Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Mendicants
The MendicantsWhen inning stooks have cleared the field
And orchards scanty harvest yield,
From tree or trellised wall
My door becomes a convent gate
Where daily mendicants await -
The dole matutinal.
A dozen starlings from the roof,
A wary rook that holds aloof
Until the coast is clear;
And woodland warblers winterdumb,
That venture on the outmost crumb.
With many a start of fear.
And no distinction do we make
But thief and minstrel may partake.
As freely as they dare;
Nor have we asked if it is wise
With thoughtless hand to pauperize
These vagrants of the air.
How cheaply happiness is spread!
A little farthing’s worth of bread
Suffices all the throng;
And now and then in recompense,
A sated starling from the fence,
Essays his feeble song.
Meaning of unusual words:
Inning stooks=bundled and tied harvest stalks
pauperize=make beggars of
dole matutinal=daily morning hand-out
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