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Brydone's brave ward* I well could spy, Beneath old Scotia's smiling eye; Who call'd on fame, low standing by,
To hand him on, Where many a patriot name on high,
And hero shone.
“Some hint the lover's harmless wile; Some grace the maiden's artless smile; Some soothe the labourer's weary toil,
For humble gains, And make his cottage scenes beguile
His cares and pains.
“ Some, bounded to a district space, Explore at large man's infant race, To mark the embryotic trace
Of rustic bard; And careful note each opening grace,
A guide and guard.
« Of these am 1-Coila my name; And this district as mine I claim, Where once the Campbells, chiefs of fame,
Held ruling power: I mark'd thy embryo tuneful flame,
Thy natal hour.
“ With future hope, I oft would gaze Fond, on thy little early ways, Thy rudely carolld chiming phrase,
In uncouth rhymes, Fired at the simple, artless lays
Of other times.
" I saw thee seek the sounding shore, Delighted with the dashing roar; Or when the north his fleecy store
Drove through the sky, I saw grim nature's visage hoar
Struck thy young eye.
With musing-deep, astonish'd stare,
Of kindred sweet,
She did me greet.
Thus poorly low!
As we bestow.
Their labours ply. “ They Scotia's race among them share ; Some fire the soldier on to dare; Some rouse the patriot up to bare
Corruption's heart; Some teach the bard, a darling care,
The tuneful art. “ 'Mong swelling floods of recking gore, They, ardent, kindling spirits pour ; Or, 'mid the venal senate's roar,
They, sightless, stand, To mend the honest patriot lore,
In energy, Or point the inconclusive page
Full on the eye. “Hence Fullarton, the brave and young; Hence Dempster's zeal-inspired tongue; Hence sweet harmonious Beattie sung
His Minstrel lays;'
The skeptic's bays.
The various man.
With tillage-skill ; And some instruct the shepherd train,
Blythe o'er the hill.
“Or, when the deep green-mantled earth Warm cherish'd every floweret's birth, And joy and music pouring forth
In every grove,
With boundless love.
And lonely stalk,
In pensive walk. “When youthful love, warm-blushing, strong, Keen-shivering shot thy nerves along, Those accents, grateful to thy tongue,
Th' adored name, I taught thee how to pour in song,
To soothe thy flame.
“ I saw thy pulse's maddening play, Wild send thee pleasure's devious way, Misled by fancy's meteor ray,
By passion driven ; But yet the light that led astray
Was light from heaven. “ I taught thy manners-painting strains, The loves, the ways of simple swains, Till now, o'er all my wide domains
Thy fame extends : And some, the pride of Coila's plains,
Become my friends.
+ Colonel Fullarton.
Ilk hoary hunter mourn'd a brither ; Ilk sportsman youth bemoan'd a father ;
a Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather,
Marks out his head, Whare Burns has wrote, in rhyming blether
Tam Samson's dead !
There low he lies, in lasting rest; Perhaps upon his mouldering breast Some spitefu' muirfowl bigs her nest,
To hatch an' breed; Alas! nae mair he'll them molest!
Tam Samson's dead !
When August winds the heather wave, And sportsmen wander by yon grave, Three volleys let his memory crave,
O'pouther an' lead, Till echo answer frae her cave,
Tam Samson's dead !
When winter muffles up his cloak, And binds the mire like a rock; When to the loughs the curlers flock,
Wi' gleesome speed, Wha will they station at the cock ?
Tam Samson's dead ! He was the king o'a' the core, To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, Or up the rink like Jehu roar
In time of need; But now he lags on death's hog-score,
Tam Samson's dead! Now safe the stately sawmont sail, And trouts bedropp'd wi' crimson hail, And eels weel kennd for souple tail,
And geds for greed, Since dark in death's fish-creel we wail
Tam Samson dead !
Tam Samson's dead ! That woefu' morn be ever mourn'd, Saw him in shootin graith adorn'd, While pointers round impatient burn'd,
Frae couples freed; But, och ! he gaed and ne'er return'd !
Tam Samson's dead !
Heaven rest his saul, whare'er he be ! Is th' wish o’monie mae than me ; He had twa faults, or may be three,
Yet what remead? Ae social, honest man want we:
Tam Samson's dead!
THE EPITAPH. TAM SAMson's weel-worn clay here lies,
Ye canting zealots, spare him ! If honest worth in heaven rise,
Ye'll mend or ye win near him.
* When this worthy old sportsman went out last muirw season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, the last of his fields;" and expressed an ardent wish to le and be buried in the muirs. On this hint the author composed his elegy and epitaph. A certain preacher, a greai favourite with the million. Vide the Ordination, stanza ii. Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, who was at that time ailing. For him, see also the Ordiuation, stanza ix.
PER CONTRA. Go, fame, and canter like a filly, Through a' the streets an' neuks o' Killie,* Tell every social, honest billie
To cease his grievin, For yet, unskaith'd by death's gleg gullie,
Tam Samson's livin,
* Killie is a phrase the country folks sometimes use for Kilmarnock.
