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Robert Burns

Poems And Songs





Song - Handsome Nell^1
Tune - "I am a man unmarried."
Once I lov'd a bonie lassAyand I love her still;And whilst that virtue warms my breastI'll love my handsome Nell.
As bonie lasses I hae seenAnd mony full as braw;Butfor a modest gracefu' meinThe like I never saw.
A bonie lassI will confessIs pleasant to the e'e;Butwithout some better qualitiesShe's no a lass for me.
But Nelly's looks are blythe and sweetAnd what is best of a'Her reputation is completeAnd fair without a flaw.
She dresses aye sae clean and neatBoth decent and genteel;And then there's something in her gaitGars ony dress look weel.
A gaudy dress and gentle airMay slightly touch the heart;But it's innocence and modestyThat polishes the dart.
'Tis this in Nelly pleases me'Tis this enchants my soul;For absolutely in my breastShe reigns without control.
[Footnote 1: The first of my performances. - R. B.]
Song - O TibbieI Hae Seen The Day
Tune - "Invercauld's Reelor Strathspey."
Choir. - O TibbieI hae seen the dayYe wadna been sae shy;For laik o' gear ye lightly meButtrowthI care na by.
Yestreen I met you on the moorYe spak nabut gaed by like stour;Ye geck at me because I'm poorBut fient a hair care I.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
When coming hame on Sunday lastUpon the road as I cam pastYe snufft and ga'e your head a cast-But trowth I care't na by.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
I doubt nalassbut ye may thinkBecause ye hae the name o' clinkThat ye can please me at a winkWhene'er ye like to try.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
But sorrow tak' him that's sae meanAltho' his pouch o' coin were cleanWha follows ony saucy queanThat looks sae proud and high.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
Altho' a lad were e'er sae smartIf that he want the yellow dirtYe'll cast your head anither airtAnd answer him fu' dry.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
Butif he hae the name o' gearYe'll fasten to him like a brierTho' hardly hefor sense or learBe better than the kye.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
ButTibbielasstak' my advice:Your daddie's gear maks you sae nice;The deil a ane wad speir your priceWere ye as poor as I.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
There lives a lass beside yon parkI'd rather hae her in her sarkThan you wi' a' your thousand mark;That gars you look sae high.O TibbieI hae seen the day&c.
Song - I Dream'd I Lay
I dream'd I lay where flowers were springingGaily in the sunny beam;List'ning to the wild birds singingBy a falling crystal stream:Straight the sky grew black and daring;Thro' the woods the whirlwinds rave;Tress with aged arms were warringO'er the swelling drumlie wave.
Such was my life's deceitful morningSuch the pleasures I enjoyed:But lang or noonloud tempests stormingA' my flowery bliss destroy'd.Tho' fickle fortune has deceiv'd me-She promis'd fairand perform'd but illOf mony a joy and hope bereav'd me-I bear a heart shall support me still.
Song - In The Character Of A Ruined Farmer
Tune - "Go from my windowLovedo."
The sun he is sunk in the westAll creatures retired to restWhile here I sitall sore besetWith sorrowgriefand woe:And it's Ofickle FortuneO!
The prosperous man is asleepNor hears how the whirlwinds sweep;But Misery and I must watchThe surly tempest blow:And it's Ofickle FortuneO!
There lies the dear partner of my breast;Her cares for a moment at rest:Must I see theemy youthful prideThus brought so very low!And it's Ofickle FortuneO!
There lie my sweet babies in her arms;No anxious fear their little hearts alarms;But for their sake my heart does acheWith many a bitter throe:And it's Ofickle FortuneO!
I once was by Fortune carest:I once could relieve the distrest:Now life's poor supporthardly earn'dMy fate will scarce bestow:And it's Ofickle FortuneO!
No comfortno comfort I have!How welcome to me were the grave!But then my wife and children dear-Owither would they go!And it's Ofickle FortuneO!
O whitherO whither shall I turn!All friendlessforsakenforlorn!Forin this worldRest or PeaceI never more shall know!And it's Ofickle FortuneO!
Tragic Fragment
All devil as I am-a damned wretchA hardenedstubbornunrepenting villainStill my heart melts at human wretchedness;And with sincere but unavailing sighsI view the helpless children of distress:With tears indignant I behold the oppressorRejoicing in the honest man's destructionWhose unsubmitting heart was all his crime. -Ev'n youye hapless crew! I pity you;Yewhom the seeming good think sin to pity;Ye poordespisedabandoned vagabondsWhom Viceas usualhas turn'd o'er to ruin.Oh! but for friends and interposing HeavenI had been driven forth like you forlornThe most detestedworthless wretch among you!O injured God! Thy goodness has endow'd meWith talents passing most of my compeersWhich I in just proportion have abused-As far surpassing other common villainsAs Thou in natural parts has given me more.
Tarbolton LassesThe
If ye gae up to yon hill-tapYe'll there see bonie Peggy;She kens her father is a lairdAnd she forsooth's a leddy.
There Sophy tighta lassie brightBesides a handsome fortune:Wha canna win her in a nightHas little art in courtin'.
Gae down by Faileand taste the aleAnd tak a look o' Mysie;She's dour and dina deil withinBut aiblins she may please ye.
If she be shyher sister tryYe'll maybe fancy Jenny;If ye'll dispense wi' want o' sense-She kens hersel she's bonie.
As ye gae up by yon hillsideSpeir in for bonie Bessy;She'll gie ye a beckand bid ye lightAnd handsomely address ye.
There's few sae bonienane sae guidIn a' King George' dominion;If ye should doubt the truth o' this-It's Bessy's ain opinion!
AhWoe Is MeMy Mother Dear
Paraphrase of Jeremiah15th Chap.10th verse.
Ahwoe is memy mother dear!A man of strife ye've born me:For sair contention I maun bear;They haterevileand scorn me.
I ne'er could lend on bill or bandThat five per cent. might blest me;And borrowingon the tither handThe deil a ane wad trust me.
Yet Ia coin-denied wightBy Fortune quite discarded;Ye see how I amday and nightBy lad and lass blackguarded!
Montgomerie's Peggy
Tune - "Galla Water."
Altho' my bed were in yon muirAmang the heatherin my plaidie;Yet happyhappy would I beHad I my dear Montgomerie's Peggy.
When o'er the hill beat surly stormsAnd winter nights were dark and rainy;I'd seek some delland in my armsI'd shelter dear Montgomerie's Peggy.
Were I a baron proud and highAnd horse and servants waiting ready;Then a' 'twad gie o' joy to me-The sharin't with Montgomerie's Peggy.
Ploughman's LifeThe
As I was a-wand'ring ae morning in springI heard a young ploughman sae sweetly to sing;And as he was singin'thir words he did say-There's nae life like the ploughman's in the month o' sweet May.
The lav'rock in the morning she'll rise frae her nestAnd mount i' the air wi' the dew on her breastAnd wi' the merry ploughman she'll whistle and singAnd at night she'll return to her nest back again.
Ronalds Of The BennalsThe
In Tarboltonye kenthere are proper young menAnd proper young lasses and a'man;But ken ye the Ronalds that live in the BennalsThey carry the gree frae them a'man.
Their father's lairdand weel he can spare'tBraid money to tocher them a'man;To proper young menhe'll clink in the handGowd guineas a hunder or twaman.
There's ane they ca' JeanI'll warrant ye've seenAs bonie a lass or as brawman;But for sense and guid taste she'll vie wi' the bestAnd a conduct that beautifies a'man.
The charms o' the min'the langer they shineThe mair admiration they drawman;While peaches and cherriesand roses and liliesThey fade and they wither awaman
If ye be for Miss Jeantak this frae a frien'A hint o' a rival or twaman;The Laird o' Blackbyre wad gang through the fireIf that wad entice her awaman.
The Laird o' Braehead has been on his speedFor mair than a towmond or twaman;The Laird o' the Ford will straught on a boardIf he canna get her at a'man.
Then Anna comes inthe pride o' her kinThe boast of our bachelors a'man:Sae sonsy and sweetsae fully completeShe steals our affections awaman.
If I should detail the pick and the waleO' lasses that live here awamanThe fau't wad be mine if they didna shineThe sweetest and best o' them a'man.
I lo'e her myselbut darena weel tellMy poverty keeps me in aweman;For making o' rhymesand working at timesDoes little or naething at a'man.
Yet I wadna choose to let her refuseNor hae't in her power to say naman:For though I be poorunnoticedobscureMy stomach's as proud as them a'man.
Though I canna ride in weel-booted prideAnd flee o'er the hills like a crawmanI can haud up my head wi' the best o' the breedThough fluttering ever so brawman.
My coat and my vestthey are Scotch o' the bestO'pairs o' guid breeks I hae twaman;And stockings and pumps to put on my stumpsAnd ne'er a wrang steek in them a'man.
My sarks they are fewbut five o' them newTwal' hundredas white as the snawmanA ten-shillings hata Holland cravat;There are no mony poets sae brawman.
I never had frien's weel stockit in meansTo leave me a hundred or twaman;Nae weel-tocher'd auntsto wait on their drantsAnd wish them in hell for it a'man.
I never was cannie for hoarding o' moneyOr claughtin't together at a'man;I've little to spendand naething to lendBut deevil a shilling I aweman.
Song - Here's To Thy Health
Tune - "Laggan Burn."
Here's to thy healthmy bonie lassGude nicht and joy be wi' thee;I'll come nae mair to thy bower-doorTo tell thee that I lo'e thee.O dinna thinkmy pretty pinkBut I can live without thee:I vow and swear I dinna careHow lang ye look about ye.
Thou'rt aye sae free informing meThou hast nae mind to marry;I'll be as free informing theeNae time hae I to tarry:I ken thy frien's try ilka meansFrae wedlock to delay thee;Depending on some higher chanceBut fortune may betray thee.
I ken they scorn my low estateBut that does never grieve me;For I'm as free as any he;Sma' siller will relieve me.I'll count my health my greatest wealthSae lang as I'll enjoy it;I'll fear nae scantI'll bode nae wantAs lang's I get employment.
But far off fowls hae feathers fairAndaye until ye try themTho' they seem fairstill have a care;They may prove waur than I am.But at twal' at nightwhen the moon shines brightMy dearI'll come and see thee;For the man that loves his mistress weelNae travel makes him weary.
Lass Of Cessnock BanksThe^1
A Song of Similes
Tune - "If he be a Butcher neat and trim."
On Cessnock banks a lassie dwells;Could I describe her shape and mein;Our lasses a' she far excelsAn' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
She's sweeter than the morning dawnWhen rising Phoebus first is seenAnd dew-drops twinkle o'er the lawn;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
She's stately like yon youthful ashThat grows the cowslip braes betweenAnd drinks the stream with vigour fresh;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
She's spotless like the flow'ring thornWith flow'rs so white and leaves so greenWhen purest in the dewy morn;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her looks are like the vernal MayWhen ev'ning Phoebus shines sereneWhile birds rejoice on every spray;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her hair is like the curling mistThat climbs the mountain-sides at e'enWhen flow'r-reviving rains are past;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her forehead's like the show'ry bowWhen gleaming sunbeams interveneAnd gild the distant mountain's brow;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her cheeks are like yon crimson gemThe pride of all the flowery sceneJust opening on its thorny stem;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her bosom's like the nightly snowWhen pale the morning rises keenWhile hid the murm'ring streamlets flow;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her lips are like yon cherries ripeThat sunny walls from Boreas screen;They tempt the taste and charm the sight;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her teeth are like a flock of sheepWith fleeces newly washen cleanThat slowly mount the rising steep;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her breath is like the fragrant breezeThat gently stirs the blossom'd beanWhen Phoebus sinks behind the seas;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
Her voice is like the ev'ning thrushThat sings on Cessnock banks unseenWhile his mate sits nestling in the bush;An' she has twa sparkling roguish een.
But it's not her airher formher faceTho' matching beauty's fabled queen;'Tis the mind that shines in ev'ry graceAn' chiefly in her roguish een.
[Footnote 1: The lass is identified as Ellison Begbiea servant wenchdaughter of a  "Farmer Lang".]
Song - Bonie Peggy Alison
Tune - "The Braes o' Balquhidder."
Chor. - And I'll kiss thee yetyetAnd I'll kiss thee o'er again:And I'll kiss thee yetyetMy bonie Peggy Alison.
Ilk care and fearwhen thou art nearI evermair defy themO!Young kings upon their hansel throneAre no sae blest as I amO!And I'll kiss thee yetyet&c.
When in my armswi' a' thy charmsI clasp my countless treasureO!I seek nae mair o' Heaven to shareThan sic a moment's pleasureO!And I'll kiss thee yetyet&c.
And by thy een sae bonie blueI swear I'm thine for everO!And on thy lips I seal my vowAnd break it shall I neverO!And I'll kiss thee yetyet&c.
Song - Mary Morison
Tune - "Bide ye yet."
O Maryat thy window beIt is the wish'dthe trysted hour!Those smiles and glances let me seeThat make the miser's treasure poor:How blythely was I bide the stourA weary slave frae sun to sunCould I the rich reward secureThe lovely Mary Morison.
Yestreenwhen to the trembling stringThe dance gaed thro' the lighted ha'To thee my fancy took its wingI satbut neither heard nor saw:Tho' this was fairand that was brawAnd yon the toast of a' the townI sigh'dand said among them a'Ye are na Mary Morison.
OhMarycanst thou wreck his peaceWha for thy sake wad gladly die?Or canst thou break that heart of hisWhase only faut is loving thee?If love for love thou wilt na gieAt least be pity to me shown;A thought ungentle canna beThe thought o' Mary Morison.
Winter: A Dirge
The wintry west extends his blastAnd hail and rain does blaw;Or the stormy north sends driving forthThe blinding sleet and snaw:Whiletumbling brownthe burn comes downAnd roars frae bank to brae;And bird and beast in covert restAnd pass the heartless day.
"The sweeping blastthe sky o'ercast
The joyless winter day
Let others fear, to me more dear
Than all the pride of May:
The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul,
My griefs it seems to join;
The leafless trees my fancy please,
Their fate resembles mine!
Thou Power Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil,
Here firm I rest; they must be best,
Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want-O do Thou grant
This one request of mine!-
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign.
Prayer, Under The Pressure Of Violent Anguish
O Thou Great Being! what Thou art,
Surpasses me to know;
Yet sure I am, that known to Thee
Are all Thy works below.
Thy creature here before Thee stands,
All wretched and distrest;
Yet sure those ills that wring my soul
Obey Thy high behest.
Sure, Thou, Almighty, canst not act
From cruelty or wrath!
O, free my weary eyes from tears,
Or close them fast in death!
But, if I must afflicted be,
To suit some wise design,
Then man my soul with firm resolves,
To bear and not repine!
Paraphrase Of The First Psalm
The man, in life wherever plac'd,
Hath happiness in store,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,
Nor learns their guilty lore!
Nor from the seat of scornful pride
Casts forth his eyes abroad,
But with humility and awe
Still walks before his God.
That man shall flourish like the trees,
Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,
And firm the root below.
But he whose blossom buds in guilt
Shall to the ground be cast,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost
Before the sweeping blast.
For why? that God the good adore,
Hath giv'n them peace and rest,
But hath decreed that wicked men
Shall ne'er be truly blest.
First Six Verses Of The Ninetieth Psalm Versified, The
O Thou, the first, the greatest friend
Of all the human race!
Whose strong right hand has ever been
Their stay and dwelling place!
Before the mountains heav'd their heads
Beneath Thy forming hand,
Before this ponderous globe itself
Arose at Thy command;
That Pow'r which rais'd and still upholds
This universal frame,
From countless, unbeginning time
Was ever still the same.
Those mighty periods of years
Which seem to us so vast,
Appear no more before Thy sight
Than yesterday that's past.
Thou giv'st the word: Thy creature, man,
Is to existence brought;
Again Thou say'st, Ye sons of menReturn ye into nought!"
Thou layest themwith all their caresIn everlasting sleep;As with a flood Thou tak'st them offWith overwhelming sweep.
They flourish like the morning flow'rIn beauty's pride array'd;But long ere night cut down it liesAll wither'd and decay'd.
PrayerIn The Prospect Of Death
O Thou unknownAlmighty CauseOf all my hope and fear!In whose dread presenceere an hourPerhaps I must appear!
If I have wander'd in those pathsOf life I ought to shunAs somethingloudlyin my breastRemonstrates I have done;
Thou know'st that Thou hast formed meWith passions wild and strong;And list'ning to their witching voiceHas often led me wrong.
Where human weakness has come shortOr frailty stept asideDo ThouAll-Good-for such Thou art-In shades of darkness hide.
Where with intention I have err'dNo other plea I haveButThou art good; and Goodness stillDelighteth to forgive.
StanzasOn The Same Occasion
Why am I loth to leave this earthly scene?Have I so found it full of pleasing charms?Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between-Some gleams of sunshine 'mid renewing stormsIs it departing pangs my soul alarms?Or death's unlovelydrearydark abode?For guiltfor guiltmy terrors are in arms:I tremble to approach an angry GodAnd justly smart beneath His sin-avenging rod.
Fain would I sayForgive my foul offence,Fain promise never more to disobey;Butshould my Author health again dispenseAgain I might desert fair virtue's way;Again in folly's part might go astray;Again exalt the brute and sink the man;Then how should I for heavenly mercy prayWho act so counter heavenly mercy's plan?Who sin so oft have mourn'dyet to temptation ran?
O Thougreat Governor of all below!If I may dare a lifted eye to TheeThy nod can make the tempest cease to blowOr still the tumult of the raging sea:With that controlling pow'r assist ev'n meThose headlong furious passions to confineFor all unfit I feel my pow'rs to beTo rule their torrent in th' allowed line;Oaid me with Thy helpOmnipotence Divine!
Fickle Fortune: A Fragment
Though fickle Fortune has deceived meShe pormis'd fair and perform'd but ill;Of mistressfriendsand wealth bereav'd meYet I bear a heart shall support me still.
I'll act with prudence as far 's I'm ableBut if success I must never findThen come misfortuneI bid thee welcomeI'll meet thee with an undaunted mind.
Raging Fortune - Fragment Of Song
O raging Fortune's withering blastHas laid my leaf full lowO!O raging Fortune's withering blastHas laid my leaf full lowO!
My stem was fairmy bud was greenMy blossom sweet did blowO!The dew fell freshthe sun rose mildAnd made my branches growO!
But luckless Fortune's northern stormsLaid a' my blossoms lowO!But luckless Fortune's northern stormsLaid a' my blossoms lowO!
Impromptu - "I'll Go And Be A Sodger"
O why the deuce should I repineAnd be an ill foreboder?I'm twenty-threeand five feet nineI'll go and be a sodger!
I gat some gear wi' mickle careI held it weel thegither;But now it's ganeand something mair-I'll go and be a sodger!
Song - "No Churchman Am I"
Tune - "Preparemy dear Brethrento the tavern let's fly."
No churchman am I for to rail and to writeNo statesman nor soldier to plot or to fightNo sly man of business contriving a snareFor a big-belly'd bottle's the whole of my care.
The peer I don't envyI give him his bow;I scorn not the peasantthough ever so low;But a club of good fellowslike those that are hereAnd a bottle like thisare my glory and care.
Here passes the squire on his brother-his horse;There centum per centumthe cit with his purse;But see you the Crown how it waves in the air?There a big-belly'd bottle still eases my care.
The wife of my bosomalas! she did die;for sweet consolation to church I did fly;I found that old Solomon proved it fairThat a big-belly'd bottle's a cure for all care.
I once was persuaded a venture to make;A letter inform'd me that all was to wreck;But the pursy old landlord just waddl'd upstairsWith a glorious bottle that ended my cares.
"Life's cares they are comforts"-a maxim laid downBy the Bardwhat d'ye call himthat wore the black gown;And faith I agree with th' old prig to a hairFor a big-belly'd bottle's a heav'n of a care.
A Stanza Added In A Mason Lodge
Then fill up a bumper and make it o'erflowAnd honours masonic prepare for to throw;May ev'ry true Brother of the Compass and SquareHave a big-belly'd bottle when harass'd with care.
My Father Was A Farmer
Tune - "The weaver and his shuttleO."
My father was a farmer upon the Carrick borderOAnd carefully he bred me in decency and orderO;He bade me act a manly partthough I had ne'er a farthingO;For without an honest manly heartno man was worth regardingO.
Then out into the world my course I did determineO;Tho' to be rich was not my wishyet to be great was charmingO;My talents they were not the worstnor yet my educationO:Resolv'd was I at least to try to mend my situationO.
In many a wayand vain essayI courted Fortune's favourO;Some cause unseen still stept betweento frustrate each endeavourO;Sometimes by foes I was o'erpower'dsometimes by friends forsakenO;And when my hope was at the topI still was worst mistakenO.
Then sore harass'd and tir'd at lastwith Fortune's vain delusionOI dropt my schemeslike idle dreamsand came to this conclusionO;The past was badand the future hidits good or ill untriedO;But the present hour was in my pow'rand so I would enjoy itO.
No helpnor hopenor view had Inor person to befriend meO;So I must toiland sweatand moiland labour to sustain meO;To plough and sowto reap and mowmy father bred me earlyO;For onehe saidto labour bredwas a match for Fortune fairlyO.
Thus all obscureunknownand poorthro' life I'm doom'd to wanderOTill down my weary bones I lay in everlasting slumberO:No view nor carebut shun whate'er might breed me pain or sorrowO;I live to-day as well's I mayregardless of to-morrowO.
But cheerful stillI am as well as a monarch in his palaceOTho' Fortune's frown still hunts me downwith all her wonted maliceO:I make indeed my daily breadbut ne'er can make it fartherO:But as daily bread is all I needI do not much regard herO.
When sometimes by my labourI earn a little moneyOSome unforeseen misfortune comes gen'rally upon meO;Mischancemistakeor by neglector my goodnatur'd follyO:But come what willI've sworn it stillI'll ne'er be melancholyO.
All you who follow wealth and power with unremitting ardourOThe more in this you look for blissyou leave your view the fartherO:Had you the wealth Potosi boastsor nations to adore youOA cheerful honest-hearted clown I will prefer before youO.
John Barleycorn: A Ballad
There was three kings into the eastThree kings both great and highAnd they hae sworn a solemn oathJohn Barleycorn should die.
They took a plough and plough'd him downPut clods upon his headAnd they hae sworn a solemn oathJohn Barleycorn was dead.
But the cheerful Spring came kindly onAnd show'rs began to fall;John Barleycorn got up againAnd sore surpris'd them all.
The sultry suns of Summer cameAnd he grew thick and strong;His head weel arm'd wi' pointed spearsThat no one should him wrong.
The sober Autumn enter'd mildWhen he grew wan and pale;His bending joints and drooping headShow'd he began to fail.
His colour sicken'd more and moreHe faded into age;And then his enemies beganTo show their deadly rage.
They've taen a weaponlong and sharpAnd cut him by the knee;Then tied him fast upon a cartLike a rogue for forgerie.
They laid him down upon his backAnd cudgell'd him full sore;They hung him up before the stormAnd turned him o'er and o'er.
They filled up a darksome pitWith water to the brim;They heaved in John BarleycornThere let him sink or swim.
They laid him out upon the floorTo work him farther woe;And stillas signs of life appear'dThey toss'd him to and fro.
They wastedo'er a scorching flameThe marrow of his bones;But a miller us'd him worst of allFor he crush'd him between two stones.
And they hae taen his very heart's bloodAnd drank it round and round;And still the more and more they drankTheir joy did more abound.
John Barleycorn was a hero boldOf noble enterprise;For if you do but taste his blood'Twill make your courage rise.
'Twill make a man forget his woe;'Twill heighten all his joy;'Twill make the widow's heart to singTho' the tear were in her eye.
Then let us toast John BarleycornEach man a glass in hand;And may his great posterityNe'er fail in old Scotland!
Death And Dying Words Of Poor MailieThe Author's Only Pet Yowe.The
An Unco Mournfu' Tale
As Mailiean' her lambs thegitherWas ae day nibbling on the tetherUpon her cloot she coost a hitchAn' owre she warsl'd in the ditch:Theregroaningdyingshe did lieWhen Hughoc he cam doytin by.
Wi' glowrin eenand lifted han'sPoor Hughoc like a statue stan's;He saw her days were near-hand endedButwae's my heart! he could na mend it!He gaped widebut naething spakAt langth poor Mailie silence brak.
"O thouwhase lamentable faceAppears to mourn my woefu' case!My dying words attentive hearAn' bear them to my Master dear.
"Tell himif e'er again he keepAs muckle gear as buy a sheep-Obid him never tie them mairWi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair!But ca' them out to park or hillAn' let them wander at their will:So may his flock increasean' growTo scores o' lambsan' packs o' woo'!
"Tell himhe was a Master kin'An' aye was guid to me an' mine;An' now my dying charge I gie himMy helpless lambsI trust them wi' him.
"Obid him save their harmless livesFrae dogsan' todsan' butcher's knives!But gie them guid cow-milk their fillTill they be fit to fend themsel';An' tent them dulye'en an' mornWi' taets o' hay an' ripps o' corn.
"An' may they never learn the gaetsOf ither vilewanrestfu' pets-To slink thro' slapsan' reave an' stealAt stacks o' peaseor stocks o' kail!So may theylike their great forbearsFor mony a year come thro the shears:So wives will gie them bits o' breadAn' bairns greet for them when they're dead.
"My poor toop-lambmy son an' heirObid him breed him up wi' care!An' if he live to be a beastTo pit some havins in his breast!
"An' warn him-what I winna name-To stay content wi' yowes at hame;An' no to rin an' wear his clootsLike ither menselessgraceless brutes.
"An' neistmy yowiesilly thingGude keep thee frae a tether string!Omay thou ne'er forgather upWi' ony blastitmoorland toop;But aye keep mind to moop an' mellWi' sheep o' credit like thysel'!
"And nowmy bairnswi' my last breathI lea'e my blessin wi' you baith:An' when you think upo' your mitherMind to be kind to ane anither.
"Nowhonest Hughocdinna failTo tell my master a' my tale;An' bid him burn this cursed tetherAn' for thy pains thou'se get my blather."
This saidpoor Mailie turn'd her headAnd clos'd her een amang the dead!
Poor Mailie's Elegy
Lament in rhymelament in proseWi' saut tears trickling down your nose;Our bardie's fate is at a closePast a' remead!The lastsad cape-stane o' his woes;Poor Mailie's dead!
It's no the loss o' warl's gearThat could sae bitter draw the tearOr mak our bardiedowiewearThe mourning weed:He's lost a friend an' neebor dearIn Mailie dead.
Thro' a' the town she trotted by him;A lang half-mile she could descry him;Wi' kindly bleatwhen she did spy himShe ran wi' speed:A friend mair faithfu' ne'er cam nigh himThan Mailie dead.
I wat she was a sheep o' senseAn' could behave hersel' wi' mense:I'll say'tshe never brak a fenceThro' thievish greed.Our bardielanelykeeps the spenceSin' Mailie's dead.
Orif he wanders up the howeHer living image in her yoweComes bleating till himowre the knoweFor bits o' bread;An' down the briny pearls roweFor Mailie dead.
She was nae get o' moorland tipsWi' tauted ketan' hairy hips;For her forbears were brought in shipsFrae 'yont the Tweed.A bonier fleesh ne'er cross'd the clipsThan Mailie's dead.
Wae worth the man wha first did shapeThat vilewanchancie thing-a raip!It maks guid fellows girn an' gapeWi' chokin dread;An' Robin's bonnet wave wi' crapeFor Mailie dead.
Oa' ye bards on bonie Doon!An' wha on Ayr your chanters tune!Comejoin the melancholious croonO' Robin's reed!His heart will never get aboon-His Mailie's dead!
Song - The Rigs O' Barley
Tune - "Corn Rigs are bonie."
It was upon a Lammas nightWhen corn rigs are bonieBeneath the moon's unclouded lightI held awa to Annie;The time flew bywi' tentless heedTill'tween the late and earlyWi' sma' persuasion she agreedTo see me thro' the barley.
Corn rigsan' barley rigsAn' corn rigs are bonie:I'll ne'er forget that happy nightAmang the rigs wi' Annie.
The sky was bluethe wind was stillThe moon was shining clearly;I set her downwi' right good willAmang the rigs o' barley:I ken't her heart was a' my ain;I lov'd her most sincerely;
I kiss'd her owre and owre againAmang the rigs o' barley.Corn rigsan' barley rigs&c.
I lock'd her in my fond embrace;Her heart was beating rarely:My blessings on that happy placeAmang the rigs o' barley!But by the moon and stars so brightThat shone that hour so clearly!She aye shall bless that happy nightAmang the rigs o' barley.Corn rigsan' barley rigs&c.
I hae been blythe wi' comrades dear;I hae been merry drinking;I hae been joyfu' gath'rin gear;I hae been happy thinking:But a' the pleasures e'er I sawTho' three times doubl'd fairlyThat happy night was worth them a'Amang the rigs o' barley.Corn rigsan' barley rigs&c.
Song Composed In August
Tune - "I had a horseI had nae mair."
Now westlin winds and slaught'ring gunsBring Autumn's pleasant weather;The moorcock springs on whirring wingsAmang the blooming heather:Now waving grainwide o'er the plainDelights the weary farmer;And the moon shines brightwhen I rove at nightTo muse upon my charmer.
The partridge loves the fruitful fellsThe plover loves the mountains;The woodcock haunts the lonely dellsThe soaring hern the fountains:Thro' lofty groves the cushat rovesThe path of man to shun it;The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrushThe spreading thorn the linnet.
Thus ev'ry kind their pleasure findThe savage and the tender;Some social joinand leagues combineSome solitary wander:Avauntaway! the cruel swayTyrannic man's dominion;The sportsman's joythe murd'ring cryThe flutt'ringgory pinion!
ButPeggy dearthe ev'ning's clearThick flies the skimming swallowThe sky is bluethe fields in viewAll fading-green and yellow:Come let us stray our gladsome wayAnd view the charms of Nature;The rustling cornthe fruited thornAnd ev'ry happy creature.
We'll gently walkand sweetly talkTill the silent moon shine clearly;I'll grasp thy waistandfondly prestSwear how I love thee dearly:Not vernal show'rs to budding flow'rsNot Autumn to the farmerSo dear can be as thou to meMy fairmy lovely charmer!
Tune - "My NanieO."
Behind yon hills where Lugar flows'Mang moors an' mosses manyOThe wintry sun the day has clos'dAnd I'll awa to NanieO.
The westlin wind blaws loud an' shill;The night's baith mirk and rainyO;But I'll get my plaid an' out I'll stealAn' owre the hill to NanieO.
My Nanie's charmingsweetan' young;Nae artfu' wiles to win yeO:May ill befa' the flattering tongueThat wad beguile my NanieO.
Her face is fairher heart is true;As spotless as she's bonieO:The op'ning gowanwat wi' dewNae purer is than NanieO.
A country lad is my degreeAn' few there be that ken meO;But what care I how few they beI'm welcome aye to NanieO.
My riches a's my penny-feeAn' I maun guide it cannieO;But warl's gear ne'er troubles meMy thoughts are a' my NanieO.
Our auld guidman delights to viewHis sheep an' kye thrive bonieO;But I'm as blythe that hands his pleughAn' has nae care but NanieO.
Come weelcome woeI care na by;I'll tak what Heav'n will sen' meO:Nae ither care in life have IBut livean' love my NanieO.
Song-Green Grow The Rashes
A Fragment
Chor. - Green grow the rashesO;Green grow the rashesO;The sweetest hours that e'er I spendAre spent amang the lassesO.
There's nought but care on ev'ry han'In ev'ry hour that passesO:What signifies the life o' manAn' 'twere na for the lassesO.Green grow&c.
The war'ly race may riches chaseAn' riches still may fly themO;An' tho' at last they catch them fastTheir hearts can ne'er enjoy themO.Green grow&c.
But gie me a cannie hour at e'enMy arms about my dearieO;An' war'ly caresan' war'ly menMay a' gae tapsalteerieO!Green grow&c.
For you sae douceye sneer at this;Ye're nought but senseless assesO:The wisest man the warl' e'er sawHe dearly lov'd the lassesO.Green grow&c.
Auld Nature swearsthe lovely dearsHer noblest work she classesO:Her prentice han' she try'd on manAn' then she made the lassesO.Green grow&c.
Song - Wha Is That At My Bower-Door
Tune - "Lassan I come near thee."
"Wha is that at my bower-door?"O wha is it but Findlay!Then gae your gate, ye'se nae be here:Indeed maun I,quo' Findlay;What mak' ye, sae like a thief?O come and see,quo' Findlay;Before the morn ye'll work mischief:Indeed will I,quo' Findlay.
"Gif I rise and let you in"-Let me in,quo' Findlay;Ye'll keep me waukin wi' your din;Indeed will I,quo' Findlay;In my bower if ye should stay-Let me stay,quo' Findlay;I fear ye'll bide till break o' day;Indeed will I,quo' Findlay.
"Here this night if ye remain"-I'll remain,quo' Findlay;I dread ye'll learn the gate again;Indeed will I,quo' Findlay.What may pass within this bower-Let it pass,quo' Findlay;Ye maun conceal till your last hour:Indeed will I,quo' Findlay.
Remorse: A Fragment
Of all the numerous ills that hurt our peaceThat press the soulor wring the mind with anguishBeyond comparison the worst are thoseBy our own follyor our guilt brought on:In ev'ry other circumstancethe mindHas this to sayIt was no deed of mine:Butwhen to all the evil of misfortuneThis sting is addedBlame thy foolish self!Or worser farthe pangs of keen remorseThe torturinggnawing consciousness of guilt-Of guiltperhapswhen we've involved othersThe youngthe innocentwho fondly lov'd us;Nay morethat very love their cause of ruin!O burning hell! in all thy store of tormentsThere's not a keener lash!Lives there a man so firmwhowhile his heartFeels all the bitter horrors of his crimeCan reason down its agonizing throbs;Andafter proper purpose of amendmentCan firmly force his jarring thoughts to peace?O happyhappyenviable man!O glorious magnanimity of soul!
Epitaph On Wm. HoodSenr.In Tarbolton
Here Souter Hood in death does sleep;To hell if he's gane thitherSatangie him thy gear to keep;He'll haud it weel thegither.
Epitaph On James GrieveLaird Of BogheadTarbolton
Here lies Boghead amang the deadIn hopes to get salvation;But if such as he in Heav'n may beThen welcomehail! damnation.
Epitaph On My Own Friend And My Father's FriendWm. Muir In Tarbolton Mill
An honest man here lies at restAs e'er God with his image blest;The friend of manthe friend of truthThe friend of ageand guide of youth:Few hearts like hiswith virtue warm'dFew heads with knowledge so informed:If there's another worldhe lives in bliss;If there is nonehe made the best of this.
Epitaph On My Ever Honoured Father
O ye whose cheek the tear of pity stainsDraw near with pious rev'renceand attend!Here lie the loving husband's dear remainsThe tender fatherand the gen'rous friend;The pitying heart that felt for human woeThe dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride;The friend of man-to vice alone a foe;For "ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side."^1
[Footnote 1: Goldsmith. - R.B.]
Ballad On The American War
Tune - "Killiecrankie."
When Guilford good our pilot stoodAn' did our hellim thrawmanAe nightat teabegan a pleaWithin Americaman:Then up they gat the maskin-patAnd in the sea did jawman;An' did nae lessin full congressThan quite refuse our lawman.
Then thro' the lakes Montgomery takesI wat he was na slawman;Down Lowrie's Burn he took a turnAnd Carleton did ca'man:But yetwhatreckheat QuebecMontgomery-like did fa'manWi' sword in handbefore his bandAmang his en'mies a'man.
Poor Tammy Gage within a cageWas kept at Boston-ha'man;Till Willie Howe took o'er the knoweFor Philadelphiaman;Wi' sword an' gun he thought a sinGuid Christian bluid to drawman;But at New Yorkwi' knife an' forkSir-Loin he hacked sma'man.
Burgoyne gaed uplike spur an' whipTill Fraser brave did fa'man;Then lost his wayae misty dayIn Saratoga shawman.Cornwallis fought as lang's he doughtAn' did the Buckskins clawman;But Clinton's glaive frae rust to saveHe hung it to the wa'man.
Then Montaguean' Guilford tooBegan to feara fa'man;And Sackville dourwha stood the stourThe German chief to thrawman:For Paddy Burkelike ony TurkNae mercy had at a'man;An' Charlie Fox threw by the boxAn' lows'd his tinkler jawman.
Then Rockingham took up the gameTill death did on him ca'man;When Shelburne meek held up his cheekConform to gospel lawman:Saint Stephen's boyswi' jarring noiseThey did his measures thrawman;For North an' Fox united stocksAn' bore him to the wa'man.
Then clubs an' hearts were Charlie's cartesHe swept the stakes awa'manTill the diamond's aceof Indian raceLed him a sair faux pasman:The Saxon ladswi' loud placadsOn Chatham's boy did ca'man;An' Scotland drew her pipe an' blewUp, Willie, waur them a', man!
Behind the throne then Granville's goneA secret word or twaman;While slee Dundas arous'd the classBe-north the Roman wa'man:An' Chatham's wraithin heav'nly graith(Inspired bardies sawman)Wi' kindling eyescry'dWillie, rise!
Would I hae fear'd them a', man?
Butword an' blowNorthFoxand Co.Gowff'd Willie like a ba'man;Till Suthron raisean' coost their claiseBehind him in a rawman:An' Caledon threw by the droneAn' did her whittle drawman;An' swoor fu' rudethro' dirt an' bluidTo mak it guid in lawman.
Reply To An Announcement By J. Rankine
On His Writing To The PoetThat A Girl In That Part Of The Country Was WithA Child To Him.
I am a keeper of the lawIn some sma' pointsaltho' not a';Some people tell me gin I fa'Ae way or itherThe breaking of ae pointtho' sma'Breaks a' thegither.
I hae been in for't ance or twiceAnd winna say o'er far for thrice;Yet never met wi' that surpriseThat broke my rest;But now a rumour's like to rise-A whaup's i' the nest!
Epistle To John Rankine
Enclosing Some Poems
O Roughrudeready-witted RankineThe wale o' cocks for fun an' drinkin!There's mony godly folks are thinkinYour dreams and tricksWill send youKorah-likea-sinkinStraught to auld Nick's.
Ye hae saw mony cracks an' cantsAnd in your wickeddrucken rantsYe mak a devil o' the sauntsAn' fill them fou;And then their failingsflawsan' wantsAre a' seen thro'.
Hypocrisyin mercy spare it!That holy robeO dinna tear it!Spare't for their sakeswha aften wear it-The lads in black;But your curst witwhen it comes near itRives't aff their back.
Thinkwicked Sinnerwha ye're skaithing:It's just the Blue-gown badge an' claithingO' saunts; tak thatye lea'e them naethingTo ken them byFrae ony unregenerate heathenLike you or I.
I've sent you here some rhyming wareA' that I bargain'd foran' mair;Saewhen ye hae an hour to spareI will expectYon sang ye'll sen'twi' cannie careAnd no neglect.
Tho' faithsma' heart hae I to sing!My muse dow scarcely spread her wing;I've play'd mysel a bonie springAn' danc'd my fill!I'd better gaen an' sair't the kingAt Bunkjer's Hill.
'Twas ae night latelyin my funI gaed a rovin' wi' the gunAn' brought a paitrick to the grun'-A bonie hen;Andas the twilight was begunThought nane wad ken.
The poorwee thing was little hurt;I straikit it a wee for sportNe'er thinkin they wad fash me for't;ButDeil-ma-care!Somebody tells the poacher-courtThe hale affair.
Some auldus'd hands had taen a noteThat sic a hen had got a shot;I was suspected for the plot;I scorn'd to lie;So gat the whissle o' my groatAn' pay't the fee.
But by my guno' guns the waleAn' by my pouther an' my hailAn' by my henan' by her tailI vow an' swear!The game shall payo'er muir an' daleFor thisniest year.
As soon's the clockin-time is byAn' the wee pouts begun to cryLordI'se hae sporting by an' byFor my gowd guineaTho' I should herd the buckskin kyeFor't in Virginia.
Trowththey had muckle for to blame!'Twas neither broken wing nor limbBut twa-three draps about the wameScarce thro' the feathers;An' baith a yellow George to claimAn' thole their blethers!
It pits me aye as mad's a hare;So I can rhyme nor write nae mair;But pennyworths again is fairWhen time's expedient:Meanwhile I amrespected SirYour most obedient.
A Poet's Welcome To His Love-Begotten Daughter^1
The First Instance That Entitled Him To The Venerable Appellation Of Father
Thou's welcomewean; mishanter fa' meIf thoughts o' theeor yet thy mamieShall ever daunton me or awe meMy bonie ladyOr if I blush when thou shalt ca' meTyta or daddie.
Tho' now they ca' me fornicatorAn' tease my name in kintry clatterThe mair they talkI'm kent the betterE'en let them clash;An auld wife's tongue's a feckless matterTo gie ane fash.
Welcome! my boniesweetwee dochterTho' ye come here a wee unsought forAnd tho' your comin' I hae fought forBaith kirk and queir;Yetby my faithye're no unwrought forThat I shall swear!
Wee image o' my bonie BettyAs fatherly I kiss and daut theeAs dearand near my heart I set theeWi' as gude willAs a' the priests had seen me get theeThat's out o' hell.
Sweet fruit o' mony a merry dintMy funny toil is now a' tintSin' thou came to the warl' asklentWhich fools may scoff at;In my last plack thy part's be in'tThe better ha'f o't.
Tho' I should be the waur besteadThou's be as braw and bienly cladAnd thy young years as nicely bredWi' educationAs ony brat o' wedlock's bedIn a' thy station.
Lord grant that thou may aye inheritThy mither's persongracean' meritAn' thy poorworthless daddy's spiritWithout his failins'Twill please me mair to see thee heir itThan stockit mailens.
For if thou be what I wad hae theeAnd tak the counsel I shall gie theeI'll never rue my trouble wi' theeThe cost nor shame o'tBut be a loving father to theeAnd brag the name o't.[Footnote 1: Burns never published this poem.]
Song - O Leave Novels^1
O leave novelsye Mauchline bellesYe're safer at your spinning-wheel;Such witching books are baited hooksFor rakish rookslike Rob Mossgiel;Your fine Tom Jones and GrandisonsThey make your youthful fancies reel;They heat your brainsand fire your veinsAnd then you're prey for Rob Mossgiel.
Beware a tongue that's smoothly hungA heart that warmly seems to feel;That feeling heart but acts a part-'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel.The frank addressthe soft caressAre worse than poisoned darts of steel;The frank addressand politesseAre all finesse in Rob Mossgiel.[Footnote 1: Burns never published this poem.]
Fragment - The Mauchline Lady
Tune - "I had a horseI had nae mair."
When first I came to Stewart KyleMy mind it was na steady;Where'er I gaedwhere'er I radeA mistress still I had aye.
But when I came roun' by Mauchline tounNot dreadin anybodyMy heart was caughtbefore I thoughtAnd by a Mauchline lady.
Fragment - My Girl She's Airy
Tune - "Black Jock."
My girl she's airyshe's buxom and gay;Her breath is as sweet as the blossoms in May;A touch of her lips it ravishes quite:She's always good natur'dgood humour'dand free;She dancesshe glancesshe smiles upon me;I never am happy when out of her sight.
The Belles Of Mauchline
In Mauchline there dwells six proper young bellesThe pride of the place and its neighbourhood a';Their carriage and dressa stranger would guessIn Lon'on or Paristhey'd gotten it a'.
Miss Miller is fineMiss Markland's divineMiss Smith she has witand Miss Betty is braw:There's beauty and fortune to get wi' Miss MortonBut Armour's the jewel for me o' them a'.
Epitaph On A Noisy Polemic
Below thir stanes lie Jamie's banes;O Deathit's my opinionThou ne'er took such a bleth'rin bitchInto thy dark dominion!
Epitaph On A Henpecked Country Squire
As father Adam first was fool'd(A case that's still too common)Here lies man a woman ruledThe devil ruled the woman.
Epigram On The Said Occasion
O Deathhad'st thou but spar'd his lifeWhom we this day lamentWe freely wad exchanged the wifeAnd a' been weel content.
Ev'n as he iscauld in his graffThe swap we yet will do't;Tak thou the carlin's carcase affThou'se get the saul o'boot.
One Queen Artemisiaas old stories tellWhen deprived of her husband she loved so wellIn respect for the love and affection he show'd herShe reduc'd him to dust and she drank up the powder.But Queen Netherplaceof a diff'rent complexionWhen called on to order the fun'ral directionWould have eat her dead lordon a slender pretenceNot to show her respectbut-to save the expense!
On Tam The Chapman
As Tam the chapman on a dayWi'Death forgather'd by the wayWeel pleas'dhe greets a wight so famousAnd Death was nae less pleas'd wi' ThomasWha cheerfully lays down his packAnd there blaws up a hearty crack:His socialfriendlyhonest heartSae tickled Deaththey could na part;Saeafter viewing knives and gartersDeath taks him hame to gie him quarters.
Epitaph On John Rankine
Ae dayas Deaththat gruesome carlWas driving to the tither warl'A mixtie-maxtie motley squadAnd mony a guilt-bespotted lad-Black gowns of each denominationAnd thieves of every rank and stationFrom him that wears the star and garterTo him that wintles in a halter:Ashamed himself to see the wretchesHe muttersglowrin at the bitches
"By God I'll not be seen behint themNor 'mang the sp'ritual core present themWithoutat leastae honest manTo grace this damn'd infernal clan!"By Adamhill a glance he threwLord God!quoth heI have it now;
There's just the man I want, i' faith!And quickly stoppit Rankine's breath.
Lines On The Author's Death
Written With The Supposed View Of Being Handed To Rankine After The Poet'sInterment
He who of Rankine sanglies stiff and deadAnd a green grassy hillock hides his head;Alas! alas! a devilish change indeed.
Man Was Made To Mourn: A Dirge
When chill November's surly blastMade fields and forests bareOne ev'ningas I wander'd forthAlong the banks of AyrI spied a manwhose aged stepSeem'd wearyworn with care;His face furrow'd o'er with yearsAnd hoary was his hair.
"Young strangerwhither wand'rest thou?"Began the rev'rend sage;Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain,
Or youthful pleasure's rage?
Or haply, prest with cares and woes,
Too soon thou hast began
To wander forth, with me to mourn
The miseries of man.
The sun that overhangs yon moorsOut-spreading far and wideWhere hundreds labour to supportA haughty lordling's pride;-I've seen yon weary winter-sunTwice forty times return;And ev'ry time has added proofsThat man was made to mourn.
"O man! while in thy early yearsHow prodigal of time!Mis-spending all thy precious hours-Thy gloriousyouthful prime!Alternate follies take the sway;Licentious passions burn;Which tenfold force gives Nature's law.That man was made to mourn.
"Look not alone on youthful primeOr manhood's active might;Man then is useful to his kindSupported in his right:But see him on the edge of lifeWith cares and sorrows worn;Then Age and Want-oh! ill-match'd pair-Shew man was made to mourn.
"A few seem favourites of fateIn pleasure's lap carest;Yetthink not all the rich and greatAre likewise truly blest:But oh! what crowds in ev'ry landAll wretched and forlornThro' weary life this lesson learnThat man was made to mourn.
"Many and sharp the num'rous illsInwoven with our frame!More pointed still we make ourselvesRegretremorseand shame!And manwhose heav'n-erected faceThe smiles of love adorn-Man's inhumanity to manMakes countless thousands mourn!
"See yonder pooro'erlabour'd wightSo abjectmeanand vileWho begs a brother of the earthTo give him leave to toil;And see his lordly fellow-wormThe poor petition spurnUnmindfultho' a weeping wifeAnd helpless offspring mourn.
"If I'm design'd yon lordling's slaveBy Nature's law design'dWhy was an independent wishE'er planted in my mind?If notwhy am I subject toHis crueltyor scorn?Or why has man the will and pow'rTo make his fellow mourn?
"Yetlet not this too muchmy sonDisturb thy youthful breast:This partial view of human-kindIs surely not the last!The pooroppressedhonest manHad neversurebeen bornHad there not been some recompenseTo comfort those that mourn!
"O Death! the poor man's dearest friendThe kindest and the best!Welcome the hour my aged limbsAre laid with thee at rest!The greatthe wealthy fear thy blowFrom pomp and pleasure torn;Butoh! a blest relief for thoseThat weary-laden mourn!"
The Twa Herds; OrThe Holy Tulyie
An Unco Mournfu' Tale
"Blockheads with reason wicked wits abhorBut fool with fool is barbarous civil war-Pope.
O a' ye pious godly flocks,
Weel fed on pastures orthodox,
Wha now will keep you frae the fox,
Or worrying tykes?
Or wha will tent the waifs an' crocks,
About the dykes?
The twa best herds in a' the wast,
The e'er ga'e gospel horn a blast
These five an' twenty simmers past-
Oh, dool to tell!
Hae had a bitter black out-cast
Atween themsel'.
O, Moddie,^1 man, an' wordy Russell,^2
How could you raise so vile a bustle;
Ye'll see how New-Light herds will whistle,
An' think it fine!
The Lord's cause ne'er gat sic a twistle,
Sin' I hae min'.
O, sirs! whae'er wad hae expeckit
Your duty ye wad sae negleckit,
Ye wha were ne'er by lairds respeckit
To wear the plaid;
But by the brutes themselves eleckit,
To be their guide.
What flock wi' Moodie's flock could rank?-
Sae hale and hearty every shank!
Nae poison'd soor Arminian stank
He let them taste;
Frae Calvin's well, aye clear, drank, -
O, sic a feast!
The thummart, willcat, brock, an' tod,
Weel kend his voice thro' a' the wood,
He smell'd their ilka hole an' road,
Baith out an in;
An' weel he lik'd to shed their bluid,
An' sell their skin.
What herd like Russell tell'd his tale;
His voice was heard thro' muir and dale,
He kenn'd the Lord's sheep, ilka tail,
Owre a' the height;
An' saw gin they were sick or hale,
At the first sight.
He fine a mangy sheep could scrub,
Or nobly fling the gospel club,
And New-Light herds could nicely drub
Or pay their skin;
Could shake them o'er the burning dub,
Or heave them in.
Sic twa-O! do I live to see't?-
Sic famous twa should disagree't,
And names, like villain hypocrite
Ilk ither gi'en,
While New-Light herds, wi' laughin spite,
Say neither's liein!
A' ye wha tent the gospel fauld,
There's Duncan^3 deep, an' Peebles^4 shaul,
But chiefly thou, apostle Auld,^5
We trust in thee,
That thou wilt work them, het an' cauld,
Till they agree.
Consider, sirs, how we're beset;
There's scarce a new herd that we get,
But comes frae 'mang that cursed set,
I winna name;
I hope frae heav'n to see them yet
In fiery flame.
Dalrymple^6 has been lang our fae,
M'Gill^7 has wrought us meikle wae,
An' that curs'd rascal ca'd M'Quhae,^8
And baith the Shaws,^9
That aft hae made us black an' blae,
Wi' vengefu' paws.
Auld Wodrow^10 lang has hatch'd mischief;
We thought aye death wad bring relief;
But he has gotten, to our grief,
Ane to succeed him,^11
A chield wha'll soundly buff our beef;
I meikle dread him.
And mony a ane that I could tell,
Wha fain wad openly rebel,
Forby turn-coats amang oursel',
There's Smith^12 for ane;
I doubt he's but a grey nick quill,
An' that ye'll fin'.
O! a' ye flocks o'er a, the hills,
By mosses, meadows, moors, and fells,
Come, join your counsel and your skills
To cowe the lairds,
An' get the brutes the power themsel's
To choose their herds.
Then Orthodoxy yet may prance,
An' Learning in a woody dance,
An' that fell cur ca'd Common Sense,
That bites sae sair,
Be banished o'er the sea to France:
Let him bark there.
Then Shaw's an' D'rymple's eloquence,
M'Gill's close nervous excellence
M'Quhae's pathetic manly sense,
An' guid M'Math,
Wi' Smith, wha thro' the heart can glance,
May a' pack aff.
[Footnote 1: Rev. Mr. Moodie of Riccarton.]
[Footnote 2: Rev. John Russell of Kilmarnock.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. Robert Duncan of Dundonald.]
[Footnote 4: Rev. Wm. Peebles of Newton-on-Ayr.]
[Footnote 5: Rev. Wm. Auld of Mauchline.]
[Footnote 6: Rev. Dr. Dalrymple of Ayr.]
[Footnote 7: Rev. Wm. M'Gill, colleague of Dr. Dalrymple.]
[Footnote 8: Minister of St. Quivox.]
[Footnote 9: Dr. Andrew Shaw of Craigie, and Dr. David Shaw of Coylton.]
[Footnote 10: Dr. Peter Wodrow of Tarbolton.]
[Footnote 11: Rev. John M'Math, a young assistant and successor to Wodrow.]
[Footnote 12: Rev. George Smith of Galston.]
Epistle To Davie, A Brother Poet
While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw,
An' bar the doors wi' driving snaw,
An' hing us owre the ingle,
I set me down to pass the time,
An' spin a verse or twa o' rhyme,
In hamely, westlin jingle.
While frosty winds blaw in the drift,
Ben to the chimla lug,
I grudge a wee the great-folk's gift,
That live sae bien an' snug:
I tent less, and want less
Their roomy fire-side;
But hanker, and canker,
To see their cursed pride.
It's hardly in a body's pow'r
To keep, at times, frae being sour,
To see how things are shar'd;
How best o' chiels are whiles in want,
While coofs on countless thousands rant,
And ken na how to wair't;
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head,
Tho' we hae little gear;
We're fit to win our daily bread,
As lang's we're hale and fier:
Mair spier nanor fear na^1
Auld age ne'er mind a feg;
The last o't, the warst o't
Is only but to beg.
To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
When banes are craz'd, and bluid is thin,
Is doubtless, great distress!
Yet then content could make us blest;
Ev'n then, sometimes, we'd snatch a taste
Of truest happiness.
The honest heart that's free frae a'
Intended fraud or guile,
However Fortune kick the ba',
Has aye some cause to smile;
An' mind still, you'll find still,
A comfort this nae sma';
Nae mair then we'll care then,
Nae farther can we fa'.
What tho', like commoners of air,
We wander out, we know not where,
But either house or hal',
Yet nature's charms, the hills and woods,
The sweeping vales, and foaming floods,
Are free alike to all.
In days when daisies deck the ground,
And blackbirds whistle clear,
With honest joy our hearts will bound,
To see the coming year:
On braes when we please, then,
We'll sit an' sowth a tune;
Syne rhyme till't we'll time till't,
An' sing't when we hae done.
It's no in titles nor in rank;
It's no in wealth like Lon'on bank,
To purchase peace and rest:
It's no in makin' muckle, mair;
It's no in books, it's no in lear,
To make us truly blest:
If happiness hae not her seat
An' centre in the breast,
We may be wise, or rich, or great,
But never can be blest;
Nae treasures, nor pleasures
Could make us happy lang;
The heart aye's the part aye
That makes us right or wrang.
Think ye, that sic as you and I,
Wha drudge an' drive thro' wet and dry,
Wi' never-ceasing toil;
Think ye, are we less blest than they,
Wha scarcely tent us in their way,
As hardly worth their while?
Alas! how aft in haughty mood,
God's creatures they oppress!
Or else, neglecting a' that's guid,
They riot in excess!
Baith careless and fearless
Of either heaven or hell;
Esteeming and deeming
It's a' an idle tale!
Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce,
Nor make our scanty pleasures less,
By pining at our state:
And, even should misfortunes come,
I, here wha sit, hae met wi' some-
An's thankfu' for them yet.
They gie the wit of age to youth;
They let us ken oursel';
They make us see the naked truth,
The real guid and ill:
Tho' losses an' crosses
Be lessons right severe,
There's wit there, ye'll get there,
Ye'll find nae other where.
But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts!
(To say aught less wad wrang the cartes,
And flatt'ry I detest)
This life has joys for you and I;
An' joys that riches ne'er could buy,
An' joys the very best.
There's a' the pleasures o' the heart,
The lover an' the frien';
Ye hae your Meg, your dearest part,
And I my darling Jean!
It warms me, it charms me,
To mention but her name:
It heats me, it beets me,
An' sets me a' on flame!
O all ye Pow'rs who rule above!
O Thou whose very self art love!
Thou know'st my words sincere!
The life-blood streaming thro' my heart,
Or my more dear immortal part,
Is not more fondly dear!
When heart-corroding care and grief
Deprive my soul of rest,
Her dear idea brings relief,
And solace to my breast.
Thou Being, All-seeing,
O hear my fervent pray'r;
Still take her, and make her
Thy most peculiar care!
All hail! ye tender feelings dear!
The smile of love, the friendly tear,
The sympathetic glow!
Long since, this world's thorny ways
Had number'd out my weary days,
Had it not been for you!
Fate still has blest me with a friend,
In ev'ry care and ill;
And oft a more endearing band-
A tie more tender still.
It lightens, it brightens
The tenebrific scene,
To meet with, and greet with
My Davie, or my Jean!
O, how that name inspires my style!
The words come skelpin, rank an' file,
Amaist before I ken!
The ready measure rins as fine,
As Phoebus an' the famous Nine
Were glowrin owre my pen.
My spaviet Pegasus will limp,
Till ance he's fairly het;
And then he'll hilch, and stilt, an' jimp,
And rin an unco fit:
But least then the beast then
Should rue this hasty ride,
I'll light now, and dight now
His sweaty, wizen'd hide.
[Footnote 1: Ramsay. - R. B.]
Holy Willie's Prayer
And send the godly in a pet to pray." - Pope.
     Holy Willie was a rather oldish bachelor elderin the parish ofMauchlineand much and justly famed for that polemical chatteringwhich endsin tippling orthodoxyand for that spiritualized bawdry which refines toliquorish devotion. In a sessional process with a gentleman in Mauchline-aMr.Gavin Hamilton-Holy Willie and his priestFather Auldafter full hearingin the presbytery of Ayrcame off but second best; owing partly to theoratorical powers of Mr. Robert AikenMr. Hamilton's counsel; but chiefly toMr. Hamilton's being one of the most irreproachable and truly respectablecharacters in the county. On losing the processthe muse overheard him[Holy Willie] at his devotionsas follows:-
O Thouwho in the heavens does dwellWhoas it pleases best Thysel'Sends ane to heaven an' ten to hellA' for Thy gloryAnd no for ony gude or illThey've done afore Thee!
I bless and praise Thy matchless mightWhen thousands Thou hast left in nightThat I am here afore Thy sightFor gifts an' graceA burning and a shining lightTo a' this place.
What was Ior my generationThat I should get sic exaltationI wha deserve most just damnationFor broken lawsFive thousand years ere my creationThro' Adam's cause?
When frae my mither's womb I fellThou might hae plunged me in hellTo gnash my gumsto weep and wailIn burnin lakesWhere damned devils roar and yellChain'd to their stakes.
Yet I am here a chosen sampleTo show thy grace is great and ample;I'm here a pillar o' Thy templeStrong as a rockA guidea bucklerand exampleTo a' Thy flock.
O LordThou kens what zeal I bearWhen drinkers drinkan' swearers swearAn' singin therean' dancin hereWi' great and sma';For I am keepit by Thy fearFree frae them a'.
But yetO Lord! confess I mustAt times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust:An' sometimestooin wardly trustVile self gets in:But Thou remembers we are dustDefil'd wi' sin.
O Lord! yestreenThou kenswi' Meg-Thy pardon I sincerely begO! may't ne'er be a livin plagueTo my dishonourAn' I'll ne'er lift a lawless legAgain upon her.
BesidesI farther maun allowWi' Leezie's lassthree times I trow-But Lordthat Friday I was fouWhen I cam near her;Or elseThou kensThy servant trueWad never steer her.
Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thornBuffet Thy servant e'en and mornLest he owre proud and high shou'd turnThat he's sae gifted:If saeThy han' maun e'en be borneUntil Thou lift it.
Lordbless Thy chosen in this placeFor here Thou hast a chosen race:But God confound their stubborn faceAn' blast their nameWha bring Thy elders to disgraceAn' public shame.
Lordmind Gaw'n Hamilton's deserts;He drinksan' swearsan' plays at cartesYet has sae mony takin artsWi' great and sma'Frae God's ain priest the people's heartsHe steals awa.
An' when we chasten'd him thereforThou kens how he bred sic a sploreAn' set the warld in a roarO' laughing at us;-Curse Thou his basket and his storeKail an' potatoes.
Lordhear my earnest cry and pray'rAgainst that Presbyt'ry o' Ayr;Thy strong right handLordmake it bareUpo' their heads;Lord visit theman' dinna spareFor their misdeeds.
O Lordmy God! that glib-tongu'd AikenMy vera heart and flesh are quakinTo think how we stood sweatin'shakinAn' p-'d wi' dreadWhile hewi' hingin lip an' snakinHeld up his head.
Lordin Thy day o' vengeance try himLordvisit them wha did employ himAnd pass not in Thy mercy by 'emNor hear their pray'rBut for Thy people's sakedestroy 'emAn' dinna spare.
ButLordremember me an' mineWi' mercies temp'ral an' divineThat I for grace an' gear may shineExcell'd by naneAnd a' the glory shall be thineAmenAmen!
Epitaph On Holy Willie
Here Holy Willie's sair worn clayTaks up its last abode;His saul has ta'en some other wayI fearthe left-hand road.
Stop! there he isas sure's a gunPoorsilly bodysee him;Nae wonder he's as black's the grunObserve wha's standing wi' him.
Your brunstane devilshipI seeHas got him there before ye;But haud your nine-tail cat a weeTill ance you've heard my story.
Your pity I will not imploreFor pity ye have nane;Justicealas! has gi'en him o'erAnd mercy's day is gane.
But hear meSirdeil as ye areLook something to your credit;A coof like him wad stain your nameIf it were kent ye did it.
Death and Doctor Hornbook
A True Story
Some books are lies frae end to endAnd some great lies were never penn'd:Ev'n ministers they hae been kenn'dIn holy raptureA rousing whid at times to vendAnd nail't wi' Scripture.
But this that I am gaun to tellWhich lately on a night befellIs just as true's the Deil's in hellOr Dublin city:That e'er he nearer comes oursel''S a muckle pity.
The clachan yill had made me cantyI was na foubut just had plenty;I stacher'd whilesbut yet too tent ayeTo free the ditches;An' hillocksstanesan' busheskenn'd eyeFrae ghaists an' witches.
The rising moon began to glowreThe distant Cumnock hills out-owre:To count her hornswi' a my pow'rI set mysel';But whether she had three or fourI cou'd na tell.
I was come round about the hillAn' todlin down on Willie's millSetting my staff wi' a' my skillTo keep me sicker;Tho' leeward whilesagainst my willI took a bicker.
I there wi' Something did forgatherThat pat me in an eerie swither;An' awfu' scytheout-owre ae shoutherClear-danglinghang;A three-tae'd leister on the itherLaylarge an' lang.
Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twaThe queerest shape that e'er I sawFor fient a wame it had ava;And then its shanksThey were as thinas sharp an' sma'As cheeks o' branks.
"Guid-een quo' I; Friend! hae ye been mawinWhen ither folk are busy sawin!"^1I seem'd to make a kind o' stan'But naething spak;At lengthsays IFriend! whare ye gaun?
Will ye go back?
It spak right howe- "My name is DeathBut be na fley'd."-Quoth IGuid faith,
Ye're maybe come to stap my breath;
But tent me, billie;
I red ye weel, tak care o' skaith
See, there's a gully!
"Gudeman quo' he, put up your whittleI'm no designed to try its mettle;But if I didI wad be kittleTo be mislear'd;I wad na mind itno that spittleOut-owre my beard."
"Weelweel!" says Ia bargain be't;
Come, gie's your hand, an' sae we're gree't;
We'll ease our shanks an tak a seat-
Come, gie's your news;
This while ye hae been mony a gate,
At mony a house.^2
[Footnote 1: This recontre happened in seed-time1785. - R.B.]
[Footnote 2: An epidemical fever was then raging in that country. - R.B.]
"Ayay!" quo' hean' shook his headIt's e'en a lang, lang time indeed
Sin' I began to nick the thread,
An' choke the breath:
Folk maun do something for their bread,
An' sae maun Death.
Sax thousand years are near-hand fledSin' I was to the butching bredAn' mony a scheme in vain's been laidTo stap or scar me;Till ane Hornbook's^3 ta'en up the tradeAnd faith! he'll waur me.
"Ye ken Hornbook i' the clachanDeil mak his king's-hood in spleuchan!He's grown sae weel acquaint wi' Buchan^4And ither chapsThe weans haud out their fingers laughinAn' pouk my hips.
"Seehere's a scythean' there's dartThey hae pierc'd mony a gallant heart;But Doctor Hornbookwi' his artAn' cursed skillHas made them baith no worth a f-tDamn'd haet they'll kill!
"'Twas but yestreennae farther ganeI threw a noble throw at ane;Wi' lessI'm sureI've hundreds slain;But deil-ma-careIt just play'd dirl on the baneBut did nae mair.
"Hornbook was bywi' ready artAn' had sae fortify'd the part
[Footnote 3: This gentlemanDr. Hornbookis professionally a brother of thesovereign Order of the Ferula; butby intuition and inspirationis at oncean apothecarysurgeonand physician. - R.B.]
[Footnote 4: Burchan's Domestic Medicine. - R.B.]
That when I looked to my dartIt was sae bluntFient haet o't wad hae pierc'd the heartOf a kail-runt.
"I drew my scythe in sic a furyI near-hand cowpit wi' my hurryBut yet the bauld ApothecaryWithstood the shock;I might as weel hae tried a quarryO' hard whin rock.
"Ev'n them he canna get attendedAltho' their face he ne'er had kend itJust-in a kail-bladean' sent itAs soon's he smells 'tBaith their diseaseand what will mend itAt once he tells 't.
"And thena' doctor's saws an' whittlesOf a' dimensionsshapesan' mettlesA' kind o' boxesmugsan' bottlesHe's sure to hae;Their Latin names as fast he rattlesas A B C.
"Calces o' fossilsearthsand trees;True sal-marinum o' the seas;The farina of beans an' peaseHe has't in plenty;Aqua-fontiswhat you pleaseHe can content ye.
"Forbye some newuncommon weaponsUrinus spiritus of capons;Or mite-horn shavingsfilingsscrapingsDistill'd per se;Sal-alkali o' midge-tail clippingsAnd mony mae."
"Waes me for Johnie Ged's^5 Hole now
Quoth I, if that thae news be true!His braw calf-ward whare gowans grewSae white and bonieNae doubt they'll rive it wi' the plew;They'll ruin Johnie!"
The creature grain'd an eldritch laughAnd says "Ye needna yoke the pleughKirkyards will soon be till'd eneughTak ye nae fear:They'll be trench'd wi' mony a sheughIn twa-three year.
"Whare I kill'd anea fair strae-deathBy loss o' blood or want of breathThis night I'm free to tak my aithThat Hornbook's skillHas clad a score i' their last claithBy drap an' pill.
"An honest wabster to his tradeWhase wife's twa nieves were scarce weel-bredGat tippence-worth to mend her headWhen it was sair;The wife slade cannie to her bedBut ne'er spak mair.
"A country laird had ta'en the battsOr some curmurring in his gutsHis only son for Hornbook setsAn' pays him well:The ladfor twa guid gimmer-petsWas laird himsel'.
"A bonie lass-ye kend her name-Some ill-brewn drink had hov'd her wame;She trusts hersel'to hide the shameIn Hornbook's care;Horn sent her aff to her lang hameTo hide it there.
[Footnote 5: The grave-digger. - R.B.]
"That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way;Thus goes he on from day to dayThus does he poisonkillan' slayAn's weel paid for't;Yet stops me o' my lawfu' preyWi' his damn'd dirt:
"Buthark! I'll tell you of a plotTho' dinna ye be speakin o't;I'll nail the self-conceited sotAs dead's a herrin;Neist time we meetI'll wad a groatHe gets his fairin!"
But just as he began to tellThe auld kirk-hammer strak the bellSome wee short hour ayont the twal'Which rais'd us baith:I took the way that pleas'd mysel'And sae did Death.
Epistle To J. LapraikAn Old Scottish Bard
April 11785
While briers an' woodbines budding greenAn' paitricks scraichin loud at e'enAn' morning poussie whiddin seenInspire my museThis freedomin an unknown frien'I pray excuse.
On Fasten-e'en we had a rockinTo ca' the crack and weave our stockin;And there was muckle fun and jokinYe need na doubt;At length we had a hearty yokinAt sang about.
There was ae sangamang the restAboon them a' it pleas'd me bestThat some kind husband had addrestTo some sweet wife;It thirl'd the heart-strings thro' the breastA' to the life.
I've scarce heard ought describ'd sae weelWhat gen'rousmanly bosoms feel;Thought I "Can this be Popeor SteeleOr Beattie's wark?"They tauld me 'twas an odd kind chielAbout Muirkirk.
It pat me fidgin-fain to hear'tAn' sae about him there I speir't;Then a' that kent him round declar'dHe had ingine;That nane excell'd itfew cam near'tIt was sae fine:
Thatset him to a pint of aleAn' either douce or merry taleOr rhymes an' sangs he'd made himselOr witty catches-'Tween Inverness an' TeviotdaleHe had few matches.
Then up I gatan' swoor an aithTho' I should pawn my pleugh an' graithOr die a cadger pownie's deathAt some dyke-backA pint an' gill I'd gie them baithTo hear your crack.
Butfirst an' foremostI should tellAmaist as soon as I could spellI to the crambo-jingle fell;Tho' rude an' rough-Yet crooning to a body's sel'Does weel eneugh.
I am nae poetin a sense;But just a rhymer like by chanceAn' hae to learning nae pretence;Yetwhat the matter?Whene'er my muse does on me glanceI jingle at her.
Your critic-folk may cock their noseAnd sayHow can you e'er propose,
You wha ken hardly verse frae prose,
To mak a sang?Butby your leavesmy learned foesYe're maybe wrang.
What's a' your jargon o' your schools-Your Latin names for horns an' stools?If honest Nature made you foolsWhat sairs your grammars?Ye'd better taen up spades and shoolsOr knappin-hammers.
A set o' dullconceited hashesConfuse their brains in college classes!They gang in stirksand come out assesPlain truth to speak;An' syne they think to climb ParnassusBy dint o' Greek!
Gie me ae spark o' nature's fireThat's a' the learning I desire;Then tho' I drudge thro' dub an' mireAt pleugh or cartMy musetho' hamely in attireMay touch the heart.
O for a spunk o' Allan's gleeOr Fergusson's the bauld an' sleeOr bright Lapraik'smy friend to beIf I can hit it!That would be lear eneugh for meIf I could get it.
Nowsirif ye hae friends enowTho' real friendsI b'lieveare few;Yetif your catalogue be fu'I'se no insist:Butgif ye want ae friend that's trueI'm on your list.
I winna blaw about myselAs ill I like my fauts to tell;But friendsan' folk that wish me wellThey sometimes roose me;Tho' I maun ownas mony stillAs far abuse me.
There's ae wee faut they whiles lay to meI like the lasses-Gude forgie me!For mony a plack they wheedle frae meAt dance or fair;Maybe some ither thing they gie meThey weel can spare.
But Mauchline Raceor Mauchline FairI should be proud to meet you there;We'se gie ae night's discharge to careIf we forgather;An' hae a swap o' rhymin-wareWi' ane anither.
The four-gill chapwe'se gar him clatterAn' kirsen him wi' reekin water;Syne we'll sit down an' tak our whitterTo cheer our heart;An' faithwe'se be acquainted betterBefore we part.
Awa ye selfishwar'ly raceWha think that havinssensean' graceEv'n love an' friendship should give placeTo catch-the-plack!I dinna like to see your faceNor hear your crack.
But ye whom social pleasure charmsWhose hearts the tide of kindness warmsWho hold your being on the termsEach aid the others,Come to my bowlcome to my armsMy friendsmy brothers!
Butto conclude my lang epistleAs my auld pen's worn to the gristleTwa lines frae you wad gar me fissleWho ammost ferventWhile I can either sing or whistleYour friend and servant.
Second Epistle To J. Lapraik
April 211785
While new-ca'd kye rowte at the stakeAn' pownies reek in pleugh or braikThis hour on e'enin's edge I takeTo own I'm debtorTo honest-heartedauld LapraikFor his kind letter.
Forjesket sairwith weary legsRattlin the corn out-owre the rigsOr dealing thro' amang the naigsTheir ten-hours' biteMy awkart Muse sair pleads and begsI would na write.
The tapetlessramfeezl'd hizzieShe's saft at best an' something lazy:Quo' sheYe ken we've been sae busy
This month an' mair,
That trowth, my head is grown right dizzie,
An' something sair.
Her dowff excuses pat me mad;Conscience,says Iye thowless jade!
I'll write, an' that a hearty blaud,
This vera night;
So dinna ye affront your trade,
But rhyme it right.
Shall bauld Lapraikthe king o' heartsTho' mankind were a pack o' cartesRoose you sae weel for your desertsIn terms sae friendly;Yet ye'll neglect to shaw your partsAn' thank him kindly?"
Sae I gat paper in a blinkAn' down gaed stumpie in the ink:Quoth IBefore I sleep a wink,
I vow I'll close it;
An' if ye winna mak it clink,
By Jove, I'll prose it!
Sae I've begun to scrawlbut whetherIn rhymeor proseor baith thegither;Or some hotch-potch that's rightly neitherLet time mak proof;But I shall scribble down some bletherJust clean aff-loof.
My worthy friendne'er grudge an' carpTho' fortune use you hard an' sharp;Comekittle up your moorland harpWi' gleesome touch!Ne'er mind how Fortune waft and warp;She's but a bitch.
She 's gien me mony a jirt an' flegSin' I could striddle owre a rig;Butby the Lordtho' I should begWi' lyart powI'll laugh an' singan' shake my legAs lang's I dow!
Now comes the sax-an'-twentieth simmerI've seen the bud upon the timmerStill persecuted by the limmerFrae year to year;But yetdespite the kittle kimmerIRobam here.
Do ye envy the city gentBehint a kist to lie an' sklent;Or pursue-proudbig wi' cent. per cent.An' muckle wameIn some bit brugh to representA bailie's name?
Or is't the paughtyfeudal thaneWi' ruffl'd sark an' glancing caneWha thinks himsel nae sheep-shank baneBut lordly stalks;While caps and bonnets aff are taenAs by he walks?
"O Thou wha gies us each guid gift!Gie me o' wit an' sense a liftThen turn meif thou pleaseadriftThro' Scotland wide;Wi' cits nor lairds I wadna shiftIn a' their pride!"
Were this the charter of our stateOn pain o' hell be rich an' great,Damnation then would be our fateBeyond remead;Butthanks to heaventhat's no the gateWe learn our creed.
For thus the royal mandate ranWhen first the human race began;The social, friendly, honest man,
Whate'er he be-
'Tis he fulfils great Nature's plan,
And none but he.
O mandate glorious and divine!The ragged followers o' the NinePoorthoughtless devils! yet may shineIn glorious lightWhile sordid sons o' Mammon's lineAre dark as night!
Tho' here they scrapean' squeezean' growlTheir worthless nievefu' of a soulMay in some future carcase howlThe forest's fright;Or in some day-detesting owlMay shun the light.
Then may Lapraik and Burns ariseTo reach their nativekindred skiesAnd sing their pleasureshopes an' joysIn some mild sphere;Still closer knit in friendship's tiesEach passing year!
Epistle To William Simson
SchoolmasterOchiltree. - May1785
I gat your letterwinsome Willie;Wi' gratefu' heart I thank you brawlie;Tho' I maun say'tI wad be sillyAnd unco vainShould I believemy coaxin billieYour flatterin strain.
But I'se believe ye kindly meant it:I sud be laith to think ye hintedIronic satiresidelins sklentedOn my poor Musie;Tho' in sic phraisin terms ye've penn'd itI scarce excuse ye.
My senses wad be in a creelShould I but dare a hope to speelWi' Allanor wi' GilbertfieldThe braes o' fame;Or Fergussonthe writer-chielA deathless name.
(O Fergusson! thy glorious partsIll suited law's drymusty arts!My curse upon your whunstane heartsYe E'nbrugh gentry!The tithe o' what ye waste at cartesWad stow'd his pantry!)
Yet when a tale comes i' my headOr lassies gie my heart a screed-As whiles they're like to be my dead(O sad disease!)I kittle up my rustic reed;It gies me ease.
Auld Coila now may fidge fu' fainShe's gotten poets o' her ain;Chiels wha their chanters winna hainBut tune their laysTill echoes a' resound againHer weel-sung praise.
Nae poet thought her worth his whileTo set her name in measur'd style;She lay like some unkenn'd-of-isleBeside New HollandOr whare wild-meeting oceans boilBesouth Magellan.
Ramsay an' famous FergussonGied Forth an' Tay a lift aboon;Yarrow an' Tweedto monie a tuneOwre Scotland rings;While IrwinLugarAyran' DoonNaebody sings.
Th' IllissusTiberThamesan' SeineGlide sweet in monie a tunefu' line:But Willieset your fit to mineAn' cock your crest;We'll gar our streams an' burnies shineUp wi' the best!
We'll sing auld Coila's plains an' fellsHer moors red-brown wi' heather bellsHer banks an' braesher dens and dellsWhare glorious WallaceAft bure the greeas story tellsFrae Suthron billies.
At Wallace' namewhat Scottish bloodBut boils up in a spring-tide flood!Oft have our fearless fathers strodeBy Wallace' sideStill pressing onwardred-wat-shodOr glorious died!
Osweet are Coila's haughs an' woodsWhen lintwhites chant amang the budsAnd jinkin haresin amorous whidsTheir loves enjoy;While thro' the braes the cushat croodsWith wailfu' cry!
Ev'n winter bleak has charms to meWhen winds rave thro' the naked tree;Or frosts on hills of OchiltreeAre hoary gray;Or blinding drifts wild-furious fleeDark'ning the day!
O Nature! a' thy shews an' formsTo feelingpensive hearts hae charms!Whether the summer kindly warmsWi' life an light;Or winter howlsin gusty stormsThe langdark night!
The musenae poet ever fand herTill by himsel he learn'd to wanderAdown some trottin burn's meanderAn' no think lang:O sweet to strayan' pensive ponderA heart-felt sang!
The war'ly race may drudge an' driveHog-shoutherjundiestretchan' strive;Let me fair Nature's face descriveAnd Iwi' pleasureShall let the busygrumbling hiveBum owre their treasure.
Fareweelmy rhyme-composingbrither!We've been owre lang unkenn'd to ither:Now let us lay our heads thegitherIn love fraternal:May envy wallop in a tetherBlack fiendinfernal!
While Highlandmen hate tools an' taxes;While moorlan's herds like guidfat braxies;While terra firmaon her axisDiurnal turns;Count on a friendin faith an' practiceIn Robert Burns.
My memory's no worth a preen;I had amaist forgotten cleanYe bade me write you what they meanBy this "new-light
'Bout which our herds sae aft hae been
Maist like to fight.
In days when mankind were but callans
At grammar, logic, an' sic talents,
They took nae pains their speech to balance,
Or rules to gie;
But spak their thoughts in plain, braid lallans,
Like you or me.
In thae auld times, they thought the moon,
Just like a sark, or pair o' shoon,
Wore by degrees, till her last roon
Gaed past their viewin;
An' shortly after she was done
They gat a new ane.
This passed for certain, undisputed;
It ne'er cam i' their heads to doubt it,
Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it,
An' ca'd it wrang;
An' muckle din there was about it,
Baith loud an' lang.
Some herds, weel learn'd upo' the beuk,
Wad threap auld folk the thing misteuk;
For 'twas the auld moon turn'd a neuk
An' out of' sight,
An' backlins-comin to the leuk
She grew mair bright.
This was deny'd, it was affirm'd;
The herds and hissels were alarm'd
The rev'rend gray-beards rav'd an' storm'd,
That beardless laddies
Should think they better wer inform'd,
Than their auld daddies.
Frae less to mair, it gaed to sticks;
Frae words an' aiths to clours an' nicks;
An monie a fallow gat his licks,
Wi' hearty crunt;
An' some, to learn them for their tricks,
Were hang'd an' brunt.
This game was play'd in mony lands,
An' auld-light caddies bure sic hands,
That faith, the youngsters took the sands
Wi' nimble shanks;
Till lairds forbad, by strict commands,
Sic bluidy pranks.
But new-light herds gat sic a cowe,
Folk thought them ruin'd stick-an-stowe;
Till now, amaist on ev'ry knowe
Ye'll find ane plac'd;
An' some their new-light fair avow,
Just quite barefac'd.
Nae doubt the auld-light flocks are bleatin;
Their zealous herds are vex'd an' sweatin;
Mysel', I've even seen them greetin
Wi' girnin spite,
To hear the moon sae sadly lied on
By word an' write.
But shortly they will cowe the louns!
Some auld-light herds in neebor touns
Are mind't, in things they ca' balloons,
To tak a flight;
An' stay ae month amang the moons
An' see them right.
Guid observation they will gie them;
An' when the auld moon's gaun to lea'e them,
The hindmaist shaird, they'll fetch it wi' them
Just i' their pouch;
An' when the new-light billies see them,
I think they'll crouch!
Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter
Is naething but a moonshine matter";But tho' dull prose-folk Latin splatterIn logic tulyieI hope we bardies ken some betterThan mind sic brulyie.
One Night As I Did Wander
Tune - "John Andersonmy jo."
One night as I did wanderWhen corn begins to shootI sat me down to ponderUpon an auld tree root;Auld Ayr ran by before meAnd bicker'd to the seas;A cushat crooded o'er meThat echoed through the braes. . . . . . .
Tho' Cruel Fate Should Bid Us Part
Tune - "The Northern Lass."
Tho' cruel fate should bid us partFar as the pole and lineHer dear idea round my heartShould tenderly entwine.Tho' mountainsriseand deserts howlAnd oceans roar between;Yetdearer than my deathless soulI still would love my Jean.. . . . . . .
Song - Rantin'Rovin' Robin^1
[Footnote 1: Not published by Burns.]
Tune - "Daintie Davie."
There was a lad was born in KyleBut whatna day o' whatna styleI doubt it's hardly worth the whileTo be sae nice wi' Robin.
Chor. - Robin was a rovin' boyRantin'rovin'rantin'rovin'Robin was a rovin' boyRantin'rovin'Robin!
Our monarch's hindmost year but aneWas five-and-twenty days begun^2'Twas then a blast o' Janwar' win'Blew hansel in on Robin.Robin was&c.
[Footnote 2: January 251759the date of my bardship's vital existence.-R.B.]
The gossip keekit in his loofQuo' schoWha lives will see the proof,
This waly boy will be nae coof:
I think we'll ca' him Robin.Robin was&c.
