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Full text of "The poetical works of Robert Burns : with a memoir of the author's life, and a glossary"

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This celebrated Bard was born on the 29tli of January, 1759, 
on the banks of the Doon, about two miles from Ayr, near 
to which stand the ruins of Alloway Kirk, rendered immortal 
by his admirable Tale of " Tarn, o' Shantcr." 

His father, William Burns, was a farmer in Ayrshire, a 
man of very respectable character, and of more than ordinary 
information and capacity. It is stated by Burns, that to 
his father's observations and experience, he was indebted 
for most of his little pretensions to wisdom. From such a 
son this eulogium cannot be thought undeserving. In 1757 
he married Agnes Brown. Our Poet was the first fruit of 
this union. He was sent to school wlien about six years old, 
where he was taught to read English and to write a little ; 
and so great was his progress, that he became a critic in 
English Grammar at the age of eleven, and was also remark- 
able for the correctness of his pronunciation. His rudiments 
of arithmetic he got from his father in the winter evenings. 
He says of himself, in his letter to Doctor Moore, "At those 
years I was by no means a favourite with any body. I was 
a good deal noted for a retentive memory, astubborn sturdy 
something in my disposition, and an enthusiastic idiot piety. 
I say, idiot piety, because I was then but a child. Though 


Free S«d^-^'^i^»'^^ 


it cu»t tlie schnolmuster some tiirRs1:in(,'R, I made an excellent 
KiiKlish scholar; and by the time I was ten or eleven years 
of uge, I was a critic in siibstniitives, verbs, and participle.^. 
In ray infant and my boyish days, too, I owed much to an old 
woman who resided in the family, remarkable for her igno- 
rance, credulity, and superstition. She had, I suppose, the 
largest collection in the country, of tales and songs con- 
cerning devils, gliosis, fairies, brownies, witches, warlocks, 
spunkies, kelpies, elf-candies dead- lights, wraiths, appari- 
tions, cantraips, giants, enchanted towers, dragons, and other 
trumpery. This cultivated tli<> latent si eds of poetry; hut 
had so strong an etiect on my imagination, that to this hour, 
in my nocturnal rambles, I sometimes keep a sharp look-out 
in suspicious plates; and though nobody can be more scep- 
tical than I am in such matters, yef it often takes an effort 
of philosophy to shake off these idle terrors." 

Before he was nine years of age, he had acquired a strong 
propensity for reading, which, however, was greatly checked 
by his want of access to books. He read the life of Hannibal 
through with great avidity, and eagt rly perused every other 
book that came in his way. Even at tliis early period, his 
tensit.ility was extraordinary; yet he had not discovered 
any sijins of that striking ready wit for which he was after- 
wards remarkable, nor betrayed the smulhst symptom of 
his inclinatian to music and poetry. 

About a twelvemonth previous to the death of his father. 
Burns, who had then attained his twenty-fourth year, became 
anxious lo he Hxed in a situation to enable him to marry. 
His brother Gilbert and he had for several years held a small 
portion of land from their father, on which they chiefly 
raised tlax. In disposing of the produce of their labour, our 
Author took it into his head to commence flax-drtsser. — 
He accordingly continued at that business for about six 
months, but it proved an unlucky concern; for the shop 
Mime time after taking fire, was utterly destroyed, and lie 
was left not worth a sixpence. 


Immediately before the death of their fnU.^, P.ains arid 
his brother took the farm at Mossgiel, consisting of liH 
acres, at £90 per annum. It was stoelied by the )-roptrty 
and individual savings of the whole family, and was a joint 
concern. But the first year, from buying bad seed, and the 
second from a late harvest, they lost half their crops. 

It was about this time that he formed the connection with 
Miss Jean Armour, afterwards Mrs. Burns. When the effects 
of this intimacy could no longer be concealed, our Poet, in 
order to screen his partner from the consequences of their 
imprudence, agreed to make a written acknowledgment of 
their marriage, and then endeavour to push his fortune in 
Jamaica, till Providence enabled him to support a family 
comfortably. This was, however, strenuously opposed by 
her relations; and her father, with whom she was a great 
favourite, advised her to renounce every idea of such an 
union, conceiving that a husband in Jamaica was little better 
than none. She was therefore prevailed upon to cancel the 
papers, and thus render the marriage null and void. When 
this was mentioned to Burns, he was in a state bordering on 
distraction He offered to stay at home, and provide for 
his family in the best manner possible ; but even this was 

He then agreed with a Dr. Douglas to go to Jamaica, as 
an assistant overseer or clerk, and made every preparation 
to cross the Atlantic; liut, previous to his setting ofi', he was 
advised to publish a volume of his poems by subscription. 
With the first fruits of his poetical labours, he paid his pas- 
sage, and purchased a few articles of clothing, &c. His 
chest was already on the way to Greenock, when a letter 
from Dr. Blacklock, signifying his approbation of the poems, 
and an assurance that Burns would meet with encourage- 
ment in Edinburgh for a second edition, completely changed 
his intentions. 

Soon after his arrival in Edinburgh, (early in December, 
1766,) his poems procured him the aduiiralion of all condi- 


lions. Ptrwms of rank and power were not above taking 
notice of him : and in a short time the name of Burns was 
celebrated over all the kingdom. It ought here to be men- 
tioned to his honour, that he had been in Edinburgh only 
a few months, and was still in the midst of poverty, 
when he erected a monument in Canon -gate church-yard 
to the memory of the celebrated but unfortunate poet, 

In Edinburgh, Burns beheld mankind in a new light. 
Surrounded on all sides by admirers, his days were spent in 
the company of the great, his evenings in dissipation. This 
kind of life he led nearly a twelvemonth, when his friends 
suggested to him the necessity of seeking a permanent 

Having settled accounts with his publisher in February 
1788, Burns became master of nearly £500. With this sum 
he returned to Ayrshire, where he found his brother Gilbert 
struggling to support their aged mother, a younger brother, 
and three sisters in the farm of Mossgiel. He immediately 
advanced £200 to their relief. With the remainder, and 
what further profits might accrue to him from his poems. 
Burns seriously resolved to settle for life, and resume the 
occupation of agriculture. 

Mr. Miller, of Dalswinton, offered him the choice of a 
farm on his estate at his own terms. Burns readily accepted 
this generous offer. He took with him two friends to value 
the land, and fixed on tlie farm of Ellisland, about six miles 
above Dumfries, on the banks of the river Nith, on which 
he entered at Whitsunday, 1788. 

Previously to this period, however, he had been recom- 
mended to the Board of Excise, by Mr. Graham, of Fintra, 
»nd had his name enrolled among the list of candidates for 
the humble office of an exciseman. Expecting that the Board 
would appoint him to act in the district where his farm was 
situated, he began ass'duously to qualify himself for the 
proper exercise of the emi)loynient, in the fond hopes of 


soon unitint; witli success the labours of tlie fanner with the 
duties of his new profession. 

No sooner had he arranged the plan of his future pur- 
suits, than liiswliole thoughts were bent towards the object 
who had ever been nearest and dearest to his heart. Her 
relations now endeavoured to promote their union with 
more zeal than they had formerly opposed it; and they were 
immediately united by a regular marriage, thus legalizing 
their union, and rendering it permanent for life. 

His fame naturally drew upon him the attention of his 
neighbours, and he soon formed a general acquaintance in 
the district in which he lived. Their social parties, how- 
ever, too often seduced him from his rustic labours and his 
rustic fare, overthrew the unsteady fabric of his resolutions, 
and inflamed those propensities which temperance might 
have weakened, and prudence ultimately suppressed. It was 
not long, therefore, before Burns began to view his farm 
with dislike and despondence, if not with disgust. 

Unfortunately he had for several years looked to an office 
in the excise as a certain means of livelihood, should his 
other expectations fail. As has already been mentioned, he 
had been recommended to the Board of Excise, and had 
received the instructions necessary for such a situation. He 
now applied to be employed; and, by the interest of Mr. 
Graham, of Fintra, was appointed to be exciseman, or, as it 
is vulgarly called, gauger, of the district in which he lived. 
The duties of this disagreeable situation, besides exposing 
him to numberless temptations, occupied that part of his 
time which ought to have been bestowed in cultivating iiis 
farm; which, after this, was in a great measure abandoned 
to servants. It is easy to conjecture the consequences. 
Notwithstanding the moderation of the rent, and the prudent 
management of Mrs. Burns, he found it convenient, if not 
necessary, to resign his farm into the hands of Mr. Miller, 
after having possessed it for the space of three years and « 
half. The stock and erop being afterwards sold by public 

'Ill LI IK f>F nURNS. 

nitctiun, he removed, with his family, to a small housp )n 
Dumfries about the end of the year 175)1, to devote lilmscj 
lo iin employment M-hich siemed from the first to afford but 
little hopes of future hapjiimss. 

He resided four years at Dumfries. During this time he 
bad hoped for promotion in the excise; but an event or- 
ourred which at least delayed its fulfilment. The events of 
llie French revolution wi re commented on by him in a 
manner very different from what micht have been expected 
from an officer under Roveniment. Information of this 
was given to the Board of Excise. A superior officer in 
that department was authorized to eiir|uire into his conduct, 
llnrna defended himself in a letter addressed to one of the 
Hoard, written with great independence of spirit, and with 
more than his accustomed eloquence. The officer appointed 
to enquire into his conduct gave a favourable report. His 
steady friend, Mr. Graham, of Fintra, interposed hiu good 
offices in his behalf; and he was suffered to retain his situ- 
ation, but was given to understand that his promotion was 
deferred, and must depend upon his future behaviour. 

In the month of June, 170G, he removed to Brow, in 
Annaiidule, about ten miles from Dumfries, to try the effect 
of sea-bathing; a remedy that at first, he imagined, rMieved 
rheumatic pains in his limbs, with which he had been 
afflicted for some montlis: but this was immediately followed 
by a new attack of fever. When brought back to his own 
house in Dumfries, on the 16th of July, he was no longer 
able to stand upright. The fever increased, attended with 
delirium and debility, and on the 21st he expired, in the 
thirty-eighth year of his ago.. He left a widow and four 
sons. The ceremonial of his interment was accompanied 
with military honours, not only by the corps of Dumfries 
volunteers, of which he was a member, but by the Fencible 
Infantry, and a regiment of the Cinque Port Cavalry, then 
quartered in Dumfries. 






A Scottish Bard, proud of the name, and whose highest 
ambition is to sing in his Country's service — where shall he 
so properly look for patronage as to the illustrious names of 
his native land; those who b-nr the honours and inherit tlie 
virtues of tjieir ancestors ? The Poetic Genius of my country 
found me, as the prophetic bard Elijah did Elisha — at the 
plouffh, and threw her inspiring inantle over me. Siie 
bade me sins: the loves, the joys, the rural scenes, and rural 
pleasures of my native soil, in my native tonerue : I tnnnd 
my wild, artless notes as she inspired. She whispered me 
to come to this anciont Metropolis of Caledonia, and lay 
my Songs under your honoured protection: I now obey her 

Tiiough much indebted to your goodness, I do not ap- 
proach you, my Lords and Gentlemen, in the usual style of 
dedication, to thank you for past favours; that path is so 


Iiackiioycd by prostituted Lcurning, thut liuiitsst Rusticity is 
asiiaiiied of it. Nor do I present tliis address with tiie venal 
soul of a servile author, looi^inp: for a continuation of those 
favours : I was bred to the plough, and am independervt. I 
come to claim the roiimion Scottish name with you, my 
illustrious Conntryiiicii ; and to ttll the world that I glory 
In the title. I come to congratulate my country, that the 
Mood of her ancient heroes still runs uncontaminatcd ; and 
that from your courage, knowledge, and public spirit, she 
may expect protection, wealth, and liberty. In the last 
place, I come to prott'er my warmest wishes to the Great 
I'ountain of Honour, the Monarch of the Universe, for your 
welfare and happiness. 

When you go forth to waken the Echoes, in the ancient 
and favourite amusement of your forefathers, may Pleasure 
ever be of your party ; and may Social Joy await your re- 
turn : when harassed in courts or camps, with thejostlings 
of bad men and b;ul measures, may the honest consciousness 
of injured Worth attend your return to your native seats; 
and may Domestic Happiness, with a smiling welijome, meet 
you at your gates! May Corruption shrink at your kindling, 
indignant glance; and may tyranny in the Ruler, and 
licentiousness in the people, equally find you an inexorable 

I have the honour to be. 
With the sincerest gratitude, and highest respect. 
My Lords and Gentlemen, 

Your most devoted humble Servant, 

K<ltnburij'-, April 4, 17S7 



The Twa Dogs, a Talc I 

Scotch Drink 8 

The Author's Earnest Cry and Prayer IS 

Tlie Holy Fair 19 

Death and Doctor Hornbook 20 

The Briss of Ay r S3 

The Ordination 40 

The Calf 44 

Address to the Dell 49 

The Death and dying words of Poor Alailie 50 

Poor Maine's Elegy 52 

To James Smith, Mauchline 54 

A Dream 60 

The Vision 64 

Address to the unco Gude 74 

Tam Samson's Elegy 76 

Halloween 80 

The Farmer's Salutation to his auld Mare Maggie 90 

To a Mouse 94 

A Winter Night 96 

Epistle to Davie, a Brother Poet 99 

Tlie Lament 103 

Despondency, an Ode 106 

Winter, a Dirge 108 

The Cotter's Saturday Night 109 

Man was made to mourn, a Dirge 115 

A Prayer in the Prospect of Deatn 118 

Stanzas on the same Occasion 119 

Verses eft at a Friend's House 1 :>0 


Tlie Firsit Psalm IJl 

A Prayer un()<>r the Pipssiiro of violent Anguish ih. 

The first Six Verses of the Nineteenth Psiilm 1*22 

To H Mountain Daisy 123 

To Uuin I'iS 

To Miss Logan 12P 

Epistle to a Yoiincj Friend ih. 

On a Scotch Bard gone to the West Indies 129 

To a Haggis 131 

A Dedication to Gavin Hamilton, Esq 133 

To a Louse 137 

Addross to Edinburgh 138 

Epistle to J. Lapraik, an old Scottish Bard 141 

To the same 145 

To 'William Simpson, Ochiltre 149 

Epistle to John Rankin, enclosing somei Poems 165 

Written in I'riars-Carse Hermitage, on Nithside JSel 

Ode, Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. of 159 

Elegy on Captain Matthew Henderson l(il 

Lament of Mary, Queen of Scots les 

To Robert Graham, Esq. of Fintra I(i7 

Lament for James, Earl of (ilencairn 170 

To Sir John Whitefoord, with (he foregoing Poem 172 

Tarn o'Shanter, a Tale 178 

On seeing a wounded Hare limp by me 179 

Address to the Shade of Thomson 180 

On the late Captain Grose's Perigrinations 181 

To Miss Cruikshanks, a very young Lady 183 

On the Death of John M'Leod, 6cc. IS* 

The humble Petition of Bruar Water 185 

On scaring some Water-Fowl, in Loch Turit 188 

Written in the Inn at Kenmnre, Taymouth 189 

W^ritten at the Fall of Fyers. near Loch-Ness 190 

On the Birth of a Posthumous Child 191 

Second Epistle to Davie, a Brother Poet ]!]2 

Lines on an Interview with Lord Daer 194 

On the Death of a Lap-Dog, named Echo 105 

Inscription to the Memory of Fergusson 196 

Epistle to R. Graham, Esq ib. 

Fragment, inscribed to the Right Hon. C. J. Fox 199 

To Dr. Blacklock 200 

Prologue spoken at the Theatre, Dumfries 0')3 

Elegy on the late Miss Burnet, of Monboddo v04 


The Rights of Woman jorj 

Address, spoken by Miss Fontenelle 'JOfi 

Verses, to a Young Lady 208 

Verses addressed to a Lady id. 

Address to Mr. William Ty tier 209 

To a Gentleman on receiving a Newspaper \>\0 

Poem on Pastoral Poetry -219 

Sketch.— New Year's Day 218 

Extempore on the late Mr. William Smtllie L'lu 

Poetical Inscription for an Altar to Independence .... ib. 

Answer to a Mandate 216 

To a Young Lady 1' 1 8 

Extempore ib. 

To Mr. S-'e, with a Present of Porter ib. 

Poem, addressed to Mr. Mitchell 219 

Sent to a Gentleman whom he had offended 220 

Poem on Life ib. 

Address to the Tooth-ache 222 

Holy Willie's Prayer 2"i3 

Epitaph on Holy Willie 22« 

The Kirk's Alarm 227 

Letter to John Goudie, Kilmarnock 2J0 

The Twa Herds 231 

To Mrs. Dunlop, on Sensibility 2:U 

Sonnet on hearing a Thrush 23.5 

To tlie Giiidwife of Wanchopc Honse y.'lG 

To J. Ranken 2J>8 

Address to an Illegitimate Child 239 

To aTailor 2i0 

Lament of a Mdther for the Deatii of her Son 242 

Sonnet on the Death of Robert Riddel, Esq 2-1.3 

On the Death of Sir James Hnnter Blair 244 

Letter to J sT 1, of Gl— nc— r 245 

Verses on a Young Lady 243 

Lines presented to an old Sweetheart, then married.... lb. 

Extempore. — The Invitation 249 

Written in a Lady's Pocket Book ib. 

Lines on Miss J.Scott, of Ayr ib. 


On a celebrated Ruling Elder 250 

On a noisy Polemic ib. 

On Wee Johnny ib 



Tor the Aiillior's FalluT 250 

For RolitTt Aiken, Ksq 251 

For (Ja\ ill Hamilton, Es() iiol 

A Biird's Kjiitaph ib. 

On John Dove '252 

On a Friend 253 

On a A\'a^, in Mauchline ib. 

The Henpeck'd Husband ib. 

The Highland Welcome 1*54 

A Grace before Dinner il). 

On Captain Grose ib. 


The Jolly Beggars 255 

The Rigs o' Barley 2(57 

Now Westlin Winds 268 

Behind yon Hills where Lugar flows 270 

Green grow the Rashes 271 

Again Rejoicing Nature sees 272 

The gloomy Night is gathering fast 273 

From thee, Eliza, I must go 274 

The Farewell 275 

No Churchman am I 276 

Highland Mary 277 

Auld Rob Morris 273 

Duncan Gray 279 

Galla Water 280 

The Soldier's Return 281 

Meg 0' the Mill 263 

O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide ib. 

The Lea-Rig 285 

Wandering Willie ib. 

Had I a Cave on some wild distant Shore 286 

Whistle and I'll come to thee, my Lad ib. 

Dainty Davie 287 

Auld Lang Syne 288 

Robert Bruce's Address at Bannockburn 289 

Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes 290 

Slie says she lo'es me best of a' 291 

Lassie wi' the Lint-white Locks '292 

For a' that and a' that 293 

O Lassie, art thou sleeping yet 295 

Her Answer. — O tell na nie o' wind and Min ib. 


Their Groves o' sweet Myrtle *-'9fl 

this is na my ain Lassie 2!)7 

Scottish Ballad. — Last May a braw wooer 208 

Hey for a Lass wi' a Tocher 299 

Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear 300 

The Birks of Aberfeldy 301 

Blithe was she 802 

My Chloris, mark how green the iri'oves ib. 

1 love my Jean. — Of a' the airts the wind can hlaw 303 

Willie brew'd a Peck o' Maut 304 

Tarn Glen 805 

What can a young Lassie do wi' an auld man ? 306 

O, for ane and twenty, Tarn 807 

The Banks o' Doon ib. 

Sic a Wife as Willie had 308 

Wilt thou be my Dearie ?.' 309 

She's fair and fause ib. 

O wat ye wha's in you Town 810 

The red, red Rose.' 311 

Song of Death 812 

Imitation of an old Jacobite Song 313 

To Mary in Heaven ib. 

Naebody 814 

To Mary 316 

Bonnie Lesley 816 

Mary Morison 317 

Blithe hae I been on yon hill ib. 

Bonnie Jean 318 

Tibbie, I hae seen the day 320 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie 321 

Fair Jenny 822 

Husband, husband, cease your strife ib. 

How lang ami dreary is the night ,324 

It was the charming month of May ib. 

Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair 825 

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy ? 326 

My Nannie's awa ib. 

'Twas na her bonnie blue ee was my ruin 327 

Fairest Maid on Devon banks 328 

The Young Highland Rover ib. 

Where braving angry Winter's Storms ;VJ9 

The Braes o' Ballochmyle ib. 

Farewell thou Stream that winding flows 380 



John Anilerson my jo 831 

A Rose-bud bv my early walk ib. 

The joyful Widower 832 

Fair Eii/ii SSJi 

The pai'tint; Kiss 334 

Musiiij? on the roaring Ocean ib. 

I^ord Greirnry 825 

Open the Door to me, oh ! 33C 

Clarinda 837 

Craigie-burn ih. 

Isabella. — liaving Winds around her blowing ;j3S 

The Whistle.— I sing of a Whistle 330 

Oujss A RV , 34S 





TwAS in that place o' Scotland's isle, 
'That bears the name o' Auld King Coil, 
Upon a bonnie day in June, 
When wearing through the afternoon, 
Twa dogs, that were na thrang at haine, 
Forgather'd ance upon a time. 

The first I'll name, they ca'd him Ccesar^ 
Was keepit for his honour's pleasure ; 
His hair, his size, his mouth, liis lugs, 
Shew'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogs, 
But whalpit some place far abroad, 
Where sailors gang to fish for cod. 

His lockit, letter'd, braw brass collar, 
Shew'd him the gentleman and scholar ; 
But though he was o' higli degree, 
The fient a pride, nae pride had he ; 
But wad hae spent an hour caressin 
Wi' ony tinkler gipsy's messin : 
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie, 
Nae tawted tyke, though e'er sae duddie, 
But he wad stant't as glad to see him, 
And stroan't on stanes and hillocks wi' him 

The tither was a ploughman's collie, 
A rhyming, ranting, roving billie, 
17 B 


Wlia for liis friend and comrade had him, 
And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him, 
After some dog in Higliland sang,* 
Was made lang syne— Gude kens how lang. 

He was a gash an' faithfu' tyke, 
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke ; 
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face, 
Aye gat him friends in ilka place. 
His breast was white, his towzie back 
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black ; 
His gawcie tail, wi' upward curl, 
Hung o'er his hurdles wi' a swirl. 

Nae doubt but they were fain o' ither. 
And unco pack and thick thegither ; 
Wi' social nose whyles snuflPd and snowkit ; 
Whiles mice and moudieworts they howkit ; 
Whiles scour'd awa in lang excursion. 
And worried ither in diversion ; 
Until wi' daffin weary grown, 
Upon a knowe they sat them down, 
And there began a lang digression, 
About the lords of the creation. 

I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath, 
What sort o' life poor dogs like you liave : 
An' when the gentry's life I saw, 
What way poor bodies liv'd ava. 

Our Laird gets in his racked rents, 
His coals, his kain, and a' his stents ; 
He rises when he likes himsel' ; 
His flunkies answer at the bell : 
He ca's his coach ; he ca's his horse ; 
He draws a bonny silken purse, 

• Cachullin's dog in Ossian's Fingal. 


As lanof's my tail, whare, through the steeks, 
The yellow-letter'd Geordie keeks. 

Frae morn to e'en it's nought but toiling, 
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling ; 
And though the gentry first are stechin, 
Yet e'en the ha' folk fill their pechan 
\Vi' sauce, ragouts, and sic like trashtrie, 
That's little short o' downright wastrie. 
Our whipper-in, wee blastit wonner, 
Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner 
Better than ony tenant man. 
His Honour has in a' the Ian' ; 
And what poor cot-folk pit their painch in, 
I own it's past ray comprehension. 

Trowth, Caesar, whiles they're fash't eneugh 

A cottar howkin in a sheugh, 

Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke, 

Baring a quarry, and sic like ; 

Himsel', a wife, he thus sustains, 

A smytrie o' wee duddy weans. 

And nought but his han' darg to keep 

Them right and tight in thack and rape. ' 

And when they meet wi' sair disasters, 
Like loss o' health, or want of masters. 
Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer 
And they maun starve o' cauld and hunger ; 
But how it comes I never kend yet, 
They're maistly wonderfu' contented ; 
And buirdly chiels, and clever hizzies, 
Are bred in sic a way as this is. 

But then, to see how ye're negleckit, 
How liufF'd, and cuff'd, and disrespeckit . 


L— d man ! our {gentry care sae little 
For delvers, ditchers, and sic cattle ; 
They gang: as saucy hy poor folk, 
As i wad by a stinking brock. 

Ive noticed, on our Laird's court-day 
And mony a time my heart's been wae, 
Poor tenant bodies, scant o' cash, 
How they mon thole a factor's snash ; 
He'll stamp and threaten, curse and swear, 
He'll apprehend them, poind their gear ; 
While they maun stan', wi' aspect humble 
And bear it a' and fear and tremble ! 
I see how folk live that hae riches ; 
But surely poor folk maun be wretches. 

They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think ; 
Though constantly on poortith's brhik : 
They're sae accustom'd wi' the siglit. 
The view o't gi'es them little fright. 

Then chance and fortune are sae guided. 
They're aye in less or mair provided ; 
And though fatigued wi' close employment, 
A blink o' re-t's a sweet enjoyment. 

The dearest comfort o' their lives. 
Their grushie weans and faithfu' wives ; 
The prattling things are just their pride, 
That sweetens a' their lire-side. 

And whiles twalpenny w^orth o' nappy 
Can mak the bodies unco happy ; 
They lay aside their private cares, 
To mind the Kirk and State affairs : 
They'll talk o' patronage and priests, 
Wi' kindling fury in their breasts ; 
Or tell what new taxation's comin, 
And ferlie at the folk in Lovlou. 


As bleak-faced Hallowmas returns, 
They get the jovial, rantin kirns, 
When rural life o' every station, 
Unite in common recreation ; 
Love blinks, Wit slaps, and social Mirth 
Forget there's Care upo' the earth. 

That merry day the year begins 
They bar the door on frosty win's ; 
The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream, 
And sheds a heart-inspiring stream ; 
The hinting pipe, and sneeshing mill, 
Are handed round wi' right gude-will ; 
The canty auld folk cracking crouse, 
The young anes ranting through the lious 
My heart has been sae fain to see them, 
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them. 

Still it's owre true that ye hae said, 
Sic game is now owre often play d. 
There's raony a creditable stock 
O' decent, honest-fassont folk, 
Are riven out baith root and branch, 
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench, 
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster 
In favour wi' some gentle master, 
Wha, aiblins, thrang a-parliamentin, 
For Britain's gude his saul indentin. 

Haith, lad, ye little ken about it -, 

For Britain's gtide ! gude faith I doubt it 

Say rather, gaun, as Preniiers lead him, 

And saying ay or no's they bid him ! 

At operas and plays parading, 

Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading. 

Or maybe, in a frolic daft, 

To Hague or Calais take a waft. 

HirilN.s' I'OEMS. 

To niuk a four and tak a wliirl, 
To leuni bon ton, arid sec the warl.' 

There, at Vienna, or Versailles, 
He rives his father's auld entails; 
Or hy Madnd he takes the route, 
To tliruni miitars and fetcht wi' nowt ; 
Or down Italian vista startles, 
Wh-re-huntiu^j anianp^ groves o' mj-rtles ; 
Then bouses drunily German water. 
To inak hinisel look fair and fatter, 
And clear the consequential sorrows, 
Love-uMtts of carnival sip^noras, 
For Britain's gude '. for her destruction ! 
Wi' dissipation, feud, and faction. 

Ilech, man ! dear sirs ! is that the prate 
They waste sae monie a braw estate ? 
Are we sae foutjliten and harass'd 
For gear to gang that gate at last ? 

O wad they stay aback frae courts, 
And please themselves wi' country sports, 
It wad fur every ane be better, 
The laird, the tenant, and the cottar ! 
For the frank, rantin, rambling billies, 
Fient haet o' them's ill-hearted fellows, 
Except for breaking o' their timnier, 
Or speaking lightly' o' tluir limmer. 
Or snooting o' a hare or moor-cock, 
The ne'er a bit, they'r ill to poor folk. 

But will ye tell me, Maister Casar, 
Sure great folk's life's a life of pleasure ! 
>'ac cauld nor hunger e'er can steer them, 
The very thought o't needna fear them, 


L— d, man ! were ye but whiles where I am, 
The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em. 

It's true, they needna starve or sweat, 
Tliro' winter's cauld or simmer's heat ; 
They've nae sair wark to craze their banes, 
And fill auld age wi' grips and granes : 
But human bodies are sic fools, 
For a' their colleges and schools. 
That when nae real ills perplex them, 
They mak enow themselves to vex them, 
And aye the less they hae to sturt them, 
In like proportion less will hurt them : 
A country fellow at the pleugh, 
His acres till'd, he's right eneugh ; 
A country lassie at her wheel ; 
Her dizzens done, she's unco weel ; 
But gentlemen, and ladies warst, 
Wi' evendown want o' wark are t arst. 
They loiter, lounging, lank and lazy ; 
Tliough de'il huet ails them, yet uneasy , 
Their days insipid, dull, and tasteless ; 
Their nights unquiet, lang, and restless ; 
And e'en their sports, their balls, and races, 
There galloping through public places ; 
There's sic parade, sic pomp and art. 
The joy can scarcely reach the heart. 
Tlie men cast out in party matches, 
Then souther a' in deep debauches : 
Ae night they're mad wi' drink and wh-riiig; 
Neist day their life is past enduring. 
The ladies arm-in-arm, in clusters. 
As great and gracious a' as sisters ; 
But hear their absent thoughts o' ithcr, 
They're a' run de'ils and jades thegitlier. 
Whiles, owre the wee bit cup and plaitie, 
They sip the scandal-potioa pretty ; 


Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks, 
Pore owre the devil's picture beuks ; 
Stake on a chance a farmer's stack-yard, 
And cheat like ony unhang'd blackguard. 

There's some exception, man and woman ; 
But this is gentry's life in common. 

By this the sun was out o' sight, 
And darker gloamin brought the night ; 
The bum-clock humm'd wi' lazy drone. 
The kye stood rqwtin' i' the loan ; 
When up they gat and shook their lugs, 
Rejoiced they were na men but dogs ; 
And each took afF his several way," 
Resolved to meet some ither day. 


Gie him strong drink until he wink, 

That's sinking: in despair; 
And liqour gude to fire his blude, 

That's prest wi' grief and care ; 

There let him bouse, and deep carouse. 

Wi' bumpers flowing o'er, 
Till he forgets his loves or debts, 

And minds his griefs no more. 

Solo?no7i's Proverbs, xxxi. 6, 7 

Let Other poets raise a fracas, 

'Bout vines, and wines, and drunken Bacchus, 

And crabbit names and stories wrack us, 

And grate our lug, 
I sing the juice Scotch Bear can raak us. 

In glass or jug. 

O thou, my Muse ! gude auld Scotch Drink \ 
Whether througli wimpling worms thou jink, 


Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink, 
• In glorious iUeni, 

Inspire me, till I lisp and wink, 

To sing thy name ! 

Let husky wheat the haughs adorn, 
And aits set up their awnie horn, 
And pease and beans at e'en or morn, 

Perfume the plain, 
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn, 

Thou king o' grain ! 

On thee aft Scotland chows her cood, 
In souple scones, the wale o' food ! 
Or tumbling in the boiling flood 

Wi' kail an' beef; 
But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood, 

There thou shines chief. 

Food fills the wame, and keeps us livin ; 
Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin, 
When heavy dragg'd wi pine and grievin ; 

But, oil'd by thee, 
The wheels o' life gae down hill, scrievin, 

Wi' rattlin glee. 

Thou clears the head o' doited Lear ; 
Thou cheers the heart o' drooping Care ; 
Thou strings the nerves o' Labour sair, 

At's weary toil ; 
Thou even briglitens dark Despair 

Wi' gloomy smile. 

Aft, clad in massy siller weed, 
WT Gentles thou erects thy head. 
Yet humbly kind, in time o' need, 

Tlie poor man's wine ; 
His wee drap parritch, or his bread, 

Thou kitchens fine. 


Tliou art tlie life o' pul)lic haunts ; 

Hut thee, vvliat were our fairs and rants? 

Ev'n godly meetings o' the saints, 

By thee ispired, 
When gaping they besiege the tents, 

Are doubly fired. 

That merry night we get the com in, 
O sweetly then thou reams the horn in ! 
Or reekin on a New-year morniu 

In cog or bicker, 
An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in. 

And gusty sucker ! 

When Vulcan gies his bellows breath, 
And ploughmen gather wi' their gaith, 
O rare ! to see thee fizz and freath 

r the luiiuit caup! 
The Burneicin* comes on like death 

At ev'ry chaup. 

Nae mercy then for airn or steel ; 
The brawnie, bainie, ploughman chiel, 
Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel 

The strong foreharamer, 
Till block and sfuddie ring and reel 

Wi' dinsome clamour. 

When skirlin weanies see the light, 
Tiiou maks the gossips clatter bright, 
How fumblin cuifs their dearies slight ; 

Wae worth the name ! 
Nae howdie gets a social night. 

Or plack frae them. 

Burncn-in— Burn— the— n-iiuJ—x\\Q Blacksmith. 

burns' poems. 11 

When neebors an<^er at a plea, 
And just as wud as wud can be, 
How easy can the barley hree 

Cement the quarrel 
It's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee, 

To taste the barrel. 

Alake ! that e'er my Muse has reason 
To wyte her countrymen wi' treason ; 
But monie daily weet their weason 

*Wi' liqours nice, 
And hardly, in a winter's season. 

E'en spier her price. 

Wae worth that brandy, burning trash ! 
Fell source o' mony a pain and brash ! 
Twins monie a poor, doylt drucken hash 

O hauf his days ; 
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash 

To her warst faes. 

Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well ! 
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell, 
Poor plackless deevils like mysel ! 

It sets you ill, 
Wi' bitter, dearthful wines to mell, 

Of foreign gill. 

May gravels round his blather wrench, 
And gouts torment them inch by inch, 
Wha twists his gruntle wi' a gluncli 

O' sour disdain, 
Out-owre a glass o' ivhisky -punch. 

Wi' honest men. 

O Whisky ! soul of plays and pranks ! 
Acceiit a Bardie's humble thanks I 


Whon wanting tliee, what tuneless crank* 
Are my poor verses! 

Thou comes tliey rattle i' their ranks 

At ither's a— s! 

Thee Fer'intosh ! O sadly lost ! ' 
Scotland, lament frae coai=(t to coast! 
Now colic grips, and barking hoast, 

]\Iay kill us a'; 
For loyal Forbes' cliarter'd boast, 

Is ta'en awa ! 

Tbae curst liorse-leeches o' th' Excise, 
U'ha mak the Wliisk;/ Stells their prize ! 
Uaud up thy ban', Deil ! ance, twice, thrice! 

There, seize the blinkers ; 
An' bake them up in brunstane pies, 

For poor d — n'd drinkers. 

Fortune ! if thou'll but gie me still 
Hale breeks, a sconce, and Whisky gill, 
And routh o' rhyme to rave at will, 

Tak a' the rest, 
And deal't about as thy blind skill 

Directs thee best. 

burns' poems. 13 

THE author's 



Dearest of Distillation ? last and best 

How art thou lost! 

Parody on Mitton. 

Ye Iririh lords, ye knights and squires, 
Wlia represent our burghs and shires, 
And doucely manage our affairs 

In parliament, 
To you a simple Poet's prayers 

Are humbly sent. 

Alas ! my roupet muse is hearse ! 

Your Honours' liearts \vi' grief 'twad pierce, 

To see her sitting on her a— 

Low i' the dust, 
And scriechia out prosaic verse, 

An' like to brust ? 

Tell them wha hae the chief direction, 
Scotland an' vie's in great affliction. 
E'er sin' they laid that curst restriction 

On AquaviUe ; 
An' rouse them up to strong conviction, 

Au' move their pity. 

• This was written before the act anent the Scottish Dls 
tilleries, of session 1786; for which Scotland and the autho 
return their most grateful thanks. 

11 nruNs' poKMS. 

Stand forth, and tell yon Premier Youth, 

TliP honest, open, naked truth ; 

Tell him o' mine and Scotland's drouth, 

His servants humble : 
Tlie uiuckle deevil blaw ye south, 

If ye dissemble! 

Does ony great man glunch an' gloom ! 
Speak out, and never fash your thumb : 
Let posts and pensions sink or soom 

Wi' them wha grant 'em ; 
If honestly they canna come, 

Far better want 'em. 

In gatherin votes you were na slack ; 
Now stand as tightly by your tack ; 
Ne'er claw your lug, and fidge your back, 

And hum and haw ; 
But raise your arm, and tell your crack 

Before them a'. 

Paint Scotland greeting owre her thrissel. 
Her mutohkin-stoup as toom's a whissel ; 
And damm'd Exciseman in a bussel, 

Seizin a Stell, 
Triumphant, crushin't like a mussel, 

Or lampit shell. 

Then, on the tither hand present her, 

A blackguard smuggler right behint her. 

And cheek-for-chow, a chuffie vintner, 

Colleaguing join. 
Picking her pouch as bare as winter 

Of a' kind coin. 

Is there that bears the name o' Scot, 
But feels his heart's blude rising hot, 

burns' poems. 

To see his poor aulcl Mitlier'spo^ 

Thus dung in staves, 

An' plunder'd o' her hindmost groat 
By gallows knaves ? 

Alas ! I'm but a nameless wight, 
Trod 1' the mire clean out o' sight ! 
But could I like MontgovCrie fight, 

Or gab like Bosicell, 
There's some sark-necks I wad draw ti'j,ht, 

And tie some hose well. 

God bless your honours ! can ye see't, 
The kind, auld, cantie carlin greet, 
An' no get warmly to your feet. 

An' gar them hear it, 
An' tell them wi' a patriot heat, 

Ye winnu bear it ! 

