History of Literature








ROBERT BURNS





"POEMS & SONGS"


 
 



POEMS & SONGS
 

 
 

 

 
 



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 na, frien', ye'll think ye're nae sheepshank,
     Ance ye were streekit owre frae bank to bank!
     But gin ye be a brig as auld as me—
     Tho' faith, that date, I doubt, ye'll never see—
     There'll be, if that day come, I'll wad a boddle,
     Some fewer whigmaleeries in your noddle."
     New Brig

     "Auld Vandal! ye but show your little mense,
     Just much about it wi' your scanty sense:
     Will your poor, narrow foot-path of a street,
     Where twa wheel-barrows tremble when they meet,
     Your ruin'd, formless bulk o' stane and lime,
     Compare wi' bonie brigs o' modern time?
     There's men of taste wou'd tak the Ducat stream,^4
     Tho' they should cast the very sark and swim,
     E'er they would grate their feelings wi' the view
     O' sic an ugly, Gothic 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 forfairn,
     I'll be a brig when ye're a shapeless cairn!
     As yet ye little ken about the matter,
     But twa—three winters will inform ye better.
     When heavy, dark, continued, a'-day rains,

     [Footnote 4: A noted ford, just above the Auld Brig.—R. B.]

     Wi' deepening deluges o'erflow the plains;
     When from the hills where springs the brawling Coil,
     Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil;
     Or where the Greenock winds his moorland course.
     Or haunted Garpal draws his feeble source,
     Aroused by blustering winds an' spotting thowes,
     In mony a torrent down the snaw-broo rowes;
     While crashing ice, borne on the rolling spate,
     Sweeps dams, an' mills, an' brigs, a' to the gate;
     And from Glenbuck,^5 down to the Ratton-key,^6
     Auld Ayr is just one lengthen'd, tumbling sea—
     Then down ye'll hurl, (deil nor ye never rise!)
     And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring skies!
     A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost,
     That Architecture's noble art is lost!"
     New Brig

     "Fine architecture, trowth, I needs must say't o't,
     The Lord be thankit that we've tint the gate o't!
     Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices,
     Hanging with threat'ning jut, like precipices;
     O'er-arching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring coves,
     Supporting roofs, fantastic, stony groves;
     Windows and doors in nameless sculptures drest
     With order, symmetry, or taste unblest;
     Forms like some bedlam Statuary's dream,
     The craz'd creations of misguided whim;
     Forms might be worshipp'd on the bended knee,
     And still the second dread command be free;
     Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, or sea!
     Mansions that would disgrace the building taste
     Of any mason reptile, bird or beast:
     Fit only for a doited monkish race,
     Or frosty maids forsworn the dear embrace,
     Or cuifs of later times, wha held the notion,
     That sullen gloom was sterling, true devotion:
     Fancies that our guid Brugh denies protection,
     And soon may they expire, unblest 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 ye, my dear-remember'd, ancient yealings,
     Were ye but here to share my wounded feelings!
     Ye worthy Proveses, an' mony a Bailie,
     Wha in the paths o' righteousness did toil aye;
     Ye dainty Deacons, and ye douce Conveners,
     To whom our moderns are but causey-cleaners
     Ye godly Councils, wha hae blest this town;
     ye godly Brethren o' the sacred gown,
     Wha 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 broo,
     Were ye but here, what would ye say or do?
     How would your spirits groan in deep vexation,
     To see each melancholy alteration;
     And, agonising, curse the time and place
     When ye begat the base degen'rate race!
     Nae langer rev'rend men, their country's glory,
     In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid story;
     Nae langer thrifty citizens, an' douce,
     Meet owre a pint, or in the Council-house;
     But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless Gentry,
     The herryment and ruin of the country;
     Men, three-parts made by tailors and by barbers,
     Wha waste your weel-hain'd gear on damn'd new brigs and harbours!"
     New Brig

     "Now haud you there! for faith ye've said enough,
     And muckle mair than ye can mak to through.
     As for your Priesthood, I shall say but little,
     Corbies and Clergy are a shot right kittle:
     But, under favour o' your langer beard,
     Abuse o' Magistrates might weel be spar'd;
     To liken them to your auld-warld squad,
     I must needs say, comparisons are odd.
     In Ayr, wag-wits nae mair can hae a handle
     To mouth 'a Citizen,' a term o' scandal;
     Nae mair the Council waddles down the street,
     In all the pomp of ignorant conceit;
     Men wha grew wise priggin owre hops and raisins,
     Or gather'd lib'ral views in Bonds and Seisins:
     If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp,
     Had shor'd them with a glimmer of his lamp,
     And would to Common-sense for once betray'd them,
     Plain, dull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid them."

     What farther clish-ma-claver aight been said,
     What bloody wars, if Sprites had blood to shed,
     No man can tell; but, all before their sight,
     A 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 neat,
     The infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet:
     While arts of Minstrelsy among them rung,
     And soul-ennobling Bards heroic ditties sung.

     O had M'Lauchlan,^7 thairm-inspiring sage,
     Been there to hear this heavenly band engage,
     When thro' his dear strathspeys they bore with Highland rage;
     Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs,
     The lover's raptured joys or bleeding cares;
     How would his Highland lug been nobler fir'd,
     And ev'n his matchless hand with finer touch inspir'd!
     No guess could tell what instrument appear'd,
     But all the soul of Music's self was heard;
     Harmonious concert rung in every part,
     While simple melody pour'd moving on the heart.
     The Genius of the Stream in front appears,
     A venerable Chief advanc'd in years;
     His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd,
     His manly leg with garter-tangle bound.
     Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring,
     Sweet female Beauty hand in hand with Spring;
     Then, crown'd with flow'ry hay, came Rural Joy,
     And Summer, with his fervid-beaming eye;

     [Footnote 7: A well-known performer of Scottish music on the
      violin.—R. B.]

     All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn,
     Led yellow Autumn wreath'd with nodding corn;
     Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary show,
     By Hospitality with cloudless brow:
     Next followed Courage with his martial stride,
     From where the Feal wild-woody coverts hide;^8
     Benevolence, with mild, benignant air,
     A female form, came from the tow'rs of Stair;^9
     Learning and Worth in equal measures trode,
     From simple Catrine, their long-lov'd abode:^10
     Last, white-rob'd Peace, crown'd with a hazel wreath,
     To rustic Agriculture did bequeath
     The broken, iron instruments of death:
     At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling wrath.




 

Fragment Of Song

     The night was still, and o'er the hill
     The moon shone on the castle wa';
     The mavis sang, while dew-drops hang
     Around her on the castle wa';
     Sae merrily they danced the ring
     Frae eenin' till the cock did craw;
     And aye the o'erword o' the spring
     Was "Irvine's bairns are bonie a'."




 

Epigram On Rough Roads

     I'm now arrived—thanks to the gods!—
     Thro' pathways rough and muddy,
     A certain sign that makin roads
     Is no this people's study:
     Altho' Im not wi' Scripture cram'd,
     I'm sure the Bible says
     That heedless sinners shall be damn'd,
     Unless they mend their ways.

     [Footnote 8: A compliment to the Montgomeries of Coilsfield,
      on the Feal or Faile, a tributary of the Ayr.]

     [Footnote 9: Mrs. Stewart of Stair, an 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 night, the author left the following verses in the room where he slept:—

     O Thou dread Power, who reign'st above,
     I know thou wilt me hear,
     When for this scene of peace and love,
     I make this prayer sincere.

     The hoary Sire—the mortal stroke,
     Long, long be pleas'd to spare;
     To bless this little filial flock,
     And show what good men are.

     She, who her lovely offspring eyes
     With tender hopes and fears,
     O bless her with a mother's joys,
     But spare a mother's tears!

     Their hope, their stay, their darling youth.
     In manhood's dawning blush,
     Bless him, Thou God of love and truth,
     Up to a parent's wish.

     The beauteous, seraph sister-band—
     With earnest tears I pray—
     Thou know'st the snares on ev'ry hand,
     Guide Thou their steps alway.

     When, soon or late, they reach that coast,
     O'er Life's rough ocean driven,
     May they rejoice, no wand'rer lost,
     A 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 to Greenock, where I was to embark in a few days for Jamaica. I meant it as my farewell dirge to my native land."—R. B.

     The gloomy night is gath'ring fast,
     Loud roars the wild, inconstant blast,
     Yon murky cloud is foul with rain,
     I see it driving o'er the plain;
     The hunter now has left the moor.
     The scatt'red coveys meet secure;
     While here I wander, prest with care,
     Along the lonely banks of Ayr.

     The Autumn mourns her rip'ning corn
     By early Winter's ravage torn;
     Across her placid, azure sky,
     She sees the scowling tempest fly:
     Chill runs my blood to hear it rave;
     I think upon the stormy wave,
     Where many a danger I must dare,
     Far from the bonie banks of Ayr.

     'Tis not the surging billow's roar,
     'Tis not that fatal, deadly shore;
     Tho' death in ev'ry shape appear,
     The wretched have no more to fear:
     But round my heart the ties are bound,
     That heart transpierc'd with many a wound;
     These bleed afresh, those ties I tear,
     To leave the bonie banks of Ayr.

     Farewell, old Coila's hills and dales,
     Her healthy moors and winding vales;
     The scenes where wretched Fancy roves,
     Pursuing past, unhappy loves!
     Farewell, my friends! farewell, my foes!
     My peace with these, my love with those:
     The bursting tears my heart declare—
     Farewell, the bonie banks of Ayr!




 

Address To The Toothache

     My curse upon your venom'd stang,
     That shoots my tortur'd gums alang,
     An' thro' my lug gies mony a twang,
     Wi' gnawing vengeance,
     Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
     Like racking engines!

     When fevers burn, or argues freezes,
     Rheumatics gnaw, or colics squeezes,
     Our neibor's sympathy can ease us,
     Wi' pitying moan;
     But thee—thou hell o' a' diseases—
     Aye mocks our groan.

     Adown my beard the slavers trickle
     I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle,
     While round the fire the giglets keckle,
     To see me loup,
     While, raving mad, I wish a heckle
     Were in their doup!

     In a' the numerous human dools,
     Ill hairsts, daft bargains, cutty stools,
     Or worthy frien's rak'd i' the mools,—
     Sad sight to see!
     The tricks o' knaves, or fash o'fools,
     Thou bear'st the gree!

     Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
     Where a' the tones o' misery yell,
     An' ranked plagues their numbers tell,
     In dreadfu' raw,
     Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the bell,
     Amang them a'!

     O thou grim, mischief-making chiel,
     That gars the notes o' discord squeel,
     Till daft mankind aft dance a reel
     In gore, a shoe-thick,
     Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal
     A townmond's toothache!




 

Lines On Meeting With Lord Daer

     This wot ye all whom it concerns,
     I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns,
     October twenty-third,

     [Footnote 1: At the house of Professor Dugald Stewart.]

     A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day,
     Sae far I sprackl'd up the brae,
     I dinner'd wi' a Lord.

     I've been at drucken writers' feasts,
     Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly priests—
     Wi' rev'rence be it spoken!—
     I've even join'd the honour'd jorum,
     When mighty Squireships of the quorum,
     Their hydra drouth did sloken.

     But wi' a Lord!—stand out my shin,
     A Lord—a Peer—an Earl's son!
     Up higher yet, my bonnet
     An' sic a Lord!—lang Scoth ells twa,
     Our 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'r,
     An' how he star'd and stammer'd,
     When, goavin, as if led wi' branks,
     An' stumpin on his ploughman shanks,
     He in the parlour hammer'd.

     I sidying shelter'd in a nook,
     An' at his Lordship steal't a look,
     Like some portentous omen;
     Except good sense and social glee,
     An' (what surpris'd me) modesty,
     I marked nought uncommon.

     I watch'd the symptoms o' the Great,
     The gentle pride, the lordly state,
     The arrogant assuming;
     The fient a pride, nae pride had he,
     Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see,
     Mair than an honest ploughman.

     Then from his Lordship I shall learn,
     Henceforth to meet with unconcern
     One rank as weel's another;
     Nae honest, worthy man need care
     To meet with noble youthful Daer,
     For he but meets a brother.




 

Masonic Song

     Tune—"Shawn-boy," or "Over the water to Charlie."
     Ye sons of old Killie, assembled by Willie,
     To follow the noble vocation;
     Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another
     To sit in that honoured station.
     I've little to say, but only to pray,
     As 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 wind, and the tide,
     Who marked each element's border;
     Who formed this frame with beneficent aim,
     Whose sovereign statute is order:—
     Within this dear mansion, may wayward Contention
     Or withered Envy ne'er enter;
     May secrecy round be the mystical bound,
     And 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 out, last muirfowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, "the last of his fields," and expressed an ardent wish to die and be buried in the muirs. On this hint the author 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 weel,
     To preach an' read?
     "Na' waur than a'!" cries ilka chiel,
     "Tam Samson's dead!"

     [Footnote 1: A certain preacher, a great favourite with the
     million. Vide "The Ordination." stanza ii.—R. B.]

     [Footnote 2: Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few,
     who was at that 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 limpit,
     An' aye the tither shot he thumpit,
     Till coward Death behind him jumpit,
     Wi' deadly feid;
     Now he proclaims wi' tout o' trumpet,
     "Tam Samson's dead!"

     When at his heart he felt the dagger,
     He reel'd his wonted bottle-swagger,
     But yet he drew the mortal trigger,
     Wi' weel-aimed heed;
     "Lord, five!" he cry'd, an' owre did stagger—
     Tam Samson's dead!

     Ilk hoary hunter mourn'd a brither;
     Ilk sportsman youth bemoan'd a father;
     Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather,
     Marks out his head;
     Whare Burns has wrote, in rhyming blether,
     "Tam Samson's dead!"

     There, low he lies, in lasting rest;
     Perhaps upon his mould'ring breast
     Some spitefu' muirfowl bigs her nest
     To hatch an' breed:
     Alas! nae mair he'll them molest!
     Tam Samson's dead!

     When August winds the heather wave,
     And sportsmen wander by yon grave,
     Three volleys let his memory crave,
     O' pouther an' lead,
     Till Echo answer frae her cave,
     "Tam Samson's dead!"

     Heav'n rest his saul whare'er he be!
     Is th' wish o' mony mae than me:
     He had twa fauts, or maybe three,
     Yet what remead?
     Ae social, honest man want we:
     Tam Samson's dead!




 

The Epitaph

     Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies
     Ye canting zealots, spare him!
     If honest worth in Heaven rise,
     Ye'll mend or ye win near him.




 

Per Contra

     Go, Fame, an' canter like a filly
     Thro' a' the streets an' neuks o' Killie;^3
     Tell ev'ry social honest billie
     To cease his grievin';
     For, yet unskaithed by Death's gleg gullie.
     Tam Samson's leevin'!




 

Epistle To Major Logan

     Hail, thairm-inspirin', rattlin' Willie!
     Tho' fortune's road be rough an' hilly
     To every fiddling, rhyming billie,
     We never heed,
     But take it like the unback'd filly,
     Proud o' her speed.

     [Footnote 3: Kilmarnock.—R. B.]

     When, idly goavin', whiles we saunter,
     Yirr! fancy barks, awa we canter,
     Up hill, down brae, till some mischanter,
     Some black bog-hole,
     Arrests us; then the scathe an' banter
     We're forced to thole.

     Hale be your heart! hale be your fiddle!
     Lang may your elbuck jink and diddle,
     To cheer you through the weary widdle
     O' this wild warl'.
     Until you on a crummock driddle,
     A grey hair'd carl.

     Come wealth, come poortith, late or soon,
     Heaven send your heart-strings aye in tune,
     And screw your temper-pins aboon
     A fifth or mair
     The melancholious, lazy croon
     O' cankrie care.

     May still your life from day to day,
     Nae "lente largo" in the play,
     But "allegretto forte" gay,
     Harmonious flow,
     A sweeping, kindling, bauld strathspey—
     Encore! Bravo!

     A blessing on the cheery gang
     Wha dearly like a jig or sang,
     An' never think o' right an' wrang
     By square an' rule,
     But, as the clegs o' feeling stang,
     Are wise or fool.

     My hand-waled curse keep hard in chase
     The harpy, hoodock, purse-proud race,
     Wha count on poortith as disgrace;
     Their tuneless hearts,
     May fireside discords jar a base
     To a' their parts.

     But come, your hand, my careless brither,
     I' th' ither warl', if there's anither,
     An' that there is, I've little swither
     About the matter;
     We, cheek for chow, shall jog thegither,
     I'se ne'er bid better.

     We've faults and failings—granted clearly,
     We're frail backsliding mortals merely,
     Eve's bonie squad, priests wyte them sheerly
     For our grand fa';
     But still, but still, I like them dearly—
     God bless them a'!

     Ochone for poor Castalian drinkers,
     When they fa' foul o' earthly jinkers!
     The witching, curs'd, delicious blinkers
     Hae put me hyte,
     And gart me weet my waukrife winkers,
     Wi' 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 clearin
     In fair play yet.

     My loss I mourn, but not repent it;
     I'll seek my pursie whare I tint it;
     Ance to the Indies I were wonted,
     Some cantraip hour
     By some sweet elf I'll yet be dinted;
     Then vive l'amour!

     Faites mes baissemains respectueuses,
     To sentimental sister Susie,
     And honest Lucky; no to roose you,
     Ye may be proud,
     That sic a couple Fate allows ye,
     To grace your blood.

     Nae mair at present can I measure,
     An' trowth my rhymin ware's nae treasure;
     But when in Ayr, some half-hour's leisure,
     Be't light, be't dark,
     Sir Bard will do himself the pleasure
     To call at Park.

     Robert Burns.
     Mossgiel, 30th October, 1786.




 

Fragment On Sensibility

     Rusticity's ungainly form
     May cloud the highest mind;
     But when the heart is nobly warm,
     The good excuse will find.

     Propriety's cold, cautious rules
     Warm fervour may o'erlook:
     But spare poor sensibility
     Th' ungentle, harsh rebuke.




 

A Winter Night

     Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
     That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm!
     How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
     Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
     From seasons such as these?—Shakespeare.

     When biting Boreas, fell and dour,
     Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
     When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r,
     Far south the lift,
     Dim-dark'ning thro' the flaky show'r,
     Or whirling drift:

     Ae night the storm the steeples rocked,
     Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked,
     While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up-choked,
     Wild-eddying swirl;
     Or, thro' the mining outlet bocked,
     Down headlong hurl:

     List'ning the doors an' winnocks rattle,
     I thought me on the ourie cattle,
     Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle
     O' winter war,
     And thro' the drift, deep-lairing, sprattle
     Beneath a scar.

     Ilk happing bird,—wee, helpless thing!
     That, in the merry months o' spring,
     Delighted me to hear thee sing,
     What comes o' thee?
     Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing,
     An' close thy e'e?

     Ev'n you, on murdering errands toil'd,
     Lone from your savage homes exil'd,
     The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cote spoil'd
     My heart forgets,
     While pityless the tempest wild
     Sore on you beats!

     Now Phoebe in her midnight reign,
     Dark-muff'd, view'd the dreary plain;
     Still crowding thoughts, a pensive train,
     Rose in my soul,
     When on my ear this plantive strain,
     Slow, solemn, stole:—

     "Blow, blow, ye winds, with heavier gust!
     And freeze, thou bitter-biting frost!
     Descend, ye chilly, smothering snows!
     Not all your rage, as now united, shows
     More hard unkindness unrelenting,
     Vengeful malice unrepenting.
     Than heaven-illumin'd Man on brother Man bestows!

     "See stern Oppression's iron grip,
     Or mad Ambition's gory hand,
     Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip,
     Woe, Want, and Murder o'er a land!
     Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale,
     Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale,
     How pamper'd Luxury, Flatt'ry by her side,
     The parasite empoisoning her ear,
     With all the servile wretches in the rear,
     Looks o'er proud Property, extended wide;
     And eyes the simple, rustic hind,
     Whose toil upholds the glitt'ring show—
     A creature of another kind,
     Some coarser substance, unrefin'd—
     Plac'd for her lordly use thus far, thus vile, below!

     "Where, where is Love's fond, tender throe,
     With lordly Honour's lofty brow,
     The pow'rs you proudly own?
     Is there, beneath Love's noble name,
     Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim,
     To bless himself alone?
     Mark maiden-innocence a prey
     To love-pretending snares:
     This boasted Honour turns away,
     Shunning soft Pity's rising sway,
     Regardless of the tears and unavailing pray'rs!
     Perhaps this hour, in Misery's squalid nest,
     She strains your infant to her joyless breast,
     And with a mother's fears shrinks at the rocking blast!

     "Oh ye! who, sunk in beds of down,
     Feel not a want but what yourselves create,
     Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,
     Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
     Ill-satisfy'd keen nature's clamorous call,
     Stretch'd on his straw, he lays himself to sleep;
     While through the ragged roof and chinky wall,
     Chill, o'er his slumbers, piles the drifty heap!
     Think on the dungeon's grim confine,
     Where Guilt and poor Misfortune pine!
     Guilt, erring man, relenting view,
     But shall thy legal rage pursue
     The wretch, already crushed low
     By cruel Fortune's undeserved blow?
     Affliction's sons are brothers in distress;
     A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!"

     I heard nae mair, for Chanticleer
     Shook off the pouthery snaw,
     And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
     A cottage-rousing craw.
     But deep this truth impress'd my mind—
     Thro' all His works abroad,
     The heart benevolent and kind
     The most resembles God.




 

Song—Yon Wild Mossy Mountains

     Yon wild mossy mountains sae lofty and wide,
     That nurse in their bosom the youth o' the Clyde,
     Where the grouse lead their coveys thro' the heather to feed,
     And the shepherd tends his flock as he pipes on his reed.

     Not Gowrie's rich valley, nor Forth's sunny shores,
     To me hae the charms o'yon wild, mossy moors;
     For there, by a lanely, sequestered stream,
     Besides a sweet lassie, my thought and my dream.

     Amang thae wild mountains shall still be my path,
     Ilk stream foaming down its ain green, narrow strath;
     For there, wi' my lassie, the day lang I rove,
     While o'er us unheeded flie the swift hours o'love.

     She is not the fairest, altho' 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 prize,
     In her armour of glances, and blushes, and sighs?
     And when wit and refinement hae polish'd her darts,
     They dazzle our een, as they flie to our hearts.

     But kindness, sweet kindness, in the fond-sparkling e'e,
     Has lustre outshining the diamond to me;
     And the heart beating love as I'm clasp'd in her arms,
     O, these are my lassie's all-conquering charms!




 

Address To Edinburgh

     Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
     All hail thy palaces and tow'rs,
     Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet,
     Sat Legislation's sov'reign pow'rs:
     From marking wildly scatt'red flow'rs,
     As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
     And singing, lone, the lingering hours,
     I shelter in they honour'd shade.

     Here Wealth still swells the golden tide,
     As busy Trade his labours plies;
     There Architecture's noble pride
     Bids elegance and splendour rise:
     Here Justice, from her native skies,
     High wields her balance and her rod;
     There Learning, with his eagle eyes,
     Seeks Science in her coy abode.

     Thy sons, Edina, social, kind,
     With open arms the stranger hail;
     Their views enlarg'd, their liberal mind,
     Above the narrow, rural vale:
     Attentive still to Sorrow's wail,
     Or modest Merit's silent claim;
     And never may their sources fail!
     And never Envy blot their name!

     Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn,
     Gay as the gilded summer sky,
     Sweet as the dewy, milk-white thorn,
     Dear as the raptur'd thrill of joy!
     Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eye,
     Heaven's beauties on my fancy shine;
     I see the Sire of Love on high,
     And own His work indeed divine!

     There, watching high the least alarms,
     Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar;
     Like some bold veteran, grey in arms,
     And mark'd with many a seamy scar:
     The pond'rous wall and massy bar,
     Grim—rising o'er the rugged rock,
     Have oft withstood assailing war,
     And oft repell'd th' invader's shock.

     With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
     I view that noble, stately Dome,
     Where Scotia's kings of other years,
     Fam'd heroes! had their royal home:
     Alas, how 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 steps,
     Whose ancestors, in days of yore,
     Thro' hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps
     Old Scotia's bloody lion bore:
     Ev'n I who sing in rustic lore,
     Haply my sires have left their shed,
     And fac'd grim Danger's loudest roar,
     Bold-following where your fathers led!

     Edina! Scotia's darling seat!
     All hail thy palaces and tow'rs;
     Where once, beneath a Monarch's feet,
     Sat Legislation's sovereign pow'rs:
     From marking wildly-scatt'red flow'rs,
     As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,
     And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours,
     I shelter in thy honour'd shade.




 

Address To A Haggis

     Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
     Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
     Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
     Painch, tripe, or thairm:
     Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
     As lang's my arm.

     The groaning trencher there ye fill,
     Your hurdies like a distant hill,
     Your pin was help to mend a mill
     In time o'need,
     While thro' your pores the dews distil
     Like amber bead.

     His knife see rustic Labour dight,
     An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
     Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
     Like ony ditch;
     And then, O what a glorious sight,
     Warm-reekin', rich!

     Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
     Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
     Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
     Are bent like drums;
     Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
     Bethankit! hums.

     Is there that owre his French ragout
     Or olio that wad staw a sow,
     Or fricassee wad make her spew
     Wi' perfect sconner,
     Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
     On sic a dinner?

     Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
     As feckles as wither'd rash,
     His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
     His nieve a nit;
     Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
     O how unfit!

     But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
     The trembling earth resounds his tread.
     Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
     He'll mak it whissle;
     An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
     Like taps o' trissle.

     Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
     And dish them out their bill o' fare,
     Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
     That jaups in luggies;
     But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
     Gie her a haggis!




 




 

To Miss Logan, With Beattie's Poems, For A New-Year's Gift, Jan. 1, 1787.

     Again the silent wheels of time
     Their annual round have driven,
     And you, tho' scarce in maiden prime,
     Are so much nearer Heaven.

     No gifts have I from Indian coasts
     The infant year to hail;
     I send you more than India boasts,
     In Edwin's simple tale.

     Our sex with guile, and faithless love,
     Is charg'd, perhaps too true;
     But may, dear maid, each lover prove
     An Edwin still to you.




 

Mr. William Smellie—A Sketch

     Shrewd Willie Smellie to Crochallan came;
     The old cock'd hat, the 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 locks, wild staring, thatch'd
     A head for thought profound and clear, unmatch'd;
     Yet tho' his caustic wit was biting-rude,
     His heart was warm, benevolent, and good.

     Rattlin', Roarin' Willie^1

     As I cam by Crochallan,
     I cannilie keekit ben;
     Rattlin', roarin' Willie
     Was sittin at yon boord-en';
     Sittin at yon boord-en,
     And amang gude companie;
     Rattlin', roarin' Willie,
     You'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 laddie,
     Thou's aye the dearer, and dearer to me!

     But I'll big a bow'r on yon bonie banks,
     Whare Tay rins wimplin' by sae clear;
     An' I'll cleed thee in the tartan sae fine,
     And mak thee a man like thy daddie dear.




 

Extempore In The Court Of Session

     Tune—"Killiercrankie."
     Lord Advocate

     He clenched his pamphlet in his fist,
     He quoted and he hinted,
     Till, in a declamation-mist,
     His argument he tint it:
     He gaped for't, he graped for't,
     He fand it was awa, man;
     But what his common sense came short,
     He eked out wi' law, man.
     Mr. Erskine

     Collected, Harry stood awee,
     Then open'd out his arm, man;

     [Footnote 1: William Dunbar, W. S., of the Crochallan Fencibles,
      a convivial club.]

     His Lordship sat wi' ruefu' e'e,
     And ey'd the gathering storm, man:
     Like wind-driven hail it did assail'
     Or torrents owre a lin, man:
     The Bench sae wise, lift up their eyes,
     Half-wauken'd wi' the din, man.




 

Inscription For The Headstone Of Fergusson The Poet

     No sculptured marble here, nor pompous lay,
     "No storied urn nor animated bust;"
     This simple stone directs pale Scotia's way,
     To pour her sorrows o'er the Poet's dust.
     Additional Stanzas

     She mourns, sweet tuneful youth, thy hapless fate;
     Tho' all the powers of song thy fancy fired,
     Yet Luxury and Wealth lay by in state,
     And, thankless, starv'd what they so much admired.

     This tribute, with a tear, now gives
     A brother Bard—he can no more bestow:
     But dear to fame thy Song immortal lives,
     A nobler monument than Art can shew.
     Inscribed Under Fergusson's Portrait

     Curse on ungrateful man, that can be pleased,
     And yet can starve the author of the pleasure.
     O thou, my elder brother in misfortune,
     By far my elder brother in the Muses,
     With tears I pity thy unhappy fate!
     Why is the Bard unpitied by the world,
     Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures?

   




 

Epistle To Mrs. Scott

     Gudewife of Wauchope—House, Roxburghshire.
     Gudewife,

     I Mind it weel in early date,
     When I was bardless, young, and blate,
     An' first could thresh the barn,
     Or haud a yokin' at the pleugh;
     An, tho' forfoughten sair eneugh,
     Yet unco proud to learn:
     When first amang the yellow corn
     A man I reckon'd was,
     An' wi' the lave ilk merry morn
     Could rank my rig and lass,
     Still shearing, and clearing
     The tither stooked raw,
     Wi' claivers, an' haivers,
     Wearing the day awa.

     E'en then, a wish, (I mind its pow'r),
     A wish that to my latest hour
     Shall strongly heave my breast,
     That I for poor auld Scotland's sake
     Some usefu' plan or book could make,
     Or sing a sang at least.
     The rough burr-thistle, spreading wide
     Amang the bearded bear,
     I turn'd the weeder-clips aside,
     An' spar'd the symbol dear:
     No nation, no station,
     My envy e'er could raise;
     A Scot still, but blot still,
     I knew nae higher praise.

     But still the elements o' sang,
     In formless jumble, right an' wrang,
     Wild floated in my brain;
     'Till on that har'st I said before,
     May partner in the merry core,
     She rous'd the forming strain;
     I see her yet, the sonsie quean,
     That lighted up my jingle,
     Her witching smile, her pawky een
     That gart my heart-strings tingle;
     I fired, inspired,
     At every kindling keek,
     But bashing, and dashing,
     I feared aye to speak.

     Health to the sex! ilk guid chiel says:
     Wi' merry dance in winter days,
     An' we to share in common;
     The gust o' joy, the balm of woe,
     The saul o' life, the heaven below,
     Is rapture-giving woman.
     Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name,
     Be mindfu' o' your mither;
     She, honest woman, may think shame
     That ye're connected with her:
     Ye're wae men, ye're nae men
     That slight the lovely dears;
     To shame ye, disclaim ye,
     Ilk honest birkie swears.

     For you, no bred to barn and byre,
     Wha sweetly tune the Scottish lyre,
     Thanks to you for your line:
     The marled plaid ye kindly spare,
     By me should gratefully be ware;
     'Twad please me to the nine.
     I'd be mair vauntie o' my hap,
     Douce hingin owre my curple,
     Than ony ermine ever lap,
     Or proud imperial purple.
     Farewell then, lang hale then,
     An' plenty be your fa;
     May losses and crosses
     Ne'er at your hallan ca'!

     R. Burns
     March, 1787




 

Verses Intended To Be Written Below A Noble Earl's Picture^1

     Whose is that noble, dauntless brow?
     And whose that eye of fire?
     And whose that generous princely mien,
     E'en rooted foes admire?

     Stranger! to justly show that brow,
     And mark that eye of fire,
     Would take His hand, whose vernal tints
     His other works admire.

     Bright as a cloudless summer sun,
     With stately port he moves;
     His guardian Seraph eyes with awe
     The noble Ward he loves.

     Among the illustrious Scottish sons
     That chief thou may'st discern,
     Mark Scotia's fond-returning eye,—
     It dwells upon Glencairn.




 

Prologue

     Spoken by Mr. Woods on his benefit-night, Monday, 16th April, 1787.

     When, by a generous Public's kind acclaim,
     That dearest meed is granted—honest fame;
     Waen here your favour is the actor's lot,
     Nor even the man in private life forgot;
     What breast so dead to heavenly Virtue's glow,
     But heaves impassion'd with the grateful throe?

     Poor is the task to please a barb'rous throng,
     It needs no Siddons' powers in Southern's song;
     But here an ancient nation, fam'd afar,
     For genius, learning high, as great in war.
     Hail, Caledonia, name for ever dear!
     Before whose sons I'm honour'd to appear?

     [Footnote 1: The Nobleman is James, Fourteenth Earl of Glencairn.]

     Where every science, every nobler art,
     That can inform the mind or mend the heart,
     Is known; as grateful nations oft have found,
     Far as the rude barbarian marks the bound.
     Philosophy, no idle pedant dream,
     Here holds her search by heaven-taught Reason's beam;
     Here History paints with elegance and force
     The tide of Empire's fluctuating course;
     Here Douglas forms wild Shakespeare into plan,
     And Harley rouses all the God in man.
     When well-form'd taste and sparkling wit unite
     With manly lore, or female beauty bright,
     (Beauty, where faultless symmetry and grace
     Can only charm us in the second place),
     Witness my heart, how oft with panting fear,
     As on this night, I've met these judges here!
     But still the hope Experience taught to live,
     Equal to judge—you're candid to forgive.
     No hundred—headed riot here we meet,
     With decency and law beneath his feet;
     Nor Insolence assumes fair Freedom's name:
     Like Caledonians, you applaud or blame.

     O Thou, dread Power! whose empire-giving hand
     Has 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 rise, with generous disdain
     At Tyranny's, or direr Pleasure's chain;
     Still Self-dependent in her native shore,
     Bold may she brave grim Danger's loudest roar,
     Till Fate the curtain drop on worlds to be no more.




 

The Bonie Moor-Hen

     The heather was blooming, the meadows were mawn,
     Our lads gaed a-hunting ae day at the dawn,
     O'er moors and o'er mosses and mony a glen,
     At length they discover'd a bonie moor-hen.

     Chorus.—I rede you, beware at the hunting, young men,
     I rede you, beware at the hunting, young men;
     Take some on the wing, and some as they spring,
     But cannily steal on a bonie moor-hen.

     Sweet—brushing the dew from the brown heather bells
     Her colours betray'd her on yon mossy fells;
     Her plumage outlustr'd the pride o' the spring
     And O! as she wanton'd sae gay on the wing.
     I rede you, &c.

     Auld Phoebus himself, as he peep'd o'er the hill,
     In spite at her plumage he tried his skill;
     He levell'd his rays where she bask'd on the brae—
     His rays were outshone, and but mark'd where she lay.
     I rede you,&c.

     They hunted the valley, they hunted the hill,
     The best of our lads wi' the best o' their skill;
     But still as the fairest she sat in their sight,
     Then, whirr! she was over, a mile at a flight.
     I rede you, &c.




 

Song—My Lord A-Hunting

     Chorus.—My lady's gown, there's gairs upon't,
     And gowden flowers sae rare upon't;
     But Jenny's jimps and jirkinet,
     My lord thinks meikle mair upon't.

     My lord a-hunting he is gone,
     But hounds or hawks wi' him are nane;
     By Colin's cottage lies his game,
     If Colin's Jenny be at hame.
     My lady's gown, &c.

     My lady's white, my lady's red,
     And 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 muir, out o'er yon moss,
     Whare gor-cocks thro' the heather pass,
     There wons auld Colin's bonie lass,
     A lily in a wilderness.
     My lady's gown, &c.

     Sae sweetly move her genty limbs,
     Like music notes o'lovers' hymns:
     The diamond-dew in her een sae blue,
     Where laughing love sae wanton swims.
     My lady's gown, &c.

     My lady's dink, my lady's drest,
     The flower and fancy o' the west;
     But the lassie than a man lo'es best,
     O that's the lass to mak him blest.
     My lady's gown, &c.




 

Epigram At Roslin Inn

     My blessings on ye, honest 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 strife,
     Till far ayont fourscore,
     And while I toddle on thro' life,
     I'll ne'er gae by your door!




 

Epigram Addressed To An Artist

     Dear _____, I'll gie ye some advice,
     You'll tak it no uncivil:
     You shouldna paint at angels mair,
     But try and paint the devil.

     To paint an Angel's kittle wark,
     Wi' Nick, there's little danger:
     You'll easy draw a lang-kent face,
     But no sae weel a stranger.—R. B.




 

The Book-Worms

     Through and through th' inspir'd leaves,
     Ye maggots, make your windings;
     But O respect his lordship's taste,
     And spare his golden bindings.




 

On Elphinstone's Translation Of Martial's Epigrams

     O Thou whom Poetry abhors,
     Whom Prose has turned out of doors,
     Heard'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 kind,
     But the cheerful and the gay, man,
     Fal, la, la, &c.

     Here's a bottle and an honest friend!
     What wad ye wish for mair, man?
     Wha kens, before his life may end,
     What his share may be o' care, man?

     Then catch the moments as they fly,
     And use them as ye ought, man:
     Believe me, happiness is shy,
     And comes not aye when sought, man.

     Lines Written Under The Picture Of The Celebrated Miss Burns

     Cease, ye prudes, your envious railing,
     Lovely Burns has charms—confess:
     True it is, she had one failing,
     Had a woman ever less?




 

Epitaph For William Nicol, Of The High School, Edinburgh

     Ye maggots, feed on Nicol's brain,
     For few sic feasts you've gotten;
     And fix your claws in Nicol's heart,
     For deil a bit o't's rotten.




 

Epitaph For Mr. William Michie

     Schoolmaster of Cleish Parish, Fifeshire.

     Here lie Willie Michie's banes;
     O Satan, when ye tak him,
     Gie him the schulin o' your weans,
     For clever deils he'll mak them!

     Boat song—Hey, Ca' Thro'

     Up wi' the carls o' Dysart,
     And the lads o' Buckhaven,
     And the kimmers o' Largo,
     And the lasses o' Leven.

     Chorus.—Hey, ca' thro', ca' thro',
     For we hae muckle ado.
     Hey, ca' thro', ca' thro',
     For we hae muckle ado;

     We hae tales to tell,
     An' we hae sangs to sing;
     We hae pennies tae spend,
     An' we hae pints to bring.
     Hey, ca' thro', &c.

     We'll live a' our days,
     And them that comes behin',
     Let them do the like,
     An' spend the gear they win.
     Hey, ca' thro', &c.




 

Address To Wm. Tytler, Esq., Of Woodhouselee

     With an Impression of the Author's Portrait.

     Revered defender of beauteous Stuart,
     Of Stuart, a name once respected;
     A name, which to love was the mark of a true heart,
     But now 'tis despis'd and neglected.

     Tho' something like moisture conglobes in my eye,
     Let no one misdeem me disloyal;
     A poor friendless wand'rer may well claim a sigh,
     Still 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 son,
     That name should he scoffingly slight it.

     Still in prayers for King George I most heartily join,
     The Queen, and the rest of the gentry:
     Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine;
     Their title's avow'd by my country.

     But why of that epocha make such a fuss,
     That gave us th' Electoral stem?
     If bringing them over was lucky for us,
     I'm sure 'twas as lucky for them.

     But, loyalty, truce! we're on dangerous ground;
     Who knows how the fashions may alter?
     The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound,
     To-morrow may bring us a halter!

     I send you a trifle, a head of a bard,
     A trifle scarce worthy your care;
     But accept it, good Sir, as a mark of regard,
     Sincere as a saint's dying prayer.

     Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eye,
     And ushers the long dreary night:
     But you, like the star that athwart gilds the sky,
     Your course to the latest is bright.




 

Epigram To Miss Ainslie In Church

      Who was looking up the text during sermon.

     Fair maid, you need not take the hint,
     Nor idle texts pursue:
     'Twas guilty sinners that he meant,
     Not Angels such as you.




 

Burlesque Lament For The Absence Of William Creech, Publisher

     Auld chuckie Reekie's^1 sair distrest,
     Down droops her ance weel burnish'd crest,
     Nae joy her bonie buskit nest
     Can yield ava,
     Her darling bird that she lo'es best—
     Willie's awa!

     O Willie was a witty wight,
     And had o' things an unco' sleight,
     Auld Reekie aye he keepit tight,
     And trig an' braw:
     But now they'll busk her like a fright,—
     Willie's awa!

     The stiffest o' them a' he bow'd,
     The bauldest o' them a' he cow'd;
     They durst nae mair than he allow'd,
     That was a law:
     We've lost a birkie weel worth gowd;
     Willie's awa!

     Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks and fools,
     Frae colleges and boarding schools,
     May sprout like simmer puddock-stools
     In glen or shaw;
     He wha could brush them down to mools—
     Willie's awa!

     [Footnote 1: Edinburgh.]

     The brethren o' the Commerce-chaumer
     May mourn their loss wi' doolfu' clamour;
     He was a dictionar and grammar
     Among them a';
     I fear they'll now mak mony a stammer;
     Willie's awa!

     Nae mair we see his levee door
     Philosophers and poets pour,
     And toothy critics by the score,
     In bloody raw!
     The adjutant o' a' the core—
     Willie's awa!

     Now worthy Gregory's Latin face,
     Tytler's and Greenfield's modest grace;
     Mackenzie, Stewart, such a brace
     As Rome ne'er saw;
     They a' maun meet some ither place,
     Willie's awa!

     Poor Burns ev'n Scotch Drink canna quicken,
     He cheeps like some bewilder'd chicken
     Scar'd frae it's minnie and the cleckin,
     By hoodie-craw;
     Grieg's gien his heart an unco kickin,
     Willie's awa!

     Now ev'ry sour-mou'd girnin blellum,
     And Calvin's folk, are fit to fell him;
     Ilk self-conceited critic skellum
     His quill may draw;
     He wha could brawlie ward their bellum—
     Willie's awa!

     Up wimpling stately Tweed I've sped,
     And Eden scenes on crystal Jed,
     And Ettrick banks, now roaring red,
     While tempests blaw;
     But every joy and pleasure's fled,
     Willie's awa!

     May I be Slander's common speech;
     A text for Infamy to preach;
     And lastly, streekit out to bleach
     In winter snaw;
     When I forget thee, Willie Creech,
     Tho' far awa!

     May never wicked Fortune touzle him!
     May never wicked men bamboozle him!
     Until a pow as auld's Methusalem
     He canty claw!
     Then to the blessed new Jerusalem,
     Fleet wing awa!




 

Note To Mr. Renton Of Lamerton

     Your billet, Sir, I grant receipt;
     Wi' you I'll canter ony gate,
     Tho' 'twere a trip to yon blue warl',
     Whare birkies march on burning marl:
     Then, Sir, God willing, I'll attend ye,
     And to his goodness I commend ye.

     R. Burns




 

Elegy On "Stella"

The following poem is the work of some hapless son of the Muses who deserved a better fate. There is a great deal of "The voice of Cona" in his solitary, mournful notes; and had the sentiments been clothed in Shenstone's language, they would have been no discredit even to that elegant poet.—R.B.

     Strait is the spot and green the sod
     From whence my sorrows flow;
     And soundly sleeps the ever dear
     Inhabitant below.

     Pardon my transport, gentle shade,
     While o'er the turf I bow;
     Thy earthy house is circumscrib'd,
     And solitary now.

     Not one poor stone to tell thy name,
     Or make thy virtues known:
     But what avails to me—to thee,
     The sculpture of a stone?

     I'll sit me down upon this turf,
     And wipe the rising tear:
     The chill blast passes swiftly by,
     And flits around thy bier.

     Dark is the dwelling of the Dead,
     And sad their house of rest:
     Low lies the head, by Death's cold arms
     In awful fold embrac'd.

     I saw the grim Avenger stand
     Incessant by thy side;
     Unseen by thee, his deadly breath
     Thy lingering frame destroy'd.

     Pale grew the roses on thy cheek,
     And wither'd was thy bloom,
     Till the slow poison brought thy youth
     Untimely to the tomb.

     Thus wasted are the ranks of men—
     Youth, Health, and Beauty fall;
     The ruthless ruin spreads around,
     And overwhelms us all.

     Behold where, round thy narrow house,
     The graves unnumber'd lie;
     The multitude that sleep below
     Existed but to die.

     Some, with the tottering steps of Age,
     Trod down the darksome way;
     And some, in youth's lamented prime,
     Like thee were torn away:

     Yet these, however hard their fate,
     Their native earth receives;
     Amid their weeping friends they died,
     And fill their fathers' graves.

     From thy lov'd friends, when first thy heart
     Was taught by Heav'n to glow,
     Far, far remov'd, the ruthless stroke
     Surpris'd and laid thee low.

     At the last limits of our isle,
     Wash'd by the western wave,
     Touch'd by thy face, a thoughtful bard
     Sits lonely by thy grave.

     Pensive he eyes, before him spread
     The deep, outstretch'd and vast;
     His mourning notes are borne away
     Along the rapid blast.

     And while, amid the silent Dead
     Thy hapless fate he mourns,
     His own long sorrows freshly bleed,
     And all his grief returns:

     Like thee, cut off in early youth,
     And flower of beauty's pride,
     His friend, his first and only joy,
     His much lov'd Stella, died.

     Him, too, the stern impulse of Fate
     Resistless bears along;
     And the same rapid tide shall whelm
     The Poet and the Song.

     The tear of pity which he sheds,
     He asks not to receive;
     Let but his poor remains be laid
     Obscurely in the grave.

     His grief-worn heart, with truest joy,
     Shall meet he welcome shock:
     His airy harp shall lie unstrung,
     And silent on the rock.

     O, my dear maid, my Stella, when
     Shall this sick period close,
     And lead the solitary bard
     To his belov'd repose?




 

The Bard At Inverary

     Whoe'er he be that sojourns here,
     I pity much his case,
     Unless he comes to wait upon
     The Lord their God, His Grace.

     There's naething here but Highland pride,
     And 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 times
     Been, Jeanie Scott, as thou art;
     The bravest heart on English ground
     Had yielded like a coward.




 

On The Death Of John M'Leod, Esq,

Brother to a young Lady, a particular friend of the Author's.

     Sad thy tale, thou idle page,
     And rueful thy alarms:
     Death tears the brother of her love
     From Isabella's arms.

     Sweetly deckt with pearly dew
     The morning rose may blow;
     But cold successive noontide blasts
     May lay its beauties low.

     Fair on Isabella's morn
     The sun propitious smil'd;
     But, long ere noon, succeeding clouds
     Succeeding hopes beguil'd.

     Fate oft tears the bosom chords
     That Nature finest strung;
     So Isabella's heart was form'd,
     And so that heart was wrung.

     Dread Omnipotence alone
     Can heal the wound he gave—
     Can point the brimful grief-worn eyes
     To scenes beyond the grave.

     Virtue's blossoms there shall blow,
     And fear no withering blast;
     There Isabella's spotless worth
     Shall happy be at last.




 

Elegy On The Death Of Sir James Hunter Blair

     The lamp of day, with—ill presaging glare,
     Dim, cloudy, sank beneath the western wave;
     Th' inconstant blast howl'd thro' the dark'ning air,
     And hollow whistled in the rocky cave.

