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By this, the sun was out o' sight, An'darker gloaming brought the night! The bum-clock humm’d wi' lazy drone; The kye stood rowtin i’ the loan; When up they gat, and shook their lugs, Rejoiced they were na men but dogs ; An' cach took aff his several way, Resolved to meet some ither day.
DEATH AND DR. HORNBOOK.
A TRUE STORY.
Some books are lies frae end to end,
In holy rapture,
And nail't wi’ Scripture. But this that I am gaun to tell, Which lately on a night befell, Is just as true's the deil's in h-11
Or Dublin city :
'S a muckle pity.
To free the ditches;
Frae ghaists an’ witches. The rising moon began to glow'r The distant Cumnock hills out-owre: To count her horns, wi'a' my power,
I set mysel;
I cou'd na tell.
To keep me sicker :
I took a bicker.
Lay, large an’ lang.
And then, its shanks,
As cheeks o’ branks. “Guid-e'en,” quo’I;“ Friend ! hae ye been mawin When ither folk are busy sawin ?""* It seem'd to mak a kind o'stan',
But naething spak; At length, says I,“ Friend, whare ye gaun,
Will ye go back ??”
“ See, here's a sithe, and there's a dart, They hae pierced mony a gallant heart; But Doctor Hornbook, wi’his art,
And cursed skill, Has made them baith not worth a f-t,
Damn'd haet they'll kill.
“ 'Twas but yestreen, nae further gaen, I threw a noble throw at ane; Wi’ less, I'm sure, I've hundreds slain ;
But deil-ma-care, It just play'd dirl on the bane,
But did nae mair. “ Hornbook was by, wi’ ready art, And had sae fortified the part, That when I looked to my dart,
It was sae blunt, Fient haet o't wad hae pierced the heart
Of a kail-runt.
* An epidemical fever was then raging in that country.
+ This gentleman, Dr. Hornbook, is professionally, a brother of the sovereign order of the ferula; but, by intuition and inspiration, is at once an apothecary, surgeon, and physician.
Buchan's Domestic Medicine.
* This rencounter happened in seed-time, 1785.
“ E'en them he canna get attended, Alto' their face he ne'er had kend it, Just - in a kail-blade, and send it,
As soon he smells't,
At once he tells't. .
He's sure to hae;
As A B C.
He has't in plenty;
He can content ye.
Distillid per se;
And monie mae.”
Sae white and bonnie,
They'll ruin Johnie!”
Tak ye nae fear:
In twa-three year.
That Hornbook's skill
By drap an' pill. “ An honest wabster to his trade, Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce wee bred, Gat tippence-worth to mend her head
When it was sair;
But ne'er spak mair.
An' pays him well.
Was laird himsel.
The simple bard, rough at the rustic plough,
bush; | The soaring lark, the perching red-breast shrill, Or deep-toned plovers gray, 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 steeld, 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 generous care he trace, Skill'd in the secret, to bestow with grace; When B********* 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; Potato-bings are snugged up frae skaith | Of coming winter's biting, frosty breath ;
* The grave-digger.
The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer toils,
I doubt na, frien', ye'll think ye're nae sheep shank, Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er the weak,
Ance ye were streekit o'er frae bank to bank; The death o' devils smoor'd wi' brimstone reek :
But gin ye be a brig as auld as me, The thundering guns are heard on every side,
Though faith that day, I doubt, ye'll never see, The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide;
There'll be, if that date come, I'll wad a boddle, The feather'd field-mates, bound by nature's tie. Some fewer whigmeleeries in your noddle. Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie:
NEW BRIG. (What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds, And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds!)