"He'll hae misfortunes great an' sma'But aye a heart aboon them a'He'll be a credit till us a'-We'll a' be proud o' Robin."Robin was&c.
"But sure as three times three mak nineI see by ilka score and lineThis chap will dearly like our kin'So leeze me on thee! Robin."Robin was&c.
"Guid faith quo', scho, I doubt you garThe bonie lasses lie aspar;But twenty fauts ye may hae waurSo blessins on thee! Robin."Robin was&c.
Elegy On The Death Of Robert Ruisseaux^1
Now Robin lies in his last lairHe'll gabble rhymenor sing nae mair;Cauld povertywi' hungry stareNae mair shall fear him;Nor anxious fearnor cankert careE'er mair come near him.
To tell the truththey seldom fash'd himExcept the moment that they crush'd him;For sune as chance or fate had hush'd 'emTho' e'er sae short.Then wi' a rhyme or sang he lash'd 'emAnd thought it sport.
[Footnote 1: Ruisseaux is French for rivulets or "burns a translation of his
Tho'he was bred to kintra-wark,
And counted was baith wight and stark,
Yet that was never Robin's mark
To mak a man;
But tell him, he was learn'd and clark,
Ye roos'd him then!
Epistle To John Goldie, In Kilmarnock
Author Of The Gospel Recovered.-August, 1785
O Gowdie, terror o' the whigs,
Dread o' blackcoats and rev'rend wigs!
Sour Bigotry, on her last legs,
Girns an' looks back,
Wishing the ten Egyptian plagues
May seize you quick.
Poor gapin', glowrin' Superstition!
Wae's me, she's in a sad condition:
Fye: bring Black Jock,^1 her state physician,
To see her water;
Alas, there's ground for great suspicion
She'll ne'er get better.
Enthusiasm's past redemption,
Gane in a gallopin' consumption:
Not a' her quacks, wi' a' their gumption,
Can ever mend her;
Her feeble pulse gies strong presumption,
She'll soon surrender.
Auld Orthodoxy lang did grapple,
For every hole to get a stapple;
But now she fetches at the thrapple,
An' fights for breath;
Haste, gie her name up in the chapel,^2
Near unto death.
It's you an' Taylor^3 are the chief
To blame for a' this black mischief;
[Footnote 1: The Rev. J. Russell, Kilmarnock.-R. B.]
[Footnote 2: Mr. Russell's Kirk.-R. B.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. Taylor of Norwich.-R. B.]
But, could the Lord's ain folk get leave,
A toom tar barrel
An' twa red peats wad bring relief,
And end the quarrel.
For me, my skill's but very sma',
An' skill in prose I've nane ava';
But quietlins-wise, between us twa,
Weel may you speed!
And tho' they sud your sair misca',
Ne'er fash your head.
E'en swinge the dogs, and thresh them sicker!
The mair they squeel aye chap the thicker;
And still 'mang hands a hearty bicker
O' something stout;
It gars an owthor's pulse beat quicker,
And helps his wit.
There's naething like the honest nappy;
Whare'll ye e'er see men sae happy,
Or women sonsie, saft an' sappy,
'Tween morn and morn,
As them wha like to taste the drappie,
In glass or horn?
I've seen me dazed upon a time,
I scarce could wink or see a styme;
Just ae half-mutchkin does me prime, -
Ought less is little-
Then back I rattle on the rhyme,
As gleg's a whittle.
The Holy Fair^1
A robe of seeming truth and trust
Hid crafty Observation;
And secret hung, with poison'd crust,
The dirk of Defamation:
[Footnote 1: Holy Fair" is a common phrase in the west of Scotland for asacramental occasion.-R. B.]
A mask that like the gorget show'dDye-varying on the pigeon;And for a mantle large and broadHe wrapt him in Religion.Hypocrisy A-La-Mode
Upon a simmer Sunday mornWhen Nature's face is fairI walked forth to view the cornAn' snuff the caller air.The rising sun owre Galston muirsWi' glorious light was glintin;The hares were hirplin down the furrsThe lav'rocks they were chantinFu' sweet that day.
As lightsomely I glowr'd abroadTo see a scene sae gayThree hizziesearly at the roadCam skelpin up the way.Twa had manteeles o" dolefu' blackBut ane wi' lyart lining;The thirdthat gaed a wee a-backWas in the fashion shiningFu' gay that day.
The twa appear'd like sisters twinIn featureforman' claes;Their visage wither'dlang an' thinAn' sour as only slaes:The third cam uphap-stap-an'-lowpAs light as ony lambieAn' wi'a curchie low did stoopAs soon as e'er she saw meFu' kind that day.
Wi' bonnet affquoth ISweet lass,
I think ye seem to ken me;
I'm sure I've seen that bonie face
But yet I canna name ye.Quo' shean' laughin as she spakAn' taks me by the han'sYe, for my sake, hae gien the feck
Of a' the ten comman's
A screed some day.
"My name is Fun-your cronie dearThe nearest friend ye hae;An' this is Superstitution hereAn' that's Hypocrisy.I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy FairTo spend an hour in daffin:Gin ye'll go thereyon runkl'd pairWe will get famous laughinAt them this day."
Quoth IWi' a' my heart, I'll do't;
I'll get my Sunday's sark on,
An' meet you on the holy spot;
Faith, we'se hae fine remarkin!Then I gaed hame at crowdie-timeAn' soon I made me ready;For roads were cladfrae side to sideWi' mony a weary bodyIn droves that day.
Here farmers gashin ridin graithGaed hoddin by their cotters;There swankies youngin braw braid-claithAre springing owre the gutters.The lassesskelpin barefitthrangIn silks an' scarlets glitter;Wi' sweet-milk cheesein mony a whangAn' farlsbak'd wi' butterFu' crump that day.
When by the plate we set our noseWeel heaped up wi' ha'penceA greedy glowr black-bonnet throwsAn' we maun draw our tippence.Then in we go to see the show:On ev'ry side they're gath'rin;Some carrying dailssome chairs an' stoolsAn' some are busy bleth'rinRight loud that day.
Here stands a shed to fend the show'rsAn' screen our countra gentry;There Racer Jess^2 an' twa-three whoresAre blinkin at the entry.Here sits a raw o' tittlin jadsWi' heaving breast an' bare neck;An' there a batch o' wabster ladsBlackguarding frae KilmarnockFor fun this day.
Heresome are thinkin on their sinsAn' some upo' their claes;Ane curses feet that fyl'd his shinsAnither sighs an' prays:On this hand sits a chosen swatchWi' screwed-upgrace-proud faces;On that a set o' chapsat watchThrang winkin on the lassesTo chairs that day.
O happy is that manan' blest!Nae wonder that it pride him!Whase ain dear lassthat he likes bestComes clinkin down beside him!Wi' arms repos'd on the chair backHe sweetly does compose him;Whichby degreesslips round her neckAn's loof upon her bosomUnkend that day.
Now a' the congregation o'erIs silent expectation;For Moodie^3 speels the holy doorWi' tidings o' damnation:
[Footnote 2: Racer Jess (d. 1813) was a half-witted daughter of Possie Nansie.She was a great pedestrian.]
[Footnote 3: Rev. Alexander Moodie of Riccarton.]
Should Hornieas in ancient days'Mang sons o' God present himThe vera sight o' Moodie's faceTo 's ain het hame had sent himWi' fright that day.
Hear how he clears the point o' faithWi' rattlin and wi' thumpin!Now meekly calmnow wild in wrathHe's stampinan' he's jumpin!His lengthen'd chinhis turned-up snoutHis eldritch squeel an' gesturesO how they fire the heart devoutLike cantharidian plaistersOn sic a day!
But hark! the tent has chang'd its voiceThere's peace an' rest nae langer;For a' the real judges riseThey canna sit for angerSmith^4 opens out his cauld haranguesOn practice and on morals;An' aff the godly pour in thrangsTo gie the jars an' barrelsA lift that day.
What signifies his barren shineOf moral powers an' reason?His English stylean' gesture fineAre a' clean out o' season.Like Socrates or AntonineOr some auld pagan heathenThe moral man he does defineBut ne'er a word o' faith inThat's right that day.
In guid time comes an antidoteAgainst sic poison'd nostrum;For Peebles^5 frae the water-fitAscends the holy rostrum:
[Footnote 4: Rev. George Smith of Galston.]
[Footnote 5: Rev. Wm. Peebles of Newton-upon-Ayr.]
Seeup he's gotthe word o' GodAn' meek an' mim has view'd itWhile Common-sense has taen the roadAn' affan' up the Cowgate^6Fastfast that day.
Wee Miller^7 neist the guard relievesAn' Orthodoxy raiblesTho' in his heart he weel believesAn' thinks it auld wives' fables:But faith! the birkie wants a manseSocannilie he hums them;Altho' his carnal wit an' senseLike hafflins-wise o'ercomes himAt times that day.
Nowbutt an' benthe change-house fillsWi' yill-caup commentators;Here 's cryin out for bakes and gillsAn' there the pint-stowp clatters;While thick an' thrangan' loud an' langWi' logic an' wi' scriptureThey raise a dinthat in the endIs like to breed a ruptureO' wrath that day.
Leeze me on drink! it gies us mairThan either school or college;It kindles witit waukens learIt pangs us fou o' knowledge:Be't whisky-gill or penny wheepOr ony stronger potionIt never failsor drinkin deepTo kittle up our notionBy night or day.
The lads an' lassesblythely bentTo mind baith saul an' bodySit round the tableweel contentAn' steer about the toddy:
[Footnote 6: A street so called which faces the tent in Mauchline.-R. B.]
[Footnote 7: Rev. Alex. Millerafterward of Kilmaurs.]
On this ane's dressan' that ane's leukThey're makin observations;While some are cozie i' the neukAn' forming assignationsTo meet some day.
But now the Lord's ain trumpet toutsTill a' the hills are rairinAnd echoes back return the shouts;Black Russell is na sparin:His piercin wordslike Highlan' swordsDivide the joints an' marrow;His talk o' Hellwhare devils dwellOur vera "sauls does harrow"Wi' fright that day!
A vastunbottom'dboundless pitFill'd fou o' lowin brunstaneWhase raging flamean' scorching heatWad melt the hardest whun-stane!The half-asleep start up wi' fearAn' think they hear it roarin;When presently it does appear'Twas but some neibor snorinAsleep that day.
'Twad be owre lang a tale to tellHow mony stories past;An' how they crouded to the yillWhen they were a' dismist;How drink gaed roundin cogs an' caupsAmang the furms an' benches;An' cheese an' breadfrae women's lapsWas dealt about in lunchesAn' dawds that day.
In comes a gawsiegash guidwifeAn' sits down by the fireSyne draws her kebbuck an' her knife;The lasses they are shyer:The auld guidmenabout the graceFrae side to side they bother;Till some ane by his bonnet laysAn' gies them't like a tetherFu' lang that day.
Waesucks! for him that gets nae lassOr lasses that hae naething!Sma' need has he to say a graceOr melvie his braw claithing!O wivesbe mindfu' ance yoursel'How bonie lads ye wanted;An' dinna for a kebbuck-heelLet lasses be affrontedOn sic a day!
Now Clinkumbellwi' rattlin towBegins to jow an' croon;Some swagger hame the best they dowSome wait the afternoon.At slaps the billies halt a blinkTill lasses strip their shoon:Wi' faith an' hopean' love an' drinkThey're a' in famous tuneFor crack that day.
How mony hearts this day convertsO' sinners and o' lasses!Their hearts o' stanegin nightare ganeAs saft as ony flesh is:There's some are fou o' love divine;There's some are fou o' brandy;An' mony jobs that day beginMay end in houghmagandieSome ither day.
Third Epistle To J. Lapraik
Guid speed and furder to youJohnieGuid healthhale han'san' weather bonie;Nowwhen ye're nickin down fu' cannieThe staff o' breadMay ye ne'er want a stoup o' bran'yTo clear your head.
May Boreas never thresh your rigsNor kick your rickles aff their legsSendin the stuff o'er muirs an' haggsLike drivin wrack;But may the tapmost grain that wagsCome to the sack.
I'm bizzietooan' skelpin at itBut bitterdaudin showers hae wat it;Sae my auld stumpie pen I gat itWi' muckle warkAn' took my jocteleg an whatt itLike ony clark.
It's now twa month that I'm your debtorFor your brawnamelessdateless letterAbusin me for harsh ill-natureOn holy menWhile deil a hair yoursel' ye're betterBut mair profane.
But let the kirk-folk ring their bellsLet's sing about our noble sel's:We'll cry nae jads frae heathen hillsTo helpor roose us;But browster wives an' whisky stillsThey are the muses.
Your friendshipSirI winna quat itAn' if ye mak' objections at itThen hand in neive some day we'll knot itAn' witness takeAn' when wi' usquabae we've wat itIt winna break.
But if the beast an' branks be spar'dTill kye be gaun without the herdAnd a' the vittel in the yardAn' theekit rightI mean your ingle-side to guardAe winter night.
Then muse-inspirin' aqua-vitaeShall make us baith sae blythe and wittyTill ye forget ye're auld an' gattyAn' be as cantyAs ye were nine years less than thretty-Sweet ane an' twenty!
But stooks are cowpit wi' the blastAnd now the sinn keeks in the westThen I maun rin amang the restAn' quat my chanter;Sae I subscribe myself' in hasteYoursRab the Ranter.
Sept. 131785.
Epistle To The Rev. John M'math
Inclosing A Copy Of "Holy Willie's Prayer Which He Had Requested, Sept. 17,
While at the stook the shearers cow'r
To shun the bitter blaudin' show'r,
Or in gulravage rinnin scowr
To pass the time,
To you I dedicate the hour
In idle rhyme.
My musie, tir'd wi' mony a sonnet
On gown, an' ban', an' douse black bonnet,
Is grown right eerie now she's done it,
Lest they should blame her,
An' rouse their holy thunder on it
An anathem her.
I own 'twas rash, an' rather hardy,
That I, a simple, country bardie,
Should meddle wi' a pack sae sturdy,
Wha, if they ken me,
Can easy, wi' a single wordie,
Lowse hell upon me.
But I gae mad at their grimaces,
Their sighin, cantin, grace-proud faces,
Their three-mile prayers, an' half-mile graces,
Their raxin conscience,
Whase greed, revenge, an' pride disgraces
Waur nor their nonsense.
There's Gaw'n, misca'd waur than a beast,
Wha has mair honour in his breast
Than mony scores as guid's the priest
Wha sae abus'd him:
And may a bard no crack his jest
What way they've us'd him?
See him, the poor man's friend in need,
The gentleman in word an' deed-
An' shall his fame an' honour bleed
By worthless, skellums,
An' not a muse erect her head
To cowe the blellums?
O Pope, had I thy satire's darts
To gie the rascals their deserts,
I'd rip their rotten, hollow hearts,
An' tell aloud
Their jugglin hocus-pocus arts
To cheat the crowd.
God knows, I'm no the thing I should be,
Nor am I even the thing I could be,
But twenty times I rather would be
An atheist clean,
Than under gospel colours hid be
Just for a screen.
An honest man may like a glass,
An honest man may like a lass,
But mean revenge, an' malice fause
He'll still disdain,
An' then cry zeal for gospel laws,
Like some we ken.
They take religion in their mouth;
They talk o' mercy, grace, an' truth,
For what?-to gie their malice skouth
On some puir wight,
An' hunt him down, owre right and ruth,
To ruin straight.
All hail, Religion! maid divine!
Pardon a muse sae mean as mine,
Who in her rough imperfect line
Thus daurs to name thee;
To stigmatise false friends of thine
Can ne'er defame thee.
Tho' blotch't and foul wi' mony a stain,
An' far unworthy of thy train,
With trembling voice I tune my strain,
To join with those
Who boldly dare thy cause maintain
In spite of foes:
In spite o' crowds, in spite o' mobs,
In spite o' undermining jobs,
In spite o' dark banditti stabs
At worth an' merit,
By scoundrels, even wi' holy robes,
But hellish spirit.
O Ayr! my dear, my native ground,
Within thy presbyterial bound
A candid liberal band is found
Of public teachers,
As men, as Christians too, renown'd,
An' manly preachers.
Sir, in that circle you are nam'd;
Sir, in that circle you are fam'd;
An' some, by whom your doctrine's blam'd
(Which gies you honour)
Even, sir, by them your heart's esteem'd,
An' winning manner.
Pardon this freedom I have ta'en,
An' if impertinent I've been,
Impute it not, good Sir, in ane
Whase heart ne'er wrang'd ye,
But to his utmost would befriend
Ought that belang'd ye.
Second Epistle to Davie
A Brother Poet
Auld Neibour,
I'm three times doubly o'er your debtor,
For your auld-farrant, frien'ly letter;
Tho' I maun say't I doubt ye flatter,
Ye speak sae fair;
For my puir, silly, rhymin clatter
Some less maun sair.
Hale be your heart, hale be your fiddle,
Lang may your elbuck jink diddle,
To cheer you thro' the weary widdle
O' war'ly cares;
Till barins' barins kindly cuddle
Your auld grey hairs.
But Davie, lad, I'm red ye're glaikit;
I'm tauld the muse ye hae negleckit;
An, gif it's sae, ye sud by lickit
Until ye fyke;
Sic haun's as you sud ne'er be faikit,
Be hain't wha like.
For me, I'm on Parnassus' brink,
Rivin the words to gar them clink;
Whiles dazed wi' love, whiles dazed wi' drink,
Wi' jads or masons;
An' whiles, but aye owre late, I think
Braw sober lessons.
Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man,
Commen' to me the bardie clan;
Except it be some idle plan
O' rhymin clink,
The devil haet,-that I sud ban-
They ever think.
Nae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' livin,
Nae cares to gie us joy or grievin,
But just the pouchie put the neive in,
An' while ought's there,
Then, hiltie, skiltie, we gae scrievin',
An' fash nae mair.
Leeze me on rhyme! it's aye a treasure,
My chief, amaist my only pleasure;
At hame, a-fiel', at wark, or leisure,
The Muse, poor hizzie!
Tho' rough an' raploch be her measure,
She's seldom lazy.
Haud to the Muse, my daintie Davie:
The warl' may play you mony a shavie;
But for the Muse, she'll never leave ye,
Tho' e'er sae puir,
Na, even tho' limpin wi' the spavie
Frae door tae door.
Song-Young Peggy Blooms
Tune-Loch Eroch-side."
Young Peggy blooms our boniest lassHer blush is like the morningThe rosy dawnthe springing grassWith early gems adorning.Her eyes outshine the radiant beamsThat gild the passing showerAnd glitter o'er the crystal streamsAnd cheer each fresh'ning flower.
Her lipsmore than the cherries brightA richer dye has graced them;They charm th' admiring gazer's sightAnd sweetly tempt to taste them;Her smile is as the evening mildWhen feather'd pairs are courtingAnd little lambkins wanton wildIn playful bands disporting.
Were Fortune lovely Peggy's foeSuch sweetness would relent her;As blooming spring unbends the browOf surlysavage Winter.Detraction's eye no aim can gainHer winning pow'rs to lessen;And fretful Envy grins in vainThe poison'd tooth to fasten.
Ye Pow'rs of HonourLoveand TruthFrom ev'ry ill defend her!Inspire the highly-favour'd youthThe destinies intend her:Still fan the sweet connubial flameResponsive in each bosom;And bless the dear parental nameWith many a filial blossom.
Song-Farewell To Ballochmyle
Tune-"Miss Forbe's farewell to Banff."
The Catrine woods were yellow seenThe flowers decay'd on Catrine leeNae lav'rock sang on hillock greenBut nature sicken'd on the e'e.Thro' faded groves Maria sangHersel' in beauty's bloom the while;And aye the wild-wood ehoes rangFareweel the braes o' Ballochmyle!
Low in your wintry bedsye flowersAgain ye'll flourish fresh and fair;Ye birdies dumbin with'ring bowersAgain ye'll charm the vocal air.But herealas! for me nae mairShall birdie charmor floweret smile;Fareweel the bonie banks of AyrFareweelfareweel! sweet Ballochmyle!
Fragment-Her Flowing Locks
Her flowing locksthe raven's wingAdown her neck and bosom hing;How sweet unto that breast to clingAnd round that neck entwine her!
Her lips are roses wat wi' dewO' what a feast her bonie mou'!Her cheeks a mair celestial hueA crimson still diviner!
[Footnote 1: Is thought to be a night when witchesdevilsand othermischief-making beings are abroad on their baneful midnight errands;particularly those aerial peoplethe fairiesare said on that night to holda grand anniversary.-R.B.]
     The following poem willby many readersbe well enough understood; butfor the sake of those who are unacquainted with the manners and traditions ofthe country where the scene is castnotes are added to give some account ofthe principal charms and spells of that nightso big with prophecy to thepeasantry in the west of Scotland. The passion of prying into futurity makesa striking part of the history of human nature in its rude statein allages and nations; and it may be some entertainment to a philosophic mindifany such honour the author with a perusalto see the remains of it among themore unenlightened in our own.-R.B.
Yes! let the rich deridethe proud disdainThe simple pleasure of the lowly train;To me more dearcongenial to my heartOne native charmthan all the gloss of art.-Goldsmith.
Upon that nightwhen fairies lightOn Cassilis Downans^2 danceOr owre the laysin splendid blazeOn sprightly coursers prance;Or for Colean the rout is ta'enBeneath the moon's pale beams;Thereup the Cove^3 to stray an' roveAmang the rocks and streamsTo sport that night;
[Footnote 2: Certain littleromanticrockygreen hillsin theneighbourhood of the ancient seat of the Earls of Cassilis.-R.B.]
[Footnote 3: A noted cavern near Colean housecalled the Cove of Colean;whichas well as Cassilis Downansis famedin country storyfor being afavorite haunt of fairies.-R.B.]
Amang the bonie winding banksWhere Doon rinswimplinclear;Where Bruce^4 ance rul'd the martial ranksAn' shook his Carrick spear;Some merryfriendlycountra-folksTogether did conveneTo burn their nitsan' pou their stocksAn' haud their HalloweenFu' blythe that night.
[Footnote 4: The famous family of that namethe ancestors of Robertthegreat deliverer of his countrywere Earls of Carrick.-R.B.]
The lasses featan' cleanly neatMair braw than when they're fine;Their faces blythefu' sweetly kytheHearts lealan' warman' kin':The lads sae trigwi' wooer-babsWeel-knotted on their garten;Some unco blatean' some wi' gabsGar lasses' hearts gang startinWhiles fast at night.
Thenfirst an' foremostthro' the kailTheir stocks^5 maun a' be sought ance;
[Footnote 5: The first ceremony of Halloween is pulling each a "stock or
plant of kail. They must go out, hand in hand, with eyes shut, and pull the
first they meet with: its being big or little, straight or crooked, is
prophetic of the size and shape of the grand object of all their spells-the
husband or wife. If any yird or earth, stick to the root, that is tocher
or fortune; and the taste of the custock that is, the heart of the stem, is
indicative of the natural temper and disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to
give them their ordinary appellation, the runts are placed somewhere above
the head of the door; and the Christian names of the people whom chance brings
into the house are, according to the priority of placing the runts the
names in question.-R. B.]
They steek their een, and grape an' wale
For muckle anes, an' straught anes.
Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift,
An' wandered thro' the bow-kail,
An' pou't for want o' better shift
A runt was like a sow-tail
Sae bow't that night.
Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar an' cry a' throu'ther;
The vera wee-things, toddlin, rin,
Wi' stocks out owre their shouther:
An' gif the custock's sweet or sour,
Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
Syne coziely, aboon the door,
Wi' cannie care, they've plac'd them
To lie that night.
The lassies staw frae 'mang them a',
To pou their stalks o' corn;^6
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about,
Behint the muckle thorn:
He grippit Nelly hard and fast:
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
Whan kiutlin in the fause-house^7
Wi' him that night.
[Footnote 6: They go to the barnyard, and pull each, at three different times,
a stalk of oats. If the third stalk wants the top-pickle that is, the grain
at the top of the stalk, the party in question will come to the marriage-bed
anything but a maid.-R.B.]
[Footnote 7: When the corn is in a doubtful state, by being too green or wet,
the stack-builder, by means of old timber, etc., makes a large apartment in
his stack, with an opening in the side which is fairest exposed to the wind:
this he calls a fause-house."-R.B.]
The auld guid-wife's weel-hoordit nits^8Are round an' round dividendAn' mony lads an' lasses' fatesAre there that night decided:Some kindle couthie side by sideAnd burn thegither trimly;Some start awa wi' saucy prideAn' jump out owre the chimlieFu' high that night.
[Footnote 8: Burning the nuts is a favorite charm. They name the lad and lassto each particular nutas they lay them in the fire; and according as theyburn quietly togetheror start from beside one anotherthe course and issueof the courtship will be.-R.B.]
Jean slips in twawi' tentie e'e;Wha 'twasshe wadna tell;But this is Jockan' this is meShe says in to hersel':He bleez'd owre heran' she owre himAs they wad never mair part:Till fuff! he started up the lumAn' Jean had e'en a sair heartTo see't that night.
Poor Williewi' his bow-kail runtWas brunt wi' primsie Mallie;An' Marynae doubttook the druntTo be compar'd to Willie:Mall's nit lap outwi' pridefu' flingAn' her ain fitit brunt it;While Willie lapand swore by jing'Twas just the way he wantedTo be that night.
Nell had the fause-house in her min'She pits hersel an' Rob in;In loving bleeze they sweetly joinTill white in ase they're sobbin:Nell's heart was dancin at the view;She whisper'd Rob to leuk for't:Robstownlinsprie'd her bonie mou'Fu' cozie in the neuk for'tUnseen that night.
But Merran sat behint their backsHer thoughts on Andrew Bell:She lea'es them gashin at their cracksAn' slips out-by hersel';She thro' the yard the nearest taksAn' for the kiln she goes thenAn' darklins grapit for the bauksAnd in the blue-clue^9 throws thenRight fear't that night.
[Footnote 9: Whoever wouldwith successtry this spellmust strictlyobserve these directions: Steal outall aloneto the kilnand darklingthrow into the "pot" a clue of blue yarn; wind it in a new clue off the oldone; andtoward the latter endsomething will hold the thread: demandWha
hauds?i.e.who holds? and answer will be returned from the kiln-potbynaming the Christian and surname of your future spouse.-R.B.]
An' ay she win'tan' ay she swat-I wat she made nae jaukin;Till something held within the patGood Lord! but she was quaukin!But whether 'twas the deil himselOr whether 'twas a bauk-en'Or whether it was Andrew BellShe did na wait on talkinTo spier that night.
Wee Jenny to her graunie saysWill ye go wi' me, graunie?
I'll eat the apple at the glass,^10
I gat frae uncle Johnie:She fuff't her pipe wi' sic a luntIn wrath she was sae vap'rinShe notic't na an aizle bruntHer brawnewworset apronOut thro' that night.
[Footnote 10: Take a candle and go alone to a looking-glass; eat an applebefore itand some traditions say you should comb your hair all the time; theface of your conjungal companionto bewill be seen in the glassas ifpeeping over your shoulder.-R.B.]
"Ye little skelpie-limmer's face!I daur you try sic sportinAs seek the foul thief ony placeFor him to spae your fortune:Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!Great cause ye hae to fear it;For mony a ane has gotten a frightAn' liv'd an' died deleeritOn sic a night.
"Ae hairst afore the Sherra-moorI mind't as weel's yestreen-I was a gilpey thenI'm sureI was na past fyfteen:The simmer had been cauld an' watAn' stuff was unco green;An' eye a rantin kirn we gatAn' just on HalloweenIt fell that night.
"Our stibble-rig was Rab M'GraenA cleversturdy fallow;His sin gat Eppie Sim wi' weanThat lived in Achmacalla:He gat hemp-seed^11 I mind it weelAn'he made unco light o't;But mony a day was by himsel'He was sae sairly frightedThat vera night."
[Footnote 11: Steal outunperceivedand sow a handful of hemp-seedharrowing it with anything you can conveniently draw after you. Repeat now andthen: "Hemp-seedI saw theehemp-seedI saw thee; and him (or her) that isto be my true lovecome after me and pou thee." Look over your left shoulderand you will see the appearance of the person invokedin the attitude ofpulling hemp. Some traditions sayCome after me and shaw thee,that isshow thyself; in which caseit simply appears. Others omit the harrowingandsay: "Come after me and harrow thee."-R.B.]
Then up gat fechtin Jamie FleckAn' he swoor by his conscienceThat he could saw hemp-seed a peck;For it was a' but nonsense:The auld guidman raught down the pockAn' out a handfu' gied him;Syne bad him slip frae' mang the folkSometime when nae ane see'd himAn' try't that night.
He marches thro' amang the stacksTho' he was something sturtin;The graip he for a harrow taksAn' haurls at his curpin:And ev'ry now an' thenhe saysHemp-seed I saw thee,
An' her that is to be my lass
Come after me, an' draw thee
As fast this night.
He wistl'd up Lord Lennox' MarchTo keep his courage cherry;Altho' his hair began to archHe was sae fley'd an' eerie:Till presently he hears a squeakAn' then a grane an' gruntle;He by his shouther gae a keekAn' tumbled wi' a wintleOut-owre that night.
He roar'd a horrid murder-shoutIn dreadfu' desperation!An' young an' auld come rinnin outAn' hear the sad narration:He swoor 'twas hilchin Jean M'CrawOr crouchie Merran Humphie-Till stop! she trotted thro' them a';And wha was it but grumphieAsteer that night!
Meg fain wad to the barn gaenTo winn three wechts o' naething;^12But for to meet the deil her laneShe pat but little faith in:
[Footnote 12: This charm must likewise be performed unperceived and alone. Yougo to the barnand open both doorstaking them off the hingesif possible;for there is danger that the being about to appear may shut the doorsand doyou some mischief. Then take that instrument used in winnowing the cornwhichin our country dialect we call a "wecht and go through all the attitudes of
letting down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times, and the third time
an apparition will pass through the barn, in at the windy door and out at the
other, having both the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue,
marking the employment or station in life.-R.B.]
She gies the herd a pickle nits,
An' twa red cheekit apples,
To watch, while for the barn she sets,
In hopes to see Tam Kipples
That vera night.
She turns the key wi' cannie thraw,
An'owre the threshold ventures;
But first on Sawnie gies a ca',
Syne baudly in she enters:
A ratton rattl'd up the wa',
An' she cry'd Lord preserve her!
An' ran thro' midden-hole an' a',
An' pray'd wi' zeal and fervour,
Fu' fast that night.
They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice;
They hecht him some fine braw ane;
It chanc'd the stack he faddom't thrice^13
Was timmer-propt for thrawin:
He taks a swirlie auld moss-oak
For some black, grousome carlin;
An' loot a winze, an' drew a stroke,
Till skin in blypes cam haurlin
Aff's nieves that night.
[Footnote 13: Take an opportunity of going unnoticed to a bear-stack and
fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time you will catch
in your arms the appearance of your future conjugal yoke-fellow.-R.B.]
A wanton widow Leezie was,
As cantie as a kittlen;
But och! that night, amang the shaws,
She gat a fearfu' settlin!
She thro' the whins, an' by the cairn,
An' owre the hill gaed scrievin;
Whare three lairds' lan's met at a burn,^14
To dip her left sark-sleeve in,
Was bent that night.
[Footnote 14: You go out, one or more (for this is a social spell), to a south
running spring, or rivulet, where three lairds' 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 apparition,
having the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn
the sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it.-R.B.]
Whiles owre a linn the burnie plays,
As thro' the glen it wimpl't;
Whiles round a rocky scar it strays,
Whiles in a wiel it dimpl't;
Whiles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Wi' bickerin', dancin' dazzle;
Whiles cookit undeneath the braes,
Below the spreading hazel
Unseen that night.
Amang the brachens, on the brae,
Between her an' the moon,
The deil, or else an outler quey,
Gat up an' ga'e a croon:
Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hool;
Near lav'rock-height she jumpit,
But mist a fit, an' in the pool
Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,
Wi' a plunge that night.
In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
The luggies^15 three are ranged;
An' ev'ry 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 heav'd them on the fire
In wrath that night.
[Footnote 15: Take three dishes, put clean water in one, foul water in
another, and leave the third empty; blindfold a person and lead him to the
hearth where the dishes are ranged; he (or she) dips the left hand; if by
chance in the clean water, the future (husband or) wife will come to the bar
of matrimony a maid; if in the foul, a widow; if in the empty dish, it
foretells, with equal certainty, no marriage at all. It is repeated three
times, and every time the arrangement of the dishes is altered.-R.B.]
Wi' merry sangs, an' friendly cracks,
I wat they did na weary;
And unco tales, an' funnie jokes-
Their sports were cheap an' cheery:
Till butter'd sowens,^16 wi' fragrant lunt,
[Footnote 16: Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is always the
Halloween Supper.-R.B.]
Set a' their gabs a-steerin;
Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt,
They parted aff careerin
Fu' blythe that night.
To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough, November, 1785
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!
I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!
I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
Epitaph On John Dove, Innkeeper
Here lies Johnie Pigeon;
What was his religion?
Whae'er desires to ken,
To some other warl'
Maun follow the carl,
For here Johnie Pigeon had nane!
Strong ale was ablution,
Small beer persecution,
A dram was memento mori;
But a full-flowing bowl
Was the saving his soul,
And port was celestial glory.
Epitaph For James Smith
Lament him, Mauchline husbands a',
He aften did assist ye;
For had ye staid hale weeks awa,
Your wives they ne'er had miss'd ye.
Ye Mauchline bairns, as on ye press
To school in bands thegither,
O tread ye lightly on his grass, -
Perhaps he was your father!
Adam Armour's Prayer
Gude pity me, because I'm little!
For though I am an elf o' mettle,
An' can, like ony wabster's shuttle,
Jink there or here,
Yet, scarce as lang's a gude kail-whittle,
I'm unco queer.
An' now Thou kens our waefu' case;
For Geordie's jurr we're in disgrace,
Because we stang'd her through the place,
An' hurt her spleuchan;
For whilk we daurna show our face
Within the clachan.
An' now we're dern'd in dens and hollows,
And hunted, as was William Wallace,
Wi' constables-thae blackguard fallows,
An' sodgers baith;
But Gude preserve us frae the gallows,
That shamefu' death!
Auld grim black-bearded Geordie's sel'-
O shake him owre the mouth o' hell!
There let him hing, an' roar, an' yell
Wi' hideous din,
And if he offers to rebel,
Then heave him in.
When Death comes in wi' glimmerin blink,
An' tips auld drucken Nanse the wink,
May Sautan gie her doup a clink
Within his yett,
An' fill her up wi' brimstone drink,
Red-reekin het.
Though Jock an' hav'rel Jean are merry-
Some devil seize them in a hurry,
An' waft them in th' infernal wherry
Straught through the lake,
An' gie their hides a noble curry
Wi' oil of aik!
As for the jurr-puir worthless body!
She's got mischief enough already;
Wi' stanged hips, and buttocks bluidy
She's suffer'd sair;
But, may she wintle in a woody,
If she wh-e mair!
The Jolly Beggars: A Cantata^1
[Footnote 1: Not published by Burns.]
When lyart leaves bestrow the yird,
Or wavering like the bauckie-bird,
Bedim cauld Boreas' blast;
When hailstanes drive wi' bitter skyte,
And infant frosts begin to bite,
In hoary cranreuch drest;
Ae night at e'en a merry core
O' randie, gangrel bodies,
In Poosie-Nansie's held the splore,
To drink their orra duddies;
Wi' quaffing an' laughing,
They ranted an' they sang,
Wi' jumping an' thumping,
The vera girdle rang,
First, neist the fire, in auld red rags,
Ane sat, weel brac'd wi' mealy bags,
And knapsack a' in order;
His doxy lay within his arm;
Wi' usquebae an' blankets warm
She blinkit on her sodger;
An' aye he gies the tozie drab
The tither skelpin' kiss,
While she held up her greedy gab,
Just like an aumous dish;
Ilk smack still, did crack still,
Just like a cadger's whip;
Then staggering an' swaggering
He roar'd this ditty up-
Tune-Soldier's Joy."
I am a son of Mars who have been in many warsAnd show my cuts and scars wherever I come;This here was for a wenchand that other in a trenchWhen welcoming the French at the sound of the drum.Lal de daudle&c.
My 'prenticeship I past where my leader breath'd his lastWhen the bloody die was cast on the heights of Abram:and I served out my trade when the gallant game was play'dAnd the Morro low was laid at the sound of the drum.
I lastly was with Curtis among the floating batt'riesAnd there I left for witness an arm and a limb;Yet let my country need mewith Elliot to head meI'd clatter on my stumps at the sound of a drum.
And now tho' I must begwith a wooden arm and legAnd many a tatter'd rag hanging over my bumI'm as happy with my walletmy bottleand my calletAs when I used in scarlet to follow a drum.
What tho' with hoary locksI must stand the winter shocksBeneath the woods and rocks oftentimes for a homeWhen the t'other bag I selland the t'other bottle tellI could meet a troop of hellat the sound of a drum.
He ended; and the kebars sheukAboon the chorus roar;While frighted rattons backward leukAn' seek the benmost bore:A fairy fiddler frae the neukHe skirl'd outencore!But up arose the martial chuckAn' laid the loud uproar.
Tune-"Sodger Laddie."I once was a maidtho' I cannot tell whenAnd still my delight is in proper young men;Some one of a troop of dragoons was my daddieNo wonder I'm fond of a sodger laddieSinglal de lal&c.
The first of my loves was a swaggering bladeTo rattle the thundering drum was his trade;His leg was so tightand his cheek was so ruddyTransported I was with my sodger laddie.
But the godly old chaplain left him in the lurch;The sword I forsook for the sake of the church:He ventur'd the souland I risked the body'Twas then I proved false to my sodger laddie.
Full soon I grew sick of my sanctified sotThe regiment at large for a husband I got;From the gilded spontoon to the fife I was readyI asked no more but a sodger laddie.
But the peace it reduc'd me to beg in despairTill I met old boy in a Cunningham fairHis rags regimentalthey flutter'd so gaudyMy heart it rejoic'd at a sodger laddie.
And now I have liv'd-I know not how longAnd still I can join in a cup and a song;But whilst with both hands I can hold the glass steadyHere's to theemy heromy sodger laddie.
Poor Merry-Andrewin the neukSat guzzling wi' a tinkler-hizzie;They mind't na wha the chorus teukBetween themselves they were sae busy:At lengthwi' drink an' courting dizzyHe stoiter'd up an' made a face;Then turn'd an' laid a smack on GrizzieSyne tun'd his pipes wi' grave grimace.
Tune-"Auld Sir Symon."
Sir Wisdom's a fool when he's fou;Sir Knave is a fool in a session;He's there but a 'prentice I trowBut I am a fool by profession.
My grannie she bought me a beukAn' I held awa to the school;I fear I my talent misteukBut what will ye hae of a fool?
For drink I would venture my neck;A hizzie's the half of my craft;But what could ye other expectOf ane that's avowedly daft?
I ance was tied up like a stirkFor civilly swearing and quaffin;I ance was abus'd i' the kirkFor towsing a lass i' my daffin.
Poor Andrew that tumbles for sportLet naebody name wi' a jeer;There's evenI'm tauldi' the CourtA tumbler ca'd the Premier.
Observ'd ye yon reverend ladMak faces to tickle the mob;He rails at our mountebank squad-It's rivalship just i' the job.
And now my conclusion I'll tellFor faith I'm confoundedly dry;The chiel that's a fool for himsel'Guid Lord! he's far dafter than I.
Then niest outspak a raucle carlinWha kent fu' weel to cleek the sterlin;For mony a pursie she had hookedAn' had in mony a well been douked;Her love had been a Highland laddieBut weary fa' the waefu' woodie!Wi' sighs an' sobs she thus beganTo wail her braw John Highlandman.
Tune-"Oan ye were deadGuidman."
A Highland lad my love was bornThe Lalland laws he held in scorn;But he still was faithfu' to his clanMy gallantbraw John Highlandman.
Sing hey my braw John Highlandman!Sing ho my braw John Highlandman!There's not a lad in a' the lan'Was match for my John Highlandman.
With his philibeg an' tartan plaidAn' guid claymore down by his sideThe ladies' hearts he did trepanMy gallantbraw John Highlandman.Sing hey&c.
We ranged a' from Tweed to SpeyAn' liv'd like lords an' ladies gay;For a Lalland face he feared none-My gallantbraw John Highlandman.Sing hey&c.
They banish'd him beyond the sea.But ere the bud was on the treeAdown my cheeks the pearls ranEmbracing my John Highlandman.Sing hey&c.
Butoch! they catch'd him at the lastAnd bound him in a dungeon fast:My curse upon them every oneThey've hang'd my braw John Highlandman!Sing hey&c.
And now a widowI must mournThe pleasures that will ne'er return:The comfort but a hearty canWhen I think on John Highlandman.Sing hey&c.
A pigmy scraper wi' his fiddleWha us'd at trystes an' fairs to driddle.Her strappin limb and gausy middle(He reach'd nae higher)Had hol'd his heartie like a riddleAn' blawn't on fire.
Wi' hand on hainchand upward e'eHe croon'd his gamutonetwothreeThen in an arioso keyThe wee ApollSet off wi' allegretto gleeHis giga solo.
Tune-"Whistle owre the lave o't."
Let me ryke up to dight that tearAn' go wi' me an' be my dear;An' then your every care an' fearMay whistle owre the lave o't.
I am a fiddler to my tradeAn' a' the tunes that e'er I playedThe sweetest still to wife or maidWas whistle owre the lave o't.
At kirns an' weddins we'se be thereAn' O sae nicely's we will fare!We'll bowse about till Daddie CareSing whistle owre the lave o't.I am&c.
Sae merrily's the banes we'll pykeAn' sun oursel's about the dyke;An' at our leisurewhen ye likeWe'll whistle owre the lave o't.I am&c.
But bless me wi' your heav'n o' charmsAn' while I kittle hair on thairmsHungercauldan' a' sic harmsMay whistle owre the lave o't.I am&c.
Her charms had struck a sturdy cairdAs weel as poor gut-scraper;He taks the fiddler by the beardAn' draws a roosty rapier-He swoorby a' was swearing worthTo speet him like a pliverUnless he would from that time forthRelinquish her for ever.
Wi' ghastly e'e poor tweedle-deeUpon his hunkers bendedAn' pray'd for grace wi' ruefu' faceAn' so the quarrel ended.But tho' his little heart did grieveWhen round the tinkler prest herHe feign'd to snirtle in his sleeveWhen thus the caird address'd her:
Tune-"Clout the Cauldron."
My bonie lassI work in brassA tinkler is my station:I've travell'd round all Christian groundIn this my occupation;I've taen the goldan' been enrolledIn many a noble squadron;But vain they search'd when off I march'dTo go an' clout the cauldron.I've taen the gold&c.
Despise that shrimpthat wither'd impWith a' his noise an' cap'rin;An' take a share with those that bearThe budget and the apron!And by that stowp! my faith an' houpAnd by that dear Kilbaigie^1If e'er ye wantor meet wi' scantMay I ne'er weet my craigie.And by that stowp&c.
[Footnote 1: A peculiar sort of whisky so calleda great favorite with PoosieNansie's clubs.-R. B.]
The caird prevail'd-th' unblushing fairIn his embraces sunk;Partly wi' love o'ercome sae sairAn' partly she was drunk:Sir Violinowith an airThat show'd a man o' spunkWish'd unison between the pairAn' made the bottle clunkTo their health that night.
But hurchin Cupid shot a shaftThat play'd a dame a shavie-The fiddler rak'd herfore and aftBehint the chicken cavie.Her lorda wight of Homer's craft^2Tho' limpin wi' the spavieHe hirpl'd upan' lap like daftAn' shor'd them Dainty Davie.O' boot that night.
He was a care-defying bladeAs ever Bacchus listed!Tho' Fortune sair upon him laidHis heartshe ever miss'd it.He had no wish but-to be gladNor want but-when he thirsted;He hated nought but-to be sadAn' thus the muse suggestedHis sang that night.
Tune-"For a' thatan' a' that."
I am a Bard of no regardWi' gentle folks an' a' that;But Homer-likethe glowrin bykeFrae town to town I draw that.
For a' thatan' a' thatAn' twice as muckle's a' that;I've lost but aneI've twa behin'I've wife eneugh for a' that.
[Footnote 2: Homer is allowed to be the oldest ballad-singer on record.-R.B.]
I never drank the Muses' stankCastalia's burnan' a' that;But there it streams an' richly reamsMy Helicon I ca' that.For a' that&c.
Great love Idbear to a' the fairTheir humble slave an' a' that;But lordly willI hold it stillA mortal sin to thraw that.For a' that&c.
In raptures sweetthis hour we meetWi' mutual love an' a' that;But for how lang the flie may stangLet inclination law that.For a' that&c.
Their tricks an' craft hae put me daftThey've taen me inan' a' that;But clear your decksand here's-"The Sex!"I like the jads for a' that.
For a' thatan' a' thatAn' twice as muckle's a' that;My dearest bluidto do them guidThey're welcome till't for a' that.
So sang the bard - and Nansie's wa'sShook with a thunder of applauseRe-echo'd from each mouth!They toom'd their pocksthey pawn'd their dudsThey scarcely left to co'er their fudsTo quench their lowin drouth:Then owre againthe jovial thrangThe poet did requestTo lowse his pack an' wale a sangA ballad o' the best;He risingrejoicingBetween his twa DeborahsLooks round himan' found themImpatient for the chorus.
tune-"Jolly Mortalsfill your Glasses."
See the smoking bowl before usMark our jovial ragged ring!Round and round take up the chorusAnd in raptures let us sing-
A fig for those by law protected!Liberty's a glorious feast!Courts for cowards were erectedChurches built to please the priest.
What is titlewhat is treasureWhat is reputation's care?If we lead a life of pleasure'Tis no matter how or where!A fig for&c.
With the ready trick and fableRound we wander all the day;And at night in barn or stableHug our doxies on the hay.A fig for&c.
Does the train-attended carriageThro' the country lighter rove?Does the sober bed of marriageWitness brighter scenes of love?A fig for&c.
Life is al a variorumWe regard not how it goes;Let them cant about decorumWho have character to lose.A fig for&c.
Here's to budgetsbags and wallets!Here's to all the wandering train.Here's our ragged brats and calletsOne and all cry outAmen!
A fig for those by law protected!Liberty's a glorious feast!Courts for cowards were erectedChurches built to please the priest.
song-For A' That^1
tune-"For a' that."
Tho' women's mindslike winter windsMay shiftand turnan' a' thatThe noblest breast adores them maist-A consequence I draw that.
For a' thatan' a' thatAnd twice as meikle's a' that;The bonie lass that I loe bestShe'll be my ain for a' that.
Great love I bear to a' the fairTheir humble slavean' a' that;But lordly willI hold it stillA mortal sin to thraw that.For a' that&c.
But there is ane aboon the laveHas witand sensean' a' that;A bonie lassI like her bestAnd wha a crime dare ca' that?For a' that&c.
In rapture sweet this hour we meetWi' mutual love an' a' that
[Footnote 1: A later version of "I am a bard of no regard" in "The JollyBeggars."]
But for how lang the flie may stangLet inclination law that.For a' that&c.
Their tricks an' craft hae put me daft.They've taen me inan' a' that;But clear your decksand here's-"The Sex!"I like the jads for a' that.For a' that&c.
Song-Merry Hae I Been Teethin A Heckle
tune-"The bob O' Dumblane."
O Merry hae I been teethin' a heckleAn' merry hae I been shapin' a spoon;O merry hae I been cloutin' a kettleAn' kissin' my Katie when a' was done.O a' the lang day I ca' at my hammerAn' a' the lang day I whistle and sing;O a' the lang night I cuddle my kimmerAn' a' the lang night as happy's a king.
Bitter in idol I lickit my winninsO' marrying Bessto gie her a slave:Blest be the hour she cool'd in her linnensAnd blythe be the bird that sings on her grave!Come to my armsmy Katiemy Katie;O come to my arms and kiss me again!Drucken or soberhere's to theeKatie!An' blest be the day I did it again.
The Cotter's Saturday Night
Inscribed to R. AikenEsq.of Ayr.
Let not Ambition mock their useful toilTheir homely joysand destiny obscure;Nor Grandeur hearwith a disdainful smileThe short and simple annals of the Poor.Gray.
My lov'dmy honour'dmuch respected friend!No mercenary bard his homage pays;With honest prideI scorn each selfish endMy dearest meeda friend's esteem and praise:To you I singin simple Scottish laysThe lowly train in life's sequester'd sceneThe native feelings strongthe guileless waysWhat Aiken in a cottage would have been;Ah! tho' his worth unknownfar happier there I ween!
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;The short'ning winter-day is near a close;The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;The black'ning trains o' craws to their repose:The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes-This night his weekly moil is at an endCollects his spadeshis mattocksand his hoesHoping the morn in ease and rest to spendAnd wearyo'er the moorhis course does hameward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in viewBeneath the shelter of an aged tree;Th' expectant wee-thingstoddlinstacher throughTo meet their deadwi' flichterin noise and glee.His wee bit ingleblinkin bonilieHis clean hearth-stanehis thrifty wifie's smileThe lisping infantprattling on his kneeDoes a' his weary kiaugh and care beguileAnd makes him quite forget his labour and his toil.
Belyvethe elder bairns come drapping inAt service outamang the farmers roun';Some ca' the pleughsome herdsome tentie rinA cannie errand to a neibor town:Their eldest hopetheir Jennywoman-grownIn youthfu' bloom-love sparkling in her e'e-Comes hameperhaps to shew a braw new gownOr deposite her sair-won penny-feeTo help her parents dearif they in hardship be.
With joy unfeign'dbrothers and sisters meetAnd each for other's weelfare kindly speirs:The social hoursswift-wing'dunnotic'd fleet:Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears.The parentspartialeye their hopeful years;Anticipation forward points the view;The motherwi' her needle and her shearsGars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.
Their master's and their mistress' commandThe younkers a' are warned to obey;And mind their labours wi' an eydent handAnd ne'ertho' out o' sightto jauk or play;And O! be sure to fear the Lord alway,
And mind your duty, duly, morn and night;
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore His counsel and assisting might:
They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright.
But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;Jennywha kens the meaning o' the sameTells how a neibor lad came o'er the moorTo do some errandsand convoy her hame.The wily mother sees the conscious flameSparkle in Jenny's e'eand flush her cheek;With heart-struck anxious careenquires his nameWhile Jenny hafflins is afraid to speak;Weel-pleased the mother hearsit's nae wildworthless rake.
Wi' kindly welcomeJenny brings him ben;A strappin youthhe takes the mother's eye;Blythe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;The father cracks of horsespleughsand kye.The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joyBut blate an' laithfu'scarce can weel behave;The motherwi' a woman's wilescan spyWhat makes the youth sae bashfu' and sae graveWeel-pleas'd to think her bairn's respected like the lave.
O happy love! where love like this is found:O heart-felt raptures! bliss beyond compare!I've paced much this wearymortal roundAnd sage experience bids me this declare-If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare-
One cordial in this melancholy vale,
'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair
In other'sarms, breathe out the tender tale,
Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents the evening gale.
Is therein human formthat bears a heartA wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth!That canwith studiedslyensnaring artBetray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth?Curse on his perjur'd arts! dissembling smooth!Are honourvirtueconscienceall exil'd?Is there no pityno relenting ruthPoints to the parents fondling o'er their child?Then paints the ruin'd maidand their distraction wild?
But now the supper crowns their simple boardThe halesome parritchchief of Scotia's food;The sowp their only hawkie does affordThat'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood:The dame brings forthin complimental moodTo grace the ladher weel-hain'd kebbuckfell;And aft he's prestand aft he ca's it guid:The frugal wifiegarrulouswill tellHow t'was a towmond auldsin' lint was i' the bell.
The cheerfu' supper donewi' serious faceTheyround the ingleform a circle wide;The sire turns o'erwith patriarchal graceThe big ha'bibleance his father's pride:His bonnet rev'rently is laid asideHis lyart haffets wearing thin and bare;Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glideHe wales a portion with judicious care;And "Let us worship God!" he says with solemn air.
They chant their artless notes in simple guiseThey tune their heartsby far the noblest aim;Perhaps Dundee's wild-warbling measures rise;Or plaintive Martyrsworthy of the name;Or noble Elgin beets the heaven-ward flame;The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays:Compar'd with theseItalian trills are tame;The tickl'd ears no heart-felt raptures raise;Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise.
The priest-like father reads the sacred pageHow Abram was the friend of God on high;Or Moses bade eternal warfare wageWith Amalek's ungracious progeny;Or how the royal bard did groaning lieBeneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;Or Job's pathetic plaintand wailing cry;Or rapt Isaiah's wildseraphic fire;Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre.
Perhaps the Christian volume is the themeHow guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;How Hewho bore in Heaven the second nameHad not on earth whereon to lay His head:How His first followers and servants sped;The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:How hewho lone in Patmos banishedSaw in the sun a mighty angel standAnd heard great Bab'lon's doom pronounc'd by Heaven's command.
Thenkneeling down to Heaven's Eternal KingThe saintthe fatherand the husband prays:Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing^1
That thus they all shall meet in future days,
There, ever bask in uncreated rays,
No more to sigh, or shed the bitter tear,
Together hymning their Creator's praise,
In such society, yet still more dear;
While circling Time moves round in an eternal sphere
Compar'd with this, how poor Religion's pride,
In all the pomp of method, and of art;
When men display to congregations wide
[Footnote 1: Pope's Windsor Forest."-R.B.]
Devotion's ev'ry graceexcept the heart!The Powerincens'dthe pageant will desertThe pompous strainthe sacerdotal stole;But haplyin some cottage far apartMay hearwell-pleas'dthe language of the soul;And in His Book of Life the inmates poor enroll.
Then homeward all take off their sev'ral way;The youngling cottagers retire to rest:The parent-pair their secret homage payAnd proffer up to Heaven the warm requestThat he who stills the raven's clam'rous nestAnd decks the lily fair in flow'ry prideWouldin the way His wisdom sees the bestFor them and for their little ones provide;But chieflyin their hearts with grace divine preside.
From scenes like theseold Scotia's grandeur springsThat makes her lov'd at homerever'd abroad:Princes and lords are but the breath of kingsAn honest man's the noblest work of God;And certesin fair virtue's heavenly roadThe cottage leaves the palace far behind;What is a lordling's pomp? a cumbrous loadDisguising oft the wretch of human kindStudied in arts of hellin wickedness refin'd!
O Scotia! my dearmy native soil!For whom my warmest wish to Heaven is sentLong may thy hardy sons of rustic toilBe blest with healthand peaceand sweet content!And O! may Heaven their simple lives preventFrom luxury's contagionweak and vile!Then howe'er crowns and coronets be rentA virtuous populace may rise the whileAnd stand a wall of fire around their much-lov'd isle.
O Thou! who pour'd the patriotic tideThat stream'd thro' Wallace's undaunted heartWho dar'd to nobly stem tyrannic prideOr nobly diethe second glorious part:(The patriot's God peculiarly thou artHis friendinspirerguardianand reward!)O nevernever Scotia's realm desert;But still the patriotand the patriot-bardIn bright succession raiseher ornament and guard!
Address To The Deil
O Prince! O chief of many throned Pow'rsThat led th' embattl'd Seraphim to war-Milton.
O Thou! whatever title suit thee-Auld HornieSatanNickor ClootieWha in yon cavern grim an' sootieClos'd under hatchesSpairges about the brunstane cootieTo scaud poor wretches!
Hear meauld Hangiefor a weeAn' let poor damned bodies be;I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gieEv'n to a deilTo skelp an' scaud poor dogs like meAn' hear us squeel!
Great is thy pow'r an' great thy fame;Far ken'd an' noted is thy name;An' tho' yon lowin' heuch's thy hameThou travels far;An' faith! thou's neither lag nor lameNor blatenor scaur.
Whilesranging like a roarin lionFor preya' holes and corners tryin;Whileson the strong-wind'd tempest flyinTirlin the kirks;Whilesin the human bosom pryinUnseen thou lurks.
I've heard my rev'rend graunie sayIn lanely glens ye like to stray;Or where auld ruin'd castles greyNod to the moonYe fright the nightly wand'rer's wayWi' eldritch croon.
When twilight did my graunie summonTo say her pray'rsdousehonest woman!Aft'yont the dyke she's heard you bumminWi' eerie drone;Orrustlinthro' the boortrees cominWi' heavy groan.
Ae drearywindywinter nightThe stars shot down wi' sklentin lightWi' youmysel' I gat a frightAyont the lough;Yelike a rash-bussstood in sightWi' wavin' sough.
The cudgel in my nieve did shakeEach brist'ld hair stood like a stakeWhen wi' an eldritchstoor "quaickquaick
Amang the springs,
Awa ye squatter'd like a drake,
On whistlin' wings.
Let warlocks grim, an' wither'd hags,
Tell how wi' you, on ragweed nags,
They skim the muirs an' dizzy crags,
Wi' wicked speed;
And in kirk-yards renew their leagues,
Owre howkit dead.
Thence countra wives, wi' toil and pain,
May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain;
For oh! the yellow treasure's ta'en
By witchin' skill;
An' dawtit, twal-pint hawkie's gane
As yell's the bill.
Thence mystic knots mak great abuse
On young guidmen, fond, keen an' crouse,
When the best wark-lume i' the house,
By cantrip wit,
Is instant made no worth a louse,
Just at the bit.
When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord,
An' float the jinglin' icy boord,
Then water-kelpies haunt the foord,
By your direction,
And 'nighted trav'llers are allur'd
To their destruction.
And aft your moss-traversin Spunkies
Decoy the wight that late an' drunk is:
The bleezin, curst, mischievous monkies
Delude his eyes,
Till in some miry slough he sunk is,
Ne'er mair to rise.
When masons' mystic word an' grip
In storms an' tempests raise you up,
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop,
Or, strange to tell!
The youngest brither ye wad whip
Aff straught to hell.
Lang syne in Eden's bonie yard,
When youthfu' lovers first were pair'd,
An' all the soul of love they shar'd,
The raptur'd hour,
Sweet on the fragrant flow'ry swaird,
In shady bower;^1
Then you, ye auld, snick-drawing dog!
Ye cam to Paradise incog,
[Footnote 1: The verse originally ran: Lang synein Eden's happy scene Whenstrappin Adam's days were greenAnd Eve was like my bonie JeanMy dearestpartA dancinsweetyoung handsome queanO' guileless heart."]
An' play'd on man a cursed brogue(Black be your fa'!)An' gied the infant warld a shog'Maist rui'd a'.
D'ye mind that day when in a bizzWi' reekit dudsan' reestit gizzYe did present your smoutie phiz'Mang better folkAn' sklented on the man of UzzYour spitefu' joke?
An' how ye gat him i' your thrallAn' brak him out o' house an hal'While scabs and botches did him gallWi' bitter claw;An' lows'd his ill-tongu'd wicked scaul'Was warst ava?
But a' your doings to rehearseYour wily snares an' fechtin fierceSin' that day Michael^2 did you pierceDown to this timeWad ding a Lallan toungeor ErseIn prose or rhyme.
An' nowauld ClootsI ken ye're thinkinA certain bardie's rantindrinkinSome luckless hour will send him linkinTo your black pit;But faith! he'll turn a corner jinkinAn' cheat you yet.
But fare-you-weelauld Nickie-ben!O wad ye tak a thought an' men'!Ye aiblins might-I dinna ken-Stil hae a stake:I'm wae to think up' yon denEv'n for your sake!
[Footnote 2: Vide MiltonBook vi.-R. B.]
Scotch Drink
Gie him strong drink until he winkThat's sinking in despair;An' liquor guid to fire his bluidThat's prest wi' grief and care:There let him bousean' deep carouseWi' bumpers flowing o'erTill he forgets his loves or debtsAn' minds his griefs no more.Solomon's Proverbsxxxi. 67.
Let other poets raise a fracasBout vines, an' wines, an' drucken Bacchus,
An' crabbit names an'stories wrack us,
An' grate our lug:
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or jug.
O thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch drink!
Whether thro' wimplin worms thou jink,
Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,
In glorious faem,
Inspire me, till I lisp an' wink,
To sing thy name!
Let husky wheat the haughs adorn,
An' aits set up their awnie horn,
An' pease and beans, at e'en or morn,
Perfume the plain:
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn,
Thou king o' grain!
On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
In souple scones, the wale o'food!
Or tumblin in the boiling flood
Wi' kail an' beef;
But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood,
There thou shines chief.
Food fills the wame, an' keeps us leevin;
Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin,
When heavy-dragg'd wi' pine an' grievin;
But, oil'd by thee,
The wheels o' life gae down-hill, scrievin,
Wi' rattlin glee.
Thou clears the head o'doited Lear;
Thou cheers ahe heart o' drooping Care;
Thou strings the nerves o' Labour sair,
At's weary toil;
Though even brightens dark Despair
Wi' gloomy smile.
Aft, clad in massy siller weed,
Wi' gentles thou erects thy head;
Yet, humbly kind in time o' need,
The poor man's wine;
His weep drap parritch, or his bread,
Thou kitchens fine.
Thou art the life o' public haunts;
But thee, what were our fairs and rants?
Ev'n godly meetings o' the saunts,
By thee inspired,
When gaping they besiege the tents,
Are doubly fir'd.
That merry night we get the corn in,
O sweetly, then, thou reams the horn in!
Or reekin on a New-year mornin
In cog or bicker,
An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in,
An' gusty sucker!
When Vulcan gies his bellows breath,
An' ploughmen gather wi' their graith,
O rare! to see thee fizz an freath
I' th' luggit caup!
Then Burnewin comes on like death
At every chap.
Nae mercy then, for airn or steel;
The brawnie, banie, ploughman chiel,
Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel,
The strong forehammer,
Till block an' studdie ring an reel,
Wi' dinsome clamour.
When skirling weanies see the light,
Though maks the gossips clatter bright,
How fumblin' cuiffs their dearies slight;
Wae worth the name!
Nae howdie gets a social night,
Or plack frae them.
When neibors anger at a plea,
An' just as wud as wud can be,
How easy can the barley brie
Cement the quarrel!
It's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee,
To taste the barrel.
Alake! that e'er my muse has reason,
To wyte her countrymen wi' treason!
But mony daily weet their weason
Wi' liquors nice,
An' hardly, in a winter season,
E'er Spier her price.
Wae worth that brandy, burnin trash!
Fell source o' mony a pain an' brash!
Twins mony a poor, doylt, drucken hash,
O' half his days;
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash
To her warst faes.
Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well!
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell,
Poor, plackless devils like mysel'!
It sets you ill,
Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell,
Or foreign gill.
May gravels round his blather wrench,
An' gouts torment him, inch by inch,
What twists his gruntle wi' a glunch
O' sour disdain,
Out owre a glass o' whisky-punch
Wi' honest men!
O Whisky! soul o' plays and pranks!
Accept a bardie's gratfu' thanks!
When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks
Are my poor verses!
Thou comes-they rattle in their ranks,
At ither's a-s!
Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost!
Scotland lament frae coast to coast!
Now colic grips, an' barkin hoast
May kill us a';
For loyal Forbes' charter'd boast
Is ta'en awa?
Thae curst horse-leeches o' the' Excise,
Wha mak the whisky stells their prize!
Haud up thy han', Deil! ance, twice, thrice!
There, seize the blinkers!
An' bake them up in brunstane pies
For poor damn'd drinkers.
Fortune! if thou'll but gie me still
Hale breeks, a scone, an' whisky gill,
An' rowth o' rhyme to rave at will,
Tak a' the rest,
An' deal't about as thy blind skill
Directs thee best.
The Auld Farmer's New-Year-Morning Salutation To His Auld Mare, Maggie
On giving her the accustomed ripp of corn to hansel in the New Year.
A Guid New-year I wish thee, Maggie!
Hae, there's a ripp to thy auld baggie:
Tho' thou's howe-backit now, an' knaggie,
I've seen the day
Thou could hae gaen like ony staggie,
Out-owre the lay.
Tho' now thou's dowie, stiff, an' crazy,
An' thy auld hide as white's a daisie,
I've seen thee dappl't, sleek an' glaizie,
A bonie 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-owre a stank,
Like ony bird.
It's now some nine-an'-twenty year,
Sin' thou was my guid-father's mear;
He gied me thee, o' tocher clear,
An' fifty mark;
Tho' it was sma', 'twas weel-won gear,
An' thou was stark.
When first I gaed to woo my Jenny,
Ye then was trotting wi' your minnie:
Tho' ye was trickie, slee, an' funnie,
Ye ne'er was donsie;
But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie,
An' unco sonsie.
That day, ye pranc'd wi' muckle pride,
When ye bure hame my bonie bride:
An' sweet an' gracefu' she did ride,
Wi' maiden air!
Kyle-Stewart I could bragged wide
For sic a pair.
Tho' now ye dow but hoyte and 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'!
When thou an' I were young an' skeigh,
An' stable-meals at fairs were dreigh,
How thou wad prance, and snore, an' skreigh
An' tak the road!
Town's-bodies ran, an' 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 ev'ry tail thou pay't them hollowm
Whare'er thou gaed.
The sma', droop-rumpl't, hunter cattle
Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle;
But sax Scotch mile, 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,
In guid March-weather,
Hae turn'd sax rood beside our han',
For days thegither.
Thou never braing't, an' fetch't, an' fliskit;
But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit,
An' spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket,
Wi' pith an' power;
Till sprittie knowes wad rair't an' riskit
An' slypet owre.
When frosts lay lang, an' snaws were deep,
An' threaten'd labour back to keep,
I gied thy cog a wee bit heap
Aboon the timmer:
I ken'd my Maggie wad na sleep,
For that, or simmer.
In cart or car thou never reestit;
The steyest brae thou wad hae fac't it;
Thou never lap, an' 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.
Mony a sair daurk we twa hae wrought,
An' wi' the weary warl' fought!
An' mony an anxious day, I thought
We wad be beat!
Yet here to crazy age we're brought,
Wi' something yet.
An' think na', my auld trusty servan',
That now perhaps thou's less deservin,
An' thy auld days may end in starvin;
For my last fow,
A heapit stimpart, I'll reserve ane
Laid by for you.
We've worn to crazy years thegither;
We'll toyte about wi' ane anither;
Wi' tentie care I'll flit thy tether
To some hain'd rig,
Whare ye may nobly rax your leather,
Wi' sma' fatigue.
The Twa Dogs^1
A Tale
'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle,
That bears the name o' auld King Coil,
Upon a bonie day in June,
When wearin' thro' the afternoon,
Twa dogs, that were na thrang at hame,
Forgather'd ance upon a time.
The first I'll name, they ca'd him Caesar,
Was keepit for His Honor's pleasure:
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,
Shew'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogs;
But whalpit some place far abroad,
Whare sailors gang to fish for cod.
His locked, letter'd, braw brass collar
Shew'd him the gentleman an' scholar;
But though he was o' high degree,
The fient a pride, nae pride had he;
But wad hae spent an hour caressin,
Ev'n wi' al tinkler-gipsy's messin:
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie,
Nae tawted tyke, tho' e'er sae duddie,
But he wad stan't, as glad to see him,
An' stroan't on stanes an' hillocks wi' him.
The tither was a ploughman's collie-
A rhyming, ranting, raving billie,
Wha for his friend an' comrade had him,
And in freak had Luath ca'd him,
After some dog in Highland Sang,^2
Was made lang syne,-Lord knows how lang.
He was a gash an' faithfu' tyke,
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke.
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face
Aye gat him friends in ilka place;
His breast was white, his touzie back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gawsie tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung owre his hurdie's wi' a swirl.
[Footnote 1: Luath was Burns' own dog.]
[Footnote 2: Luath, Cuchullin's dog in Ossian's Fingal."-R. B.]
Nae doubt but they were fain o' itherAnd unco pack an' thick thegither;Wi' social nose whiles snuff'd an' snowkit;Whiles mice an' moudieworts they howkit;Whiles scour'd awa' in lang excursionAn' worry'd ither in diversion;Until wi' daffin' weary grownUpon a knowe they set them down.An' there began a lang digression.About the "lords o' the creation."
I've aften wonder'dhonest LuathWhat sort o' life poor dogs like you have;An' when the gentry's life I sawWhat way poor bodies liv'd ava.
Our laird gets in his racked rentsHis coalshis kanean' a' his stents:He rises when he likes himsel';His flunkies answer at the bell;He ca's his coach; he ca's his horse;He draws a bonie silken purseAs lang's my tailwherethro' the steeksThe yellow letter'd Geordie keeks.
Frae morn to e'enit's nought but toilingAt bakingroastingfryingboiling;An' tho' the gentry first are stechinYet ev'n the ha' folk fill their pechanWi' sauceragoutsan' sic like trashtrieThat's little short o' downright wastrie.Our whipper-inweeblasted wonnerPoorworthless elfit eats a dinnerBetter than ony tenant-manHis Honour has in a' the lan':An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch inI own it's past my comprehension.
TrowthCaesarwhiles they're fash't eneugh:A cottar howkin in a sheughWi' dirty stanes biggin a dykeBaring a quarryan' sic like;Himsel'a wifehe thus sustainsA smytrie o' wee duddie weansAn' nought but his han'-daurkto keepThem right an' tight in thack an' rape.
An' when they meet wi' sair disastersLike loss o' health or want o' mastersYe maist wad thinka wee touch langerAn' they maun starve o' cauld an' hunger:But how it comesI never kent yetThey're maistly wonderfu' contented;An' buirdly chielsan' clever hizziesAre bred in sic a way as this is.
But then to see how ye're negleckitHow huff'dan' cuff'dan' disrespeckit!Lord manour gentry care as littleFor delversditchersan' sic cattle;They gang as saucy by poor folkAs I wad by a stinkin brock.
I've notic'don our laird's court-day-An' mony a time my heart's been wae-Poor tenant bodiesscant o'cashHow they maun thole a factor's snash;He'll stamp an' threatencurse an' swearHe'll apprehend thempoind their gear;While they maun stan'wi' aspect humbleAn' hear it a'an' fear an' tremble!
I see how folk live that hae riches;But surely poor-folk maun be wretches!
They're no sae wretched's ane wad think.Tho' constantly on poortith's brinkThey're sae accustom'd wi' the sightThe view o't gives them little fright.
Then chance and fortune are sae guidedThey're aye in less or mair provided:An' tho' fatigued wi' close employmentA blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.
The dearest comfort o' their livesTheir grushie weans an' faithfu' wives;The prattling things are just their prideThat sweetens a' their fire-side.
An' whiles twalpennie worth o' nappyCan mak the bodies unco happy:They lay aside their private caresTo mind the Kirk and State affairs;They'll talk o' patronage an' priestsWi' kindling fury i' their breastsOr tell what new taxation's cominAn' ferlie at the folk in Lon'on.
As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returnsThey get the jovialrantin kirnsWhen rural lifeof ev'ry stationUnite in common recreation;Love blinksWit slapsan' social MirthForgets there's Care upo' the earth.
That merry day the year beginsThey bar the door on frosty win's;The nappy reeks wi' mantling reamAn' sheds a heart-inspiring steam;The luntin pipean' sneeshin millAre handed round wi' right guid will;The cantie auld folks crackin crouseThe young anes rantin thro' the house-My heart has been sae fain to see themThat I for joy hae barkit wi' them.
Still it's owre true that ye hae saidSic game is now owre aften play'd;There's mony a creditable stockO' decenthonestfawsont folkAre riven out baith root an' branchSome rascal's pridefu' greed to quenchWha thinks to knit himsel the fasterIn favour wi' some gentle masterWhaaiblinsthrang a parliamentinFor Britain's guid his saul indentin-
Haithladye little ken about it:For Britain's guid! guid faith! I doubt it.Say rathergaun as Premiers lead him:An' saying ay or no's they bid him:At operas an' plays paradingMortgaginggamblingmasquerading:Or maybein a frolic daftTo Hague or Calais takes a waftTo mak a tour an' tak a whirlTo learn bon tonan' see the worl'.
Thereat Viennaor VersaillesHe rives his father's auld entails;Or by Madrid he takes the routTo thrum guitars an' fecht wi' nowt;Or down Italian vista startles
Whore-hunting amang groves o' myrtles:Then bowses drumlie German-waterTo mak himsel look fair an' fatterAn' clear the consequential sorrowsLove-gifts of Carnival signoras.
For Britain's guid! for her destruction!Wi' dissipationfeudan' faction.
Hechman! dear sirs! is that the gateThey waste sae mony a braw estate!Are we sae foughten an' harass'dFor gear to gang that gate at last?
O would they stay aback frae courtsAn' please themsels wi' country sportsIt wad for ev'ry ane be betterThe lairdthe tenantan' the cotter!For thae frankrantinramblin billiesFeint haet o' them's ill-hearted fellows;Except for breakin o' their timmerOr speakin lightly o' their limmerOr shootin of a hare or moor-cockThe ne'er-a-bit they're ill to poor folk
But will ye tell meMaster CaesarSure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure?Nae cauld nor hunger e'er can steer themThe very thought o't need na fear them.
Lordmanwere ye but whiles whare I amThe gentlesye wad ne'er envy them!
It's truethey need na starve or sweatThro' winter's cauldor simmer's heat:They've nae sair wark to craze their banesAn' fill auld age wi' grips an' granes:But human bodies are sic foolsFor a' their colleges an' schoolsThat when nae real ills perplex themThey mak enow themsel's to vex them;An' aye the less they hae to sturt themIn like proportionless will hurt them.
A country fellow at the pleughHis acre's till'dhe's right eneugh;A country girl at her wheelHer dizzen's duneshe's unco weel;But gentlemenan' ladies warstWi' ev'n-down want o' wark are curst.They loiterlounginglank an' lazy;Tho' deil-haet ails themyet uneasy;Their days insipiddullan' tasteless;Their nights unquietlangan' restless.
An'ev'n their sportstheir balls an' racesTheir galloping through public placesThere's sic paradesic pompan' artThe joy can scarcely reach the heart.
The men cast out in party-matchesThen sowther a' in deep debauches.Ae night they're mad wi' drink an' whoringNiest day their life is past enduring.
The ladies arm-in-arm in clustersAs great an' gracious a' as sisters;But hear their absent thoughts o' itherThey're a' run-deils an' jads thegither.Whilesowre the wee bit cup an' platieThey sip the scandal-potion pretty;Or lee-lang nightswi' crabbit leuksPore owre the devil's pictur'd beuks;Stake on a chance a farmer's stackyardAn' cheat like ony unhanged blackguard.
There's some exceptionsman an' woman;But this is gentry's life in common.
By thisthe sun was out of sightAn' darker gloamin brought the night;The bum-clock humm'd wi' lazy drone;The kye stood rowtin i' the loan;When up they gat an' shook their lugsRejoic'd they werena men but dogs;An' each took aff his several wayResolv'd to meet some ither day.
The Author's Earnest Cry And Prayer
     To the Right Honourable and Honourable Scotch Representatives in theHouse of Commons.^1
Dearest of distillation! last and best--How art thou lost!-
Parody on Milton.
Ye Irish lordsye knights an' squiresWha represent our brughs an' shiresAn' doucely manage our affairsIn parliamentTo you a simple poet's pray'rsAre humbly sent.
Alas! my roupit Muse is hearse!Your Honours' hearts wi' grief 'twad pierceTo see her sittin on her arseLow i' the dustAnd scriechinhout prosaic verseAn like to brust!
[ Footnote 1": This was written before the Act anent the Scotch distilleriesof session 1786for which Scotland and the author return their most gratefulthanks.-R. B.]
Tell them wha hae the chief directionScotland an' me's in great afflictionE'er sin' they laid that curst restrictionOn aqua-vitae;An' rouse them up to strong convictionAn' move their pity.
Stand forth an' tell yon Premier youthThe honestopennaked truth:Tell him o' mine an' Scotland's drouthHis servants humble:The muckle deevil blaw you southIf ye dissemble!
Does ony great man glunch an' gloom?Speak outan' never fash your thumb!Let posts an' pensions sink or soomWi' them wha grant them;If honestly they canna comeFar better want them.
In gath'rin votes you were na slack;Now stand as tightly by your tack:Ne'er claw your lugan' fidge your backAn' hum an' haw;But raise your arman' tell your crackBefore them a'.
Paint Scotland greetin owre her thrissle;Her mutchkin stowp as toom's a whissle;An' damn'd excisemen in a bussleSeizin a stellTriumphant crushin't like a musselOr limpet shell!
Thenon the tither hand present her-A blackguard smuggler right behint herAn' cheek-for-chowa chuffie vintnerColleaguing joinPicking her pouch as bare as winterOf a' kind coin.
Is therethat bears the name o' ScotBut feels his heart's bluid rising hotTo see his poor auld mither's potThus dung in stavesAn' plunder'd o' her hindmost groatBy gallows knaves?
Alas! I'm but a nameless wightTrode i' the mire out o' sight?But could I like Montgomeries fightOr gab like Boswell^2There's some sark-necks I wad draw tightAn' tie some hose well.
God bless your Honours! can ye see't-The kindauld cantie carlin greetAn' no get warmly to your feetAn' gar them hear itAn' tell them wi'a patriot-heatYe winna bear it?
Some o' you nicely ken the lawsTo round the period an' pauseAn' with rhetoric clause on clauseTo mak harangues;Then echo thro' Saint Stephen's wa'sAuld Scotland's wrangs.
Dempster^3 a true blue Scot I'se warran';Theeaith-detestingchaste Kilkerran;^4An' that glib-gabbit Highland baronThe Laird o' Graham;^5An' anea chap that's damn'd aulfarran'Dundas his name:^6
Erskinea spunkie Norland billie;^7True CampbellsFrederick and Ilay;^8
[Footnote 2: James Boswell of Auchinleckthe biographer of Johnson.]
[Footnote 3: George Dempster of Dunnichen.]
[Footnote 4: Sir Adam Ferguson of KilkerranBart.]
[Footnote 5: The Marquis of Grahameldest son of the Duke of Montrose.]
[Footnote 6: Right Hon. Henry DundasM. P.]
[Footnote 7: Probably Thomasafterward Lord Erskine.]
[Footnote 8: Lord Frederick Campbellsecond brother of the Duke of Argylland Ilay CampbellLord Advocate for Scotlandafterward President of theCourt of Session.]
An' Livistonethe bauld Sir Willie;^9An' mony ithersWhom auld Demosthenes or TullyMight own for brithers.
See sodger Hugh^10 my watchman stentedIf poets e'er are represented;I ken if that your sword were wantedYe'd lend a hand;But when there's ought to say anent itYe're at a stand.
Arousemy boys! exert your mettleTo get auld Scotland back her kettle;Or faith! I'll wad my new pleugh-pettleYe'll see't or langShe'll teach youwi' a reekin whittleAnither sang.
This while she's been in crankous moodHer lost Militia fir'd her bluid;(Deil na they never mair do guidPlay'd her that pliskie!)An' now she's like to rin red-wudAbout her whisky.
An' Lord! if ance they pit her till'tHer tartan petticoat she'll kiltAn'durk an' pistol at her beltShe'll tak the streetsAn' rin her whittle to the hiltI' the first she meets!
For God sakesirs! then speak her fairAn' straik her cannie wi' the hairAn' to the muckle house repairWi' instant speedAn' strivewi' a' your wit an' learTo get remead.
[Footnote 9: Sir Wm. Augustus CunninghamBaronetof Livingstone.]
[Footnote 10: Col. Hugh Montgomeryafterward Earl of Eglinton.]
Yon ill-tongu'd tinklerCharlie FoxMay taunt you wi' his jeers and mocks;But gie him't hetmy hearty cocks!E'en cowe the cadie!An' send him to his dicing boxAn' sportin' lady.
Tell you guid bluid o' auld Boconnock's^11I'll be his debt twa mashlum bonnocksAn' drink his health in auld Nance Tinnock's ^12Nine times a-weekIf he some schemelike tea an' winnocksWas kindly seek.
Could he some commutation broachI'll pledge my aith in guid braid ScotchHe needna fear their foul reproachNor eruditionYon mixtie-maxtiequeer hotch-potchThe Coalition.
Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue;She's just a devil wi' a rung;An' if she promise auld or youngTo tak their partTho' by the neck she should be strungShe'll no desert.
And nowye chosen Five-and-FortyMay still you mither's heart support ye;Thentho'a minister grow dortyAn' kick your placeYe'll snap your gingerspoor an' heartyBefore his face.
God bless your Honoursa' your daysWi' sowps o' kail and brats o' claise
[Footnote 11: Pittwhose grandfather was of Boconnock in Cornwall.]
[Footnote 12: A worthy old hostess of the author's in Mauchlinewhere hesometimes studies politics over a glass of gude auld Scotch Drink.-R.B.]
In spite o' a' the thievish kaesThat haunt St. Jamie's!Your humble poet sings an' praysWhile Rab his name is.
Let half-starv'd slaves in warmer skiesSee future winesrich-clust'ringrise;Their lot auld Scotland ne're enviesButblythe and friskyShe eyes her freebornmartial boysTak aff their whisky.
What tho' their Phoebus kinder warmsWhile fragrance blooms and beauty charmsWhen wretches rangein famish'd swarmsThe scented groves;Orhounded forthdishonour armsIn hungry droves!
Their gun's a burden on their shouther;They downa bide the stink o' powther;Their bauldest thought's a hank'ring switherTo stan' or rinTill skelp-a shot-they're affa'throw'therTo save their skin.
But bring a Scotchman frae his hillClap in his cheek a Highland gillSaysuch is royal George's willAn' there's the foe!He has nae thought but how to killTwa at a blow.
Nae cauldfaint-hearted doubtings tease him;Death comeswi' fearless eye he sees him;Wi'bluidy hand a welcome gies him;An' when he fa'sHis latest draught o' breathin lea'es himIn faint huzzas.
Sages their solemn een may steekAn' raise a philosophic reekAn' physically causes seekIn clime an' season;But tell me whisky's name in GreekI'll tell the reason.
Scotlandmy auldrespected mither!Tho' whiles ye moistify your leatherTillwhare ye sit on craps o' heatherYe tine your dam;Freedom an' whisky gang thegither!Take aff your dram!
The Ordination
For sense they little owe to frugal Heav'n-To please the mobthey hide the little giv'n.
Kilmarnock wabstersfidge an' clawAn' pour your creeshie nations;An' ye wha leather rax an' drawOf a' denominations;Swith to the Ligh Kirkane an' a'An' there tak up your stations;Then aff to Begbie's in a rawAn' pour divine libationsFor joy this day.
Curst Common-sensethat imp o' hellCam in wi' Maggie Lauder;^1But Oliphant^2 aft made her yellAn' Russell^3 sair misca'd her:This day Mackinlay^4 taks the flailAn' he's the boy will blaud her!He'll clap a shangan on her tailAn' set the bairns to daud herWi' dirt this day.
