When starships sail frae out th' burn
Where stars in eldritch cycles turn
An' maun lay in at port or planet
Sae that th' crews may search an' scan it
For inns where flows that precious dew
That turns an ensign unco fou
Or taverns where th' hurdy-gurdies
Play strathspeys for th' bonnie burdies,
We ken na man nor alien beastie
Nor aught to sour our bev'rage yeasty;
And on our captain dance we jigs
Fu' heedless o' th' looming brig.
Montgomery Scott sic truth wad find
On shore leave, leaving naught behind
Save empty pint-stowps from th' nappy
That ever left him fou and happy;
On duty, ne'er stood ane sae clever,
But on his leave: Stay sober? Never!
O Scott! Twa space marines thou'd tumble
Though reaming swats sti' bid thee stumble,
For though thou was a drunken skellum
Thou traveled ready ``para bellum.''
Th' captain ca'd thee mad wi' drinkin'
And asked thee what thou hadst been thinkin'
To challenge Klingon, human, Gorn,
An' ilka race o' planet born;
He tauld thee that some awfu' muddle
Wad coom upon thee, draught-befuddled,
When thou couldst lift na hand agin' it,
An' syne th' crew'd na have thee in it!
Whene'er thou stuttered ``Beam me up!''
An' staggered, bletherin' in thy cups,
Sae that frae bridge 'til engineering
Thy rairin' nonsense a' were hearing,
'Twas syne that Spock did roll his een
And darkly muttered, venting spleen,
``Tapsalteerie th' human race is,
Sae from mysel I'll purge its traces!''
Eke Banes McCoy, wi' doctor's ken,
Did ca' thee strange among a' men,
For ne'er he'd seen a lad sae drouthy
Nor keen to brawl wi' beasties toothy
When ance he'd drunk Antarean brandy
(or aught o' spirits that was handy).
Ah, fieres, it gars me greet to think
How a' tauld Scott that daemon drink
Could nobbut bring his ship right down,
But Scott their words set ale aboon!
But now, our story: twa fine days
Had passed our Scotty in th' braes
O' Argo IV (where, by his learnin',
A crew'd been banned frae e'er returnin')
In camping, for he'd heard what fun
Th' captain, Banes, and Spock had done.
O' course, he couldna tak vacation
Wi'out a bit o' sweet libation:
Five cases fu' wi' ale in bottles
To wet th' throat an' float th' noddle;
Two kegs o' bitters frae Orion
What set a laddie's head to flyin';
Nine fifths o' gin frae Rigel Six,
As potent as th' fabled Styx;
Rehoboams wi' brandy brimmin' -
Enou', I wis, for Scott to swim in;
And ane wee flask, though Scott did fear it,
O' that which men ca' Auld Janx Spirit.
Now, time it was to tak th' gate
To port where shuttlecraft did wait,
For though th' leave was captain's orders,
Thae eke did maintenance on transporters;
But Scott to gain th' port maun tramp
Hard by th' barrows cauld an' damp
And cairns where lie th' banes in scores
O' bodies frae th' Klingon Wars.
Th' wind blew snell; th' rain began
To fill th' hollows o' th' land
An' dubs aplenty fouled th' road
To mire down poor Scotty's load;
Yet Scott feared little for th' mirk -
Th' Auld Janx Spirit did its work;
It sloshed aboot to cloud his wits
An' drove him careless through th' pits,
For of th' spirits he ha' coddled
There was naught left save empty bottles.
Scott skelpit onward through th' slime,
Sang 'Rashes Green' to pass th' time;
For if his pack he ance did cour,
He'd not survive another hour.
Now nigh he drew to meikle stanes
That overarched th' mulching banes -
Where mony a man in pain expired
Beneath a rain o' phaser fire,
An' frae which heights were Klingons cast
To bloody murder, years lang past;
An' also to unhallowed ground
Whence rise th' ghaists to loup around
For Scotsmen far frae Terra anly
Wi' wham thae might na be sae lanely.
Th' thunder raired as 'twad consume him;
Th' clouds aboon him lowered, loomin';
A bolt o' lightning struck th' barrows;
Scott fancied bogles, elves, an' dwarrows
Were leaping from th' stanes to meet him
An' wunnered he if thae wad eat him.