Auld Vandal, ye but show your little mense, Nae mair the flower in field or meadow springs;
Just much about it wi’ your scanty sense; Nae mair the grove with airy concert rings,
Will your poor, narrow footpath of a street, Except, perhaps, the robin's whistling glee,
Where twa wheelbarrows tremble when they meet, Proud o' the height o' some bit half-lang tree :
Your ruin'd, formless bulk o'stane an' lime, The hoary morns precede the sunny days,
Compare wi' bonnie brigs o' modern time? Mild, calm, serene, wide spreads the noontide
There's men o'taste would tak the Ducat-stream,* blaze,
Though they should cast the very sark an' swim, While thick the gossamer waves wanton in the rays.
Ere they would grate their feelings wi' the view 'Twas in that season, when a simple bard,
Of sic an ugly Gothic hulk as you.
Conceited gowk ! puff?d up wi' windy pride! He left his bed, and took his wayward route,
This monie a year I've stood the flood an' tide ; And down by Simpson's* wheel’d the left about :
And though wi' crazy eild I'm sair forfairn, (Whether impell’d by all-directing fate,
I'll be a brig when ye're a shapeless cairn ! To witness what I after shall narrate;
As yet ye little ken about the matter, Or whether, rapt in meditation high,
But twa-three winters will inform you better, He wander'd out, he knew not where nor why ;)
When heavy, dark, continued, a'-day rains, The drowsy dungeon-clockt had number'd two,
Wi’ deepening deluges o'erflow the plains; And Wallace towert had sworn the fact was true:
When from the hills where springs the brawling Coil, The tide-swoln Firth with sullen sounding roar,
Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil, Through the still night dash'd hoarse along the shore:
Or where the Greenock winds his moorland course, All else was hush'd as nature's closed e'e ;
Or haunted Garpalt draws his feeble source, The silent moon shone high o'er tower and tree :
Aroused by blustering winds an’ spotting thowes, The chilly frost, beneath the silver beam,
In mony a torrent down his sna-broo rowes; Crept, gently crusting, o'er the glittering stream.
While crashing ice, borne on the roaring speat, When, lo! on either hand the listening bard,
Sweeps dams, an' mills, an' brigs, a' to the gate; The clanging sugh of whistling wings is heard;
And from Glenbuck, down to the Rotton-key, Two dusky forms dart through the midnight air,
| Auld Ayr is just one lengthen'd, tumbling sea; Swift as the gost drives on the wheeling hare ;
Then down ye hurl, deil nor ye never rise ! Ane on th' auld brig his airy shape uprears,
And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring skies: The ither flutters o'er the rising piers :
A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost, Our warlock rhymer instantly descried
That architecture's noble art is lost! The sprites that owre the brigs of Ayr preside.
NEW BRIG. (That bards are second-sighted is nae joke, And ken the lingo of the spiritual fo’k;
Fine architecture! trowth, I needs must sayt o't, Fays, spunkies, kelpies, a', they can explain them, | The L-d be thankit that we've tint the gate o't! And e'en the very deils they brawly ken them.)
Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices,
O’er arching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring coves,
Windows and doors, in nameless sculpture drest, New Brig was buskit in a braw new coat,
With order, symmetry, or taste unblest; That he, at Lon'on, frae ane Adams got:
Forms like some bedlam statuary's dream, In's hand five taper staves as smooth's a bead,
The crazed creations of misguided whim ; Wi' virls and whirlygigums at the head.
Forms might be worshipp'd on the bended knee, The Goth was stalking round with anxious search,
And still the second dread command be free; Spying the time-worn flaws in every arch ;
Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, or sea. It chanced his new-come neebor took his e'e, And e'en a vex'd and angry heart had he!
* A noted ford, just above the auld brig. Wi' thieveless sneer to see his modish mien,
+ The banks of Garpal Water is one of the few places He, down the water, gies him this guideen :
in the west of Scotland, where those fancy-scaring beings, known by the name of ghaists, still continue pertina
ciously to inhabit. * A noted tavern at the auld brig end.
The source of the river Ayr. + The two steeples. The gos-hawk, or falcon. A small landing place above the large key.