     Lone as I wander'd by each cliff and dell,
     Once the lov'd haunts of Scotia's royal train;^1
     Or mus'd where limpid streams, once hallow'd well,^2
     Or mould'ring ruins mark the sacred fane.^3

     Th' increasing blast roar'd round the beetling rocks,
     The clouds swift-wing'd flew o'er the starry sky,
     The groaning trees untimely shed their locks,
     And 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 form
     In weeds of woe, that frantic beat her breast,
     And 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 woe,
     The lightning of her eye in tears imbued.

     Revers'd that spear, redoubtable in war,
     Reclined that banner, erst in fields unfurl'd,
     That like a deathful meteor gleam'd afar,
     And 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 unsung,
     While empty greatness saves a worthless name?
     No; every muse shall join her tuneful tongue,
     And future ages hear his growing fame.

     "And I will join a mother's tender cares,
     Thro' future times to make his virtues last;
     That distant years may boast of other Blairs!"—
     She said, and vanish'd with the sweeping blast.




 

Impromptu On Carron Iron Works

     We cam na here to view your warks,
     In hopes to be mair wise,
     But only, lest we gang to hell,
     It may be nae surprise:
     But when we tirl'd at your door
     Your porter dought na hear us;
     Sae may, shou'd we to Hell's yetts come,
     Your billy Satan sair us!




 

To Miss Ferrier

     Enclosing the Elegy on Sir J. H. Blair.

     Nae heathen name shall I prefix,
     Frae Pindus or Parnassus;
     Auld Reekie dings them a' to sticks,
     For rhyme-inspiring lasses.

     Jove's tunefu' dochters three times three
     Made Homer deep their debtor;
     But, gien the body half an e'e,
     Nine Ferriers wad done better!

     Last day my mind was in a bog,
     Down George's Street I stoited;
     A creeping cauld prosaic fog
     My very sense doited.

     Do what I dought to set her free,
     My 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 enclose,
     In gratitude I send you,
     And pray, in rhyme as weel as prose,
     A' gude things may attend you!




 

Written By Somebody On The Window

Of an Inn at Stirling, on seeing the Royal Palace in ruin.

     Here Stuarts once in glory reigned,
     And laws for Scotland's weal ordained;
     But now unroof'd their palace stands,
     Their sceptre's sway'd by other hands;
     Fallen indeed, and to the earth
     Whence groveling reptiles take their birth.
     The injured Stuart line is gone,
     A race outlandish fills their throne;
     An idiot race, to honour lost;
     Who know them best despise them most.




 

The Poet's Reply To The Threat Of A Censorious Critic

My imprudent lines were answered, very petulantly, by somebody, I believe, a Rev. Mr. Hamilton. In a MS., where I met the answer, I wrote below:—

     With Esop's lion, Burns says: Sore I feel
     Each other's scorn, but damn that ass' heel!




 

The Libeller's Self-Reproof

     Rash mortal, and slanderous poet, thy name
     Shall no longer appear in the records of Fame;
     Dost not know that old Mansfield, who writes like the Bible,
     Says, the more 'tis a truth, sir, the more 'tis a libel!




 

Verses Written With A Pencil

Over the Chimney—piece in the Parlour of the Inn at Kenmore, Taymouth.

     Admiring Nature in her wildest grace,
     These northern scenes with weary feet I trace;
     O'er many a winding dale and painful steep,
     Th' abodes of covey'd grouse and timid sheep,

   

     My savage journey, curious, I pursue,
     Till fam'd Breadalbane opens to my view.—
     The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides,
     The woods wild scatter'd, clothe their ample sides;
     Th' outstretching lake, imbosomed 'mong the hills,
     The eye with wonder and amazement fills;
     The Tay meand'ring sweet in infant pride,
     The palace rising on his verdant side,
     The lawns wood-fring'd in Nature's native taste,
     The hillocks dropt in Nature's careless haste,
     The arches striding o'er the new-born stream,
     The village glittering in the noontide beam—

     Poetic ardours in my bosom swell,
     Lone wand'ring by the hermit's mossy cell;
     The sweeping theatre of hanging woods,
     Th' incessant roar of headlong tumbling floods—

     Here Poesy might wake her heav'n-taught lyre,
     And look through Nature with creative fire;
     Here, to the wrongs of Fate half reconcil'd,
     Misfortunes lighten'd steps might wander wild;
     And Disappointment, in these lonely bounds,
     Find balm to soothe her bitter, rankling wounds:
     Here heart-struck Grief might heav'nward stretch her scan,
     And injur'd Worth forget and pardon man.




 

Song—The Birks Of Aberfeldy

     Tune—"The Birks of Abergeldie."
     Chorus.—Bonie lassie, will ye go,
     Will ye go, will ye go,
     Bonie lassie, will ye go
     To the birks of Aberfeldy!

     Now Simmer blinks on flowery braes,
     And o'er the crystal streamlets plays;
     Come let us spend the lightsome days,
     In the birks of Aberfeldy.
     Bonie lassie, &c.

     While o'er their heads the hazels hing,
     The little birdies blythely sing,
     Or lightly flit on wanton wing,
     In the birks of Aberfeldy.
     Bonie lassie, &c.

     The braes ascend like lofty wa's,
     The foaming stream deep-roaring fa's,
     O'erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws—
     The birks of Aberfeldy.
     Bonie lassie, &c.

     The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers,
     White o'er the linns the burnie pours,
     And rising, weets wi' misty showers
     The birks of Aberfeldy.
     Bonie lassie, &c.

     Let Fortune's gifts at randoe flee,
     They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me;
     Supremely blest wi' love and thee,
     In the birks of Aberfeldy.
     Bonie lassie, &c.




 

The Humble Petition Of Bruar Water

     To the noble Duke of Athole.

     My lord, I know your noble ear
     Woe ne'er assails in vain;
     Embolden'd thus, I beg you'll hear
     Your humble slave complain,
     How saucy Phoebus' scorching beams,
     In flaming summer-pride,
     Dry-withering, waste my foamy streams,
     And drink my crystal tide.^1

     The lightly-jumping, glowrin' trouts,
     That thro' my waters play,
     If, in their random, wanton spouts,
     They near the margin stray;

     [Footnote 1: Bruar Falls, in Athole, are exceedingly picturesque
     and beautiful; but their effect is much impaired by the want of
     trees and shrubs.—R.B.]

     If, hapless chance! they linger lang,
     I'm scorching up so shallow,
     They're left the whitening stanes amang,
     In gasping death to wallow.

     Last day I grat wi' spite and teen,
     As poet Burns came by.
     That, to a bard, I should be seen
     Wi' half my channel dry;
     A panegyric rhyme, I ween,
     Ev'n as I was, he shor'd me;
     But had I in my glory been,
     He, kneeling, wad ador'd me.

     Here, foaming down the skelvy rocks,
     In twisting strength I rin;
     There, high my boiling torrent smokes,
     Wild-roaring o'er a linn:
     Enjoying each large spring and well,
     As Nature gave them me,
     I am, altho' I say't mysel',
     Worth gaun a mile to see.

     Would then my noble master please
     To grant my highest wishes,
     He'll shade my banks wi' tow'ring trees,
     And bonie spreading bushes.
     Delighted doubly then, my lord,
     You'll wander on my banks,
     And listen mony a grateful bird
     Return you tuneful thanks.

     The sober lav'rock, warbling wild,
     Shall to the skies aspire;
     The gowdspink, Music's gayest child,
     Shall sweetly join the choir;
     The blackbird strong, the lintwhite clear,
     The mavis mild and mellow;
     The robin pensive Autumn cheer,
     In all her locks of yellow.

     This, too, a covert shall ensure,
     To shield them from the storm;
     And coward maukin sleep secure,
     Low in her grassy form:
     Here shall the shepherd make his seat,
     To weave his crown of flow'rs;
     Or find a shelt'ring, safe retreat,
     From prone-descending show'rs.

     And here, by sweet, endearing stealth,
     Shall meet the loving pair,
     Despising worlds, with all their wealth,
     As empty idle care;
     The flow'rs shall vie in all their charms,
     The hour of heav'n to grace;
     And birks extend their fragrant arms
     To screen the dear embrace.

     Here haply too, at vernal dawn,
     Some musing bard may stray,
     And eye the smoking, dewy lawn,
     And misty mountain grey;
     Or, by the reaper's nightly beam,
     Mild-chequering thro' the trees,
     Rave to my darkly dashing stream,
     Hoarse-swelling on the breeze.

     Let lofty firs, and ashes cool,
     My lowly banks o'erspread,
     And view, deep-bending in the pool,
     Their shadow's wat'ry bed:
     Let fragrant birks, in woodbines drest,
     My craggy cliffs adorn;
     And, for the little songster's nest,
     The close embow'ring thorn.

     So may old Scotia's darling hope,
     Your little angel band
     Spring, like their fathers, up to prop
     Their honour'd native land!
     So may, thro' Albion's farthest ken,
     To social-flowing glasses,
     The grace be—"Athole's honest men,
     And 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 woods
     The roaring Fyers pours his mossy floods;
     Till full he dashes on the rocky mounds,
     Where, thro' a shapeless breach, his stream resounds.
     As high in air the bursting torrents flow,
     As deep recoiling surges foam below,
     Prone down the rock the whitening sheet descends,
     And viewles Echo's ear, astonished, rends.
     Dim-seen, through rising mists and ceaseless show'rs,
     The hoary cavern, wide surrounding lours:
     Still thro' the gap the struggling river toils,
     And still, below, the horrid cauldron boils—




 

Epigram On Parting With A Kind Host In The Highlands

     When Death's dark stream I ferry o'er,
     A time that surely shall come,
     In Heav'n itself I'll ask no more,
     Than just a Highland welcome.




 

Strathallan's Lament^1

     Thickest night, o'erhang my dwelling!
     Howling tempests, o'er me rave!
     Turbid torrents, wintry swelling,
     Roaring by my lonely cave!

     [Footnote 1: Burns confesses that his Jacobtism was merely
     sentimental "except when 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' Thorniebank,
     When they gae to the shore o' Bucky,
     They'll step in an' tak a pint
     Wi' Lady Onlie, honest Lucky.

     Chorus.—Lady Onlie, honest Lucky,
     Brews gude ale at shore o' Bucky;
     I wish her sale for her gude ale,
     The best on a' the shore o' Bucky.

     Her house sae bien, her curch sae clean
     I wat she is a daintie chuckie;
     And cheery blinks the ingle-gleed
     O' Lady Onlie, honest Lucky!
     Lady Onlie, &c.




 

Theniel Menzies' Bonie Mary

     Air—"The Ruffian's Rant," or "Roy's Wife."
     In comin by the brig o' Dye,
     At Darlet we a blink did tarry;
     As day was dawnin in the sky,
     We drank a health to bonie Mary.

     Chorus.—Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary,
     Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary,
     Charlie Grigor tint his plaidie,
     Kissin' Theniel's bonie Mary.

     Her een sae bright, her brow sae white,
     Her haffet locks as brown's a berry;
     And aye they dimpl't wi' a smile,
     The rosy cheeks o' bonie Mary.
     Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, &c.

     We lap a' danc'd the lee-lang day,
     Till piper lads were wae and weary;
     But Charlie gat the spring to pay
     For kissin Theniel's bonie Mary.
     Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, &c.




 

The Bonie Lass Of Albany

     Tune—"Mary's Dream."
     My heart is wae, and unco wae,
     To think upon the raging sea,
     That roars between her gardens green
     An' the bonie Lass of Albany.

     This lovely maid's of royal blood
     That ruled Albion's kingdoms three,
     But oh, alas! for her bonie face,
     They've wrang'd the Lass of Albany.

     In the rolling tide of spreading Clyde
     There sits an isle of high degree,
     And a town of fame whose princely name
     Should grace the Lass of Albany.

     But there's a youth, a witless youth,
     That fills the place where she should be;
     We'll send him o'er to his native shore,
     And bring our ain sweet Albany.

     Alas the day, and woe the day,
     A false usurper wan the gree,
     Who now commands the towers and lands—
     The royal right of Albany.

     We'll daily pray, we'll nightly pray,
     On bended knees most fervently,
     The time may come, with pipe an' drum
     We'll welcome hame fair Albany.





 

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 Oughtertyre House. I lived there, the guest of Sir William Murray, for two or three weeks, and was much flattered by my hospitable reception. What a pity that the mere emotions of gratitude are so impotent in this world. 'Tis lucky that, as we are told, they will be of some avail in the world to come." —R.B., Glenriddell MSS.

     Why, ye tenants of the lake,
     For me your wat'ry haunt forsake?
     Tell me, fellow-creatures, why
     At my presence thus you fly?
     Why disturb your social joys,
     Parent, filial, kindred ties?—
     Common friend to you and me,
     yature's gifts to all are free:
     Peaceful keep your dimpling wave,
     Busy feed, or wanton lave;
     Or, beneath the sheltering rock,
     Bide the surging billow's shock.

     Conscious, blushing for our race,
     Soon, too soon, your fears I trace,
     Man, your proud, usurping foe,
     Would be lord of all below:
     Plumes himself in freedom's pride,
     Tyrant stern to all beside.

     The eagle, from the cliffy brow,
     Marking you his prey below,
     In his breast no pity dwells,
     Strong necessity compels:
     But Man, to whom alone is giv'n
     A ray direct from pitying Heav'n,
     Glories in his heart humane—
     And creatures for his pleasure slain!

     In these savage, liquid plains,
     Only known to wand'ring swains,
     Where the mossy riv'let strays,
     Far from human haunts and ways;
     All on Nature you depend,
     And life's poor season peaceful spend.

     Or, if man's superior might
     Dare invade your native right,
     On the lofty ether borne,
     Man with all his pow'rs you scorn;
     Swiftly seek, on clanging wings,
     Other lakes and other springs;
     And the foe you cannot brave,
     Scorn at least to be his slave.




 

Blythe Was She

     Tune—"Andro and his Cutty Gun."
     Chorus.—Blythe, blythe and merry was she,
     Blythe was she but and ben;
     Blythe by the banks of Earn,
     And blythe in Glenturit glen.

     By Oughtertyre grows the aik,
     On Yarrow banks the birken shaw;
     But Phemie was a bonier lass
     Than braes o' Yarrow ever saw.
     Blythe, blythe, &c.

     Her looks were like a flow'r in May,
     Her smile was like a simmer morn:
     She tripped by the banks o' Earn,
     As light's a bird upon a thorn.
     Blythe, blythe, &c.

     Her bonie face it was as meek
     As ony lamb upon a lea;
     The evening sun was ne'er sae sweet,
     As was the blink o' Phemie's e'e.
     Blythe, blythe, &c.

  

     The Highland hills I've wander'd wide,
     And o'er the Lawlands I hae been;
     But Phemie was the blythest lass
     That ever trod the dewy green.
     Blythe, blythe, &c.




 

A Rose-Bud By My Early Walk

     A Rose-bud by my early walk,
     Adown a corn-enclosed bawk,
     Sae gently bent its thorny stalk,
     All on a dewy morning.
     Ere twice the shades o' dawn are fled,
     In a' its crimson glory spread,
     And drooping rich the dewy head,
     It scents the early morning.

     Within the bush her covert nest
     A little linnet fondly prest;
     The dew sat chilly on her breast,
     Sae early in the morning.
     She soon shall see her tender brood,
     The pride, the pleasure o' the wood,
     Amang the fresh green leaves bedew'd,
     Awake the early morning.

     So thou, dear bird, young Jeany fair,
     On trembling string or vocal air,
     Shall sweetly pay the tender care
     That tents thy early morning.
     So thou, sweet Rose-bud, young and gay,
     Shalt beauteous blaze upon the day,
     And bless the parent's evening ray
     That watch'd thy early morning.




 

Epitaph For Mr. W. Cruikshank^1

     Honest Will to Heaven's away
     And mony shall lament him;
     His fau'ts they a' in Latin lay,
     In 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 Devon,
     With green spreading bushes and flow'rs blooming fair!
     But the boniest flow'r on the banks of the Devon
     Was once a sweet bud on the braes of the Ayr.
     Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flower,
     In the gay rosy morn, as it bathes in the dew;
     And gentle the fall of the soft vernal shower,
     That steals on the evening each leaf to renew!

     O spare the dear blossom, ye orient breezes,
     With chill hoary wing as ye usher the dawn;
     And far be thou distant, thou reptile that seizes
     The verdure and pride of the garden or lawn!
     Let Bourbon exult in his gay gilded lilies,
     And England triumphant display her proud rose:
     A fairer than either adorns the green valleys,
     Where Devon, sweet Devon, meandering flows.




 

Braving Angry Winter's Storms

     Tune—"Neil Gow's Lament for Abercairny."
     Where, braving angry winter's storms,
     The lofty Ochils rise,
     Far in their shade my Peggy's charms
     First blest my wondering eyes;
     As one who by some savage stream
     A lonely gem surveys,
     Astonish'd, doubly marks it beam
     With art's most polish'd blaze.

     [Footnote 1: Of the Edinburgh High School.]

     Blest be the wild, sequester'd shade,
     And blest the day and hour,
     Where Peggy's charms I first survey'd,
     When first I felt their pow'r!
     The tyrant Death, with grim control,
     May seize my fleeting breath;
     But tearing Peggy from my soul
     Must be a stronger death.




 

Song—My Peggy's Charms

     Tune—"Tha a' chailleach  ir mo dheigh."
     My Peggy's face, my Peggy's form,
     The frost of hermit Age might warm;
     My Peggy's worth, my Peggy's mind,
     Might charm the first of human kind.

     I love my Peggy's angel air,
     Her face so truly heavenly fair,
     Her native grace, so void of art,
     But I adore my Peggy's heart.

     The lily's hue, the rose's dye,
     The kindling lustre of an eye;
     Who but owns their magic sway!
     Who but knows they all decay!

     The tender thrill, the pitying tear,
     The generous purpose nobly dear,
     The gentle look that rage disarms—
     These are all Immortal charms.




 

The Young Highland Rover

     Tune—"Morag."
     Loud blaw the frosty breezes,
     The snaws the mountains cover;
     Like winter on me seizes,
     Since my young Highland rover
     Far wanders nations over.

     Where'er he go, where'er he stray,
     May heaven be his warden;
     Return him safe to fair Strathspey,
     And bonie Castle-Gordon!

     The trees, now naked groaning,
     Shall soon wi' leaves be hinging,
     The birdies dowie moaning,
     Shall a' be blythely singing,
     And every flower be springing;
     Sae I'll rejoice the lee-lang day,
     When by his mighty Warden
     My youth's return'd to fair Strathspey,
     And bonie Castle-Gordon.




 

Birthday Ode For 31st December, 1787

     Afar the illustrious Exile roams,
     Whom kingdoms on this day should hail;
     An inmate in the casual shed,
     On transient pity's bounty fed,
     Haunted by busy memory's bitter tale!
     Beasts of the forest have their savage homes,
     But He, who should imperial purple wear,
     Owns not the lap of earth where rests his royal head!
     His wretched refuge, dark despair,
     While ravening wrongs and woes pursue,
     And distant far the faithful few
     Who would his sorrows share.

     False flatterer, Hope, away!
     Nor think to lure us as in days of yore:
     We solemnize this sorrowing natal day,
     To prove our loyal truth—we can no more,
     And owning Heaven's mysterious sway,
     Submissive, low adore.

     Ye honored, mighty Dead,
     Who nobly perished in the glorious cause,
     Your King, your Country, and her laws,

     

     From great Dundee, who smiling Victory led,
     And fell a Martyr in her arms,
     (What breast of northern ice but warms!)
     To bold Balmerino's undying name,
     Whose soul of fire, lighted at Heaven's high flame,
     Deserves the proudest wreath departed heroes claim:
     Nor unrevenged your fate shall lie,
     It only lags, the fatal hour,
     Your blood shall, with incessant cry,
     Awake at last, th' unsparing Power;
     As from the cliff, with thundering course,
     The snowy ruin smokes along
     With doubling speed and gathering force,
     Till deep it, crushing, whelms the cottage in the vale;
     So Vengeance' arm, ensanguin'd, strong,
     Shall with resistless might assail,
     Usurping Brunswick's pride shall lay,
     And Stewart's wrongs and yours, with tenfold weight repay.

     Perdition, baleful child of night!
     Rise and revenge the injured right
     Of Stewart's royal race:
     Lead on the unmuzzled hounds of hell,
     Till all the frighted echoes tell
     The blood-notes of the chase!
     Full on the quarry point their view,
     Full on the base usurping crew,
     The tools of faction, and the nation's curse!
     Hark how the cry grows on the wind;
     They leave the lagging gale behind,
     Their savage fury, pitiless, they pour;
     With murdering eyes already they devour;
     See Brunswick spent, a wretched prey,
     His life one poor despairing day,
     Where each avenging hour still ushers in a worse!
     Such havock, howling all abroad,
     Their utter ruin bring,
     The base apostates to their God,
     Or rebels to their King.




 

On The Death Of Robert Dundas, Esq., Of Arniston,

     Late Lord President of the Court of Session.
     Lone on the bleaky hills the straying flocks
     Shun the fierce storms among the sheltering rocks;
     Down from the rivulets, red with dashing rains,
     The gathering floods burst o'er the distant plains;
     Beneath the blast the leafless forests groan;
     The hollow caves return a hollow moan.
     Ye hills, ye plains, ye forests, and ye caves,
     Ye howling winds, and wintry swelling waves!
     Unheard, unseen, by human ear or eye,
     Sad to your sympathetic glooms I fly;
     Where, to the whistling blast and water's roar,
     Pale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore.

     O heavy loss, thy country ill could bear!
     A loss these evil days can ne'er repair!
     Justice, the high vicegerent of her God,
     Her doubtful balance eyed, and sway'd her rod:
     Hearing the tidings of the fatal blow,
     She sank, abandon'd to the wildest woe.

     Wrongs, injuries, from many a darksome den,
     Now, gay in hope, explore the paths of men:
     See from his cavern grim Oppression rise,
     And throw on Poverty his cruel eyes;
     Keen on the helpless victim see him fly,
     And stifle, dark, the feebly-bursting cry:
     Mark Ruffian Violence, distained with crimes,
     Rousing elate in these degenerate times,
     View unsuspecting Innocence a prey,
     As guileful Fraud points out the erring way:
     While subtle Litigation's pliant tongue
     The life-blood equal sucks of Right and Wrong:
     Hark, injur'd Want recounts th' unlisten'd tale,
     And much-wrong'd Mis'ry pours the unpitied wail!

     Ye dark waste hills, ye brown unsightly plains,
     Congenial scenes, ye soothe my mournful strains:
     Ye tempests, rage! ye turbid torrents, roll!
     Ye suit the joyless tenor of my soul.
     Life's social haunts and pleasures I resign;
     Be nameless wilds and lonely wanderings mine,
     To 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 Lady, under the signature of "Clarinda" and entitled, On Burns saying he 'had nothing else to do.'

     When dear Clarinda, matchless fair,
     First struck Sylvander's raptur'd view,
     He gaz'd, he listened to despair,
     Alas! 'twas all he dared to do.

     Love, from Clarinda's heavenly eyes,
     Transfixed his bosom thro' and thro';
     But still in Friendships' guarded guise,
     For more the demon fear'd to do.

     That heart, already more than lost,
     The imp beleaguer'd all perdue;
     For frowning Honour kept his post—
     To meet that frown, he shrunk to do.

     His pangs the Bard refused to own,
     Tho' half he wish'd Clarinda knew;
     But Anguish wrung the unweeting groan—
     Who blames what frantic Pain must do?

     That heart, where motley follies blend,
     Was sternly still to Honour true:
     To prove Clarinda's fondest friend,
     Was what a lover sure might do.

     [Footnote 1: A grass-widow, Mrs. M'Lehose.]

     The Muse his ready quill employed,
     No nearer bliss he could pursue;
     That bliss Clarinda cold deny'd—
     "Send word by Charles how you do!"

     The chill behest disarm'd his muse,
     Till passion all impatient grew:
     He wrote, and 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 deed, the boldest mark of love,
     For thee that deed I dare uo do!

     O could the Fates but name the price
     Would bless me with your charms and you!
     With frantic joy I'd pay it thrice,
     If human art and power could do!

     Then take, Clarinda, friendship's hand,
     (Friendship, at least, I 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 blest,
     O why that bliss destroy!
     Why urge the only, one request
     You know I will deny!

     Your thought, if Love must harbour there,
     Conceal it in that thought;
     Nor cause me from my bosom tear
     The very friend I sought.




 

Go On, Sweet Bird, And Sooth My Care

     For thee is laughing Nature gay,
     For thee she pours the vernal day;
     For me in vain is Nature drest,
     While Joy's a stranger to my breast.




 

Clarinda, Mistress Of My Soul

     Clarinda, mistres of my soul,
     The measur'd time is run!
     The wretch beneath the dreary pole
     So marks his latest sun.

     To what dark cave of frozen night
     Shall poor Sylvander hie;
     Depriv'd of thee, his life and light,
     The sun of all his joy?

     We part—but by these precious drops,
     That fill thy lovely eyes,
     No other light shall guide my steps,
     Till thy bright beams arise!

     She, the fair sun of all her sex,
     Has blest my glorious day;
     And shall a glimmering planet fix
     My worship to its ray?




 

I'm O'er Young To Marry Yet

     Chorus.—I'm o'er young, I'm o'er young,
     I'm o'er young to marry yet;
     I'm o'er young, 'twad be a sin
     To tak me frae my mammy yet.

     I am my mammny's ae bairn,
     Wi' unco folk I weary, sir;
     And lying in a man's bed,
     I'm fley'd it mak me eerie, sir.
     I'm o'er young, &c.

     My mammie coft me a new gown,
     The kirk maun hae the gracing o't;
     Were I to lie wi' you, kind Sir,
     I'm feared ye'd spoil the lacing o't.
     I'm o'er young, &c.

     Hallowmass is come and gane,
     The nights are lang in winter, sir,
     And you an' I in ae bed,
     In trowth, I dare na venture, sir.
     I'm o'er young, &c.

     Fu' loud an' shill the frosty wind
     Blaws thro' the leafless timmer, sir;
     But if ye come this gate again;
     I'll aulder be gin simmer, sir.
     I'm o'er young, &c.




 

To The Weavers Gin Ye Go

     My heart was ance as blithe and free
     As simmer days were lang;
     But a bonie, westlin weaver lad
     Has gart me change my sang.

     Chorus.—To the weaver's gin ye go, fair maids,
     To the weaver's gin ye go;
     I rede you right, gang ne'er at night,
     To the weaver's gin ye go.

     My mither sent me to the town,
     To warp a plaiden wab;
     But the weary, weary warpin o't
     Has gart me sigh and sab.
     To the weaver's, &c.

     A bonie, westlin weaver lad
     Sat working at his loom;
     He took my heart as wi' a net,
     In every knot and thrum.
     To the weaver's, &c.

     I sat beside my warpin-wheel,
     And aye I ca'd it roun';
     But every shot and evey knock,
     My heart it gae a stoun.
     To the weaver's, &c.

     The moon was sinking in the west,
     Wi' visage pale and wan,
     As my bonie, westlin weaver lad
     Convoy'd me thro' the glen.
     To the weaver's, &c.

     But what was said, or what was done,
     Shame fa' me gin I tell;
     But Oh! I fear the kintra soon
     Will ken as weel's myself!
     To the weaver's, &c.




 

M'Pherson's Farewell

     Tune—"M'Pherson's Rant."
     Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong,
     The wretch's destinie!
     M'Pherson's time will not be long
     On yonder gallows-tree.

     Chorus.—Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
     Sae dauntingly gaed he;
     He play'd a spring, and danc'd it round,
     Below the gallows-tree.

     O, what is death but parting breath?
     On many a bloody plain
     I've dared his face, and in this place
     I scorn him yet again!
     Sae rantingly, &c.

     Untie these bands from off my hands,
     And bring me to my sword;
     And there's no a man in all Scotland
     But 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 depart,
     And not avenged be.
     Sae rantingly, &c.

     Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright,
     And all beneath the sky!
     May coward shame distain his name,
     The wretch that dares not die!
     Sae rantingly, &c.




 

Stay My Charmer

     Tune—"An gille dubh ciar-dhubh."
     Stay my charmer, can you leave me?
     Cruel, cruel to deceive me;
     Well you know how much you grieve me;
     Cruel charmer, can you go!
     Cruel charmer, can you go!

     By my love so ill-requited,
     By the faith you fondly plighted,
     By the pangs of lovers slighted,
     Do not, do not liave me so!
     Do not, do not leave me so!




 

Song—My Hoggie

     What will I do gin my Hoggie die?
     My joy, my pride, my Hoggie!
     My only beast, I had nae mae,
     And vow but I was vogie!
     The lee-lang night we watch'd the fauld,
     Me and my faithfu' doggie;
     We heard nocht but the roaring linn,
     Amang the braes sae scroggie.

     But the houlet cry'd frau the castle wa',
     The blitter frae the boggie;
     The tod reply'd upon the hill,
     I trembled for my Hoggie.
     When day did daw, and cocks did craw,
     The morning it was foggie;
     An unco tyke, lap o'er the dyke,
     And 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 Raza, alluding to her feelings on the death of her sister, and the still more melancholy death of her sister's husband, the late Earl of Loudoun, who shot himself out of sheer heart-break at some mortifications he suffered, owing to the deranged state of his finances.—R.B., 1971.

     Raving winds around her blowing,
     Yellow leaves the woodlands strowing,
     By a river hoarsely roaring,
     Isabella stray'd deploring—

     "Farewell, hours that late did measure
     Sunshine days of joy and pleasure;
     Hail, thou gloomy night of sorrow,
     Cheerless night that knows no morrow!

     "O'er the past too fondly wandering,
     On the hopeless future pondering;
     Chilly grief my life-blood freezes,
     Fell despair my fancy seizes.

     "Life, thou soul of every blessing,
     Load to misery most distressing,
     Gladly how would I resign thee,
     And to dark oblivion join thee!"




 

Up In The Morning Early

     Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west,
     The 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 me,
     Up in the morning early;
     When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
     I'm sure it's winter fairly.

     The birds sit chittering in the thorn,
     A' 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 night,
     When I am frae my dearie!
     I sleepless lie frae e'en to morn,
     Tho' I were ne'er so weary:
     I sleepless lie frae e'en to morn,
     Tho' I were ne'er sae weary!

     When I think on the happy days
     I spent wi' you my dearie:
     And now what lands between us lie,
     How can I be but eerie!
     And now what lands between us lie,
     How can I be but eerie!

     How slow ye move, ye heavy hours,
     As ye were wae and weary!
     It wasna sae ye glinted by,
     When I was wi' my dearie!
     It wasna sae ye glinted by,
     When I was wi' my dearie!




 

Hey, The Dusty Miller

     Hey, the dusty Miller,
     And his dusty coat,
     He will win a shilling,
     Or he spend a groat:
     Dusty was the coat,
     Dusty was the colour,
     Dusty was the kiss
     That I gat frae the Miller.

     Hey, the dusty Miller,
     And his dusty sack;
     Leeze me on the calling
     Fills the dusty peck:
     Fills the dusty peck,
     Brings the dusty siller;
     I wad gie my coatie
     For the dusty Miller.




 

Duncan Davison

     There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg,
     And she held o'er the moors to spin;
     There was a lad that follow'd her,
     They ca'd him Duncan Davison.
     The moor was dreigh, and Meg was skeigh,
     Her favour Duncan could na win;
     For wi' the rock she wad him knock,
     And aye she shook the temper-pin.

     As o'er the moor they lightly foor,
     A burn was clear, a glen was green,
     Upon the banks they eas'd their shanks,
     And aye she set the wheel between:
     But Duncan swoor a haly aith,
     That Meg should be a bride the morn;
     Then Meg took up her spinning-graith,
     And flang them a' out o'er the burn.

     We will big a wee, wee house,
     And we will live like king and queen;
     Sae blythe and merry's we will be,
     When ye set by the wheel at e'en.
     A man may drink, and no be drunk;
     A man may fight, and no be slain;
     A man may kiss a bonie lass,
     And aye be welcome back again!




 

The Lad They Ca'Jumpin John

     Her daddie forbad, her minnie forbad
     Forbidden she wadna be:
     She wadna trow't the browst she brew'd,
     Wad taste sae bitterlie.

     Chorus.—The lang lad they ca'Jumpin John
     Beguil'd the bonie lassie,
     The lang lad they ca'Jumpin John
     Beguil'd the bonie lassie.

     A cow and a cauf, a yowe and a hauf,
     And thretty gude shillin's and three;
     A vera gude tocher, a cotter-man's dochter,
     The lass wi' the bonie black e'e.
     The lang lad, &c.




 

Talk Of Him That's Far Awa

     Musing on the roaring ocean,
     Which divides my love and me;
     Wearying heav'n in warm devotion,
     For his weal where'er he be.

     Hope and Fear's alternate billow
     Yielding late to Nature's law,
     Whispering spirits round my pillow,
     Talk of him that's far awa.

     Ye whom sorrow never wounded,
     Ye who never shed a tear,
     Care—untroubled, joy—surrounded,
     Gaudy day to you is dear.

     Gentle night, do thou befriend me,
     Downy sleep, the curtain draw;
     Spirits kind, again attend me,
     Talk of him that's far awa!




 

To Daunton Me

     The blude-red rose at Yule may blaw,
     The simmer lilies bloom in snaw,
     The frost may freeze the deepest sea;
     But an auld man shall never daunton me.
     Refrain.—To daunton me, to daunton me,
     And auld man shall never daunton me.

     To daunton me, and me sae young,
     Wi' his fause heart and flatt'ring tongue,
     That is the thing you shall never see,
     For an auld man shall never daunton me.
     To daunton me, &c.

     For a' his meal and a' his maut,
     For a' his fresh beef and his saut,
     For a' his gold and white monie,
     And auld men shall never daunton me.
     To daunton me, &c.

     His gear may buy him kye and yowes,
     His gear may buy him glens and knowes;
     But me he shall not buy nor fee,
     For an auld man shall never daunton me.
     To daunton me, &c.

     He hirples twa fauld as he dow,
     Wi' his teethless gab and his auld beld pow,
     And 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 past, and the summer comes at last
     And the small birds, they sing on ev'ry tree;
     Now ev'ry thing is glad, while I am very sad,
     Since my true love is parted from me.

     The rose upon the breer, by the waters running clear,
     May have charms for the linnet or the bee;
     Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest,
     But my true love is parted from me.




 

The Bonie Lad That's Far Awa

     O how can I be blythe and glad,
     Or how can I gang brisk and braw,
     When the bonie lad that I lo'e best
     Is o'er the hills and far awa!

     It's no the frosty winter wind,
     It's no the driving drift and snaw;
     But aye the tear comes in my e'e,
     To think on him that's far awa.

     My father pat me frae his door,
     My friends they hae disown'd me a';
     But I hae ane will tak my part,
     The bonie lad that's far awa.

     A pair o' glooves he bought to me,
     And silken snoods he gae me twa;
     And I will wear them for his sake,
     The bonie lad that's far awa.

     O weary Winter soon will pass,
     And Spring will cleed the birken shaw;
     And my young babie will be born,
     And he'll be hame that's far awa.




 

Verses To Clarinda

     Sent with a Pair of Wine-Glasses.
     Fair Empress of the Poet's soul,
     And Queen of Poetesses;
     Clarinda, take this little boon,
     This humble pair of glasses:

     And fill them up with generous juice,
     As generous as your mind;
     And pledge them to the generous toast,
     "The 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 me, Love!"




 

The Chevalier's Lament

     Air—"Captain O'Kean."

     The small birds rejoice in the green leaves returning,
     The murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' the vale;
     The primroses blow in the dews of the morning,
     And wild scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale:
     But what can give pleasure, or what can seem fair,
     When the lingering moments are numbered by care?
     No birds sweetly singing, nor flow'rs gaily springing,
     Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair.

     The deed that I dared, could it merit their malice?
     A king and a father to place on his throne!
     His right are these hills, and his right are these valleys,
     Where the wild beasts find shelter, tho' I can find none!
     But 'tis not my suff'rings, thus wretched, forlorn,
     My 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 land, this uncouth clime,
     A land unknown to prose or rhyme;
     Where words ne'er cross't the Muse's heckles,
     Nor limpit in poetic shackles:
     A land that Prose did never view it,
     Except when drunk he stacher't thro' it;
     Here, ambush'd by the chimla cheek,
     Hid in an atmosphere of reek,
     I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk,
     I hear it—for in vain I leuk.
     The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel,
     Enhusked by a fog infernal:
     Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures,
     I sit and count my sins by chapters;
     For life and spunk like ither Christians,
     I'm dwindled down to mere existence,
     Wi' nae converse but Gallowa' bodies,
     Wi' nae kenn'd face but Jenny Geddes,
     Jenny, my Pegasean pride!
     Dowie she saunters down Nithside,
     And aye a westlin leuk she throws,
     While tears hap o'er her auld brown nose!
     Was it for this, wi' cannie care,
     Thou bure the Bard through many a shire?
     At howes, or hillocks never stumbled,
     And late or early never grumbled?—
     O had I power like inclination,
     I'd heeze thee up a constellation,
     To canter with the Sagitarre,
     Or loup the ecliptic like a bar;
     Or turn the pole like any arrow;
     Or, when auld Phoebus bids good-morrow,
     Down the zodiac urge the race,
     And cast dirt on his godship's face;
     For I could lay my bread and kail
     He'd ne'er cast saut upo' thy tail.—
     Wi' a' this care and a' this grief,
     And sma', sma' prospect of relief,
     And nought but peat reek i' my head,
     How can I write what ye can read?—
     Tarbolton, twenty-fourth o' June,
     Ye'll find me in a better tune;
     But till we meet and weet our whistle,
     Tak this excuse for nae epistle.

     Robert Burns.




 

Of A' The Airts The Wind Can Blaw

     Tune—"Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey."
     Of a' the airts the wind can blaw,
     I dearly like the west,
     For there the bonie lassie lives,
     The lassie I lo'e best:

   

     There's wild-woods grow, and rivers row,
     And mony a hill between:
     But day and night my fancys' flight
     Is ever wi' my Jean.

     I see her in the dewy flowers,
     I see her sweet and fair:
     I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
     I hear her charm the air:
     There's not a bonie flower that springs,
     By fountain, shaw, or green;
     There's not a bonie bird that sings,
     But minds me o' my Jean.




 

Song—I Hae a Wife O' My Ain

     I Hae a wife of my ain,
     I'll partake wi' naebody;
     I'll take Cuckold frae nane,
     I'll gie Cuckold to naebody.

     I hae a penny to spend,
     There—thanks to naebody!
     I hae naething to lend,
     I'll borrow frae naebody.

     I am naebody's lord,
     I'll be slave to naebody;
     I hae a gude braid sword,
     I'll tak dunts frae naebody.

     I'll be merry and free,
     I'll be sad for naebody;
     Naebody cares for me,
     I care for naebody.




 

Lines Written In Friars'-Carse Hermitage

     Glenriddel Hermitage, June 28th, 1788.

     Thou whom chance may hither lead,
     Be thou clad in russet weed,
     Be thou deckt in silken stole,
     Grave these maxims on thy soul.

     Life is but a day at most,
     Sprung from night, in darkness lost:
     Hope not sunshine every hour,
     Fear not clouds will always lour.

     Happiness is but a name,
     Make content and ease thy aim,
     Ambition is a meteor-gleam;
     Fame, an idle restless dream;

     Peace, the tend'rest flow'r of spring;
     Pleasures, insects on the wing;
     Those that sip the dew alone—
     Make the butterflies thy own;
     Those that would the bloom devour—
     Crush the locusts, save the flower.

     For the future be prepar'd,
     Guard wherever thou can'st guard;
     But thy utmost duly done,
     Welcome what thou can'st not shun.
     Follies past, give thou to air,
     Make their consequence thy care:
     Keep the name of Man in mind,
     And dishonour not thy kind.
     Reverence with lowly heart
     Him, whose wondrous work thou art;
     Keep His Goodness still in view,
     Thy trust, and thy example, too.

     Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
     Quod the Beadsman of Nidside.




 

To Alex. Cunningham, ESQ., Writer

     Ellisland, Nithsdale, July 27th, 1788.

     My godlike friend—nay, do not stare,
     You think the phrase is odd-like;
     But God is love, the saints declare,
     Then surely thou art god-like.

     And is thy ardour still the same?
     And kindled still at Anna?
     Others may boast a partial flame,
     But thou art a volcano!

     Ev'n Wedlock asks not love beyond
     Death's tie-dissolving portal;
     But thou, omnipotently fond,
     May'st promise love immortal!

     Thy wounds such healing powers defy,
     Such symptoms dire attend them,
     That last great antihectic try—
     Marriage perhaps may mend them.

     Sweet Anna has an air—a grace,
     Divine, magnetic, touching:
     She talks, she charms—but who can trace
     The process of bewitching?




 

Song.—Anna, Thy Charms

     Anna, thy charms my bosom fire,
     And waste my soul with care;
     But ah! how bootless to admire,
     When fated to despair!

     Yet in thy presence, lovely Fair,
     To hope may be forgiven;
     For sure 'twere impious to despair
     So much in sight of heaven.




 

The Fete Champetre

     Tune—"Killiecrankie."
     O Wha will to Saint Stephen's House,
     To do our errands there, man?
     O wha will to Saint Stephen's House
     O' th' merry lads of Ayr, man?

     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

     Come, will ye court a noble lord,
     Or buy a score o'lairds, man?
     For worth and honour pawn their word,
     Their vote shall be Glencaird's,^2 man.
     Ane gies them coin, ane gies them wine,
     Anither gies them clatter:
     Annbank,^3 wha guessed the ladies' taste,
     He gies a Fete Champetre.

     When Love and Beauty heard the news,
     The gay green woods amang, man;
     Where, gathering flowers, and busking bowers,
     They heard the blackbird's sang, man:
     A vow, they sealed it with a kiss,
     Sir Politics to fetter;
     As their's alone, the patent bliss,
     To hold a Fete Champetre.

     Then mounted Mirth, on gleesome wing
     O'er hill and dale she flew, man;
     Ilk wimpling burn, ilk crystal spring,
     Ilk glen and shaw she knew, man:
     She summon'd every social sprite,
     That sports by wood or water,
     On th' bonie banks of Ayr to meet,
     And keep this Fete Champetre.

     Cauld Boreas, wi' his boisterous crew,
     Were bound to stakes like kye, man,
     And Cynthia's car, o' silver fu',
     Clamb up the starry sky, man:
     Reflected beams dwell in the streams,
     Or down the current shatter;
     The western breeze steals thro'the trees,
     To view this Fete Champetre.

     [Footnote 1: James Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Johnson.]

     [Footnote 2: Sir John Whitefoord, then residing at Cloncaird
      or "Glencaird."]

     [Footnote 3: William Cunninghame, Esq., of Annbank and Enterkin.]

     How many a robe sae gaily floats!
     What sparkling jewels glance, man!
     To Harmony's enchanting notes,
     As moves the mazy dance, man.
     The echoing wood, the winding flood,
     Like Paradise did glitter,
     When angels met, at Adam's yett,
     To hold their Fete Champetre.

     When Politics came there, to mix
     And make his ether-stane, man!
     He circled round the magic ground,
     But entrance found he nane, man:
     He blush'd for shame, he quat his name,
     Forswore it, every letter,
     Wi' humble prayer to join and share
     This festive Fete Champetre.




 

Epistle To Robert Graham, Esq., Of Fintry

     Requesting a Favour

     When Nature her great master-piece design'd,
     And fram'd her last, best work, the human mind,
     Her eye intent on all the mazy plan,
     She form'd of various parts the various Man.

     Then first she calls the useful many forth;
     Plain plodding Industry, and sober Worth:
     Thence peasants, farmers, native sons of earth,
     And merchandise' whole genus take their birth:
     Each prudent cit a warm existence finds,
     And all mechanics' many-apron'd kinds.
     Some other rarer sorts are wanted yet,
     The lead and buoy are needful to the net:
     The caput mortuum of grnss desires
     Makes a material for mere knights and squires;
     The martial phosphorus is taught to flow,
     She kneads the lumpish philosophic dough,
     Then marks th' unyielding mass with grave designs,
     Law, physic, politics, and deep divines;
     Last, she sublimes th' Aurora of the poles,
     The flashing elements of female souls.

     The order'd system fair before her stood,
     Nature, well pleas'd, pronounc'd it very good;
     But ere she gave creating labour o'er,
     Half-jest, she tried one curious labour more.
     Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatuus matter,
     Such as the slightest breath of air might scatter;
     With arch-alacrity and conscious glee,
     (Nature may have her whim as well as we,
     Her Hogarth-art perhaps she meant to show it),
     She forms the thing and christens it—a Poet:
     Creature, tho' oft the prey of care and sorrow,
     When blest to-day, unmindful of to-morrow;
     A being form'd t' amuse his graver friends,
     Admir'd and prais'd—and there the homage ends;
     A mortal quite unfit for Fortune's strife,
     Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life;
     Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches give,
     Yet haply wanting wherewithal to live;
     Longing to wipe each tear, to heal each groan,
     Yet frequent all unheeded in his own.

     But honest Nature is not quite a Turk,
     She laugh'd at first, then felt for her poor work:
     Pitying the propless climber of mankind,
     She cast about a standard tree to find;
     And, to support his helpless woodbine state,
     Attach'd him to the generous, truly great:
     A title, and the only one I claim,
     To lay strong hold for help on bounteous Graham.

     Pity the tuneful Muses' hapless train,
     Weak, timid landsmen on life's stormy main!
     Their hearts no selfish stern absorbent stuff,
     That never gives—tho' humbly takes enough;
     The little fate allows, they share as soon,
     Unlike sage proverb'd Wisdom's hard-wrung boon:
     The world were blest did bliss on them depend,
     Ah, that "the friendly e'er should want a friend!"
     Let Prudence number o'er each sturdy son,
     Who life and wisdom at one race begun,
     Who feel by reason and who give by rule,
     (Instinct's a brute, and sentiment a fool!)
     Who make poor "will do" wait upon "I should"—
     We own they're prudent, but 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 know,
     Heaven'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 life, true patron of my rhymes!
     Prop of my dearest hopes for future times.
     Why shrinks my soul half blushing, half afraid,
     Backward, abash'd to ask thy friendly aid?
     I know my need, I know thy giving hand,
     I 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 flows,
     Yet vilest reptiles in their begging prose.
     Mark, how their lofty independent spirit
     Soars on the spurning wing of injured merit!
     Seek not the proofs in private life to find
     Pity the best of words should be but wind!
     So, to heaven's gates the lark's shrill song ascends,
     But grovelling on the earth the carol ends.
     In all the clam'rous cry of starving want,
     They dun Benevolence with shameless front;
     Oblige them, patronise their tinsel lays—
     They persecute you all your future days!
     Ere my poor soul such deep damnation stain,
     My horny fist assume the plough again,
     The pie-bald jacket let me patch once more,
     On eighteenpence a week I've liv'd before.
     Tho', thanks to Heaven, I dare even that last shift,
     I trust, meantime, my boon is in thy gift:
     That, plac'd by thee upon the wish'd-for height,
     Where, man and nature fairer in her sight,
     My Muse may imp her wing for some sublimer flight.




