Sidor som bilder

Or is't the paughty, feudal thane, Wi' ruffled sark an' glancin' cane, Wha thinks himsel nae sheep-shank bane, But lordly stalks, While caps and bonnets aff are ta❜en, As by he walks?

"O Thou wha gies us each guid gift! Gie me o' wit an' sense a lift, Then turn me, if Thou please, adrift, Through Scotland wide; Wi' cits nor lairds I wadna shift, In a' their pride!"

Were this the charter of our state, "On pain o' hell be rich an' great," Damnation then would be our fate Beyond remead; But, thanks to heaven! that's no the gate We learn our creed.

For thus the royal mandate ran, When first the human race began, "The social, friendly, honest man, Whate'er he be, "Tis he fulfils great nature's plan, An' none but he !"

O mandate glorious and divine! The ragged followers of the nine, Poor, thoughtless devils! yet may shine In glorious light, While sordid sons of Mammon's line Are dark as night.

Though here they scrape, an' squeeze, an' growl,

Their worthless nievefu' of a soul
May in some future carcass howl,
The forest's fright;
Or in some day-detesting owl
May shun the light.

Then may Lapraik and Burns arise, To reach their native, kindred skies, And sing their pleasures, hopes, an' joys, In some mild sphere, Still closer knit in friendship's tie

Each passing year.

TO W. S*****N,


May, 1785.

I GAT your letter, winsome Willie ;
Wi' gratefu' heart I thank you brawlie;
Though I maun say't, I wad be silly,
An' unco vain,
Should I believe, my coaxin' billie,
Your flatterin strain.
But I'se believe ye kindly meant it,
I sud be laith to think ye hinted
Ironic satire, sidelin's sklented

On my poor musie; Though in sic phrasin' terms ye've penn'd it, I scarce excuse ye.

My senses wad be in a creel Should I but dare a hope to speel Wi' Allan, or wi' Gilbertfield, The braes o' fame;

Or Fergusson, the writer-chiel,
A deathless name.

(O Fergusson! thy glorious parts Ill suited law's dry, musty arts! My curse upon your whunstane hearts, Ye Enbrugh gentry! The tithe o' what ye waste at cartes, Wad stow'd his pantry!)

Yet when a tale comes i' my head, Or lasses gie my heart a screed, As whyles they're like to be my deed, (O sad disease!)

I kittle up my rustic reed;

It gies me ease.

Auld Coila now may fidge fu' fain, She's gotten poets o' her ain, Chiels wha their chanters winna hain, But tune their lays, Till echoes a' resound again

Her weel-sung praise.

Nae poet thought her worth his while, To set her name in measured style; She lay like some unkenn'd-of isle Beside New Holland, Or whare wild-meeting oceans boil Besouth Magellan.

Ramsay an' famous Fergusson Gied Forth an' Tay a lift aboon; Yarrow an' Tweed to monie a tune, Owre Scotland rings, While Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, an' Doon, Naebody sings.

Th' Illyssus, Tiber, Thames, an' Seine, Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line! But, Willie, set your fit to mine, An' cock your crest, We'll gar our streams and burnies shine Up wi' the best.

We'll sing auld Coila's plains an' fells, Her moors red-brown with heather bells, Her banks an' braes, her dens and dells, Where glorious Wallace Aft bure the gree, as story tells,

Frae southron billies.

At Wallace' name what Scottish blood But boils up in a spring-tide flood! Oft have our fearless fathers strode By Wallace' side, Still pressing onward, red-wat-shod, Or glorious dyed.

O, sweet are Coila's haughs an' woods, When lintwhites chant amang the buds, And jinkin hares, in amorous whids, Their loves enjoy, While through the braes the cushat eroods With wailfu' cry!

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EPISTLE TO J. R******.


O ROUGH, rude, ready-witted R******, The wale o' cocks for fun an' drinkin! There's mony godly folks are thinkin,

Your dreams* an' tricks Will send you, Korah-like, a-sinkin, Straught to auld Nick's.

Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants, And in your wicked druncken rants, Ye mak a devil o' the saunts,

An' fill them fou ;
And then their failings, flaws, an' wants,
Are a' seen through.

Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it!
That holy robe, O dinna tear it!
Spare 't for their sakes wha aften wear it,
The lads in black!
But your curst wit, when it comes near it,
Rives 't aff their back.

Think, wicked sinner, wha ye're skaithing,
Its just the blue-gown badge an' claithing
O' saunts; tak that, ye lea'e them naething
To ken them by,
Frae ony unregenerate heathen
Like you or I.

I've sent you home some rhyming ware,
A' that I bargain'd for, an' mair ;
Sae, when ye hae an hour to spare,
I will expect

Yon sang,t ye'll sen't wi' cannie care,
And no neglect.

Though faith, sma' heart hae I to sing!
My muse dow scarcely spread her wing!
I've play'd mysel a bonnie spring,

An' danced my fill!
I'd better gane an' sair't the king,
At Bunker's Hill.

"Twas ae night lately in my fun,
I gaed a roving wi' the gun,
An' brought a paitrick to the grun,
A bonnie hen,
And, as the twilight was begun,
Thought nane wad ken.

The poor wee thing was little hurt;
I straikit it a wee for sport,
Ne'er thinkin they wad fash me for't;
But, deil-ma-care!
Somebody tells the poacher-court
The hale affair.

Some auld used hands had ta'en a note,
That sic a hen had got a shot;
I was suspected for the plot;

I scorn'd to lie;
So gat the whizzle o' my groat,
An' pay't the fee.

* A certain humorous dream of his was then making a noise in the country side.

† A song he had promised the author.

But, by my gun, o' guns the wale, An' by my pouther an' my hail, An' by my hen, an' by her tail, I vow an' swear! The game shall pay o'er moor an' dale, For this, niest year.

As soon's the clockin-time is by, An' the wee pouts begun to cry, Ld, I'se hae sportin by an' by, For my gowd guinea: Though I should herd the buckskin kye For't in Virginia.

Trowth, they had muckle for to blame! 'Twas neither broken wing nor limb, But twa-three draps about the wame Scarce through the feathers; An' baith a yellow George to claim,

An' thole their blethers!

It pits me aye as mad's a hare; So I can rhyme nor write nae mair; But pennyworth's again is fair,

When time's expedient: Meanwhile I am, respected sir,

Your most obedient.



Of brownyis and of bogilis full is this buke. GAWIN DOUGLAS.

WHEN chapman billies leave the street, And drouthy neebors neebors meet, As market-days are wearing late, An' folk begin to tak the gate; While we sit bousing at the nappy, An' gettin fou and unco happy, We think na on the lang Scots miles, The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles, That lie between us and our hame, Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame, Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest Tam O'Shanter, As he frae Ayr ae night did canter, (Auld Ayr, whom ne'er a town surpasses, For honest men and bonny lasses.)

O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise, As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice! She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum, A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum; That frae November till October, Ae market-day thou was nae sober; That ilka melder, wi' the miller, Thou sat as lang as thou had siller; That every naig was ca'd a shoe on, The smith and thee gat roaring fou on; That at the L-d's house, e'en on Sunday, Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday. She prophesied, that late or soon, Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon; Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk, By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.

Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet, To think how mony counsels sweet, How mony lengthen'd, sage advices, The husband frae the wife despises !

But to our tale: Ae market night, Tam had got planted unco right; Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely; And at his elbow souter Johnny, His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony; Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither; They had been fou for weeks thegither. The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter; And aye the ale was growing better; The landlady and Tam grew gracious, Wi' favours secret, sweet, and precious: The souter tauld his queerest stories; The landlord's laugh was ready chorus: The storm without might rair and rustle, Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man sae happy, E'en drown'd himself amang the nappy; As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure, The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure; Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious, O'er a' the ills o' life victorious.

But pleasures are like poppies spread, You seize the flower, its bloom is shed; Or like the snow-falls in the river, A moment white-then melts for ever; Or like the borealis race, That flit ere you can point their place; Or like the rainbow's lovely form Evanishing amid the storm.Nae man can tether time or tide; The hour approaches Tam maun ride; That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane, That dreary hour he mounts his beast in ; And sic a night he taks the road in, As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last; The rattling showers rose on the blast; The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd; Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd: That night, a child might understand, The deil had business on his hand.

