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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 mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd mony a bonnie 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 kenn'd thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
Wi’ twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever graced 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 bewitch'd,
And thought his very een enrich’d;
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidged 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 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 * o' the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they darena cross.
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 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, tak heed: Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, Or cutty-sarks run in your mind, Think, ye may buy the joys owre dear, Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare. BURNS.
* It is a well known fact, that witches, or any evil spirits, have no power to follow a poor wight any farther than the middle of the next running stream. It may be proper like. wise to mention to the benighted traveller, i hat when he falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much' more hazard in turniog back.
AN ALLEGORY ON MAN. A THOUGHTFUL being, long and spare, Our race of mortals call him Care (Were Homer living, well he knew What name the gods have call’d him too); With fine mechanic genius wrought, And loved to work, though no one bought.
This being by a model bred
In Jove's eternal sable head,
Contrived a shape impower'd to breathe,
And be the worldling here beneath.
The man rose staring, like a stake;
Wondering to see himself awake!
Then look'd so wise, before he knew
The business he was made to do,
That, pleased to see with what a grace
He gravely show'd his forward face,
Jove talk'd of breeding him on high,
An under-something of the sky.
But ere he gave the mighty nod,
Which ever binds a poet's god
(For which his curls ambrosial shake,
And mother Earth’s obliged to quake),
He saw old mother Earth arise,
She stood confess'd before his eyes;
But not with what we read she wore,
A castle for a crown before,
Nor with long streets and longer roads
Dangling behind her, like commodes :
As yet with wreaths alone she dress'd!
And trail'd a landscape-painted vest.
Then thrice she raised, as Ovid said,
And thrice she bow'd her weighty head.
Her honours made,' Great Jove! (she cried)
This thing was fashion’d from my side ;
His hands, his heart, his head are mine;
Then what hast thou to call him thine ?'
• Nay, rather ask (the monarch said)
What boots his hand, bis heart, his head,
Were what I gave removed away?
Thy part's an idle shape of clay.'
• Halves, more than halves! (cried honest Care)
Your pleas would make your titles fair;
You claim the body, you the soul,
But I, who join'd them, claim the whole.'
Thus with the gods debate began,
On such a trivial cause as Man.
And can celestial tempers rage ?
Quoth Virgil, in a later age.
As thus they wrangled, Time came by ;
(There's none that paint him such as I,
For what the fabling ancients sung,
Makes Saturn old, when Time was young.)
As yet his winters had not shed
Their silver honours on his head ;
He just had got his pinions free,
From his old sire Eternity.
A serpent girdled round he wore,
The tail within the mouth, before;
By which our almanacks are clear
That learned Egypt meant the year.
A staff he carried, where on high
A glass was fix'd to measure by,
As amber boxes made a show
For heads of canes an age ago.
His vest, for day and night, was pied ;
A bending sickle arm'd his side;
And Spring's new months his train adorn!
The other Seasons were unborn.
Known by the gods, as near he draws,
They make him umpire of the cause.
O'er a low trunk his arm he laid,
Where since his hours a dial made;
Then leaning heard the nice debate,
And thus pronounced the words of Fate :-
• Since body from the parent Earth,
And soul from Jove received a birth,
Return they where they first began;
But since their union makes the Man,
Till Jove and Earth shall part these two,
To Care who join'd them, Man is due.'
He said, and sprung with swift career
To trace a circle for the year;
Where ever since the Seasons wheel,
And tread on one another's heel.
< 'Tis well (said Jove), and for consent
Thundering he shook the firmament.
Our umpire Time shall have his way,
With Care I let the creature stay :
Let business vex him, avarice blind,
Let doubt and knowledge rack his mind,
Let error act, opinion speak,
And want afflict, and sickness break,
And anger burn, dejection chill,
And joy distract, and sorrow kill.
Till, arm'd by Care, and taught to mow,
Time draws the long destructive blow;
And wasted Man, whose quick decay
Comes hurrying on before his day,
Shall only find by this decree,
The soul flies sooner back to me.' PARNELL.