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XXIII. He marches through amang the stacks,

They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice : Though he was something sturtin ;

They hecht him some fine braw ane; The graip he for a harrow taks,

It chanced the stack he faddom'd thrice," An'haurls at his curpin :

Was timmer propt for thrawin: An' every now an' then he says,

He taks á swirlie, auld moss-oak, “Hemp-seed, I saw thee,

For some black, grousome carlin ;
An' her that is to be my lass,

An' loot a winze, an' drew a stroke,
Come after me and draw thee,

Till skin in blypes came haurlin
As fast this night.”

Aff's nieves that night.

He whistled up Lord Lenox' march

A wanton widow Leezie was,
To keep his courage cheerie ;

As canty as a kittlen;
Although his hair began to arch,

But och! that night, amang the shaws, He was sae fley'd an eerie :

She got a fearfu' settlin ! Till presently he hears a squeak,

She through the whins, an' by the cairn, An' then a grane an' gruntle ;

An' owre the hill gaed scrievin, He by his shouther gae a keek,

Whare three lairds' lands met at a burnt
An' tumbled wi' a wintle

To dip her left sark sleeve in,
Out-owre that night.

Was bent that night.

XXV. He roar'd a horrid murder-shout,

* Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays, In dreadfu' desperation !

As through the glen it wimplet:
An' young an’auld came rinnin out,

Whyles round a rocky scar it strays ;
To hear the sad narration :

Whyles in a wiel it dimplet;
He swoor 'twas hilchin Jean M‘Craw,

Whyles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Or crouchie Morran Humphie,

Wi' bickering, dancing dazzle ;
Till stop ! she trotted through them a';

Whyles cookit underneath the braes,
An' wha was it but Grumphie

Below the spreading hazel,
Asteer that night!

Unseen that night.

Meg fain wad to the barn gaen,

Amang the brachens, on the brae,

Between her an' the moon,
To win three wechts o' naething;*
But for to meet the deil her lane,

The deil, or else an outler quey,
She pat but little faith in :

Gat up an' gae a croon:
She gies the herd a pickle nits,

Poor Leezie's heart mais lap the hool;
An’twa red cheekit apples,

Neer lav'rock height she jumpit,
To watch, while for the barn she sets,

But mist a fit, an' in the pool
In hopes to see Tam Kipples

Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,
That vera night.

Wi'a plunge that night.

She turns the key wi' cannie thraw,

In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
An' owre the threshold ventures;

The luggies threef are ranged,
But first on Sawnie gies a ca',
Syne bauldly in she enters;

* Take an opportunity of going, unnoticed, to a Bear

stack, and fathom it three times round. The last fathom A ratton rattled up the wa',

of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appearAn' she cried L-d preserve her,

ance of your future conjugal yoke-fellow. An' ran through midden-hole an'a',

You go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to An' pray'd wi' zeal an' fervour,

a south running spring or rivulet, where “ three lairds' Fu’fast that night.

lands meet,” and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to

dry. Lie awake; and some time near midnight, an appa* This charm must likewise be performed unperceived, rition, having the exact figure of the grand object in ques. and alone. You go to the barn, and open both doors, tion, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other laking them off the hinges, if possible; for there is danger side of it. that the being, about to appear, may shut the doors, and Take three dishes; put clean water in one, foul do you some mischief. Then take that instrument used water in another, leave the third empty: blindfold a in winnowing the corn, which, in our country dialect, person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are we call a wecht; and go through all the attitudes of letting ranged: he or she) dips the left hand: if by chance in down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times; and the clean water, the future husband or wife will come to the third time an apparition will pass through the barn, the bar of matrimony a maid ; if in the foul, a widow; if in at the windy door, and out at the other, having both in the empty dish, it foretells, with equal certainty, no the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue, marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and every marking the employment or station in life.

time the arrangement of the dishes is altered

Though now ye dow but hoyte an' hobble An' wintle like a saumont-coble, That day ye was a jinker noble

For heels an' win'! An’ran them till they a' did wauble,

Far, far behin.

And every time great care is ta’en,

To see them duly changed :
Auld uncle John, wha wedlock's joys

Sin Mar's year did desire,
Because he gat the toom-dish thrice,
He heaved them on the fire

In wrath that night.