 

Song.—The Day Returns

     Tune—"Seventh of November."
     The day returns, my bosom burns,
     The blissful day we twa did meet:
     Tho' winter wild in tempest toil'd,
     Ne'er summer-sun was half sae sweet.
     Than a' the pride that loads the tide,
     And crosses o'er the sultry line;
     Than kingly robes, than crowns and globes,
     Heav'n gave me more—it made thee mine!

     While day and night can bring delight,
     Or Nature aught of pleasure give;
     While joys above my mind can move,
     For thee, and thee alone, I live.
     When that grim foe of life below
     Comes in between to make us part,
     The iron hand that breaks our band,
     It breaks my bliss—it breaks my heart!




 

Song.—O, Were I On Parnassus Hill

     Tune—"My love is lost to me."
     O, were I on Parnassus hill,
     Or had o' Helicon my fill,
     That I might catch poetic skill,
     To sing how dear I love thee!
     But Nith maun be my Muse's well,
     My Muse maun be thy bonie sel',
     On Corsincon I'll glowr and spell,
     And write how dear I love thee.

     Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay!
     For a' the lee-lang simmer's day
     I couldna sing, I couldna say,
     How much, how dear, I love thee,
     I see thee dancing o'er the green,
     Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean,
     Thy tempting lips, thy roguish een—
     By Heaven and Earth I love thee!

     By night, by day, a-field, at hame,
     The 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 on,
     Beyond the sea, beyond the sun,
     Till 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 word, the arrow sped,
     And pierc'd my darling's heart;
     And with him all the joys are fled
     Life can to me impart.

     By cruel hands the sapling drops,
     In dust dishonour'd laid;
     So fell the pride of all my hopes,
     My age's future shade.

     The mother-linnet in the brake
     Bewails her ravish'd young;
     So I, for my lost darling's sake,
     Lament the live-day long.

     Death, oft I've feared thy fatal blow.
     Now, fond, I bare my breast;
     O, do thou kindly lay me low
     With him I love, at rest!




 

The Fall Of The Leaf

     The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill,
     Concealing the course of the dark-winding rill;
     How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear!
     As Autumn to Winter resigns the pale year.

     The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown,
     And all the gay foppery of summer is flown:
     Apart let me wander, apart let me muse,
     How quick Time is flying, how keen Fate pursues!

     How long I have liv'd—but how much liv'd in vain,
     How little of life's scanty span may remain,
     What aspects old Time in his progress has worn,
     What ties cruel Fate, in my bosom has torn.

     How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gain'd!
     And downward, how weaken'd, how darken'd, how 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

     Louis, what reck I by thee,
     Or Geordie on his ocean?
     Dyvor, beggar louns to me,
     I reign in Jeanie's bosom!

     Let her crown my love her law,
     And in her breast enthrone me,
     Kings and nations—swith awa'!
     Reif randies, I disown ye!

     It Is Na, Jean, Thy Bonie Face

     It is na, Jean, thy bonie face,
     Nor shape that I admire;
     Altho' thy beauty and thy grace
     Might weel awauk desire.

     Something, in ilka part o' thee,
     To praise, to love, I find,
     But dear as is thy form to me,
     Still dearer is thy mind.

     Nae mair ungenerous wish I hae,
     Nor stronger in my breast,
     Than, if I canna make thee sae,
     At least to see thee blest.

     Content am I, if heaven shall give
     But happiness, to thee;
     And as wi' thee I'd wish to live,
     For thee I'd bear to die.




 

Auld Lang Syne

     Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
     And never brought to mind?
     Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
     And auld lang syne!

     Chorus.—For auld lang syne, my dear,
     For auld lang syne.
     We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
     For 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 yet,
     For auld lang syne.
     For auld, &c.

     We twa hae run about the braes,
     And pou'd the gowans fine;
     But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
     Sin' auld lang syne.
     For auld, &c.

     We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
     Frae morning sun till dine;
     But seas between us braid hae roar'd
     Sin' auld lang syne.
     For auld, &c.

     And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
     And gie's a hand o' thine!
     And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught,
     For auld lang syne.
     For auld, &c.




 

My Bonie Mary

     Go, fetch to me a pint o' wine,
     And fill it in a silver tassie;
     That I may drink before I go,
     A 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-law,
     And I maun leave my bonie Mary.

     The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
     The glittering spears are ranked ready:
     The shouts o' war are heard afar,
     The battle closes deep and bloody;
     It's not the roar o' sea or shore,
     Wad mak me langer wish to tarry!
     Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar—
     It's leaving thee, my bonie Mary!




 

The Parting Kiss

     Humid seal of soft affections,
     Tenderest pledge of future bliss,
     Dearest tie of young connections,
     Love's first snowdrop, virgin kiss!

     Speaking silence, dumb confession,
     Passion's birth, and infant's play,
     Dove-like fondness, chaste concession,
     Glowing dawn of future day!

     Sorrowing joy, Adieu's last action,
     (Lingering lips must now disjoin),
     What words can ever speak affection
     So thrilling and sincere as thine!




 

Written In Friar's-Carse Hermitage

     On Nithside

     Thou whom chance may hither lead,
     Be thou clad in russet weed,
     Be thou deckt in silken stole,
     Grave these counsels on thy soul.

     Life is but a day at most,
     Sprung from night,—in darkness lost;
     Hope not sunshine ev'ry hour,
     Fear not clouds will always lour.

     As Youth and Love with sprightly dance,
     Beneath thy morning star advance,
     Pleasure with her siren air
     May delude the thoughtless pair;
     Let Prudence bless Enjoyment's cup,
     Then raptur'd sip, and sip it up.

     As thy day grows warm and high,
     Life's meridian flaming nigh,
     Dost thou spurn the humble vale?
     Life's proud summits wouldst thou scale?
     Check thy climbing step, elate,
     Evils lurk in felon wait:
     Dangers, eagle-pinioned, bold,
     Soar around each cliffy hold!
     While cheerful Peace, with linnet song,
     Chants the lowly dells among.

     As the shades of ev'ning close,
     Beck'ning thee to long repose;
     As life itself becomes disease,
     Seek the chimney-nook of ease;
     There ruminate with sober thought,
     On all thou'st seen, and heard, and wrought,
     And teach the sportive younkers round,
     Saws of experience, sage and sound:
     Say, man's true, genuine estimate,
     The grand criterion of his fate,
     Is 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 them, and press it on their mind,
     As thou thyself must shortly find,
     The smile or frown of awful Heav'n,
     To virtue or to Vice is giv'n,
     Say, to be just, and kind, and wise—
     There solid self-enjoyment lies;
     That foolish, selfish, faithless ways
     Lead to be wretched, vile, and base.

     Thus resign'd and quiet, creep
     To the bed of lasting sleep,—
     Sleep, whence thou shalt ne'er awake,
     Night, where dawn shall never break,
     Till future life, future no more,
     To light and joy the good restore,
     To light and joy unknown before.
     Stranger, go! Heav'n be thy guide!
     Quod the Beadsman of Nithside.




 

The Poet's Progress

     A Poem In Embryo

     Thou, Nature, partial Nature, I arraign;
     Of thy caprice maternal I complain.

     The peopled fold thy kindly care have found,
     The horned bull, tremendous, spurns the ground;
     The lordly lion has enough and more,
     The forest trembles at his very roar;
     Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell,
     The puny wasp, victorious, guards his cell.
     Thy minions, kings defend, controul devour,
     In all th' omnipotence of rule and power:
     Foxes and statesmen subtle wiles ensure;
     The cit and polecat stink, and are secure:
     Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug,
     The priest and hedgehog, in their robes, are snug:
     E'en silly women have defensive arts,
     Their eyes, their tongues—and nameless other parts.

     But O thou cruel stepmother and hard,
     To thy poor fenceless, naked child, the Bard!
     A thing unteachable in worldly skill,
     And half an idiot too, more helpless still:
     No heels to bear him from the op'ning dun,
     No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun:
     No horns, but those by luckless Hymen worn,
     And those, alas! not Amalthea's horn:
     No nerves olfact'ry, true to Mammon's foot,
     Or grunting, grub sagacious, evil's root:
     The silly sheep that wanders wild astray,
     Is not more friendless, is not more a prey;
     Vampyre—booksellers drain him to the heart,
     And viper—critics cureless venom dart.

     Critics! appll'd I venture on the name,
     Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame,
     Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes,
     He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose:
     By blockhead's daring into madness stung,
     His heart by wanton, causeless malice wrung,
     His well-won ways—than life itself more dear—
     By miscreants torn who ne'er one sprig must wear;
     Foil'd, bleeding, tortur'd in th' unequal strife,
     The hapless Poet flounces on through life,
     Till, fled each hope that once his bosom fired,
     And fled each Muse that glorious once inspir'd,
     Low-sunk in squalid, unprotected age,
     Dead even resentment for his injur'd page,
     He heeds no more the ruthless critics' rage.

     So by some hedge the generous steed deceas'd,
     For half-starv'd, snarling curs a dainty feast;
     By toil and famine worn to skin and bone,
     Lies, senseless of each tugging bitch's son.

     A little upright, pert, tart, tripping wight,
     And still his precious self his dear delight;
     Who loves his own smart shadow in the streets,
     Better than e'er the fairest she he meets;
     Much specious lore, but little understood,
     (Veneering oft outshines the solid wood),
     His solid sense, by inches you must tell,
     But mete his cunning by the Scottish ell!
     A man of fashion too, he made his tour,
     Learn'd "vive la bagatelle et vive l'amour;"
     So travell'd monkeys their grimace improve,
     Polish their grin—nay, sigh for ladies' love!
     His meddling vanity, a busy fiend,
     Still making work his selfish craft must mend.

     * * * Crochallan came,
     The old cock'd hat, the brown surtout—the same;
     His grisly beard just bristling in its might—
     'Twas four long nights and days from shaving-night;
     His uncomb'd, hoary locks, wild-staring, thatch'd
     A head, for thought profound and clear, unmatch'd;
     Yet, tho' his caustic wit was biting-rude,
     His heart was warm, benevolent and good.

     O Dulness, portion of the truly blest!
     Calm, shelter'd haven of eternal rest!
     Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremes
     Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams;
     If mantling high she fills the golden cup,
     With sober, selfish ease they sip it up;
     Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve,
     They only wonder "some folks" do not starve!
     The grave, sage hern thus easy picks his frog,
     And thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog.
     When disappointment snaps the thread of Hope,
     When, thro' disastrous night, they darkling grope,
     With deaf endurance sluggishly they bear,
     And just conclude that "fools are Fortune's care:"
     So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks,
     Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.

     Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap train,
     Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain;
     In equanimity they never dwell,
     By turns in soaring heaven, or vaulted hell!




 

Elegy On The Year 1788

     For lords or kings I dinna mourn,
     E'en let them die—for that they're born:
     But oh! prodigious to reflec'!
     A Towmont, sirs, is gane to wreck!
     O Eighty-eight, in thy sma' space,
     What 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 head,
     And my auld teethless, Bawtie's dead:
     The tulyie's teugh 'tween Pitt and Fox,
     And 'tween our Maggie's twa wee cocks;
     The tane is game, a bluidy devil,
     But to the hen-birds unco civil;
     The tither's something dour o' treadin,
     But better stuff ne'er claw'd a middin.

     Ye ministers, come mount the poupit,
     An' cry till ye be hearse an' roupit,
     For Eighty-eight, he wished you weel,
     An' gied ye a' baith gear an' meal;
     E'en monc a plack, and mony a peck,
     Ye ken yoursels, for little feck!

     Ye bonie lasses, dight your e'en,
     For some o' you hae tint a frien';
     In Eighty-eight, ye ken, was taen,
     What ye'll ne'er hae to gie again.

     Observe the very nowt an' sheep,
     How dowff an' daviely they creep;
     Nay, even the yirth itsel' does cry,
     For E'nburgh wells are grutten dry.

     O Eighty-nine, thou's but a bairn,
     An' no owre auld, I hope, to learn!
     Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care,
     Thou now hast got thy Daddy's chair;
     Nae handcuff'd, mizl'd, hap-shackl'd Regent,
     But, like himsel, a full free agent,
     Be sure ye follow out the plan
     Nae waur than he did, honest man!
     As muckle better as you can.

     January, 1, 1789.




 

The Henpecked Husband

     Curs'd be the man, the poorest wretch in life,
     The crouching vassal to a tyrant wife!
     Who has no will but by her high permission,
     Who has not sixpence but in her possession;
     Who must to he, his dear friend's secrets tell,
     Who dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell.
     Were such the wife had fallen to my part,
     I'd break her spirit or I'd break her heart;
     I'd charm her with the magic of a switch,
     I'd kiss her maids, and kick the perverse bitch.




 

Versicles On Sign-Posts

     His face with smile eternal drest,
     Just like the Landlord's to his Guest's,
     High as they hang with creaking din,
     To index out the Country Inn.
     He looked just as your sign-post Lions do,
     With aspect fierce, and quite as harmless too.

     A head, pure, sinless quite of brain and soul,
     The very image of a barber's Poll;
     It shews a human face, and wears a wig,
     And looks, when well preserv'd, amazing big.




 





 

Robin Shure In Hairst

     Chorus.—Robin shure in hairst,
     I shure wi' him.
     Fient a heuk had I,
     Yet I stack by him.

     I gaed up to Dunse,
     To warp a wab o' plaiden,
     At his daddie's yett,
     Wha met me but Robin:
     Robin shure, &c.

     Was na Robin bauld,
     Tho' I was a cotter,
     Play'd me sic a trick,
     An' me the El'er's dochter!
     Robin shure, &c.

     Robin promis'd me
     A' my winter vittle;
     Fient haet he had but three
     Guse-feathers and a whittle!
     Robin shure, &c.




 

Ode, Sacred To The Memory Of Mrs. Oswald Of Auchencruive

     Dweller in yon dungeon dark,
     Hangman of creation! mark,
     Who in widow-weeds appears,
     Laden with unhonour'd years,
     Noosing with care a bursting purse,
     Baited with many a deadly curse?
     Strophe

     View the wither'd Beldam's face;
     Can thy keen inspection trace
     Aught of Humanity's sweet, melting grace?
     Note that eye, 'tis rheum o'erflows;
     Pity's flood there never rose,
     See these hands ne'er stretched to save,
     Hands that took, but never gave:
     Keeper of Mammon's iron chest,
     Lo, there she goes, unpitied and unblest,
     She goes, but not to realms of everlasting rest!
     Antistrophe

     Plunderer of Armies! lift thine eyes,
     (A while forbear, ye torturing fiends;)
     Seest thou whose step, unwilling, hither bends?
     No fallen angel, hurl'd from upper skies;
     'Tis thy trusty quondam Mate,
     Doom'd to share thy fiery fate;
     She, tardy, hell-ward plies.
     Epode

     And are they of no more avail,
     Ten thousand glittering pounds a-year?
     In other worlds can Mammon fail,
     Omnipotent as he is here!

     O, bitter mockery of the pompous bier,
     While down the wretched Vital Part is driven!
     The cave-lodged Beggar,with a conscience clear,
     Expires in rags, unknown, and goes to Heaven.




 

Pegasus At Wanlockhead

     With Pegasus upon a day,
     Apollo, weary flying,
     Through frosty hills the journey lay,
     On foot the way was plying.

     Poor slipshod giddy Pegasus
     Was but a sorry walker;
     To Vulcan then Apollo goes,
     To get a frosty caulker.

     Obliging Vulcan fell to work,
     Threw by his coat and bonnet,
     And did Sol's business in a crack;
     Sol paid him with a sonnet.

     Ye Vulcan's sons of Wanlockhead,
     Pity my sad disaster;
     My Pegasus is poorly shod,
     I'll pay you like my master.




 

Sappho Redivivus—A Fragment

     By all I lov'd, neglected and forgot,
     No friendly face e'er lights my squalid cot;
     Shunn'd, hated, wrong'd, unpitied, unredrest,
     The mock'd quotation of the scorner's jest!
     Ev'n the poor support of my wretched life,
     Snatched by the violence of legal strife.
     Oft grateful for my very daily bread
     To those my family's once large bounty fed;
     A welcome inmate at their homely fare,
     My griefs, my woes, my sighs, my tears they share:
     (Their vulgar souls unlike the souls refin'd,
     The fashioned marble of the polished mind).

     In vain would Prudence, with decorous sneer,
     Point out a censuring world, and bid me fear;
     Above the world, on wings of Love, I rise—
     I know its worst, and can that worst despise;
     Let Prudence' direst bodements on me fall,
     M[ontgomer]y, rich reward, o'erpays them all!

     Mild zephyrs waft thee to life's farthest shore,
     Nor think of me and my distress more,—
     Falsehood accurst! No! still I beg a place,
     Still near thy heart some little, little trace:
     For that dear trace the world I would resign:
     O let me live, and die, and think it mine!

     "I burn, I burn, as when thro' ripen'd corn
     By driving winds the crackling flames are borne;"
     Now raving-wild, I curse that fatal night,
     Then bless the hour that charm'd my guilty sight:
     In vain the laws their feeble force oppose,
     Chain'd at Love's feet, they groan, his vanquish'd foes.
     In vain Religion meets my shrinking eye,
     I dare not combat, but I turn and fly:
     Conscience in vain upbraids th' unhallow'd fire,
     Love grasps her scorpions—stifled they expire!
     Reason drops headlong from his sacred throne,

     Your dear idea reigns, and reigns alone;
     Each thought intoxicated homage yields,
     And 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 swear,
     Not life, nor soul, were ever half so dear!




 

Song—She's Fair And Fause

     She's fair and fause that causes my smart,
     I lo'ed her meikle and lang;
     She's broken her vow, she's broken my heart,
     And I may e'en gae hang.
     A coof cam in wi' routh o' gear,
     And I hae tint my dearest dear;
     But Woman is but warld's gear,
     Sae let the bonie lass gang.

     Whae'er ye be that woman love,
     To this be never blind;
     Nae ferlie 'tis tho' fickle she prove,
     A woman has't by kind.
     O Woman lovely, Woman 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 Review, sir.
     I've read through and through, sir,
     With little admiring or blaming;
     The Papers are barren
     Of home-news or foreign,
     No murders or rapes worth the naming.

     Our friends, the Reviewers,
     Those chippers and hewers,
     Are judges of mortar and stone, sir;
     But of meet or unmeet,
     In a fabric complete,
     I'll boldly pronounce they are none, sir;

     My goose-quill too rude is
     To tell all your goodness
     Bestow'd on your servant, the Poet;
     Would to God I had one
     Like a beam of the sun,
     And then all the world, sir, should know it!




 

Lines To John M'Murdo, Esq. Of Drumlanrig

     Sent with some of the Author's Poems.

     O could I give thee India's wealth,
     As I this trifle send;
     Because thy joy in both would be
     To share them with a friend.

     But golden sands did never grace
     The Heliconian stream;
     Then take what gold could never buy—
     An honest bard's esteem.




 

Rhyming Reply To A Note From Captain Riddell

     Dear, Sir, at ony time or tide,
     I'd rather sit wi' you than ride,
     Though 'twere wi' royal Geordie:
     And trowth, your kindness, soon and late,
     Aft gars me to mysel' look blate—
     The Lord in Heav'n reward ye!

     R. Burns.
     Ellisland.




 

Caledonia—A Ballad

     Tune—"Caledonian Hunts' Delight" of Mr. Gow.
     There was once a day, but old Time wasythen young,
     That brave Caledonia, the chief of her line,
     From some of your northern deities sprung,
     (Who knows not that brave Caledonia's divine?)
     From Tweed to the Orcades was her domain,
     To hunt, or to pasture, or do what she would:
     Her heav'nly relations there fixed her reign,
     And pledg'd her their godheads to warrant it good.

     A lambkin in peace, but a lion in war,
     The pride of her kindred, the heroine grew:
     Her grandsire, old Odin, triumphantly swore,—
     "Whoe'er shall provoke thee, th' encounter shall rue!"
     With tillage or pasture at times she would sport,
     To feed her fair flocks by her green rustling corn;
     But chiefly the woods were her fav'rite resort,
     Her darling amusement, the hounds and the horn.

     Long quiet she reigned; till thitherward steers
     A flight of bold eagles from Adria's strand:
     Repeated, successive, for many long years,
     They darken'd the air, and they plunder'd the land:
     Their pounces were murder, and terror their cry,
     They'd conquer'd and ruin'd a world beside;
     She took to her hills, and her arrows let fly,
     The daring invaders they fled or they died.

     The Cameleon-Savage disturb'd her repose,
     With tumult, disquiet, rebellion, and strife;
     Provok'd beyond bearing, at last she arose,
     And robb'd him at once of his hopes and his life:
     The Anglian lion, the terror of France,
     Oft prowling, ensanguin'd the Tweed's silver flood;
     But, taught by the bright Caledonian lance,
     He learned to fear in his own native wood.

     The fell Harpy-raven took wing from the north,
     The scourge of the seas, and the dread of the shore;
     The wild Scandinavian boar issued forth
     To wanton in carnage and wallow in gore:
     O'er countries and kingdoms their fury prevail'd,
     No arts could appease them, no arms could repel;
     But brave Caledonia in vain they assail'd,
     As Largs well can witness, and Loncartie tell.

     Thus bold, independent, unconquer'd, and free,
     Her 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—triangle, the figure we'll chuse:
     The upright is Chance, and old Time is the base;
     But brave Caledonia's the hypothenuse;
     Then, ergo, she'll match them, and match them always.




 

To Miss Cruickshank

     A very Young Lady

Written on the Blank Leaf of a Book, presented to her by the Author.

     Beauteous Rosebud, young and gay,
     Blooming in thy early May,
     Never may'st thou, lovely flower,
     Chilly shrink in sleety shower!
     Never Boreas' hoary path,
     Never Eurus' pois'nous breath,
     Never baleful stellar lights,
     Taint thee with untimely blights!
     Never, never reptile thief
     Riot on thy virgin leaf!
     Nor even Sol too fiercely view
     Thy bosom blushing still with dew!

     May'st thou long, sweet crimson gem,
     Richly deck thy native stem;
     Till some ev'ning, sober, calm,
     Dropping dews, and breathing balm,
     While all around the woodland rings,
     And ev'ry bird thy requiem sings;
     Thou, amid the dirgeful sound,
     Shed thy dying honours round,
     And resign to parent Earth
     The loveliest form she e'er gave birth.




 

Beware O' Bonie Ann

     Ye gallants bright, I rede you right,
     Beware o' bonie Ann;
     Her comely face sae fu' o' grace,
     Your heart she will trepan:
     Her een sae bright, like stars by night,
     Her skin sae like the swan;
     Sae jimply lac'd her genty waist,
     That sweetly ye might span.

     Youth, Grace, and Love attendant move,
     And pleasure leads the van:
     In a' their charms, and conquering arms,
     They wait on bonie Ann.
     The captive bands may chain the hands,
     But love enslaves the man:
     Ye gallants braw, I rede you a',
     Beware o' bonie Ann!




 

Ode On The Departed Regency Bill

     (March, 1789)

     Daughter of Chaos' doting years,
     Nurse of ten thousand hopes and fears,
     Whether thy airy, insubstantial shade
     (The rights of sepulture now duly paid)
     Spread abroad its hideous form
     On the roaring civil storm,
     Deafening din and warring rage
     Factions wild with factions wage;
     Or under-ground, deep-sunk, profound,
     Among the demons of the earth,
     With groans that make the mountains shake,
     Thou mourn thy ill-starr'd, blighted birth;
     Or in the uncreated Void,
     Where seeds of future being fight,
     With lessen'd step thou wander wide,
     To greet thy Mother—Ancient Night.
     And as each jarring, monster-mass is past,
     Fond recollect what once thou wast:
     In manner due, beneath this sacred oak,
     Hear, Spirit, hear! thy presence I invoke!
     By a Monarch's heaven-struck fate,
     By a disunited State,
     By a generous Prince's wrongs.
     By a Senate's strife of tongues,
     By a Premier's sullen pride,
     Louring on the changing tide;
     By dread Thurlow's powers to awe
     Rhetoric, blasphemy and law;
     By the turbulent ocean—
     A Nation's commotion,
     By the harlot-caresses
     Of borough addresses,
     By days few and evil,
     (Thy portion, poor devil!)
     By Power, Wealth, and Show,
     (The Gods by men adored,)
     By nameless Poverty,
     (Their hell abhorred,)
     By all they hope, by all they fear,
     Hear! and appear!

     Stare not on me, thou ghastly Power!
     Nor, grim with chained defiance, lour:
     No Babel-structure would I build
     Where, order exil'd from his native sway,
     Confusion may the regent-sceptre wield,
     While all would rule and none obey:
     Go, to the world of man relate
     The story of thy sad, eventful fate;
     And call presumptuous Hope to hear
     And bid him check his blind career;
     And tell the sore-prest sons of Care,
     Never, never to despair!
     Paint Charles' speed on wings of fire,
     The object of his fond desire,
     Beyond his boldest hopes, at hand:
     Paint all the triumph of the Portland Band;
     Hark how they lift the joy-elated voice!
     And who are these that equally rejoice?
     Jews, Gentiles, what a motley crew!
     The iron tears their flinty cheeks bedew;
     See how unfurled the parchment ensigns fly,
     And Principal and Interest all the cry!
     And how their num'rous creditors rejoice;
     But just as hopes to warm enjoyment rise,
     Cry Convalescence! and the vision flies.
     Then next pourtray a dark'ning twilight gloom,
     Eclipsing sad a gay, rejoicing morn,
     While proud Ambition to th' untimely tomb
     By gnashing, grim, despairing fiends is borne:
     Paint ruin, in the shape of high D[undas]
     Gaping with giddy terror o'er the brow;
     In vain he struggles, the fates behind him press,
     And clam'rous hell yawns for her prey below:
     How fallen That, whose pride late scaled the skies!
     And This, like Lucifer, no more to rise!
     Again pronounce the powerful word;
     See Day, triumphant from the night, restored.

     Then know this truth, ye Sons of Men!
     (Thus ends thy moral tale,)
     Your darkest terrors may be vain,
     Your brightest hopes may fail.




 

Epistle To James Tennant Of Glenconner

     Auld comrade dear, and brither sinner,
     How's a' the folk about Glenconner?
     How do you this blae eastlin wind,
     That's like to blaw a body blind?
     For me, my faculties are frozen,
     My dearest member nearly dozen'd.
     I've sent you here, by Johnie Simson,
     Twa sage philosophers to glimpse on;
     Smith, wi' his sympathetic feeling,
     An' Reid, to common sense appealing.
     Philosophers have fought and wrangled,
     An' meikle Greek an' Latin mangled,
     Till wi' their logic-jargon tir'd,
     And in the depth of science mir'd,
     To common sense they now appeal,
     What wives and wabsters see and feel.
     But, hark ye, friend! I charge you strictly,
     Peruse them, an' return them quickly:
     For now I'm grown sae cursed douce
     I pray and ponder butt the house;
     My shins, my lane, I there sit roastin',
     Perusing Bunyan, Brown, an' Boston,
     Till by an' by, if I haud on,
     I'll grunt a real gospel-groan:
     Already I begin to try it,
     To cast my e'en up like a pyet,
     When by the gun she tumbles o'er
     Flutt'ring an' gasping in her gore:
     Sae shortly you shall see me bright,
     A burning an' a shining light.

     My heart-warm love to guid auld Glen,
     The ace an' wale of honest men:
     When bending down wi' auld grey hairs
     Beneath the load of years and cares,
     May He who made him still support him,
     An' views beyond the grave comfort him;
     His worthy fam'ly far and near,
     God bless them a' wi' grace and gear!

     My auld schoolfellow, Preacher Willie,
     The manly tar, my mason-billie,
     And Auchenbay, I wish him joy,
     If he's a parent, lass or boy,
     May he be dad, and Meg the mither,
     Just five-and-forty years thegither!
     And no forgetting wabster Charlie,
     I'm tauld he offers very fairly.
     An' Lord, remember singing Sannock,
     Wi' hale breeks, saxpence, an' a bannock!
     And next, my auld acquaintance, Nancy,
     Since she is fitted to her fancy,
     An' her kind stars hae airted till her
     gA guid chiel wi' a pickle siller.
     My kindest, best respects, I sen' it,
     To cousin Kate, an' sister Janet:
     Tell them, frae me, wi' chiels be cautious,
     For, faith, they'll aiblins fin' them fashious;
     To grant a heart is fairly civil,
     But to grant a maidenhead's the devil.
     An' lastly, Jamie, for yoursel,
     May guardian angels tak a spell,
     An' steer you seven miles south o' hell:
     But first, before you see heaven's glory,
     May ye get mony a merry story,
     Mony a laugh, and mony a drink,
     And aye eneugh o' needfu' clink.

     Now fare ye weel, an' joy be wi' you:
     For my sake, this I beg it o' you,
     Assist poor Simson a' ye can,
     Ye'll fin; him just an honest man;
     Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter,
     Your's, saint or sinner,
     Rob 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 Lord,
     Make, all and every one,
     A joyful noise, even for the King
     His restoration.

     The sons of Belial in the land
     Did set their heads together;
     Come, let us sweep them off, said they,
     Like an o'erflowing river.

     They set their heads together, I say,
     They set their heads together;
     On right, on left, on every hand,
     We saw none to deliver.

     Thou madest strong two chosen ones
     To quell the Wicked's pride;
     That Young Man, great in Issachar,
     The burden-bearing tribe.

     And him, among the Princes chief
     In our Jerusalem,
     The judge that's mighty in thy law,
     The man that fears thy name.

     Yet they, even they, with all their strength,
     Began to faint and fail:
     Even as two howling, ravenous wolves
     To dogs do turn their tail.

     Th' ungodly o'er the just prevail'd,
     For so thou hadst appointed;
     That thou might'st greater glory give
     Unto thine own anointed.

     And now thou hast restored our State,
     Pity our Kirk also;
     For she by tribulations
     Is now brought very low.

     Consume that high-place, Patronage,
     From off thy holy hill;
     And in thy fury burn the book—
     Even of that man M'Gill.^1

     Now hear our prayer, accept our song,
     And fight thy chosen's battle:
     We seek but little, Lord, from thee,
     Thou kens we get as little.

     [Footnote 1: Dr. William M'Gill of Ayr, whose "Practical
     Essay on the Death of Jesus Christ" led to a charge of
     heresy against him. Burns took up his cause in "The Kirk of
     Scotland's Alarm" (p. 351).—Lang.]




 

Sketch In Verse

     Inscribed to the Right Hon. C. J. Fox.

     How wisdom and Folly meet, mix, and unite,
     How Virtue and Vice blend their black and their white,
     How Genius, th' illustrious father of fiction,
     Confounds rule and law, reconciles contradiction,
     I sing: If these mortals, the critics, should bustle,
     I care not, not I—let the Critics go whistle!

     But now for a Patron whose name and whose glory,
     At once may illustrate and honour my story.

     Thou first of our orators, first of our wits;
     Yet whose parts and acquirements seem just lucky hits;
     With knowledge so vast, and with judgment so strong,
     No man with the half of 'em e'er could go wrong;
     With passions so potent, and fancies so bright,
     No man with the half of 'em e'er could go right;
     A sorry, poor, misbegot son of the Muses,
     For using thy name, offers fifty excuses.
     Good Lord, what is Man! for as simple he looks,
     Do but try to develop his hooks and his crooks;
     With his depths and his shallows, his good and his evil,
     All in all he's a problem must puzzle the devil.

     On his one ruling passion Sir Pope hugely labours,
     That, like th' old Hebrew walking-switch, eats up its neighbours:
     Mankind are his show-box—a friend, would you know him?
     Pull the string, Ruling Passion the picture will show him,
     What pity, in rearing so beauteous a system,
     One trifling particular, Truth, should have miss'd him;
     For, spite of his fine theoretic positions,
     Mankind is a science defies definitions.

     Some sort all our qualities each to its tribe,
     And think human nature they truly describe;
     Have you found this, or t'other? There's more in the wind;
     As by one drunken fellow his comrades you'll find.
     But such is the flaw, or the depth of the plan,
     In the make of that wonderful creature called Man,
     No two virtues, whatever relation they claim.
     Nor even two different shades of the same,
     Though like as was ever twin brother to brother,
     Possessing the one shall imply you've the other.

     But truce with abstraction, and truce with a Muse
     Whose rhymes you'll perhaps, Sir, ne'er deign to peruse:
     Will you leave your justings, your jars, and your quarrels,
     Contending with Billy for proud-nodding laurels?
     My much-honour'd Patron, believe your poor poet,
     Your courage, much more than your prudence, you show it:
     In vain with Squire Billy for laurels you struggle:
     He'll have them by fair trade, if not, he will smuggle:
     Not cabinets even of kings would conceal 'em,
     He'd up the back stairs, and by God, he would steal 'em,
     Then feats like Squire Billy's you ne'er can achieve 'em;
     It is not, out-do him—the task is, out-thieve him!




 

The Wounded Hare

     Inhuman man! curse on thy barb'rous art,
     And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye;
     May never pity soothe thee with a sigh,
     Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!

     Go live, poor wand'rer of the wood and field!
     The bitter little that of life remains:
     No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains
     To thee a home, or food, or pastime yield.

     Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest,
     No more of rest, but now thy dying bed!
     The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy head,
     The 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 nurslings, who will now provide
     That life a mother only can bestow!

     Oft as by winding Nith I, musing, wait
     The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn,
     I'll miss thee sporting o'er the dewy lawn,
     And curse the ruffian's aim, and mourn thy hapless fate.




 

Delia, An Ode

"To the Editor of The Star.—Mr. Printer—If the productions of a simple ploughman can merit a place in the same paper with Sylvester Otway, and the other favourites of the Muses who illuminate the Star with the lustre of genius, your insertion of the enclosed trifle will be succeeded by future communications from—Yours, &c., R. Burns.

          Ellisland, near Dumfries, 18th May, 1789."
     Fair the face of orient day,
     Fair the tints of op'ning rose;
     But fairer still my Delia dawns,
     More lovely far her beauty shows.

     Sweet the lark's wild warbled lay,
     Sweet the tinkling rill to hear;
     But, Delia, more delightful still,
     Steal thine accents on mine ear.

     The flower-enamour'd busy bee
     The rosy banquet loves to sip;
     Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapse
     To the sun-brown'd Arab's lip.

     But, Delia, on thy balmy lips
     Let me, no vagrant insect, rove;
     O let me steal one liquid kiss,
     For 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' flowers,
     To deck her gay, green-spreading bowers,
     Then busy, busy are his hours,
     The 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 hare
     To steal upon her early fare;
     Then thro' the dews he maun repair—
     The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.

     When day, expiring in the west,
     The curtain draws o' Nature's rest,
     He flies to her arms he lo'es the best,
     The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.




 

On A Bank Of Flowers

     On a bank of flowers, in a summer day,
     For summer lightly drest,
     The youthful, blooming Nelly lay,
     With love and sleep opprest;
     When Willie, wand'ring thro' the wood,
     Who for her favour oft had sued;
     He gaz'd, he wish'd
     He fear'd, he blush'd,
     And trembled where he stood.

     Her closed eyes, like weapons sheath'd,
     Were seal'd in soft repose;
     Her lip, still as she fragrant breath'd,
     It richer dyed the rose;
     The springing lilies, sweetly prest,
     Wild-wanton kissed her rival breast;
     He gaz'd, he wish'd,
     He mear'd, he blush'd,
     His bosom ill at rest.

     Her robes, light-waving in the breeze,
     Her tender limbs embrace;
     Her lovely form, her native ease,
     All harmony and grace;
     Tumultuous tides his pulses roll,
     A faltering, ardent kiss he stole;
     He gaz'd, he wish'd,
     He fear'd, he blush'd,
     And sigh'd his very soul.

     As flies the partridge from the brake,
     On fear-inspired wings,
     So Nelly, starting, half-awake,
     Away affrighted springs;
     But Willie follow'd—as he should,
     He overtook her in the wood;
     He vow'd, he pray'd,
     He found the maid
     Forgiving all, and good.




 

Young Jockie Was The Blythest Lad

     Young Jockie was the blythest lad,
     In a' our town or here awa;
     Fu' blythe he whistled at the gaud,
     Fu' lightly danc'd he in the ha'.

     He roos'd my een sae bonie blue,
     He 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 plain,
     Thro' wind and weet, thro' frost and snaw:
     And o'er the lea I leuk fu' fain,
     When Jockie's owsen hameward ca'.

     An' aye the night comes round again,
     When in his arms he taks me a';
     An' aye he vows he'll be my ain,
     As lang's he has a breath to draw.




 

The Banks Of Nith

     The Thames flows proudly to the sea,
     Where royal cities stately stand;
     But sweeter flows the Nith to me,
     Where Comyns ance had high command.
     When shall I see that honour'd land,
     That winding stream I love so dear!
     Must wayward Fortune's adverse hand
     For ever, ever keep me here!

     How lovely, Nith, thy fruitful vales,
     Where bounding hawthorns gaily bloom;
     And sweetly spread thy sloping dales,
     Where lambkins wanton through the broom.
     Tho' wandering now must be my doom,
     Far from thy bonie banks and braes,
     May there my latest hours consume,
     Amang the friends of early days!




 

Jamie, Come Try Me

     Chorus.—Jamie, come try me,
     Jamie, come try me,
     If thou would win my love,
     Jamie, come try me.

     If thou should ask my love,
     Could I deny thee?
     If thou would win my love,
     Jamie, come try me!
     Jamie, come try me, &c.

     If thou should kiss me, love,
     Wha could espy thee?
     If thou wad be my love,
     Jamie, come try me!
     Jamie, come try me, &c.




 

I Love My Love In Secret

     My Sandy gied to me a ring,
     Was a' beset wi' diamonds fine;
     But I gied him a far better thing,
     I gied my heart in pledge o' his ring.

     Chorus.—My Sandy O, my Sandy O,
     My bonie, bonie Sandy O;
     Tho' the love that I owe
     To thee I dare na show,
     Yet I love my love in secret, my Sandy O.

     My Sandy brak a piece o' gowd,
     While down his cheeks the saut tears row'd;
     He took a hauf, and gied it to me,
     And I'll keep it till the hour I die.
     My Sand O, &c.




 

Sweet Tibbie Dunbar

     O wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar?
     O wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar?
     Wilt thou ride on a horse, or be drawn in a car,
     Or walk by my side, O sweet Tibbie Dunbar?

     I care na thy daddie, his lands and his money,
     I care na thy kin, sae high and sae lordly;
     But sae that thou'lt hae me for better for waur,
     And come in thy coatie, sweet Tibbie Dunbar.




 

The Captain's Lady

     Chorus.—O mount and go, mount and make you ready,
     O mount and go, and be the Captain's lady.

     When the drums do beat, and the cannons rattle,
     Thou shalt sit in state, and see thy love in battle:
     When the drums do beat, and the cannons rattle,
     Thou shalt sit in state, and see thy love in battle.
     O mount and go, &c.

     When the vanquish'd foe sues for peace and quiet,
     To the shades we'll go, and in love enjoy it:
     When the vanquish'd foe sues for peace and quiet,
     To the shades we'll go, and in love enjoy it.
     O mount and go, &c.




 

John Anderson, My Jo

     John Anderson, my jo, John,
     When we were first acquent;
     Your locks were like the raven,
     Your bonie brow was brent;
     But now your brow is beld, John,
     Your locks are like the snaw;
     But blessings on your frosty pow,
     John Anderson, my jo.

     John Anderson, my jo, John,
     We clamb the hill thegither;
     And mony a cantie day, John,
     We've had wi' ane anither:
     Now we maun totter down, John,
     And hand in hand we'll go,
     And sleep thegither at the foot,
     John Anderson, my jo.




 

My Love, She's But A Lassie Yet

     My love, she's but a lassie yet,
     My love, she's but a lassie yet;
     We'll let her stand a year or twa,
     She'll no be half sae saucy yet;
     I rue the day I sought her, O!
     I rue the day I sought her, O!
     Wha gets her needs na say she's woo'd,
     But he may say he's bought her, O.

     Come, draw a drap o' the best o't yet,
     Come, draw a drap o' the best o't yet,
     Gae seek for pleasure whare you will,
     But here I never miss'd it yet,
     We're a' dry wi' drinkin o't,
     We'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-breaking, dear Tittie,
     Some counsel unto me come len',
     To anger them a' is a pity,
     But what will I do wi' Tam Glen?

     I'm thinking, wi' sic a braw fellow,
     In poortith I might mak a fen;
     What care I in riches to wallow,
     If 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 siller,
     But when will he dance like Tam Glen!

     My minnie does constantly deave me,
     And bids me beware o' young men;
     They flatter, she says, to deceive me,
     But wha can think sae o' Tam Glen!

     My daddie says, gin I'll forsake him,
     He'd gie me gude hunder marks ten;
     But, if it's ordain'd I maun take him,
     O wha will I get but Tam Glen!

     Yestreen at the Valentine's dealing,
     My heart to my mou' gied a sten';
     For thrice I drew ane without failing,
     And thrice it was written "Tam Glen"!

     The last Halloween I was waukin
     My droukit sark-sleeve, as ye ken,
     His likeness came up the house staukin,
     And the very grey breeks o' Tam Glen!

     Come, counsel, dear Tittie, don't tarry;
     I'll gie ye my bonie black hen,
     Gif ye will advise me to marry
     The lad I lo'e dearly, Tam Glen.




 

Carle, An The King Come

     Chorus.—Carle, an the King come,
     Carle, an the King come,
     Thou shalt dance and I will sing,
     Carle, an the King come.

     An somebody were come again,
     Then somebody maun cross the main,
     And every man shall hae his ain,
     Carle, an the King come.
     Carle, an the King come, &c.

     I trow we swapped for the worse,
     We gae the boot and better horse;
     And that we'll tell them at the cross,
     Carle, an the King come.
     Carle, an the King come, &c.

     Coggie, an the King come,
     Coggie, an the King come,
     I'se be fou, and thou'se be toom
     Coggie, an the King come.
     Coggie, an the King come, &c.




 

The Laddie's Dear Sel'

     There's a youth in this city, it were a great pity
     That he from our lassies should wander awa';
     For he's bonie and braw, weel-favor'd witha',
     An' his hair has a natural buckle an' a'.

     His coat is the hue o' his bonnet sae blue,
     His fecket is white as the new-driven snaw;
     His hose they are blae, and his shoon like the slae,
     And his clear siller buckles, they dazzle us a'.

     For beauty and fortune the laddie's been courtin;
     Weel-featur'd, weel-tocher'd, weel-mounted an' braw;
     But chiefly the siller that gars him gang till her,
     The penny's the jewel that beautifies a'.

     There's Meg wi' the mailen that fain wad a haen him,
     And Susie, wha'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 care,
     Heav'n, I thought, was in her air,
     Now we're married—speir nae mair,
     But whistle o'er the lave o't!

     Meg was meek, and Meg was mild,
     Sweet and harmless as a child—
     Wiser men than me's beguil'd;
     Whistle o'er the lave o't!

     How we live, my Meg and me,
     How we love, and how we gree,
     I care na by how few may see—
     Whistle o'er the lave o't!

     Wha I wish were maggot's meat,
     Dish'd up in her winding-sheet,
     I could write—but Meg maun see't—
     Whistle o'er the lave o't!




 

My Eppie Adair

     Chorus.—An' O my Eppie, my jewel, my Eppie,
     Wha wad na be happy wi' Eppie Adair?

     By love, and by beauty, by law, and by duty,
     I swear to be true to my Eppie Adair!
     By love, and by beauty, by law, and by duty,
     I swear to be true to my Eppie Adair!
     And O my Eppie, &c.

     A' pleasure exile me, dishonour defile me,
     If e'er I beguile ye, my Eppie Adair!
     A' pleasure exile me, dishonour defile me,
     If e'er I beguile thee, my Eppie Adair!
     And O my Eppie, &c.




 

On The Late Captain Grose's Peregrinations Thro' Scotland

     Collecting The Antiquities Of That Kingdom
     Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots,
     Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's;—
     If there's a hole in a' your coats,
     I rede you tent it:
     A chield's amang you takin notes,
     And, faith, he'll prent it:

     If in your bounds ye chance to light
     Upon a fine, fat fodgel wight,
     O' stature short, but genius bright,
     That's he, mark weel;
     And wow! he has an unco sleight
     O' cauk and keel.

     By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin,
     Or kirk deserted by its riggin,
     It's ten to ane ye'll find him snug in
     Some eldritch part,
     Wi' deils, they say, Lord save's! colleaguin
     At some black art.

     Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or chaumer,
     Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour,
     And you, deep-read in hell's black grammar,
     Warlocks and witches,
     Ye'll quake at his conjuring hammer,
     Ye midnight bitches.

     It's tauld he was a sodger bred,
     And ane wad rather fa'n than fled;
     But now he's quat the spurtle-blade,
     And dog-skin wallet,
     And taen the—Antiquarian trade,
     I think they call it.

     He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets:
     Rusty airn caps and jinglin jackets,
     Wad haud the Lothians three in tackets,
     A towmont gude;
     And parritch-pats and auld saut-backets,
     Before the Flood.

     Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder;
     Auld Tubalcain's fire-shool and fender;
     That which distinguished the gender
     O' Balaam's ass:
     A broomstick o' the witch of Endor,
     Weel shod wi' brass.

     Forbye, he'll shape you aff fu' gleg
     The cut of Adam's philibeg;
     The knife that nickit Abel's craig
     He'll prove you fully,
     It was a faulding jocteleg,
     Or lang-kail gullie.

     But wad ye see him in his glee,
     For meikle glee and fun has he,
     Then set him down, and twa or three
     Gude fellows wi' him:
     And port, O port! shine thou a wee,
     And Then ye'll see him!

     Now, by the Pow'rs o' verse and prose!
     Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose!—
     Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose,
     They sair misca' thee;
     I'd take the rascal by the nose,
     Wad say, "Shame fa' thee!"




 

Epigram On Francis Grose The Antiquary

     The Devil got notice that Grose was a-dying
     So whip! at the summons, old Satan came flying;
     But when he approached where poor Francis lay moaning,
     And saw each bed-post with its burthen a-groaning,
     Astonish'd, confounded, cries Satan—"By God,
     I'll want him, ere I take such a damnable load!"




 

The Kirk Of Scotland's Alarm

     A Ballad.

     Tune—"Come rouse, Brother Sportsman!"
     Orthodox! orthodox, who believe in John Knox,
     Let me sound an alarm to your conscience:
     A heretic blast has been blown in the West,
     "That what is no sense must be nonsense,"
     Orthodox! That what is no sense must be nonsense.