Some o' you nicely ken the laws, 
To round the period an' pause, 
An' wi' rhetoric clause on clause 

To mak harangues ; 
Then echo thro' St. Stephen's wa's, 

Auld Scotland's wrangs. 

Dempster, a true-blue Scot I'se warran ; 
Thee, aith-detesting chaste Kilkerran ;* 
An' that glib-gabbet Hiiihland baron. 

The laird o' Graham ;t 
An' ane, a chap that's d — n'd auldfarrau, 

Dundas his name. 

JErskine, a spunkie Norland billie ; 
True Campbells, Frederlch, an' I lay ; 

♦ Sir Adam Ferguson. 
tThe present Duke of Montrose.— (1800.'* 

in niTRNS* POEMS. 

An' LirbiQstone, tlie bauld Sir Willie ; 

An' niony ithera, 
Wham auld Demosthenes or Tully 

Mijfht own for brithers. 

Arouse, my boys! exert your mettle, 
To pet auhl Scotland back her kettle; 
Or faith, I'll wad my new pleugh-pettle, 

You'll see't or lani^. 
She'll teach you, wi' a reekin whittle, 

Anither sang. 

This while she's been in cank'rous mood, 
Her lost militia fired her bluid ; 
(Deil na they never mair do guid, 

Play'd her that pliskie!) 
And now she's like to rin red-wud 

About her whiskj'. 

Ah', L— d, if ance they pit her till't, 
Her tartan petticoat she'll kilt. 
An' dark an' pistol at her belt. 

She'll tak the streets, 
An' rin her whittle to the hilt 

r til' first she meets ! 

Tor God sake, sirs ! then speak her fair, 
An' straik her cannie wi' the hair. 
An' to the muckle house repair, 

Wi' instant speed. 
An' strive, wi' a' your wit and lear, 

To get remead. 

Yon ill-tongued tinkler, Charlie Fox^ 
Way taunt you wi' his jeers and mocks 
But gie hini't het, my hearty-cocks ! 

E'en cowe the caddie, 
AnJ send him to his dicing-box 

And sportin lady. 

burns' poems. 17 

Tell yon guid bluid o' auld JJoconnocJts, 
I'll be his debt twa niashlum bannocks, 
An' drink his health in anld Name Tinnock's* 

Nine times a week, 
If he some scheme, like tea and winnocks, 

Wad kindly seek. 

Could he some convmitation broach, 
I'll pledge my aith in gude braid Scotch, 
He needna fear their foul reproach. 

Nor erudition. 
Yon mixtie-maxtie, queer hotch-potch, 

The Coalition. 

Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue ; 
She's just a deevil wi' a rung ; 
An' if she promised auld or young 

To tak their'part, 
Though by the neck she should be strung, 

She'll no desert, 

An' now, ye chosen Five-and-forty, 
May still your Mither's heart support ye ; 
Then, though a minister grow dorty, 

An' kick your place, 
Ye'll snap your fingers, poor and hearty. 

Before his face. 

God bless your Honours a' your days, 
Wi' soups o' kail and brats o' claise. 
In spite o' a' the thievish kaes 

That haunt .S'^. Jamie's ! 
Your humble poet sings an' prays 

While Rab his name is. 

* A worthy old hostess of the author's in Mauchline, wiicre 
be sometimes studied politics over a glass of gude auld Scuicii 

17 c 

18 n urns' poems. 


Let hauf-starved slaves in warmer skies, 
See future wines rich clust'ring rise ; 
Their lot auld Scotland ne'or envies, 

But blythe and frisky, 
She eyes her free-born, martial boys, 

Tak afF their whisky. 

What though their Phoebus kinder warms, 
While fragrance blooms and beauty charms ! 
When wretches ran<re in famished swarms 

The scented groves, 
Or bounded forth, dishonour arms 

In hungry droves. 

Their gun's a burdon on their shouther ; 
They downa bide the stink o' powther ; 
Their bauldest thought's a hankering swither 

To stan' or run, 
Till skelp— a shot — they're afF, a' throwther, 

To save their skin. 

But bring a Scotsman frae his hill, 
Clap in his cheek a Highland gill, 
Say, sic is royal George's will, " 

And there's the foe, 
He has nae thought but how to kill 

Twa at a blow. 

Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings tease him ; 
Death comes ! — wi' fearless ee he sees him ; 
Wi' bluidy hand a welcome gies him ; 

And when he fa's. 
Ills latest draught o' breathin' lea'es him 

In faint huzzas. 

burns' roEMs. 19 

Sajres their solemn een may steek, 
And raise a philosophic reek, 
And physically causes seek, 

In clime and season ; 
But teli me WhlsJ{i/'s name in Greek, 

I'll tell the reason. 

Scotland, my auld, respected Mither ! 
Thouirh whyies ye moistify your leather, 
Till whare ye sit, on craps o' heather, 

Ye tine your dam: 
Freedom and WhisJfif gan thegither, 

Tak a IF your dram! 


A robe of secminp; truth and trust 

His crafty observation ; 
And secret hunp, with jjoison'd crust, 

The dirk of Defamation : 
A mask that like the gorf^et show'd, on the pigeon; 
And for a mantle large and oroad, 

He wrapt him in religion. 


Upon a simmer Sunday morn, 

When Nature's face was fair, 
I walked forth to view the corn. 

And snuff the caller air : 
The rising sun o'er Galston muirs, 

Wi' glorious light was glintin ; 
The hares were hirpling down tlie furs, 

The lav'rocks they were chantin 
Fu' sweet that day. 

* Holy Fair is a common phrase in the West of Scotland 
for a Sacramental occasion. 

20 m UNs' roKMS. 

A» lii^htsomcly I j(lo\vr'd abroad. 

To see a scene po iiay, 
Tliree liizzies, early at the road, 

Cam skelpin up tlie way : 
Twa Iiad inanteeles o' dolefu' black, 

But aiie vvi' lyart lining ; 
Tlic third, that gaed a-wee a-back, 

Was in the fashion shining, 

Fu' gay that day. 

Tiie twa appear'd like sisters twin, 

In feature, form, and claes ; 
Their visage wither'd, lang, and thin, 

And sour as ony slac-s ; 
Tilt! tliird cam up, hap-stap-andloup, 

As light as ony lambie, 
And wi' a kutchie low did stoop, 

As soon as e'er she saw me. 

Fu' kind that day. 

Wi' bonnet aff, quoth I, " Sweet lass, 

I think ye seem to ken me ; 
I'm sure I've seen that bonny face. 

But yet I canna name ye." 
Quo' she, and laughing as she spak, 

An' taks me by the hands, 
'* Ye for my sake, hae gi'en the feck 

Of a' the Ten Commands 

A screed some day. 

" My name is Fun — your cronie dear, 

The nearest friend ye hae ; 
And this is Superstition here, 

And that Hypocrisij. 
I'm gaun to ******** Holy Fair, 

To spend an hour in daffin ; 
Gin ye'll gae there, yon runkled pair, 

We v^iil get famous laughin' 

At them this dav." 

burns' poems. 21 

Quoth 1, " W'i' a' my heart, I'll do't : 

I'll get my Snnday's sark on, 
And meet you on the holy spot ; 

Faith, we'se hae fine reinarkin !" 
Then I jj^aed hame at crowdie-time, 

And soon I made me ready ; 
For roads were clad frae side to side, 

Wi' mony a weary body, 

In droves that day. 

Here farmers gash, in riding graith, 

Gaed hoddin by their cottars ; 
There, swankies young, in braw braid claith, 

Are swingin o'er the gutters. 
The lasses, skelpin barefit, thrang, 

In silks and scarlets glitter; 
Wi' sweet milk-cheese in mony a whang, 

And farls baked wi' butter, 

Fu' crump that day. 

Wiien by the plate we set our nose, 

Weel heaped uj) wi' ha'pence, 
A greedy glowr Black Bonnet throws, 

And we maun draw our tippence. 
Then in we go to see the show. 

On every side they're gatherin, 
Some gathering dales, some chairs and stools 

And some are busy blethrin 

Right loud that day. 

I Here stands a shed to fend the show'rs, 

An' screen our countra Gentry, 
1 There racer Jess, an' twa-three wh-res. 

Are blinkin at the entry. 
I Here sits a raw of tittling jades, 

Wi' heaving breast and bare neck. 
And there a batch o' wabster lads, 

Biackguardin frae K ck 

Vorfun this day. 


Here some are think in on their sins, 

An' some upon their daes ; 
Ane curses i'cet tliat iylM his shins, 

Anither sijjjiis and prays : 
On tliis hanrl sits a chosen swatch, 

Wi' screw'd up tcrace-proud faces; 
On that a set o' cliaps at watch, 

Thrang winkin on the lasses 

To cha'rs that day. 

O happy is that man and blest ! 

Nae wonder that it pride him ! 
"Wha's ain dear lass, tliat he likes best, 

Comes clinkin down beside him. 
Wi' arm repos'd on the chair back, 

He sweetly does compose him, 
Which by degrees, slips round her neck, 

All's loof upon her bosom, 

Unkenn'd that day. 

Now a' the congregation o'er 

In silent expectation ; 
For M***ie speels the holy door, 

Wi' tidings o' d-mn-t— n. 
Should Ilornie as in ancient days, 

'Mang sons o' G— present him, 
The vera sight o' M** *ie's face, 

To's ain het home had sent him 
Wi' fright that day. 

Hear how he clears the points o' faith, 

Wi' rattlin and wi' thumpin ; 
How meekly calm, how wild in wrath, 

He's stanipin and he's jumpin ! 
His lengthen'd chin, his turn'd up snout, 

His eldritch squeel and gestures, 
Oh ! how they fire the heart devout. 

Like cantharidian plasters, 
On ?ic a dav. 


But hark ! tlie teiit ]ias changed its voice ; 

There's peace and rest nae langer ; 
For a' the real judges rise, 

They canna sit for anf?er. 
S**th"opens out his cauld harangues 

On practice and on morals ; 
And affthe godly pour in thrangs, 

To gie the jars and barrels 

A lift that day. 

What signifies his barren sliine 

Of moral powers and reason ? 
His English style, and gestures fine, 

Are a' clean out o' season. 
Like Socrates or Antomine, 

Or some auld pagan heathen, 
The moral man he does define, 

But near a word o' faith in 

That's right that day. 

In guid time comes an antidote 

Against sic poisoned nostrum ; 
P**bles, frae the water-fit, 

Ascends the holy rostrum : 
See, up he's got the word o' G— , 

And meek and raim has view'd it, 
While Common Sense has ta'en the road, 

And aff, and up the Cowgate,* 
Fast, fast that day. 

Wee M****r, neist, the guard relieves, 

And Orthodoxy raibles, 
Though in his heart he weel believes, 

And thinks it auld wife's fables ; 
But faith ! the birkie wants a manse. 

So cannily he hums them ; 

• A street so called wiiich fac^s the tent in K . 


Althoupli liis carnal wit and sense 

Like haftins-way oNtcomu'S liira, 

At times that day. 

Now butt and ben the chanp:e-house fills 

Wi' yill-caup commentators ; 
Here's crying out for bakes and gills, 

And there the pint-stoup clatters ; 
While thick and thrang, and loud and lang, 

Wi' Logic and wi' Scripture, 
They raise a din, that in tlie end 

Is like to breed a rupture. 

O' wrath that day. 

Leeze rae on Drink ! it gies us mair 

Than either School or College, 
It kindles Wit, it waukens Lear, 

It bangs us fu' o' Knowledge: 
Be't whisky-gill, or penny wheep, 

Or ony stronger potion, 
It never fails, on drinking deep, 

To kittle up our notion, 

By night or day. 

The lads and lasses, blyth^ly bent 

To mind baith soul and body. 
Sit round the table weel content. 

And steer about the toddy. 
On this ane's dress, and that ane's leuk. 

They're making observations ; 
While some are cozie i' the neuk, 

And forming assignations, 

To meet some day. 

But now the L — d's ain trumpet touts, 

Till a' the hills are rairin. 
And echoes back return the shouts : 

I'llack R****l is na spairin ; 


His piercing words, like Highland swords, 
Divide the joints and rnarrow ; 

His talk o' H-11, whare devils dwell, 
Our vera sauls does harrow !* 

Wi' fright that day. 

A vast unbottom'd boundless pit, 

Fill'd fu' o' lowin brunstane, 
Wha's ragin flame, and scorchin heat, 

Wad melt the liardest whun-stane ! 
The hauf asleep start up wi' fear, 

And think tiiey hear it roarin, 
When presently it does appear, 

'Twas but some neighbour snoria 
Asleep that day. 

Twad be owre lang a tale to tell 

How mony stories past, 
And how they crowded to the yill. 

When they were a' dismist ; 
How drink gaed round, in cogs and caups, 

Amang the furms and benches. 
And cheese and bread, frae women's laps, 

Was dealt about in lunches. 

An' dawds that day. 

In comes a gaucie, gasii Gudewife, 

And sits down by the lire, 
Syne draws her kebbuck and her knife ; 

The lasses they are shyer. 
Tiie auld Gudemen, about the grace, 

From side to side they bother, 
Till some ane by his bonnet lays. 

And gies tliem't like a tether, 
Fu' lang that day 

• Sliakspoare's Miimlot. 


Waesuck's for him that frets nae lass, 

Or hisses that liae naethintj ! 
Sma' need has he to say a a,race, 

Or uielvle his hraw claithing ! 
O wives, be niindl'ii', anco yoursel, 

How bonnie huis ye v/anted, 
And dinna for a kebbuck-heel, 

Let lasses be affronted 

Ou sic a day. 

Now ClmJtUJnbell, wi' rattling tow 

Begins to jow and croon ; 
Some swau'trer haine the best they dow, 

Some wait the afternoon. 
At slaps the billies halt a blink, 

Till lasses strip their shoon ; 
Wi' faith and hope, and love and drink, 

They're a' in famous tune 

For crack that day. 

IIow raony hearts this day converts, 

O' sinners and o' lasses ! 
Their hearts o' stane, giu night are gane 

As soft as ony flesh is. 
There's some are fou o' love divine ; 

There's some are fou o' brandy ; 
An' mony jobs that day begin. 

May end in Hougmagandie 
Some ither daj'. 



Some books are lies frae end to end, 
Ami some great lies were never penn'd ; 

burns' poems, 27 

Ev'n ministers, they hae been kenn'd, 

In holy rapture, 
A rousing whid, at times to vend. 

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 hell. 

Or Dublin city ; 
That e'er he nearer comes oursel 

'S a muckle pity. 

The Clachan yill had made me canty, 

I was na fou, but just had plenty ; 

I stacher'd whyles, but yet took tent ay 

To free the ditches : 
And hillocks, stanes, and bushes, kenn'd ay 

Frae ghaists and witches. 

The rising moon began to glow'r 
The distant Cumnock hills out-owre ; 
To count her horns wi' a' my pow'r 

I set raysel ; 
But whether sho had three or four, 

I cou'dna tell. 

I was come round about the hill, 
And todlin down on Willie's mill, 
Setting mv staff wi' a' my skill. 

To keep me sicker; 
Though leeward whyles against my will, 

I took a bicker. 

I there wi' Something did forgather, 

That put me in an eerie swither ; 

An awfu' scythe, out-owre ae shouther, 

Clear-dangling hang ; 
A three -taed leister on the ither 

Lay, large and lang. 

»>tt BIRNS' I'OEMS. 

Its stature secni'd lanjr Scotch ells twa, 
The queerest shaj)e that e'er I 3a\v, 
For fitiit a wanie it had ava ! 

Aud then its shanks, 
They were as thin, as sliarp, as snia 

As cheeks o' brank,^ ! 

" Gude-een," quo' I ; " Friend ! hae ye been mawin, 
When ither folk are busy sawin ?"* 
It seeni'd to luak a kind o' staun, 

But naethinj? spak ; 
At lenjjth, says I, '• Friend ! whare ye gann ? 

Will ye gae back ?" 

It spak riffht howe : — " My name is Death — 
But be no^fleyd."— Quoth I, " Gude faith, 
Ye're may be come to stop my breath ; 

But tent me, billie; 
I red ye weel, tak care o' skaith, 

See, there's a gully !" 

"Gudeman," quo' he, " put up your whittle, 
I'm no design'd to try its mettle ! 
But if I did, I wad be kittle 

To be mislear'd, 
I wadna mind it, no that spittle ; 

Out-ovvre my beard." 

" Weel, weel," says I, "a bargain be't; 
Come, gie's your hand, and say we're greet ; 
We'll ease our shanks and tak a seat. 

Come, gie's your news ; 
This whilet ye hae been mony a gate. 

At mony a house." 

• This rencounter hsippened in seed-time, in 1785. 
t An epidemical fever was then raging in that country. 

burns' vokms. 29 

" Ay, ay !" quo' he, and shook his head, 
" It's e'en a lang, lang time indeed 
Sin' I began to nick the thread, 

And choke the breath : 
Folk maun do something for their bread, 

And sae maun Death. 

" Sax tliousand years are near hand fled. 
Sin' I was to the butcli'ring bred, 
And raony a scheme in vain's been laid 

To stap or scaur me ; 
Till ane Hornbook's* taen up the trade, 

And faith he'll waur me. 

" Ye ken Jock Hornbook V the Clachan 
Deil raak his kiiig's-hood in a spleuchan ! 
He's grown sae weel acquaint wi' Buchan\ 

And ither chaps, 
The weans baud out their fingers, laughin 

And pouk my hips. 

" See, here's a scythe, afld there's a dart, 
They hae pierced mony a gallant heart : 
But Doctor Hornbook, wi' his art 

And cursed skill. 
Has made them baith nae worth a f— t, 

Daran'd haet they'll kill. 

" 'Twas but yestreen, na farther gane, 
I threw a noble dart at ane : 
Wi' less, I'm sure, I've hundreds slain ; 
But deil-ma-care, 

• This gentleman. Dr. Hornbook, is professionally a brother 
of the Sovereign Order of tiie Ferula ;_but, by intuition and 
inspiration, is at once an Apothecary, Snrgeon, and Physician 

t Buchan's Domestic Medicine. 


It just play'tl dirl on the bane, 

But did nae niair. 

" Horuhook was by, wi' ready art, 
And had sae fortified tlie part, 
That when I looked to my dart. 

It was sae blunt, 
Fient haet o't wad hae pierc'd the heart 

0' a kail-runt. 

" I drew my scythe in sic a fury, 
I near-hand cowpit wi' my hurry, 
But yet the bauld Apothecary 

Withstood the shock ; 
I might as weel hae tried a quarry 

O' hard whin-rock. 

" Ev'n them he canna get attended, 
Although their face he ne'r had kenn'd it, 
Tust in a kail-blade and send it ; 

As soon's he smells't, 
Baith their disease, and what will mend it, 

At ance he tell'st. 

" And then o' doctor's saws and whittles, 
Of a' dimensions, shapes, and mettles, 
A' kinds o' boxes, mugs, and bottles, 

He's sure to hae : 
Their Latin names as fast he rattles 

As A, B, C. 

" Calces o' fossils, earth, and trees j 
True sal-marinum o' the seas ; 
The farina o' beans and pease, 

He has't in plenty ; 
Aqua-fontis, what you please, 

He can content ye. 


" Forbye some new uncommon weapons, 

Urinns spiritus o' capons : 

Or mite-horn slmvintrs, filings, scrapings, 

Distiird 2}cr se ; 
Sal-alkali o' midge-tail clippinars, 

And monie mae." 

" Waes me for Johnny GccVs Hole* now," 
Quoth I, " if that the'news be true ! 
His braw calf-ward, whare gowans grew 

Sae white and bonny, 
Nae doubt they'll rive it wi' the plew : 

They'll ruin Johnny V 

The creature grain 'd an eldritch laugh. 
And says, " Ye needna yoke the pleugh, 
Kirk-yards will soon be till'd eneugh, 

Tak ye na fear ; 
They'll a' be trench'd wi' mony a sheugh, 

In twa-three year. 

" Where I kili'd ane a fair strae death, 
By loss o' bluid, or want o' breath, 
This night I'm free to tak my aith, 

That Hornbook's skill, 
Has clad a score i' their last claith, 

By drap and pill. 

" An honest Wabster to his trade, 

Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce weel-bred, 

Gat tippence-worth to mend her head, 

When it was sair ; 
The wife slade cannie to her bed. 

But ne'er spak mair. 

• The grave-digger. 

32 uuiiNs' roEMS. 

** A countra Lainl liad ta'eii the batts, 
Or some curmunins^ in his guts ; 
His only son for Hornbook sets, 

And pays him well : 
The lad, for twa yude jiimmer pets, 

Was Laird hirasel'. 

" A bonny lass, ye kenn'd her naine, 

Some ill-brewn drink had hoved her vvame ; 

She trusts hersel, to hide the shame, 

In Hornbook's care ; 
Horn sent her afF to lier lang hame, 

To liide it tiiere. 

" That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way; 
Thus goes he on from day to day. 
Thus does he poison, kill^ an' slay, 

An's weel paid for't ; 
Yet stops me o' ray lawfu' prey 

Wi' his d-mn'd dirt : 

" But, hark ! I'll tell you of a plot, 
Tho' dinna ye be speaking o't ; 
I'll nail the self-conceited Scot 

As dead's a herrin : 
Niest time we meet, I wad a groat, 

He gets his fairin !" 

But just as he began to tell, 

The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell 

Some wee short hour ayont the Uval, 

Which rais'd us baith : 
I took the way that pleas'd mysel. 

And sae did Death. 



Inscribed to J. Ballamttne, Esq. Ayr. 

The simple Bard, rouprh at the rustic plough, , 

Learning- his tuneful trade from every bougli ; 

The chanting linnet, or the mellow thrush, 

Hailing the setting sun, sweet, in the green tliorn bush , 

The soaring lark, tlie perchins: redbreast shrill, 

Ordeep-ton'd plovers, gray,wildwhistlingo'er the hill ; 

Shall he, nurs'd in the" Peasant's lowly slied, 

To hardy Independence bravely bred,' 

By early Poverty to hardship steel'd. 

And train'd to arms in stern jNIisfortune'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 gen'rous care he trace, 

Skill'd in the secret, to bestow v.'ith grace ; 

When Ballantyne befriends his humble name, 

And hands the rustic stranger up to fame, 

With heart-felt 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-worn crap ; 
Potato-bings are snugged up frae skaith 
Of coming Winter's bitivi'i- frosty breath : 
17 D ' ■ 

34 burns' I'OK.MS. 

The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer toils, 
IJimiimber'd buds and flow'rs, delicious spoils, 
Seal'd up witii fru;,Ml cure in massive waxen pile?, 
Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er the weak, 
The death o' devils, smoor'il wi' brimstone reek : 
Tlie thunderinff guns are heard on evey side. 
The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide; 
The leather'd field mates, bound by Nature's tie, 
Sires, motliers, children, in one carnage lie : 
(What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds. 
And execrates niari's savage, ruthless deeds !) 
Nae mair the flow'r in tield or meadow springs ; 
Niib mair the grove witli airy concert rings, 
Except, perhaps, the robin's whistling glee. 
Proud o' the height o' some bit haut-laug tree ; 
The hoary morns precede the sunny days. 
Mild, calm, serene, wide spreads the noontide blaze 
While thick the gossamer waves wanton in the rays. 
'Twas in that season, when a simple Burd, 
Unknown and poor, simplicity's reward, 
Ae night, within the ancient brugh o' Ayr, 
By whim inspir'd, or haply prest wi' care, 
lie left his bed, and took his wayward route. 
And down by Sl/ttpsou's* wheel'd the left about ; 
(Wiiether impell'd by all-directiug Fate, 
To witness what I after shall narrate ; 
Or whether wrapt in meditation high, 
He wander'd out he knew not where nor why :) 
The drowsy Danijeon-clocki had nuraber'd two, 
And Wallace Toicer\ had sworn the fact was tiue . 
The tide-swoln frith, with sullen sounding roar, 
Through the still night dash'd hoarse along the shore; 
All else was hush'd as Nature's closed ee ; 
Tlie silent moon shone high o'er tow'r and tree : 

* A noted tavern at the Auld Brij end. 
t Tlie two steeples. 

burns' poems. 3.3 

Tlie chilly frost beneath the silver beam, 

Crept, gently-crusting, o'er the glittering stream — 

When lo ! on either hand the list'ning Bard, 
Tlie clanging sugh of whistling winds he heard ; 
Two dusky forms dart thro' the midnight air, 
Swift as the Goas* drives on the wheeling hare ; 
Ane on the Aiild Brig his airy shape uprears, 
The itlier flutters o'er the rising piers. 
Our warlike Rhymer instantly descry'd 
The Sprites that owre the Brigs of Ayr preside, 
(That Bards are second-sighted is nae joke. 
And ken the lingo o'the sp'ritual folk : 
Fays, Spunkies, Kelpies, a' they can explain them, 
And ev'n the very deils they brawly ken them.) 
Auld Brig appear'd of ancient Pictish race. 
The very wrinkles Gotliic in his face ; 
He seem'd as he wi' Time liad warsl'd lang, 
Yet, teughly doure, he bade an unco bang. 
Neiu Brig was buskit in a braw new coat, 
That he, at Lon'ou, frae ane Adams got ; 
In's liand five taper staves as smooth's a bead, 
Wi' virls and whirlygigums at the head. 
The Goth was stauking round wi' anxious search, 
Spyhig the time-worn flaws in every arch ; 
[t chanc'd his new come neighbour took his ee, 
(V.nd e'en a vex'd and angry heart had he ; 
WV tliieveless sneer to see his modish mien, 
tie, down tlie water, gies him this gude-e'en — 


' doubt na, frien', ye'Il think ye're nae sheep-shank, 
Vnce ye were streekit o'er frae bank to bank, 
Jut gin ye be a brig as auld as me, 
.^ho' faitli, that day, I doubt, ye'll.never see ; 

TIk; Goss-liuwk, or Falcon. 


There'll bf, if;it day come, TU wad a boddjp, 
Suiue fewer vvhigmeleerii-s in your noddle. 


Auld Vandal, ye but show your little raense, 
Just much al)oi]t it wi' your scanty sense ; 
VVill your poor narrow loot-path o' a street, 
Wliere twa wheelbarrows tremble when they meet, 
Your ruin'd, formless bulk, o' stane and lime, 
Compare wi' bonny Brlr/s o' modern time ? 
There's men o' taste wad tak the Ducat stream'* 
Tho' they should cast the very sark and swim, 
Ere they wad grate their feelings wi' the view 
O' sic au ugly Gothic hulk as you, 


Conceited gowk ! pufTd up wi' windy pride ! 

This mony a year I've stood the flood and tide ; 

And tlio' wi' crazy eild I'm sair forlairn, 

I'll be a Brig when ye're a shapeless cairn ! 

As yet ye little ken about the matter, 

But twa-three winters will inform ye better. 

When heavy, dark, continued a'-day rains, 

Wi' deepening deluu'es o'erflow tiie plains ; 

When from the hills, where sprintrs the brawling C'oi/, 

Or stately Lugar^s mossy fountains boil, 

Or where the Greenock winds his moorland course, 

Or haunted Garpal\ draws his feeble source, 

Arous'd by blust'ring winds and spotting thowes, 

In mony a torrent down the snaw-broo rowes ; 

While crasliing ice, born on the roaring speat. 

Sweeps dams, and milis, and brigs, a' to the gate; 

* A Motocl ford, just above the Auld Brig, 
t The banks of Garpal Water is one of the few place8' 
\n the West of Srotliuid, where those fancj-scaririK beings, 
known by the name of Ghmsts, still continue pertinacioii««y 
to inhabit. 

IJUKiNS' i'OK.MS. 37 

AvA from Glenhuck* down lo tlie Rdttcn-linj^i 
Auld Aijr is just one U^iijitlu-nM tiunblin*; scaj 
Then down ye'll linrl— deil nor yn never rise ! ~ 
And dash tho junilie joiips up to the pouring skies. 
A lesson, sadly te:ichinp-, to your cost, 
That Architecture's noble art is lost. 


Fine Arcldiectitre, trowth, I needs must say't o't ! 
The L— d bethankit that we've tint the gate o't' 
Gaunt, ghastly, gliaist-alluring edifices, 
Hanaing, with tlireat'ning jut, like precipjces ; 
O'er-arching, uiouldy, jxloom-inspiring coves, 
Supporting roofs fantastic, stony groves ; 
Windows and doors in nameless sculpture drest,. 
"With order, symmetry, or taste unhle?t; 
Forms, like some bedlam-statuary's dream, 
The craz'd creations of misguided whim ; 
Forms might be worsliipp'<l on the bended knee. 
And still the second dread coininand be free, 
Their likeness is not found on earth, in air or sea ; 
Mansions that would disgrace the building taste 
Of any mason, reptile, bird, or beast ; 
Fit only for a doited monkish race, 
Or fros'ty maids forsworn the dear embrace ; 
Or cuifs of latter times, wha held the notion 
That sullen gloom was sterling true devotion ; 
Fancies that our good Bru^h denies protection, 
And soon may they expire, unblest with resurrection ! 


O ye, my dear-remember'd ancient yealings. 
Were ye but here to share my wounded feelings ! 

• The source of the river A jr. 
♦ A 6ninll landing-pluce above the large key. 


Ye wortliy Provcses and niony a Bailie, 
Wlia in the paths o' righteousness did toil aye : 
Ye dainty Dcucoiin, and ye douce Conveners, 
To whom our moderns are but causey-cleaners ; 
Ye Godly Councils wha hae blest town; 
Ye podiy Jirithrcn o' the sacred gown, 
^Vha meekly gie your hurdies to the sniiters ; 
(And what wad now be stranire) ye godlij Writers! 
A' ye douce folk I've born aboon the broo, 
Were ye but here, what wad ye say or do? 
How would your spirits groan in deep vexation, 
To see each melancholy alteration ; 
And, agonizing, curse tiie time and place 
When ye begat the base degenerate race ! 
Nae langer Rev'rend Men, their country's glory, 
In plain braid Scots baud forth a plain braid story ! 
Nae langer thrifty Citizens, and douce, 
Meet owre a pint, or in the Council-house ; 
But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless Gentry, 
Tlie herrimeiit and ruin of the country : 
Men, three-parts made by tailors and by barliers, 
Wha waste your weel-hain'd gear on d — d new Brigs 
and Harbours ! 


Now baud you there ! for faith ye've said enow, 

And muckle mair than ye can mak to through, 

As for your priesthood, I shall say but little, 

Corbies and Ctergij are a shot right kittle : 

But, under favour o' your langer beard, 

Abuse o' Magistrates might weel be spar'd ; 

To liken them to your auld-warl' squad, 

I must needs say, comparisons are odd. 

In Ayr, Wag-wits nae mair can hae a handle 

To mouth ' a Citizen,' a term o' scandal : 

Nae mair the Council waddles down the street. 

In a' the pomp of ignorant conceit ; 

Men wha grew wise priggin owre hops an' raisins, 

Or gather'd liberal views in bonds and seisins. 

i5()ii.\s roRMs. 39 

If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp, 

Had shor'd them wi' a glimmer o' his lamp, 

And would to Common-sense for ance betray 'd them, 

Plain, dull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid them. 

»Miat farther clishmaclaver might been said. 
vVhat bloody wars, if Sprites had blood to shed, 
Xo man can tell ; but all before their sight, 
A fairy train appear'd in order briffht: 
Adown the glittering stream they featly danc'd 
Bright to tiie moon their various dresses glanc'd : 
They footed o'er the wat'ry glass so neat. 
The infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet ; 
While arts of minstrelsy among them rung, 
And soul-ennobling Bards heroic ditties sung. 
O had M' Laiich/an* thairm-inspiring Sage, 
Been there to hear this heavenly band engage. 
When through his dear Strathspeys they bore with 

Highland rage, 
Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs, 
The lover's raptur'd joys or "bleeding cares ; 
How would his Hi"jliland lug been nobler fir'd, 
And ev'n his matcliless hand with finer touch inspir'd I 
No guess could tell what instrument appear'd, 
But all the soul of Music's self was heard ; 
Harmonious concert rung in every part, 
While simple melody pour'd moving on the heart 

The Genius of the Stream in front appears, 
A venerable Chief, advanc'd in years ; 
His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd, 
His manly leg with garter tangle bound. 
Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring, 
Sweet Female Beauty, hand in hand with Spring ; 

• A well-know performer of Scottish music on the violin. 

40 unU.NS POEMS. 

'llien crownM witli flow'ry )iay, came Rural Joy, 
And SuiiiiMer, with his fiirviil-btvdminjj eye : 
All-chetTiiig Pk-nty, witli lier flowing horn, 
Led yellow Autumn wreafliM with nodding corn : 
Then" Winter's time-lilfacli'd locks did hoary show, 
By Hospitality witli cloudless brow. 
Next lb low'd Coura'j:e with his martial stride. 
From where the Feal wild-woody coverts hide; 
Benevolence, with mild benignant air, 
A fem;ilii Ibrm, came from the tow'rs of Stair ;* 
Learning and Worth in equiil measures trode 
From simple Oitrine, their long-lov'd abode : 
Last, white-rob'd Peace, crown'd witbahazel wreath, 
To rustic Agriculture did bequeath 
The broken iron instruments of death ; 
At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling 


For sense, they little owe to frugal Heaven — 
To please the Mob they hide the little given. 

Kilmarnock Wabsters, fidge and claw, 

And pour your creeshie nations ; 
And ye wha leather rax and draw 

Of a' denominations ; 
Swith to the LaigJi Kirk, ane and a' 

And there tak up your stations ; 
Then aft' to Berjhie's in a raw, 

And pour divine libations 

For joy this day. 

• The poet here alludes to Mrs. Stewart of Stair.— Stair wag 
then in her possession. She afterwards removed to Afton- 
Lodge, on the banks of the Afton, a stream which he after- 
wards celebrated in a song, entitled " Afton Water." 


Curst Coiiiinoii-Sense, that imp o' liell, 

Cam ill \vi' Muggy Lauder,* 
But Oliphaiit ait nuule her yell, 

And Russel sair luisca'd her ; 
Tliis day M' Kiiilay tales the flail, 

And he's tiie boy -will blaud her ! 
He'll clap a aJimigan on her tail, 

And set the bairns to daub hor 
\Vi' dirt this day. 

Mak haste and turn King David owre, 

And lilt wi' holy clangor ; 
O' double verse come gie us four, 

And skirl up tiie Bangor : 
This day the Kirk kicks up a stoure. 

Nae mair the knaves shall wrang iier, 
For Heresy is in her power, 

And gloriously siie'll whang her 
Wi' pith this day. 

Come, let a proper text be read, 

And touch it ntf with vigour, 
How graceless JFnmj leugli at his dud, 

Which made Canaan a Niger ; 
Or PhineasX drove tlie murdering blade, 

Wi' wh-re-abliorriug rigour ; 
Or Zlpporah,^ the scaulding jade, 

Was like a bluidy tiger 

1' th' inn that day. 

There, try his mettle on the creed, 
And bind him down wi' caution. 

• AUudinar to a scoffin? ballftd which was made on the 
admission of the late Ileverend and worthy Mr. L. to the 
Laigh Kirk. 

+ Genrsis, ix. + Xiiinbcrs, xxv. § Exodus, iv. 


Tliat stipend is a carnal wopA 
Up taks but for tlie lasliioii ; 

And frit' liiin o'er tlie flock to ffed, 
And punish each transcrrcssion ; 

Especial rnvis that cross the breed, 
Gie them sufficient threshin, 

Spare them nae day. 

Now aiild KUmnrnoch cock thy tail, 

And toss thy horns I'u' scanty ; 
Nae mair thou'lt rowt out-owre the dale, 

Because thy pasture's scanty ; 
For lapfn's larffe o' gnxpel hail 

Shall find thy crib in plenty, 
And riintx o' grace, the pick and wale. 

No gien by way o' dainty, 

But ilka day. 

Nae mair by Babel's streams we 11 weep, 

To think upon our Zio7i : 
And hing our fiddles up to sleep. 

Like baby-clouts a-drying ; 
Come, screw the pegs wi' tuneful cheep. 

And o'er the thairms be trying ; 
Oh, rare ! to see our elbucks wheep, 

And a' like lamb-tails fiyin 

Fu' fast this day ; 

Lang Patronac/e wi' rod o' aim, 

Has shor'n the Kirk's undoin, 
As lately Fenwick, sair forfairn, 

Has proven to its ruin : 
Our Patron, honest man ! Glencairn, 

He saw mischief was brewin ; 
And, like a godly elect bairn 

He's waled us out a true ane. 

And sound this day. 


Now, lioldnxon, liarangue nae inair, 

But Steele your gab tor ever ; 
Or try the wicked town o' Aj/r, 

For tliere they'll think you clever j 
Or, nae reflection on your lear, 

You may commence a Shaver ; 
Or to the Nethcrtnii repair, 

An turn a carpet weaver 

Aff-hand this day. 

Mutrie and you were just a match. 

We never "had sic twa drones ; 
And Hornie did the Lal(j Kirk watch, 

Just like a winkin baudrons ; 
And aye he catch'd the tither wretch, 

To fry them in his caudrons ; 
But now his honour maun detach, 

Wi' a' his brimstone squadrons. 
Fast, fast this day. 

See, see auld Orthodox 's faes. 

She's swingein through the city, 
Hark, how the nine-tail'd cat she plays ! 

I vow its unco pretty : 
There Learning, wi' his Greekish face, 

Grunts out some Latin ditty ; 
And Common-Sense is gaun, she says 

To mak to Jamie Bcattic 

Her 'plaint this day. 

But there's Morality himsel' 

Embracing a' opinions ; 
Hear, how he gies the tither yell, 

Between his twa companions ; 
See how she peels the skin and fell, 

As ane were peeling onions ! 
Now there— they're packed aff to hell 

And banish 'd our dominions. 

