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A daimen icker in a thrave
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, 's a sma request :
High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield, I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
But thou, beneath the random bield,
O'clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field,
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless Maid,
Sweet floweret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betray'd,
And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soil'd is laid
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple Bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard, But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
And whelm him o'er!
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n, An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain,
By human pride or cunning driv'n,
To mis’ry's brink,
Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n, Still thou art blest, compard wi' me!
He, rujn'd, siok! The present only toircheth thee:
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate, But, och! I backward cast my e'e
That fate is thine no distant date;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom!
ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH, IN
TAM O' SHANTER.
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thy slender stem;
Thou bonie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet, The bonie lark, companion meet! Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,
Wi' spreckled breast,
The purpling east.
Amid the storm,
Thy lender form.
Of Brownyis and of Bogilis full is this Buke,
This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
O Tam! hads't thou but been sae wise,
Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg,
A better never lifted leg,
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
Whyles holding fast his guid blue bonnet;
Whyles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet; That ilka melder, wi’ the miller,
Whyles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares ;
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
By this time he was cross the ford,
Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd ;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
And through the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars through the woods ;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll;
When, glimmering through the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze ;
Through 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 Deil's 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, vow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillion 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 screwed the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof an' rafters a' did dirl.
Coffins stood round like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some devilish cantrip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light,-
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the baly table,
Twa span lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief, new cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomabawks, wi' bluid red-rusted;
Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted ;
Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The grey hairs yet stack to the hef: ;
Three lawyers' tongues turn'd inside out,
So Maggie runs, the witches follow, Wi' lies seam'd like a beggar's clout,
Wi' monie an eldritch skreech and hollow, And priests' hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin! Lay, stinking, vile, in every neuk.
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin! Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin! Which ev'n to name wad be unlawfu'.
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman! As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious, Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious :
And win the key-stane of the brig; The piper loud and louder blew ;
There at them thou thy tail may toss, The dancers quick and quicker flew;
A running stream they dare na cross. They reelid, they set, they cross'd, they cleckit, But ere the key-stane she could make, Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
The fient a tail she had to shake! And coost her duddies to the wark,
For Nannie, far before the rest, And linket at it in her sark!
Hard upon noble Maggie prest, Now Tam, O Tam! had they been queans,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle; A'plump and strapping in their teens ;
But little wist she Maggie's mettleTheir sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,
Ae spring brought aff her master hale, Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen!
But left behind her ain grey tail: Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
The carlin claught her by the rump, That ance were plush, o'guid blue hair,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump. I wad hae gi'en them aff my hurdies,
Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, For ae blink o' the bonie burdies !
Ilk man and mother's son take heed: But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Whene'er to drink you are inclind,
Or Cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear,
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.
As I stood by yon roofless tower, And perish'd monie a bonie boat,
Where the wa'-flower scents the dewy air, And shook baith meikle corn and beer,
Where the howlet mouros in her ivy bower, And kept the country-side in fear),
And tells the midnight moon her care: Her cutty-sark o' Paisley harn, That while a lassie she had worn,
The winds were laid, the air was still, In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
The stars they shot alang the sky; It was her best, and she was vauntie.
The fox was howling on the hill, Ah ! little kenn'd thy reverend grannie,
And the distant-echoing glens reply. That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
The stream, adown its hazelly path, Wi' twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches),
Was rushing by the ruin'd wa's, Wad ever grac'd a dance o' witches!
Hasting to join the sweeping Nith, But here my Muse her wing maun cow'r;
Whase distant roaring swells and fa's. Sic fights are far beyond her pow'r! To sing how Nannie lap and fang,
The cauld blue north was streaming forth (A souple jad she was and strang)
Her lights, wi' hissing eerie din ; And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'd,
Athort the lift they start and shift,
Like fortune's favours tint as win.
By heedless chance I turn'd my eyes,
And, by the moonbeam, shook, to see Tam tint his reason a' thegither,
A stern and stalwart ghaist arise, And roars out,“ Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
Attir'd as minstrels wont to be. And in an instant a' was dark:
Had I a statue been o'stane, And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
His darin look had daunted me; When out the hellish legion sallied,
And on his bonnet gravid was plain,
The sacred posy-LIBERTIE!
And frae his harp sic strains did flow,
Might rous'd the slumbering dead to hear; As eager runs the market-crowd,
But oh it was a tale of woe, When, “ Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
As ever inet a Briton's ear!
If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shown! But what he said it was nae play,
A thought ungentle canna be I winna ventur't in my rhymes.
The thought o' Mary Morison.
TUNE_" Bide ye yet." O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour! Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser's treasure poor: How blithely wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun;
The lovely Mary Morison.
The dance gaed through the lighted ha', To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard nor saw : Though this was fair, and that was braw,
And yon the toast of a' the town, I sigh’d, and said amang them a',
“ Ye are na Mary Morison." O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die? Or çanst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee?
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,
GREEN GROW THE RASHES. The hearts o' men adore thee. The Deil he could na scaith thee, Or aught that wad belang thee;
Green grow the rashes, O!
Green grow the rashes, O!
The sweetest hours that e'er I spent,
Are spent amang the lasses, O!
There's nought but care on ev'ry han'
In ev'ry hour that passes, 0;
What signifies the life o' man
An 'twere na for the lasses, 0?
Green grow, &c,
The warly race may riches chace,
An' riches still may fly them, O;
An' tho' at last they catch them fast,
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, O!
Green grow, &c.
But gie me a cannie hour at e'en,
My arms about my dearie, 0;
An' warly cars, an' warly men,
Green grow, &c.
For you sae douse, ye sneer at this, Although even hope is denied;
Ye're nought but senseless asses, 0; 'Tis sweeter for thee despairing,
The wisest man the warl e'er saw,
He dearly lov'd the lasses, 0.
Green grow, &c.
Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears As hopeless I muse on thy charms;
Her noblest work she classes, O: But welcome the dream o'sweet slumber,
Her 'prentice han’ she tried on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.
Green grow, &c.
guess by the love-rolling e'e; But why urge the tender confession
CALEDONIA. 'Gainst Fortune's fell cruel decree-Jessy!
TUNE_"Humours of Glen."
Their groves of sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon,
Where bright-beaming summers exalt the perLOVELY JEAN.
fume, TUNE_" Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey." Far dearer to me yon lone glen o'green breckan, Of a' the arts the wind can blaw,
Wi’the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom. I dearly like the west, For there the bonie lassie lives,
Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers,
Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly unseen: The lassie I lo'e best : There wild woods grow, and rivers row,
For there lightly tripping amang the wild flowers, And monie a hill between ;
A-listening the linnet aft wanders my Jean. But day and night my fancy's flight
Tho' rich is the breeze in their gay sunny valleys, Is ever wi' my Jean.
And cauld Caledonia's blast on the wave: I sce her in the dewy flowers,
Their sweet-scented woodlands that skirt the proud I see her sweet and fair:
palace, I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
What are they? The hauntof the tyrant and slave. I hear her charm the air:
The slave's spicy forests, and gold-bubbling foun There's not a bonie flower that springs
tains, By fountain, shaw, or green ;
The brave Caledonian views with disdain ; There's not a bonie bird that sings,
He wanders as free as the winds of his mountains, But ininds me o' my Jean.
Save love's willing fetters, the chains o' his Jean.