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That auld, capricious carlin, Nature, To mak amends for scrimpit stature, She's turn'd you aff, a human ereature
On her first plan, And in her freaks, on every feature,
She's wrote, the Man. Just now I've ta’en the fit o'rhyme, My barmie noddle's working prime, My fancy yerkit up sublime
Wi' hasty summon : Hae ye a leisure-moment's time
To hear what's comin?
Some rhyme, a neebor's name to lash; Some rhyme (vain thought !) for needfu' cash : Some rhyme to court the kintra clash,
An' raise a din;
I rhyme for fun.
But in requit,
The magic-wand then let us wield; For ance that five-an’-forty's speeld, See crazy, weary, joyless eild,
Wi'wrinkled face, Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field,
Wi' crepin pace. When ance life's day draws near the gloamin, Then fareweel vacant careless roamin; An' fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamin,
An' social noise ;
The joy of joys!
We frisk away,
To joy and play.
Among the leaves;
Short while it grieves
But care or pain ;
With high disdain. With steady aim, some fortune chase; Keen hope does every sinew brace; Through fair, through foul, they urge the race,
And seize the prey : Then cannie, in some cozie place,
They close the day. And others, like your humble servan', Poor wights ! nae rules nor roads observin; To right or left, eternal swervin,
They zig-zag on;
They aften groan.
E’en let her gang!
Let's sing our sang.
This while my notion's ta’en a sklent,
Something cries, “ Hoolie !" I red you, honest man, tak tent!
Ye'll shaw your folly.
A' future ages;
Their unknown pages.”
Are whistling thrang,
My rustic sang.
Then, all unknown,
Forgot and gone !
Heave care o’er side!
Let's tak the tide.
That wielded right,
Dance by fu’ light.
My pen I here fling to the door, And kneel, “ Ye Powers !” and warm implore, “ Though I should wander terra o’er,
In all her climes, Grant me but this, I ask no more,
Aye rowth o'rhymes.
“Gie dreeping roasts to kintra lairds, Till icicles hing frae their beards; Gie fine braw claes to fine life-guards,
And maids of honour, And yill an’ whisky gie to cairds,
Until they sconner.
For me, before a monarch's face,
E’en there I winna flatter ;
Am I your humble debtor :
Your kingship to bespatter;
Than you this day.
Hae hair-brain'd, sentimental traces
Ye never stray,
Ye hum away. Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise ; Nae ferly though ye do despise The hairum-scarum, ram-stam boys,
The rattlin squad: I see you upward cast your eyes,
-Ye ken the road. Whilst I—but I shall haud me thereWi’ you I'll scarce gang onywhere Then, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,
But quat my sang, Content wi' you to mak a pair,
Whare'er I gang.
Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute blames with
reason; But surely dreams were ne'er indicted treason.
VI. And now ye've gien auld Britain peace,
Her broken shins to plaster,
Till she has scarce a tester;
Nae bargain wearing faster,
l' the craft some day.
[On reading, in the public papers, the Laureat's Ode, with the other parade of June 4, 1786, the author was no sooner dropped asleep, than he imagined himself to the birthday levee; and in his dreaming fancy made the following address.]
GUID-MORNING to your majesty!
May heaven augment your blisses, On every new birth-day ye see,
An humble poet wishes !
I'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt,
When taxes he enlarges, (An' Will's a true guid fallow's get,
A name not envy spairges,)
* Alluding to the newspaper account of a certain royal sailor's amour.
+ Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a digressive poem. See his Cath-Loda, vol. ii. of M.Pherson's translation.
* King Henry V. + Sir John Falstaff : ride Shakspeare.
All in this mottie, misty clime,
And done naething, But stringin blethers up in rhyme,
For fools to sing.
Had I to guid advice but harkit, I might, by this, hae led a market, Or strutted in a bank an' clarkit
My cash account: While here, half mad, half fed, half sarkit,
Is a'th' amount.
Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods ; There, well-fed Irwine stately thuds : Auld hermit Ayr staw through his woods,
On to the shore ;
With seeming roar.
She boasts a race,
And polish'd grace.
I could discern;
With feature stern.