Henceforth this day. 


O happy day ! rejoice, rfjoice ! 

Come bouse ubout tlie porter! 
Morality's (Knuire <lecoys 

Shiill here iiac inair find quarter: 
M-Kinlm/, Hiisse/, are tlie boys 

Tliat lieresy can torture : 
They'll gie her on a rape a hoj'se, 

And cow her measure shorter 

By til' head some day. 

Come bring the tither mutchkin in 

And here's for a conclusion, 
To every Neic Li/jht* mother's son, 

From this time Ibrth, confusion : 
If mair they deave us wi' their din. 

Or Patronage intrusion. 
We'll light a spunk, and, ev'ry skin, 

We'll rin them afFin fusion 

Like oil, some day. 

T II E C A L F. 


On his Text, Malachi, chap. iv. ver. 2— "And thny shall 
go forth, and grow up like calves of the stall." 

Right, Sir ! your text I'll prove it true, 

Though heretics may laugh ; 
For instance, there's yoursel just now, 

God knows, an unco Calf'! 

' New Lights is a cant plirasp in the West of Scotlanrl, for 
those ri'lijrious opinions wiiich Dr. Taylor, of Norwich, lias 
deftiided so strenuously. 


And slioukl some patron be so kind 

As bless you wi' a kirk, 
I doubt na, Sir, but then wo'll find 

Ye're still as great a Stlrk .' 

But if the Lover's raptured hour 

Shall ever be j'our lot, 
Forbid it every heavenly Power, 

You e'er should be a 'Stot! 

Tho' when some kind, connubial dear, 

Your but-and-ben adorns, 
Tiie like has been, that you may wear 

A noble head o' hums '. 

And in your lug, most reverend James, 

To hear you roar and rowt, 
Few men o' sense will doubt your claims 

To rank among the Noicte! 

And when your number'd wi' the dead, 

Below a grassy hillock, 
Wi' justice they may mark your head — 

" Here lies a famous Bullock .'" 


O Prince! Chief of many throned pow'rs, 
Thut led Ihu erubuttled si-raphim to war. 


O Thou, whatever title suit thee, 
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie, 
Wha in yon cavern grim and sootie, 
Clos'd under hatches. 

40 burns' pokms. 

Spairges about the brunstane cootie, 

To scaud poor wretclies ; 

Hear ine, auld Hdixjie, for a wee, 
And let poor diimned bodies be ; 
I'm sure siua' pleasure it can gie. 

E'en to a deil, 
To skelp and scaud poor dogs like me, 

And hear us squeel ! 

Great is tby pow'r, and great thy fame. 
Far kend and noted is thy name ; 
And tho' yon lowan hetigh's thy haiue. 

Thou travels far ; 
And faith, tliou's neither lag nor lame, 

Nor blaie nor scaur. 

Whyles, rangin like a roarin lion, 
For prey, a' holes and corners tryin ; 
Whyles, oh the strong-wins'd tempest flyin, 

Tirling the kirks ; 
VVhyles, in the human bosom pryin, 

Unseen thou lurks. 

I've heard my rev'rend Grannie say, 
In lanely glens ye like to stray, 
Or where auld-ruiu'd castles, gray, 

Nod to the moon, 
Ye fright the nightly wand'rer's way 

Wi' eldritch croon. 

When twilight did my Grannie summon 
To say her pray'rs, douce, honest woman, 
Aft yont the dyke she's heard you bumniin, 

Wi' eerie drone ! 
Or, rustlin, thro' the boortrees comin, 

Wi' heavy groan ! 

burns' poems. 47 

Ae dreary, windy, winter niglit, 

Tiie stars shot down \vi' sklentiu light, 

Wi' you, luysel, I gat a friglit, 

Ayoiit tlie loch ; 
Ye, like a rash-bush, stood in sight ; 

Wi' waving sugh. 

The cudgel in ray nieve did shake, 

Each bristled hair stood like a stake. 

When wi' an eldritch stoor, quaick— quaick— 

Anian<r the springs 
Away ye squatter 'd, like a drake. 

On whistling wings. 

Let warlocJiS grim, and wither'd hmjs^ 
Tell how wi' you, on ragweed nags, 
Tliey skim the niuirs and dizzy crags 

Wi' wicked speed. 
And in kirkyards renew tlieir leagues, 

Owre howkit dead. 

Thence countra wives, wi' toil and pain, 
May plunge and plunge tlie kirn in vain ; 
For, oh! the yellow treasure's taen 

By witchin skill ; 
And dawtit, twal-pint HawJde's gaen 

As yell's the Bill. 

Thence mystic knots mak great abusr> 

On young gudenum, fond, keen, and crousej 

When the best wark-looni i' the house 

By cantrip wit. 
Is instant made no worth a louse. 

Just at the bit. 

When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord, 
And float the jinglin icy boord, 

18 Ul'KNtj' I'or.MS. 

VVlien Water-hi'lpk'S haunt the foord 
IJy your direction, 

And 'nigh ted tniv'llers are allur'd 

To their destruction. 

And aft your moss- traversing SpunMcs 
Dt'coy the wiglit that late and drunk is j 
The bleezhi, curst, mischievous monkeys 

Delude his eyes, 
Till in some miry slough he sunk is, 
Ne'er mair to rise. 

When Masofi's mystic word and g-rtp 
In storms and tempests raise ye up, 
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop. 

Or, strange to tell ! 
Tiie youngest Brither ye wad vvhup 

\tf str:iight to hell ! 

Lang sjTie, in Eden's bonny yard, 
When youthfu' lovers first were pair'J 
And a' the soul of love they shar'd, 

The raptiir'd hour, 
Sweet on the fragrant, flow'ry svvaird, 

In shady bow'r : 

Then you, ye auld sneck-drawin' do^ ! 

Ye cam to Paradise incog., 

And playd on man a cursed brogue, 

(Black be your fa'!) 
And gied the infant warld a shog, 

'Maist ruin'd a'. 

D'ye mind that day, when in a bizz, 
Wi' reekit duds and reestit gizz, 
Ye did present your smoutie phiz 
'Mans: better folk. 

burns' poems. 49 

And sklented on the man of Uz 
Your spitefu' joke ? 

And how ye gat him i' your thrall, 
And brak him out o' house and hall 
While scabs and blotches did him gall, 

Wi' bitter claw, 
And lows'd his ill-tongued wicked scawl, 

Was warst ava'. 

But a' your doings to rehearse. 
Your wily snares and feclitin fierce, 
Sin' that day Michael* did you pierce, 

Down to this time, 
Wad ding a Lallan tongue, or Erse, 
In prose or rhyme. 

/vnd now, auld Cloots, I kenye're think in, 
A certain Bardie's rantin, drinkin, 
Some luckless hour will send him linkin 

To your black pit ; 
But, faith! he'll turn a corner, jinkin, 

And ciieat you yet. 

But, fare ye weel, auld NicMe-hen I 

O wad ye tak a thought and men' ! 

Ye ail)rins miglit— I dinna ken- 
Still liae a stake — 

I'm wae to think upo' yon den, 

Ev'n for your sake ! 

• Vidf Millon, Book VI. 





An iiiuo inournfxL' Tide. 

As Mailie and her lambs, thegither, 
Were ae day nibbling on the tether 
Upon the cloot she coost a hitch, 
And owre she warsled in the ditch 
There, trroamng, dying, she did lie, 
When Hughoc* he carae doytin by 

Wi' plowrin een, and lifted han's, 
Poor Hughoc like a statue Stan's ; 
He saw her days were near-hand endit, 
By, waes my heart ! he cou'dna mend it ? 
He gaped wide, but naething spak ! 
At length poor Mailie silence brak: 

*' O thou, whase lamentable face 
Appears to mourn ray woefu' case ! 
My dying icorcLs attentive hear. 
And bear them to my master dear : 

" Tell him, if e'er again he keep 
As muckle gear as buy a sheep, 
O ! bid him never tie them mair 
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hai. 
But ca' them out to park or hill, 
And let them wander at their will ; 
So may his flock increase, and grow 
To scores o' lambs and packs o' woo. 

• A neighbour lierrl-callan. 


" Tell liini, lie w;is a Master kin , 
And iiye was <j:ii(le to me and mine ; 
And now my dyint; charge I gie him, 
My helpK'ss hiuibs I trust tliem wi' him, 

" O, bid liim save their harmless lives, 
Frae dogs, and tods, and butcher's knives ! 
But gie them gude cow-milk their fill, 
Till they be tit to fend themsel : 
And tent them duly, e'en and mom, 
Wi' teats o' hay and rips o' corn. 

" And may they never learn the gaets 
Of ither vile wanrestlu'jwc^i' / 
To slink thro' slaps, and reave and steal 
At stacks o' pease, or stocks o' kail. 
So may they, like their great forbears, 
For moriy a year come thro' the sheers 
So wives wiil gie them bits o' bread, 
And bairns greet for them when they're dead. 

" My poor toop-lamh, my son and heir, 
O, bid him breed him up wi' care ! 
And if he live to be a buast, 
To pit some bavins in his breast ; 
And warn him, what I winna name, 
To stay content wi' yows at hame; 
And no to rin and wear his cloots, 
Like ither nienseless, graceless brutes. 

»* And neist my yoicie, silly thing, 
Gude keep thee iVae a tether string ! 
O, may thou ne'er forgather up 
Wi' ony blastit, moorland toop ! 
But aye keep mind to moop and mell 
Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel. 

" And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath, 
I leave my blessin wi' you baith ; 
And when you think upon your luither, 
Mind to be kind to ane atiitln^r, 


" Now, lioiiest IltdjJioc, dirma fail 
To tell my luiistera' my tale ; 
Ami bid liiiu burn tliis cursed tether ; 
And for thy pains tiiou's get my blether," 

This said, poor Mailie tum'd her head, 
And clos'd her een amang the dead ! 


Lament in rhyme, lament in prose, 
Wi' saut tears trickling down your nose ; 
Our bardie's late is at a close, 

Past a' remead ; 
The last sad cape-stane of his woes ; 

Poor Mailie' s dead ! 

It's no the loss o' warld's gear, 
That could sae bitter draw the tear, 
Or mak our bardie, dowie, wear 

The mourning weed ; 
He's lost a friend and neebor dear, 

In Mailie dead. 

Thro' a' the town she trotted by him ; 
A lang half-mile she could descry hira ; 
Wi' kindly bleat, when she did spy him ; 

She ran wi' speed ; 
A friend mair faithfu' ne'er cam nigh him, 

Than Mailie dead. 

I wat she was a sheep o' sense, 
And could behave herself wi' mense ; 
I'll say't, she ne\er brak a fence 

Thro' thievish greed. 
Our bardie, lanely, keeps the spence 

Sin' Mailie^s dead. 


Or, if lie wanders up the howe, 
Her Iivin<,' iinaLre, in her i/oice. 
Comes bleating to liini, owre the knowe, 

For l)its o' bread ; 
And down the briny pearls rowe 

For Mailic dead. 

She was nae pet o' muirland tips, 

Wi' tawted ker, and hairy hips ; 

For her forbears were brought in sliips 

Frae yont the Traced ! - 
A bonnier j(?tr5/i ne'er cross'd the clips 

Than Mailie dead. 

Wae worth tlie man who first did shape 
That vile wanchancie thing— « rape! 
It maks gude fellows girn and gape 

Wi' chokin dread ; 
An' Robin's bonnet wave wi' crape, 

For Mailie dead. 

O, a' ye bards on bonny Doon ! 
And wha on Ayr your chanters tune! 
Come, join the inelancholious croon 

O' Robin'-s reed! 
His lieart will never cret aboon 

His Mailie dead ! 

64 burns' pokms. 



Friendship! mysterioiis ccnipnt of the son) I 

Sweet'ner of lifi-, and solder of society I 

I owe thee mucli. Blair. 

Dear Smith, the sleest, pawkie thief, 
That ere attempted stealth or rief, 
You surely hae some warlock-breef 

Owre human hearts ; 
For ne'er a bosom yet was prief 

Against your arts. 

For rae, I swear by sun and moon, 
And every star that blinks aboon, 
Ye've cost me twenty pair o' shoon. 

Just gaun to see you, 
And every ither pair that's done, 

Mair ta'en I'm wi' you. 

That auld capricious carlin, Nature, 
To mak amends for scrinipit stature, 
She's turn'd you aff, a human creature 

On her first plan, 
And in her freaks, on ev'ry feature, 

She's wrote — the Man. 

Just now I've ta'en the fit of rhyme, 
My barmie noddle's working priuje, 
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 rliyme (vain thought !) for needfii' cash ; 

Some rhyme to court the countru clash, 

And raise a din ; 
For me, an aim I never fash— 

I rhyme tor fun. 

The star that rules my luckless lot. 

Has fated me the russet coat, 

And damn'd my fortune to the groat ; 

But, in requit. 
Has blest me wi' a random shot 

O' countra wit. 

This while my notion's taen a sklent, 
To try my fate in gude black prent ; 
But still the more I'm that way bent, 

Something cries, " Hoolie ! 
I red you, honest man, tak tent ! 

Ye'U shaw your folly. 

" There's ither poets, much your betters. 
Far seen in Greek, deep men o' letters, 
Hae thought they had ensur'd their debtors 

A' future ages ; 
Now moths deform, in shapeless tatters, 

Their unknown pages." 

Then fareweel hopes o' laurel-boughs. 
To garland my poetic brows ! 
Henceforth I'll rove where busy ploughs 

Are whistling thrans, 
And teach the lonely heights and liowes 

My rustic sang. 

I'll wander on, wi' teiitless heed 
How iiever-haltiiig moments spoed, 


Till Fate shall snap the brittle thread : 
Then, all unknown, 

I'll lay nie with th' in^loriou3 dead, 
Forgot and gone ! 

But why o' Death be^rin a tale ? 

Just now we're living,' sound and Imie ; 

Then top and maintop crowd the sail, 

Heave Care o'er side ? 
And large, before Enjoyraent's gale, 

Let's tak the tide. 

This life, sae far's I understand, 

Is a' enchanted fairy-land, 

Where pleasure is the magic wand, 

Tiiat, wielded right, 
Make hours like minutes, hand in hand, 

Dance by fu' light. 

The magic wand then let us wield : 
For, ance that five-and-forty's speel'd, 
See crazy, weary, joyless eild, 

Wi' wrinkled face, 
Comes hoastin, hirplin owre the field, 

Wi' creepin pace. 

When ance lifers day draws near the gloamin, 
Then fareweel vacant careless roamin ; 
And fareweel cheerful tankards foamin. 

And social noise ; 
And fareweel dear deluding icoman, 

The joy o' joys ! 

O Life! how pleasant in thy morning, 
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning ! 
Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorning, 
We frisk away. 


Like school-boys at th' expected warniiiij, 
To joy and play. 

We wander there, we wander here. 
We eye the rose upon the brier, 
Unmindful that the thorn is near 

Amant,^ the leaves; 
And the' the puny wound appear, 

Short whiie it grieves. 

Some, lucky, find a flow'ry spat, 
For which they never toil'd nor swat ; 
They drink the sweet, and eat the fat, 

But care or pain ; 
And, haply, eye the barren hut 

Wi' high disdain. 

\Vi' steady aim, some Fortune chase ; 
Keen Hope does every sinew brace ; 
Thro' fair, thro' foul, they urge the race, 

And seize the prey : 
Then cannie, in some cozie place. 

They close the day. 

And ithers, like your humble servan'. 
Per wights ! nae rules nor roads observin ; 
To right or left, eternal swervin. 

They zigzag on ; 
Till curst wi' age, obscure and starvin. 

They aften groan. 

Alas ! what hitter toil and strainin I — 
But truce wi' peevish, poor complainin ; 
Is Fortune's fickle Luiui wanin ? 

E'en let her gang! 
Beneath what light she has remainiu 

Let's sing our sang. 

1 mU>S lOKMS. 

My ppH I here flinj? to the door, 

And kneel, " Ye powers ! and warm unplor«, 

Though I should wander terra o'er 

In all her dimes, 
Grant me but this, I ask no more, 

Aye rowth o' rhymes. 

" Gie dreepin? roasts to countra lairds, 
Till icicles hinji frae their beards ; 
Gie fine braw claes to fine lite-guards. 

And ninids of honour : 
And yill and wlii-ky <(ie to cairdx 

Until tiiey sconner. 

" A title, Dempster merits it ; 

^L garter pie to Willie Pitt ; 

Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit. 

In cent, per cent. 
But gie me real, sterling wit, 

And I'm content- 

" While ye are pleas'd to keep me liale, 
I'll sit down owre my scanty meal, 
Be't water-brose or lu.uslin-kail, 

W"i' ciieerfu' face, 
As lang's the Muses diima fail 

To say the grace." 

An anxious ee I never throws 

liehint my lue, or by my nose ; • 

I jouk beneath Misfortune's blows 

As weel's I may : 
Sworn foe to sorrow, care, and prose, 

I rhyme away. 

O ye donee folk, that live by rule, 
Grave, tideless -blooded, calm and cool, 


Conipar'd wi' you — O fool! fool! foul! 

I low much unlike ! 
Your hearts are just a standing pool, 

Your lives a dyke ! 

Nae harebrain'd sentimontal traces 
In your unletter'd nameless faces ' 
In arioso trills and graces, 

Ye never stray, 
But, gi'avissimo, solemn basses, 

Ye hum away. 

Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're icite, 

Nae ferly tho' ye do despise 

The hairum-scairum, ram-stara boys, 

The rattling squad ; 
I see you upward cast your eyes — 

Ye ken the road. — 

Whilst I — but I shall Imud me therf — 
Wi' you I'll scarce gang ony where — 
Then, Jamie, I shall say nae mair, 

But quat my sang. 
Content, with yoii to mak a pair, 

Whare'er I gang. 

()() nT•H^^ rOEHS. 


Thoiitjlits, words, ami deods, the stat'ite blanius wiili reason 
But hurcly Dn-Hins were ne'er indited traason. 

[On reading in thp publio papers, the LAUREATE'S OUE, 
with the other PARADE of June 4, 1786. the Author was 
no sooner dropt asleep, than he imagined himself trans- 
ported to the Birth-day Levee; and in his dreaming fancy, 
made the following Address.] 

GuDE-MORNiNG to voiir 3IaJestt/, 

May Ileav'n autinient your blisses, 
On ev'ry new hirth-dny ye see, 

A humhle poet wishes ! 
My baidsliip here, at your levee, 

On sic a day as this is. 
Is sure an uncouth sight to se^, 

Ainang the birth-day dresses 
Sae fine this day. 

I see ye're complimented thrang, 

By raony a lord and lady ! 
'God save the King !' 's a cuckoo sang 

That's unco easy said aye ; 
The poets, too, a venal gang, 

Wi' rhymes weel turn'd and ready, 
Wrid gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang, 

But aye unerring'steady. 
On sic a day. 

For me ! before a monarch's face, 

Ev'n there I winna flatter ; 
For neither pension, post, nor place, 

Aia I )our humble debtor; 

BUIlNri' I'OKMS 01 

Sae, nae reflection on your grace, 

Your kingship to bespatter; 
Tlu'i-e's mony waur been o' the race, 

And aiblius ane been better 

Than you this day. 

'Tis very true my sov'rei^n kinsr, 
My skill may weel be doubted ; 
But facts are chiels that winna ding. 

And downa be disputed ; 
- Your royal nest, beneatli your wing, 

Is e'en right left and clouted, 
And now the third part o' the string, 
And less, will uang about it 
Thau did ae day 

Far be't frae me tliat I aspire, 

To blame your legislation, 
Or say, ye wisdom want, or lire. 

To rule this mi-^hty nation ! 
But faith ! I muckle doubt, my Sire, 

Y'e've trusted 'ministration 
To chaps, wha' in a barn or byre, 

Wad better till their station 

Than courts yon day. 

And now ye've given auld Britain peace, 

Her broken shins to plaster ; 
Your sair taxation does her fleece, 

Till she has scarce a tester ; 
For me, thank God ! my life's a lease, 

Nae bargain wearing faster, 
Or, faith ! I fear that, wi' the geese, 

I shortly boost to pasture 

r the craft some day. 

I'm no mistrusting Willlie Pitt, 
When taxes he enlarges, 


(And Will's a true gude fallow's get, 

A name not envy spairzes), 
Tliiit he intends to* pay your debt. 

And lessen a' your cliarjes ; 
But, G-d sake ! "l»^t na? saving fit 

Abridge your bonny barires 

And boats this day. 

Adieu, ray Liege t may freedom geek 

Beneath your hish protection : 
And may ye rax Corruption's neck, 

And gie her for dissection. 
But since I'm here, I'll no neglect, 

Ii\ loyal, true affection. 
To pay'your Queen, with due respect, 

My fealty and subjection 

This great birth-day. 

Hail, Majesty Most Excellent ! 

Wiiile noble.s strive to please ye, 
Will ye accept a compliment 

A simple poet gies ye ? 
Time bonny bairntime, Heav'n has lent, 

Still higher may they heeze ye? 
Ill bliss, till Fate some day is sent, 

For ever to release ye 

Frae care that day. 

For you, young potentate of Wales, 

I tell your Highness fairly, 
Down Pleasure's stream, wi' swelling sails, 

Fm tauld ye're driving rarely ; 
But some day ye may gnaw your nails. 

And curse your folly sairly. 
That e'er ye brak Diana's pales, 

Or rattled di.'e wi' Charlie, 
By night or day. 


Yt't aft a ra'pT^'eil cowte'i been known 

To niak a noble aiver ; 
Sue ye may doncfly lill a throne, 

For a' their clishmaclaver : 
Tliere, him* at Agincourt wha slione, 

Few better were or braver ; 
And yet, \vi' funny, queer SirJohn,'i 

He was an unco shaver 

For inony a day. 

For you, right reverend Osnaburg, 

Nane sets tlie lawn-sleeves sweeter 
Although a ribband at your lug 

Wad been adre^s completer! 
As ye disown yon paughty dog 

That bears the keys of Peter, 
Then, switli ! and get a wife to hug, 

Or, troth ! ye'll stain the mitre 
Some luckless day. 

Young, royal Tarry Breeks, I learn, 

Ye've lately come athwart her ; 
A glorious galley, X stem and stern, 

Weel rigg'd tor Venus' barter; 
But first hang out, tliat she'll discern 

Your hymeneal ci;arter, 
Tlien heave aboard your grapple-airn. 

And, large upo' her quarter. 

Come full that day. 

Ye, lastly, bonny blossoms a', 
Qe royal lasses dainty, 

•Kinsr Homy V. 
+ Sir John Falstaff. See Sliakspeare's Henry IV. 
1 Vlludin!; to the newsimjier-account of a certain Royal 
Sailor's amour. 


Ilrnv'n niuk you Rude as weel as braw, 
And ii'ie you lads a-plenty ! 

Jiiit Miwr iia British Jioys awa 
For kiii|j[s are unco scant aye : 

And German gentles are but sma' 
They're better just than icant aye, 
On ony day. 

God bless you a' ! consider now 

Ye're unco muckle dautit ; 
IJut ere the course of life be through, 

It may be bitter sau tit; 
And I hae seen their coggie fou, 

That yet hae tarrow't at it ; 
But or the day w as done, I trow, 

The laggan they hae clautit 
Fu' clean that dav. 



The sun had clos'd the winter day, 
TIjc curlers quat their roaring play, 
And hunger'd niaukin ta'en her way 

To kail-yards green, 
^^'hile faithless snaws ilk step betray 

Whare she has been. 

The thresher's we&ry flingin-tree 
The lee-Iang day had tired me ; 

• Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a 
digressive poem. See iiisCath-Loda, vol. ii.of M'Pherson' 

burns' poems. 60 

And whan the day had clos'd his oe, 

Far i' the west, 
Ben i' the spence, right peusivelie, 

I gaed to rest. 

There, lanely, by the inwle cheek 

I sat, and ee'd the spewin reek, 

That fiU'd, wi' lioast-provokinn sineek, 

Tlie auld chiy bi^^gin ; 
And heard the n'stless rattons squeak 

About the riggin. 

A' in this niotty, misty cliuie, 

1 backward uius'd on wasted time, 

How I liad spent iny youthfu' prime, 

And done nae thing, 
But stringing blethers up in rhyme, 

For fools to sing. 

Had I to gude advice but iiarkit, 
I might, by this, liae led a market, 
.Or struttit in a bank, and clarkit 

My cash-account ; 
Wliile here, half-mad, half-fed, half-sarkit, 

Is a' ih' amount. 

I started, mutt'ring, Blockijead ! coof ! 
And heav'd on high my waukit loof, 
To swear by a' yon starry roof, 

Or some rash aiih. 
That I, henceforth, wad be rhyme-proof 

Till my last breath— 

When, click ! the string the sneck did draw j 
And jee! the door gaed to the wa', 
And by my ingle-lowe I saw, 

New bleezing bright, 
17 J.- 


A tight, outlandish hhzie, braw, 
Come full in sight. 

Ye needna doubt, I held my whisht ; 
The infant aith, half-form'd, was crusht : 
I glow'rd as eerie's I'd been dusht 

In some wild 8:len ; 
When sweet, like modest worth, she blusht, 

And stepped ben. 

Green, slender, leaf-clad hoUy-hovghx 
Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows ; 
I took her for some Scottish Muse, 

By that same token ; 
And come to stop those reckless vows 

Wad soon been broken. 

A ' harebrain'd, sentimental trace' 
Was strongly marked in her face ; 
A wildly-witty, rustic grace 

Shone full upon her ; 
Her eye, ev'n turn'd on empty space, 

Beara'd keen wi' honour. 

Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen, 
Till half a leg was scrimply seen ; 
And sic a leg ! my bonny Jean 

Could only peer it ; 
Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean, 

Niiue else cam near it. 

Her mantle large, o' greenish hue, 

My gazing wonder cliiefly drew ; 

Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling, threw 

A lustre grand, 
.Vnd seem'd, to ray astonish'd view, 

A vell-liHOici) land. 

burns' pokms. 07 

Ui'Vti, rivers in the sea were lost, 
Tliere, iuouiit;iins to the skies were tost ; 
Here, tumbling billows marked the coast, 

Wi' surgiii? foam ; 
There, distant shone Art's lofty boast. 

The lordly dome. 

Here Doon pour'd down his far-fctch'd flood^^ 
There, well-fud Irwlne stately thuds: 
Auld hermit Atjr siaw through his woods. 

On to the shore ; 
And raony a lesser torrent scuds, 

Wi' seemin roar. 

Low, in a sandy valley spread, 

An ancient borough rear'd her head ; 

Still, as in Scottish story read, 

She boasts a race. 
To ev'ry nobler virtue bred, 

And polish'd grace. 

By stately tow'r or palace fair, 

Or ruins pendent in the air. 

Bold stems of heroes, here and there, 

I could discern; 
Some seem'd to muse, some seera'd to dare, 

Wi' feature stern. 

My heart did glowing transport feel. 

To see a race* heroic wheel. 

And brandish round the deep-dyed steel 

In sturdy blows : 
While back recoiling seem'd to reel 

Their soutliron foes. 


His Countuy's Saviour,* mark liiin well ; 
Bold liichardton's\ lieroic swell ; 
The cliietou Sark,t who {glorious fell, 

In liiul) coininaml ; 
Aud //(', whom riitliless fates expel 

His native land. 

There, where a scepter'd Picfislik shade 
Stalk'd round his ashes lowly laid, 
I inark'd a martial race, pourtray'd 

In colonrs 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, 
An agedjmhje, I saw him rove. 

Dispensing good. 

With deep-struck reverential aweH 
The learned sire and son I saw. 

• William Wallace. 

t Adam Wallace of Ricliardton, cousin to the immortal 
preserver of Scottish independence. 

X Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in command 
under Douglas, Earl of Orrnond, at the famous battle on the 
banks of Sark, fought tmno 1448. 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. 

5 Coilus, Kingof thePicts, from whom tlie district of Kyle 
is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition says, near the ■ 
family seat of the Montgomuries of Coilsfield, where hi»' 
burial-place is still shewn. 

II Barskimming, the seat of tlie lute Lord Justice Clerk. 

*" Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor, and present Professor 


To Nature's God and Nature's law 

They save their h)ie : 
Tliis, all its source and end to draw, 

That, to adore. 

Brydojie's brave ward* I well could spy, 
Beneath ohl ScotUi's sinilinLj eye ; 
Who call'd on Fame, low standing by, 

To liand liini on, 
Where many a p:itriot-nanie on high, 

And liero shone. 


With musing deep, astonish'd stare, 
I view'd the heavenly-seemlng^air ; 
A whisp'ring throb did witness bear 

Of kindred sweet. 
When with an elder sister's air 

Slie did me greet. 

" All hail ! my own inspired Bard, 
In me thy native Muse regard ! 
Nor longer mourn tliy fate as hard, 

Tims Dooriy iow! 
I come to give thee such reward 

As we bestow. 

" Know, the great genius of this land 
Has many a litilit, aerial band, 
Who, all beneath Iiis high command, 

As arts and arms they understand, 

Tlieirlabours ply. 

CdIoiicI Fiillarton. 


" They Scotia's race anionff tlieiii dliare, 
Some fire tlie soldit-r on to dare; 
Some rouse the patriot up to bare 

Corruption's lieart ; 
Some teach the bard, a darlin-i: care, 

The tuneful art. 

" 'Morif? swellinqr floods of reeking gore, 
They, ardent, kindlin;^ spirits pour; 
Or, 'mid the venal senate's roar, 

They, sightless, stand, 
To mend the honf^st patriot-lore, 

And grace the hand. 

" And when the bard, or hoary sage, 
(^harm or instruct the future age, 
They bind tiie wild poetic rage 

III energy, 
Or point the inconclusive page 

Full on the eye. 

" Hence Fidlartun, the brave and young ; 
Hence Dempster's zeal-inspiring tongue ; 
Hence sweet harmonious Beattie sung 

His ' Ministrel lays ;' 
Or tore, with nobler ardour stung, 

The sceptic's bays. 

" To lower orders are assign'd 
The humbler ranks of human-kind. 
The rustic Bard, the lab'ring Hina, 

The Artisan ; 
All chuse, as various they're inclin'd 

The various man. 

" When yellow waves the heavy crain. 
The threat'ning storm some strongly rein ; 

burns' roEMS. 71 

Some teach to meliorate tlie plain 

With tillage-skill ; 
And some instruct the shepherd-train, 

Blythe o'er the hill. 

** Some hint the lover's harmless wile ; 
Some grace the maiden's artless sinile ; 
Some sooth the lab'rer'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 op'ning grace, 

A guide and guard. 

" Of these ayyi I—Coila ray name ; 

And this district as mine I claim, 

Where once the CampbcUs, chiefs of fame, 

Held ruling pow'r ; 
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 caroH'd chiming piirasc, 

In uncoutli rhymes, 
Fir'd 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, 

72 BnaNs' fokms, 

I saw grim Nature's vis:i<^e lioar 

Struck tliy young eye. 

" Or when the deep frreen- man tied earth 
Warm cheris'd every flovv'ret's birth, 
And joy and music pouring forth 

In ev'ry grove, 
I saw thee eye tiie <ren'ral mirlh 

With boundless love. 

" When ripen'd fields, and azure skies, 
Call'd forth the n aptrs' rustling ^loi^(•, 
I saw thee leave their evening joys, 

And lonely stalk, 
To vent thy bosom's swelling rise 

In pensive walk. 

"When youthful Love, warm-blushing, strong, 
Keen-shivering shot thy nerves alonr, 
Those accents, grateful to thy tong'.e, 

Th' adored Name, 
I taught thee how to pour in son<r. 

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, owre all my wide domains, 

Tliy fame extends ; 
And some, the pride of Collars plains. 

Become tliy friends. 

nrii.Ns' I'OHMs, 73 

"Tiimi canst not loam, nor can I sliow, 
To jmhit with ThonisotVs landscajje-glow, 
Or wake the bosom -meltini? throo 

\\"\\\\ Shenst one's art ; 
Or pour, with Gniif, the movintr flow 

Warm on the heart. 

" Yi't all beneath th' nnrivall'd rose, 
The lowly daisy sweetly blows ; 
Thougii large tlie forest monarch throws 

His army shade, 
Yet green the juicy liawthorn (.'rows, 

Adown the glade. 

" Then never murmur nor repine ; 
Strive in thy huml)le sphere to shine ; 
And trust me, not Potod's mine, 

Nor kinji's regard, 
Can give a bliss u'ermatching thine, 

A rustic Bard. 

"To give my counsels all in one. 
Thy tuneful flame still careful fan ; 
Preserve the dignity of Man 

\Vith soul erect ! 
And trust, the l/nirersal Plan 

Will all protect. 

" And wear thou this" — she solemn said, 
And bound the Holly rouml my head ; 
And polish'd leaves and berries red 

Did rustling play ; 
And, like a passing tliouiihr, she fled 

In light away. 

74 DUKNs' roEMa. 

A D D R E S 9 


My son, these maxims make a rule, 
And lump them aye thef^ither; 

The Ristid Riphttous is a fool, 
The Rigid Wise anithcr: 

The cleanest corn that e'er was dight 
May hae some pilee o' caff in ; 

Sae ne'er a fellow-creature slight 
For random fits o' daffin. 

Solomon. — Eccles. 

O Ye wha are sae jjude > oursel 

Sae pious and sae holy, 
Ye've nought to do but mark and tell 

Your iicebour's fauts and folly ! 
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mil], 

Supply'd wi' store o' water, 
The heapit happtr's ebbing still, 

And still the clap plays clatter. 

Hear me, ye venerable core, 

As counsel for poor mortals, 
That frequent pass douce Wisdom's door 

For glaiket Folly's portals ; 
I, for their thouj,4itless, careless sakes, 

Wad here propone defences, 
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes, 

Their failings, and mischances. 

Ye see your state wi' theirs compar'd 

And shudder at the niffer. 
But cast a moment's fair regard, 

What makes the mighty difitr? 

Kniixs' ?()KMs. 75 

Discount wliat scant occasion gave, 

Tliat purity ye pride in, 
And (what's afit mair than a' the lave) 

Your better art o' hiding 

Tliink, when your castijratcd pulse 

(lies now and then a wliallop, 
What ragins must liis veins convuls;;. 

That still eternal gallop; 
Wi' wind and tide fair i' your tail, 

Riillit on ye scud your sea-way ; 
Hut in the tottli o' baith to sail, 

It maks au unco lee-way. 

See Social Life and Glee sit down, 

A' joyous and unthinking. 
Till, quite transuiuurify'd, they're grown 

Debauchery and drinking ; 
O wad they stay to calculate 

Th' eternal consequences ; 
Or your more dreaded hell to state, 

Damnation of expenses ! 

Ye high, exalted, virtuous dames, 

Tied up in godly laces, 
Before you gie poor frallti/ names, 

Suppose a change o' cases ; 
A dear-lov'd lad, conveidence snug, 

A treacherous inclination 

But, let me whisper i' your lug, 

Ye're aiblius uae temptation. 

Then gently scan your brother man, 

Still gentler sister woman, 
Tho' they may gang a kennin wrang ; 

To step aside is liuman ; 
One point must still be greatly dark, 

The moving w/nj they do it ; 

nriiNs i'OKjrs. 

And just as lamely can ye mark, 
How fur perlia])8 tiny rue it. 

Wha made the heart, 'tis He alone 

Decidedly can try us, 
He knows each cord, its various tone, 

Each spring, its various bias : 
Then at the balance let's be mute, 

We never can adjust it ; 
What's done we partly may compute, 

But ken na wiiat's resistet. 


All lioncst man's tlie noblest work oi God.— Pope. 

Has auld Kilmarnock seen the Deil ? 
Or great M' K'lnlay'f tlirawn his heel ? 
Or RobinxonX a?ain grown weel, 

To preach and read ? 
" Na, waur than a' !" cries ilka chiel, 

" Tani Samson's dead." 

Kilmarnock lang may grunt and grane. 
And sigh, and sab, and i^reet her lane, 

• When this worthy old sportsman went out hist muir- fowl 
season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, "the last 
of his fields," and (?xprossed an ardent wish to die and be 
buried in the muirs. On this hint the author comi;osed his 
ele^y and epitaph. 

t A certain preacher, a great favourite with the million. 
Vide the "Ordination," stanza 2, 

J Another preaiher, an equal favourite with the few, who 
was at that time ailing. For him see also the "Ordination," 
Ktaiiz.i i). 


And deed her bairns, man wife, and wt-aii. 

In luouriiinji- weed ; 
To death she's dearly paid the kane, 

Tani Samson's dead. 

The brethren o' the mystic level 
May hing their head in wofu' bevel, 
While by tiieir nose the tears will revel 

Like ouy bead; 
Death's gien the L ^dge an unco deve!, 

Tani Samson's dead ! 

When Winter nuitiies up his qloak, 
And binds tlie mire like a rock ; 
When to the louglis the curlers flock, 

A\'i' <ileesoine speed, 
Wha will they station at the cock ? 

Tani Samson's dead ! 

He was the king o' a' the core, 
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, 
Or up the rink like Jehu roar 

In time o' need ; 
But now he lags on death's hog-score, 

Tarn Samson's dead ! 

Now safe the stately saumont sail. 
And trouts bedrop'd wi' crimson hail, 
And eels, weel kenn'd for souple tail. 

And geds for greed, 
Since dark in death's,/z,s7i-c7Y'c^ we wail 

Tam Samson's dead ! 

Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a' ; 
Ye cootie muirococks, crousely craw ; 
Ye maukins, cock your fuds fu' braw 
Withouten dread : 


Vour morfiil fae is now awa', 

Tarn Samson's dead. 

That wofu' morn he ever mourn'd 
Saw him in sliootirifj-fjraith adoni'd, 
While pointers round impatient burn'd, 

Frae coiij)le3 freed ; 
But, och ! he gaed, and ne'er return'd 

Tarn Samson's dead ! 