Mansions that would disgrace the building taste Jo had M‘Lauchlan,* thairm-inspiring sage,
Been there to hear this heavenly band engage, Fit only for a doited monkish race,
When through his dear strathspeys they bore with Or frosty maids forsworn the dear embrace,
highland rage ; Or cuifs of later times, wha held the notion Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs, That sullen gloom was sterling, true devotion; The lover's raptured joys or bleeding cares ; Fancies that our guid brugh denies protection, How would his highland lug been nobler fired, And soon may they expire, unblest with resurrec And e'en his matchless hand with finer touch intion !
spired! AULD BRIG.
No guess could tell what instrument appear’d, O ye, my dear-remember'd, ancient yealings, But all the soul of music's self was heard ; Were ye but here to share my wounded feelings ! Harmonious concert rung in every part, Ye worthy proveses, an' mony a bailie,
While simple melody pour'd moving on the heart. Wha in the paths o' righteousness did toil aye;
| The genius of the stream in front appears, Ye dainty deacons, and ye douce conveners,
A venerable chief advanced in years ; To whom our moderns are but causey-cleaners;
His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd, Ye godly councils wha hae blest this town,
His manly leg with garter tangle bound. Ye godly brethren of the sacred gown,
Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring, Wha meekly gie your hurdies to the smiters ;
Sweet female beauty hand in hand with spring; And(what would now be strange) ye godly writers:
Then, crown'd with flowery hay, came rural joy, A' ye douce folk I've borne aboon the broo,
And summer, with his fervid-beaming eye : Were ye but here, what would ye say or do ?
All-cheering plenty, with her Aowing horn, How would your spirits groan in deep vexation,
Led yellow autumn wreathed with nodding corn ; To see each melancholy alteration ;
Then winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary show, And, agonizing, curse the time and place
By hospitality with cloudless brow. When ye begat the base, degenerate race!
Next follow'd courage with his martial stride, Nae langer reverend men, their country's glory,
From where the feal wild-woody coverts hide ; In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid story;
Benevolence, with mild, benignant air, Nae langer thrifty citizens, an' douce,
A female form, came from the towers of Stair : Meet owre a pint, or in the council-house;
Learning and worth in equal measures trode But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless gentry,
From simple Catrine, their long-loved abode : The herryment and ruin of the country ;
Last, white-robed peace, crownd with a hazel Men, three parts made by tailors and by barbers,
wreath, Wha waste your well-hain'd gear on d-d new
To rustic agriculture did bequeath
The broken iron instruments of death,
At sight of whom our sprites forgat their kindling Now haud you there! for faith ye’ve said enough,
THE DEATH AND DYING WORDS OF POOR But under favour o’ your langer beard,
THE AUTHOR'S ONLY PET YOWE.
AN UNCO MOURNFU' TALE,
As Mailie an' her lambs thegither
Were ae day nibbling on the tether, In all the pomp of ignorant conceit;
Upon her cloot she coost a hitch, Men wha grew wise priggin owre hops an' raisins,
An’owre she warsl'd in the ditch. Or gather'd liberal views in bonds and seisins.
There, groaning, dying, she did lie, If haply knowledge, on a random tramp,
When Hughoct he cam doytin by. Had shored them with a glimmer of his lamp,
Wi' glowrin een, and lifted hans, Andwould to common sense for once betray'd them,
Poor Hughoc like a statue stans; Plain, dull stupidity stept kindly in to aid them.
He saw her days were near-hand ended.
But, waes my heart! he could na mend it ! What farther clishmaclaver might been said, He gaped wide, but naething spak! What bloody wars, if sprites had blood to shed, At length poor Mailie silence brak. No man can tell: but, all before their sight,
“O thou, whase lamentable face A fairy train appear'd in order bright:
Appears to mourn my woefu' case ! Adown the glittering stream they featly danced,
My dying words attentive hear,
An' bear them to my master dear.
* A well known performer of Scottish music on tho While arts of minstrelsy among them rung, violin. And soul-ennobling bards heroic ditties sung.
A neebor herd-callan.