Then first and foremost, through the kail,
Their stocks* maun a' be sought ance ; The following poem will, by many readers, be well enough They steek their e'en, an'graip an' wale, understood ; but for the sake of those who are unac
For muckle anes an’ straught anes. quainted with the manners and traditions of the country
Poor hav’rel Will fell aff the drift, where the scene is cast, notes are added, to give some account of the principal charms and spells of that night,
An' wander'd through the bow-kail, so big with prophecy to the peasantry in the west of An pow't for want o' better shift, Scotland. The passion of prying into futurity makes a A runt was like a sow-tail, striking part of the history of human nature in its rude
Sae bow't that night. slate, in all ages and nations: and it may be some entertainment to a philosophic mind, if any such should
V. honour the author with a perusal, to see the remains of it among the more unenlightened in our own.
Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar and cry a' throu’ther
The vera wee things, todlin, rin,
Wi’ stocks out-owre their shouther;
An' gif the custoc's sweet or sour,
Wi’ joctelegs they taste them ;
Wi'cannie care they place them
To lie that night.
The lasses staw frae 'mang them a',
To pou their stalks of corn ;t
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about,
Behint the muckle thorn :
He grippet Nelly hard an' fast;
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
When kiuttlin in the fause-houset
Wi' him that night.
The auld guidwife's weel hoordet nits
Are round an' round divided,
An' monie lads' an' lasses' fates
Are there that night decided :
Some kindle, couthie, side by side
An'burn thegither trimly ;
* The first ceremony of Halloween is, pulling each a III.
stock, or plant of kail. They must go out, hand in hand, The lasses feat, an' cleanly neat,
with eyes shut, and pull the first they meet with: its being
big or liule, straight or crooked, is prophetie of the size and Mair braw than when they're fine;
shape of the grand object of all their spells--the husband Their faces blythe, fu'sweetly kythe,
or wife. If any yird, or earth, stick to the root, that is Hearts leal, an' warm, an' kin':
tocher, or fortune ; and the laste of the custoc, that is, the The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs,
heart of the stem, is indicative of the natural temper and Weel knotted on their garten,
disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to give them their
ordinary appellation, the runts, are placed somewhere Some unco blate, an' some wi' gabs,
above the head of the door: and the Christian names of Gar lasses hearts gang startin
the people whom chance brings into the house, are, accordWhyles fast at night. ing to the priority of placing the runts, the names in
+ They go to the barn-yard and pull each, at three seve* Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and ral times, a slalk of oats. If the third stalk wants the other mischief-making beings, are all abroad on their top-pickle, that is, the grain at the top of the stalk, the baneful, midnight errands; particularly those aërial party in question will come to the marriage bed any thing people the fairies, are said on that night to hold a grand but a maid. anniversary.
† When the corn is in a doubtful state, by being 100 + Certain little, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the green, or wel, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, neighbourhood of the ancient seat of the Earls of Cas. &c., makes a large apartment in his slack, with an opensilis.
ing in the side which is fairest exposed to the wind : this * A noted cavern near Colean house, called the Cove he calls a fause-house. of Colean: which, as Cassilis Downans, is famed in $ Burning the nuts is a famous charm. They name the country story for being a favourite haunt of fairies. lad and lass to each particular nut, as they lay them in
§ The famous family of that name, the ancestors of the fire, and accordingly as they burn quietly logether, Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were Earls of or start from beside one another, the course and issue of Carrick.
the courtship will be.
Some start awa wi' saucie pride,
Wee Jenny to her grannie says,
“Will ye go wi' me, grannie?
I'll eat the apple* at the glass,
I gat frae uncle Johnie ;"
She fuff’t her pipe wi' sic a lunt,
In wrath she was sae vap'rin,
She noticed na, an azle brunt
Her braw new worset apron
Out through that night.
“Ye little skelpie-limmer's face !
How daur you try sic sportin,
As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune?
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!
Great cause ye hae to fear it;
For monie a ane has gotten a fright,
An' lived an' died deleerit
On sic a night.
« Ae hairst afore the Sherra-moor,
I mind't as weel' yestreen,
I was a gilpey then, I'm sure
I was na past fyfteen :
The simmer had been cauld an’ wat,
An' stuff was unco green;
An'aye a rantin kirn we gat,
An'just on Halloween
It fell that night.
“ Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen,
A clever, sturdy fallow;
He's sin got Eppie Sim wi' wean,
That lived in Achmacalla :
He gat hemp-seed,t I mind it weel,
An' he made unco light o't;
But monie a day was by himsel,
He was sae sairly frighted
That vera night.”
Then up gat sechtin Jamie Fleck,
An' he swoor by his conscience,
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck ;
For it was a' but nonsense ;
The auld guidman raught down the pock, XII.
An' out a handful gied him ;
Syne bad him slip frae 'mang the folk,
Sometimes when nae ane seed him :
An' try't that night.
* Take a candle, and go alone to a looking-glass; eat
an apple before it, and some traditions say, you should Or whether 'twas a bauken,
comb your hair, all the time; the face of your conjugal Or whether it was Andrew Bell,
companion, to be, will be seen in the glass, as if peeping She did na wait on talkin
over your shoulder. To spier that night.
+ Steal out unperceived, and sow a handful of hempseed; harrowing it with any thing you can conveniently
draw after you. Repeat now and then, “ Hemp-seed, I • Whoever would, with success, try this spell, must saw thee, hemp-seed, I saw thee; and him (or her) that strictly observe these directions : Steal out, all alone, 10 is to be my true love, come after me and pou thee.” Look the kiln, and, darkling, throw into the pot a clue of blue over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance yarn; wind it in a new clue off the old one; and, towards of the person invoked, in the attitude of pulling hemp. the latter end, something will hold the thread; demand Some traditions say, "come after me, and shaw thee," wha hauds ? i. e. who holds ? an answer will be returned that is, show thyself: in which case it simply appears frorn the kiln-poi, by naming the Christian and surname Others omit the harrowing, and say, "come after me, and of your future spouse.