In vain auld age his body batters ; 
In vain tlie gout his ancles fetters , 
In vain the burns come down like waters. 

An acre braid ! 
Now every auld wife, greeting, clatters, 

Tarn Samson's dead ! 

Owre monie a weary hag he limpit, 
And aye the tither shot he thumpit^ 
Till coward Death behint hira jumpit, 

Wi' deadly feide ; 
Now he proclaims, wi tout o' trumpet, 

Tarn Samson's dead ! 

When at his heart he felt the dagger, 
He reel'd his wonted bottle-swagger, 
But yet he drew the mortal trigger 

Wi' weel-aim'd heed ; 
" Lord five!" he cried, and owre did stagger; 

Tarn Samson's dead ! 

Ilk hoary hunter raourn'd a brither ; 
Ilk sportsman-youth beraoan'd a father ; 
Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather, 

Marks out his head, 
Whare Burns has wrote in rhyming blether, 

7'a/rt Samson's dead.' 


There low he lies, in lasting rest ; 
Perhaps upon his mouldering: breast 
Some spitefu' mulTibwi bii^s her nest 

To hatch and breed ; 
Alas ! nae mair he'll fhem molest ! 

Tani Samson's dead ! 

When August winds the heather wave, 
And sportsmen wander by yon grave, 
Three volleys let his niem'ry entve 

O' pouther and lead ; 
Till Echo answers frae her cave. 

Tarn Samson's dead ! 

Heav'n rest his saul, whare'er he be ! 
Is th' wish o' mony mae than me ; 
He had twa fauts, or may be tliree, 

Yet what remead ? 
Ae social honest man want we — 

Tam Samson's dead ! 


Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies, 
Ye canting zealots si)are him ! 

If honest worth in heaven rise, 
Y'e'U mend or ye win near him. 


Go, Fame, and canter like a filly 

Through a' the streets and neuks o' Killie,* 

Tell every social, lionest billie 

To cease his grievin ; 
For yet, unscaith'd by death's gleg gullie, 

Tam Samson's livln ' 

• Kilmarnock. 


11 A L LOWE EN.* 

Tin; followintr r«ioiii will, l).v many readpis, be well cnoiiKh 
iiniJerstood ; but for the sake of those who are unacquainted 
with the manners and traditions of the country where tlie 
scene is cast, Notes are added, to pive some account of the 
principal Charms and Spells of that nipht, so big with 
Propliecy to the Peasantry in the West of Scotland. The 
passion of prying into futurity makes a striking part of the 
history of Human Nature in its rude state, in all apes and 
nations; and it may be some entertainment in a philosophic 
mind, if any such should honour the author with a perusal, 
to see the remains of it among the more unenlightened in 
our own. 

Yes! let the ricli deride, tlie proud disdain, 
The simple pleasures of the lowly train; 
To me more dear, congenial to my heart, 
One native charm, than all the gloss of art. 


ri'OX that niulit, when fairies light, 

On Cassilis Uotcnunsj dance, 
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze, 

On sprightly coursei's prance : 
Or for Colcun the rout is ta'en, 

Beneath tiie moon's pale beams ; 
There, up the Cove,X to stray and rove 

Amang the rot^ks and stream.s, 

To sport that night, 

• Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other 
mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful mid- 
night errands; jiarticularly those aerial people, the fairies, 
are said, on that night, to hold a grand anniversary. 

+ Certain little romantic, rocky, green hills, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the ancient seat of the Earls of Cassilis. 

X A noted cavern near Colean-house, called the Cove of 
Colean, which, as well as Cassilis Downans, is famed in 
country story for being a favourite haunt of fairies. 


Aniang tlie bonny winding: banks, 

Where Boon riiis wimplin clear, 
Wliere Bruce* ance rul'd the ni:irtial ranks, 

And shook tlie Can-ich spear, 
Some merry, friendly contra folks 

Tofrether did convene, 
To bium their nits, i\m\ pou their stocks, 

And hand their Ilnlloircen, 

Fu' blithe that night. 

The lasses feat, and cleanly neat, 

Mair braw than when they're tine ; 
Their faces blithe, fii' sweetly kytlie, 

Hearts leal, and warm, and kin' : 
The lads sue tri.;-, wi" wooer-babs. 

Well knotted on their garten, 
Some unco blate, and some wi' gabs, 

Gar lasses' hearts gang startin, 

Wliyles fast at night. 

Then first and foremost, thro' the kail. 
Their maun a' be soii^'ht ance; 

They steek their een, and graip and wale, 
Fur rauckle anes, and straught anes. 

• The famous family of that name, the ancestors of Robert, 
the great deliverer of his country, were Earls of Carrick. 

tThe first ceremony of Halloween is pulling each a stoc/i, 
or plant of kail. They must pro out, hand in hand, with ey<'8 
shut, and pull ihe first they meet with ; its beins: bitr or little, 
strai;,'ht or crooked, is proplietic. of the size and shape of the 
object of all their spells — the husband or wife. If auyyird, 
or earth, stick to the root, that is tocher or fortune; and 
the taste of the cttxtac, that is, the iieart of the stem, is 
indicative of the natural temper and disposition. Lastly, 
the stems, or, to pive tiiem their ordinary appellation, the 
runts, are placed somewhere above the head of the door; 
and the Cliristian names of tlie people whom chance brines 
into the hour,e, are according to the priority of placing the 
ruut.<!, the names in question. 
17 (i 

82 UUKNS' roKM». 

Pour liav'ivl Will fell aff tlie drift. 

And wander'fl tliro' tiie bow-knit, 
And pou't, lor want o' better shift, 

A nod was likg a sow-tail, 

Sae bow't that nizht. 

Tlien, straught or crooked, yird or nane, 

They roar and cry a' throu'tiier; 
The very wee tilings, todlin, rin 

Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther ; 
And gif the custoc's sweet or sour, 

Wi' jfictelegs tliey taste them ; 
Syne coziely, aboon the door, 

Wi' cannie care tliey've phic'd thcin 
To lie that night. 

The lasses staw frae 'mang them a', 

To pou their stalks o' corn;* 
But Rab slips out, and jinks about 

Behind the mackle thorn : 
lie gri])[)et Nelly hard and fast ; 

Loud skirled a' the lasses ; 
But her tap-pickle niaist was lost. 

When kiutlin i' the fause-hou-^et 
Wi' him that night. 

The auld gudewife's weel-hordet nits,X 
Are round and round divided, 

• Tliey KO to tlie bain-yard and pull each, at threp 
several times, a stalk cf oais. If tlie tliird stalk wants the 
top-jnclde, that is tlie grain at the top of the stalk, the parly 
in question will come to the mariage-bed any thing but a 

t When the corn is in a doubtful state, by beiiic too green 
or wtt, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, £cc. makes 
H larjre apartment in his stack, with an openiii'^ in the side 
which is most exposed to the wind; this he cvWs & favse- 

Z Burning; the nuts is a favourite charm. They n^vn^ the 
•ad and lass to each particular nut, as they lay lii ni in ih# 

n urns' pokms. S3 

And monie lads' and lasses' fates 

Are there that nif^ht decided : 
Somekindh", couthie, side by side, 

And buDi thcgirlier trimly ; 
Some start awa' wi' saucy pride. 

And jump out-owre tlie ohinilie 
Fa' high that night. 

Jean slips in twa, wi' tentie ee; 

Wha twas, she wadna tell ; 
But tliis is Juck, and this is tne, 

Slie says in to hersel : 
He bleez'd owre her, and she owre him, 

As they wad never raair part ; 
'Till futf ! he startdi up the lum, 

And Jean had e'en a sair heart, 
To see't tiiat night. 

Poor Willie, wi' his how-hnl rimt 

Was brunt wi' priinsie Mallie ; 
And Mallie, nae doubt, took the drunt., 

To be conipar'd to Willie : 
Mall's nit lap out wi' pridel'u' fiinjr, 

And her ain fit it brunt it ; 
M'hile Willie lap, and swoor hyji/ig, 

'Twas just the way he wanted 
To be that night 

Nell had the fause-house in her miii', 

She pits herself and Rob in ; 
In loving bleeze they sweetly join, 

Till white in ase they're solibin : 
Nell's heart was dancing at the view ; 

She whisper'd Rob to leuk for't : 

flrp; and accord ugly as tliey burn quietly fo^ethpr, or start 
from beside one inolhor, the course and issue of the court- 
gbip will be. 


Rob, stowlins, prie'd her bonny inou, 
Fu' cozic in tlie neuk fort, 

Unseen that night. 

But IMfTran sat hr liint tlieir hacks, 

Iler thoughts on Andrew Bell, 
She lea'es tlioin <rasliiri at their cracks, 

And slips out by liersel : 
She thro' the yard tlie nearest taks, 

And to the kiln she jroes then, 
And darkliiis graipit for the banks. 

And in the bluc-clcir* throws them, 
Right fear't that night. 

And ay she win't, and aye she swat ; 

I wat she made nae juiikin : 
Till something held within the pat, 

Gude L— d ! but she was quakin ! 
But whether 'twas the De'il hiinsel. 

Or whether 'twas a bauk-en', 
Or whether it was Andrew Bell, 

She didna wait on talkin 

To spier that night. 

Wee Jenny to her Grannie says, 
" Will ye go wi' me, Grannie ? 

I'll eat the apple t at the glass 
I gat frae uncle Johnnie : 

• Whoever would, with success, try this spell, must strictly 
observe these directions: Steal out, all alone, to the kiln, 
and, darkling, throw in the pot a clew of blue vain; wind 
it in a new clew off the old one; and, towards the latter end, 
something will hold the thread; demand, Wha hands? i.e. 
who holds? an answer will be returned from the kiln-pot, 
by naming the Christian and surname of your future spouse. 

♦ Take a candle, and go alone to a looking-glass; eat an 
upple before it; and some traditions sa}', you should comb 


She iufi"d her pipe \vi' sic a hint, 
In wrath slie was sae vap'rin, 

She iiotic'd na, an aizU; brunt 
Her braw new worset apron 

Out thro' that night. 

" Ye little skelpio-limmer's face I 

How dare you try sic sportin, 
As seek the foul thief ony place, 

For hiin to spae your fortune : 
Nae doubt but ye may get a si(jlit ! 

Great cause ye hae to fear it ; 
For niony a ane has j^otten a fright, 

An' liv'd and died deleeret 
On ^ic a night. 

" Ae hairst afore the Sherra-Moor, 

I mind't as weel's yestreen, 
I was a gilpey then, I'm sure 

I was no past fyfteen : 
Tiie simmer had been cold and wat, 

And stuff was unco green ; 
And ay a rantin kirn we gat, 

And just on Halloween 

It fell that night. 

" Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen, 

A clever sturdy fallow ; 
He's sin gat iljjple Sim wi' wean, 

That liv'd in Achmacalla; 
He gat heinp-sccd* I mind it weel, 

And he umde unco light o't ; 

jMiir huir all the time; the face of your coiijuKuI coin- 
l>itiiion, to he, will be seen in the glass, as if peeping over 
your shoulder. 

Steal out, unperccived, and sow an handful of lictn])- 
Heed, harrowing it with any tiling you can conveniently 

80 UUUNS' 1*0 KMH, 

Hut niony a day was hij himsel, 
He was sae snirlv lri;;lit(^iJ 

Thiit vera ui"ht." 

Then up gat fVclitin Jamie Fleck, 

And he swoor hy liis conscience, 
Tliat he could smc! hemp-seed a peck 

For it was a' but nonsense : 
The auld sudi'unin rau^ht down the pock, 

And out a hiindfu' \ik'\\ him; 
Syne bade him slip fnie 'nianj; the folk, 

Some time win n nae ;ine seed him, 
And try't that nigiit. 

He marches thro' araang the stacks, 

Tho' he was somctliin<r sturtin ; 
The (jraip he for a Iim-row tacks, 

And haurls at his curpin : 
And ev'ry now and then, he says, 

" Hemp-seed, I saw thee. 
And her that is to he my lass, 

Come after me and draw thee, 
As fast this night." 

He whistled up Lord Lennox' march, 

To keep his courage cheery ; 
Altho' his hair becian to arch. 

He was sae fley'd and eerie : 

draw after you. Rrpcat, now and then, "Hemp-seed, I 
saw tlice, lienip-seed, I saw tliee; and him (or her) that is 
to bo niy true-iove, come after me and pou thee." Look 
over your left slioulder, ;ind you will see the person invoked, 
in the attitude of puillnR hemp. Some traditions say, 
" Como after nie and shaw thee," that is, show thyself; in 
which case it simply appears. Others omit the harrowing, 
and say, "Come after me, and harrow thee." 


Till presently he luars a squeak. 

And then a grane an' gruntle: 
He by his shoutiier gae a keek, 

And tumbled wi' a wintle 

Out-owre that ni.;ht. 

He roar'd a horrid nmrder-shout, 

In dreadfu' desperation ! 
And younj? and unld cam rinnln out, 

To hear the sad narration • 
He swoor 'twas liilcliin Jean M'Craw, 

Or Croucliie ]\Ierran Huniphie, 
Till stop ! she trotfi'd thro' tliem a' 

And wlia was it but grumphie 

Asteer tliat nighl 

ileg fain wad to the l)arn hae gane , 

To win three wechts d" iiaet/iing ;* 
But for to meet the deil her lane, 

She put but little faith in : 
Site gies the herd a pickle nits, 

And twi" rt-d-cheekit apples, 
To watch, while for the burn she sets, 

lu hopes to see Taiu Kipples 

Tliat verv nicht. 

• This charm must likewise be performed, un perceived and 
alone. You go to the barn, and open both doors, taking 
thtni off the liinses if possible, lor tliere is danger that the 
being about to ap|)ear may shut lite doors, and do )'ou some 
mischief. Tlien take- tluit instrument used in winnowing the 
corn, which, in our country d.alect, we call a wecht, and go 
llirougii all the attitudes of letting down corn against the 
wind. Repeat it three times: and the tiiird time an appa- 
rition will pass througii the barn, in at the windy door and 
out at tiie other, having both the figure in question, and the 
a|ipearanco or retinue marliing the employuuut or station 
in life. 


She turns the key wi' cannie thrnw, 

An' owre tlie threshold vt-nfures; 
But first on Sawnie gies a ca', 

Syne bauhily in she enters : 
A ratton rattled up the \va', 

And she cried, L— d preserve her! 
And ran thro' midden-hole and a', 

An' pray'd wi' zoal and fervour, 
Fu' fast that night. 

They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice ; 

Tiiey liecht him some fine bravv ane ; 
It chanc'd the t^tach hi\t'uddoin'd thrice' 

Was timnier propt for thrawin : 
He taks a swirlie auld 

For some black grousome carlin : 
And loot a winze, and drew a stroke, 

Till skin in blypes cam haurlin 

Aif 's nieves that night. 

A wanton widow Leezie was, 

As cantie as a kittlin; 
But, och ! that niffht, amang the shaws, 

She gat a fearfu' settlin ! 
She thro' the whins, and by the cairn, 

And owre the hill gaed scrieviu, 
Whare three lairds' lamh met at a burn,\ 

To dip her left savk sleeve in. 

Was bent that niirht. 

• Tiike ail opjiortunity of goinp:, unnoticed, to a bean-stack, 
und fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the 
hist time you will catch in your arms the appearance of your 
future coiijupal yoke-fellow. 

t You go out, one or more, for this is a social ppcll, to a 
south-running sprinpr, or rivulet, where "three lairds' 
lands meet," and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in 
sight of a firn, and lung your wet sleeve before it to dry. 


Wliyles owre the linn tl»e bnrnie plays, 

As tiiro' the glen It wimpl't ; 
Whyles round ;i rocky scar it stays, 

\\ hyles in a vi^l it dinipl't ; 
Wliyles glitter'd to the nitihtly rays, 

Wi' bickering, dancin;^ dazzle ; 
\yhyles coekit underneath the braes, 

Below tlie spreading hazel. 

Unseen that night. 

Amang the brachens, on the brae, 

Between her and tlie moon, 
The deil, or else an outler quey, 

Gat up and gae a croon ; 
Poor Leezie's heart niaist hip the hool ; 

Near lavTock-heigiit she junipit; 
But miss'd a fir, and in tiie pnol 

Out-owre the Ings she plumpit, 

Wi' a plunge that night. 

In order, on the clean hearth-stane, 
The liujdics three* are ranired, 

And every time great care is ta'en 
To see them duly chaJiged ! 

Lie awake ; anrl, some time near raidnisiht, an ai)pavition 
havirii; tlie exiiot fiijure of tlie grantl object in question, 
will come and turn tlie sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it. 
• Take tliree dishes; put clean water in one, foul water in 
another, and have the tliird empty. Blindfold a person, 
and lead hiin to the hearth where the dishes are ranRed : he 
(or she) dips the li ft hand: if hy chance in the clean »vater, 
tlie future husband or wife will come to the bar of matri- 
mony a maid; if in the foul, a widow; if in the emjity dish, 
it furetels, with equal certainty, no marriaze at all. It is 
repeated three times; and evury time *lie arran^ieuient A 
the dishes is altered. 

•lO i;i ilNs' I'OKMS. 

Aultl Uncle Jolm, wlm wpdlock's joys 
Sin Mar's year did desire, 

because he pfat the toom dish thrice, 
He hoav'd thein on tiie fire, 

III wrath that night. 

Wi' merry saii^s, an' friendly cracks, 

I wat they tlidna weary ; 
And luico tales, and fufiny jokes. 

Their sports were cheap and cheery. 
Till butter'd so'jis* wi' fragrant luut, 

Sets a' their cabs a-steerin ; 
Syne, wi' a social jilass o' strunt, 
*Thev parted aff careerin 

Fii' blvthe that night. 




On gi\iiio' her tlip accustomed Ripp of Corn to hansel in the 
New Year. 

A Gude New-Year I wish thee, Maggie I 
Hae, there's a ripp to thy auld baggie ; 
Tho' thou's howe-backit now, and knaggie, 

I've seen the day, 
Thou could hae gaen like ony staggie 

Out-owre the lay. 

Tho' now thou's dowie, stiff, and crazy, 
And thy auld hide's as white's a daisy, 

• Sowens, witli butter instead of milk to them, is iilways 
the Halloween sujipcr. 

r\(' seen thee dappl't, sleek, and glaizie, 

A bonny gray : 
He sliould been titrht that daur't to raize thee 

Ance in a day. 

Thou ance was i' tlie foremost rank, 
A.JiUii buirdly, steeve, and swank, 
And set weel down a shai)ely sliank 

As e'er tread yird ; 
And could hae flown out-owre a stank 

Like ony bird, 

It's now some nine-and-twenty year, 
Sin' thou was my •jnid father's ineere, 
He gied me tlite, o' tocher clear, 

And fifty mark : 
Though it was snia', 'twas weel-won {jear. 

And thou was stark. 

When first I gaed to woo my Jenny, 
Ye then was trottin wi' your minnie : 
The' ye was trickie, slee, and funny, 

Ye ne'er was donsie ; 
Hut hamely tawie, quiet, and cannie, 

And unco sonsie. 

That day ye pranc'd wi' muckle pride. 
When ye bure hame my bonnie bride : 
And sweet and gracel'u' slie did ride, 

Wi' maiden air ! 
Kyle-Steicnrt I could bra.Lrged wide, 

For sic a pair. 

Tho' now ye dow but hoyte and hobbm. 
And wintle like a sauniont-coble, 
That day ye was a jinker noble, 

For heels and win'. 

92 BL'K.NS' roKMS. 

Alul ran them till tlicy a' did wauble 
Far, fur beliin'. 

When thou and I were young and skeigh, 

And stable-meals at fairs were dreigh, 

How thou wad prance, and snort, and skreigh, 

And tak the road, 
Town's bodies ran, and stood abeigli, 

And ca't thee mad. 

When thou was corn't, and I was mellow, 
We took the road ay like a swallow : 
At brooscs thou had ne'er a fallow, 

For pith and speed ; 
But every tail thou puy't them hollow, 

^^'hare'er thou gaed. 

The sma' droop-runipl't hunter cattle. 
Might aiblins waurt thee for a brattle ; 
But sax Scotch miles tiiou try't tlieir mettle, 

And gar't them whaizle ; 
Nae whip nor spur, but just a whattle 

O' saugh or hazel. 

Thou was a noWe^fitlle-lan' 

As e'er in tug or tow w;is drawn ; 

Aft thee and I, in aught hours gaun, 

On jrude March weather, 
Has turn'd sax rood beside our ban', 

For days thegither. 

Thou never braindg't, and fech't, and fliskit, 
But thy au'd tail thou wad hae whiskit. 
And spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket, 

Wi' pith and power, 
Till sprirty knowes wad rair't and risket, 

An' slypet owre. 

burns' pokms. 03 

When frosts lay lang, and snaws were deep, 
And threaten'd labour back to keep, 
I gied thy co|^ a wee bit heap, 

Aboon the timmer ; 
I kenn'd my Mnijij'tc wad na sleep 

For that, or simmer. 

In cart or car thou never reestit ; 

The steyest brae thou wad iiae fac't it ; 

Thou never lap, and sten'r, and breastit, 

Then stood to blaw ; 
But just thy step a wee thing hastit, 

Tiion suoov't awa. 

My plevrjh is now thy bairn-tinae a' ; 
Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw; 
Forbye sax mae, I've sell't awa, 

That thou hast nurst : 
They drew me tliretteen pund and twa, 

Tlje very warst. 

Mony a sair daurk we twa hae wrought, 
And wi' the weary warl' fought ! 
And mony an anxious day, I thought 

We wad lie beat ! 
Yet here to crazy age were brought ! 

Wi' something yet. 

And think na, my auld trusty servan', 
That now, jierhaps, thou's less deservin, 
And thy auld days may end in starvin, 

For my last./b«, 
A heapit stimpart, I'll reserve ane 

Laid by lor you. 

We've worn to crazy years thegither ; 
Wv'll toyte about wi'ane anither ; 

114 nUK.Ni' I'OKMS. 

Wi' teiitie cure I'll fit thy tether 
To sojTU- liiiin'd rig, 

Whare ye may Mol)]y rax your leather, 
Wi' siiia' fati^iue. 



November, ]7do. 

Wee, sleeklt, cowrin, tim'rous bcastio I 
O, what a panic's in thy breastie ! 
Thou need na start awa sae hastie, 

Wi' brattle ! 
I wad be laith to rin an' chase the?, 

Wi' murd'rin pattle. 

I'm truly sorry Man's dominion, 
Has broken Nature's social union, 
An' justifies that ill opinion 

Wliich makes thee startle 
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion, 

kx)! feUoic-mortaL 

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve: 
What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live 
A dabnen-icher in a thrave 

'S a sma' request : 
I'll get a bleesing wi' the lave, 

And never miss't. 

Thy wee bit hoiisie, too, in ruin ! 
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin ! 
An naethirig now to big a new ar.e 
O' I'oggage green ! 

burns' I'OKMS. 95 

An' bleak December's winds en?uiii, 
Baith snell and keen ! 

Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste, 
An' weary winter comin-j fast, 
An' coziehere, beneath the blast, 

Thon thought to dwell, 
Till crash ! the cruel coulter past 

Out through tiiy cell. 

That wee bit heap o' leaves and stilible. 
Has cost thee mony a weary nihl)le ! 
Now thou's tnrii'd out, for a' thv troul)lc, 

But house or bald, 
To thole the winter's sleety dribble. 

And cranrench cauld I 

But, Mousie. thon art no thy lane, 
In \iVO\in^, fores'uiht may he vain: 
Tlie best-laid scliemes o' n)ice and men 

Ganir afr a-dey, 
And lea'e ns nonp^ht but Cinef and pain, 

For proniis'd joy. 

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me : 
The present, only touchetii thee: 
But, och! I backward cast my ee. 

On prospects drear I 
And forward, thou'jh I canna nee. 

I guess •dw' 

i)(i burns' I'OKMS. 


Poor naked wrptchts, wtioresop'or jou are, 
That bide tlie pfltins of tliis pitilces storm! 
How sliull your houseless lieads, and unfed sidos. 
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you 
From seasons such as <hese 'J— 


WiiKN biting Borcmi' fell find doure, 
Sharp sliivers thro' the leafless bow'r : 
When Phoebus tries a shorf-liv'd jilow'r 

Far south the lift — 
Dhn-dark'iiing thro' the flaky show'r 

Or whirling drift : 

Ac nifrht the storm the steeples rocked, 
Poor Labour sweet in sleep was locked. 
While burns, wi' snawy wreaths up -choked 

Wild-eddying swiri, 
Or thro' the mining outlet 1)ock'd, 

Down headlong hurl. 

List'ning the doors and winnocks mttle, 
I thought uie on the oiirie cattle, 
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle, 

O' winter war, 
.\nd thro' the drift, deep-lairing, sprattie 

Beneath a scar. 

Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing ! 
That, in the merry months o' spring. 
Delighted me to hear thee sing, 

What comes o' thee ? 
Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing, 

And close thy ee ? 

burns' I'oi'.M.s. 97 

Ev'n you on niurd'ring errands toil'd, 
Lone from your savage hoinivs exii'd. 
The blood-stain'd roost, and sheep-cot spoil'd, 

i\Iy heart forgets, 
While pitiless the tempest wild 

Sore on you beats. 

Now Phoehe, in her midiii^^ht reign, 
Dark muffl'd, view'd the dreary phiin. 
Still crowding thoughts, a pensive trdiii, 

Rose in my soul. 
When on my ear this plaintive strain, 

Slow, solemn, stole 

" Blow, blov/, ye winds, with heavier gui-t ! 
And freeze, tliou bitter-biting frost ! 
Dt'scend, ye chilly, smotheriniT snows ! 
Not all your, as now united, shows 

More hard unkindness, unrelenting, 

Vengeful malice, unn-penting, 
Than heav'n-illumin'd Man on brother Man bestows. 

See stern Oppression's iron grip, 
Or mad Ambition's gory liand, 

Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip, 
Woe, want, and murder, o'er a laiid I 

Ev'n in the peaceful rural vale, 

Truth, wei'piiig, tells tin? mournful tale, 
How pamper'd Luxury, Flutt'ry by lier side, 

The parasite empoisoning her ear, 

With all the servile wretches in the rear. 
Looks o'er proud Property extended wide, 

And eyes the simple, rustic Plind, 
Whose toil upholds tlie jilittering show, 

A creature of another kind. 

Some coarser substance, unrefin'd. 
Placed for her lordly use thus far, thus vile below. 

Where, where is Love's tond, tender throe, 

With lordly Honour's lofty brow, 

Tile pow'rs you proudly own? 



Is tliere, beneath Love's noble name, 

Can harbour, dark, the selfish aim, 
To bless himself alone ? 

Mark maiden- innocence a prey 
To love-pretending snares ; 

This boasted lionour turns away, 

Shunning soft Pity's rising sway, 
Regardless of the tears, and unavailing pray'rs ! 

Perhaps, this hour, in Mis'ry's squalid nest, 

She strains your infant to her joyless breast, 
And with a motlier's fears shrinks at the rocking blast ! 
Oh ye ! who, sunk on beds of down, 

Feel not a want but what yourselves create, 

Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate, 
Whom friends and fortune quite disown I 
Ill-satisfyd keen Nature's clam'rous call, 

Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep, 
While thro' tlie ragged roof and eliinky wall, 

Chill o'er his slumhers piles the drifty heap ! 

Think on the dungeon's grim confine, 

Where Guilt and poor Misfortune pine ! 

Guilt, erring man, relenting view! 

But shall thy regal r<ige pursue 

The wretch already crushed low 

By cruel Fortune's undeserved l)low ? 
Affliction's sons are brothers in distress ; 
A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!" 

I heard nae mair, for Chnniicleer 
Shook ofFtlie ]iouthery snaw, 

And hail'd the morning wi' a cheer, 
A cottage-rousing craw. 

But deep this truth inipress'd ray mind- 
'I'lirough all His works abroad, 

The heart benevolent and kind 
Tiie most resembles God. 


K IM S T L E TO 13 A V I E ,* 


Janitm-y . 

While winds frae &ff BcJi~Lonio7i</ l)hiw, 
And bar the doors wi' drivin<^ snaw, 

And hin;j: u> owre the in^le, 
I set me down to pass tlie time, 
And spin a verse or twa o' rhyme, 

In haniely westlin jin'^le. 
While frosty winds blaw in the drift, 

Ben to the chiinhi-lug, 
I grudge a wee the great folk's gift, 
That live sae bieii an' snug : 
I tent less, and want less, 

Their roomy Hre-side; 
But hanker and canker 
To see their cursed pride. 

It's hardly in a body's power 

To keep, at times, frae being sour. 

To see how things are shar'd ; 
How best o' duels are whyles in want. 
While coofs on countless tliousands lant, 

And ken na how to wair't ; 
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head, 

Though we hae little gear, 
We're tTt to win our daily bread, 
As lang's we're hale and fier: 
" Mair spier na, nor fear na,"t 
Auld Age ne'er mind a feg; 
The last o't the warst o't, 
Is only for to beg. 

' David Sillar, one of tlie club atTarlmlton, t!ic author at 
fa Volume of Poems in the Scottisli dialect. 
t Ruin say. 

li;0 KUU.NS l^OKMS. 

To lie in kilns and burns at e'en 

When banes are crazed, and blude is thin. 

Is, doubtless, great distress ! 
Yet then content could niak us blest; 
Ev'n then sometimes, we'd snatch a ta^te 

Of truest liappiness. 
The honest heart that's free frae a' 

Intended fraud or guile, 
However Fortune kick the ba', 
Has ay some c;iuse to smile ; 
And mind still, you'll tind still, 

A comfort this nae sma'; 
Nae mair then, we'll care then, 
Nae farther can we fa'. 

What tho' like commoners of air, 
We wander out, we know not where, 

But either house or hall ? 
Yet Nature's charms, the hills and woods, 
Tiie sweeping vales, and foaming floods, 

Are free alike to all. 
In days when daisies deck the ground, 

And blackbirds whistle clear, 
Wi' honest joy our hearts will bound, 
To see the coming year : 

On braes when we please, then. 

We'll sit an' sowth a tune; 
Syne rhyme till't, we'll time till't, 
And sing't when we hae done. 

It's no in titles nor in rank ; 

It's no in wealth like Lon'on bank, 

To purchase peace and rest ; 
It's no in makin uiuckle mair: 
It's no in books, its no in lair, 

To make us truly blest : 
If Happiness hae not her seat, 

And centre in the breast;. 

burns' ro?:Ms. 101 

\Vf may be wise, or rich, or great 
But never can be blest : 
Nae treasures, nor pleasures, 

Could maUe us luippy lani( ; 
The heart ay's the part ay 
That makes us right or wrang. 

Think ye, that sic as you and I, 

Wha drudge and drive through wet and dry, 

Wi' never-ceasing toil ; 
Think ye, are we less blest than the}-, 
Wha scarcely tent us in their way, " 

As hardly worth their while ? 

Alas ! how aft in haughty mood, 

God's creatures they oppress ! 

Or else, negiecaaij;- a' that's gude, 

They riot in excess ! 

Baith careless, and fearless 
01' either heav'n or hell ; 
Esteeming and deeming 
It's a' an idle tale ! 

Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce, 
Nor make our scanty pleasures less, 

By pining at our state ; 
And, even should misfortunes come, 
I, here wha sit, hae met wi' some, 

An's thankfu' for them yet. 
They gie the wit o' age to youth ; 

They let us ken oursol ; 
They make us see the naked trutli, 
The real guid and ill. 
Tho' losses and crosses 

Be lessons right severe, 
There's wit there, ye'll get there, 
Ye'll find nae ither whtire. 

10-2 BUU.NS' I'OKMS. 

But tent ine, Da\-ie, ace o' hearts, 

(To say au^ht less wad wrang the cartes, 

Andflat'ry I detest), 
Tliis life has joys for you and I, 
And joys tiiat riches ne'er could buy, 

And joys the very best. 
There's a' the pleasures o' tJie heart, 

Tlie lover and the frien' ; 
Ye hae your Mep, your dearest part, 
And i my dariing Jean : 
It warms me, it charms me, 

To mention but her 7ia/ne : 
It heats me, it beets me, 
And sets me a' on flame. 

O, all ye Pow'rs, who rule above ! 
O, Thou, whose very self art Love-' 
TIiou know'st my words sincere I 
The life-blood streaming thro' my heart. 
Or my more dear immortal part, 

Is not more fondly dear! 
When heart-corrodins care and giief 

Deprive my soul of rest. 
Her dear idea brings relief, 
And solace to my breast. 
Thou Beinrj, all-seeing, 

O hear my fervent pray'r! 
Still take her, and make her 
Thy most peculiar care ! 

All hail, ye tender feelinirs dear! 
The smile of love, the friendly tear. 

The sympathetic glow ; 
Long since this world's thorny ways 
Had number'd out my weary day:-. 

Had it not been for you I 
Fate still has blest me with a friem!, 

In every care and ill : 

BUllNS' POKMS. 103 

And oft a more endearing band, 
A tie more tender still. 
It lightens, it bri;ilitens, 

The tonel)rifie scene, 
To meet with, and greet with 
My Davie or my Jean. 

O, how that name inspires my sty'e ! 
The words come skelpin rank and* tile, 

Amaist before I ken ! 
The ready measure rins as fine 
As Phoebus and the famous Nine 

Were glowriu owre my pen. 
My spaviet Pegasus will limp, 

Till ance he's fairly het ; 
And then he'll liilch, and stilt, and jimp, 
An rin an unco lit ; 
But lest then, the beast then, 
Should rue this hasty ride, 
I'll li;,^ht now, and dight now, 
His sweaty wizen'd hide. 



Alas! Jiow oft does Goodness wound itself! 
And sweet Affection prove the spring of wo. 


O Thou pale orb, that silent shines, 
While care-untroubled mortals sleep ! 

Thou see'st a wretch tliat inly pines, 
And wanders here to wail and weep ! 

104 burns' poems. 

With wo I nightly vi-jils keep, 
Beneath tljy wan, unwarniing heani, 

And mourn, in lamentation deep. 
How life and love are all a dream. 

I joyless view thy rays adorn 

The faintly-marked distant hill ; 
I joyless view thy trembling horn 

Reflected in tile gurgling rill ; 
My fondly-fluttering heart, be still ! 

Thou busy power, Remembrance, cefise ! 
Ah ! must the agonizing thrill 

For ever bar returning peace ! 

No idly-feign'd poetic pains, 

My sad, love-lorn lamenting claim , 
No shepherd's pipe— Arcadian strains ; 

No fabled tortures, quaint and tame ; 
The plighted faith ; the mutual flame ; 

The oft-attested Powers above; 
The promised Father'' s tender name ; 

These were the pledges of my love ! 

Encircled in her clas])ing arms, 

How have the raptured moments flown ! 
How have I wisli'd for fortune's charms, 

For her dear sake, and her's alone ! 
And must I think it! is she gone? 

My sacred heart's exulting boast I 
And does she heedless hear ray groan ? 

And is she ever, ever lost? 

O ! can she bear so base a heart, 
So lost to honour, lost to truth. 

As from the fondest lover part. 
The plighted husband of her youtli f 

Alas ! life's path may be unsmooth ! 

Her way may lie through rough distress! 

burns' poems. 103 

Thpn who her pan^is and pains will sooth. 
Her sorrows share, and make them less ! 

Ye winaed hours that o'er us past, 

Enr;iptur'd more, the more enjoy'd, 
Your dear remeinbranfc in my breast, 

My ibiuUy-treasur'd thou^'lits employ'd. 
That breast, how dreary now, anrl void, 

For her too scanty once of room ! 
Ev'n every ray of liope destroy'd, 

And not a loisJi to gild the -^loom ! 

The morn tliat warms th' approaching day, 

Awakes me up to toil and wo : 
I see tlie hours in lon<; array. 

That I must suffer, lingeriii'j:, slow. 
Full many a pang and many a throe, 

Keen Recollection's direful train, 
Must wring my soul, ere Phoebus, low, 

Shall kiss the distant western main. 

And when my nightly couch I try, 

Sore harass'd out with care and grief, 
My toil-beat nerves, and tear-worn eye. 

Keep watchings witli the nightly thief: 
Or, if I slumber, Fancy, chief, 

Reigns haggard-wihi, in sore affright : 
Even day, all bitter, brings relief, 

From such a horror- breathing niglit. 

O thou bright queen, who o'er the expanse. 

Now highest reign'st, with boundlessi sway : 
Oft has tiiy silent-marking glance 

Observ'd us, fondly, wand'ring, stray ; 
The time, unheeds-'d, sped away. 

While Love's luxurious pulse beat high. 
Beneath tliy silver-gleaming ray. 

To mark thy mutual kindling eye. 


Oh ! scenes in strong remeinhraiice set ! 

Scenes, never, never to return j 
Scenes, if in stupor I forget, 

Again I feel, again I burn ! 
From every joy and pleasure torn, 

Life's weary vale I'll wander through ; 
And hopeless, comfortless, I'll mourn 

A faithless woman's broken vow. 


Oppress'd with grief, oppress'd with euro, 
A burden more than I can bear, 

I set me down and sigh : 
O life ! thou art a galling load, 
Along a rouuh, a weary road, 

To wretches such as I ! 
Dim backward as 1 cast my view, 

What siek'ning scenes appear! 
What sorrows yet may pierce me through, 
Too justly I may fear ! 
Still caring, despairing, 

Must be n>y bitter doom ; 
My woes here shall close ne'er. 
But with the closing tomb ! - 

Happy, ye sons of busy life, 
Who, equal to the bustling strife, 

No otlier view regard ; 
Even wlien the wished encVs denied, 
Yet while the busy means are plied, 

They bring their own reward : 
Whilst I, a hope-abandon'd wigiit, 

Unfitted with an «i/n, 

burns' pokms. 107 

Meet every sad returning night, 
And joylfss morn the same. 
Yon, hustling:, ;ind justlinir, 

Forget each grief and pain 
I listless, yet restless, 
Find every prospect vain. 

