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O happy is that man an' blest
(Nae wonder that it pride him!)
Wha's ain dear lass, that he likes best,
Comes clinkin down beside him!
Wi' arm reposed on the chair-back,
He sweetly does compose him;
Which, by degrees, slips round her neck,
An's loof upon her bosom,
Unkend that day.
Now a' the congregation o'er
Is silent expectation;
For Moodie speels the holy door
Wi' tidings o' damnation.
Should Hornie, as in ancient days,
'Mang sons o' God present him,
The vera sight o' Moodie's face
To's ain het hame had sent him
Wi' fright that day.
Hear how he clears the points o' faith
Wi' rattlin an wi' thumpin!
Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
He's stampin an' he's jumpin!
His lengthened chin, his turned-up snout,
His eldritch squeel an' gestures,
O how they fire the heart devout-
Like cantharidian plaisters,
On sic a day!
But hark! the tent has changed its voice;
There's peace an' rest nae langer;
For a' the real judges rise,
They canna sit for anger:
Smith opens out his cauld harangues
On practice and on morals;
An' aff the godly pour in thrangs,
To gie the jars an' barrels
A lift that day.
What signifies his barren shine
Of moral pow'rs an' reason?
His English style an' gesture fine
Are a' clean out o' season.
Like Socrates or Antonine,
Or some auld pagan heathen,
The moral man he does define,
But ne'er a word o' faith in
In guid time comes an antidote
Against sic poisoned nostrum;
For Peebles, frae the water-fit,
Ascends the holy rostrum:
See, up he's got the word o' God,
An' meek an' mim has viewed it,
While Common Sense has taen the road,
An' aff, an' up the Cowgate
Fast, fast that day.
Wee Miller niest the guard relieves,
An' orthodoxy raibles,
Tho' in his heart he weel believes
An' thinks it auld wives' fables;
But faith! the birkie wants a manse,
So cannilie he hums them,
Altho' his carnal wit an' sense
Like hafflins-wise o'ercomes him
At times that day.
Now butt an' ben the change-house fills
Wi' yill-caup commentators;
Here's crying out for bakes an' gills,
An' there the pint-stowp clatters;
While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang,
Wi' logic an' wi' Scripture,
They raise a din that in the end
Is like to breed a rupture
Leeze me on drink! it gies us mair
Than either school or college;
It kindles wit, it waukens lear,
It pangs us fou o' knowledge.
Be't whisky-gill or penny-wheep,
Or onie stronger potion,
It never fails, on drinkin deep,
To kittle up our notion,
The lads an' lasses, blythely bent
To mind baith saul an' body, Sit round the table weel content,
An' steer about the toddy.
On this ane's dress an' that ane's leuk
They're makin observations;
While some are cozie i' the neuk,
An' formin assignations
To meet some day.
But now the Lord's ain trumpet touts,
Till a' the hills are rairin,
And echoes back return the shouts;
Black Russell is na spairin:
His piercin words, like Highlan' swords,
Divide the joints an' marrow;
His talk o' hell, where devils dwell,
Our verra "sauls does harrow"
Wi' fright that day.
A vast, unbottomed, boundless pit,
Filled fou o' lowin brunstane,
Whase ragin flame an' scorchin heat
Wad melt the hardest whun-stane!
The half-asleep start up wi' fear,
An' think they hear it roarin,
When presently it does appear
'T was but some neebor snorin,
Asleep that day.
'T wad be owre lang a tale to tell
How monie stories passed,
An' how they crouded to the yill,
When they were a' dismist;
How drink gaed round in cogs an' caups,
Amang the furms an' benches,
An' cheese an' bread, frae women's laps,
Was dealt about in lunches
An' dawds that day.
In comes a gausie, gash guidwife,
An' sits down by the fire,
Syne draws her kebbuck an' her knife;
The lasses they are shyer;
The auld guidmen about the grace
Frae side to side they bother,
Till some ane by his bonnet lays
And gi'es them 't, like a tether,
Fu' lang that day.
Waesucks for him that gets nae lass,
Or lasses that hae naething!
Sma' need has he to say a grace,
Or melvie his braw claithing!
O wives, be mindfu', ance yoursel
How bonie lads ye wanted,
An' dinna for a kebbuck-heel
Let lasses be affronted
On sic a day!
Now Clinkumbell, wi' rattlin tow,
Begins to jow an' croon;
Some swagger hame the best they dow,
Some wait the afternoon.
At slaps the billies halt a blink,
Till lasses strip their shoon;
Wi' faith an' hope, an' love an' drink,
They're a' in famous tune
How monie hearts this day converts
O' sinners and o' lasses!
Their hearts o' stane, gin night, are gane
As saft as onie flesh is.
There's some are fou o' love divine,
There's some are fou o' brandy;
An' monie jobs that day begin,
May end in houghmagandie
Some ither day.
THE TWA DOGS
'T was in that place o' Scotland's isle
That bears the name of auld King Coil,
Upon a bonie day in June,
When wearing thro' the afternoon,
Twa dogs, that were na thrang at hame,
Forgathered ance upon a time.
The first I'll name, they ca'd him Cæsar,
Was keepit for "his Honour's" pleasure;
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,
Shewed he was nane o' Scotland's dogs,
But whalpit some place far abroad,
Whare sailors gang to fish for cod.
His locked, lettered, braw brass collar
Shewed him the gentleman an' scholar:
But tho' he was o' high degree,
The fient a pride, nae pride had he,
But wad hae spent an hour caressin
Ev'n wi' a tinkler-gipsy's messin;
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie,
Nae tawted tyke, tho' e'er sae duddie,
But he wad stan't, as glad to see him,
An' stroan't on stanes and hillocks wi' him.
The tither was a ploughman's collie,
A rhyming, ranting, raving billie,
Wha for his friend an' comrade had him,
And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him,
After some dog in Highland sang,
Was made lang syne-Lord knows how lang.