     Doctor Mac! Doctor Mac, you should streek on a rack,
     To strike evil-doers wi' terror:
     To join Faith and Sense, upon any pretence,
     Was heretic, damnable error,
     Doctor Mac!^1 'Twas heretic, damnable error.

     Town of Ayr! town of Ayr, it was mad, I declare,
     To meddle wi' mischief a-brewing,^2
     Provost John^3 is still deaf to the Church's relief,
     And Orator Bob^4 is its ruin,
     Town of Ayr! Yes, Orator Bob is its ruin.

     D'rymple mild! D'rymple mild, tho' your heart's like a child,
     And your life like the new-driven snaw,
     Yet that winna save you, auld Satan must have you,
     For preaching that three's ane an' twa,
     D'rymple mild!^5 For preaching that three's ane an' twa.

     Rumble John! rumble John, mount the steps with a groan,
     Cry the book is with heresy cramm'd;
     Then out wi' your ladle, deal brimstone like aidle,
     And roar ev'ry note of the damn'd.
     Rumble John!^6 And roar ev'ry note of the damn'd.

     [Footnote 1: Dr. M'Gill, Ayr.—R.B,]

     [Footnote 2: See the advertisement.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 3: John Ballantine,—R.B.]

     [Footnote 4: Robert Aiken.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 5: Dr. Dalrymple, Ayr.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 6: John Russell, Kilmarnock.—R.B.]

     Simper James! simper James, leave your fair Killie dames,
     There's a holier chase in your view:
     I'll lay on your head, that the pack you'll soon lead,
     For puppies like you there's but few,
     Simper James!^7 For puppies like you there's but few.

     Singet Sawnie! singet Sawnie, are ye huirdin the penny,
     Unconscious what evils await?
     With a jump, yell, and howl, alarm ev'ry soul,
     For the foul thief is just at your gate.
     Singet Sawnie!^8 For the foul thief is just at your gate.

     Poet Willie! poet Willie, gie the Doctor a volley,
     Wi' your "Liberty's Chain" and your wit;
     O'er Pegasus' side ye ne'er laid a stride,
     Ye but smelt, man, the place where he sh—t.
     Poet Willie!^9 Ye but smelt man, the place where he sh—t.

     Barr Steenie! Barr Steenie, what mean ye, what mean ye?
     If ye meddle nae mair wi' the matter,
     Ye may hae some pretence to havins and sense,
     Wi' people that ken ye nae better,
     Barr Steenie!^10 Wi'people that ken ye nae better.

     Jamie Goose! Jamie Goose, ye made but toom roose,
     In hunting the wicked Lieutenant;
     But the Doctor's your mark, for the Lord's holy ark,
     He has cooper'd an' ca'd a wrang pin in't,
     Jamie Goose!^11 He has cooper'd an' ca'd a wrang pin in't.

     Davie Bluster! Davie Bluster, for a saint ye do muster,
     The corps is no nice o' recruits;

     [Footnote 7: James Mackinlay, Kilmarnock.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 8: Alexander Moodie of Riccarton.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 9: William Peebles, in Newton-upon-Ayr, a poetaster,
     who, among many other things, published 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 Young, in New Cumnock, who had lately been
     foiled in an ecclesiastical prosecution against a Lieutenant
     Mitchel—R.B.]

     Yet to worth let's be just, royal blood ye might boast,
     If the Ass were the king o' the brutes,
     Davie Bluster!^12 If the Ass were the king o' the brutes.

     Irvine Side! Irvine Side, wi' your turkey-cock pride
     Of manhood but sma' is your share:
     Ye've the figure, 'tis true, ev'n your foes will allow,
     And your friends they dare grant you nae mair,
     Irvine Side!^13 And your friends they dare grant you nae mair.

     Muirland Jock! muirland Jock, when the Lord makes a rock,
     To crush common-sense for her sins;
     If ill-manners were wit, there's no mortal so fit
     To confound the poor Doctor at ance,
     Muirland Jock!^14 To confound the poor Doctor at ance.

     Andro Gowk! Andro Gowk, ye may slander the Book,
     An' the Book nought the waur, let me tell ye;
     Tho' ye're rich, an' look big, yet, lay by hat an' wig,
     An' ye'll hae a calf's—had o' sma' value,
     Andro Gowk!^15 Ye'll hae a calf's head o' sma value.

     Daddy Auld! daddy Auld, there'a a tod in the fauld,
     A tod meikle waur than the clerk;
     Tho' ye do little skaith, ye'll be in at the death,
     For gif ye canna bite, ye may bark,
     Daddy Auld!^16 Gif ye canna bite, ye may bark.

     Holy Will! holy Will, there was wit in your skull,
     When ye pilfer'd the alms o' the poor;
     The timmer is scant when ye're taen for a saunt,
     Wha should swing in a rape for an hour,
     Holy Will!^17 Ye should swing in a rape for an hour.

     Calvin's sons! Calvin's sons, seize your spiritual guns,
     Ammunition you never can need;

     [Footnote 12: David Grant, Ochiltree.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 13: George Smith, Galston.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 14: John Shepherd Muirkirk.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 15: Dr. Andrew Mitchel, Monkton.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 16: William Auld, Mauchline; for the clerk, see
      "Holy Willie"s prayer.—R.B.]

     [Footnote 17: Vide the "Prayer" of this saint.—R.B.]

     Your hearts are the stuff will be powder enough,
     And your skulls are a storehouse o' lead,
     Calvin's sons! Your skulls are a storehouse o' lead.

     Poet Burns! poet Burns, wi' your priest-skelpin turns,
     Why desert ye your auld native shire?
     Your muse is a gipsy, yet were she e'en tipsy,
     She could ca'us nae waur than we are,
     Poet Burns! She could ca'us nae waur than we are.




 

Presentation Stanzas To Correspondents

     Factor John! Factor John, whom the Lord made alone,
     And ne'er made anither, thy peer,
     Thy poor servant, the Bard, in respectful regard,
     He presents thee this token sincere,
     Factor John! He presents thee this token sincere.

     Afton's Laird! Afton's Laird, when your pen can be spared,
     A copy of this I bequeath,
     On the same sicker score as I mention'd before,
     To that trusty auld worthy, Clackleith,
     Afton's Laird! To that trusty auld worthy, Clackleith.




 

Sonnet On Receiving A Favour

     10 Aug., 1979.

     Addressed to Robert Graham, Esq. of Fintry.

     I call no Goddess to inspire my strains,
     A fabled Muse may suit a bard that feigns:
     Friend of my life! my ardent spirit burns,
     And all the tribute of my heart returns,
     For boons accorded, goodness ever new,
     The gifts still dearer, as 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 efface,
     If I that giver's bounty e'er disgrace,
     Then roll to me along your wand'rig spheres,
     Only to number out a villain's years!
     I lay my hand upon my swelling breast,
     And grateful would, but cannot speak the rest.




 

Extemporaneous Effusion

     On being appointed to an Excise division.

     Searching auld wives' barrels,
     Ochon the day!
     That clarty barm should stain my laurels:
     But—what'll ye say?
     These movin' things ca'd wives an' weans,
     Wad move the very hearts o' stanes!




 

Song—Willie Brew'd A Peck O' Maut^1

     O Willie brew'd a peck o' maut,
     And Rob and Allen cam to see;
     Three blyther hearts, that lee-lang night,
     Ye wadna found in Christendie.

     Chorus.—We are na fou, we're nae that fou,
     But just a drappie in our ee;
     The cock may craw, the day may daw
     And aye we'll taste the barley bree.

     Here are we met, three merry boys,
     Three merry boys I trow are we;
     And mony a night we've merry been,
     And mony mae we hope to be!
     We are na fou, &c.

     It is the moon, I ken her horn,
     That's blinkin' in the lift sae hie;
     She shines sae bright to wyle us hame,
     But, by my sooth, she'll wait a wee!
     We are na fou, &c.

     Wha first shall rise to gang awa,
     A cuckold, coward 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 Nicol, Allan is Masterton the writing—
     master. The scene is between Moffat and the head of the Loch of
     the Lowes. Date, August—September, 1789.—Lang.]




 

Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes

     Chorus.—Ca' the yowes to the knowes,
     Ca' them where the heather grows,
     Ca' them where the burnie rowes,
     My bonie dearie

     As I gaed down the water-side,
     There I met my shepherd lad:
     He row'd me sweetly in his plaid,
     And he ca'd me his dearie.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     Will ye gang down the water-side,
     And see the waves sae sweetly glide
     Beneath the hazels spreading wide,
     The moon it shines fu' clearly.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet,
     Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,
     And in my arms ye'se lie and sleep,
     An' ye sall be my dearie.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     If ye'll but stand to what ye've said,
     I'se gang wi' thee, my shepherd lad,
     And ye may row me in your plaid,
     And I sall be your dearie.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     While waters wimple to the sea,
     While day blinks in the lift sae hie,
     Till clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'e,
     Ye sall be my dearie.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.




 

I Gaed A Waefu' Gate Yestreen

     I gaed a waefu' gate yestreen,
     A gate, I fear, I'll dearly rue;
     I gat my death frae twa sweet een,
     Twa lovely een o'bonie blue.

     'Twas not her golden ringlets bright,
     Her lips like roses wat wi' dew,
     Her heaving bosom, lily-white—
     It was her een sae bonie blue.

     She talk'd, she smil'd, my heart she wyl'd;
     She charm'd my soul I wist na how;
     And aye the stound, the deadly wound,
     Cam frae her een so bonie blue.
     But "spare to speak, and spare to speed;"
     She'll aiblins listen to my vow:
     Should she refuse, I'll lay my dead
     To her twa een sae bonie blue.




 

Highland Harry Back Again

     My Harry was a gallant gay,
     Fu' stately strade he on the plain;
     But now he's banish'd far away,
     I'll never see him back again.

     Chorus.—O for him back again!
     O for him back again!
     I wad gie a' Knockhaspie's land
     For Highland Harry back again.

     When a' the lave gae to their bed,
     I wander dowie up the glen;
     I set me down and greet my fill,
     And aye I wish him back again.
     O for him, &c.

     O were some villains hangit high,
     And ilka body had their ain!
     Then I might see the joyfu' sight,
     My Highland Harry back again.
     O for him, &c.




 

The Battle Of Sherramuir

     Tune—"The Cameronian Rant."
     "O cam ye here the fight to shun,
     Or herd the sheep wi' me, man?
     Or were ye at the Sherra-moor,
     Or did the battle see, man?"
     I saw the battle, sair and teugh,
     And reekin-red ran mony a sheugh;
     My heart, for fear, gaed sough for sough,
     To hear the thuds, and see the cluds
     O' clans frae woods, in tartan duds,
     Wha glaum'd at kingdoms three, man.
     La, la, la, la, &c.

     The red-coat lads, wi' black cockauds,
     To meet them were na slaw, man;
     They rush'd and push'd, and blude outgush'd
     And mony a bouk did fa', man:
     The great Argyle led on his files,
     I wat they glanced twenty miles;
     They hough'd the clans like nine-pin kyles,
     They hack'd and hash'd, while braid-swords, clash'd,
     And thro' they dash'd, and hew'd and smash'd,
     Till fey men died awa, man.
     La, la, la, la, &c.

     But had ye seen the philibegs,
     And skyrin tartan trews, man;
     When in the teeth they dar'd our Whigs,
     And covenant True-blues, man:
     In lines extended lang and large,
     When baiginets o'erpower'd the targe,
     And thousands hasten'd to the charge;
     Wi' Highland wrath they frae the sheath
     Drew blades o' death, till, out o' breath,
     They fled like frighted dows, man!
     La, la, la, la, &c.

     "O how deil, Tam, can that be true?
     The chase gaed frae the north, man;
     I saw mysel, they did pursue,
     The horsemen back to Forth, man;
     And at Dunblane, in my ain sight,
     They took the brig wi' a' their might,
     And straught to Stirling wing'd their flight;
     But, cursed lot! the gates were shut;
     And mony a huntit poor red-coat,
     For fear amaist did swarf, man!"
     La, la, la, la, &c.

     My sister Kate cam up the gate
     Wi' crowdie unto me, man;
     She swoor she saw some rebels run
     To Perth unto Dundee, man;
     Their left-hand general had nae skill;
     The Angus lads had nae gude will
     That day their neibors' blude to spill;
     For fear, for foes, that they should lose
     Their cogs o' brose; they scar'd at blows,
     And hameward fast did flee, man.
     La, la, la, la, &c.

     They've lost some gallant gentlemen,
     Amang the Highland clans, man!
     I fear my Lord Panmure is slain,
     Or fallen in Whiggish hands, man,
     Now wad ye sing this double fight,
     Some fell for wrang, and some for right;
     But mony bade the world gude-night;
     Then ye may tell, how pell and mell,
     By red claymores, and muskets knell,
     Wi' dying yell, the Tories fell,
     And Whigs to hell did flee, man.
     La, la, la, la, &c.




 

The Braes O' Killiecrankie

     Where hae ye been sae braw, lad?
     Whare hae ye been sae brankie, O?
     Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad?
     Cam ye by Killiecrankie, O?

     Chorus.—An ye had been whare I hae been,
     Ye wad na been sae cantie, O;
     An ye had seen what I hae seen,
     I' the Braes o' Killiecrankie, O.

     I faught at land, I faught at sea,
     At hame I faught my Auntie, O;
     But I met the devil an' Dundee,
     On the Braes o' Killiecrankie, O.
     An ye had been, &c.

     The bauld Pitcur fell in a furr,
     An' Clavers gat a clankie, O;
     Or I had fed an Athole gled,
     On the Braes o' Killiecrankie, O.
     An ye had been, &c.




 

Awa' Whigs, Awa'

     Chorus.—Awa' Whigs, awa'!
     Awa' Whigs, awa'!
     Ye're but a pack o' traitor louns,
     Ye'll do nae gude at a'.

     Our thrissles flourish'd fresh and fair,
     And bonie bloom'd our roses;
     But Whigs cam' like a frost in June,
     An' 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 beuk,
     Wha gae the Whigs the power o't.
     Awa' Whigs, &c.

     Our sad decay in church and state
     Surpasses my descriving:
     The Whigs cam' o'er us for a curse,
     An' we hae done wi' thriving.
     Awa' Whigs, &c.

     Grim vengeance lang has taen a nap,
     But we may see him wauken:
     Gude help the day when royal heads
     Are hunted like a maukin!
     Awa' Whigs, &c.




 

A Waukrife Minnie

     Whare are you gaun, my bonie lass,
     Whare are you gaun, my hinnie?
     She answered me right saucilie,
     "An errand for my minnie."

     O whare live ye, my bonie lass,
     O whare live ye, my 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 cam,
     She was na hauf sae saucie.

     O weary fa' the waukrife cock,
     And the foumart lay his crawin!
     He wauken'd the auld wife frae her sleep,
     A wee blink or the dawin.

     An angry wife I wat she raise,
     And o'er the bed she brocht her;
     And wi' a meikle hazel rung
     She made her a weel-pay'd dochter.

     O fare thee weel, my bonie lass,
     O fare thee well, my hinnie!
     Thou art a gay an' a bonnie lass,
     But thou has a waukrife minnie.




 

The Captive Ribband

     Tune—"Robaidh dona gorach."
     Dear Myra, the captive ribband's mine,
     'Twas all my faithful love could gain;
     And would you ask me to resign
     The sole reward that crowns my pain?

     Go, bid the hero who has run
     Thro' fields of death to gather fame,
     Go, bid him lay his laurels down,
     And all his well-earn'd praise disclaim.

     The ribband shall its freedom lose—
     Lose all the bliss it had with you,
     And share the fate I would impose
     On thee, wert thou my captive too.

     It shall upon my bosom live,
     Or clasp me in a close embrace;
     And at its fortune if you grieve,
     Retrieve its doom, and take its place.




 

My Heart's In The Highlands

     Tune—"Failte na Miosg."
     Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
     The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth;
     Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
     The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.

     Chorus.—My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
     My heart's in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
     Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe,
     My heart's in the Highlands, wherever I go.

     Farewell to the mountains, high-cover'd with snow,
     Farewell to the straths and green vallies below;
     Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,
     Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods.
     My heart's in the Highlands, &c.




 

The Whistle—A Ballad

     I sing of a Whistle, a Whistle of worth,
     I sing of a Whistle, the pride of the North.
     Was brought to the court of our good Scottish King,
     And long with this Whistle all Scotland shall ring.

     Old Loda, still rueing the arm of Fingal,
     The 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 sung, and old chronicles tell,
     What champions ventur'd, what champions fell:
     The son of great Loda was conqueror still,
     And blew on the Whistle their requiem shrill.

     Till Robert, the lord of the Cairn and the Scaur,
     Unmatch'd at the bottle, unconquer'd in war,
     He drank his poor god-ship as deep as the sea;
     No tide of the Baltic e'er drunker than he.

     Thus Robert, victorious, the trophy has gain'd;
     Which now in his house has for ages remain'd;
     Till three noble chieftains, and all of his blood,
     The jovial contest again have renew'd.

     Three joyous good fellows, with hearts clear of flaw
     Craigdarroch, so famous for with, worth, and law;
     And trusty Glenriddel, so skill'd in old coins;
     And gallant Sir Robert, deep-read in old wines.

     Craigdarroch began, with a tongue smooth as oil,
     Desiring Downrightly to yield up the spoil;
     Or else he would muster the heads of the clan,
     And once more, in claret, try which was the man.

     "By the gods of the ancients!" Downrightly replies,
     "Before 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 Robert, a soldier, no speech would pretend,
     But he ne'er turn'd his back on his foe, or his friend;
     Said, "Toss down the Whistle, the prize of the field,"
     And, knee-deep in claret, he'd die ere he'd yield.

     To the board of Glenriddel our heroes repair,
     So noted for drowning of sorrow and care;
     But, for wine and for welcome, not more known to fame,
     Than the sense, wit, and taste, of a sweet lovely dame.

     A bard was selected to witness the fray,
     And tell future ages the feats of the day;
     A Bard who detested all sadness and spleen,
     And wish'd that Parnassus a vineyard had been.

     The dinner being over, the claret they ply,
     And ev'ry new cork is a new spring of joy;
     In the bands of old friendship and kindred so set,
     And 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 core,
     And vow'd that to leave them he was quite forlorn,
     Till Cynthia hinted he'd see them next morn.

     Six bottles a-piece had well wore out the night,
     When gallant Sir Robert, to finish the fight,
     Turn'd o'er in one bumper a bottle of red,
     And swore 'twas the way that their ancestor did.

     Then worthy Glenriddel, so cautious and sage,
     No 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 said, a hero should perish in light;
     So uprose bright Phoebus—and down fell the knight.

     Next uprose our Bard, like 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 line, that have struggled for freedom with Bruce,
     Shall heroes and patriots ever produce:
     So thine be the laurel, and mine be the bay;
     The field thou hast won, by yon bright god of day!"




 

To Mary In Heaven

     Thou ling'ring star, with lessening ray,
     That lov'st to greet the early morn,
     Again thou usher'st in the day
     My 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 forget,
     Can I forget the hallow'd grove,
     Where, by the winding Ayr, we met,
     To live one day of parting love!
     Eternity will not efface
     Those records dear of transports past,
     Thy image at our last embrace,
     Ah! little thought we 'twas our last!

     Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbled shore,
     O'erhung with wild-woods, thickening green;
     The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar,
     'Twin'd amorous round the raptur'd scene:
     The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,
     The birds sang love on every spray;
     Till too, too soon, the glowing west,
     Proclaim'd the speed of winged day.

     Still o'er these scenes my mem'ry wakes,
     And fondly broods with miser-care;
     Time but th' impression stronger makes,
     As streams their channels deeper wear,
     My 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

     Ellisland, 21st Oct., 1789.

     Wow, but your letter made me vauntie!
     And are ye hale, and weel and cantie?
     I ken'd it still, your wee bit jauntie
     Wad 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' mouth,
     He'd tak my letter;
     I lippen'd to the chiel in trouth,
     And bade nae better.

     But aiblins, honest Master Heron
     Had, at the time, some dainty fair one
     To ware this theologic care on,
     And holy study;
     And tired o' sauls to waste his lear on,
     E'en tried the body.

     But what d'ye think, my trusty fere,
     I'm turned a gauger—Peace be here!
     Parnassian queans, I fear, I fear,
     Ye'll now disdain me!
     And then my fifty pounds a year
     Will little gain me.

     Ye glaikit, gleesome, dainty damies,
     Wha, by Castalia's wimplin streamies,
     Lowp, sing, and lave your pretty limbies,
     Ye ken, ye ken,
     That 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 vaunt
     But I'll sned besoms, thraw saugh woodies,
     Before 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 share
     Than mony ithers;
     But why should ae man better fare,
     And a' men brithers?

     Come, Firm Resolve, take thou the van,
     Thou stalk o' carl-hemp in man!
     And let us mind, faint heart ne'er wan
     A lady fair:
     Wha does the utmost that he can,
     Will whiles do mair.

     But to conclude my silly rhyme
     (I'm scant o' verse and scant o' time),
     To make a happy fireside clime
     To weans and wife,
     That's the true pathos and sublime
     Of human life.

     My compliments to sister Beckie,
     And eke the same to honest Lucky;
     I wat she is a daintie chuckie,
     As e'er tread clay;
     And gratefully, my gude auld cockie,
     I'm yours for aye.
     Robert Burns.




 

The Five Carlins

     An Election Ballad.

     Tune—"Chevy Chase."
     There was five Carlins in the South,
     They fell upon a scheme,
     To send a lad to London town,
     To bring them tidings hame.

     Nor only bring them tidings hame,
     But do their errands there,
     And aiblins gowd and honor baith
     Might be that laddie's share.

     There was Maggy by the banks o' Nith,
     A dame wi' pride eneugh;
     And Marjory o' the mony Lochs,
     A Carlin auld and teugh.

     And blinkin Bess of Annandale,
     That dwelt near Solway-side;
     And whisky Jean, that took her gill,
     In Galloway sae wide.

     And auld black Joan frae Crichton Peel,^1
     O' gipsy kith an' kin;
     Five wighter Carlins were na found
     The South countrie within.

     To send a lad to London town,
     They met upon a day;
     And mony a knight, and mony a laird,
     This errand fain wad gae.

     O mony a knight, and mony a laird,
     This errand fain wad gae;
     But nae ane could their fancy please,
     O ne'er a ane but twae.

     The first ane was a belted Knight,
     Bred of a Border band;^2
     And he wad gae to London town,
     Might nae man him withstand.

     And he wad do their errands weel,
     And meikle he wad say;
     And ilka ane about the court
     Wad bid to him gude-day.

     [Footnote 1: Sanquhar.]

     [Footnote 2: Sir James Johnston of Westerhall.]

     The neist cam in a Soger youth,^3
     Who spak wi' modest grace,
     And he wad gae to London town,
     If sae their pleasure was.

     He wad na hecht them courtly gifts,
     Nor meikle speech pretend;
     But he wad hecht an honest heart,
     Wad ne'er desert his friend.

     Now, wham to chuse, and wham refuse,
     At strife thir Carlins fell;
     For some had Gentlefolks to please,
     And some wad please themsel'.

     Then out spak mim-mou'd Meg o' Nith,
     And she spak up wi' pride,
     And she wad send the Soger youth,
     Whatever might betide.

     For the auld Gudeman o' London court^4
     She didna care a pin;
     But she wad send the Soger youth,
     To greet his eldest son.^5

     Then up sprang Bess o' Annandale,
     And a deadly aith she's ta'en,
     That she wad vote the Border Knight,
     Though she should vote her lane.

     "For far-off fowls hae feathers fair,
     And fools o' change are fain;
     But I hae tried the Border Knight,
     And I'll try him yet again."

     Says black Joan frae Crichton Peel,
     A 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 drink,
     "Ye 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 caup
     Is 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 Lochs,
     And wrinkled was her brow,
     Her ancient weed was russet gray,
     Her auld Scots bluid was true;

     "There's some great folk set light by me,
     I set as light by them;
     But I will send to London town
     Wham I like best at hame."

     Sae how this mighty plea may end,
     Nae mortal wight can tell;
     God grant the King and ilka man
     May look weel to himsel.




 

Election Ballad For Westerha'

     Tune—"Up and waur them a', Willie."
     The Laddies by the banks o' Nith
     Wad trust his Grace^1 wi a', Jamie;
     But he'll sair them, as he sair'd the King—
     Turn tail and rin awa', Jamie.

     [Footnote 1: The fourth Duke of Queensberry, who supported the
     proposal that, during George III's illness, the Prince of Wales
     should assume the Government with full prerogative.]

     Chorus.—Up and waur them a', Jamie,
     Up and waur them a';
     The Johnstones hae the guidin o't,
     Ye turncoat Whigs, awa'!

     The day he stude his country's friend,
     Or gied her faes a claw, Jamie,
     Or frae puir man a blessin wan,
     That day the Duke ne'er saw, Jamie.
     Up and waur them, &c.

     But wha is he, his country's boast?
     Like him there is na twa, Jamie;
     There's no a callent tents the kye,
     But kens o' Westerha', Jamie.
     Up and waur them, &c.

     To end the wark, here's Whistlebirk,
     Lang may his whistle blaw, Jamie;
     And Maxwell true, o' 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 Evening, 1790.

     No song nor dance I bring from yon great city,
     That queens it o'er our taste—the more's the pity:
     Tho' by the bye, abroad why will you roam?
     Good sense and taste are natives here at home:
     But not for panegyric I appear,
     I come to wish you all a good New Year!
     Old Father Time deputes me here before ye,
     Not for to preach, but tell his simple story:
     The sage, grave Ancient cough'd, and bade me say,
     "You're one year older this important day,"
     If wiser too—he hinted some suggestion,
     But 'twould be rude, you know, to ask the question;
     And with a would-be roguish leer and wink,
     Said—"Sutherland, in one word, bid them Think!"

     Ye sprightly youths, quite flush with hope and spirit,
     Who think to storm the world by dint of merit,
     To you the dotard has a deal to say,
     In his sly, dry, sententious, proverb way!
     He bids you mind, amid your thoughtless rattle,
     That the first blow is ever half the battle;
     That tho' some by the skirt may try to snatch him,
     Yet by the foreclock is the hold to catch him;
     That whether doing, suffering, or forbearing,
     You may do miracles by persevering.

     Last, tho' not least in love, ye youthful fair,
     Angelic forms, high Heaven's peculiar care!
     To you old Bald-pate smoothes his wrinkled brow,
     And humbly begs you'll mind the important—Now!
     To crown your happiness he asks your leave,
     And offers, bliss to give and to receive.

     For our sincere, tho' haply weak endeavours,
     With grateful pride we own your many favours;
     And howsoe'er our tongues may ill reveal it,
     Believe our glowing bosoms truly feel it.




 

 





 

Sketch—New Year's Day, 1790

     To Mrs. Dunlop.
     This day, Time winds th' exhausted chain;
     To run the twelvemonth's length again:
     I see, the old bald-pated fellow,
     With ardent eyes, complexion sallow,
     Adjust the unimpair'd machine,
     To wheel the equal, dull routine.

     The absent lover, minor heir,
     In vain assail him with their prayer;
     Deaf as my friend, he sees them press,
     Nor makes the hour one moment less,
     Will you (the Major's with the hounds,
     The happy tenants share his rounds;
     Coila's fair Rachel's care to-day,
     And 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.

     First, what 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 Time, amus'd with proverb'd lore,
     Add to our date one minute more?
     A few days may—a few years must—
     Repose us in the silent dust.
     Then, is it wise to damp our bliss?
     Yes—all such reasonings are amiss!
     The voice of Nature loudly cries,
     And many a message from the skies,
     That something in us never dies:
     That on his frail, uncertain state,
     Hang matters of eternal weight:
     That future life in worlds unknown
     Must take its hue from this alone;
     Whether as heavenly glory bright,
     Or dark as Misery's woeful night.

     Since then, my honour'd first of friends,
     On this poor being all depends,
     Let us th' important now employ,
     And live as those who never die.
     Tho' you, with days and honours crown'd,
     Witness that filial circle round,
     (A sight life's sorrows to repulse,
     A sight pale Envy to convulse),
     Others now claim your chief regard;
     Yourself, you wait your bright reward.




 

Scots' Prologue For Mr. Sutherland

     On his Benefit-Night, at the Theatre, Dumfries.
     What needs this din about the town o' Lon'on,
     How this new play an' that new sang is comin?
     Why is outlandish stuff sae meikle courted?
     Does nonsense mend, like brandy, when imported?
     Is there nae poet, burning keen for fame,
     Will try to gie us sangs and plays at hame?
     For Comedy abroad he need to toil,
     A fool and knave are plants of every soil;
     Nor need he hunt as far as Rome or Greece,
     To gather matter for a serious piece;
     There's themes enow in Caledonian story,
     Would shew the Tragic Muse in a' her glory.—

     Is there no daring Bard will rise and tell
     How glorious Wallace stood, how hapless fell?
     Where are the Muses fled that could produce
     A drama worthy o' the name o' Bruce?
     How here, even here, he first unsheath'd the sword
     'Gainst mighty England and her guilty Lord;
     And after mony a bloody, deathless doing,
     Wrench'd his dear country from the jaws of Ruin!
     O for a Shakespeare, or an Otway scene,
     To draw the lovely, hapless Scottish Queen!
     Vain all th' omnipotence of female charms
     'Gainst headlong, ruthless, mad Rebellion's arms:
     She fell, but fell with spirit truly Roman,
     To 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 page,
     But Douglasses were heroes every age:
     And tho' your fathers, prodigal of life,
     A Douglas followed to the martial strife,
     Perhaps, if bowls row right, and Right succeeds,
     Ye yet may follow where a Douglas leads!

     As ye hae generous done, if a' the land
     Would take the Muses' servants by the hand;
     Not only hear, but patronize, befriend them,
     And where he justly can commend, commend them;
     And aiblins when they winna stand the test,
     Wink hard, and say The folks hae done their best!
     Would a' the land do this, then I'll be caition,
     Ye'll soon hae Poets o' the Scottish nation
     Will gar Fame blaw until her trumpet crack,
     And warsle Time, an' lay him on his back!

     For us and for our Stage, should ony spier,
     "Whase aught thae chiels maks a' this bustle here?"
     My best leg foremost, I'll set up my brow—
     We have the honour to belong to you!
     We're your ain bairns, e'en guide us as ye like,
     But like good mithers shore before ye strike;
     And gratefu' still, I trust ye'll ever find us,
     For gen'rous patronage, and meikle kindness
     We've got frae a' professions, sets and ranks:
     God help us! we're but poor—ye'se get but thanks.




 

Lines To A Gentleman,

     Who had sent the Poet a Newspaper, and offered
     to continue it free of Expense.

     Kind Sir, I've read your paper through,
     And faith, to me, 'twas really new!
     How guessed ye, Sir, what maist I wanted?
     This mony a day I've grain'd and gaunted,
     To ken what French mischief was brewin;
     Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin;
     That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph,
     If Venus yet had got his nose off;
     Or how the collieshangie works
     Atween the Russians and the Turks,
     Or if the Swede, before he halt,
     Would play anither Charles the twalt;
     If Denmark, any body spak o't;
     Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't:
     How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin;
     How libbet Italy was singin;

     If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss,
     Were sayin' or takin' aught amiss;
     Or how our merry lads at hame,
     In Britain's court kept up the game;
     How royal George, the Lord leuk o'er him!
     Was managing St. Stephen's quorum;
     If sleekit Chatham Will was livin,
     Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in;
     How daddie Burke the plea was cookin,
     If Warren Hasting's neck was yeukin;
     How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd.
     Or if bare arses yet were tax'd;
     The news o' princes, dukes, and earls,
     Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls;
     If that daft buckie, Geordie Wales,
     Was threshing still at hizzies' tails;
     Or if he was grown oughtlins douser,
     And no a perfect kintra cooser:
     A' this and mair I never heard of;
     And, but for you, I might despair'd of.
     So, gratefu', back your news I send you,
     And pray a' gude things may attend you.

     Ellisland, Monday Morning, 1790.




 

Elegy On Willie Nicol's Mare

     Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare,
     As ever trod on airn;
     But now she's floating down the Nith,
     And past the mouth o' Cairn.

     Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare,
     An' rode thro' thick and thin;
     But now she's floating down the Nith,
     And wanting even the skin.

     Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare,
     And ance she bore a priest;
     But now she's floating down the Nith,
     For Solway fish a feast.

     Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare,
     An' the priest he rode her sair;
     And much oppress'd and bruis'd she was,
     As priest-rid cattle are,—&c. &c.




 

The Gowden Locks Of Anna

     Yestreen I had a pint o' wine,
     A place where body saw na;
     Yestreen lay on this breast o' mine
     The gowden locks of Anna.

     The hungry Jew in wilderness,
     Rejoicing o'er his manna,
     Was naething to my hinny bliss
     Upon the lips of Anna.

     Ye monarchs, take the East and West
     Frae Indus to Savannah;
     Gie me, within my straining grasp,
     The melting form of Anna:

     There I'll despise Imperial charms,
     An Empress or Sultana,
     While dying raptures in her arms
     I give and take wi' Anna!

     Awa, thou flaunting God of Day!
     Awa, thou pale Diana!
     Ilk Star, gae hide thy twinkling ray,
     When I'm to meet my Anna!

     Come, in thy raven plumage, Night,
     (Sun, Moon, and Stars, withdrawn a';)
     And bring an angel-pen to write
     My transports with my Anna!




 

Postscript

     The Kirk an' State may join an' tell,
     To do sic things I maunna:
     The Kirk an' State may gae to hell,
     And I'll gae to my Anna.

     She is the sunshine o' my e'e,
     To live but her I canna;
     Had I on earth but wishes three,
     The first should be my Anna.




 

Song—I Murder Hate

     I murder hate by flood or field,
     Tho' glory's name may screen us;
     In wars at home I'll spend my blood—
     Life-giving wars of Venus.
     The deities that I adore
     Are social Peace and Plenty;
     I'm better pleas'd to make one more,
     Than be the death of twenty.

     I would not die like Socrates,
     For all the fuss of Plato;
     Nor would I with Leonidas,
     Nor yet would I with Cato:
     The zealots of the Church and State
     Shall ne'er my mortal foes be;
     But let me have bold Zimri's fate,
     Within the arms of Cozbi!




 

Gudewife, Count The Lawin

     Gane is the day, and mirk's the night,
     But we'll ne'er stray for faut o' light;
     Gude ale and bratdy's stars and moon,
     And blue-red wine's the risin' sun.

     Chorus.—Then gudewife, count the lawin,
     The lawin, the lawin,
     Then gudewife, count the lawin,
     And bring a coggie mair.

     There's wealth and ease for gentlemen,
     And simple folk maun fecht and fen';
     But here we're a' in ae accord,
     For ilka man that's drunk's a lord.
     Then gudewife, &c.

     My coggie is a haly pool
     That heals the wounds o' care and dool;
     And Pleasure is a wanton trout,
     An ye drink it a', ye'll find him out.
     Then gudewife, &c.




 

Election Ballad

    At the close of the contest for representing the Dumfries Burghs, 1790.
     Addressed to R. Graham, Esq. of Fintry.

     Fintry, my stay in wordly strife,
     Friend o' my muse, friend o' my life,
     Are ye as idle's I am?
     Come then, wi' uncouth kintra fleg,
     O'er Pegasus I'll fling my leg,
     And ye shall see me try him.

     But where shall I go rin a ride,
     That I may splatter nane beside?
     I wad na be uncivil:
     In manhood's various paths and ways
     There's aye some doytin' body strays,
     And I ride like the devil.

     Thus I break aff wi' a' my birr,
     And down yon dark, deep alley spur,
     Where Theologics daunder:
     Alas! curst wi' eternal fogs,
     And damn'd in everlasting bogs,
     As sure's the creed I'll blunder!

     I'll stain a band, or jaup a gown,
     Or rin my reckless, guilty crown
     Against the haly door:
     Sair do I rue my luckless fate,
     When, as the Muse an' Deil wad hae't,
     I rade that road before.

     Suppose I take a spurt, and mix
     Amang the wilds o' Politics—
     Electors and elected,
     Where dogs at Court (sad sons of bitches!)
     Septennially a madness touches,
     Till all the land's infected.

     All hail! Drumlanrig's haughty Grace,
     Discarded remnant of a race
     Once godlike—great in story;
     Thy forbears' virtues all contrasted,
     The very name of Douglas blasted,
     Thine that inverted glory!

     Hate, envy, oft the Douglas bore,
     But thou hast superadded more,
     And sunk them in contempt;
     Follies and crimes have stain'd the name,
     But, Queensberry, thine the virgin claim,
     From aught that's good exempt!

     I'll sing the zeal Drumlanrig bears,
     Who left the all-important cares
     Of princes, and their darlings:
     And, bent on winning borough touns,
     Came shaking hands wi' wabster-loons,
     And kissing barefit carlins.

     Combustion thro' our boroughs rode,
     Whistling his roaring pack abroad
     Of mad unmuzzled lions;
     As Queensberry blue and buff unfurl'd,
     And Westerha' and Hopetoun hurled
     To every Whig defiance.

     But cautious Queensberry left the war,
     Th' unmanner'd dust might soil his star,
     Besides, he hated bleeding:
     But left behind him heroes bright,
     Heroes in Caesarean fight,
     Or Ciceronian pleading.

     O for a throat like huge Mons-Meg,
     To muster o'er each ardent Whig
     Beneath Drumlanrig's banners;
     Heroes and heroines commix,
     All in the field of politics,
     To 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' heart,
     While he, sub rosa, played his part
     Amang their wives and lasses.

     Craigdarroch led a light-arm'd core,
     Tropes, metaphors, and figures pour,
     Like Hecla streaming thunder:
     Glenriddel, skill'd in rusty coins,
     Blew up each Tory's dark designs,
     And bared the treason under.

     In either wing two champions fought;
     Redoubted Staig, who set at nought
     The wildest savage Tory;
     And Welsh who ne'er yet flinch'd his ground,
     High-wav'd his magnum-bonum round
     With Cyclopeian fury.

     Miller brought up th' artillery ranks,
     The many-pounders of the Banks,
     Resistless desolation!
     While Maxwelton, that baron bold,
     'Mid Lawson's port entrench'd his hold,
     And threaten'd worse damnation.

     To these what Tory hosts oppos'd
     With these what Tory warriors clos'd
     Surpasses my descriving;
     Squadrons, extended long and large,
     With furious speed rush to the charge,
     Like furious devils driving.

     What verse can sing, what prose narrate,
     The butcher deeds of bloody Fate,
     Amid this mighty tulyie!
     Grim Horror girn'd, pale Terror roar'd,
     As Murder at his thrapple shor'd,
     And Hell mix'd in the brulyie.

     As Highland craigs by thunder cleft,
     When lightnings fire the stormy lift,
     Hurl down with crashing rattle;
     As flames among a hundred woods,
     As headlong foam from a hundred floods,
     Such is the rage of Battle.

     The stubborn Tories dare to die;
     As soon the rooted oaks would fly
     Before th' approaching fellers:
     The Whigs come on like Ocean's roar,
     When all his wintry billows pour
     Against the Buchan Bullers.

     Lo, from the shades of Death's deep night,
     Departed Whigs enjoy the fight,
     And think on former daring:
     The muffled murtherer of Charles
     The Magna Charter flag unfurls,
     All 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 foes,
     Thou liv'st on high for ever.

     Still o'er the field the combat burns,
     The Tories, Whigs, give way by turns;
     But Fate the word has spoken:
     For woman's wit and strength o'man,
     Alas! can do but what they can;
     The Tory ranks are broken.

     O that my een were flowing burns!
     My voice, a lioness that mourns
     Her darling cubs' undoing!
     That I might greet, that I might cry,
     While Tories fall, while Tories fly,
     And furious Whigs pursuing!

     What Whig but melts for good Sir James,
     Dear to his country, by the names,
     Friend, Patron, Benefactor!
     Not Pulteney's wealth can Pulteney save;
     And Hopetoun falls, the generous, brave;
     And Stewart, bold as Hector.

     Thou, Pitt, shalt rue this overthrow,
     And Thurlow growl a curse of woe,
     And Melville melt in wailing:
     Now Fox and Sheridan rejoice,
     And Burke shall sing, "O Prince, arise!
     Thy power is all-prevailing!"

     For your poor friend, the Bard, afar
     He only hears and sees the war,
     A cool spectator purely!
     So, when the storm the forest rends,
     The robin in the hedge descends,
     And sober chirps securely.

     Now, for my friends' and brethren's sakes,
     And for my dear-lov'd Land o' Cakes,
     I pray with holy fire:
     Lord, send a rough-shod troop o' Hell
     O'er a' wad Scotland buy or sell,
     To grind them in the mire!




 

Elegy On Captain Matthew Henderson

A Gentleman who held the Patent for his Honours immediately from Almighty God.

     Should the poor be flattered?—Shakespeare.
     O Death! thou tyrant fell and bloody!
     The meikle devil wi' a woodie
     Haurl thee hame to his black smiddie,
     O'er hurcheon hides,
     And like stock-fish come o'er his studdie
     Wi' thy auld sides!

     He's gane, he's gane! he's frae us torn,
     The ae best fellow e'er was born!
     Thee, Matthew, Nature's sel' shall mourn,
     By wood and wild,
     Where haply, Pity strays forlorn,
     Frae man exil'd.

     Ye hills, near neighbours o' the starns,
     That proudly cock your cresting cairns!
     Ye cliffs, the haunts of sailing earns,
     Where Echo slumbers!
     Come join, ye Nature's sturdiest bairns,
     My wailing numbers!

     Mourn, ilka grove the cushat kens!
     Ye haz'ly shaws and briery dens!
     Ye burnies, wimplin' down your glens,
     Wi' toddlin din,
     Or foaming, strang, wi' hasty stens,
     Frae lin to lin.

     Mourn, little harebells o'er the lea;
     Ye stately foxgloves, fair to see;
     Ye woodbines hanging bonilie,
     In scented bow'rs;
     Ye roses on your thorny tree,
     The first o' flow'rs.

     At dawn, when ev'ry grassy blade
     Droops with a diamond at his head,
     At ev'n, when beans their fragrance shed,
     I' th' rustling gale,
     Ye maukins, whiddin thro' the glade,
     Come join my wail.

     Mourn, ye wee songsters o' the wood;
     Ye grouse that crap the heather bud;
     Ye curlews, calling thro' a clud;
     Ye whistling plover;
     And mourn, we whirring paitrick brood;
     He's gane for ever!

     Mourn, sooty coots, and speckled teals;
     Ye fisher herons, watching eels;
     Ye duck and drake, wi' airy wheels
     Circling the lake;
     Ye bitterns, till the quagmire reels,
     Rair for his sake.

     Mourn, clam'ring craiks at close o' day,
     'Mang fields o' flow'ring clover gay;
     And when ye wing your annual way
     Frae our claud shore,
     Tell thae far warlds wha lies in clay,
     Wham we deplore.

     Ye houlets, frae your ivy bow'r
     In some auld tree, or eldritch tow'r,
     What time the moon, wi' silent glow'r,
     Sets up her horn,
     Wail thro' the dreary midnight hour,
     Till waukrife morn!

     O rivers, forests, hills, and plains!
     Oft have ye heard my canty strains;
     But now, what else for me remains
     But tales of woe;
     And frae my een the drapping rains
     Maun ever flow.

     Mourn, Spring, thou darling of the year!
     Ilk cowslip cup shall kep a tear:
     Thou, Simmer, while each corny spear
     Shoots up its head,
     Thy gay, green, flow'ry tresses shear,
     For him that's dead!

     Thou, Autumn, wi' thy yellow hair,
     In grief thy sallow mantle tear!
     Thou, Winter, hurling thro' the air
     The roaring blast,
     Wide o'er the naked world declare
     The worth we've lost!

     Mourn him, thou Sun, great source of light!
     Mourn, Empress of the silent night!
     And you, ye twinkling starnies bright,
     My Matthew mourn!
     For through your orbs he's ta'en his flight,
     Ne'er to return.

     O Henderson! the man! the brother!
     And art thou gone, and gone for ever!
     And hast thou crost that unknown river,
     Life's dreary bound!
     Like thee, where shall I find another,
     The world around!

     Go to your sculptur'd tombs, ye Great,
     In a' the tinsel trash o' state!
     But by thy honest turf I'll wait,
     Thou man of worth!
     And weep the ae best fellow's fate
     E'er lay in earth.




 

The Epitaph

     Stop, passenger! my story's brief,
     And truth I shall relate, man;
     I tell nae common tale o' grief,
     For Matthew was a great man.

     If thou uncommon merit hast,
     Yet spurn'd at Fortune's door, man;
     A look of pity hither cast,
     For Matthew was a poor man.

     If thou a noble sodger art,
     That passest by this grave, man;
     There moulders here a gallant heart,
     For Matthew was a brave man.

     If thou on men, their works and ways,
     Canst throw uncommon light, man;
     Here lies wha weel had won thy praise,
     For Matthew was a bright man.

     If thou, at Friendship's sacred ca',
     Wad life itself resign, man:
     Thy sympathetic tear maun fa',
     For Matthew was a kind man.

     If thou art staunch, without a stain,
     Like the unchanging blue, man;
     This was a kinsman o' thy ain,
     For Matthew was a true man.

     If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire,
     And ne'er guid wine did fear, man;
     This was thy billie, dam, and sire,
     For Matthew was a queer man.

     If ony whiggish, whingin' sot,
     To blame poor Matthew dare, man;
     May dool and sorrow be his lot,
     For Matthew was a rare man.

     But now, his radiant course is run,
     For Matthew's was a bright one!
     His soul was like the glorious sun,
     A matchless, Heavenly light, man.




 

Verses On Captain Grose

     Written on an Envelope, enclosing a Letter to Him.
     Ken ye aught o' Captain Grose?—Igo, and ago,
     If he's amang his friends or foes?—Iram, coram, dago.

     Is he to Abra'm's bosom gane?—Igo, and ago,
     Or haudin Sarah by the wame?—Iram, coram dago.

     Is he south or is he north?—Igo, and ago,
     Or drowned in the river Forth?—Iram, coram dago.

     Is he slain by Hielan' bodies?—Igo, and ago,
     And eaten like a wether haggis?—Iram, coram, dago.

     Where'er he be, the Lord be near him!—Igo, and ago,
     As for the deil, he daur na steer him.—Iram, coram, dago.

     But please transmit th' enclosed letter,—Igo, and ago,
     Which will oblige your humble debtor.—Iram, coram, dago.

     So may ye hae auld stanes in store,—Igo, and ago,
     The very stanes that Adam bore.—Iram, coram, dago,

     So may ye get in glad possession,—Igo, and ago,
     The 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 street,
     And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet;
     As market days are wearing late,
     And folk begin to tak the gate,
     While we sit bousing at the nappy,
     An' getting fou and unco happy,
     We think na on the lang Scots miles,
     The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles,
     That lie between us and our hame,
     Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
     Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
     Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

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

     O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,
     As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!
     She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
     A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
     That frae November till October,
     Ae market-day thou was na sober;
     That ilka melder wi' the Miller,
     Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
     That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on
     The Smith and thee gat roarin' fou on;
     That at the Lord's house, ev'n on Sunday,
     Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday,
     She prophesied that late or soon,
     Thou wad be found, deep drown'd in Doon,
     Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
     By Alloway's auld, haunted kirk.