I low blest the Solitary's lot. 
Who, all-forgetting:, all forgot 

Within his humble cell. 
The cavern wild, with tangling root', 
Sits o'er his newiy-g.ather'd fruits. 

Beside his crystal well! 
Or, haply, to his evening thought. 

By unfrequented stream. 
The ways of men are distant brought, 
A faint collected dream ; 
While praising, and raising 

His thoughts to heaven on high, 
As wand'ring, meand'ring, 
He views the solemn skv. 

Than I, no lonely hermit plac'd, 
Where never liuman footstep traeM, 

Less fit to play the part ; 
The lucky mmiient to improve, 
AvAjiist to stop, and jn^it to move. 

With self-respecting art ; 
But, all ! those pleasures, loves, and joys, 

W^hich I too keenly taste, 
The Soiitanj can despise. 
Can want, and yet be blest! 
He needs not, he heeds not 

Or human love or hate, 
Whilst I here, must cry liere 
At perfidy ingrate ! 

108 burns' poems. 

Oh I enviablp, early days, 

When dancinjj: thou^litless pleasure's maze, 

To care, to ^iiilt, unknown ! 
How ill exclianir'd for riper times, 
To feel the ibllies or tlie ciimes, 

Of others, or my own ! 
Ye tiny elves that irnilrl(^<s sport 

Like linnets in tlie inisli. 
Ye little know the ills ye court, 
When manliood is your wish ! 
The losses, the crosses, 

Tliat active man engage ! 
The fears all, the tears all, 
Of dim-decliruDg age. 

\\ INTER. 

The wintry west extends his blast. 

And hail and rain does hlaw ; 
Or the stormy north sends driving forth 

The blinding sleet and snaw : 
While tumbling brown, the burn comes down 

And roars frae bank to brae ; 
And bird and beast in covert rest, 

And pass the heartless day. 

* The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,** 

The joyless winter-day 
Let others fear, to me more dear 

Than all the pride of May : 
The tempest's howl, it sooths my soul. 

My griefs it see)ns to join : 

Dr. Yoinig. 

ULU.NS' POiO.MS. 109 

Tli*^ l«;ifless treos my fancy pleuM*, 
Their fate resembles mine. 

Thou Potrer Supreme, whose miglity scheme 

Tliese woes of mine fulfil, 
Here, tiriu, I rest, thev must be best, 

Becausij tliev are t/u/ Will ! 
Then all I want, (O, do thou grant 

Tills one r. qufst of mine I) 
Since to enjoj/ Tiiou must (h;ny, 

As-^ist uie to risicjii. 




Let not ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; 

Nor grandeur liear, witli a disdainful smiie, 
The short but simple annals of tiie poor. — Qray, 

My lov'd, my honour'd, much-respected friend! 

No mercenary I)ard his iionuige pays; 
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end, 

My dearest meid, a friend's esteem and praise ; 
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays, 

The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene : 
Tlie native feelings strong, the guileless ways, 

What Aitken in a coitaue would have been ; 
Ah ! thouirh his worth unknown, far happier there, 
wten I 

110 in U.N s' roi:MS 

November diill blaws loud wi' aiicjry suixh ; 

The shortening winter-day is near a close ; 
Tlie miry beasts retreatin;,' frae the pleu^xh ; 

The blackening train o' craws to their repo>e : 
The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes, 

TJih n'Kjht his weekly moil is at an end, 
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes, 

Moping the morn in ease and rest to spend. 
And weary, o'er the muir, his course does hauieward 

At length his lonely cot appears in view, 

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree ; 
Th' expectant tcee-thhifls, todlin, stacher thronuh 

To meet their Dad, wi' flitcherin noise and ghc 
His wee-bit ingle, blinkin bonnilie, 

His clean heartlistane, his thrifty icijie's sniil.'. 
The lisping infant prattling on his "knee, 

Does a' his weary carking cares beguile, 
And makes him quite forget his labour and his toil. 

Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in. 

At service out amang the farmers roun'; 
Some ca' the pleutih, some herd, some tentie rin 

A cannie errand to a ueebor town : 
Their eldest hope, their Jenni/, woman grown. 

In youthfu' bloom, love sparklin in her ee, 
Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gov.n, 

Or deposite her sair-worn penny fee. 
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be. 

Wi' joy unfeiirn'd brothers and sisters meet. 
And each for other's weelfare kindly spiers : 

The social hours, swift- wing'd, unnotic'd fleet; 
Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears ; 

The parents, pairtial, ee their hopefu' years: 
Anticipation forward pohits the view: 

BUttiNS POK.M.S. 1 1 I 

Tlie M(jt}ier, wi' ber neerile and her siieers, 

Gars auld claes look ainaist as weel's the new ; 
Tlie Father mixes a' wi' admonition due. 

Their master's and tlieir mistress's command 

The younkers a' are warned to obey ; 
And mind their labours wi' an eydent. band, 

And ne'er, though out o' siirht, to jauk and jtliiy; 
* And O ! be sure to fear the Loud alway ! 

And mind your duty duly morn and nii,'ht ! 
Lest in temjjtation's path ye cang^ astray, 

Implore his counsel aid assisting^ might : 
They never sought in vain that sought the Louc 

But, hark I a rap comes gently to the door, 

Jenny, wha kens the nieanins: o' the same, 
Tells how a neebor lad came o'er the moor, 

To do some errands, and convoy her hame. 
The wily mother sees the concious flame 

Sparkle in Jenny's ce, and flu^sh her cheek : 
With heart-struck anxious care inquires bis name, 

While Jenny hatHiiis is afraid to sp-^ak : 
Weel-pleas'd tlie mother hears it's nae wiid worthless 

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben : 

A strapjpan youth ; he taks the mothers eye : 
iJiithe Jenny sees the visit's no ill-taen ; 

The father cracks o' horses, pleughs, and kye. 
Tiie youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joyj 

But blate and faithfu', scarce can weel behave; 
The mother wi' a woman's wiles, can spy 

What maks the youth sae bashfu' and sae grave: 
Weel pleas'd to think her bairn's respectit like the lave. 

O happy love ! where love like this is found ! 
U heartfelt I'aptures ! bliss beyond compare . 

112 burns' I'OKMS. 

I've paced much this weary, mortal round. 
And s;ip:c Experience l»ids nie this declaro — 

* If Ileav'n a drau.;ht of lieavenly pleasure s}>are, 
One cordial in tliis nielanclioly vale, 

'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair, . 
In other's arms breathe out the tejider tale, 

Beneath the milk-white thorn that scents tiie evening 

Is there, in human form, that bears a heart — 

A wretch ! a villain ! lost to love and trutli ! 
That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art, 

Betray sweet Jenm/s unsuspecting youth ? 
Curse on his perjur'd arts ! dissembling smooth ! 

Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exil'd ? 
Is there no pity, no relenting ruth. 

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child ? 
Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction wild ? 

But now the supper crowns their simple board, 

The halesome;;«?Ti^cA, chief o' Scotia's food ; 
The soupe their only Haiokie does afford. 

That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood : 
The dame brings forth in complimental mood, 

To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, iell, 
And aft he's prest, and aft he ca's it gude ; 

The frugal Avifie, garrulous, will tell. 
How 'twas a towmond auld, sin' lint was i' the bell. 

The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face, 

They round the ingle form a circle wide ; 
The sire turns o'er wi' patriarchal grace, 

The big ha'-JBible, ance his father's pride : 
Hi* bonnet rev'rently is laid aside, 

His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare ; 
Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide, 

He wales a portion with judicious care, 
And 'Let ns worship God !' he says, with solemn air. 

burns' roKMS. 113 

They chant tneir artless notes in simple pulse ; 

Tiiey tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim ; 
Perpaps D/nidci-'s wild warbling? measures rise, 

Or plaintive ^Lirfi/rs, worthy of the name; 
Or noble Elyi/i beets the heav'n-ward flame, 

The sweetest far of Scotia's holy lays : 
Corapar'd wi' these, Italian trills are tame ; 

The tickled ears no heartfelt raptures raise ; 
Nae unison hae they \vi' our Creator's praise. 

The priest-like father reads the sacred page. 

How Abrani was the friend of God on high ; 
Or 3foses bade eternal warfare wage, 

With Amalelis ungracious progeny ! 
Or how the royal bard did groaning lie 

Beneath the" stroke of Heaven's avenging ire ; 
Or JoVs pathetic plaint, and wailing cry ; 

Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire : 
Or other holy seers that tune the sacred lyre. 

Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme, 

How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed ; 
How He, who bore in Heaven the second name, 

Had not on earth whereon to lay his head : 
How his first followers and servants sped. 

The precepts sage they wrote to many a land : 
How he, who lone in Patnios banished, 

Saw in the sun a miLihty an<:el stand ; 
And heard great Bah Ion's doom pronounc'd by 
Heaven's command. 

Then kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King 
The saint, thefather, and the husband prays : 

Hope * springs exulting on triumphant wing,'* 
That thus they all sliall meet in future days ; 

Pope's Windsor Forest. 

114 burns' i'oi::>is. 

There ever bask in uncreated rays 

No more to sigh or shed tlie bitter tear, 

Together hymning their Creator's praise, 
In such society, yet still more dear ; 

Wliile circling time moves round in an eternal sphere. 

Compar'd with this, how poor religion's pride, 

In all the pomp of method, and of art, 
When men display to congregations wide, 

Devotion's every trrace, except the heart. 
The Power, incens'd, the pageant will desert, 

The pompous strain, the sacerdotal stole; 
But haply, in some cottage- far apart. 

May hear, well pleas'd, the language of the soul ; 
And in his book of life the inmates poor enrol. 

Then homeward all take off their several way ; 

The youngling cottagers retire to rest ; 
The parent pair their .sec)-et homage pay. 

And proffer up to Heav'n the warm request, 
That He, who stills the raven's clamorous nest, 

And decks the lily fair in flowery pride, 
Would, in the way his wisdom sees the best. 

For them and for their little ones provide ; 
But chiefly in their hearts with grace divine preside. 

From scenes like these old Scotia's grandeur spriiigs 

That makes her lov'd at home, rever'd a])road : 
Princes and lords are but the breath of kings, 

' An honest man's the noblest work of God ;' 
And certes, in fair virtue's heavenly roaai, 

The cottage leaves the palace far behind ; 
Wliat is a lordling's pomp ? a cumbrous load, 

Disguising oft the wretch of human kind. 
Studied in arts of hell, in wickedness retin'd ! 

O, Scotia! my dear, my native soil ; 

For whom liiv warmest wish to IIca\en is r^cnt ? 

Long )n;»y thy hardy sons of rustic toil 

Be blest with health, and peace, and sweet content ! 
Anil, O ! Tnay Heaven their simple lives prevent 

From luxnry's contagion, weak and vile ! 
Tiien, however crotnia and coronets he rent, 

A virtuous populace may rise the while. 
And stand a wall of fire around their niuch-lov'd Lf/c. 

O Thou I who pour'd the patriotic tide. 

That streamed throui^h Wallace's undaunted heart j 
Who dared to nobly stem tyrannic pride, 

Or nobly die, the second glorious pan, 
(The patriot's God peculiarly thou art, 

His friend, inspirer, guardian, and reward!) 
O never, never Scot'ui's realm desert ; 

But still the patriot, and the pal riot bard, 
In bright succession raise, her ornament and g(i:2 /' ^ 



When chill November's surly blast 

Made fields and forests bare, 
One evening as I wander'd forth 

Along the banks of Ai/r, 
I spy'd a man, whose aged step 

Se'iem'd weai-y, worn with care ; 
His face was furrow'd o'er with year?., 

And hoary was his hair. 

Young stranger, whither wauderest thou? 

Began the reverend sage ; 
Does thirst of wealth thy step constrain. 

Or youthful pleasure's rage ? 

116 BI'IINS' I'OKMa. 

Or, haply, prest with care and wi es, 

To soon tlioii liast be<,^an 
To wander forth, witli me, to mourn 

The miseries of man ! 

Tiie sun tliat overlianfrs yon moors, 

Out-sprtiidinpf far and wide, 
Wliere liiindreds lal)0ur to support 

-v. hauglity lordliiiLf's pride; 
I've seen yon weary winter sun 

Twice forty times return ; 
And every time lias added proof?*, 

That man was made to mourn. 

O man ! while in thy early years. 

How prodigal of time! 
Mis-spending all their precious hour.s, 

Thy glorious youthful prime ! 
Alternate follies take the sway : 

Licentious passions burn ; 
Which tenfold force gives nature's laws, 

That man was made to mourn. 

Look not alone on youtliful prime. 

Or manhood's active niii-ht ; 
ilan then is useful to his kind, 

Supported is his right : 
liut see him on tlie edge of life, 

With cares and sorrows worn, 
Then age and want, oh! ill-match'd pair! 

Shew man was made to mourn. 

A few seem favourites of fate, 

In pleasure's lap carest ; 
Yet think not all the rich and great 

Are likewise truly blest, 
But, oh ! what crowds in every land, 

Are wretched and forlorn I 

Bril.Ns' I'OKMS 117 

Tliro' weary life this lesson learn, 
Tiiat man was made to mourn. 

Many and sharp the nuin'rous ills 

Inwoven witli our frame ! 
More pointed still we make onrselves, 

Regret, remorse, and shame ! 
And man, wliose lieav'ri-erected face 

The smiles of love adorn, 
Man's inliumanity to man, 

Makes countless thousands mourn. 

See yonder poor, o'erlabour'd wight, 

So abject, mean, and vile, 
\Vlio begs a brother of the earth 

To give him leave to toil ; 
And see his lordly fe/low'ivorm 

The poor petition spurn, 
Unmindful, though a weeping wife, 

And helpless offspring, mourn. 

If I'm yon haughty lordling's slave, 

By nature's law design'd. 
Why was an independent wish 

E'er planted in my mind ? 
If not, why am I suhject to 

His cruelty or scorn ? 
Or why has man tiie will and pow'r 

To make his fellow mourn ? 

Yet let not this too much my son, 
Disturb thy youthful breast : 

This partial view of human kind 
Is surely not the last. 

The poor, oppressed, honest man, 
Had never, sure, been born. 


Hatl there not been BOiiie recompense 
To comfort tlio^^e that mourn. 

O, Death, the poor man's dearest friend, 

The kindest and the best! 
Welcome tlie hour my aged limbs 

Are laid with thee at rest, 
The jrreat, the wealthy, fear thy blow, 

From pomp and pleasure torn ! 
But, oh ! a blf'st relief to tlu)se 

That weary-laden mourn ! 



O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause 

Of all my hope and fear, 
In whose dread presence, ere an hour, 

Perhaps I must appear I 

If I have wander'd in those paths 

Of life I ought to shun ; 
As somethifig loudly in my breast 

Remonstrates I have done ; 

Tiiou know'st that thou hast formed nie 
With passions wild and strong; 

And list'ning to their witching voice 
Has often led me wrong. 

Where human weakness has come short, 

Or frailty stept aside, 
Do thou, All-Good, for such thou art. 

In shades of darkress hide. 


VVliere with intention I have err'd, 

No other ph^a I have, 
Bur — Thou art good ; and goodness still 

Delighteth to forgive. 



Why am I loth to leave this earthly scene ? 

Have I so found it full of pleasinir charms ? 
Some drops of joy, with draughts of ill between . 

Some gleams of sunsliine 'mid renewing storms i 
Is it departing pangs my soul alarms ? 

Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ? 
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms ; 

I tremble to approach an angry God, 
And justly smart beneath his sin-avenging rod. 

Fain would I say, * Forgive my foul oflfence !' 

Fain promise never more to disobey ; 
But, should my Autlior health again dispense, 

Again I might desert fair virtue's way ; 
Again in folly's path might go astray ! 

Again exalt the brute, and sink the man ; 
Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray, 

Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan ? 
Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation ran. 

O Thou, great Governor of all below! 

If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee, 
Thy nod can make ihe tempest cease to blow, 

Or still the tumult of the raging sea : 
With that controlling power assist e'en me, 

Tiiose headlong furious passions to confine ; 
For all unfit I feel my pow'rs to be, 

To rule their tori'ent in th' allowed line : 
O, aid me with thy help, Oninipotence Divine. 

120 lllIKN;;* ruKMS. 



O Thou dread Pow'r, who reign'st above, 

I know tliou wilt me hear ; 
Wlien for this scene of peace and love, 

I make mj'^ pray'r sincere. 

The hoary sire — the mortal stroke, 

Long-, long be pleas'd to spare! 
To bless his little filial flock, 

And show what good men are. 

She, who her lovely offspring eyes 

With tender hopes and fears, 
O bless her with a mother's joys, 

But spare a mother's tears ! 

Their hope, their stay, their darling youth, 

In manhood's dawning blush ; 
Bless hira, thou God of love and truth, 

Up to a parent's wish ! 

The beauteous seraph sister-band. 

With earnest tears I pray, 
Thou know'st the snares on every hand. 

Guide thou iheir steps alway ! 

When soon or late they reach that coust, 

O'er life's rough ocean driven, 
May they rejoice, no wand'rer lost, 

A fainilv in heaven I 



The man, in life wherever placed, 

Hath happiness in store, 
Who walks not in the wijked's wuy, 

Nor learns the guilty lore ! 

Nor from the seat of scornful pride. 
Casts forth his eyes ahroad, 

But with humility and awe 
Still walks before his God. 

That man shall flourish like the trees 

Wiiich by the streamlets grow ; 
The fruitful top is spread on high, 
And firm the root below. 

But he whose blossom buds in guilt 
Shall to the ground be cast. 

And, like the rootless stubble, tost 
Before the sweejjing blast. 

For why ? that God the good adore 
Hath given them peace and rest, 

But hath decreed tliat wicked men 
Shall ne'er be truly ble»t. 



O Thou Great Being ! what thou art 

Surpasses me to know : 
Yet sure I am, that known to thee 

^re all thv works below. 


Tliy creature Iiere he.low thee stands, 
All wretched and distrest; 

Yet sure those ills that wring ray soul 
Obey thy high behest. 

Sure thou. Almighty, canst not act 

From cruelty or wratli ! 
O, free my weary eyes from teajs, 

Or close them fast in death ! 

But if I must afflicted be, 
To suit some wise design ; 

Then man my soul with firm resolves 
To bear and not repine ! 


O Thou, the first, the greatest fj;iend 

Of all the human race ! 
Whose strong right hand has ever been 

Their stay and dwelling-place. 

Before the mountains heav'd their heads 

Beneath thy forming hand, 
Before this pond'rous globe itself 

Arose at thy command. 

That pow'r which rais'd and still upholds 

Tliis universal frame. 
From countless, unbeginning time 

Was ever still the same. 

Those mighty periods of years 
Which seem to us so vast, 


Appear no more before thy sight 
Than yesterday that's past.' 

Tliou giv'st the word : Thy creature man, 

Is to existence brought : 
Agahi thou say'st, * Ye sons of men, 

' Return ye into nought !' 

Thou layest them, witli all their carets, 

In everlasting sleep ; 
As with a flood thou tak'st them off 

With overwhelming sweep. 

They flourish like the morning flow'r, 

In beauty's pride array 'd ; 
But long ere night cut down it lies 

All wither'd and decay 'd. 



IN APKIL, 1786. 

Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r, 
Thou's met me in an evil hour ; 
For I maun crush amang the stoure 

Thy slender stem ; 
To spare thee now is past my pow'r, 

Thou bonnie gem ! 

Alas ! it's no thy neebor sweet, 
The bonnie Lark, companion meet ! 
Bending thee 'niang tlie dewy weet, 

Wi' speckled breast, 
When upward-springing, blithe, to greet 

The purpling oast. 


Oauld blew the bitter-biting north 
Upon thy early, humble birth ; 
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth 

Amid the storm, 
Scarce rear'd above the parent earth 

Thy teuder form. 

The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, 
High shelteriug woods and wa's maun shield j 
But thou, beneath the random bield 

O' clod or stane, 
Adorns the histie stlbble- field, 

Unseen, alane. 

There, in thy scanty mantle clad, 
Thy snawy bosom sun-ward spread. 
Thou lifts'thy unassuming head 

In humble guise: 
But now the share uptears thy bed, 

And low thou lies ! 

Such is the fate of artless Maid, 
*^weetJioiv'ret of the rural shade. 
By love's simplicity betrayed, 

And guileless trust, 
Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid 

Low i' the dust. 

Such is the fate of simple Bard, 

On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd ! 

Unskilful he to note the card 

Of jyrudent Lore, 
Till billows rage, and gales blew hard, 

And whelm him o'er ! 

Such fate to suffering icorth is given, 
Who long with wants and woes has striven. 

BUUNS' I'OK.MS. l-ja 

By human pride or cunning drivt>n, 

To misery's brink. 
Till, wrench'd of every stay but Heaven, 

He, ruin'il, sink ! 

Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate, 
That fate is thine— no distant date ; 
Stern 'Ruin's ploughshare drives elate, 

Full on thy bloom, 
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight. 

Shall be thy doom. 


All hail ! inrxorahle lord 

At whose destruction-breathing word 

The mightiest empires fall. 
Thy cruel, wo-deliulited train, 
The ministers of grief and pain, 

A sullen welcome, all ! 
With stern-resolv'd, despairing eye, 

I see each aimed dart ; 
For one has cut my dearest tie, 
And quivers in my heart, 
Then low'ring, and pouring, 

The storm no more I dread ; 
Tho' thickening, and blackening 
Round my devoted head. 

And thou, grim power, by life abhorr'd, 
While life a pleasure can aiford, 

Oh ! hear a wretch's prayer ! 
No more I shrink appall'd afraid; 
I court, I beg thy friendly aid, 

To close tliis scene of care 1 

1:26 L urns' I'OKMS. 

When shall my soul, in silent peace, 

Resit^n life's joy /t%s- day ; 
My weary heart in throhbin^fs cease, 
Cold mouldering in the clay ? 
No tear more, no tear more,* 

To stain my lifeless face ; 
Enclasped, and grasped 
Within thy cold embrace ! 


WITH BEATTIE's poems, as a NEVv^-YEAIl'S gift, 
JANUARY 1, 17b7. 

Again the silent wheels of time 

Their annual round have driven. 
And you though scarce in maiden prime. 

Are so much nearer Heaven. 

No gifts have I from Indian coasts 

The infant year to hail ; 
I send you more than India boasts, 

In Edivin's simple tale. 

Our sex with guile and faithless love 

Is charged, perhaps, too true ! 
But may, dear maid, each lover prove 

An JEdicin still to vou ! 


3Iai/ 1780. 

LANG hae thouglit, my youthfu' friend, 
A something to hae sent you. 

burns' roEM.s. 127 

T!i(»' it slioukl serve nae other end 

Than jusl a kind memento ; 
But how the subject-theme may gang, 

Let time and chance determine ; 
Perhaps it may turn out a sang, 

Perhaps turn out a sermon. 

Jfe'll try the world soon, my lad, 

And, Andrew dear, believe me, 
Ye'U find minikind an unco squad, 

And muckle they may grieve ye : 
For care and trouble set your thought, 

Even when your end's attahied ; 
And a' your views may come to nought, 

Where every nerve is strained. 

I'll no say men are villains a' : 

The re;il, harden'd wicked, 
Wha hae nae check but human law. 

Are to a few restricted : 
But, och ! mankind are unco weak, 

And litrle to be trusted ; 
If A'e(/'the wavering balance shake, 

It's rarely right adjusted ! 

Yet they who fa' in fortune's strife, 

Their f;ite we should na censure, 
For still th' ioiportant end o' life 

They equally may answer : 
A man may hae an honest heart, 

Tho' poortith liourly stare him, 
A man may tak a neebor's part, 

Yet hae nae cask to spare him. 

Aye free, aff ban' your story tell, 

When wi' a bosom -crony ; 
But still keep something to yourscl 

Ye scarcely tell to ony. 

1-28 burns' poems. 

Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can 

Frae critical dissection ; 
But keel< thro' every otlier man 

Wi' sharpen'd sly 'inspection. 

The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd love 

Luxuriantly indulge it; 
But never tempt th' illicit rove^ 

Tho' naetliiuii sliould divulge it, 
I wave the quantum o' the sin, 

The hazard of concealing : 
But och? it liardens a' within, 

And petrifles the feeling. 

To catch dame fortune's golden smile, 

Assiduous wait upon her ; 
And gather gear by every wile, 

That's justify'd by honour ; 
Not for to hide it in a hedge, ■ 

Nor for a train-attendant ; 
But for the glorious privilege 

Of being indejjendent. 

The fear o' hell's a hangman's whip, 

To baud the wretch in order; 
But where you feel your honour grip, 

Let that aye be your border : 
In slightest touches, instant pause — 

Debar a' side pretences ; 
And resolutely keep its laws, 

Uncaring consequences. 

The great Creator to revere, 
Must sure become the creature ; 

But still the preaching cant forbear, 
And ev'n the rigid feature : 

Yet ne'er with wits profane to range. 
Be complaisance extended ! 

burns' poems. 1-2U 

And Atheist's laugh's a poor exch:iii,q;e 
For Deity offended ! 

When ranting round in pleasure's ring, 

Religion may be blinded ; 
Or if she gie a rcvidoni sting, 

It may be little minded ; 
But when on life we're terapest-driv'u 

A conscience but a canker— 
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n 

Is sure a noble anchor. 

Adieu, dear, amiable youth ! 

Your heart can ne'er be wanting : 
May Prudence, Fortitude, and Truth, 

Erect your brow undaunting! 
In ploughman-phrase, " God send you speet!" 

Still daily to grow wiser ; 
And may ye better reck the rede, 

Than ever did th' adviser. 


GONE TO THE WEST I N 1> 1 fi S- 

A' ye wlia live by soups o' drink, 
A' ye wha live by crambo-clink, 
A' ye wha live and never think, 

Come, mourn wi' me ! 
Our MUie's gi'en us a' a jink. 

And owre the sea. 

Lament him a' ye rantin core, 
Wha dearly like a random-splore : 
Xae mair he'll join the merry roar, 

In social key ; 
17 K 

130 burns' i'okms. 

For now he's ta'en anither shore, 
And owre the seit. 

The bonny lasses weel may wiss Lim, 
And in their dear petitions place him ; 
The widows, wives, and a' may bless liim 

Wi' tearfu' ee ; 
For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him 

That's owre the sea ! 

O Fortune, they hae room to grumble ; 
Hadst thou ta'en aff some drousy bummle 
Wha can do nou<?ht but fyke and fumbU-, 

"Twad been nae plea ; 
But he was gleg as ony wumble, 

That's owre the sea ! 

Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear, 
And stain them wi' the saut, saut tenr ; 
'Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear, 

In flinders flee ; 
He was her laureate mony a year, 

That's owre the sea ! 

He saw Misfortune's cauld nor^-west 
Lang mustering up a bitter blast ; 
A jillet brak his heart at last, 

111 may she be! 
So, took a birth afore "^the mast, 

And owre tlie sea! 

To tremble under Fortune's cummookj. 
Or sarce a bellyfu' o' drummock, 
Wi' his proud independent stomach. 

Could ill agree. 
So row't his hurdies in a hanunock, 

And owre the sea. 


He ne'er was gi'en to grear niisjruidiriir, 
Yet coin his pouches wad nac hide in ; 
VVi' him it ne'er was under hiding ; 

He dealt it free : 
The Muse was a' tliat he took pride in, 

That's owre the sea. 

Jamaica bodies, use liim weel, 
And hap him in a cozie biel ; 
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel, 

And fu' o' glee ! 
He wad na wrany:'d the vera deil, 

That's owre the sea. 

Farewell, my rJnj me- composing hillie ! 
Your native soil was riLfht ill-willie ; 
But may ye flourish hke a lily. 

Now bonnilie ! 
I'll toast ye in my hindmost gillie, 

Tlio' owre the sea. 


Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding race ! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 

Painch, tripe, or thairm . 
Weel are ye wordy of a grace 

As lang's my arm. 

The groaning trencher there ye fill, 
Your hurdles like a distant hill. 
Your pin wad help to mend a mill 

In time o' need. 
While thro' your pores the dews distil 

Like amber bead. 

132 BURN 8' POEMS. 

His knife see rustic labour dijxlit, 
And cut you up wi' ready sleijj:ht, 
Trenching your {ru9hin<jc entrails bright 

Like ony ditch ; 
And then, O wliat a glorious sight, 

Warm-reekin, rich. 

Then horn for liorn they stretch and strive, 
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, 
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes, belyve, 

And bent like drums ; 
Then auld gudeman, niaist like to rive, 

Bethankit hums. 

Is there that o'er his French ragout, 
Or olio that wad staw a sow, 
Or fricassee wad rnak her spew 

Wi' perfect sconner, 
Looki down wi' sneering, scornfu' view, 

On sic a dinner ? 

Poor devil ! see him owre his trash, 

As feckless as a wither'd rash, 

His spindle-shank a guid whip-lash. 

His neive a nit ; 
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash, 

O how unfit! 

But mark the rustic, haggis-fed, 

The trembling earth resounds his tread, 

Clap in his walie nieve a blade, 

He'll mak it whissle ; 
And legs, and arms, and heads will swt-A, 

Like taps o' thrissle. 

Ye powers, wha mak mankind your care, 
Jnd dish them out thfir bill o' fare, 


Anld Scotland wants nae skinklincj ware 

That jaups in liijjL'ics ; 
But, if ye wish her gratefii' pray'r, 

Gie her a Haggis ! 



Expect na, sir, in this narration, 
A fleeciiin, fletii'rin dedication, 
To roose you up, and ca' you ,uuid, 
And sprunpr o' great and noble bluin, 
Because ye're sirnanied like his Grace, 
Periiaps related to tlie race ; 
Tiien when I'm tird— and sae are ye 
Wi' raony a fulsome sinfu' lie. 
Set up a' face, how I stop short. 
For fear your modesty be hurt. 

This may do— maun do, sir, wi' them wha 
May please the great iblk for a wamefou ; 
For me ! sae laigb I neediia bow. 
For, Lord be thankit ! / can pleugh ' 
And ,when I downa yoke a naig, 
Then, Lord be tluuikit' I can beg! 
Sae I siiall say, and tliat's nae flatterin. 
Its just sic poet, and sic patron. ^ 

The Poet, some guid angel Ijelp liim ! 
Or else, I fear, some ill aiie skelp him; 
He may do weel for a' he's done yet, 
But only he's no just begun yet. 

The Patron (sir, ye maun forgie me, 
I winna lie, come \\ hat will o' me), 
On ev'ry hand it will allow'd be, 
He's just— nae better than he should be. 

134 BUKxN's' POKIIS. 

I readily and freely grant, 
He downa see a poor man want ; 
What's no Iiis ain lie wiiina tak it, 
What ance he says he wiiina break it ; 
Ought he can lend he'll no refus't, 
Till aft his guidness is abused ; 
And rascals whyles that do him wrang, 
Ev'n that, he does na mind it lans : 
As master, landlord, husband, father. 
He does na fail his part in either. 

But then, nae thanks to him for a' that ; 
Nae (jodhj syniptoni ye can ca' that , 
It's naething but a milder feature 
Of our poor sintu' corrupt nature : 
Ye'U get the best of moral works, 
'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks, 
Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi, 
Wha never heard of orthodoxy. 
That he's the poor man's friend in need, 
The gentleman in word and deed. 
It's no thro' terror oi d-mn-ti-n ; 
It's just a carnal inclination. 

Morality, thou deadly bane. 
Thy tens o' thousands thou hast slain ; 
Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is 
In moral mercy, truth, and justice! 

No — stretch a point to catch a plack ; 
Abuse a brother to liis back ; 
Steal thro' a witmock frae a wh-re, 
But point the rake that taks the door ; 
Be to the poor like ony whunstane, 
And baud their noses to the gruustane; 
Ply ev'ry art o' legal thieving ; 
No matter, stick to sou7id bcliev'mg. 

Learn three-mile pray'rs and half-mile graces, 
Wi' weel-spread loove^, and lang wry faces ; 


Grunt up a solemn lenytlien'd groan, 
And daniu a' parties but your own ; 
I'll warrant tlieri, ye're na deceiver, 
A steady, sturdy, staunch believer. 

O ye w'lia leave the springs o' Calvin, 
For guinlle dubs o' your ain delvin I 
Ye sons of heresy and error, 
Ye'll some day squeel in quaking terror ! 
When Vengeance draws the sword in wrath, 
And in the fire throws the sheath ; 
When Ruin, witli his sweeping besom, 
Just frets till Iloav'n commission gies him : 
While o'er the harp pale Mis'ry moans, 
And strikes the ever-deepening tones. 
Still louder shrieks, and heavier groans ! 

Your pardon, sir, for this digression, 
I maist forgat ray dedication ; 
But when divinity comes cross me, 
My readers still are sure to lose me. 

So, sir, ye see, 'twas nae daft vapour ; 
But I maturely thought it proper, 
When a' my works I did review. 
To dedicate tliem, sir, to You: 
Because (ye need na tak it ill) 
I thought them something like yoursel'. 

Then patronize them wi' your favour, 

And your petitioner shall ever 

I had amaist said, ever pray, 

But that's a word I need na say : 

For praying I hae little skill o't ; 

I'm baith dead-sweer, and wretched ill o't; 

But I'se repeat each poor man's pray'r, 

Tliat kens or hears about you, sir 

130 burns' poems. 

" INIay ne'er Misfortune's (rrowlln bark 
Howl tliro' tlie dwelling; o' tiie Clerk. 
May ne'er liis gen'rous lionest heart, 
For that same gen'rous spirit smart ! 
May Kennedy's far-honour'd name 
Lang beet liis liymeneal flame, 
Till Hamiltons, at least a dizen, 
Are fVae their nuptial labours risen : 
Five bonny lasses round their table, 
And seven braw lellows, stout and able 
To serve their king and country weel, 
By word, or pen, or pointed steel ! 
May health and peace, wi' mutual rays, 
Shine on the ev'ning o' his days ; 
Till his wee curlie JoJm's ier-oe, 
When ebbing life nae raair shall flow. 
The last, sad, mournful rites bestow !" 

I will not wind a lang conclusion, 
Wi' complimentary etfusion ; 
But whilst your wishes and endeavours 
Are blest wi' fortune's smiles and favours, 
I am, dear sir, with zeal most fervent, 
Your much indebted, humble servant. 

But if (which Pow'rs above prevent !) 
That iron-hearted carl, Want, 
Attended in his grim advances. 
By sad mistakes, and black mischances. 
While hopes, and joys, and pleasures fly him. 
Make you as poor a dog as I am. 
Your ImnMe servant then no more ; 
For who would humbly serve the poor ! 
But, by a poor man's hopes in Heaven ! 
While recollection's power is given, 
If, in the vale of humble life, 
T'le victim sad of fortune's strife. 


I, thro the tender irushino; tear, 

Should recognize my master dear, 

If friendless, low, we meet thetiither, 

Then, sir, your hand — ray friend and brother. 



Ha ! whare ye paun, ye crawlin ferlie ! 
Your impudence protects you sairly ; 
I canna say but ye strunt rarely. 

Owre irauze and lace ; 
The' faith, I fear ye dine but sparely 

On sic a place. 

Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner, 
Detested, shuini'd by saunt and sinner, 
How dare you set your fit upon her, 

Sae fine a lady ! 
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner 

On some poor body. 

Swith, in some beggar's haffet squattle ! 
There ye creep, and sprawl, and sprattle 
Wi' ither kindred jumpin cattle. 

In slioais and nations ; 
Whare horn nor bane ne'er dare unsettle 

Your thick plantations. 

Now haud you there, ye're out o' sight. 
Below the fatt'rills, snug and tight ; 
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right 

Till ye've got on it, 
The vera tapmost, tow'ring height 

O* Miss's bonnet. 

r:38 bukns' I'okms. 

My sooth I ii<rht bauld ye set your nose out; 
As plump and trray as oiiy grozet ; 

for some rank mercurial rozet, 

Or fell, red smeddum, 
I'd gie you sic a hearty doze o't, 

Wad dress your droddum ! 

1 wad na been surprised to spy 
You on an auld wife's flannen toy ; 
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy, 

Oil's wyliecoat ; 
But Miss's fine Lunar dl ; fie, 

How dare you do't ! 

O, Jenny, dinna toss your head, 
And set your beauties a' a bread ! 
Ye little'ken what cursed speed 

The blastie's makin ! 
Thae winks and fnger-ends, I dread, 

Are notice lakinl 

O wad some pow'r the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as others see us ; 
It wad frae raonie a blunder free its 

And foolish notion : 
What airs in dress and gait wad lea'e us, 

And ev'n Devotion ! 


Edixa ! Scotia's darling seat ! 

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs, 
Where once beneath a monarch's feet 

Sit legislation's sov'reign pow'rs ! 

Bi:uNs' roE.MS. l:j'J 

From markini; wildly-sciitter'd flow'rs, 

As on the banks of Ayr I stray d, 
And singincT, lone, tlie ling'ring hours, 

I shelter in thy honour'd shade. 

Here wealth still swells the golden tide. 

As busy trade his labours plies ; 
There architecture's noble pride 

Bids elegance and splendour rise ; 
Here justice, from her native skies, 

High wields her balance and her rod ; 
There learning, witli his eagle eyes, 

Seeks science in her coy abode. 

Thy sons, Edina, social, kind, 

With open arms the stranger hail ; 
Tlieir views enlarg'd, their lib'ral mind, 

Above the narrow rural vale ; 
Attentive still to sorrow's wail, 

Or modest merit's silent claim ; 
And never may their sources fail ! 

And never envy blot their name ! 

Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn! 