Wi’ merry sangs, and friendly cracks,

I wat they dinna weary ;
An' unco tales, an' funnie jokes,

Their sports were cheap an' cheery, Till butter'd so'ns,* wi’ fragrant lunt,

Set a' their gabs a-steerin; Syne, wi'a social glass o' strunt, They parted aff careerin

Fu' blythe that night.

When thou an' I were young an' skeigh, An' stable-meals at fairs were dreigh, How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' skreigh,

An' tak the road! Town's bodies ran, and stood abeigh,

An'ca't thee mad.

When thou was corn't, an' I was mellow, We took the road aye like a swallow : At brooses thou had ne'er a fellow,

For pith an' speed: But every tail thou pay't them hollow,

Where'er thou gaed.





The sma’, droop-rumpl't, hunter cattle, Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle ; But sax Scotch miles thou try't their mettle,

An' gar't them whaizle : Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle

O'saugh or hazel.
Thou was a noble fittie-lan',
As e'er in tug or tow was drawn !
Aft thee an' I, in aught hours gaun,

On guid March weather, Hae turn'd sax rood beside our han',

For days thegither. Thou never braindg't, an' fetch't, an’ Aiskit, But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, An' spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket,

Wi' pith, an' pow'r, Till spritty knowes wad rair't and risket,

An’slypet owre.

A GUID new-year I wish thee, Maggie! Hae, there's a rip to thy auld baggie : Though thou's howe-backit, now, an' knaggie,

I've seen the day,
Thou could hae gaen like ony staggie

Out-owre the lay.
Though now thou's dowie, stiff, an' crazy,
An' thy auld hide's as white's a daisy,
I've seen thee dappl't, sleek, and glaizie,

A bonnie gray :
He should been tight that daur't to raize thee,

Ance in a day.
Thou ance was i’ the foremost rank,
A filly buirdly, steeve, an' swank,
An' set weel down a shapely shank,

As e'er tread yird ;
An' could hae flown out-owrc a stank,

Like ony bird.
It's now some nine an' twenty year,
Sin' thou was my good father's meere;
He gied me thee, o' tocher clear,

An' fifty mark;
Though it was sma', 'twas weel-won gear,

An' thou was stark. When first I gaed to woo my Jenny, Ye then was trottin wi' your minnie: Though ye was trickie, slee, an' funnie,

Ye ne'er was donsie ;
But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie,

An' unco sopsie.
That day, ye pranced wi' muckle pride,
When ye bure hame my bonnie bride;
An' sweet, an' gracefu' she did ride,

Wi' maiden air!
Kyle Stewart I could bragged wide,

For sic a pair. • Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is al. ways the Halloween supper.

When frosts lay lang, an’snows were deep, An' threaten'd labour back to keep, I gied thy cog a wee-bit heap

Aboon the timmer;
I kenn'd my Maggie wad na sleep

For that, or simmer.
The cart or car thou never restit;
The steyest brae thou wad hae fac't it :
Thou never lap, and sten't, and breastit,

Then stood to blaw;
But just thy step a wee thing hastit,

Thou snoov't awa.

My pleugh is now thy bairn-time a': Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw: Forbye sax mae, I've sell't awa.

That thou hast nurst: They drew me thretteen pund an' twa,

The vera warst. Monie a sair daurk we twa hae wrought, An' wi' the weary warl' fought! And monie an anxious day, I thought

We wad be beat! Yet here to crazy age we're brought,

Wi' something yet.

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O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,

To wretches such as I!
Dim backward as I cast my view,

What sickening scenes appear!
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,

Must be my bitter doom ;
My woes here shall close ne'er,

But with the closing tomb !


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See stern oppression's iron grip,

Or mad ambition's gory hand,
Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,

Wo, want, and murder, o'er a land !
E'en in the peaceful, rural vale,

Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale, How pamper'd luxury, flattery by her side,

The parasite empoisoning her ear,

With all the servile wretches in the rear, Looks o'er proud property, extended wide ; And eyes the simple rustic hind,

Whose toil upholds the glittering show, A creature of another kind,

Some coarser substance, unrefined,
Placed for her lordly use, thus far, thus vile, below;

Where, where is love's fond, tender throe,
With lordly honour's lofty brow,

The powers you proudly own?
Is there beneath love's noble name,
Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,

To bless himself alone ?
Mark maiden innocence a prey

To love-pretending snares, This boasted honour turns away,

Shunning soft pity's rising sway, Regardless of the tears, and unavailing prayers !

