Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Scotland: Vols. VI–VIII. 1876–79.



By Alexander Wilson (1766–1813)

FROM the village of Leslie, with a heart full of glee,

And my pack on my shoulders, I rambled out free,

Resolved that same evening, as Luna was full,

To lodge, ten miles distant, in old Auchtertool.

Through many a lone cottage and farm-house I steered,

Took their money, and off with my budget I sheered;

The road I explored out, without form or rule,

Still asking the nearest to old Auchtertool.

At length I arrived at the edge of the town,

As Phœbus, behind a high mountain, went down;

The clouds gathered dreary, and weather blew foul,

And I hugged myself safe now in old Auchtertool.

An inn I inquired out, a lodging desired,

But the landlady’s pertness seemed instantly fired;

For she saucy replied, as she sat carding wool,

“I ne’er kept sic lodgers in auld Auchtertool.”

With scorn I soon left her to live on her pride;

But, asking, was told there was none else beside,

Except an old weaver, who now kept a school,

And these were the whole that were in Auchtertool.

To his mansion I scampered, and rapped at the door;

He oped, but as soon as I dared to implore,

He shut it like thunder, and uttered a howl

That rung through each corner of old Auchtertool.

Deprived of all shelter, through darkness I trode,

Till I came to a ruined old house by the road,

Here the night I will spend, and, inspired by the owl,

My wrath I ’ll vent forth upon old Auchtertool.