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

     But to our tale: Ae market night,
     Tam had got planted unco right,
     Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
     Wi reaming saats, that drank divinely;
     And at his elbow, Souter Johnie,
     His ancient, trusty, drougthy 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 gracious,
     Wi' favours secret, sweet, and precious:
     The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
     The Landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
     The storm without might rair and rustle,
     Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

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

     But pleasures are like poppies spread,
     You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;
     Or like the snow falls in the river,
     A moment white—then melts for ever;
     Or like the Borealis race,
     That flit ere you can point their place;
     Or like the Rainbow's lovely form
     Evanishing amid the storm.—
     Nae man can tether Time nor Tide,
     The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
     That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
     That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
     And sic a night he taks the road in,
     As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

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

     Weel-mounted on his grey mare, Meg,
     A better never lifted leg,
     Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
     Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
     Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet,
     Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet,
     Whiles glow'rin round wi' prudent cares,
     Lest bogles catch him unawares;
     Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
     Where ghaists and houlets nightly cry.

     By this time he was cross the ford,
     Where in the snaw the chapman smoor'd;
     And past the birks and meikle stane,
     Where drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane;
     And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
     Where hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
     And near the thorn, aboon the well,
     Where Mungo's mither hang'd hersel'.
     Before him Doon pours all his floods,
     The doubling storm roars thro' the woods,
     The lightnings flash from pole to pole,
     Near and more near the thunders roll,
     When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
     Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze,
     Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing,
     And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

     Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
     What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
     Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil;
     Wi' usquabae, we'll face the devil!
     The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
     Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle,
     But Maggie stood, right sair astonish'd,
     Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
     She ventur'd forward on the light;
     And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight!

     Warlocks and witches in a dance:
     Nae cotillon, brent new frae France,
     But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
     Put life and mettle in their heels.
     A winnock-bunker in the east,
     There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
     A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
     To gie them music was his charge:
     He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
     Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.—
     Coffins stood round, like open presses,
     That shaw'd the Dead in their last dresses;
     And (by some devilish cantraip sleight)
     Each in its cauld hand held a light.
     By which heroic Tam was able
     To note upon the haly table,
     A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns;
     Twa span-lang, wee, unchristened bairns;
     A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
     Wi' his last gasp his gabudid gape;
     Five tomahawks, wi' blude red-rusted:
     Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted;
     A garter which a babe had strangled:
     A knife, a father's throat had mangled.
     Whom his ain son of life bereft,
     The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft;
     Wi' mair of horrible and awfu',
     Which even to name wad be unlawfu'.

     As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious,
     The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
     The Piper loud and louder blew,
     The dancers quick and quicker flew,
     The reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit,
     Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
     And coost her duddies to the wark,
     And linkit at it in her sark!

     Now Tam, O Tam! had they been queans,
     A' plump and strapping in their teens!
     Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flainen,
     Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen!—
     Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
     That ance were plush o' guid blue hair,
     I wad hae gien them off my hurdies,
     For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!
     But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
     Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
     Louping 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 waulie
     That night enlisted in the core,
     Lang after ken'd on Carrick shore;
     (For mony a beast to dead she shot,
     And perish'd mony a bonie boat,
     And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
     And kept the country-side in fear);
     Her cutty sark, o' Paisley harn,
     That while a lassie she had worn,
     In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
     It was her best, and she was vauntie.
     Ah! little ken'd thy reverend grannie,
     That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
     Wi twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches),
     Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches!

     But here my Muse her wing maun cour,
     Sic flights are far beyond her power;
     To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
     (A souple jade she was and strang),
     And how Tam stood, like ane bewithc'd,
     And thought his very een enrich'd:
     Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain,
     And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main:
     Till first ae caper, syne anither,
     Tam tint his reason a thegither,
     And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
     And in an instant all was dark:
     And scarcely had he Maggie rallied.
     When out the hellish legion sallied.

     As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
     When plundering herds assail their byke;
     As open pussie's mortal foes,
     When, pop! she starts before their nose;
     As eager runs the market-crowd,
     When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
     So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
     Wi' mony an eldritch skreich and hollow.

     Ah, Tam! Ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin!
     In hell, they'll roast thee like a herrin!
     In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin!
     Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
     Now, do thy speedy-utmost, Meg,
     And win the key-stone o' the brig;^1
     There, at them thou thy tail may toss,
     A running stream they dare na cross.
     But ere the keystane she could make,
     The fient a tail she had to shake!
     For Nannie, far before the rest,
     Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
     And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
     But little wist she Maggie's mettle!
     Ae spring brought off her master hale,
     But left behind her ain grey tail:
     The carlin claught her by the rump,
     And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

     Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
     Ilk man and mother's son, take heed:
     Whene'er to Drink you are inclin'd,
     Or Cutty-sarks rin in your mind,
     Think 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'ret, pledge o' meikle love,
     And ward o' mony a prayer,
     What heart o' stane wad thou na move,
     Sae helpless, sweet, and fair?

     November hirples o'er the lea,
     Chil, on thy lovely form:
     And gane, alas! the shelt'ring tree,
     Should shield thee frae the storm.

     [Footnote 1: It is a well-known fact that witches, or any evil
     spirits, have no power to follow a poor wight any further than
     the middle of the next running stream. It may be proper likewise
     to mention to the benighted traveller, that when he falls in with
     bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is
     much more hazard in turning back.—R.B.]

     May He who gives the rain to pour,
     And wings the blast to blaw,
     Protect thee frae the driving show'r,
     The bitter frost and snaw.

     May He, the friend o' Woe and Want,
     Who heals life's various stounds,
     Protect and guard the mother plant,
     And heal her cruel wounds.

     But late she flourish'd, rooted fast,
     Fair in the summer morn,
     Now feebly bends she in the blast,
     Unshelter'd and forlorn.

     Blest be thy bloom, thou lovely gem,
     Unscath'd by ruffian hand!
     And from thee many a parent stem
     Arise to deck our land!




 

Elegy On The Late Miss Burnet Of Monboddo

     Life ne'er exulted in so rich a prize,
     As Burnet, lovely from her native skies;
     Nor envious death so triumph'd in a blow,
     As that which laid th' accomplish'd Burnet low.

     Thy form and mind, sweet maid, can I forget?
     In richest ore the brightest jewel set!
     In thee, high Heaven above was truest shown,
     As by His noblest work the Godhead best is known.

     In vain ye flaunt in summer's pride, ye groves;
     Thou crystal streamlet with thy flowery shore,
     Ye woodland choir that chaunt your idle loves,
     Ye cease to charm; Eliza is no more.

     Ye healthy wastes, immix'd with reedy fens;
     Ye mossy streams, with sedge and rushes stor'd:
     Ye rugged cliffs, o'erhanging dreary glens,
     To you I fly—ye with my soul accord.

     Princes, whose cumb'rous pride was all their worth,
     Shall venal lays their pompous exit hail,
     And thou, sweet Excellence! forsake our earth,
     And not a Muse with honest grief bewail?

     We saw thee shine in youth and beauty's pride,
     And Virtue's light, that beams beyond the spheres;
     But, like the sun eclips'd at morning tide,
     Thou left us darkling in a world of tears.

     The parent's heart that nestled fond in thee,
     That heart how sunk, a prey to grief and care;
     So deckt the woodbine sweet yon aged tree;
     So, from it ravish'd, leaves it bleak and bare.




 




 

Lament Of Mary, Queen Of Scots, On The Approach Of Spring

     Now Nature hangs her mantle green
     On every blooming tree,
     And spreads her sheets o' daisies white
     Out o'er the grassy lea;
     Now Phoebus cheers the crystal streams,
     And glads the azure skies;
     But nought can glad the weary wight
     That fast in durance lies.

     Now laverocks wake the merry morn
     Aloft on dewy wing;
     The merle, in his noontide bow'r,
     Makes woodland echoes ring;
     The mavis wild wi' mony a note,
     Sings drowsy day to rest:
     In love and freedom they rejoice,
     Wi' care nor thrall opprest.

     Now blooms the lily by the bank,
     The primrose down the brae;
     The hawthorn's budding in the glen,
     And milk-white is the slae:
     The meanest hind in fair Scotland
     May rove their sweets amang;
     But I, the Queen of a' Scotland,
     Maun lie in prison strang.

     I was the Queen o' bonie France,
     Where happy I hae been;
     Fu' lightly raise I in the morn,
     As blythe lay down at e'en:
     And I'm the sov'reign of Scotland,
     And mony a traitor there;
     Yet here I lie in foreign bands,
     And never-ending care.

     But as for thee, thou false woman,
     My sister and my fae,
     Grim Vengeance yet shall whet a sword
     That thro' thy soul shall gae;
     The weeping blood in woman's breast
     Was never known to thee;
     Nor th' balm that draps on wounds of woe
     Frae woman's pitying e'e.

     My son! my son! may kinder stars
     Upon thy fortune shine;
     And may those pleasures gild thy reign,
     That ne'er wad blink on mine!
     God keep thee frae thy mother's faes,
     Or turn their hearts to thee:
     And where thou meet'st thy mother's friend,
     Remember him for me!

     O! soon, to me, may Summer suns
     Nae mair light up the morn!
     Nae mair to me the Autumn winds
     Wave o'er the yellow corn?
     And, in the narrow house of death,
     Let Winter round me rave;
     And the next flow'rs that deck the Spring,
     Bloom on my peaceful grave!




 

There'll Never Be Peace Till Jamie Comes Hame

     By yon Castle wa', at the close of the day,
     I heard a man sing, tho' his head it was grey:
     And as he was singing, the tears doon came,—
     There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.

     The Church is in ruins, the State is in jars,
     Delusions, oppressions, and murderous wars,
     We dare na weel say't, but we ken wha's to blame,—
     There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame.

     My seven braw sons for Jamie drew sword,
     But 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 down,
     Sin' I tint my bairns, and 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 Forth, I look to the North;
     But what is the north and its Highlands to me?
     The south nor the east gie ease to my breast,
     The far foreign land, or the wide rolling sea.

     But I look to the west when I gae to rest,
     That happy my dreams and my slumbers may be;
     For far in the west lives he I loe best,
     The man that is dear to my babie and me.




 

The Banks O' Doon—First Version

     Sweet are the banks—the banks o' Doon,
     The spreading flowers are fair,
     And everything is blythe and glad,
     But I am fu' o' care.
     Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
     That sings upon the bough;
     Thou minds me o' the happy days
     When my fause Luve was true:
     Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
     That sings beside thy mate;
     For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
     And wist na o' my fate.

     Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon,
     To see the woodbine twine;
     And ilka birds sang o' its Luve,
     And sae did I o' mine:
     Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
     Upon its thorny tree;
     But my fause Luver staw my rose
     And left the thorn wi' me:
     Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
     Upon a morn in June;
     And sae I flourished on the morn,
     And sae was pu'd or noon!




 

The Banks O' Doon—Second Version

     Ye flowery banks o' bonie Doon,
     How can ye blume sae fair?
     How can ye chant, ye little birds,
     And I sae fu' o care!
     Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
     That sings upon the bough!
     Thou minds me o' the happy days
     When my fause Luve was true.
     Thou'll break my heart, thou bonie bird,
     That sings beside thy mate;
     For sae I sat, and sae I sang,
     And wist na o' my fate.

     Aft hae I rov'd by bonie Doon,
     To see the woodbine twine;
     And ilka bird sang o' its Luve,
     And sae did I o' mine.
     Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
     Upon its thorny tree;
     But my fause Luver staw my rose,
     And left the thorn wi' me.
     Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
     Upon a morn in June;
     And sae I flourished on the morn,
     And sae was pu'd or noon.




 

The Banks O' Doon—Third Version

     Ye banks and braes o' bonie Doon,
     How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
     How can ye chant, ye little birds,
     And I sae weary fu' o' care!
     Thou'll break my heart, thou warbling bird,
     That wantons thro' the flowering thorn:
     Thou minds me o' departed joys,
     Departed never to return.

     Aft hae I rov'd by Bonie Doon,
     To see the rose and woodbine twine:
     And ilka bird sang o' its Luve,
     And fondly sae did I o' mine;
     Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose,
     Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree!
     And may fause Luver staw my rose,
     But ah! he left the thorn wi' me.




 

Lament For James, Earl Of Glencairn

     The wind blew hollow frae the hills,
     By fits the sun's departing beam
     Look'd on the fading yellow woods,
     That wav'd o'er Lugar's winding stream:
     Beneath a craigy steep, a Bard,
     Laden with years and meikle pain,
     In loud lament bewail'd his lord,
     Whom Death had all untimely ta'en.

     He lean'd him to an ancient aik,
     Whose trunk was mould'ring down with years;
     His locks were bleached white with time,
     His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears!
     And as he touch'd his trembling harp,
     And as he tun'd his doleful sang,
     The winds, lamenting thro' their caves,
     To Echo bore the notes alang.

     "Ye scatter'd birds that faintly sing,
     The reliques o' the vernal queir!
     Ye woods that shed on a' the winds
     The honours of the aged year!
     A few short months, and glad and gay,
     Again ye'll charm the ear and e'e;
     But nocht in all-revolving time
     Can gladness bring again to me.

     "I am a bending aged tree,
     That long has stood the wind and rain;
     But now has come a cruel blast,
     And my last hald of earth is gane;
     Nae leaf o' mine shall greet the spring,
     Nae simmer sun exalt my bloom;
     But I maun lie before the storm,
     And ithers plant them in my room.

     "I've seen sae mony changefu' years,
     On earth I am a stranger grown:
     I wander in the ways of men,
     Alike unknowing, and unknown:
     Unheard, unpitied, unreliev'd,
     I bear alane my lade o' care,
     For silent, low, on beds of dust,
     Lie 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 bold,
     His country's pride, his country's stay:
     In weary being now I pine,
     For a' the life of life is dead,
     And hope has left may aged ken,
     On forward wing for ever fled.

     "Awake thy last sad voice, my harp!
     The voice of woe and wild despair!
     Awake, resound thy latest lay,
     Then sleep in silence evermair!
     And thou, my last, best, only, friend,
     That fillest an untimely tomb,
     Accept this tribute from the Bard
     Thou brought from Fortune's mirkest gloom.

     "In Poverty's low barren vale,
     Thick mists obscure involv'd me round;
     Though oft I turn'd the wistful eye,
     Nae ray of fame was to be found:
     Thou found'st me, like the morning sun
     That melts the fogs in limpid air,
     The friendless bard and rustic song
     Became alike thy fostering care.

     "O! why has worth so short a date,
     While villains ripen grey with time?
     Must thou, the noble, gen'rous, great,
     Fall in bold manhood's hardy prim
     Why did I live to see that day—
     A day to me so full of woe?
     O! had I met the mortal shaft
     That laid my benefactor low!

     "The bridegroom may forget the bride
     Was made his wedded wife yestreen;
     The monarch may forget the crown
     That on his head an hour has been;
     The mother may forget the child
     That smiles sae sweetly on her knee;
     But I'll remember thee, Glencairn,
     And a' that thou hast done for me!"




 

Lines Sent To Sir John Whiteford, Bart

     With The Lament On The Death Of the Earl Of Glencairn
     Thou, who thy honour as thy God rever'st,
     Who, save thy mind's reproach, nought earthly fear'st,
     To thee this votive offering I impart,
     The tearful tribute of a broken heart.
     The Friend thou valued'st, I, the Patron lov'd;
     His worth, his honour, all the world approved:
     We'll mourn till we too go as he has gone,
     And tread the shadowy path to that dark world unknown.




 

Craigieburn Wood

     Sweet closes the ev'ning on Craigieburn Wood,
     And blythely awaukens the morrow;
     But the pride o' the spring in the Craigieburn Wood
     Can yield to me nothing but sorrow.

     Chorus.—Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie,
     And O to be lying beyond thee!
     O sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep
     That's laid in the bed beyond thee!

     I see the spreading leaves and flowers,
     I hear the wild birds singing;
     But pleasure they hae nane for me,
     While care my heart is wringing.
     Beyond thee, &c.

     I can na tell, I maun na tell,
     I daur na for your anger;
     But secret love will break my heart,
     If I conceal it langer.
     Beyond thee, &c.

     I see thee gracefu', straight and tall,
     I see thee sweet and bonie;
     But oh, what will my torment be,
     If thou refuse thy Johnie!
     Beyond thee, &c.

     To see thee in another's arms,
     In love to lie and languish,
     'Twad be my dead, that will be seen,
     My heart wad burst wi' anguish.
     Beyond thee, &c.

     But Jeanie, say thou wilt be mine,
     Say thou lo'es nane before me;
     And a' may days o' life to come
     I'l gratefully adore thee,
     Beyond thee, &c.

     The Bonie Wee Thing

     Chorus.—Bonie wee thing, cannie wee thing,
     Lovely wee thing, wert thou mine,
     I wad wear thee in my bosom,
     Lest my jewel it should tine.

     Wishfully I look and languish
     In that bonie face o' thine,
     And my heart it stounds wi' anguish,
     Lest my wee thing be na mine.
     Bonie wee thing, &c.

     Wit, and Grace, and Love, and Beauty,
     In ae constellation shine;
     To adore thee is my duty,
     Goddess o' this soul o' mine!
     Bonie wee thing, &c.




 

Epigram On Miss Davies

On being asked why she had been formed so little, and Mrs. A—so big.

     Ask why God made the gem so small?
     And why so huge the granite?—
     Because God meant mankind should set
     That higher value on it.




 

The Charms Of Lovely Davies

     Tune—"Miss Muir."
     O how shall I, unskilfu', try
     The poet's occupation?
     The tunefu' powers, in happy hours,
     That whisper inspiration;
     Even they maun dare an effort mair
     Than aught they ever gave us,
     Ere they rehearse, in equal verse,
     The charms o' lovely Davies.

     Each eye it cheers when she appears,
     Like Phoebus in the morning,
     When past the shower, and every flower
     The garden is adorning:
     As the wretch looks o'er Siberia's shore,
     When winter-bound the wave is;
     Sae droops our heart, when we maun part
     Frae charming, lovely Davies.

     Her smile's a gift frae 'boon the lift,
     That maks us mair than princes;
     A sceptred hand, a king's command,
     Is in her darting glances;
     The man in arms 'gainst female charms
     Even he her willing slave is,
     He hugs his chain, and owns the reign
     Of conquering, lovely Davies.

     My Muse, to dream of such a theme,
     Her feeble powers surrender:
     The eagle's gaze alone surveys
     The sun's meridian splendour.
     I wad in vain essay the strain,
     The deed too daring brave is;
     I'll drap the lyre, and mute admire
     The charms o' lovely Davies.




 

What Can A Young Lassie Do Wi' An Auld Man

     What can a young lassie, what shall a young lassie,
     What can a young lassie do wi' an auld man?
     Bad luck on the penny that tempted my minnie
     To sell her puir Jenny for siller an' lan'.
     Bad luck on the penny that tempted my minnie
     To 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 dozin, his blude it is frozen,—
     O, dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man!
     He's doylt and he's dozin, his blude it is frozen,
     O, dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man.

     He hums and he hankers, he frets and he cankers,
     I never can please him do a' that I can;
     He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellows,—
     O, dool on the day I met wi' an auld man!
     He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellows,
     O, dool on the day I met wi' an auld man.

     My auld auntie Katie upon me taks pity,
     I'll do my endeavour to follow her plan;
     I'll cross him an' wrack him, until I heartbreak him
     And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan,
     I'll cross him an' wrack him, until I heartbreak him,
     And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan.




 

The Posie

     O luve will venture in where it daur na weel be seen,
     O luve will venture in where wisdom ance has been;
     But I will doun yon river rove, amang the wood sae green,
     And a' to pu' a Posie to my ain dear May.

     The primrose I will pu', the firstling o' the year,
     And I will pu' the pink, the emblem o' my dear;
     For she's the pink o' womankind, and blooms without a peer,
     And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

     I'll pu' the budding rose, when Phoebus peeps in view,
     For it's like a baumy kiss o' her sweet, bonie mou;
     The hyacinth's for constancy wi' its unchanging blue,
     And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

     The lily it is pure, and the lily it is fair,
     And in her lovely bosom I'll place the lily there;
     The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air,
     And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

     The hawthorn I will pu', wi' its locks o' siller gray,
     Where, like an aged man, it stands at break o' day;
     But the songster's nest within the bush I winna tak away
     And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

     The woodbine I will pu', when the e'ening star is near,
     And the diamond draps o' dew shall be her een sae clear;
     The violet's for modesty, which weel she fa's to wear,
     And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

     I'll tie the Posie round wi' the silken band o' luve,
     And I'll place it in her breast, and I'll swear by a' above,
     That to my latest draught o' life the band shall ne'er remove,
     And this will be a Posie to my ain dear May.




 

On Glenriddell's Fox Breaking His Chain

     A Fragment, 1791.
     Thou, Liberty, thou art my theme;
     Not such as idle poets dream,
     Who trick thee up a heathen goddess
     That a fantastic cap and rod has;
     Such stale conceits are poor and silly;
     I paint thee out, a Highland filly,
     A sturdy, stubborn, handsome dapple,
     As sleek's a mouse, as round's an apple,
     That when thou pleasest canst do wonders;
     But when thy luckless rider blunders,
     Or if thy fancy should demur there,
     Wilt break thy neck ere thou go further.

     These things premised, I sing a Fox,
     Was caught among his native rocks,
     And to a dirty kennel chained,
     How he his liberty regained.

     Glenriddell! Whig without a stain,
     A Whig in principle and grain,
     Could'st thou enslave a free-born creature,
     A native denizen of Nature?
     How could'st thou, with a heart so good,
     (A better ne'er was sluiced with blood!)
     Nail a poor devil to a tree,
     That ne'er did harm to thine or thee?

     The staunchest Whig Glenriddell was,
     Quite frantic in his country's cause;
     And oft was Reynard's prison passing,
     And with his brother-Whigs canvassing
     The Rights of Men, the Powers of Women,
     With all the dignity of Freemen.

     Sir Reynard daily heard debates
     Of Princes', Kings', and Nations' fates,
     With many rueful, bloody stories
     Of Tyrants, Jacobites, and Tories:
     From liberty how angels fell,
     That now are galley-slaves in hell;
     How Nimrod first the trade began
     Of binding Slavery's chains on Man;
     How fell Semiramis—God damn her!
     Did first, with sacrilegious hammer,
     (All ills till then were trivial matters)
     For Man dethron'd forge hen-peck fetters;

     How Xerxes, that abandoned Tory,
     Thought cutting throats was reaping glory,
     Until the stubborn Whigs of Sparta
     Taught him great Nature's Magna Charta;
     How mighty Rome her fiat hurl'd
     Resistless o'er a bowing world,
     And, kinder than they did desire,
     Polish'd mankind with sword and fire;
     With much, too tedious to relate,
     Of ancient and of modern date,
     But ending still, how Billy Pitt
     (Unlucky boy!) with wicked wit,
     Has gagg'd old Britain, drain'd her coffer,
     As butchers bind and bleed a heifer,

     Thus wily Reynard by degrees,
     In kennel listening at his ease,
     Suck'd in a mighty stock of knowledge,
     As much as some folks at a College;
     Knew Britain's rights and constitution,
     Her aggrandisement, diminution,
     How fortune wrought us good from evil;
     Let no man, then, despise the Devil,
     As who should say, 'I never can need him,'
     Since we to scoundrels owe our freedom.




 

Poem On Pastoral Poetry

     Hail, Poesie! thou Nymph reserv'd!
     In chase o' thee, what crowds hae swerv'd
     Frae common sense, or sunk enerv'd
     'Mang heaps o' clavers:
     And och! o'er aft thy joes hae starv'd,
     'Mid a' thy favours!

     Say, Lassie, why, thy train amang,
     While loud the trump's heroic clang,
     And sock or buskin skelp alang
     To death or marriage;
     Scarce ane has tried the shepherd—sang
     But wi' miscarriage?

     In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives;
     Eschylus' pen Will Shakespeare drives;
     Wee Pope, the knurlin', till him rives
     Horatian fame;
     In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, survives
     Even Sappho's flame.

     But thee, Theocritus, wha matches?
     They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches;
     Squire Pope but busks his skinklin' patches
     O' heathen tatters:
     I pass by hunders, nameless wretches,
     That ape their betters.

     In this braw age o' wit and lear,
     Will nane the Shepherd's whistle mair
     Blaw sweetly in its native air,
     And rural grace;
     And, wi' the far-fam'd Grecian, share
     A rival place?

     Yes! there is ane—a Scottish callan!
     There's ane; come forrit, honest Allan!
     Thou need na jouk behint the hallan,
     A chiel sae clever;
     The teeth o' time may gnaw Tantallan,
     But thou's for ever.

     Thou paints auld Nature to the nines,
     In thy sweet Caledonian lines;
     Nae gowden stream thro' myrtle twines,
     Where Philomel,
     While nightly breezes sweep the vines,
     Her griefs will tell!

     In gowany glens thy burnie strays,
     Where bonie lasses bleach their claes,
     Or trots by hazelly shaws and braes,
     Wi' hawthorns gray,
     Where blackbirds join the shepherd's lays,
     At close o' day.

     Thy rural loves are Nature's sel';
     Nae bombast spates o' nonsense swell;
     Nae snap conceits, but that sweet spell
     O' witchin love,
     That charm that can the strongest quell,
     The sternest move.




 

Verses On The Destruction Of The Woods Near Drumlanrig

     As on the banks o' wandering Nith,
     Ae smiling simmer morn I stray'd,
     And traced its bonie howes and haughs,
     Where linties sang and lammies play'd,
     I sat me down upon a craig,
     And drank my fill o' fancy's dream,
     When from the eddying deep below,
     Up rose the genius of the stream.

     Dark, like the frowning rock, his brow,
     And troubled, like his wintry wave,
     And deep, as sughs the boding wind
     Amang his caves, the sigh he gave—
     "And come ye here, my son," he cried,
     "To wander in my birken shade?
     To muse some favourite Scottish theme,
     Or sing some favourite Scottish maid?

     "There was a time, it's nae lang syne,
     Ye might hae seen me in my pride,
     When a' my banks sae bravely saw
     Their woody pictures in my tide;
     When hanging beech and spreading elm
     Shaded my stream sae clear and cool:
     And stately oaks their twisted arms
     Threw broad and dark across the pool;

     "When, glinting thro' the trees, appear'd
     The wee white cot aboon the mill,
     And peacefu' rose its ingle reek,
     That, slowly curling, clamb the hill.
     But now the cot is bare and cauld,
     Its leafy bield for ever gane,
     And scarce a stinted birk is left
     To shiver in the blast its lane."

     "Alas!" quoth I, "what 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 fell,
     And on my dry and halesome banks
     Nae 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 sea,
     By mony a flower and spreading tree,
     There lives a lad, the lad for me,
     He is a gallant Weaver.
     O, I had wooers aught or nine,
     They gied me rings and ribbons fine;
     And I was fear'd my heart wad tine,
     And I gied it to the Weaver.

     My daddie sign'd my tocher-band,
     To gie the lad that has the land,
     But to my heart I'll add my hand,
     And give it to the Weaver.
     While birds rejoice in leafy bowers,
     While bees delight in opening flowers,
     While corn grows green in summer showers,
     I love my gallant Weaver.

     [Footnote 1: The Duke of Queensberry.]




 

Epigram At Brownhill Inn^1

     At Brownhill we always get dainty good cheer,
     And plenty of bacon each day in the year;
     We've a' thing that's nice, and mostly in season,
     But why always Bacon—come, tell me a reason?

     You're Welcome, Willie Stewart

     Chorus.—You're welcome, Willie Stewart,
     You're welcome, Willie Stewart,
     There's ne'er a flower that blooms in May,
     That's half sae welcome's thou art!

     Come, bumpers high, express your joy,
     The bowl we maun renew it,
     The tappet hen, gae bring her ben,
     To welcome Willie Stewart,
     You're welcome, Willie Stewart, &c.

     May foes be strang, and friends be slack
     Ilk action, may he rue it,
     May woman on him turn her back
     That wrangs thee, Willie Stewart,
     You're welcome, Willie Stewart, &c.




 

Lovely Polly Stewart

     Chorus.—O lovely Polly Stewart,
     O charming Polly Stewart,
     There's ne'er a flower that blooms in May,
     That's half so fair as thou art!

     The flower it blaws, it fades, it fa's,
     And art can ne'er renew it;
     But worth and truth, eternal youth
     Will gie to Polly Stewart,
     O lovely Polly Stewart, &c.

     [Footnote 1: Bacon was the name of a presumably intrusive host.
     The lines are said to have "afforded much amusement."—Lang]

     May he whase arms shall fauld thy charms
     Possess a leal and true heart!
     To him be given to ken the heaven
     He grasps in Polly Stewart!
     O lovely Polly Stewart, &c.




 

Fragment,—Damon And Sylvia

     Tune—"The Tither Morn."
     Yon wandering rill that marks the hill,
     And glances o'er the brae, Sir,
     Slides by a bower, where mony a flower
     Sheds fragrance on the day, Sir;
     There Damon lay, with Sylvia gay,
     To love they thought no crime, Sir,
     The wild birds sang, the echoes rang,
     While Damon's heart beat time, Sir.




 

Johnie Lad, Cock Up Your Beaver

     When first my brave Johnie lad came to this town,
     He had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown;
     But now he has gotten a hat and a feather,
     Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

     Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu' sprush,
     We'll over the border, and gie them a brush;
     There's somebody there we'll teach better behaviour,
     Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!




 

My Eppie Macnab

     O saw ye my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?
     O saw ye my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?
     She's down in the yard, she's kissin the laird,
     She winna come hame to her ain Jock Rab.

     O come thy ways to me, my Eppie Macnab;
     O come thy ways to me, my Eppie Macnab;
     Whate'er thou hast dune, be it late, be it sune,
     Thou's welcome again to thy ain Jock Rab.

     What says she, my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?
     What says she, my dearie, my Eppie Macnab?
     She let's thee to wit that she has thee forgot,
     And for ever disowns thee, her ain Jock Rab.

     O had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie Macnab!
     O had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie Macnab!
     As light as the air, and as fause as thou's fair,
     Thou's broken the heart o' thy ain Jock Rab.




 

Altho' He Has Left Me

     Altho' he has left me for greed o' the siller,
     I dinna envy him the gains he can win;
     I rather wad bear a' the lade o' my sorrow,
     Than ever hae acted sae faithless to him.




 

My Tocher's The Jewel

     O Meikle thinks my luve o' my beauty,
     And meikle thinks my luve o' my kin;
     But little thinks my luve I ken brawlie
     My tocher's the jewel has charms for him.
     It's a' for the apple he'll nourish the tree,
     It's a' for the hinny he'll cherish the bee,
     My laddie's sae meikle in luve wi' the siller,
     He canna hae luve to spare for me.

     Your proffer o' luve's an airle-penny,
     My tocher's the bargain ye wad buy;
     But an ye be crafty, I am cunnin',
     Sae ye wi anither your fortune may try.
     Ye're like to the timmer o' yon rotten wood,
     Ye're like to the bark o' yon rotten tree,
     Ye'll slip frae me like a knotless thread,
     And ye'll crack your credit wi' mae nor me.




 

O For Ane An' Twenty, Tam

     Chorus.—An' O for ane an' twenty, Tam!
     And hey, sweet ane an' twenty, Tam!
     I'll learn my kin a rattlin' sang,
     An' I saw ane an' twenty, Tam.

     They snool me sair, and haud me down,
     An' gar me look like bluntie, Tam;
     But three short years will soon wheel roun',
     An' then comes ane an' twenty, Tam.
     An' O for, &c.

     A glieb o' lan', a claut o' gear,
     Was left me by my auntie, Tam;
     At kith or kin I need na spier,
     An I saw ane an' twenty, Tam.
     An' O for, &c.

     They'll hae me wed a wealthy coof,
     Tho' I mysel' hae plenty, Tam;
     But, hear'st thou laddie! there's my loof,
     I'm thine at ane an' twenty, Tam!
     An' O for, &c.




 

Thou Fair Eliza

     Turn again, thou fair Eliza!
     Ae kind blink before we part;
     Rue on thy despairing lover,
     Can'st thou break his faithfu' heart?
     Turn again, thou fair Eliza!
     If to love thy heart denies,
     Oh, in pity hide the sentence
     Under friendship's kind disguise!

     Thee, sweet maid, hae I offended?
     My offence is loving thee;
     Can'st thou wreck his peace for ever,
     Wha for thine would gladly die?
     While the life beats in my bosom,
     Thou shalt mix in ilka throe:
     Turn again, thou lovely maiden,
     Ae sweet smile on me bestow.

     Not the bee upon the blossom,
     In the pride o' sinny noon;
     Not the little sporting fairy,
     All beneath the simmer moon;
     Not the Minstrel in the moment
     Fancy lightens in his e'e,
     Kens the pleasure, feels the rapture,
     That thy presence gies to me.




 

My Bonie Bell

     The smiling Spring comes in rejoicing,
     And surly Winter grimly flies;
     Now crystal clear are the falling waters,
     And bonie blue are the sunny skies.
     Fresh o'er the mountains breaks forth the morning,
     The ev'ning gilds the ocean's swell;
     All creatures joy in the sun's returning,
     And I rejoice in my bonie Bell.

     The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,
     The yellow Autumn presses near;
     Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter,
     Till smiling Spring again appear:
     Thus seasons dancing, life advancing,
     Old Time and Nature their changes tell;
     But never ranging, still unchanging,
     I adore my bonie Bell.




 

Sweet Afton

     Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes,
     Flow gently, I'll sing thee a song in thy praise;
     My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
     Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.

     Thou stockdove whose echo resounds thro' the glen,
     Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den,
     Thou green-crested lapwing thy screaming forbear,
     I charge you, disturb not my slumbering Fair.

     How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills,
     Far mark'd with the courses of clear, winding rills;
     There daily I wander as noon rises high,
     My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye.

     How pleasant thy banks and green valleys below,
     Where, wild in the woodlands, the primroses blow;
     There oft, as mild Ev'ning weeps over the lea,
     The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me.

     Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides,
     And winds by the cot where my Mary resides;
     How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave,
     As, gathering sweet flowerets, she stems thy clear wave.

     Flow gently, sweet Afton, amang thy green braes,
     Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays;
     My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream,
     Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream.




 

Address To The Shade Of Thomson

    On Crowning His Bust at Ednam, Roxburghshire, with a Wreath of Bays.
     While virgin Spring by Eden's flood,
     Unfolds her tender mantle green,
     Or pranks the sod in frolic mood,
     Or tunes Eolian strains between.

     While Summer, with a matron grace,
     Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling shade,
     Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace
     The progress of the spiky blade.

     While Autumn, benefactor kind,
     By Tweed erects his aged head,
     And sees, with self-approving mind,
     Each creature on his bounty fed.

     While maniac Winter rages o'er
     The hills whence classic Yarrow flows,
     Rousing the turbid torrent's roar,
     Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows.

     So long, sweet Poet of the year!
     Shall bloom that wreath thou well hast won;
     While Scotia, with exulting tear,
     Proclaims that Thomson was her son.




 

Nithsdale's Welcome Hame

     The noble Maxwells and their powers
     Are coming o'er the border,
     And they'll gae big Terreagles' towers
     And set them a' in order.
     And they declare Terreagles fair,
     For their abode they choose it;
     There's no a heart in a' the land
     But's lighter at the news o't.

     Tho' stars in skies may disappear,
     And angry tempests gather;
     The happy hour may soon be near
     That brings us pleasant weather:
     The weary night o' care and grief
     May hae a joyfu' morrow;
     so dawning day has brought relief,
     Fareweel our night o' sorrow.




 

Frae The Friends And Land I Love

     Tune—"Carron Side."
     Frae the friends and land I love,
     Driv'n by Fortune's felly spite;
     Frae my best belov'd I rove,
     Never mair to taste delight:
     Never mair maun hope to find
     Ease frae toil, relief frae care;
     When Remembrance wracks the mind,
     Pleasures but unveil despair.

     Brightest climes shall mirk appear,
     Desert ilka blooming shore,
     Till the Fates, nae mair severe,
     Friendship, love, and peace restore,
     Till Revenge, wi' laurel'd head,
     Bring our banished hame again;
     And ilk loyal, bonie lad
     Cross the seas, and win his ain.




 

Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation

     Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,
     Fareweel our ancient glory;
     Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name,
     Sae fam'd in martial story.
     Now Sark rins over Solway sands,
     An' Tweed rins to the ocean,
     To mark where England's province stands—
     Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

     What force or guile could not subdue,
     Thro' many warlike ages,
     Is wrought now by a coward few,
     For hireling traitor's wages.
     The English stell we could disdain,
     Secure in valour's station;
     But English gold has been our bane—
     Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

     O would, or I had seen the day
     That Treason thus could sell us,
     My auld grey head had lien in clay,
     Wi' Bruce and loyal Wallace!
     But pith and power, till my last hour,
     I'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 name, give an ear, give an ear,
     Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear,
     Ye Jacobites by name,
     Your fautes I will proclaim,
     Your doctrines I maun blame, you shall hear.

     What is Right, and What is Wrang, by the law, by the law?
     What is Right and what is Wrang by the law?
     What is Right, and what is Wrang?
     A short sword, and a lang,
     A weak arm and a strang, for to draw.

     What makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar?
     What makes heroic strife famed afar?
     What makes heroic strife?
     To whet th' assassin's knife,
     Or hunt a Parent's life, wi' bluidy war?

     Then let your schemes alone, in the state, in the state,
     Then let your schemes alone in the state.
     Then let your schemes alone,
     Adore the rising sun,
     And leave a man undone, to his fate.




 

I Hae Been At Crookieden

     I Hae been at Crookieden,
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
     Viewing Willie and his men,
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.
     There our foes that burnt and slew,
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
     There, at last, they gat their due,
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.

     Satan sits in his black neuk,
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
     Breaking sticks to roast the Duke,
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie,
     The bloody monster gae a yell,
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.
     And loud the laugh gied round a' hell
     My bonie laddie, Highland laddie.




 

O Kenmure's On And Awa, Willie

     O Kenmure's on and awa, Willie,
     O Kenmure's on and awa:
     An' Kenmure's lord's the bravest lord
     That ever Galloway saw.

     Success to Kenmure's band, Willie!
     Success to Kenmure's band!
     There's no a heart that fears a Whig,
     That rides by kenmure's hand.

     Here's Kenmure's health in wine, Willie!
     Here's Kenmure's health in wine!
     There's ne'er a coward o' Kenmure's blude,
     Nor yet o' Gordon's line.

     O Kenmure's lads are men, Willie,
     O Kenmure's lads are men;
     Their hearts and swords are metal true,
     And that their foes shall ken.

     They'll live or die wi' fame, Willie;
     They'll live or die wi' fame;
     But sune, wi' sounding victorie,
     May Kenmure's lord come hame!

     Here's him that's far awa, Willie!
     Here's him that's far awa!
     And here's the flower that I loe best,
     The rose that's like the snaw.




 

Epistle To John Maxwell, ESQ., Of Terraughty

     On His Birthday.
     Health to the Maxwell's veteran Chief!
     Health, aye unsour'd by care or grief:
     Inspir'd, I turn'd Fate's sibyl leaf,
     This natal morn,
     I see thy life is stuff o' prief,
     Scarce quite half-worn.

     This day thou metes threescore eleven,
     And I can tell that bounteous Heaven
     (The second-sight, ye ken, is given
     To ilka Poet)
     On thee a tack o' seven times seven
     Will yet bestow it.

     If envious buckies view wi' sorrow
     Thy lengthen'd days on this blest morrow,
     May Desolation's lang-teeth'd harrow,
     Nine miles an hour,
     Rake them, like Sodom and Gomorrah,
     In brunstane stour.

     But for thy friends, and they are mony,
     Baith honest men, and lassies bonie,
     May couthie Fortune, kind and cannie,
     In social glee,
     Wi' mornings blythe, and e'enings funny,
     Bless them and thee!

     Fareweel, auld birkie! Lord be near ye,
     And then the deil, he daurna steer ye:
     Your friends aye love, your faes aye fear ye;
     For me, shame fa' me,
     If neist my heart I dinna wear ye,
     While Burns they ca' me.




 

Second Epistle To Robert Graham, ESQ., Of Fintry

     5th October 1791.
     Late crippl'd of an arm, and now a leg,
     About to beg a pass for leave to beg;
     Dull, listless, teas'd, dejected, and deprest
     (Nature is adverse to a cripple's rest);
     Will generous Graham list to his Poet's wail?
     (It soothes poor Misery, hearkening to her tale)
     And hear him curse the light he first survey'd,
     And doubly curse the luckless rhyming trade?

     Thou, Nature! partial Nature, I arraign;
     Of thy caprice maternal I complain;
     The lion and the bull thy care have found,
     One shakes the forests, and one spurns the ground;
     Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell;
     Th' envenom'd wasp, victorious, guards his cell;
     Thy minions kings defend, control, devour,
     In all th' omnipotence of rule and power;
     Foxes and statesmen subtile wiles ensure;
     The cit and polecat stink, and are secure;
     Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug,
     The priest and hedgehog in their robes, are snug;
     Ev'n silly woman has her warlike arts,
     Her tongue and eyes—her dreaded spear and darts.

     But Oh! thou bitter step-mother and hard,
     To thy poor, fenceless, naked child—the Bard!
     A thing unteachable in world's skill,
     And half an idiot too, more helpless still:
     No heels to bear him from the op'ning dun;
     No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun;
     No horns, but those by luckless Hymen worn,
     And those, alas! not, Amalthea's horn:
     No nerves olfact'ry, Mammon's trusty cur,
     Clad in rich Dulness' comfortable fur;
     In naked feeling, and in aching pride,
     He bears th' unbroken blast from ev'ry side:
     Vampyre booksellers drain him to the heart,
     And scorpion critics cureless venom dart.

     Critics—appall'd, I venture on the name;
     Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame:
     Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes;
     He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose:

     His heart by causeless wanton malice wrung,
     By blockheads' daring into madness stung;
     His well-won bays, than life itself more dear,
     By miscreants torn, who ne'er one sprig must wear;
     Foil'd, bleeding, tortur'd in th' unequal strife,
     The hapless Poet flounders on thro' life:
     Till, fled each hope that once his bosom fir'd,
     And fled each muse that glorious once inspir'd,
     Low sunk in squalid, unprotected age,
     Dead even resentment for his injur'd page,
     He heeds or feels no more the ruthless critic's rage!

     So, by some hedge, the gen'rous steed deceas'd,
     For half-starv'd snarling curs a dainty feast;
     By toil and famine wore to skin and bone,
     Lies, senseless 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 extremes
     Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams.
     If mantling high she fills the golden cup,
     With sober selfish ease they sip it up;
     Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve,
     They only wonder "some folks" do not starve.
     The grave sage hern thus easy picks his frog,
     And thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog.
     When disappointments snaps the clue of hope,
     And thro' disastrous night they darkling grope,
     With deaf endurance sluggishly they bear,
     And just conclude that "fools are fortune's care."
     So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks,
     Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.

     Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap train,
     Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain;
     In equanimity they never dwell,
     By turns in soaring heav'n, or vaulted hell.

     I dread thee, Fate, relentless and severe,
     With all a poet's, husband's, father's fear!
     Already one strong hold of hope is lost—
     Glencairn, the truly noble, lies in dust
     (Fled, like the sun eclips'd as noon appears,
     And left us darkling in a world of tears);
     O! hear my ardent, grateful, selfish pray'r!
     Fintry, my other stay, long bless and spare!
     Thro' a long life his hopes and wishes crown,
     And bright in cloudless skies his sun go down!
     May bliss domestic smooth his private path;
     Give energy to life; and soothe his latest breath,
     With 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 dying of the victorious army are supposed to join in the
     following song.
     Farewell, thou fair day, thou green earth, and ye skies,
     Now gay with the broad setting sun;
     Farewell, loves and friendships, ye dear tender ties,
     Our race of existence is run!
     Thou grim King of Terrors; thou Life's gloomy foe!
     Go, frighten the coward and slave;
     Go, teach them to tremble, fell tyrant! but know
     No terrors hast thou to the brave!

     Thou strik'st the dull peasant—he sinks in the dark,
     Nor 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 hands,
     Our 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

     Sensibility, how charming,
     Dearest Nancy, thou canst tell;
     But distress, with horrors arming,
     Thou alas! hast known too well!

     Fairest flower, behold the lily
     Blooming in the sunny ray:
     Let the blast sweep o'er the valley,
     See it prostrate in the clay.

     Hear the wood lark charm the forest,
     Telling o'er his little joys;
     But alas! a prey the surest
     To each pirate of the skies.

     Dearly bought the hidden treasure
     Finer feelings can bestow:
     Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure
     Thrill the deepest notes of woe.




 

The Toadeater

     Of Lordly acquaintance you boast,
     And the Dukes that you dined wi' yestreen,
     Yet an insect's an insect at most,
     Tho' it crawl on the curl of a Queen!




 

Divine Service In The Kirk Of Lamington

     As cauld a wind as ever blew,
     A cauld kirk, an 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-face,
     Ye blear-e'ed, withered spectre?
     Ye only spied the keekin'-glass,
     An' there ye saw your picture.




 

A Grace Before Dinner, Extempore

     O thou who kindly dost provide
     For every creature's want!
     We bless Thee, God of Nature wide,
     For all Thy goodness lent:
     And if it please Thee, Heavenly Guide,
     May never worse be sent;
     But, whether granted, or denied,
     Lord, bless us with content. Amen!




 

A Grace After Dinner, Extempore

     O thou, in whom we live and move—
     Who made the sea and shore;
     Thy goodness constantly we prove,
     And grateful would adore;
     And, if it please Thee, Power above!
     Still grant us, with such store,
     The friend we trust, the fair we love—
     And we desire no more. Amen!




 

O May, Thy Morn

     O may, thy morn was ne'er so sweet
     As the mirk night o' December!
     For sparkling was the rosy wine,
     And private was the chamber:
     And dear was she I dare na name,
     But I will aye remember:
     And dear was she I dare na name,
     But I will aye remember.

     And here's to them that, like oursel,
     Can push about the jorum!
     And here's to them that wish us weel,
     May a' that's guid watch o'er 'em!
     And here's to them, we dare na tell,
     The dearest o' the quorum!
     And here's to them, we dare na tell,
     The dearest o' the quorum.




 

Ae Fond Kiss, And Then We Sever

     Tune—"Rory Dall's Port."
     Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
     Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
     Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
     Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.
     Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
     While the star of hope she leaves him?
     Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me;
     Dark despair around benights me.