Perhaps, this hour, in misery's squalid nest,

She strains your infant to her joyless breast,
And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking

“Oye! who, sunk in beds of down,
Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,

Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
Ill satisfied keen nature's clamorous call,

Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep, While through the ragged roof and chinky wall,

Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty heap!
Think on the dungeon's grim confine,
Where guilt and poor misfortune pine !
Guilt, erring man, relenting view !
But shall thy legal rage pursue
The wretch, already crushed low

By cruel fortune's undeserved blow?
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress,
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss !"

I heard nae mair, for chanticleer

Shook off the pouthery snaw,
And haild the morning with a cheer,

A cottage-rousing craw.
But deep this truth impress’d my mind-

Through all his works abroad,
The heart benevolent and kind

The most resembles God.

Happy, ye sons of busy life,
Who, equal to the bustling strife,

No other view regard!
E'en when the wished end's denied,
Yet while the busy means are plied,

They bring their own reward:
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wight,

Unfitted with an aim,
Meet every sad returning night,
And joyless morn the same ;
You, bustling, and justling,

Forget each grief and pain :
I, listless, yet restless,
Find every prospect vain.

How blest the solitary's lot,
Who, all-forgetting, all-forgot,

Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,

Beside his erystal well!
Or, haply, to his evening thought,

By unfrequented stream.
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint collected dream:
While praising and raising

His thoughts to heaven on high, As wandering, meandering,

He views the solemn sky,

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Than I, no lonely hermit placed
Where never human footstep traced,

Less fit to play the part;
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,

With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves, and joys,

Which I too keenly taste,
The solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be blest !
He needs not, he heeds not,

Or human love or hate,
Whilst I here must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate!

V. 0! enviable, early days, When dancing thoughtless pleasure's maze,

To care, to guilt unknown!
How ill exchanged for riper times,
To feel the follies, or the crimes,
of others, or my own!



I. OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress’d with care, A burden more than I can bear, I sit me down and sigh:


Ye tiny elves that guiltless sport,

II. Like linnets in the bush,

November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh ; Ye little know the ills ye court,

The shortening winter day is near a close ; When manhood is your wish.

The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh, The losses, the crosses,

The blackening trains o'craws to their repose:
That active man engage!

The toil-worn cotter frae his labour goes,
The fears all, the tears all,

This night his weekly moil is at an end,
Of dim-declining age.

Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,

Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward

bend. WINTER.


At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;

Th’expectant wee things, toddlin, stacher through The wintry west extends his blast,

To meet their dad, wi’ flichterin noise an'glee. And hail and rain does blaw;

His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily, Or, the stormy north sends driving forth

His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie's smile, The blinding sleet and snaw:

The lisping infant prattling on his knee, While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,

Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile, And roars frae bank to brae;

An' makes him quite forget his labour an' his toil. And bird and beast in covert rest, And pass the heartless day.


Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun': “ The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,"

Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin The joyless winter day,

A cannie errand to a neebor town: Let others fear, to me more dear

Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown, Than all the pride of May:

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul,

Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown, My griefs it seems to join,

Or deposit her sair-won penny-fee, The leafless trees my fancy please,

To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be. Their fate resembles mine.


Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet, Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme An' each for others' wcelfare kindly spiers : These woes of mine fulfil,

The social hours, swift-wing’d, unnoticed fleet; Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,

Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ; Because they are thy will!

The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years; Then all I want, (0, do thou grant

Anticipation forward points the view. This one request of mine !)

The mother, wi' her needle an' her sheers, Since to enjoy thou dost deny,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new: Assist me to resign.

The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their master's an' their mistress's command,

The younkers a' are warned to obey;

6 An’mind their labours wi' an eydent hand, INSCRIBED TO R. A****, ESQ.

An'ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play:

An'o! be sure to fear the Lord alway! Let not ambition mock their useful toil,

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night!
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure ;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,

Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
The short but simple annals of the poor.

Implore his counsel and assisting might:

GRAY. They never sought in vain that sought the Lord I.

aright!” My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend !

VII. No mercenary bard his homage pays;

But hark! 'a rap comes gently to the door ; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise ; Tells how a neebor lad cam o'er the moor, To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

To do some errands, and convoy her hame. The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene; The wily mother sees the conscious flame The native feelings strong, the guileless ways: Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;

What A**** in a cottage would have been ; With heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there,

name, I ween.

While Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;

Weel pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, * Dr. Young.

worthless rake.

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