Gay as the gilded summer sky. 
Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn, 

Dear as the raptur'd thrill of joy ! 
Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eye, 

Heaven's beauties on my fancy shine; 
I see the aire of love on hl(ih. 

And own his work indeed divine. 

There, watching high the least alarms, 
Thy rougl) rude fortress gleams afar ; 

Like some bold vet'ran, gniy in arms, 
And mark'd with many a seamy scar ; 

Tlie pond'rous wall and massy bar. 
Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock. 

140 burns' poems. 

Have oft withstood assailinjsr war, 
And oft repell'd tli' invader's shock. 

With awe-struck thoujiht, and pitying te;irs, 

I view that noble, stately dome, 
Where Scotia's kiims of other years, 

Pam'd lieroes, liad tlieir royal home : 
Alas ! how chang'd tlie times to come ! 

Their royal name low in the dust! 
Their hapless race wild-vvand'ring roam 

Tho' rigid Jaws cries out, 'twas just ! 

Wild beats my heart to trace your steps, 

Whose ancestors, in days of yore. 
Thro' hostile ranks and rnia'd gaps 

Old Scotia's bloody lion bore : 
Even I, who sing in rustic lore, 

Happy my sires have left their shed, 
And fac'd grim dangers loudest roar, 

Bold-following where your fathers led ! 

Edina ! Scotia's darling seat ! 

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs, 
Where once beneath a monarch's feet 

Sat legislation's sov'reign pow'rs ! 
From marking wildly-scatter'd flow'rs, 

As on the banks oi' Ayr I stray'd, 
And singing, lone, the ling'ring hours, 

I shelter in thy honour'd shade. 

liUHNS' POKMS. 141 



April 1,1785. 

While briers and woodbines budding green, 
And paitricks seraicliinf;- loud at e'en, 
And moniin poussie whiddin seen, 

Inspire my muse, 
This freedom in an unknown frien' 

1 pray excuse. 

On Fasten-een we liad a rockin, 

To ca' the crack, and weave our stoekin ; 

And there was muckle fun and jokin, 

Ye need na doubt ; 
At length we had a liearty yokin 

At sang about. 

There was ae satig amang the rest, 
Aboon them a' it pleas'd me best, 
That some kind husband had addrest 

To some sweet wife : 
It thirl'd the heart-strings thro' the breast, 

A' to the life. 

I've scarce heard ought described sae weel, 
What gen'rous, manly bosoms feel ; 
Thought I, " Can this be Pope, or Steele, 

Or Beattie's wark !" 
They tauld me 'twas an odd kind chiel 

About Muirkirk. 

It pat me fidgin fain to hear't, 
And sae about liim there I spier't, 

142 burns' poems. 

Then a' that kcnt him round declar't 

He liad ingine. 
That nane excell'd it, few cam neart, 

It was sae fine. 

That, set him to a pint o' ale. 

And either douce or merry tale, 

Or rhymes and sanes he'd made hiinsel, 

Or witty catches, 
Tween Inverness and Tiviotdale, 

He had few matches. 

Then up I gat, and swore an aith, 

Tho' I should ])awn my pleugh and gruitU 

Or die a cadger pownie's death. 

At some dyke-back, 
A pint and gill I'd gie them baith 

To hear 5 our crack. 

But, first and foremost, I should tell, 
Amaist as soon as I could spell, 
I to the crambo-jingle fell, 

Tho' rude and rough. 
Yet crooning to a body's sel, 

Does weel enough, 

I am nae poet, in a sense. 

But just a rhymer, like, by chance. 

And hae to learning nae pretence. 

Yet, what the matter? 
Whene'er my muse does on me glance, 

I jingle at her. 

Your critic-folk may cock their nose, 
And say, ' How can you e'er propose. 
You, wha ken hardly verse frae prose. 
To mak a sanq V 

burns' I'oK.Ms. 11 ;i 

But, by your leaves, my loarncd fo»;8, 
Ye're maybe wrang. 

What's a' your jargon o' your schools, 
Your Latiu names tor horns and stools, 
If honest nature made you fooJs, 

What sairs your i^rammnrs ? 
Ye'd better taen up spades'and shools, 

Or knappin-hamraers. 

A set o' dull conceited liashes, 
Confuse their brains in college classes ! 
They ga?ig in stirks, and come out assc><. 

Plain truth to speak ; 
And syne they think to climb Parnassu3 

By dint o' Greek. 

Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire, 

That's a' the learning I desire ; 

Then tho' I drudge thro' dub and mire 

At pleugh or cart, 
My muse, tho' hamely in attire, 

May touch the lieart. 

O for a spunk o' Allan's glee, 

Or Fergusson's, the bauld and slee, 

Or bright Lapraik's, my friend to be, 

If I can liit it ; 
That would be lear eneugh for me. 

If I could get it. 

Now, sir, if ye hae friends enow, 
Tho' real friends, I believe, are few. 
Yet if your catalogue be fou, 

I'se no insist. 
But gif you want a friend that's true, 

I'm on your list. 

144 burns' I'OiiMs. 

I winna blaw about my eel ; 

As ill I like my fauts to tell ; 

But friends, arid folk that wish me well, 

They sometimes roo?e me ! 
Tlio' I maun own, as monie still 

As far abuse me. 

There's ae weejhnt they whyles lay to me, 

I like the lasses— Gude forgie me ! 

For niony a plack they wheedle frae me, 

At dunce or fair ; 
May be some ither thing they gie me ! 

They weel can spare. 

But MauchJine race, or Mauchline fair, 
I should be proud to meet you there ; 
We'se gie ae night's discharge to care. 

If we forgather, 
And hae a swap o' rhyniin-icare 

Wi' ane anither. 

The four-gill chap, we'se gar him clatter, 
And kirsen hira wi' reekin water ; 
Syne we'll sit down and tak our whitter, 

To cheer our heart ; 
And faith we'se be acquainted better 

Before we part. 

Awa, ye selfish warly race, 

Wha think that bavins, sense, an' grace, 

Ev'n love and friendship, should give place 

To catch-the-jjlack ! 
I dlnna like to see your face. 

Nor hear your crack. 

But ye whom social pleasure charms, 
Whose hearts the tide of kindness warms, 

BURNS POEMS. 1 -t.i 

Who hold your heiiu/ on the terms, 

'Each aid the others,' 
Come to my bowl, come to my arms, 

Jly friends, my brothers ! 

But, to conclude my lang epistle. 
As my auld pen's worn to the grissle ! 
Twa lines frae you wad gar me fissle. 

Who am, most fervent, 
While I can either sing, or whistle. 

Your friend and servant. 


April 21, 1785 

While new-ca'd kye rowte at the stake, 
And pownies reek in jjleuj^h or braik, 
This hour on e'ening's edge I take. 

To own I'm debtor 
To honest-hearted, auld Lapraik, 

For his kind letter. 

Forjesket sair, wi' weary legs, 
Rattlin the corn out-owre tiie riirs, 
Or dealing throngh amang the naigs 

Their ten-hours bite, 
My awkward Muse sair pleads and begs, 

I wadna write. 

The tapetless ramfeezl'd hizzy, 

She's saft at best, and sometlihig lazy, 

Quo' she, ' Ye ken, we've been sae bizzie 

Tliis month and mair. 
That, trouth, my head is grown right dizzl«, 

And something eair.' 
17 L 

146 BLIlNfi' POEM?. 

Her dowff excuses pat rae mad : 

' Conscience,' says I, ye thouwless jade 

I'll write, and that a "hearty blaud, 

This vera night; 
Sae dinna ye afiront your trade, 

But rhyme it right. 

* Shall hauld Lapraik, the king o' hearts, 
Tho' mankind were a pack o' cartes, 
lloose you sae weel for your deserts. 

In terms sae friendly. 
Yet ye'll neglect to show your parts, 

And thank him kindly ! 

Sae I gat paper in a blink, 

And down gaed shimpie i' the ink : 

Quoth I, ' Before I sleep a wink, 

I vow I'll close it J 
And if ye winna mak it clink. 

By Jove I'll prose it ! 

Sae I've begun to scrawl, but whether 
In rhyme or prose, or baith thegither. 
Or some hotch-potch that's rightly neither, 

Let time mak proof ; 
But I shall scribble down some blether 

Just clean aff-loof. 

My worthy friend, ne'er grudge and carp, 
Tho' fortune use you hard and sharp ; 
Come, kittle up your muirland harp 

Wi' gleesorae touch ! 
Ne'er mind how fortune waft and ivarp ; 

She's but a b-tch. 

She's gien me mony a jirt and fleg, 
Sin I could striddle owre a rigj 


But by the L— d, tho' I sliould beg 

Wi' lyart pow, 
I'll laugh, and sing, and shake ray leg, 

As lang's I dow ! 

Now comes the sax and twentieth simmer 
I've seen the bud upo' the timraer, 
Still persecuted by the limmer 

Frae year to year ; 
But yet, despite tlie kittle kimmer, 

/, Jioh, am here. 

Do ye envy the city geyit, 

Behint a kist to lie' and sklent. 

Or purse-proud, big wi' cent, per cent. 

And uiuckle wauie, 
In some bit brugh to represent 

A bailie's name ? 

Or is't the paughty, feudal Thane, 
Wi' ruffled sark and glancin cane, 
Wha thinks himsel nae sheep-shank bane. 

But lordly stalks, 
While caps and bonnets aff are ta'en. 

As by he walks. 

* O, Thou wha gies us each gude gift, 
Gie me o' wit and sense a lift, 

Then turn me, if Thou please, adrift, 

Tiiro' Scotland wide ; 
Wi' cits or lairds I wadna shift. 

In a' their pride.' 

Were this the charter of our state, 

* On pain o' hell be rich and great, 
Damnation then would be our fate, 

Beyond remead ; 

l48 burns' pokms. 

But, tlianks to Ileav'n ! th.-it's no the gate 
We learn our creed. 

For tlms the royal inaiulati; ran, 
Wlien first tlie human race began, 
* The social, IrieiKlly, honest man, 

Whate'er he be, 
Tis he fulfils great Nature's plan., 

And none but he .'* 

O mandate ploriousand divine! 

The raffled tollowfrs o' the nine, 

Poor thoughtle>s deevils, yet may sliine 

In izlorious li'^ht, 
^Vllile sordid sons o' Mammon's line 

Are dark as night. 

Tl)o' here they scrape, and squeeze, and growl, 
Their wortliless nievc t'u' of a soul 
May in some future carcass howl. 
The forest's fright. 
Or in some day-detesting owl 

' May shun the liglit. 

Then may Lapraik and Burns arise. 
To reach their native, kindred skies, 
And si/ig their pleasures, hopes, and joys 

In some mild sphere. 
Still closer knit in friendship's ties. 

Each passing year. 



O C II I L T U K E. 

Muy, 1785. 

I GAT your letter, winsome Willie : 
Wi' grateiu' heart, I thank you hrawlie ; 
Though I muuii suy't I wad be silly, 

And unco vain, 
Should I believe, my coaxin billie, 

Your flutterin strain. 

But I'se believe ye kindly meant it, 
I sud be laith to think ye hinted 
Ironic satire, sidelins sklented 

On my poor musie ; 
Though in sic phrasin terms ye've penn'd it, 

I scarce excuse ye. 

My senses wad be in a creel, 
Should I hut daur a Jwpe to speel, 
Wi' Allan, or wi' Gdhert field, 

Tiie braes o' fame ; 
Or Fergussov, the writer chiel, 

A deathless name 

(O Fergusson ! thy glorious parts 

111 suited law's dry, musty arts; 

My curse upon your wliunstane hearts, 

Ye Enbrngh gentry ! 
The tythe o' what ye wasre at cartes 

Wad stow'd his pantry !) 

Yet when a tale comes i' my head. 
Or lassie gie ray heart a screed, 

loO burns' l'f)T<MS. 

As wliyles they're like to bo my deiid, 
(O sad disease !) 

I kittle up ray rustic reed, 

It gies me ease. 

Auld Coila now may fidge fu' fain, 

She's gotten poets o' her ain, 

Chiels wha their clianters winna hain, 

But tune their lays, 
Till echoes a' resound again 

Her weel-sung praise. 

Nae poet thought her worth his while, 
To set her name in measur'd style ; 
She lay like some unkenn'd-of isle 

Beside New Holland, 
Or whar wild-meeting oceans boil 

Besouth Magellan. 

Jiavisny and famous Ferf/iisso7i 
Gied F(yrth and Tay a lift aboon ; 
Yarrow and l^ceed, to monie a tune, 

Owre Scotland rings, 
While Irxoin, Lngar, Ayr, and Boon, 

Naebody sings. 

Th' Illisms, Tiber, Thames, and Seine^ 
Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line ; 
But, Willie, set your fit to mine, 

And cock your crest, 
We'll gar our streams and burnies shine 

Up wi' the best. 

We'll sing auld Coila's plains and fells. 
Her muirs red-brown wi' heather-bells, 
Her banks and braes, her dens and dells, 
Whare glorious WaUaca 

burns' I'OKMS. 101 

Aft bure the grce, as story tells, 

Frae southron billuJS 

At Wallace^ name, what Scottish blood 
But boils up in a sprin<:-ti(le flood ! 
Oft hae our fearless fathers strode 

By Wallace^ side, 
Still pressuig onward red-wet shod, 

Or glorious died. 

O sweet are Coiln''s hau'^hs and woods, 
When lintwhites chant aniang the buds, 
And jinking hares in amorous winds, 

Their loves enjoy, 
While through the braes the cushat croods 

Wi' wailfu' cry. 

Ev'n winter bleak has charms to me, 
When winds rave through the naked tree ; 
Or frosts on hills of Ochiltree 

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

Dark'ning the day ! 

O Nature! a' thy shews and forms, 
To feeling, pensive hearts hae charms ! 
Whether the summer kindly warms 

Wi' life and light, 
Or winter howls, in gusty storms, 

The lang dark niglit ! 

The Muse, nae poet ever fand her, 
Till by himsel he learned to wander, 
Adown some trottin burn's meander. 

And no think lang ; 
O sweet, to stray and pensive ponder 

A heart-felt sang ! 

The war'ly race may drudge and drive, 
IIo'^-sIiouiIht, juiidle, stretch, and strive, 
Let nie luir Nature's face descrive, 

And I, wi' pleusure, 
Shall let the bizzy, firuinhlin!:; hive 

Bum o'er their treasure. 

Far.nveel, " my rhyme-composing hrither," 
We've been o\vre latij^ unkenn'd to ithtr : 
Now let us lay our heads ther;ither, 

In love fraternal : 
May Envt/ wallo]) in a tetiier, 

Black fiend, infernal ! 

While Ilighlandmen hate tolls and taxes ; 
While Muirian' herds like sfude fat braxies ; 
While Terra Firma, on her axis 

I^iurnal turns, 
Count on a friend, in faith and practice, 

In Robert Burns. 


My memory's no worth a preen ; 

I had amaist forgotten clean. 

Ye bade me write you what they mean 

By this new-Ufjht,* 
'Bout which our henb sae aft liae been 

Maist like to fight. 

In days when mankind were but callans 
Mgrammar, logic, and sic talents, 

• See Note, Pujre 44, 


Tiiey took nae p:iins thi-ir speech to halatice, 

Or rules to gie, 
lint spiik their thoiij^lits in plain, braid lallans, 

Like you or lue. 

In tliae auld times, they thou^'ht the moon 
Just like a sark, or pair o' slujon, 
Wore by degrees, till her last rooii 

Gaed past their viewin, 
And shortly after she was done, 

They gat a new ane. 

This past for certain, undisputed ; 

It ne'er cam in their heads to doul)t it, 

Till chiels gat up and wad confute it, 

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

Both loud and lang. 

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

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

She grew mair bright. 

This was deny'd, it was affirm'd ; 

The heixh and hlrsels were alarm'd ; 

The rev'rend greybeards rav'd and 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 and aiths to clours and nicks, 
And mony a fallow gat his licks, 
Wi' heartv crunt ; 

l/it burns' rOEMd. 

And some, to karn them for their tricks, 
Were hang'd and brunt. 

This game was play'd in raony lands, 
And auld-lit/ht caddies bare sic hands,. 
That faith, the vountrKters took the sands 

\Vi' nimble shanks, 
Till lairds forbade, by strict commands, 

Sic bluidy pranks. 

But new-Vuiht herds g'at sic a cowe, 
Folk thought them ruhi'd stick and stowe, 
Till now amaist on every knowe, 

Ye'U find ane plac'd ; 
And some, their 7iew-li(/ht fair avow, 

Just quite barefac'd. 

Nae doubt the aiild-liglit flocks are bleatin : 
Their zealous herds are vex'd and sweatin ; 
Mysel, I've even seen them greetin 

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

By word and write. 

But shortly they will cowe the loons, 
Some auld-light herds in neebor towns 
Are mind't, in thin;,^s thev ca' halloovs. 

To tak a flight. 
And stay ae month amang the moo7is, 

And see them right. 

Gude observation they will gie them ; 

And when the cnild 7noon's gaun to lea'e them, 

The hindmost shaird, they'll fetch it wi' them. 

Just i' their pouch. 
And when the neio-Ught billies see them, 
I think they'll crouch. 


Sae, ye observe, that a' tliis clatter 

Is naethinor bat a " moonshine matter ;'* 

But though dull-prose folk Latin splatter 

In logic tulzie, 
I hope we bardies ken some better 

Than mind sic bruilzie. 



O ROUGH, rude, ready-witted Rankin, 
The wale o' cocks for fun and drinkin I 
Tiiere's mony godly folks are thinkin 

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

S Draught to auld Nick's. 

Ye hae sae niony cracks and cants, 
And in your wicked, drucken rants, 
Ye raak a deevil o' the saunts, 

And till them fu' ; 
And then their failings, flaws, and wants, 

Are a' seen through. 

Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it ! 
Tliat holy roby, O dinna tear it ! 
Spare't for their sakes wha aften wear ii, 

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

Rives't aff their back. 

* A crrtaiii humorous dream of his was then making i\ 
noise in the country-side. 

156 BTiiNs' roi:Ms. 

riiiiik, wicked sinner, wha ye're scaitliinsr, 
It's just the bh/e-f/oirn biidLCe and claitiiinpf 
O' saunts ; tak that, ye lea'e tliem iiaeihii»;r 

To ken them by, 
Frae ony unregenerate lu'ati)eri, 

Like you or I. 

I've sent you here some rliyniin^ ware, 
A' that I bargrain'd for and mair ; 
Sae, when ye hae an huur to spare, 

1 will expect 
Yon satitj ;* ye'll sen't, wi' cannie care, 

And no neglect. 

Thou'jfh faitli, sma' heart hae I to sing ! 
My Muse dov/ scarcely spread her wins^ 
I've play'd mysel a bonnie spring, 

And danced ray fill ; 
I'd better gane and sair't the king, 

At Bunker's Hill. 

'Twas ae night lately, in my fun, 

I traed a roving wi' tlie gun, 

And brought a patrick 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 tiiey would fash rae for't ; 

Biit deil-nia-eare ! 
Somebody tells \\ie poacher- court 

The hale affair. 

A son^; lie had promised the Author. 

burns' roKMs, 157 

Some auld usM hands hud ta'eii a note, 
Tluit sic a hen had got a sliot ; 
I was suspected for the plot ; 

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

And pay't l\iefce. 

But, my gun, o' guns the wale. 
And by my pouther and my hail, 
And "bV my hen, and by her tall, 

I vow and swear. 
The game shall pay, o'er muir and dale. 

For this, neist year. 

As soon's the cockin-time is by, 
And the wee pouts begin to cry, 
L— d, I'se hae sportin by and by, 

For my cowd guinea, 
Though I should herd the buckskin kye 

For't, in Virginia. 

Trowth, they had muckle for to blame I 
'Twas neitlier broken wing nor limb, 
But twa-three dnips al)out the wame, 

Sciirre ihronirh the feathers ; 
And baith a yellow (ieorge to claim, 

And thole thc^ir blethers ! 

It pits me aye as m ad's a hare ; 

So I can rhyme nor write nae mair ! 

Wwl pentuj worths again are fair, 

Wlien time's expedient : 
Meanwhile I am, respected sir. 

Your most obedient. 





Thou whom chance may liither lead, 
Be thou clad in russet weed, 
Be thou deck'd in silken stole, 
'Grave these counsels on thy soul. 

Life is hut a day at most, 
Sprung from nicrht, in darkness lost ; 
Hope not sunshine every hour. 
Fear not clouds will always lower. 

As youth and love, with sprightly dance, 
Beneath thy morning star advance. 
Pleasure with her siren air 
May delude the thoughtless pair : 
Let prudence bless enjoyment's cup, 
Then raptur'd sip, and sip it up. 

As thy day grows warm and high. 
Life's meridian flaming nigh, 
Dost thou spurn the humble vale ? 
Life's proud summits would'st thou scale ? 
Check thy climbing step, elate, 
Evils lurk in felon wait : 
Dangers, eagle-pinion'd, bold. 
Soar around each cliffy hold. 
While cheerful peace, with linnet-song. 
Chants the lowly dells among. 

As the shades of ev'ning close, 
Beck'ning thee to long repose : 

burns' poems. 159 

As life itself becomes disease, 

Seek the chimney-nook of ease, 

There ruminate with sober thought. 

On all thou'st seen, and heard, and wrought 

And teach the sportive younkers round, 

Saws of experience, sage and sound. 

Say, man's true, genuine, estimate, 

The grand criterion of Ins fate, 

Is not. Art thou high or low ? 

Did thy fortune ebb or flow ? 

Did many talents gild thy span ! 

Or frugal nature grudge tliee one ? 

Tell them, and press it on their mind, 

As thou tiiyself must shortly find, 

The smile or frown of awful Heav'n, 

To virtue or to vice is giv'n, 

Say, to be just, and kind, and wise, 

There solid self-enjoy meat lies ; 

That foolish, selfish, faithless ways, 

Lead to the wretched, vile and base. 

Thus resign'd and quiet, creep 
To the bed of lasting sleep ; 
Sleep, whence thou shalt ne'er awake, 
Night, where dawn shall never break, 
Till future life, future no more. 
Till light and joy the good restore, 
To light and joy unknown before. 

Stranger, go ! Heav'n be thy guide ! 
Quod the beadsmen of Nith-side. 



Dweller in yon dungeon dark. 
Hangman of creation mark I 


W!io in widow-weeds, appears, 
Laden witli nniionour'd years, 
Noosinji with care a bursfinj; |)urr;e, 
Baited with many a deadly cur&e ? 


View the withrr'd beldam's face— 
Can thy keen inspection trace 
Alight of humanity's sweet melting grace? 
Note that eye, 'tis rheum o'erflows, 
Pity's flood" tliere never rose. 
See those liands ne'er stretch'd to save, 
Hands tliat took— but never gave. 
Keeper of Mammon's iron chest, 
Lo, there she goes, unpitied and unhlest 
She goes, but not to realms of everlasting rest ? 


Plunderer of armies, lift thine eyes, 
(A while forbear, ye ton'ringr iiends,) 
Seest thou whose step, unwilliner, hither bends? 

No fallen angel, hurl'd from upper skies: 
'Tis thy trusty qno)idam mate, 
Doom'd to share thy fiery fate. 

She, tardy, hellward plies. 

And are they of no more avail, 

Ten thousand glitt'ring pounds a-year ; 
In other worlds can Mammon fail, 

Omnipotent as he is here ? 
O, bitter mockery of the pompous bier, 

While down the wretched vital part is driven? 
The cave-lodg'd beggar, with a conscience clear, 

Expires in rags, unknown, and goes to Heaven. 

U urns' I'OKMS. 1(31 




But now liis radiant course is run, 
For JLitthcw « course was bright; 

Hi^ so'il was like the clorious sun, 
A matchless, heav'nly ligrlit. 

O Dkatii ! thou tyrant fell and bloody ! 
The nieikle deovil wi' a woodie 
Haurl thee hanie to liis black smiddie, 

O'r hurcheon hides, 
And like stock-lish come o'er his studdie 

Wi' tiiy auld sides! 

He's gane ! he's gane ! he's frae us torn, 

The ae host fellow eVr was born ! 

Thee, Matthew. Nature's sel shall mourn 

By wood and wild, 
Where, haply, pity strays ibrlorn, 

Frae man exiled. 

Ye hills, near noebors o' the starns, 
Tliat proudly cock your crestin cairns I 
Ye cliffs, the haunt of sai.iii;;- yearns, 

Where eclio shimbers ; 
Come join ye, Nature's sturdiest bairns, 

My wailinjj numbers ! 

Mourn, ilka prove the cushat kens ! 
Ye haz'lly sbaws atid briery dens ! 
Ve burnies, wiinplin down vour {^leiis, 

17 M 

1()2 liLUiNs' POEMS. 

Or foaniiiig Strang, wi' hasty stens, 
Frae linn to linn. 

Mourn, little harebells o'er the lee ; 
Ye stately foxf^loves, fair to see ! 
Ye woodbines hanging bonnilie. 

In scented bow'rs ; 
Ye roses on your thorny tree. 

The first of flow'rs. 

At dawn, when ev'ry grassy blade 

Droops with a diamond at his head, 

At e'en, when beans their fragrance shed, 

r the rustling gale, 
Ye maukins whiddin thro' the glade, 

Come join my wail. 

Mourn, ye wee sono^sters o' the wood ; 
Ye grouse that crap tlie heather bud ; 
Ye curlews calling through a clud ; 

Ye whistling plover ; 
And mourn, ye whirring paitrick brood; 

He's gane for ever ! 

Mourn, sooty coots and speckled teals ; 
Ye fisher herons, watching eels ; 
Ye duck and drake, wi' airy wheels 

Circling the lake ; 
Ye bitterns, till the quagmire reels, 

Rair forhis sake. 

Mourn, clam'ring craiks at close o' day, 
'Mang fields o' flow'ring clover gay ; 
And when ye wing your annual way 

Frae our cauld shore, 
Tell thae far warids, wha lies in clay, 

Wham we deplore. 

BUU.NS' POEM 8. 1(53 

Ye howlets, frae your ivy bow'r, 
In some aiild tree or Eldritch tow'r, 
Wliat time the inoon, wi' silent glow'r, 

Sets up her horn, 
Wail thro' the dreary midnight hour 

Till waukrite morn I 

O, rivers, forests, hills, and plains ! 
Oft have ye heard my canty strains : 
Bui now, what <dse for me remains 

But tales of wo ; 
And frae my een the drapping rains 

Maun ever flow. 

Mourn, spring, thou darling of the year ! 
Ilk cowslip cup shall kep a tear : 
Tiiou simmer, wliile each corny spear 

Slioots up its head, 
Thy gay, green, flow'ry tresses shear, 

For him that's dead I 

Thou, autumn, wi' thy yellow hair, 
In grief thy sallow mantle tear ! 
Tliou, winter, hurling thro' the air, 

The roaring blast, 
Wide o'er the naked world declare 

The worth we've lost ! 

Mourn him, thou sun, great source of light ! 
Mourn, empress of the silent night ! 
And you, ye twinklintr starnies bright. 

My JMatthew mourn I 
For through your orbs he's ta'en his flight, 

Ne'er to return. 

O Henderson I the man ! the brother ! 
And art thou gone, and gone for ever ! 


And hiisl thou crost tliiit unknown river. 
Life's flrcary hound ! 

Like tlice, where sliail I find another, 
The world around ! 

Go to your sculptur'd tombs, ye Great, 
In a' the tinsel trash o' state ! 
But by tliy honest turfril wait, 

Thou man of worth I 
And weep tlie ae best fellow's fate 

E'er lav in earib. 


Stop, passenprer ! my story's brief, 
And trutii 1 shall relate, man ; 

I tell nae common tale o' grief. 
For Matthew was a great man. 

If thou uncommon merit hast, 
Yet spurn'd at fortune's door, man, 

A look of pity hither cast, 
For Matthew was a poor man. 

If thou a noble sodaer art, 
That passest by tiiis grave, man. 

There moulders here a gallant heart, 
For Matthew was a brave man. 

If thou on men, their works and ways, 
Canst throw uncommon light, man, 

Here lies wlia weel had won thy praise, 
For Matthew was a bright man. 

If thou at friendship's sacred ca', 
)Vad life itself resign man ; 

URN's' POKMS. lfi.3 

Thy sympathetic tear maun fa', 
For Matthew was a kia' man ! 

If thou art staunch without a stain, 
Like the unciiunging blue, man; 

I'iiis was a kinsman o' tliy ain, 
For Matthew was a true man. 

If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire, 
And ne'er ^'ude wine did fear, man ; 

Tiiis was tiiy billie, dam, and sire, 
For Matthew was a queer man. 

If ony whig•^i^h whinjrin sot, 
To blame poor Mattliew d;ire, man, 

May dool and sorrow be his lot, 
For Mattliew was a rare man. 



Now Nature hangs her mantle green 

On every blooming tree, 
And spreads her sheets o' daisies white 

Out o'er the grassy lea : 
Now Phoebus clieer:- the crystal streams, 

Anil glads the azure skies ; 
But nought can glad the weary wight 

That fast in durance lies. 

Now lav'rocks wake the merry morn, 

Aloft on dewy wiiiir ; 
The merle, in his noontide bow'r, 

Makes woodland echoes ring ; 


Thp mavis wild, \vi' many a note, 

Sinps drowsy day to rest ; 
In love and freedom tliey rejoice, 

Wi' care nor thrall opprest. 

Now blooms the lily by the bank, 

The primroee down the brae ; 
Tlie hawthorn's budding in the gkn, 

And milk-white is the slae : 
The meanest liind in fair Scotland 

May rove their sweet araang ; 
But I, the Queen of a' Scotland, 

Maun lie in prison Strang. 

I was the Queen o' bonnie France, 

Where happy I hae been ; 
Fu' liglitly rose I in the morn, 

As blithe lay down at e'en : 
And I'm the sovereign of Scotland, 

And raony a traitor there ; 
Yet here I lie in foreign bands, 

And never-ending care. 

But as for thee, thou false woman, 

My sister and my fae, 
Grim vengeance, yet shall whet a sword 

That through thy soul shall gae : 
The weeping blood in woman's breast 

Was never known to thee ! 
Nor the balm that draps on wounds of wo 

Frae woman's pitying e'e. 

My son ! my son ! may kinder stars 

Upon thy fortune shine ; 
And may those pleasures gild thy reign, 

That ne'er wad blink on mine ; 
God keep thee frae thy mother's faes. 

Or turn their hearts'to thee : 

ilLKNS' POKMS. \6] 

And when tliou nieet'st tliy mother's f. iend, 
Remember him for me ! 

O ! soon to me, muy summer-suns 

Nae raair lii^ht up the morn ! 
N;ie mair, to me, the autumn winds 

Wave o'er the yellow corn ; 
And in the narrow house o' deatli 

Let winter rountl me rave ; 
And the next flowers that deck the sprinjr, 

Bloom on my peaceful grave. 



La-TE crippled of an arm, and now a leg, 
About to beg a pass for leave to beg ; 
Dull, listless, teased, dejected and deprest, 
(Xature is adverse to a cripple's rest;) 
Will generous Graham list to his poet's wail? 
(It soothes poor misery, hearkening to her tale,) 
And hear him curse the light he first survey'd, 
And doubly curse the luckless rhyming trade. 

Thou, Nature, partial Nature, T arraign; 
Of thy caprice maternal I complain. 
The lion and the bull thy care have found, 
One shakes the forest, and one spurns the ground 
Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell, 
Th' cnvenom'd wasp, victorious, guards his cell. 
Thy minions, kings defend, control, devour. 
In all th' omnipotence of rule and power. — 
Foxes and statesmen, subtile wiles ensure ; 
The cit and polecat stink, and are secure. 
Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug, 
The priest and hedgehog in their robes, are snug. 

168 B5:r>6' poems. 

Ev'n silly woman has licr warlike arts, 

Her toiiilue and eyes, Iiei- (dreaded ^pear and darts. 

But oh ! thou bitter step-motlier and liard. 
To thy poor, fenceless, naked child— the Bard ! 
A thin*;- nntejicliahle in world's skill, 
And Jiali an idiot too, more lieljjless still. 
No heels to bear him from the opening dun ; 
No claws to dig. his hated si^lit to shun ; 
No horns, but those l-y luckh'ss Hymen worn, 
And those, alas ! not Amaltliea's horn : 
No nerves ollactr'y, Mammoii's trusty cur, 
Clad in rich dulness, comfortable fur. 
In naked feeling, and in achiniz pride. 
He bears th' unbroken blast from ev'ry side ; 
Varapyre booksellers drain him to the heart. 
And scorpion critics cureless venom dart. 

Critics — appallM, I venture on the name. 
Those cut-tliroat bandits in the paths of fame : 
Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes- 
He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose. 

His heart by causeless wanton malice wrui.^% 
By blockheads' daring into madness stung; 
His well-won bays, than life itself more deor, 
By miscreants torn, wlio ne'er one spriy; mu.^t \v<-a! 
Foil'd, i)leeding, tortur'd, in th' unequal strife, 
'I'lie hapless poet flounders on thro' life, 
Till fli'd eficli hope that once his bosom fir'd, 
And fled each muse that glorious once inspir'd, 
Low snidt in squalid, unprotected age, 
Dead, even resentment, for his injur'd page, 
He heeds or feels no more the ruthless critic's rage. 

So, by some hedge, the generous steed deceas'd, 
For half-sf^rv'd snarling curs a dainty feast; 

burns' P0EM3. I G.I 

By toil and famine wore to skin and bone, 
Lies senseless ofeacli tugging bitcli's son. 

dulness! portion of the truly blest! 
Calni-slielter'd liaven of eternal Vest ! 

Tliy sons ne'er nuulden in the tierce extremes 
Of Fortune's polar l'ro-;t, or torrid beams. 
If mantling liiy,li slie fills the golden cup, 
With sober selfish ease they sip it up : 
Conscious the iiounteous meed they well deserve, 
They only wonder "some folks" do not starve. 
The grave sa.;e hern tiuis easy picks his frog, 
And thinks the mallard a sad worlliless dcg. 
When disappointment snaps the clue of hope, 
And thro' disastrous night they darkling grope. 
With deaf endurance sluguishly they bear. 
And just conclude, that "fools are fortune's care." 
So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks, 
Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox. 

Not so the idle muses' mad-cap train, 
Not such the workings of their niooa-struck brjin ; 
In equanimity they never dwell. 
By turns in soaring heav'n, or vaunted hell. 

1 dread tliee, Fate, relentless and severe, 
With all a poet's, husband's, father's fear! 
Already one strong hold of hope is lost, 
Glencairn, the truly noble, lies in dust; 
(Fled, like the sun eclipt-'d at noon ai)pears, 
And left us darkling in a world of tears :) 
Oh ! hear my ardent, grateful, selfish pray'r! 
Fintra, my other stay, lonir bless and spare ! 
Thro' a long life his hopes and wishes crown^ 
And bri<4lit in cloudless skies his sun go down! 
May blisis domestic smooth his private path. 
Give energy to life, and sooth his latest breath 
With many a filial tear circling the bed of death ! 

170 n urns' I'uKMS. 


The wind blew hollow frae the hills, 

By fits the sun's departing beam 
Look'd on the fadinir .yellow woods 

That wav'd o'er Lu^ar's winding stream : 
Beneath a craigy steep a bard, 

Laden with years and meikle pain, 
In loud lament bewail'd his lord, 

Whom death had all untimely ta'en. 

He lean'd him to an ancient aik, 

Whose trunk was mould'ring down wi' years ; 
His locks were bleached white wi' time, 

His hoary cheek was wet wi' tears ; 
And as he touch'd his trembling harp, 

And as he tun'd his doleful sang, 
The winds, lamenting thro' the caves 

To echo bore the notes alang. 

" Ye scatter'd birds, tliat faintly sing 

The reliques of the vernal quire ! 
Ye woods, that shed on a' the winds 

The honours of the aged year ! 
A few short months, and glad and gay. 

Again ye'U charm the ear and ee; 
But nought in all revolving time 

Can gladness bring again to me. 

" I am a bending, aged tree. 

That long has stood the wind and rain ; 
But now has come a cruel blast, 

And my last hold of earth is gane : 
Nae leaf o' mine shall greet the spring, 

Nae simmer sun exalt my bloom ; 

burns' pobms. 171 

But I maun lie before the storm, 
And ithers plant them in my room. 

" I've seen sae mony changefu' years, 

On earth I am a stranj^er grown ; 
I wander in the ways of men. 

Alike unknowing' and unknown ; 
Unheard, unpitied, unreliev'd, 

I bear alane my lade o' care, 
For silent, low, on beds of dust, 

Lie a' that would my sorrows Share. 

'^ And last, (the sum of a' my griefs !) 

My noble master lies in clay ; 
The flower araang our barons bold. 

His country's pride, his country's stay ; 
In weary being now I pine, 

For a' the life of life is dead, 
And hope has left my aged ken, 

On forward wing for ever fled. 

*' Awake thy last sad voice, my harp ! 

The voice of wo and wild despair ! 
Awake, resound thy latest lay. 

Then sleep in silence evermair ! 
And thou, ray last, best, only friend, 

That fillest an untimely tomb, 
Accept this tribute from the banl 

Thou brought from fortune's mirkest glooia. 

" In poverty's low barren vale, 

Thick mists, obscure, involv'd me round j 
Tliough oft I turned the wistful eye, 

Nae ray of fame was to be found : v 

Thou found'st me, like tiie morning sun 

Tliat melts the fogs in limpid air, 
The friendless bard and rustic song, 

Became alike thy fostering care. 

17-2 mniNs' POKMS. 

" O ! wliy lias worth so short a date, 

While vilhiiiis ript^n {iTi\y with time? 
Must thou, the nolile, ^en'roua, great. 

Fall in bold maiiliood's hardy prime! 
Why did I live to ere That day ? 