[Footnote 1: Alluding to a scoffing ballad which was made on the admission ofthe late reverend and worthy Mr. Lihdsay to the "Laigh Kirk."-R.B.]
[Footnote 2: Rev. James Oliphantminister of Chapel of EaseKilmarnock.]
[Footnote 3: Rev. John Russell of Kilmarnock.]
[Footnote 4: Rev. James Mackinlay.]
Mak haste an' turn King David owreAnd lilt wi' holy clangor;O' double verse come gie us fourAn' skirl up the Bangor:This day the kirk kicks up a stoure;Nae mair the knaves shall wrang herFor Heresy is in her pow'rAnd gloriously she'll whang herWi' pith this day.
Comelet a proper text be readAn' touch it aff wi' vigourHow graceless Ham^5 leugh at his dadWhich made Canaan a nigger;Or Phineas^6 drove the murdering bladeWi' whore-abhorring rigour;Or Zipporah^7 the scauldin jadWas like a bluidy tigerI' th' inn that day.
Theretry his mettle on the creedAn' bind him down wi' cautionThat stipend is a carnal weedHe taks by for the fashion;And gie him o'er the flockto feedAnd punish each transgression;Especialrams that cross the breedGie them sufficient threshin;Spare them nae day.
Nowauld Kilmarnockcock thy tailAn' toss thy horns fu' canty;Nae mair thou'lt rowt out-owre the daleBecause thy pasture's scanty;For lapfu's large o' gospel kailShall fill thy crib in plentyAn' runts o' grace the pick an' waleNo gi'en by way o' daintyBut ilka day.
[Footnote 5: Genesis ix. 22.-R. B.]
[Footnote : Numbers xxv. 8.-R. B.]
[Footnote 7: Exodus iv. 52.-R. B]
Nae mair by Babel's streams we'll weepTo think upon our Zion;And hing our fiddles up to sleepLike baby-clouts a-dryin!Comescrew the pegs wi' tunefu' cheepAnd o'er the thairms be tryin;Ohrare to see our elbucks wheepAnd a' like lamb-tails flyinFu' fast this day.
LangPatronagewith rod o' airnHas shor'd the Kirk's undoin;As lately Fenwicksair forfairnHas proven to its ruin:^8Our patronhonest man! GlencairnHe saw mischief was brewin;An' like a godlyelect bairnHe's waled us out a true aneAnd soundthis day.
Now Robertson^9 harangue nae mairBut steek your gab for ever;Or try the wicked town of AyrFor there they'll think you clever;Ornae reflection on your learYe may commence a shaver;Or to the Netherton^10 repairAn' turn a carpet weaverAff-hand this day.
Mu'trie^11 and you were just a matchWe never had sic twa drones;Auld Hornie did the Laigh Kirk watchJust like a winkin baudronsAnd aye he catch'd the tither wretchTo fry them in his caudrons;But now his Honour maun detachWi' a' his brimstone squadronsFastfast this day.
[Footnote 8: Rev. Wm. Boydpastor of Fenwick.]
[Footnote 9: Rev. John Robertson.]
[Footnote 10: A district of Kilmarnock.]
[Footnote 11: The Rev. John Multriea "Moderate whom Mackinlay succeeded.]
See, see auld Orthodoxy's faes
She's swingein thro' the city!
Hark, how the nine-tail'd cat she plays!
I vow it's unco pretty:
There, Learning, with his Greekish face,
Grunts out some Latin ditty;
And Common-sense is gaun, she says,
To mak to Jamie Beattie
Her plaint this day.
But there's Morality himsel',
Embracing all opinions;
Hear, how he gies the tither yell,
Between his twa companions!
See, how she peels the skin an' fell,
As ane were peelin onions!
Now there, they're packed aff to hell,
An' banish'd our dominions,
Henceforth this day.
O happy day! rejoice, rejoice!
Come bouse about the porter!
Morality's demure decoys
Shall here nae mair find quarter:
Mackinlay, Russell, are the boys
That heresy can torture;
They'll gie her on a rape a hoyse,
And cowe her measure shorter
By th' head some day.
Come, bring the tither mutchkin in,
And here's-for a conclusion-
To ev'ry New Light^12 mother's son,
From this time forth, Confusion!
If mair they deave us wi' their din,
Or Patronage intrusion,
We'll light a spunk, and ev'ry skin,
We'll rin them aff in fusion
Like oil, some day.
[Footnote 12: New Light" is a cant phrase in the west of Scotland for thosereligious opinions which Dr. Taylor of Norwich has so strenuously defended.-R. B.]
Epistle To James Smith
Friendshipmysterious cement of the soul!Sweet'ner of Lifeand solder of Society!I owe thee much-Blair.
Dear Smiththe slee'stpawkie thiefThat e'er attempted stealth or rief!Ye surely hae some warlock-briefOwre human hearts;For ne'er a bosom yet was priefAgainst your arts.
For meI swear by sun an' moonAn' ev'ry star that blinks aboonYe've cost me twenty pair o' shoonJust gaun to see you;An' ev'ry ither pair that's doneMair taen I'm wi' you.
That auldcapricious carlinNatureTo mak amends for scrimpit statureShe's turn'd you offa human creatureOn her first planAnd in her freakson ev'ry featureShe's wrote the Man.
Just now I've ta'en the fit o' rhymeMy barmie noddle's working prime.My fancy yerkit up sublimeWi' hasty summon;Hae ye a leisure-moment's timeTo hear what's comin?
Some rhyme a neibor's name to lash;Some rhyme (vain thought!) for needfu' cash;Some rhyme to court the countra clashAn' raise a din;For mean aim I never fash;I rhyme for fun.
The star that rules my luckless lotHas fated me the russet coatAn' damn'd my fortune to the groat;Butin requitHas blest me with a random-shotO'countra wit.
This while my notion's taen a sklentTo try my fate in guidblack prent;But still the mair I'm that way bentSomething cries "Hooklie!"I red youhonest mantak tent?Ye'll shaw your folly;
"There's ither poetsmuch your bettersFar seen in Greekdeep men o' lettersHae thought they had ensur'd their debtorsA' future ages;Now moths deformin shapeless tattersTheir unknown pages."
Then farewell hopes of laurel-boughsTo garland my poetic brows!Henceforth I'll rove where busy ploughsAre whistlin' thrangAn' teach the lanely heights an' howesMy rustic sang.
I'll wander onwi' tentless heedHow never-halting moments speedTill fate shall snap the brittle thread;Thenall unknownI'll lay me with th' inglorious deadForgot and gone!
But why o' death being a tale?Just now we're living sound and hale;Then top and maintop crowd the sailHeave Care o'er-side!And largebefore Enjoyment's galeLet's tak the tide.
This lifesae far's I understandIs a' enchanted fairy-landWhere Pleasure is the magic-wandThatwielded rightMaks hours like minuteshand in handDance by fu' light.
The magic-wand then let us wield;For ance that five-an'-forty's speel'dSeecrazywearyjoyless eildWi' wrinkl'd faceComes hostinhirplin owre the fieldWe' creepin pace.
When ance life's day draws near the gloaminThen fareweel vacantcareless roamin;An' fareweel cheerfu' tankards foaminAn' social noise:An' fareweel deardeluding womanThe Joy of joys!
O Life! how pleasantin thy morningYoung Fancy's rays the hills adorning!Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorningWe frisk awayLike school-boysat th' expected warningTo joy an' play.
We wander therewe wander hereWe eye the rose upon the brierUnmindful that the thorn is nearAmong the leaves;And tho' the puny wound appearShort while it grieves.
Someluckyfind a flow'ry spotFor which they never toil'd nor swat;They drink the sweet and eat the fatBut care or pain;And haply eye the barren hutWith high disdain.
With steady aimsome Fortune chase;Keen hope does ev'ry sinew brace;Thro' fairthro' foulthey urge the raceAn' seize the prey:Then canniein some cozie placeThey close the day.
And otherslike your humble servan'Poor wights! nae rules nor roads observinTo right or left eternal swervinThey zig-zag on;Tillcurst with ageobscure an' starvinThey aften groan.
Alas! what bitter toil an' straining-But truce with peevishpoor complaining!Is fortune's fickle Luna waning?E'n let her gang!Beneath what light she has remainingLet's sing our sang.
My pen I here fling to the doorAnd kneelye Pow'rs! and warm imploreTho' I should wander Terra o'er,
In all her climes,
Grant me but this, I ask no more,
Aye rowth o' rhymes.
Gie dreepin roasts to countra lairdsTill icicles hing frae their beards;Gie fine braw claes to fine life-guardsAnd maids of honour;An' yill an' whisky gie to cairdsUntil they sconner.
"A titleDempster^1 merits it;A garter gie to Willie Pitt;Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd citIn cent. per cent.;But give me realsterling witAnd I'm content.
[Footnote 1: George Dempster of DunnichenM.P.]
"While ye are pleas'd to keep me haleI'll sit down o'er my scanty mealBe't water-brose or muslin-kailWi' cheerfu' faceAs lang's the Muses dinna failTo say the grace."
An anxious e'e I never throwsBehint my lugor by my nose;I jouk beneath Misfortune's blowsAs weel's I may;Sworn foe to sorrowcareand proseI rhyme away.
O ye douce folk that live by ruleGravetideless-bloodedcalm an'coolCompar'd wi' you-O fool! fool! fool!How much unlike!Your hearts are just a standing poolYour livesa dyke!
Nae hair-brain'dsentimental tracesIn your unletter'dnameless faces!In arioso trills and gracesYe never stray;But gravissimosolemn bassesYe hum away.
Ye are sae gravenae doubt ye're wise;Nae ferly tho' ye do despiseThe hairum-scairumram-stam boysThe rattling squad:I see ye upward cast your eyes-Ye ken the road!
Whilst I-but I shall haud me thereWi' you I'll scarce gang ony where-ThenJamieI shall say nae mairBut quat my sangContent wi' you to mak a pair.Whare'er I gang.
The Vision
Duan First^1
The sun had clos'd the winter dayThe curless quat their roarin playAnd hunger'd maukin taen her wayTo kail-yards greenWhile faithless snaws ilk step betrayWhare she has been.
The thresher's weary flingin-treeThe lee-lang day had tired me;And when the day had clos'd his e'eFar i' the westBen i' the spenceright pensivelieI gaed to rest.
Therelanely by the ingle-cheekI sat and ey'd the spewing reekThat fill'dwi' hoast-provoking smeekThe auld clay biggin;An' heard the restless rattons squeakAbout the riggin.
All in this mottiemisty climeI backward mus'd on wasted timeHow I had spent my youthfu' primeAn' done nae thingBut stringing blethers up in rhymeFor fools to sing.
Had I to guid advice but harkitI mightby thishae led a marketOr strutted in a bank and clarkitMy cash-account;While herehalf-madhalf-fedhalf-sarkit.Is a' th' amount.
[Footnote 1: Duana term of Ossian's for the different divisions of adigressive poem. See his Cath-Lodavol. 2 of M'Pherson's translation.-R.B.]
I startedmutt'ringblockhead! coof!And heav'd on high my waukit loofTo swear by a' yon starry roofOr some rash aithThat I henceforth wad be rhyme-proofTill my last breath-
When click! the string the snick did draw;An' jee! the door gaed to the wa';An' by my ingle-lowe I sawNow bleezin brightA tightoutlandish hizziebrawCome full in sight.
Ye need na doubtI held my whisht;The infant aithhalf-form'dwas crushtI glowr'd as eerie's I'd been dushtIn some wild glen;When sweetlike honest Worthshe blushtAn' stepped ben.
Greenslenderleaf-clad holly-boughsWere twistedgracefu'round her brows;I took her for some Scottish MuseBy that same token;And come to stop those reckless vowsWould soon been broken.
A "hair-brain'dsentimental trace"Was strongly marked in her face;A wildly-wittyrustic graceShone full upon her;Her eyeev'n turn'd on empty spaceBeam'd keen with honour.
Down flow'd her robea tartan sheenTill half a leg was scrimply seen;An' such a leg! my bonie JeanCould only peer it;Sae straughtsae tapertight an' clean-Nane else came near it.
Her mantle largeof greenish hueMy gazing wonder chiefly drew:Deep lights and shadesbold-minglingthrewA lustre grand;And seem'dto my astonish'd viewA well-known land.
Hererivers in the sea were lost;Theremountains to the skies were toss't:Heretumbling billows mark'd the coastWith surging foam;Theredistant shone Art's lofty boastThe lordly dome.
HereDoon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods;Therewell-fed Irwine stately thuds:Auld hermit Ayr staw thro' his woodsOn to the shore;And many a lesser torrent scudsWith seeming roar.
Lowin a sandy valley spreadAn ancient borough rear'd her head;Stillas in Scottish story readShe boasts a raceTo ev'ry nobler virtue bredAnd polish'd grace.^2
By stately tow'ror palace fairOr ruins pendent in the airBold stems of heroeshere and thereI could discern;Some seem'd to musesome seem'd to dareWith feature stern.
My heart did glowing transport feelTo see a race heroic^3 wheel
[Footnote 2: The seven stanzas following this were first printed in theEdinburgh edition1787. Other stanzasnever published by Burns himselfaregiven on p. 180.]
[Footnote 3: The Wallaces.-R. B.]
And brandish round the deep-dyed steelIn sturdy blows;Whileback-recoilingseem'd to reelTheir Suthron foes.
His Country's Saviour^4 mark him well!Bold Richardton's heroic swell;^5The chiefon Sark who glorious fell^6In high command;And he whom ruthless fates expelHis native land.
Therewhere a sceptr'd Pictish shadeStalk'd round his ashes lowly laid^7I mark'd a martial racepourtray'dIn colours strong:Boldsoldier-featur'dundismay'dThey strode along.
Thro' many a wildromantic grove^8Near many a hermit-fancied cove(Fit haunts for friendship or for loveIn musing mood)An aged JudgeI saw him roveDispensing good.
With deep-struckreverential aweThe learned Sire and Son I saw:^9To Nature's Godand Nature's lawThey gave their lore;Thisall its source and end to drawThatto adore.
[Footnote 4: William Wallace.-R.B.]
[Footnote 5: Adam Wallace of Richardtoncousin to the immortal preserver ofScottish independence.-R.B.]
[Footnote 6: Wallacelaird of Craigiewho was second in command underDouglasEarl of Ormondat the famous battle on the banks of Sarkfoughtanno 1448. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judiciousconduct and intrepid valour of the gallant laird of Craigiewho died of hiswounds after the action.-R.B.]
[Footnote 7: CoilusKing of the Pictsfrom whom the district of Kyle is saidto take its namelies buriedas tradition saysnear the family seat of theMontgomeries of Coilsfieldwhere his burial-place is still shown.-R.B.]
[Footnote 8: Barskimmingthe seat of the Lord Justice-Clerk.-R.B.]
[Footnote 9: Catrinethe seat of the late Doctor and present ProfessorStewart.-R.B.]
Brydon's brave ward^10 I well could spyBeneath old Scotia's smiling eye:Who call'd on Famelow standing byTo hand him onWhere many a patriot-name on highAnd hero shone.
Duan Second
With musing-deepastonish'd stareI view'd the heavenly-seeming Fair;A whispering throb did witness bearOf kindred sweetWhen with an elder sister's airShe did me greet.
"All hail! my own inspired bard!In me thy native Muse regard;Nor longer mourn thy fate is hardThus poorly low;I come to give thee such rewardAs we bestow!
"Knowthe great genius of this landHas many a light aerial bandWhoall beneath his high commandHarmoniouslyAs arts or arms they understandTheir labours ply.
"They Scotia's race among them share:Some fire the soldier on to dare;Some rouse the patriot up to bareCorruption's heart:Some teach the bard - a darling care -The tuneful art.
"'Mong swelling floods of reeking goreTheyardentkindling spirits pour;
[Footnote 10: Colonel Fullarton.-R.B. This gentleman had travelled under thecare of Patrick Brydoneauthor of a well-known "Tour Through Sicily andMalta."]
Or'mid the venal senate's roarTheysightlessstandTo mend the honest patriot-loreAnd grace the hand.
"And when the bardor hoary sageCharm or instruct the future ageThey bind the wild poetric rageIn energyOr point the inconclusive pageFull on the eye.
"HenceFullartonthe brave and young;HenceDempster's zeal-inspired tongue;Hencesweetharmonious Beattie sungHis 'Minstrel lays';Or torewith noble ardour stungThe sceptic's bays.
"To lower orders are assign'dThe humbler ranks of human-kindThe rustic bardthe lab'ring hindThe artisan;All chooseas various they're inclin'dThe various man.
"When yellow waves the heavy grainThe threat'ning storm some strongly rein;Some teach to meliorate the plainWith tillage-skill;And some instruct the shepherd-trainBlythe o'er the hill.
"Some hint the lover's harmless wile;Some grace the maiden's artless smile;Some soothe the lab'rer's weary toilFor humble gainsAnd make his cottage-scenes beguileHis cares and pains.
"Somebounded to a district-spaceExplore at large man's infant raceTo mark the embryotic traceOf rustic bard;And careful note each opening graceA guide and guard.
"Of these am I-Coila my name:And this district as mine I claimWhere once the Campbellschiefs of fameHeld ruling power:I mark'd thy embryo-tuneful flameThy natal hour.
"With future hope I oft would gazeFondon thy little early waysThy rudelycaroll'dchiming phraseIn uncouth rhymes;Fir'd at the simpleartless laysOf other times.
"I saw thee seek the sounding shoreDelighted with the dashing roar;Or when the North his fleecy storeDrove thro' the skyI saw grim Nature's visage hoarStruck thy young eye.
"Or when the deep green-mantled earthWarm cherish'd ev'ry floweret's birthAnd joy and music pouring forthIn ev'ry grove;I saw thee eye the general mirthWith boundless love.
"When ripen'd fields and azure skiesCall'd forth the reapers' rustling noiseI saw thee leave their ev'ning joysAnd lonely stalkTo vent thy bosom's swelling riseIn pensive walk.
"When youthful lovewarm-blushingstrongKeen-shiveringshot thy nerves alongThose accents grateful to thy tongueTh' adored NameI taught thee how to pour in songTo soothe thy flame.
"I saw thy pulse's maddening playWild send thee Pleasure's devious wayMisled by Fancy's meteor-rayBy passion driven;But yet the light that led astrayWas light from Heaven.
"I taught thy manners-painting strainsThe lovesthe ways of simple swainsTill nowo'er all my wide domainsThy fame extends;And somethe pride of Coila's plainsBecome thy friends.
"Thou canst not learnnor I can showTo paint with Thomson's landscape glow;Or wake the bosom-melting throeWith Shenstone's art;Or pourwith Graythe moving flowWarm on the heart.
"Yetall beneath th' unrivall'd roseT e lowly daisy sweetly blows;Tho' large the forest's monarch throwsHis army shadeYet green the juicy hawthorn growsAdown the glade.
"Then never murmur nor repine;Strive in thy humble sphere to shine;And trust menot Potosi's mineNor king's regardCan give a bliss o'ermatching thineA rustic bard.
"To give my counsels all in oneThy tuneful flame still careful fan:Preserve the dignity of ManWith soul erect;And trust the Universal PlanWill all protect.
"And wear thou this"-she solemn saidAnd bound the holly round my head:The polish'd leaves and berries redDid rustling play;Andlike a passing thoughtshe fledIn light away.
     [To Mrs. Stewart of StairBurns presented a manuscript copy of theVision. That copy embraces about twenty stanzas at the end of Duan Firstwhich he cancelled when he came to print the price in his Kilmarnock volume.Seven of these he restored in printing his second editionas noted on p.174. The following are the verses which he left unpublished.]
Suppressed Stanza's Of "The Vision"
     After 18th stanza of the text (at "His native land"):-
With secret throes I marked that earthThat cottagewitness of my birth;And near I sawbold issuing forthIn youthful prideA Lindsay race of noble worthFamed far and wide.
Wherehid behind a spreading woodAn ancient Pict-built mansion stoodI spiedamong an angel broodA female pair;Sweet shone their high maternal bloodAnd father's air.^1
An ancient tower^2 to memory broughtHow Dettingen's bold hero fought;Stillfar from sinking into noughtIt owns a lordWho far in western climates foughtWith trusty sword.
[Footnote 1: Sundrum.-R.B.]
[Footnote 2: Stair.-R.B.]
Among the rest I well could spyOne gallantgracefulmartial boyThe soldier sparkled in his eyeA diamond water.I blest that noble badge with joyThat owned me frater.^3
     After 20th stanza of the text (at "Dispensing good"):-
Near by arose a mansion fine^4The seat of many a muse divine;Not rustic muses such as mineWith holly crown'dBut th' ancienttunefullaurell'd NineFrom classic ground.
I mourn'd the card that Fortune dealtTo see where bonie Whitefoords dwelt;^5But other prospects made me meltThat village near;^6There NatureFriendshipLoveI feltFond-minglingdear!
Hail! Nature's pangmore strong than death!Warm Friendship's glowlike kindling wrath!Lovedearer than the parting breathOf dying friend!Not ev'n with life's wild devious pathYour force shall end!
The Power that gave the soft alarmsIn blooming Whitefoord's rosy charmsStill threats the tinyfeather'd armsThe barbed dartWhile lovely Wilhelmina warmsThe coldest heart.^7
     After 21st stanza of the text (at "Thatto adore"):-
Where Lugar leaves his moorland plaid^8Where lately Want was idly laid
[Footnote 3: Captain James MontgomerieMaster of St. James' LodgeTarboltonto which the author has the honour to belong.-R.B.]
[Footnote 4: Auchinleck.-R.B.]
[Footnote 5: Ballochmyle.]
[Footnote 6: Mauchline.]
[Footnote 7: Miss Wilhelmina Alexander.]
[Footnote 8: Cumnock.-R.B.]
I marked busybustling TradeIn fervid flameBeneath a Patroness' aidof noble name.
Wildcountless hills I could surveyAnd countless flocks as wild as they;But other scenes did charms displayThat better pleaseWhere polish'd manners dwell with GrayIn rural ease.^9
Where Cessnock pours with gurgling sound;^10And Irwinemarking out the boundEnamour'd of the scenes aroundSlow runs his raceA name I doubly honour'd found^11With knightly grace.
Brydon's brave ward^12 I saw him standFame humbly offering her handAnd nearhis kinsman's rustic band^13With one accordLamenting their late blessed landMust change its lord.
The owner of a pleasant spotNear and sandy wildsI last did note;^14A heart too warma pulse too hotAt timeso'erran:But large in ev'ry feature wroteAppear'd the Man.
The Rantin' DogThe Daddie O't
     tune-"Whare'll our guidman lie."
O wha my babie-clouts will buy?O wha will tent me when I cry?Wha will kiss me where I lie?The rantin' dogthe daddie o't.
[Footnote 9: Mr. Farquhar Gray.-R.B.]
[Footnote 10: Auchinskieth.-R.B.]
[Footnote 11: Caprington.-R.B.]
[Footnote 12: Colonel Fullerton.-R.B.]
[Footnote 13: Dr. Fullerton.-R.B.]
[Footnote 14: Orangefield.-R.B.]
O wha will own he did the faut?O wha will buy the groanin maut?O wha will tell me how to ca't?The rantin' dogthe daddie o't.
When I mount the creepie-chairWha will sit beside me there?Gie me RobI'll seek nae mairThe rantin' dogthe daddie o't.
Wha will crack to me my lane?Wha will mak me fidgin' fain?Wha will kiss me o'er again?The rantin' dogthe daddie o't.
Here's His Health In Water
     tune-"The Job of Journey-work."
Altho' my back be at the wa'And tho' he be the fautor;Altho' my back be at the wa'Yethere's his health in water.O wae gae by his wanton sidesSae brawlie's he could flatter;Till for his sake I'm slighted sairAnd dree the kintra clatter:But tho' my back be at the wa'And tho' he be the fautor;But tho' my back be at the wa'Yet here's his health in water!
Address To The Unco GuidOr The Rigidly Righteous
My Sonthese maxims make a ruleAn' lump them aye thegither;The Rigid Righteous is a foolThe Rigid Wise anither:The cleanest corn that ere was dightMay hae some pyles o' caff in;So ne'er a fellow-creature slightFor random fits o' daffin.
Solomon.-Eccles. ch. vii. verse 16.
O ye wha are sae guid yoursel'Sae pious and sae holyYe've nought to do but mark and tellYour neibours' fauts and folly!Whase life is like a weel-gaun millSupplied wi' store o' water;The heaped happer's ebbing stillAn' still the clap plays clatter.
Hear meye venerable coreAs counsel for poor mortalsThat frequent pass douce Wisdom's doorFor glaikit Folly's portals:Ifor their thoughtlesscareless sakesWould here propone defences-Their donsie trickstheir black mistakesTheir failings and mischances.
Ye see your state wi' theirs comparedAnd shudder at the niffer;But cast a moment's fair regardWhat maks the mighty differ;Discount what scant occasion gaveThat purity ye pride in;And (what's aft mair than a' the lave)Your better art o' hidin.
Thinkwhen your castigated pulseGies now and then a wallop!What ragings must his veins convulseThat still eternal gallop!Wi' wind and tide fair i' your tailRight on ye scud your sea-way;But in the teeth o' baith to sailIt maks a unco lee-way.
See Social Life and Glee sit downAll joyous and unthinkingTillquite transmugrifiedthey're grownDebauchery and Drinking:O would they stay to calculateTh' eternal consequences;Or your more dreaded hell to stateDamnation of expenses!
Ye highexaltedvirtuous damesTied up in godly lacesBefore ye gie poor Frailty namesSuppose a change o' cases;A dear-lov'd ladconvenience snugA treach'rous inclination-But let me whisper i' your lugYe're aiblins nae temptation.
Then gently scan your brother manStill gentler sister woman;Tho' they may gang a kennin wrangTo step aside is human:One point must still be greatly dark-The moving Why they do it;And just as lamely can ye markHow far perhaps they rue it.
Who made the heart'tis He aloneDecidedly can try us;He knows each chordits various toneEach springits various bias:Then at the balance let's be muteWe never can adjust it;What's done we partly may computeBut know not what's resisted.
The Inventory^1
     In answer to a mandate by the Surveyor of the Taxes
Siras your mandate did requestI send you here a faithfu' listO' gudes an' gearan' a' my graithTo which I'm clear to gi'e my aith.
Imprimisthenfor carriage cattleI hae four brutes o' gallant mettleAs ever drew afore a pettle.My hand-afore 's a guid auld has-beenAn' wight an' wilfu' a' his days been:My hand-ahin 's a weel gaun fillieThat aft has borne me hame frae Killie.^2An' your auld borough mony a timeIn days when riding was nae crime.But ancewhen in my wooing prideIlike a blockheadboost to rideThe wilfu' creature sae I pat to(Lord pardon a' my sinsan' that too!)I play'd my fillie sic a shavieShe's a' bedevil'd wi' the spavie.My furr-ahin 's a wordy beastAs e'er in tug or tow was traced.The fourth's a Highland Donald hastleA damn'd red-wud Kilburnie blastie!Foreby a cowto' cowts the waleAs ever ran afore a tail:Gin he be spar'd to be a beastHe'll draw me fifteen pund at least.Wheel-carriages I ha'e but fewThree cartsan' twa are feckly new;An auld wheelbarrowmair for tokenAe leg an' baith the trams are broken;I made a poker o' the spin'leAn' my auld mither brunt the trin'le.
[Footnote 1: The "Inventory" was addressed to Mr. Aitken of Ayrsurveyor oftaxes for the district.]
[Footnote 2: Kilmarnock.-R. B.]
For menI've three mischievous boysRun-deils for ranting an' for noise;A gaudsman anea thrasher t' other:Wee Davock hauds the nowt in fother.I rule them as I oughtdiscreetlyAn' aften labour them completely;An' aye on Sundays dulynightlyI on the Questions targe them tightly;Tillfaith! wee Davock's grown sae glegTho' scarcely langer than your legHe'll screed you aff Effectual CallingAs fast as ony in the dwalling.
I've nane in female servant station(Lord keep me aye frae a' temptation!)I hae nae wife-and thay my bliss isAn' ye have laid nae tax on misses;An' thenif kirk folks dinna clutch meI ken the deevils darena touch me.Wi' weans I'm mair than weel contentedHeav'n sent me ane mae than I wanted!My sonsiesmirkingdear-bought BessShe stares the daddy in her faceEnough of ought ye like but grace;But hermy boniesweet wee ladyI've paid enough for her already;An' gin ye tax her or her mitherBy the Lordye'se get them a' thegither!
And nowrememberMr. AikenNae kind of licence out I'm takin:Frae this time forthI do declareI'se ne'er ride horse nor hizzie mair;Thro' dirt and dub for life I'll paidleEre I sae dear pay for a saddle;My travel a' on foot I'll shank itI've sturdy bearersGude the thankit!The kirk and you may tak you thatIt puts but little in your pat;Sae dinna put me in your beukNor for my ten white shillings leuk.
This listwi' my ain hand I wrote itThe day and date as under noted;Then know all ye whom it concernsSubscripsi huic
Robert Burns.MossgielFebruary 221786.
To John KennedyDumfries House
NowKennedyif foot or horseE'er bring you in by Mauchlin corse(Lordmanthere's lasses there wad forceA hermit's fancy;An' down the gate in faith they're worseAn' mair unchancy).
But as I'm sayinplease step to Dow'sAn' taste sic gear as Johnie brewsTill some bit callan bring me newsThat ye are there;An' if we dinna hae a bouzeI'se ne'er drink mair.
It's no I like to sit an' swallowThen like a swine to puke an' wallow;But gie me just a true good fallowWi' right ingineAnd spunkie ance to mak us mellowAn' then we'll shine.
Now if ye're ane o' warl's folkWha rate the wearer by the cloakAn' sklent on poverty their jokeWi' bitter sneerWi' you nae friendship I will trokeNor cheap nor dear.
But ifas I'm informed weelYe hate as ill's the very deilThe flinty heart that canna feel-Comesirhere's to you!Haethere's my haun'I wiss you weelAn' gude be wi' you.
Robt. Burness.Mossgiel3rd March1786.
To Mr. M'AdamOf Craigen-Gillan
     In answer to an obliging Letter he sent in the commencement of my poeticcareer.
Siro'er a gill I gat your cardI trow it made me proud;See wha taks notice o' the bard!I lap and cried fu' loud.
Now deil-ma-care about their jawThe senselessgawky million;I'll cock my nose abune them a'I'm roos'd by Craigen-Gillan!
'Twas noblesir; 'twas like yourself'To grant your high protection:A great man's smile ye ken fu' wellIs aye a blest infection.
Tho'by his banes wha in a tubMatch'd Macedonian Sandy!On my ain legs thro' dirt and dubI independent stand aye-
And when those legs to gudewarm kailWi' welcome canna bear meA lee dyke-sidea sybow-tailAn' barley-scone shall cheer me.
Heaven spare you lang to kiss the breathO' mony flow'ry simmers!An' bless your bonie lasses baithI'm tauld they're loosome kimmers!
An' God bless young Dunaskin's lairdThe blossom of our gentry!An' may he wear and auld man's beardA credit to his country.
To A LouseOn Seeing One On A Lady's BonnetAt Church
Ha! whaur ye gaunye crowlin ferlie?Your impudence protects you sairly;I canna say but ye strunt rarelyOwre gauze and lace;Tho'faith! I fear ye dine but sparelyOn sic a place.
Ye uglycreepinblastit wonnerDetestedshunn'd by saunt an' sinnerHow daur ye set your fit upon her-Sae fine a lady?Gae somewhere else and seek your dinnerOn some poor body.
Swith! in some beggar's haffet squattle;There ye may creepand sprawland sprattleWi' ither kindredjumping cattleIn shoals and nations;Whaur horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettleYour thick plantations.
Now haud you thereye're out o' sightBelow the fatt'relssnug and tight;Nafaith ye yet! ye'll no be rightTill ye've got on it-The verra tapmosttow'rin heightO' Miss' bonnet.
My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose outAs plump an' grey as ony groset:O for some rankmercurial rozetOr fellred smeddumI'd gie you sic a hearty dose o'tWad dress your droddum.
I wad na been surpris'd to spyYou on an auld wife's flainen toy;Or aiblins some bit dubbie boyOn's wyliecoat;But Miss' fine Lunardi! fye!How daur ye do't?
O Jeanydinna toss your headAn' set your beauties a' abread!Ye little ken what cursed speedThe blastie's makin:Thae winks an' finger-endsI dreadAre notice takin.
O wad some Power the giftie gie usTo see oursels as ithers see us!It wad frae mony a blunder free usAn' foolish notion:What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e usAn' ev'n devotion!
Inscribed On A Work Of Hannah More's
     Presented to the Author by a Lady.
Thou flatt'ring mark of friendship kindStill may thy pages call to mindThe dearthe beauteous donor;Tho' sweetly female ev'ry partYet such a headand more the heartDoes both the sexes honour:She show'd her taste refin'd and justWhen she selected thee;Yet deviatingown I mustFor sae approving me:But kind still I'll mind stillThe giver in the gift;I'll bless heran' wiss herA Friend aboon the lift.
SongComposed In Spring
     tune-"Jockey's Grey Breeks."
Again rejoicing Nature seesHer robe assume its vernal hues:Her leafy locks wave in the breezeAll freshly steep'd in morning dews.
Chorus.-And maun I still on Menie doatAnd bear the scorn that's in her e'e?For it's jetjet blackan' it's like a hawkAn' it winna let a body be.
In vain to me the cowslips blawIn vain to me the vi'lets spring;In vain to me in glen or shawThe mavis and the lintwhite sing.And maun I still&c.
The merry ploughboy cheers his teamWi' joy the tentie seedsman stalks;But life to me's a weary dreamA dream of ane that never wauks.And maun I still&c.
The wanton coot the water skimsAmang the reeds the ducklings cryThe stately swan majestic swimsAnd ev'ry thing is blest but I.And maun I still&c.
The sheep-herd steeks his faulding slapAnd o'er the moorlands whistles shill:Wi' wildunequalwand'ring stepI meet him on the dewy hill.And maun I still&c.
And when the lark'tween light and darkBlythe waukens by the daisy's sideAnd mounts and sings on flittering wingsA woe-worn ghaist I hameward glide.And maun I still&c.
Come winterwith thine angry howlAnd ragingbend the naked tree;Thy gloom will soothe my cheerless soulWhen nature all is sad like me!And maun I still&c.
To A Mountain Daisy
     On turning down with the Ploughin April1786.
Weemodest crimson-tipped flow'rThou's met me in an evil hour;For I maun crush amang the stoureThy slender stem:To spare thee now is past my pow'rThou bonie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neibor sweetThe bonie larkcompanion meetBending thee 'mang the dewy weetWi' spreckl'd breast!When upward-springingblytheto greetThe purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting northUpon thy earlyhumble birth;Yet cheerfully thou glinted forthAmid the stormScarce rear'd above the parent-earthThy tender form.
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yieldHigh shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield;But thoubeneath the random bieldO' clod or staneAdorns the histie stibble fieldUnseenalane.
Therein thy scanty mantle cladThy snawie bosom sun-ward spreadThou lifts thy unassuming headIn humble guise;But now the share uptears thy bedAnd low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless maidSweet flow'ret of the rural shade!By love's simplicity betray'dAnd guileless trust;Till shelike theeall soil'dis laidLow i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bardOn life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!Unskilful he to note the cardOf prudent loreTill billows rageand gales blow hardAnd whelm him o'er!
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'nWho long with wants and woes has striv'nBy human pride or cunning driv'nTo mis'ry's brink;Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'nHeruin'dsink!
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fateThat fate is thine-no distant date;Stern Ruin's plough-share drives elateFull on thy bloomTill crush'd beneath the furrow's weightShall be thy doom!
To Ruin
All hail! inexorable lord!At whose destruction-breathing wordThe mightiest empires fall!Thy cruelwoe-delighted trainThe ministers of grief and painA sullen welcomeall!
With stern-resolv'ddespairing eyeI see each aimed dart;For one has cut my dearest tieAnd quivers in my heart.Then low'ringand pouringThe storm no more I dread;Tho' thick'ningand black'ningRound my devoted head.
And thou grim Pow'r by life abhorr'dWhile life a pleasure can affordOh! hear a wretch's pray'r!Nor more I shrink appall'dafraid;I courtI beg thy friendly aidTo close this scene of care!When shall my soulin silent peaceResign life's joyless day-My weary heart is throbbing ceaseCold mould'ring in the clay?No fear moreno tear moreTo stain my lifeless faceEnclaspedand graspedWithin thy cold embrace!
The Lament
     Occasioned by the unfortunate issue of a Friend's Amour.
Alas! how oft does goodness would itselfAnd sweet affection prove the spring of woe!
O thou pale orb that silent shinesWhile care-untroubled mortals sleep!Thou seest a wretch who inly pines.And wanders here to wail and weep!With woe I nightly vigils keepBeneath thy wanunwarming beam;And mournin lamentation deepHow life and love are all a dream!
I joyless view thy rays adornThe faintly-markeddistant hill;I joyless view thy trembling hornReflected in the gurgling rill:My fondly-fluttering heartbe still!Thou busy pow'rremembrancecease!Ah! must the agonizing thrillFor ever bar returning peace!
No idly-feign'dpoetic painsMy sadlove-lorn lamentings claim:No shepherd's pipe-Arcadian strains;No fabled torturesquaint and tame.The plighted faiththe mutual flameThe oft-attested pow'rs aboveThe promis'd father's tender name;These were the pledges of my love!
Encircled in her clasping armsHow have the raptur'd moments flown!How have I wish'd for fortune's charmsFor her dear sakeand her's alone!Andmust I think it! is she goneMy secret heart's exulting boast?And does she heedless hear my groan?And is she everever lost?
Oh! can she bear so base a heartSo lost to honourlost to truthAs from the fondest lover partThe plighted husband of her youth?Alas! life's path may be unsmooth!Her way may lie thro' rough distress!Thenwho her pangs and pains will sootheHer sorrows shareand make them less?
Ye winged hours that o'er us pass'dEnraptur'd morethe more enjoy'dYour dear remembrance in my breastMy fondly-treasur'd thoughts employ'd:That breasthow dreary nowand voidFor her too scanty once of room!Ev'n ev'ry ray of hope destroy'dAnd not a wish to gild the gloom!
The mornthat warns th' approaching dayAwakes me up to toil and woe;I see the hours in long arrayThat I must sufferlingeringslow:Full many a pangand many a throeKeen recollection's direful trainMust wring my soulwere PhoebuslowShall kiss the distant western main.
And when my nightly couch I trySore harass'd out with care and griefMy toil-beat nervesand tear-worn eyeKeep watchings with the nightly thief:Or if I slumberfancychiefReignshaggard-wildin sore affright:Ev'n dayall-bitterbrings reliefFrom such a horror-breathing night.
O thou bright queenwho o'er th' expanseNow highest reign'stwith boundless swayOft has thy silent-marking glanceObserv'd usfondly-wand'ringstray!The timeunheededsped awayWhile love's luxurious pulse beat highBeneath thy silver-gleaming rayTo mark the mutual-kindling eye.
Oh! scenes in strong remembrance set!Scenesnevernever to return!Scenesif in stupor I forgetAgain I feelagain I burn!From ev'ry joy and pleasure tornLife's weary vale I'll wander thro';And hopelesscomfortlessI'll mournA faithless woman's broken vow!
Despondency: An Ode
Oppress'd with griefoppress'd with careA burden more than I can bearI set me down and sigh;O life! thou art a galling loadAlong a rougha weary roadTo wretches such as I!Dim backward as I cast my viewWhat sick'ning scenes appear!What sorrows yet may pierce me throughToo justly I may fear!Still caringdespairingMust be my bitter doom;My woes here shall close ne'erBut with the closing tomb!
Happy! ye sons of busy lifeWhoequal to the bustling strifeNo other view regard!Ev'n when the wished end's deniedYet while the busy means are pliedThey bring their own reward:Whilst Ia hope-abandon'd wightUnfitted with an aimMeet ev'ry sad returning nightAnd joyless morn the same!Youbustlingand justlingForget each grief and pain;Ilistlessyet restlessFind ev'ry prospect vain.
How blest the solitary's lotWhoall-forgettingall forgotWithin his humble cellThe cavernwild with tangling rootsSits o'er his newly gather'd fruitsBeside his crystal well!Or haplyto his ev'ning thoughtBy unfrequented streamThe ways of men are distant broughtA faintcollected dream;While praisingand raisingHis thoughts to heav'n on highAs wand'ringmeand'ringHe views the solemn sky.
Than Ino lonely hermit plac'dWhere never human footstep trac'dLess fit to play the partThe lucky moment to improveAnd just to stopand just to moveWith self-respecting art:But ah! those pleasureslovesand joysWhich I too keenly tasteThe solitary can despiseCan wantand yet be blest!He needs nothe heeds notOr human love or hate;Whilst I here must cry hereAt perfidy ingrate!
Oenviableearly daysWhen dancing thoughtless pleasure's mazeTo careto guilt unknown!How ill exchang'd for riper timesTo feel the folliesor the crimesOf othersor my own!Ye tiny elves that guiltless sportLike linnets in the bushYe little know the ills ye courtWhen manhood is your wish!The lossesthe crossesThat active man engage;The fears allthe tears allOf dim declining age!
To Gavin HamiltonEsq.Mauchline
     Recommending a Boy.
MossgavilleMay 31786.
I hold itsirmy bounden dutyTo warn you how that Master TootieAliasLaird M'GaunWas here to hire yon lad away'Bout whom ye spak the tither dayAn' wad hae don't aff han';
But lest he learn the callan tricks-An' faith I muckle doubt him-Like scrapin out auld Crummie's nicksAn' tellin lies about them;As lieve thenI'd have thenYour clerkship he should sairIf sae be ye may beNot fitted otherwhere.
Altho' I say'the's gleg enoughAn' 'bout a house that's rude an' roughThe boy might learn to swear;But thenwi' youhe'll be sae taughtAn' get sic fair example straughtI hae na ony fear.Ye'll catechise himevery quirkAn' shore him weel wi' hell;An' gar him follow to the kirk-Aye when ye gang yoursel.If ye then maun be thenFrae hame this comin' FridayThen pleasesirto lea'esirThe orders wi' your lady.
My word of honour I hae gi'enIn Paisley John'sthat night at e'enTo meet the warld's worm;To try to get the twa to greeAn' name the airles an' the feeIn legal mode an' form:I ken he weel a snick can drawWhen simple bodies let him:An' if a Devil be at a'In faith he's sure to get him.To phrase you and praise you.Ye ken your Laureat scorns:The pray'r still you share stillOf grateful Minstrel Burns.
Versified Reply To An Invitation
Yours this moment I unsealAnd faith I'm gay and hearty!To tell the truth and shame the deilI am as fou as Bartie:But Foorsdaysirmy promise lealExpect me o' your partieIf on a beastie I can speelOr hurl in a cartie.
Robert Burns.MauchlinMonday night10 o'clock.
song-Will Ye Go To The IndiesMy Mary?
tune-"Will ye go to the Ewe-BughtsMarion."
Will ye go to the Indiesmy MaryAnd leave auld Scotia's shore?Will ye go to the Indiesmy MaryAcross th' Atlantic roar?
O sweet grows the lime and the orangeAnd the apple on the pine;But a' the charms o' the IndiesCan never equal thine.
I hae sworn by the Heavens to my MaryI hae sworn by the Heavens to be true;And sae may the Heavens forget meWhen I forget my vow!
O plight me your faithmy MaryAnd plight me your lily-white hand;O plight me your faithmy MaryBefore I leave Scotia's strand.
We hae plighted our trothmy MaryIn mutual affection to join;And curst be the cause that shall part us!The hour and the moment o' time!
song-My Highland LassieO
tune-"The deuks dang o'er my daddy."
Nae gentle damestho' e'er sae fairShall ever be my muse's care:Their titles a' arc empty show;Gie me my Highland lassieO.
Chorus.-Within the glen sae bushyOAboon the plain sae rashyOI set me down wi' right guid willTo sing my Highland lassieO.
O were yon hills and vallies mineYon palace and yon gardens fine!The world then the love should knowI bear my Highland LassieO.
But fickle fortune frowns on meAnd I maun cross the raging sea!But while my crimson currents flowI'll love my Highland lassieO.
Altho' thro' foreign climes I rangeI know her heart will never changeFor her bosom burns with honour's glowMy faithful Highland lassieO.
For her I'll dare the billow's roarFor her I'll trace a distant shoreThat Indian wealth may lustre throwAround my Highland lassieO.
She has my heartshe has my handBy secret troth and honour's band!Till the mortal stroke shall lay me lowI'm thinemy Highland lassieO.
Farewell the glen sae bushyO!Farewell the plain sae rashyO!To other lands I now must goTo sing my Highland lassieO.
Epistle To A Young Friend
     May __1786.
I Lang hae thoughtmy youthfu' friendA something to have sent youTho' it should serve nae ither endThan just a kind memento:But how the subject-theme may gangLet time and chance determine;Perhaps it may turn out a sang:Perhaps turn out a sermon.
Ye'll try the world soonmy lad;AndAndrew dearbelieve meYe'll find mankind an unco squadAnd muckle they may grieve ye:For care and trouble set your thoughtEv'n when your end's attained;And a' your views may come to noughtWhere ev'ry nerve is strained.
I'll no saymen are villains a';The realharden'd wickedWha hae nae check but human lawAre to a few restricked;ButOch! mankind are unco weakAn' little to be trusted;If self the wavering balance shakeIt's rarely right adjusted!
Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strifeTheir fate we shouldna censure;For stillth' important end of lifeThey equally may answer;A man may hae an honest heartTho' poortith hourly stare him;A man may tak a neibor's partYet hae nae cash to spare him.
Aye freeaff-han'your story tellWhen wi' a bosom crony;But still keep something to yoursel'Ye scarcely tell to ony:Conceal yoursel' as weel's ye canFrae critical dissection;But keek thro' ev'ry other manWi' sharpen'dsly inspection.
The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd loveLuxuriantly indulge it;But never tempt th' illicit roveTho' naething should divulge it:I waive the quantum o' the sinThe hazard of concealing;ButOch! it hardens a' withinAnd petrifies the feeling!
To catch dame Fortune's golden smileAssiduous wait upon her;And gather gear by ev'ry wileThat's justified by honour;Not for to hide it in a hedgeNor for a train attendant;But for the glorious privilegeOf being independent.
The fear o' hell's a hangman's whipTo haud the wretch in order;But where ye feel your honour gripLet that aye be your border;Its slightest touchesinstant pause-Debar a' side-pretences;And resolutely keep its lawsUncaring consequences.
The great Creator to revereMust sure become the creature;But still the preaching cant forbearAnd ev'n the rigid feature:Yet ne'er with wits profane to rangeBe complaisance extended;An atheist-laugh's a poor exchangeFor Deity offended!
When ranting round in pleasure's ringReligion may be blinded;Or if she gie a random stingIt may be little minded;But when on life we're tempest driv'n-A conscience but a canker-A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'nIs sure a noble anchor!
Adieudearamiable youth!Your heart can ne'er be wanting!May prudencefortitudeand truthErect your brow undaunting!In ploughman phraseGod send you speed,Still daily to grow wiser;And may ye better reck the redeThen ever did th' adviser!
Address Of Beelzebub
     To the Right Honourable the Earl of BreadalbanePresident of the RightHonourable and Honourable the Highland Societywhich met on the 23rd of Maylast at the ShakespeareCovent Gardento concert ways and means to frustratethe designs of five hundred Highlanderswhoas the Society were informed byMr. M'Kenzie of Applecrosswere so audacious as to attempt an escape fromtheir lawful lords and masters whose property they wereby emigrating fromthe lands of Mr. Macdonald of Glengary to the wilds of Canadain search ofthat fantastic thing-Liberty.
Long lifemy Lordan' health be yoursUnskaithed by hunger'd Highland boors;Lord grant me nae duddiedesperate beggarWi' dirkclaymoreand rusty triggerMay twin auld Scotland o' a lifeShe likes-as butchers like a knife.
Faith you and Applecross were rightTo keep the Highland hounds in sight:I doubt na! they wad bid nae betterThan let them ance out owre the waterThen up among thae lakes and seasThey'll mak what rules and laws they please:Some daring Hancockeor a FranklinMay set their Highland bluid a-ranklin;Some Washington again may head themOr some Montgomeryfearlesslead themTill God knows what may be effectedWhen by such heads and hearts directedPoor dunghill sons of dirt and mireMay to Patrician rights aspire!Nae sage North nownor sager SackvilleTo watch and premier o'er the pack vile-An' whare will ye get Howes and ClintonsTo bring them to a right repentance-To cowe the rebel generationAn' save the honour o' the nation?Theyan' be d-d! what right hae theyTo meator sleepor light o' day?Far less-to richespow'ror freedomBut what your lordship likes to gie them?
But hearmy lord! Glengarryhear!Your hand's owre light to themI fear;Your factorsgrievestrusteesand bailiesI canna say but they do gaylies;They lay aside a' tender merciesAn' tirl the hallions to the birses;Yet while they're only poind't and herrietThey'll keep their stubborn Highland spirit:But smash them! crash them a' to spailsAn' rot the dyvors i' the jails!The young dogsswinge them to the labour;Let wark an' hunger mak them sober!The hizziesif they're aughtlins fawsontLet them in Drury-lane be lesson'd!An' if the wives an' dirty bratsCome thiggin at your doors an' yettsFlaffin wi' dudsan' grey wi' beas'Frightin away your ducks an' geese;Get out a horsewhip or a jowlerThe langest thongthe fiercest growlerAn' gar the tatter'd gypsies packWi' a' their bastards on their back!Go onmy Lord! I lang to meet youAn' in my house at hame to greet you;Wi' common lords ye shanna mingleThe benmost neuk beside the ingleAt my right han' assigned your seat'Tween Herod's hip an' Polycrate:Or if you on your station tarrowBetween Almagro and PizarroA seatI'm sure ye're well deservin't;An' till ye come-your humble servant
Beelzebub.June 1stAnno Mundi5790.
A Dream
Thoughtswordsand deedsthe Statute blames with reason;But surely Dreams were ne'er indicted Treason.
     On readingin the public papersthe Laureate's Odewith the otherparade of June 4th1786the Author was no sooner dropt asleepthan heimagined himself transported to the Birth-day Levee: andin his dreamingfancymade the following Address:
Guid-Mornin' to our Majesty!May Heaven augment your blissesOn ev'ry new birth-day ye seeA humble poet wishes.My bardship hereat your LeveeOn sic a day as this isIs sure an uncouth sight to seeAmang thae birth-day dressesSae fine this day.
I see ye're complimented thrangBy mony a lord an' lady;God save the King's a cuckoo sangThat's unco easy said aye:The poetstooa venal gangWi' rhymes weel-turn'd an' readyWad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrangBut aye unerring steadyOn sic a day.
For me! before a monarch's faceEv'n there I winna flatter;For neither pensionpostnor placeAm I your humble debtor:Sonae reflection on your GraceYour Kingship to bespatter;There's mony waur been o' the raceAnd aiblins ane been betterThan you this day.
'Tis very truemy sovereign KingMy skill may weel be doubted;But facts are chiels that winna dingAn' downa be disputed:Your royal nestbeneath your wingIs e'en right reft and cloutedAnd now the third part o' the stringAn' lesswill gang aboot itThan did ae day.^1
Far be't frae me that I aspireTo blame your legislationOr sayye wisdom wantor fireTo rule this mighty nation:But faith! I muckle doubtmy sireYe've trusted ministrationTo chaps wha in barn or byreWad better fill'd their stationThan courts yon day.
And now ye've gien auld Britain peaceHer broken shins to plaisterYour sair taxation does her fleeceTill she has scarce a tester:For methank Godmy life's a leaseNae bargain wearin' fasterOrfaith! I fearthatwi' the geeseI shortly boost to pastureI' the craft some day.
[Footnote 1: The American colonies had recently been lost.]
I'm no mistrusting Willie PittWhen taxes he enlarges(An' Will's a true guid fallow's getA name not envy spairges)That he intends to pay your debtAn' lessen a' your charges;ButGod-sake! let nae saving fitAbridge your bonie bargesAn'boats this day.
Adieumy Liege; may freedom geckBeneath your high protection;An' may ye rax Corruption's neckAnd gie her for dissection!But since I'm hereI'll no neglectIn loyaltrue affectionTo pay your Queenwi' due respectMay fealty an' subjectionThis great birth-day.
HailMajesty most Excellent!While nobles strive to please yeWill ye accept a complimentA simple poet gies ye?Thae bonie bairntimeHeav'n has lentStill higher may they heeze yeIn blisstill fate some day is sentFor ever to release yeFrae care that day.
For youyoung Potentate o'WalesI tell your highness fairlyDown Pleasure's streamwi' swelling sailsI'm tauld ye're driving rarely;But some day ye may gnaw your nailsAn' curse your folly sairlyThat e'er ye brak Diana's palesOr rattl'd dice wi' CharlieBy night or day.
Yet aft a ragged cowt's been knownTo mak a noble aiver;Soye may doucely fill the throneFor a'their clish-ma-claver:Therehim^2 at Agincourt wha shoneFew better were or braver:And yetwi' funnyqueer Sir John^3He was an unco shaverFor mony a day.
For youright rev'rend OsnaburgNane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeterAltho' a ribbon at your lugWad been a dress completer:As ye disown yon paughty dogThat bears the keys of PeterThen swith! an' get a wife to hugOr trowthye'll stain the mitreSome luckless day!
Youngroyal Tarry-breeksI learnYe've lately come athwart her-A glorious galley^4 stem and sternWeel rigg'd for Venus' barter;But first hang outthat she'll discernYour hymeneal charter;Then heave aboard your grapple airnAn' large upon her quarterCome full that day.
Yelastlybonie blossoms a'Ye royal lasses daintyHeav'n mak you guid as well as brawAn' gie you lads a-plenty!But sneer na British boys awa!For kings are unco scant ayeAn' German gentles are but sma'They're better just than want ayeOn ony day.
[Footnote 2: King Henry V.-R.B.]
[Footnote 3: Sir John Falstaffvid. Shakespeare.-R. B.]
[Footnote 4: Alluding to the newspaper account of a certain Royal sailor'samour.-R. B. This was Prince William Henrythird son of George IIIafterward King William IV.]
Gad bless you a'! consider nowYe're unco muckle dautit;But ere the course o' life be throughIt may be bitter sautit:An' I hae seen their coggie fouThat yet hae tarrow't at it.But or the day was doneI trowThe laggen they hae clautitFu' clean that day.
A Dedication
     To Gavin HamiltonEsq.
Expect nasirin this narrationA fleechinfleth'rin DedicationTo roose you upan' ca' you guidAn' sprung o' great an' noble bluidBecause ye're surnam'd like His Grace-Perhaps related to the race:Thenwhen I'm tir'd-and sae are yeWi' mony a fulsomesinfu' lieSet up a face how I stop shortFor fear your modesty be hurt.
This may do-maun dosirwi' them whaMaun please the great folk for a wamefou;For me! sae laigh I need na bowForLord be thankitI can plough;And when I downa yoke a naigThenLord be thankitI can beg;Sae I shall say-an' that's nae flatt'rin-It's just sic Poet an' sic Patron.
The Poetsome guid angel help himOr elseI fearsome ill ane skelp him!He may do weel for a' he's done yetBut only-he's no just begun yet.
The Patron (sirye maun forgie me;I winna liecome what will o' me)On ev'ry hand it will allow'd beHe's just-nae better than he should be.
I readily and freely grantHe downa see a poor man want;What's no his ainhe winna tak it;What ance he sayshe winna break it;Ought he can lend he'll no refus'tTill aft his guidness is abus'd;And rascals whiles that do him wrangEv'n thathe does na mind it lang;As masterlandlordhusbandfatherHe does na fail his part in either.
But thennae thanks to him for a'that;Nae godly symptom ye can ca' that;It's naething but a milder featureOf our poorsinfu' corrupt nature:Ye'll get the best o' moral works'Mang black Gentoosand pagan TurksOr hunters wild on PonotaxiWha never heard of orthodoxy.That he's the poor man's friend in needThe gentleman in word and deedIt's no thro' terror of damnation;It's just a carnal inclination.
Moralitythou deadly baneThy tens o' thousands thou hast slain!Vain is his hopewhase stay an' trust isIn moral mercytruthand justice!
No-stretch a point to catch a plack:Abuse a brother to his back;Steal through the winnock frae a whoreBut point the rake that taks the door;Be to the poor like ony whunstaneAnd haud their noses to the grunstane;Ply ev'ry art o' legal thieving;No matter-stick to sound believing.
Learn three-mile pray'rsan' half-mile gracesWi' weel-spread loovesan' langwry faces;Grunt up a solemnlengthen'd groanAnd damn a' parties but your own;I'll warrant they ye're nae deceiverA steadysturdystaunch believer.
O ye wha leave the springs o' CalvinFor gumlie dubs of your ain delvin!Ye sons of Heresy and ErrorYe'll some day squeel in quaking terrorWhen Vengeance draws the sword in wrath.And in the fire throws the sheath;When Ruinwith his sweeping besomJust frets till Heav'n commission gies him;While o'er the harp pale Misery moansAnd strikes the ever-deep'ning tonesStill louder shrieksand heavier groans!
Your pardonsirfor this digression:I maist forgat my Dedication;But when divinity comes 'cross meMy readers still are sure to lose me.
Sosiryou see 'twas nae daft vapour;But I maturely thought it properWhen a' my works I did reviewTo dedicate themsirto you:Because (ye need na tak it ill)I thought them something like yoursel'.
Then patronize them wi' your favorAnd your petitioner shall ever-I had amaist saidever prayBut that's a word I need na say;For prayinI hae little skill o'tI'm baith dead-sweeran' wretched ill o't;But I'se repeat each poor man's pray'rThat kens or hears about yousir-
"May ne'er Misfortune's gowling barkHowl thro' the dwelling o' the clerk!May ne'er his genroushonest heartFor that same gen'rous spirit smart!May Kennedy's far-honour'd nameLang beet his hymeneal flameTill Hamiltonsat least a dizzenAre frae their nuptial labours risen:Five bonie lasses round their tableAnd sev'n braw fellowsstout an' ableTo serve their king an' country weelBy wordor penor pointed steel!May health and peacewith mutual raysShine on the ev'ning o' his days;Till his weecurlie John's ier-oeWhen ebbing life nae mair shall flowThe lastsadmournful rites bestow!"
I will not wind a lang conclusionWith complimentary effusion;Butwhilst your wishes and endeavoursAre blest with Fortune's smiles and favoursI amdear sirwith zeal most ferventYour much indebtedhumble servant.
But if (which Pow'rs above prevent)That iron-hearted carlWantAttendedin his grim advancesBy sad mistakesand black mischancesWhile hopesand joysand pleasures fly himMake you as poor a dog as I amYour humble servant then no more;For who would humbly serve the poor?Butby a poor man's hopes in Heav'n!While recollection's pow'r is giv'n-Ifin the vale of humble lifeThe victim sad of fortune's strifeIthro' the tender-gushing tearShould recognise my master dear;If friendlesslowwe meet togetherThensiryour hand-my Friend and Brother!
Versified Note To Dr. MackenzieMauchline
Friday first's the day appointedBy the Right Worshipful anointed
To hold our grand procession;To get a blad o' Johnie's moralsAnd taste a swatch o' Manson's barrels
I' the way of our profession.The Master and the BrotherhoodWould a' be glad to see you;For me I would be mair than proud
To share the mercies wi' you.If Deaththenwi' skaiththenSome mortal heart is hechtinInform himand storm himThat Saturday you'll fecht him.
Robert Burns.MossgielAn. M. 5790.
The Farewell To the Brethren of St. James' LodgeTarbolton.
     tune-"Guidnightand joy be wi' you a'."
Adieu! a heart-warm fond adieu;Dear brothers of the mystic tie!Ye favouredenlighten'd fewCompanions of my social joy;Tho' I to foreign lands must hiePursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba';With melting heartand brimful eyeI'll mind you stilltho' far awa.
Oft have I met your social bandAnd spent the cheerfulfestive night;Ofthonour'd with supreme commandPresided o'er the sons of light:And by that hieroglyphic brightWhich none but Craftsmen ever sawStrong Mem'ry on my heart shall writeThose happy sceneswhen far awa.
May FreedomHarmonyand LoveUnite you in the grand DesignBeneath th' Omniscient Eye aboveThe glorious Architect DivineThat you may keep th' unerring lineStill rising by the plummet's lawTill Order bright completely shineShall be my pray'r when far awa.
And youfarewell! whose merits claimJustly that highest badge to wear:Heav'n bless your honour'd noble nameTo Masonry and Scotia dear!A last request permit me here-When yearly ye assemble a'One roundI ask it with a tearTo himthe Bard that's far awa.
On A Scotch BardGone To The West Indies
A' ye wha live by sowps o' drinkA' ye wha live by crambo-clinkA' ye wha live and never thinkComemourn wi' me!Our billie 's gien us a' a jinkAn' owre the sea!
Lament him a' ye rantin coreWha dearly like a random splore;Nae mair he'll join the merry roar;In social key;For now he's taen anither shore.An' owre the sea!
The bonie lasses weel may wiss himAnd in their dear petitions place him:The widowswivesan' a' may bless himWi' tearfu' e'e;For weel I wat they'll sairly miss himThat's owre the sea!
O Fortunethey hae room to grumble!Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy bummleWha can do nought but fyke an' fumble'Twad been nae plea;But he was gleg as ony wumbleThat's owre the sea!
Auldcantie Kyle may weepers wearAn' stain them wi' the sautsaut tear;'Twill mak her poor auld heartI fearIn flinders flee:He was her Laureat mony a yearThat's owre the sea!
He saw Misfortune's cauld nor-westLang mustering up a bitter blast;A jillet brak his heart at lastIll may she be!Sotook a berth afore the mastAn' owre the sea.
To tremble under Fortune's cummockOn a scarce a bellyfu' o' drummockWi' his proudindependent stomachCould ill agree;Sorow't his hurdies in a hammockAn' owre the sea.
He ne'er was gien to great misguidinYet coin his pouches wad na bide in;Wi' him it ne'er was under hiding;He dealt it free:The Muse was a' that he took pride inThat's owre the sea.
Jamaica bodiesuse him weelAn' hap him in cozie biel:Ye'll find him aye a dainty chielAn' fou o' glee:He wad na wrang'd the vera deilThat's owre the sea.
Farewellmy rhyme-composing billie!Your native soil was right ill-willie;But may ye flourish like a lilyNow bonilie!I'll toast you in my hindmost gillieTho' owre the sea!
song-Farewell To Eliza
From theeElizaI must goAnd from my native shore;The cruel fates between us throwA boundless ocean's roar:But boundless oceansroaring wideBetween my love and meThey nevernever can divideMy heart and soul from thee.
FarewellfarewellEliza dearThe maid that I adore!A boding voice is in mine earWe part to meet no more!But the latest throb that leaves my heartWhile Death stands victor by-That throbElizais thy partAnd thine that latest sigh!
A Bard's Epitaph
Is there a whim-inspired foolOwre fast for thoughtowre hot for ruleOwre blate to seekowre proud to snoolLet him draw near;And owre this grassy heap sing doolAnd drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic songWhonotelesssteals the crowds amongThat weekly this area throngOpass not by!Butwith a frater-feeling strongHereheave a sigh.
Is there a manwhose judgment clearCan others teach the course to steerYet runshimselflife's mad careerWild as the waveHere pause-andthro' the starting tearSurvey this grave.
The poor inhabitant belowWas quick to learn the wise to knowAnd keenly felt the friendly glowAnd softer flame;But thoughtless follies laid him lowAnd stain'd his name!
Readerattend! whether thy soulSoars fancy's flights beyond the poleOr darkling grubs this earthly holeIn low pursuit:Knowprudentcautiousself-controlIs wisdom's root.
Epitaph For Robert AikenEsq.
Know thouO stranger to the fameOf this much lov'dmuch honoured name!(For none that knew him need be told)A warmer heart death ne'er made cold.
Epitaph For Gavin HamiltonEsq.
The poor man weeps-here Gavin sleepsWhom canting wretches blam'd;But with such as hewhere'er he beMay I be sav'd or damn'd!
Epitaph On "Wee Johnie"
     Hic Jacet wee Johnie.
Whoe'er thou artO readerknowThat Death has murder'd Johnie;An' here his body lies fu' low;For saul he ne'er had ony.
The Lass O' Ballochmyle
     tune-"Ettrick Banks."
'Twas even-the dewy fields were greenOn every blade the pearls hang;The zephyr wanton'd round the beanAnd bore its fragrant sweets alang:In ev'ry glen the mavis sangAll nature list'ning seem'd the whileExcept where greenwood echoes rangAmang the braes o' Ballochmyle.
With careless step I onward stray'dMy heart rejoic'd in nature's joyWhenmusing in a lonely gladeA maiden fair I chanc'd to spy:Her look was like the morning's eyeHer air like nature's vernal smile:Perfection whisper'dpassing byBehold the lass o' Ballochmyle!
Fair is the morn in flowery MayAnd sweet is night in autumn mild;When roving thro' the garden gayOr wand'ring in the lonely wild:But womannature's darling child!There all her charms she does compile;Even there her other works are foil'dBy the bonie lass o' Ballochmyle.
Ohad she been a country maidAnd I the happy country swainTho' shelter'd in the lowest shedThat ever rose on Scotland's plain!Thro' weary winter's wind and rainWith joywith raptureI would toil;And nightly to my bosom strainThe bonie lass o' Ballochmyle.
Then pride might climb the slipp'ry steepWhere frame and honours lofty shine;And thirst of gold might tempt the deepOr downward seek the Indian mine:Give me the cot below the pineTo tend the flocks or till the soil;And ev'ry day have joys divineWith the bonie lass o' Ballochmyle.
Lines To An Old Sweetheart
Once fondly lov'dand still remember'd dearSweet early object of my youthful vowsAccept this mark of friendshipwarmsincereFriendship! 'tis all cold duty now allows.And when you read the simple artless rhymesOne friendly sigh for him-he asks no moreWhodistantburns in flaming torrid climesOr haply lies beneath th' Atlantic roar.
Motto Prefixed To The Author's First Publication
The simple Bardunbroke by rules of artHe pours the wild effusions of the heart;And if inspir'd 'tis Nature's pow'rs inspire;Her's all the melting thrilland her's the kindling fire.
Lines To Mr. John Kennedy
Farewelldear friend! may guid luck hit youAnd 'mang her favourites admit you:If e'er Detraction shore to smit youMay nane believe himAnd ony deil that thinks to get youGood Lorddeceive him!
Lines Written On A Banknote
Wae worth thy powerthou cursed leaf!Fell source o' a' my woe and grief!For lack o' thee I've lost my lass!For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass!I see the children of afflictionUnaidedthrough thy curst restriction:I've seen the oppressor's cruel smileAmid his hapless victim's spoil;And for thy potence vainly wishedTo crush the villain in the dust:For lack o' theeI leave this much-lov'd shoreNeverperhapsto greet old Scotland more.
Stanzas On Naething
     Extempore Epistle to Gavin HamiltonEsq.
To yousirthis summons I've sentPraywhip till the pownie is freathing;But if you demand what I wantI honestly answer you-naething.
Ne'er scorn a poor Poet like meFor idly just living and breathingWhile people of every degreeAre busy employed about-naething.
Poor Centum-per-centum may fastAnd grumble his hurdies their claithingHe'll findwhen the balance is castHe's gane to the devil for-naething.
The courtier cringes and bowsAmbition has likewise its plaything;A coronet beams on his brows;And what is a coronet-naething.
Some quarrel the Presbyter gownSome quarrel Episcopal graithing;But every good fellow will ownTheir quarrel is a' about-naething.
The lover may sparkle and glowApproaching his bonie bit gay thing:But marriage will soon let him knowHe's gotten-a buskit up naething.
The Poet may jingle and rhymeIn hopes of a laureate wreathingAnd when he has wasted his timeHe's kindly rewarded wi'-naething.
The thundering bully may rageAnd swagger and swear like a heathen;But collar him fastI'll engageYou'll find that his courage is-naething.
Last night wi' a feminine whig-A Poet she couldna put faith in;But soon we grew lovingly bigI taught herher terrors were naething.
Her whigship was wonderful pleasedBut charmingly tickled wi' ae thingHer fingers I lovingly squeezedAnd kissed herand promised her-naething.
The priest anathemas may threat-Predicamentsirthat we're baith in;But when honour's reveille is beatThe holy artillery's naething.
And now I must mount on the wave-My voyage perhaps there is death in;But what is a watery grave?The drowning a Poet is naething.
And nowas grim death's in my thoughtTo yousirI make this bequeathing;My service as long as ye've oughtAnd my friendshipby Godwhen ye've naething.
The Farewell
The valiantin himselfwhat can he suffer?Or what does he regard his single woes?But whenalas! he multiplies himselfTo dearer servesto the lov'd tender fairTo those whose blisswhose beings hang upon himTo helpless children-thenOh thenhe feelsThe point of misery festering in his heartAnd weakly weeps his fortunes like a coward:Suchsuch am I!-undone!
Thomson's Edward and Eleanora.
Farewellold Scotia's bleak domainsFar dearer than the torrid plainsWhere rich ananas blow!Farewella mother's blessing dear!A borther's sigh! a sister's tear!My Jean's heart-rending throe!Farewellmy Bess! tho' thou'rt bereftOf my paternal care.A faithful brother I have leftMy part in him thou'lt share!Adieutooto you tooMy Smithmy bosom frien';When kindly you mind meO then befriend my Jean!
What bursting anguish tears my heart;From theemy Jeanymust I part!Thouweepingansw'rest-"No!"Alas! misfortune stares my faceAnd points to ruin and disgraceI for thy sake must go!TheeHamiltonand Aiken dearA gratefulwarm adieu:Iwith a much-indebted tearShall still remember you!All hail thenthe gale thenWafts me from theedear shore!It rustlesand whistlesI'll never see thee more!
The Calf
     To the Rev. James Stevenon his textMalachich. iv. vers. 2. "And yeshall go forthand grow upas Calves of the stall."
Rightsir! your text I'll prove it trueTho' heretics may laugh;For instancethere's yourself just nowGod knowsan unco calf.
And should some patron be so kindAs bless you wi' a kirkI doubt nasir but then we'll findYe're still as great a stirk.
Butif the lover's raptur'd hourShall ever be your lotForbid itev'ry heavenly PowerYou e'er should be a stot!
Tho' when some kind connubial dearYour but-and-ben adornsThe like has been that you may wearA noble head of horns.
Andin your lugmost reverend JamesTo hear you roar and rowtFew men o' sense will doubt your claimsTo rank amang the nowt.
And when ye're number'd wi' the deadBelow a grassy hillockWith justice they may mark your head-Here lies a famous bullock!
Nature's Law-A Poem
     Humbly inscribed to Gavin HamiltonEsq.
     Great Nature spoke: observant man obey'd-Pope.
Let other heroes boast their scarsThe marks of sturt and strife:And other poets sing of warsThe plagues of human life:
Shame fa' the funwi' sword and gunTo slap mankind like lumber!I sing his nameand nobler fameWha multiplies our number.
Great Nature spokewith air benignGo on, ye human race;
This lower world I you resign;
Be fruitful and increase.
The liquid fire of strong desire
I've pour'd it in each bosom;
Here, on this had, does Mankind stand,
And there is Beauty's blossom.
The Hero of these artless strainsA lowly bard was heWho sung his rhymes in Coila's plainsWith meikle mirth an'glee;Kind Nature's care had given his shareLargeof the flaming current;Andall devouthe never soughtTo stem the sacred torrent.
He felt the powerfulhigh behestThrillvitalthro' and thro';And sought a correspondent breastTo give obedience due:Propitious Powers screen'd the young flow'rsFrom mildews of abortion;And low! the bard - a great reward -Has got a double portion!
Auld cantie Coil may count the dayAs annual it returnsThe third of Libra's equal swayThat gave another BurnsWith future rhymesan' other timesTo emulate his sire:To sing auld Coil in nobler styleWith more poetic fire.
Ye Powers of peaceand peaceful songLook down with gracious eyes;And bless auld Coilalarge and longWith multiplying joys;Lang may she stand to prop the landThe flow'r of ancient nations;And Burnses springher fame to singTo endless generations!
song-Willie Chalmers
     Mr. Chalmersa gentleman in Ayrshirea particular friend of mineaskedme to write a poetic epistle to a young ladyhis Dulcinea. I had seen herbut was scarcely acquainted with herand wrote as follows:-
Wi' braw new branks in mickle prideAnd eke a braw new brechanMy Pegasus I'm got astrideAnd up Parnassus pechin;Whiles owre a bush wi' donwward crushThe doited beastie stammers;Then up he getsand off he setsFor sake o' Willie Chalmers.
I doubt nalassthat weel ken'd nameMay cost a pair o' blushes;I am nae stranger to your fameNor his warm urged wishes.Your bonie face sae mild and sweetHis honest heart enamoursAnd faith ye'll no be lost a whitTho' wair'd on Willie Chalmers.
Auld Truth hersel' might swear yer'e fairAnd Honour safely back her;And Modesty assume your airAnd ne'er a ane mistak her:And sic twa love-inspiring eenMight fire even holy palmers;Nae wonder then they've fatal beenTo honest Willie Chalmers.
I doubt na fortune may you shoreSome mim-mou'd pouther'd priestieFu' lifted up wi' Hebrew loreAnd band upon his breastie:But oh! what signifies to youHis lexicons and grammars;The feeling heart's the royal blueAnd that's wi' Willie Chalmers.
Some gapin'glowrin' countra lairdMay warsle for your favour;May claw his lugand straik his beardAnd hoast up some palaver:My bonie maidbefore ye wedSic clumsy-witted hammersSeek Heaven for helpand barefit skelpAwa wi' Willie Chalmers.
Forgive the Bard! my fond regardFor ane that shares my bosomInspires my Muse to gie 'm his duesFor deil a hair I roose him.May powers aboon unite you soonAnd fructify your amours-And every year come in mair dearTo you and Willie Chalmers.
Reply To A Trimming Epistle Received From A Tailor
What ails ye nowye lousie bitchTo thresh my back at sic a pitch?Loshman! hae mercy wi' your natchYour bodkin's bauld;I didna suffer half sae muchFrae Daddie Auld.
What tho' at timeswhen I grow crouseI gie their wames a random pouseIs that enough for you to souseYour servant sae?Gae mind your seamye prick-the-louseAn' jag-the-flea!
King Davido' poetic briefWrocht 'mang the lasses sic mischiefAs filled his after-life wi' griefAn' bluidy rantsAn' yet he's rank'd amang the chiefO' lang-syne saunts.
And maybeTamfor a' my cantsMy wicked rhymesan' drucken rantsI'll gie auld cloven's Clootie's hauntsAn unco slip yetAn' snugly sit amang the sauntsAt Davie's hip yet!
Butfegs! the session says I maunGae fa' upo' anither planThan garrin lasses coup the cranClean heels ower bodyAn' sairly thole their mother's banAfore the howdy.
This leads me on to tell for sportHow I did wi' the Session sort;Auld Clinkumat the inner portCried three timesRobin!
Come hither lad, and answer for't,
Ye're blam'd for jobbin!
Wi' pinch I put a Sunday's face onAn' snoov'd awa before the Session:I made an openfair confession-I scorn't to leeAn' syne Mess Johnbeyond expressionFell foul o' me.
A fornicator-loun he call'd meAn' said my faut frae bliss expell'd me;I own'd the tale was true he tell'd meBut, what the matter?
(Quo' I) I fear unless ye geld me,
I'll ne'er be better!
"Geld you! (quo' he) an' what for no?If that your right handleg or toeShould ever prove your sp'ritual foeYou should rememberTo cut it aff-an' what for noYour dearest member?"
"Nana(quo' I) I'm no for thatGelding's nae better than 'tis ca't;I'd rather suffer for my fautA hearty flewitAs sair owre hip as ye can draw'tTho' I should rue it.
"Orgin ye like to end the botherTo please us a'-I've just ae ither-When next wi' yon lass I forgatherWhate'er betide itI'll frankly gie her 't a' thegitherAn' let her guide it."
Butsirthis pleas'd them warst of a'An' thereforeTamwhen that I sawI said "Gude night an' cam' awa',
An' left the Session;
I saw they were resolved a'
On my oppression.
The Brigs Of Ayr
A Poem
     Inscribed to John Ballantine, Esq., Ayr.
The simple Bard, rough at the rustic plough,
Learning his tuneful trade from ev'ry bough;
The chanting linnet, or the mellow thrush,
Hailing the setting sun, sweet, in the green thorn bush;
The soaring lark, the perching red-breast shrill,
Or deep-ton'd plovers grey, wild-whistling o'er the hill;
Shall he-nurst in the peasant's lowly shed,
To hardy independence bravely bred,
By early poverty to hardship steel'd.
And train'd to arms in stern Misfortune's field-
Shall he be guilty of their hireling crimes,
The servile, mercenary Swiss of rhymes?
Or labour hard the panegyric close,
With all the venal soul of dedicating prose?
No! though his artless strains he rudely sings,
And throws his hand uncouthly o'er the strings,
He glows with all the spirit of the Bard,
Fame, honest fame, his great, his dear reward.
Still, if some patron's gen'rous care he trace,
Skill'd in the secret, to bestow with grace;
When Ballantine befriends his humble name,
And hands the rustic stranger up to fame,
With heartfelt throes his grateful bosom swells,
The godlike bliss, to give, alone excels.
'Twas when the stacks get on their winter hap,
And thack and rape secure the toil-won crap;
Potatoe-bings are snugged up frae skaith
O' coming Winter's biting, frosty breath;
The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer toils,
Unnumber'd buds an' flow'rs' delicious spoils,
Seal'd up with frugal care in massive waxen piles,
Are doom'd by Man, that tyrant o'er the weak,
The death o' devils, smoor'd wi' brimstone reek:
The thundering guns are heard on ev'ry side,
The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide;
The feather'd field-mates, bound by Nature's tie,
Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie:
(What warm, poetic heart but inly bleeds,
And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds!)
Nae mair the flow'r in field or meadow springs,
Nae mair the grove with airy concert rings,
Except perhaps the Robin's whistling glee,
Proud o' the height o' some bit half-lang tree:
The hoary morns precede the sunny days,
Mild, calm, serene, wide spreads the noontide blaze,
While thick the gosamour waves wanton in the rays.
'Twas in that season, when a simple Bard,
Unknown and poor-simplicity's reward!-
Ae night, within the ancient brugh of Ayr,
By whim inspir'd, or haply prest wi' care,
He left his bed, and took his wayward route,
And down by Simpson's^1 wheel'd the left about:
(Whether impell'd by all-directing Fate,
To witness what I after shall narrate;
Or whether, rapt in meditation high,
He wander'd out, he knew not where or why:)
The drowsy Dungeon-clock^2 had number'd two,
and Wallace Tower^2 had sworn the fact was true:
The tide-swoln firth, with sullen-sounding roar,
Through the still night dash'd hoarse along the shore.
All else was hush'd as Nature's closed e'e;
The silent moon shone high o'er tower and tree;
The chilly frost, beneath the silver beam,
Crept, gently-crusting, o'er the glittering stream-
When, lo! on either hand the list'ning Bard,
The clanging sugh of whistling wings is heard;
Two dusky forms dart through the midnight air;
Swift as the gos^3 drives on the wheeling hare;
Ane on th' Auld Brig his airy shape uprears,
The other flutters o'er the rising piers:
Our warlock Rhymer instantly dexcried
The Sprites that owre the Brigs of Ayr preside.
(That Bards are second-sighted is nae joke,
And ken the lingo of the sp'ritual folk;
Fays, Spunkies, Kelpies, a', they can explain them,
And even the very deils they brawly ken them).
Auld Brig appear'd of ancient Pictish race,
The very wrinkles Gothic in his face;
He seem'd as he wi' Time had warstl'd lang,
Yet, teughly doure, he bade an unco bang.
[Footnote 1: A noted tavern at the Auld Brig end.-R. B.]
[Footnote 2: The two steeples.-R. B.]
[Footnote 3: The Gos-hawk, or Falcon.-R. B.]
New Brig was buskit in a braw new coat,
That he, at Lon'on, frae ane Adams got;
In 's hand five taper staves as smooth 's a bead,
Wi' virls and whirlygigums at the head.
The Goth was stalking round with anxious search,
Spying the time-worn flaws in every arch;
It chanc'd his new-come neibor took his e'e,
And e'en a vexed and angry heart had he!
Wi' thieveless sneer to see his modish mien,
He, down the water, gies him this guid-e'en:-
Auld Brig
I doubt nafrien'ye'll think ye're nae sheepshankAnce ye were streekit owre frae bank to bank!But gin ye be a brig as auld as me-Tho' faiththat dateI doubtye'll never see-There'll beif that day comeI'll wad a boddleSome fewer whigmaleeries in your noddle."
New Brig
"Auld Vandal! ye but show your little menseJust much about it wi' your scanty sense:Will your poornarrow foot-path of a streetWhere twa wheel-barrows tremble when they meetYour ruin'dformless bulk o' stane and limeCompare wi' bonie brigs o' modern time?There's men of taste wou'd tak the Ducat stream^4Tho' they should cast the very sark and swimE'er they would grate their feelings wi' the viewO' sic an uglyGothic hulk as you."
Auld Brig
"Conceited gowk! puff'd up wi' windy pride!This mony a year I've stood the flood an' tide;And tho' wi' crazy eild I'm sair forfairnI'll be a brig when ye're a shapeless cairn!As yet ye little ken about the matterBut twa-three winters will inform ye better.When heavydarkcontinueda'-day rains
[Footnote 4: A noted fordjust above the Auld Brig.-R. B.]
Wi' deepening deluges o'erflow the plains;When from the hills where springs the brawling CoilOr stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil;Or where the Greenock winds his moorland course.Or haunted Garpal draws his feeble sourceAroused by blustering winds an' spotting thowesIn mony a torrent down the snaw-broo rowes;While crashing iceborne on the rolling spateSweeps damsan' millsan' brigsa' to the gate;And from Glenbuck^5 down to the Ratton-key^6Auld Ayr is just one lengthen'dtumbling sea-Then down ye'll hurl(deil nor ye never rise!)And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring skies!A lesson sadly teachingto your costThat Architecture's noble art is lost!"
New Brig
"Fine architecturetrowthI needs must say't o'tThe Lord be thankit that we've tint the gate o't!Gauntghastlyghaist-alluring edificesHanging with threat'ning jutlike precipices;O'er-archingmouldygloom-inspiring covesSupporting roofsfantasticstony groves;Windows and doors in nameless sculptures drestWith ordersymmetryor taste unblest;Forms like some bedlam Statuary's dreamThe craz'd creations of misguided whim;Forms might be worshipp'd on the bended kneeAnd still the second dread command be free;Their likeness is not found on earthin airor sea!Mansions that would disgrace the building tasteOf any mason reptilebird or beast:Fit only for a doited monkish raceOr frosty maids forsworn the dear embraceOr cuifs of later timeswha held the notionThat sullen gloom was sterlingtrue devotion:Fancies that our guid Brugh denies protectionAnd soon may they expireunblest wi' resurrection!"
