Sidor som bilder

All in this mottie, misty clime,
I backward mused on wasted time,
How I had spent my youthfu' time,

And done naething, But stringin blethers up in rhyme,

For fools to sing.

Had I to guid advice but harkit, I might, by this, hae led a market, Or strutted in a bank an' clarkit

My cash account: While here, half mad, half fed, half sarkit,

Is a' th' amount.

Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods; There, well-fed Irwine stately thuds : Auld hermit Ayr staw through his wouds,

On to the shore ;
And many a lesser torrent scuds,

With seeming roar.
Low, in a sandy valley spread,
An ancient borough rear'd her head ;
Still, as in Scottish story read,

She boasts a race,
To every nobler virtue bred,

And polish'd grace.
By stately tower or palace fair,
Or ruins pendent in the air,
Bold stems of heroes, here and there,

I could discern;
Some seemd to muse, some seem'd to dare,

With feature stern.

I started, muttering, blockhead! coof! And heaved on high my waukit loof, To swear by a' yon starry roof,

Or some rash aith, That I, henceforth, would be rhyme-proof

Till my last breath

When click! the strink the snick did draw; And jee! the door gaed to the wa’; An' by my ingle-lowe I saw,

Now bleezin bright, A tight, outlandish hizzie, braw,

Come full in sight.

My heart did glowing transport feel, To see a race* heroic wheel, And brandish round the deep-dyed steel

In sturdy blows; While back-recoiling seem'd to reel

Their stubborn foes.

Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht; The infant aith, half-form'd, was crusht; I glowr'd as eerie's I'd been dusht

In some wild glen; When sweet, like modest worth, she blusht,

And stepped ben.

His country's saviour,t mark him well! Bold Richardton'sť heroic swell; The chief on Sarkę who glorious fell,

In high command; And he whom ruthless fates expel

His native land.

Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows; I took her for some Scottish muse,

By that same token ; An' come to stop those reckless vows,

Wou'd soon been broken.

A “hair-brain'd, sentimental trace,"
Was strongly marked in her face;
A wildly-witty, rustic grace

Shone full upon her ;
Her eye, e'en turn'd on empty space,

Beam'd keen with honour.

There, where a sceptred Pictish shade, Stalk'd round his ashes lowly laid, I mark'd a martial race, portray'd

In colours strong; Bold, soldier-featur'd, undismay'd

They strode along. Through many a wild, romantic grove, Near many a hermit-fancy'd cove, (Fit haunts for friendship or for love,

In musing mood,
An aged judge, I saw him rove,

Dispensing good.
With deep-struck reverential awe**
The learned sire and son I saw,
To Nature's God and Nature's law

They gave their lore, This, all its source and end to draw,

That, to adore.

Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen;
Till half a leg was scrimply seen ;
And such a leg! my bonnie Jean

Could only peer it;
Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean,

Nane else came near it.

Her mantle large, of greenish hue, My gazing wonder chiefly drew; Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling threw,

A lustre grand; And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,

A well known land.

The Wallaces.

† William Wallace. I Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the immortal preserver or Scottish independence.

& Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas Earl of Ormond, at the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1448. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct, and intrepid valour of the gallant Laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.

|| Coilus, King of the Picts, from whom the district of Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition says, near the family-seat of the Montgomeries of Coil'sfield, where his burial-place is still shown.

T Barskimming the seat of the Lord Justice Clerk.

** Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor and present Professor Stewart.

Here, rivers in the sea were lost ; There, mountains to the skies were tost: Here, tumbling billows mark'd the coast,

With surging foam ; There, distant shone art's lofty boast,

The lordly dome.

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,
I view'd the heavenly-seeming fair ;
A whispering throb did witness bear,

Of kindred sweet,
When with an elder sister's air

She did me greet.
“ All hail ! my own inspired bard!
In me thy native muse regard !
Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard,

Thus poorly low!
I come to give thee such reward

As we bestow.
“ Know the great genius of this land
Has many a light aërial band,
Who, all beneath his high command,

As arts or arms they understand,

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,


the hand.
“ And when the bard, or hoary sage,
Charm or instruct the future age,
They bind the wild poet rage

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;'
Or tore, with noble ardour stung,

The skeptic's bays.
“ To lower orders are assign'd
The humbler ranks of human-kind,
The rustic bard, the labouring hind,

The artisan;
All choose, as various they're inclined,

The various man.
“ When yellow waves the heavy grain,
The threatening storm some strongly rein,
Some teach to menorate the plain

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,
I saw thee eye the general mirth

With boundless love.
“When ripen'd fields, and azure skies,
Call’d forth the reapers' rustling noise,
I saw thee leave their evening joys,

And lonely stalk,
To vent thy bosom's swelling rise

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.

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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. state, 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,
Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,

Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther;
The simple pleasures of the lowly train;

An' gif the custoc's sweet or sour,
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art

Wi' joctelegs they taste them ;
GOLDSMITH. Syne coziely, aboon the door,

Wi'cannie care they place them

To lie that night.
Upon that night, when fairies light,

On Cassilis Downanst dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,

The lasses staw frae 'mang them a',
On sprightly coursers prance;

To pou their stalks o' corn ;t
Or for Colean the route is ta’en,

But Rab slips out, an'jinks about,
Beneath the moon's pale beams;

Behint the muckle thorn :
There, up the covent to stray an'rove

He grippet Nelly hard an' fast;
Amang the rocks and streams,

Loud skirl'd a' the lasses ;
To sport that night.

But her tap-pickle maist was lost,

When kiuttlin in the fause-housef

Wi' him that night.
Amang the bonnic winding banks,

Where Doon rins, wimpling clear,
Where Bruceş ance ruled the martial ranks,

The auld guidwife's weel hoordet nits
An' shook his Carrick spear,

Are round an' round divided,
Some merry, friendly countra folks,

An’ monie lads' an' lasses' fates
Together did convene,

Are there that night decided :
To burn their nits, an' pou their stocks,

Some kindle, couthie, side by side
An' haud their Halloween

An'burn thegither trimly ;
Fu’ blythe that night.

* 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 orlitlle, 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 taste of the custos, 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 stalk 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.

I When the corn is in a doubtful state, by being 100 + Certain litle, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the green, or wet, 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 stack, with an open. silis.

ing in the side which is fairest exposed to the wind: this I 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 together, Robert, the great deliverer of his country, werc Earls of or start from beside one another, the course and issue of Carrick.

the courtship will be.

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