In sturdy blows;
Their stubborn foes.
His country's saviour,t mark him well! Bold Richardton'st heroic swell; The chief on Sarks who glorious fell,
In high command; And he whom ruthless fates expel
His native land. There, where a sceptred Pictish shade, Stalk'd round his ashes lowly laid, I mark'd a martial race, portray'd
In colours strong ; Bold, soldier-featur’d, undismay'd
They strode along. Through many a wild, romantic grove,! Near many a hermit-fancy'd cove, (Fit haunts for friendship or for love,
In musing mood,
They gave their lore, This, all its source and end to draw,
That, to adore.
A “hair-brain'd, sentimental trace,”
Shone full upon her;
Beam'd keen with honour.
Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen ;
Could only peer it;
Nane else came near it.
Her mantle large, of greenish hue, My gazing wonder chiefly drew; Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling threw,
A lustre grand; And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,
A well known land.
* The Wallaces.
+ William Wallace. * Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the immortal preserver of Scottish independence.
Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas Earl of Ormond, at the famous ballle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1148. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct, and intrepid valour of the gallant Laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.
|| Coilus, King of the Picts, from whom the district of Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition says, near the family-seat of the Montgomeries of Coil's. field, where his burial-place is still shown.
Barskimming the seat of the Lord Justice Clerk. ** Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor and present Professor Stewart.
Here, rivers in the sea were lost ; There, mountains to the skies were tost: Here, tumbling billows mark'd the coast,
With surging foam; There, distant shone art's lofty boast,
The lordly dome.
Brydone's brave ward* I well could spy, Beneath old Scotia's smiling eye; Who callid on fame, low standing by,
To hand him on, Where many a patriot name on high,
And hero shone.
“Some hint the lover's harmless wile; Some grace the maiden's artless smile; Some soothe the labourer's weary toil,
For humble gains, And make his cottage scenes beguile
His cares and pains. “Some, bounded to a district space, Explore at large man's infant race, To mark the embryotic trace
Of rustic bard; And careful note each opening grace,
A guide and guard.
“Of these am 1-Coila my name; And this district as mine I claim, Where once the Campbells, chiefs of fame,
Held ruling power: I mark'd thy embryo tuneful flame,
Thy natal hour.
“ With future hope, I oft would gaze Fond, on thy little early ways, Thy rudely carollid chiming phrase,
In uncouth rhymes, Fired at the simple, artless lays
Of other times.
“ I saw thee seek the sounding shore, Delighted with the dashing roar; Or when the north his fleecy store
Drove through the sky, I saw grim nature's visage hoar
Struck thy young eye.
Of kindred sweet,
She did me greet.
Thus poorly low!
As we bestow.
Their labours ply. « They Scotia's race among them share ; Some fire the soldier on to dare; Some rouse the patriot up to bare
Corruption's heart; Some teach the bard, a darling care,
The tuneful art. * 'Mong swelling floods of recking gore, They, ardent, kindling spirits pour ; Or, mid the venal senate's roar,
They, sightless, stand, To mend the honest patriot lore,
And grace the hand.
Full on the eye. “ Hence Fullarton, the brave and young; Hence Dempster's zeal-inspired tongue; Hence sweet harmonious Beattie sung
His • Minstrel lays;'
The skeptic's bays.
The various man.
With tillage-skill ; And some instruct the shepherd train,
Blythe o'er the hill.
“ Or, when the deep green-mantled earth Warm cherish'd every floweret's birth, And joy and music pouring forth
In every grove,
With boundless love.
And lonely stalk,
In pensive walk. “When youthful love, warm-blushing, strong, Keen-shivering shot thy nerves along, Those accents, grateful to thy tongue,
Th’ adored name, I taught thee how to pour in song,
To soothe thy flame.
“I saw thy pulse's maddening play, Wild send thee pleasure's devious way, Misled by fancy's meteor ray,
By passion driven ; But yet the light that led astray
Was light from heaven.
“I taught thy manners-painting strains, The loves, the ways of simple swains, Till now, o'er all my wide domains
Thy fame extends : And some, the pride of Coila's plains,
Become my friends.
* Colonel Fullarton.