[Footnote 5: The source of the River Ayr.-R. B.]
[Footnote 6: A small landing place above the large quay.-R. B.]
Auld Brig
"O yemy dear-remember'dancient yealingsWere ye but here to share my wounded feelings!Ye worthy Provesesan' mony a BailieWha in the paths o' righteousness did toil aye;Ye dainty Deaconsand ye douce ConvenersTo whom our moderns are but causey-cleanersYe godly Councilswha hae blest this town;ye godly Brethren o' the sacred gownWha meekly gie your hurdies to the smiters;And (what would now be strange)ye godly Writers;A' ye douce folk I've borne aboon the brooWere ye but herewhat would ye say or do?How would your spirits groan in deep vexationTo see each melancholy alteration;Andagonisingcurse the time and placeWhen ye begat the base degen'rate race!Nae langer rev'rend mentheir country's gloryIn plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid story;Nae langer thrifty citizensan' douceMeet owre a pintor in the Council-house;But staumrelcorky-headedgraceless GentryThe herryment and ruin of the country;Menthree-parts made by tailors and by barbersWha waste your weel-hain'd gear on damn'd new brigs and harbours!"
New Brig
"Now haud you there! for faith ye've said enoughAnd muckle mair than ye can mak to through.As for your PriesthoodI shall say but littleCorbies and Clergy are a shot right kittle:Butunder favour o' your langer beardAbuse o' Magistrates might weel be spar'd;To liken them to your auld-warld squadI must needs saycomparisons are odd.In Ayrwag-wits nae mair can hae a handleTo mouth 'a Citizen' a term o' scandal;Nae mair the Council waddles down the streetIn all the pomp of ignorant conceit;Men wha grew wise priggin owre hops and raisinsOr gather'd lib'ral views in Bonds and Seisins:If haply Knowledgeon a random trampHad shor'd them with a glimmer of his lampAnd would to Common-sense for once betray'd themPlaindull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid them."
What farther clish-ma-claver aight been saidWhat bloody warsif Sprites had blood to shedNo man can tell; butall before their sightA fairy train appear'd in order bright;Adown the glittering stream they featly danc'd;Bright to the moon their various dresses glanc'd:They footed o'er the wat'ry glass so neatThe infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet:While arts of Minstrelsy among them rungAnd soul-ennobling Bards heroic ditties sung.
O had M'Lauchlan^7 thairm-inspiring sageBeen there to hear this heavenly band engageWhen thro' his dear strathspeys they bore with Highland rage;Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airsThe lover's raptured joys or bleeding cares;How would his Highland lug been nobler fir'dAnd ev'n his matchless hand with finer touch inspir'd!No guess could tell what instrument appear'dBut all the soul of Music's self was heard;Harmonious concert rung in every partWhile simple melody pour'd moving on the heart.The Genius of the Stream in front appearsA venerable Chief advanc'd in years;His hoary head with water-lilies crown'dHis manly leg with garter-tangle bound.Next came the loveliest pair in all the ringSweet female Beauty hand in hand with Spring;Thencrown'd with flow'ry haycame Rural JoyAnd Summerwith his fervid-beaming eye;
[Footnote 7: A well-known performer of Scottish music on the violin.-R. B.]
All-cheering Plentywith her flowing hornLed yellow Autumn wreath'd with nodding corn;Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary showBy Hospitality with cloudless brow:Next followed Courage with his martial strideFrom where the Feal wild-woody coverts hide;^8Benevolencewith mildbenignant airA female formcame from the tow'rs of Stair;^9Learning and Worth in equal measures trodeFrom simple Catrinetheir long-lov'd abode:^10Lastwhite-rob'd Peacecrown'd with a hazel wreathTo rustic Agriculture did bequeathThe brokeniron instruments of death:At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling wrath.
Fragment Of Song
The night was stilland o'er the hillThe moon shone on the castle wa';The mavis sangwhile dew-drops hangAround her on the castle wa';Sae merrily they danced the ringFrae eenin' till the cock did craw;And aye the o'erword o' the springWas "Irvine's bairns are bonie a'."
Epigram On Rough Roads
I'm now arrived-thanks to the gods!-Thro' pathways rough and muddyA certain sign that makin roadsIs no this people's study:Altho' Im not wi' Scripture cram'dI'm sure the Bible saysThat heedless sinners shall be damn'dUnless they mend their ways.
[Footnote 8: A compliment to the Montgomeries of Coilsfieldon the Feal orFailea tributary of the Ayr.]
[Footnote 9: Mrs. Stewart of Stairan early patroness of the poet.]
[Footnote 10: The house of Professor Dugald Stewart.]
Prayer-O Thou Dread Power
     Lying at a reverend friend's house one nightthe author left thefollowing verses in the room where he slept:-
O Thou dread Powerwho reign'st aboveI know thou wilt me hearWhen for this scene of peace and loveI make this prayer sincere.
The hoary Sire-the mortal strokeLonglong be pleas'd to spare;To bless this little filial flockAnd show what good men are.
Shewho her lovely offspring eyesWith tender hopes and fearsO bless her with a mother's joysBut spare a mother's tears!
Their hopetheir staytheir darling youth.In manhood's dawning blushBless himThou God of love and truthUp to a parent's wish.
The beauteousseraph sister-band-With earnest tears I pray-Thou know'st the snares on ev'ry handGuide Thou their steps alway.
Whensoon or latethey reach that coastO'er Life's rough ocean drivenMay they rejoiceno wand'rer lostA family in Heaven!
Farewell Song To The Banks Of Ayr
     tune-"Roslin Castle."
     "I composed this song as I conveyed my chest so far on my road toGreenockwhere I was to embark in a few days for Jamaica. I meant it as myfarewell dirge to my native land."-R. B.
The gloomy night is gath'ring fastLoud roars the wildinconstant blastYon murky cloud is foul with rainI see it driving o'er the plain;The hunter now has left the moor.The scatt'red coveys meet secure;While here I wanderprest with careAlong the lonely banks of Ayr.
The Autumn mourns her rip'ning cornBy early Winter's ravage torn;Across her placidazure skyShe sees the scowling tempest fly:Chill runs my blood to hear it rave;I think upon the stormy waveWhere many a danger I must dareFar from the bonie banks of Ayr.
'Tis not the surging billow's roar'Tis not that fataldeadly shore;Tho' death in ev'ry shape appearThe wretched have no more to fear:But round my heart the ties are boundThat heart transpierc'd with many a wound;These bleed afreshthose ties I tearTo leave the bonie banks of Ayr.
Farewellold Coila's hills and dalesHer healthy moors and winding vales;The scenes where wretched Fancy rovesPursuing pastunhappy loves!Farewellmy friends! farewellmy foes!My peace with thesemy love with those:The bursting tears my heart declare-Farewellthe bonie banks of Ayr!
Address To The Toothache
My curse upon your venom'd stangThat shoots my tortur'd gums alangAn' thro' my lug gies mony a twangWi' gnawing vengeanceTearing my nerves wi' bitter pangLike racking engines!
When fevers burnor argues freezesRheumatics gnawor colics squeezesOur neibor's sympathy can ease usWi' pitying moan;But thee-thou hell o' a' diseases-Aye mocks our groan.
Adown my beard the slavers trickleI throw the wee stools o'er the mickleWhile round the fire the giglets keckleTo see me loupWhileraving madI wish a heckleWere in their doup!
In a' the numerous human doolsIll hairstsdaft bargainscutty stoolsOr worthy frien's rak'd i' the mools-Sad sight to see!The tricks o' knavesor fash o'foolsThou bear'st the gree!
Where'er that place be priests ca' hellWhere a' the tones o' misery yellAn' ranked plagues their numbers tellIn dreadfu' rawThouToothachesurely bear'st the bellAmang them a'!
O thou grimmischief-making chielThat gars the notes o' discord squeelTill daft mankind aft dance a reelIn gorea shoe-thickGie a' the faes o' Scotland's wealA townmond's toothache!
Lines On Meeting With Lord Daer^1
This wot ye all whom it concernsIRhymer Robinalias BurnsOctober twenty-third
[Footnote 1: At the house of Professor Dugald Stewart.]
A ne'er-to-be-forgotten daySae far I sprackl'd up the braeI dinner'd wi' a Lord.
I've been at drucken writers' feastsNaybeen bitch-fou 'mang godly priests-Wi' rev'rence be it spoken!-I've even join'd the honour'd jorumWhen mighty Squireships of the quorumTheir hydra drouth did sloken.
But wi' a Lord!-stand out my shinA Lord-a Peer-an Earl's son!Up higher yetmy bonnetAn' sic a Lord!-lang Scoth ells twaOur Peerage he o'erlooks them a'As I look o'er my sonnet.
But O for Hogarth's magic pow'r!To show Sir Bardie's willyart glow'rAn' how he star'd and stammer'dWhengoavinas if led wi' branksAn' stumpin on his ploughman shanksHe in the parlour hammer'd.
I sidying shelter'd in a nookAn' at his Lordship steal't a lookLike some portentous omen;Except good sense and social gleeAn' (what surpris'd me) modestyI marked nought uncommon.
I watch'd the symptoms o' the GreatThe gentle pridethe lordly stateThe arrogant assuming;The fient a pridenae pride had heNor saucenor statethat I could seeMair than an honest ploughman.
Then from his Lordship I shall learnHenceforth to meet with unconcernOne rank as weel's another;Nae honestworthy man need careTo meet with noble youthful DaerFor he but meets a brother.
Masonic Song
     tune-"Shawn-boy or Over the water to Charlie."
Ye sons of old Killieassembled by WillieTo follow the noble vocation;Your thrifty old mother has scarce such anotherTo sit in that honoured station.I've little to saybut only to prayAs praying's the ton of your fashion;A prayer from thee Muse you well may excuse'Tis seldom her favourite passion.
Ye powers who preside o'er the windand the tideWho marked each element's border;Who formed this frame with beneficent aimWhose sovereign statute is order:-Within this dear mansionmay wayward ContentionOr withered Envy ne'er enter;May secrecy round be the mystical boundAnd brotherly Love be the centre!
Tam Samson's Elegy
     An honest man's the noblest work of God-Pope.
     When this worthy old sportman went outlast muirfowl seasonhesupposed it was to bein Ossian's phrasethe last of his fields,andexpressed an ardent wish to die and be buried in the muirs. On this hint theauthor composed his elegy and epitaph.-R.B.1787.
Has auld Kilmarnock seen the deil?Or great Mackinlay^1 thrawn his heel?Or Robertson^2 again grown weelTo preach an' read?Na' waur than a'! cries ilka chiel,
Tam Samson's dead!"
[Footnote 1: A certain preachera great favourite with the million. Vide "TheOrdination." stanza ii.-R. B.]
[Footnote 2: Another preacheran equal favourite with the fewwho was atthat time ailing. For him see also "The Ordination stanza ix.-R.B.]
Kilmarnock lang may grunt an' grane,
An' sigh, an' sab, an' greet her lane,
An' cleed her bairns, man, wife, an' wean,
In mourning weed;
To Death she's dearly pay'd the kane-
Tam Samson's dead!
The Brethren, o' the mystic level
May hing their head in woefu' bevel,
While by their nose the tears will revel,
Like ony bead;
Death's gien the Lodge an unco devel;
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!
When Winter muffles up his cloak,
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 o' 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-ken'd for souple tail,
And geds for greed,
Since, dark in Death's fish-creel, we wail
Tam Samson's dead!
Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a';
Ye cootie muircocks, crousely craw;
Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw
Withouten dread;
Your mortal fae is now awa;
Tam Samson's dead!
That woefu' morn be ever mourn'd,
Saw him in shooting graith adorn'd,
While pointers round impatient burn'd,
Frae couples free'd;
But och! he gaed and ne'er return'd!
Tam Samson's dead!
In vain auld age his body batters,
In vain the gout his ancles fetters,
In vain the burns cam down like waters,
An acre braid!
Now ev'ry auld wife, greetin, clatters
Tam Samson's dead!"
Owre mony a weary hag he limpitAn' aye the tither shot he thumpitTill coward Death behind him jumpitWi' deadly feid;Now he proclaims wi' tout o' trumpetTam Samson's dead!
When at his heart he felt the daggerHe reel'd his wonted bottle-swaggerBut yet he drew the mortal triggerWi' weel-aimed heed;Lord, five!he cry'dan' owre did stagger-Tam Samson's dead!
Ilk hoary hunter mourn'd a brither;Ilk sportsman youth bemoan'd a father;Yon auld gray staneamang the heatherMarks out his head;Whare Burns has wrotein rhyming bletherTam Samson's dead!
Therelow he liesin lasting rest;Perhaps upon his mould'ring breastSome spitefu' muirfowl bigs her nestTo hatch an' breed:Alas! nae mair he'll them molest!Tam Samson's dead!
When August winds the heather waveAnd sportsmen wander by yon graveThree volleys let his memory craveO' pouther an' leadTill Echo answer frae her caveTam Samson's dead!
Heav'n rest his saul whare'er he be!Is th' wish o' mony mae than me:He had twa fautsor maybe threeYet what remead?Ae socialhonest man want we:Tam Samson's dead!
The Epitaph
Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here liesYe canting zealotsspare him!If honest worth in Heaven riseYe'll mend or ye win near him.
Per Contra
GoFamean' canter like a fillyThro' a' the streets an' neuks o' Killie;^3Tell ev'ry social honest billieTo cease his grievin';Foryet unskaithed by Death's gleg gullie.Tam Samson's leevin'!
Epistle To Major Logan
Hailthairm-inspirin'rattlin' Willie!Tho' fortune's road be rough an' hillyTo every fiddlingrhyming billieWe never heedBut take it like the unback'd fillyProud o' her speed.
[Footnote 3: Kilmarnock.-R. B.]
Whenidly goavin'whiles we saunterYirr! fancy barksawa we canterUp hilldown braetill some mischanterSome black bog-holeArrests us; then the scathe an' banterWe're forced to thole.
Hale be your heart! hale be your fiddle!Lang may your elbuck jink and diddleTo cheer you through the weary widdleO' this wild warl'.Until you on a crummock driddleA grey hair'd carl.
Come wealthcome poortithlate or soonHeaven send your heart-strings aye in tuneAnd screw your temper-pins aboonA fifth or mairThe melancholiouslazy croonO' cankrie care.
May still your life from day to dayNae "lente largo" in the playBut "allegretto forte" gayHarmonious flowA sweepingkindlingbauld strathspey-Encore! Bravo!
A blessing on the cheery gangWha dearly like a jig or sangAn' never think o' right an' wrangBy square an' ruleButas the clegs o' feeling stangAre wise or fool.
My hand-waled curse keep hard in chaseThe harpyhoodockpurse-proud raceWha count on poortith as disgrace;Their tuneless heartsMay fireside discords jar a baseTo a' their parts.
But comeyour handmy careless britherI' th' ither warl'if there's anitherAn' that there isI've little switherAbout the matter;Wecheek for chowshall jog thegitherI'se ne'er bid better.
We've faults and failings-granted clearlyWe're frail backsliding mortals merelyEve's bonie squadpriests wyte them sheerlyFor our grand fa';But stillbut stillI like them dearly-God bless them a'!
Ochone for poor Castalian drinkersWhen they fa' foul o' earthly jinkers!The witchingcurs'ddelicious blinkersHae put me hyteAnd gart me weet my waukrife winkersWi' girnin'spite.
By by yon moon!-and that's high swearin-An' every star within my hearin!An' by her een wha was a dear ane!I'll ne'er forget;I hope to gie the jads a clearinIn fair play yet.
My loss I mournbut not repent it;I'll seek my pursie whare I tint it;Ance to the Indies I were wontedSome cantraip hourBy some sweet elf I'll yet be dinted;Then vive l'amour!
Faites mes baissemains respectueusesTo sentimental sister SusieAnd honest Lucky; no to roose youYe may be proudThat sic a couple Fate allows yeTo grace your blood.
Nae mair at present can I measureAn' trowth my rhymin ware's nae treasure;But when in Ayrsome half-hour's leisureBe't lightbe't darkSir Bard will do himself the pleasureTo call at Park.
Robert Burns.Mossgiel30th October1786.
Fragment On Sensibility
Rusticity's ungainly formMay cloud the highest mind;But when the heart is nobly warmThe good excuse will find.
Propriety's coldcautious rulesWarm fervour may o'erlook:But spare poor sensibilityTh' ungentleharsh rebuke.
A Winter Night
Poor naked wretcheswheresoe'er you areThat bide the pelting of this pitiless storm!How shall your houseless headsand unfed sidesYour loop'd and window'd raggednessdefend youFrom seasons such as these?-Shakespeare.
When biting Boreasfell and dourSharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'rFar south the liftDim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'rOr whirling drift:
Ae night the storm the steeples rockedPoor Labour sweet in sleep was lockedWhile burnswi' snawy wreaths up-chokedWild-eddying swirl;Orthro' the mining outlet bockedDown headlong hurl:
List'ning the doors an' winnocks rattleI thought me on the ourie cattleOr silly sheepwha bide this brattleO' winter warAnd thro' the driftdeep-lairingsprattleBeneath a scar.
Ilk happing bird-weehelpless thing!Thatin the merry months o' springDelighted me to hear thee singWhat comes o' thee?Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wingAn' close thy e'e?
Ev'n youon murdering errands toil'dLone from your savage homes exil'dThe blood-stain'd roostand sheep-cote spoil'dMy heart forgetsWhile pityless the tempest wildSore on you beats!
Now Phoebe in her midnight reignDark-muff'dview'd the dreary plain;Still crowding thoughtsa pensive trainRose in my soulWhen on my ear this plantive strainSlowsolemnstole:-
"Blowblowye windswith heavier gust!And freezethou bitter-biting frost!Descendye chillysmothering snows!Not all your rageas now unitedshowsMore hard unkindness unrelentingVengeful malice unrepenting.Than heaven-illumin'd Man on brother Man bestows!
"See stern Oppression's iron gripOr mad Ambition's gory handSendinglike blood-hounds from the slipWoeWantand Murder o'er a land!Ev'n in the peaceful rural valeTruthweepingtells the mournful taleHow pamper'd LuxuryFlatt'ry by her sideThe parasite empoisoning her earWith all the servile wretches in the rearLooks o'er proud Propertyextended wide;And eyes the simplerustic hindWhose toil upholds the glitt'ring show-A creature of another kindSome coarser substanceunrefin'd-Plac'd for her lordly use thus farthus vilebelow!
"Wherewhere is Love's fondtender throeWith lordly Honour's lofty browThe pow'rs you proudly own?Is therebeneath Love's noble nameCan harbourdarkthe selfish aimTo bless himself alone?Mark maiden-innocence a preyTo love-pretending snares:This boasted Honour turns awayShunning soft Pity's rising swayRegardless of the tears and unavailing pray'rs!Perhaps this hourin Misery's squalid nestShe strains your infant to her joyless breastAnd with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking blast!
"Oh ye! whosunk in beds of downFeel not a want but what yourselves createThinkfor a momenton his wretched fateWhom friends and fortune quite disown!Ill-satisfy'd keen nature's clamorous callStretch'd on his strawhe lays himself to sleep;While through the ragged roof and chinky wallChillo'er his slumberspiles the drifty heap!Think on the dungeon's grim confineWhere Guilt and poor Misfortune pine!Guilterring manrelenting viewBut shall thy legal rage pursueThe wretchalready crushed lowBy cruel Fortune's undeserved blow?Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;A brother to relievehow exquisite the bliss!"
I heard nae mairfor ChanticleerShook off the pouthery snawAnd hail'd the morning with a cheerA cottage-rousing craw.But deep this truth impress'd my mind-Thro' all His works abroadThe heart benevolent and kindThe most resembles God.
song-Yon Wild Mossy Mountains
Yon wild mossy mountains sae lofty and wideThat nurse in their bosom the youth o' the ClydeWhere the grouse lead their coveys thro' the heather to feedAnd the shepherd tends his flock as he pipes on his reed.
Not Gowrie's rich valleynor Forth's sunny shoresTo me hae the charms o'yon wildmossy moors;For thereby a lanelysequestered streamBesides a sweet lassiemy thought and my dream.
Amang thae wild mountains shall still be my pathIlk stream foaming down its ain greennarrow strath;For therewi' my lassiethe day lang I roveWhile o'er us unheeded flie the swift hours o'love.
She is not the fairestaltho' she is fair;O' nice education but sma' is her share;Her parentage humble as humble can be;But I lo'e the dear lassie because she lo'es me.
To Beauty what man but maun yield him a prizeIn her armour of glancesand blushesand sighs?And when wit and refinement hae polish'd her dartsThey dazzle our eenas they flie to our hearts.
But kindnesssweet kindnessin the fond-sparkling e'eHas lustre outshining the diamond to me;And the heart beating love as I'm clasp'd in her armsOthese are my lassie's all-conquering charms!
Address To Edinburgh
Edina! Scotia's darling seat!All hail thy palaces and tow'rsWhere oncebeneath a Monarch's feetSat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs:From marking wildly scatt'red flow'rsAs on the banks of Ayr I stray'dAnd singinglonethe lingering hoursI shelter in they honour'd shade.
Here Wealth still swells the golden tideAs busy Trade his labours plies;There Architecture's noble prideBids elegance and splendour rise:Here Justicefrom her native skiesHigh wields her balance and her rod;There Learningwith his eagle eyesSeeks Science in her coy abode.
Thy sonsEdinasocialkindWith open arms the stranger hail;Their views enlarg'dtheir liberal mindAbove the narrowrural vale:Attentive still to Sorrow's wailOr modest Merit's silent claim;And never may their sources fail!And never Envy blot their name!
Thy daughters bright thy walks adornGay as the gilded summer skySweet as the dewymilk-white thornDear as the raptur'd thrill of joy!Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eyeHeaven's beauties on my fancy shine;I see the Sire of Love on highAnd own His work indeed divine!
Therewatching high the least alarmsThy roughrude fortress gleams afar;Like some bold veterangrey in armsAnd mark'd with many a seamy scar:The pond'rous wall and massy barGrim-rising o'er the rugged rockHave oft withstood assailing warAnd oft repell'd th' invader's shock.
With awe-struck thoughtand pitying tearsI view that noblestately DomeWhere Scotia's kings of other yearsFam'd heroes! had their royal home:Alashow chang'd the times to come!Their royal name low in the dust!Their hapless race wild-wand'ring roam!Tho' rigid Law cries out 'twas just!
Wild beats my heart to trace your stepsWhose ancestorsin days of yoreThro' hostile ranks and ruin'd gapsOld Scotia's bloody lion bore:Ev'n I who sing in rustic loreHaply my sires have left their shedAnd fac'd grim Danger's loudest roarBold-following where your fathers led!
Edina! Scotia's darling seat!All hail thy palaces and tow'rs;Where oncebeneath a Monarch's feetSat Legislation's sovereign pow'rs:From marking wildly-scatt'red flow'rsAs on the banks of Ayr I stray'dAnd singinglonethe ling'ring hoursI shelter in thy honour'd shade.
Address To A Haggis
Fair fa' your honestsonsie faceGreat chieftain o' the pudding-race!Aboon them a' yet tak your placePainchtripeor thairm:Weel are ye wordy o'a graceAs lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fillYour hurdies like a distant hillYour pin was help to mend a millIn time o'needWhile thro' your pores the dews distilLike amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dightAn' cut you up wi' ready sleightTrenching your gushing entrails brightLike ony ditch;And thenO what a glorious sightWarm-reekin'rich!
Thenhorn for hornthey stretch an' strive:Deil tak the hindmost! on they driveTill a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyveAre bent like drums;Then auld Guidmanmaist like to riveBethankit! hums.
Is there that owre his French ragoutOr olio that wad staw a sowOr fricassee wad make her spewWi' perfect sconnerLooks down wi' sneeringscornfu' viewOn sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trashAs feckles as wither'd rashHis spindle shanka guid whip-lash;His nieve a nit;Thro' blody flood or field to dashO how unfit!
But mark the Rustichaggis-fedThe trembling earth resounds his tread.Clap in his walie nieve a bladeHe'll mak it whissle;An' legs an' armsan' hands will snedLike taps o' trissle.
Ye Pow'rswha mak mankind your careAnd dish them out their bill o' fareAuld Scotland wants nae skinking wareThat jaups in luggies;Butif ye wish her gratefu' prayerGie her a haggis!
To Miss LoganWith Beattie's PoemsFor A New-Year's GiftJan. 11787.
Again the silent wheels of timeTheir annual round have drivenAnd youtho' scarce in maiden primeAre so much nearer Heaven.
No gifts have I from Indian coastsThe infant year to hail;I send you more than India boastsIn Edwin's simple tale.
Our sex with guileand faithless loveIs charg'dperhaps too true;But maydear maideach lover proveAn Edwin still to you.
Mr. William Smellie-A Sketch
Shrewd Willie Smellie to Crochallan came;The old cock'd hatthe grey surtout the same;His bristling beard just rising in its might'Twas four long nights and days to shaving night:His uncomb'd grizzly lockswild staringthatch'dA head for thought profound and clearunmatch'd;Yet tho' his caustic wit was biting-rudeHis heart was warmbenevolentand good.
Rattlin'Roarin' Willie^1
As I cam by CrochallanI cannilie keekit ben;Rattlin'roarin' WillieWas sittin at yon boord-en';Sittin at yon boord-enAnd amang gude companie;Rattlin'roarin' WillieYou're welcome hame to me!
song-Bonie Dundee
My blessin's upon thy sweet wee lippie!My blessin's upon thy e'e-brie!Thy smiles are sae like my blythe sodger laddieThou's aye the dearerand dearer to me!
But I'll big a bow'r on yon bonie banksWhare Tay rins wimplin' by sae clear;An' I'll cleed thee in the tartan sae fineAnd mak thee a man like thy daddie dear.
Extempore In The Court Of Session
Lord Advocate
He clenched his pamphlet in his fistHe quoted and he hintedTillin a declamation-mistHis argument he tint it:He gaped for'the graped for'tHe fand it was awaman;But what his common sense came shortHe eked out wi' lawman.
Mr. Erskine
CollectedHarry stood aweeThen open'd out his armman;
[Footnote 1: William DunbarW. S.of the Crochallan Fenciblesa convivialclub.]
His Lordship sat wi' ruefu' e'eAnd ey'd the gathering stormman:Like wind-driven hail it did assail'Or torrents owre a linman:The Bench sae wiselift up their eyesHalf-wauken'd wi' the dinman.
Inscription For The Headstone Of Fergusson The Poet^1
No sculptured marble herenor pompous layNo storied urn nor animated bust;This simple stone directs pale Scotia's wayTo pour her sorrows o'er the Poet's dust.
Additional Stanzas
She mournssweet tuneful youththy hapless fate;Tho' all the powers of song thy fancy firedYet Luxury and Wealth lay by in stateAndthanklessstarv'd what they so much admired.
This tributewith a tearnow givesA brother Bard-he can no more bestow:But dear to fame thy Song immortal livesA nobler monument than Art can shew.
Inscribed Under Fergusson's Portrait
Curse on ungrateful manthat can be pleasedAnd yet can starve the author of the pleasure.O thoumy elder brother in misfortuneBy far my elder brother in the MusesWith tears I pity thy unhappy fate!Why is the Bard unpitied by the worldYet has so keen a relish of its pleasures?
[Footnote 1: The stone was erected at Burns' expenses in February-March1789.]
Epistle To Mrs. Scott
     Gudewife of Wauchope-HouseRoxburghshire.
I Mind it weel in early dateWhen I was bardlessyoungand blateAn' first could thresh the barnOr haud a yokin' at the pleugh;Antho' forfoughten sair eneughYet unco proud to learn:When first amang the yellow cornA man I reckon'd wasAn' wi' the lave ilk merry mornCould rank my rig and lassStill shearingand clearingThe tither stooked rawWi' claiversan' haiversWearing the day awa.
E'en thena wish(I mind its pow'r)A wish that to my latest hourShall strongly heave my breastThat I for poor auld Scotland's sakeSome usefu' plan or book could makeOr sing a sang at least.The rough burr-thistlespreading wideAmang the bearded bearI turn'd the weeder-clips asideAn' spar'd the symbol dear:No nationno stationMy envy e'er could raise;A Scot stillbut blot stillI knew nae higher praise.
But still the elements o' sangIn formless jumbleright an' wrangWild floated in my brain;'Till on that har'st I said beforeMay partner in the merry coreShe rous'd the forming strain;I see her yetthe sonsie queanThat lighted up my jingleHer witching smileher pawky eenThat gart my heart-strings tingle;I firedinspiredAt every kindling keekBut bashingand dashingI feared aye to speak.
Health to the sex! ilk guid chiel says:Wi' merry dance in winter daysAn' we to share in common;The gust o' joythe balm of woeThe saul o' lifethe heaven belowIs rapture-giving woman.Ye surly sumphswho hate the nameBe mindfu' o' your mither;Shehonest womanmay think shameThat ye're connected with her:Ye're wae menye're nae menThat slight the lovely dears;To shame yedisclaim yeIlk honest birkie swears.
For youno bred to barn and byreWha sweetly tune the Scottish lyreThanks to you for your line:The marled plaid ye kindly spareBy me should gratefully be ware;'Twad please me to the nine.I'd be mair vauntie o' my hapDouce hingin owre my curpleThan ony ermine ever lapOr proud imperial purple.Farewell thenlang hale thenAn' plenty be your fa;May losses and crossesNe'er at your hallan ca'!
R. BurnsMarch1787
Verses Intended To Be Written Below A Noble Earl's Picture^1
Whose is that nobledauntless brow?And whose that eye of fire?And whose that generous princely mienE'en rooted foes admire?
Stranger! to justly show that browAnd mark that eye of fireWould take His handwhose vernal tintsHis other works admire.
Bright as a cloudless summer sunWith stately port he moves;His guardian Seraph eyes with aweThe noble Ward he loves.
Among the illustrious Scottish sonsThat chief thou may'st discernMark Scotia's fond-returning eye-It dwells upon Glencairn.
     Spoken by Mr. Woods on his benefit-nightMonday16th April1787.
Whenby a generous Public's kind acclaimThat dearest meed is granted-honest fame;Waen here your favour is the actor's lotNor even the man in private life forgot;What breast so dead to heavenly Virtue's glowBut heaves impassion'd with the grateful throe?
Poor is the task to please a barb'rous throngIt needs no Siddons' powers in Southern's song;But here an ancient nationfam'd afarFor geniuslearning highas great in war.HailCaledonianame for ever dear!Before whose sons I'm honour'd to appear?
[Footnote 1: The Nobleman is JamesFourteenth Earl of Glencairn.]
Where every scienceevery nobler artThat can inform the mind or mend the heartIs known; as grateful nations oft have foundFar as the rude barbarian marks the bound.Philosophyno idle pedant dreamHere holds her search by heaven-taught Reason's beam;Here History paints with elegance and forceThe tide of Empire's fluctuating course;Here Douglas forms wild Shakespeare into planAnd Harley rouses all the God in man.When well-form'd taste and sparkling wit uniteWith manly loreor female beauty bright(Beautywhere faultless symmetry and graceCan only charm us in the second place)Witness my hearthow oft with panting fearAs on this nightI've met these judges here!But still the hope Experience taught to liveEqual to judge-you're candid to forgive.No hundred-headed riot here we meetWith decency and law beneath his feet;Nor Insolence assumes fair Freedom's name:Like Caledoniansyou applaud or blame.
O Thoudread Power! whose empire-giving handHas oft been stretch'd to shield the honour'd land!Strong may she glow with all her ancient fire;May every son be worthy of his sire;Firm may she risewith generous disdainAt Tyranny'sor direr Pleasure's chain;Still Self-dependent in her native shoreBold may she brave grim Danger's loudest roarTill Fate the curtain drop on worlds to be no more.
The Bonie Moor-Hen
The heather was bloomingthe meadows were mawnOur lads gaed a-hunting ae day at the dawnO'er moors and o'er mosses and mony a glenAt length they discover'd a bonie moor-hen.
Chorus.-I rede youbeware at the huntingyoung menI rede youbeware at the huntingyoung men;Take some on the wingand some as they springBut cannily steal on a bonie moor-hen.
Sweet-brushing the dew from the brown heather bellsHer colours betray'd her on yon mossy fells;Her plumage outlustr'd the pride o' the springAnd O! as she wanton'd sae gay on the wing.I rede you&c.
Auld Phoebus himselfas he peep'd o'er the hillIn spite at her plumage he tried his skill;He levell'd his rays where she bask'd on the brae-His rays were outshoneand but mark'd where she lay.I rede you&c.
They hunted the valleythey hunted the hillThe best of our lads wi' the best o' their skill;But still as the fairest she sat in their sightThenwhirr! she was overa mile at a flight.I rede you&c.
song-My Lord A-Hunting
Chorus.-My lady's gownthere's gairs upon'tAnd gowden flowers sae rare upon't;But Jenny's jimps and jirkinetMy lord thinks meikle mair upon't.
My lord a-hunting he is goneBut hounds or hawks wi' him are nane;By Colin's cottage lies his gameIf Colin's Jenny be at hame.My lady's gown&c.
My lady's whitemy lady's redAnd kith and kin o' Cassillis' blude;But her ten-pund lands o' tocher gude;Were a' the charms his lordship lo'ed.My lady's gown&c.
Out o'er yon muirout o'er yon mossWhare gor-cocks thro' the heather passThere wons auld Colin's bonie lassA lily in a wilderness.My lady's gown&c.
Sae sweetly move her genty limbsLike music notes o'lovers' hymns:The diamond-dew in her een sae blueWhere laughing love sae wanton swims.My lady's gown&c.
My lady's dinkmy lady's drestThe flower and fancy o' the west;But the lassie than a man lo'es bestO that's the lass to mak him blest.My lady's gown&c.
Epigram At Roslin Inn
My blessings on yehonest wife!I ne'er was here before;Ye've wealth o' gear for spoon and knife-Heart could not wish for more.Heav'n keep you clear o' sturt and strifeTill far ayont fourscoreAnd while I toddle on thro' lifeI'll ne'er gae by your door!
Epigram Addressed To An Artist
Dear _____I'll gie ye some adviceYou'll tak it no uncivil:You shouldna paint at angels mairBut try and paint the devil.
To paint an Angel's kittle warkWi' Nickthere's little danger:You'll easy draw a lang-kent faceBut no sae weel a stranger.-R. B.
The Book-Worms
Through and through th' inspir'd leavesYe maggotsmake your windings;But O respect his lordship's tasteAnd spare his golden bindings.
On Elphinstone's Translation Of Martial's Epigrams
O Thou whom Poetry abhorsWhom Prose has turned out of doorsHeard'st thou yon groan?-proceed no further'Twas laurel'd Martial calling murther.
song-A Bottle And Friend
There's nane that's blest of human kindBut the cheerful and the gaymanFallala&c.
Here's a bottle and an honest friend!What wad ye wish for mairman?Wha kensbefore his life may endWhat his share may be o' careman?
Then catch the moments as they flyAnd use them as ye oughtman:Believe mehappiness is shyAnd comes not aye when soughtman.
Lines Written Under The Picture Of The Celebrated Miss Burns
Ceaseye prudesyour envious railingLovely Burns has charms-confess:True it isshe had one failingHad a woman ever less?
Epitaph For William NicolOf The High SchoolEdinburgh
Ye maggotsfeed on Nicol's brainFor few sic feasts you've gotten;And fix your claws in Nicol's heartFor deil a bit o't's rotten.
Epitaph For Mr. William Michie
     Schoolmaster of Cleish ParishFifeshire.
Here lie Willie Michie's banes;O Satanwhen ye tak himGie him the schulin o' your weansFor clever deils he'll mak them!
Boat song-HeyCa' Thro'
Up wi' the carls o' DysartAnd the lads o' BuckhavenAnd the kimmers o' LargoAnd the lasses o' Leven.
Chorus.-Heyca' thro'ca' thro'For we hae muckle ado.Heyca' thro'ca' thro'For we hae muckle ado;
We hae tales to tellAn' we hae sangs to sing;We hae pennies tae spendAn' we hae pints to bring.Heyca' thro'&c.
We'll live a' our daysAnd them that comes behin'Let them do the likeAn' spend the gear they win.Heyca' thro'&c.
Address To Wm. TytlerEsq.Of Woodhouselee
     With an Impression of the Author's Portrait.
Revered defender of beauteous StuartOf Stuarta name once respected;A namewhich to love was the mark of a true heartBut now 'tis despis'd and neglected.
Tho' something like moisture conglobes in my eyeLet no one misdeem me disloyal;A poor friendless wand'rer may well claim a sighStill more if that wand'rer were royal.
My fathers that name have rever'd on a throne:My fathers have fallen to right it;Those fathers would spurn their degenerate sonThat name should he scoffingly slight it.
Still in prayers for King George I most heartily joinThe Queenand the rest of the gentry:Be they wisebe they foolishis nothing of mine;Their title's avow'd by my country.
But why of that epocha make such a fussThat gave us th' Electoral stem?If bringing them over was lucky for usI'm sure 'twas as lucky for them.
Butloyaltytruce! we're on dangerous ground;Who knows how the fashions may alter?The doctrineto-daythat is loyalty soundTo-morrow may bring us a halter!
I send you a triflea head of a bardA trifle scarce worthy your care;But accept itgood Siras a mark of regardSincere as a saint's dying prayer.
Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eyeAnd ushers the long dreary night:But youlike the star that athwart gilds the skyYour course to the latest is bright.
Epigram To Miss Ainslie In Church
     Who was looking up the text during sermon.
Fair maidyou need not take the hintNor idle texts pursue:'Twas guilty sinners that he meantNot Angels such as you.
Burlesque Lament For The Absence Of William CreechPublisher
Auld chuckie Reekie's^1 sair distrestDown droops her ance weel burnish'd crestNae joy her bonie buskit nestCan yield avaHer darling bird that she lo'es best-Willie's awa!
O Willie was a witty wightAnd had o' things an unco' sleightAuld Reekie aye he keepit tightAnd trig an' braw:But now they'll busk her like a fright-Willie's awa!
The stiffest o' them a' he bow'dThe bauldest o' them a' he cow'd;They durst nae mair than he allow'dThat was a law:We've lost a birkie weel worth gowd;Willie's awa!
Now gawkiestawpiesgowks and foolsFrae colleges and boarding schoolsMay sprout like simmer puddock-stoolsIn glen or shaw;He wha could brush them down to mools-Willie's awa!
[Footnote 1: Edinburgh.]
The brethren o' the Commerce-chaumerMay mourn their loss wi' doolfu' clamour;He was a dictionar and grammarAmong them a';I fear they'll now mak mony a stammer;Willie's awa!
Nae mair we see his levee doorPhilosophers and poets pourAnd toothy critics by the scoreIn bloody raw!The adjutant o' a' the core-Willie's awa!
Now worthy Gregory's Latin faceTytler's and Greenfield's modest grace;MackenzieStewartsuch a braceAs Rome ne'er saw;They a' maun meet some ither placeWillie's awa!
Poor Burns ev'n Scotch Drink canna quickenHe cheeps like some bewilder'd chickenScar'd frae it's minnie and the cleckinBy hoodie-craw;Grieg's gien his heart an unco kickinWillie's awa!
Now ev'ry sour-mou'd girnin blellumAnd Calvin's folkare fit to fell him;Ilk self-conceited critic skellumHis quill may draw;He wha could brawlie ward their bellum-Willie's awa!
Up wimpling stately Tweed I've spedAnd Eden scenes on crystal JedAnd Ettrick banksnow roaring redWhile tempests blaw;But every joy and pleasure's fledWillie's awa!
May I be Slander's common speech;A text for Infamy to preach;And lastlystreekit out to bleachIn winter snaw;When I forget theeWillie CreechTho' far awa!
May never wicked Fortune touzle him!May never wicked men bamboozle him!Until a pow as auld's MethusalemHe canty claw!Then to the blessed new JerusalemFleet wing awa!
Note To Mr. Renton Of Lamerton
Your billetSirI grant receipt;Wi' you I'll canter ony gateTho' 'twere a trip to yon blue warl'Whare birkies march on burning marl:ThenSirGod willingI'll attend yeAnd to his goodness I commend ye.
R. Burns
Elegy On "Stella"
     The following poem is the work of some hapless son of the Muses whodeserved a better fate. There is a great deal of "The voice of Cona" inhis solitarymournful notes; and had the sentiments been clothed inShenstone's languagethey would have been no discredit even to thatelegant poet.-R.B.
Strait is the spot and green the sodFrom whence my sorrows flow;And soundly sleeps the ever dearInhabitant below.
Pardon my transportgentle shadeWhile o'er the turf I bow;Thy earthy house is circumscrib'dAnd solitary now.
Not one poor stone to tell thy nameOr make thy virtues known:But what avails to me-to theeThe sculpture of a stone?
I'll sit me down upon this turfAnd wipe the rising tear:The chill blast passes swiftly byAnd flits around thy bier.
Dark is the dwelling of the DeadAnd sad their house of rest:Low lies the headby Death's cold armsIn awful fold embrac'd.
I saw the grim Avenger standIncessant by thy side;Unseen by theehis deadly breathThy lingering frame destroy'd.
Pale grew the roses on thy cheekAnd wither'd was thy bloomTill the slow poison brought thy youthUntimely to the tomb.
Thus wasted are the ranks of men-YouthHealthand Beauty fall;The ruthless ruin spreads aroundAnd overwhelms us all.
Behold whereround thy narrow houseThe graves unnumber'd lie;The multitude that sleep belowExisted but to die.
Somewith the tottering steps of AgeTrod down the darksome way;And somein youth's lamented primeLike thee were torn away:
Yet thesehowever hard their fateTheir native earth receives;Amid their weeping friends they diedAnd fill their fathers' graves.
From thy lov'd friendswhen first thy heartWas taught by Heav'n to glowFarfar remov'dthe ruthless strokeSurpris'd and laid thee low.
At the last limits of our isleWash'd by the western waveTouch'd by thy facea thoughtful bardSits lonely by thy grave.
Pensive he eyesbefore him spreadThe deepoutstretch'd and vast;His mourning notes are borne awayAlong the rapid blast.
And whileamid the silent DeadThy hapless fate he mournsHis own long sorrows freshly bleedAnd all his grief returns:
Like theecut off in early youthAnd flower of beauty's prideHis friendhis first and only joyHis much lov'd Stelladied.
Himtoothe stern impulse of FateResistless bears along;And the same rapid tide shall whelmThe Poet and the Song.
The tear of pity which he shedsHe asks not to receive;Let but his poor remains be laidObscurely in the grave.
His grief-worn heartwith truest joyShall meet he welcome shock:His airy harp shall lie unstrungAnd silent on the rock.
Omy dear maidmy StellawhenShall this sick period closeAnd lead the solitary bardTo his belov'd repose?
The Bard At Inverary
Whoe'er he be that sojourns hereI pity much his caseUnless he comes to wait uponThe Lord their GodHis Grace.
There's naething here but Highland prideAnd Highland scab and hunger:If Providence has sent me here'Twas surely in his anger.
Epigram To Miss Jean Scott
O had each Scot of ancient timesBeenJeanie Scottas thou art;The bravest heart on English groundHad yielded like a coward.
On The Death Of John M'LeodEsq
     Brother to a young Ladya particular friend of the Author's.
Sad thy talethou idle pageAnd rueful thy alarms:Death tears the brother of her loveFrom Isabella's arms.
Sweetly deckt with pearly dewThe morning rose may blow;But cold successive noontide blastsMay lay its beauties low.
Fair on Isabella's mornThe sun propitious smil'd;Butlong ere noonsucceeding cloudsSucceeding hopes beguil'd.
Fate oft tears the bosom chordsThat Nature finest strung;So Isabella's heart was form'dAnd so that heart was wrung.
Dread Omnipotence aloneCan heal the wound he gave-Can point the brimful grief-worn eyesTo scenes beyond the grave.
Virtue's blossoms there shall blowAnd fear no withering blast;There Isabella's spotless worthShall happy be at last.
Elegy On The Death Of Sir James Hunter Blair
The lamp of daywith-ill presaging glareDimcloudysank beneath the western wave;Th' inconstant blast howl'd thro' the dark'ning airAnd hollow whistled in the rocky cave.
Lone as I wander'd by each cliff and dellOnce the lov'd haunts of Scotia's royal train;^1Or mus'd where limpid streamsonce hallow'd well^2Or mould'ring ruins mark the sacred fane.^3
Th' increasing blast roar'd round the beetling rocksThe clouds swift-wing'd flew o'er the starry skyThe groaning trees untimely shed their locksAnd shooting meteors caught the startled eye.
[Footnote 1: The King's Park at Holyrood House.-R. B.]
[Footnote 2: St. Anthony's well.-R. B.]
[Footnote 3: St. Anthony's Chapel.-R. B.]
The paly moon rose in the livid east.And 'mong the cliffs disclos'd a stately formIn weeds of woethat frantic beat her breastAnd mix'd her wailings with the raving storm
Wild to my heart the filial pulses glow'Twas Caledonia's trophied shield I view'd:Her form majestic droop'd in pensive woeThe lightning of her eye in tears imbued.
Revers'd that spearredoubtable in warReclined that bannererst in fields unfurl'dThat like a deathful meteor gleam'd afarAnd brav'd the mighty monarchs of the world.
"My patriot son fills an untimely grave!"With accents wild and lifted arms she cried;Low lies the hand oft was stretch'd to save,
Low lies the heart that swell'd with honest pride.
A weeping country joins a widow's tear;The helpless poor mix with the orphan's cry;The drooping arts surround their patron's bier;And grateful science heaves the heartfelt sigh!
"I saw my sons resume their ancient fire;I saw fair Freedom's blossoms richly blow:But ah! how hope is born but to expire!Relentless fate has laid their guardian low.
"My patriot falls: but shall he lie unsungWhile empty greatness saves a worthless name?No; every muse shall join her tuneful tongueAnd future ages hear his growing fame.
"And I will join a mother's tender caresThro' future times to make his virtues last;That distant years may boast of other Blairs!"-She saidand vanish'd with the sweeping blast.
Impromptu On Carron Iron Works
We cam na here to view your warksIn hopes to be mair wiseBut onlylest we gang to hellIt may be nae surprise:But when we tirl'd at your doorYour porter dought na hear us;Sae mayshou'd we to Hell's yetts comeYour billy Satan sair us!
To Miss Ferrier
     Enclosing the Elegy on Sir J. H. Blair.
Nae heathen name shall I prefixFrae Pindus or Parnassus;Auld Reekie dings them a' to sticksFor rhyme-inspiring lasses.
Jove's tunefu' dochters three times threeMade Homer deep their debtor;Butgien the body half an e'eNine Ferriers wad done better!
Last day my mind was in a bogDown George's Street I stoited;A creeping cauld prosaic fogMy very sense doited.
Do what I dought to set her freeMy saul lay in the mire;Ye turned a neuk-I saw your e'e-She took the wing like fire!
The mournfu' sang I here encloseIn gratitude I send youAnd prayin rhyme as weel as proseA' gude things may attend you!
Written By Somebody On The Window
     Of an Inn at Stirlingon seeing the Royal Palace in ruin.
Here Stuarts once in glory reignedAnd laws for Scotland's weal ordained;But now unroof'd their palace standsTheir sceptre's sway'd by other hands;Fallen indeedand to the earthWhence groveling reptiles take their birth.The injured Stuart line is goneA race outlandish fills their throne;An idiot raceto honour lost;Who know them best despise them most.
The Poet's Reply To The Threat Of A Censorious Critic
     My imprudent lines were answeredvery petulantlyby somebodyIbelievea Rev. Mr. Hamilton. In a MS.where I met the answerI wrotebelow:-
With Esop's lionBurns says: Sore I feelEach other's scornbut damn that ass' heel!
The Libeller's Self-Reproof^1
Rash mortaland slanderous poetthy nameShall no longer appear in the records of Fame;Dost not know that old Mansfieldwho writes like the BibleSaysthe more 'tis a truthsirthe more 'tis a libel!
Verses Written With A Pencil
     Over the Chimney-piece in the Parlour of the Inn at KenmoreTaymouth.
Admiring Nature in her wildest graceThese northern scenes with weary feet I trace;O'er many a winding dale and painful steepTh' abodes of covey'd grouse and timid sheep
[Footnote 1: These are rhymes of dubious authenticity.-Lang.]
My savage journeycuriousI pursueTill fam'd Breadalbane opens to my view. -The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen dividesThe woods wild scatter'dclothe their ample sides;Th' outstretching lakeimbosomed 'mong the hillsThe eye with wonder and amazement fills;The Tay meand'ring sweet in infant prideThe palace rising on his verdant sideThe lawns wood-fring'd in Nature's native tasteThe hillocks dropt in Nature's careless hasteThe arches striding o'er the new-born streamThe village glittering in the noontide beam-
Poetic ardours in my bosom swellLone wand'ring by the hermit's mossy cell;The sweeping theatre of hanging woodsTh' incessant roar of headlong tumbling floods-
Here Poesy might wake her heav'n-taught lyreAnd look through Nature with creative fire;Hereto the wrongs of Fate half reconcil'dMisfortunes lighten'd steps might wander wild;And Disappointmentin these lonely boundsFind balm to soothe her bitterrankling wounds:Here heart-struck Grief might heav'nward stretch her
And injur'd Worth forget and pardon man.
song-The Birks Of Aberfeldy
     tune-"The Birks of Abergeldie."
Chorus.-Bonie lassiewill ye goWill ye gowill ye goBonie lassiewill ye goTo the birks of Aberfeldy!
Now Simmer blinks on flowery braesAnd o'er the crystal streamlets plays;Come let us spend the lightsome daysIn the birks of Aberfeldy.Bonie lassie&c.
While o'er their heads the hazels hingThe little birdies blythely singOr lightly flit on wanton wingIn the birks of Aberfeldy.Bonie lassie&c.
The braes ascend like lofty wa'sThe foaming stream deep-roaring fa'sO'erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws-The birks of Aberfeldy.Bonie lassie&c.
The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowersWhite o'er the linns the burnie poursAnd risingweets wi' misty showersThe birks of Aberfeldy.Bonie lassie&c.
Let Fortune's gifts at randoe fleeThey ne'er shall draw a wish frae me;Supremely blest wi' love and theeIn the birks of Aberfeldy.Bonie lassie&c.
The Humble Petition Of Bruar Water
     To the noble Duke of Athole.
My lordI know your noble earWoe ne'er assails in vain;Embolden'd thusI beg you'll hearYour humble slave complainHow saucy Phoebus' scorching beamsIn flaming summer-prideDry-witheringwaste my foamy streamsAnd drink my crystal tide.^1
The lightly-jumpingglowrin' troutsThat thro' my waters playIfin their randomwanton spoutsThey near the margin stray;
[Footnote 1: Bruar Fallsin Atholeare exceedingly picturesque andbeautiful; but their effect is much impaired by the want of trees and shrubs.- R.B.]
Ifhapless chance! they linger langI'm scorching up so shallowThey're left the whitening stanes amangIn gasping death to wallow.
Last day I grat wi' spite and teenAs poet Burns came by.Thatto a bardI should be seenWi' half my channel dry;A panegyric rhymeI weenEv'n as I washe shor'd me;But had I in my glory beenHekneelingwad ador'd me.
Herefoaming down the skelvy rocksIn twisting strength I rin;Therehigh my boiling torrent smokesWild-roaring o'er a linn:Enjoying each large spring and wellAs Nature gave them meI amaltho' I say't mysel'Worth gaun a mile to see.
Would then my noble master pleaseTo grant my highest wishesHe'll shade my banks wi' tow'ring treesAnd bonie spreading bushes.Delighted doubly thenmy lordYou'll wander on my banksAnd listen mony a grateful birdReturn you tuneful thanks.
The sober lav'rockwarbling wildShall to the skies aspire;The gowdspinkMusic's gayest childShall sweetly join the choir;The blackbird strongthe lintwhite clearThe mavis mild and mellow;The robin pensive Autumn cheerIn all her locks of yellow.
Thistooa covert shall ensureTo shield them from the storm;And coward maukin sleep secureLow in her grassy form:Here shall the shepherd make his seatTo weave his crown of flow'rs;Or find a shelt'ringsafe retreatFrom prone-descending show'rs.
And hereby sweetendearing stealthShall meet the loving pairDespising worldswith all their wealthAs empty idle care;The flow'rs shall vie in all their charmsThe hour of heav'n to grace;And birks extend their fragrant armsTo screen the dear embrace.
Here haply tooat vernal dawnSome musing bard may strayAnd eye the smokingdewy lawnAnd misty mountain grey;Orby the reaper's nightly beamMild-chequering thro' the treesRave to my darkly dashing streamHoarse-swelling on the breeze.
Let lofty firsand ashes coolMy lowly banks o'erspreadAnd viewdeep-bending in the poolTheir shadow's wat'ry bed:Let fragrant birksin woodbines drestMy craggy cliffs adorn;Andfor the little songster's nestThe close embow'ring thorn.
So may old Scotia's darling hopeYour little angel bandSpringlike their fathersup to propTheir honour'd native land!So maythro' Albion's farthest kenTo social-flowing glassesThe grace be-"Athole's honest menAnd Athole's bonie lasses!
Lines On The Fall Of Fyers Near Loch-Ness.
     Written with a Pencil on the Spot.
Among the heathy hills and ragged woodsThe roaring Fyers pours his mossy floods;Till full he dashes on the rocky moundsWherethro' a shapeless breachhis stream resounds.As high in air the bursting torrents flowAs deep recoiling surges foam belowProne down the rock the whitening sheet descendsAnd viewles Echo's earastonishedrends.Dim-seenthrough rising mists and ceaseless show'rsThe hoary cavernwide surrounding lours:Still thro' the gap the struggling river toilsAnd stillbelowthe horrid cauldron boils-
Epigram On Parting With A Kind Host In The Highlands
When Death's dark stream I ferry o'erA time that surely shall comeIn Heav'n itself I'll ask no moreThan just a Highland welcome.
Strathallan's Lament^1
Thickest nighto'erhang my dwelling!Howling tempestso'er me rave!Turbid torrentswintry swellingRoaring by my lonely cave!
[Footnote 1: Burns confesses that his Jacobtism was merely sentimental "exceptwhen my passions were heated by some accidental cause and a tour through the
country where Montrose, Claverhouse, and Prince Charles had fought, was cause
enough. Strathallan fell gloriously at Culloden.-Lang.]
Crystal streamlets gently flowing,
Busy haunts of base mankind,
Western breezes softly blowing,
Suit not my distracted mind.
In the cause of Right engaged,
Wrongs injurious to redress,
Honour's war we strongly waged,
But the Heavens denied success.
Ruin's wheel has driven o'er us,
Not a hope that dare attend,
The wide world is all before us-
But a world without a friend.
Castle Gordon
Streams that glide in orient plains,
Never bound by Winter's chains;
Glowing here on golden sands,
There immix'd with foulest stains
From Tyranny's empurpled hands;
These, their richly gleaming waves,
I leave to tyrants and their slaves;
Give me the stream that sweetly laves
The banks by Castle Gordon.
Spicy forests, ever gray,
Shading from the burning ray
Hapless wretches sold to toil;
Or the ruthless native's way,
Bent on slaughter, blood, and spoil:
Woods that ever verdant wave,
I leave the tyrant and the slave;
Give me the groves that lofty brave
The storms by Castle Gordon.
Wildly here, without control,
Nature reigns and rules the whole;
In that sober pensive mood,
Dearest to the feeling soul,
She plants the forest, pours the flood:
Life's poor day I'll musing rave
And find at night a sheltering cave,
Where waters flow and wild woods wave,
By bonie Castle Gordon.
song-Lady Onlie, Honest Lucky
     tune-The Ruffian's Rant."
A' The lads o' ThorniebankWhen they gae to the shore o' BuckyThey'll step in an' tak a pintWi' Lady Onliehonest Lucky.
Chorus.-Lady Onliehonest LuckyBrews gude ale at shore o' Bucky;I wish her sale for her gude aleThe best on a' the shore o' Bucky.
Her house sae bienher curch sae cleanI wat she is a daintie chuckie;And cheery blinks the ingle-gleedO' Lady Onliehonest Lucky!Lady Onlie&c.
Theniel Menzies' Bonie Mary
     Air-"The Ruffian's Rant or Roy's Wife."
In comin by the brig o' DyeAt Darlet we a blink did tarry;As day was dawnin in the skyWe drank a health to bonie Mary.
Chorus.-Theniel Menzies' bonie MaryTheniel Menzies' bonie MaryCharlie Grigor tint his plaidieKissin' Theniel's bonie Mary.
Her een sae brighther brow sae whiteHer haffet locks as brown's a berry;And aye they dimpl't wi' a smileThe rosy cheeks o' bonie Mary.Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary&c.
We lap a' danc'd the lee-lang dayTill piper lads were wae and weary;But Charlie gat the spring to payFor kissin Theniel's bonie Mary.Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary&c.
The Bonie Lass Of Albany^1
     tune-"Mary's Dream."
My heart is waeand unco waeTo think upon the raging seaThat roars between her gardens greenAn' the bonie Lass of Albany.
This lovely maid's of royal bloodThat ruled Albion's kingdoms threeBut ohalas! for her bonie faceThey've wrang'd the Lass of Albany.
In the rolling tide of spreading ClydeThere sits an isle of high degreeAnd a town of fame whose princely nameShould grace the Lass of Albany.
But there's a youtha witless youthThat fills the place where she should be;We'll send him o'er to his native shoreAnd bring our ain sweet Albany.
Alas the dayand woe the dayA false usurper wan the greeWho now commands the towers and lands-The royal right of Albany.
We'll daily praywe'll nightly prayOn bended knees most ferventlyThe time may comewith pipe an' drumWe'll welcome hame fair Albany.
[Footnote 1: Natural daughter of Prince Charles Edward.]
On Scaring Some Water-Fowl In Loch-Turit
     A wild scene among the Hills of Oughtertyre.
     "This was the production of a solitary forenoon's walk from OughtertyreHouse. I lived therethe guest of Sir William Murrayfor two or threeweeksand was much flattered by my hospitable reception. What a pity thatthe mere emotions of gratitude are so impotent in this world. 'Tis luckythatas we are toldthey will be of some avail in the world to come."-R.B.Glenriddell MSS.
Whyye tenants of the lakeFor me your wat'ry haunt forsake?Tell mefellow-creatureswhyAt my presence thus you fly?Why disturb your social joysParentfilialkindred ties?-Common friend to you and meyature's gifts to all are free:Peaceful keep your dimpling waveBusy feedor wanton lave;Orbeneath the sheltering rockBide the surging billow's shock.
Consciousblushing for our raceSoontoo soonyour fears I traceManyour proudusurping foeWould be lord of all below:Plumes himself in freedom's prideTyrant stern to all beside.
The eaglefrom the cliffy browMarking you his prey belowIn his breast no pity dwellsStrong necessity compels:But Manto whom alone is giv'nA ray direct from pitying Heav'nGlories in his heart humane-And creatures for his pleasure slain!
In these savageliquid plainsOnly known to wand'ring swainsWhere the mossy riv'let straysFar from human haunts and ways;All on Nature you dependAnd life's poor season peaceful spend.
Orif man's superior mightDare invade your native rightOn the lofty ether borneMan with all his pow'rs you scorn;Swiftly seekon clanging wingsOther lakes and other springs;And the foe you cannot braveScorn at least to be his slave.
Blythe Was She^1
     tune-"Andro and his Cutty Gun."
Chorus.-Blytheblythe and merry was sheBlythe was she but and ben;Blythe by the banks of EarnAnd blythe in Glenturit glen.
By Oughtertyre grows the aikOn Yarrow banks the birken shaw;But Phemie was a bonier lassThan braes o' Yarrow ever saw.Blytheblythe&c.
Her looks were like a flow'r in MayHer smile was like a simmer morn:She tripped by the banks o' EarnAs light's a bird upon a thorn.Blytheblythe&c.
Her bonie face it was as meekAs ony lamb upon a lea;The evening sun was ne'er sae sweetAs was the blink o' Phemie's e'e.Blytheblythe&c.
[Footnote 1: Written at Oughtertyre. Phemie is Miss Euphemia Murraya cousinof Sir William Murray of Oughtertyre.-Lang.]
The Highland hills I've wander'd wideAnd o'er the Lawlands I hae been;But Phemie was the blythest lassThat ever trod the dewy green.Blytheblythe&c.
A Rose-Bud By My Early Walk
A Rose-bud by my early walkAdown a corn-enclosed bawkSae gently bent its thorny stalkAll on a dewy morning.Ere twice the shades o' dawn are fledIn a' its crimson glory spreadAnd drooping rich the dewy headIt scents the early morning.
Within the bush her covert nestA little linnet fondly prest;The dew sat chilly on her breastSae early in the morning.She soon shall see her tender broodThe pridethe pleasure o' the woodAmang the fresh green leaves bedew'dAwake the early morning.
So thoudear birdyoung Jeany fairOn trembling string or vocal airShall sweetly pay the tender careThat tents thy early morning.So thousweet Rose-budyoung and gayShalt beauteous blaze upon the dayAnd bless the parent's evening rayThat watch'd thy early morning.
Epitaph For Mr. W. Cruikshank^1
Honest Will to Heaven's awayAnd mony shall lament him;His fau'ts they a' in Latin layIn English nane e'er kent them.
song-The Banks Of The Devon
     tune-"Bhanarach dhonn a' chruidh."
How pleasant the banks of the clear winding DevonWith green spreading bushes and flow'rs blooming fair!But the boniest flow'r on the banks of the DevonWas once a sweet bud on the braes of the Ayr.Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flowerIn the gay rosy mornas it bathes in the dew;And gentle the fall of the soft vernal showerThat steals on the evening each leaf to renew!
O spare the dear blossomye orient breezesWith chill hoary wing as ye usher the dawn;And far be thou distantthou reptile that seizesThe verdure and pride of the garden or lawn!Let Bourbon exult in his gay gilded liliesAnd England triumphant display her proud rose:A fairer than either adorns the green valleysWhere Devonsweet Devonmeandering flows.
Braving Angry Winter's Storms
     tune-"Neil Gow's Lament for Abercairny."
Wherebraving angry winter's stormsThe lofty Ochils riseFar in their shade my Peggy's charmsFirst blest my wondering eyes;As one who by some savage streamA lonely gem surveysAstonish'ddoubly marks it beamWith art's most polish'd blaze.
[Footnote 1: Of the Edinburgh High School.]
Blest be the wildsequester'd shadeAnd blest the day and hourWhere Peggy's charms I first survey'dWhen first I felt their pow'r!The tyrant Deathwith grim controlMay seize my fleeting breath;But tearing Peggy from my soulMust be a stronger death.
song-My Peggy's Charms
     tune-"Tha a' chailleach  ir mo dheigh."
My Peggy's facemy Peggy's formThe frost of hermit Age might warm;My Peggy's worthmy Peggy's mindMight charm the first of human kind.
I love my Peggy's angel airHer face so truly heavenly fairHer native graceso void of artBut I adore my Peggy's heart.
The lily's huethe rose's dyeThe kindling lustre of an eye;Who but owns their magic sway!Who but knows they all decay!
The tender thrillthe pitying tearThe generous purpose nobly dearThe gentle look that rage disarms-These are all Immortal charms.
The Young Highland Rover
Loud blaw the frosty breezesThe snaws the mountains cover;Like winter on me seizesSince my young Highland roverFar wanders nations over.
Where'er he gowhere'er he strayMay heaven be his warden;Return him safe to fair StrathspeyAnd bonie Castle-Gordon!
The treesnow naked groaningShall soon wi' leaves be hingingThe birdies dowie moaningShall a' be blythely singingAnd every flower be springing;Sae I'll rejoice the lee-lang dayWhen by his mighty WardenMy youth's return'd to fair StrathspeyAnd bonie Castle-Gordon.
Birthday Ode For 31st December1787^1
Afar the illustrious Exile roamsWhom kingdoms on this day should hail;An inmate in the casual shedOn transient pity's bounty fedHaunted by busy memory's bitter tale!Beasts of the forest have their savage homesBut Hewho should imperial purple wearOwns not the lap of earth where rests his royal head!His wretched refugedark despairWhile ravening wrongs and woes pursueAnd distant far the faithful fewWho would his sorrows share.
False flattererHopeaway!Nor think to lure us as in days of yore:We solemnize this sorrowing natal dayTo prove our loyal truth-we can no moreAnd owning Heaven's mysterious swaySubmissivelow adore.
Ye honoredmighty DeadWho nobly perished in the glorious causeYour Kingyour Countryand her laws
[Footnote 1: The last birthday of Prince Charles Edward.]
From great Dundeewho smiling Victory ledAnd fell a Martyr in her arms(What breast of northern ice but warms!)To bold Balmerino's undying nameWhose soul of firelighted at Heaven's high flameDeserves the proudest wreath departed heroes claim:Nor unrevenged your fate shall lieIt only lagsthe fatal hourYour blood shallwith incessant cryAwake at lastth' unsparing Power;As from the cliffwith thundering courseThe snowy ruin smokes alongWith doubling speed and gathering forceTill deep itcrushingwhelms the cottage in the vale;So Vengeance' armensanguin'dstrongShall with resistless might assailUsurping Brunswick's pride shall layAnd Stewart's wrongs and yourswith tenfold weight repay.
Perditionbaleful child of night!Rise and revenge the injured rightOf Stewart's royal race:Lead on the unmuzzled hounds of hellTill all the frighted echoes tellThe blood-notes of the chase!Full on the quarry point their viewFull on the base usurping crewThe tools of factionand the nation's curse!Hark how the cry grows on the wind;They leave the lagging gale behindTheir savage furypitilessthey pour;With murdering eyes already they devour;See Brunswick spenta wretched preyHis life one poor despairing dayWhere each avenging hour still ushers in a worse!Such havockhowling all abroadTheir utter ruin bringThe base apostates to their GodOr rebels to their King.
On The Death Of Robert DundasEsq.Of Arniston
     Late Lord President of the Court of Session.
Lone on the bleaky hills the straying flocksShun the fierce storms among the sheltering rocks;Down from the rivuletsred with dashing rainsThe gathering floods burst o'er the distant plains;Beneath the blast the leafless forests groan;The hollow caves return a hollow moan.Ye hillsye plainsye forestsand ye cavesYe howling windsand wintry swelling waves!Unheardunseenby human ear or eyeSad to your sympathetic glooms I fly;Whereto the whistling blast and water's roarPale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore.
O heavy lossthy country ill could bear!A loss these evil days can ne'er repair!Justicethe high vicegerent of her GodHer doubtful balance eyedand sway'd her rod:Hearing the tidings of the fatal blowShe sankabandon'd to the wildest woe.
Wrongsinjuriesfrom many a darksome denNowgay in hopeexplore the paths of men:See from his cavern grim Oppression riseAnd throw on Poverty his cruel eyes;Keen on the helpless victim see him flyAnd stifledarkthe feebly-bursting cry:Mark Ruffian Violencedistained with crimesRousing elate in these degenerate timesView unsuspecting Innocence a preyAs guileful Fraud points out the erring way:While subtle Litigation's pliant tongueThe life-blood equal sucks of Right and Wrong:Harkinjur'd Want recounts th' unlisten'd taleAnd much-wrong'd Mis'ry pours the unpitied wail!
Ye dark waste hillsye brown unsightly plainsCongenial scenesye soothe my mournful strains:Ye tempestsrage! ye turbid torrentsroll!Ye suit the joyless tenor of my soul.Life's social haunts and pleasures I resign;Be nameless wilds and lonely wanderings mineTo mourn the woes my country must endure-That would degenerate ages cannot cure.
Sylvander To Clarinda^1
     Extempore Reply to Verses addressed to the Author by a Ladyunder thesignature of "Clarinda" and entitledOn Burns saying he 'had nothing else todo.'
When dear Clarindamatchless fairFirst struck Sylvander's raptur'd viewHe gaz'dhe listened to despairAlas! 'twas all he dared to do.
Lovefrom Clarinda's heavenly eyesTransfixed his bosom thro' and thro';But still in Friendships' guarded guiseFor more the demon fear'd to do.
That heartalready more than lostThe imp beleaguer'd all perdue;For frowning Honour kept his post-To meet that frownhe shrunk to do.
His pangs the Bard refused to ownTho' half he wish'd Clarinda knew;But Anguish wrung the unweeting groan-Who blames what frantic Pain must do?
That heartwhere motley follies blendWas sternly still to Honour true:To prove Clarinda's fondest friendWas what a lover sure might do.
[Footnote 1: A grass-widowMrs. M'Lehose.]
The Muse his ready quill employedNo nearer bliss he could pursue;That bliss Clarinda cold deny'd-Send word by Charles how you do!
The chill behest disarm'd his museTill passion all impatient grew:He wroteand hinted for excuse'Twas'cause "he'd nothing else to do."
But by those hopes I have above!And by those faults I dearly rue!The deedthe boldest mark of loveFor thee that deed I dare uo do!
O could the Fates but name the priceWould bless me with your charms and you!With frantic joy I'd pay it thriceIf human art and power could do!
Then takeClarindafriendship's hand(Friendshipat leastI may avow;)And lay no more your chill command-I'll write whatever I've to do.
Love In The Guise Of Friendship
Your friendship much can make me blestO why that bliss destroy!Why urge the onlyone requestYou know I will deny!
Your thoughtif Love must harbour thereConceal it in that thought;Nor cause me from my bosom tearThe very friend I sought.
Go OnSweet BirdAnd Sooth My Care
For thee is laughing Nature gayFor thee she pours the vernal day;For me in vain is Nature drestWhile Joy's a stranger to my breast.
ClarindaMistress Of My Soul
Clarindamistres of my soulThe measur'd time is run!The wretch beneath the dreary poleSo marks his latest sun.
To what dark cave of frozen nightShall poor Sylvander hie;Depriv'd of theehis life and lightThe sun of all his joy?
We part-but by these precious dropsThat fill thy lovely eyesNo other light shall guide my stepsTill thy bright beams arise!
Shethe fair sun of all her sexHas blest my glorious day;And shall a glimmering planet fixMy worship to its ray?
I'm O'er Young To Marry Yet
Chorus.-I'm o'er youngI'm o'er youngI'm o'er young to marry yet;I'm o'er young'twad be a sinTo tak me frae my mammy yet.
I am my mammny's ae bairnWi' unco folk I wearysir;And lying in a man's bedI'm fley'd it mak me eeriesir.I'm o'er young&c.
My mammie coft me a new gownThe kirk maun hae the gracing o't;Were I to lie wi' youkind SirI'm feared ye'd spoil the lacing o't.I'm o'er young&c.
Hallowmass is come and ganeThe nights are lang in wintersirAnd you an' I in ae bedIn trowthI dare na venturesir.I'm o'er young&c.
Fu' loud an' shill the frosty windBlaws thro' the leafless timmersir;But if ye come this gate again;I'll aulder be gin simmersir.I'm o'er young&c.
To The Weavers Gin Ye Go
My heart was ance as blithe and freeAs simmer days were lang;But a boniewestlin weaver ladHas gart me change my sang.
Chorus.-To the weaver's gin ye gofair maidsTo the weaver's gin ye go;I rede you rightgang ne'er at nightTo the weaver's gin ye go.
My mither sent me to the townTo warp a plaiden wab;But the wearyweary warpin o'tHas gart me sigh and sab.To the weaver's&c.
A boniewestlin weaver ladSat working at his loom;He took my heart as wi' a netIn every knot and thrum.To the weaver's&c.
I sat beside my warpin-wheelAnd aye I ca'd it roun';But every shot and evey knockMy heart it gae a stoun.To the weaver's&c.
The moon was sinking in the westWi' visage pale and wanAs my boniewestlin weaver ladConvoy'd me thro' the glen.To the weaver's&c.
But what was saidor what was doneShame fa' me gin I tell;But Oh! I fear the kintra soonWill ken as weel's myself!To the weaver's&c.
M'Pherson's Farewell
tune-"M'Pherson's Rant."
Farewellye dungeons dark and strongThe wretch's destinie!M'Pherson's time will not be longOn yonder gallows-tree.
Chorus.-Sae rantinglysae wantonlySae dauntingly gaed he;He play'd a springand danc'd it roundBelow the gallows-tree.
Owhat is death but parting breath?On many a bloody plainI've dared his faceand in this placeI scorn him yet again!Sae rantingly&c.
Untie these bands from off my handsAnd bring me to my sword;And there's no a man in all ScotlandBut I'll brave him at a word.Sae rantingly&c.
I've liv'd a life of sturt and strife;I die by treacherie:It burns my heart I must departAnd not avenged be.Sae rantingly&c.
Now farewell lightthou sunshine brightAnd all beneath the sky!May coward shame distain his nameThe wretch that dares not die!Sae rantingly&c.
Stay My Charmer
tune-"An gille dubh ciar-dhubh."
Stay my charmercan you leave me?Cruelcruel to deceive me;Well you know how much you grieve me;Cruel charmercan you go!Cruel charmercan you go!
By my love so ill-requitedBy the faith you fondly plightedBy the pangs of lovers slightedDo notdo not liave me so!Do notdo not leave me so!
song-My Hoggie
What will I do gin my Hoggie die?My joymy pridemy Hoggie!My only beastI had nae maeAnd vow but I was vogie!The lee-lang night we watch'd the fauldMe and my faithfu' doggie;We heard nocht but the roaring linnAmang the braes sae scroggie.
But the houlet cry'd frau the castle wa'The blitter frae the boggie;The tod reply'd upon the hillI trembled for my Hoggie.When day did dawand cocks did crawThe morning it was foggie;An unco tykelap o'er the dykeAnd maist has kill'd my Hoggie!
Raving Winds Around Her Blowing
tune-"M'Grigor of Roro's Lament."
     I composed these verses on Miss Isabella M'Leod of Razaalluding to herfeelings on the death of her sisterand the still more melancholy death ofher sister's husbandthe late Earl of Loudounwho shot himself out of sheerheart-break at some mortifications he sufferedowing to the deranged stateof his finances.-R.B.1971.
Raving winds around her blowingYellow leaves the woodlands strowingBy a river hoarsely roaringIsabella stray'd deploring-
"Farewellhours that late did measureSunshine days of joy and pleasure;Hailthou gloomy night of sorrowCheerless night that knows no morrow!
"O'er the past too fondly wanderingOn the hopeless future pondering;Chilly grief my life-blood freezesFell despair my fancy seizes.
"Lifethou soul of every blessingLoad to misery most distressingGladly how wouldlI resign theeAnd to dark oblivion join thee!"
Up In The Morning Early
Cauld blaws the wind frae east to westThe drift is driving sairly;Sae loud and shill's I hear the blast-I'm sure it's winter fairly.
Chorus.-Up in the morning's no for meUp in the morning early;When a' the hills are covered wi' snawI'm sure it's winter fairly.
The birds sit chittering in the thornA' day they fare but sparely;And lang's the night frae e'en to morn-I'm sure it's winter fairly.Up in the morning's&c.
How Long And Dreary Is The Night
How long and dreary is the nightWhen I am frae my dearie!I sleepless lie frae e'en to mornTho' I were ne'er so weary:I sleepless lie frae e'en to mornTho' I were ne'er sae weary!
When I think on the happy daysI spent wi' you my dearie:And now what lands between us lieHow can I be but eerie!And now what lands between us lieHow can I be but eerie!
How slow ye moveye heavy hoursAs ye were wae and weary!It wasna sae ye glinted byWhen I was wi' my dearie!It wasna sae ye glinted byWhen I was wi' my dearie!
HeyThe Dusty Miller
Heythe dusty MillerAnd his dusty coatHe will win a shillingOr he spend a groat:Dusty was the coatDusty was the colourDusty was the kissThat I gat frae the Miller.
Heythe dusty MillerAnd his dusty sack;Leeze me on the callingFills the dusty peck:Fills the dusty peckBrings the dusty siller;I wad gie my coatieFor the dusty Miller.
Duncan Davison
There was a lassthey ca'd her MegAnd she held o'er the moors to spin;There was a lad that follow'd herThey ca'd him Duncan Davison.The moor was dreighand Meg was skeighHer favour Duncan could na win;For wi' the rock she wad him knockAnd aye she shook the temper-pin.
As o'er the moor they lightly foorA burn was cleara glen was greenUpon the banks they eas'd their shanksAnd aye she set the wheel between:But Duncan swoor a haly aithThat Meg should be a bride the morn;Then Meg took up her spinning-graithAnd flang them a' out o'er the burn.
We will big a weewee houseAnd we will live like king and queen;Sae blythe and merry's we will beWhen ye set by the wheel at e'en.A man may drinkand no be drunk;A man may fightand no be slain;A man may kiss a bonie lassAnd aye be welcome back again!
The Lad They Ca'Jumpin John
Her daddie forbadher minnie forbadForbidden she wadna be:She wadna trow't the browst she brew'dWad taste sae bitterlie.
Chorus.-The lang lad they ca'Jumpin JohnBeguil'd the bonie lassieThe lang lad they ca'Jumpin JohnBeguil'd the bonie lassie.
A cow and a caufa yowe and a haufAnd thretty gude shillin's and three;A vera gude tochera cotter-man's dochterThe lass wi' the bonie black e'e.The lang lad&c.
Talk Of Him That's Far Awa
Musing on the roaring oceanWhich divides my love and me;Wearying heav'n in warm devotionFor his weal where'er he be.
Hope and Fear's alternate billowYielding late to Nature's lawWhispering spirits round my pillowTalk of him that's far awa.
Ye whom sorrow never woundedYe who never shed a tearCare-untroubledjoy-surroundedGaudy day to you is dear.
Gentle nightdo thou befriend meDowny sleepthe curtain draw;Spirits kindagain attend meTalk of him that's far awa!
To Daunton Me
The blude-red rose at Yule may blawThe simmer lilies bloom in snawThe frost may freeze the deepest sea;But an auld man shall never daunton me.Refrain.-To daunton meto daunton meAnd auld man shall never daunton me.
To daunton meand me sae youngWi' his fause heart and flatt'ring tongueThat is the thing you shall never seeFor an auld man shall never daunton me.To daunton me&c.
For a' his meal and a' his mautFor a' his fresh beef and his sautFor a' his gold and white monieAnd auld men shall never daunton me.To daunton me&c.
His gear may buy him kye and yowesHis gear may buy him glens and knowes;But me he shall not buy nor feeFor an auld man shall never daunton me.To daunton me&c.
He hirples twa fauld as he dowWi' his teethless gab and his auld beld powAnd the rain rains down frae his red blear'd e'e;That auld man shall never daunton me.To daunton me&c.
The Winter It Is Past
The winter it is pastand the summer comes at lastAnd the small birdsthey sing on ev'ry tree;Now ev'ry thing is gladwhile I am very sadSince my true love is parted from me.
The rose upon the breerby the waters running clearMay have charms for the linnet or the bee;Their little loves are blestand their little hearts at restBut my true love is parted from me.
The Bonie Lad That's Far Awa
O how can I be blythe and gladOr how can I gang brisk and brawWhen the bonie lad that I lo'e bestIs o'er the hills and far awa!
It's no the frosty winter windIt's no the driving drift and snaw;But aye the tear comes in my e'eTo think on him that's far awa.
My father pat me frae his doorMy friends they hae disown'd me a';But I hae ane will tak my partThe bonie lad that's far awa.
A pair o' glooves he bought to meAnd silken snoods he gae me twa;And I will wear them for his sakeThe bonie lad that's far awa.
O weary Winter soon will passAnd Spring will cleed the birken shaw;And my young babie will be bornAnd he'll be hame that's far awa.
Verses To Clarinda
Sent with a Pair of Wine-Glasses.
Fair Empress of the Poet's soulAnd Queen of Poetesses;Clarindatake this little boonThis humble pair of glasses:
And fill them up with generous juiceAs generous as your mind;And pledge them to the generous toastThe whole of human kind!
"To those who love us!" second fill;But not to those whom we love;Lest we love those who love not us-A third-"To thee and meLove!"
The Chevalier's Lament
Air-"Captain O'Kean."
The small birds rejoice in the green leaves returningThe murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' the vale;The primroses blow in the dews of the morningAnd wild scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale:But what can give pleasureor what can seem fairWhen the lingering moments are numbered by care?No birds sweetly singingnor flow'rs gaily springingCan soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair.
The deed that I daredcould it merit their malice?A king and a father to place on his throne!His right are these hillsand his right are these valleysWhere the wild beasts find sheltertho' I can find none!But 'tis not my suff'ringsthus wretchedforlornMy brave gallant friends'tis your ruin I mourn;Your faith proved so loyal in hot bloody trial-Alas! I can make it no better return!
Epistle To Hugh Parker
In this strange landthis uncouth climeA land unknown to prose or rhyme;Where words ne'er cross't the Muse's hecklesNor limpit in poetic shackles:A land that Prose did never view itExcept when drunk he stacher't thro' it;Hereambush'd by the chimla cheekHid in an atmosphere of reekI hear a wheel thrum i' the neukI hear it-for in vain I leuk.The red peat gleamsa fiery kernelEnhusked by a fog infernal:Herefor my wonted rhyming rapturesI sit and count my sins by chapters;For life and spunk like ither ChristiansI'm dwindled down to mere existenceWi' nae converse but Gallowa' bodiesWi' nae kenn'd face but Jenny GeddesJennymy Pegasean pride!Dowie she saunters down NithsideAnd aye a westlin leuk she throwsWhile tears hap o'er her auld brown nose!Was it for thiswi' cannie careThou bure the Bard through many a shire?At howesor hillocks never stumbledAnd late or early never grumbled?-O had I power like inclinationI'd heeze thee up a constellationTo canter with the SagitarreOr loup the ecliptic like a bar;Or turn the pole like any arrow;Orwhen auld Phoebus bids good-morrowDown the zodiac urge the raceAnd cast dirt on his godship's face;For I could lay my bread and kailHe'd ne'er cast saut upo' thy tail. -Wi' a' this care and a' this griefAnd sma'sma' prospect of reliefAnd nought but peat reek i' my headHow can I write what ye can read?-Tarboltontwenty-fourth o' JuneYe'll find me in a better tune;But till we meet and weet our whistleTak this excuse for nae epistle.
Robert Burns.
Of A' The Airts The Wind Can Blaw^1
tune-"Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey."
Of a' the airts the wind can blawI dearly like the westFor there the bonie lassie livesThe lassie I lo'e best:
[Footnote 1: Written during a separation from Mrs. Burns in their honeymoon.Burns was preparing a home at Ellisland; Mrs. Burns was at Mossgiel.-Lang.]