Weel mounted on his gray mare Meg, A better never lifted leg,

Tam skelpit on through dub and mire,
Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet:
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet;
Whiles glowering round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares ;
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and howlets nightly cry.-

By this time he was cross the ford, Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd; And past the birks an' meikle stane, Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck bane; And through the whins, and by the cairn, Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn ;

And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.-
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars through the woods:
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll;
When, glimmering through the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze;
Through ilka bore the beams were glancing;
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.-

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippenny we fear nae evil;

Wi' usquabae we'll face the devil!-
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he cared na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood right sair astonish'd,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillon brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He screw'd the pipes, and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.-
Coffins stood round like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some devilish cantraip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light,-
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,

A murderer's banes in gibbet airns;
Twa span lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief new cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi' bluid red rusted;
Five cimiters, wi' murder crusted;
A garter, which a babe had strangled;
A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The gray hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which e'en to name wad be unlawfu'.

As Tammie glowr'd, amazed and curious, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious: The piper loud and louder blew ;

The dancers quick and quicker flew ;

They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit, Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,

And coost her duddies to the wark, And linket at it in her sark!

Now Tam, O Tam! had they been queans, A' plump and strapping, in their teens ; Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen, Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen! Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair, That ance were plush, o' guid blue hair, I wad hae gien them aff my hurdies For ae blink o' the bonnie burdies.

But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Lowping an' flinging on a crummock,
I wonder didna turn thy stomach.

But Tam kenn'd what was what fu' brawlie,
There was ae winsome wench and walie,
That night enlisted in the core,
(Lang after kenn'd on Carrick shore!
For mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd mony a bonnie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country side in fear.)
Her cuttie sark, o' Paisley harn,
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude though sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie.-
Ah! little kenn'd thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
Wi' twa pund Scots, ('twas a' her riches,)
Wad ever graced a dance of witches!

But here my muse her wing maun cour;
Sic flights are far beyond her power;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
(A souple jade she was and strang,)
And how Tam stood like ane bewitch'd,
And thought his very e'en enrich'd;
E'en Satan glowr'd, and fidged fu' fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main:
Till first ae caper, syne anither,

Tam tint his reason a' thegither,

And roars out, "Weel done, cutty-sark!"
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.

As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie's mortal foes,

When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi' mony an eldritch skreech and hollow.

Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin!
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin!
Kate soon will be a wofu' woman!
Now do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane* of the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle-

*It is a well known fact that witches, or any evil spirits, have no power to follow a poor wight any farther than the middle of the next running stream.-It may be proper likewise to mention to the benighted traveller, that when he falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much more hazard in turning back.

Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail:
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, Ilk man and mother's son, tak heed: Whene'er to drink you are inclined, Or cutty-sarks run in your mind, Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear,Remember Tam O'Shanter's mare.



WHEN o'er the hill the eastern star,

Tells bughtin-time is near, my jo; And owsen frae the furrow'd field,

Return sae dowf and weary, O; Down by the burn, where scented birks, Wi' dew are hanging clear, my jo, I'll meet thee on the lea-rig, My ain kind dearie, O.

In mirkest glen, at midnight hour, I'd rove and ne'er be eerie, 0,

If through that glen, I gaed to thee, My ain kind dearie, O.

Although the night were ne'er sae wild,
And I were ne'er sae wearie, O,
I'd meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.

The hunter lo'es the morning sun,

To rouse the mountain deer, my jo, At noon the fisher seeks the glen,

Along the burn to steer, my jo;
Gie me the hour o' gloamin gray,

It maks my heart sae cheery, O,
To meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, O.

TUNE-"Ewe-bughts, Marion."

WILL ye go to the Indies, my Mary,
And leave auld Scotia's shore?
Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary,
Across th' Atlantic's roar?

O sweet grows the lime and the orange, And the apple on the pine;

But a' the charms o' the Indies,

Can never equal thine.

I hae sworn by the heavens to my Mary, I hae sworn by the heavens to be true; And sae may the heavens forget me, When I forget my vow!

O plight me your faith, my Mary,

And plight me your lily-white hand; O plight me your faith, my Mary, Before I leave Scotia's strand.

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