa’
And noo my locks are like the snaw
Nae lang time freens I’d find ava
If I came back tae Bognie.
The Foreman Hill I see it yet
I poached aroon and you can bet
That mony a beastie I did get
When hired at Yonder Bognie.
At Hawk Ha I ae nicht was oot
When some ane stole the Sooter's Troot
When they accused me o’ the loot
I said it wisna Bognie.
A row o’ hooses were tae thack
Wi’ broom ae nicht we did attack
And on each lum a sheaf did stack
Smoked oot the wives in Bognie.
That was a wretched trick I trow
But hear them cough and sneeze and vow
How they the blackguard loons would cowe
If ever caught in Bognie.
Ae Simmer nicht on Templand Farm
Wi Fyvie's gun below my arm
A big cock pheasant I did charm
And took it hame tao Bognie.
The Bobby passing by was he
And thinks, an easy catch for me
But his clear Buttons I did see
Among the trees in Bognie.
W’ staff in hand he gave me chase
And past Shand's monument I did race
Wi’ me he couldna keep the pace
So I got back tae Bognie.
Auld Wishart he did on me froon
Blackguard says he the worst in toon
I think we’ll hae him in jail soon
Instead o’ ploughing Bognie.
But Bremner, he was nae like that
Though gossips they would lay me flat
When I met him we’d hae a chat
And nae wrang word tae Bognie.
Nae College bred high brow was he
But just as plain as you an me
He used tae be a Dominie
Before he caine tae Bognie.
The Livingstones that lived near by
Great Kirk folks were and they did try
Tae paint me black and hang me high
As neer-do-weel in Bognie.
Young Maggie lived wi’ them at ease
As Kirk School teacher she did please
Auld Wishart thought she was the cheese
A model lass in Bognie.
Auld Bowden he did wi’ her fast
and a’ the Kirk folk stood aghast
When Maggie’s bees began tae cast
And gossip made for Bognie.
Weel I mind Auld Willie Gray
Worked Wi’ my Father every day
And grand their axes they did play
Among the trees in Bognie.
My brother, Gordon, honest son
Lived on the craft my Father run,
Built a windmill, and then begun
Tae thrash his corn in Bognie.
My brother, Sandy, lived upon
Anither craft a mile beyon’
And he in turn was later on
The Forester in Bognie.
My Uncle was a Deacon there
Passed roon the plate an’ he did stare
If you had nae bawbee tae spare
For that Free Kirk in Bognie.
My Dad and he, Great family men,
Would you believe each had thirteen,
And for a time a common name was
Patterson in Bognie.
Bit time maks changes, also fate,
They all are gone or oot o’ date
For at this writing, I may state,
There’s nae ane left in Bognie.
Twa Lassies gaun tae bed at Neuk,
so we climbed up tae hae a look,
The auld wife threw the Dirler oot,
Upon the loons frae Bognie.
I had a lass near Bognie Brae,
I liked them a’ in my young day
And I made plans wi’ her to stay
Ae nicht at Mains o’ Bognie.
Bit Alick Copeland spoiled the plot,
The ither Lass was nae sae hot,
She made a noise and Gammie got
A chasing us through Bognie.
That was an easy race for me
For Gammie on nae shoes had he,
So I gaed fusslin ower the lea
And hame tae Yonder Bognie
The ploomen there the window drew
And watched that midnight hour review,
And soon the whole damm parish knew
Aboot that nicht in Bognie.
Auld Peter’s wife says, Listen son,
I think you’re rather soon begun,
The bonnie lasses for tae run
Among the woods o’ Bognie.
A Gabby Loon aince stole my Lass
And as I passed, he did me sass,
Says I, My lad, the joke I’ll pass
Some nicht on you in Bognie.
I watched ae nicht when hame they come
Then I went in the chicken run,
I got a cock put doon the lum
Then hell broke loose in Bognie.
Anither Lass on Conland farm,
She was a bute and had some charm
As roon my neck she threw her arm
I was the Ace frae Bognie.
I spent wi’ her a nicht or twa
And maybe we did break the law,
Twas there the first o’ heaven I saw,
When I was young in Bognie.