There's wild-woods growand rivers rowAnd mony a hill between:But day and night my fancys' flightIs ever wi' my Jean.
I see her in the dewy flowersI see her sweet and fair:I hear her in the tunefu' birdsI hear her charm the air:There's not a bonie flower that springsBy fountainshawor green;There's not a bonie bird that singsBut minds me o' my Jean.
song-I Hae a Wife O' My Ain
I Hae a wife of my ainI'll partake wi' naebody;I'll take Cuckold frae naneI'll gie Cuckold to naebody.
I hae a penny to spendThere-thanks to naebody!I hae naething to lendI'll borrow frae naebody.
I am naebody's lordI'll be slave to naebody;I hae a gude braid swordI'll tak dunts frae naebody.
I'll be merry and freeI'll be sad for naebody;Naebody cares for meI care for naebody.
Lines Written In Friars'-Carse Hermitage
Glenriddel HermitageJune 28th1788.
Thou whom chance may hither leadBe thou clad in russet weedBe thou deckt in silken stoleGrave these maxims on thy soul.
Life is but a day at mostSprung from nightin darkness lost:Hope not sunshine every hourFear not clouds will always lour.
Happiness is but a nameMake content and ease thy aimAmbition is a meteor-gleam;Famean idle restless dream;
Peacethe tend'rest flow'r of spring;Pleasuresinsects on the wing;Those that sip the dew alone-Make the butterflies thy own;Those that would the bloom devour-Crush the locustssave the flower.
For the future be prepar'dGuard wherever thou can'st guard;But thy utmost duly doneWelcome what thou can'st not shun.Follies pastgive thou to airMake their consequence thy care:Keep the name of Man in mindAnd dishonour not thy kind.Reverence with lowly heartHimwhose wondrous work thou art;Keep His Goodness still in viewThy trustand thy exampletoo.
Strangergo! Heaven be thy guide!Quod the Beadsman of Nidside.
To Alex. CunninghamESQ.Writer
EllislandNithsdaleJuly 27th1788.
My godlike friend-naydo not stareYou think the phrase is odd-like;But God is lovethe saints declareThen surely thou art god-like.
And is thy ardour still the same?And kindled still at Anna?Others may boast a partial flameBut thou art a volcano!
Ev'n Wedlock asks not love beyondDeath's tie-dissolving portal;But thouomnipotently fondMay'st promise love immortal!
Thy wounds such healing powers defySuch symptoms dire attend themThat last great antihectic try-Marriage perhaps may mend them.
Sweet Anna has an air-a graceDivinemagnetictouching:She talksshe charms-but who can traceThe process of bewitching?
Song.-AnnaThy Charms
Annathy charms my bosom fireAnd waste my soul with care;But ah! how bootless to admireWhen fated to despair!
Yet in thy presencelovely FairTo hope may be forgiven;For sure 'twere impious to despairSo much in sight of heaven.
The Fete Champetre
O Wha will to Saint Stephen's HouseTo do our errands thereman?O wha will to Saint Stephen's HouseO' th' merry lads of Ayrman?
Or will we send a man o' law?Or will we send a sodger?Or him wha led o'er Scotland a'The meikle Ursa-Major?^1
Comewill ye court a noble lordOr buy a score o'lairdsman?For worth and honour pawn their wordTheir vote shall be Glencaird's^2 man.Ane gies them coinane gies them wineAnither gies them clatter:Annbank^3 wha guessed the ladies' tasteHe gies a Fete Champetre.
When Love and Beauty heard the newsThe gay green woods amangman;Wheregathering flowersand busking bowersThey heard the blackbird's sangman:A vowthey sealed it with a kissSir Politics to fetter;As their's alonethe patent blissTo hold a Fete Champetre.
Then mounted Mirthon gleesome wingO'er hill and dale she flewman;Ilk wimpling burnilk crystal springIlk glen and shaw she knewman:She summon'd every social spriteThat sports by wood or waterOn th' bonie banks of Ayr to meetAnd keep this Fete Champetre.
Cauld Boreaswi' his boisterous crewWere bound to stakes like kyemanAnd Cynthia's caro' silver fu'Clamb up the starry skyman:Reflected beams dwell in the streamsOr down the current shatter;The western breeze steals thro'the treesTo view this Fete Champetre.
[Footnote 1: James Boswellthe biographer of Dr. Johnson.]
[Footnote 2: Sir John Whitefoordthen residing at Cloncaird or "Glencaird."]
[Footnote 3: William CunninghameEsq.of Annbank and Enterkin.]
How many a robe sae gaily floats!What sparkling jewels glanceman!To Harmony's enchanting notesAs moves the mazy danceman.The echoing woodthe winding floodLike Paradise did glitterWhen angels metat Adam's yettTo hold their Fete Champetre.
When Politics came thereto mixAnd make his ether-staneman!He circled round the magic groundBut entrance found he naneman:He blush'd for shamehe quat his nameForswore itevery letterWi' humble prayer to join and shareThis festive Fete Champetre.
Epistle To Robert GrahamEsq.Of Fintry
Requesting a Favour
When Nature her great master-piece design'dAnd fram'd her lastbest workthe human mindHer eye intent on all the mazy planShe form'd of various parts the various Man.
Then first she calls the useful many forth;Plain plodding Industryand sober Worth:Thence peasantsfarmersnative sons of earthAnd merchandise' whole genus take their birth:Each prudent cit a warm existence findsAnd all mechanics' many-apron'd kinds.Some other rarer sorts are wanted yetThe lead and buoy are needful to the net:The caput mortuum of grnss desiresMakes a material for mere knights and squires;The martial phosphorus is taught to flowShe kneads the lumpish philosophic doughThen marks th' unyielding mass with grave designsLawphysicpoliticsand deep divines;Lastshe sublimes th' Aurora of the polesThe flashing elements of female souls.
The order'd system fair before her stoodNaturewell pleas'dpronounc'd it very good;But ere she gave creating labour o'erHalf-jestshe tried one curious labour more.Some spumyfieryignis fatuus matterSuch as the slightest breath of air might scatter;With arch-alacrity and conscious glee(Nature may have her whim as well as weHer Hogarth-art perhaps she meant to show it)She forms the thing and christens it-a Poet:Creaturetho' oft the prey of care and sorrowWhen blest to-dayunmindful of to-morrow;A being form'd t' amuse his graver friendsAdmir'd and prais'd-and there the homage ends;A mortal quite unfit for Fortune's strifeYet oft the sport of all the ills of life;Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches giveYet haply wanting wherewithal to live;Longing to wipe each tearto heal each groanYet frequent all unheeded in his own.
But honest Nature is not quite a TurkShe laugh'd at firstthen felt for her poor work:Pitying the propless climber of mankindShe cast about a standard tree to find;Andto support his helpless woodbine stateAttach'd him to the generoustruly great:A titleand the only one I claimTo lay strong hold for help on bounteous Graham.
Pity the tuneful Muses' hapless trainWeaktimid landsmen on life's stormy main!Their hearts no selfish stern absorbent stuffThat never gives-tho' humbly takes enough;The little fate allowsthey share as soonUnlike sage proverb'd Wisdom's hard-wrung boon:The world were blest did bliss on them dependAhthat "the friendly e'er should want a friend!"Let Prudence number o'er each sturdy sonWho life and wisdom at one race begunWho feel by reason and who give by rule(Instinct's a bruteand sentiment a fool!)Who make poor "will do" wait upon "I should"-We own they're prudentbut who feels they're good?Ye wise ones hence! ye hurt the social eye!God's image rudely etch'd on base alloy!But come ye who the godlike pleasure knowHeaven's attribute distinguished-to bestow!Whose arms of love would grasp the human race:Come thou who giv'st with all a courtier's grace;Friend of my lifetrue patron of my rhymes!Prop of my dearest hopes for future times.Why shrinks my soul half blushinghalf afraidBackwardabash'd to ask thy friendly aid?I know my needI know thy giving handI crave thy friendship at thy kind command;But there are such who court the tuneful Nine-Heavens! should the branded character be mine!Whose verse in manhood's pride sublimely flowsYet vilest reptiles in their begging prose.Markhow their lofty independent spiritSoars on the spurning wing of injured merit!Seek not the proofs in private life to findPity the best of words should be but wind!Soto heaven's gates the lark's shrill song ascendsBut grovelling on the earth the carol ends.In all the clam'rous cry of starving wantThey dun Benevolence with shameless front;Oblige thempatronise their tinsel lays-They persecute you all your future days!Ere my poor soul such deep damnation stainMy horny fist assume the plough againThe pie-bald jacket let me patch once moreOn eighteenpence a week I've liv'd before.Tho'thanks to HeavenI dare even that last shiftI trustmeantimemy boon is in thy gift:Thatplac'd by thee upon the wish'd-for heightWhereman and nature fairer in her sightMy Muse may imp her wing for some sublimer flight.
Song.-The Day Returns
tune-"Seventh of November."
The day returnsmy bosom burnsThe blissful day we twa did meet:Tho' winter wild in tempest toil'dNe'er summer-sun was half sae sweet.Than a' the pride that loads the tideAnd crosses o'er the sultry line;Than kingly robesthan crowns and globesHeav'n gave me more-it made thee mine!
While day and night can bring delightOr Nature aught of pleasure give;While joys above my mind can moveFor theeand thee aloneI live.When that grim foe of life belowComes in between to make us partThe iron hand that breaks our bandIt breaks my bliss-it breaks my heart!
Song.-OWere I On Parnassus Hill
tune-"My love is lost to me."
Owere I on Parnassus hillOr had o' Helicon my fillThat I might catch poetic skillTo sing how dear I love thee!But Nith maun be my Muse's wellMy Muse maun be thy bonie sel'On Corsincon I'll glowr and spellAnd write how dear I love thee.
Then comesweet Museinspire my lay!For a' the lee-lang simmer's dayI couldna singI couldna sayHow muchhow dearI love theeI see thee dancing o'er the greenThy waist sae jimpthy limbs sae cleanThy tempting lipsthy roguish een-By Heaven and Earth I love thee!
By nightby daya-fieldat hameThe thoughts o' thee my breast inflame:And aye I muse and sing thy name-I only live to love thee.Tho' I were doom'd to wander onBeyond the seabeyond the sunTill my last weary sand was run;Till then-and then I love thee!
A Mother's Lament
For the Death of Her Son.
Fate gave the wordthe arrow spedAnd pierc'd my darling's heart;And with him all the joys are fledLife can to me impart.
By cruel hands the sapling dropsIn dust dishonour'd laid;So fell the pride of all my hopesMy age's future shade.
The mother-linnet in the brakeBewails her ravish'd young;So Ifor my lost darling's sakeLament the live-day long.
Deathoft I've feared thy fatal blow.NowfondI bare my breast;Odo thou kindly lay me lowWith him I loveat rest!
The Fall Of The Leaf
The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hillConcealing the course of the dark-winding rill;How languid the sceneslate so sprightlyappear!As Autumn to Winter resigns the pale year.
The forests are leaflessthe meadows are brownAnd all the gay foppery of summer is flown:Apart let me wanderapart let me museHow quick Time is flyinghow keen Fate pursues!
How long I have liv'd-but how much liv'd in vainHow little of life's scanty span may remainWhat aspects old Time in his progress has wornWhat ties cruel Fatein my bosom has torn.
How foolishor worsetill our summit is gain'd!And downwardhow weaken'dhow darken'dhow pain'd!Life is not worth having with all it can give-For something beyond it poor man sure must live.
I Reign In Jeanie's Bosom
Louiswhat reck I by theeOr Geordie on his ocean?Dyvorbeggar louns to meI reign in Jeanie's bosom!
Let her crown my love her lawAnd in her breast enthrone meKings and nations-swith awa'!Reif randiesI disown ye!
It Is NaJeanThy Bonie Face
It is naJeanthy bonie faceNor shape that I admire;Altho' thy beauty and thy graceMight weel awauk desire.
Somethingin ilka part o' theeTo praiseto loveI findBut dear as is thy form to meStill dearer is thy mind.
Nae mair ungenerous wish I haeNor stronger in my breastThanif I canna make thee saeAt least to see thee blest.
Content am Iif heaven shall giveBut happinessto thee;And as wi' thee I'd wish to liveFor thee I'd bear to die.
Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgotAnd never brought to mind?Should auld acquaintance be forgotAnd auld lang syne!
Chorus.-For auld lang synemy dearFor auld lang syne.We'll tak a cup o' kindness yetFor auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!And surely I'll be mine!And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yetFor auld lang syne.For auld&c.
We twa hae run about the braesAnd pou'd the gowans fine;But we've wander'd mony a weary fitSin' auld lang syne.For auld&c.
We twa hae paidl'd in the burnFrae morning sun till dine;But seas between us braid hae roar'dSin' auld lang syne.For auld&c.
And there's a handmy trusty fere!And gie's a hand o' thine!And we'll tak a right gude-willie waughtFor auld lang syne.For auld&c.
My Bonie Mary
Gofetch to me a pint o' wineAnd fill it in a silver tassie;That I may drink before I goA service to my bonie lassie.The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith;Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry;The ship rides by the Berwick-lawAnd I maun leave my bonie Mary.
The trumpets soundthe banners flyThe glittering spears are ranked ready:The shouts o' war are heard afarThe battle closes deep and bloody;It's not the roar o' sea or shoreWad mak me langer wish to tarry!Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar-It's leaving theemy bonie Mary!
The Parting Kiss
Humid seal of soft affectionsTenderest pledge of future blissDearest tie of young connectionsLove's first snowdropvirgin kiss!
Speaking silencedumb confessionPassion's birthand infant's playDove-like fondnesschaste concessionGlowing dawn of future day!
Sorrowing joyAdieu's last action(Lingering lips must now disjoin)What words can ever speak affectionSo thrilling and sincere as thine!
Written In Friars Carse Hermitage
On Nithside
Thou whom chance may hither leadBe thou clad in russet weedBe thou deckt in silken stoleGrave these counsels on thy soul.
Life is but a day at mostSprung from night-in darkness lost;Hope not sunshine ev'ry hourFear not clouds will always lour.
As Youth and Love with sprightly danceBeneath thy morning star advancePleasure with her siren airMay delude the thoughtless pair;Let Prudence bless Enjoyment's cupThen raptur'd sipand sip it up.
As thy day grows warm and highLife's meridian flaming nighDost thou spurn the humble vale?Life's proud summits wouldst thou scale?Check thy climbing stepelateEvils lurk in felon wait:Dangerseagle-pinionedboldSoar around each cliffy hold!While cheerful Peacewith linnet songChants the lowly dells among.
As the shades of ev'ning closeBeck'ning thee to long repose;As life itself becomes diseaseSeek the chimney-nook of ease;There ruminate with sober thoughtOn all thou'st seenand heardand wroughtAnd teach the sportive younkers roundSaws of experiencesage and sound:Sayman's truegenuine estimateThe grand criterion of his fateIs not-Arth thou high or low?Did thy fortune ebb or flow?Did many talents gild thy span?Or frugal Nature grudge thee one?Tell themand press it on their mindAs thou thyself must shortly findThe smile or frown of awful Heav'nTo virtue or to Vice is giv'nSayto be justand kindand wise-There solid self-enjoyment lies;That foolishselfishfaithless waysLead to be wretchedvileand base.
Thus resign'd and quietcreepTo the bed of lasting sleep-Sleepwhence thou shalt ne'er awakeNightwhere dawn shall never breakTill future lifefuture no moreTo light and joy the good restoreTo light and joy unknown before.Strangergo! Heav'n be thy guide!Quod the Beadsman of Nithside.
The Poet's Progress
A Poem In Embryo
ThouNaturepartial NatureI arraign;Of thy caprice maternal I complain.
The peopled fold thy kindly care have foundThe horned bulltremendousspurns the ground;The lordly lion has enough and moreThe forest trembles at his very roar;Thou giv'st the ass his hidethe snail his shellThe puny waspvictoriousguards his cell.Thy minionskings defendcontroul devourIn all th' omnipotence of rule and power:Foxes and statesmen subtle wiles ensure;The cit and polecat stinkand are secure:Toads with their poisondoctors with their drugThe priest and hedgehogin their robesare snug:E'en silly women have defensive artsTheir eyestheir tongues-and nameless other parts.
But O thou cruel stepmother and hardTo thy poor fencelessnaked childthe Bard!A thing unteachable in worldly skillAnd half an idiot toomore helpless still:No heels to bear him from the op'ning dunNo claws to dighis hated sight to shun:No hornsbut those by luckless Hymen wornAnd thosealas! not Amalthea's horn:No nerves olfact'rytrue to Mammon's footOr gruntinggrub sagaciousevil's root:The silly sheep that wanders wild astrayIs not more friendlessis not more a prey;Vampyre-booksellers drain him to the heartAnd viper-critics cureless venom dart.
Critics! appll'd I venture on the nameThose cut-throat bandits in the paths of fameBloody dissectorsworse than ten MonroesHe hacks to teachthey mangle to expose:By blockhead's daring into madness stungHis heart by wantoncauseless malice wrungHis well-won ways-than life itself more dear -By miscreants torn who ne'er one sprig must wear;Foil'dbleedingtortur'd in th' unequal strifeThe hapless Poet flounces on through lifeTillfled each hope that once his bosom firedAnd fled each Muse that glorious once inspir'dLow-sunk in squalidunprotected ageDead even resentment for his injur'd pageHe heeds no more the ruthless critics' rage.
So by some hedge the generous steed deceas'dFor half-starv'dsnarling curs a dainty feast;By toil and famine worn to skin and boneLiessenseless of each tugging bitch's son.
A little uprightperttarttripping wightAnd still his precious self his dear delight;Who loves his own smart shadow in the streetsBetter than e'er the fairest she he meets;Much specious lorebut little understood(Veneering oft outshines the solid wood)His solid senseby inches you must tellBut mete his cunning by the Scottish ell!A man of fashion toohe made his tourLearn'd "vive la bagatelle et vive l'amour;"So travell'd monkeys their grimace improvePolish their grin-naysigh for ladies' love!His meddling vanitya busy fiendStill making work his selfish craft must mend.
* * * Crochallan cameThe old cock'd hatthe brown surtout-the same;His grisly beard just bristling in its might-'Twas four long nights and days from shaving-night;His uncomb'dhoary lockswild-staringthatch'dA headfor thought profound and clearunmatch'd;Yettho' his caustic wit was biting-rudeHis heart was warmbenevolent and good.
O Dulnessportion of the truly blest!Calmshelter'd haven of eternal rest!Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremesOf Fortune's polar frostor torrid beams;If mantling high she fills the golden cupWith soberselfish ease they sip it up;Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserveThey only wonder "some folks" do not starve!The gravesage hern thus easy picks his frogAnd thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog.When disappointment snaps the thread of HopeWhenthro' disastrous nightthey darkling gropeWith deaf endurance sluggishly they bearAnd just conclude that "fools are Fortune's care:"Soheavypassive to the tempest's shocksStrong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.
Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap trainNot such the workings of their moon-struck brain;In equanimity they never dwellBy turns in soaring heavenor vaulted hell!
Elegy On The Year 1788
For lords or kings I dinna mournE'en let them die-for that they're born:But oh! prodigious to reflec'!A Towmontsirsis gane to wreck!O Eighty-eightin thy sma' spaceWhat dire events hae taken place!Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us!In what a pickle thou has left us!
The Spanish empire's tint a headAnd my auld teethlessBawtie's dead:The tulyie's teugh 'tween Pitt and FoxAnd 'tween our Maggie's twa wee cocks;The tane is gamea bluidy devilBut to the hen-birds unco civil;The tither's something dour o' treadinBut better stuff ne'er claw'd a middin.
Ye ministerscome mount the poupitAn' cry till ye be hearse an' roupitFor Eighty-eighthe wished you weelAn' gied ye a' baith gear an' meal;E'en monc a plackand mony a peckYe ken yourselsfor little feck!
Ye bonie lassesdight your e'enFor some o' you hae tint a frien';In Eighty-eightye kenwas taenWhat ye'll ne'er hae to gie again.
Observe the very nowt an' sheepHow dowff an' daviely they creep;Nayeven the yirth itsel' does cryFor E'nburgh wells are grutten dry.
O Eighty-ninethou's but a bairnAn' no owre auldI hopeto learn!Thou beardless boyI pray tak careThou now hast got thy Daddy's chair;Nae handcuff'dmizl'dhap-shackl'd RegentButlike himsela full free agentBe sure ye follow out the planNae waur than he didhonest man!As muckle better as you can.
The Henpecked Husband
Curs'd be the manthe poorest wretch in lifeThe crouching vassal to a tyrant wife!Who has no will but by her high permissionWho has not sixpence but in her possession;Who must to hehis dear friend's secrets tellWho dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell.Were such the wife had fallen to my partI'd break her spirit or I'd break her heart;I'd charm her with the magic of a switchI'd kiss her maidsand kick the perverse bitch.
Versicles On Sign-Posts
His face with smile eternal drestJust like the Landlord's to his Guest'sHigh as they hang with creaking dinTo index out the Country Inn.He looked just as your sign-post Lions doWith aspect fierceand quite as harmless too.
A headpuresinless quite of brain and soulThe very image of a barber's Poll;It shews a human faceand wears a wigAnd lookswhen well preserv'damazing big.
Robin Shure In Hairst
Chorus.-Robin shure in hairstI shure wi' him.Fient a heuk had IYet I stack by him.
I gaed up to DunseTo warp a wab o' plaidenAt his daddie's yettWha met me but Robin:Robin shure&c.
Was na Robin bauldTho' I was a cotterPlay'd me sic a trickAn' me the El'er's dochter!Robin shure&c.
Robin promis'd meA' my winter vittle;Fient haet he had but threeGuse-feathers and a whittle!Robin shure&c.
OdeSacred To The Memory Of Mrs. Oswald Of Auchencruive
Dweller in yon dungeon darkHangman of creation! markWho in widow-weeds appearsLaden with unhonour'd yearsNoosing with care a bursting purseBaited with many a deadly curse?
View the wither'd Beldam's face;Can thy keen inspection traceAught of Humanity's sweetmelting grace?Note that eye'tis rheum o'erflows;Pity's flood there never roseSee these hands ne'er stretched to saveHands that tookbut never gave:Keeper of Mammon's iron chestLothere she goesunpitied and unblestShe goesbut not to realms of everlasting rest!
Plunderer of Armies! lift thine eyes(A while forbearye torturing fiends;)Seest thou whose stepunwillinghither bends?No fallen angelhurl'd from upper skies;'Tis thy trusty quondam MateDoom'd to share thy fiery fate;Shetardyhell-ward plies.
And are they of no more availTen thousand glittering pounds a-year?In other worlds can Mammon failOmnipotent as he is here!
Obitter mockery of the pompous bierWhile down the wretched Vital Part is driven!The cave-lodged Beggarwith a conscience clearExpires in ragsunknownand goes to Heaven.
Pegasus At Wanlockhead
With Pegasus upon a dayApolloweary flyingThrough frosty hills the journey layOn foot the way was plying.
Poor slipshod giddy PegasusWas but a sorry walker;To Vulcan then Apollo goesTo get a frosty caulker.
Obliging Vulcan fell to workThrew by his coat and bonnetAnd did Sol's business in a crack;Sol paid him with a sonnet.
Ye Vulcan's sons of WanlockheadPity my sad disaster;My Pegasus is poorly shodI'll pay you like my master.
Sappho Redivivus-A Fragment
By all I lov'dneglected and forgotNo friendly face e'er lights my squalid cot;Shunn'dhatedwrong'dunpitiedunredrestThe mock'd quotation of the scorner's jest!Ev'n the poor support of my wretched lifeSnatched by the violence of legal strife.Oft grateful for my very daily breadTo those my family's once large bounty fed;A welcome inmate at their homely fareMy griefsmy woesmy sighsmy tears they share:(Their vulgar souls unlike the souls refin'dThe fashioned marble of the polished mind).
In vain would Prudencewith decorous sneerPoint out a censuring worldand bid me fear;Above the worldon wings of LoveI rise-I know its worstand can that worst despise;Let Prudence' direst bodements on me fallM[ontgomer]yrich rewardo'erpays them all!
Mild zephyrs waft thee to life's farthest shoreNor think of me and my distress more-Falsehood accurst! No! still I beg a placeStill near thy heart some littlelittle trace:For that dear trace the world I would resign:O let me liveand dieand think it mine!
"I burnI burnas when thro' ripen'd cornBy driving winds the crackling flames are borne;"Now raving-wildI curse that fatal nightThen bless the hour that charm'd my guilty sight:In vain the laws their feeble force opposeChain'd at Love's feetthey groanhis vanquish'd foes.In vain Religion meets my shrinking eyeI dare not combatbut I turn and fly:Conscience in vain upbraids th' unhallow'd fireLove grasps her scorpions-stifled they expire!Reason drops headlong from his sacred throne
Your dear idea reignsand reigns alone;Each thought intoxicated homage yieldsAnd riots wanton in forbidden fields.By all on high adoring mortals know!By all the conscious villain fears below!By your dear self!-the last great oath I swearNot lifenor soulwere ever half so dear!
song-She's Fair And Fause
She's fair and fause that causes my smartI lo'ed her meikle and lang;She's broken her vowshe's broken my heartAnd I may e'en gae hang.A coof cam in wi' routh o' gearAnd I hae tint my dearest dear;But Woman is but warld's gearSae let the bonie lass gang.
Whae'er ye be that woman loveTo this be never blind;Nae ferlie 'tis tho' fickle she proveA woman has't by kind.O Woman lovelyWoman fair!An angel form's faun to thy share'Twad been o'er meikle to gi'en thee mair-I mean an angel mind.
Impromptu Lines To Captain Riddell
On Returning a Newspaper.
Your News and Reviewsir.I've read through and throughsirWith little admiring or blaming;The Papers are barrenOf home-news or foreignNo murders or rapes worth the naming.
Our friendsthe ReviewersThose chippers and hewersAre judges of mortar and stonesir;But of meet or unmeetIn a fabric completeI'll boldly pronounce they are nonesir;
My goose-quill too rude isTo tell all your goodnessBestow'd on your servantthe Poet;Would to God I had oneLike a beam of the sunAnd then all the worldsirshould know it!
Lines To John M'MurdoEsq. Of Drumlanrig
Sent with some of the Author's Poems.
O could I give thee India's wealthAs I this trifle send;Because thy joy in both would beTo share them with a friend.
But golden sands did never graceThe Heliconian stream;Then take what gold could never buy-An honest bard's esteem.
Rhyming Reply To A Note From Captain Riddell
DearSirat ony time or tideI'd rather sit wi' you than rideThough 'twere wi' royal Geordie:And trowthyour kindnesssoon and lateAft gars me to mysel' look blate-The Lord in Heav'n reward ye!
R. Burns.
Caledonia-A Ballad
tune-"Caledonian Hunts' Delight" of Mr. Gow.
There was once a daybut old Time wasythen youngThat brave Caledoniathe chief of her lineFrom some of your northern deities sprung(Who knows not that brave Caledonia's divine?)From Tweed to the Orcades was her domainTo huntor to pastureor do what she would:Her heav'nly relations there fixed her reignAnd pledg'd her their godheads to warrant it good.
A lambkin in peacebut a lion in warThe pride of her kindredthe heroine grew:Her grandsireold Odintriumphantly swore-Whoe'er shall provoke thee, th' encounter shall rue!With tillage or pasture at times she would sportTo feed her fair flocks by her green rustling corn;But chiefly the woods were her fav'rite resortHer darling amusementthe hounds and the horn.
Long quiet she reigned; till thitherward steersA flight of bold eagles from Adria's strand:Repeatedsuccessivefor many long yearsThey darken'd the airand they plunder'd the land:Their pounces were murderand terror their cryThey'd conquer'd and ruin'd a world beside;She took to her hillsand her arrows let flyThe daring invaders they fled or they died.
The Cameleon-Savage disturb'd her reposeWith tumultdisquietrebellionand strife;Provok'd beyond bearingat last she aroseAnd robb'd him at once of his hopes and his life:The Anglian lionthe terror of FranceOft prowlingensanguin'd the Tweed's silver flood;Buttaught by the bright Caledonian lanceHe learned to fear in his own native wood.
The fell Harpy-raven took wing from the northThe scourge of the seasand the dread of the shore;The wild Scandinavian boar issued forthTo wanton in carnage and wallow in gore:O'er countries and kingdoms their fury prevail'dNo arts could appease themno arms could repel;But brave Caledonia in vain they assail'dAs Largs well can witnessand Loncartie tell.
Thus boldindependentunconquer'dand freeHer bright course of glory for ever shall run:For brave Caledonia immortal must be;I'll prove it from Euclid as clear as the sun:Rectangle-trianglethe figure we'll chuse:The upright is Chanceand old Time is the base;But brave Caledonia's the hypothenuse;Thenergoshe'll match themand match them always.
To Miss Cruickshank
A very Young Lady
     Written on the Blank Leaf of a Bookpresented to her by the Author.
Beauteous Rosebudyoung and gayBlooming in thy early MayNever may'st thoulovely flowerChilly shrink in sleety shower!Never Boreas' hoary pathNever Eurus' pois'nous breathNever baleful stellar lightsTaint thee with untimely blights!Nevernever reptile thiefRiot on thy virgin leaf!Nor even Sol too fiercely viewThy bosom blushing still with dew!
May'st thou longsweet crimson gemRichly deck thy native stem;Till some ev'ningsobercalmDropping dewsand breathing balmWhile all around the woodland ringsAnd ev'ry bird thy requiem sings;Thouamid the dirgeful soundShed thy dying honours roundAnd resign to parent EarthThe loveliest form she e'er gave birth.
Beware O' Bonie Ann
Ye gallants brightI rede you rightBeware o' bonie Ann;Her comely face sae fu' o' graceYour heart she will trepan:Her een sae brightlike stars by nightHer skin sae like the swan;Sae jimply lac'd her genty waistThat sweetly ye might span.
YouthGraceand Love attendant moveAnd pleasure leads the van:In a' their charmsand conquering armsThey wait on bonie Ann.The captive bands may chain the handsBut love enslaves the man:Ye gallants brawI rede you a'Beware o' bonie Ann!
Ode On The Departed Regency Bill
Daughter of Chaos' doting yearsNurse of ten thousand hopes and fearsWhether thy airyinsubstantial shade(The rights of sepulture now duly paid)Spread abroad its hideous formOn the roaring civil stormDeafening din and warring rageFactions wild with factions wage;Or under-grounddeep-sunkprofoundAmong the demons of the earthWith groans that make the mountains shakeThou mourn thy ill-starr'dblighted birth;Or in the uncreated VoidWhere seeds of future being fightWith lessen'd step thou wander wideTo greet thy Mother-Ancient Night.And as each jarringmonster-mass is pastFond recollect what once thou wast:In manner duebeneath this sacred oakHearSpirithear! thy presence I invoke!By a Monarch's heaven-struck fateBy a disunited StateBy a generous Prince's wrongs.By a Senate's strife of tonguesBy a Premier's sullen prideLouring on the changing tide;By dread Thurlow's powers to aweRhetoricblasphemy and law;By the turbulent ocean-A Nation's commotionBy the harlot-caressesOf borough addressesBy days few and evil(Thy portionpoor devil!)By PowerWealthand Show(The Gods by men adored)By nameless Poverty(Their hell abhorred)By all they hopeby all they fearHear! and appear!
Stare not on methou ghastly Power!Norgrim with chained defiancelour:No Babel-structure would I buildWhereorder exil'd from his native swayConfusion may the regent-sceptre wieldWhile all would rule and none obey:Goto the world of man relateThe story of thy sadeventful fate;And call presumptuous Hope to hearAnd bid him check his blind career;And tell the sore-prest sons of CareNevernever to despair!Paint Charles' speed on wings of fireThe object of his fond desireBeyond his boldest hopesat hand:Paint all the triumph of the Portland Band;Hark how they lift the joy-elated voice!And who are these that equally rejoice?JewsGentileswhat a motley crew!The iron tears their flinty cheeks bedew;See how unfurled the parchment ensigns flyAnd Principal and Interest all the cry!And how their num'rous creditors rejoice;But just as hopes to warm enjoyment riseCry Convalescence! and the vision flies.Then next pourtray a dark'ning twilight gloomEclipsing sad a gayrejoicing mornWhile proud Ambition to th' untimely tombBy gnashinggrimdespairing fiends is borne:Paint ruinin the shape of high D[undas]Gaping with giddy terror o'er the brow;In vain he strugglesthe fates behind him pressAnd clam'rous hell yawns for her prey below:How fallen Thatwhose pride late scaled the skies!And Thislike Luciferno more to rise!Again pronounce the powerful word;See Daytriumphant from the nightrestored.
Then know this truthye Sons of Men!(Thus ends thy moral tale)Your darkest terrors may be vainYour brightest hopes may fail.
Epistle To James Tennant Of Glenconner
Auld comrade dearand brither sinnerHow's a' the folk about Glenconner?How do you this blae eastlin windThat's like to blaw a body blind?For memy faculties are frozenMy dearest member nearly dozen'd.I've sent you hereby Johnie SimsonTwa sage philosophers to glimpse on;Smithwi' his sympathetic feelingAn' Reidto common sense appealing.Philosophers have fought and wrangledAn' meikle Greek an' Latin mangledTill wi' their logic-jargon tir'dAnd in the depth of science mir'dTo common sense they now appealWhat wives and wabsters see and feel.Buthark yefriend! I charge you strictlyPeruse theman' return them quickly:For now I'm grown sae cursed douceI pray and ponder butt the house;My shinsmy laneI there sit roastin'Perusing BunyanBrownan' BostonTill by an' byif I haud onI'll grunt a real gospel-groan:Already I begin to try itTo cast my e'en up like a pyetWhen by the gun she tumbles o'erFlutt'ring an' gasping in her gore:Sae shortly you shall see me brightA burning an' a shining light.
My heart-warm love to guid auld GlenThe ace an' wale of honest men:When bending down wi' auld grey hairsBeneath the load of years and caresMay He who made him still support himAn' views beyond the grave comfort him;His worthy fam'ly far and nearGod bless them a' wi' grace and gear!
My auld schoolfellowPreacher WillieThe manly tarmy mason-billieAnd AuchenbayI wish him joyIf he's a parentlass or boyMay he be dadand Meg the mitherJust five-and-forty years thegither!And no forgetting wabster CharlieI'm tauld he offers very fairly.An' Lordremember singing SannockWi' hale breekssaxpencean' a bannock!And nextmy auld acquaintanceNancySince she is fitted to her fancyAn' her kind stars hae airted till hergA guid chiel wi' a pickle siller.My kindestbest respectsI sen' itTo cousin Katean' sister Janet:Tell themfrae mewi' chiels be cautiousForfaiththey'll aiblins fin' them fashious;To grant a heart is fairly civilBut to grant a maidenhead's the devil.An' lastlyJamiefor yourselMay guardian angels tak a spellAn' steer you seven miles south o' hell:But firstbefore you see heaven's gloryMay ye get mony a merry storyMony a laughand mony a drinkAnd aye eneugh o' needfu' clink.
Now fare ye weelan' joy be wi' you:For my sakethis I beg it o' youAssist poor Simson a' ye canYe'll fin; him just an honest man;Sae I concludeand quat my chanterYour'ssaint or sinnerRob the Ranter.
A New Psalm For The Chapel Of Kilmarnock
     On the Thanksgiving-Day for His Majesty's Recovery.
O sing a new song to the LordMakeall and every oneA joyful noiseeven for the KingHis restoration.
The sons of Belial in the landDid set their heads together;Comelet us sweep them offsaid theyLike an o'erflowing river.
They set their heads togetherI sayThey set their heads together;On righton lefton every handWe saw none to deliver.
Thou madest strong two chosen onesTo quell the Wicked's pride;That Young Mangreat in IssacharThe burden-bearing tribe.
And himamong the Princes chiefIn our JerusalemThe judge that's mighty in thy lawThe man that fears thy name.
Yet theyeven theywith all their strengthBegan to faint and fail:Even as two howlingravenous wolvesTo dogs do turn their tail.
Th' ungodly o'er the just prevail'dFor so thou hadst appointed;That thou might'st greater glory giveUnto thine own anointed.
And now thou hast restored our StatePity our Kirk also;For she by tribulationsIs now brought very low.
Consume that high-placePatronageFrom off thy holy hill;And in thy fury burn the book-Even of that man M'Gill.^1
Now hear our prayeraccept our songAnd fight thy chosen's battle:We seek but littleLordfrom theeThou kens we get as little.
[Footnote 1: Dr. William M'Gill of Ayrwhose "Practical Essay on the Death ofJesus Christ" led to a charge of heresy against him. Burns took up his causein "The Kirk of Scotland's Alarm" (p. 351).-Lang.]
Sketch In Verse
     Inscribed to the Right Hon. C. J. Fox.
How wisdom and Folly meetmixand uniteHow Virtue and Vice blend their black and their whiteHow Geniusth' illustrious father of fictionConfounds rule and lawreconciles contradictionI sing: If these mortalsthe criticsshould bustleI care notnot I-let the Critics go whistle!
But now for a Patron whose name and whose gloryAt once may illustrate and honour my story.
Thou first of our oratorsfirst of our wits;Yet whose parts and acquirements seem just lucky hits;With knowledge so vastand with judgment so strongNo man with the half of 'em e'er could go wrong;With passions so potentand fancies so brightNo man with the half of 'em e'er could go right;A sorrypoormisbegot son of the MusesFor using thy nameoffers fifty excuses.Good Lordwhat is Man! for as simple he looksDo but try to develop his hooks and his crooks;With his depths and his shallowshis good and his evilAll in all he's a problem must puzzle the devil.
On his one ruling passion Sir Pope hugely laboursThatlike th' old Hebrew walking-switcheats up its neighbours:Mankind are his show-box-a friendwould you know him?Pull the stringRuling Passion the picture will show himWhat pityin rearing so beauteous a systemOne trifling particularTruthshould have miss'd him;Forspite of his fine theoretic positionsMankind is a science defies definitions.
Some sort all our qualities each to its tribeAnd think human nature they truly describe;Have you found thisor t'other? There's more in the wind;As by one drunken fellow his comrades you'll find.But such is the flawor the depth of the planIn the make of that wonderful creature called ManNo two virtueswhatever relation they claim.Nor even two different shades of the sameThough like as was ever twin brother to brotherPossessing the one shall imply you've the other.
But truce with abstractionand truce with a MuseWhose rhymes you'll perhapsSirne'er deign to peruse:Will you leave your justingsyour jarsand your quarrelsContending with Billy for proud-nodding laurels?My much-honour'd Patronbelieve your poor poetYour couragemuch more than your prudenceyou show it:In vain with Squire Billy for laurels you struggle:He'll have them by fair tradeif nothe will smuggle:Not cabinets even of kings would conceal 'emHe'd up the back stairsand by Godhe would steal 'emThen feats like Squire Billy's you ne'er can achieve 'em;It is notout-do him-the task isout-thieve him!
The Wounded Hare
Inhuman man! curse on thy barb'rous artAnd blasted be thy murder-aiming eye;May never pity soothe thee with a sighNor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!
Go livepoor wand'rer of the wood and field!The bitter little that of life remains:No more the thickening brakes and verdant plainsTo thee a homeor foodor pastime yield.
Seekmangled wretchsome place of wonted restNo more of restbut now thy dying bed!The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy headThe cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest.
Perhaps a mother's anguish adds its woe;The playful pair crowd fondly by thy side;Ah! helpless nurslingswho will now provideThat life a mother only can bestow!
Oft as by winding Nith ImusingwaitThe sober eveor hail the cheerful dawnI'll miss thee sporting o'er the dewy lawnAnd curse the ruffian's aimand mourn thy hapless fate.
DeliaAn Ode
     "To the Editor of The Star.-Mr. Printer-If the productions of a simpleploughman can merit a place in the same paper with Sylvester Otwayand theother favourites of the Muses who illuminate the Star with the lustre ofgeniusyour insertion of the enclosed trifle will be succeeded by futurecommunications from-Yours&c.R. Burns.
     Ellislandnear Dumfries18th May1789."
Fair the face of orient dayFair the tints of op'ning rose;But fairer still my Delia dawnsMore lovely far her beauty shows.
Sweet the lark's wild warbled laySweet the tinkling rill to hear;ButDeliamore delightful stillSteal thine accents on mine ear.
The flower-enamour'd busy beeThe rosy banquet loves to sip;Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapseTo the sun-brown'd Arab's lip.
ButDeliaon thy balmy lipsLet meno vagrant insectrove;O let me steal one liquid kissFor Oh! my soul is parch'd with love.
The Gard'ner Wi' His Paidle
tune-"The Gardener's March."
When rosy May comes in wi' flowersTo deck her gaygreen-spreading bowersThen busybusy are his hoursThe Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
The crystal waters gently fa'The merry bards are lovers a'The scented breezes round him blaw-The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
When purple morning starts the hareTo steal upon her early fare;Then thro' the dews he maun repair-The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
When dayexpiring in the westThe curtain draws o' Nature's restHe flies to her arms he lo'es the bestThe Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
On A Bank Of Flowers
On a bank of flowersin a summer dayFor summer lightly drestThe youthfulblooming Nelly layWith love and sleep opprest;When Williewand'ring thro' the woodWho for her favour oft had sued;He gaz'dhe wish'dHe fear'dhe blush'dAnd trembled where he stood.
Her closed eyeslike weapons sheath'dWere seal'd in soft repose;Her lipstill as she fragrant breath'dIt richer dyed the rose;The springing liliessweetly prestWild-wanton kissed her rival breast;He gaz'dhe wish'dHe mear'dhe blush'dHis bosom ill at rest.
Her robeslight-waving in the breezeHer tender limbs embrace;Her lovely formher native easeAll harmony and grace;Tumultuous tides his pulses rollA falteringardent kiss he stole;He gaz'dhe wish'dHe fear'dhe blush'dAnd sigh'd his very soul.
As flies the partridge from the brakeOn fear-inspired wingsSo Nellystartinghalf-awakeAway affrighted springs;But Willie follow'd-as he shouldHe overtook her in the wood;He vow'dhe pray'dHe found the maidForgiving alland good.
Young Jockie Was The Blythest Lad
Young Jockie was the blythest ladIn a' our town or here awa;Fu' blythe he whistled at the gaudFu' lightly danc'd he in the ha'.
He roos'd my een sae bonie blueHe roos'd my waist sae genty sma';An' aye my heart cam to my mou'When ne'er a body heard or saw.
My Jockie toils upon the plainThro' wind and weetthro' frost and snaw:And o'er the lea I leuk fu' fainWhen Jockie's owsen hameward ca'.
An' aye the night comes round againWhen in his arms he taks me a';An' aye he vows he'll be my ainAs lang's he has a breath to draw.
The Banks Of Nith
The Thames flows proudly to the seaWhere royal cities stately stand;But sweeter flows the Nith to meWhere Comyns ance had high command.When shall I see that honour'd landThat winding stream I love so dear!Must wayward Fortune's adverse handFor everever keep me here!
How lovelyNiththy fruitful valesWhere bounding hawthorns gaily bloom;And sweetly spread thy sloping dalesWhere lambkins wanton through the broom.Tho' wandering now must be my doomFar from thy bonie banks and braesMay there my latest hours consumeAmang the friends of early days!
JamieCome Try Me
Chorus.-Jamiecome try meJamiecome try meIf thou would win my loveJamiecome try me.
If thou should ask my loveCould I deny thee?If thou would win my loveJamiecome try me!Jamiecome try me&c.
If thou should kiss meloveWha could espy thee?If thou wad be my loveJamiecome try me!Jamiecome try me&c.
I Love My Love In Secret
My Sandy gied to me a ringWas a' beset wi' diamonds fine;But I gied him a far better thingI gied my heart in pledge o' his ring.
Chorus.-My Sandy Omy Sandy OMy boniebonie Sandy O;Tho' the love that I oweTo thee I dare na showYet I love my love in secretmy Sandy O.
My Sandy brak a piece o' gowdWhile down his cheeks the saut tears row'd;He took a haufand gied it to meAnd I'll keep it till the hour I die.My Sand O&c.
Sweet Tibbie Dunbar
O wilt thou go wi' mesweet Tibbie Dunbar?O wilt thou go wi' mesweet Tibbie Dunbar?Wilt thou ride on a horseor be drawn in a carOr walk by my sideO sweet Tibbie Dunbar?
I care na thy daddiehis lands and his moneyI care na thy kinsae high and sae lordly;But sae that thou'lt hae me for better for waurAnd come in thy coatiesweet Tibbie Dunbar.
The Captain's Lady
Chorus.-O mount and gomount and make you readyO mount and goand be the Captain's lady.
When the drums do beatand the cannons rattleThou shalt sit in stateand see thy love in battle:When the drums do beatand the cannons rattleThou shalt sit in stateand see thy love in battle.O mount and go&c.
When the vanquish'd foe sues for peace and quietTo the shades we'll goand in love enjoy it:When the vanquish'd foe sues for peace and quietTo the shades we'll goand in love enjoy it.O mount and go&c.
John AndersonMy Jo
John Andersonmy joJohnWhen we were first acquent;Your locks were like the ravenYour bonie brow was brent;But now your brow is beldJohnYour locks are like the snaw;But blessings on your frosty powJohn Andersonmy jo.
John Andersonmy joJohnWe clamb the hill thegither;And mony a cantie dayJohnWe've had wi' ane anither:Now we maun totter downJohnAnd hand in hand we'll goAnd sleep thegither at the footJohn Andersonmy jo.
My LoveShe's But A Lassie Yet
My loveshe's but a lassie yetMy loveshe's but a lassie yet;We'll let her stand a year or twaShe'll no be half sae saucy yet;I rue the day I sought herO!I rue the day I sought herO!Wha gets her needs na say she's woo'dBut he may say he's bought herO.
Comedraw a drap o' the best o't yetComedraw a drap o' the best o't yetGae seek for pleasure whare you willBut here I never miss'd it yetWe're a' dry wi' drinkin o'tWe're a' dry wi' drinkin o't;The minister kiss'd the fiddler's wife;He could na preach for thinkin o't.
song-Tam Glen
My heart is a-breakingdear TittieSome counsel unto me come len'To anger them a' is a pityBut what will I do wi' Tam Glen?
I'm thinkingwi' sic a braw fellowIn poortith I might mak a fen;What care I in riches to wallowIf I maunna marry Tam Glen!
There's Lowrie the Laird o' Dumeller-Gude day to you, brute!he comes ben:He brags and he blaws o' his sillerBut when will he dance like Tam Glen!
My minnie does constantly deave meAnd bids me beware o' young men;They flattershe saysto deceive meBut wha can think sae o' Tam Glen!
My daddie saysgin I'll forsake himHe'd gie me gude hunder marks ten;Butif it's ordain'd I maun take himO wha will I get but Tam Glen!
Yestreen at the Valentine's dealingMy heart to my mou' gied a sten';For thrice I drew ane without failingAnd thrice it was written "Tam Glen"!
The last Halloween I was waukinMy droukit sark-sleeveas ye kenHis likeness came up the house staukinAnd the very grey breeks o' Tam Glen!
Comecounseldear Tittiedon't tarry;I'll gie ye my bonie black henGif ye will advise me to marryThe lad I lo'e dearlyTam Glen.
CarleAn The King Come
Chorus.-Carlean the King comeCarlean the King comeThou shalt dance and I will singCarlean the King come.
An somebody were come againThen somebody maun cross the mainAnd every man shall hae his ainCarlean the King come.Carlean the King come&c.
I trow we swapped for the worseWe gae the boot and better horse;And that we'll tell them at the crossCarlean the King come.Carlean the King come&c.
Coggiean the King comeCoggiean the King comeI'se be fouand thou'se be toomCoggiean the King come.Coggiean the King come&c.
The Laddie's Dear Sel'
There's a youth in this cityit were a great pityThat he from our lassies should wander awa';For he's bonie and brawweel-favor'd witha'An' his hair has a natural buckle an' a'.
His coat is the hue o' his bonnet sae blueHis fecket is white as the new-driven snaw;His hose they are blaeand his shoon like the slaeAnd his clear siller bucklesthey dazzle us a'.
For beauty and fortune the laddie's been courtin;Weel-featur'dweel-tocher'dweel-mounted an' braw;But chiefly the siller that gars him gang till herThe penny's the jewel that beautifies a'.
There's Meg wi' the mailen that fain wad a haen himAnd Susiewha's daddie was laird o' the Ha';There's lang-tocher'd Nancy maist fetters his fancy-But the laddie's dear sel'he loes dearest of a'.
Whistle O'er The Lave O't
First when Maggie was my careHeav'nI thoughtwas in her airNow we're married-speir nae mairBut whistle o'er the lave o't!
Meg was meekand Meg was mildSweet and harmless as a child-Wiser men than me's beguil'd;Whistle o'er the lave o't!
How we livemy Meg and meHow we loveand how we greeI care na by how few may see-Whistle o'er the lave o't!
Wha I wish were maggot's meatDish'd up in her winding-sheetI could write-but Meg maun see't-Whistle o'er the lave o't!
My Eppie Adair
Chorus.-An' O my Eppiemy jewelmy EppieWha wad na be happy wi' Eppie Adair?
By loveand by beautyby lawand by dutyI swear to be true to my Eppie Adair!By loveand by beautyby lawand by dutyI swear to be true to my Eppie Adair!And O my Eppie&c.
A' pleasure exile medishonour defile meIf e'er I beguile yemy Eppie Adair!A' pleasure exile medishonour defile meIf e'er I beguile theemy Eppie Adair!And O my Eppie&c.
On The Late Captain Grose's Peregrinations Thro' Scotland
Collecting The Antiquities Of That Kingdom
HearLand o' Cakesand brither ScotsFrae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's;-If there's a hole in a' your coatsI rede you tent it:A chield's amang you takin notesAndfaithhe'll prent it:
If in your bounds ye chance to lightUpon a finefat fodgel wightO' stature shortbut genius brightThat's hemark weel;And wow! he has an unco sleightO' cauk and keel.
By some auldhoulet-haunted bigginOr kirk deserted by its rigginIt's ten to ane ye'll find him snug inSome eldritch partWi' deilsthey sayLord save's! colleaguinAt some black art.
Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or chaumerYe gipsy-gang that deal in glamourAnd youdeep-read in hell's black grammarWarlocks and witchesYe'll quake at his conjuring hammerYe midnight bitches.
It's tauld he was a sodger bredAnd ane wad rather fa'n than fled;But now he's quat the spurtle-bladeAnd dog-skin walletAnd taen the-Antiquarian tradeI think they call it.
He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets:Rusty airn caps and jinglin jacketsWad haud the Lothians three in tacketsA towmont gude;And parritch-pats and auld saut-backetsBefore the Flood.
Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder;Auld Tubalcain's fire-shool and fender;That which distinguished the genderO' Balaam's ass:A broomstick o' the witch of EndorWeel shod wi' brass.
Forbyehe'll shape you aff fu' glegThe cut of Adam's philibeg;The knife that nickit Abel's craigHe'll prove you fullyIt was a faulding joctelegOr lang-kail gullie.
But wad ye see him in his gleeFor meikle glee and fun has heThen set him downand twa or threeGude fellows wi' him:And portO port! shine thou a weeAnd Then ye'll see him!
Nowby the Pow'rs o' verse and prose!Thou art a dainty chieldO Grose!-Whae'er o' thee shall ill supposeThey sair misca' thee;I'd take the rascal by the noseWad sayShame fa' thee!
Epigram On Francis Grose The Antiquary
The Devil got notice that Grose was a-dyingSo whip! at the summonsold Satan came flying;But when he approached where poor Francis lay moaningAnd saw each bed-post with its burthen a-groaningAstonish'dconfoundedcries Satan-"By GodI'll want himere I take such a damnable load!"
The Kirk Of Scotland's Alarm
A Ballad.
tune-"Come rouseBrother Sportsman!"
Orthodox! orthodoxwho believe in John KnoxLet me sound an alarm to your conscience:A heretic blast has been blown in the WestThat what is no sense must be nonsense,Orthodox! That what is no sense must be nonsense.
Doctor Mac! Doctor Macyou should streek on a rackTo strike evil-doers wi' terror:To join Faith and Senseupon any pretenceWas hereticdamnable errorDoctor Mac!^1 'Twas hereticdamnable error.
Town of Ayr! town of Ayrit was madI declareTo meddle wi' mischief a-brewing^2Provost John^3 is still deaf to the Church's reliefAnd Orator Bob^4 is its ruinTown of Ayr! YesOrator Bob is its ruin.
D'rymple mild! D'rymple mildtho' your heart's like a childAnd your life like the new-driven snawYet that winna save youauld Satan must have youFor preaching that three's ane an' twaD'rymple mild!^5 For preaching that three's ane an' twa.
Rumble John! rumble Johnmount the steps with a groanCry the book is with heresy cramm'd;Then out wi' your ladledeal brimstone like aidleAnd roar ev'ry note of the damn'd.Rumble John!^6 And roar ev'ry note of the damn'd.
[Footnote 1: Dr. M'GillAyr.-R.B]
[Footnote 2: See the advertisement.-R.B.]
[Footnote 3: John Ballantine-R.B.]
[Footnote 4: Robert Aiken.-R.B.]
[Footnote 5: Dr. DalrympleAyr.-R.B.]
[Footnote 6: John RussellKilmarnock.-R.B.]
Simper James! simper Jamesleave your fair Killie damesThere's a holier chase in your view:I'll lay on your headthat the pack you'll soon leadFor puppies like you there's but fewSimper James!^7 For puppies like you there's but few.
Singet Sawnie! singet Sawnieare ye huirdin the pennyUnconscious what evils await?With a jumpyelland howlalarm ev'ry soulFor the foul thief is just at your gate.Singet Sawnie!^8 For the foul thief is just at your gate.
Poet Willie! poet Williegie the Doctor a volleyWi' your "Liberty's Chain" and your wit;O'er Pegasus' side ye ne'er laid a strideYe but smeltmanthe place where he sh-t.Poet Willie!^9 Ye but smelt manthe place where he sh-t.
Barr Steenie! Barr Steeniewhat mean yewhat mean ye?If ye meddle nae mair wi' the matterYe may hae some pretence to havins and senseWi' people that ken ye nae betterBarr Steenie!^10 Wi'people that ken ye nae better.
Jamie Goose! Jamie Gooseye made but toom rooseIn hunting the wicked Lieutenant;But the Doctor's your markfor the Lord's holy arkHe has cooper'd an' ca'd a wrang pin in'tJamie Goose!^11 He has cooper'd an' ca'd a wrang pin in't.
Davie Bluster! Davie Blusterfor a saint ye do musterThe corps is no nice o' recruits;
[Footnote 7: James MackinlayKilmarnock.-R.B.]
[Footnote 8: Alexander Moodie of Riccarton.-R.B.]
[Footnote 9: William Peeblesin Newton-upon-Ayra poetasterwhoamong manyother thingspublished an ode on the "Centenary of the Revolution in which
was the line: And bound in Liberty's endering chain."-R.B.]
[Footnote 10: Stephen Young of Barr.-R.B.]
[Footnote 11: James Youngin New Cumnockwho had lately been foiled in anecclesiastical prosecution against a Lieutenant Mitchel-R.B.]
Yet to worth let's be justroyal blood ye might boastIf the Ass were the king o' the brutesDavie Bluster!^12 If the Ass were the king o' the brutes.
Irvine Side! Irvine Sidewi' your turkey-cock prideOf manhood but sma' is your share:Ye've the figure'tis trueev'n your foes will allowAnd your friends they dare grant you nae mairIrvine Side!^13 And your friends they dare grant you nae mair.
Muirland Jock! muirland Jockwhen the Lord makes a rockTo crush common-sense for her sins;If ill-manners were witthere's no mortal so fitTo confound the poor Doctor at anceMuirland Jock!^14 To confound the poor Doctor at ance.
Andro Gowk! Andro Gowkye may slander the BookAn' the Book nought the waurlet me tell ye;Tho' ye're richan' look bigyetlay by hat an' wigAn' ye'll hae a calf's-had o' sma' valueAndro Gowk!^15 Ye'll hae a calf's head o' sma value.
Daddy Auld! daddy Auldthere'a a tod in the fauldA tod meikle waur than the clerk;Tho' ye do little skaithye'll be in at the deathFor gif ye canna biteye may barkDaddy Auld!^16 Gif ye canna biteye may bark.
Holy Will! holy Willthere was wit in your skullWhen ye pilfer'd the alms o' the poor;The timmer is scant when ye're taen for a sauntWha should swing in a rape for an hourHoly Will!^17 Ye should swing in a rape for an hour.
Calvin's sons! Calvin's sonsseize your spiritual gunsAmmunition you never can need;
[Footnote 12: David GrantOchiltree.-R.B.]
[Footnote 13: George SmithGalston.-R.B.]
[Footnote 14: John Shepherd Muirkirk.-R.B.]
[Footnote 15: Dr. Andrew MitchelMonkton.-R.B.]
[Footnote 16: William AuldMauchline; for the clerksee "Holy Willie"sPrayer."-R.B.]
[Footnote 17: Vide the "Prayer" of this saint.-R.B.]
Your hearts are the stuff will be powder enoughAnd your skulls are a storehouse o' leadCalvin's sons! Your skulls are a storehouse o' lead.
Poet Burns! poet Burnswi" your priest-skelpin turnsWhy desert ye your auld native shire?Your muse is a gipsyyet were she e'en tipsyShe could ca'us nae waur than we arePoet Burns! She could ca'us nae waur than we are.
Presentation Stanzas To Correspondents
Factor John! Factor Johnwhom the Lord made aloneAnd ne'er made anitherthy peerThy poor servantthe Bardin respectful regardHe presents thee this token sincereFactor John! He presents thee this token sincere.
Afton's Laird! Afton's Lairdwhen your pen can be sparedA copy of this I bequeathOn the same sicker score as I mention'd beforeTo that trusty auld worthyClackleithAfton's Laird! To that trusty auld worthyClackleith.
Sonnet On Receiving A Favour
10 Aug.1979.
Addressed to Robert GrahamEsq. of Fintry.
I call no Goddess to inspire my strainsA fabled Muse may suit a bard that feigns:Friend of my life! my ardent spirit burnsAnd all the tribute of my heart returnsFor boons accordedgoodness ever newThe gifts still deareras the giver you.Thou orb of day! thou other paler light!And all ye many sparkling stars of night!If aught that giver from my mind effaceIf I that giver's bounty e'er disgraceThen roll to me along your wand'rig spheresOnly to number out a villain's years!I lay my hand upon my swelling breastAnd grateful wouldbut cannot speak the rest.
Extemporaneous Effusion
On being appointed to an Excise division.
Searching auld wives' barrelsOchon the day!That clarty barm should stain my laurels:But-what'll ye say?These movin' things ca'd wives an' weansWad move the very hearts o' stanes!
Song -Willie Brew'd A Peck O' Maut^1
O Willie brew'd a peck o' mautAnd Rob and Allen cam to see;Three blyther heartsthat lee-lang nightYe wadna found in Christendie.
Chorus.-We are na fouwe're nae that fouBut just a drappie in our ee;The cock may crawthe day may dawAnd aye we'll taste the barley bree.
Here are we metthree merry boysThree merry boys I trow are we;And mony a night we've merry beenAnd mony mae we hope to be!We are na fou&c.
It is the moonI ken her hornThat's blinkin' in the lift sae hie;She shines sae bright to wyle us hameButby my soothshe'll wait a wee!We are na fou&c.
Wha first shall rise to gang awaA cuckoldcoward loun is he!Wha first beside his chair shall fa'He is the King amang us three.We are na fou&c.
[Footnote 1: Willie is NicolAllan is Masterton the writing-master. The sceneis between Moffat and the head of the Loch of the Lowes. DateAugust-September1789.-Lang.]
Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes
Chorus.-Ca' the yowes to the knowesCa' them where the heather growsCa' them where the burnie rowesMy bonie dearie
As I gaed down the water-sideThere I met my shepherd lad:He row'd me sweetly in his plaidAnd he ca'd me his dearie.Ca' the yowes&c.
Will ye gang down the water-sideAnd see the waves sae sweetly glideBeneath the hazels spreading wideThe moon it shines fu' clearly.Ca' the yowes&c.
Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meetCauf-leather shoon upon your feetAnd in my arms ye'se lie and sleepAn' ye sall be my dearie.Ca' the yowes&c.
If ye'll but stand to what ye've saidI'se gang wi' theemy shepherd ladAnd ye may row me in your plaidAnd I sall be your dearie.Ca' the yowes&c.
While waters wimple to the seaWhile day blinks in the lift sae hieTill clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'eYe sall be my dearie.Ca' the yowes&c.
I Gaed A Waefu' Gate Yestreen
I gaed a waefu' gate yestreenA gateI fearI'll dearly rue;I gat my death frae twa sweet eenTwa lovely een o'bonie blue.
'Twas not her golden ringlets brightHer lips like roses wat wi' dewHer heaving bosomlily-white-It was her een sae bonie blue.
She talk'dshe smil'dmy heart she wyl'd;She charm'd my soul I wist na how;And aye the stoundthe deadly woundCam frae her een so bonie blue.But "spare to speakand spare to speed;"She'll aiblins listen to my vow:Should she refuseI'll lay my deadTo her twa een sae bonie blue.
Highland Harry Back Again
My Harry was a gallant gayFu' stately strade he on the plain;But now he's banish'd far awayI'll never see him back again.
Chorus.-O for him back again!O for him back again!I wad gie a' Knockhaspie's landFor Highland Harry back again.
When a' the lave gae to their bedI wander dowie up the glen;I set me down and greet my fillAnd aye I wish him back again.O for him&c.
O were some villains hangit highAnd ilka body had their ain!Then I might see the joyfu' sightMy Highland Harry back again.O for him&c.
The Battle Of Sherramuir
tune-"The Cameronian Rant."
"O cam ye here the fight to shunOr herd the sheep wi' meman?Or were ye at the Sherra-moorOr did the battle seeman?"I saw the battlesair and teughAnd reekin-red ran mony a sheugh;My heartfor feargaed sough for soughTo hear the thudsand see the cludsO' clans frae woodsin tartan dudsWha glaum'd at kingdoms threeman.Lalalala&c.
The red-coat ladswi' black cockaudsTo meet them were na slawman;They rush'd and push'dand blude outgush'dAnd mony a bouk did fa'man:The great Argyle led on his filesI wat they glanced twenty miles;They hough'd the clans like nine-pin kylesThey hack'd and hash'dwhile braid-swordsclash'dAnd thro' they dash'dand hew'd and smash'dTill fey men died awaman.Lalalala&c.
But had ye seen the philibegsAnd skyrin tartan trewsman;When in the teeth they dar'd our WhigsAnd covenant True-bluesman:In lines extended lang and largeWhen baiginets o'erpower'd the targeAnd thousands hasten'd to the charge;Wi' Highland wrath they frae the sheathDrew blades o' deathtillout o' breathThey fled like frighted dowsman!Lalalala&c.
"O how deilTamcan that be true?The chase gaed frae the northman;I saw myselthey did pursueThe horsemen back to Forthman;And at Dunblanein my ain sightThey took the brig wi' a' their mightAnd straught to Stirling wing'd their flight;Butcursed lot! the gates were shut;And mony a huntit poor red-coatFor fear amaist did swarfman!"Lalalala&c.
My sister Kate cam up the gateWi' crowdie unto meman;She swoor she saw some rebels runTo Perth unto Dundeeman;Their left-hand general had nae skill;The Angus lads had nae gude willThat day their neibors' blude to spill;For fearfor foesthat they should loseTheir cogs o' brose; they scar'd at blowsAnd hameward fast did fleeman.Lalalala&c.
They've lost some gallant gentlemenAmang the Highland clansman!I fear my Lord Panmure is slainOr fallen in Whiggish handsmanNow wad ye sing this double fightSome fell for wrangand some for right;But mony bade the world gude-night;Then ye may tellhow pell and mellBy red claymoresand muskets knellWi' dying yellthe Tories fellAnd Whigs to hell did fleeman.Lalalala&c.
The Braes O' Killiecrankie
Where hae ye been sae brawlad?Whare hae ye been sae brankieO?Whare hae ye been sae brawlad?Cam ye by KilliecrankieO?
Chorus.-An ye had been whare I hae beenYe wad na been sae cantieO;An ye had seen what I hae seenI' the Braes o' KilliecrankieO.
I faught at landI faught at seaAt hame I faught my AuntieO;But I met the devil an' DundeeOn the Braes o' KilliecrankieO.An ye had been&c.
The bauld Pitcur fell in a furrAn' Clavers gat a clankieO;Or I had fed an Athole gledOn the Braes o' KilliecrankieO.An ye had been&c.
Awa' WhigsAwa'
Chorus.-Awa' Whigsawa'!Awa' Whigsawa'!Ye're but a pack o' traitor lounsYe'll do nae gude at a'.
Our thrissles flourish'd fresh and fairAnd bonie bloom'd our roses;But Whigs cam' like a frost in JuneAn' wither'd a' our posies.Awa' Whigs&c.
Our ancient crown's fa'en in the dust-Deil blin' them wi' the stoure o't!An' write their names in his black beukWha gae the Whigs the power o't.Awa' Whigs&c.
Our sad decay in church and stateSurpasses my descriving:The Whigs cam' o'er us for a curseAn' we hae done wi' thriving.Awa' Whigs&c.
Grim vengeance lang has taen a napBut we may see him wauken:Gude help the day when royal headsAre hunted like a maukin!Awa' Whigs&c.
A Waukrife Minnie
Whare are you gaunmy bonie lassWhare are you gaunmy hinnie?She answered me right saucilieAn errand for my minnie.
O whare live yemy bonie lassO whare live yemy hinnie?By yon burnside, gin ye maun ken,
In a wee house wi' my minnie.
But I foor up the glen at e'en.To see my bonie lassie;And lang before the grey morn camShe was na hauf sae saucie.
O weary fa' the waukrife cockAnd the foumart lay his crawin!He wauken'd the auld wife frae her sleepA wee blink or the dawin.
An angry wife I wat she raiseAnd o'er the bed she brocht her;And wi' a meikle hazel rungShe made her a weel-pay'd dochter.
O fare thee weelmy bonie lassO fare thee wellmy hinnie!Thou art a gay an' a bonnie lassBut thou has a waukrife minnie.
The Captive Ribband
tune-"Robaidh dona gorach."
Dear Myrathe captive ribband's mine'Twas all my faithful love could gain;And would you ask me to resignThe sole reward that crowns my pain?
Gobid the hero who has runThro' fields of death to gather fameGobid him lay his laurels downAnd all his well-earn'd praise disclaim.
The ribband shall its freedom lose-Lose all the bliss it had with youAnd share the fate I would imposeOn theewert thou my captive too.
It shall upon my bosom liveOr clasp me in a close embrace;And at its fortune if you grieveRetrieve its doomand take its place.
My Heart's In The Highlands
tune-"Failte na Miosg."
Farewell to the Highlandsfarewell to the NorthThe birth-place of Valourthe country of Worth;Wherever I wanderwherever I roveThe hills of the Highlands for ever I love.
Chorus.-My heart's in the Highlandsmy heart is not hereMy heart's in the Highlandsa-chasing the deer;Chasing the wild-deerand following the roeMy heart's in the Highlandswherever I go.
Farewell to the mountainshigh-cover'd with snowFarewell to the straths and green vallies below;Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woodsFarewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.My heart's in the Highlands&c.
The Whistle-A Ballad
I sing of a Whistlea Whistle of worthI sing of a Whistlethe pride of the North.Was brought to the court of our good Scottish KingAnd long with this Whistle all Scotland shall ring.
Old Lodastill rueing the arm of FingalThe god of the bottle sends down from his hall-The Whistle's your challenge, to Scotland get o'er,
And drink them to hell, Sir! or ne'er see me more!
Old poets have sungand old chronicles tellWhat champions ventur'dwhat champions fell:The son of great Loda was conqueror stillAnd blew on the Whistle their requiem shrill.
Till Robertthe lord of the Cairn and the ScaurUnmatch'd at the bottleunconquer'd in warHe drank his poor god-ship as deep as the sea;No tide of the Baltic e'er drunker than he.
Thus Robertvictoriousthe trophy has gain'd;Which now in his house has for ages remain'd;Till three noble chieftainsand all of his bloodThe jovial contest again have renew'd.
Three joyous good fellowswith hearts clear of flawCraigdarrochso famous for withworthand law;And trusty Glenriddelso skill'd in old coins;And gallant Sir Robertdeep-read in old wines.
Craigdarroch beganwith a tongue smooth as oilDesiring Downrightly to yield up the spoil;Or else he would muster the heads of the clanAnd once morein clarettry which was the man.
"By the gods of the ancients!" Downrightly repliesBefore I surrender so glorious a prize,
I'll conjure the ghost of the great Rorie More,
And bumper his horn with him twenty times o'er.
Sir Roberta soldierno speech would pretendBut he ne'er turn'd his back on his foeor his friend;SaidToss down the Whistle, the prize of the field,Andknee-deep in clarethe'd die ere he'd yield.
To the board of Glenriddel our heroes repairSo noted for drowning of sorrow and care;Butfor wine and for welcomenot more known to fameThan the sensewitand tasteof a sweet lovely dame.
A bard was selected to witness the frayAnd tell future ages the feats of the day;A Bard who detested all sadness and spleenAnd wish'd that Parnassus a vineyard had been.
The dinner being overthe claret they plyAnd ev'ry new cork is a new spring of joy;In the bands of old friendship and kindred so setAnd the bands grew the tighter the more they were wet.
Gay Pleasure ran riot as bumpers ran o'er:Bright Phoebus ne'er witness'd so joyous a coreAnd vow'd that to leave them he was quite forlornTill Cynthia hinted he'd see them next morn.
Six bottles a-piece had well wore out the nightWhen gallant Sir Robertto finish the fightTurn'd o'er in one bumper a bottle of redAnd swore 'twas the way that their ancestor did.
Then worthy Glenriddelso cautious and sageNo longer the warfare ungodly would wage;A high Ruling Elder to wallow in wine;He left the foul business to folks less divine.
The gallant Sir Robert fought hard to the end;But who can with Fate and quart bumpers contend!Though Fate saida hero should perish in light;So uprose bright Phoebus-and down fell the knight.
Next uprose our Bardlike a prophet in drink:-Craigdarroch, thou'lt soar when creation shall sink!
But if thou would flourish immortal in rhyme,
Come-one bottle more-and have at the sublime!
Thy linethat have struggled for freedom with BruceShall heroes and patriots ever produce:So thine be the laureland mine be the bay;The field thou hast wonby yon bright god of day!"
To Mary In Heaven
Thou ling'ring starwith lessening rayThat lov'st to greet the early mornAgain thou usher'st in the dayMy Mary from my soul was torn.O Mary! dear departed shade!Where is thy place of blissful rest?See'st thou thy lover lowly laid?Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?
That sacred hour can I forgetCan I forget the hallow'd groveWhereby the winding Ayrwe metTo live one day of parting love!Eternity will not effaceThose records dear of transports pastThy image at our last embraceAh! little thought we 'twas our last!
Ayrgurglingkiss'd his pebbled shoreO'erhung with wild-woodsthickening green;The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar'Twin'd amorous round the raptur'd scene:The flowers sprang wanton to be prestThe birds sang love on every spray;Till tootoo soonthe glowing westProclaim'd the speed of winged day.
Still o'er these scenes my mem'ry wakesAnd fondly broods with miser-care;Time but th' impression stronger makesAs streams their channels deeper wearMy Mary! dear departed shade!Where is thy blissful place of rest?See'st thou thy lover lowly laid?Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast?
Epistle To Dr. Blacklock
Ellisland21st Oct.1789.
Wowbut your letter made me vauntie!And are ye haleand weel and cantie?I ken'd it stillyour wee bit jauntieWad bring ye to:Lord send you aye as weel's I want ye!And then ye'll do.
The ill-thief blaw the Heron south!And never drink be near his drouth!He tauld myself by word o' mouthHe'd tak my letter;I lippen'd to the chiel in trouthAnd bade nae better.
But aiblinshonest Master HeronHadat the timesome dainty fair oneTo ware this theologic care onAnd holy study;And tired o' sauls to waste his lear onE'en tried the body.
But what d'ye thinkmy trusty fereI'm turned a gauger-Peace be here!Parnassian queansI fearI fearYe'll now disdain me!And then my fifty pounds a yearWill little gain me.
Ye glaikitgleesomedainty damiesWhaby Castalia's wimplin streamiesLowpsingand lave your pretty limbiesYe kenye kenThat strang necessity supreme is'Mang sons o' men.
I hae a wife and twa wee laddies;They maun hae brose and brats o' duddies;Ye ken yoursels my heart right proud is-I need na vauntBut I'll sned besomsthraw saugh woodiesBefore they want.
Lord help me thro' this warld o' care!I'm weary sick o't late and air!Not but I hae a richer shareThan mony ithers;But why should ae man better fareAnd a' men brithers?
ComeFirm Resolvetake thou the vanThou stalk o' carl-hemp in man!And let us mindfaint heart ne'er wanA lady fair:Wha does the utmost that he canWill whiles do mair.
But to conclude my silly rhyme(I'm scant o' verse and scant o' time)To make a happy fireside climeTo weans and wifeThat's the true pathos and sublimeOf human life.
My compliments to sister BeckieAnd eke the same to honest Lucky;I wat she is a daintie chuckieAs e'er tread clay;And gratefullymy gude auld cockieI'm yours for aye.Robert Burns.
The Five Carlins
An Election Ballad.
tune-"Chevy Chase."
There was five Carlins in the SouthThey fell upon a schemeTo send a lad to London townTo bring them tidings hame.
Nor only bring them tidings hameBut do their errands thereAnd aiblins gowd and honor baithMight be that laddie's share.
There was Maggy by the banks o' NithA dame wi' pride eneugh;And Marjory o' the mony LochsA Carlin auld and teugh.
And blinkin Bess of AnnandaleThat dwelt near Solway-side;And whisky Jeanthat took her gillIn Galloway sae wide.
And auld black Joan frae Crichton Peel^1O' gipsy kith an' kin;Five wighter Carlins were na foundThe South countrie within.
To send a lad to London townThey met upon a day;And mony a knightand mony a lairdThis errand fain wad gae.
O mony a knightand mony a lairdThis errand fain wad gae;But nae ane could their fancy pleaseO ne'er a ane but twae.
The first ane was a belted KnightBred of a Border band;^2And he wad gae to London townMight nae man him withstand.
And he wad do their errands weelAnd meikle he wad say;And ilka ane about the courtWad bid to him gude -day.
[Footnote 1: Sanquhar.]
[Footnote 2: Sir James Johnston of Westerhall.]
The neist cam in a Soger youth^3Who spak wi' modest graceAnd he wad gae to London townIf sae their pleasure was.
He wad na hecht them courtly giftsNor meikle speech pretend;But he wad hecht an honest heartWad ne'er desert his friend.
Nowwham to chuseand wham refuseAt strife thir Carlins fell;For some had Gentlefolks to pleaseAnd some wad please themsel'.
Then out spak mim-mou'd Meg o' NithAnd she spak up wi' prideAnd she wad send the Soger youthWhatever might betide.
For the auld Gudeman o' London court^4She didna care a pin;But she wad send the Soger youthTo greet his eldest son.^5
Then up sprang Bess o' AnnandaleAnd a deadly aith she's ta'enThat she wad vote the Border KnightThough she should vote her lane.
"For far-off fowls hae feathers fairAnd fools o' change are fain;But I hae tried the Border KnightAnd I'll try him yet again."
Says black Joan frae Crichton PeelA Carlin stoor and grim.The auld Gudeman or young Gudeman,
For me may sink or swim;
[Footnote 3: Captain Patrick Millar of Dalswinton.]
[Footnote 4: The King.]
[Footnote 5: The Prince of Wales.]
For fools will prate o' right or wrang,
While knaves laugh them to scorn;
But the Soger's friends hae blawn the best,
So he shall bear the horn.
Then whisky Jean spak owre her drinkYe weel ken, kimmers a',
The auld gudeman o' London court,
His back's been at the wa';
And mony a friend that kiss'd his caupIs now a fremit wight;But it's ne'er be said o' whisky Jean-We'll send the Border Knight."
Then slow raise Marjory o' the LochsAnd wrinkled was her browHer ancient weed was russet grayHer auld Scots bluid was true;
"There's some great folk set light by meI set as light by them;But I will send to London townWham I like best at hame."
Sae how this mighty plea may endNae mortal wight can tell;God grant the King and ilka manMay look weel to himsel.
Election Ballad For Westerha'
tune-"Up and waur them a'Willie."
The Laddies by the banks o' NithWad trust his Grace^1 wi a'Jamie;But he'll sair themas he sair'd the King-Turn tail and rin awa'Jamie.
[Footnote 1: The fourth Duke of Queensberrywho supported the proposal thatduring George III's illnessthe Prince of Wales should assume the Governmentwith full prerogative.]
Chorus.-Up and waur them a'JamieUp and waur them a';The Johnstones hae the guidin o'tYe turncoat Whigsawa'!
The day he stude his country's friendOr gied her faes a clawJamieOr frae puir man a blessin wanThat day the Duke ne'er sawJamie.Up and waur them&c.
But wha is hehis country's boast?Like him there is na twaJamie;There's no a callent tents the kyeBut kens o' Westerha'Jamie.Up and waur them&c.
To end the warkhere's WhistlebirkLang may his whistle blawJamie;And Maxwell trueo' sterling blue;And we'll be Johnstones a'Jamie.Up and waur them&c.
Prologue Spoken At The Theatre Of Dumfries
     On New Year's Day Evening1790.
No song nor dance I bring from yon great cityThat queens it o'er our taste-the more's the pity:Tho' by the byeabroad why will you roam?Good sense and taste are natives here at home:But not for panegyric I appearI come to wish you all a good New Year!Old Father Time deputes me here before yeNot for to preachbut tell his simple story:The sagegrave Ancient cough'dand bade me sayYou're one year older this important day,If wiser too-he hinted some suggestionBut 'twould be rudeyou knowto ask the question;And with a would-be roguish leer and winkSaid-"Sutherlandin one wordbid them Think!"
Ye sprightly youthsquite flush with hope and spiritWho think to storm the world by dint of meritTo you the dotard has a deal to sayIn his slydrysententiousproverb way!He bids you mindamid your thoughtless rattleThat the first blow is ever half the battle;That tho' some by the skirt may try to snatch himYet by the foreclock is the hold to catch him;That whether doingsufferingor forbearingYou may do miracles by persevering.
Lasttho' not least in loveye youthful fairAngelic formshigh Heaven's peculiar care!To you old Bald-pate smoothes his wrinkled browAnd humbly begs you'll mind the important-Now!To crown your happiness he asks your leaveAnd offersbliss to give and to receive.
For our sinceretho' haply weak endeavoursWith grateful pride we own your many favours;And howsoe'er our tongues may ill reveal itBelieve our glowing bosoms truly feel it.
Sketch-New Year's Day [1790]
To Mrs. Dunlop.
This dayTime winds th' exhausted chain;To run the twelvemonth's length again:I seethe old bald-pated fellowWith ardent eyescomplexion sallowAdjust the unimpair'd machineTo wheel the equaldull routine.
The absent loverminor heirIn vain assail him with their prayer;Deaf as my friendhe sees them pressNor makes the hour one moment lessWill you (the Major's with the houndsThe happy tenants share his rounds;Coila's fair Rachel's care to-dayAnd blooming Keith's engaged with Gray)From housewife cares a minute borrow(That grandchild's cap will do to-morrow)And join with me a-moralizing;This day's propitious to be wise in.
Firstwhat did yesternight deliver?Another year has gone for ever.And what is this day's strong suggestion?The passing moment's all we rest on!Rest on-for what? what do we here?Or why regard the passing year?Will Timeamus'd with proverb'd loreAdd to our date one minute more?A few days may-a few years must-Repose us in the silent dust.Thenis it wise to damp our bliss?Yes-all such reasonings are amiss!The voice of Nature loudly criesAnd many a message from the skiesThat something in us never dies:That on his frailuncertain stateHang matters of eternal weight:That future life in worlds unknownMust take its hue from this alone;Whether as heavenly glory brightOr dark as Misery's woeful night.
Since thenmy honour'd first of friendsOn this poor being all dependsLet us th' important now employAnd live as those who never die.Tho' youwith days and honours crown'dWitness that filial circle round(A sight life's sorrows to repulseA sight pale Envy to convulse)Others now claim your chief regard;Yourselfyou wait your bright reward.
Scots' Prologue For Mr. Sutherland
     On his Benefit-Nightat the TheatreDumfries.
What needs this din about the town o' Lon'onHow this new play an' that new sang is comin?Why is outlandish stuff sae meikle courted?Does nonsense mendlike brandywhen imported?Is there nae poetburning keen for fameWill try to gie us sangs and plays at hame?For Comedy abroad he need to toilA fool and knave are plants of every soil;Nor need he hunt as far as Rome or GreeceTo gather matter for a serious piece;There's themes enow in Caledonian storyWould shew the Tragic Muse in a' her glory. -
Is there no daring Bard will rise and tellHow glorious Wallace stoodhow hapless fell?Where are the Muses fled that could produceA drama worthy o' the name o' Bruce?How hereeven herehe first unsheath'd the sword'Gainst mighty England and her guilty Lord;And after mony a bloodydeathless doingWrench'd his dear country from the jaws of Ruin!O for a Shakespeareor an Otway sceneTo draw the lovelyhapless Scottish Queen!Vain all th' omnipotence of female charms'Gainst headlongruthlessmad Rebellion's arms:She fellbut fell with spirit truly RomanTo glut that direst foe-a vengeful woman;A woman(tho' the phrase may seem uncivil)As able and as wicked as the Devil!One Douglas lives in Home's immortal pageBut Douglasses were heroes every age:And tho' your fathersprodigal of lifeA Douglas followed to the martial strifePerhapsif bowls row rightand Right succeedsYe yet may follow where a Douglas leads!
As ye hae generous doneif a' the landWould take the Muses' servants by the hand;Not only hearbut patronizebefriend themAnd where he justly can commendcommend them;And aiblins when they winna stand the testWink hardand say The folks hae done their best!Would a' the land do thisthen I'll be caitionYe'll soon hae Poets o' the Scottish nationWill gar Fame blaw until her trumpet crackAnd warsle Timean' lay him on his back!
For us and for our Stageshould ony spierWhase aught thae chiels maks a' this bustle here?My best leg foremostI'll set up my brow-We have the honour to belong to you!We're your ain bairnse'en guide us as ye likeBut like good mithers shore before ye strike;And gratefu' stillI trust ye'll ever find usFor gen'rous patronageand meikle kindnessWe've got frae a' professionssets and ranks:God help us! we're but poor-ye'se get but thanks.