     I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy,
     Naething could resist my Nancy:
     But to see her was to love her;
     Love but her, and love for ever.
     Had we never lov'd sae kindly,
     Had we never lov'd sae blindly,
     Never met—or never parted,
     We had ne'er been broken-hearted.

     Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest!
     Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest!
     Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
     Peace, Enjoyment, Love and Pleasure!
     Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
     Ae fareweeli alas, for ever!
     Deep in heart-wrung tears I'll pledge thee,
     Warring sighs and groans I'll wage thee.




 

Behold The Hour, The Boat, Arrive

     Behold the hour, the boat, arrive!
     My dearest Nancy, O fareweel!
     Severed frae thee, can I survive,
     Frae thee whom I hae lov'd sae weel?

     Endless and deep shall be my grief;
     LNae ray of comfort shall I see,
     But this most precious, dear belief,
     That thou wilt still remember me!

     Alang the solitary shore
     Where flitting sea-fowl round me cry,
     Across the rolling, dashing roar,
     I'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 way,
     O tell me, does she muse on me?"




 

Thou Gloomy December

     Ance mair I hail thee, thou gloomy December!
     Ance mair I hail thee wi' sorrow and care;
     Sad was the parting thou makes me remember—
     Parting wi' Nancy, oh, ne'er to meet mair!

     Fond lovers' parting is sweet, painful pleasure,
     Hope beaming mild on the soft parting hour;
     But the dire feeling, O farewell for ever!
     Is anguish unmingled, and agony pure!

     Wild as the winter now tearing the forest,
     Till the last leaf o' the summer is flown;
     Such is the tempest has shaken my bosom,
     Till my last hope and last comfort is gone.

     Still as I hail thee, thou gloomy December,
     Still shall I hail thee wi' sorrow and care;
     For sad was the parting thou makes me remember,
     Parting wi' Nancy, oh, ne'er to meet mair.




 

My Native Land Sae Far Awa

     O sad and heavy, should I part,
     But for her sake, sae far awa;
     Unknowing what my way may thwart,
     My native land sae far awa.

     Thou that of a' things Maker art,
     That formed this Fair sae far awa,
     Gie body strength, then I'll ne'er start
     At 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 smart,
     While, oh, she is sae far awa!

     Nane other love, nane other dart,
     I feel but her's sae far awa;
     But fairer never touch'd a heart
     Than her's, the Fair, sae far awa.






 




 

I do Confess Thou Art Sae Fair

     Alteration of an Old Poem.
     I Do confess thou art sae fair,
     I was been o'er the lugs in luve,
     Had I na found the slightest prayer
     That lips could speak thy heart could muve.

     I do confess thee sweet, but find
     Thou art so thriftless o' thy sweets,
     Thy favours are the silly wind
     That kisses ilka thing it meets.

     See yonder rosebud, rich in dew,
     Amang its native briers sae coy;
     How sune it tines its scent and hue,
     When pu'd and worn a common toy.

     Sic fate ere lang shall thee betide,
     Tho' thou may gaily bloom awhile;
     And sune thou shalt be thrown aside,
     Like ony common weed and vile.




 

Lines On Fergusson, The Poet

     Ill-fated genius! Heaven-taught Fergusson!
     What heart that feels and will not yield a tear,
     To think Life's sun did set e'er well begun
     To shed its influence on thy bright career.

     O why should truest Worth and Genius pine
     Beneath the iron grasp of Want and Woe,
     While titled knaves and idiot—Greatness shine
     In all the splendour Fortune can bestow?




 

The Weary Pund O' Tow

     Chorus.—The weary pund, the weary pund,
     The weary pund o' tow;
     I think my wife will end her life,
     Before she spin her tow.

     I bought my wife a stane o' lint,
     As gude as e'er did grow,
     And a' that she has made o' that
     Is ae puir pund o' tow.
     The weary pund, &c.

     There sat a bottle in a bole,
     Beyont the ingle low;
     And aye she took the tither souk,
     To drouk the stourie tow.
     The weary pund, &c.

     Quoth I, For shame, ye dirty dame,
     Gae spin your tap o' tow!
     She took the rock, and wi' a knock,
     She brak it o'er my pow.
     The weary pund, &c.

     At last her feet—I sang to see't!
     Gaed foremost o'er the knowe,
     And or I wad anither jad,
     I'll wallop in a tow.
     The weary pund, &c.




 

When She Cam' Ben She Bobbed

     O when she cam' ben she bobbed fu' law,
     O when she cam' ben she bobbed fu' law,
     And when she cam' ben, she kiss'd Cockpen,
     And 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 lord,
     And kissin' a collier lassie an' a'!

     O never look down, my lassie, at a',
     O never look down, my lassie, at a',
     Thy lips are as sweet, and thy figure complete,
     As the finest dame in castle or ha'.

     Tho' thou has nae silk, and holland sae sma',
     Tho' thou has nae silk, and holland sae sma',
     Thy coat and thy sark are thy ain handiwark,
     And lady Jean was never sae braw.




 

Scroggam, My Dearie

     There was a wife wonn'd in Cockpen, Scroggam;
     She brew'd gude ale for gentlemen;
     Sing auld Cowl lay ye down by me,
     Scroggam, my dearie, ruffum.

     The gudewife's dochter fell in a fever, Scroggam;
     The priest o' the parish he fell in anither;
     Sing auld Cowl lay ye down by me,
     Scroggam, my dearie, ruffum.

     They laid the twa i' the bed thegither, Scroggam;
     That the heat o' the tane might cool the tither;
     Sing auld Cowl, lay ye down by me,
     Scroggam, my dearie, ruffum.




 

My Collier Laddie

     "Whare live ye, my bonie lass?
     And tell me what they ca' ye;"
     "My name," she says, "is mistress Jean,
     And I follow the Collier laddie."
     "My name, she says, &c.

     "See you not yon hills and dales
     The sun shines on sae brawlie;
     They a' are mine, and they shall be thine,
     Gin ye'll leave your Collier laddie.
     "They a' are mine, &c.

     "Ye shall gang in gay attire,
     Weel buskit up sae gaudy;
     And ane to wait on every hand,
     Gin ye'll leave your Collier laddie."
     "And ane to wait, &c.

     "Tho' ye had a' the sun shines on,
     And the earth conceals sae lowly,
     I 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 day,
     An' spen't at night fu' brawlie:
     And make my bed in the collier's neuk,
     And lie down wi' my Collier laddie.
     "And make my bed, &c.

     "Love for love is the bargain for me,
     Tho' the wee cot-house should haud me;
     and the warld before me to win my bread,
     And 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'd, and rue is in prime.

     I've got a bad wife, sir, that's a' my complaint,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     "For, savin your presence, to her ye're a saint,"
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     It's neither your stot nor your staig I shall crave,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     "But gie me your wife, man, for her I must have,"
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     "O welcome most kindly!" the blythe carl said,
     Hey, and 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'd, and rue is in prime.

     The Devil has got the auld wife on his back,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     And, like a poor pedlar, he's carried his pack,
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     He's carried her hame to his ain hallan door,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     Syne bade her gae in, for a bitch, and a whore,
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     Then straight he makes fifty, the pick o' his band,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme:
     Turn out on her guard in the clap o' a hand,
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     The carlin gaed thro' them like ony wud bear,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     Whae'er she gat hands on cam near her nae mair,
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     A reekit wee deevil looks over the wa',
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     "O help, maister, help, or she'll ruin us a'!"
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     The Devil he swore by the edge o' his knife,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     He pitied the man that was tied to a wife,
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     The Devil he swore by the kirk and the bell,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     He was not in wedlock, thank Heav'n, but in hell,
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     Then Satan has travell'd again wi' his pack,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     And to her auld husband he's carried her back,
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.

     I hae been a Devil the feck o' my life,
     Hey, and the rue grows bonie wi' thyme;
     "But ne'er was in hell till I met wi' a wife,"
     And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.




 

The Slave's Lament

     It was in sweet Senegal that my foes did me enthral,
     For the lands of Virginia,—ginia, O:
     Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more;
     And alas! I am weary, weary O:
     Torn from that lovely shore, and must never see it more;
     And alas! I am weary, weary O.

     All on that charming coast is no bitter snow and frost,
     Like the lands of Virginia,—ginia, O:
     There streams for ever flow, and there flowers for ever blow,
     And alas! I am weary, weary O:
     There streams for ever flow, and there flowers for ever blow,
     And alas! I am weary, weary O:

     The burden I must bear, while the cruel scourge I fear,
     In the lands of Virginia,—ginia, O;
     And I think on friends most dear, with the bitter, bitter tear,
     And alas! I am weary, weary O:
     And I think on friends most dear, with the bitter, bitter tear,
     And alas! I am weary, weary O:




 

O Can Ye Labour Lea?

     Chorus—O can ye labour lea, young man,
     O can ye labour lea?
     It fee nor bountith shall us twine
     Gin ye can labour lea.

     I fee'd a man at Michaelmas,
     Wi' airle pennies three;
     But a' the faut I had to him,
     He could na labour lea,
     O can ye labour lea, &c.

     O clappin's gude in Febarwar,
     An' kissin's sweet in May;
     But my delight's the ploughman lad,
     That weel can labour lea,
     O can ye labour lea, &c.

     O kissin is the key o' luve,
     And clappin' is the lock;
     An' makin' o's the best thing yet,
     That 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 shout,
     The deuks dang o'er my daddie, O!
     The fien-ma-care, quo' the feirrie auld wife,
     He was but a paidlin' body, O!
     He paidles out, and he paidles in,
     rn' he paidles late and early, O!
     This seven lang years I hae lien by his side,
     An' he is but a fusionless carlie, O.

     O haud your tongue, my feirrie auld wife,
     O haud your tongue, now Nansie, O:
     I've seen the day, and sae hae ye,
     Ye wad na ben sae donsie, O.
     I've seen the day ye butter'd my brose,
     And cuddl'd me late and early, O;
     But downa-do's come o'er me now,
     And oh, I find it sairly, O!




 

The Deil's Awa Wi' The Exciseman

     The deil cam fiddlin' thro' the town,
     And danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman,
     And ilka wife cries, "Auld Mahoun,
     I wish you luck o' the prize, man."

     Chorus—The deil's awa, the deil's awa,
     The deil's awa wi' the Exciseman,
     He's danc'd awa, he's danc'd awa,
     He's danc'd awa wi' the Exciseman.

     We'll mak our maut, and we'll brew our drink,
     We'll laugh, sing, and rejoice, man,
     And mony braw thanks to the meikle black deil,
     That danc'd awa wi' th' Exciseman.
     The deil's awa, &c.

     There's threesome reels, there's foursome reels,
     There's hornpipes and strathspeys, man,
     But the ae best dance ere came to the land
     Was—the deil's awa wi' the Exciseman.
     The deil's awa, &c.




 

The Country Lass

     In simmer, when the hay was mawn,
     And corn wav'd green in ilka field,
     While claver blooms white o'er the lea
     And roses blaw in ilka beild!
     Blythe Bessie in the milking shiel,
     Says—"I'll be wed, come o't what will":
     Out spake a dame in wrinkled eild;
     "O' gude advisement comes nae ill.

     "It's ye hae wooers mony ane,
     And lassie, ye're but young ye ken;
     Then wait a wee, and cannie wale
     A routhie butt, a routhie ben;
     There's Johnie o' the Buskie-glen,
     Fu' is his barn, fu' is his byre;
     Take this frae me, my bonie hen,
     It's plenty beets the luver's fire."

     "For Johnie o' the Buskie-glen,
     I dinna care a single flie;
     He lo'es sae weel his craps and kye,
     He has nae love to spare for me;
     But blythe's the blink o' Robie's e'e,
     And weel I wat he lo'es me dear:
     Ae blink o' him I wad na gie
     For Buskie-glen and a' his gear."

     "O thoughtless lassie, life's a faught;
     The canniest gate, the strife is sair;
     But aye fu'—han't is fechtin' best,
     A hungry care's an unco care:
     But some will spend and some will spare,
     An' wilfu' folk maun hae their will;
     Syne as ye brew, my maiden fair,
     Keep mind that ye maun drink the yill."

     "O gear will buy me rigs o' land,
     And gear will buy me sheep and kye;
     But the tender heart o' leesome love,
     The 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' wheel,
     And leeze me on my rock and reel;
     Frae tap to tae that cleeds me bien,
     And haps me biel and warm at e'en;
     I'll set me down and sing and spin,
     While laigh descends the simmer sun,
     Blest wi' content, and milk and meal,
     O leeze me on my spinnin' wheel.

     On ilka hand the burnies trot,
     And meet below my theekit cot;
     The scented birk and hawthorn white,
     Across the pool their arms unite,
     Alike to screen the birdie's nest,
     And little fishes' caller rest;
     The sun blinks kindly in the beil',
     Where blythe I turn my spinnin' wheel.

     On lofty aiks the cushats wail,
     And Echo cons the doolfu' tale;
     The lintwhites in the hazel braes,
     Delighted, rival ither's lays;
     The craik amang the claver hay,
     The pairtrick whirring o'er the ley,
     The swallow jinkin' round my shiel,
     Amuse me at my spinnin' wheel.

     Wi' sma' to sell, and less to buy,
     Aboon distress, below envy,
     O wha wad leave this humble state,
     For a' the pride of a' the great?
     Amid their flairing, idle toys,
     Amid their cumbrous, dinsome joys,
     Can they the peace and pleasure feel
     Of Bessy at her spinnin' wheel?




 

Love For Love

     Ithers seek they ken na what,
     Features, carriage, and a' that;
     Gie me love in her I court,
     Love 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 prize,
     There the luver's treasure lies.




 

Saw Ye Bonie Lesley

     O saw ye bonie Lesley,
     As she gaed o'er the Border?
     She's gane, like Alexander,
     To spread her conquests farther.

     To see her is to love her,
     And love but her for ever;
     For Nature made her what she is,
     And never made anither!

     Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
     Thy subjects, we before thee;
     Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
     The hearts o' men adore thee.

     The deil he could na scaith thee,
     Or aught that wad belang thee;
     He'd look into thy bonie face,
     And say—"I canna wrang thee!"

     The Powers aboon will tent thee,
     Misfortune sha'na steer thee;
     Thou'rt like themselves sae lovely,
     That ill they'll ne'er let near thee.

     Return again, fair Lesley,
     Return to Caledonie!
     That we may brag we hae a lass
     There's nane again sae bonie.




 

Fragment Of Song

     No cold approach, no altered mien,
     Just what would make suspicion start;
     No pause the dire extremes between,
     He made me blest—and broke my heart.




 

I'll Meet Thee On The Lea Rig

     When o'er the hill the eastern star
     Tells bughtin time is near, my jo,
     And owsen frae the furrow'd field
     Return sae dowf and weary O;
     Down by the burn, where birken buds
     Wi' dew are hangin clear, my jo,
     I'll meet thee on the lea-rig,
     My ain kind Dearie O.

     At midnight hour, in mirkest glen,
     I'd rove, and ne'er be eerie, O,
     If thro' that glen I gaed to thee,
     My ain kind Dearie O;
     Altho' the night were ne'er sae wild,
     And I were ne'er sae weary O,
     I'll meet thee on the lea-rig,
     My ain kind Dearie O.

     The hunter lo'es the morning sun;
     To rouse the mountain deer, my jo;
     At noon the fisher seeks the glen
     Adown the burn to steer, my jo:
     Gie me the hour o' gloamin' grey,
     It maks my heart sae cheery O,
     To meet thee on the lea-rig,
     My 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 thing,
     She is a handsome wee thing,
     She is a lo'esome wee thing,
     This dear wee wife o' mine.

     I never saw a fairer,
     I never lo'ed a dearer,
     And neist my heart I'll wear her,
     For fear my jewel tine,
     She 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 it,
     And think my lot divine.
     She is a winsome, &c.




 

Highland Mary

     Tune—"Katherine Ogie."
     Ye banks, and braes, and streams around
     The castle o' Montgomery!
     Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,
     Your waters never drumlie:
     There Simmer first unfauld her robes,
     And there the langest tarry;
     For there I took the last Farewell
     O' my sweet Highland Mary.

     How sweetly bloom'd the gay, green birk,
     How rich the hawthorn's blossom,
     As underneath their fragrant shade,
     I clasp'd her to my bosom!
     The golden Hours on angel wings,
     Flew o'er me and my Dearie;
     For dear to me, as light and life,
     Was my sweet Highland Mary.

     Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,
     Our parting was fu' tender;
     And, pledging aft to meet again,
     We tore oursels asunder;
     But oh! fell Death's untimely frost,
     That nipt my Flower sae early!
     Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay
     That wraps my Highland Mary!

     O pale, pale now, those rosy lips,
     I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
     And clos'd for aye, the sparkling glance
     That dwalt on me sae kindly!
     And mouldering now in silent dust,
     That heart that lo'ed me dearly!
     But still within my bosom's core
     Shall live my Highland Mary.




 

Auld Rob Morris

     There's Auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen,
     He's the King o' gude fellows, and wale o' auld men;
     He has gowd in his coffers, he has owsen and kine,
     And ae bonie lass, his dautie and mine.

     She's fresh as the morning, the fairest in May;
     She's sweet as the ev'ning amang the new hay;
     As blythe and as artless as the lambs on the lea,
     And dear to my heart as the light to my e'e.

     But oh! she's an Heiress, auld Robin's a laird,
     And my daddie has nought but a cot-house and yard;
     A wooer like me maunna hope to come speed,
     The wounds I must hide that will soon be my dead.

     The day comes to me, but delight brings me nane;
     The night comes to me, but my rest it is gane;
     I wander my lane like a night-troubled ghaist,
     And I sigh as my heart it wad burst in my breast.

     O had she but been of a lower degree,
     I then might hae hop'd she wad smil'd upon me!
     O how past descriving had then been my bliss,
     As now my distraction nae words can express.




 

The Rights Of Woman

     An Occasional Address.

     Spoken by Miss Fontenelle on her benefit night, November 26, 1792.
     While Europe's eye is fix'd on mighty things,
     The fate of Empires and the fall of Kings;
     While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
     And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
     Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
     The Rights of Woman merit some attention.

     First, in the Sexes' intermix'd connection,
     One sacred Right of Woman is, protection.—
     The tender flower that lifts its head, elate,
     Helpless, must fall before the blasts of Fate,
     Sunk on the earth, defac'd its lovely form,
     Unless your shelter ward th' impending storm.

     Our second Right—but needless here is caution,
     To keep that right inviolate's the fashion;
     Each man of sense has it so full before him,
     He'd die before he'd wrong it—'tis decorum.—
     There was, indeed, in far less polish'd days,
     A time, when rough rude man had naughty ways,
     Would swagger, swear, get drunk, kick up a riot,
     Nay even thus invade a Lady's quiet.

     Now, thank our stars! those Gothic times are fled;
     Now, well-bred men—and you are all well-bred—
     Most justly think (and we are much the gainers)
     Such conduct neither spirit, wit, nor manners.

     For Right the third, our last, our best, our dearest,
     That right to fluttering female hearts the nearest;
     Which even the Rights of Kings, in low prostration,
     Most humbly own—'tis dear, dear admiration!
     In that blest sphere alone we live and move;
     There taste that life of life—immortal love.
     Smiles, glances, sighs, tears, fits, flirtations, airs;
     'Gainst such an host what flinty savage dares,
     When awful Beauty joins with all her charms—
     Who is so rash as rise in rebel arms?

     But truce with kings, and truce with constitutions,
     With bloody armaments and revolutions;
     Let Majesty your first attention summon,
     Ah! ca ira! The Majesty Of Woman!




 

Epigram On Seeing Miss Fontenelle In A Favourite Character

     Sweet naivete of feature,
     Simple, wild, enchanting elf,
     Not to thee, but thanks to Nature,
     Thou art acting but thyself.

     Wert thou awkward, stiff, affected,
     Spurning Nature, torturing art;
     Loves and Graces all rejected,
     Then indeed thou'd'st act a part.




 

Extempore On Some Commemorations Of Thomson

     Dost thou not rise, indignant shade,
     And smile wi' spurning scorn,
     When they wha wad hae starved thy life,
     Thy senseless turf adorn?

     Helpless, alane, thou clamb the brae,
     Wi' meikle honest toil,
     And claught th' unfading garland there—
     Thy sair-worn, rightful spoil.

     And wear it thou! and call aloud
     This axiom undoubted—
     Would thou hae Nobles' patronage?
     First learn to live without it!

     To whom hae much, more shall be given,
     Is every Great man's faith;
     But he, the helpless, needful wretch,
     Shall lose the mite he hath.




 

Duncan Gray

     Duncan Gray cam' here to woo,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
     On blythe Yule-night when we were fou,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
     Maggie coost her head fu' heigh,
     Look'd asklent and unco skeigh,
     Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh;
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

     Duncan fleech'd and Duncan pray'd;
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
     Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't:
     Duncan sigh'd baith out and in,
     Grat his e'en baith blear't an' blin',
     Spak o' lowpin o'er a linn;
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

     Time and Chance are but a tide,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't,
     Slighted love is sair to bide,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't:
     Shall I like a fool, quoth he,
     For a haughty hizzie die?
     She may gae to—France for me!
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

     How it comes let doctors tell,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't;
     Meg grew sick, as he grew hale,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

     Something in her bosom wrings,
     For relief a sigh she brings:
     And oh! her een they spak sic things!
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't.

     Duncan was a lad o' grace,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't:
     Maggie's was a piteous case,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't:
     Duncan could na be her death,
     Swelling Pity smoor'd his wrath;
     Now they're crouse and canty baith,
     Ha, ha, the wooing o't.




 

Here's A Health To Them That's Awa

     Here's a health to them that's awa,
     Here's a health to them that's awa;
     And wha winna wish gude luck to our cause,
     May never gude luck be their fa'!
     It's gude to be merry and wise,
     It's gude to be honest and true;
     It's gude to support Caledonia's cause,
     And bide by the buff and the blue.

     Here's a health to them that's awa,
     Here's a health to them that's awa,
     Here's a health to Charlie^1 the chief o' the clan,
     Altho' that his band be but sma'!
     May Liberty meet wi' success!
     May Prudence protect her frae evil!
     May tyrants and tyranny tine i' the mist,
     And wander their way to the devil!

     Here's a health to them that's awa,
     Here's a health to them that's awa;
     Here's a health to Tammie,^2 the Norlan' laddie,
     That lives at the lug o' the law!
     Here's freedom to them that wad read,
     Here's freedom to them that wad write,

     [Footnote 1: Charles James Fox.]

     [Footnote 2: Hon. Thos. Erskine, afterwards Lord Erskine.]

     There's nane ever fear'd that the truth should be heard,
     But they whom the truth would indite.

     Here's a Health to them that's awa,
     An' here's to them that's awa!
     Here's to Maitland and Wycombe, let wha doesna like 'em
     Be built in a hole in the wa';
     Here's timmer that's red at the heart
     Here's fruit that is sound at the core;
     And may he be that wad turn the buff and blue coat
     Be turn'd to the back o' the door.

     Here's a health to them that's awa,
     Here's a health to them that's awa;
     Here's chieftain M'Leod, a chieftain worth gowd,
     Tho' bred amang mountains o' snaw;
     Here's friends on baith sides o' the firth,
     And friends on baith sides o' the Tweed;
     And wha wad betray old Albion's right,
     May they never eat of her bread!




 

A Tippling Ballad

On the Duke of Brunswick's Breaking up his Camp, and the defeat of the Austrians, by Dumourier, November 1792.

     When Princes and Prelates,
     And hot-headed zealots,
     A'Europe had set in a low, a low,
     The poor man lies down,
     Nor envies a crown,
     And comforts himself as he dow, as he dow,
     And comforts himself as he dow.

     The black-headed eagle,
     As keen as a beagle,
     He hunted o'er height and o'er howe,
     In the braes o' Gemappe,
     He fell in a trap,
     E'en let him come out as he dow, dow, dow,
     E'en let him come out as he dow.

     But truce with commotions,
     And new-fangled notions,
     A bumper, I trust you'll allow;
     Here's George our good king,
     And Charlotte his queen,
     And lang may they ring as they dow, dow, dow,
     And lang may they ring as they dow.




 

1793





 

Poortith Cauld And Restless Love

     Tune—"Cauld Kail in Aberdeen."
     O poortith cauld, and restless love,
     Ye wrack my peace between ye;
     Yet poortith a' I could forgive,
     An 'twere na for my Jeanie.

     Chorus—O why should Fate sic pleasure have,
     Life's dearest bands untwining?
     Or why sae sweet a flower as love
     Depend on Fortune's shining?

     The warld's wealth, when I think on,
     It's pride and a' the lave o't;
     O fie on silly coward man,
     That he should be the slave o't!
     O why, &c.

     Her e'en, sae bonie blue, betray
     How she repays my passion;
     But prudence is her o'erword aye,
     She talks o' rank and fashion.
     O why, &c.

     O wha can prudence think upon,
     And sic a lassie by him?
     O wha can prudence think upon,
     And sae in love as I am?
     O why, &c.

     How blest the simple cotter's fate!
     He woos his artless dearie;
     The silly bogles, wealth and state,
     Can never make him eerie,
     O why, &c.




 

On Politics

     In Politics if thou would'st mix,
     And mean thy fortunes be;
     Bear this in mind,—be deaf and blind,
     Let great folk hear and see.




 

Braw Lads O' Galla Water

     Braw, braw lads on Yarrow-braes,
     They rove amang the blooming heather;
     But Yarrow braes, nor Ettrick shaws
     Can match the lads o' Galla Water.

     But there is ane, a secret ane,
     Aboon them a' I loe him better;
     And I'll be his, and he'll be mine,
     The bonie lad o' Galla Water.

     Altho' his daddie was nae laird,
     And tho' I hae nae meikle tocher,
     Yet rich in kindest, truest love,
     We'll tent our flocks by Galla Water.

     It ne'er was wealth, it ne'er was wealth,
     That coft contentment, peace, or pleasure;
     The bands and bliss o' mutual love,
     O that's the chiefest warld's treasure.




 

Sonnet Written On The Author's Birthday,

     On hearing a Thrush sing in his Morning Walk.
     Sing on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough,
     Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain,
     See aged Winter, 'mid his surly reign,
     At thy blythe carol, clears his furrowed brow.

     So in lone Poverty's dominion drear,
     Sits meek Content with light, unanxious heart;
     Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part,
     Nor asks if they bring ought to hope or fear.

     I thank thee, Author of this opening day!
     Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies!
     Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys—
     What wealth could never give nor take away!

     Yet come, thou child of poverty and care,
     The mite high heav'n bestow'd, that mite with thee I'll share.




 

Wandering Willie—First Version

     Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
     Now tired with wandering, haud awa hame;
     Come to my bosom, my ae only dearie,
     And 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 Simmer, and welcome my Willie,
     The Simmer to Nature, my Willie to me.

     Ye hurricanes rest in the cave o'your slumbers,
     O how your wild horrors a lover alarms!
     Awaken ye breezes, row gently ye billows,
     And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.
     But if he's forgotten his faithfullest Nannie,
     O still flow between us, thou wide roaring main;
     May I never see it, may I never trow it,
     But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain!




 

Wandering Willie—Revised Version

     Here awa, there awa, wandering Willie,
     Here awa, there awa, haud awa hame;
     Come to my bosom, my ain only dearie,
     Tell me thou bring'st me my Willie the same.
     Winter winds blew loud and cauld at our parting,
     Fears for my Willie brought tears in my e'e,
     Welcome now the Simmer, and welcome, my Willie,
     The Simmer to Nature, my Willie to me!

     Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave of your slumbers,
     How your dread howling a lover alarms!
     Wauken, ye breezes, row gently, ye billows,
     And waft my dear laddie ance mair to my arms.
     But oh, if he's faithless, and minds na his Nannie,
     Flow still between us, thou wide roaring main!
     May I never see it, may I never trow it,
     But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain!




 

Lord Gregory

     O mirk, mirk is this midnight hour,
     And loud the tempest's roar;
     A waefu' wanderer seeks thy tower,
     Lord Gregory, ope thy door.
     An exile frae her father's ha',
     And a' for loving thee;
     At least some pity on me shaw,
     If love it may na be.

     Lord Gregory, mind'st thou not the grove
     By bonie Irwine side,
     Where first I own'd that virgin love
     I lang, lang had denied.
     How aften didst thou pledge and vow
     Thou wad for aye be mine!
     And my fond heart, itsel' sae true,
     It ne'er mistrusted thine.

     Hard is thy heart, Lord Gregory,
     And flinty is thy breast:
     Thou bolt of Heaven that flashest by,
     O, wilt thou bring me rest!
     Ye mustering thunders from above,
     Your willing victim see;
     But spare and pardon my fause Love,
     His wrangs to Heaven and me.




 

Open The Door To Me, Oh

     Oh, open the door, some pity to shew,
     Oh, open the door to me, oh,
     Tho' thou hast been false, I'll ever prove true,
     Oh, open the door to me, oh.

     Cauld is the blast upon my pale cheek,
     But caulder thy love for me, oh:
     The frost that freezes the life at my heart,
     Is nought to my pains frae thee, oh.

     The wan Moon is setting beyond the white wave,
     And Time is setting with me, oh:
     False friends, false love, farewell! for mair
     I'll ne'er trouble them, nor thee, oh.

     She has open'd the door, she has open'd it wide,
     She sees the pale corse on the plain, oh:
     "My true love!" she cried, and sank down by his side,
     Never to rise again, oh.




 

Lovely Young Jessie

     True hearted was he, the sad swain o' the Yarrow,
     And fair are the maids on the banks of the Ayr;
     But by the sweet side o' the Nith's winding river,
     Are lovers as faithful, and maidens as fair:
     To equal young Jessie seek Scotland all over;
     To equal young Jessie you seek it in vain,
     Grace, beauty, and elegance, fetter her lover,
     And maidenly modesty fixes the chain.

     O, fresh is the rose in the gay, dewy morning,
     And sweet is the lily, at evening close;
     But in the fair presence o' lovely young Jessie,
     Unseen is the lily, unheeded the rose.
     Love sits in her smile, a 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 gotten,
     An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten?
     She gotten a coof wi' a claut o' siller,
     And broken the heart o' the barley Miller.

     The Miller was strappin, the Miller was ruddy;
     A heart like a lord, and a hue like a lady;
     The laird was a widdifu', bleerit knurl;
     She's left the gude fellow, and taen the churl.

     The Miller he hecht her a heart leal and loving,
     The lair did address her wi' matter mair moving,
     A fine pacing-horse wi' a clear chained bridle,
     A whip by her side, and a bonie side-saddle.

     O wae on the siller, it is sae prevailin',
     And wae on the love that is fixed on a mailen!
     A tocher's nae word in a true lover's parle,
     But gie me my love, and a fig for the warl'!




 

Meg O' The Mill—Another Version

     O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten,
     An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten?
     A braw new naig wi' the tail o' a rottan,
     And that's what Meg o' the Mill has gotten.

     O ken ye what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly,
     An' ken ye what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly?
     A dram o' gude strunt in the morning early,
     And that's what Meg o' the Mill lo'es dearly.

     O ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was married,
     An' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was married?
     The priest he was oxter'd, the clark he was carried,
     And that's how Meg o' the Mill was married.

     O ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was bedded,
     An' ken ye how Meg o' the Mill was bedded?
     The groom gat sae fou', he fell awald beside it,
     And that's how Meg o' the Mill was bedded.




 

The Soldier's Return

     Air—"The Mill, mill, O."
     When wild war's deadly blast was blawn,
     And gentle peace returning,
     Wi' mony a sweet babe fatherless,
     And mony a widow mourning;
     I left the lines and tented field,
     Where lang I'd been a lodger,
     My humble knapsack a' my wealth,
     A poor and honest sodger.

     A leal, light heart was in my breast,
     My hand unstain'd wi' plunder;
     And for fair Scotia hame again,
     I cheery on did wander:
     I thought upon the banks o' Coil,
     I thought upon my Nancy,
     I thought upon the witching smile
     That caught my youthful fancy.

     At length I reach'd the bonie glen,
     Where early life I sported;
     I pass'd the mill and trysting thorn,
     Where Nancy aft I courted:
     Wha spied I but my ain dear maid,
     Down by her mother's dwelling!
     And turn'd me round to hide the flood
     That in my een was swelling.

     Wi' alter'd voice, quoth I, "Sweet 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 me,
     And lovelier was than ever;
     Quo' she, "A 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 arms, and cried,
     "Art 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'er, and I'm come hame,
     And find thee still true-hearted;
     Tho' poor in gear, we're rich in love,
     And mair we'se ne'er be parted."
     Quo' she, "My 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 main,
     The farmer ploughs the manor;
     But glory is the sodger's prize,
     The sodgerpppp's wealth is honor:
     The brave poor sodger ne'er despise,
     Nor count him as a stranger;
     Remember he's his country's stay,
     In day and hour of danger.




 

Versicles, A.D. 1793





 

The True Loyal Natives

     Ye true "Loyal Natives" attend to my song
     In uproar and riot rejoice the night long;
     From Envy and Hatred your corps is exempt,
     But where is your shield from the darts of Contempt!




 

On Commissary Goldie's Brains

     Lord, to account who dares thee call,
     Or e'er dispute thy pleasure?
     Else why, within so thick a wall,
     Enclose so poor a treasure?




 

Lines Inscribed In A Lady's Pocket Almanac

     Grant me, indulgent Heaven, that I may live,
     To see the miscreants feel the pains they give;
     Deal Freedom's sacred treasures free as air,
     Till 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!
     Desist, for shame!—proceed no further;
     God won't accept your thanks for Murther!




 

Lines On The Commemoration Of Rodney's Victory

     Instead of a Song, boy's, I'll give you a Toast;
     Here's to the memory of those on the twelfth that we lost!—
     That we lost, did I say?—nay, by Heav'n, that 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 him, on high may he swing!
     And here's the grand fabric, our free Constitution,
     As built on the base of our great Revolution!

     And longer with Politics not to be cramm'd,
     Be Anarchy curs'd, and Tyranny damn'd!
     And who would to Liberty e'er prove disloyal,
     May his son be a hangman—and he his first trial!




 

The Raptures Of Folly

     Thou greybeard, old Wisdom! may boast of thy treasures;
     Give me with young Folly to live;
     I grant thee thy calm-blooded, time-settled pleasures,
     But Folly has raptures to give.




 

Kirk and State Excisemen

     Ye men of wit and wealth, why 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!
     Nay, what are Priests? (those seeming godly wise-men,)
     What are they, pray, but Spiritual Excisemen!




 

Extempore Reply To An Invitation

     The King's most humble servant, I
     Can scarcely spare a minute;
     But I'll be wi' you by an' by;
     Or else the Deil's be in it.




 

Grace After Meat

     Lord, we thank, and thee adore,
     For temporal gifts we little merit;
     At present we will ask no more—
     Let William Hislop give the spirit.




 

Grace Before And After Meat

     O Lord, when hunger pinches sore,
     Do thou stand us in stead,
     And send us, from thy bounteous store,
     A tup or wether head! Amen.

     O Lord, since we have feasted thus,
     Which we so little merit,
     Let Meg now take away the flesh,
     And Jock bring in the spirit! Amen.




 

Impromptu On General Dumourier's Desertion From The French Republican Army

     You're welcome to Despots, Dumourier;
     You're welcome to Despots, Dumourier:
     How does Dampiere do?
     Ay, and Bournonville too?
     Why did they not come along with you, Dumourier?

     I will fight France with you, Dumourier;
     I will fight France with you, Dumourier;
     I will fight France with you,
     I will take my chance with you;
     By my soul, I'll dance with you, Dumourier.

     Then let us fight about, Dumourier;
     Then let us fight about, Dumourier;
     Then let us fight about,
     Till Freedom's spark be out,
     Then we'll be damn'd, no doubt, Dumourier.




 

The Last Time I Came O'er The Moor

     The last time I came o'er the moor,
     And left Maria's dwelling,
     What throes, what tortures passing cure,
     Were in my bosom swelling:
     Condemn'd to see my rival's reign,
     While I in secret languish;
     To feel a fire in every vein,
     Yet dare not speak my anguish.

     Love's veriest wretch, despairing, I
     Fain, fain, my crime would cover;
     Th' unweeting groan, the bursting sigh,
     Betray the guilty lover.
     I know my doom must be despair,
     Thou wilt nor canst relieve me;
     But oh, Maria, hear my prayer,
     For Pity's sake forgive me!

     The music of thy tongue I heard,
     Nor wist while it enslav'd me;
     I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd,
     Till fear no more had sav'd me:
     The unwary sailor thus, aghast,
     The wheeling torrent viewing,
     'Mid circling horrors yields at last
     To overwhelming ruin.




 

Logan Braes

     Tune—"Logan Water."
     O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide,
     That day I was my Willie's bride,
     And years sin syne hae o'er us run,
     Like Logan to the simmer sun:
     But now thy flowery banks appear
     Like drumlie Winter, dark and drear,
     While my dear lad maun face his faes,
     Far, far frae me and Logan braes.

     Again the merry month of May
     Has made our hills and valleys gay;
     The birds rejoice in leafy bowers,
     The bees hum round the breathing flowers;
     Blythe Morning lifts his rosy eye,
     And Evening's tears are tears o' joy:
     My soul, delightless a' surveys,
     While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

     Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush,
     Amang her nestlings sits the thrush:
     Her faithfu' mate will share her toil,
     Or wi' his song her cares beguile;
     But I wi' my sweet nurslings here,
     Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer,
     Pass widow'd nights and joyless days,
     While Willie's far frae Logan braes.

     O wae be to you, Men o' State,
     That brethren rouse to deadly hate!
     As ye make mony a fond heart mourn,
     Sae may it on your heads return!
     How can your flinty hearts enjoy
     The widow's tear, the orphan's cry?
     But soon may peace bring happy days,
     And Willie hame to Logan braes!




 

Blythe Hae I been On Yon Hill

     Tune—"The Quaker's Wife."
     Blythe hae I been on yon hill,
     As the lambs before me;
     Careless ilka thought and free,
     As the breeze flew o'er me;
     Now nae langer sport and play,
     Mirth or sang can please me;
     Lesley is sae fair and coy,
     Care and anguish seize me.

     Heavy, heavy is the task,
     Hopeless love declaring;
     Trembling, I dow nocht but glow'r,
     Sighing, dumb despairing!
     If she winna ease the thraws
     In my bosom swelling,
     Underneath the grass-green sod,
     Soon maun be my dwelling.




 

O Were My Love Yon Lilac Fair

     Air—"Hughie Graham."
     O were my love yon Lilac fair,
     Wi' purple blossoms to the Spring,
     And I, a bird to shelter there,
     When wearied on my little wing!
     How I wad mourn when it was torn
     By Autumn wild, and Winter rude!
     But I wad sing on wanton wing,
     When youthfu' May its bloom renew'd.

     O gin my love were yon red rose,
     That grows upon the castle wa';
     And I myself a drap o' dew,
     Into her bonie breast to fa'!
     O there, beyond expression blest,
     I'd feast on beauty a' the night;
     Seal'd on her silk-saft faulds to rest,
     Till fley'd awa by Phoebus' light!




 

Bonie Jean—A Ballad

     To its ain tune.
     There was a lass, and she was fair,
     At kirk or market to be seen;
     When a' our fairest maids were met,
     The fairest maid was bonie Jean.

     And aye she wrought her mammie's wark,
     And aye she sang sae merrilie;
     The blythest bird upon the bush
     Had ne'er a lighter heart than she.

     But hawks will rob the tender joys
     That bless the little lintwhite's nest;
     And frost will blight the fairest flowers,
     And love will break the soundest rest.

     Young Robie was the brawest lad,
     The flower and pride of a' the glen;
     And he had owsen, sheep, and kye,
     And wanton naigies nine or ten.

     He gaed wi' Jeanie to the tryste,
     He danc'd wi' Jeanie on the down;
     And, lang ere witless Jeanie wist,
     Her heart was tint, her peace was stown!

     As in the bosom of the stream,
     The moon-beam dwells at dewy e'en;
     So trembling, pure, was tender love
     Within the breast of bonie Jean.

     And now she works her mammie's wark,
     And aye she sighs wi' care and pain;
     Yet wist na what her ail might be,
     Or what wad make her weel again.

     But did na Jeanie's heart loup light,
     And didna joy blink in her e'e,
     As Robie tauld a tale o' love
     Ae e'ening on the lily lea?

     The sun was sinking in the west,
     The birds sang sweet in ilka grove;
     His cheek to hers he fondly laid,
     And whisper'd thus his tale o' love:

     "O Jeanie fair, I lo'e thee dear;
     O canst thou think to fancy me,
     Or wilt thou leave thy mammie's cot,
     And learn to tent the farms wi' me?

     "At barn or byre thou shalt na drudge,
     Or naething else to trouble thee;
     But stray amang the heather-bells,
     And 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 consent,
     And love was aye between them twa.




 

Lines On John M'Murdo, ESQ.

     Blest be M'Murdo to his latest day!
     No envious cloud o'ercast his evening ray;
     No wrinkle, furrow'd by the hand of care,
     Nor ever sorrow add one silver hair!
     O may no son the father's honour stain,
     Nor ever daughter give the mother pain!




 

Epitaph On A Lap-Dog

     Named Echo
     In wood and wild, ye warbling throng,
     Your heavy loss deplore;
     Now, half extinct your powers of song,
     Sweet Echo is no more.

     Ye jarring, screeching things around,
     Scream your discordant joys;
     Now, half your din of tuneless sound
     With Echo silent lies.




 

Epigrams Against The Earl Of Galloway

     What dost thou in that mansion fair?
     Flit, Galloway, and find
     Some narrow, dirty, dungeon cave,
     The picture of thy mind.

     No Stewart art thou, Galloway,
     The Stewarts 'll were brave;
     Besides, the Stewarts were but fools,
     Not one of them a knave.

     Bright ran thy line, O Galloway,
     Thro' many a far-fam'd sire!
     So ran the far-famed Roman way,
     And ended in a mire.

     Spare me thy vengeance, Galloway!
     In quiet let me live:
     I ask no kindness at thy hand,
     For thou hast none to give.




 

Epigram On The Laird Of Laggan

     When Morine, deceas'd, to the Devil went down,
     'Twas nothing would serve him but Satan's own crown;
     "Thy fool's head," quoth Satan, "that crown shall wear never,
     I grant thou'rt as wicked, but not quite so clever."




 

Song—Phillis The Fair

     Tune—"Robin Adair."
     While larks, with little wing,
     Fann'd the pure air,
     Tasting the breathing Spring,
     Forth I did fare:
     Gay the sun's golden eye
     Peep'd o'er the mountains high;
     Such thy morn! did I cry,
     Phillis the fair.

     In each bird's careless song,
     Glad I did share;
     While yon wild-flowers among,
     Chance led me there!
     Sweet to the op'ning day,
     Rosebuds bent the dewy spray;
     Such thy bloom! did I say,
     Phillis the fair.

     Down in a shady walk,
     Doves cooing were;
     I mark'd the cruel hawk
     Caught in a snare:
     So kind may fortune be,
     Such make his destiny,
     He who would injure thee,
     Phillis the fair.




 

Song—Had I A Cave

     Tune—"Robin Adair."
     Had I a cave on some wild distant shore,
     Where the winds howl to the wave's dashing roar:
     There would I weep my woes,
     There seek my lost repose,
     Till grief my eyes should close,
     Ne'er to wake more!

     Falsest of womankind, can'st thou declare
     All thy fond, plighted vows fleeting as air!
     To thy new lover hie,
     Laugh o'er thy perjury;
     Then in thy bosom try
     What peace is there!




 

Song—By Allan Stream

     By Allan stream I chanc'd to rove,
     While Phoebus sank beyond Benledi;
     The winds are whispering thro' the grove,
     The yellow corn was waving ready:
     I listen'd to a lover's sang,
     An' thought on youthfu' pleasures mony;
     And aye the wild-wood echoes rang—
     "O, dearly do I love thee, Annie!

     "O, happy be the woodbine bower,
     Nae nightly bogle make it eerie;
     Nor ever sorrow stain the hour,
     The place and time I met my Dearie!
     Her head upon my throbbing breast,
     She, sinking, said, '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-brae,
     The Summer joys the flocks to follow;
     How cheery thro' her short'ning day,
     Is Autumn in her weeds o' yellow;
     But can they melt the glowing heart,
     Or chain the soul in speechless pleasure?
     Or thro' each nerve the rapture dart,
     Like meeting her, our bosom's treasure?




 

Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad

     Chorus.—O Whistle, an' I'll come to ye, my lad,
     O whistle, an' I'll come to ye, my lad,
     Tho' father an' mother an' a' should gae mad,
     O whistle, an' I'll come to ye, my lad.

     But warily tent when ye come to court me,
     And come nae unless the back-yett be a-jee;
     Syne up the back-stile, and let naebody see,
     And come as ye were na comin' to me,
     And come as ye were na comin' to me.
     O whistle an' I'll come, &c.

     At kirk, or at market, whene'er ye meet me,
     Gang by me as tho' that ye car'd na a flie;
     But steal me a blink o' your bonie black e'e,
     Yet look as ye were na lookin' to me,
     Yet look as ye were na lookin' to me.
     O whistle an' I'll come, &c.

     Aye vow and protest that ye care na for me,
     And whiles ye may lightly my beauty a-wee;
     But court na anither, tho' jokin' ye be,
     For fear that she wile your fancy frae me,
     For 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 wander,
     To mark the sweet flowers as they spring;
     Adown winding Nith I did wander,
     Of Phillis to muse and to sing.

     Chorus.—Awa' wi' your belles and your beauties,
     They never wi' her can compare,
     Whaever has met wi' my Phillis,
     Has met wi' the queen o' the fair.

     The daisy amus'd my fond fancy,
     So artless, so simple, so wild;
     Thou emblem, said I, o' my Phillis—
     For she is Simplicity's child.
     Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

     The rose-bud's the blush o' my charmer,
     Her 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 arbour,
     They ne'er wi' my Phillis can vie:
     Her breath is the breath of the woodbine,
     Its dew-drop o' diamond her eye.
     Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

     Her voice is the song o' the morning,
     That wakes thro' the green-spreading grove
     When Phoebus peeps over the mountains,
     On music, and pleasure, and love.
     Awa' wi' your belles, &c.

     But beauty, how frail and how fleeting!
     The bloom of a fine summer's day;
     While worth in the mind o' my Phillis,
     Will flourish without a decay.
     Awa' wi' your belles, &c.




 

Come, Let Me Take Thee To My Breast

     Come, let me take thee to my breast,
     And pledge we ne'er shall sunder;
     And I shall spurn as vilest dust
     The world's wealth and grandeur:
     And do I hear my Jeanie own
     That equal transports move her?
     I ask for dearest life alone,
     That I may live to love her.

     Thus, in my arms, wi' a' her charms,
     I clasp my countless treasure;
     I'll seek nae main o' Heav'n to share,
     Tha sic a moment's pleasure:
     And by thy e'en sae bonie blue,
     I swear I'm thine for ever!
     And on thy lips I seal my vow,
     And break it shall I never.