I crawled oot frae an awkward spot
The kirk folks wrath was pretty hot
The time the Minister’s dog I shot
So I cleared oot o Bognie.
On Dee and Donside I did roam,
And every place I made my home.
Nae ane there kent that I cam from
The Howe o’Forgue or Bognie.
The term came and aff I flew,
To seek green fields and pastures new,
The garden trade came into view
And I left Yonder Bognie.
To Craigston Castle next I went,
Turn ower a new leaf I was bent
The neebours there were weel content
To see me oot o’ Bognie.
So I went oot for bigger game,
I met a Lass and saw her hame
In later years she took my name,
A happy man was Bognie.
In after years I drifted doon
And met you in the auld Banff toon
And ower a drain, we very soon
Got talking aboot Bognie.
And aince a stage coach I did own
So ticks and poachers I have known
The year I lived in Foggieloan
Some sax mile north o’ Bognie.
The first Free Kirk in Scotland wide
Was bigget there wi’ muckle pride
Though seldom I did go inside
Preferred the Woods O’Bognie.
When meditating I can see
The Gowans and Daisies on the Lea,
The woods and heather hills sae free
The Howe o’ Forgue and Bognie.
And in my haste I near forgot
Tae mention een ca’d Wattie Scott
An organ for the Kirk he got
And built a hall for Bognie.
Where are the Lads of our young day?
Most of them gane and I daresay
There’s some like me that’s far away
And neer again see Bognie.
I winna blaw aboot mysel.
For ill I like my faults tae tell
The neebors here respect me well
They've never heard o Bognie.
I came oot here in 1903,
I’m no sae swak as I might be
Bit I’m nae bald as you can see
There’s plenty hair on Bognie.
Since then I've lived a careful life
I’ve got a couthy canty wife
And we hae neither care or strife
Like home sweet home in Bognie.
For fame and fortune I did try
And aftener wet than I was dry
And mony a time I wished that I
Was back again in Bognie.
I hae a map o’ Scotland here,
Shows a’ the Stills baith far and near.
I look at them and think it queer
Why ever I left Bognie.
For twelve long years the States was dry
And every one their hand did try
So I excelled in making rye
I always liked my Whisky.
Prohibition didna worry me
For in the picture you will see
Doon in the cellar twa or three
Wad hae a drink wi Bognie.
A sixty horse power car hae I
A tractor and twa trucks forby
A ten room house three stories high
Some difference here frae Bognie.
The auld wife and I are left alane
The family mairrit are and gane
But maist o’them’s been ower and seen
The house o’Forgue and Bognie.
But Gavie lad I hope yer weel
You always were a soople chiel
Could sing a sang and raise the deil
Wi’ ither loons in Bognie.
But like mysel, yer growin’ auld
And you’re retired I hae been tauld
I hope it's years before you’re hauld
Tae auld kirkyard in Bognie.
But as for me I am content
Though half my life has been misspent
I own a Kirk but I’m nae saint
Just prodigal frae Bognie.
I’m anchored now in Saybrook Town
That overlooks Long Island Sound
And built a place that brought renown
And fame for Jock frae Bognie.
In August when the weather’s good
The Scotchmen gather sic a crood
And Pipers play as if they would
Be at Drumblair and Bognie.
They ca’ me Laird but that’s a joke
For since the Hurricane I’m broke,
And I can hardly change a sock
Far less a drink o’ whisky.
But Father Time’s clock onward ticks
And next May I'll be sixty-six.
Sma chances noo for me the mix
Among auld freens in Bognie.
So here in Yankie land I’ll stay
And dream of love and youth's bright day
And if I can sell out I may
Again revisit Bognie.
Tae spend wi you a hale fornicht
There’s naething mair wad gie delicht
We’d hae a dram, oor moos wad dicht
Rehearse auld times in Bognie.
For weel I mind the joys we had
Your letter made me unco glad
And but for cash I surely wad
Return aince mair tae Bognie.
So now the rhymin’ I will stop
And dry auld stumpie on the blot
And in my bunkie I will flop
And dream of days in Bognie.
I’ll drink a toast tae you and yours
The bottle reads, it’s Johnny Dewars
And I’ll remain forever yours
Yer auld freen Jock frae Bognie.