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This past for certain, undisputed;
It ne'er cam i’ their heads to doubt it,
Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it,

An'ca'd it wrang ; An' muckle din there was about it,

Baith loud and lang.

Some herds, weel learn’d upo' the beuk, Wad threap auld folk the thing misteuk; For 'twas the auld moon turn'd a neuk,

An' out o' sight, An' backlins-comin, to the leuk,

She grew mair bright.

E’en winter bleak has charms for me, When winds rave through the naked tree; Or frosts on hills of Ochiltree

Are hoary gray ;
Or blinding drifts wild-furious flee,

Darkening the day!
O nature ! a'thy shows an’ forms
To feeling, pensive hearts hae charms!
Whether the simmer kindly warms

Wi’ life an’ light,
Or winter howls, in gusty storms,

The lang, dark night!
The muse, nae poet ever fand her,
Till by himsel he learn'd to wander,
Adown some trotting burn's meander,

An' no think lang;
O sweet! to stray, an' pensive ponder

A heartfelt sang !
The warly race may drudge an' drive,
Hog-shouther, jundie, stretch, an' strive,
Let me fair nature's face descrive,

And I, wi' pleasure,
Shall let the busy, grumbling hive,

Bum owre their treasure. Fareweel,“ my rhyme-composing brither!" We've been owre lang unkennd to ither: Now let us lay our heads thegither,

In love fraternal: May envy wallop in a tether,

Black fiend, infernal! While highlandmen hate tolls and taxes; While moorlan' herds like guid fat braxies: While terra firma, on her axis,

Diurnal turns,
Count on a friend, in faith an' practice,

In Robert Burns.

This was denied, it was affirm'd ; The herds an' hissels were alarm’d: The reverend gray-beards raved an' storm'd,

That beardless laddies Should think they better were inform’d

Than their auld daddies.

Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks; Frae words an' aiths to clours an' nicks ; An’ monie a fallow gat his licks,

Wi' hearty crunt; An' some, to learn them for their tricks,

Were hang'd an' burnt. This game was play'd in monie lands, An' auld-light caddies bure sic hands, That faith the youngsters took the sands

Wi' nimble shanks, The lairds forbade, by strict commands,

Sic bluidy pranks.

But new-light herds gat sic a cowe, Folk thought them ruin'd stick-an’-stowe, Till now amaist on every knowe,

Ye'll find ane placed ; An' some, their new-light fair avow,

Just quite barefaced.

POSTSCRIPT.

Nae doubt the auld-light flocks are bleatin ; Their zealous herds are vex'd an'sweatin; Mysel, I've even seen them greetin

Wi'girnin spite, To hear the moon sae sadly lie'd on

By word an' write.

My memory's no worth a preen;
I had amaist forgotten clean,
Ye bade me write you what they mean

By this “new-light,"* 'Bout which our herds sae aft hae been

Maist like to fight. In days when mankind were but callans At grammar, logic, an' sic talents, They took nae pains their speech to balance,

Or rules to gie, But spak their thoughts in plain, braid lallans,

Like you or me. In thae auld times, they thought the moon, Just like a sark, or pair o'shoon, Wore by degrees, till her last roon,

Gaed past their viewing, An' shortly after she was done,

They gat a new one.

But shortly they will cowe the louns ! Some auld-light herds in neebor towns Are mind't in things they ca' balloons,

To tak a flight, An' stay a month amang the moons

An' see them right.

Guid observation they will gie them ; An' when the auld moon's gaun to leave them, The hindmost shaird, they'll fetch it wi' them,

Just i’ their pouch,
An' when the new-light billies see them,

I think they'll crouch!
Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter
Is naething but a “ moonshine matter;"
But though dull prose-folk Latin splatter

In logic tulzie,
I hope, we bardies ken some better,

Than mind sic brulzie.

* “New-light” is a cant phrase in the west of Scotland, for those religious opinions which Dr. Taylor of Norwich has defended so strenuously.

EPISTLE TO J. R******.

ENCLOSING SOME POEMS.

OROUGH, rude, ready-witted R******, The wale o' cocks for fun an' drinkin! There's mony godly folks are thinkin,

Your dreams* an' tricks Will send you, Korah-like, a-sinkin,

Straught to auld Nick's.

Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants, And in your wicked druncken rants, Ye mak a devil o' the saunts,

An' fill them fou ; And then their failings, flaws, an’ wants,

Are a' seen through.

But, by my gun, o'guns the wale,
An' by my pouther an' my hail,
An' by my hen, an' by her tail,

I vow an' swear!
The game shall pay o'er moor an' dale,

For this, niest year.
As soon's the clockin-time is by,
An' the wee pouts begun to cry,
L-, I'se hae sportin by an' by,

For my gowd guinea :
Though I should herd the buckskin kye

For't in Virginia.
Trowth, they had muckle for to blame :
'Twas neither broken wing nor limb,
But twa-three draps about the wame

Scarce through the feathers; An' baith a yellow George to claim,

An' thole their blethers!
It pits me aye as mad's a hare;
So I can rhyme nor write nae mair;
But pennyworth's again is fair,

When time's expedient:
Meanwhile I am, respected sir,

Your most obedient.

Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it! That holy robe, 0 dinna tear it! Spare 't for their sakes wha aften wear it,

The lads in black ! But your curst wit, when it comes near it,

Rives 't aff their back.

TAM O'SHANTER.

A TALE.

Think, wicked sinner, wha ye’re skaithing, Its just the blue-gown badge an’claithing O’ saunts; tak that, ye lea'e them naething

To ken them by,
Frae ony un regenerate heathen

Like you or I.
I've sent you home some rhyming ware,
A' that I bargain'd for, an' mair ;
Sae, when ye hae an hour to spare,

I will expect
Yon sang,t ye'll sen’t wi' cannie care,

And no neglect.
Though faith, sma' heart hae I to sing !
My muse dow scarcely spread her wing!
I've play'd mysel a bonnie spring,

An' danced my fill! I'd better gane an' sair't the king,

At Bunker's Hill.

Of brownyis and of bogilis full is this buke.

GAWIN DOUGLAS.

'Twas ae night lately in my fun, I gaed a roving wi' the gun, An' brought a paitrick to the grun,

A bonnie hen, And, as the twilight was begun,

Thought nane wad ken. The poor wee thing was little hurt; I straikit it a wee for sport, Ne’er thinkin they wad fash me fort;

But, deil-ma-care!
Somebody tells the poacher-court

The hale affair.
Some auld used hands had ta'en a note,
That sic a hen had got a shot;
I was suspected for the plot;

I scorn'd to lie;
So gat the whizzle o' my groat,

An' pay't the fee.

When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neebors neebors meet,
As market-days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' gettin fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulk sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest Tam O'Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, whom ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonny lasses.)

O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise,
As ta’en thy ain wife Kate's advice !
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That every naig was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
That at the L-d's house, e'en on Sunday,
Thou drank wi’ Kirton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied, that late or soon,
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon;
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.

* A certain humorous dream of his was then making a Doise in the country side.

† A song he had promised the author.

Ah, gentle dames ! it gars me greet, To think how mony counsels sweet, How mony lengthen'd, sage advices, The husband frae the wife despises !

But to our tale: Ae market night,
Tam had got planted unco right;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi’reaming swats, that drank divinely;
And at his elbow souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
Tam lo’ed him like a vera brither;
They had been fou for weeks thegither.
The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter ;
And aye the ale was growing better;
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
Wi’ favours secret, sweet, and precious :
The souter tauld his queerest stories ;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E’en drown'd himself amang the nappy ;
As bees flee hame wi’ lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure;
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
O’er a' the ills o' life victorious.

But pleasures are like poppies spread, You seize the flower, its bloom is shed; Or like the snow-falls in the river, A moment white—then melts for ever ; Or like the borealis race, That Ait ere you can point their place ; Or like the rainbow's lovely form Evanishing amid the storm.Nae man can tether time or tide ; The hour approaches Tam maun ride ; That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane, That dreary hour he mounts his beast in; And sic a night he taks the road in, As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last; The rattling showers rose on the blast; The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd; Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd : That night, a child might understand, The deil had business on his hand.

Weel mounted on his gray mare Meg, A better never lifted leg, Tam skelpit on through dub and mire, Despising wind, and rain, and fire; Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet: Whiles crooning o’er some auld Scots sonnet; Whiles glowering round wi' prudent cares, Lest bogles catch him unawares ; Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Whare ghaists and howlets nightly cry.

By this time he was cross the ford, Whare in the snaw the chapman smoord ; And past the birks an' meikle stane, Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck bane ; 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 cared na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood right sair astonishid,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance ;
Nae cotillon 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 screw'd the pipes, and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.-
Coffins stood round like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some devilish cantraip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light,-
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murderer's banes in gibbet airns ;
Twa span lang, wee, unchristend bairns;
A thief new cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi' bluid red rusted;
Five cimiters, wi' murder crusted ;
A garter, which a babe had strangled ;
A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
Whom his ain son o'life bereft,
The gray hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which e’en to name wad be unlawfu'.

As Tammie glowr'd, amazed 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 cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark!

Now Tam, 0 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 gien them aff my hurdies
For ae blink o' the bonnie burdies.

Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray 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 inclined,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think, ye may buy the joys o’er dear,
Remember Tam O'Shanter's mare.

SONGS.

THE LEA-RIG.

But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Lowping an' Ainging on a crummock,
I wonder didna turn thy stomach.