 

Dainty Davie

     Now rosy May comes in wi' flowers,
     To deck her gay, green-spreading bowers;
     And now comes in the happy hours,
     To wander wi' my Davie.

     Chorus.—Meet me on the warlock knowe,
     Dainty Davie, Dainty Davie;
     There I'll spend the day wi' you,
     My ain dear Dainty Davie.

     The crystal waters round us fa',
     The merry birds are lovers a',
     The scented breezes round us blaw,
     A wandering wi' my Davie.
     Meet me on, &c.

     As purple morning starts the hare,
     To steal upon her early fare,
     Then thro' the dews I will repair,
     To meet my faithfu' Davie.
     Meet me on, &c.

     When day, expiring in the west,
     The curtain draws o' Nature's rest,
     I flee to his arms I loe' the best,
     And that's my ain dear Davie.
     Meet me on, &c.




 

Robert Bruce's March To Bannockburn

     Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
     Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
     Welcome to your gory bed,
     Or to Victorie!

     Now's the day, and 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!

     Wha, for Scotland's King and Law,
     Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
     Free-man stand, or 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 veins,
     But 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 Hour, The Boat Arrive

     Behold the hour, the boat arrive;
     Thou goest, the darling of my heart;
     Sever'd from thee, can I survive,
     But Fate has will'd and we must part.
     I'll often greet the surging swell,
     Yon distant Isle will often hail:
     "E'en here I took the last farewell;
     There, latest mark'd her vanish'd sail."
     Along the solitary shore,
     While flitting sea-fowl round me cry,
     Across the rolling, dashing roar,
     I'll westward turn my wistful eye:
     "Happy thou Indian grove," I'll say,
     "Where 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 Burn, Davie

     As down the burn they took their way,
     And thro' the flowery dale;
     His cheek to hers he aft did lay,
     And love was aye the tale:

     With "Mary, when shall we return,
     Sic pleasure to renew?"
     Quoth Mary—"Love, I like the burn,
     And aye shall follow you."




 

Thou Hast Left Me Ever, Jamie

     Tune—"Fee him, father, fee him."
     Thou hast left me ever, Jamie,
     Thou hast left me ever;
     Thou has left me ever, Jamie,
     Thou hast left me ever:
     Aften hast thou vow'd that Death
     Only should us sever;
     Now thou'st left thy lass for aye—
     I maun see thee never, Jamie,
     I'll see thee never.

     Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie,
     Thou hast me forsaken;
     Thou hast me forsaken, Jamie,
     Thou hast me forsaken;
     Thou canst love another jo,
     While my heart is breaking;
     Soon my weary een I'll close,
     Never mair to waken, Jamie,
     Never mair to waken!




 

Where Are The Joys I have Met?

     Tune—"Saw ye my father."
     Where are the joys I have met in the morning,
     That danc'd to the lark's early song?
     Where is the peace that awaited my wand'ring,
     At evening the wild-woods among?

     No more a winding the course of yon river,
     And marking sweet flowerets so fair,
     No more I trace the light footsteps of Pleasure,
     But Sorrow and sad-sighing Care.

     Is it that Summer's forsaken our valleys,
     And grim, surly Winter is near?
     No, no, the bees humming round the gay roses
     Proclaim it the pride of the year.

     Fain would I hide what I fear to discover,
     Yet long, long, too well have I known;
     All that has caused this wreck in my bosom,
     Is Jenny, fair Jenny alone.

     Time cannot aid me, my griefs are immortal,
     Nor Hope dare a comfort bestow:
     Come then, enamour'd and fond of my anguish,
     Enjoyment I'll seek in my woe.




 

Deluded Swain, The Pleasure

     Tune—"The Collier's Dochter."
     Deluded swain, the pleasure
     The fickle Fair can give thee,
     Is but a fairy treasure,
     Thy hopes will soon deceive thee:
     The billows on the ocean,
     The breezes idly roaming,
     The cloud's uncertain motion,
     They are but types of Woman.

     O art thou not asham'd
     To doat upon a feature?
     If Man thou wouldst be nam'd,
     Despise the silly creature.
     Go, find an honest fellow,
     Good claret set before thee,
     Hold on till thou art mellow,
     And then to bed in glory!




 

Thine Am I, My Faithful Fair

     Tune—"The Quaker's Wife."
     Thine am I, my faithful Fair,
     Thine, my lovely Nancy;
     Ev'ry pulse along my veins,
     Ev'ry roving fancy.
     To thy bosom lay my heart,
     There to throb and languish;
     Tho' despair had wrung its core,
     That would heal its anguish.

     Take away those rosy lips,
     Rich with balmy treasure;
     Turn away thine eyes of love,
     Lest I die with pleasure!
     What is life when wanting Love?
     Night without a morning:
     Love's the cloudless summer sun,
     Nature gay adorning.




 

On Mrs. Riddell's Birthday

     4th November 1793.
     Old Winter, with his frosty beard,
     Thus 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 Jove, for once be mighty civil.
     To counterbalance all this evil;
     Give me, and I've no more to say,
     Give me Maria's natal day!
     That brilliant gift shall so enrich me,
     Spring, Summer, Autumn, cannot match me."
     "'Tis done!" says Jove; so ends my story,
     And Winter once rejoiced in glory.




 

My Spouse Nancy

     Tune—"My Jo Janet."
     "Husband, husband, cease your strife,
     Nor longer idly rave, Sir;
     Tho' I am your wedded wife
     Yet I am not your slave, Sir."

     "One of two must still obey,
     Nancy, Nancy;
     Is it Man or Woman, say,
     My spouse Nancy?'

     "If 'tis still the lordly word,
     Service and obedience;
     I'll desert my sov'reign lord,
     And so, good bye, allegiance!"

     "Sad shall I be, so bereft,
     Nancy, Nancy;
     Yet I'll try to make a shift,
     My spouse Nancy."

     "My poor heart, then break it must,
     My last hour I am near it:
     When you lay me in the dust,
     Think how you will bear it."

     "I will hope and trust in Heaven,
     Nancy, Nancy;
     Strength to bear it will be given,
     My spouse Nancy."

     "Well, Sir, from the silent dead,
     Still I'll try to daunt you;
     Ever round your midnight bed
     Horrid sprites shall haunt you!"

     "I'll wed another like my dear
     Nancy, Nancy;
     Then all hell will fly for fear,
     My spouse Nancy."




 

Address

Spoken by Miss Fontenelle on her Benefit Night, December 4th, 1793, at the Theatre, Dumfries.

     Still anxious to secure your partial favour,
     And not less anxious, sure, this night, than ever,
     A Prologue, Epilogue, or some such matter,
     'Twould vamp my bill, said I, if nothing better;
     So sought a poet, roosted near the skies,
     Told him I came to feast my curious eyes;
     Said, nothing like his works was ever printed;
     And last, my prologue-business slily hinted.
     "Ma'am, let me tell you," quoth my man of rhymes,
     "I 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 eyeing,
     "D'ye think," said I, "this 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 creed, Sirs, 'tis my fix'd belief,
     That Misery's another word for Grief:
     I also think—so may I be a bride!
     That so much laughter, so much life enjoy'd.

     Thou man of crazy care and ceaseless sigh,
     Still 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!
     Say, you'll be merry, tho' you can't be rich.

     Thou other man of care, the wretch in love,
     Who long with jiltish airs and arts hast strove;
     Who, as the boughs all temptingly project,
     Measur'st in desperate thought—a rope—thy neck—
     Or, where the beetling cliff o'erhangs the deep,
     Peerest to meditate the healing leap:
     Would'st thou be cur'd, thou silly, moping elf?
     Laugh at her follies—laugh e'en at thyself:
     Learn to despise those frowns now so terrific,
     And love a kinder—that's your grand specific.

     To sum up all, be merry, I advise;
     And as we're merry, may we still be wise.




 

Complimentary Epigram On Maria Riddell

     "Praise Woman still," his lordship roars,
     "Deserv'd or not, no matter?"
     But thee, whom all my soul adores,
     Ev'n Flattery cannot flatter:

     Maria, all my thought and dream,
     Inspires my vocal shell;
     The more I praise my lovely theme,
     The more the truth I tell.




 




 

Remorseful Apology

     The friend whom, wild from Wisdom's way,
     The fumes of wine infuriate send,
     (Not moony madness more astray)
     Who but deplores that hapless friend?

     Mine was th' insensate frenzied part,
     Ah! 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 heart,
     O wilt thou let me cheer thee!
     By the treasure of my soul,
     That's the love I bear thee:
     I swear and vow that only thou
     Shall ever be my Dearie!
     Only thou, I swear and vow,
     Shall ever be my Dearie!

     Lassie, say thou lo'es me;
     Or, if thou wilt na be my ain,
     O say na thou'lt refuse me!
     If it winna, canna be,
     Thou for thine may choose me,
     Let me, lassie, quickly die,
     Still trusting that thou lo'es me!
     Lassie, let me quickly die,
     Still trusting that thou lo'es me!




 

A Fiddler In The North

     Tune—"The King o' France he rade a race."
     Amang the trees, where humming bees,
     At buds and flowers were hinging, O,
     Auld Caledon drew out her drone,
     And to her pipe was singing, O:
     'Twas Pibroch, Sang, Strathspeys, and Reels,
     She dirl'd them aff fu' clearly, O:
     When there cam' a yell o' foreign squeels,
     That dang her tapsalteerie, O.

     Their capon craws an' queer "ha, ha'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 tower,
     Where the wa'flow'r scents the dery air,
     Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower,
     And tells the midnight moon her care.

     Chorus—A lassie all alone, was making her moan,
     Lamenting 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 laid, the air was till,
     The stars they shot along the sky;
     The tod was howling on the hill,
     And the distant-echoing glens reply.
     A lassie all alone, &c.

     The burn, adown its hazelly path,
     Was rushing by the ruin'd wa',
     Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,
     Whase roarings seem'd to rise and fa'.
     A lassie all alone, &c.

     The cauld blae North was streaming forth
     Her lights, wi' hissing, eerie din,
     Athort the lift they start and shift,
     Like Fortune's favours, tint as win.
     A lassie all alone, &c.

     Now, looking over firth and fauld,
     Her horn the pale-faced Cynthia rear'd,
     When lo! in form of Minstrel auld,
     A stern and stalwart ghaist appear'd.
     A lassie all alone, &c.

     And frae his harp sic strains did flow,
     Might rous'd the slumbering Dead to hear;
     But oh, it was a tale of woe,
     As ever met a Briton's ear!
     A lassie all alone, &c.

     He sang wi' joy his former day,
     He, weeping, wail'd his latter times;
     But what he said—it was nae play,
     I winna venture't in my rhymes.
     A lassie all alone, &c.




 

A Vision

     As I stood by yon roofless tower,
     Where the wa'flower scents the dewy air,
     Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower,
     And tells the midnight moon her care.

     The winds were laid, the air was still,
     The stars they shot alang the sky;
     The fox was howling on the hill,
     And the distant echoing glens reply.

     The stream, adown its hazelly path,
     Was rushing by the ruin'd wa's,
     Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,
     Whase distant roaring swells and fa's.

     The cauld blae North was streaming forth
     Her lights, wi' hissing, eerie din;
     Athwart the lift they start and shift,
     Like Fortune's favors, tint as win.

     By heedless chance I turn'd mine eyes,
     And, by the moonbeam, shook to see
     A stern and stalwart ghaist arise,
     Attir'd as Minstrels wont to be.

     Had I a statue been o' stane,
     His daring look had daunted me;
     And on his bonnet grav'd was plain,
     The sacred posy—"Libertie!"

     And frae his harp sic strains did flow,
     Might rous'd the slumb'ring Dead to hear;
     But oh, it was a tale of woe,
     As ever met a Briton's ear!

     He sang wi' joy his former day,
     He, weeping, wailed his latter times;
     But what he said—it was nae play,
     I winna venture't in my rhymes.




 

A Red, Red Rose

     [Hear Red, Red Rose]
     O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
     That's newly sprung in June:
     O my Luve's like the melodie,
     That's sweetly play'd in tune.

     As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
     So deep in luve am I;
     And I will luve thee still, my dear,
     Till a' the seas gang dry.

     Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
     And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
     And I will luve thee still, my dear,
     While the sands o' life shall run.

     And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
     And fare-thee-weel, a while!
     And I will come again, my Luve,
     Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!




 

Young Jamie, Pride Of A' The Plain

     Tune—"The Carlin of the Glen."
     Young Jamie, pride of a' the plain,
     Sae gallant and sae gay a swain,
     Thro' a' our lasses he did rove,
     And reign'd resistless King of Love.

     But now, wi' sighs and starting tears,
     He strays amang the woods and breirs;
     Or in the glens and rocky caves,
     His sad complaining dowie raves:—

     "I wha sae late did range and rove,
     And chang'd with every moon my love,
     I little thought the time was near,
     Repentance I should buy sae dear.

     "The slighted maids my torments see,
     And laugh at a' the pangs I dree;
     While she, my cruel, scornful Fair,
     Forbids me e'er to see her mair."




 

The Flowery Banks Of Cree

     Here is the glen, and here the bower
     All underneath the birchen shade;
     The village-bell has told the hour,
     O what can stay my lovely maid?

     'Tis not Maria's whispering call;
     'Tis but the balmy breathing gale,
     Mixt with some warbler's dying fall,
     The dewy star of eve to hail.

     It is Maria's voice I hear;
     So calls the woodlark in the grove,
     His little, faithful 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 renew,
     Along the flowery banks of Cree.




 

Monody

     On a lady famed for her Caprice.
     How cold is that bosom which folly once fired,
     How pale is that cheek where the rouge lately glisten'd;
     How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tired,
     How dull is that ear which to flatt'ry so listen'd!

     If sorrow and anguish their exit await,
     From friendship and dearest affection remov'd;
     How doubly severer, Maria, thy fate,
     Thou diedst unwept, as thou livedst unlov'd.

     Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not on you;
     So shy, grave, and distant, ye shed not a tear:
     But come, all ye offspring of Folly so true,
     And flowers let us cull for Maria's cold bier.

     We'll search through the garden for each silly flower,
     We'll roam thro' the forest for each idle weed;
     But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower,
     For none e'er approach'd her but rued the rash deed.

     We'll sculpture the marble, we'll measure the lay;
     Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre;
     There keen Indignation shall dart on his prey,
     Which spurning Contempt shall redeem from his ire.




 

The Epitaph

     Here lies, now a prey to insulting neglect,
     What once was a butterfly, gay in life's beam:
     Want only of wisdom denied her respect,
     Want only of goodness denied her esteem.




 

Pinned To Mrs. Walter Riddell's Carriage

     If you rattle along like your Mistress' tongue,
     Your speed will outrival the dart;
     But a fly for your load, you'll break down on the road,
     If your stuff be as rotten's her heart.




 

Epitaph For Mr. Walter Riddell

     Sic a reptile was Wat, sic a miscreant slave,
     That the worms ev'n damn'd him when laid in his grave;
     "In his flesh there's a famine," a starved reptile cries,
     "And his heart is rank poison!" another replies.




 

Epistle From Esopus To Maria

     From those drear solitudes and frowsy cells,
     Where Infamy with sad Repentance dwells;
     Where turnkeys make the jealous portal fast,
     And deal from iron hands the spare repast;
     Where truant 'prentices, yet young in sin,
     Blush at the curious stranger peeping in;
     Where strumpets, relics of the drunken roar,
     Resolve to drink, nay, half, to whore, no more;
     Where tiny thieves not destin'd yet to swing,
     Beat hemp for others, riper for the string:
     From these dire scenes my wretched lines I date,
     To tell Maria her Esopus' fate.

     "Alas! I feel I am no actor here!"
     'Tis real hangmen real scourges bear!
     Prepare Maria, for a horrid tale
     Will turn thy very rouge to deadly pale;
     Will make thy hair, tho' erst from gipsy poll'd,
     By barber woven, and by barber sold,
     Though twisted smooth with Harry's nicest care,
     Like hoary bristles to erect and stare.
     The hero of the mimic scene, no more
     I start in Hamlet, in Othello roar;
     Or, haughty Chieftain, 'mid the din of arms
     In Highland Bonnet, woo Malvina's charms;
     While sans-culottes stoop up the mountain high,
     And steal from me Maria's prying eye.
     Blest Highland bonnet! once my proudest dress,
     Now prouder still, Maria's temples press;
     I see her wave thy towering plumes afar,
     And call each coxcomb to the wordy war:
     I see her face the first of Ireland's sons,
     And even out-Irish his Hibernian bronze;
     The crafty Colonel leaves the tartan'd lines,
     For other wars, where he a hero shines:
     The hopeful youth, in Scottish senate bred,
     Who owns a Bushby's heart without the head,
     Comes 'mid a string of coxcombs, to display
     That veni, vidi, vici, is his way:
     The shrinking Bard adown the alley skulks,
     And dreads a meeting worse than Woolwich hulks:
     Though there, his heresies in Church and State
     Might well award him Muir and Palmer's fate:
     Still she undaunted reels and rattles on,
     And dares the public like a noontide sun.
     What scandal called Maria's jaunty stagger
     The ricket reeling of a crooked swagger?
     Whose spleen (e'en worse than Burns' venom, when
     He dips in gall unmix'd his eager pen,
     And pours his vengeance in the burning line,)—
     Who christen'd thus Maria's lyre-divine
     The idiot strum of Vanity bemus'd,
     And even the abuse of Poesy abus'd?—
     Who called her verse a Parish Workhouse, made
     For motley foundling Fancies, stolen or strayed?

     A Workhouse! ah, that sound awakes my woes,
     And pillows on the thorn my rack'd repose!
     In durance vile here must I wake and weep,
     And all my frowsy couch in sorrow steep;
     That straw where many a rogue has lain of yore,
     And vermin'd gipsies litter'd heretofore.

     Why, Lonsdale, thus thy wrath on vagrants pour?
     Must earth no rascal save thyself endure?
     Must thou alone in guilt immortal swell,
     And make a vast monopoly of hell?
     Thou know'st the Virtues cannot hate thee worse;
     The Vices also, must they club their curse?
     Or must no tiny sin to others fall,
     Because thy guilt's supreme enough for all?

     Maria, send me too thy griefs and cares;
     In all of thee sure thy Esopus shares.
     As thou at all mankind the flag unfurls,
     Who on my fair one Satire's vengeance hurls—
     Who calls thee, pert, affected, vain coquette,
     A wit in folly, and a fool in wit!
     Who says that fool alone is not thy due,
     And quotes thy treacheries to prove it true!

     Our force united on thy foes we'll turn,
     And dare the war with all of woman born:
     For who can write and speak as thou and I?
     My periods that deciphering defy,
     And thy still matchless tongue that conquers all reply!




 

Epitaph On A Noted Coxcomb

     Capt. Wm. Roddirk, of Corbiston.

     Light lay the earth on Billy's breast,
     His chicken heart so tender;
     But build a castle on his head,
     His scull will prop it under.




 

On Capt. Lascelles

     When Lascelles thought fit from this world to depart,
     Some friends warmly thought of embalming his heart;
     A bystander whispers—"Pray don't make so much o't,
     The subject is poison, no reptile will touch it."




 

On Wm. Graham, Esq., Of Mossknowe

     "Stop thief!" dame Nature call'd to Death,
     As Willy drew his latest breath;
     How shall I make a fool again?
     My choicest model thou hast ta'en.




 

On John Bushby, Esq., Tinwald Downs

     Here lies John Bushby—honest man,
     Cheat him, Devil—if you can!




 

Sonnet On The Death Of Robert Riddell

     Of Glenriddell and Friars' Carse.
     No more, ye warblers of the wood! no more;
     Nor pour your descant grating on my soul;
     Thou young-eyed Spring! gay in thy verdant stole,
     More welcome were to me grim Winter's wildest roar.

     How can ye charm, ye flowers, with 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.

     Yes, pour, ye warblers! pour the notes of woe,
     And 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 moor, Drumossie day—
     A waefu' day it was to me!
     For there I lost my father dear,
     My father dear, and brethren three.

     "Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay,
     Their graves are growin' green to see;
     And by them lies the dearest lad
     That ever blest a woman's e'e!

     "Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord,
     A bluidy man I trow thou be;
     For mony a heart thou has made sair,
     That ne'er did wrang to thine or thee!"




 

Charlie, He's My Darling

     'Twas on a Monday morning,
     Right early in the year,
     That Charlie came to our town,
     The young Chevalier.

     Chorus—An' Charlie, he's my darling,
     My darling, my darling,
     Charlie, he's my darling,
     The young Chevalier.

     As he was walking up the street,
     The city for to view,
     O there he spied a bonie lass
     The window looking through,
     An' Charlie, &c.

     Sae light's he jumped up the stair,
     And 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 knee,
     All in his Highland dress;
     For brawly weel he ken'd the way
     To please a bonie lass.
     An' Charlie, &c.

     It's up yon heathery mountain,
     An' down yon scroggie glen,
     We daur na gang a milking,
     For Charlie and his men,
     An' Charlie, &c.




 

Bannocks O' Bear Meal

     Chorus—Bannocks o' bear meal,
     Bannocks o' barley,
     Here's to the Highlandman's
     Bannocks o' barley!

     Wha, in a brulyie, will
     First cry a parley?
     Never the lads wi' the
     Bannocks o' barley,
     Bannocks o' bear meal, &c.

     Wha, in his wae days,
     Were loyal to Charlie?
     Wha but the lads wi' the
     Bannocks o' barley!
     Bannocks o' bear meal, &c.




 

The Highland Balou

     Hee balou, my sweet wee Donald,
     Picture o' the great Clanronald;
     Brawlie kens our wanton Chief
     Wha gat my young Highland thief.

     Leeze me on thy bonie craigie,
     An' thou live, thou'll steal a naigie,
     Travel the country thro' and thro',
     And bring hame a Carlisle cow.

     Thro' the Lawlands, o'er the Border,
     Weel, my babie, may thou furder!
     Herry the louns o' the laigh Countrie,
     Syne to the Highlands hame to me.




 

The Highland Widow's Lament

     Oh I am come to the low Countrie,
     Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
     Without a penny in my purse,
     To buy a meal to me.

     It was na sae in the Highland hills,
     Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
     Nae woman in the Country wide,
     Sae happy was as me.

     For then I had a score o'kye,
     Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
     Feeding on you hill sae high,
     And giving milk to me.

     And there I had three score o'yowes,
     Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
     Skipping on yon bonie knowes,
     And casting woo' to me.

     I was the happiest of a' the Clan,
     Sair, sair, may I repine;
     For Donald was the brawest man,
     And Donald he was mine.

     Till Charlie Stewart cam at last,
     Sae far to set us free;
     My Donald's arm was wanted then,
     For Scotland and for me.

     Their waefu' fate what need I tell,
     Right to the wrang did yield;
     My Donald and his Country fell,
     Upon Culloden field.

     Oh I am come to the low Countrie,
     Ochon, Ochon, Ochrie!
     Nae woman in the warld wide,
     Sae wretched now as me.




 

It Was A' For Our Rightfu' King

     It was a' for our rightfu' King
     We left fair Scotland's strand;
     It was a' for our rightfu' King
     We e'er saw Irish land, my dear,
     We e'er saw Irish land.

     Now a' is done that men can do,
     And a' is done in vain;
     My Love and Native Land fareweel,
     For I maun cross the main, my dear,
     For I maun cross the main.

     He turn'd him right and round about,
     Upon the Irish shore;
     And gae his bridle reins a shake,
     With adieu for evermore, my dear,
     And adiue for evermore.

     The soger frae the wars returns,
     The sailor frae the main;
     But I hae parted frae my Love,
     Never to meet again, my dear,
     Never to meet again.

     When day is gane, and night is come,
     And a' folk bound to sleep;
     I think on him that's far awa,
     The lee-lang night, and weep, my dear,
     The lee-lang night, and weep.




 

Ode For General Washington's Birthday

     No Spartan tube, no Attic shell,
     No lyre Aeolian I awake;
     'Tis liberty's bold note I swell,
     Thy harp, Columbia, let me take!
     See gathering thousands, while I sing,
     A broken chain exulting bring,
     And dash it in a tyrant's face,
     And dare him to his very beard,
     And tell him he no more is feared—
     No more the despot of Columbia's race!
     A tyrant's proudest insults brav'd,
     They 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 behold
     The wildest rage, the loudest storm
     That e'er created fury dared to raise?
     Avaunt! thou caitiff, servile, base,
     That tremblest at a despot's nod,
     Yet, crouching under the iron rod,
     Canst laud the hand that struck th' insulting blow!
     Art thou of man's Imperial line?
     Dost boast that countenance divine?
     Each skulking feature answers, No!
     But come, ye sons of Liberty,
     Columbia's offspring, brave as free,
     In danger's hour still flaming in the van,
     Ye know, and dare maintain, the Royalty of Man!

     Alfred! on thy starry throne,
     Surrounded by the tuneful choir,
     The bards that erst have struck the patriot lyre,
     And rous'd the freeborn Briton's soul of fire,
     No more thy England own!
     Dare injured nations form the great design,
     To make detested tyrants bleed?
     Thy England execrates the glorious deed!
     Beneath her hostile banners waving,
     Every pang of honour braving,
     England in thunder calls, "The tyrant's cause is mine!"
     That hour accurst how did the fiends rejoice
     And hell, thro' all her confines, raise the exulting voice,
     That hour which saw the generous English name
     Linkt with such damned deeds of everlasting shame!

     Thee, Caledonia! thy wild heaths among,
     Fam'd for the martial deed, the heaven-taught song,
     To thee I turn with swimming eyes;
     Where is that soul of Freedom fled?
     Immingled with the mighty dead,
     Beneath that hallow'd turf where Wallace lies
     Hear it not, Wallace! in thy bed of death.
     Ye babbling winds! in silence sweep,
     Disturb not ye the hero's sleep,
     Nor give the coward secret breath!
     Is this the ancient Caledonian form,
     Firm as the rock, resistless as the storm?
     Show me that eye which shot immortal hate,
     Blasting the despot's proudest bearing;
     Show me that arm which, nerv'd with thundering fate,
     Crush'd Usurpation's boldest daring!—
     Dark-quench'd as yonder sinking star,
     No more that glance lightens afar;
     That palsied arm no more whirls on the waste of war.




 

Inscription To Miss Graham Of Fintry

     Here, where the Scottish Muse immortal lives,
     In sacred strains and tuneful numbers joined,
     Accept the gift; though humble he who gives,
     Rich is the tribute of the grateful mind.

     So may no ruffian-feeling in my breast,
     Discordant, jar thy bosom-chords among;
     But Peace attune thy gentle soul to rest,
     Or Love, ecstatic, wake his seraph song,

     Or Pity's notes, in luxury of tears,
     As modest Want the tale of woe reveals;
     While conscious Virtue all the strains endears,
     And 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 glad,
     When absent from my sailor lad;
     How can I the thought forego—
     He's on the seas to meet the foe?
     Let me wander, let me rove,
     Still my heart is with my love;
     Nightly dreams, and thoughts by day,
     Are with him that's far away.

     Chorus.—On the seas and far away,
     On stormy seas and far away;
     Nightly dreams and thoughts by day,
     Are aye with him that's far away.

     When in summer noon I faint,
     As weary flocks around me pant,
     Haply in this scorching sun,
     My sailor's thund'ring at his gun;
     Bullets, spare my only joy!
     Bullets, spare my darling boy!
     Fate, do with me what you may,
     Spare but him that's far away,
     On the seas and far away,
     On stormy seas and far away;
     Fate, do with me what you may,
     Spare but him that's far away.

     At the starless, midnight hour
     When Winter rules with boundless power,
     As the storms the forests tear,
     And thunders rend the howling air,
     Listening to the doubling roar,
     Surging on the rocky shore,
     All I can—I weep and pray
     For his weal that's far away,
     On the seas and far away,
     On stormy seas and far away;
     All I can—I weep and pray,
     For his weal that's far away.

     Peace, thy olive wand extend,
     And bid wild War his ravage end,
     Man with brother Man to meet,
     And as a brother kindly greet;
     Then may heav'n with prosperous gales,
     Fill my sailor's welcome sails;
     To my arms their charge convey,
     My dear lad that's far away.
     On the seas and far away,
     On stormy seas and far away;
     To my arms their charge convey,
     My dear lad that's far away.




 

Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes—Second Version

     Chorus.—Ca'the yowes to the knowes,
     Ca' them where the heather grows,
     Ca' them where the burnie rowes,
     My bonie Dearie.

     Hark the mavis' e'ening sang,
     Sounding Clouden's woods amang;
     Then a-faulding let us gang,
     My bonie Dearie.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     We'll gae down by Clouden side,
     Thro' the hazels, spreading wide,
     O'er the waves that sweetly glide,
     To the moon sae clearly.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     Yonder Clouden's silent towers,^1
     Where, at moonshine's midnight hours,
     O'er the dewy-bending flowers,
     Fairies dance sae cheery.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fear,
     Thou'rt to Love and Heav'n sae dear,
     Nocht of ill may come thee near;
     My bonie Dearie.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     Fair and lovely as thou art,
     Thou hast stown my very heart;
     I can die—but canna part,
     My bonie Dearie.
     Ca' the yowes, &c.

     [Footnote 1: An old ruin in a sweet situation at the
     confluence of the Clouden and the Nith.—R. B.]




 

She Says She Loes Me Best Of A'

     Tune—"Oonagh's Waterfall."
     Sae flaxen were her ringlets,
     Her eyebrows of a darker hue,
     Bewitchingly o'er-arching
     Twa laughing e'en o' lovely blue;
     Her smiling, sae wyling.
     Wad make a wretch forget his woe;
     What pleasure, what treasure,
     Unto these rosy lips to grow!
     Such was my Chloris' bonie face,
     When first that bonie face I saw;
     And aye my Chloris' dearest charm—
     She says, she lo'es me best of a'.

     Like harmony her motion,
     Her pretty ankle is a spy,
     Betraying fair proportion,
     Wad make a saint forget the sky:
     Sae warming, sae charming,
     Her faultless form and gracefu' air;
     Ilk feature—auld Nature
     Declar'd that she could do nae mair:
     Hers are the willing chains o' love,
     By conquering Beauty's sovereign law;
     And still my Chloris' dearest charm—
     She says, she lo'es me best of a'.

     Let others love the city,
     And gaudy show, at sunny noon;
     Gie me the lonely valley,
     The dewy eve and rising moon,
     Fair beaming, and streaming,
     Her silver light the boughs amang;
     While falling; recalling,
     The amorous thrush concludes his sang;
     There, dearest Chloris, wilt thou rove,
     By wimpling burn and leafy shaw,
     And hear my vows o' truth and love,
     And say, thou lo'es me best of a'.




 

To Dr. Maxwell

     On Miss Jessy Staig's recovery.
     Maxwell, if merit here you crave,
     That 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.
     How, Liberty! girl, can it be by thee nam'd?
     Equality too! hussey, art not asham'd?
     Free and Equal indeed, while mankind thou enchainest,
     And 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 requested
     A sprig, her fair breast to adorn:
     No, by Heavens! I exclaim'd, let me perish, if ever
     I plant in that bosom a thorn!




 

On Seeing Mrs. Kemble In Yarico

     Kemble, thou cur'st my unbelief
     For Moses and his rod;
     At Yarico's sweet nor of grief
     The rock with tears had flow'd.




 

Epigram On A Country Laird,

     not quite so wise as Solomon.
     Bless Jesus Christ, O Cardonessp,
     With grateful, lifted eyes,
     Who taught that not the soul alone,
     But body too shall rise;
     For had He said "the soul alone
     From 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 good,
     And his last words were "Dem my blood!"




 

On An Innkeeper Nicknamed "The Marquis"

     Here lies a mock Marquis, whose titles were shamm'd,
     If ever he rise, it will be to be damn'd.




 

On Andrew Turner

     In se'enteen hunder'n forty-nine,
     The deil gat stuff to mak a swine,
     An' coost it in a corner;
     But wilily he chang'd his plan,
     An' shap'd it something like a man,
     An' ca'd it Andrew Turner.




 

Pretty Peg

     As I gaed up by yon gate-end,
     When day was waxin' weary,
     Wha did I meet come down the street,
     But pretty Peg, my dearie!

     Her air sae sweet, an' shape complete,
     Wi' nae proportion wanting,
     The Queen of Love did never move
     Wi' motion mair enchanting.

     Wi' linked hands we took the sands,
     Adown yon winding river;
     Oh, that sweet hour and shady bower,
     Forget it shall I never!




 

Esteem For Chloris

     As, Chloris, since it may not be,
     That thou of love wilt hear;
     If from the lover thou maun flee,
     Yet let the friend be dear.

     Altho' I love my Chloris mair
     Than ever tongue could tell;
     My passion I will ne'er declare—
     I'll say, I wish thee well.

     Tho' a' my daily care thou art,
     And a' my nightly dream,
     I'll hide the struggle in my heart,
     And say it is esteem.




 

Saw Ye My Dear, My Philly

     Tune—"When she cam' ben she bobbit."
     O saw ye my Dear, my Philly?
     O saw ye my Dear, my Philly,
     She's down i' the grove, she's wi' a new Love,
     She winna come hame to her Willy.

     What says she my dear, my Philly?
     What says she my dear, my Philly?
     She lets thee to wit she has thee forgot,
     And forever disowns thee, her Willy.

     O had I ne'er seen thee, my Philly!
     O had I ne'er seen thee, my Philly!
     As light as the air, and fause as thou's fair,
     Thou's broken the heart o' thy Willy.




 

How Lang And Dreary Is The Night

     How lang and dreary is the night
     When I am frae my Dearie;
     I restless lie frae e'en to morn
     Though I were ne'er sae weary.

     Chorus.—For oh, her lanely nights are lang!
     And oh, her dreams are eerie;
     And oh, her window'd heart is sair,
     That's absent frae her Dearie!

     When I think on the lightsome days
     I spent wi' thee, my Dearie;
     And now what seas between us roar,
     How can I be but eerie?
     For oh, &c.

     How slow ye move, ye heavy hours;
     The joyless day how dreary:
     It was na sae ye glinted by,
     When I was wi' my Dearie!
     For oh, &c.




 

Inconstancy In Love

     Tune—"Duncan Gray."
     Let not Woman e'er complain
     Of inconstancy in love;
     Let not Woman e'er complain
     Fickle Man is apt to rove:
     Look abroad thro' Nature's range,
     Nature's mighty Law is change,
     Ladies, would it not seem strange
     Man should then a monster prove!

     Mark the winds, and mark the skies,
     Ocean's ebb, and ocean's flow,
     Sun and moon but set to rise,
     Round and round the seasons go.
     Why then ask of silly Man
     To oppose great Nature's plan?
     We'll be constant while we can—
     You can be no more, you know.




 

The Lover's Morning Salute To His Mistress

     Tune—"Deil tak the wars."
     Sleep'st thou, or wak'st thou, fairest creature?
     Rosy morn now lifts his eye,
     Numbering ilka bud which Nature
     Waters wi' the tears o' joy.
     Now, to the streaming fountain,
     Or up the heathy mountain,
     The hart, hind, and roe, freely, wildly-wanton stray;
     In twining hazel bowers,
     Its lay the linnet pours,
     The laverock to the sky
     Ascends, wi' sangs o' joy,
     While the sun and thou arise to bless the day.

     Phoebus gilding the brow of morning,
     Banishes ilk darksome shade,
     Nature, gladdening and adorning;
     Such to me my lovely maid.
     When frae my Chloris parted,
     Sad, cheerless, broken-hearted,
     The night's gloomy shades, cloudy, dark, o'ercast my sky:
     But when she charms my sight,
     In pride of Beauty's light—
     When thro' my very heart
     Her burning glories dart;
     'Tis then—'tis then I wake to life and joy!




 

The Winter Of Life

     But lately seen in gladsome green,
     The woods rejoic'd the day,
     Thro' gentle showers, the laughing flowers
     In double pride were gay:
     But now our joys are fled
     On winter blasts awa;
     Yet maiden May, in rich array,
     Again shall bring them a'.

     But my white pow, nae kindly thowe
     Shall melt the snaws of Age;
     My trunk of eild, but buss or beild,
     Sinks in Time's wintry rage.
     Oh, Age has weary days,
     And nights o' sleepless pain:
     Thou golden time, o' Youthfu' prime,
     Why comes thou not again!




 

Behold, My Love, How Green The Groves

     Tune—"My lodging is on the cold ground."
     Behold, my love, how green the groves,
     The primrose banks how fair;
     The balmy gales awake the flowers,
     And wave thy flowing hair.

     The lav'rock shuns the palace gay,
     And o'er the cottage sings:
     For Nature smiles as sweet, I ween,
     To Shepherds as to Kings.

     Let minstrels sweep the skilfu' string,
     In lordly lighted ha':
     The Shepherd stops his simple reed,
     Blythe in the birken shaw.

     The Princely revel may survey
     Our rustic dance wi' scorn;
     But are their hearts as light as ours,
     Beneath the milk-white thorn!

     The shepherd, in the flowery glen;
     In shepherd's phrase, will woo:
     The courtier tells a finer tale,
     But is his heart as true!

     These wild-wood flowers I've pu'd, to deck
     That spotless breast o' thine:
     The courtiers' gems may witness love,
     But, 'tis na love like mine.




 

The Charming Month Of May

     Tune—"Daintie Davie."
     It was the charming month of May,
     When all the flow'rs were fresh and gay.
     One morning, by the break of day,
     The youthful, charming Chloe—
     From peaceful slumber she arose,
     Girt on her mantle and her hose,
     And o'er the flow'ry mead she goes—
     The youthful, charming Chloe.

     Chorus.—Lovely was she by the dawn,
     Youthful Chloe, charming Chloe,
     Tripping o'er the pearly lawn,
     The youthful, charming Chloe.

     The feather'd people you might see
     Perch'd all around on every tree,
     In notes of sweetest melody
     They hail the charming Chloe;
     Till, painting gay the eastern skies,
     The glorious sun began to rise,
     Outrival'd by the radiant eyes
     Of youthful, charming Chloe.
     Lovely was she, &c.




 

Lassie Wi' The Lint-White Locks

     Tune—"Rothiemurchie's Rant."
     Chorus.—Lassie wi'the lint-white locks,
     Bonie lassie, artless lassie,
     Wilt thou wi' me tent the flocks,
     Wilt thou be my Dearie, O?

     Now Nature cleeds the flowery lea,
     And a' is young and sweet like thee,
     O wilt thou share its joys wi' me,
     And say thou'lt be my Dearie, O.
     Lassie wi' the, &c.

     The primrose bank, the wimpling burn,
     The cuckoo on the milk-white thorn,
     The wanton lambs at early morn,
     Shall welcome thee, my Dearie, O.
     Lassie wi' the, &c.

     And when the welcome simmer shower
     Has cheer'd ilk drooping little flower,
     We'll to the breathing woodbine bower,
     At sultry noon, my Dearie, O.
     Lassie wi' the, &c.

     When Cynthia lights, wi' silver ray,
     The weary shearer's hameward way,
     Thro' yellow waving fields we'll stray,
     And talk o' love, my Dearie, O.
     Lassie wi' the, &c.

     And when the howling wintry blast
     Disturbs my Lassie's midnight rest,
     Enclasped to my faithfu' breast,
     I'll comfort thee, my Dearie, O.
     Lassie wi' the, &c.




 

Dialogue song—Philly And Willy

     Tune—"The Sow's tail to Geordie."
          He. O Philly, happy be that day,
     When roving thro' the gather'd hay,
     My youthfu' heart was stown away,
     And by thy charms, my Philly.

          She. O Willy, aye I bless the grove
     Where first I own'd my maiden love,
     Whilst thou did pledge the Powers above,
     To be my ain dear Willy.

          Both. For a' the joys that gowd can gie,
     I dinna care a single flie;
     The lad I love's the lad for me,
     The lass I love's the lass for me,
     And that's my ain dear Willy.
     And that's my ain dear Philly.

          He. As songsters of the early year,
     Are ilka day mair sweet to hear,
     So ilka day to me mair dear
     And charming is my Philly.

          She. As on the brier the budding rose,
     Still richer breathes and fairer blows,
     So in my tender bosom grows
     The love I bear my Willy.

          Both. For a' the joys, &c.

          He. The milder sun and bluer sky
     That crown my harvest cares wi' joy,
     Were ne'er sae welcome to my eye
     As is a sight o' Philly.

          She. The little swallow's wanton wing,
     Tho' wafting o'er the flowery Spring,
     Did ne'er to me sic tidings bring,
     As meeting o' my Willy.
     Both. For a' the joys, &c.

          He. The bee that thro' the sunny hour
     Sips nectar in the op'ning flower,
     Compar'd wi' my delight is poor,
     Upon the lips o' Philly.

          She. The woodbine in the dewy weet,
     When ev'ning shades in silence meet,
     Is nocht sae fragrant or sae sweet
     As is a kiss o' Willy.

          Both. For a' the joys, &c.

          He. Let fortune's wheel at random rin,
     And fools may tine and knaves may win;
     My thoughts are a' bound up in ane,
     And 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 me,
     And 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' little, and cantie wi' mair,
     Whene'er I forgather wi' Sorrow and Care,
     I gie them a skelp as they're creeping alang,
     Wi' 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 soger, and Life is a faught;
     My mirth and gude humour are coin in my pouch,
     And my Freedom's my Lairdship nae monarch dare touch.
     Contented wi' little, &c.

     A townmond o' trouble, should that be may fa',
     A night o' gude fellowship sowthers it a':
     When at the blythe end o' our journey at last,
     Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past?
     Contented wi' little, &c.

     Blind Chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her way;
     Be't to me, be't frae me, e'en let the jade gae:
     Come Ease, or come Travail, come Pleasure or Pain,
     My warst word is: "Welcome, and welcome again!"
     Contented wi' little, &c.




 

Farewell Thou Stream

     Air—"Nansie's to the greenwood gane."
     Farewell, thou stream that winding flows
     Around Eliza's dwelling;
     O mem'ry! spare the cruel thoes
     Within my bosom swelling.
     Condemn'd to drag a hopeless chain
     And yet in secret languish;
     To feel a fire in every vein,
     Nor dare disclose my anguish.

     Love's veriest wretch, unseen, unknown,
     I fain my griefs would cover;
     The bursting sigh, th' unweeting groan,
     Betray the hapless lover.
     I know thou doom'st me to despair,
     Nor wilt, nor canst relieve me;
     But, O Eliza, hear one prayer—
     For pity's sake forgive me!

     The music of thy voice I heard,
     Nor wist while it enslav'd me;
     I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd,
     Till fears no more had sav'd me:
     Th' unwary sailor thus, aghast
     The wheeling torrent viewing,
     'Mid circling horrors sinks at last,
     In overwhelming ruin.




 

Canst Thou Leave Me Thus, My Katie

     Tune—"Roy's Wife."
     Chorus—Canst thou leave me thus, my Katie?
     Canst thou leave me thus, my Katie?
     Well thou know'st my aching heart,
     And canst thou leave me thus, for pity?

     Is this thy plighted, fond regard,
     Thus cruelly to part, my Katie?
     Is this thy faithful swain's reward—
     An aching, broken heart, my Katie!
     Canst thou leave me, &c.

     Farewell! and ne'er such sorrows tear
     That finkle heart of thine, my Katie!
     Thou maysn find those will love thee dear,
     But not a love like mine, my Katie,
     Canst 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 arrays,
     And listens the lambkins that bleat o'er her braes;
     While birds warble welcomes in ilka green shaw,
     But to me it's delightless—my Nanie's awa.

     The snawdrap and primrose our woodlands adorn,
     And violetes bathe in the weet o' the morn;
     They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw,
     They mind me o' Nanie—and Nanie's awa.

     Thou lav'rock that springs frae the dews of the lawn,
     The shepherd to warn o' the grey-breaking dawn,
     And thou mellow mavis that hails the night-fa',
     Give over for pity—my Nanie's awa.

     Come Autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and grey,
     And soothe me wi' tidings o' Nature's decay:
     The dark, dreary Winter, and wild-driving snaw
     Alane can delight me—now Nanie's awa.




 

The Tear-Drop

     Wae is my heart, and the tear's in my e'e;
     Lang, lang has Joy been a stranger to me:
     Forsaken and friendless, my burden I bear,
     And the sweet voice o' Pity ne'er sounds in my ear.

     Love thou hast pleasures, and deep hae I luv'd;
     Love, thou hast sorrows, and sair hae I pruv'd;
     But this bruised heart that now bleeds in my breast,
     I can feel, by its throbbings, will soon be at rest.

     Oh, if I were—where happy I hae been—
     Down by yon stream, and yon bonie castle-green;
     For there he is wand'ring and musing on me,
     Wha wad soon dry the tear-drop that clings to my e'e.




 

For The Sake O' Somebody

     My heart is sair—I dare na tell,
     My heart is sair for Somebody;
     I could wake a winter night
     For the sake o' Somebody.
     O-hon! for Somebody!
     O-hey! for Somebody!
     I could range the world around,
     For the sake o' Somebody.

     Ye Powers that smile on virtuous love,
     O, sweetly smile on Somebody!
     Frae ilka danger keep him free,
     And 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 Poverty
     That hings his head, an' a' that;
     The coward slave—we pass him by,
     We dare be poor for a' that!
     For a' that, an' a' that.
     Our toils obscure an' a' that,
     The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
     The Man's the gowd for a' that.

     What though on hamely fare we dine,
     Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
     Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
     A Man's a Man for a' that:
     For a' that, and a' that,
     Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
     The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
     Is king o' men for a' that.

     Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
     Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
     Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
     He's but a coof for a' that:
     For a' that, an' a' that,
     His ribband, star, an' a' that:
     The man o' independent mind
     He looks an' laughs at a' that.

     A prince can mak a belted knight,
     A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
     But an honest man's abon his might,
     Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
     For a' that, an' a' that,
     Their dignities an' a' that;
     The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
     Are higher rank than a' that.

     Then let us pray that come it may,
     (As come it will for a' that,)
     That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
     Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
     For a' that, an' a' that,
     It's coming yet for a' that,
     That Man to Man, the world o'er,
     Shall brothers be for a' that.




 

Craigieburn Wood

     Sweet fa's the eve on Craigieburn,
     And blythe awakes the morrow;
     But a' the pride o' Spring's return
     Can yield me nocht but sorrow.

     I see the flowers and spreading trees,
     I hear the wild birds singing;
     But what a weary wight can please,
     And Care his bosom wringing!

     Fain, fain would I my griefs impart,
     Yet dare na for your anger;
     But secret love will break my heart,
     If I conceal it langer.

     If thou refuse to pity me,
     If thou shalt love another,
     When yon green leaves fade frae the tree,
     Around my grave they'll wither.




 

Versicles of 1795





 

The Solemn League And Covenant

     The Solemn League and Covenant
     Now brings a smile, now brings a tear;
     But sacred Freedom, too, was theirs:
     If thou'rt a slave, indulge 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 mind,
     Or hops the flavour of thy wit,
     'Twere drink for first of human kind,
     A gift that e'en for Syme were fit.