A day to tiie so iiill of wo ! 
O! had I met ti:e mortal shaft 

Which laid my benefactor low ! 

*' The brideproom may forget the bride 

Was made his wedded wife yestreen ; 
The monareh may forget tiie crown 

That on his head an hour has been; 
The mother may forget the ciiild 

That smiles sae sweetly on her knee; 
But I'll remember tiiee, Glencairn, 

And a' that thou hast done for me I" 




Thou, who thy honour as thy God .^ , 

Who, save thy mind's reproach, nou;^iit earthly 

fear'st ; 
To thee this votive ofiering I impart, 
The tearful tribute of a broken heart. 
The friend thou valued'st, I the patron lov'd ; 
His worth, his honour, all the world approv'd. 
We'll mourn till we too go as he has gone, 
And tread the dreary path to that darkworld unknown. 

BUUNb' POKMS. 173 

T A iM O' S n A N T E II , 


Of liiownj-is and of Bogilii full is lliis Biikc. — Gajcin Douglas. 

VVhex chapman billies leave the sTreet, 
And drouthy neebors, neebors meet, 
As market-days are wearin late, 
And folk begin to tak the jrate ; 
Wliile we sit bousin at the nappy, 
And getting foil and uneo happy, 
We think uae on the lung Scots miles. 
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles, 
Tliat lie between us and our hanie, 
\V^ hare sits our sulky sullen dame, 
Gatherin her l)rows like gatheriw storm, 
Nursin her wrath to keep it warm. 

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

Oh, Tarn ! liadst thou but been sac wise, 
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice ! 
81ie tauld thee weel thou was a skellum, 
A bletherinu', blustering, drunken blellum; 
Tiiat frae November till October, 
Ae market-day tliou was na sobi-.r; 
That ilka nielder wi' the miller. 
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller ; 
That every nai^ cad a shoe on. 
The smith and thee gat roarin fou on ; 
Tliatat the L— d's iiouse, ev'n on Sunday, 
Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday. 

174 burns' 

She prophesied tliat, l;ite or soon, 

Tliou wad he found dcej) drown'd in Doon ; 

Or catch'd wi warlocks in tlie mirk, 

By Alloicay's auld haunted kirk. 

All, ffentle dames ! it pars me greet, 
To think how niony counsels sweet. 
How mony len'^tlieiiVi saue advises, 
The husband frae the wife despises ! 

But to our tale : Ae market-night, 
Tain had got planted unco right j 
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, 
Wi reaming swats that drank divinely, 
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny, 
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony; 
Tarn lo'ed him like a very brither; 
They had been fou for weeks thegither. 
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter ; 
And aye the ale was growin better ; 
The landlady and Tain 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, 
2'ain didna mind the storm a whistle. 

Care, mad to see a man sae ha])py, 
E'en drown'd himsel' amang the nappy ; 
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure. 
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure : 
Kings may be blest, but Tain 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 flit 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 Tani maun ride ! 

That hqjar, 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 show'rs rose on the blast ; 
Tiie speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd ; 
Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd : 
That night a cliild might understand, 
The deil had bushiess on his hand. 

Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg, 
A better never lifted leg, 
I'ain skelpit on thro' dub and mire. 
Despising wind, and rain, and fire ; 
Whiles handing fast his gude blue bonnet ; 
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet ; 
Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares, 
Lest bogles catch him unawares ; 
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, 
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry. 

By this time he was cross the ford, 
Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd ; 
And past the birks and meikle staiie, 
Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane ; 
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, 
Wliare hunter's fand the murder'd bairn ; 
And near the thorn, aboon the well, 
Whare Mango's mither hang'd hersel. — 

Before li'un Doon pours all his floods; 
The doubling storm roars tlirough the woods 
Tiie li.:litiiiiigs flash from pole to pol'j ; 
Near and more near tlie thunders roll ; 
When, t:Hninierin'_^ thro' the uroanin;.' trees, 
Kirh-AUou'cuj seem'd in a bleeze ; 
Thro' ilka bore the beams were ulancing ; 
And loud resounded mirtii and dancing. — 

Inspiring bold Juhn Barlej/corn ! 
What dangers thou canst make us scorn ! 
W^i tippenny we fear nae evil ; 
Wi' usqiiabae we'll face the devil ! — 
The swats sae ream'd in Tninmie's noddle, 
Fair play, he car'd nae deils a bodle. 
But Ma(/f/ie stood right sair astonish'd, 
Till, by the lieel and hand admonish'd, 
She ventur'd forward on the light ; 
And, wow ! Tani saw an u"co sigiit ! 
Warlocks and witches in a dance ; 
Nae cotillon brent new frae France, 
But hornpipes, jiiTs, strathspeys, and reels, 
Put life and mettle in their heels. 
A winnock-bunkcr in the east, 
There sat auld Niels in shape o' beast ; 
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large, 
To gie tliem music was his charge: 
He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl, 
I'ill roof and rafters a' did dirl.— 
Coffins stood round like open presses, 
Tiiat shaw'd the dead in their last dresses ; 
And by some devilish cantrip sleight, 
Each in his cauld hand held a light.— 
By which heroic Tani was able 
To note upon the haly table, 
A murderer's banes in gibbet-aims ; 
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristea'd bairns; 


A thief, new-cutted frae a rape, 
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape ; 
Five tomahawks, wi' blude red rusted ; 
A garter, which a babe had strangled ; 
Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted, 
A knife, a father's thoat had mangled, 
Whom his ain son o' life bereft, 
The grey hairs yet stack to the heft ; 
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu', 
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 danct.s 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 linkit at it in her sark ! 

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

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

But Tarn kenn'd what was what fu' l)ravvli3, 
There was ae winsome wench and walie, 
Tliat night enlisted in the core, 
(Lang after kenn'd on Carrick shore ! 
17 N 

J 78 BL'll.NS' I'Oli.MS. 

For mony a beast to d<'ii(l she shot, 
And perish'd mony a horinie boat. 
And shook baitii niuckle eorn and lieur, 
And kept the country side in fear ;) 
Her cutty sark, o' Paisley harn, 
That while a lassie she had worn, 
In lonfjitude tho' sorely scanty, 
It was her best, and she Avas vanntie — 
Ah! little kenn'd thy reverend jfrannie, 
That sark she eoft for her wee Narmii', 
WV twa pund Scots, (twas a' her riches,) 
Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches! 

But here my muse her winct maun cour ; 
Sic flight are far beyond her power ; 
To sing how Nannie lap and fiang, 
(A simple jade she was ajid Strang,) 
And how Tarn stood, like one bewitch'd, 
And thought his very een enrich'd ; 
Even Satan glow'rd and fidg'd fu' fain, 
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main : 
Till first ae caper, syne anither, 
Tavi tint his reason a' thegitlier, 
And roars out, " Weel dore, Cutty-sark !" 
And in an instant a' was dark : 
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied, 
Wlien out the hellish legion sallied. 

As bees biz out wi' angry fyke, 
When plundering herds assail their byke ; 
As open pussie's mortal foes, 
When, pop ! she starts bei'ore their nose ; 
As eager runs the market-crow'd. 
When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud ; 
So Maggie runs, the witches follow, 
Wi raonie an eldritch skreech and hollow. 

Ah, Tarn! ah, Tarn! thou'lt get thy fair- 
In hell thev'U roast thee like a herrin f 


III vain thy Kate awaits thy coraiii ! 
Kate soon will be a waefu' woman ! 
Now, do thy speedy utmost Meg, 
And win the key stane* of the brig ; 
There at them thou thy tail may toss 
A rumiino- stream tliey darena cross. 
But ere the key-stane she could ma]<-', 
Tiie tient a tail slie had to shake ! , 

For Nannie, far before the rest, 
Hiird upon nf)l)le Maggie prest, 
And flew at Tani wi' furious ettle ; 
But little wist siie Maggie's mettle — 
Ae spring brou;:ht offlier master halo, 
But left behind her ain yrey tail : 
The carlin elanLrlit 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, take heed ; 
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, 
Or cutty-sarks run in your niind, 
Think, ye may buy the joys ower dear, 
Remember Tani o' Shaniers mare. 


Inhuman man! curse on thy barb'rous art, 
And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye ! 
May never pity soothe thee with a siuh, 

Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart ! 

•It is a well-known fact, that witches, or any evil spi- 
its, liave no power to follow a poor wight any fartlier tluin 
he middle of the next running stream. — It may be proper 
ikewise to mention to the benighted traveller, that when 
e falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going 
)rward, there is much more hazard in turning back. 

180 HLRNb rOKMS. 

Go live, poor wanderer of the wood and field, 

The bitter little that of life remains : 

No more the thickening; brakes and verdant piainj' 
To thee shall home, or food, or pastime yield. 

Seek, mang^led wretch, some place of wonted rest. 
No more of rest, but now thy dyinjc bed ! 
The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy head, 

The cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest. * 

Oft as by winding Nith, I, musing, wait 
The sober eve, or hail the cheerful dawn, 
I'll miss thee sporting o'er the dewy lawn, 

And curse the ruffian's aim, and mourn fhv haplesj 



While virgin Spring, by Eden's flood, 

Unfolds her tender mantle green, 
Or pranks the sod in frolic mood. 

Or tunes Eolian strains between : 

While Summer, with a matron grace. 
' Retreats to Dryburgh's cooling shade, 
Yet oft, delighted, stops to trace 
The progress of the spiky blade : 

While Autumn, benefactor kind. 

By Tweed erects his aged head, 
And sees, with self-approving mind, 

Each creature on his bounty fed : 

burns' I'OEMS. IKl 

While maniac Winter raj^es o'er 
Tiie hills whence classic Yarrow flows, 

Rousing the turbid torrent's roar, 
Or sweeping, wild, a waste of snows : 

So lontr, sweet Poet of the year. 

Shall bloom that wreath thou well linst won 
While Scotia, with exulting tear, 

Proclaims that Thomson was her son. 




Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots, 
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnny Groat's ; 
If there's a hole in a' your coats, 

I rede you tent it : 
A chield's amang you, taking notes. 

And, faith, he'll prent it ! 

If in your bounds ye chance to light 

Upon a fine, i'at, fodgel wight, 

O' stature short, but genius bright, 

That's he, mark weel — 
And now ! he has an unco slight 

O' cauk and keel. 

Hy some auld, boulet-haunted biggin,* 
Or kirk deserted by its riggin, 

Viile liis Aiili(iuitie< of Scotland. 

182 burns' I'OEMS. 

It*d ten to ane yp'll find liim snufr in 

Sonic eldritch part, 
W'V deils, they say, L— d save's ! colleagniii' 

At some black art.— 

Ilk p:haist that haunts auld ha' or chaumcr, 

Ye tripsy-cransj that deal in ^lainour, 

And you deep-read in Jieirs black gramm;ir, 

Warlocks and witches ; 
Ye'll quake at his conjuring hammer, 

Ye midnight b es. 

It's tauld he was a sodger bred. 
And ane wad rather fa'n than fled ' 
But now he's quat the spurtle blade. 

And dog-skin wallet, 
And ta'en i\\e— Antiquarian trade, 

I think they call it. 

lie has a fouth o' auld nic-nackets; 
Rusty aim caps avid jinglin' jackets,* 
Wad hand the Lothians tliree in tackets, 

A towniont guid ; 
And parritch-pats. and auld saut-backets, 

Before the Flood. 

Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder ; 
-Auld Tubalcain's fire-sliool and fender ; 
Tliat which distinguished the gender 

O' Balaam's ass ; 
A broom-stick o' the witch of Endor, 

Weel shod wi brass. 

Forbye, he'll shape yon afF, fu' gleg 
Tlie cut of Adam's piiilibeg; 

• "^ide his Trpatise on Ancient Arnaour and Weapons. 

r.UUNS' i'OE.MS. 

TIu; knife that iiii-ket Abel's craig 

He'll prove you fully, 

1 1 WHS a fauldiii!^ joe tele*;. 

Or lang-kail gullie. 

l^ut wad ye see liini ir. his fflee, 
For meikle glee and fun has lie, 
Then set him down, and twa or three 

Guid fellows wi' him, 
And i^ort, O port ! shine thou a wee, 

And then ye'll see him ! 

Now, by the pow'rs o' verse and prose I 
Thou art a dainty chiel, O Grose I 
Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose. 

They sair niisea' thee ; 
I'd take the rascal by the nose. 

Wad sav, Siiame fa' tbe< 



Written on the Blank Leaf of a Book, presented 
to her by the Author. 

Beauteous rose-bud, young and ^ay, 

Blooming in tliy early May, 

Never may'st thou, lovely flow'r 

Chilly shrink in sleety show'r I 

Never Boreas' hoary path, 

Never Eurus' jiois'nous breath, 

Never baleful stellar lights, 

Taint thee with untimely blights ! 

Never, never reptile thief ' 

Riot on thy virgin leaf! 

Nor even Sol too fiercely view 

Thy bosom blushing still with dew! 

184 burns' poems. 

May'st tliou \o\vr, sweet crimson (fotn, 
Richly (leek thy native stem ; 
Till some eveiiinii-, sober, calm, 
])ropj)iri<^ (lews, and breathinir balm, 
While all aronnd the woodland riiiga, 
And every binl thy reqniem sin{,f8 ; 
Thou, amid the dirf^etul sound, 
Shed thy dying honours round, 
And resign to jiarent earth, 
The loveliest form she e'er gave birth. 

JOHN M'LKOD, i:s(,. 

lirother to a Yourifi Lady, a particular Fntiitl 
of the Author's. 

Sad thy tale, thou idle page, 

And rueful thy alarms: 
Death tears the brother of her love 

From Isabella's arms. 

Sweetly deckt with pearly dew. 

The morning rose may blow : 
liut cold successive noontide blasts 

May lay its beauties low. 

Fair on Isabella's morn 

The sun propitious smiled ; 
But, long ere noon, succeeding (rlouda 

Succeeding hopes beguiled. 

Fate oft tears the bosom cords 

That nature finest strung : 
So Isabella's heart was form'd 

And so that heart was wrung. 


Were it in the pool's power, 

Strom; us lu! shares tlie urief 
That pierces Isahella's heart, 

To give that heart relief. 

Dread Omnipolence, alone, 

Can heal tlie wound he j^ave : 
(Jan point tiu; briniful grief-worn eyes 

To scenes beyond the grave. 

Virtue's blossoms there shall blow. 

And fear no witherinjj: l)last ; 
There Isabelhi's spotless wortii 

Shall happy be at last. 



My Lord, I know, your noble ear 

Woe ne'er assails in vain ! 
I jnboldiMi'd thus, I beg you'll hear 

Your iMinii)le slave complain, 
lIowsau(;y PIiceI)us' scorching beams 

In flyiui summer-pride, 
Dry-witlu ring, waste my foamy streams, 

And drink my crjstal tide. 

Tlie lightly-jumping glow'rin fronts, thro' my waters play, 
If, in tlieir raiulotn, wanton spouts, 

They near the margin stray ; 

• Hruar FulU, in Athole, are exceedinerly pirturoaqiie uml 
Iciiiitiful J but their ptfoct Ik ihiipIi iinjiaiiHfl hy ilio want of 
li'ci'H tiiid shrubH. 


If, hapless chance ! they linj?er Ian;:;, 

I'm scorchiiij^ up so -iiallow, 
They're left tiie whifeninfr stancs aniang. 

In gasping death to wallow. 

Last day I ffrat v.i' spite and teen, 

As Poet Burns came by, 
That to a bard J ?liould be seen 

\Vi' half my channel dry : 
A panegyric rhyme, I ween, 

Ev'n as I was he shor'd uie ; 
Put had I in my glory been. 

He, kneeling, wad ador'd me. 

Here, foaming down the shelvy rocks, 

In twisting strength I rin ; 
There, high ray boiling torrent smokes, 

Wild-roaring o'er a linn : 
Enjoying large each spring and well, 

As nature gave them me, 
I am, altho' I say't mysel, 

Worth gaun a mile to see. 

Would then my noble master please 

To grant my highest wishes, 
He'll shade my banks wi' tow'ring trees. 

And bonnie spreading bushes; 
Delighted doubly then, my Lord, 

You'll wander on my banks, 
And listen mony a grateful bird 

Return you tuneful thanks. 

The sober laverock, warbling wild, 

Sliail to the skies aspire ; 
The gowdspink, music's gayest child, 

Shall sweetly join the choir: 
The blackbird strong, the lintwhite cleaj*, 

The mavis mild and mellow ; 

burns' roK.Ms. 187 

The robin, pensive autumn cheer, 
In all her locks of yellow : 

This, too, a covert shall insure, 

To sliield tliem from the storm ; 
And coward niaukin sleep secure, 

Low ill iier grassy form : 
Jli-re shall the shepherd make his scat, 

To weave liis crown o' flow'rs : 
Or find a sheltering safe retreat, 

From prone descending- shovv'rs. 

And here, by sweet endearing stealth. 

Shall meet the loving pair, 
Despising worlds with all their wealth 

As empty idle care ; 
The flowers shall vie in all their charms 

The hour of heaven to grace, 
And birks extend their fragrant arms 

To screen the dear embrace. 

Here haply too, at vernal dawn. 

Some musing bard may stray, 
And eye the smoking, dewy lawn, 

And misty mountain grey ; 
Or, by the reaper's nightly beam, 

Mild-chequering thro' the trees, 
Itive to my darkly-dashing stream. 

Hoarse swelling* on the breeze. 

Let lofty firs, and ashes cool, 

My lowly banks o'erspread, 
And view, deep-bending in the pool. 

Their sl;adows' wat'ry bed ! 
Let fragrant birks, in woodbines drest, 

My craggy clili's adorn ; 
And, for the little songster's nest, 

The close erabow'ring thorn. 


So may old Scotia's darling hope, 

Your little angel band, 
Spring, like their futliers, up to prop 

Tljeir honour'd native land ! 
So may, thro' Albion's farthest ken, 

To social flowing glasses, 
The grace be — " Athole's honest men, 

And Athole's bonnie lassies!" 



In Loch- Turit, a wild scene among the Hills of 

Why, ye tenants of the lake, 
For me your wat'ry haunt forsake ? 
Tell me, fellow-creatures, why 
At my presence thus you fly ? 
Why disturb your social joys, 
Parent, filial, kindred ties ? — 
(Jommon friend to you and me, 
Nature's gifts to all are free ; 
Peaceful keep your dimpling wave, 
Busy feed, or wanton lave ; 
Or, beneath the sheltering rock, 
Bide the surging billow's shock. 

Conscious, blushing for our race. 
Soon, too soon, your fears I trace. 
Man, your proud usurping foe. 
Would be lord of all below ; 
Plumes himself in Freedom's pride, 
Tvrant stern to all beside. 

The eagle, from the clifTy brow, 
Marking you his prey below. 

BUKNS' rOKMS. 189 

In his breast no pity dwells, 

Strong necessity corapels, 

But man, to whom alone is giv'n 

A ray direct from pitying Heav'n 

Glories in his heart humane — 

And creatures for his pleasure slain. 

In these savage liquid plains, 
Only known to wand'ring swains, 
Where the mossy riv'let strays, 
Far from human haunts and ways ; 
All on Nature you depend, 
And life's poor season peaceful spend. 

Or, if man's superior might 
Dare invade your native right, 
On the lofty etlier borne, 
Man with all his pow'rs you scorn ; 
Swiftly seek, on clanging winus, 
Other lakes and other springs j 
And the foe you cannot brave. 
Scorn at least to be his slave. 


Over the Chimnejf-piece in the parlour of the Inn 
at Kenmure, Taymouth. 

Admiring Nature in her wildest grace. 
These northern scenes with weary feet I trace ; 
O'er many a winding dale and painful steep, 
Th' abodes of covied grouse and timid sheep, 
My savage journey, curious, I pursue, 
Till fam'd Breadal'bane opens to my view, — 
The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides 
The woods, wild-scatter'd, clothe their ample side? ; 

]'10 BURNS roKMS. 

Th' outslretchiiiK lake, enibosoni'd 'iiioncr the hills, 
Tlie pye with wonder and aniazenienf, lilis ; 
The Tay, meand'ring sweet in infant pride, 
Tile paiace risinc: on its verdant side ; 
The lawns wood-iVinti'd in Nature's native taste ; 
Tlie Iiillocks dropt in Nature's careless h.'iste ; 
The arches, stridinf( o'er the new-born stream ; 
The village, glittering in the noontide beam — 

Poetic ardours in my bosom swell, 

Lone wand'ring by the hermit's mossy cell : 

Tlie sweeping theatre of hanging woods; 

Th' incessant roar of headlong tumbling floods — 

* * ^ *' * * 

Here Poesy might wake her heaven-taught lyre, 
And look through Nature with creative fire ; 
Here, to the wrongs of fate half reconcil'd, 
Misfortune's lighten'd steps might wander wild : 
And Disappointment, in these lonely bounds, 
Find balm to soothe her bitter, rankling wounds: 
Here heart-struck Grief might heav'nward stielch 

her scan, 
And injur'd Worth forget and pardon man. 


Standbig hij the Fall of Fijers, near Loch-itr.-^a. 

Among the heathy hills and ragged woods. 

The roaring Fyers pours his mossy floods; 

Till full he dashes on the rocky mounds. 

Where, thro' a shapeless beach his stream re-ounds, 

As high in air the bursting torrents flow, 

As deep-recoiling surges foam below, 

Prone down the rock the whitening sheet descends, 

And viewless Echo's ear astonish'd, rends. 

burns' rOKM.S. JOl 

Dim-seen, through rising mists and ceaseless showers, 
The hoary cavern, wide surrounding, lowers, 
Still thro' the gap tlie strugglinir river toils, 
And still below, the horrid cauldron boils — 


Born under peculiar Circumstances 
of Family Distress. 

Sweet floweret, pledge o' nieikle love, 

And ward o' niony a pray'r, 
What heart o' stane wad tfiou na move, 

Sae, helpless, sweet, and fair. 

November iiirples o'er the lea, 

Chill, on thy lovely form ; 
And gane, alas ! the sheltering tree, 

Should shield thee frae the storm. 

May He who gies the rain to pour, 
And wings the blast to blaw, 

Protect thee frae the driving show'r. 
The bitter frost and snaw ! 

May He, the friend of wo and want, 
Who heals life's various stounds, 

Protect and guard the mother plant. 
And heal her cruel wounds ! 

'But late she flourisli'd, rooted fant, 
Fair on the summer morn ; 

N()\v freely bends s!ie in the blast, 
Unshelter'd and forlorn. 

192 ntiiNs' roEMs. 

Blest be tliy bloom, thou lovely gem, 
Unsheath'd by ruffian iiand ! 

And from thee many a parent stem 
Arise to deck our land. 

A Brother Poet* 


I'm three times doubly o'er your debtor, 
For your auld-farrant frien'Iy letter; 
Tho'I maun say't, I doubt you flatter, 

Ye speak sae fair ; 
For my puir, silly rymin' clatter 

Some less maun sair. 

Hale be your heart, hale be your fiddle ; 
Lang may your elbock jink and diddle, 
To cheer you thro' the weary widdle 

O' war'ly cares. 
Till bairns' bairns kindly cuddle 

Your auld, grey hairs. 

liut, Davie, lad, I'm red ye're glaikit; 
I'm tatild the Muse ye hae negleckit : 
And gif it's sae, ye sud be licket 

Until ye fyke ; 
Sic hauns as you sud ne'er be faiket, 

Be haint wha like. 

• This is prefixed to the poems of David Sillar, published 
at Kilmarnock, 1789. 

HL'iiN.s' poi:ms. ]'J'.i 

For mo. I'm on Parniissiis' brink, 

Rivin' tlie words to gar them clink; 

Wliyles daez't wi' love, whyles daez't wi' drink, 

Wi' jads or masons ; 
And whyles, but aye owre late, I think, 

Braw sober lessons. 

Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man, 
Cominen' me to tlie Bardie clan ; 
Except it be some idle plan 

O' rhyming' clink, 
Tlie deil-haet, that I sud ban, 

They ever think. 

Xae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' liviii', 
Xae cares to gie us joy or grievin' ; 
But just the poucliie put tlie nicve in, 

And wiiile ought's there, 
Tlieu hiltie skiltie, we gae scrievin', 

And fasii nae mair. 

Leeze me on rhyme ! it's aye a treasure, 
My chief, auiaist my only pleasure, 
At hame, a-fiel', at wark, or leisure, 

Tlie Muse, poor hizzie ! 
Tho' rough and ruplocli be her measure, 

Sae's seldom lazy. 

Haud to the Muse, my dainty Davie; 
The wail' may play you monie a shavie ; 
But for the Muse, she'll never leave ye, 

Tho' e'er sae puir, 
Na, even tho' limpin wi' the spavie 

Frue door to door. 



This wot ye all whom it concerns, 
I, Rhymer Rohhl, alias Bums, 

October twenty-third, 
A ne'er-to-be-lbro^otten day, 
Sae far I sprachled up the brae, 

I diuner'd wi' a Lord. 

I've been at drucken writers' feasts, 
Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly priests, 

Wi' rev'rence be it spoken ; 
I've ev'n join'd the honour'd jorum, 
When mighty Squireships of the quorum, 

Their hydra drouth did slokeii. 

But wi' a Lord— stand out my shin, 
A Lord— a Peer— an earl's son ! 

Up higher yet my bonnet ! 
And sic a Lord— lang Scotch ells twa, 
Our Peerage he o'erlooks them a', 

As I look o'er my sonnet. 

But, oh ! for Hogarth's magic pow'r ! 
To show Sir Bardie's willyart glow'r, 

And how he star'd and stammer'd, 
When goavan, as if led wi' branks, 
An' stumpin' on his ploughman shanks, 

He in the parlour hammei'd. 

I sidling shelter'd in a nook, 
An' at his lordship steal't a look 

Like some portentous omen ; 

burns' poems. 105 

Except good-sense ami social glee, 
An' (what surpris'd me) modesty, 

I marked nought uncommon. 

I watch'd the symptoms o' the great, 
The gentle pride, the lordly state. 

The arrogant assuming; 
The feint a pride, uae pride had he. 
Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see, 

]\Iair than an honest ploughman. 

Then from his lordship I shall learn. 
Henceforth to meet with unconcern 

One rank as weel's anotlier ; 
Nae honest icorthij man need care, 
To meet with noble youthful Daer, 

For he but meets a brotht-r. 


I.v wood and wild, ye warbling throng 

Your heavy loss deplore : 
Now half-extinct your powers of song. 

Sweet Echo is no more. 

Ye jarring, screeching things around. 
Scream your discordant joys; 

Now half your din of tuneless sound 
With Echo silent lies. 

loo 11!'P.NS' POEMS. 



Burn, September b, Vito—U led, October Ki, 1774. 

No sculptur'd marble here, nor pompous lav, 
" 1:^0 storied urn nor animated bust," 

Tins simple stone directs pale Scotia's way 
To pour her sorrows o'er her poet's duai. 


When Nature her great masterpiece design'd. 
And fram'd her last, best work, the human miiul. 
Her eye intent on all the mazy plan, 
She forra'd of various parts the various man. 

Then first she calls the useless many forth ; 
Plain plodding industry, and sober worth : 
Thence peasants, farmers, native sons of earth, 
And merchandise' whole genus take their birili : 
Each prudent cit a warm existence finds, 
And all mechanics' many apron'd kinds. 
Some other rarer sorts are wanted yet, 
The lead and buoy are needful to the net : 
Tiie caput viortuuin of gross desires 
Makes a material for inere kni<ihts and squirt-s ; 
The martial phot^pliorus is tau^lit to flow, 
Siie kneads the lumpisii philosopliic dough, 
Then marks tli' unyielding mass with grave designs, 
Law, physic, politics, and deep divines : 
Last, slie sublimes the Aurora of the poles, 
The flashing elements of female souls. 

iJfiiNs roi-.Ms. 1<J7 

The oriler'd syatc-m fair before her stood. 
Nature, well-pleas'ti, pronouiic'd it very good ; 
But ere she gave creatiiifr lal)our o'er, 
Half-jest, she try'd one curious hibour more. 
Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatiais matter ; 
Such as the lightest breafh of air might scatter ; 
Witli arch alacrity and conscious glee 
(Xature may have her whim as well as wp. 
Her Houartii-art perhaps slie meant to show it) 
Siie forms the thiiitr, and christens it— a port. 
Cieature, tho' oft the prey of care and sorrow, 
"When blest to-d:iy unmindful of to-morrow. 
A being form'd t' amuse his graver friends, 
Aduur'd and prais'd— and tliere the homage endu : 
A mortal quite unlit for Fortune's stril'e, 
Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life ; 
Prone to enjoy each i)leasurc riches give 
Yet haply wanting wherewitiial to live : 
Longing to wipe each tear, to heal each groan, 
Yet frequent all unheeded in his own. 

But honest Nature is not quite a Turk, 
She laugh'd at first, tiien left for her poor work. 
Pitying the propless cliniher of mankind, 
She cast about a standard tree to find ; 
And, to tupport his helpless woodbine state, 
AttHch'd him to the generous truly great, 
A title, and tlie only one I claim, 
To lay strong hold for help on bounteous Graham 

Pity the tuneful Muses' hapless train, 
Weak, timid landmen on Lile's stormy main! 
Tlieir hearts no selfish stern alisorbent stuff. 
That never gives — tho' humbly takes enough ; 
Tlie little fate allows, they share as soon. 
Unlike sage proverb'd VVifdom's hard-wruncr boon, 
Tiie world were blest did bliss on them depend, 
Ah, that " the frienuly e'er should want a friend I" 


J,et prudence number o'er each sturdy son, 
Who life and wisdom at one race begun, 
Who feel by reason, and who give by rule, 
(Instinct's a brute, and sentiment a fool !) 
Who make poor will do wait upon I sJiould- 
We own they're prudent, but who feels they're good ? 
Ye wise ones, hence ! ye hurt the social eye ! 
(iod's iniatie rudely etch'd on base alloy ! 
But, come, ye who the godlike pleasure know, 
Heaven's attribute distinguish'd — to bestow ! 
Whose arms of love would grasp the human race ; 
Come thou who giv'st with all a courtier's grace ; 
Friend ofviy life, true patron of my rhymes ! 
Prop of my dearest hopes for future times. 
Why shrinks my soul half blushing, half afraid. 
Backward, abash'd, to ask thy friendly aid? 
I know my need, I know thy giving hand, 
I crave thy friendship at thy kind command : 
But there are such who court the tuneful nine — 
Heavens ! should the branded character be mine ! 
Whose verse in manhood's pride sublimely flows. 
Yet vilest reptiles in their begging prose. 
Mark, how their lofty independent spirit 
Soars on the spurning wing of injur'd merit! 
Seek not the proofs in private life to find ; 
Pity the best of words should be but wind ! ♦ 
So to heaven's gates the lark's shrill song ascends, 
But grovelling on the earth the carol ends. 
In all the clam'rous cry of starving want, 
They dun benevolence with shameless front ; 
Oblige them, patronise their tinsel lays. 
They persecute you all your future days ! 
Ere my poor soul such deep damnation stain, 
My horny fist assume the plough again ; 
The piebald jacket let me patch once more , 
On eighteen-pence a week I've liv'd before. 
Tho', thanks to Heaven, I dare even that last shift ! 
I trust, meantime, my boon is in thy gift : 


That plcic'd by thee upon the wish'd-for lieight, \ 
Where, Man and Nature fairer in her sight, f 

My muse may imp her wing for some suhlimer/ 

flight.* y 


Inscribed to the Right Hon. J. C. Fox. 

How wisdom and folly meet, mix, and unite ; 
How virtue and vice blend their black and their white ; 
How genius, tli' illustrious father of fiction, 
Confounds rule and law, reconciles contradiction— 
I sing : if these mortals, the critics, should bustle, 
I care not, not I, let the critics go whistle. 

But now for a Patron, whose name and whose glory 
At once may illustrate and honour my story. 

Thou first of our orators, firrt of our wits ; 
Yet whose parts and acquirements seem mere lucky 

With knowledge so vast, and with judgment so strong, 
No man with the half of 'em e'er went far wrong ; 
With passions so potent, and fancies so bright. 
No man with the half 'em ever went quite right j 
A sorry, poor misbegot son of the Mu.-^es, 
For using thy name offers fifty excuses. 

Good L--d, what is man ! for as simple he looks, 
Do but try to develope his hooks and his crooks ; 

• This is our Poet's first epistle to Graham of Fintra. It is 
not equal to the second; but it contains too niucli of the cha- 
racteristic vigour of its author to be suppressed. A little more 
knowledge of natural history, or of chemistry, was wanted to 
enable him to execute the original conception correctly. 

•21)0 liUUNS' POKMS. 

Witli liis depths aiifl his shallows, his ^^ood oi d Ills evil, 
All in all he's a problem must puzzle the devil. 

On his one rulintr passion Sir Pope huiely labours, 
That, like th' old Hebrew walking switch, eats up its 

neifrhbours : 
Mankind are his show-box— a friend, would you know 

Pull tlie string, ruling passion the picture will shew 

What pity, in rearing so beauteous a system. 
One trifling particular, truth, should have miss'd hiin ; 
For, spite of Ids fine tlieoretic positions. 
Mankind is a science defies definitions. 

Some sort all our qualities each to its tribe, 
And think human nature they truly describe; 
Have you found this, or t'other ? there.'s more in th(» 

As by one drunken fellow his comrades you'll find. 
Hut such is the flaw, or the depth of the plan. 
In the make of that wonderful creature call'd Man, 
No two virtues, whatever relation they claim, 
Nor even two different shades of the same, 
Though like as was ever twin brother to brother, 
Possessing the one shall imply you've the other. 


Ellishind, 21 St Oct. 178.9. 

Wow, but your letter made me vauntie ! 
And are ye hale, and weel, and cantie? 
I keini'd it still your wee bit jaimtie 

Wad bring ye to ; 
Lord send you aye as weei's I want ye, 

And then ve'U do. 

burns' roEMs. -201 

The ill-thief blaw the Heron south! 
And never drink he near liis drouth ! 
He tuuld mysel, by word o' moutli, 

He'd tak uiy letter ; 
I lippen'd to the chield in trouth, 

And bade nae better. 

But, uiblins, honest Master Heron 
Had at the time some dainty fair one 
To ware his theoloji'ic care on, 

And holy study ; 
And tired o' sanls to waste bis lear o)^, 

E'en tried the body.* 

But what d'ye think, my trusty fier, 
I'm turn'd a gauger — Peace be here ! 
F'arnassian queans, I fear, I fear, 

Ye'U now disdain me, 
And then my fifty pounds a-year 

Will little gain me. 

Ye glaiket, gle some, dainty damies, 
Wha, by Castalia's wimplin' streainie-?. 
Lowp, sing, and lave your pretty limhies, 

Ye ken, ye ken, 
That Strang necessity supreme is 

'Mang sons o' men. 

I hae a wife and twa wee laddies. 
They maun hae brose and brats o' dnddies ; 
Ye ken yoursels my heart right }n'oud is, 
I med nae vaunt. 

• Mr. Heron, author of the History of Scotland, and of 
various other works. 


But I'll sued besoms— thraw sauy;h woodies, 
Before they want. 

Lord help me thrc this warld o' care ! 
I'm weary sick o't late and air! 
Not but I hae a richer share 

Than niony ithers ; 
But why should ae man better fare, 

And a' men brithers ? 

Come, Firm Resolve, take thou the van, 
Thou stalk o' carl-hemp in man ! 
And let us mind, faint heart ne'er wan 

A lady fair ; 
Wha does the utmost that he can, 

Will whyles do mair. 

But to conclude my silly rhyme, 
(I'm scant o' verse, and scant o' time,) 
To make a happy fireside clime 

To weans and wife, 
That's the true pathos and sublime 

Of human life. 

My compliments to sister Beckle ; 
And eke the same to honest Lucky, 
I wat she is a dainty chuckle, 

As e'er tread clay ! 
And gratefully, my guid auld cockie, 

I'm yours for aye, 

Robert Burxs. 



Spoken at the Theatre, Dumf'ries, on New- Year's- 
Day Evening. 

No song nor dance I bring from yon great city 
That queen's it o'er our taste— the more's tlie pity : 
The', by the bye, abroad why will you roam ? 
Good sense and taste are natives nearer home : 
But not for panegyric I appear, 
I come to wish you all a good new year ! 
Old Father Time deputes me here defore ye, 
Not for to preach, but tell his simple story : 
The sage grave ancient cough'd, and bade'me say, 
" Your one year older this important day." 
If wiser, too— he hinted some suggestion, 
. But 'twould be rude, you know, to ask the question ; 
And with a would-be-roguish leer and wink, 
He bade me on you press this one word — " think 1" 

Ye sprightly youths, quite flush'd with hope and 
Who think to storm the world by dint of merit, 
To you the dotard has a deal to say, 
In his sly, dry, sententious, proverb way : 
He bids you mind, amid your thoughtless rattle, 
That the first blow is ever half the battle ; 
That tho' some by the skirt may try to snatch him ; 
Yet by the forelock is the hold to catch liim ; 
That whether doing, suffering, or forbearing. 
You may do miracles by persevering. 

Last, tho' not least in love, ye youthful fair, 
Angelic forms, high Heaven's peculiar care ! 
To you old Bald-pate smooths his wrinkled brow. 
And humbly begs you'll mind tho important— now ! 

^{)l )UU.\S I'OE.MS. 

To crown your happinoss lie asks your Icavf, 
And offers l)lis3 to give and to receive. 

For our sincere, tlio' liaply weak endeavours 
With pratoful pride we own your many favour; 
And liowsoe't-r our toii<.nies uuiy ill rf^veal it, 
Believe our glowing bosoms truly feel it. 



Life ne'er exulted in so rich a prize 
As Burnet, lovely from her native skies ; 
Nor envious Death so triiimph'd in a blow, 
As that which laid tii' accomplish'd Burnet low. 