But Tam kennd what was what fu' brawlie,
There was ae winsome wench and walie,
That night enlisted in the core,
(Lang after kennd 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 cuttie sark, o' Paisley harn,
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude though 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 e'en enrich'd ;
E'en 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 wofu' 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 na 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-

WHEN O’er the hill the eastern star,

Tells bughtin-time is near, my jo; And owsen frae the furrow'd field,

Return sae dowf and weary, 0; Down by the burn, where scented birks,

Wi’ dew are hanging clear, my jo,
I'll meet thee on the lea-rig,

My ain kind dearie, 0.
In mirkest glen, at midnight hour,

I'd rove and ne'er be eerie, 0,
If through that glen, I gaed to thee,

My ain kind dearie, 0.
Althaugh the night were ne'er sae wild,

And I were ne'er sae wearie, 0,
I'd meet thee on the lea-rig,

My ain kind dearie, 0.
The hunter lo’es the morning sun,

To rouse the mountain deer, my jo,
At noon the fisher seeks the glen,

Along the hurn to steer, my jo ; Gie me the hour o'gloamin gray,

It maks my heart sae cheery, 0, To meet thee on the lea-rig,

My ain kind dearie, 0.

TO MARY.

TUNE“ Ewe-bughts, Marion." Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary,

And leave auld Scotia's shore? Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary,

Across th’ Atlantic's roar ? O sweet grows the lime and the orange,

And the apple on the pine ; But a' the charms o' the Indies,

Can never equal thine. I hae sworn by the heavens to my Mary,

I hae sworn by the heavens to be true; And sae may the heavens forget me,

When I forget my vow !
O plight me your faith, my Mary,

And plight me your lily-white hand; O plight me your faith, my Mary,

Before I leave Scotia's strand,

* 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 likewise to mention to the benighted traveller, that when ke falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much more hazard in turning

We hae plighted our troth, my Mary,

In mutual affection to join, And curst be the cause that shall part us!

The hour, and the moment o' time!

MY WIFE'S A WINSOME WEE THING.

She is a winsome wee thing,
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a bonnie wee thing,
This sweet wee wife o' mine.
I never saw a fairer,
I never lo’ed a dearer,
And niest my heart I'll wear her,
For fear my jewel tine.
She is a winsome wee thing,
She is a handsome wee thing,
She is a bonnie wee thing,
This sweet wee wife o' mine.
The warld's wrack we share o't,
The warstle and the care o't;
Wi' her I'll blithly bear it,
And think my lot divine.

How sweetly bloom'd the gay green birk,

How rich the hawthorn's blossom ; As underneath their fragrant shade

I clasped her to my bosom! The golden hours on angel wings

Flew o'er me and my dearie;
For dear to me, as light and life,

Was my sweet Highland Mary.
Wi' mony a vow, and lock'd embrace,

Our parting was fu' tender;
And pledging aft to meet again,

We tore oursels asunder ;
But O! fell death's untimely frost,

That nipt my flower sae early !
Now green's the sod, and cauld's the clay,

That wraps my Highland Mary! O pale, pale now, those rosy lips

I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly! And closed for aye the sparkling glance

That dwelt on me sae kindly ! And mouldering now in silent dust

That heart that loved me dearly ! But stil' within my bosom's core

Shall live my Highland Mary.

BONNIE LESLEY.

AULD ROB MORRIS.

O saw ye bonnie 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 ne'er made sic anither !
Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,

Thy subjects we, before thee ; Thou art divine, fair Lesley,

The hearts o' men adore thee. The deil he could na scaith thee,

Or aught that wad belang thee; He'd look into thy bonnie face,

And say, “ I canna wrang thee." The powers aboon will tent thee;

Misfortune sha’na steer thee; Thou’rt like themselves sae lovely

That ill they'll ne'er let near thee. Return again, fair Lesley,

Return to Caledonie !
That we may brag, we hae a lass

There's nane again sae bonnie.

THERE's auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen,
He's the king o’guid fellows and wale of auld men;
He has gowd in his coffers, he has owsen and kine,
And ae bonnie lassie, his darling and mine.
She's fresh as the morning, the fairest in May ;
She's sweet as the evening amang the new hay;
As blithe and as artless as the lambs on the lea,
And dear to my heart as the light to my e’e.
But O! she's an heiress, auld Robin's a laird,
And my daddie has naught but a cot-house and yard;
A wooer like me maunna hope to come speed,
The wounds I must hide that will soon be my dead.
The day comes to me, but delight brings me nane ;
The night comes to me, but my rest it is gane:
I wander my lane like a night-troubled ghaist,
And I sigh as my heart it would burst in my breast.
0, had she been but of lower degree,
I then might hae hoped she wad smiled upon me!
0, how past describing had then been my bliss,
As now my distraction no words can express !

DUNCAN GRAY.

HIGHLAND MARY.

TUNE—"Catharine Ogie." YE banks, and braes, and streams around,

The castle o' Montgomery,
Green be your woods, and fair your flowers,

Your waters never drumlie!
There simmer first unfauld her robes,

And there the langest tarry ;
For there I took the last fareweel

O' my sweet Highland Mary.

DUNCAN GRAy came here to woo,

Ha, ha, the wooing o't, On blithe yule night when we were fou,

Ha, ha, the wooing o't. Maggie coost her head fu' high, Look'd asklent and unco skeigh, Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh;

Ha, ha, the wooing o't. Duncan fleech'd, and Duncan pray'd;

Ha, ha, &c. Meg was deaf as Ailsa Craig,

Ha, ha, &c.

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