Lines To A Gentleman
     Who had sent the Poet a Newspaperand offered to continue it free ofExpense.
Kind SirI've read your paper throughAnd faithto me'twas really new!How guessed yeSirwhat maist I wanted?This mony a day I've grain'd and gauntedTo ken what French mischief was brewin;Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin;That vile doup-skelperEmperor JosephIf Venus yet had got his nose off;Or how the collieshangie worksAtween the Russians and the TurksOr if the Swedebefore he haltWould play anither Charles the twalt;If Denmarkany body spak o't;Or Polandwha had now the tack o't:How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin;How libbet Italy was singin;
If SpaniardPortugueseor SwissWere sayin' or takin' aught amiss;Or how our merry lads at hameIn Britain's court kept up the game;How royal Georgethe Lord leuk o'er him!Was managing St. Stephen's quorum;If sleekit Chatham Will was livinOr glaikit Charlie got his nieve in;How daddie Burke the plea was cookinIf Warren Hasting's neck was yeukin;How cessesstentsand fees were rax'd.Or if bare arses yet were tax'd;The news o' princesdukesand earlsPimpssharpersbawdsand opera-girls;If that daft buckieGeordie WalesWas threshing still at hizzies' tails;Or if he was grown oughtlins douserAnd no a perfect kintra cooser:A' this and mair I never heard of;Andbut for youI might despair'd of.Sogratefu'back your news I send youAnd pray a' gude things may attend you.
EllislandMonday Morning1790.
Elegy On Willie Nicol's Mare
Peg Nicholson was a good bay mareAs ever trod on airn;But now she's floating down the NithAnd past the mouth o' Cairn.
Peg Nicholson was a good bay mareAn' rode thro' thick and thin;But now she's floating down the NithAnd wanting even the skin.
Peg Nicholson was a good bay mareAnd ance she bore a priest;But now she's floating down the NithFor Solway fish a feast.
Peg Nicholson was a good bay mareAn' the priest he rode her sair;And much oppress'd and bruis'd she wasAs priest-rid cattle are-&c. &c.
The Gowden Locks Of Anna
Yestreen I had a pint o' wineA place where body saw na;Yestreen lay on this breast o' mineThe gowden locks of Anna.
The hungry Jew in wildernessRejoicing o'er his mannaWas naething to my hinny blissUpon the lips of Anna.
Ye monarchstake the East and WestFrae Indus to Savannah;Gie mewithin my straining graspThe melting form of Anna:
There I'll despise Imperial charmsAn Empress or SultanaWhile dying raptures in her armsI give and take wi' Anna!
Awathou flaunting God of Day!Awathou pale Diana!Ilk Stargae hide thy twinkling rayWhen I'm to meet my Anna!
Comein thy raven plumageNight(SunMoonand Starswithdrawn a';)And bring an angel-pen to writeMy transports with my Anna!
The Kirk an' State may join an' tellTo do sic things I maunna:The Kirk an' State may gae to hellAnd I'll gae to my Anna.
She is the sunshine o' my e'eTo live but her I canna;Had I on earth but wishes threeThe first should be my Anna.
Song -I Murder Hate
I murder hate by flood or fieldTho' glory's name may screen us;In wars at home I'll spend my blood-Life-giving wars of Venus.The deities that I adoreAre social Peace and Plenty;I'm better pleas'd to make one moreThan be the death of twenty.
I would not die like SocratesFor all the fuss of Plato;Nor would I with LeonidasNor yet would I with Cato:The zealots of the Church and StateShall ne'er my mortal foes be;But let me have bold Zimri's fateWithin the arms of Cozbi!
GudewifeCount The Lawin
Gane is the dayand mirk's the nightBut we'll ne'er stray for faut o' light;Gude ale and bratdy's stars and moonAnd blue-red wine's the risin' sun.
Chorus.-Then gudewifecount the lawinThe lawinthe lawinThen gudewifecount the lawinAnd bring a coggie mair.
There's wealth and ease for gentlemenAnd simple folk maun fecht and fen';But here we're a' in ae accordFor ilka man that's drunk's a lord.Then gudewife&c.
My coggie is a haly poolThat heals the wounds o' care and dool;And Pleasure is a wanton troutAn ye drink it a'ye'll find him out.Then gudewife&c.
Election Ballad
     At the close of the contest for representing the Dumfries Burghs1790.
Addressed to R. GrahamEsq. of Fintry.
Fintrymy stay in wordly strifeFriend o' my musefriend o' my lifeAre ye as idle's I am?Come thenwi' uncouth kintra flegO'er Pegasus I'll fling my legAnd ye shall see me try him.
But where shall I go rin a rideThat I may splatter nane beside?I wad na be uncivil:In manhood's various paths and waysThere's aye some doytin' body straysAnd I ride like the devil.
Thus I break aff wi' a' my birrAnd down yon darkdeep alley spurWhere Theologics daunder:Alas! curst wi' eternal fogsAnd damn'd in everlasting bogsAs sure's the creed I'll blunder!
I'll stain a bandor jaup a gownOr rin my recklessguilty crownAgainst the haly door:Sair do I rue my luckless fateWhenas the Muse an' Deil wad hae'tI rade that road before.
Suppose I take a spurtand mixAmang the wilds o' Politics-Electors and electedWhere dogs at Court (sad sons of bitches!)Septennially a madness touchesTill all the land's infected.
All hail! Drumlanrig's haughty GraceDiscarded remnant of a raceOnce godlike-great in story;Thy forbears' virtues all contrastedThe very name of Douglas blastedThine that inverted glory!
Hateenvyoft the Douglas boreBut thou hast superadded moreAnd sunk them in contempt;Follies and crimes have stain'd the nameButQueensberrythine the virgin claimFrom aught that's good exempt!
I'll sing the zeal Drumlanrig bearsWho left the all-important caresOf princesand their darlings:Andbent on winning borough tounsCame shaking hands wi' wabster-loonsAnd kissing barefit carlins.
Combustion thro' our boroughs rodeWhistling his roaring pack abroadOf mad unmuzzled lions;As Queensberry blue and buff unfurl'dAnd Westerha' and Hopetoun hurledTo every Whig defiance.
But cautious Queensberry left the warTh' unmanner'd dust might soil his starBesideshe hated bleeding:But left behind him heroes brightHeroes in Caesarean fightOr Ciceronian pleading.
O for a throat like huge Mons-MegTo muster o'er each ardent WhigBeneath Drumlanrig's banners;Heroes and heroines commixAll in the field of politicsTo win immortal honours.
M'Murdo and his lovely spouse(Th' enamour'd laurels kiss her brows!)Led on the Loves and Graces:She won each gaping burgess' heartWhile hesub rosaplayed his partAmang their wives and lasses.
Craigdarroch led a light-arm'd coreTropesmetaphorsand figures pourLike Hecla streaming thunder:Glenriddelskill'd in rusty coinsBlew up each Tory's dark designsAnd bared the treason under.
In either wing two champions fought;Redoubted Staigwho set at noughtThe wildest savage Tory;And Welsh who ne'er yet flinch'd his groundHigh-wav'd his magnum-bonum roundWith Cyclopeian fury.
Miller brought up th' artillery ranksThe many-pounders of the BanksResistless desolation!While Maxweltonthat baron bold'Mid Lawson's port entrench'd his holdAnd threaten'd worse damnation.
To these what Tory hosts oppos'dWith these what Tory warriors clos'dSurpasses my descriving;Squadronsextended long and largeWith furious speed rush to the chargeLike furious devils driving.
What verse can singwhat prose narrateThe butcher deeds of bloody FateAmid this mighty tulyie!Grim Horror girn'dpale Terror roar'dAs Murder at his thrapple shor'dAnd Hell mix'd in the brulyie.
As Highland craigs by thunder cleftWhen lightnings fire the stormy liftHurl down with crashing rattle;As flames among a hundred woodsAs headlong foam from a hundred floodsSuch is the rage of Battle.
The stubborn Tories dare to die;As soon the rooted oaks would flyBefore th' approaching fellers:The Whigs come on like Ocean's roarWhen all his wintry billows pourAgainst the Buchan Bullers.
Lofrom the shades of Death's deep nightDeparted Whigs enjoy the fightAnd think on former daring:The muffled murtherer of CharlesThe Magna Charter flag unfurlsAll deadly gules its bearing.
Nor wanting ghosts of Tory fame;Bold Scrimgeour follows gallant Graham;Auld Covenanters shiver-Forgive! forgive! much-wrong'd Montrose!Now Death and Hell engulph thy foesThou liv'st on high for ever.
Still o'er the field the combat burnsThe ToriesWhigsgive way by turns;But Fate the word has spoken:For woman's wit and strength o'manAlas! can do but what they can;The Tory ranks are broken.
O that my een were flowing burns!My voicea lioness that mournsHer darling cubs' undoing!That I might greetthat I might cryWhile Tories fallwhile Tories flyAnd furious Whigs pursuing!
What Whig but melts for good Sir JamesDear to his countryby the namesFriendPatronBenefactor!Not Pulteney's wealth can Pulteney save;And Hopetoun fallsthe generousbrave;And Stewartbold as Hector.
ThouPittshalt rue this overthrowAnd Thurlow growl a curse of woeAnd Melville melt in wailing:Now Fox and Sheridan rejoiceAnd Burke shall singO Prince, arise!
Thy power is all-prevailing!
For your poor friendthe BardafarHe only hears and sees the warA cool spectator purely!Sowhen the storm the forest rendsThe robin in the hedge descendsAnd sober chirps securely.
Nowfor my friends' and brethren's sakesAnd for my dear-lov'd Land o' CakesI pray with holy fire:Lordsend a rough-shod troop o' HellO'er a' wad Scotland buy or sellTo grind them in the mire!
Elegy On Captain Matthew Henderson
     A Gentleman who held the Patent for his Honours immediately fromAlmighty God.
Should the poor be flattered?-Shakespeare.
O Death! thou tyrant fell and bloody!The meikle devil wi' a woodieHaurl thee hame to his black smiddieO'er hurcheon hidesAnd like stock-fish come o'er his studdieWi' thy auld sides!
He's ganehe's gane! he's frae us tornThe ae best fellow e'er was born!TheeMatthewNature's sel' shall mournBy wood and wildWhere haplyPity strays forlornFrae man exil'd.
Ye hillsnear neighbours o' the starnsThat proudly cock your cresting cairns!Ye cliffsthe haunts of sailing earnsWhere Echo slumbers!Come joinye Nature's sturdiest bairnsMy wailing numbers!
Mournilka grove the cushat kens!Ye haz'ly shaws and briery dens!Ye burnieswimplin' down your glensWi' toddlin dinOr foamingstrangwi' hasty stensFrae lin to lin.
Mournlittle harebells o'er the lea;Ye stately foxglovesfair to see;Ye woodbines hanging bonilieIn scented bow'rs;Ye roses on your thorny treeThe first o' flow'rs.
At dawnwhen ev'ry grassy bladeDroops with a diamond at his headAt ev'nwhen beans their fragrance shedI' th' rustling galeYe maukinswhiddin thro' the gladeCome join my wail.
Mournye wee songsters o' the wood;Ye grouse that crap the heather bud;Ye curlewscalling thro' a clud;Ye whistling plover;And mournwe whirring paitrick brood;He's gane for ever!
Mournsooty cootsand speckled teals;Ye fisher heronswatching eels;Ye duck and drakewi' airy wheelsCircling the lake;Ye bitternstill the quagmire reelsRair for his sake.
Mournclam'ring craiks at close o' day'Mang fields o' flow'ring clover gay;And when ye wing your annual wayFrae our claud shoreTell thae far warlds wha lies in clayWham we deplore.
Ye houletsfrae your ivy bow'rIn some auld treeor eldritch tow'rWhat time the moonwi' silent glow'rSets up her hornWail thro' the dreary midnight hourTill waukrife morn!
O riversforestshillsand plains!Oft have ye heard my canty strains;But nowwhat else for me remainsBut tales of woe;And frae my een the drapping rainsMaun ever flow.
MournSpringthou darling of the year!Ilk cowslip cup shall kep a tear:ThouSimmerwhile each corny spearShoots up its headThy gaygreenflow'ry tresses shearFor him that's dead!
ThouAutumnwi' thy yellow hairIn grief thy sallow mantle tear!ThouWinterhurling thro' the airThe roaring blastWide o'er the naked world declareThe worth we've lost!
Mourn himthou Sungreat source of light!MournEmpress of the silent night!And youye twinkling starnies brightMy Matthew mourn!For through your orbs he's ta'en his flightNe'er to return.
O Henderson! the man! the brother!And art thou goneand gone for ever!And hast thou crost that unknown riverLife's dreary bound!Like theewhere shall I find anotherThe world around!
Go to your sculptur'd tombsye GreatIn a' the tinsel trash o' state!But by thy honest turf I'll waitThou man of worth!And weep the ae best fellow's fateE'er lay in earth.
The Epitaph
Stoppassenger! my story's briefAnd truth I shall relateman;I tell nae common tale o' griefFor Matthew was a great man.
If thou uncommon merit hastYet spurn'd at Fortune's doorman;A look of pity hither castFor Matthew was a poor man.
If thou a noble sodger artThat passest by this graveman;There moulders here a gallant heartFor Matthew was a brave man.
If thou on mentheir works and waysCanst throw uncommon lightman;Here lies wha weel had won thy praiseFor Matthew was a bright man.
If thouat Friendship's sacred ca'Wad life itself resignman:Thy sympathetic tear maun fa'For Matthew was a kind man.
If thou art staunchwithout a stainLike the unchanging blueman;This was a kinsman o' thy ainFor Matthew was a true man.
If thou hast witand funand fireAnd ne'er guid wine did fearman;This was thy billiedamand sireFor Matthew was a queer man.
If ony whiggishwhingin' sotTo blame poor Matthew dareman;May dool and sorrow be his lotFor Matthew was a rare man.
But nowhis radiant course is runFor Matthew's was a bright one!His soul was like the glorious sunA matchlessHeavenly lightman.
Verses On Captain Grose
     Written on an Envelopeenclosing a Letter to Him.
Ken ye aught o' Captain Grose?-Igoand agoIf he's amang his friends or foes?-Iramcoramdago.
Is he to Abra'm's bosom gane?-Igoand agoOr haudin Sarah by the wame?-Iramcoram dago.
Is he south or is he north?-Igoand agoOr drowned in the river Forth?-Iramcoram dago.
Is he slain by Hielan' bodies?-Igoand agoAnd eaten like a wether haggis?-Iramcoramdago.
Where'er he bethe Lord be near him!-Igoand agoAs for the deilhe daur na steer him.-Iramcoramdago.
But please transmit th' enclosed letter-Igoand agoWhich will oblige your humble debtor.-Iramcoramdago.
So may ye hae auld stanes in store-Igoand agoThe very stanes that Adam bore.-Iramcoramdago
So may ye get in glad possession-Igoand agoThe coins o' Satan's coronation!-Iram coram dago.
Tam O' Shanter
A Tale.
"Of Brownyis and of Bogillis full is this Buke."
Gawin Douglas.
When chapman billies leave the streetAnd drouthy neiborsneiborsmeet;As market days are wearing lateAnd folk begin to tak the gateWhile we sit bousing at the nappyAn' getting fou and unco happyWe think na on the lang Scots milesThe mosseswatersslaps and stilesThat lie between us and our hameWhere sits our sulkysullen dameGathering her brows like gathering stormNursing her wrath to keep it warm.
This truth fand honest Tam o' ShanterAs he frae Ayr ae night did canter:(Auld Ayrwham ne'er a town surpassesFor honest men and bonie lasses).
O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wiseAs taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!She tauld thee weel thou was a skellumA bletheringblusteringdrunken blellum;That frae November till OctoberAe market-day thou was na sober;That ilka melder wi' the MillerThou sat as lang as thou had siller;That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe onThe Smith and thee gat roarin' fou on;That at the Lord's houseev'n on SundayThou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till MondayShe prophesied that late or soonThou wad be founddeep drown'd in DoonOr catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirkBy Alloway's auldhaunted kirk.
Ahgentle dames! it gars me greetTo think how mony counsels sweetHow mony lengthen'dsage advicesThe husband frae the wife despises!
But to our tale: Ae market nightTam had got planted unco rightFast by an inglebleezing finelyWi reaming sAatsthat drank divinely;And at his elbowSouter JohnieHis ancienttrustydrougthy crony:Tam lo'ed him like a very 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 graciousWi' favours secretsweetand precious:The Souter tauld his queerest stories;The Landlord's laugh was ready chorus:The storm without might rair and rustleTam did na mind the storm a whistle.
Caremad to see a man sae happyE'en drown'd himsel amang the nappy.As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasureThe minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:Kings may be blestbut Tam was gloriousO'er a' the ills o' life victorious!
But pleasures are like poppies spreadYou seize the flow'rits bloom is shed;Or like the snow falls in the riverA moment white-then melts for ever;Or like the Borealis raceThat flit ere you can point their place;Or like the Rainbow's lovely formEvanishing amid the storm. -Nae man can tether Time nor TideThe hour approaches Tam maun ride;That houro' night's black arch the key-staneThat dreary hour he mounts his beast in;And sic a night he taks the road inAs 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;Louddeepand langthe thunder bellow'd:That nighta child might understandThe deil had business on his hand.
Weel-mounted on his grey mareMegA better never lifted legTam skelpit on thro' dub and mireDespising windand rainand fire;Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnetWhiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnetWhiles glow'rin round wi' prudent caresLest bogles catch him unawares;Kirk-Alloway was drawing nighWhere ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
By this time he was cross the fordWhere in the snaw the chapman smoor'd;And past the birks and meikle staneWhere drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane;And thro' the whinsand by the cairnWhere hunters fand the murder'd bairn;And near the thornaboon the wellWhere Mungo's mither hang'd hersel'.Before him Doon pours all his floodsThe doubling storm roars thro' the woodsThe lightnings flash from pole to poleNear and more near the thunders rollWhenglimmering thro' the groaning treesKirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleezeThro' ilka bore the beams were glancingAnd loud resounded mirth and dancing.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!What dangers thou canst make us scorn!Wi' tippennywe fear nae evil;Wi' usquabaewe'll face the devil!The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddleFair playhe car'd na deils a boddleBut Maggie stoodright sair astonish'dTillby the heel and hand admonish'dShe ventur'd forward on the light;Andwow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance:Nae cotillonbrent new frae FranceBut hornpipesjigsstrathspeysand reelsPut life and mettle in their heels.A winnock-bunker in the eastThere sat auld Nickin shape o' beast;A towzie tykeblackgrimand largeTo gie them music was his charge:He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirlTill roof and rafters a' did dirl. -Coffins stood roundlike open pressesThat shaw'd the Dead in their last dresses;And (by some devilish cantraip sleight)Each in its cauld hand held a light.By which heroic Tam was ableTo note upon the haly tableA murderer's banesin gibbet-airns;Twa span-langweeunchristened bairns;A thiefnew-cutted frae a rapeWi' his last gasp his gabudid gape;Five tomahawkswi' blude red-rusted:Five scimitarswi' murder crusted;A garter which a babe had strangled:A knifea father's throat had mangled.Whom his ain son of life bereftThe grey-hairs yet stack to the heft;Wi' mair of horrible and awfu'Which even to name wad be unlawfu'.
As Tammie glowr'damaz'dand curiousThe mirth and fun grew fast and furious;The Piper loud and louder blewThe dancers quick and quicker flewThe reel'dthey setthey cross'dthey cleekitTill ilka carlin swat and reekitAnd coost her duddies to the warkAnd linkit at it in her sark!
Now TamO Tam! had they been queansA' plump and strapping in their teens!Their sarksinstead o' creeshie flainenBeen snaw-white seventeen hunder linen!-Thir breeks o' minemy only pairThat ance were plush o' guid blue hairI wad hae gien them off my hurdiesFor ae blink o' the bonie burdies!But wither'd beldamsauld and drollRigwoodie hags wad spean a foalLouping an' flinging on a crummock.I wonder did na turn thy stomach.
But Tam kent what was what fu' brawlie:There was ae winsome wench and waulieThat night enlisted in the coreLang after ken'd on Carrick shore;(For mony a beast to dead she shotAnd perish'd mony a bonie boatAnd shook baith meikle corn and bearAnd kept the country-side in fear);Her cutty sarko' Paisley harnThat while a lassie she had wornIn longitude tho' sorely scantyIt was her bestand she was vauntie.Ah! little ken'd thy reverend grannieThat sark she coft for her wee NannieWi twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches)Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches!
But here my Muse her wing maun courSic flights are far beyond her power;To sing how Nannie lap and flang(A souple jade she was and strang)And how Tam stoodlike ane bewithc'dAnd thought his very een enrich'd:Even Satan glowr'dand fidg'd fu' fainAnd hotch'd and blew wi' might and main:Till first ae capersyne anitherTam tint his reason a thegitherAnd roars outWeel 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 fykeWhen plundering herds assail their byke;As open pussie's mortal foesWhenpop! she starts before their nose;As eager runs the market-crowdWhen "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;So Maggie runsthe witches followWi' mony an eldritch skreich and hollow.
AhTam! AhTam! thou'll get thy fairin!In hellthey'll roast thee like a herrin!In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin!Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!Nowdo thy speedy-utmostMegAnd win the key-stone o' the brig;^1Thereat them thou thy tail may tossA running stream they dare na cross.But ere the keystane she could makeThe fient a tail she had to shake!For Nanniefar before the restHard upon noble Maggie prestAnd flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;But little wist she Maggie's mettle!Ae spring brought off her master haleBut left behind her ain grey tail:The carlin claught her by the rumpAnd left poor Maggie scarce a stump.
Nowwha this tale o' truth shall readIlk man and mother's sontake heed:Whene'er to Drink you are inclin'dOr Cutty-sarks rin in your mindThink ye may buy the joys o'er dear;Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.
On The Birth Of A Posthumous Child
     Born in peculiar circumstances of family distress.
Sweet flow'retpledge o' meikle loveAnd ward o' mony a prayerWhat heart o' stane wad thou na moveSae helplesssweetand fair?
November hirples o'er the leaChilon thy lovely form:And ganealas! the shelt'ring treeShould shield thee frae the storm.
[Footnote 1: It is a well-known fact that witchesor any evil spiritshaveno power to follow a poor wight any further than the middle of the nextrunning stream. It may be proper likewise to mention to the benightedtravellerthat when he falls in with bogleswhatever danger may be in hisgoing forwardthere is much more hazard in turning back.-R. B.]
May He who gives the rain to pourAnd wings the blast to blawProtect thee frae the driving show'rThe bitter frost and snaw.
May Hethe friend o' Woe and WantWho heals life's various stoundsProtect and guard the mother plantAnd heal her cruel wounds.
But late she flourish'drooted fastFair in the summer mornNow feebly bends she in the blastUnshelter'd and forlorn.
Blest be thy bloomthou lovely gemUnscath'd by ruffian hand!And from thee many a parent stemArise to deck our land!
Elegy On The Late Miss Burnet Of Monboddo
Life ne'er exulted in so rich a prizeAs Burnetlovely from her native skies;Nor envious death so triumph'd in a blowAs that which laid th' accomplish'd Burnet low.
Thy form and mindsweet maidcan I forget?In richest ore the brightest jewel set!In theehigh Heaven above was truest shownAs by His noblest work the Godhead best is known.
In vain ye flaunt in summer's prideye groves;Thou crystal streamlet with thy flowery shoreYe woodland choir that chaunt your idle lovesYe cease to charm; Eliza is no more.
Ye healthy wastesimmix'd with reedy fens;Ye mossy streamswith sedge and rushes stor'd:Ye rugged cliffso'erhanging dreary glensTo you I fly-ye with my soul accord.
Princeswhose cumb'rous pride was all their worthShall venal lays their pompous exit hailAnd thousweet Excellence! forsake our earthAnd not a Muse with honest grief bewail?
We saw thee shine in youth and beauty's prideAnd Virtue's lightthat beams beyond the spheres;Butlike the sun eclips'd at morning tideThou left us darkling in a world of tears.
The parent's heart that nestled fond in theeThat heart how sunka prey to grief and care;So deckt the woodbine sweet yon aged tree;Sofrom it ravish'dleaves it bleak and bare.
Lament Of MaryQueen Of ScotsOn The Approach Of Spring
Now Nature hangs her mantle greenOn every blooming treeAnd spreads her sheets o' daisies whiteOut o'er the grassy lea;Now Phoebus cheers the crystal streamsAnd glads the azure skies;But nought can glad the weary wightThat fast in durance lies.
Now laverocks wake the merry mornAloft on dewy wing;The merlein his noontide bow'rMakes woodland echoes ring;The mavis wild wi' mony a noteSings drowsy day to rest:In love and freedom they rejoiceWi' care nor thrall opprest.
Now blooms the lily by the bankThe primrose down the brae;The hawthorn's budding in the glenAnd milk-white is the slae:The meanest hind in fair ScotlandMay rove their sweets amang;But Ithe Queen of a' ScotlandMaun lie in prison strang.
I was the Queen o' bonie FranceWhere happy I hae been;Fu' lightly raise I in the mornAs blythe lay down at e'en:And I'm the sov'reign of ScotlandAnd mony a traitor there;Yet here I lie in foreign bandsAnd never-ending care.
But as for theethou false womanMy sister and my faeGrim Vengeance yet shall whet a swordThat thro' thy soul shall gae;The weeping blood in woman's breastWas never known to thee;Nor th' balm that draps on wounds of woeFrae woman's pitying e'e.
My son! my son! may kinder starsUpon thy fortune shine;And may those pleasures gild thy reignThat ne'er wad blink on mine!God keep thee frae thy mother's faesOr turn their hearts to thee:And where thou meet'st thy mother's friendRemember him for me!
O! soonto memay Summer sunsNae mair light up the morn!Nae mair to me the Autumn windsWave o'er the yellow corn?Andin the narrow house of deathLet Winter round me rave;And the next flow'rs that deck the SpringBloom on my peaceful grave!
There'll Never Be Peace Till Jamie Comes Hame
By yon Castle wa'at the close of the dayI heard a man singtho' his head it was grey:And as he was singingthe tears doon came-There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.
The Church is in ruinsthe State is in jarsDelusionsoppressionsand murderous warsWe dare na weel say'tbut we ken wha's to blame-There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.
My seven braw sons for Jamie drew swordBut now I greet round their green beds in the yerd;It brak the sweet heart o' my faithful and dame-There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.
Now life is a burden that bows me downSin' I tint my bairnsand he tint his crown;But till my last moments my words are the same-There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.
Song -Out Over The Forth
Out over the ForthI look to the North;But what is the north and its Highlands to me?The south nor the east gie ease to my breastThe far foreign landor the wide rolling sea.
But I look to the west when I gae to restThat happy my dreams and my slumbers may be;For far in the west lives he I loe bestThe man that is dear to my babie and me.
The Banks O' Doon
First Version
Sweet are the banks-the banks o' DoonThe spreading flowers are fairAnd everything is blythe and gladBut I am fu' o' care.Thou'll break my heartthou bonie birdThat sings upon the bough;Thou minds me o' the happy daysWhen my fause Luve was true:Thou'll break my heartthou bonie birdThat sings beside thy mate;For sae I satand sae I sangAnd wist na o' my fate.
Aft hae I rov'd by bonie DoonTo see the woodbine twine;And ilka birds sang o' its LuveAnd sae did I o' mine:Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a roseUpon its thorny tree;But my fause Luver staw my roseAnd left the thorn wi' me:Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a roseUpon a morn in June;And sae I flourished on the mornAnd sae was pu'd or noon!
The Banks O' Doon
Second Version
Ye flowery banks o' bonie DoonHow can ye blume sae fair?How can ye chantye little birdsAnd I sae fu' o care!Thou'll break my heartthou bonie birdThat sings upon the bough!Thou minds me o' the happy daysWhen my fause Luve was true.Thou'll break my heartthou bonie birdThat sings beside thy mate;For sae I satand sae I sangAnd wist na o' my fate.
Aft hae I rov'd by bonie DoonTo see the woodbine twine;And ilka bird sang o' its LuveAnd sae did I o' mine.Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a roseUpon its thorny tree;But my fause Luver staw my roseAnd left the thorn wi' me.Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a roseUpon a morn in June;And sae I flourished on the mornAnd sae was pu'd or noon.
The Banks O' Doon
Third Version
Ye banks and braes o' bonie DoonHow can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?How can ye chantye little birdsAnd I sae weary fu' o' care!Thou'll break my heartthou warbling birdThat wantons thro' the flowering thorn:Thou minds me o' departed joysDeparted never to return.
Aft hae I rov'd by Bonie DoonTo see the rose and woodbine twine:And ilka bird sang o' its LuveAnd fondly sae did I o' mine;Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a roseFu' sweet upon its thorny tree!And may fause Luver staw my roseBut ah! he left the thorn wi' me.
Lament For JamesEarl Of Glencairn
The wind blew hollow frae the hillsBy fits the sun's departing beamLook'd on the fading yellow woodsThat wav'd o'er Lugar's winding stream:Beneath a craigy steepa BardLaden with years and meikle painIn loud lament bewail'd his lordWhom Death had all untimely ta'en.
He lean'd him to an ancient aikWhose trunk was mould'ring down with years;His locks were bleached white with timeHis hoary cheek was wet wi' tears!And as he touch'd his trembling harpAnd as he tun'd his doleful sangThe windslamenting thro' their cavesTo Echo bore the notes alang.
"Ye scatter'd birds that faintly singThe reliques o' the vernal queir!Ye woods that shed on a' the windsThe honours of the aged year!A few short monthsand glad and gayAgain ye'll charm the ear and e'e;But nocht in all-revolving timeCan gladness bring again to me.
"I am a bending aged treeThat long has stood the wind and rain;But now has come a cruel blastAnd my last hald of earth is gane;Nae leaf o' mine shall greet the springNae simmer sun exalt my bloom;But I maun lie before the stormAnd ithers plant them in my room.
"I've seen sae mony changefu' yearsOn earth I am a stranger grown:I wander in the ways of menAlike unknowingand unknown:Unheardunpitiedunreliev'dI bear alane my lade o' careFor silentlowon beds of dustLie a'hat would my sorrows share.
"And last(the sum of a' my griefs!)My noble master lies in clay;The flow'r amang our barons boldHis country's pridehis country's stay:In weary being now I pineFor a' the life of life is deadAnd hope has left may aged kenOn forward wing for ever fled.
"Awake thy last sad voicemy harp!The voice of woe and wild despair!Awakeresound thy latest layThen sleep in silence evermair!And thoumy lastbestonlyfriendThat fillest an untimely tombAccept this tribute from the BardThou brought from Fortune's mirkest gloom.
"In Poverty's low barren valeThick mists obscure involv'd me round;Though oft I turn'd the wistful eyeNae ray of fame was to be found:Thou found'st melike the morning sunThat melts the fogs in limpid airThe friendless bard and rustic songBecame alike thy fostering care.
"O! why has worth so short a dateWhile villains ripen grey with time?Must thouthe noblegen'rousgreatFall in bold manhood's hardy primWhy did I live to see that day-A day to me so full of woe?O! had I met the mortal shaftThat laid my benefactor low!
"The bridegroom may forget the brideWas made his wedded wife yestreen;The monarch may forget the crownThat on his head an hour has been;The mother may forget the childThat smiles sae sweetly on her knee;But I'll remember theeGlencairnAnd a' that thou hast done for me!"
Lines Sent To Sir John WhitefordBart
With The Lament On The Death Of the Earl Of Glencairn
Thouwho thy honour as thy God rever'stWhosave thy mind's reproachnought earthly fear'stTo thee this votive offering I impartThe tearful tribute of a broken heart.The Friend thou valued'stIthe Patron lov'd;His worthhis honourall the world approved:We'll mourn till we too go as he has goneAnd tread the shadowy path to that dark world unknown.
Craigieburn Wood
Sweet closes the ev'ning on Craigieburn WoodAnd blythely awaukens the morrow;But the pride o' the spring in the Craigieburn WoodCan yield to me nothing but sorrow.
Chorus.-Beyond theedeariebeyond theedearieAnd O to be lying beyond thee!O sweetlysoundlyweel may he sleepThat's laid in the bed beyond thee!
I see the spreading leaves and flowersI hear the wild birds singing;But pleasure they hae nane for meWhile care my heart is wringing.Beyond thee&c.
I can na tellI maun na tellI daur na for your anger;But secret love will break my heartIf I conceal it langer.Beyond thee&c.
I see thee gracefu'straight and tallI see thee sweet and bonie;But ohwhat will my torment beIf thou refuse thy Johnie!Beyond thee&c.
To see thee in another's armsIn love to lie and languish'Twad be my deadthat will be seenMy heart wad burst wi' anguish.Beyond thee&c.
But Jeaniesay thou wilt be mineSay thou lo'es nane before me;And a' may days o' life to comeI'l gratefully adore theeBeyond thee&c.
The Bonie Wee Thing
Chorus.-Bonie wee thingcannie wee thingLovely wee thingwert thou mineI wad wear thee in my bosomLest my jewel it should tine.
Wishfully I look and languishIn that bonie face o' thineAnd my heart it stounds wi' anguishLest my wee thing be na mine.Bonie wee thing&c.
Witand Graceand Loveand BeautyIn ae constellation shine;To adore thee is my dutyGoddess o' this soul o' mine!Bonie wee thing&c.
Epigram On Miss Davies
     On being asked why she had been formed so littleand Mrs. A-so big.
Ask why God made the gem so small?And why so huge the granite?-Because God meant mankind should setThat higher value on it.
The Charms Of Lovely Davies
tune-"Miss Muir."
O how shall Iunskilfu'tryThe poet's occupation?The tunefu' powersin happy hoursThat whisper inspiration;Even they maun dare an effort mairThan aught they ever gave usEre they rehearsein equal verseThe charms o' lovely Davies.
Each eye it cheers when she appearsLike Phoebus in the morningWhen past the showerand every flowerThe garden is adorning:As the wretch looks o'er Siberia's shoreWhen winter-bound the wave is;Sae droops our heartwhen we maun partFrae charminglovely Davies.
Her smile's a gift frae 'boon the liftThat maks us mair than princes;A sceptred handa king's commandIs in her darting glances;The man in arms 'gainst female charmsEven he her willing slave isHe hugs his chainand owns the reignOf conqueringlovely Davies.
My Museto dream of such a themeHer feeble powers surrender:The eagle's gaze alone surveysThe sun's meridian splendour.I wad in vain essay the strainThe deed too daring brave is;I'll drap the lyreand mute admireThe charms o' lovely Davies.
What Can A Young Lassie Do Wi' An Auld Man
What can a young lassiewhat shall a young lassieWhat can a young lassie do wi' an auld man?Bad luck on the penny that tempted my minnieTo sell her puir Jenny for siller an' lan'.Bad luck on the penny that tempted my minnieTo sell her puir Jenny for siller an' lan'!
He's always compleenin' frae mornin' to e'enin'He hoasts and he hirples the weary day lang;He's doylt and he's dozinhis blude it is frozen-Odreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man!He's doylt and he's dozinhis blude it is frozenOdreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man.
He hums and he hankershe frets and he cankersI never can please him do a' that I can;He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellows-Odool on the day I met wi' an auld man!He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellowsOdool on the day I met wi' an auld man.
My auld auntie Katie upon me taks pityI'll do my endeavour to follow her plan;I'll cross him an' wrack himuntil I heartbreak himAnd then his auld brass will buy me a new panI'll cross him an' wrack himuntil I heartbreak himAnd then his auld brass will buy me a new pan.
The Posie
O luve will venture in where it daur na weel be seenO luve will venture in where wisdom ance has been;But I will doun yon river roveamang the wood sae greenAnd a' to pu' a Posie to my ain dear May.
The primrose I will pu'the firstling o' the yearAnd I will pu' the pinkthe emblem o' my dear;For she's the pink o' womankindand blooms without a peerAnd a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.
I'll pu' the budding rosewhen Phoebus peeps in viewFor it's like a baumy kiss o' her sweetbonie mou;The hyacinth's for constancy wi' its unchanging blueAnd a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.
The lily it is pureand the lily it is fairAnd in her lovely bosom I'll place the lily there;The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected airAnd a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.
The hawthorn I will pu'wi' its locks o' siller grayWherelike an aged manit stands at break o' day;But the songster's nest within the bush I winna tak awayAnd a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.
The woodbine I will pu'when the e'ening star is nearAnd the diamond draps o' dew shall be her een sae clear;The violet's for modestywhich weel she fa's to wearAnd a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.
I'll tie the Posie round wi' the silken band o' luveAnd I'll place it in her breastand I'll swear by a' aboveThat to my latest draught o' life the band shall ne'er removeAnd this will be a Posie to my ain dear May.
On Glenriddell's Fox Breaking His Chain
A Fragment1791.
ThouLibertythou art my theme;Not such as idle poets dreamWho trick thee up a heathen goddessThat a fantastic cap and rod has;Such stale conceits are poor and silly;I paint thee outa Highland fillyA sturdystubbornhandsome dappleAs sleek's a mouseas round's an appleThat when thou pleasest canst do wonders;But when thy luckless rider blundersOr if thy fancy should demur thereWilt break thy neck ere thou go further.
These things premisedI sing a FoxWas caught among his native rocksAnd to a dirty kennel chainedHow he his liberty regained.
Glenriddell! Whig without a stainA Whig in principle and grainCould'st thou enslave a free-born creatureA native denizen of Nature?How could'st thouwith a heart so good(A better ne'er was sluiced with blood!)Nail a poor devil to a treeThat ne'er did harm to thine or thee?
The staunchest Whig Glenriddell wasQuite frantic in his country's cause;And oft was Reynard's prison passingAnd with his brother-Whigs canvassingThe Rights of Menthe Powers of WomenWith all the dignity of Freemen.
Sir Reynard daily heard debatesOf Princes'Kings'and Nations' fatesWith many ruefulbloody storiesOf TyrantsJacobitesand Tories:From liberty how angels fellThat now are galley-slaves in hell;How Nimrod first the trade beganOf binding Slavery's chains on Man;How fell Semiramis-God damn her!Did firstwith sacrilegious hammer(All ills till then were trivial matters)For Man dethron'd forge hen-peck fetters;
How Xerxesthat abandoned ToryThought cutting throats was reaping gloryUntil the stubborn Whigs of SpartaTaught him great Nature's Magna Charta;How mighty Rome her fiat hurl'dResistless o'er a bowing worldAndkinder than they did desirePolish'd mankind with sword and fire;With muchtoo tedious to relateOf ancient and of modern dateBut ending stillhow Billy Pitt(Unlucky boy!) with wicked witHas gagg'd old Britaindrain'd her cofferAs butchers bind and bleed a heifer
Thus wily Reynard by degreesIn kennel listening at his easeSuck'd in a mighty stock of knowledgeAs much as some folks at a College;Knew Britain's rights and constitutionHer aggrandisementdiminutionHow fortune wrought us good from evil;Let no manthendespise the DevilAs who should say'I never can need him'Since we to scoundrels owe our freedom.
Poem On Pastoral Poetry
HailPoesie! thou Nymph reserv'd!In chase o' theewhat crowds hae swerv'dFrae common senseor sunk enerv'd'Mang heaps o' clavers:And och! o'er aft thy joes hae starv'd'Mid a' thy favours!
SayLassiewhythy train amangWhile loud the trump's heroic clangAnd sock or buskin skelp alangTo death or marriage;Scarce ane has tried the shepherd-sangBut wi' miscarriage?
In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives;Eschylus' pen Will Shakespeare drives;Wee Popethe knurlin'till him rivesHoratian fame;In thy sweet sangBarbauldsurvivesEven Sappho's flame.
But theeTheocrituswha matches?They're no herd's ballatsMaro's catches;Squire Pope but busks his skinklin' patchesO' heathen tatters:I pass by hundersnameless wretchesThat ape their betters.
In this braw age o' wit and learWill nane the Shepherd's whistle mairBlaw sweetly in its native airAnd rural grace;Andwi' the far-fam'd GrecianshareA rival place?
Yes! there is ane-a Scottish callan!There's ane; come forrithonest Allan!Thou need na jouk behint the hallanA chiel sae clever;The teeth o' time may gnaw TantallanBut thou's for ever.
Thou paints auld Nature to the ninesIn thy sweet Caledonian lines;Nae gowden stream thro' myrtle twinesWhere PhilomelWhile nightly breezes sweep the vinesHer griefs will tell!
In gowany glens thy burnie straysWhere bonie lasses bleach their claesOr trots by hazelly shaws and braesWi' hawthorns grayWhere blackbirds join the shepherd's laysAt close o' day.
Thy rural loves are Nature's sel';Nae bombast spates o' nonsense swell;Nae snap conceitsbut that sweet spellO' witchin loveThat charm that can the strongest quellThe sternest move.
Verses On The Destruction Of The Woods Near Drumlanrig
As on the banks o' wandering NithAe smiling simmer morn I stray'dAnd traced its bonie howes and haughsWhere linties sang and lammies play'dI sat me down upon a craigAnd drank my fill o' fancy's dreamWhen from the eddying deep belowUp rose the genius of the stream.
Darklike the frowning rockhis browAnd troubledlike his wintry waveAnd deepas sughs the boding windAmang his cavesthe sigh he gave-And come ye here, my son,he criedTo wander in my birken shade?
To muse some favourite Scottish theme,
Or sing some favourite Scottish maid?
There was a timeit's nae lang syneYe might hae seen me in my prideWhen a' my banks sae bravely sawTheir woody pictures in my tide;When hanging beech and spreading elmShaded my stream sae clear and cool:And stately oaks their twisted armsThrew broad and dark across the pool;
"Whenglinting thro' the treesappear'dThe wee white cot aboon the millAnd peacefu' rose its ingle reekThatslowly curlingclamb the hill.But now the cot is bare and cauldIts leafy bield for ever ganeAnd scarce a stinted birk is leftTo shiver in the blast its lane."
"Alas!" quoth Iwhat ruefu' chance
Has twin'd ye o' your stately trees?
Has laid your rocky bosom bare-
Has stripped the cleeding o' your braes?
Was it the bitter eastern blast,
That scatters blight in early spring?
Or was't the wil'fire scorch'd their boughs,
Or canker-worm wi' secret sting?
"Nae eastlin blast the sprite replied;
It blaws na here sae fierce and fellAnd on my dry and halesome banksNae canker-worms get leave to dwell:Man! cruel man!" the genius sighed-As through the cliffs he sank him down-The worm that gnaw'd my bonie trees,
That reptile wears a ducal crown.^1
The Gallant Weaver
Where Cart rins rowin' to the seaBy mony a flower and spreading treeThere lives a ladthe lad for meHe is a gallant Weaver.OI had wooers aught or nineThey gied me rings and ribbons fine;And I was fear'd my heart wad tineAnd I gied it to the Weaver.
My daddie sign'd my tocher-bandTo gie the lad that has the landBut to my heart I'll add my handAnd give it to the Weaver.While birds rejoice in leafy bowersWhile bees delight in opening flowersWhile corn grows green in summer showersI love my gallant Weaver.
[Footnote 1: The Duke of Queensberry.]
Epigram At Brownhill Inn^1
At Brownhill we always get dainty good cheerAnd plenty of bacon each day in the year;We've a' thing that's niceand mostly in seasonBut why always Bacon-cometell me a reason?
You're WelcomeWillie Stewart
Chorus.-You're welcomeWillie StewartYou're welcomeWillie StewartThere's ne'er a flower that blooms in MayThat's half sae welcome's thou art!
Comebumpers highexpress your joyThe bowl we maun renew itThe tappet hengae bring her benTo welcome Willie StewartYou're welcomeWillie Stewart&c.
May foes be strangand friends be slackIlk actionmay he rue itMay woman on him turn her backThat wrangs theeWillie StewartYou're welcomeWillie Stewart&c.
Lovely Polly Stewart
Chorus.-O lovely Polly StewartO charming Polly StewartThere's ne'er a flower that blooms in MayThat's half so fair as thou art!
The flower it blawsit fadesit fa'sAnd art can ne'er renew it;But worth and trutheternal youthWill gie to Polly StewartO lovely Polly Stewart&c.
[Footnote 1: Bacon was the name of a presumably intrusive host. The lines aresaid to have "afforded much amusement."-Lang]
May he whase arms shall fauld thy charmsPossess a leal and true heart!To him be given to ken the heavenHe grasps in Polly Stewart!O lovely Polly Stewart&c.
Fragment-Damon And Sylvia
tune-"The Tither Morn."
Yon wandering rill that marks the hillAnd glances o'er the braeSirSlides by a bowerwhere mony a flowerSheds fragrance on the daySir;There Damon laywith Sylvia gayTo love they thought no crimeSirThe wild birds sangthe echoes rangWhile Damon's heart beat timeSir.
Johnie LadCock Up Your Beaver
When first my brave Johnie lad came to this townHe had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown;But now he has gotten a hat and a featherHeybrave Johnie ladcock up your beaver!
Cock up your beaverand cock it fu' sprushWe'll over the borderand gie them a brush;There's somebody there we'll teach better behaviourHeybrave Johnie ladcock up your beaver!
My Eppie Macnab
O saw ye my deariemy Eppie Macnab?O saw ye my deariemy Eppie Macnab?She's down in the yardshe's kissin the lairdShe winna come hame to her ain Jock Rab.
O come thy ways to memy Eppie Macnab;O come thy ways to memy Eppie Macnab;Whate'er thou hast dunebe it latebe it suneThou's welcome again to thy ain Jock Rab.
What says shemy deariemy Eppie Macnab?What says shemy deariemy Eppie Macnab?She let's thee to wit that she has thee forgotAnd for ever disowns theeher ain Jock Rab.
O had I ne'er seen theemy Eppie Macnab!O had I ne'er seen theemy Eppie Macnab!As light as the airand as fause as thou's fairThou's broken the heart o' thy ain Jock Rab.
Altho' He Has Left Me
Altho' he has left me for greed o' the sillerI dinna envy him the gains he can win;I rather wad bear a' the lade o' my sorrowThan ever hae acted sae faithless to him.
My Tocher's The Jewel
O Meikle thinks my luve o' my beautyAnd meikle thinks my luve o' my kin;But little thinks my luve I ken brawlieMy tocher's the jewel has charms for him.It's a' for the apple he'll nourish the treeIt's a' for the hinny he'll cherish the beeMy laddie's sae meikle in luve wi' the sillerHe canna hae luve to spare for me.
Your proffer o' luve's an airle-pennyMy tocher's the bargain ye wad buy;But an ye be craftyI am cunnin'Sae ye wi anither your fortune may try.Ye're like to the timmer o' yon rotten woodYe're like to the bark o' yon rotten treeYe'll slip frae me like a knotless threadAnd ye'll crack your credit wi' mae nor me.
O For Ane An' TwentyTam
Chorus.-An' O for ane an' twentyTam!And heysweet ane an' twentyTam!I'll learn my kin a rattlin' sangAn' I saw ane an' twentyTam.
They snool me sairand haud me downAn' gar me look like bluntieTam;But three short years will soon wheel roun'An' then comes ane an' twentyTam.An' O for&c.
A glieb o' lan'a claut o' gearWas left me by my auntieTam;At kith or kin I need na spierAn I saw ane an' twentyTam.An' O for&c.
They'll hae me wed a wealthy coofTho' I mysel' hae plentyTam;Buthear'st thou laddie! there's my loofI'm thine at ane an' twentyTam!An' O for&c.
Thou Fair Eliza
Turn againthou fair Eliza!Ae kind blink before we part;Rue on thy despairing loverCan'st thou break his faithfu' heart?Turn againthou fair Eliza!If to love thy heart deniesOhin pity hide the sentenceUnder friendship's kind disguise!
Theesweet maidhae I offended?My offence is loving thee;Can'st thou wreck his peace for everWha for thine would gladly die?While the life beats in my bosomThou shalt mix in ilka throe:Turn againthou lovely maidenAe sweet smile on me bestow.
Not the bee upon the blossomIn the pride o' sinny noon;Not the little sporting fairyAll beneath the simmer moon;Not the Minstrel in the momentFancy lightens in his e'eKens the pleasurefeels the raptureThat thy presence gies to me.
My Bonie Bell
The smiling Spring comes in rejoicingAnd surly Winter grimly flies;Now crystal clear are the falling watersAnd bonie blue are the sunny skies.Fresh o'er the mountains breaks forth the morningThe ev'ning gilds the ocean's swell;All creatures joy in the sun's returningAnd I rejoice in my bonie Bell.
The flowery Spring leads sunny SummerThe yellow Autumn presses near;Then in his turn comes gloomy WinterTill smiling Spring again appear:Thus seasons dancinglife advancingOld Time and Nature their changes tell;But never rangingstill unchangingI adore my bonie Bell.
Sweet Afton
Flow gentlysweet Afton! amang thy green braesFlow gentlyI'll sing thee a song in thy praise;My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring streamFlow gentlysweet Aftondisturb not her dream.
Thou stockdove whose echo resounds thro' the glenYe wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny denThou green-crested lapwing thy screaming forbearI charge youdisturb not my slumbering Fair.
How loftysweet Aftonthy neighbouring hillsFar mark'd with the courses of clearwinding rills;There daily I wander as noon rises highMy flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.
How pleasant thy banks and green valleys belowWherewild in the woodlandsthe primroses blow;There oftas mild Ev'ning weeps over the leaThe sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.
Thy crystal streamAftonhow lovely it glidesAnd winds by the cot where my Mary resides;How wanton thy waters her snowy feet laveAsgathering sweet floweretsshe stems thy clear wave.
Flow gentlysweet Aftonamang thy green braesFlow gentlysweet riverthe theme of my lays;My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring streamFlow gentlysweet Aftondisturb not her dream.
Address To The Shade Of Thomson
     On Crowning His Bust at EdnamRoxburghshirewith a Wreath of Bays.
While virgin Spring by Eden's floodUnfolds her tender mantle greenOr pranks the sod in frolic moodOr tunes Eolian strains between.
While Summerwith a matron graceRetreats to Dryburgh's cooling shadeYet oftdelightedstops to traceThe progress of the spiky blade.
While Autumnbenefactor kindBy Tweed erects his aged headAnd seeswith self-approving mindEach creature on his bounty fed.
While maniac Winter rages o'erThe hills whence classic Yarrow flowsRousing the turbid torrent's roarOr sweepingwilda waste of snows.
So longsweet Poet of the year!Shall bloom that wreath thou well hast won;While Scotiawith exulting tearProclaims that Thomson was her son.
Nithsdale's Welcome Hame
The noble Maxwells and their powersAre coming o'er the borderAnd they'll gae big Terreagles' towersAnd set them a' in order.And they declare Terreagles fairFor their abode they choose it;There's no a heart in a' the landBut's lighter at the news o't.
Tho' stars in skies may disappearAnd angry tempests gather;The happy hour may soon be nearThat brings us pleasant weather:The weary night o' care and griefMay hae a joyfu' morrow;so dawning day has brought reliefFareweel our night o' sorrow.
Frae The Friends And Land I Love
Tune.-"Carron Side."
Frae the friends and land I loveDriv'n by Fortune's felly spite;Frae my best belov'd I roveNever mair to taste delight:Never mair maun hope to findEase frae toilrelief frae care;When Remembrance wracks the mindPleasures but unveil despair.
Brightest climes shall mirk appearDesert ilka blooming shoreTill the Fatesnae mair severeFriendshiploveand peace restoreTill Revengewi' laurel'd headBring our banished hame again;And ilk loyalbonie ladCross the seasand win his ain.
Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation
Fareweel to a' our Scottish fameFareweel our ancient glory;Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish nameSae fam'd in martial story.Now Sark rins over Solway sandsAn' Tweed rins to the oceanTo mark where England's province stands-Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
What force or guile could not subdueThro' many warlike agesIs wrought now by a coward fewFor hireling traitor's wages.The English stell we could disdainSecure in valour's station;But English gold has been our bane-Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
O wouldor I had seen the dayThat Treason thus could sell usMy auld grey head had lien in clayWi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!But pith and powertill my last hourI'll mak this declaration;We're bought and sold for English gold-Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
Ye Jacobites By Name
Ye Jacobites by namegive an eargive an earYe Jacobites by namegive an earYe Jacobites by nameYour fautes I will proclaimYour doctrines I maun blameyou shall hear.
What is Rightand What is Wrangby the lawbythe law?What is Right and what is Wrang by the law?What is Rightand what is Wrang?A short swordand a langA weak arm and a strangfor to draw.
What makes heroic strifefamed afarfamed afar?What makes heroic strife famed afar?What makes heroic strife?To whet th' assassin's knifeOr hunt a Parent's lifewi' bluidy war?
Then let your schemes alonein the statein the stateThen let your schemes alone in the state.Then let your schemes aloneAdore the rising sunAnd leave a man undoneto his fate.
I Hae Been At Crookieden
I Hae been at CrookiedenMy bonie laddieHighland laddieViewing Willie and his menMy bonie laddieHighland laddie.There our foes that burnt and slewMy bonie laddieHighland laddieThereat lastthey gat their dueMy bonie laddieHighland laddie.
Satan sits in his black neukMy bonie laddieHighland laddieBreaking sticks to roast the DukeMy bonie laddieHighland laddieThe bloody monster gae a yellMy bonie laddieHighland laddie.And loud the laugh gied round a' hellMy bonie laddieHighland laddie.
O Kenmure's On And AwaWillie
O Kenmure's on and awaWillieO Kenmure's on and awa:An' Kenmure's lord's the bravest lordThat ever Galloway saw.
Success to Kenmure's bandWillie!Success to Kenmure's band!There's no a heart that fears a WhigThat rides by kenmure's hand.
Here's Kenmure's health in wineWillie!Here's Kenmure's health in wine!There's ne'er a coward o' Kenmure's bludeNor yet o' Gordon's line.
O Kenmure's lads are menWillieO Kenmure's lads are men;Their hearts and swords are metal trueAnd that their foes shall ken.
They'll live or die wi' fameWillie;They'll live or die wi' fame;But sunewi' sounding victorieMay Kenmure's lord come hame!
Here's him that's far awaWillie!Here's him that's far awa!And here's the flower that I loe bestThe rose that's like the snaw.
Epistle To John MaxwellESQ.Of Terraughty
On His Birthday.
Health to the Maxwell's veteran Chief!Healthaye unsour'd by care or grief:Inspir'dI turn'd Fate's sibyl leafThis natal mornI see thy life is stuff o' priefScarce quite half-worn.
This day thou metes threescore elevenAnd I can tell that bounteous Heaven(The second-sightye kenis givenTo ilka Poet)On thee a tack o' seven times sevenWill yet bestow it.
If envious buckies view wi' sorrowThy lengthen'd days on this blest morrowMay Desolation's lang-teeth'd harrowNine miles an hourRake themlike Sodom and GomorrahIn brunstane stour.
But for thy friendsand they are monyBaith honest menand lassies bonieMay couthie Fortunekind and cannieIn social gleeWi' mornings blytheand e'enings funnyBless them and thee!
Fareweelauld birkie! Lord be near yeAnd then the deilhe daurna steer ye:Your friends aye loveyour faes aye fear ye;For meshame fa' meIf neist my heart I dinna wear yeWhile Burns they ca' me.
Second Epistle To Robert GrahamESQ.Of Fintry
5th October 1791.
Late crippl'd of an armand now a legAbout to beg a pass for leave to beg;Dulllistlessteas'ddejectedand deprest(Nature is adverse to a cripple's rest);Will generous Graham list to his Poet's wail?(It soothes poor Miseryhearkening to her tale)And hear him curse the light he first survey'dAnd doubly curse the luckless rhyming trade?
ThouNature! partial NatureI arraign;Of thy caprice maternal I complain;The lion and the bull thy care have foundOne shakes the forestsand one spurns the ground;Thou giv'st the ass his hidethe snail his shell;Th' envenom'd waspvictoriousguards his cell;Thy minions kings defendcontroldevourIn all th' omnipotence of rule and power;Foxes and statesmen subtile wiles ensure;The cit and polecat stinkand are secure;Toads with their poisondoctors with their drugThe priest and hedgehog in their robesare snug;Ev'n silly woman has her warlike artsHer tongue and eyes-her dreaded spear and darts.
But Oh! thou bitter step-mother and hardTo thy poorfencelessnaked child-the Bard!A thing unteachable in world's skillAnd half an idiot toomore helpless still:No heels to bear him from the op'ning dun;No claws to dighis hated sight to shun;No hornsbut those by luckless Hymen wornAnd thosealas! notAmalthea's horn:No nerves olfact'ryMammon's trusty curClad in rich Dulness' comfortable fur;In naked feelingand in aching prideHe bears th' unbroken blast from ev'ry side:Vampyre booksellers drain him to the heartAnd scorpion critics cureless venom dart.
Critics-appall'dI venture on the name;Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame:Bloody dissectorsworse than ten Monroes;He hacks to teachthey mangle to expose:
His heart by causeless wanton malice wrungBy blockheads' daring into madness stung;His well-won baysthan life itself more dearBy miscreants tornwho ne'er one sprig must wear;Foil'dbleedingtortur'd in th' unequal strifeThe hapless Poet flounders on thro' life:Tillfled each hope that once his bosom fir'dAnd fled each muse that glorious once inspir'dLow sunk in squalidunprotected ageDead even resentment for his injur'd pageHe heeds or feels no more the ruthless critic's rage!
Soby some hedgethe gen'rous steed deceas'dFor half-starv'd snarling curs a dainty feast;By toil and famine wore to skin and boneLiessenseless of each tugging bitch's son.
O Dulness! portion of the truly blest!Calm shelter'd haven of eternal rest!Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremesOf Fortune's polar frostor torrid beams.If mantling high she fills the golden cupWith sober selfish ease they sip it up;Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserveThey only wonder "some folks" do not starve.The grave sage hern thus easy picks his frogAnd thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog.When disappointments snaps the clue of hopeAnd thro' disastrous night they darkling gropeWith deaf endurance sluggishly they bearAnd just conclude that "fools are fortune's care."Soheavypassive to the tempest's shocksStrong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.
Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap trainNot such the workings of their moon-struck brain;In equanimity they never dwellBy turns in soaring heav'nor vaulted hell.
I dread theeFaterelentless and severeWith all a poet'shusband'sfather's fear!Already one strong hold of hope is lost-Glencairnthe truly noblelies in dust(Fledlike the sun eclips'd as noon appearsAnd left us darkling in a world of tears);O! hear my ardentgratefulselfish pray'r!Fintrymy other staylong bless and spare!Thro' a long life his hopes and wishes crownAnd bright in cloudless skies his sun go down!May bliss domestic smooth his private path;Give energy to life; and soothe his latest breathWith many a filial tear circling the bed of death!
The Song Of Death
tune-"Oran an aoig."
     Scene-A Field of Battle. Time of the day-evening. The wounded and dyingof the victorious army are supposed to join in the following song.
Farewellthou fair daythou green earthand ye skiesNow gay with the broad setting sun;Farewellloves and friendshipsye dear tender tiesOur race of existence is run!Thou grim King of Terrors; thou Life's gloomy foe!Gofrighten the coward and slave;Goteach them to tremblefell tyrant! but knowNo terrors hast thou to the brave!
Thou strik'st the dull peasant-he sinks in the darkNor saves e'en the wreck of a name;Thou strik'st the young hero-a glorious mark;He falls in the blaze of his fame!In the field of proud honour-our swords in our handsOur King and our country to save;While victory shines on Life's last ebbing sands-O! who would not die with the brave!
Poem On Sensibility
Sensibilityhow charmingDearest Nancythou canst tell;But distresswith horrors armingThou alas! hast known too well!
Fairest flowerbehold the lilyBlooming in the sunny ray:Let the blast sweep o'er the valleySee it prostrate in the clay.
Hear the wood lark charm the forestTelling o'er his little joys;But alas! a prey the surestTo each pirate of the skies.
Dearly bought the hidden treasureFiner feelings can bestow:Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasureThrill the deepest notes of woe.
The Toadeater
Of Lordly acquaintance you boastAnd the Dukes that you dined wi' yestreenYet an insect's an insect at mostTho' it crawl on the curl of a Queen!
Divine Service In The Kirk Of Lamington
As cauld a wind as ever blewA cauld kirkan in't but few:As cauld a minister's e'er spak;Ye'se a' be het e'er I come back.
The Keekin'-Glass
How daur ye ca' me howlet-faceYe blear-e'edwithered spectre?Ye only spied the keekin'-glassAn' there ye saw your picture.
A Grace Before DinnerExtempore
O thou who kindly dost provideFor every creature's want!We bless TheeGod of Nature wideFor all Thy goodness lent:And if it please TheeHeavenly GuideMay never worse be sent;Butwhether grantedor deniedLordbless us with content. Amen!
A Grace After DinnerExtempore
O thouin whom we live and move-Who made the sea and shore;Thy goodness constantly we proveAnd grateful would adore;Andif it please TheePower above!Still grant uswith such storeThe friend we trustthe fair we love-And we desire no more. Amen!
O MayThy Morn
O maythy morn was ne'er so sweetAs the mirk night o' December!For sparkling was the rosy wineAnd private was the chamber:And dear was she I dare na nameBut I will aye remember:And dear was she I dare na nameBut I will aye remember.
And here's to them thatlike ourselCan push about the jorum!And here's to them that wish us weelMay a' that's guid watch o'er 'em!And here's to themwe dare na tellThe dearest o' the quorum!And here's to themwe dare na tellThe dearest o' the quorum.
Ae Fond KissAnd Then We Sever
tune-"Rory Dall's Port."
Ae fond kissand then we sever;Ae fareweelalasfor ever!Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge theeWarring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.Who shall say that Fortune grieves himWhile the star of hope she leaves him?Menae cheerful twinkle lights me;Dark despair around benights me.
I'll ne'er blame my partial fancyNaething could resist my Nancy:But to see her was to love her;Love but herand love for ever.Had we never lov'd sae kindlyHad we never lov'd sae blindlyNever met-or never partedWe had ne'er been broken-hearted.
Fare-thee-weelthou first and fairest!Fare-thee-weelthou best and dearest!Thine be ilka joy and treasurePeaceEnjoymentLove and Pleasure!Ae fond kissand then we sever!Ae fareweeli alasfor ever!Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge theeWarring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
Behold The HourThe BoatArrive
Behold the hourthe boatarrive!My dearest NancyO fareweel!Severed frae theecan I surviveFrae thee whom I hae lov'd sae weel?
Endless and deep shall be my grief;LNae ray of comfort shall I seeBut this most preciousdear beliefThat thou wilt still remember me!
Alang the solitary shoreWhere flitting sea-fowl round me cryAcross the rollingdashing roarI'll westward turn my wishful eye.
"Happy thou Indian grove I'll say,
Where now my Nancy's path shall be!While thro' your sweets she holds her wayO tell medoes she muse on me?"
Thou Gloomy December
Ance mair I hail theethou gloomy December!Ance mair I hail thee wi' sorrow and care;Sad was the parting thou makes me remember-Parting wi' Nancyohne'er to meet mair!
Fond lovers' parting is sweetpainful pleasureHope beaming mild on the soft parting hour;But the dire feelingO farewell for ever!Is anguish unmingledand agony pure!
Wild as the winter now tearing the forestTill the last leaf o' the summer is flown;Such is the tempest has shaken my bosomTill my last hope and last comfort is gone.
Still as I hail theethou gloomy DecemberStill shall I hail thee wi' sorrow and care;For sad was the parting thou makes me rememberParting wi' Nancyohne'er to meet mair.
My Native Land Sae Far Awa
O sad and heavyshould I partBut for her sakesae far awa;Unknowing what my way may thwartMy native land sae far awa.
Thou that of a' things Maker artThat formed this Fair sae far awaGie body strengththen I'll ne'er startAt this my way sae far awa.
How true is love to pure desert!Like mine for her sae far awa;And nocht can heal my bosom's smartWhileohshe is sae far awa!
Nane other lovenane other dartI feel but her's sae far awa;But fairer never touch'd a heartThan her'sthe Fairsae far awa.
I do Confess Thou Art Sae Fair
Alteration of an Old Poem.
I Do confess thou art sae fairI was been o'er the lugs in luveHad I na found the slightest prayerThat lips could speak thy heart could muve.
I do confess thee sweetbut findThou art so thriftless o' thy sweetsThy favours are the silly windThat kisses ilka thing it meets.
See yonder rosebudrich in dewAmang its native briers sae coy;How sune it tines its scent and hueWhen pu'd and worn a common toy.
Sic fate ere lang shall thee betideTho' thou may gaily bloom awhile;And sune thou shalt be thrown asideLike ony common weed and vile.
Lines On FergussonThe Poet
Ill-fated genius! Heaven-taught Fergusson!What heart that feels and will not yield a tearTo think Life's sun did set e'er well begunTo shed its influence on thy bright career.
O why should truest Worth and Genius pineBeneath the iron grasp of Want and WoeWhile titled knaves and idiot-Greatness shineIn all the splendour Fortune can bestow?
The Weary Pund O' Tow
Chorus.-The weary pundthe weary pundThe weary pund o' tow;I think my wife will end her lifeBefore she spin her tow.
I bought my wife a stane o' lintAs gude as e'er did growAnd a' that she has made o' thatIs ae puir pund o' tow.The weary pund&c.
There sat a bottle in a boleBeyont the ingle low;And aye she took the tither soukTo drouk the stourie tow.The weary pund&c.
Quoth IFor shameye dirty dameGae spin your tap o' tow!She took the rockand wi' a knockShe brak it o'er my pow.The weary pund&c.
At last her feet-I sang to see't!Gaed foremost o'er the knoweAnd or I wad anither jadI'll wallop in a tow.The weary pund&c.
When She Cam' Ben She Bobbed
O when she cam' ben she bobbed fu' lawO when she cam' ben she bobbed fu' lawAnd when she cam' benshe kiss'd CockpenAnd syne denied she did it at a'.
And was na Cockpen right saucy witha'?And was na Cockpen right saucy witha'?In leaving the daughter of a lordAnd kissin' a collier lassie an' a'!
O never look downmy lassieat a'O never look downmy lassieat a'Thy lips are as sweetand thy figure completeAs the finest dame in castle or ha'.
Tho' thou has nae silkand holland sae sma'Tho' thou has nae silkand holland sae sma'Thy coat and thy sark are thy ain handiwarkAnd lady Jean was never sae braw.
ScroggamMy Dearie
There was a wife wonn'd in CockpenScroggam;She brew'd gude ale for gentlemen;Sing auld Cowl lay ye down by meScroggammy dearieruffum.
The gudewife's dochter fell in a feverScroggam;The priest o' the parish he fell in anither;Sing auld Cowl lay ye down by meScroggammy dearieruffum.
They laid the twa i' the bed thegitherScroggam;That the heat o' the tane might cool the tither;Sing auld Cowllay ye down by meScroggammy dearieruffum.
My Collier Laddie
"Whare live yemy bonie lass?And tell me what they ca' ye;"My name,she saysis mistress Jean,
And I follow the Collier laddie.My name, she says, &c.
See you not yon hills and dalesThe sun shines on sae brawlie;They a' are mineand they shall be thineGin ye'll leave your Collier laddie.They a' are mine, &c.
Ye shall gang in gay attireWeel buskit up sae gaudy;And ane to wait on every handGin ye'll leave your Collier laddie."And ane to wait, &c.
Tho' ye had a' the sun shines onAnd the earth conceals sae lowlyI wad turn my back on you and it a'And embrace my Collier laddie.I wad turn my back, &c.
I can win my five pennies in a dayAn' spen't at night fu' brawlie:And make my bed in the collier's neukAnd lie down wi' my Collier laddie.And make my bed, &c.
Love for love is the bargain for meTho' the wee cot-house should haud me;and the warld before me to win my breadAnd fair fa' my Collier laddie!"And the warld before me, &c.
Sic A Wife As Willie Had
Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,
The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie;
Willie was a wabster gude,
Could stown a clue wi' ony body:
He had a wife was dour and din,
O Tinkler Maidgie was her mither;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wad na gie a button for her!
She has an e'e, she has but ane,
The cat has twa the very colour;
Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,
A clapper tongue wad deave a miller:
A whiskin beard about her mou',
Her nose and chin they threaten ither;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her!
She's bow-hough'd, she's hein-shin'd,
Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;
She's twisted right, she's twisted left,
To balance fair in ilka quarter:
She has a lump upon her breast,
The twin o' that upon her shouther;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her!
Auld baudrons by the ingle sits,
An' wi' her loof her face a-washin;
But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,
She dights her grunzie wi' a hushion;
Her walie nieves like midden-creels,
Her face wad fyle the Logan Water;
Sic a wife as Willie had,
I wadna gie a button for her!
Lady Mary Ann
O lady Mary Ann looks o'er the Castle wa',
She saw three bonie boys playing at the ba',
The youngest he was the flower amang them a',
My bonie laddie's young, but he's growin' yet.
O father, O father, an ye think it fit,
We'll send him a year to the college yet,
We'll sew a green ribbon round about his hat,
And that will let them ken he's to marry yet.
Lady Mary Ann was a flower in the dew,
Sweet was its smell and bonie was its hue,
And the longer it blossom'd the sweeter it grew,
For the lily in the bud will be bonier yet.
Young Charlie Cochran was the sprout of an aik,
Bonie and bloomin' and straught was its make,
The sun took delight to shine for its sake,
And it will be the brag o' the forest yet.
The simmer is gane when the leaves they were green,
And the days are awa' that we hae seen,
But far better days I trust will come again;
For my bonie laddie's young, but he's growin' yet.
Kellyburn Braes
There lived a carl in Kellyburn Braes,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
And he had a wife was the plague of his days,
And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.
Ae day as the carl gaed up the lang glen,
Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
He met with the Devil, says, How do you fen?"And the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
I've got a bad wifesirthat's a' my complaintHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;For, savin your presence, to her ye're a saint,And the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
It's neither your stot nor your staig I shall craveHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;But gie me your wife, man, for her I must have,And the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
"O welcome most kindly!" the blythe carl saidHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;But if ye can match her ye're waur than ye're ca'd,And the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
The Devil has got the auld wife on his backHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;Andlike a poor pedlarhe's carried his packAnd the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
He's carried her hame to his ain hallan doorHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;Syne bade her gae infor a bitchand a whoreAnd the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
Then straight he makes fiftythe pick o' his bandHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme:Turn out on her guard in the clap o' a handAnd the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
The carlin gaed thro' them like ony wud bearHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;Whae'er she gat hands on cam near her nae mairAnd the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
A reekit wee deevil looks over the wa'Heyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;O help, maister, help, or she'll ruin us a'!And the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
The Devil he swore by the edge o' his knifeHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;He pitied the man that was tied to a wifeAnd the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
The Devil he swore by the kirk and the bellHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;He was not in wedlockthank Heav'nbut in hellAnd the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
Then Satan has travell'd again wi' his packHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;And to her auld husband he's carried her backAnd the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
I hae been a Devil the feck o' my lifeHeyand the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;But ne'er was in hell till I met wi' a wife,And the thyme it is wither'dand rue is in prime.
The Slave's Lament
It was in sweet Senegal that my foes did me enthralFor the lands of Virginia-giniaO:Torn from that lovely shoreand must never see it more;And alas! I am wearyweary O:Torn from that lovely shoreand must never see it more;And alas! I am wearyweary O.
All on that charming coast is no bitter snow and frostLike the lands of Virginia-giniaO:There streams for ever flowand there flowers for ever blowAnd alas! I am wearyweary O:There streams for ever flowand there flowers for ever blowAnd alas! I am wearyweary O:
The burden I must bearwhile the cruel scourge I fearIn the lands of Virginia-giniaO;And I think on friends most dearwith the bitterbitter tearAnd alas! I am wearyweary O:And I think on friends most dearwith the bitterbitter tearAnd alas! I am wearyweary O:
O Can Ye Labour Lea?
Chorus-O can ye labour leayoung manO can ye labour lea?It fee nor bountith shall us twineGin ye can labour lea.
I fee'd a man at MichaelmasWi' airle pennies three;But a' the faut I had to himHe could na labour leaO can ye labour lea&c.
O clappin's gude in FebarwarAn' kissin's sweet in May;But my delight's the ploughman ladThat weel can labour leaO can ye labour lea&c.
O kissin is the key o' luveAnd clappin' is the lock;An' makin' o's the best thing yetThat e'er a young thing gat.O can ye labour lea&c.
The Deuks Dang O'er My Daddie
The bairns gat out wi' an unco shoutThe deuks dang o'er my daddieO!The fien-ma-carequo' the feirrie auld wifeHe was but a paidlin' bodyO!He paidles outand he paidles inrn' he paidles late and earlyO!This seven lang years I hae lien by his sideAn' he is but a fusionless carlieO.
O haud your tonguemy feirrie auld wifeO haud your tonguenow NansieO:I've seen the dayand sae hae yeYe wad na ben sae donsieO.I've seen the day ye butter'd my broseAnd cuddl'd me late and earlyO;But downa-do's come o'er me nowAnd ohI find it sairlyO!
The Deil's Awa Wi' The Exciseman
The deil cam fiddlin' thro' the townAnd danc'd awa wi' th' ExcisemanAnd ilka wife criesAuld Mahoun,
I wish you luck o' the prize, man.Chorus-The deil's awathe deil's awaThe deil's awa wi' the ExcisemanHe's danc'd awahe's danc'd awaHe's danc'd awa wi' the Exciseman.
We'll mak our mautand we'll brew our drinkWe'll laughsingand rejoicemanAnd mony braw thanks to the meikle black deilThat danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman.The deil's awa&c.
There's threesome reelsthere's foursome reelsThere's hornpipes and strathspeysmanBut the ae best dance ere came to the landWas-the deil's awa wi' the Exciseman.The deil's awa&c.
The Country Lass
In simmerwhen the hay was mawnAnd corn wav'd green in ilka fieldWhile claver blooms white o'er the leaAnd roses blaw in ilka beild!Blythe Bessie in the milking shielSays-"I'll be wedcome o't what will":Out spake a dame in wrinkled eild;O' gude advisement comes nae ill.
It's ye hae wooers mony aneAnd lassieye're but young ye ken;Then wait a weeand cannie waleA routhie butta routhie ben;There's Johnie o' the Buskie-glenFu' is his barnfu' is his byre;Take this frae memy bonie henIt's plenty beets the luver's fire."
"For Johnie o' the Buskie-glenI dinna care a single flie;He lo'es sae weel his craps and kyeHe has nae love to spare for me;But blythe's the blink o' Robie's e'eAnd weel I wat he lo'es me dear:Ae blink o' him I wad na gieFor Buskie-glen and a' his gear."
"O thoughtless lassielife's a faught;The canniest gatethe strife is sair;But aye fu'-han't is fechtin' bestA hungry care's an unco care:But some will spend and some will spareAn' wilfu' folk maun hae their will;Syne as ye brewmy maiden fairKeep mind that ye maun drink the yill."
"O gear will buy me rigs o' landAnd gear will buy me sheep and kye;But the tender heart o' leesome loveThe gowd and siller canna buy;We may be poor-Robie and I-Light is the burden love lays on;Content and love brings peace and joy-What mair hae Queens upon a throne?"
Bessy And Her Spinnin' Wheel
O Leeze me on my spinnin' wheelAnd leeze me on my rock and reel;Frae tap to tae that cleeds me bienAnd haps me biel and warm at e'en;I'll set me down and sing and spinWhile laigh descends the simmer sunBlest wi' contentand milk and mealO leeze me on my spinnin' wheel.
On ilka hand the burnies trotAnd meet below my theekit cot;The scented birk and hawthorn whiteAcross the pool their arms uniteAlike to screen the birdie's nestAnd little fishes' caller rest;The sun blinks kindly in the beil'Where blythe I turn my spinnin' wheel.
On lofty aiks the cushats wailAnd Echo cons the doolfu' tale;The lintwhites in the hazel braesDelightedrival ither's lays;The craik amang the claver hayThe pairtrick whirring o'er the leyThe swallow jinkin' round my shielAmuse me at my spinnin' wheel.
Wi' sma' to selland less to buyAboon distressbelow envyO wha wad leave this humble stateFor a' the pride of a' the great?Amid their flairingidle toysAmid their cumbrousdinsome joysCan they the peace and pleasure feelOf Bessy at her spinnin' wheel?
Love For Love
Ithers seek they ken na whatFeaturescarriageand a' that;Gie me love in her I courtLove to love maks a' the sport.
Let love sparkle in her e'e;Let her lo'e nae man but me;That's the tocher-gude I prizeThere the luver's treasure lies.
Saw Ye Bonie Lesley
O saw ye bonie LesleyAs she gaed o'er the Border?She's ganelike AlexanderTo spread her conquests farther.
To see her is to love herAnd love but her for ever;For Nature made her what she isAnd never made anither!
Thou art a queenfair LesleyThy subjectswe before thee;Thou art divinefair LesleyThe hearts o' men adore thee.
The deil he could na scaith theeOr aught that wad belang thee;He'd look into thy bonie faceAnd say-"I canna wrang thee!"
The Powers aboon will tent theeMisfortune sha'na steer thee;Thou'rt like themselves sae lovelyThat ill they'll ne'er let near thee.
Return againfair LesleyReturn to Caledonie!That we may brag we hae a lassThere's nane again sae bonie.
Fragment Of Song
No cold approachno altered mienJust what would make suspicion start;No pause the dire extremes betweenHe made me blest-and broke my heart.
I'll Meet Thee On The Lea Rig
When o'er the hill the eastern starTells bughtin time is nearmy joAnd owsen frae the furrow'd fieldReturn sae dowf and weary O;Down by the burnwhere birken budsWi' dew are hangin clearmy joI'll meet thee on the lea-rigMy ain kind Dearie O.
At midnight hourin mirkest glenI'd roveand ne'er be eerieOIf thro' that glen I gaed to theeMy ain kind Dearie O;Altho' the night were ne'er sae wildAnd I were ne'er sae weary OI'll meet thee on the lea-rigMy ain kind Dearie O.
The hunter lo'es the morning sun;To rouse the mountain deermy jo;At noon the fisher seeks the glenAdown the burn to steermy jo:Gie me the hour o' gloamin' greyIt maks my heart sae cheery OTo meet thee on the lea-rigMy ain kind Dearie O.
My Wife's A Winsome Wee Thing
Air-"My Wife's a Wanton Wee Thing."
Chorus.-She is a winsome wee thingShe is a handsome wee thingShe is a lo'esome wee thingThis dear wee wife o' mine.
I never saw a fairerI never lo'ed a dearerAnd neist my heart I'll wear herFor fear my jewel tineShe is a winsome&c.
The warld's wrack we share o't;The warstle and the care o't;Wi' her I'll blythely bear itAnd think my lot divine.She is a winsome&c.
Highland Mary
tune-"Katherine Ogie."
Ye banksand braesand streams aroundThe castle o' Montgomery!Green be your woodsand fair your flowersYour waters never drumlie:There Simmer first unfauld her robesAnd there the langest tarry;For there I took the last FarewellO' my sweet Highland Mary.
How sweetly bloom'd the gaygreen birkHow rich the hawthorn's blossomAs underneath their fragrant shadeI clasp'd her to my bosom!The golden Hours on angel wingsFlew o'er me and my Dearie;For dear to meas light and lifeWas my sweet Highland Mary.
Wi' mony a vowand lock'd embraceOur parting was fu' tender;Andpledging aft to meet againWe tore oursels asunder;But oh! fell Death's untimely frostThat nipt my Flower sae early!Now green's the sodand cauld's the clayThat wraps my Highland Mary!
O palepale nowthose rosy lipsI aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!And clos'd for ayethe sparkling glanceThat dwalt on me sae kindly!And mouldering now in silent dustThat heart that lo'ed me dearly!But still within my bosom's coreShall live my Highland Mary.
Auld Rob Morris
There's Auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glenHe's the King o' gude fellowsand wale o' auld men;He has gowd in his coffershe has owsen and kineAnd ae bonie lasshis dautie and mine.
She's fresh as the morningthe fairest in May;She's sweet as the ev'ning amang the new hay;As blythe and as artless as the lambs on the leaAnd dear to my heart as the light to my e'e.
But oh! she's an Heiressauld Robin's a lairdAnd my daddie has nought but a cot-house and yard;A wooer like me maunna hope to come speedThe wounds I must hide that will soon be my dead.
The day comes to mebut delight brings me nane;The night comes to mebut my rest it is gane;I wander my lane like a night-troubled ghaistAnd I sigh as my heart it wad burst in my breast.
O had she but been of a lower degreeI then might hae hop'd she wad smil'd upon me!O how past descriving had then been my blissAs now my distraction nae words can express.
The Rights Of Woman
An Occasional Address.
Spoken by Miss Fontenelle on her benefit nightNovember 261792.
While Europe's eye is fix'd on mighty thingsThe fate of Empires and the fall of Kings;While quacks of State must each produce his planAnd even children lisp the Rights of Man;Amid this mighty fuss just let me mentionThe Rights of Woman merit some attention.
Firstin the Sexes' intermix'd connectionOne sacred Right of Woman isprotection. -The tender flower that lifts its headelateHelplessmust fall before the blasts of FateSunk on the earthdefac'd its lovely formUnless your shelter ward th' impending storm.
Our second Right-but needless here is cautionTo keep that right inviolate's the fashion;Each man of sense has it so full before himHe'd die before he'd wrong it-'tis decorum. -There wasindeedin far less polish'd daysA timewhen rough rude man had naughty waysWould swaggerswearget drunkkick up a riotNay even thus invade a Lady's quiet.
Nowthank our stars! those Gothic times are fled;Nowwell-bred men-and you are all well-bred-Most justly think (and we are much the gainers)Such conduct neither spiritwitnor manners.
For Right the thirdour lastour bestour dearestThat right to fluttering female hearts the nearest;Which even the Rights of Kingsin low prostrationMost humbly own-'tis deardear admiration!In that blest sphere alone we live and move;There taste that life of life-immortal love.Smilesglancessighstearsfitsflirtationsairs;'Gainst such an host what flinty savage daresWhen awful Beauty joins with all her charms-Who is so rash as rise in rebel arms?
But truce with kingsand truce with constitutionsWith bloody armaments and revolutions;Let Majesty your first attention summonAh! ca ira! The Majesty Of Woman!
Epigram On Seeing Miss Fontenelle In A Favourite Character
Sweet naivete of featureSimplewildenchanting elfNot to theebut thanks to NatureThou art acting but thyself.
Wert thou awkwardstiffaffectedSpurning Naturetorturing art;Loves and Graces all rejectedThen indeed thou'd'st act a part.
Extempore On Some Commemorations Of Thomson
Dost thou not riseindignant shadeAnd smile wi' spurning scornWhen they wha wad hae starved thy lifeThy senseless turf adorn?
Helplessalanethou clamb the braeWi' meikle honest toilAnd claught th' unfading garland there-Thy sair-wornrightful spoil.
And wear it thou! and call aloudThis axiom undoubted-Would thou hae Nobles' patronage?First learn to live without it!
