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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 haly table,
A murderer's banes in gibbet airns ;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi' blude red-rusted;
Five scymitars, 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 grey hairs yet stack to the heft:
Wi' mair o' horrible and awefu'
Which ev'n to name wad be unlawfu'.

As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, 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, Til ilka carlin swat and reekit,

And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark !

Now Tam, O Tam ! had thae been queans, A' plump and strapping in their teens, Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen, Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linnen ! Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair, That ance were plush, o'gude blue hair, I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies, For ae blink o' the bonnie burdies !

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

But Tam kend what was what fu' brawlie, There was ae winsome wench and wawlie, That night enlisted in the core, (Lang after kend 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 kend thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
Wi' twa pund Scots, ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever grac'd a dance o' witches!

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But here my muse her wing maun cour;
Sic flights are far beyond her pow'r;
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 fidg'd 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,

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 Kute awaits thy comin! Kate soon will be a woefu' 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,

* 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 he falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much more hazard in turning back.

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
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

grey tail:

Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, Ilk man and mother's son, take heed : Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, Or cutty-sarks run in Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear, Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.

your mind,

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