Syne 'twixt th' clouds, th' planet's moons
Lit cairns and brae as bright as noon,
Revealing sic an unco scene
As ne'er before ha' reached Scott's een!
Klingons wha tripped a dance o' war!
Bedecked wi' garb o' years before,
An' each now forces lids frae een
An' bawls his death-cry on th' green;
A table wrought o' human banes
Was laid hard by upon th' stanes
Where Klingons beat th' throbbing drums
An' dirlt lang strings o' human thumbs.
An' on that table Scotty saw
An ensign's head wi' open maw
(Though did that lad, mayhap, appear
Like ane he'd watched expire last year?
Wha knows, for ensigns often die,
An' wha are we to question why?),
Five daggers fresh frae filling coffins,
Five phasers hot an' fired often,
Disruptors, plasmas, antimatter -
Weapons whase sight can empty bladders!
Heroic Scott stood yet undaunted
And didna fear th' barrows haunted
Until he spied aboon th' core
Atop th' stanes that marked th' war
A desert-scour'd, rigwoodie wight,
Whase een bleezed madly in th' light
As now he urged th' dancers on;
Twa sic there couldna be - 'twas Khan!
Now bralda-him an' reaming swats
Can bring Dutch courage eke to Scots,
An' usquebae, but ane wee cup,
Can get a Scotsman's Irish up.
Th' Auld Janx Spirit seethed an' roiled;
It seemed that Scotty's blude wad boil:
Fu' brawlie he remembered how
His ship was dubbed a garbage scow,
An' how he'd had to self-destruct her
Before th' Klingons could abduct her,
An', all aboon, Khan's awfu' grin
When ance it seemed he'd do them in!
Sae frae brave Scotty forth there burst
A string o' epithets, th' worst
That e'er a Starfleet man did utter;
'Twas nae dull groan nor subtle mutter
But fu' fell fyke an' meikle roar
As ne'er ae man ha' spak before.
His throat grew hoarse, but though he shivered
He vented spleen, heart, lungs, and liver
An' finished off his dreadful spree
With words he'd kent in Klingonii:
``ToQe'Human'Stra'v!'' (which means
A willing slave to lesser beings)
In a' th' time, though Scott dinned loud,
He'd won nae notice frae th' crowd,
But this last slur was sairly felt:
A fouler oath could scarce be dealt!
(To thae wha dinna ken, this line
Had ance been shouted out, lang syne,
By Lord Kahar, when ken arrived
That humans on Donatu Five
Had sent th' Klingons hame wi' loss -
Which news left Kahar unco cross,
To General Kagga, wha, incensed,
Made civil war in recompense.)
Now every ghastly wheeled aboot,
An' a' their een sought Scotty out;
Th' Auld Janx Spirit ceased to splash;
Scott kent he'd been a wee bit rash:
He dropped his bundle, turned his back,
An' flew like warp along th' track.
Wi' skriech an' rair an' banshee-wail
Th' core was hot upon his trail!
Twa minutes: Scott had cleared th' brae;
In fifteen mair, he'd beat th' way
To Argo Spaceport, where a shuttle
Wad free him o' this awfu' muddle.
He sought nae clearance frae th' tow'r
But lifted off at ance, fu' pow'r,
An' burned a crater in th' field
That time an' wind ha' yet to heal.
Th' Enterprise was close at hand,
But still Scott heard th' ghastly band,
Sae, gaining hame and yet afearing,
He beat a path to engineering
An' there performed a feat o' magic
That was as great as it was tragic:
Th' ship broke orbit, drive alight,
An' sped intil galactic night
At speeds as far beyond th' pale
As transwarp is compared wi' snails!
When Captain Kirk could halt th' beast,
Thae'd traveled, at th' very least,
Five hundred parsecs frae th' place
Where Scott began his frantic race.
In after days, Scott sought th' ken
To drive his ship sae swift again
That came to him when he was fou,
But sic a deed he couldna do,
Though Spock suggested that he think
While fou upon th' selfsame drink,
Which, though it might arouse Scott's muse,
McCoy with anger flat refused
An' caud Spock ``soulless science-slave,''
But then, sic was he wont to rave.
Now when frae space you get reprieve
An' head for shore to tak your leave
To languish in th' spaceport bars
An' drink away a' thoughts o' stars,
Think! what you'll pay for ane mair sip -
Remember Scotty's fateful trip!