To whom hae muchmore shall be givenIs every Great man's faith;But hethe helplessneedful wretchShall lose the mite he hath.
Duncan Gray
Duncan Gray cam' here to wooHahathe wooing o'tOn blythe Yule-night when we were fouHahathe wooing o'tMaggie coost her head fu' heighLook'd asklent and unco skeighGart poor Duncan stand abeigh;Hahathe wooing o't.
Duncan fleech'd and Duncan pray'd;Hahathe wooing o'tMeg was deaf as Ailsa CraigHahathe wooing o't:Duncan sigh'd baith out and inGrat his e'en baith blear't an' blin'Spak o' lowpin o'er a linn;Hahathe wooing o't.
Time and Chance are but a tideHahathe wooing o'tSlighted love is sair to bideHahathe wooing o't:Shall I like a foolquoth heFor a haughty hizzie die?She may gae to-France for me!Hahathe wooing o't.
How it comes let doctors tellHahathe wooing o't;Meg grew sickas he grew haleHahathe wooing o't.
Something in her bosom wringsFor relief a sigh she brings:And oh! her een they spak sic things!Hahathe wooing o't.
Duncan was a lad o' graceHahathe wooing o't:Maggie's was a piteous caseHahathe wooing o't:Duncan could na be her deathSwelling Pity smoor'd his wrath;Now they're crouse and canty baithHahathe wooing o't.
Here's A Health To Them That's Awa
Here's a health to them that's awaHere's a health to them that's awa;And wha winna wish gude luck to our causeMay never gude luck be their fa'!It's gude to be merry and wiseIt's gude to be honest and true;It's gude to support Caledonia's causeAnd bide by the buff and the blue.
Here's a health to them that's awaHere's a health to them that's awaHere's a health to Charlie^1 the chief o' the clanAltho' that his band be but sma'!May Liberty meet wi' success!May Prudence protect her frae evil!May tyrants and tyranny tine i' the mistAnd wander their way to the devil!
Here's a health to them that's awaHere's a health to them that's awa;Here's a health to Tammie^2 the Norlan' laddieThat lives at the lug o' the law!Here's freedom to them that wad readHere's freedom to them that wad write
[Footnote 1: Charles James Fox.]
[Footnote 2: Hon. Thos. Erskineafterwards Lord Erskine.]
There's nane ever fear'd that the truth should be heardBut they whom the truth would indite.
Here's a Health to them that's awaAn' here's to them that's awa!Here's to Maitland and Wycombelet wha doesna like 'emBe built in a hole in the wa';Here's timmer that's red at the heartHere's fruit that is sound at the core;And may he be that wad turn the buff and blue coatBe turn'd to the back o' the door.
Here's a health to them that's awaHere's a health to them that's awa;Here's chieftain M'Leoda chieftain worth gowdTho' bred amang mountains o' snaw;Here's friends on baith sides o' the firthAnd friends on baith sides o' the Tweed;And wha wad betray old Albion's rightMay they never eat of her bread!
A Tippling Ballad
     On the Duke of Brunswick's Breaking up his Campand the defeat of theAustriansby DumourierNovember 1792.
When Princes and PrelatesAnd hot-headed zealotsA'Europe had set in a lowa lowThe poor man lies downNor envies a crownAnd comforts himself as he dowas he dowAnd comforts himself as he dow.
The black-headed eagleAs keen as a beagleHe hunted o'er height and o'er howeIn the braes o' GemappeHe fell in a trapE'en let him come out as he dowdowdowE'en let him come out as he dow.
But truce with commotionsAnd new-fangled notionsA bumperI trust you'll allow;Here's George our good kingAnd Charlotte his queenAnd lang may they ring as they dowdowdowAnd lang may they ring as they dow.
Poortith Cauld And Restless Love
tune-"Cauld Kail in Aberdeen."
O poortith cauldand restless loveYe wrack my peace between ye;Yet poortith a' I could forgiveAn 'twere na for my Jeanie.
Chorus-O why should Fate sic pleasure haveLife's dearest bands untwining?Or why sae sweet a flower as loveDepend on Fortune's shining?
The warld's wealthwhen I think onIt's pride and a' the lave o't;O fie on silly coward manThat he should be the slave o't!O why&c.
Her e'ensae bonie bluebetrayHow she repays my passion;But prudence is her o'erword ayeShe talks o' rank and fashion.O why&c.
O wha can prudence think uponAnd sic a lassie by him?O wha can prudence think uponAnd sae in love as I am?O why&c.
How blest the simple cotter's fate!He woos his artless dearie;The silly bogleswealth and stateCan never make him eerieO why&c.
On Politics
In Politics if thou would'st mixAnd mean thy fortunes be;Bear this in mind-be deaf and blindLet great folk hear and see.
Braw Lads O' Galla Water
Brawbraw lads on Yarrow-braesThey rove amang the blooming heather;But Yarrow braesnor Ettrick shawsCan match the lads o' Galla Water.
But there is anea secret aneAboon them a' I loe him better;And I'll be hisand he'll be mineThe bonie lad o' Galla Water.
Altho' his daddie was nae lairdAnd tho' I hae nae meikle tocherYet rich in kindesttruest loveWe'll tent our flocks by Galla Water.
It ne'er was wealthit ne'er was wealthThat coft contentmentpeaceor pleasure;The bands and bliss o' mutual loveO that's the chiefest warld's treasure.
Sonnet Written On The Author's Birthday
On hearing a Thrush sing in his Morning Walk.
Sing onsweet thrushupon the leafless boughSing onsweet birdI listen to thy strainSee aged Winter'mid his surly reignAt thy blythe carolclears his furrowed brow.
So in lone Poverty's dominion drearSits meek Content with lightunanxious heart;Welcomes the rapid momentsbids them partNor asks if they bring ought to hope or fear.
I thank theeAuthor of this opening day!Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies!Riches deniedthy boon was purer joys-What wealth could never give nor take away!
Yet comethou child of poverty and careThe mite high heav'n bestow'dthat mite with thee I'll share.
Wandering Willie
First Version
Here awathere awawandering WillieNow tired with wanderinghaud awa hame;Come to my bosommy ae only dearieAnd tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.Loud blew the cauld winter winds at our parting;It was na the blast brought the tear in my e'e:Now welcome the Simmerand welcome my WillieThe Simmer to Naturemy Willie to me.
Ye hurricanes rest in the cave o'your slumbersO how your wild horrors a lover alarms!Awaken ye breezesrow gently ye billowsAnd waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.But if he's forgotten his faithfullest NannieO still flow between usthou wide roaring main;May I never see itmay I never trow itButdyingbelieve that my Willie's my ain!
Wandering Willie
Revised Version
Here awathere awawandering WillieHere awathere awahaud awa hame;Come to my bosommy ain only dearieTell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.Winter winds blew loud and cauld at our partingFears for my Willie brought tears in my e'eWelcome nowhSimmerand welcomemy WillieThe Simmer to Naturemy Willie to me!
Restye wild stormsin the cave of your slumbersHow your dread howling a lover alarms!Waukenye breezesrow gentlyye billowsAnd waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.But ohif he's faithlessand minds na his NannieFlow still between usthou wide roaring main!May I never see itmay I never trow itButdyingbelieve that my Willie's my ain!
Lord Gregory
O mirkmirk is this midnight hourAnd loud the tempest's roar;A waefu' wanderer seeks thy towerLord Gregoryope thy door.An exile frae her father's ha'And a' for loving thee;At least some pity on me shawIf love it may na be.
Lord Gregorymind'st thou not the groveBy bonie Irwine sideWhere first I own'd that virgin loveI langlang had denied.How aften didst thou pledge and vowThou wad for aye be mine!And my fond heartitsel' sae trueIt ne'er mistrusted thine.
Hard is thy heartLord GregoryAnd flinty is thy breast:Thou bolt of Heaven that flashest byOwilt thou bring me rest!Ye mustering thunders from aboveYour willing victim see;But spare and pardon my fause LoveHis wrangs to Heaven and me.
Open The Door To MeOh
Ohopen the doorsome pity to shewOhopen the door to meohTho' thou hast been falseI'll ever prove trueOhopen the door to meoh.
Cauld is the blast upon my pale cheekBut caulder thy love for meoh:The frost that freezes the life at my heartIs nought to my pains frae theeoh.
The wan Moon is setting beyond the white waveAnd Time is setting with meoh:False friendsfalse lovefarewell! for mairI'll ne'er trouble themnor theeoh.
She has open'd the doorshe has open'd it wideShe sees the pale corse on the plainoh:My true love!she criedand sank down by his sideNever to rise againoh.
Lovely Young Jessie
True hearted was hethe sad swain o' the YarrowAnd fair are the maids on the banks of the Ayr;But by the sweet side o' the Nith's winding riverAre lovers as faithfuland maidens as fair:To equal young Jessie seek Scotland all over;To equal young Jessie you seek it in vainGracebeautyand elegancefetter her loverAnd maidenly modesty fixes the chain.
Ofresh is the rose in the gaydewy morningAnd sweet is the lilyat evening close;But in the fair presence o' lovely young JessieUnseen is the lilyunheeded the rose.Love sits in her smilea wizard ensnaring;Enthron'd in her een he delivers his law:And still to her charms she alone is a stranger;Her modest demeanour's the jewel of a'.
Meg O' The Mill
O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gottenAn' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten?She gotten a coof wi' a claut o' sillerAnd broken the heart o' the barley Miller.
The Miller was strappinthe Miller was ruddy;A heart like a lordand a hue like a lady;The laird was a widdifu'bleerit knurl;She's left the gude fellowand taen the churl.
The Miller he hecht her a heart leal and lovingThe lair did address her wi' matter mair movingA fine pacing-horse wi' a clear chained bridleA whip by her sideand a bonie side-saddle.
O wae on the sillerit is sae prevailin'And wae on the love that is fixed on a mailen!A tocher's nae word in a true lover's parleBut gie me my loveand a fig for the warl'!
Meg O' The Mill
Another Version
O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gottenAn' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten?A braw new naig wi' the tail o' a rottanAnd that's what Meg o' the Mill has gotten.
O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearlyAn' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly?A dram o' gude strunt in the morning earlyAnd that's what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly.
O ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was marriedAn' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was married?The priest he was oxter'dthe clark he was carriedAnd that's how Meg o' the Mill was married.
O ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was beddedAn' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was bedded?The groom gat sae fou'he fell awald beside itAnd that's how Meg o' the Mill was bedded.
The Soldier's Return
Air-"The MillmillO."
When wild war's deadly blast was blawnAnd gentle peace returningWi' mony a sweet babe fatherlessAnd mony a widow mourning;I left the lines and tented fieldWhere lang I'd been a lodgerMy humble knapsack a' my wealthA poor and honest sodger.
A leallight heart was in my breastMy hand unstain'd wi' plunder;And for fair Scotia hame againI cheery on did wander:I thought upon the banks o' CoilI thought upon my NancyI thought upon the witching smileThat caught my youthful fancy.
At length I reach'd the bonie glenWhere early life I sported;I pass'd the mill and trysting thornWhere Nancy aft I courted:Wha spied I but my ain dear maidDown by her mother's dwelling!And turn'd me round to hide the floodThat in my een was swelling.
Wi' alter'd voicequoth ISweet lass,
Sweet as yon hawthorn's blossom,
O! happy, happy may he be,
That's dearest to thy bosom:
My purse is light, I've far to gang,
And fain would be thy lodger;
I've serv'd my king and country lang-
Take pity on a sodger.
Sae wistfully she gaz'd on meAnd lovelier was than ever;Quo' sheA sodger ance I lo'ed,
Forget him shall I never:
Our humble cot, and hamely fare,
Ye freely shall partake it;
That gallant badge-the dear cockade,
Ye're welcome for the sake o't.
She gaz'd-she redden'd like a rose -Syne pale like only lily;She sank within my armsand criedArt thou my ain dear Willie?By him who made yon sun and sky!
By whom true love's regarded,
I am the man; and thus may still
True lovers be rewarded.
The wars are o'erand I'm come hameAnd find thee still true-hearted;Tho' poor in gearwe're rich in loveAnd mair we'se ne'er be parted."Quo' sheMy grandsire left me gowd,
A mailen plenish'd fairly;
And come, my faithfu' sodger lad,
Thou'rt welcome to it dearly!
For gold the merchant ploughs the mainThe farmer ploughs the manor;But glory is the sodger's prizeThe sodgerpppp's wealth is honor:The brave poor sodger ne'er despiseNor count him as a stranger;Remember he's his country's stayIn day and hour of danger.
VersiclesA.D. 1793
The True Loyal Natives
Ye true "Loyal Natives" attend to my songIn uproar and riot rejoice the night long;From Envy and Hatred your corps is exemptBut where is your shield from the darts of Contempt!
On Commissary Goldie's Brains
Lordto account who dares thee callOr e'er dispute thy pleasure?Else whywithin so thick a wallEnclose so poor a treasure?
Lines Inscribed In A Lady's Pocket Almanac
Grant meindulgent Heaventhat I may liveTo see the miscreants feel the pains they give;Deal Freedom's sacred treasures free as airTill Slave and Despot be but things that were.
Thanksgiving For A National Victory
Ye hypocrites! are these your pranks?To murder men and give God thanks!Desistfor shame!-proceed no further;God won't accept your thanks for Murther!
Lines On The Commemoration Of Rodney's Victory
Instead of a Songboy'sI'll give you a Toast;Here's to the memory of those on the twelfth that we lost!-That we lostdid I say?-nayby Heav'nthat we found;For their fame it will last while the world goes round.
The next in succession I'll give you's the King!Whoe'er would betray himon high may he swing!And here's the grand fabricour free ConstitutionAs built on the base of our great Revolution!And longer with Politics not to be cramm'dBe Anarchy curs'dand Tyranny damn'd!And who would to Liberty e'er prove disloyalMay his son be a hangman-and he his first trial!
The Raptures Of Folly
Thou greybeardold Wisdom! may boast of thy treasures;Give me with young Folly to live;I grant thee thy calm-bloodedtime-settled pleasuresBut Folly has raptures to give.
Kirk and State Excisemen
Ye men of wit and wealthwhy all this sneering'Gainst poor Excisemen? Give the cause a hearing:What are your Landlord's rent-rolls? Taxing ledgers!What Premiers? What ev'n Monarchs? Mighty Gaugers!Naywhat are Priests? (those seeming godly wise-men)What are theypraybut Spiritual Excisemen!
Extempore Reply To An Invitation
The King's most humble servantICan scarcely spare a minute;But I'll be wi' you by an' by;Or else the Deil's be in it.
Grace After Meat
Lordwe thankand thee adoreFor temporal gifts we little merit;At present we will ask no more-Let William Hislop give the spirit.
Grace Before And After Meat
O Lordwhen hunger pinches soreDo thou stand us in steadAnd send usfrom thy bounteous storeA tup or wether head! Amen.
O Lordsince we have feasted thusWhich we so little meritLet Meg now take away the fleshAnd Jock bring in the spirit! Amen.
Impromptu On General Dumourier's Desertion From The French Republican Army
You're welcome to DespotsDumourier;You're welcome to DespotsDumourier:How does Dampiere do?Ayand Bournonville too?Why did they not come along with youDumourier?
I will fight France with youDumourier;I will fight France with youDumourier;I will fight France with youI will take my chance with you;By my soulI'll dance with youDumourier.
Then let us fight aboutDumourier;Then let us fight aboutDumourier;Then let us fight aboutTill Freedom's spark be outThen we'll be damn'dno doubtDumourier.
The Last Time I Came O'er The Moor
The last time I came o'er the moorAnd left Maria's dwellingWhat throeswhat tortures passing cureWere in my bosom swelling:Condemn'd to see my rival's reignWhile I in secret languish;To feel a fire in every veinYet dare not speak my anguish.
Love's veriest wretchdespairingIFainfainmy crime would cover;Th' unweeting groanthe bursting sighBetray the guilty lover.I know my doom must be despairThou wilt nor canst relieve me;But ohMariahear my prayerFor Pity's sake forgive me!
The music of thy tongue I heardNor wist while it enslav'd me;I saw thine eyesyet nothing fear'dTill fear no more had sav'd me:The unwary sailor thusaghastThe wheeling torrent viewing'Mid circling horrors yields at lastTo overwhelming ruin.
Logan Braes
tune-"Logan Water."
O Logansweetly didst thou glideThat day I was my Willie's brideAnd years sin syne hae o'er us runLike Logan to the simmer sun:But now thy flowery banks appearLike drumlie Winterdark and drearWhile my dear lad maun face his faesFarfar frae me and Logan braes.
Again the merry month of MayHas made our hills and valleys gay;The birds rejoice in leafy bowersThe bees hum round the breathing flowers;Blythe Morning lifts his rosy eyeAnd Evening's tears are tears o' joy:My souldelightless a' surveysWhile Willie's far frae Logan braes.
Within yon milk-white hawthorn bushAmang her nestlings sits the thrush:Her faithfu' mate will share her toilOr wi' his song her cares beguile;But I wi' my sweet nurslings hereNae mate to helpnae mate to cheerPass widow'd nights and joyless daysWhile Willie's far frae Logan braes.
O wae be to youMen o' StateThat brethren rouse to deadly hate!As ye make mony a fond heart mournSae may it on your heads return!How can your flinty hearts enjoyThe widow's tearthe orphan's cry?But soon may peace bring happy daysAnd Willie hame to Logan braes!
Blythe Hae I been On Yon Hill
tune-"The Quaker's Wife."
Blythe hae I been on yon hillAs the lambs before me;Careless ilka thought and freeAs the breeze flew o'er me;Now nae langer sport and playMirth or sang can please me;Lesley is sae fair and coyCare and anguish seize me.
Heavyheavy is the taskHopeless love declaring;TremblingI dow nocht but glow'rSighingdumb despairing!If she winna ease the thrawsIn my bosom swellingUnderneath the grass-green sodSoon maun be my dwelling.
O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair
Air-"Hughie Graham."
O were my love yon Lilac fairWi' purple blossoms to the SpringAnd Ia bird to shelter thereWhen wearied on my little wing!How I wad mourn when it was tornBy Autumn wildand Winter rude!But I wad sing on wanton wingWhen youthfu' May its bloom renew'd.
O gin my love were yon red roseThat grows upon the castle wa';And I myself a drap o' dewInto her bonie breast to fa'!O therebeyond expression blestI'd feast on beauty a' the night;Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to restTill fley'd awa by Phoebus' light!
Bonie Jean-A Ballad
To its ain tune.
There was a lassand she was fairAt kirk or market to be seen;When a' our fairest maids were metThe fairest maid was bonie Jean.
And aye she wrought her mammie's warkAnd aye she sang sae merrilie;The blythest bird upon the bushHad ne'er a lighter heart than she.
But hawks will rob the tender joysThat bless the little lintwhite's nest;And frost will blight the fairest flowersAnd love will break the soundest rest.
Young Robie was the brawest ladThe flower and pride of a' the glen;And he had owsensheepand kyeAnd wanton naigies nine or ten.
He gaed wi' Jeanie to the trysteHe danc'd wi' Jeanie on the down;Andlang ere witless Jeanie wistHer heart was tinther peace was stown!
As in the bosom of the streamThe moon-beam dwells at dewy e'en;So tremblingpurewas tender loveWithin the breast of bonie Jean.
And now she works her mammie's warkAnd aye she sighs wi' care and pain;Yet wist na what her ail might beOr what wad make her weel again.
But did na Jeanie's heart loup lightAnd didna joy blink in her e'eAs Robie tauld a tale o' loveAe e'ening on the lily lea?
The sun was sinking in the westThe birds sang sweet in ilka grove;His cheek to hers he fondly laidAnd whisper'd thus his tale o' love:
"O Jeanie fairI lo'e thee dear;O canst thou think to fancy meOr wilt thou leave thy mammie's cotAnd learn to tent the farms wi' me?
"At barn or byre thou shalt na drudgeOr naething else to trouble thee;But stray amang the heather-bellsAnd tent the waving corn wi' me."
Now what could artless Jeanie do?She had nae will to say him na:At length she blush'd a sweet consentAnd love was aye between them twa.
Lines On John M'MurdoESQ.
Blest be M'Murdo to his latest day!No envious cloud o'ercast his evening ray;No wrinklefurrow'd by the hand of careNor ever sorrow add one silver hair!O may no son the father's honour stainNor ever daughter give the mother pain!
Epitaph On A Lap-Dog
Named Echo
In wood and wildye warbling throngYour heavy loss deplore;Nowhalf extinct your powers of songSweet Echo is no more.
Ye jarringscreeching things aroundScream your discordant joys;Nowhalf your din of tuneless soundWith Echo silent lies.
Epigrams Against The Earl Of Galloway
What dost thou in that mansion fair?FlitGallowayand findSome narrowdirtydungeon caveThe picture of thy mind.
No Stewart art thouGallowayThe Stewarts 'll were brave;Besidesthe Stewarts were but foolsNot one of them a knave.
Bright ran thy lineO GallowayThro' many a far-fam'd sire!So ran the far-famed Roman wayAnd ended in a mire.
Spare me thy vengeanceGalloway!In quiet let me live:I ask no kindness at thy handFor thou hast none to give.
Epigram On The Laird Of Laggan
When Morinedeceas'dto the Devil went down'Twas nothing would serve him but Satan's own crown;Thy fool's head,quoth Satanthat crown shall wear never,
I grant thou'rt as wicked, but not quite so clever.
Song -Phillis The Fair
tune-"Robin Adair."
While larkswith little wingFann'd the pure airTasting the breathing SpringForth I did fare:Gay the sun's golden eyePeep'd o'er the mountains high;Such thy morn! did I cryPhillis the fair.
In each bird's careless songGlad I did share;While yon wild-flowers amongChance led me there!Sweet to the op'ning dayRosebuds bent the dewy spray;Such thy bloom! did I sayPhillis the fair.
Down in a shady walkDoves cooing were;I mark'd the cruel hawkCaught in a snare:So kind may fortune beSuch make his destinyHe who would injure theePhillis the fair.
Song -Had I A Cave
tune-"Robin Adair."
Had I a cave on some wild distant shoreWhere the winds howl to the wave's dashing roar:There would I weep my woesThere seek my lost reposeTill grief my eyes should closeNe'er to wake more!
Falsest of womankindcan'st thou declareAll thy fondplighted vows fleeting as air!To thy new lover hieLaugh o'er thy perjury;Then in thy bosom tryWhat peace is there!
Song.-By Allan Stream
By Allan stream I chanc'd to roveWhile Phoebus sank beyond Benledi;The winds are whispering thro' the groveThe yellow corn was waving ready:I listen'd to a lover's sangAn' thought on youthfu' pleasures mony;And aye the wild-wood echoes rang-O, dearly do I love thee, Annie!
Ohappy be the woodbine bowerNae nightly bogle make it eerie;Nor ever sorrow stain the hourThe place and time I met my Dearie!Her head upon my throbbing breastShesinkingsaid'I'm thine for ever!'While mony a kiss the seal imprest-The sacred vow we ne'er should sever."
The haunt o' Spring's the primrose-braeThe Summer joys the flocks to follow;How cheery thro' her short'ning dayIs Autumn in her weeds o' yellow;But can they melt the glowing heartOr chain the soul in speechless pleasure?Or thro' each nerve the rapture dartLike meeting herour bosom's treasure?
WhistleAnd I'll Come To YouMy Lad
Chorus.-O Whistlean' I'll come to yemy ladO whistlean' I'll come to yemy ladTho' father an' mother an' a' should gae madO whistlean' I'll come to yemy lad.
But warily tent when ye come to court meAnd come nae unless the back-yett be a-jee;Syne up the back-stileand let naebody seeAnd come as ye were na comin' to meAnd come as ye were na comin' to me.O whistle an' I'll come&c.
At kirkor at marketwhene'er ye meet meGang by me as tho' that ye car'd na a flie;But steal me a blink o' your bonie black e'eYet look as ye were na lookin' to meYet look as ye were na lookin' to me.O whistle an' I'll come&c.
Aye vow and protest that ye care na for meAnd whiles ye may lightly my beauty a-wee;But court na anithertho' jokin' ye beFor fear that she wile your fancy frae meFor fear that she wile your fancy frae me.O whistle an' I'll come&c.
Phillis The Queen O' The Fair
tune-"The Muckin o' Geordie's Byre."
Adown winding Nith I did wanderTo mark the sweet flowers as they spring;Adown winding Nith I did wanderOf Phillis to muse and to sing.
Chorus.-Awa' wi' your belles and your beautiesThey never wi' her can compareWhaever has met wi' my PhillisHas met wi' the queen o' the fair.
The daisy amus'd my fond fancySo artlessso simpleso wild;Thou emblemsaid Io' my Phillis-For she is Simplicity's child.Awa' wi' your belles&c.
The rose-bud's the blush o' my charmerHer sweet balmy lip when 'tis prest:How fair and how pure is the lily!But fairer and purer her breast.Awa' wi' your belles&c.
Yon knot of gay flowers in the arbourThey ne'er wi' my Phillis can vie:Her breath is the breath of the woodbineIts dew-drop o' diamond her eye.Awa' wi' your belles&c.
Her voice is the song o' the morningThat wakes thro' the green-spreading groveWhen Phoebus peeps over the mountainsOn musicand pleasureand love.Awa' wi' your belles&c.
But beautyhow frail and how fleeting!The bloom of a fine summer's day;While worth in the mind o' my PhillisWill flourish without a decay.Awa' wi' your belles&c.
ComeLet Me Take Thee To My Breast
Comelet me take thee to my breastAnd pledge we ne'er shall sunder;And I shall spurn as vilest dustThe world's wealth and grandeur:And do I hear my Jeanie ownThat equal transports move her?I ask for dearest life aloneThat I may live to love her.
Thusin my armswi' a' her charmsI clasp my countless treasure;I'll seek nae main o' Heav'n to shareTha sic a moment's pleasure:And by thy e'en sae bonie blueI swear I'm thine for ever!And on thy lips I seal my vowAnd break it shall I never.
Dainty Davie
Now rosy May comes in wi' flowersTo deck her gaygreen-spreading bowers;And now comes in the happy hoursTo wander wi' my Davie.
Chorus.-Meet me on the warlock knoweDainty DavieDainty Davie;There I'll spend the day wi' youMy ain dear Dainty Davie.
The crystal waters round us fa'The merry birds are lovers a'The scented breezes round us blawA wandering wi' my Davie.Meet me on&c.
As purple morning starts the hareTo steal upon her early fareThen thro' the dews I will repairTo meet my faithfu' Davie.Meet me on&c.
When dayexpiring in the westThe curtain draws o' Nature's restI flee to his arms I loe' the bestAnd that's my ain dear Davie.Meet me on&c.
Robert Bruce's March To Bannockburn
Scotswha hae wi' Wallace bledScotswham Bruce has aften ledWelcome to your gory bedOr to Victorie!
Now's the dayand now's the hour;See the front o' battle lour;See approach proud Edward's power-Chains and Slaverie!
Wha will be a traitor knave?Wha can fill a coward's grave?Wha sae base as be a Slave?Let him turn and flee!
Whafor Scotland's King and LawFreedom's sword will strongly drawFree-man standor Free-man fa'Let him on wi' me!
By Oppression's woes and pains!By your Sons in servile chains!We will drain our dearest veinsBut they shall be free!
Lay the proud Usurpers low!Tyrants fall in every foe!Liberty's in every blow!-Let us Do or Die!
Behold The HourThe Boat Arrive
Behold the hourthe boat arrive;Thou goestthe darling of my heart;Sever'd from theecan I surviveBut Fate has will'd and we must part.I'll often greet the surging swellYon distant Isle will often hail:E'en here I took the last farewell;
There, latest mark'd her vanish'd sail.Along the solitary shoreWhile flitting sea-fowl round me cryAcross the rollingdashing roarI'll westward turn my wistful eye:Happy thou Indian grove,I'll sayWhere now my Nancy's path may be!
While thro' thy sweets she loves to stray,
O tell me, does she muse on me!
Down The BurnDavie
As down the burn they took their wayAnd thro' the flowery dale;His cheek to hers he aft did layAnd love was aye the tale:
With "Marywhen shall we returnSic pleasure to renew?"Quoth Mary-"LoveI like the burnAnd aye shall follow you."
Thou Hast Left Me EverJamie
tune-"Fee himfatherfee him."
Thou hast left me everJamieThou hast left me ever;Thou has left me everJamieThou hast left me ever:Aften hast thou vow'd that DeathOnly should us sever;Now thou'st left thy lass for aye-I maun see thee neverJamieI'll see thee never.
Thou hast me forsakenJamieThou hast me forsaken;Thou hast me forsakenJamieThou hast me forsaken;Thou canst love another joWhile my heart is breaking;Soon my weary een I'll closeNever mair to wakenJamieNever mair to waken!
Where Are The Joys I have Met?
tune-"Saw ye my father."
Where are the joys I have met in the morningThat danc'd to the lark's early song?Where is the peace that awaited my wand'ringAt evening the wild-woods among?
No more a winding the course of yon riverAnd marking sweet flowerets so fairNo more I trace the light footsteps of PleasureBut Sorrow and sad-sighing Care.
Is it that Summer's forsaken our valleysAnd grimsurly Winter is near?Nonothe bees humming round the gay rosesProclaim it the pride of the year.
Fain would I hide what I fear to discoverYet longlongtoo well have I known;All that has caused this wreck in my bosomIs Jennyfair Jenny alone.
Time cannot aid memy griefs are immortalNor Hope dare a comfort bestow:Come thenenamour'd and fond of my anguishEnjoyment I'll seek in my woe.
Deluded SwainThe Pleasure
tune-"The Collier's Dochter."
Deluded swainthe pleasureThe fickle Fair can give theeIs but a fairy treasureThy hopes will soon deceive thee:The billows on the oceanThe breezes idly roamingThe cloud's uncertain motionThey are but types of Woman.
O art thou not asham'dTo doat upon a feature?If Man thou wouldst be nam'dDespise the silly creature.Gofind an honest fellowGood claret set before theeHold on till thou art mellowAnd then to bed in glory!
Thine Am IMy Faithful Fair
tune-"The Quaker's Wife."
Thine am Imy faithful FairThinemy lovely Nancy;Ev'ry pulse along my veinsEv'ry roving fancy.To thy bosom lay my heartThere to throb and languish;Tho' despair had wrung its coreThat would heal its anguish.
Take away those rosy lipsRich with balmy treasure;Turn away thine eyes of loveLest I die with pleasure!What is life when wanting Love?Night without a morning:Love's the cloudless summer sunNature gay adorning.
On Mrs. Riddell's Birthday
4th November 1793.
Old Winterwith his frosty beardThus once to Jove his prayer preferred:What have I done of all the year,
To bear this hated doom severe?
My cheerless suns no pleasure know;
Night's horrid car drags, dreary slow;
My dismal months no joys are crowning,
But spleeny English hanging, drowning.
Now Jovefor once be mighty civil.To counterbalance all this evil;Give meand I've no more to sayGive me Maria's natal day!That brilliant gift shall so enrich meSpringSummerAutumncannot match me."'Tis done!says Jove; so ends my storyAnd Winter once rejoiced in glory.
My Spouse Nancy
tune-"My Jo Janet."
"Husbandhusbandcease your strifeNor longer idly raveSir;Tho' I am your wedded wifeYet I am not your slaveSir."One of two must still obey,
Nancy, Nancy;
Is it Man or Woman, say,
My spouse Nancy?'
If 'tis still the lordly wordService and obedience;I'll desert my sov'reign lordAnd sogood byeallegiance!"Sad shall I be, so bereft,
Nancy, Nancy;
Yet I'll try to make a shift,
My spouse Nancy.
"My poor heartthen break it mustMy last hour I am near it:When you lay me in the dustThink how you will bear it."
"I will hope and trust in HeavenNancyNancy;Strength to bear it will be givenMy spouse Nancy."
"WellSirfrom the silent deadStill I'll try to daunt you;Ever round your midnight bedHorrid sprites shall haunt you!"I'll wed another like my dear
Nancy, Nancy;
Then all hell will fly for fear,
My spouse Nancy.
     Spoken by Miss Fontenelle on her Benefit NightDecember 4th1793at the TheatreDumfries.
Still anxious to secure your partial favourAnd not less anxioussurethis nightthan everA PrologueEpilogueor some such matter'Twould vamp my billsaid Iif nothing better;So sought a poetroosted near the skiesTold him I came to feast my curious eyes;Saidnothing like his works was ever printed;And lastmy prologue-business slily hinted.Ma'am, let me tell you,quoth my man of rhymesI know your bent-these are no laughing times:
Can you-but, Miss, I own I have my fears-
Dissolve in pause, and sentimental tears;
With laden sighs, and solemn-rounded sentence,
Rouse from his sluggish slumbers, fell Repentance;
Paint Vengeance as he takes his horrid stand,
Waving on high the desolating brand,
Calling the storms to bear him o'er a guilty land?
I could no more-askance the creature eyeingD'ye think,said Ithis face was made for crying?
I'll laugh, that's poz-nay more, the world shall know it;
And so, your servant! gloomy Master Poet!
Firm as my creedSirs'tis my fix'd beliefThat Misery's another word for Grief:I also think-so may I be a bride!That so much laughterso much life enjoy'd.
Thou man of crazy care and ceaseless sighStill under bleak Misfortune's blasting eye;Doom'd to that sorest task of man alive-To make three guineas do the work of five:Laugh in Misfortune's face-the beldam witch!Sayyou'll be merrytho' you can't be rich.
Thou other man of carethe wretch in loveWho long with jiltish airs and arts hast strove;Whoas the boughs all temptingly projectMeasur'st in desperate thought-a rope-thy neck-Orwhere the beetling cliff o'erhangs the deepPeerest to meditate the healing leap:Would'st thou be cur'dthou sillymoping elf?Laugh at her follies-laugh e'en at thyself:Learn to despise those frowns now so terrificAnd love a kinder-that's your grand specific.
To sum up allbe merryI advise;And as we're merrymay we still be wise.
Complimentary Epigram On Maria Riddell
"Praise Woman still his lordship roars,
Deserv'd or notno matter?"But theewhom all my soul adoresEv'n Flattery cannot flatter:
Mariaall my thought and dreamInspires my vocal shell;The more I praise my lovely themeThe more the truth I tell.
Remorseful Apology
The friend whomwild from Wisdom's wayThe fumes of wine infuriate send(Not moony madness more astray)Who but deplores that hapless friend?
Mine was th' insensate frenzied partAh! why should I such scenes outlive?Scenes so abhorrent to my heart!-'Tis thine to pity and forgive.
Wilt Thou Be My Dearie?
tune-"The Sutor's Dochter."
Wilt thou be my Dearie?When Sorrow wring thy gentle heartO wilt thou let me cheer thee!By the treasure of my soulThat's the love I bear thee:I swear and vow that only thouShall ever be my Dearie!Only thouI swear and vowShall ever be my Dearie!
Lassiesay thou lo'es me;Orif thou wilt na be my ainO say na thou'lt refuse me!If it winnacanna beThou for thine may choose meLet melassiequickly dieStill trusting that thou lo'es me!Lassielet me quickly dieStill trusting that thou lo'es me!
A Fiddler In The North
tune-"The King o' France he rade a race."
Amang the treeswhere humming beesAt buds and flowers were hingingOAuld Caledon drew out her droneAnd to her pipe was singingO:'Twas PibrochSangStrathspeysand ReelsShe dirl'd them aff fu' clearlyO:When there cam' a yell o' foreign squeelsThat dang her tapsalteerieO.
Their capon craws an' queer "haha's
They made our lugs grow eerie, O;
The hungry bike did scrape and fyke,
Till we were wae and weary, O:
But a royal ghaist, wha ance was cas'd,
A prisoner, aughteen year awa',
He fir'd a Fiddler in the North,
That dang them tapsalteerie, O.
The Minstrel At Lincluden
tune-Cumnock Psalms."
As I stood by yon roofless towerWhere the wa'flow'r scents the dery airWhere the howlet mourns in her ivy bowerAnd tells the midnight moon her care.
Chorus-A lassie all alonewas making her moanLamenting our lads beyond the sea:In the bluidy wars they fa'and our honour's gane an' a'And broken-hearted we maun die.
The winds were laidthe air was tillThe stars they shot along the sky;The tod was howling on the hillAnd the distant-echoing glens reply.A lassie all alone&c.
The burnadown its hazelly pathWas rushing by the ruin'd wa'Hasting to join the sweeping NithWhase roarings seem'd to rise and fa'.A lassie all alone&c.
The cauld blae North was streaming forthHer lightswi' hissingeerie dinAthort the lift they start and shiftLike Fortune's favourstint as win.A lassie all alone&c.
Nowlooking over firth and fauldHer horn the pale-faced Cynthia rear'dWhen lo! in form of Minstrel auldA stern and stalwart ghaist appear'd.A lassie all alone&c.
And frae his harp sic strains did flowMight rous'd the slumbering Dead to hear;But ohit was a tale of woeAs ever met a Briton's ear!A lassie all alone&c.
He sang wi' joy his former dayHeweepingwail'd his latter times;But what he said-it was nae playI winna venture't in my rhymes.A lassie all alone&c.
A Vision
As I stood by yon roofless towerWhere the wa'flower scents the dewy airWhere the howlet mourns in her ivy bowerAnd tells the midnight moon her care.
The winds were laidthe air was stillThe stars they shot alang the sky;The fox was howling on the hillAnd the distant echoing glens reply.
The streamadown its hazelly pathWas rushing by the ruin'd wa'sHasting to join the sweeping NithWhase distant roaring swells and fa's.
The cauld blae North was streaming forthHer lightswi' hissingeerie din;Athwart the lift they start and shiftLike Fortune's favorstint as win.
By heedless chance I turn'd mine eyesAndby the moonbeamshook to seeA stern and stalwart ghaist ariseAttir'd as Minstrels wont to be.
Had I a statue been o' staneHis daring look had daunted me;And on his bonnet grav'd was plainThe sacred posy-"Libertie!"
And frae his harp sic strains did flowMight rous'd the slumb'ring Dead to hear;But ohit was a tale of woeAs ever met a Briton's ear!
He sang wi' joy his former dayHeweepingwailed his latter times;But what he said-it was nae playI winna venture't in my rhymes.
A RedRed Rose
[Hear RedRed Rose]
O my Luve's like a redred roseThat's newly sprung in June:O my Luve's like the melodieThat's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thoumy bonie lassSo deep in luve am I;And I will luve thee stillmy dearTill a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang drymy dearAnd the rocks melt wi' the sun;And I will luve thee stillmy dearWhile the sands o' life shall run.
And fare-thee-weelmy only Luve!And fare-thee-weela while!And I will come againmy LuveTho' 'twere ten thousand mile!
Young JamiePride Of A' The Plain
tune-"The Carlin of the Glen."
Young Jamiepride of a' the plainSae gallant and sae gay a swainThro' a' our lasses he did roveAnd reign'd resistless King of Love.
But nowwi' sighs and starting tearsHe strays amang the woods and breirs;Or in the glens and rocky cavesHis sad complaining dowie raves:-
"I wha sae late did range and roveAnd chang'd with every moon my loveI little thought the time was nearRepentance I should buy sae dear.
"The slighted maids my torments seeAnd laugh at a' the pangs I dree;While shemy cruelscornful FairForbids me e'er to see her mair."
The Flowery Banks Of Cree
Here is the glenand here the bowerAll underneath the birchen shade;The village-bell has told the hourO what can stay my lovely maid?
'Tis not Maria's whispering call;'Tis but the balmy breathing galeMixt with some warbler's dying fallThe dewy star of eve to hail.
It is Maria's voice I hear;So calls the woodlark in the groveHis littlefaithful mate to cheer;At once 'tis music and 'tis love.
And art thou come! and art thou true!O welcome dear to love and me!And let us all our vows renewAlong the flowery banks of Cree.
On a lady famed for her Caprice.
How cold is that bosom which folly once firedHow pale is that cheek where the rouge lately glisten'd;How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tiredHow dull is that ear which to flatt'ry so listen'd!
If sorrow and anguish their exit awaitFrom friendship and dearest affection remov'd;How doubly severerMariathy fateThou diedst unweptas thou livedst unlov'd.
LovesGracesand VirtuesI call not on you;So shygraveand distantye shed not a tear:But comeall ye offspring of Folly so trueAnd flowers let us cull for Maria's cold bier.
We'll search through the garden for each silly flowerWe'll roam thro' the forest for each idle weed;But chiefly the nettleso typicalshowerFor none e'er approach'd her but rued the rash deed.
We'll sculpture the marblewe'll measure the lay;Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre;There keen Indignation shall dart on his preyWhich spurning Contempt shall redeem from his ire.
The Epitaph
Here liesnow a prey to insulting neglectWhat once was a butterflygay in life's beam:Want only of wisdom denied her respectWant only of goodness denied her esteem.
Pinned To Mrs. Walter Riddell's Carriage
If you rattle along like your Mistress' tongueYour speed will outrival the dart;But a fly for your loadyou'll break down on the roadIf your stuff be as rotten's her heart.
Epitaph For Mr. Walter Riddell
Sic a reptile was Watsic a miscreant slaveThat the worms ev'n damn'd him when laid in his grave;In his flesh there's a famine,a starved reptile criesAnd his heart is rank poison!another replies.
Epistle From Esopus To Maria
From those drear solitudes and frowsy cellsWhere Infamy with sad Repentance dwells;Where turnkeys make the jealous portal fastAnd deal from iron hands the spare repast;Where truant 'prenticesyet young in sinBlush at the curious stranger peeping in;Where strumpetsrelics of the drunken roarResolve to drinknayhalfto whoreno more;Where tiny thieves not destin'd yet to swingBeat hemp for othersriper for the string:From these dire scenes my wretched lines I dateTo tell Maria her Esopus' fate.
"Alas! I feel I am no actor here!"'Tis real hangmen real scourges bear!Prepare Mariafor a horrid taleWill turn thy very rouge to deadly pale;Will make thy hairtho' erst from gipsy poll'dBy barber wovenand by barber soldThough twisted smooth with Harry's nicest careLike hoary bristles to erect and stare.The hero of the mimic sceneno moreI start in Hamletin Othello roar;Orhaughty Chieftain'mid the din of armsIn Highland Bonnetwoo Malvina's charms;While sans-culottes stoop up the mountain highAnd steal from me Maria's prying eye.Blest Highland bonnet! once my proudest dressNow prouder stillMaria's temples press;I see her wave thy towering plumes afarAnd call each coxcomb to the wordy war:I see her face the first of Ireland's sonsAnd even out-Irish his Hibernian bronze;The crafty Colonel leaves the tartan'd linesFor other warswhere he a hero shines:The hopeful youthin Scottish senate bredWho owns a Bushby's heart without the headComes 'mid a string of coxcombsto displayThat venividiviciis his way:The shrinking Bard adown the alley skulksAnd dreads a meeting worse than Woolwich hulks:Though therehis heresies in Church and StateMight well award him Muir and Palmer's fate:Still she undaunted reels and rattles onAnd dares the public like a noontide sun.What scandal called Maria's jaunty staggerThe ricket reeling of a crooked swagger?Whose spleen (e'en worse than Burns' venomwhenHe dips in gall unmix'd his eager penAnd pours his vengeance in the burning line)-Who christen'd thus Maria's lyre-divineThe idiot strum of Vanity bemus'dAnd even the abuse of Poesy abus'd?-Who called her verse a Parish WorkhousemadeFor motley foundling Fanciesstolen or strayed?
A Workhouse! ahthat sound awakes my woesAnd pillows on the thorn my rack'd repose!In durance vile here must I wake and weepAnd all my frowsy couch in sorrow steep;That straw where many a rogue has lain of yoreAnd vermin'd gipsies litter'd heretofore.
WhyLonsdalethus thy wrath on vagrants pour?Must earth no rascal save thyself endure?Must thou alone in guilt immortal swellAnd make a vast monopoly of hell?Thou know'st the Virtues cannot hate thee worse;The Vices alsomust they club their curse?Or must no tiny sin to others fallBecause thy guilt's supreme enough for all?
Mariasend me too thy griefs and cares;In all of thee sure thy Esopus shares.As thou at all mankind the flag unfurlsWho on my fair one Satire's vengeance hurls-Who calls theepertaffectedvain coquetteA wit in follyand a fool in wit!Who says that fool alone is not thy dueAnd quotes thy treacheries to prove it true!
Our force united on thy foes we'll turnAnd dare the war with all of woman born:For who can write and speak as thou and I?My periods that deciphering defyAnd thy still matchless tongue that conquers all reply!
Epitaph On A Noted Coxcomb
Capt. Wm. Roddirkof Corbiston.
Light lay the earth on Billy's breastHis chicken heart so tender;But build a castle on his headHis scull will prop it under.
On Capt. Lascelles
When Lascelles thought fit from this world to departSome friends warmly thought of embalming his heart;A bystander whispers- "Pray don't make so much o'tThe subject is poisonno reptile will touch it."
On Wm. GrahamEsq.Of Mossknowe
"Stop thief!" dame Nature call'd to DeathAs Willy drew his latest breath;How shall I make a fool again?My choicest model thou hast ta'en.
On John BushbyEsq.Tinwald Downs
Here lies John Bushby-honest manCheat himDevil-if you can!
Sonnet On The Death Of Robert Riddell
Of Glenriddell and Friars' Carse.
No moreye warblers of the wood! no more;Nor pour your descant grating on my soul;Thou young-eyed Spring! gay in thy verdant stoleMore welcome were to me grim Winter's wildest roar.
How can ye charmye flowerswith all your dyes?Ye blow upon the sod that wraps my friend!How can I to the tuneful strain attend?That strain flows round the untimely tomb where Riddell lies.
Yespourye warblers! pour the notes of woeAnd soothe the Virtues weeping o'er his bier:The man of worth-and hath not left his peer!Is in his "narrow house for ever darkly low.
Thee, Spring! again with joy shall others greet;
Me, memory of my loss will only meet.
The Lovely Lass O' Inverness
The lovely lass o' Inverness,
Nae joy nor pleasure can she see;
For, e'en to morn she cries, alas!
And aye the saut tear blin's her e'e.
Drumossie moorDrumossie day-A waefu' day it was to me!For there I lost my father dearMy father dearand brethren three.
"Their winding-sheet the bluidy clayTheir graves are growin' green to see;And by them lies the dearest ladThat ever blest a woman's e'e!
"Now wae to theethou cruel lordA bluidy man I trow thou be;For mony a heart thou has made sairThat ne'er did wrang to thine or thee!"
CharlieHe's My Darling
'Twas on a Monday morningRight early in the yearThat Charlie came to our townThe young Chevalier.
Chorus-An' Charliehe's my darlingMy darlingmy darlingCharliehe's my darlingThe young Chevalier.
As he was walking up the streetThe city for to viewO there he spied a bonie lassThe window looking throughAn' Charlie&c.
Sae light's he jumped up the stairAnd tirl'd at the pin;And wha sae ready as hersel'To let the laddie in.An' Charlie&c.
He set his Jenny on his kneeAll in his Highland dress;For brawly weel he ken'd the wayTo please a bonie lass.An' Charlie&c.
It's up yon heathery mountainAn' down yon scroggie glenWe daur na gang a milkingFor Charlie and his menAn' Charlie&c.
Bannocks O' Bear Meal
Chorus-Bannocks o' bear mealBannocks o' barleyHere's to the Highlandman'sBannocks o' barley!
Whain a brulyiewillFirst cry a parley?Never the lads wi' theBannocks o' barleyBannocks o' bear meal&c.
Whain his wae daysWere loyal to Charlie?Wha but the lads wi' theBannocks o' barley!Bannocks o' bear meal&c.
The Highland Balou
Hee baloumy sweet wee DonaldPicture o' the great Clanronald;Brawlie kens our wanton ChiefWha gat my young Highland thief.
Leeze me on thy bonie craigieAn' thou livethou'll steal a naigieTravel the country thro' and thro'And bring hame a Carlisle cow.
Thro' the Lawlandso'er the BorderWeelmy babiemay thou furder!Herry the louns o' the laigh CountrieSyne to the Highlands hame to me.
The Highland Widow's Lament
Oh I am come to the low CountrieOchonOchonOchrie!Without a penny in my purseTo buy a meal to me.
It was na sae in the Highland hillsOchonOchonOchrie!Nae woman in the Country wideSae happy was as me.
For then I had a score o'kyeOchonOchonOchrie!Feeding on you hill sae highAnd giving milk to me.
And there I had three score o'yowesOchonOchonOchrie!Skipping on yon bonie knowesAnd casting woo' to me.
I was the happiest of a' the ClanSairsairmay I repine;For Donald was the brawest manAnd Donald he was mine.
Till Charlie Stewart cam at lastSae far to set us free;My Donald's arm was wanted thenFor Scotland and for me.
Their waefu' fate what need I tellRight to the wrang did yield;My Donald and his Country fellUpon Culloden field.
Oh I am come to the low CountrieOchonOchonOchrie!Nae woman in the warld wideSae wretched now as me.
It Was A' For Our Rightfu' King
It was a' for our rightfu' KingWe left fair Scotland's strand;It was a' for our rightfu' KingWe e'er saw Irish landmy dearWe e'er saw Irish land.
Now a' is done that men can doAnd a' is done in vain;My Love and Native Land fareweelFor I maun cross the mainmy dearFor I maun cross the main.
He turn'd him right and round aboutUpon the Irish shore;And gae his bridle reins a shakeWith adieu for evermoremy dearAnd adiue for evermore.
The soger frae the wars returnsThe sailor frae the main;But I hae parted frae my LoveNever to meet againmy dearNever to meet again.
When day is ganeand night is comeAnd a' folk bound to sleep;I think on him that's far awaThe lee-lang nightand weepmy dearThe lee-lang nightand weep.
Ode For General Washington's Birthday
No Spartan tubeno Attic shellNo lyre Aeolian I awake;'Tis liberty's bold note I swellThy harpColumbialet me take!See gathering thousandswhile I singA broken chain exulting bringAnd dash it in a tyrant's faceAnd dare him to his very beardAnd tell him he no more is feared-No more the despot of Columbia's race!A tyrant's proudest insults brav'dThey shout-a People freed! They hail an Empire saved.Where is man's god-like form?Where is that brow erect and bold-That eye that can unmov'd beholdThe wildest ragethe loudest stormThat e'er created fury dared to raise?Avaunt! thou caitiffservilebaseThat tremblest at a despot's nodYetcrouching under the iron rodCanst laud the hand that struck th' insulting blow!Art thou of man's Imperial line?Dost boast that countenance divine?Each skulking feature answersNo!But comeye sons of LibertyColumbia's offspringbrave as freeIn danger's hour still flaming in the vanYe knowand dare maintainthe Royalty of Man!
Alfred! on thy starry throneSurrounded by the tuneful choirThe bards that erst have struck the patriot lyreAnd rous'd the freeborn Briton's soul of fireNo more thy England own!Dare injured nations form the great designTo make detested tyrants bleed?Thy England execrates the glorious deed!Beneath her hostile banners wavingEvery pang of honour bravingEngland in thunder callsThe tyrant's cause is mine!That hour accurst how did the fiends rejoiceAnd hellthro' all her confinesraise the exulting voiceThat hour which saw the generous English nameLinkt with such damned deeds of everlasting shame!
TheeCaledonia! thy wild heaths amongFam'd for the martial deedthe heaven-taught songTo thee I turn with swimming eyes;Where is that soul of Freedom fled?Immingled with the mighty deadBeneath that hallow'd turf where Wallace liesHear it notWallace! in thy bed of death.Ye babbling winds! in silence sweepDisturb not ye the hero's sleepNor give the coward secret breath!Is this the ancient Caledonian formFirm as the rockresistless as the storm?Show me that eye which shot immortal hateBlasting the despot's proudest bearing;Show me that arm whichnerv'd with thundering fateCrush'd Usurpation's boldest daring!-Dark-quench'd as yonder sinking starNo more that glance lightens afar;That palsied arm no more whirls on the waste of war.
Inscription To Miss Graham Of Fintry
Herewhere the Scottish Muse immortal livesIn sacred strains and tuneful numbers joinedAccept the gift; though humble he who givesRich is the tribute of the grateful mind.
So may no ruffian-feeling in my breastDiscordantjar thy bosom-chords among;But Peace attune thy gentle soul to restOr Loveecstaticwake his seraph song
Or Pity's notesin luxury of tearsAs modest Want the tale of woe reveals;While conscious Virtue all the strains endearsAnd heaven-born Piety her sanction seals.
On The Seas And Far Away
tune-"O'er the hills and far away."
How can my poor heart be gladWhen absent from my sailor lad;How can I the thought forego-He's on the seas to meet the foe?Let me wanderlet me roveStill my heart is with my love;Nightly dreamsand thoughts by dayAre with him that's far away.
Chorus.-On the seas and far awayOn stormy seas and far away;Nightly dreams and thoughts by dayAre aye with him that's far away.
When in summer noon I faintAs weary flocks around me pantHaply in this scorching sunMy sailor's thund'ring at his gun;Bulletsspare my only joy!Bulletsspare my darling boy!Fatedo with me what you maySpare but him that's far awayOn the seas and far awayOn stormy seas and far away;Fatedo with me what you maySpare but him that's far away.
At the starlessmidnight hourWhen Winter rules with boundless powerAs the storms the forests tearAnd thunders rend the howling airListening to the doubling roarSurging on the rocky shoreAll I can-I weep and prayFor his weal that's far awayOn the seas and far awayOn stormy seas and far away;All I can-I weep and prayFor his weal that's far away.
Peacethy olive wand extendAnd bid wild War his ravage endMan with brother Man to meetAnd as a brother kindly greet;Then may heav'n with prosperous galesFill my sailor's welcome sails;To my arms their charge conveyMy dear lad that's far away.On the seas and far awayOn stormy seas and far away;To my arms their charge conveyMy dear lad that's far away.
Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes
Second Version
Chorus.-Ca'the yowes to the knowesCa' them where the heather growsCa' them where the burnie rowesMy bonie Dearie.
Hark the mavis' e'ening sangSounding Clouden's woods amang;Then a-faulding let us gangMy bonie Dearie.Ca' the yowes&c.
We'll gae down by Clouden sideThro' the hazelsspreading wideO'er the waves that sweetly glideTo the moon sae clearly.Ca' the yowes&c.
Yonder Clouden's silent towers^1Whereat moonshine's midnight hoursO'er the dewy-bending flowersFairies dance sae cheery.Ca' the yowes&c.
Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fearThou'rt to Love and Heav'n sae dearNocht of ill may come thee near;My bonie Dearie.Ca' the yowes&c.
Fair and lovely as thou artThou hast stown my very heart;I can die-but canna partMy bonie Dearie.Ca' the yowes&c.
[Footnote 1: An old ruin in a sweet situation at the confluence of the Cloudenand the Nith.-R. B.]
She Says She Loes Me Best Of A'
tune-"Oonagh's Waterfall."
Sae flaxen were her ringletsHer eyebrows of a darker hueBewitchingly o'er-archingTwa laughing e'en o' lovely blue;Her smilingsae wyling.Wad make a wretch forget his woe;What pleasurewhat treasureUnto these rosy lips to grow!Such was my Chloris' bonie faceWhen first that bonie face I saw;And aye my Chloris' dearest charm-She saysshe lo'es me best of a'.
Like harmony her motionHer pretty ankle is a spyBetraying fair proportionWad make a saint forget the sky:Sae warmingsae charmingHer faultless form and gracefu' air;Ilk feature-auld NatureDeclar'd that she could do nae mair:Hers are the willing chains o' loveBy conquering Beauty's sovereign law;And still my Chloris' dearest charm-She saysshe lo'es me best of a'.
Let others love the cityAnd gaudy showat sunny noon;Gie me the lonely valleyThe dewy eve and rising moonFair beamingand streamingHer silver light the boughs amang;While falling; recallingThe amorous thrush concludes his sang;Theredearest Chloriswilt thou roveBy wimpling burn and leafy shawAnd hear my vows o' truth and loveAnd saythou lo'es me best of a'.
To Dr. Maxwell
On Miss Jessy Staig's recovery.
Maxwellif merit here you craveThat merit I deny;You save fair Jessie from the grave!-An Angel could not die!
To The Beautiful Miss Eliza J-N
On her Principles of Liberty and Equality.
HowLiberty! girlcan it be by thee nam'd?Equality too! husseyart not asham'd?Free and Equal indeedwhile mankind thou enchainestAnd over their hearts a proud Despot so reignest.
On Chloris
Requesting me to give her a Spring of Blossomed Thorn.
From the white-blossom'd sloe my dear Chloris requestedA sprigher fair breast to adorn:Noby Heavens! I exclaim'dlet me perishif everI plant in that bosom a thorn!
On Seeing Mrs. Kemble In Yarico
Kemblethou cur'st my unbeliefFor Moses and his rod;At Yarico's sweet nor of griefThe rock with tears had flow'd.
Epigram On A Country Laird
not quite so wise as Solomon.
Bless Jesus ChristO CardonesspWith gratefullifted eyesWho taught that not the soul aloneBut body too shall rise;For had He said "the soul aloneFrom death I will deliver
Alas, alas! O Cardoness,
Then hadst thou lain for ever.
On Being Shewn A Beautiful Country Seat
Belonging to the same Laird.
We grant they're thine, those beauties all,
So lovely in our eye;
Keep them, thou eunuch, Cardoness,
For others to enjoy!
On Hearing It Asserted Falsehood
is expressed in the Rev. Dr. Babington's very looks.
That there is a falsehood in his looks,
I must and will deny:
They tell their Master is a knave,
And sure they do not lie.
On A Suicide
Earth'd up, here lies an imp o' hell,
Planted by Satan's dibble;
Poor silly wretch, he's damned himsel',
To save the Lord the trouble.
On A Swearing Coxcomb
Here cursing, swearing Burton lies,
A buck, a beau, or Dem my eyes!"Who in his life did little goodAnd his last words were "Dem my blood!"
On An Innkeeper Nicknamed "The Marquis"
Here lies a mock Marquiswhose titles were shamm'dIf ever he riseit will be to be damn'd.
On Andrew Turner
In se'enteen hunder'n forty-nineThe deil gat stuff to mak a swineAn' coost it in a corner;But wilily he chang'd his planAn' shap'd it something like a manAn' ca'd it Andrew Turner.
Pretty Peg
As I gaed up by yon gate-endWhen day was waxin' wearyWha did I meet come down the streetBut pretty Pegmy dearie!
Her air sae sweetan' shape completeWi' nae proportion wantingThe Queen of Love did never moveWi' motion mair enchanting.
Wi' linked hands we took the sandsAdown yon winding river;Ohthat sweet hour and shady bowerForget it shall I never!
Esteem For Chloris
AsChlorissince it may not beThat thou of love wilt hear;If from the lover thou maun fleeYet let the friend be dear.
Altho' I love my Chloris mairThan ever tongue could tell;My passion I will ne'er declare-I'll sayI wish thee well.
Tho' a' my daily care thou artAnd a' my nightly dreamI'll hide the struggle in my heartAnd say it is esteem.
Saw Ye My DearMy Philly
tune-"When she cam' ben she bobbit."
O saw ye my Dearmy Philly?O saw ye my Dearmy PhillyShe's down i' the groveshe's wi' a new LoveShe winna come hame to her Willy.
What says she my dearmy Philly?What says she my dearmy Philly?She lets thee to wit she has thee forgotAnd forever disowns theeher Willy.
O had I ne'er seen theemy Philly!O had I ne'er seen theemy Philly!As light as the airand fause as thou's fairThou's broken the heart o' thy Willy.
How Lang And Dreary Is The Night
How lang and dreary is the nightWhen I am frae my Dearie;I restless lie frae e'en to mornThough I were ne'er sae weary.
Chorus.-For ohher lanely nights are lang!And ohher dreams are eerie;And ohher window'd heart is sairThat's absent frae her Dearie!
When I think on the lightsome daysI spent wi' theemy Dearie;And now what seas between us roarHow can I be but eerie?For oh&c.
How slow ye moveye heavy hours;The joyless day how dreary:It was na sae ye glinted byWhen I was wi' my Dearie!For oh&c.
Inconstancy In Love
tune-"Duncan Gray."
Let not Woman e'er complainOf inconstancy in love;Let not Woman e'er complainFickle Man is apt to rove:Look abroad thro' Nature's rangeNature's mighty Law is changeLadieswould it not seem strangeMan should then a monster prove!
Mark the windsand mark the skiesOcean's ebband ocean's flowSun and moon but set to riseRound and round the seasons go.Why then ask of silly ManTo oppose great Nature's plan?We'll be constant while we can-You can be no moreyou know.
The Lover's Morning Salute To His Mistress
tune-"Deil tak the wars."
Sleep'st thouor wak'st thoufairest creature?Rosy morn now lifts his eyeNumbering ilka bud which NatureWaters wi' the tears o' joy.Nowto the streaming fountainOr up the heathy mountainThe harthindand roefreelywildly-wanton stray;In twining hazel bowersIts lay the linnet poursThe laverock to the skyAscendswi' sangs o' joyWhile the sun and thou arise to bless the day.
Phoebus gilding the brow of morningBanishes ilk darksome shadeNaturegladdening and adorning;Such to me my lovely maid.When frae my Chloris partedSadcheerlessbroken-heartedThe night's gloomy shadescloudydarko'ercast my sky:But when she charms my sightIn pride of Beauty's light-When thro' my very heartHer burning glories dart;'Tis then-'tis then I wake to life and joy!
The Winter Of Life
But lately seen in gladsome greenThe woods rejoic'd the dayThro' gentle showersthe laughing flowersIn double pride were gay:But now our joys are fledOn winter blasts awa;Yet maiden Mayin rich arrayAgain shall bring them a'.
But my white pownae kindly thoweShall melt the snaws of Age;My trunk of eildbut buss or beildSinks in Time's wintry rage.OhAge has weary daysAnd nights o' sleepless pain:Thou golden timeo' Youthfu' primeWhy comes thou not again!
BeholdMy LoveHow Green The Groves
tune-"My lodging is on the cold ground."
Beholdmy lovehow green the grovesThe primrose banks how fair;The balmy gales awake the flowersAnd wave thy flowing hair.
The lav'rock shuns the palace gayAnd o'er the cottage sings:For Nature smiles as sweetI weenTo Shepherds as to Kings.
Let minstrels sweep the skilfu' stringIn lordly lighted ha':The Shepherd stops his simple reedBlythe in the birken shaw.
The Princely revel may surveyOur rustic dance wi' scorn;But are their hearts as light as oursBeneath the milk-white thorn!
The shepherdin the flowery glen;In shepherd's phrasewill woo:The courtier tells a finer taleBut is his heart as true!
These wild-wood flowers I've pu'dto deckThat spotless breast o' thine:The courtiers' gems may witness loveBut'tis na love like mine.
The Charming Month Of May
tune-"Daintie Davie."
It was the charming month of MayWhen all the flow'rs were fresh and gay.One morningby the break of dayThe youthfulcharming Chloe-From peaceful slumber she aroseGirt on her mantle and her hoseAnd o'er the flow'ry mead she goes-The youthfulcharming Chloe.
Chorus.-Lovely was she by the dawnYouthful Chloecharming ChloeTripping o'er the pearly lawnThe youthfulcharming Chloe.
The feather'd people you might seePerch'd all around on every treeIn notes of sweetest melodyThey hail the charming Chloe;Tillpainting gay the eastern skiesThe glorious sun began to riseOutrival'd by the radiant eyesOf youthfulcharming Chloe.Lovely was she&c.
Lassie Wi' The Lint-White Locks
tune-"Rothiemurchie's Rant."
Chorus.-Lassie wi'the lint-white locksBonie lassieartless lassieWilt thou wi' me tent the flocksWilt thou be my DearieO?
Now Nature cleeds the flowery leaAnd a' is young and sweet like theeO wilt thou share its joys wi' meAnd say thou'lt be my DearieO.Lassie wi' the&c.
The primrose bankthe wimpling burnThe cuckoo on the milk-white thornThe wanton lambs at early mornShall welcome theemy DearieO.Lassie wi' the&c.
And when the welcome simmer showerHas cheer'd ilk drooping little flowerWe'll to the breathing woodbine bowerAt sultry noonmy DearieO.Lassie wi' the&c.
When Cynthia lightswi' silver rayThe weary shearer's hameward wayThro' yellow waving fields we'll strayAnd talk o' lovemy DearieO.Lassie wi' the&c.
And when the howling wintry blastDisturbs my Lassie's midnight restEnclasped to my faithfu' breastI'll comfort theemy DearieO.Lassie wi' the&c.
Dialogue song - Philly And Willytune-"The Sow's tail to Geordie."
     He. O Phillyhappy be that dayWhen roving thro' the gather'd hayMy youthfu' heart was stown awayAnd by thy charmsmy Philly.
     She. O Willyaye I bless the groveWhere first I own'd my maiden loveWhilst thou did pledge the Powers aboveTo be my ain dear Willy.
     Both. For a' the joys that gowd can gieI dinna care a single flie;The lad I love's the lad for meThe lass I love's the lass for meAnd that's my ain dear Willy.And that's my ain dear Philly.
     He. As songsters of the early yearAre ilka day mair sweet to hearSo ilka day to me mair dearAnd charming is my Philly.
     She. As on the brier the budding roseStill richer breathes and fairer blowsSo in my tender bosom growsThe love I bear my Willy.
     Both. For a' the joys&c.
     He. The milder sun and bluer skyThat crown my harvest cares wi' joyWere ne'er sae welcome to my eyeAs is a sight o' Philly.
     She. The little swallow's wanton wingTho' wafting o'er the flowery SpringDid ne'er to me sic tidings bringAs meeting o' my Willy.Both. For a' the joys&c.
     He. The bee that thro' the sunny hourSips nectar in the op'ning flowerCompar'd wi' my delight is poorUpon the lips o' Philly.
     She. The woodbine in the dewy weetWhen ev'ning shades in silence meetIs nocht sae fragrant or sae sweetAs is a kiss o' Willy.
     Both. For a' the joys&c.
     He. Let fortune's wheel at random rinAnd fools may tine and knaves may win;My thoughts are a' bound up in aneAnd that's my ain dear Philly.
     She. What's a' the joys that gowd can gie?I dinna care a single flie;The lad I love's the lad for meAnd that's my ain dear Willy.
     Both. For a' the joys&c.
Contented Wi' Little And Cantie Wi' Mair
tune-"Lumps o' Puddin'."
Contented wi' littleand cantie wi' mairWhene'er I forgather wi' Sorrow and CareI gie them a skelp as they're creeping alangWi' a cog o' gude swats and an auld Scottish sang.Chorus-Contented wi' little&c.
I whiles claw the elbow o' troublesome thought;But Man is a sogerand Life is a faught;My mirth and gude humour are coin in my pouchAnd my Freedom's my Lairdship nae monarch dare touch.Contented wi' little&c.
A townmond o' troubleshould that be may fa'A night o' gude fellowship sowthers it a':When at the blythe end o' our journey at lastWha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past?Contented wi' little&c.
Blind Chancelet her snapper and stoyte on her way;Be't to mebe't frae mee'en let the jade gae:Come Easeor come Travailcome Pleasure or PainMy warst word is: "Welcomeand welcome again!"Contented wi' little&c.
Farewell Thou Stream
Air-"Nansie's to the greenwood gane."
Farewellthou stream that winding flowsAround Eliza's dwelling;O mem'ry! spare the cruel thoesWithin my bosom swelling.Condemn'd to drag a hopeless chainAnd yet in secret languish;To feel a fire in every veinNor dare disclose my anguish.
Love's veriest wretchunseenunknownI fain my griefs would cover;The bursting sighth' unweeting groanBetray the hapless lover.I know thou doom'st me to despairNor wiltnor canst relieve me;ButO Elizahear one prayer-For pity's sake forgive me!
The music of thy voice I heardNor wist while it enslav'd me;I saw thine eyesyet nothing fear'dTill fears no more had sav'd me:Th' unwary sailor thusaghastThe wheeling torrent viewing'Mid circling horrors sinks at lastIn overwhelming ruin.
Canst Thou Leave Me ThusMy Katie
tune-"Roy's Wife."
Chorus-Canst thou leave me thusmy Katie?Canst thou leave me thusmy Katie?Well thou know'st my aching heartAnd canst thou leave me thusfor pity?
Is this thy plightedfond regardThus cruelly to partmy Katie?Is this thy faithful swain's reward-An achingbroken heartmy Katie!Canst thou leave me&c.
Farewell! and ne'er such sorrows tearThat finkle heart of thinemy Katie!Thou maysn find those will love thee dearBut not a love like minemy KatieCanst thou leave me&c.
My Nanie's Awa
tune-"There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame."
Now in her green mantle blythe Nature arraysAnd listens the lambkins that bleat o'er her braes;While birds warble welcomes in ilka green shawBut to me it's delightless-my Nanie's awa.
The snawdrap and primrose our woodlands adornAnd violetes bathe in the weet o' the morn;They pain my sad bosomsae sweetly they blawThey mind me o' Nanie- and Nanie's awa.
Thou lav'rock that springs frae the dews of the lawnThe shepherd to warn o' the grey-breaking dawnAnd thou mellow mavis that hails the night-fa'Give over for pity-my Nanie's awa.
Come Autumnsae pensivein yellow and greyAnd soothe me wi' tidings o' Nature's decay:The darkdreary Winterand wild-driving snawAlane can delight me-now Nanie's awa.
The Tear-Drop
Wae is my heartand the tear's in my e'e;Langlang has Joy been a stranger to me:Forsaken and friendlessmy burden I bearAnd the sweet voice o' Pity ne'er sounds in my ear.
Love thou hast pleasuresand deep hae I luv'd;Lovethou hast sorrowsand sair hae I pruv'd;But this bruised heart that now bleeds in my breastI can feelby its throbbingswill soon be at rest.
Ohif I were-where happy I hae been-Down by yon streamand yon bonie castle-green;For there he is wand'ring and musing on meWha wad soon dry the tear-drop that clings to my e'e.
For The Sake O' Somebody
My heart is sair-I dare na tellMy heart is sair for Somebody;I could wake a winter nightFor the sake o' Somebody.O-hon! for Somebody!O-hey! for Somebody!I could range the world aroundFor the sake o' Somebody.
Ye Powers that smile on virtuous loveOsweetly smile on Somebody!Frae ilka danger keep him freeAnd send me safe my Somebody!O-hon! for Somebody!O-hey! for Somebody!I wad do-what wad I not?For the sake o' Somebody.
A Man's A Man For A' That
tune-"For a' that."
Is there for honest PovertyThat hings his headan' a' that;The coward slave-we pass him byWe dare be poor for a' that!For a' thatan' a' that.Our toils obscure an' a' thatThe rank is but the guinea's stampThe Man's the gowd for a' that.
What though on hamely fare we dineWear hoddin greyan' a that;Gie fools their silksand knaves their wine;A Man's a Man for a' that:For a' thatand a' thatTheir tinsel showan' a' that;The honest mantho' e'er sae poorIs king o' men for a' that.
Ye see yon birkieca'd a lordWha strutsan' staresan' a' that;Tho' hundreds worship at his wordHe's but a coof for a' that:For a' thatan' a' thatHis ribbandstaran' a' that:The man o' independent mindHe looks an' laughs at a' that.
A prince can mak a belted knightA marquisdukean' a' that;But an honest man's abon his mightGude faithhe maunna fa' that!For a' thatan' a' thatTheir dignities an' a' that;The pith o' sensean' pride o' worthAre higher rank than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may(As come it will for a' that)That Sense and Wortho'er a' the earthShall bear the greean' a' that.For a' thatan' a' thatIt's coming yet for a' thatThat Man to Manthe world o'erShall brothers be for a' that.
Craigieburn Wood
Sweet fa's the eve on CraigieburnAnd blythe awakes the morrow;But a' the pride o' Spring's returnCan yield me nocht but sorrow.
I see the flowers and spreading treesI hear the wild birds singing;But what a weary wight can pleaseAnd Care his bosom wringing!
Fainfain would I my griefs impartYet dare na for your anger;But secret love will break my heartIf I conceal it langer.
If thou refuse to pity meIf thou shalt love anotherWhen yon green leaves fade frae the treeAround my grave they'll wither.
Versicles of 1795
The Solemn League And Covenant
The Solemn League and CovenantNow brings a smilenow brings a tear;But sacred Freedomtoowas theirs:If thou'rt a slaveindulge thy sneer.
Compliments Of John Syme Of Ryedale
Lines sent with a Present of a Dozen of Porter.
O had the malt thy strength of mindOr hops the flavour of thy wit'Twere drink for first of human kindA gift that e'en for Syme were fit.
Jerusalem TavernDumfries.
Inscription On A Goblet
There's Death in the cupso beware!Naymore-there is danger in touching;But who can avoid the fell snareThe man and his wine's so bewitching!
Apology For Declining An Invitation To Dine
No more of your guestsbe they titled or notAnd cookery the first in the nation;Who is proof to thy personal converse and witIs proof to all other temptation.
Epitaph For Mr. Gabriel Richardson
Here Brewer Gabriel's fire's extinctAnd empty all his barrels:He's blest-ifas he brew'dhe drinkIn uprighthonest morals.
Epigram On Mr. James Gracie
Graciethou art a man of worthO be thou Dean for ever!May he be damned to hell henceforthWho fauts thy weight or measure!
Bonie Peg-a-Ramsay
Cauld is the e'enin blastO' Boreas o'er the poolAn' dawin' it is drearyWhen birks are bare at Yule.
Cauld blaws the e'enin blastWhen bitter bites the frostAndin the mirk and dreary driftThe hills and glens are lost:
Ne'er sae murky blew the nightThat drifted o'er the hillBut bonie Peg-a-RamsayGat grist to her mill.
Inscription At Friars' Carse Hermitage
To the Memory of Robert Riddell.
To Riddellmuch lamented manThis ivied cot was dear;Wandr'erdost value matchless worth?This ivied cot revere.
There Was A Bonie Lass
There was a bonie lassand a boniebonie lassAnd she lo'ed her bonie laddie dear;Till War's loud alarms tore her laddie frae her armsWi' mony a sigh and tear.Over seaover shorewhere the cannons loudly roarHe still was a stranger to fear;And nocht could him quailor his bosom assailBut the bonie lass he lo'ed sae dear.
Wee Willie Gray
tune-"Wee Totum Fogg."
Wee Willie Grayand his leather walletPeel a willow wand to be him boots and jacket;The rose upon the breir will be him trews an' doubletThe rose upon the breir will be him trews an' doubletWee Willie Grayand his leather walletTwice a lily-flower will be him sark and cravat;Feathers of a flee wad feather up his bonnetFeathers of a flee wad feather up his bonnet.
O Aye My Wife She Dang Me
Chorus-O aye my wife she dang meAn' aft my wife she bang'd meIf ye gie a woman a' her willGude faith! she'll soon o'er-gang ye.
On peace an' rest my mind was bentAndfool I was! I married;But never honest man's intentSane cursedly miscarried.O aye my wife&c.
Some sairie comfort at the lastWhen a' thir days are donemanMy pains o' hell on earth is pastI'm sure o' bliss aboonmanO aye my wife&c.
Gude Ale Keeps The Heart Aboon
Chorus-O gude ale comes and gude ale goes;Gude ale gars me sell my hoseSell my hoseand pawn my shoon-Gude ale keeps my heart aboon!
I had sax owsen in a pleughAnd they drew a' weel eneugh:I sell'd them a' just ane by ane-Gude ale keeps the heart aboon!O gude ale comes&c.
Gude ale hauds me bare and busyGars me moop wi' the servant hizzieStand i' the stool when I hae done-Gude ale keeps the heart aboon!O gude ale comes&c.
O Steer Her Up An' Haud Her Gaun
O steer her upan' haud her gaunHer mither's at the milljo;An' gin she winna tak a manE'en let her tak her willjo.First shore her wi' a gentle kissAnd ca' anither gilljo;An' gin she tak the thing amissE'en let her flyte her filljo.
O steer her upan' be na blateAn' gin she tak it illjoThen leave the lassie till her fateAnd time nae langer spilljo:Ne'er break your heart for ae rebuteBut think upon it stilljo:That gin the lassie winna do'tYe'll find anither willjo.
The Lass O' Ecclefechan
tune-"Jack o' Latin."
Gat ye meO gat ye meO gat ye me wi' naething?Rock an reeland spinning wheelA mickle quarter basin:Bye attour my Gutcher hasA heich house and a laich aneA' forbye my bonie selThe toss o' Ecclefechan.
O haud your tongue nowLucky LangO haud your tongue and jaunerI held the gate till you I metSyne I began to wander:I tint my whistle and my sangI tint my peace and pleasure;But your green graffnow Lucky LangWad airt me to my treasure.
O Let Me In Thes Ae Night
O Lassieare ye sleepin yetOr are ye waukinI wad wit?For Love has bound me hand an' fitAnd I would fain be injo.
Chorus-O let me in this ae nightThis aeaeae night;O let me in this ae nightI'll no come back againjo!
O hear'st thou not the wind an' weet?Nae star blinks thro' the driving sleet;Tak pity on my weary feetAnd shield me frae the rainjo.O let me in&c.
The bitter blast that round me blawsUnheeded howlsunheeded fa's;The cauldness o' thy heart's the causeOf a' my care and pinejo.O let me in&c.
Her Answer
O tell na me o' wind an' rainUpbraid na me wi' cauld disdainGae back the gate ye cam againI winna let ye injo.
Chorus-I tell you now this ae nightThis aeaeae night;And ance for a' this ae nightI winna let ye injo.
The snellest blastat mirkest hoursThat round the pathless wand'rer poursIs nocht to what poor she enduresThat's trusted faithless manjo.I tell you now&c.
The sweetest flower that deck'd the meadNow trodden like the vilest weed-Let simple maid the lesson readThe weird may be her ainjo.I tell you now&c.
The bird that charm'd his summer dayIs now the cruel Fowler's prey;Let witlesstrustingWoman sayHow aft her fate's the samejo!I tell you now&c.
I'll Aye Ca' In By Yon Town
Air-"I'll gang nae mair to yon toun."
Chorus-I'll aye ca' in by yon townAnd by yon garden-green again;I'll aye ca' in by yon townAnd see my bonie Jean again.
There's nane sall kenthere's nane can guessWhat brings me back the gate againBut shemy fairest faithfu' lassAnd stownlins we sall meet again.I'll aye ca' in&c.
She'll wander by the aiken treeWhen trystin time draws near again;And when her lovely form I seeO haith! she's doubly dear again.I'll aye ca' in&c.
O Wat Ye Wha's In Yon Town
tune-"I'll gang nae mair to yon toun."
Chorus-O wat ye wha's in yon townYe see the e'enin sun uponThe dearest maid's in yon townThat e'ening sun is shining on.
Now haply down yon gay green shawShe wanders by yon spreading tree;How blest ye flowers that round her blawYe catch the glances o' her e'e!O wat ye wha's&c.
How blest ye birds that round her singAnd welcome in the blooming year;And doubly welcome be the SpringThe season to my Jeanie dear.O wat ye wha's&c.
The sun blinks blythe on yon townAmong the broomy braes sae green;But my delight in yon townAnd dearest pleasureis my Jean.O wat ye wha's&c.
Without my Fairnot a' the charmsO' Paradise could yield me joy;But give me Jeanie in my armsAnd welcome Lapland's dreary sky!O wat ye wha's&c.
My cave wad be a lover's bowerTho' raging Winter rent the air;And she a lovely little flowerThat I wad tent and shelter there.O wat ye wha's&c.
O sweet is she in yon townThe sinkinsun's gane down upon;A fairer than's in yon townHis setting beam ne'er shone upon.O wat ye wha's&c.
If angry Fate is sworn my foeAnd suff'ring I am doom'd to bear;I careless quit aught else belowBut spareO spare me Jeanie dear.O wat ye wha's&c.
For while life's dearest blood is warmAe thought frae her shall ne'er departAnd sheas fairest is her formShe has the truestkindest heart.O wat ye wha's&c.
Ballads on Mr. Heron's Election1795
Ballad First
Whom will you send to London townTo Parliament and a' that?Or wha in a' the country roundThe best deserves to fa' that?For a' thatand a' thatThro' Galloway and a' thatWhere is the Laird or belted KnightThe best deserves to fa' that?
Wha sees Kerroughtree's open yett(And wha is't never saw that?)Wha ever wi' Kerroughtree metAnd has a doubt of a' that?For a' thatand a' thatHere's Heron yet for a' that!The independent patriotThe honest manand a' that.
Tho' wit and worthin either sexSaint Mary's Isle can shaw thatWi' Dukes and Lords let Selkirk mixAnd weel does Selkirk fa' that.For a' thatand a' thatHere's Heron yet for a' that!The independent commonerShall be the man for a' that.
But why should we to Nobles joukAnd is't against the lawthat?For whya Lord may be a gowkWi' ribbandstar and a' thatFor a' thatand a' thatHere's Heron yet for a' that!A Lord may be a lousy lounWi' ribbandstar and a' that.
A beardless boy comes o'er the hillsWi' uncle's purse and a' that;But we'll hae ane frae mang ourselsA man we kenand a' that.For a' thatand a' thatHere's Heron yet for a' that!For we're not to be bought and soldLike naigsand nowtand a' that.
Then let us drink-The StewartryKerroughtree's lairdand a' thatOur representative to beFor weel he's worthy a' that.For a' thatand a' thatHere's Heron yet for a' that!A House of Commons such as heThey wad be blest that saw that.
Ballad Second-Election Day
tune-"Fylet us a' to the Bridal."
Fylet us a' to KirkcudbrightFor there will be bickerin' there;For Murray's light horse are to musterAnd O how the heroes will swear!And there will be MurrayCommanderAnd Gordonthe battle to win;Like brothers they'll stand by each otherSae knit in alliance and kin.
And there will be black-nebbit JohnieThe tongue o' the trump to them a';An he get na Hell for his haddin'The Deil gets na justice ava.
And there will be Kempleton's birkieA boy no sae black at the bane;But as to his fine Nabob fortuneWe'll e'en let the subject alane.
And there will be Wigton's new Sheriff;Dame Justice fu' brawly has spedShe's gotten the heart of a BushbyButLord! what's become o' the head?And there will be CardonessEsquireSae mighty in Cardoness' eyes;A wight that will weather damnationThe Devil the prey will despise.
And there will be Douglasses doughtyNew christening towns far and near;Abjuring their democrat doingsBy kissin' the-o' a Peer:And there will be folk frae Saint Mary'sA house o' great merit and note;The deil ane but honours them highly-The deil ane will gie them his vote!
And there will be Kenmure sae gen'rousWhose honour is proof to the stormTo save them from stark reprobationHe lent them his name in the Firm.And there will be lads o' the gospelMuirhead wha's as gude as he's true;And there will be Buittle's ApostleWha's mair o' the black than the blue.
