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Three lawyers' tongues turn’d inside out, Wi’ lies seam'd like a beggar's clout, And priests' hearts, rotten, black as muck, Lay, stinking, vile, in every neuk. Wi’ mair o' horrible and awfu', Which ev'n 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 ; They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleckit, Till ilka carlin swat and reekit, And coost her duddies to the wark, And linket 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 flannen, Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen ' Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair, That ance were plush, o' guid blue hair, I wad hae gi'en them aff my hurdies, For ae blink o' the bonie burdies' But wither'd beldams, auld and droll, Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal, Lowping an' flinging on a crummock, I wonder didna turn thy stomach. But Tam kenn'd what was what fu' brawlie, There was ae winsome wench and walie, That night inlisted in the core (Lang after kenn'd on Carrick shore! For monie a beast to dead she shot, And perish'd monie a bonie boat, And shook baith meikle corn and beer, 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 kenn'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 o' witches! But here my Muse her wing maun cow'r; Sic flights are far beyond her pow'r? To sing how Nannie lap and flang, (A souple jad she was and strang) And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'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 a' 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' monie an eldritch skreech 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-stane of the brig: There at them thou thy tail may toss, A running stream they dare macross. But ere the key-stane 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 aff her masterhale, But left behind her ain grey tail: The carlin claught her by the rump, And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.