     Jerusalem Tavern, Dumfries.




 

Inscription On A Goblet

     There's Death in the cup, so beware!
     Nay, more—there is danger in touching;
     But who can avoid the fell snare,
     The man and his wine's so bewitching!




 

Apology For Declining An Invitation To Dine

     No more of your guests, be they titled or not,
     And cookery the first in the nation;
     Who is proof to thy personal converse and wit,
     Is proof to all other temptation.




 

Epitaph For Mr. Gabriel Richardson

     Here Brewer Gabriel's fire's extinct,
     And empty all his barrels:
     He's blest—if, as he brew'd, he drink,
     In upright, honest morals.




 

Epigram On Mr. James Gracie

     Gracie, thou art a man of worth,
     O be thou Dean for ever!
     May he be damned to hell henceforth,
     Who fauts thy weight or measure!




 

Bonie Peg-a-Ramsay

     Cauld is the e'enin blast,
     O' Boreas o'er the pool,
     An' dawin' it is dreary,
     When birks are bare at Yule.

     Cauld blaws the e'enin blast,
     When bitter bites the frost,
     And, in the mirk and dreary drift,
     The hills and glens are lost:

     Ne'er sae murky blew the night
     That drifted o'er the hill,
     But bonie Peg-a-Ramsay
     Gat grist to her mill.




 

Inscription At Friars' Carse Hermitage

     To the Memory of Robert Riddell.
     To Riddell, much lamented man,
     This ivied cot was dear;
     Wandr'er, dost value matchless worth?
     This ivied cot revere.




 

There Was A Bonie Lass

     There was a bonie lass, and a bonie, bonie lass,
     And she lo'ed her bonie laddie dear;
     Till War's loud alarms tore her laddie frae her arms,
     Wi' mony a sigh and tear.
     Over sea, over shore, where the cannons loudly roar,
     He still was a stranger to fear;
     And nocht could him quail, or his bosom assail,
     But the bonie lass he lo'ed sae dear.




 

Wee Willie Gray

     Tune—"Wee Totum Fogg."
     Wee Willie Gray, and his leather wallet,
     Peel a willow wand to be him boots and jacket;
     The rose upon the breir will be him trews an' doublet,
     The rose upon the breir will be him trews an' doublet,
     Wee Willie Gray, and his leather wallet,
     Twice a lily-flower will be him sark and cravat;
     Feathers of a flee wad feather up his bonnet,
     Feathers of a flee wad feather up his bonnet.




 

O Aye My Wife She Dang Me

     Chorus—O aye my wife she dang me,
     An' aft my wife she bang'd me,
     If ye gie a woman a' her will,
     Gude faith! she'll soon o'er-gang ye.

     On peace an' rest my mind was bent,
     And, fool I was! I married;
     But never honest man's intent
     Sane cursedly miscarried.
     O aye my wife, &c.

     Some sairie comfort at the last,
     When a' thir days are done, man,
     My pains o' hell on earth is past,
     I'm sure o' bliss aboon, man,
     O 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 hose,
     Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon—
     Gude ale keeps my heart aboon!

     I had sax owsen in a pleugh,
     And 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 busy,
     Gars me moop wi' the servant hizzie,
     Stand 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 up, an' haud her gaun,
     Her mither's at the mill, jo;
     An' gin she winna tak a man,
     E'en let her tak her will, jo.
     First shore her wi' a gentle kiss,
     And ca' anither gill, jo;
     An' gin she tak the thing amiss,
     E'en let her flyte her fill, jo.

     O steer her up, an' be na blate,
     An' gin she tak it ill, jo,
     Then leave the lassie till her fate,
     And time nae langer spill, jo:
     Ne'er break your heart for ae rebute,
     But think upon it still, jo:
     That gin the lassie winna do't,
     Ye'll find anither will, jo.




 

The Lass O' Ecclefechan

     Tune—"Jack o' Latin."
     Gat ye me, O gat ye me,
     O gat ye me wi' naething?
     Rock an reel, and spinning wheel,
     A mickle quarter basin:
     Bye attour my Gutcher has
     A heich house and a laich ane,
     A' forbye my bonie sel,
     The toss o' Ecclefechan.

     O haud your tongue now, Lucky Lang,
     O haud your tongue and jauner
     I held the gate till you I met,
     Syne I began to wander:
     I tint my whistle and my sang,
     I tint my peace and pleasure;
     But your green graff, now Lucky Lang,
     Wad airt me to my treasure.




 

O Let Me In Thes Ae Night

     O Lassie, are ye sleepin yet,
     Or are ye waukin, I wad wit?
     For Love has bound me hand an' fit,
     And I would fain be in, jo.

     Chorus—O let me in this ae night,
     This ae, ae, ae night;
     O let me in this ae night,
     I'll no come back again, jo!

     O hear'st thou not the wind an' weet?
     Nae star blinks thro' the driving sleet;
     Tak pity on my weary feet,
     And shield me frae the rain, jo.
     O let me in, &c.

     The bitter blast that round me blaws,
     Unheeded howls, unheeded fa's;
     The cauldness o' thy heart's the cause
     Of a' my care and pine, jo.
     O let me in, &c.




 

Her Answer

     O tell na me o' wind an' rain,
     Upbraid na me wi' cauld disdain,
     Gae back the gate ye cam again,
     I winna let ye in, jo.

     Chorus—I tell you now this ae night,
     This ae, ae, ae night;
     And ance for a' this ae night,
     I winna let ye in, jo.

     The snellest blast, at mirkest hours,
     That round the pathless wand'rer pours
     Is nocht to what poor she endures,
     That's trusted faithless man, jo.
     I tell you now, &c.

     The sweetest flower that deck'd the mead,
     Now trodden like the vilest weed—
     Let simple maid the lesson read
     The weird may be her ain, jo.
     I tell you now, &c.

     The bird that charm'd his summer day,
     Is now the cruel Fowler's prey;
     Let witless, trusting, Woman say
     How aft her fate's the same, jo!
     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 town,
     And by yon garden-green again;
     I'll aye ca' in by yon town,
     And see my bonie Jean again.

     There's nane sall ken, there's nane can guess
     What brings me back the gate again,
     But she, my fairest faithfu' lass,
     And stownlins we sall meet again.
     I'll aye ca' in, &c.

     She'll wander by the aiken tree,
     When trystin time draws near again;
     And when her lovely form I see,
     O 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 town,
     Ye see the e'enin sun upon,
     The dearest maid's in yon town,
     That e'ening sun is shining on.

     Now haply down yon gay green shaw,
     She wanders by yon spreading tree;
     How blest ye flowers that round her blaw,
     Ye catch the glances o' her e'e!
     O wat ye wha's, &c.

     How blest ye birds that round her sing,
     And welcome in the blooming year;
     And doubly welcome be the Spring,
     The season to my Jeanie dear.
     O wat ye wha's, &c.

     The sun blinks blythe on yon town,
     Among the broomy braes sae green;
     But my delight in yon town,
     And dearest pleasure, is my Jean.
     O wat ye wha's, &c.

     Without my Fair, not a' the charms
     O' Paradise could yield me joy;
     But give me Jeanie in my arms
     And welcome Lapland's dreary sky!
     O wat ye wha's, &c.

     My cave wad be a lover's bower,
     Tho' raging Winter rent the air;
     And she a lovely little flower,
     That I wad tent and shelter there.
     O wat ye wha's, &c.

     O sweet is she in yon town,
     The sinkin, sun's gane down upon;
     A fairer than's in yon town,
     His setting beam ne'er shone upon.
     O wat ye wha's, &c.

     If angry Fate is sworn my foe,
     And suff'ring I am doom'd to bear;
     I careless quit aught else below,
     But spare, O spare me Jeanie dear.
     O wat ye wha's, &c.

     For while life's dearest blood is warm,
     Ae thought frae her shall ne'er depart,
     And she, as fairest is her form,
     She has the truest, kindest heart.
     O wat ye wha's, &c.




 

Ballads on Mr. Heron's Election, 1795

     Ballad First

     Whom will you send to London town,
     To Parliament and a' that?
     Or wha in a' the country round
     The best deserves to fa' that?
     For a' that, and a' that,
     Thro' Galloway and a' that,
     Where is the Laird or belted Knight
     The best deserves to fa' that?

     Wha sees Kerroughtree's open yett,
     (And wha is't never saw that?)
     Wha ever wi' Kerroughtree met,
     And has a doubt of a' that?
     For a' that, and a' that,
     Here's Heron yet for a' that!
     The independent patriot,
     The honest man, and a' that.

     Tho' wit and worth, in either sex,
     Saint Mary's Isle can shaw that,
     Wi' Dukes and Lords let Selkirk mix,
     And weel does Selkirk fa' that.
     For a' that, and a' that,
     Here's Heron yet for a' that!
     The independent commoner
     Shall be the man for a' that.

     But why should we to Nobles jouk,
     And is't against the law, that?
     For why, a Lord may be a gowk,
     Wi' ribband, star and a' that,
     For a' that, and a' that,
     Here's Heron yet for a' that!
     A Lord may be a lousy loun,
     Wi' ribband, star and a' that.

     A beardless boy comes o'er the hills,
     Wi' uncle's purse and a' that;
     But we'll hae ane frae mang oursels,
     A man we ken, and a' that.
     For a' that, and a' that,
     Here's Heron yet for a' that!
     For we're not to be bought and sold,
     Like naigs, and nowt, and a' that.

     Then let us drink—The Stewartry,
     Kerroughtree's laird, and a' that,
     Our representative to be,
     For weel he's worthy a' that.
     For a' that, and a' that,
     Here's Heron yet for a' that!
     A House of Commons such as he,
     They wad be blest that saw that.
     Ballad Second—Election Day

     Tune—"Fy, let us a' to the Bridal."
     Fy, let us a' to Kirkcudbright,
     For there will be bickerin' there;
     For Murray's light horse are to muster,
     And O how the heroes will swear!
     And there will be Murray, Commander,
     And Gordon, the battle to win;
     Like brothers they'll stand by each other,
     Sae knit in alliance and kin.

     And there will be black-nebbit Johnie,
     The 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 birkie,
     A boy no sae black at the bane;
     But as to his fine Nabob fortune,
     We'll e'en let the subject alane.

     And there will be Wigton's new Sheriff;
     Dame Justice fu' brawly has sped,
     She's gotten the heart of a Bushby,
     But, Lord! what's become o' the head?
     And there will be Cardoness, Esquire,
     Sae mighty in Cardoness' eyes;
     A wight that will weather damnation,
     The Devil the prey will despise.

     And there will be Douglasses doughty,
     New christening towns far and near;
     Abjuring their democrat doings,
     By kissin' the-o' a Peer:
     And there will be folk frae Saint Mary's
     A 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'rous,
     Whose honour is proof to the storm,
     To save them from stark reprobation,
     He lent them his name in the Firm.
     And there will be lads o' the gospel,
     Muirhead wha's as gude as he's true;
     And there will be Buittle's Apostle,
     Wha's mair o' the black than the blue.

     And there will be Logan M'Dowall,
     Sculdudd'ry an' he will be there,
     And also the Wild Scot o' Galloway,
     Sogering, gunpowder Blair.
     But we winna mention Redcastle,
     The body, e'en let him escape!
     He'd venture the gallows for siller,
     An 'twere na the cost o' the rape.

     But where is the Doggerbank hero,
     That made "Hogan Mogan" to skulk?
     Poor Keith's gane to hell to be fuel,
     The auld rotten wreck of a Hulk.
     And where is our King's Lord Lieutenant,
     Sae fam'd for his gratefu' return?
     The birkie is gettin' his Questions
     To say in Saint Stephen's the morn.

     But mark ye! there's trusty Kerroughtree,
     Whose honor was ever his law;
     If the Virtues were pack'd in a parcel,
     His worth might be sample for a';
     And strang an' respectfu's his backing,
     The maist o' the lairds wi' him stand;
     Nae gipsy-like nominal barons,
     Wha's property's paper—not land.

     And there, frae the Niddisdale borders,
     The Maxwells will gather in droves,
     Teugh Jockie, staunch Geordie, an' Wellwood,
     That griens for the fishes and loaves;
     And there will be Heron, the Major,
     Wha'll ne'er be forgot in the Greys;
     Our flatt'ry we'll keep for some other,
     Him, only it's justice to praise.

     And there will be maiden Kilkerran,
     And also Barskimming's gude Knight,
     And there will be roarin Birtwhistle,
     Yet luckily roars i' the right.
     And there'll be Stamp Office Johnie,
     (Tak tent how ye purchase a dram!)
     And there will be gay Cassencarry,
     And there'll be gleg Colonel Tam.

     And there'll be wealthy young Richard,
     Dame Fortune should hing by the neck,
     For prodigal, thriftless bestowing—
     His merit had won him respect.

     And there will be rich brother nabobs,
     (Tho' Nabobs, yet men not the worst,)
     And there will be Collieston's whiskers,
     And Quintin—a lad o' the first.

     Then hey! the chaste Interest o' Broughton
     And hey! for the blessin's 'twill bring;
     It may send Balmaghie to the Commons,
     In Sodom 'twould make him a king;
     And hey! for the sanctified Murray,
     Our land wha wi' chapels has stor'd;
     He founder'd his horse among harlots,
     But gied the auld naig to the Lord.
     Ballad Third

     John Bushby's Lamentation.

     Tune—"Babes in the Wood."
     'Twas in the seventeen hunder year
     O' grace, and ninety-five,
     That year I was the wae'est man
     Of ony man alive.

     In March the three-an'-twentieth morn,
     The sun raise clear an' bright;
     But oh! I was a waefu' man,
     Ere to-fa' o' the night.

     Yerl Galloway lang did rule this land,
     Wi' equal right and fame,
     And thereto was his kinsmen join'd,
     The Murray's noble name.

     Yerl Galloway's man o' men was I,
     And chief o' Broughton's host;
     So twa blind beggars, on a string,
     The faithfu' tyke will trust.

     But now Yerl Galloway's sceptre's broke,
     And Broughton's wi' the slain,
     And I my ancient craft may try,
     Sin' honesty is gane.

     'Twas by the banks o' bonie Dee,
     Beside Kirkcudbright's towers,
     The Stewart and the Murray there,
     Did muster a' their powers.

     Then Murray on the auld grey yaud,
     Wi' winged spurs did ride,
     That auld grey yaud a' Nidsdale rade,
     He staw upon Nidside.

     And there had na been the Yerl himsel,
     O there had been nae play;
     But Garlies was to London gane,
     And sae the kye might stray.

     And there was Balmaghie, I ween,
     In front rank he wad shine;
     But Balmaghie had better been
     Drinkin' Madeira wine.

     And frae Glenkens cam to our aid
     A chief o' doughty deed;
     In case that worth should wanted be,
     O' Kenmure we had need.

     And by our banners march'd Muirhead,
     And Buittle was na slack;
     Whase haly priesthood nane could stain,
     For wha could dye the black?

     And there was grave squire Cardoness,
     Look'd on till a' was done;
     Sae in the tower o' Cardoness
     A howlet sits at noon.

     And there led I the Bushby clan,
     My gamesome billie, Will,
     And my son Maitland, wise as brave,
     My footsteps follow'd still.

     The Douglas and the Heron's name,
     We set nought to their score;
     The Douglas and the Heron's name,
     Had felt our weight before.

     But Douglasses o' weight had we,
     The pair o' lusty lairds,
     For building cot-houses sae fam'd,
     And christenin' kail-yards.

     And there Redcastle drew his sword,
     That ne'er was stain'd wi' gore,
     Save on a wand'rer lame and blind,
     To drive him frae his door.

     And last cam creepin' Collieston,
     Was 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 Kerroughtree, the Seat of Mr. Heron.
     Thou of an independent mind,
     With soul resolv'd, with soul resign'd;
     Prepar'd Power's proudest frown to brave,
     Who wilt not be, nor have a slave;
     Virtue alone who dost revere,
     Thy own reproach alone dost fear—
     Approach this shrine, and worship here.




 

The Cardin O't, The Spinnin O't

     I coft a stane o' haslock woo',
     To mak a wab to Johnie o't;
     For Johnie is my only jo,
     I loe him best of onie yet.

     Chorus—The cardin' o't, the spinnin' o't,
     The warpin' o't, the winnin' o't;
     When ilka ell cost me a groat,
     The tailor staw the lynin' o't.

     For tho' his locks be lyart grey,
     And tho' his brow be beld aboon,
     Yet I hae seen him on a day,
     The 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 door,
     Behint the door, behint the door,
     We'll hide the Cooper behint the door,
     And cover him under a mawn, O.

     The Cooper o' Cuddy came here awa,
     He 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 out, he sought them in,
     Wi' 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'en, they cooper'd at morn,
     Till our gudeman has gotten the scorn;
     On ilka brow she's planted a horn,
     And 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 cauld,
     As to the north I took my way,
     The mirksome night did me enfauld,
     I knew na where to lodge till day:

     By my gude luck a maid I met,
     Just in the middle o' my care,
     And kindly she did me invite
     To walk into a chamber fair.

     I bow'd fu' low unto this maid,
     And thank'd her for her courtesie;
     I bow'd fu' low unto this maid,
     An' bade her make a bed to me;

     She made the bed baith large and wide,
     Wi' twa white hands she spread it doun;
     She put the cup to her rosy lips,
     And drank—"Young man, now sleep ye soun'."

     Chorus—The bonie lass made the bed to me,
     The braw lass made the bed to me,
     I'll ne'er forget till the day I die,
     The lass that made the bed to me.

     She snatch'd the candle in her hand,
     And frae my chamber went wi' speed;
     But I call'd her quickly back again,
     To lay some mair below my head:

     A cod she laid below my head,
     And served me with due respect,
     And, to salute her wi' a kiss,
     I put my arms about her neck.
     The bonie lass, &c.

     "Haud aff your hands, young man!" she said,
     "And dinna sae uncivil be;
     Gif ye hae ony luve for me,
     O wrang na my virginitie."
     Her hair was like the links o' gowd,
     Her teeth were like the ivorie,
     Her cheeks like lilies dipt in wine,
     The lass that made the bed to me:
     The bonie lass, &c.

     Her bosom was the driven snaw,
     Twa drifted heaps sae fair to see;
     Her limbs the polish'd marble stane,
     The lass that made the bed to me.
     I kiss'd her o'er and o'er again,
     And 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 raise,
     I thank'd her for her courtesie;
     But aye she blush'd and aye she sigh'd,
     And said, "Alas, ye've ruin'd me."
     I claps'd her waist, and kiss'd her syne,
     While the tear stood twinkling in her e'e;
     I said, my lassie, dinna cry.
     For ye aye shall make the bed to me.
     The bonie lass, &c.

     She took her mither's holland sheets,
     An' made them a' in sarks to me;
     Blythe and merry may she be,
     The lass that made the bed to me.

     Chorus—The bonie lass made the bed to me,
     The braw lass made the bed to me.
     I'll ne'er forget till the day I die,
     The lass that made the bed to me.




 

Had I The Wyte? She Bade Me

     Had I the wyte, had I the wyte,
     Had I the wyte? she bade me;
     She watch'd me by the hie-gate side,
     And up the loan she shaw'd me.

     And when I wadna venture in,
     A coward loon she ca'd me:
     Had Kirk an' State been in the gate,
     I'd lighted when she bade me.

     Sae craftilie she took me ben,
     And bade me mak nae clatter;
     "For our ramgunshoch, glum gudeman
     Is o'er ayont the water."

     Whae'er shall say I wanted grace,
     When I did kiss and dawte her,
     Let him be planted in my place,
     Syne say, I was the fautor.

     Could I for shame, could I for shame,
     Could I for shame refus'd her;
     And wadna manhood been to blame,
     Had I unkindly used her!

     He claw'd her wi' the ripplin-kame,
     And blae and bluidy bruis'd her;
     When sic a husband was frae hame,
     What wife but wad excus'd her!

     I dighted aye her e'en sae blue,
     An' bann'd the cruel randy,
     And weel I wat, her willin' mou
     Was sweet as sugar-candie.

     At gloamin-shot, it was I wot,
     I lighted on the Monday;
     But I cam thro' the Tyseday's dew,
     To wanton Willie's brandy.




 

Does Haughty Gaul Invasion Threat?

     Tune—"Push about the Jorum."
     Does haughty Gaul invasion threat?
     Then let the louns beware, Sir;
     There's wooden walls upon our seas,
     And volunteers on shore, Sir:
     The Nith shall run to Corsincon,
     And Criffel sink in Solway,
     Ere we permit a Foreign Foe
     On British ground to rally!
     We'll ne'er permit a Foreign Foe
     On British ground to rally!

     O let us not, like snarling curs,
     In wrangling be divided,
     Till, slap! come in an unco loun,
     And wi' a rung decide it!
     Be Britain still to Britain true,
     Amang ourselves united;
     For never but by British hands
     Maun British wrangs be righted!
     No! never but by British hands
     Shall British wrangs be righted!

     The Kettle o' the Kirk and State,
     Perhaps a clout may fail in't;
     But deil a foreign tinkler loun
     Shall ever ca'a nail in't.
     Our father's blude the Kettle bought,
     And wha wad dare to spoil it;
     By Heav'ns! the sacrilegious dog
     Shall fuel be to boil it!
     By Heav'ns! the sacrilegious dog
     Shall fuel be to boil it!

     The wretch that would a tyrant own,
     And the wretch, his true-born brother,
     Who would set the Mob aboon the Throne,
     May 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 stay, sweet warbling woodlark, stay,
     Nor quit for me the trembling spray,
     A hapless lover courts thy lay,
     Thy soothing, fond complaining.
     Again, again that tender part,
     That I may catch thy melting art;
     For surely that wad touch her heart
     Wha kills me wi' disdaining.
     Say, was thy little mate unkind,
     And heard thee as the careless wind?
     Oh, nocht but love and sorrow join'd,
     Sic notes o' woe could wauken!
     Thou tells o' never-ending care;
     O'speechless grief, and dark despair:
     For pity's sake, sweet bird, nae mair!
     Or my poor heart is broken.




 

Song.—On Chloris Being Ill

     Tune—"Aye wauken O."
     Chorus—Long, long the night,
     Heavy comes the morrow
     While my soul's delight
     Is on her bed of sorrow.

     Can I cease to care?
     Can I cease to languish,
     While my darling Fair
     Is on the couch of anguish?
     Long, long, &c.

     Ev'ry hope is fled,
     Ev'ry fear is terror,
     Slumber ev'n I dread,
     Ev'ry dream is horror.
     Long, long, &c.

     Hear me, Powers Divine!
     Oh, in pity, hear me!
     Take aught else of mine,
     But my Chloris spare me!
     Long, long, &c.




 

How Cruel Are The Parents

     Altered from an old English song.
     Tune—"John Anderson, my jo."
     How cruel are the parents
     Who riches only prize,
     And to the wealthy booby
     Poor Woman sacrifice!
     Meanwhile, the hapless Daughter
     Has but a choice of strife;
     To shun a tyrant Father's hate—
     Become a wretched Wife.

     The ravening hawk pursuing,
     The trembling dove thus flies,
     To shun impelling ruin,
     Awhile her pinions tries;
     Till, of escape despairing,
     No shelter or retreat,
     She trusts the ruthless Falconer,
     And drops beneath his feet.




 

Mark Yonder Pomp Of Costly Fashion

     Air—"Deil tak the wars."
     Mark yonder pomp of costly fashion
     Round the wealthy, titled bride:
     But when compar'd with real passion,
     Poor is all that princely pride.
     Mark yonder, &c. (four lines repeated).

     What are the showy treasures,
     What are the noisy pleasures?
     The gay, gaudy glare of vanity and art:
     The polish'd jewels' blaze
     May draw the wond'ring gaze;
     And courtly grandeur bright
     The fancy may delight,
     But never, never can come near the heart.

     But did you see my dearest Chloris,
     In simplicity's array;
     Lovely as yonder sweet opening flower is,
     Shrinking from the gaze of day,
     But did you see, &c.

     O then, the heart alarming,
     And all resistless charming,
     In Love's delightful fetters she chains the willing soul!
     Ambition would disown
     The world's imperial crown,
     Ev'n Avarice would deny,
     His worshipp'd deity,
     And feel thro' every vein Love's raptures roll.




 

'Twas Na Her Bonie Blue E'e

     Tune—"Laddie, lie near me."
     'Twas na her bonie blue e'e was my ruin,
     Fair tho' she be, that was ne'er my undoin';
     'Twas the dear smile when nae body did mind us,
     'Twas the bewitching, sweet, stown glance o' kindness:
     'Twas the bewitching, sweet, stown glance o' kindness.

     Sair do I fear that to hope is denied me,
     Sair do I fear that despair maun abide me,
     But tho' fell fortune should fate us to sever,
     Queen shall she be in my bosom for ever:
     Queen shall she be in my bosom for ever.

     Chloris, I'm thine wi' a passion sincerest,
     And thou hast plighted me love o' the dearest!
     And thou'rt the angel that never can alter,
     Sooner 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 reckon,
     Where bright-beaming summers exalt the perfume;
     Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' green breckan,
     Wi' the burn stealing under the lang, yellow broom.
     Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers
     Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk, lowly, unseen;
     For there, lightly tripping, among the wild flowers,
     A-list'ning the linnet, aft wanders my Jean.

     Tho' rich is the breeze in their gay, sunny valleys,
     And cauld Caledonia's blast on the wave;
     Their sweet-scented woodlands that skirt the proud palace,
     What are they?—the haunt of the Tyrant and Slave.
     The Slave's spicy forests, and gold-bubbling fountains,
     The brave Caledonian views wi' disdain;
     He wanders as free as the winds of his mountains,
     Save Love's willing fetters—the chains of his Jean.




 

Forlorn, My Love, No Comfort Near

     Air—"Let me in this ae night."
     Forlorn, my Love, no comfort near,
     Far, far from thee, I wander here;
     Far, far from thee, the fate severe,
     At which I most repine, Love.

     Chorus—O wert thou, Love, but near me!
     But near, near, near me,
     How kindly thou wouldst cheer me,
     And mingle sighs with mine, Love.

     Around me scowls a wintry sky,
     Blasting each bud of hope and joy;
     And shelter, shade, nor home have I;
     Save in these arms of thine, Love.
     O wert thou, &c.

     Cold, alter'd friendship's cruel part,
     To poison Fortune's ruthless dart—
     Let me not break thy faithful heart,
     And say that fate is mine, Love.
     O wert thou, &c.

     But, dreary tho' the moments fleet,
     O let me think we yet shall meet;
     That only ray of solace sweet,
     Can on thy Chloris shine, Love!
     O wert thou, &c.




 

Fragment,—Why, Why Tell The Lover

     Tune—"Caledonian Hunt's delight."
     Why, why tell thy lover
     Bliss he never must enjoy"?
     Why, why undeceive him,
     And give all his hopes the lie?
     O why, while fancy, raptur'd slumbers,
     Chloris, Chloris all the theme,
     Why, why would'st thou, cruel—
     Wake thy lover from his dream?




 

The Braw Wooer

     Tune—"The Lothian Lassie."
     Last May, a braw wooer cam doun the lang glen,
     And sair wi' his love he did deave me;
     I said, there was naething I hated like men—
     The deuce gae wi'm, to believe me, believe me;
     The deuce gae wi'm to believe me.

     He spak o' the darts in my bonie black e'en,
     And vow'd for my love he was diein,
     I said, he might die when he liked for Jean—
     The Lord forgie me for liein, for liein;
     The Lord forgie me for liein!

     A weel-stocked mailen, himsel' for the laird,
     And marriage aff-hand, were his proffers;
     I never loot on that I kenn'd it, or car'd;
     But thought I might hae waur offers, waur 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 cousin, Bess—
     Guess ye how, the jad! I could bear her, could bear her;
     Guess ye how, the jad! I could bear her.

     But a' the niest week, as I petted wi' care,
     I gaed to the tryst o' Dalgarnock;
     But wha but my fine fickle wooer was there,
     I glowr'd as I'd seen a warlock, a warlock,
     I glowr'd as I'd seen a warlock.

     But owre my left shouther I gae him a blink,
     Lest neibours might say I was saucy;
     My wooer he caper'd as he'd been in drink,
     And vow'd I was his dear lassie, dear lassie,
     And vow'd I was his dear lassie.

     I spier'd for my cousin fu' couthy and sweet,
     Gin she had recover'd her hearin',
     And how her new shoon fit her auld schachl't feet,
     But heavens! how he fell a swearin, a swearin,
     But heavens! how he fell a swearin.

     He begged, for gudesake, I wad be his wife,
     Or else I wad kill him wi' sorrow;
     So e'en to preserve the poor body in life,
     I think I maun wed him to-morrow, to-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 lassie,
     Fair tho, the lassie be;
     Weel ken I my ain lassie,
     Kind love is in her e're.

     I see a form, I see a face,
     Ye weel may wi' the fairest place;
     It wants, to me, the witching grace,
     The kind love that's in her e'e.
     This is no my ain, &c.

     She's bonie, blooming, straight, and tall,
     And lang has had my heart in thrall;
     And aye it charms my very saul,
     The kind love that's in her e'e.
     This is no my ain, &c.

     A thief sae pawkie is my Jean,
     To steal a blink, by a' unseen;
     But gleg as light are lover's een,
     When kind love is in her e'e.
     This is no my ain, &c.

     It may escape the courtly sparks,
     It may escape the learned clerks;
     But well the watching lover marks
     The kind love that's in her eye.
     This is no my ain, &c.




 

O Bonie Was Yon Rosy Brier

     O bonie was yon rosy brier,
     That blooms sae far frae haunt o' man;
     And bonie she, and ah, how dear!
     It shaded frae the e'enin sun.

     Yon rosebuds in the morning dew,
     How pure, amang the leaves sae green;
     But purer was the lover's vow
     They witness'd in their shade yestreen.

     All in its rude and prickly bower,
     That crimson rose, how sweet and fair;
     But love is far a sweeter flower,
     Amid life's thorny path o' care.

     The pathless, wild and wimpling burn,
     Wi' Chloris in my arms, be mine;
     And I the warld nor wish nor scorn,
     Its joys and griefs alike resign.




 

Song Inscribed To Alexander Cunningham

     Now spring has clad the grove in green,
     And strew'd the lea wi' flowers;
     The furrow'd, waving corn is seen
     Rejoice in fostering showers.
     While ilka thing in nature join
     Their sorrows to forego,
     O why thus all alone are mine
     The weary steps o' woe!

     The trout in yonder wimpling burn
     That glides, a silver dart,
     And, safe beneath the shady thorn,
     Defies the angler's art—
     My life was ance that careless stream,
     That wanton trout was I;
     But Love, wi' unrelenting beam,
     Has scorch'd my fountains dry.

     That little floweret's peaceful lot,
     In yonder cliff that grows,
     Which, save the linnet's flight, I wot,
     Nae ruder visit knows,
     Was mine, till Love has o'er me past,
     And blighted a' my bloom;
     And now, beneath the withering blast,
     My youth and joy consume.

     The waken'd lav'rock warbling springs,
     And climbs the early sky,
     Winnowing blythe his dewy wings
     In morning's rosy eye;
     As little reck'd I sorrow's power,
     Until the flowery snare
     O'witching Love, in luckless hour,
     Made me the thrall o' care.

     O had my fate been Greenland snows,
     Or Afric's burning zone,
     Wi'man and nature leagued my foes,
     So Peggy ne'er I'd known!
     The wretch whose doom is "Hope nae mair"
     What tongue his woes can tell;
     Within whase bosom, save Despair,
     Nae kinder spirits dwell.




 

O That's The Lassie O' My Heart

     Tune—"Morag."
     O wat ye wha that lo'es me
     And has my heart a-keeping?
     O sweet is she that lo'es me,
     As dews o' summer weeping,
     In tears the rosebuds steeping!

     Chorus—O that's the lassie o' my heart,
     My lassie ever dearer;
     O she's the queen o' womankind,
     And ne'er a ane to peer her.

     If thou shalt meet a lassie,
     In grace and beauty charming,
     That e'en thy chosen lassie,
     Erewhile thy breast sae warming,
     Had ne'er sic powers alarming;
     O that's the lassie, &c.

     If thou hadst heard her talking,
     And thy attention's plighted,
     That ilka body talking,
     But her, by thee is slighted,
     And thou art all delighted;
     O that's the lassie, &c.

     If thou hast met this Fair One,
     When frae her thou hast parted,
     If every other Fair One
     But her, thou hast deserted,
     And thou art broken-hearted,
     O that's the lassie o' my heart,
     My lassie ever dearer;
     O that's the queen o' womankind,
     And ne'er a ane to peer her.




 

Inscription

Written on the blank leaf of a copy of the last edition of my poems, presented to the Lady whom, in so many fictitious reveries of passion, but with the most ardent sentiments of real friendship, I have so often sung under the name of—"Chloris."^1

     'Tis Friendship's pledge, my young, fair Friend,
     Nor thou the gift refuse,
     Nor with unwilling ear attend
     The moralising Muse.

     Since thou, in all thy youth and charms,
     Must bid the world adieu,
     (A world 'gainst Peace in constant arms)
     To join the Friendly Few.

     Since, thy gay morn of life o'ercast,
     Chill came the tempest's lour;
     (And ne'er Misfortune's eastern blast
     Did nip a fairer flower.)

     Since life's gay scenes must charm no more,
     Still much is left behind,
     Still nobler wealth hast thou in store—
     The comforts of the mind!

     Thine is the self-approving glow,
     Of conscious Honour's part;
     And (dearest gift of Heaven below)
     Thine Friendship's truest heart.

     The joys refin'd of Sense and Taste,
     With every Muse to rove:
     And doubly were the Poet blest,
     These joys could he improve.
     R.B.

     [Footnote 1: Miss Lorimer.]




 

Fragment.—Leezie Lindsay

     Will ye go to the Hielands, Leezie Lindsay,
     Will ye go to the Hielands wi' me?
     Will ye go to the Hielands, Leezie Lindsay,
     My pride and my darling to be.




 

Fragment.—The Wren's Nest

     The Robin to the Wren's nest
     Cam keekin' in, cam keekin' in;
     O weel's me on your auld pow,
     Wad ye be in, wad ye be in?
     Thou's ne'er get leave to lie without,
     And I within, and I within,
     Sae lang's I hae an auld clout
     To rowe ye in, to rowe ye in.




 

News, Lassies, News

     There's news, lassies, news,
     Gude news I've to tell!
     There's a boatfu' o' lads
     Come to our town to sell.

     Chorus—The wean wants a cradle,
     And the cradle wants a cod:
     I'll no gang to my bed,
     Until I get a nod.

     Father, quo' she, Mither, quo she,
     Do what you can,
     I'll no gang to my bed,
     Until I get a man.
     The wean, &c.

     I hae as gude a craft rig
     As made o'yird and stane;
     And waly fa' the ley-crap,
     For I maun till'd again.
     The wean, &c.




 

Crowdie Ever Mair

     O that I had ne'er been married,
     I wad never had nae care,
     Now I've gotten wife an' weans,
     An' they cry "Crowdie" evermair.

     Chorus—Ance crowdie, twice crowdie,
     Three times crowdie in a day
     Gin ye crowdie ony mair,
     Ye'll crowdie a' my meal away.

     Waefu' Want and Hunger fley me,
     Glowrin' by the hallan en';
     Sair I fecht them at the door,
     But aye I'm eerie they come ben.
     Ance crowdie, &c.




 

Mally's Meek, Mally's Sweet

     Chorus—Mally's meek, Mally's sweet,
     Mally's modest and discreet;
     Mally's rare, Mally's fair,
     Mally's every way complete.

     As I was walking up the street,
     A barefit maid I chanc'd to meet;
     But O the road was very hard
     For that fair maiden's tender feet.
     Mally's meek, &c.

     It were mair meet that those fine feet
     Were weel laced up in silken shoon;
     An' 'twere more fit that she should sit
     Within yon chariot gilt aboon,
     Mally's meek, &c.

     Her yellow hair, beyond compare,
     Comes trinklin down her swan-like neck,
     And her two eyes, like stars in skies,
     Would keep a sinking ship frae wreck,
     Mally's meek, &c.




 

Jockey's Taen The Parting Kiss

     Air—"Bonie lass tak a man."
     Jockey's taen the parting kiss,
     O'er the mountains he is gane,
     And with him is a' my bliss,
     Nought but griefs with me remain,
     Spare my Love, ye winds that blaw,
     Plashy sleets and beating rain!
     Spare my Love, thou feath'ry snaw,
     Drifting o'er the frozen plain!

     When the shades of evening creep
     O'er the day's fair, gladsome e'e,
     Sound and safely may he sleep,
     Sweetly blythe his waukening be.
     He will think on her he loves,
     Fondly he'll repeat her name;
     For where'er he distant roves,
     Jockey's heart is still the same.




 

Verses To Collector Mitchell

     Friend of the Poet, tried and leal,
     Wha, wanting thee, might beg or steal;
     Alake, alake, the meikle deil
     Wi' a' his witches
     Are at it skelpin jig and reel,
     In my poor pouches?

     I modestly fu' fain wad hint it,
     That One—pound—one, I sairly want it;
     If wi' the hizzie down ye sent it,
     It would be kind;
     And while my heart wi' life-blood dunted,
     I'd bear't in mind.

     So may the Auld year gang out moanin'
     To see the New come laden, groanin',
     Wi' double plenty o'er the loanin',
     To thee and thine:
     Domestic peace and comforts crownin'
     The hale design.




 

Postscript

     Ye've heard this while how I've been lickit,
     And by fell Death was nearly nickit;
     Grim loon! he got me by the fecket,
     And sair me sheuk;
     But by gude luck I lap a wicket,
     And turn'd a neuk.

     But by that health, I've got a share o't,
     But by that life, I'm promis'd mair o't,
     My hale and wee, I'll tak a care o't,
     A tentier way;
     Then farewell folly, hide and hair o't,
     For ance and aye!




 




 

The Dean Of Faculty

     A New Ballad
     Tune—"The Dragon of Wantley."
     Dire was the hate at old Harlaw,
     That Scot to Scot did carry;
     And dire the discord Langside saw
     For beauteous, hapless Mary:
     But Scot to Scot ne'er met so hot,
     Or were more in fury seen, Sir,
     Than 'twixt Hal and Bob for the famous job,
     Who should be the Faculty's Dean, Sir.

     This Hal for genius, wit and lore,
     Among the first was number'd;
     But pious Bob, 'mid learning's store,
     Commandment the tenth remember'd:
     Yet simple Bob the victory got,
     And wan his heart's desire,
     Which shews that heaven can boil the pot,
     Tho' the devil piss in the fire.

     Squire Hal, besides, had in this case
     Pretensions rather brassy;
     For talents, to deserve a place,
     Are qualifications saucy.
     So their worships of the Faculty,
     Quite sick of merit's rudeness,
     Chose one who should owe it all, d'ye see,
     To their gratis grace and goodness.

     As once on Pisgah purg'd was the sight
     Of a son of Circumcision,
     So may be, on this Pisgah height,
     Bob's purblind mental vision—
     Nay, Bobby's mouth may be opened yet,
     Till for eloquence you hail him,
     And swear that he has the angel met
     That met the ass of Balaam.

     In your heretic sins may you live and die,
     Ye heretic Eight-and-Tairty!
     But accept, ye sublime Majority,
     My congratulations hearty.
     With your honours, as with a certain king,
     In your servants this is striking,
     The more incapacity they bring,
     The more they're to your liking.




 

Epistle To Colonel De Peyster

     My honor'd Colonel, deep I feel
     Your interest in the Poet's weal;
     Ah! now sma' heart hae I to speel
     The steep Parnassus,
     Surrounded thus by bolus pill,
     And potion glasses.

     O what a canty world were it,
     Would pain and care and sickness spare it;
     And Fortune favour worth and merit
     As they deserve;
     And aye rowth o' roast-beef and claret,
     Syne, wha wad starve?

     Dame Life, tho' fiction out may trick her,
     And in paste gems and frippery deck her;
     Oh! flickering, feeble, and unsicker
     I've found her still,
     Aye wavering like the willow-wicker,
     'Tween good and ill.

     Then that curst carmagnole, auld Satan,
     Watches like baudrons by a ratton
     Our sinfu' saul to get a claut on,
     Wi'felon ire;
     Syne, whip! his tail ye'll ne'er cast saut on,
     He's aff like fire.

     Ah Nick! ah Nick! it is na fair,
     First showing us the tempting ware,
     Bright wines, and bonie lasses rare,
     To put us daft
     Syne weave, unseen, thy spider snare
     O hell's damned waft.

     Poor Man, the flie, aft bizzes by,
     And aft, as chance he comes thee nigh,
     Thy damn'd auld elbow yeuks wi'joy
     And hellish pleasure!
     Already in thy fancy's eye,
     Thy sicker treasure.

     Soon, heels o'er gowdie, in he gangs,
     And, like a sheep-head on a tangs,
     Thy girning laugh enjoys his pangs,
     And murdering wrestle,
     As, dangling in the wind, he hangs,
     A gibbet's tassel.

     But lest you think I am uncivil
     To plague you with this draunting drivel,
     Abjuring a' intentions evil,
     I quat my pen,
     The Lord preserve us frae the devil!
     Amen! Amen!




 

A Lass Wi' A Tocher

     Tune—"Ballinamona Ora."
     Awa' wi' your witchcraft o' Beauty's alarms,
     The slender bit Beauty you grasp in your arms,
     O, gie me the lass that has acres o' charms,
     O, gie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms.

     Chorus—Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher,
     Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher;
     Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher;
     The nice yellow guineas for me.

     Your Beauty's a flower in the morning that blows,
     And withers the faster, the faster it grows:
     But the rapturous charm o' the bonie green knowes,
     Ilk spring they're new deckit wi' bonie white yowes.
     Then hey, for a lass, &c.

     And e'en when this Beauty your bosom hath blest
     The brightest o' Beauty may cloy when possess'd;
     But the sweet, yellow darlings wi' Geordie impress'd,
     The langer ye hae them, the mair they're carest.
     Then hey, for a lass, &c.




 

Heron Election Ballad, No. IV.

     The Trogger.
     Tune—"Buy Broom Besoms."
     Wha will buy my troggin, fine election ware,
     Broken trade o' Broughton, a' 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 renown,
     For 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 lining, Cardoness' head,
     Fine for a soger, a' the wale o' lead.
     Buy braw troggin, &c.

     Here's a little wadset, Buittle's scrap o' truth,
     Pawn'd in a gin-shop, quenching holy drouth.
     Buy braw troggin, &c.

     Here's an honest conscience might a prince adorn;
     Frae the downs o' Tinwald, so was never worn.
     Buy braw troggin, &c.

     Here's armorial bearings frae the manse o' Urr;
     The crest, a sour crab-apple, rotten 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 picture, like a bizzard gled,
     Pouncing poor Redcastle, sprawlin' 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 slack,
     Hornie'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 wine,
     Call a toast, a toast divine:
     Giveth me Poet's darling flame,
     Lovely Jessie be her name;
     Then thou mayest freely boast,
     Thou hast given a peerless toast.
     The Menagerie

     Talk not to me of savages,
     From Afric's burning sun;
     No savage e'er could rend my heart,
     As Jessie, thou hast done:
     But Jessie's lovely hand in mine,
     A mutual faith to plight,
     Not even to view the heavenly choir,
     Would be so blest a sight.
     Jessie's illness

     Say, sages, what's the charm on earth
     Can turn Death's dart aside!
     It is not purity and worth,
     Else Jessie had not died.
     On Her Recovery

     But rarely seen since Nature's birth,
     The natives of the sky;
     Yet still one seraph's left on earth,
     For Jessie did not die.




 

O Lay Thy Loof In Mine, Lass

     Chorus—O lay thy loof in mine, lass,
     In mine, lass, in mine, lass;
     And swear on thy white hand, lass,
     That thou wilt be my ain.

     A slave to Love's unbounded sway,
     He aft has wrought me meikle wae;
     But now he is my deadly fae,
     Unless thou be my ain.
     O lay thy loof, &c.

     There's mony a lass has broke my rest,
     That for a blink I hae lo'ed best;
     But thou art Queen within my breast,
     For ever to remain.
     O lay thy loof, &c.




 

A Health To Ane I Loe Dear

     Chorus—Here's a health to ane I loe dear,
     Here's a health to ane I loe dear;
     Thou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meet,
     And soft as their parting tear—Jessy.

     Altho' thou maun never be mine,
     Altho' even hope is denied;
     'Tis sweeter for thee despairing,
     Than ought in the world beside—Jessy.
     Here's a health, &c.

     I mourn thro' the gay, gaudy day,
     As hopeless I muse on thy charms;
     But welcome the dream o' sweet slumber,
     For then I am lockt in thine arms—Jessy.
     Here's a health, &c.

     I guess by the dear angel smile,
     I guess by the love-rolling e'e;
     But why urge the tender confession,
     'Gainst Fortune's fell, cruel decree?—Jessy.
     Here's a health, &c.




 

O Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast

     O wert thou in the cauld blast,
     On yonder lea, on yonder lea,
     My plaidie to the angry airt,
     I'd shelter thee, I'd shelter thee;
     Or did Misfortune's bitter storms
     Around thee blaw, around thee blaw,
     Thy bield should be my bosom,
     To share it a', to share it a'.

     Or were I in the wildest waste,
     Sae black and bare, sae black and bare,
     The desert were a Paradise,
     If thou wert there, if thou wert there;
     Or were I Monarch o' the globe,
     Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign,
     The brightest jewel in my Crown
     Wad be my Queen, wad be my Queen.




 

Inscription To Miss Jessy Lewars

On a copy of the Scots Musical Museum, in four volumes, presented to her by Burns. ^1

     Thine be the volumes, Jessy fair,
     And with them take the Poet's prayer,
     That Fate may, in her fairest page,
     With ev'ry kindliest, best presage
     Of future bliss, enroll thy name:
     With native worth and spotless fame,
     And wakeful caution, still aware
     Of ill—but chief, Man's felon snare;

     All blameless joys on earth we find,
     And all the treasures of the mind—
     These be thy guardian and reward;
     So prays thy faithful friend, the Bard.

     Dumfries, June 26, 1769.

     [Footnote 1: Written for music played by Miss Lewars, who
     nursed him in his last illness.]




 

Fairest Maid On Devon Banks

     Tune—'Rothiemurchie."
     Chorus—Fairest maid on Devon banks,
     Crystal Devon, winding Devon,
     Wilt thou lay that frown aside,
     And smile as thou wert wont to do?

     Full well thou know'st I love thee dear,
     Couldst thou to malice lend an ear!
     O did not Love exclaim: "Forbear,
     Nor use a faithful lover so."
     Fairest maid, &c.

     Then come, thou fairest of the fair,
     Those wonted smiles, O let me share;
     And by thy beauteous self I swear,
     No love but thine my heart shall know.
     Fairest maid, &c.
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

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