And there will be Logan M'DowallSculdudd'ry an' he will be thereAnd also the Wild Scot o' GallowaySogeringgunpowder Blair.But we winna mention RedcastleThe bodye'en let him escape!He'd venture the gallows for sillerAn 'twere na the cost o' the rape.
But where is the Doggerbank heroThat made "Hogan Mogan" to skulk?Poor Keith's gane to hell to be fuelThe auld rotten wreck of a Hulk.And where is our King's Lord LieutenantSae fam'd for his gratefu' return?The birkie is gettin' his QuestionsTo say in Saint Stephen's the morn.
But mark ye! there's trusty KerroughtreeWhose honor was ever his law;If the Virtues were pack'd in a parcelHis worth might be sample for a';And strang an' respectfu's his backingThe maist o' the lairds wi' him stand;Nae gipsy-like nominal baronsWha's property's paper-not land.
And therefrae the Niddisdale bordersThe Maxwells will gather in drovesTeugh Jockiestaunch Geordiean' WellwoodThat griens for the fishes and loaves;And there will be Heronthe MajorWha'll ne'er be forgot in the Greys;Our flatt'ry we'll keep for some otherHimonly it's justice to praise.
And there will be maiden KilkerranAnd also Barskimming's gude KnightAnd there will be roarin BirtwhistleYet luckily roars i' the right.And there'll be Stamp Office Johnie(Tak tent how ye purchase a dram!)And there will be gay CassencarryAnd there'll be gleg Colonel Tam.
And there'll be wealthy young RichardDame Fortune should hing by the neckFor prodigalthriftless bestowing-His merit had won him respect.
And there will be rich brother nabobs(Tho' Nabobsyet men not the worst)And there will be Collieston's whiskersAnd Quintin-a lad o' the first.
Then hey! the chaste Interest o' BroughtonAnd hey! for the blessin's 'twill bring;It may send Balmaghie to the CommonsIn Sodom 'twould make him a king;And hey! for the sanctified MurrayOur land wha wi' chapels has stor'd;He founder'd his horse among harlotsBut gied the auld naig to the Lord.
Ballad Third
John Bushby's Lamentation.
tune-"Babes in the Wood."
'Twas in the seventeen hunder yearO' graceand ninety-fiveThat year I was the wae'est manOf ony man alive.
In March the three-an'-twentieth mornThe sun raise clear an' bright;But oh! I was a waefu' manEre to-fa' o' the night.
Yerl Galloway lang did rule this landWi' equal right and fameAnd thereto was his kinsmen join'dThe Murray's noble name.
Yerl Galloway's man o' men was IAnd chief o' Broughton's host;So twa blind beggarson a stringThe faithfu' tyke will trust.
But now Yerl Galloway's sceptre's brokeAnd Broughton's wi' the slainAnd I my ancient craft may trySin' honesty is gane.
'Twas by the banks o' bonie DeeBeside Kirkcudbright's towersThe Stewart and the Murray thereDid muster a' their powers.
Then Murray on the auld grey yaudWi' winged spurs did rideThat auld grey yaud a' Nidsdale radeHe staw upon Nidside.
And there had na been the Yerl himselO there had been nae play;But Garlies was to London ganeAnd sae the kye might stray.
And there was BalmaghieI weenIn front rank he wad shine;But Balmaghie had better beenDrinkin' Madeira wine.
And frae Glenkens cam to our aidA chief o' doughty deed;In case that worth should wanted beO' Kenmure we had need.
And by our banners march'd MuirheadAnd Buittle was na slack;Whase haly priesthood nane could stainFor wha could dye the black?
And there was grave squire CardonessLook'd on till a' was done;Sae in the tower o' CardonessA howlet sits at noon.
And there led I the Bushby clanMy gamesome billieWillAnd my son Maitlandwise as braveMy footsteps follow'd still.
The Douglas and the Heron's nameWe set nought to their score;The Douglas and the Heron's nameHad felt our weight before.
But Douglasses o' weight had weThe pair o' lusty lairdsFor building cot-houses sae fam'dAnd christenin' kail-yards.
And there Redcastle drew his swordThat ne'er was stain'd wi' goreSave on a wand'rer lame and blindTo drive him frae his door.
And last cam creepin' ColliestonWas mair in fear than wrath;Ae knave was constant in his mind-To keep that knave frae scaith.
Inscription For An Altar Of Independence
At Kerroughtreethe Seat of Mr. Heron.
Thou of an independent mindWith soul resolv'dwith soul resign'd;Prepar'd Power's proudest frown to braveWho wilt not benor have a slave;Virtue alone who dost revereThy own reproach alone dost fear-Approach this shrineand worship here.
The Cardin O'tThe Spinnin O't
I coft a stane o' haslock woo'To mak a wab to Johnie o't;For Johnie is my only joI loe him best of onie yet.
Chorus-The cardin' o'tthe spinnin' o'tThe warpin' o'tthe winnin' o't;When ilka ell cost me a groatThe tailor staw the lynin' o't.
For tho' his locks be lyart greyAnd tho' his brow be beld aboonYet I hae seen him on a dayThe pride of a' the parishen.The cardin o't&c.
The Cooper O' Cuddy
tune-"Bab at the bowster."
Chorus-We'll hide the Cooper behint the doorBehint the doorbehint the doorWe'll hide the Cooper behint the doorAnd cover him under a mawnO.
The Cooper o' Cuddy came here awaHe ca'd the girrs out o'er us a';An' our gudewife has gotten a ca'That's anger'd the silly gudeman O.We'll hide the Cooper&c.
He sought them outhe sought them inWi' deil hae her! an'deil hae him!But the body he was sae doited and blin'He wist na where he was gaun O.We'll hide the Cooper&c.
They cooper'd at e'enthey cooper'd at mornTill our gudeman has gotten the scorn;On ilka brow she's planted a hornAnd swears that there they sall stan' O.We'll hide the Cooper&c.
The Lass That Made The Bed To Me
When Januar' wind was blawing cauldAs to the north I took my wayThe mirksome night did me enfauldI knew na where to lodge till day:
By my gude luck a maid I metJust in the middle o' my careAnd kindly she did me inviteTo walk into a chamber fair.
I bow'd fu' low unto this maidAnd thank'd her for her courtesie;I bow'd fu' low unto this maidAn' bade her make a bed to me;She made the bed baith large and wideWi' twa white hands she spread it doun;She put the cup to her rosy lipsAnd drank-"Young mannow sleep ye soun'."
Chorus-The bonie lass made the bed to meThe braw lass made the bed to meI'll ne'er forget till the day I dieThe lass that made the bed to me.
She snatch'd the candle in her handAnd frae my chamber went wi' speed;But I call'd her quickly back againTo lay some mair below my head:A cod she laid below my headAnd served me with due respectAndto salute her wi' a kissI put my arms about her neck.The bonie lass&c.
"Haud aff your handsyoung man!" she saidAnd dinna sae uncivil be;
Gif ye hae ony luve for me,
O wrang na my virginitie.Her hair was like the links o' gowdHer teeth were like the ivorieHer cheeks like lilies dipt in wineThe lass that made the bed to me:The bonie lass&c.
Her bosom was the driven snawTwa drifted heaps sae fair to see;Her limbs the polish'd marble staneThe lass that made the bed to me.I kiss'd her o'er and o'er againAnd aye she wist na what to say:I laid her 'tween me and the wa';The lassie thocht na lang till day.The bonie lass&c.
Upon the morrow when we raiseI thank'd her for her courtesie;But aye she blush'd and aye she sigh'dAnd saidAlas, ye've ruin'd me.I claps'd her waistand kiss'd her syneWhile the tear stood twinkling in her e'e;I saidmy lassiedinna cry.For ye aye shall make the bed to me.The bonie lass&c.
She took her mither's holland sheetsAn' made them a' in sarks to me;Blythe and merry may she beThe lass that made the bed to me.
Chorus-The bonie lass made the bed to meThe braw lass made the bed to me.I'll ne'er forget till the day I dieThe lass that made the bed to me.
Had I The Wyte? She Bade Me
Had I the wytehad I the wyteHad I the wyte? she bade me;She watch'd me by the hie-gate sideAnd up the loan she shaw'd me.And when I wadna venture inA coward loon she ca'd me:Had Kirk an' State been in the gateI'd lighted when she bade me.
Sae craftilie she took me benAnd bade me mak nae clatter;For our ramgunshoch, glum gudeman
Is o'er ayont the water.
Whae'er shall say I wanted graceWhen I did kiss and dawte herLet him be planted in my placeSyne sayI was the fautor.
Could I for shamecould I for shameCould I for shame refus'd her;And wadna manhood been to blameHad I unkindly used her!He claw'd her wi' the ripplin-kameAnd blae and bluidy bruis'd her;When sic a husband was frae hameWhat wife but wad excus'd her!
I dighted aye her e'en sae blueAn' bann'd the cruel randyAnd weel I wather willin' mouWas sweet as sugar-candie.At gloamin-shotit was I wotI lighted on the Monday;But I cam thro' the Tyseday's dewTo wanton Willie's brandy.
Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat?
tune-"Push about the Jorum."
Does haughty Gaul invasion threat?Then let the louns bewareSir;There's wooden walls upon our seasAnd volunteers on shoreSir:The Nith shall run to CorsinconAnd Criffel sink in SolwayEre we permit a Foreign FoeOn British ground to rally!We'll ne'er permit a Foreign FoeOn British ground to rally!
O let us notlike snarling cursIn wrangling be dividedTillslap! come in an unco lounAnd wi' a rung decide it!Be Britain still to Britain trueAmang ourselves united;For never but by British handsMaun British wrangs be righted!No! never but by British handsShall British wrangs be righted!
The Kettle o' the Kirk and StatePerhaps a clout may fail in't;But deil a foreign tinkler lounShall ever ca'a nail in't.Our father's blude the Kettle boughtAnd wha wad dare to spoil it;By Heav'ns! the sacrilegious dogShall fuel be to boil it!By Heav'ns! the sacrilegious dogShall fuel be to boil it!
The wretch that would a tyrant ownAnd the wretchhis true-born brotherWho would set the Mob aboon the ThroneMay they be damn'd together!Who will not sing "God save the King
Shall hang as high's the steeple;
But while we sing God save the King
We'll ne'er forget The People!
But while we sing God save the King
We'll ne'er forget The People!
Address To The Woodlark
tune-Loch Erroch Side."
O staysweet warbling woodlarkstayNor quit for me the trembling sprayA hapless lover courts thy layThy soothingfond complaining.Againagain that tender partThat I may catch thy melting art;For surely that wad touch her heartWha kills me wi' disdaining.Saywas thy little mate unkindAnd heard thee as the careless wind?Ohnocht but love and sorrow join'dSic notes o' woe could wauken!Thou tells o' never-ending care;O'speechless griefand dark despair:For pity's sakesweet birdnae mair!Or my poor heart is broken.
Song.-On Chloris Being Ill
tune-"Aye wauken O."
Chorus-Longlong the nightHeavy comes the morrowWhile my soul's delightIs on her bed of sorrow.
Can I cease to care?Can I cease to languishWhile my darling FairIs on the couch of anguish?Longlong&c.
Ev'ry hope is fledEv'ry fear is terrorSlumber ev'n I dreadEv'ry dream is horror.Longlong&c.
Hear mePowers Divine!Ohin pityhear me!Take aught else of mineBut my Chloris spare me!Longlong&c.
How Cruel Are The Parents
Altered from an old English song.tune-"John Andersonmy jo."
How cruel are the parentsWho riches only prizeAnd to the wealthy boobyPoor Woman sacrifice!Meanwhilethe hapless DaughterHas but a choice of strife;To shun a tyrant Father's hate-Become a wretched Wife.
The ravening hawk pursuingThe trembling dove thus fliesTo shun impelling ruinAwhile her pinions tries;Tillof escape despairingNo shelter or retreatShe trusts the ruthless FalconerAnd drops beneath his feet.
Mark Yonder Pomp Of Costly Fashion
Air-"Deil tak the wars."
Mark yonder pomp of costly fashionRound the wealthytitled bride:But when compar'd with real passionPoor is all that princely pride.Mark yonder&c. (four lines repeated).
What are the showy treasuresWhat are the noisy pleasures?The gaygaudy glare of vanity and art:The polish'd jewels' blazeMay draw the wond'ring gaze;And courtly grandeur brightThe fancy may delightBut nevernever can come near the heart.
But did you see my dearest ChlorisIn simplicity's array;Lovely as yonder sweet opening flower isShrinking from the gaze of dayBut did you see&c.
O thenthe heart alarmingAnd all resistless charmingIn Love's delightful fetters she chains the willing soul!Ambition would disownThe world's imperial crownEv'n Avarice would denyHis worshipp'd deityAnd feel thro' every vein Love's raptures roll.
'Twas Na Her Bonie Blue E'e
tune-"Laddielie near me."
'Twas na her bonie blue e'e was my ruinFair tho' she bethat was ne'er my undoin';'Twas the dear smile when nae body did mind us'Twas the bewitchingsweetstown glance o' kindness:'Twas the bewitchingsweetstown glance o' kindness.
Sair do I fear that to hope is denied meSair do I fear that despair maun abide meBut tho' fell fortune should fate us to severQueen shall she be in my bosom for ever:Queen shall she be in my bosom for ever.
ChlorisI'm thine wi' a passion sincerestAnd thou hast plighted me love o' the dearest!And thou'rt the angel that never can alterSooner the sun in his motion would falter:Sooner the sun in his motion would falter.
Their Groves O'Sweet Myrtle
tune-"Humours of Glen."
Their groves o' sweet myrtle let Foreign Lands reckonWhere bright-beaming summers exalt the perfume;Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' green breckanWi' the burn stealing under the langyellow broom.Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowersWhere the blue-bell and gowan lurklowlyunseen;For therelightly trippingamong the wild flowersA-list'ning the linnetaft wanders my Jean.
Tho' rich is the breeze in their gaysunny valleysAnd cauld Caledonia's blast on the wave;Their sweet-scented woodlands that skirt the proud palaceWhat are they?-the haunt of the Tyrant and Slave.The Slave's spicy forestsand gold-bubbling fountainsThe brave Caledonian views wi' disdain;He wanders as free as the winds of his mountainsSave Love's willing fetters-the chains of his Jean.
ForlornMy LoveNo Comfort Near
Air-"Let me in this ae night."
Forlornmy Loveno comfort nearFarfar from theeI wander here;Farfar from theethe fate severeAt which I most repineLove.
Chorus-O wert thouLovebut near me!But nearnearnear meHow kindly thou wouldst cheer meAnd mingle sighs with mineLove.
Around me scowls a wintry skyBlasting each bud of hope and joy;And sheltershadenor home have I;Save in these arms of thineLove.O wert thou&c.
Coldalter'd friendship's cruel partTo poison Fortune's ruthless dart-Let me not break thy faithful heartAnd say that fate is mineLove.O wert thou&c.
Butdreary tho' the moments fleetO let me think we yet shall meet;That only ray of solace sweetCan on thy Chloris shineLove!O wert thou&c.
Fragment-WhyWhy Tell The Lover
tune-"Caledonian Hunt's delight."
Whywhy tell thy loverBliss he never must enjoy"?Whywhy undeceive himAnd give all his hopes the lie?O whywhile fancyraptur'd slumbersChlorisChloris all the themeWhywhy would'st thoucruel-Wake thy lover from his dream?
The Braw Wooer
tune-"The Lothian Lassie."
Last Maya braw wooer cam doun the lang glenAnd sair wi' his love he did deave me;I saidthere was naething I hated like men-The deuce gae wi'mto believe mebelieve me;The deuce gae wi'm to believe me.
He spak o' the darts in my bonie black e'enAnd vow'd for my love he was dieinI saidhe might die when he liked for Jean-The Lord forgie me for lieinfor liein;The Lord forgie me for liein!
A weel-stocked mailenhimsel' for the lairdAnd marriage aff-handwere his proffers;I never loot on that I kenn'd itor car'd;But thought I might hae waur offerswaur offers;But thought I might hae waur offers.
But what wad ye think?-in a fortnight or less-The deil tak his taste to gae near her!He up the Gate-slack to my black cousinBess-Guess ye howthe jad! I could bear hercould bear her;Guess ye howthe jad! I could bear her.
But a' the niest weekas I petted wi' careI gaed to the tryst o' Dalgarnock;But wha but my fine fickle wooer was thereI glowr'd as I'd seen a warlocka warlockI glowr'd as I'd seen a warlock.
But owre my left shouther I gae him a blinkLest neibours might say I was saucy;My wooer he caper'd as he'd been in drinkAnd vow'd I was his dear lassiedear lassieAnd vow'd I was his dear lassie.
I spier'd for my cousin fu' couthy and sweetGin she had recover'd her hearin'And how her new shoon fit her auld schachl't feetBut heavens! how he fell a swearina swearinBut heavens! how he fell a swearin.
He beggedfor gudesakeI wad be his wifeOr else I wad kill him wi' sorrow;So e'en to preserve the poor body in lifeI think I maun wed him to-morrowto-morrow;I think I maun wed him to-morrow.
This Is No My Ain Lassie
tune-"This is no my house."
Chorus-This is no my ain lassieFair thothe lassie be;Weel ken I my ain lassieKind love is in her e're.
I see a formI see a faceYe weel may wi' the fairest place;It wantsto methe witching graceThe kind love that's in her e'e.This is no my ain&c.
She's boniebloomingstraightand tallAnd lang has had my heart in thrall;And aye it charms my very saulThe kind love that's in her e'e.This is no my ain&c.
A thief sae pawkie is my JeanTo steal a blinkby a' unseen;But gleg as light are lover's eenWhen kind love is in her e'e.This is no my ain&c.
It may escape the courtly sparksIt may escape the learned clerks;But well the watching lover marksThe kind love that's in her eye.This is no my ain&c.
O Bonie Was Yon Rosy Brier
O bonie was yon rosy brierThat blooms sae far frae haunt o' man;And bonie sheand ahhow dear!It shaded frae the e'enin sun.
Yon rosebuds in the morning dewHow pureamang the leaves sae green;But purer was the lover's vowThey witness'd in their shade yestreen.
All in its rude and prickly bowerThat crimson rosehow sweet and fair;But love is far a sweeter flowerAmid life's thorny path o' care.
The pathlesswild and wimpling burnWi' Chloris in my armsbe mine;And I the warld nor wish nor scornIts joys and griefs alike resign.
Song Inscribed To Alexander Cunningham
Now spring has clad the grove in greenAnd strew'd the lea wi' flowers;The furrow'dwaving corn is seenRejoice in fostering showers.While ilka thing in nature joinTheir sorrows to foregoO why thus all alone are mineThe weary steps o' woe!
The trout in yonder wimpling burnThat glidesa silver dartAndsafe beneath the shady thornDefies the angler's art-My life was ance that careless streamThat wanton trout was I;But Lovewi' unrelenting beamHas scorch'd my fountains dry.
That little floweret's peaceful lotIn yonder cliff that growsWhichsave the linnet's flightI wotNae ruder visit knowsWas minetill Love has o'er me pastAnd blighted a' my bloom;And nowbeneath the withering blastMy youth and joy consume.
The waken'd lav'rock warbling springsAnd climbs the early skyWinnowing blythe his dewy wingsIn morning's rosy eye;As little reck'd I sorrow's powerUntil the flowery snareO'witching Lovein luckless hourMade me the thrall o' care.
O had my fate been Greenland snowsOr Afric's burning zoneWi'man and nature leagued my foesSo Peggy ne'er I'd known!The wretch whose doom is "Hope nae mair"What tongue his woes can tell;Within whase bosomsave DespairNae kinder spirits dwell.
O That's The Lassie O' My Heart
O wat ye wha that lo'es meAnd has my heart a-keeping?O sweet is she that lo'es meAs dews o' summer weepingIn tears the rosebuds steeping!
Chorus-O that's the lassie o' my heartMy lassie ever dearer;O she's the queen o' womankindAnd ne'er a ane to peer her.
If thou shalt meet a lassieIn grace and beauty charmingThat e'en thy chosen lassieErewhile thy breast sae warmingHad ne'er sic powers alarming;O that's the lassie&c.
If thou hadst heard her talkingAnd thy attention's plightedThat ilka body talkingBut herby thee is slightedAnd thou art all delighted;O that's the lassie&c.
If thou hast met this Fair OneWhen frae her thou hast partedIf every other Fair OneBut herthou hast desertedAnd thou art broken-heartedO that's the lassie o' my heartMy lassie ever dearer;O that's the queen o' womankindAnd ne'er a ane to peer her.
     Written on the blank leaf of a copy of the last edition of my poemspresented to the Lady whomin so many fictitious reveries of passionbutwith the most ardent sentiments of real friendshipI have so often sungunder the name of-"Chloris."^1
'Tis Friendship's pledgemy youngfair FriendNor thou the gift refuseNor with unwilling ear attendThe moralising Muse.
Since thouin all thy youth and charmsMust bid the world adieu(A world 'gainst Peace in constant arms)To join the Friendly Few.
Sincethy gay morn of life o'ercastChill came the tempest's lour;(And ne'er Misfortune's eastern blastDid nip a fairer flower.)
Since life's gay scenes must charm no moreStill much is left behindStill nobler wealth hast thou in store-The comforts of the mind!
Thine is the self-approving glowOf conscious Honour's part;And (dearest gift of Heaven below)Thine Friendship's truest heart.
The joys refin'd of Sense and TasteWith every Muse to rove:And doubly were the Poet blestThese joys could he improve.R.B.
[Footnote 1: Miss Lorimer.]
Fragment.-Leezie Lindsay
Will ye go to the HielandsLeezie LindsayWill ye go to the Hielands wi' me?Will ye go to the HielandsLeezie LindsayMy pride and my darling to be.
Fragment.-The Wren's Nest
The Robin to the Wren's nestCam keekin' incam keekin' in;O weel's me on your auld powWad ye be inwad ye be in?Thou's ne'er get leave to lie withoutAnd I withinand I withinSae lang's I hae an auld cloutTo rowe ye into rowe ye in.
There's newslassiesnewsGude news I've to tell!There's a boatfu' o' ladsCome to our town to sell.
Chorus-The wean wants a cradleAnd the cradle wants a cod:I'll no gang to my bedUntil I get a nod.
Fatherquo' sheMitherquo sheDo what you canI'll no gang to my bedUntil I get a man.The wean&c.
I hae as gude a craft rigAs made o'yird and stane;And waly fa' the ley-crapFor I maun till'd again.The wean&c.
Crowdie Ever Mair
O that I had ne'er been marriedI wad never had nae careNow I've gotten wife an' weansAn' they cry "Crowdie" evermair.
Chorus-Ance crowdietwice crowdieThree times crowdie in a dayGin ye crowdie ony mairYe'll crowdie a' my meal away.
Waefu' Want and Hunger fley meGlowrin' by the hallan en';Sair I fecht them at the doorBut aye I'm eerie they come ben.Ance crowdie&c.
Mally's MeekMally's Sweet
Chorus-Mally's meekMally's sweetMally's modest and discreet;Mally's rareMally's fairMally's every way complete.
As I was walking up the streetA barefit maid I chanc'd to meet;But O the road was very hardFor that fair maiden's tender feet.Mally's meek&c.
It were mair meet that those fine feetWere weel laced up in silken shoon;An' 'twere more fit that she should sitWithin yon chariot gilt aboonMally's meek&c.
Her yellow hairbeyond compareComes trinklin down her swan-like neckAnd her two eyeslike stars in skiesWould keep a sinking ship frae wreckMally's meek&c.
Jockey's Taen The Parting Kiss
Air-"Bonie lass tak a man."
Jockey's taen the parting kissO'er the mountains he is ganeAnd with him is a' my blissNought but griefs with me remainSpare my Loveye winds that blawPlashy sleets and beating rain!Spare my Lovethou feath'ry snawDrifting o'er the frozen plain!
When the shades of evening creepO'er the day's fairgladsome e'eSound and safely may he sleepSweetly blythe his waukening be.He will think on her he lovesFondly he'll repeat her name;For where'er he distant rovesJockey's heart is still the same.
Verses To Collector Mitchell
Friend of the Poettried and lealWhawanting theemight beg or steal;Alakealakethe meikle deilWi' a' his witchesAre at it skelpin jig and reelIn my poor pouches?
I modestly fu' fain wad hint itThat One-pound-oneI sairly want it;If wi' the hizzie down ye sent itIt would be kind;And while my heart wi' life-blood duntedI'd bear't in mind.
So may the Auld year gang out moanin'To see the New come ladengroanin'Wi' double plenty o'er the loanin'To thee and thine:Domestic peace and comforts crownin'The hale design.
Ye've heard this while how I've been lickitAnd by fell Death was nearly nickit;Grim loon! he got me by the fecketAnd sair me sheuk;But by gude luck I lap a wicketAnd turn'd a neuk.
But by that healthI've got a share o'tBut by that lifeI'm promis'd mair o'tMy hale and weeI'll tak a care o'tA tentier way;Then farewell follyhide and hair o'tFor ance and aye!
The Dean Of Faculty
A New Ballad
tune-"The Dragon of Wantley."
Dire was the hate at old HarlawThat Scot to Scot did carry;And dire the discord Langside sawFor beauteoushapless Mary:But Scot to Scot ne'er met so hotOr were more in fury seenSirThan 'twixt Hal and Bob for the famous jobWho should be the Faculty's DeanSir.
This Hal for geniuswit and loreAmong the first was number'd;But pious Bob'mid learning's storeCommandment the tenth remember'd:Yet simple Bob the victory gotAnd wan his heart's desireWhich shews that heaven can boil the potTho' the devil piss in the fire.
Squire Halbesideshad in this casePretensions rather brassy;For talentsto deserve a placeAre qualifications saucy.So their worships of the FacultyQuite sick of merit's rudenessChose one who should owe it alld'ye seeTo their gratis grace and goodness.
As once on Pisgah purg'd was the sightOf a son of CircumcisionSo may beon this Pisgah heightBob's purblind mental vision-NayBobby's mouth may be opened yetTill for eloquence you hail himAnd swear that he has the angel metThat met the ass of Balaam.
In your heretic sins may you live and dieYe heretic Eight-and-Tairty!But acceptye sublime MajorityMy congratulations hearty.With your honoursas with a certain kingIn your servants this is strikingThe more incapacity they bringThe more they're to your liking.
Epistle To Colonel De Peyster
My honor'd Coloneldeep I feelYour interest in the Poet's weal;Ah! now sma' heart hae I to speelThe steep ParnassusSurrounded thus by bolus pillAnd potion glasses.
O what a canty world were itWould pain and care and sickness spare it;And Fortune favour worth and meritAs they deserve;And aye rowth o' roast-beef and claretSynewha wad starve?
Dame Lifetho' fiction out may trick herAnd in paste gems and frippery deck her;Oh! flickeringfeebleand unsickerI've found her stillAye wavering like the willow-wicker'Tween good and ill.
Then that curst carmagnoleauld SatanWatches like baudrons by a rattonOur sinfu' saul to get a claut onWi'felon ire;Synewhip! his tail ye'll ne'er cast saut onHe's aff like fire.
Ah Nick! ah Nick! it is na fairFirst showing us the tempting wareBright winesand bonie lasses rareTo put us daftSyne weaveunseenthy spider snareO hell's damned waft.
Poor Manthe flieaft bizzes byAnd aftas chance he comes thee nighThy damn'd auld elbow yeuks wi'joyAnd hellish pleasure!Already in thy fancy's eyeThy sicker treasure.
Soonheels o'er gowdiein he gangsAndlike a sheep-head on a tangsThy girning laugh enjoys his pangsAnd murdering wrestleAsdangling in the windhe hangsA gibbet's tassel.
But lest you think I am uncivilTo plague you with this draunting drivelAbjuring a' intentions evilI quat my penThe Lord preserve us frae the devil!Amen! Amen!
A Lass Wi' A Tocher
tune-"Ballinamona Ora."
Awa' wi' your witchcraft o' Beauty's alarmsThe slender bit Beauty you grasp in your armsOgie me the lass that has acres o' charmsOgie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms.
Chorus-Then heyfor a lass wi' a tocherThen heyfor a lass wi' a tocher;Then heyfor a lass wi' a tocher;The nice yellow guineas for me.
Your Beauty's a flower in the morning that blowsAnd withers the fasterthe faster it grows:But the rapturous charm o' the bonie green knowesIlk spring they're new deckit wi' bonie white yowes.Then heyfor a lass&c.
And e'en when this Beauty your bosom hath blestThe brightest o' Beauty may cloy when possess'd;But the sweetyellow darlings wi' Geordie impress'dThe langer ye hae themthe mair they're carest.Then heyfor a lass&c.
Heron Election BalladNo. IV.
The Trogger.
tune-"Buy Broom Besoms."
Wha will buy my trogginfine election wareBroken trade o' Broughtona' in high repair?
Chorus-Buy braw troggin frae the banks o' Dee;Wha wants troggin let him come to me.
There's a noble Earl's fame and high renownFor an auld sang-it's thought the gudes were stown-Buy braw troggin&c.
Here's the worth o' Broughton in a needle's e'e;Here's a reputation tint by Balmaghie.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here's its stuff and liningCardoness' headFine for a sogera' the wale o' lead.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here's a little wadsetBuittle's scrap o' truthPawn'd in a gin-shopquenching holy drouth.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here's an honest conscience might a prince adorn;Frae the downs o' Tinwaldso was never worn.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here's armorial bearings frae the manse o' Urr;The cresta sour crab-applerotten at the core.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here's the worth and wisdom Collieston can boast;By a thievish midge they had been nearly lost.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here is Satan's picturelike a bizzard gledPouncing poor Redcastlesprawlin' like a taed.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here's the font where Douglas stane and mortar names;Lately used at Caily christening Murray's crimes.Buy braw troggin&c.
Here is Murray's fragments o' the ten commands;Gifted by black Jock to get them aff his hands.Buy braw troggin&c.
Saw ye e'er sic troggin? if to buy ye're slackHornie's turnin chapman - he'll buy a' the pack.Buy braw troggin&c.
Complimentary Versicles To Jessie Lewars
The Toast
Fill me with the rosy wineCall a toasta toast divine:Giveth me Poet's darling flameLovely Jessie be her name;Then thou mayest freely boastThou hast given a peerless toast.
The Menagerie
Talk not to me of savagesFrom Afric's burning sun;No savage e'er could rend my heartAs Jessiethou hast done:But Jessie's lovely hand in mineA mutual faith to plightNot even to view the heavenly choirWould be so blest a sight.
Jessie's illness
Saysageswhat's the charm on earthCan turn Death's dart aside!It is not purity and worthElse Jessie had not died.
On Her Recovery
But rarely seen since Nature's birthThe natives of the sky;Yet still one seraph's left on earthFor Jessie did not die.
O Lay Thy Loof In MineLass
Chorus-O lay thy loof in minelassIn minelassin minelass;And swear on thy white handlassThat thou wilt be my ain.
A slave to Love's unbounded swayHe aft has wrought me meikle wae;But now he is my deadly faeUnless thou be my ain.O lay thy loof&c.
There's mony a lass has broke my restThat for a blink I hae lo'ed best;But thou art Queen within my breastFor ever to remain.O lay thy loof&c.
A Health To Ane I Loe Dear
Chorus-Here's a health to ane I loe dearHere's a health to ane I loe dear;Thou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meetAnd soft as their parting tear-Jessy.
Altho' thou maun never be mineAltho' even hope is denied;'Tis sweeter for thee despairingThan ought in the world beside-Jessy.Here's a health&c.
I mourn thro' the gaygaudy dayAs hopeless I muse on thy charms;But welcome the dream o' sweet slumberFor then I am lockt in thine arms-Jessy.Here's a health&c.
I guess by the dear angel smileI guess by the love-rolling e'e;But why urge the tender confession'Gainst Fortune's fellcruel decree?-Jessy.Here's a health&c.
O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast
O wert thou in the cauld blastOn yonder leaon yonder leaMy plaidie to the angry airtI'd shelter theeI'd shelter thee;Or did Misfortune's bitter stormsAround thee blawaround thee blawThy bield should be my bosomTo share it a'to share it a'.
Or were I in the wildest wasteSae black and baresae black and bareThe desert were a ParadiseIf thou wert thereif thou wert there;Or were I Monarch o' the globeWi' thee to reignwi' thee to reignThe brightest jewel in my CrownWad be my Queenwad be my Queen.
Inscription To Miss Jessy Lewars
On a copy of the Scots Musical Museumin four volumespresented to her byBurns. ^1
Thine be the volumesJessy fairAnd with them take the Poet's prayerThat Fate mayin her fairest pageWith ev'ry kindliestbest presageOf future blissenroll thy name:With native worth and spotless fameAnd wakeful cautionstill awareOf ill-but chiefMan's felon snare;
All blameless joys on earth we findAnd all the treasures of the mind-These be thy guardian and reward;So prays thy faithful friendthe Bard.
DumfriesJune 261769.
[Footnote 1: Written for music played by Miss Lewarswho nursed him in hislast illness.]
Fairest Maid On Devon Banks
Chorus-Fairest maid on Devon banksCrystal Devonwinding DevonWilt thou lay that frown asideAnd smile as thou wert wont to do?
Full well thou know'st I love thee dearCouldst thou to malice lend an ear!O did not Love exclaim: "ForbearNor use a faithful lover so."Fairest maid&c.
Then comethou fairest of the fairThose wonted smilesO let me share;And by thy beauteous self I swearNo love but thine my heart shall know.Fairest maid&c.
A'all.A-backbehindaway.Abieghaloofoff.Ablinsv. aiblins.Aboonabove up.Abreadabroad.Abreedin breadth.Aeone.Affoff.Aff-handat once.Aff-loofoffhand.A-fielafield.Aforebefore.Aftoft.Aftenoften.Agleyawry.Ahinbehind.Aiblinsperhaps.Aidlefoul water.Aikoak.Aikenoaken.Ainown.Airearly.Airleearnest money.Airniron.Airtdirection.Airtto direct.Aithoath.Aitsoats.Aiveran old horse.Aizlea cinder.A-jeeajar; to one side.Alakealas.Alanealone.Alangalong.Amaistalmost.Amangamong.Anif.An'and.Anceonce.Aneone.Aneathbeneath.Anesones.Anitheranother.Aqua-fontisspring water.Aqua-vitaewhiskey.Arlev. airle.Aseashes.Asklentaskewaskance.Asparaspread.Asteerastir.A'thegitheraltogether.Athortathwart.Atweelin truth.Atweenbetween.Aughteight.Aughtpossessed of.Aughteneighteen.Aughtlinsat all.Auldold.Auldfarranauldfarrantshrewdold-fashionedsagacious.Auld ReekieEdinburgh.Auld-warldold-world.Aumousalms.Avaat all.Awaaway.Awaldbackways and doubled up.Awaukawake.Awaukenawaken.Aweowe.Awkartawkward.Awniebearded.Ayontbeyond.
Ba'a ball.Backetbucketbox.Backitbacked.Backlins-comincoming back.Back-yettgate at the back.Badeendured.Badeasked.Baggiestomach.Baig'netsbayonets.Bailliemagistrate of a Scots burgh.Bainiebony.Bairnchild.Bairntimebrood.Baithboth.Bakesbiscuits.Ballatsballads.Baloulullaby.Banswear.Ban'band (of the Presbyterian clergyman).Banebone.Bangan effort; a blow; a large number.Bangto thump.Baniev. bainie.Bannetbonnet.Bannockbonnocka thick oatmeal cake.Bardiedim. of bard.Barefitbarefooted.Barketbarked.Barley-brieor breebarley-brew-ale or whiskey.Barmyeast.Barmieyeasty.Barn-yardstackyard.Bartiethe Devil.Bashingabashing.Batcha number.Battsthe botts; the colic.Bauckie-birdthe bat.BaudronsBaudransthe cat.Baukcross-beam.Baukv. bawk.Bauk-en'beam-end.Bauldbold.Bauldestboldest.Bauldlyboldly.Baumybalmy.Bawbeea half-penny.Bawdronsv. baudrons.Bawka field path.Baws'ntwhite-streaked.Bearbarley.Beas'beastsvermin.Beastiedim. of beast.Becka curtsy.Beetfeedkindle.Beildv. biel.Belangbelong.Beldbald.Bellumassault.Bellysbellows.Belyveby and by.Bena parlor (i.e.the inner apartment); into the parlor.Benmostinmost.Be-northto the northward of.Be-southto the southward of.Bethankitgrace after meat.Beuka book: devil's pictur'd beuks-playing-cards.Bickera wooden cup.Bickera short run.Bickerto flow swiftly and with a slight noise.Bickerinnoisy contention.Bickeringhurrying.Bidto askto wishto offer.Bideabideendure.Bielbielda shelter; a sheltered spot.Bielcomfortable.Biencomfortable.Bienbienlycomfortably.Bigto build.Bigginbuilding.Bikev. byke.Billthe bull.Billiefellowcomradebrother.Bingsheaps.Birdiedim. of bird; also maidens.Birkthe birch.Birkenbirchen.Birkiea fellow.Birrforcevigor.Birringwhirring.Birsesbristles.Birthberth.Bitsmall (e.g.bit lassie).Bitnick of time.Bitch-foucompletely drunk.Bizza flurry.Bizzbuzz.Bizzardthe buzzard.Bizziebusy.Black-bonnetthe Presbyterian elder.Black-nebbitblack-beaked.Bladv. blaud.Blaebluelivid.Blastetblastitblasted.Blastiea blasted (i.e.damned) creature; a little wretch.Blatemodestbashful.Blatherbladder.Blauda large quantity.Blaudto slappelt.Blawblow.Blawto brag.Blawingblowing.Blawnblown.Bleerto blear.Bleer'tbleared.Bleezeblaze.Blelluma babbler; a railer; a blusterer.Bletherblethersnonsense.Bletherto talk nonsense.Bletherin'talking nonsense.Blin'blind.Blinka glancea moment.Blinkto glanceto shine.Blinkersspiesoglers.Blinkinsmirkingleering.Blin'tblinded.Blitterthe snipe.Blue-gownthe livery of the licensed beggar.Bluidblood.Bluidybloody.Blumeto bloom.Bluntiea stupid.Blypesshreds.Bobbedcurtsied.Bockedvomited.Boddlea farthing.Bodelook for.Bodkintailor's needle.Bodybodiea person.Boggiedim. of bog.Boglea bogiea hobgoblin.Bolea holeor small recess in the wall.Boniebonnieprettybeautiful.Bonilieprettily.Bonnockv. Bannock.'Boonabove.Boordboardsurface.Boord-en'board-end.Boortresselders.Boostmust needs.Bootpayment to the bargain.Borea chinkrecess.Botchan angry tumor.Bouka human trunk; bulk.Bountithbounty.'Boutabout.Bow-hough'dbandy-thighed.Bow-kailcabbage.Bow'tbent.Brachensferns.Braethe slope of a hill.Braidbroad.Broad-claithbroad-cloth.Braika harrow.Braing'tplunged.Brakbroke.Brak'sbroke his.Brankiegayfine.Branksa wooden curba bridle.Bran'ybrandy.Brashshort attack.Bratssmall piecesrags.Bratssmall children.Brattlea scamper.Brattlenoisy onset.Brawhandsomefinegaily dressed.Brawliefinelyperfectlyheartily.Braxiessheep that have died of braxie (a disease).Breastiedim. of breast.Breastitsprang forward.Brechanferns.Breeksbreeches.Breerbrier.Brentbrand.Brentstraightsteep (i.e.not sloping from baldness).Briev. barley-brie.Briefwrit.Brierbriar.Brigbridge.Brisketbreast.Britherbrother.Brocka badger.Broguea trick.Broosoupbrothwater; liquid in which anything is cooked.Brooseswedding races from the church to the home of the bride.Brosea thick mixture of meal and warm water; also a synonym for porridge.Browster wivesale wives.Brugha burgh.Brulziebrulyiea brawl.Brunstanebrimstone.Bruntburned.Brustburst.Buckiedim. of buck; a smart younker.Bucklea curl.BuckskinVirginian: the buckskin kyenegroes.Budgettinker's bag of tools.Buffto bangto thump.Bughtinfolding.Buirdlystalwart.Bumthe buttocks.Bumto hum.Bum-clockbeetlecockchaferJunebug.Bummlea dronea useless fellow.Bunkera seat.Buntersharlots.Burdiesdim. of bird or burd (a lady); maidens.Burebore.Burna rivulet.Burnewinthe blacksmith (i.e.burn the wind).Burniedim. of burna rivulet.Burr-thistlespear-thistle.Buskto dress; to garb; to dress up; to adorn.Bussa bush.Busslebustle.Butwithout.Butbuttin the kitchen (i.e.the outer apartment).Bypastaside.Bybeside.By himselbeside himself.Bye attour ( and attour)beside and at a distance.Bykea bees' nest; a hive; a swarm; a crowd.Byrea cow-house.
Ca'callknockdrive.Cadgera hawker (especially of fish).Cadiecaddiea fellow.Caffchaff.Cairda tinker.Calf-wardgrazing plot for calves (i.e.churchyard).Callancallanta stripling.Callercoolrefreshing.Calleta trull.Camcame.Caniecanniegentletractablequietprudentcareful.Cankriecrabbed.Cannacan not.Canniestquietest.Canniliecannilyquietlyprudentlycautiously.Cantiecheerfullivelyjollymerry.Cantraipmagicwitching.Cantsmerry storiescanters or sprees or merry doings.Cape-stanccopestone.Capon-castrate.Care na bydo not care.Carlcarlea manan old man.Carl-hempmale-hemp.Carliea manikin.Carlincarline a middle-agedor oldwoman; a beldama witch.Carmagnolea violent Jacobin.Cartesplaying-cards.Cartiedim. of cart.Catch-the-plackthe hunt for money.Caudrona caldron.Caufcalf.Cauf-leathercalf-leather.Caukchalk.Cauldcold.Cauldroncaldron.Caupa wooden drinking vessel.Causey-cleanerscauseway-cleaners.Caviea hen-coop.Chamerchaumerchamber.Change-housetavern.Chanterbagpipes; the pipe of the bag-pipes which produces the melody; song.Chapa fellowa young fellow.Chapto strike.Chapmana pedler.Chaupchapa strokea blow.Chearcheer.Chearfu'cheerful.Chearlesscheerless.Chearycheery.Cheek-for-chowcheek-by-jowl (i.e. close beside).Cheeppeepsqueak.Chielchield (i. e.child)a fellowa young fellow.Chimlachimney.Chitteringshivering.Chowschews.Chucka hena dear.Chuckiedim. of chuckbut usually signifies mother henan old dear.Chuffiefat-faced.Chuseto choose.Citthe civet.Cita citizena merchant.Clachana small village about a church.Claedingclothing.Claesclaiseclothes.Claithcloth.Claithingclothing.Clankiea severe knock.Clapthe clapper of a mill.Clarka clerk.Clarkclerklyscholarly.Clarkitclerkedwrote.Clartydirty.Clashan idle tale; gossip.Clashto tattle.Clatternoisetattletalkdisputationbabble.Clatterto make a noise by striking; to babble; to prattle.Claughtclutchedseized.Claughtinclutchinggrasping.Clauta clutcha handful.Clautto scrape.Claverclover.Claversgossipnonsense.Clawa scratcha blow.Clawto scratchto strike.Clay-cauldclay-cold.Claymorea two-handed Highland sword.Cleckina brood.Cleedto clothe.Cleekto snatch.Cleekitlinked arms.Cleggadfly.Clinka sharp stroke; jingle.Clinkmoneycoin.Clinkto chink.Clinkto rhyme.Clinkinwith a smart motion.Clinkumclinkumbellthe beadlethe bellman.Clipsshears.Clish-ma-clavergossiptaletelling; non-sense.Clockin-timeclucking- (i. e.hatching-) time.Clootthe hoof.Clootieclootshoofiehoofs (a nickname of the Devil).Cloura bump or swelling after a blow.Clouta clotha patch.Cloutto patch.Cluda cloud.Clunkto make a hollow sound.Coblea broad and flat boat.Cockthe mark (in curling).Cockiedim. of cock (applied to an old man).Cocksfellowsgood fellows.Coda pillow.Coftbought.Coga wooden drinking vessela porridge disha corn measure for horses.Coggiedim. of coga little dish.CoilCoilaKyle (one of the ancient districts of Ayrshire).Collieshangiea squabble.Coodcud.Coofv. cuif.Cookithid.Coorcover.Coosera coursera stallion.Coost (i. e.cast)loopedthrew offtossedchucked.Cootiea small pail.Cootieleg-plumed.Corbiesravenscrows.Corecorps.Corn moucorn heap.Corn'tfed with corn.Corsecorpse.Corsscross.Cou'dnacouldnacouldn't.Countracountry.Coupto capsize.Couthiecouthylovingaffablecosycomfortable.Coweto scareto daunt.Coweto lop.Cracktale; a chat; talk.Crackto chatto talk.Craftcroft.Craft-rigcroft-ridge.Craigthe throat.Craiga crag.Craigiedim. of craigthe throat.Craigycraggy.Craikthe corn-crakethe land-rail.Crambo-clinkrhyme.Crambo-jinglerhyming.Cranthe support for a pot or kettle.Crankousfretful.Crankscreakings.Cranreuchhoar-frost.Crapcroptop.Crawcrow.Creelan osier basket.Creepie-chairstool of repentance.Creeshiegreasy.Crocksold ewes.Cronieintimate friend.Croodedcooed.Croodscoos.Croonmoanlow.Croonto toll.Crooninghumming.Croosecrousecocksuresetproudcheerful.Crouchiehunchbacked.Crouselyconfidently.Crowdiemeal and cold watermeal and milkporridge.Crowdie-timeporridge-time (i. e.breakfast-time).Crowlincrawling.Crummiea horned cow.Crummockcummocka cudgela crooked staff.Crumpcrisp.Crunta blow.Cuddleto fondle.Cuifcoofa dolta ninny; a dastard.Cummockv. crummock.Curcha kerchief for the head.Curchiea curtsy.Curlerone who plays at curling.Curmurringcommotion.Curpinthe crupper of a horse.Curplethe crupper (i. e.buttocks).Cushatthe wood pigeon.Custockthe pith of the colewort.Cutesfeetankles.Cuttyshort.Cutty-stoolsstools of repentance.
Daddaddiefather.Daez'tdazed.Daffinlarkingfun.Daftmadfoolish.Dailsplanks.Daimen ickeran odd ear of corn.Dampent-up waterurine.Damiedim. of dame.Dangpret. of ding.Dantonv. daunton.Darenadare not.Darglabortaska day's work.Darklinsin the dark.Dauda large piece.Daudto pelt.Daundersaunter.Dauntonto daunt.Daurdare.Daurnadare not.Daur'tdared.Dautdawteto fondle.Davielyspiritless.Dawto dawn.Dawdslumps.Dawtinglyprettilycaressingly.Deaddeath.Dead-sweerextremely reluctant.Deaveto deafen.Deildevil.Deil-haetnothing (Devil have it).Deil-ma-careDevil may care.Deleeretdeliriousmad.Delvindigging.Dern'dhid.Descriveto describe.Deukduck.Devela stunning blow.Diddleto move quickly.Dightto wipe.Dightwinnowedsifted.Dindunmuddy of complexion.Dingto beatto surpass.Dinktrim.Dinnado not.Dirlto vibrateto ring.Diz'ndizzendozen.Dochterdaughter.Doitedmuddleddoting; stupidbewildered.Donsieviciousbad-tempered; restive; testy.Doolwosorrow.Doolfu'dolefulwoful.Dortypettish.Doucedousesedatesoberprudent.Doucedoucelydouselysedatelyprudently.Doudl'ddandled.Dought (pret. of dow)could.Doukedducked.Doupthe bottom.Doup-skelperbottom-smacker.Dour-dourestubbornobstinate; cutting.Dowdoweam (is or are) ablecan.Dowa dove.Dowfdowffdull.Dowiedroopingmournful.Dowiliedrooping.Downacan not.Downa-do (can not do)lack of power.Doyltstupidstupefied.Doytindoddering.Dozen'dtorpid.Dozintorpid.Draigl'tdraggled.Drantprosing.Drapdrop.Drauntingtedious.Dreeenduresuffer.Dreighv. dreight.Dribbledrizzle.Driddleto toddle.Dreightediousdull.Droddumthe breech.Dronepart of the bagpipe.Droop-rumpl'tshort-rumped.Droukto wetto drench.Droukitwetted.Drouththirst.Drouthythirsty.Drukendruckendrunken.Drumliemuddyturbid.Drummockraw meal and cold water.Druntthe huff.Drythirsty.Dubpuddleslush.Duddieragged.Duddiesdim. of dudsrags.Dudsragsclothes.Dungv. dang.Duntedthrobbedbeat.Duntsblows.Durkdirk.Dushtpushed or thrown down violently.Dwallingdwelling.Dwaltdwelt.Dykea fence (of stone or turf)a wall.Dyvora bankrupt.
Ear'early.Earneagle.Eastlineastern.E'eeye.E'ebrieeyebrow.Eeneyes.E'eneven.E'enevening.E'enin'evening.E'erever.Eerieapprehensive; inspiring ghostly fear.Eildeld.Ekealso.Elbuckelbow.Eldritchunearthlyhauntedfearsome.Elekitelected.Ell (Scots)thirty-seven inches.Ellerelder.En'end.Eneughenough.Enfauldinfold.Enowenough.ErseGaelic.Ether-staneadder-stone.Ettleaim.Evermairevermore.Ev'n downdownrightpositive.Eydentdiligent.
Fa'fall.Fa'lotportion.Fa'to get; suit; claim.Faddom'dfathomed.Faefoe.Faemfoam.Faiketlet offexcused.Fainfondglad.Fainnessfondness.Fair fa'good befall! welcome.Fairin.a present from a fair.Fallowfellow.Fa'nfallen.Fandfound.Far-afffar-off.Farlsoat-cakes.Fashannoyance.Fashto trouble; worry.Fash'dfash'tbothered; irked.Fashioustroublesome.Fasten-e'enFasten's Even (the evening before Lent).Faughta fight.Fauldthe sheep-fold.Fauldfolded.Fauldingsheep-folding.Faunfallen.Fausefalse.Fause-househole in a cornstack.Fautfault.Fautortransgressor.Fawsontseemlywell-doing; good-looking.Featspruce.Fechtfight.Feckthe bulkthe most part.Feckvaluereturn.Fecketwaistcoat; sleeve waistcoat (used by farm-servants as both vest andjacket).Fecklessweakpithlessfeeble.Fecklymostly.Fega fig.Fegsfaith!Feidefeud.Feintv. fient.Feirrielusty.Fellkeencrueldreadfuldeadly; pungent.Fellthe cuticle under the skin.Fellyrelentless.Fen'a shift.Fen'fendto look after; to care for; keep off.Fencelessdefenseless.Ferlieferlya wonder.Ferlieto marvel.Fetchescatchesgurgles.Fetch'tstopped suddenly.Feyfated to death.Fidgeto fidgetto wriggle.Fidgin-faintingling-wild.Fielwell.Fientfienda petty oath.Fient anot adevil a.Fient haetnothing (fiend have it).Fient haet o'not one of.Fient-ma-carethe fiend may care (I don't!).Fierfierecompanion.Fiersoundactive.Fin'to find.Fissletinglefidget with delight.Fitfoot.Fittie-lan'the near horse of the hind-most pair in the plough.Flaea flea.Flaffinflapping.Flaininflannenflannel.Flangflung.Fleeto fly.Fleechwheedle.Fleeshfleece.Flegscareblowjerk.Fleth'rinflattering.Flewita sharp lash.Fleyto scare.Flichterinfluttering.Flindersshredsbroken pieces.Flingingkicking out in dancing; capering.Flingin-treea piece of timber hung by way of partition between two horsesin a stable; a flail.Fliskitfrettedcapered.Flitto shift.Flitteringfluttering.Flytescold.Fockfocksfolk.Fodgeldumpy.Foorfared (i. e.went).FoorsdayThursday.Forbearsforebearsforefathers.Forbyforbyebesides.Forfairnworn out; forlorn.Forfoughtenexhausted.Forgatherto meet with.Forgieto forgive.Forjesketjaded.Forritforward.Fotherfodder.Foufowfull (i. e.drunk).Foughtentroubled.Foumarta polecat.Foursomea quartet.Fouthfulnessabundance.Fowv. fou.Fowa bushel.Fraefrom.Freathto frothFremitestrangedhostile.Fu'full.Fu'-han'tfull-handed.Fuda short tail (of a rabbit or hare).Fuff'tpuffed.Furfurra furrow.Fur-ahinthe hindmost plough-horse in the furrow.Furdersuccess.Furderto succeed.Furma wooden form.FusionlesspithlesssaplesstastelessFykefret.Fyketo fuss; fidget.Fyleto defileto foul.
Gabthe mouth.Gabto talk.Gabstalk.Gaegave.Gaeto go.Gaedwent.Gaengone.Gaetswaysmanners.Gairsgores.Ganegone.Gangto go.Gangrelvagrant.Garto causeto maketo compel.Garcockthe moorcock.Gartengarter.Gashwise; self-complacent (implying prudence and prosperity); talkative.Gashingtalkinggabbing.Gatgot.Gateway-roadmanner.Gattyenervated.Gauciev. Gawsie.Gauda. goad.Gaudsmangoadsmandriver of the plough-team.Gau'n. gavin.Gaungoing.Gauntedgapedyawned.Gawkya foolish woman or lad.Gawkyfoolish.Gawsiebuxom; jolly.Gayliesgailyrather.Gearmoneywealth; goods; stuff.Geckto sport; toss the head.Ged. a pike.Gentlesgentry.Gentytrim and elegant.Geordiedim. of Georgea guinea.Getissueoffspringbreed.Ghaistghost.Gieto give.Giedgave.Giengiven.Gifif.Giftiedim. of gift.Gigletsgiggling youngsters or maids.Gilliedim. of gill (glass of whiskey).Gilpeyyoung girl.Gimmera young ewe.Ginifshouldwhether; by.Girdleplate of metal for firing cakesbannocks.Girnto grinto twist the face (but from pain or ragenot joy); gapes;snarls.Gizzwig.Glaikitfoolishthoughtlessgiddy.Glaizieglossyshiny.Glaum'dgrasped.Gleda hawka kite.Gleedea glowing coal.Glegnimblesharpkeen-witted.Glegsmartly.Glieba portion of land.Glib-gabbetsmooth-tongued.Glintsparkle.Gloamintwilight; gloamin-shotsunset.Glow'rstare.Glunchfrowngrowl.Goavinlooking dazedlyl; mooning.Gottengot.Gowanthe wildor mountaindaisy.Gowanycovered with wild daisies.Gowdgold.Gowdiethe head.Gowff'dstruckas in the game of golf.Gowkthe cuckooa dolt.Gowlinglamenting (as a dog in grief).Graffa gravea vault.Grain'dgroaned.Graipa dung-fork.Graithimplementsgear; furniture; attire.Graithinggearingvestments.Granegroan.Granniegrauniegrandmother.Grapegrope.Gratwept.Greethe prize (degree).Greeto agree.Greetto weep.Groanin mautgroaning maltbrewed for a lying-in.Grozeta gooseberry.Grumphiethe pig.Grun'the ground.Gruntlethe face.Gruntledim. of grunt.Grunziegrowing.Gruttenwept.GudeGod.Guidgudegood.Guid-e'engood evening.Guid-fatherfather-in-law.Guid-manhusband.Guid-wife. mistress of the house.Guid-willieheartyfull of good-will.Gulliegullya large knife.Gulravageriotous play.Gumliemuddy.Gumptionwisdom.Gustytasty.Gutchergoodsiregrandfather.
Ha'hall.Ha' folkthe servants.Haddinholdinginheritance.Haehave.Haeta thing.Haffethauffetthe templethe side of the head.Haffetsside-locks.Hafflinshalfpartly.Haga mossa broken bog.Haggisa special Scots puddingmade of sheep's lungsliver and heartonions and oatmealboiled in a sheep's stomach.Hainto spareto save.Hairsthar'stharvest.Haithfaith (an oath).Haiversv. havers.Hal'haldholdingpossession.Halehailthe whole.Halehealth.Halehailwholehealthy.Halesomewholesome.Hallana partition walla porchouter door.HalloweenAll Saints' Eve (31st of October).HallowmasAll Saints' Day (1st of November).Halyholy.HamehomeHan'haunhand.Han-dargv. darg.Hand-wal'dhand-picked (i.e.choicest).Hangiehangman (nickname of the Devil).Hanselthe first gift; earnest.Hapa wrapa covering against cold.Hapto shelter.Hapto hop.Happerhopper (of a mill).Hap-step-an'-lowp. hop-step-and-jump.Harkithearkened.Harncoarse cloth.Hashan oaf.Haslock woothe wool on the neck of a sheep.Haudto holdto keep.Haufhalf.Haughslow-lying rich lands by a river.Haunv. han'Haurlto trail.Hausecuddleembrace.Haverilhav'relone who talks nonsense.Haversnonsense.Havinsmannersconduct.Hawkiea white-faced cow; a cow.Healv. hale.Healsomev. halesome.Hechtto promise; threaten.Hecklea flax-comb.Heels-o'er-gowdiev. gowdie.Heezeto hoist.Heichheighhigh.Hem-shin'dcrooked-shin'd.Herda herd-boy.Here awahereabout.Herryto harry.Herrymentspoliation.Herselherself.Hethot.Heugha hollow or pit; a craga steep bank.Heuka hook.Hilchto hobble.Hiltie-skiltiehelter-skelter.HimselhimselfkHineyhinnyhoney.Hingto hang.Hirpleto move unevenly; to limp.Hisselsso many cattle as one person can attend (R. B.).Histiebare.Hizziea hussya wench.Hoastcough.Hoddinthe motion of a sage countryman riding on a cart-horse (R. B.).Hoddin-greycoarse gray woolen.Hoggiedim. of hog; a lamb.Hog-scorea line on the curling rink.Hog-shouthera kind of horse-play by jostling with the shoulder; to jostle.Hoodie-crawthe hooded crowthe carrion crow.Hoodockgraspingvulturish.Hookedcaught.Hoolthe outer casethe sheath.Hooliesoftly.Hoordhoard.Hoordethoarded.Horna horn spoon; a comb of horn.Horniethe Devil.Hostv. hoast.Hotch'djerked.Houghmagandiefornication.Houletv. howlet.Houpehope.Hoveswell.Howdiehowdya midwife.Howehollow.Howkto dig.Howletthe owl.Hoysea hoist.Hoy'turged (R. B.).Hoyteto amble crazily (R. B.).Hughocdim. of Hugh.Hullionsslovens.Hundera hundred.Hunkershams.Hurcheonthe hedgehog.Hurchinurchin.Hurdiesthe loinsthe crupper (R. B.) (i. e.the buttocks).Hurlto trundle.Hushiona footless stocking.Hytefurious.
I'in.Ickeran ear of corn.Ier-oea great-grandchild.Ilkilkaeachevery.Ill o'tbad at it.Ill-taenill-taken.Ill-thief. the Devil.Ill-willieill-naturedniggardly.Indentinindenturing.Inginegeniusingenuity; wit.Inglethe firethe fireside.Ingle-cheekfireside (properly the jamb of the fireplace).Ingle-loweingle-lowflame of the fire.I'seI shallor will.Itsel'itself.Itherotheranother.
Jada jade.JanwarJanuary.Jaukto trifleto dally.Jaunergabber.Jauntiedim. of jaunt.Jaupsplash.Jawtalkimpudence.Jawto throwto dash.Jeegto jog.Jilleta jilt.Jimpsmallslender.Jimplyneatly.Jimpsstays.Jinkthe slip.Jinkto friskto sportto dodge.Jinkerdodger (coquette); a jinker noble; a noble goer.Jirkinetbodice.Jirta jerk.Jiza wig.Joa sweetheart.Joctelega clasp-knife.Joukto duckto coverto dodge.Jowto jowa verb which included both the swinging motion and pealingsound of a large bell (R. B.).Jumpetjumpitjumped.Jundieto jostle.Jurra servant wench.
Kaea jackdaw.Kailkalethe colewort; cabbage; Scots' broth.Kail-bladethe leaf of the colewort.Kail-gulliea cabbage knife.Kail-runtthe stem of the colewort.Kail-whittlea cabbage knife.Kail-yarda kitchen garden.Kainkanerents in kind.Kamea comb.Kebarsrafters.Kebbucka cheese; a kebbuck heel = the last crust of a cheese.Keckleto cackleto giggle.Keeklookglance.Keekin-glassthe looking-glass.Keelred chalk.Kelpiesriver demons.Kento know.Kennaknow not.Kennina very little (merely as much as can be perceived).Kepto catch.Ketthe fleece on a sheep's body.Keyquay.Kiaughanxiety.Kiltto tuck up.Kimmera wencha gossip; a wife.Kin'kind.King's-hoodthe 2d stomach in a ruminant (equivocal for the scrotum).Kintracountry.Kirkchurch.Kirna churn.Kirnharvest home.Kirsento christen.Kistchestcounter.Kitchento relish.Kittledifficultticklishdelicatefickle.Kittleto tickle.Kittlinkitten.Kiutlincuddling.Knaggieknobby.Knappin-hammershammers for breaking stones.Knoweknoll.Knurlknurlindwarf.Kyecows.Kytesbellies.Kytheto show.
Laddiedim. of lad.Ladea load.Lagbackward.Laggenthe bottom angle of a wooden dish.Laighlow.Laiklack.Lairlorelearning.Lairdlandowner.Lairingsticking or sinking in moss or mud.Laithloath.Laithfu'loathfulsheepish.Lallanlowland.LallansScots Lowland vernacular.Lammiedim. of lamb.Lan'land.Lan'-aforethe foremost horse on the unplowed land side.Lan'-ahinthe hindmost horse on the unplowed land side.Lanelone.Langlong.Lang synelong sincelong ago.Lapleapt.Lavethe rest.Laverocklav'rockthe lark.Lawinthe reckoning.Leagrassuntilled land.Learlorelearning.Leddylady.Lee-langlive-long.Leesomelawful.Leeze me ondear is to me; blessings on; commend me to.Leistera fish-spear.Len'to lend.Leughlaugh'd.Leuklook.Ley-craplea-crop.Libbetcastrated.Licksa beating.Lienlain.Lievelief.Liftthe sky.Lifta load.Lightlyto disparageto scorn.Liltto sing.Limmerto jade; mistress.Linv. linn.Linna waterfall.Lintflax.Lint-whiteflax-colored.Lintwhitethe linnet.Lippen'dtrusted.Lippiedim. of lip.Loana laneLoaninthe private road leading to a farm.Lo'edloved.Lon'onLondon.Loof (pl. looves)the palm of the hand.Loonlounlowna fellowa varlet.Loosomelovable.Lootlet.Loovelove.Loovesv. loof.Losha minced oath.Lougha ponda lake.Louplowpto leap.Lowlowea flame.Lowinlowingflamingburning.Lownv. loon.Lowpv. loup.Lowselouseto untielet loose.Luckya grandmotheran old woman; an ale wife.Lugthe ear.Luggethaving ears.Luggiea porringer.Lumthe chimney.Lumea loom.Lunardia balloon bonnet.Lunchesfull portions.Lunta column of smoke or steam.Luntinsmoking.Luvelove.Lyartgray in general; discolored by decay or old age.Lyninlining.
Maemore.Mailenmailina farm.MailieMolly.Mairmore.Maist. most.Maistalmost.Makmake.Mak o'make o'to petto fondle.MallMally.Manteelea mantle.Markmerkan old Scots coin (13 1-3d. sterling).Mashlumof mixed meal.Maskin-patthe teapot.Maukina hare.Maunmust.Maunnamustn't.Mautmalt.Mavisthe thrush.Mawinmowing.Mawnmown.Mawna large basket.Meara mare.Meiklemicklemucklemuchgreat.Meldera grinding corn.Mellto meddle.Melvieto powder with meal-dust.Men'mend.Mensetactdiscretionpoliteness.Menselessunmannerly.Merlethe blackbird.MerranMarian.Mess JohnMass Johnthe parish priestthe minister.Messina cura mongrel.Middena dunghill.Midden-creelsmanure-baskets.Midden dubmidden puddle.Midden-holea gutter at the bottom of the dunghill.Milking shielthe milking shed.Mimprimaffectedly meek.Mim-mou'dprim-lipped.Min'mindremembrance.Mindto rememberto bear in mind.Minniemother.Mirkdark.Misca'to miscallto abuse.Mishantermishap.Mislear'dmischievousunmannerly.Mistakmistake.Misteukmistook.Mithermother.Mixtie-maxtieconfused.Moniemany.Moolscrumbling earthgrave.Moopto nibbleto keep close companyto meddle.Mottiedusty.Mou'the mouth.Moudiewortsmoles.Mucklev. meikle.Muslin-kailbeefless broth.Mutchkinan English pint.
Nanaenonot.Naethingnaithingnothing.Naiga nag.NanenoneNappyaleliquor.Natcha notching implement; abuse.Neeborneiborneighbor.Neednaneedn't.Neistnext.Neuknewka nooka corner.New-ca'dnewly driven.Nick (Auld)Nickie-bena name of the Devil.Nickto sever; to slit; to nailto seize away.Nickie-benv. Nick.Nick-nacketscuriosities.Nickscuts; the rings on a cow's horns.Nievethe fist.Nieve-fu'fistful.Nifferexchange.Nita nut.Nonot.Nochtnothing.Norlandnorthern.Nowtnowtecattle.
O'of.O'erwordthe refrain; catchword.Onieany.Orerebefore.Orraextra.O'tof it.Oughtaught.Oughtlinsaughtlinsaught in the least; at all.Ourieshiveringdrooping.Outlerunhoused.Owreovertoo.Owsenoxen.Owthorauthor.Oxter'dheld up under the arms.
Pack an' thickconfidential.Paidleto paddleto wade; to walk with a weak action.Paidlenail-bag.Painchthe paunch.Paitricka partridge; used equivocally of a wanton girl.Pangto cram.Parishenthe parish.Parritchporridge.Parritch-patsporridge-pots.Patpot.Patput.Pattlepettlea plow-staff.Paughtyhaughty.Paukiepaukypawkieartfulsly.Pechanthe stomach.Pechinpantingblowing.Penny-feewage in money.Penny-wheepsmall beer.Pettlev. pattle.Philibegthe Highlander's kilt.Phraisinflatteringwheedling.Phraseto flatterto wheedle.Picklea fewa little.Pint (Scots)three imperial pints.Pitput.Placadsproclamations.Plackfour pennies (Scots).Placklesspenniless.Plaidencoarse woolen cloth.Plaisterplaster.Plenish'dstocked.Pleughplewa plow.Pliskiea trick.Plivera plover.Pocka pokea baga wallet.Poindto seizeto distrainto impound.Poortithpoverty.Pouto pull.Pouchpocket.Poukto poke.Poupitpulpit.Pousea push.Poussiea hare (also a cat).Poutherpowtherpowder.Poutschicks.Powthe pollthe head.Powniea pony.Pow'tpulled.Pree'dpried (proved)tasted.Preena pin.Prentprint.Prieto taste.Priefproof.Prigginhaggling.Primsiedim. of primprecise.Provesesprovosts.Pu'to pull.Puddock-stoolstoadstoolsmushrooms.Puirpoor.Pun'pundpound.Pursiedim. of purse.Pussiea hare.Pyeta magpie.Pyketo pick.Pylesgrains.
Quatquitquitted.Queana young womana lass.Queirchoir.Queya young cow.Quietlin-wisequietly.Quo'quodquoth.
Rabrob.Raderode.Raepa rope.Ragweedragwort.Raiblesrecites by rote.Rairto roar.Rairinroaring.Rair'troared.Raiseraserose.Raizeto exciteanger.Ramfeezl'dexhausted.Ramgunshochsurly.Ram-stamheadlong.Randielawlessobstreperous.Randierandya scoundrela rascal.Rantto rollickto roister.Rantsmerry meetings; rows.Rapev. raep.Raplochhomespun.Rasha rush.Rash-bussa clump of rushes.Rashyrushy.Rattanrattoona rat.Ratton-keythe rat-quay.Raucleroughbittersturdy.Raughtreached.Rawa row.Raxto stretchto extend.Reamcreamfoam.Reamto creamto foam.Reaveto rob.Rebuterebuff.Redadvisedafraid.Redredeto adviseto counsel.Red-wat-shodred-wet-shod.Red-wudstark mad.Reeksmoke.Reekiereekysmoky.Reestitscorched.Reestitrefused to go.Reiftheiving.Remeadremedy.Ricklessmall stacks of corn in the fields.Riefplunder.Riga ridge.Rigginthe roof-treethe roof.Rigwoodielean.Rinto run.Rippa handful of corn from the sheaf.Ripplin-kamethe wool or flax comb.Riskitcracked.Riveto splitto tearto tugto burst.Rocka distaff.Rockina social meeting.Roonroundshred.Rooseto praiseto flatter.Roosereputation.Roostyrusty.Rottana rat.Roun'round.Roupetexhausted in voice.Routhv. rowth.Routhiewell-stocked.Rowroweto roll; to flowas a river; to wrap.Rowteto lowto bellow.Rowthplentya store.Rozetresin.Run-deilsdownright devils.Runga cudgel.Runkl'dwrinkled.Runta cabbage or colewort stalk.Ryketo reach.
Sabto sob.Saeso.Saftsoft.Sairsorehardseverestrong.Sairto serve.Sairsairlysorely.Sairiesorrowfulsorry.Sallshall.SandySannackdim. of Alexander.Sarka shirt.Saughthe willow.Saulsoul.Saumontsawmontthe salmon.Sauntsaint.Sautsalt.Saut-backetsv. backets.Sawto sow.Sawneyv. sandy.Saxsix.Scarto scare.Scarv. scaur.Scathescaithdamage; v. skaith.Scaudto scald.Scaulscold.Scauldto scold.Scaurafraid; apt to be scared.Scaura jutting rock or bank of earth.Schoshe.Sconea soft flour cake.Sconnerdisgust.Sconnersicken.Scraichincalling hoarsely.Screeda ripa rent.Screedto repeat rapidlyto rattle.Scriechinscreeching.Scrieghskrieghv. skriegh.Scrievincareering.Scrimpitscanty.Scroggiescroggyscrubby.Sculdudd'rybawdry.See'dsaw.Seisinsfreehold possessions.Selsel'sellself.Sell'dsell'tsold.Semplesimple.Sen'send.Setto set off; to start.Setsat.Setsbecomes.Shachl'dshapeless.Shairdshredshard.Shanagana cleft stick.Shannashall not.Shaulshallow.Shavera funny fellow.Shavietrick.Shawa wood.Shawto show.Shearera reaper.Sheep-shanka sheep's trotter; nae sheep-shank bane = a person of no smallimportance.Sheerlywholly.Sheersscissors.Sherra-moorsheriffmuir.Sheugha ditcha furrow; gutter.Sheukshook.Shiela shedcottage.Shillshrill.Shoga shake.Shoola shovel.Shoonshoes.Shoreto offerto threaten.Short synea little while ago.Shouldnashould not.Shouthershowthershoulder.Shureshore (did shear).Sicsuch.Siccansuch a.Sickersteadycertain; sicker score = strict conditions.Sidelinssideways.Sillersilver; money in general.Simmersummer.Sinson.Sin'since.Sindrysundry.Singetsingedshriveled.Sinnthe sun.Sinnysunny.Skaithdamage.Skeighskieghskittish.Skelluma good-for-nothing.Skelpa slapa smack.Skelpto spank; skelpin at it = driving at it.Skelpie-limmer's-facea technical term in female scolding (R. B.).Skelvyshelvy.Skieghv. skeigh.Skinkingwatery.Skinklinglittering.Skirlto cry or sound shrilly.Sklenta slanta turn.Sklentto slantto squintto cheat.Skouthscope.Skriecha scream.Skrieghto screamto whinny.Skyrinflaring.Skytesquirtlash.Sladeslid.Slaethe sloe.Slapa breach in a fence; a gate.Slawslow.Sleeslyingenious.Sleekitsleekcrafty.Slidd'ryslippery.Slokento slake.Slypetslipped.Sma'small.Smedduma powder.Smeeksmoke.Smiddysmithy.Smoor'dsmothered.Smoutiesmutty.Smytriea small collection; a litter.Snakinsneering.Snap smart.Snapperto stumble.Snashabuse.Snawsnow.Snaw-broosnow-brew (melted snow).Snedto lopto prune.Sneeshin milla snuff-box.Snellbitterbiting.Snicka latch; snick-drawing = scheming; he weel a snick can draw = he isgood at cheating.Snirtleto snigger.Snoodsfillets worn by maids.Snoolto cringeto snub.Snooveto go slowly.Snowkitsnuffed.Sodgersogera soldier.Sonsiesonsypleasantgood-naturedjolly.Soomto swim.Soorsour.Soughv. sugh.Souksuck.Soupesupliquid.Souplesupple.Soutercobbler.Sowensporridge of oat flour.Sowpssups.Sowthto hum or whistle in a low tune.Sowtherto solder.Spaeto foretell.Spailschips.Spairgeto splash; to spatter.Spakspoke.Spatesfloods.Spaviethe spavin.Spavitspavined.Speanto wean.Speata flood.Speelto climb.Speerspierto ask.Speetto spit.Spencethe parlor.Spier. v. speer.Spleuchanpouch.Splorea frolic; a carousal.Sprachl'dclambered.Sprattlescramble.Spreckledspeckled.Springa quick tune; a dance.Sprittiefull of roots or sprouts (a kind of rush).Sprushspruce.Spunka match; a spark; firespirit.Spunkiefull of spirit.Spunkieliquorspirits.Spunkiesjack-o'-lanternswill-o'-wisps.Spurtle-bladethe pot-stick.Squatterto flap.Squattleto squat; to settle.Stacherto totter.Staggiedim. of staig.Staiga young horse.Stan'stand.Stanestone.Stan'tstood.Stangsting.Stanka moat; a pond.Stapto stop.Stapplea stopper.Starkstrong.Starniesdim. of starnstar.Starnsstars.Startleto course.Staumrelhalf-witted.Stawa stall.Stawto surfeit; to sicken.Stawstole.Stechincramming.Steeka stitch.Steekto shut; to close.Steekto shut; to touchmeddle with.Steevecompact.Stella still.Stena leap; a spring.Sten'tsprang.Stentederected; set on high.Stentsassessmentsdues.Steyeststeepest.Stibblestubble.Stibble-rigchief reaper.Stick-an-stowecompletely.Stiltlimp (with the aid of stilts).Stimparta quarter peck.Stirka young bullock.Stocka plant of cabbage; colewort.Stoitedstumbled.Stoiter'dstaggered.Stoorharshstern.Stoun'pangthrob.Stouredust.Stouriedusty.Stownstolen.Stownlinsby stealth.Stoyteto stagger.Strae deathdeath in bed. (i. e.on straw).Staikto stroke.Strakstruck.Strangstrong.Straughtstraight.Straughtto stretch.Streekitstretched.Striddleto straddle.Stron'tlanted.Struntliquor.Struntto swagger.Studdiean anvil.Stumpiedim. of stump; a worn quill.Sturtworrytrouble.Sturtto fret; to vex.Sturtinfrightedstaggered.Stymethe faintest trace.Suckersugar.Sudshould.Sughsoughsighmoanwailswish.Sumphchurl.Sunesoon.Suthronsouthern.Swairdsward.Swall'dswelled.Swanklimber.Swankiesstrapping fellows.Swapexchange.Swappedswoppedexchanged.Swarfto swoon.Swatsweated.Swatchsample.Swatsnew ale.Sweerv. dead-sweer.Swirlcurl.Swirlietwistedknaggy.Swithhaste; off and away.Switherdoubthesitation.Swoomswim.Swoorswore.Sybowa young union.Synesincethen.
Tackpossessionlease.Tacketshoe-nail.Taeto.Taetoe.Tae'dtoed.Taedtoad.Taentaken.Taetsmall quantity.Tairgeto target.Taktake.Taldtold.Taneone in contrast to other.Tangstongs.Taptop.Tapetlesssenseless.Tapmosttopmost.Tappet-hena crested hen-shaped bottle holding three quarts of claret.Tap-picklethe grain at the top of the stalk.Topsalteerietopsy-turvy.Targeto examine.Tarrowto tarry; to be reluctantto murmur; to weary.Tassiea goblet.Tauktalk.Tauldtold.Tawietractable.Tawpiea foolish woman.Tawtedmatted.Teatssmall quantities.Teenvexation.Tell'dtold.Temper-pina fiddle-peg; the regulating pin of the spinning-wheel.Tentheed.Tentto tend; to heed; to observe.Tentiewatchfulcarefulheedful.Tentiermore watchful.Tentlesscareless.Testeran old silver coin about sixpence in value.Teughtough.Teuktook.Thackthatch; thack and rape = the covering of a houseand sohomenecessities.Thaethose.Thairmsmall guts; catgut (a fiddle-string).Theckitthatched.Thegithertogether.Thickv. pack an' thick.Thievelessforbiddingspiteful.Thigginbegging.Thirthese.Thirl'dthrilled.Tholeto endure; to suffer.Thou'sethou shalt.Thowethaw.Thowlesslazyuseless.Thrangbusy; thronging in crowds.Thranga throng.Thrapplethe windpipe.Thravetwenty-four sheaves of corn.Thrawa twist.Thrawto twist; to turn; to thwart.Thrawsthroes.Threapmaintainargue.Threesometrio.Thretteenthirteen.Threttythirty.Thrisslethistle.Thristedthirsted.Throughmak to through = make good.Throu'ther (through other)pell-mell.Thummartpolecat.Thy lanealone.Tightgirtprepared.Tillto.Till'tto it.Timmertimbermaterial.Tineto lose; to be lost.Tinklertinker.TintlostTippencetwopence.Tipv. toop.Tirlto strip.Tirlto knock for entrance.Titherthe other.Tittlinwhispering.Tocherdowry.Tocherto give a dowry.Tocher-gudemarriage portion.Todthe fox.To-fa'the fall.Toomempty.Tooptupram.Tossthe toast.Tountown; farm steading.Tousieshaggy.Toutblast.Towflaxa rope.Towmondtowmonta twelvemonth.Towsingrumpling (equivocal).Toyteto totter.Tozieflushed with drink.Tramsshafts.Transmogrifychange.Trashtriesmall trash.Trewstrousers.Trigneattrim.Trinklinflowing.Trin'lethe wheel of a barrow.Troggerpackman.Trogginwares.Troketo barter.Trousetrousers.Trowthin truth.Trumpa jew's harp.Trystea fair; a cattle-market.Trystedappointed.Trystingmeeting.Tulyietulziea squabble; a tussle.Twatwo.Twafauldtwofolddouble.Twaltwelve; the twal = twelve at night.Twalpennie wortha penny worth (English money).Twangtwinge.Twa-threetwo or three.Twaytwo.Twintwineto rob; to deprive; bereave.Twistlea twist; a sprain.Tykea dog.Tynev. tine.TysdayTuesday.
Ulzieoil.Unchancydangerous.Uncoremarkablyuncommonlyexcessively.Uncoremarkableuncommonterrible (sarcastic).Uncosnewsstrange thingswonders.Unkendunknown.Unsickeruncertain.Unskaithedunhurt.Usquabaeusquebaewhisky.
Wa'wawa wall.Waba web.Wabstera weaver.Wadto wager.Wadto wed.Wadwouldwould have.Wad'awould have.Wadnawould not.Wadseta mortgage.Waewofulsorrowful.Waewo; wae's me = wo is to me.Waesucksalas!Wae worthwo befall.Wairv. ware.Waleto choose.Walechoice.Waliewawliechoiceamplelarge.Wallopto kick; to dangle; to gallop; to dance.Waly fa'ill befall!Wamethe belly.Wamefoubellyful.Wanwon.Wanchanciedangerous.Wanrestfu'restless.Warewairto spend; bestow.Wareworn.Warkwork.Wark-lumetool.Warl'warldworld.Warlocka wizardWarl'ywarldlyworldly.Warranwarrant.Warseworse.Warslewarstlewrestle.Wastwest.Wastriewaste.Watwet.Watwotknow.Water-fitwater-foot (the river's mouth).Water-kelpiesv. kelpies.Waubleto wobble.Waughta draft.Waukto awake.Waukento awaken.Waukinawake.Waukit (with toil)horny.Waukrifewakeful.Wauliejolly.Waurworse.Waurto worst.Waur'tworstedbeat.Wean (wee one)a child.Weaniesbabies.Weasonweasand.Wechta measure for corn.Weea little; a wee = a short space or time.Wee thingschildren.Weelwell.Weel-fauredwell-favored.Weel-gaunwell-going.Weel-hain'dwell-saved.Weepersmournings (on the steeve or hat).Werenawere not.We'sewe shall.Westlinwestern.Whawho.Whaizlewheeze.Whalpetwhelped.Whamwhom.Whanwhen.Whanga shive.Whangflog.Wharwharewhere.Wha's whose.Wha'swho is.Whasewhose.What forwhatforewherefore.Whatnawhat.What reckwhat matter; nevertheless.Whattwhittled.Whaupthe curlew.Whaurwhere.Wheepv. penny-wheep.Wheepjerk.Whida fib.Whiddinscudding.Whidsgambols.Whigmeleeriescrotches.Whinginwhining.Whinsfurze.Whirlygigumsflourishes.Whistsilence.Whisslewhistle.Whittera draft.Whittlea knife.Wi'with.Wick a borehit a curling-stone obliquely and send it through an opening.Wi'swith his.Wi'twith it.Widdifu'gallows-worthy.Widdlewriggle.Wieleddy.Wightstrongstout.Wightermore influential.Willcat wildcat.Willyartdisordered.Wimpleto meander.Winwon.Winnto winnow.Winnawill not.Winninwinding.Winnockwindow.Winnock-bunkerv. bunker.Win'tdid wind.Wintlea somersault.Wintleto stagger; to swing; to wriggle.Winzea curse.Wisswish.Wonto dwell.Wonnera wonder.Woo'wool.Woodiewoodya rope (originally of withes); a gallows rope.Woodiestwigswithes.Wooer-babslove-knots.Wordyworthy.Worsetworsted.Worthv. wae worth.Wraithghost.Wrangwrong.Wudwildmad.Wumblewimble.Wyliecoatundervest.Wyte (weight)blame.Wyteto blame; to reproach.
Yarda garden; a stackyard.Yaudan old mare.Yealingscoevals.Yelldry (milkless).Yerdearth.Yerkitjerked.Yerlearl.Ye'seye shall.Yestreenlast night.Yetta gate.Yeukto itch.Yillale.Yill-Caupale-stoup.Yirdyearthearth.Yokinyoking; a spell; a day's work.Yonyonder.'Yontbeyond.Yoweewe.Yowiedim. of ewe; a pet ewe.YuleChristmas.