Thy form and mind, sweet maid, can I forget? 

In richest ore the brightest jewel set ! 

In tiiee, high Heaven above was truest shown, 

As by his noblest work the Godhead best is known. 

In vain ye flaunt in summer's pride, ye groves ; 

Thou crystal streamlet with thy flowery shore, 
Ye woodland choir that chant your idle loves, 

Ye cease to charm— Eliza is no more ! 

Ye heathy wastes, imraix'd with reedy fens ; 

Ye mossy streams, with sedge and rushes stord ; 
Ye rugged cliffs, o'erhan'^ing dreary glens, 

To you I fly, ye with my soul accord. 

Princes, whose cumb'rous pride was all their worth, 
Shall venal lays their pompous exit hail? 

And thou, sweet excellence! forsake our earth, 
Aiid not a muse in honest grief bewaii ? 


We saw tliee shine in youtli and beauty's pride, 
And vjrtui;'s li^ht, that beams beyond the spiiere'sj 

Hut, like tlie sun eclips'd at morning tide, 
Thou lefi'st us darkling in a world of tears. 

Till' par(Mit's heart that nestled fond in thee, 
That iieart how sunk, a prey to grief and care : 

So deckt the woodbine sweet yon aged tree, 
So from it ravish'd, leaves it bleak and bare. 


An occasional 'Addresa spoTien hy Miss Foiitenelh 
on her Benefit- Night. 

While Europe's eye is ftx'd on mighty things, 
The fate of empires ;iud tlie fall of kings ; 
While quacks of state must each produce his plan, 
And even children lisp the Rights of Man; 
Amid this mighty fuss, just let me mention, 
The Rights of Woman merit some attention. 

First in the sexes' interraix'd connexion, 
One sacred Right of Woman is protection. — 
TThe tender flower that lifts its head, elate, 
Helpless, must fall before tiie blasts of fate, 
Sunk on the earth, defac'd its lovely form, 
Uidess your shelter ward th' impending storm.— 

Our second Right — but needless here to caution, 
To keep that rigiit inviolate's the fashion, 
Eacli man of sense has it so full before him, 
He'd die before he'd wrong it — 'tis decorum— 
There was, indeed, in far less polish'd days, 
A time, when rouglj mie man had naughty ways ; 


"Would swagct^er, swear, gp.t drunk, kick up a riot, 
Nay, even thus invade a lady's quiet — 
Now, thank our stars ! these Gothic times are fled • 
Now, well-bred men — and you are all well-bred — 
Most justly think (and we are much the j?alners) 
Such conduct neither spirit wit nor manners. 

For Right the third, our last, our best, our dearest, 
That right to fluttering female hearts the nearest. 
Which ev'n the Rights of Kings in low prostration 
Most humbly own— 'tis dear, dear admiration! 
In that blest spliere alone we live and move ; 
There t;iste that life of life— immortal love.— 
Smiles, glances, sighs, tears, flts, flirtations, airs, 
'Gainst such an host what flinty savage dares — 
When awful Beauty joins with all her charms, 
Who is so rasii as rise in rebel arras ? 

But truce with kings, and truce with constitutions, 
With bloody armaments and revolutions ; 
Let Majesty your first attention summon. 
Ah! caira! the Mtijesty of Woman! 


Spoken by Miss Fontenelle, on her Benefit-Night, 
December 4, 1795, at the Theatre, DumJ'rie.s. 

Still anxious to secure your partial favour. 
And not less anxious, sure, this night, than ever, 
A Prologue, Epilogue, or some such matter, 
'Twould vamp ray bill, said I, if nothing better; 
So sought a Poet, roosted near the skies. 
Told him I came to feast my curious eyes 
Said, nothing like his works was every printed ; 
And last, my Prologue-business slily hinted. 
" Ma'am, let me t6ll you," quoth ray man of rhymes, 
" I know your bent — these are no laughing times : 

burns' poems. 207 

Can you— but, Miss, I own I have my fears, 
Dissolve in pause— and sentimental tears — 
"With laden sighs, and solemn rounded sentence. 
Rouse from his slunjrgish slumbers, fell Repentance ; 
Paint Vengeance as lie takes his horrid stand, 
Waving on high the desolating brand, 
Calling the storms to bear him o'er a guilty land ?" 

I could no more— askance the creature eyeing, 
D'ye think, said I, this face was made for crying? 
I'll laugh, that's poz— nay more the world shall know 

And so your servant ! gloomy Master Poet ! 

Firm as my creed. Sirs, 'tis my fix'd belief, 
That Misery's another word for Grief : 
I also think— so may I be a bride ! — 
That so much laughter, so much life enjoy'd. 

Thou man of crazy care and ceaseless sigh, 
Still under bleak Misfortune's blasting eye ; 
Doom'd to that sorest task of man alive— 
To make three guineas do the work of live : 
Laugh in Misfortune's face — the beldam witcii ! 
Say you'll be merry, tho you can't be rich. 

Thou other man of care, the wretch in love, 
"Who long with jiltish arts and airs hath strove ; 
Who, as the boughs all temptingly project, 
Measur'st in desperate tliought— a rope — tiiy neck— 
Or, where the beetling clitf o'erhangs the deep, 
Peerest to meditate the liealing leap : 
"Would'st thou be cured, thou silly, moping elf? 
Laugh at her follies — laugh e'en at thyselt : 
Learn to despise those frowns now so terrific, 
And love a kinder — that's your grand specific. 

To sum up all, be merry, I advise ; 
And as we're merry, may we still be wise. 




Heke, wlipre tlie Scottish muse immortal lives, 
In sacred strains and tuneful numbers join'd, 

Accept the gift ; tho' humble he who gives, 
Rich is the tribute of the grateful mind. 

So may no ruffian-feeling in thy breast. 
Discordant jar thy bosom-cliorils among ; 

But peace attune thy gentle soul to rest, 
Or love ecstatic wake his seraph song. 

Or pity's notes in luxury of tears, 
As modest want the tale of woe reveals ; 

While conscious virtue all the strain endears, 
And heaven-burn piety her sanction seals. 


Presented to a Lad;/, whom he had often Cele- 
brated under the name of Chloris. 

'Tis friendship's pledge, my young, fair friend, 

Nor thou the gift refuse, 
Nor with unwilling ear attend 

The moralizing muse. 

Since thou, in all thy youth and charms, 

Must bid the world adieu, 
(A world 'gainst peace in constant arras) 

To join the friendly few. 

burns' roKMS. COJ 

Since, thy gay morn of life o'ercast, 

Chill came the tempest's lower ; 
(And ne'er misfortune's eastern blast 

Did nip a fairer flow'r). 

Since life's gay scenes must charm no more, 

Still much is left behind ; 
Still nobler wealtli hast thou in store, 

The comforts of the mind ! 

Thine is the self-approving glow, 

On conscious honour's part ; 
And, dearest gift of Heaven below, 

Thine friendship's truest heart. 

The joys refin'd of sense and taste. 

With every muse to rove : 
And doubly were the poet blest 

Tliese joys could he improve. 


With the Present of the Bard's Picture. 

Reverend defender of beauteous Stuart, 

Of Stuart, a name once respected, 
A name, which to love was the mark of a true heart, 

But now 'tis despised and neglected. 

Tho' something like moisture conglobes in my eye. 

Let no one misdeenj me disloyal ; 
A poor friendless wanderer may well claim a ligl, 

Still more, if that wand'rer were rovul. 

17 f 

•210 BUllNS I'OE-MS. 

My fathers tliat name liave rever'd on a throne ; 

My fathers have fallen to right it ; 
Those fatiiers would spurn their degenerate son, 

That name should lie scofhngly slight it. 

Still in prayers for King George I most heartily join, 
The Queen, and the rest of the gentry ; 

Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine ; 
Their title's avow'd by ray country. 

But why of this epocha make such a fuss, 

But loyalty truce ! we're on dangerous grounrl, 
Who knows how the fashions may alter? 

The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound, 
To-morrow may bring us a halter. 

I send you a trifle, a head of a bard, 

A triflle scarce worthy your care ; 
But accept it, good Sir, as a mark of regard, 

Sincere as a saint's dying prayer. 

Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eye 

And ushers the long dreary night ; 
But you, like the star that athwart gilds the sky, 

Your course to the latest is bright. 


Was written to a Gentleman icho had sent him a 
Newspaper, and offered to continue it, free 
of expense. 

Kind Sir, I've read your paper through, 
And, faith, to me, 'twas really new ! 


How guess'd ye, Sir, what niai^t I wanted? 

This iiiony a day I've grain'd and gaunted, , 

To ken what Frencli mischief was brewiii', 

Or what tiie druiiilie Dutch were doiii': 

Tiiat vile doup-^kelper. Emperor Joseph, 

If Venus yet had got his nose off; 

Or liow the coUit'sliangie works 

Atween the Russians and the Turks : 

Or if the Swede, before he lialt, 

Wouhl play auither Charles the Twalt : 

If Denmark, any l)ody spak o't. : 

Or Poland, wha had now the tak o't ; 

How cut-throat Prussian blades wei'e hingiu' : 

How libbet Italy was singin': 

If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swif.s, 

Were sayia' or tak.n' aught amiss : 

(jr how our merry lads at hann*, 

In Britain's court, kept up the game : 

How royal George, the Lord leuk o'er him ; 

Was managing St. Stephen's quorum ; 

If sleekit Ciuithara Will was livia', 

Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in : 

How daddie Burke the plea was cookin', 

If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukiri' : 

How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd 

Or if bare a — s yet were tax'd ; 

The news o' princes, dukes, and earls. 

Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls ; 

If that daft buckie, Geordie Wnles, 

Was threshin' still at hizzie's tails. 

Or if he was grown oughtlius douser, 

And no a perfect kintra cooser. 

A' this and mair I never heard of; 

And but for you I might despair'd of; 

So gratefu', back your news' I send you, 

And pray a' guid things may attend vou I 

EUislandy Monday Mortilny, 17i)0. 

212 burns' I'OKMS. 


Hail, Poesie ! tliou Nymph reservM ! 
In chase o' thee, what crowds liae swerv'd 
Frae common sense, or sunk enerv'd, 

'Mang heaps o' clavers ; 
And, och ! o'er ait thy joes hae starvM, 

'Mid a' thy favours ! 

Say, Lassie why thy train anianpr, 
While loud, the trump's heroic clang, 
And sock or buskin skclp alan;? 

To deatli or marriajre : 
Scarce ane has tried the shepherd-sanj^ 

But wi' miscarriage ? 

In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives ; 
Eschylus' pen Will Shakspeare drives ; 
Wee Pope, the knurlin, 'till him rives 

Horatian fame : 
In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, survives 

Even Sappho's flame. 

Rut thee, Theocritus, wha matches.? 
They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches : 
Squire Pope but busks his skinklin patclies 

O' heathen tatters. 
I pass by hunders, nameless wretches, 

That ape their betters. 

In this braw age o' wit and lear, 
Will nane the shepherd's whistle mair 
Blaw sweetly in its native air 

And rural grace ; 
And wi' the far-fani'd Grecian, siiare 

A rival place ? 

burns' I'OKMS. 213 

Yes! there is ane ; a Scottish callan— 
There's ane ; come Ibrrit, lioiiest Allan ! 
Thou need na jouk beliint the Jiallan, 

A chiel sae clever ! 
The teeth o' Time may gnaw Tantallan, 

But thou's for ever. 

Thou paints aiild nature to the nines, 

In thy sweet Caledonian lines : 

Nae gowden stream thro' myrtles twines, 

Where Philomel, 
While nightly brt^ezes sweep the vhies, 

Her griefs will tell ! 

In gowany glens thy burnie strays, 
Wliere bonnie lasses bleach their claes ; 
Or trots by hazellv sliaws and braes, 

Wi' hawthorns gray, 
Where blackbirds join the siiepherd's lays 

At close o' day. 

Thy rural loves are nature's sel' ; 
Nae bombast spates o' nonsense swell ; 
Nae snap conceits, but that sweet spell 

O' witchin love, 
That charm that can tlie strongest quell. 

The sternest move. 



This day, Time winds th' exhausted chain, 
To run the twelvemonth's length again : 
I see the old, bald-pated fellow. 
With ardent eyes, complexion sallow, 

21 I nini.Ns' I'OF.MS. 

Adjust the imiinpair'il maciiine. 
To wl»ee^ the equal, dull routine. 

The absent lover, minor heir, 
In vain assail him with their prayer ; 
Deaf as my friend, he sees them press, 
Nor makes the hour one moment less. 
Will you (the Major's with the hounds, 
The happy tenants share his rounds; 
Coila's fair Rachel's care to-day, 
And blooming;: Keitli's eni^aged with Gray) 
From housewife cares a minute borrow— 
— Tliat grandchild's cap will do to-morrow- 
And join with me in moralizing. 
This day's f)ropitiou3 to be wise in. 
First, what did yesternight deliver? 
" Another year is gone for ever." 
• And what is this day's strong suggestion ? 
"The passing moment's all we rest on. ' 
Rest on ! — for what ? what do we here .' 
Or why regard the passing year? 
Will Time, anius'd with proverb'd lore. 
Add to our date one minute more ? 
A few days may — a few years must — 
Ri'pobe us in the silent dust. 
Then is it wise to damp our bliss ? 
Yes— all such reasonings are amiss ! 
The voice of Nature loudly cries, 
And many a message from the skies. 
That something iu us never dies : 
That on this frail, uncertain state, 
Hang matters of eternal weight ; 
Tliat future life in worlds unknown. 
Must take its hue from this alone ; 
Whether as heavenly glory bright, 
Or dark as misery's woeful night, — 
Since, then, my honour'd first of friends, 
On this poor being all depends, 


Lf t US til' important noic employ, 
And live as those who never die, 
Tho' you, with days anil honours crown'd, 
Witness that iilial circle round, 
(A sight, life's sorrows to repulse, 
A sitjht, pale envy to convulse,) 
Others now claim your chief regard ; 
Yourself, you wait your bright reward. 


Author of the Phllosophij of Natural History, and 
Member of the Antiquarian and Royal Societies 
of Edinbargh. 

To Crochallan came 
The old cock'd hat, the grey surtout, the same ; 
His bristling beard just rishig in its might, 
'Twas four long nights and days to shaving night ; 
His uncomb'd grizzly locks wild staring, ihatch'd ; 
A head, for thought profound and clear, unmatch'd ; 
Yet tho' his caustic wit was biting, rude, 
His heart was warm, benevolent, and good. 


For an Alter to Independerice, at Kerroughtry, 
the Seat of Mr. Heron ; lai-ittcn in Summery 

Thou of an independent mind, 

With soul resolv'd, with soul resign'd ; 

Prepar'd Power's proudest frown to brave, 

Who wilt not be, nor have a slave ; 

Virtue alone who dost revere, 

Thy own reproach alone dost fear, 

Approach this shrine, and wor.sliip here. 



Sent hy the Surveyor of Taxes, to each Farmer^ 
ordering him to send a Signed List of his 
Horses, Servants, Wheel-Carriages, ^-c. ai^d 
whether he was a Married Man or a' Bache- 
lor, and ichat Children they had. 

Sir, as your mandate did request, 
I send you here a faithfu' list, 
My horses, servants, carts, and ^raith, 
To which I'm free to tak my aitih. 

Imprimis, then, for carriage cattle, 
1 hue four brutes o' gallant mettle, 
As ever drew before a pettle; 
My hand-a-fore, a guid auld has-been, 
Aiid wight and wilfu' a' his days been ; 
My han ahin's a weel gaun fiily, 
VVha aft has borne me harae frae Killie, 
And your auld borough raony a time. 
In days when riding was nae crime : 
My fur-a-hin a guid grey beast, 
As e'er in tug or tow was trac'd : 
The fourth, a Highland Donald hasty, 
A d-mu'd red-wud Kilburnie blastie, 
Forhye a cowte, of cowtes the wale. 
As ever ran before a tail ; 
An' he be spar'd to be a beast, 
He'll draw me lifteen pund at least. 

Wheel-carriages I liae but few. 
Three carts, and twa are feckly new ; 
An auld wheelbarrow, mair for token, 
Ae leg and baith the trams are broken ; 
I made a poker o' the spindle, 
And my auld niither brunt the trundle. 

BUllNS' POEMS. 217 

For men, I've three mischievous boys, 
Run-deils for rautin and for noise ; 
A gadsnian ane, a thresJier t'other. 
Woe Davoc hauds tlie nowte in fother. 
I rule them, as I ouglit, discreetly, 
And often labour them completely ; 
And aye on Sundays duly nightly, 
I on the questions tairge them ti'ghtly, 
Till faith wee DaAOc's grown sjie glet>*, 
(Tho' scarcely lanfrer tlian my lep:.) 
He'll screed you off effectual calihuj 
As fast as ony in the dwalling. 

I've nane in female servant station, 

Lord keep me aye frae a' temptation ! 

I hae nae wife, and that my bliss is, 

And ye hae laid nae tax on misses ; 

Tor weans I'm mair than weel contented. 

Heaven sent me ane more than I wanted ; 

My sonsie, smirking, dear-bought Bess, i 

She stares the daddie in the face, ^- 

Knough of ought ye like but grace. 3 

But her, my bonny, sweet, wee lady, 

I've said enough for her already, 

And if ye tax her or her mitiier, 

By the L— d ye'se get them a' thegither ! 

And now, remember, Mr. Aiken, 
Nae kind of license out I'm taking ; 
Thro' dirt and dub for life I'll paidle, 
Ere I sae dear pay for a saddle : 
I've sturdy stumps, the Lord be thankit ! 
And a' my gates on foot I'll shank it. 
This list wi' my ain hand I've wrote it. 
The day and date as under noted ; 
Then know all ye whom it concerns, 
tiubacripsl Iiuic 

KoiiKur Btiun.s. 




With Books which the Bard presented her. 

Thine bo the volinnfis, Jessy fair, 
AikI witli tliem take the poet's prnyer ; 
That fati; may in her fairest page 
With every kindliest, best presage 
Of future bliss, enrol thy name ; 
With native worth, and spotless fame, 
And wakeful caution still aware 
Of ill — but chief, man's felon snare ; 
All blameless joys on earth we find. 
And all the treasures of the mind — 
These be thy guardian and reward ; 
So prays thy faithful friend, the Bard. 


To Mr. S**e, on refusing to Dine tvith him, after 
having "been prondsed the first of Company, 
and the first of Cookery ; 17 th December, 1705. 

No more of your guests, be they titled or not. 
And cook'ry the first in the nation ; 

Who is proof to thy personal converse and wit, 
Is proof to all other temptation. 


O, HAD the malt thy strength of mind. 

Or hops tlie flavour of thy wit ! 
'T^ere drink for first of human kind, 

A aift that e'en for S**e were fit. 

ni'RNs' poE^^rs. 219 


Addressed to Mr. Mitchell, Colled or of Ej-cixe. 
Dumfries, 1796. 

Friend of the Poet, tried and lerJ, 
Wha wanting; tliee, mi^ht beg or steal ; 
Alake, alake, the raeikle deil 

^Yi' a' his witches 
Are at it, skelpin' ! jig and reel, 

111 my poor pouches. 

I modestly fu' fain wad hint it, 
That one pound one, I sairly wfint it, 
If wi' the liizzie down ye sent it, 

It would he kind ; 
And while my heart wi' life-blood dunted, 

I'd bear't in mind. 

^o may the auld year gang out moaning 
To see the new come laden, groaning, 
Wi' double plenty o'er the loanin' 

To thee and thine ; 
Domestic peace and comforts crowning 

The hale design. 


Ye've heard this while how I've been licket, 
And by fell death was nearly nicket ; 
Grim loun ! he gat me by the fecket, 

And sair me slieuk ; 
But by guid luck I lap a wicket, 

And turn'd a neuk. 

But l)y that healtli, I've got a share o't, 
And by ttiat life, I'm promis'd mair o'l, 

'2'20 burns' poems. 

My hale and weel I'll take a care o't 
A tentier way : 

Then fareweel folly, hide and hair o't, 
For auce and aye. 


The friend whom wild from wisdom's way, 
The fumes ot wine infuriate send ; 

(Not moony madness more astray ;) 
Who but deplores that hapless' friend ? 

Mine was th' insensate frienzied part, 
Ah, why should I such scenes outlive ! 

S(!enes so abhorrent to ray heart ? 
'Tis thine to pity and forgive. 


Addressed to Colonel de Peyster^ Dumfries, 1798 

My honour'd Colonel, deep I feel 
Your interest in the Poet's weal ; 
Ah ! now sma' heart hae I to speel 

The steep Parnassus, 
Surrounded thus by bolus pill, 

And potion glasses. 

O what a canty warld were it, 
Would pain and care, and sickness spare it ; 
And fortune favour worth and merit 
As thev det;erve : 

burns' pokms. 221 

(And aye a rowtli, roast beef and claret ; 
Syne, wha wad starve ?) 

Dame Life, tho' fiction out may trick lu-r, 
And in paste gems and frippery deck her, 
Oh ! flickering, feeble, and unsicker 

I've found her still. 
Aye wavering like the willow wicker, 

'Tween good and ill. 

Then that curst carmagnole, auld Satan, 
Watches like.b;iudrans by a rattan, 
Our sinfu' saul to get a claut on 

Wi' felon ire ; 
Syne, whip ! his tail ye'll ne'er cast saut on — 

He's afi" like fire. 

Ah! Nick! ah Nick ! it is na fair. 
First showing us the tempting ware. 
Bright wines and bonnie lasses rare, 

To put us daft : 
Syne weave, unseen, thy spider snare 

O' hell's daran'd waft. 

Poor man, the flie aft bizzes by. 
And aft as chance he comes tliee nigh, 
Thy auld daran'd elbow yeuks wi' joy. 

And hellish pleasure ; 
Already in thy fancy's eye, 

Thy sicker treasure. 

Soon heels-o'er-gowdie ! in he gangs, 
And like a sheep-head on a tangs. 
Thy girning laugh enjoys his pangs 

And limrdering wrestle, 
As, dangling in the wind, he hangs 

A aibbet's tassel. 

J--J llUU.Nb' ruE.MS. 

But lest you tliiiik I a;n uncivil, 

To plaguci you with this draunting driveJ, 

Abjuring a' intentions evil, 

I quat my pen : 
The Lord preserve us frae the devil ! 

Amen ! amen ! 


My curse' upon thy venom'd stanfr, 
That shoots ray tortur'd gums alang ; 
And thro' my luss gies mony a twang, 

Wi' gnawing vengeance ; 
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang. 

Like racking engines ! 

^Vllen fevers burn, or ague freezes, 
lihcumatics gnaw, or cholic squeezes, 
Our neighbour's sympathy may ease us, 

AVi' pitying moan ; 
But thee — thou hell o' a' diseases, — 

Aye mocks our groan ! 

Adown my beard the slavers trickle! 
I throw tlie wee stools o'er the niickle, 
As round the fire the giirlets keckle, 

To see me loup ; 
While, raving mad, I wish a heckle 

Were in their doup. 

O' a' the num'rous human dools, 

111 bar's ts, daft bargains, cuit>/ stunJy.^ 

Or worthy friends rak'd i' the uiool^, 

Sad sight to see ! 
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools, 

Thour bear'st the gree. 


Where'er that place be priests ca' htll, 
Whence a' the tones o' mis'ry yell, 
And ranked plagues their numbers tell, 

In dreadfu' raw. 
Thou, ToOTii-AciiE, surely bear'st the bell 

Ainang them a' ! 

O thou grim mischief-making chiel, 
That gars the notes of discord squeel, 
Till daft maidvind aft dance a reel, 

In <rore a ^hoe-thick :— - 
Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal 

A towmond's Toothe-ache. 


Thou, wha in the heav'ns dost dwell, 
Wha, as it pleases best thysd', 

Sends ane to heav'n and ten to hell, 
A' for thy glory. 

And no for ony guid or ill ' 

They've done afore thee. 

1 bless and praise thy matchless might, 
Whan thousands thou hast left in night, 
That I am here afore thy sight, 

For gifts" an' grace, 
A burning and a shinin' light, 
To a' this place, 

V/hat was I, or ray generation, 
That I should get such exaltation ? 
I, wha deserve sic just damnation, 

For broken laws, 
Five thousand years 'fore my creatiou, 

Thro' Adam's cause. 

2'2i HLII.NS' I'OKMS. 

When frae my raitlier's womb I fell, 
Thou mi;j;ht hae plunged me in hell, 
To gnash my gums, to weep auil wail, 

In burnhig lake, 
Where damned Devils roar and yell, 

Chain'd to a stake. 

Yet I am here a cliosen sample, 

To show thy grace is great and ample ; 

I'm here a pillar in thy temple, 

Strong as a rock, 
A guide, a buckler, an' example 

To a' thy flock. 

O L— d thou kens what zeal I bear, 
Wiien drinkers drink, and swearers swear, 
And singing there, and dancin here, 

Wi' great an' sraa', 
For I am keepit by thy fear, 

Free frae them a'. 

But yet O L— d ! confess I must, 
At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust, 
And sometimes too, wi' wardly trust, 

Vile self gets in ; 
But thou remembers we are dust, 

Defil'd in sin. 

Besides', I farther maun allow, 

Wi' Lizzie's lass, three times I trow ; 

But L— d, that Friday I was fou ; 

When I came near her, 
Or else, thou kens, thy servant trup 

Wad ne'er hae steer'd her. 

Maybe thou lets this fleshly thoni, 
Beset thy servant e'en and morn. 

burns' roEMS. 225 

Lest he owre hip:li and proud should turn, 
'Cause he's sae gifted ; 

I f Stie, thy han' maun e'en be borne, 

Until thou lift it. 

L— d bless thy chosen in this place, 
For here thou hast a chosen race ; 
But G-d confound tlieir stubborn face, 

And blast their name, 
Wha bring thy elders to disgrace, 

An' public shame. 

L — d, mind G — n H n's deserts, 

He drinks, an' swears, an' plays at cartes, 

I I e has sae monie takin arts, 

Wi' grit and sma', 
Trae G— d's ain priest the people's hearts 
He steals awa'. 

And when we chasten'd him therefore, 
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore 
As set the warld all in a roar 

O' laughin at us ; 
Curse thou his basket and his store. 

Kail an' potatoes. 

L — d, hear my earnest cry an' pray'r, 

Against that presbytery o' Ayr ; 

Tliy strong riglit hand, L — d make it biire, 

Upo' their heads, 
L — d, weigh it down, and dinna spare, 

For their misdeeds. 

O L— d, my G-d, that glib-tongu'd A n. 

My vera heart an' saul are quakin, 

To think how we stood sweatin', shakin', 

And p — d wi' dread, 
17 (i 


While he wV hangiii' lip and snakin', 
Held up his head. 

L— d, in the day of vengeance try hitn, 
L — d, visit them whu did employ him, 
An' pass not in thy mercy hy 'em, 

Nor hear their pray'r; 
But, for thy people's sake, destroy 'em, 

And dhma spare. 

But, Lord, remember me and mine 
Wi' mercies temp'ral and divine, 
That I for gear and grace may shine, 

Excell'd by nana, 
And a' the glory shall be thine. 

Amen, amen. 


Here Holy Willie's sair-worn clay 

Takes up its last abode; 
His saul has ta'en some other way, 

I fear, the left-hand road. 

Stop ! there he is as sure's a gun, 

Poor silly body, see him ; 
Nae wonder he's as black's the gran, 

Observe wha's standin' wi' him. 

Your brunstane devilship, I see. 
Has got him there before ye ; 

But baud your nine-tail cat a wee, 
Till ance you've heard my story. 

Your pity I will not implore, 

For pity ye hae nane ; 
Justice, alas ! has gi'en him o'er, 

And mercy's day is gaen. 


But hear me, Sir, Deil as ye are, 

Look something" to your credit 
A coof like liiin wad stain your name, 

If it were keut ye did it. 


Orthodox, Orthodox, wha believe in John Knox, 
Let me sound an alarm to your conscience : 

There's a heretic blast been blawn in the wast ; 
That what is no sense must be nonsense. 

Dr. Mac,t Dr. Mac, you should stretch on a rack, 

To strike evil-doers wi' terror; 
To join faith and sense upon any pretence, 

Is heretic, damnable error. 

Towi of Ayr, Town of Ayr, it was mad, I declare, 

To meddle wi' mischief a-brewing ; 
Provost John is still deaf to the church's relief, 

And orator BobJ is its ruin. 

D'rymple mild,§ D'rymple mild, tho' your heart's 
like a child, 

And your life like the new-driven snaw, 
Yet that winna save ye, auld satan must have ye, 

For preaching that three's ane an' twa. 

Rumble John,|| Rumble John, mount the steps wi' a 
Cry the took is with heresy cramm'd ; 

* This Poem was written a short time after the publica- 
tion of Mr. M'Gill's Essays. 
tDr M'Gill. jR-tA-k-n. ^Mr.D e. || Mr, R-ss-U. 

228 burns' poems 

Tlit'ii lug out the ladle, di^al brimstone like adle, 
And roar every note of the damn'd. 

Simper James,* Sinii)?r Jamc, leave the fair Killie 

There's a holier chase in your view ; 
I'll lay on your head, that the pack ye'Il soon lead, 

For puppies like you there's but few. 

Singet Sawney,t Singet Sawney, are ye huirding the 

Unconscious what evils await ; 
Wi' a jump, yell, and howl, alarm every soul, 

For the foul Thief is just at your gate. 

D.iddy Auld,t D.iddy Auld, there's a tod in the fauld, 

A tod meikle wuur than the Clerk ; 
Tiio' ye can do linle skaith, ye'Il he in at the death. 

And gif ye cauna bite ye may bark. 

Davie Bluster,^ Davie Bluster, if for a saint ye do 

The corps is so nice of recruits : 
Yet to worth let's be just, royal blood ye might boast, 

If the ass was the king of the brutes. 

Jamy Goose,]] Jamy Goose, ye hae made but tooni 

In hunting the wicked Lieutenant ; 
But the Doctor's your murk, for the L— d's haly ark, 

He has cooper'd and ca'd a wrang pin iii't. 

Poet Willie,! Poet Willie, gie the Doctor a volley, 
Wi' your Liberty's Chain and your wit ; 

* Mr. M'K— y. t Mr, M y. J Mr. A— d, 

j iMr. G 1 )f Ochiltree. H Mr. Y g of ('(iinmock. 

If Mr. P— b— s of Ayr. 

UUltiNS' l»OKMS. Q-20 

OVr Pegasus' side ye ne'er laid astride. 
Ye but smelt, inun, the place where he sh-t. 

Andro Gouk,* Andro Gouk, ye may slander the hook, 
And the book not tiie waur, let me tell ye ! 

Ye are rich, and look hi^, but lay by hat and \vi'^, 
And ye'll hae a calf's liead o' sma' value. 

Barr Steenie.t Barr Steenie, what mean ye ? what 
mean ye ? 

If ye'll meddle nae mair wi' the matter, 
\'e may hae some pretence to havlns and sense, 

Wi' people wha ken ye nae better. 

Irvine side,t Irvine side, wi' your turkey-cock pride, 

Of manhood but sma' is your share ; 
Ye've the tiuure, 'tis true, even your faes will allow, 

And your friends they dare grant vou nae mair. 

Muirland Jock,§> JMuirland Jock, when the L-il 
makes a rock 

To crush Common Sense for her sins. 
If ill manners were wit, there's no mortal so fit 

To confound the poor Doctor at ance. 

Holy Will,|| Holy Will, there was wit i' your skull, 
AVhen ye pilfer'd the alms o' the poor; 

The timmer is scant, when ye're ta'en for a saunt, 
Wha should swing in a rape for an hour. 

Calvin's sons, Calvin's sons, seize your spir'tual guns, 

Ammunition ye never can need ; 
Your hearts are the stuff, will be powther enough, 

And vour skulls are storehouses o' lead. 

• Dr. A. M II. t Mr, S ii Y— tr of Ban 

X Mr. S 1) of Guii-ton. j Mi. S - il. || .ia Kiderin M- 

230 jtruNs' I'OKMs. 

poet Burns, Poet Bums, \vi' your priest-skelping 

Why desert ye your auld native sliire ? | 

Your muse is a gipsie, e'en tlio' she were tipsie, 

Slie cou'd ca' us uae waur tlian we are. 



On the Publication of his EsaaifH. 

O GouDiE ! terror of the Whigs, 
Dread of black coats and rev'rend wigs-, 
Sour bigotry, on lier last legs, 

Girnin' looks back, 
Wishing the ten Egyptian plagues 

Wad seize you quick. 

Poor gapin', glowrin' Superstition, 
Waes rae ! she's in a sod condition ; 
Fly I bring Black- Jock, her state physician, 

To see her w-ter ; 
Alas ! there's ground o' great suspicion 

She'll ne'er get better. 

Auld Orthodoxy lang did grapple 
But now she's got an unco ripple, 
Haste, gie her name up i' the chapel, 

Nigh unto death ; 
See, how she fetches at tlie thrapple, 

And gasps for breath. 

Enthusiasm's past redemption, 
Gaen in a galloping consumption. 
Not a' the quacks, wi' a' their gumption, 
Will ever mend lior, 

DIKNS' I'UK.MS. 231 

Her feeble pulse ffies strong presumption 
Death soon will end lier. 

'Tis you and Taylor* are the chief. 
Wha are to blanie for this mischief; 
But gin the Lord's ain fouk gat leave, 

A toom tar-barrel 
An' twa red peats wad send relief, 

And end the quarrel. 


O a' ye pious, godly flocks, 
Weel fed on pastures orthodox, 
Wha now will keep you frae the fox, 

Or worrying tykes. 
Or wha will tent the waifs and crocks 

About tlie dykes ? 

Tiie twa best Herds in a' the wast, 
That e'er gae gospel horn a blast, 
These five-and-twenty simmers past, 

Oh ! d'ool to tell, 
Ha'e had a bitter, black out-cast 

Atween theiusel. 

O, M y, man, and wordy R II, 

How could you raise so vile a bustle, 
Ye'U see how New-Light Herds will whistle, 
And think it fine ! 

• Dr. Taylor, of Norwich, 
t This piece was among the first of our Author's protluc 
tions which he submitted to the public; and was occasioned 
by a dispute between two Clergymen, near Kilmarnock. 

232 u urns' poems. 

Tlie L — d's cause ne'er fi^ot sic a twiatlc, 
Sin' 1 hii'e min'. 

O, Sirs ! whae'er would ha'e expeckil. 
Your duty ye wad sae nejjleckit, 
Ye wha were ne'er by laird respeckit ! 

To wear the plaiu, 
But by the brutes themselves eleckit, 

To be their guide. 

What flock wi' M y's flock could rank, 

Sae hale and hearty every shank, 
Nae poison'd sour Arminian stank, 

He let them taste, 
Frae Calvin's well, ay clear, they drank, 

O sic a feast ! 

The thumraart wil'-cat, brock, and tod, 
Weel-kenn'd his voice thro' a' the wood, 
He smelt tlieir ilka hole and road, 

Baith out and in, 
And weel he lik'd to shed their bluid. 

And sell their skin. 

What Herd like R 11 tell'd his tah-. 

His voice was heard thro' muir and dale, 
He kenn'd the Lord's sheep, ilka tail 

O'er a' the hei^ifht, 
And saw gin they were sick or hale. 

At the first sight. 

He fine a mangy sheep could scrub, 

Or nobly fling the gospel club, 

And New- Light Herds could nicely drub, 

Or pay their skin. 
Could shake them o'er the burning dub ; 

Or heave them in. 

buu.Ns' I'OEMS. 233 

Sic Iwa ! — Oil ! do I live to sec't, 
Sic famous twa should disagreet, 
An' names, like villain, hjpocrite, 

Ilk it her gi'eri, 
While iVew-Light Herds, wi' laughin' spite 

Say neither's liein' ! 

A' ye wlia tent the gospel fauld, 

Tiiere's D n deep, and P s shaul, 

But chiefly thou, apostle A d, 

We trust in thee. 
That thou wilt work them, hot and can Id, 

Till they agree. 

Consider, Sirs, how we're beset. 
There's scarce a new Herd that we gej, 
But comes Irae 'mang that cursed set, 

I winna name ; 
I hope frae heav'n to see them yet 

In fiery flame. 

D e has been lang our fae. 

M'G 11 has wrought us nieikle wae, 

And that curs'd rascal ca'd M'Q e, 

And baith the S 9 

That aft liae made us black and blae, 

Wi' vengefu' paws. 

Auld W w lang has hatch'd mii^cliief, 

We thought ay death would bring relief. 
But he has gotten, to our grief, 

Ane to succeed him, 
A chield wlia'll soundly buff our beef • 

I meikle dread him. 

And monie a ane that 1 could tell, 
Wha fain would openly rebel. 

234 Br HNS I'CJKMS. 

Forbye turn-coats aniang oiirsel, 
There S— h for ane, 

I doubt he's but a Krey-nick quill, 
An' that ye'U tin'. 

() I a' ye flocks, o'er a' the hills, 

By mosses, meadows, moors, and fells, 

Come join your counsel and your skills, 

To cowe the lairds, 
And get the brutes the power themsels, 

To choose their Herds. 

Then Orthodoxy yet may prance. 
And Learning in a woody dance, 
And that fell cur ca'd Comraen Sense, 

That bites sae sair, 
Be banish'd o'er tiie sea to France : 

Let him bark there. 

Then Shaw's and D'rymple's eloquence 

M'G H's close nervous excdlencf^, 

M* Q— 's pathetic, manly sense, 

And guid M'M h 

WV S— h, wha thro' the heart can glance, 

May a' pack aff. 



Sensibility, how charmhig. 

Thou, my friend, canst truly tell; 

JJut distress with horrors arming. 
Thou hast also known too well I 

burns' I'oivMS. 235 

Fairest flower, hdinld the lily, 

Blooniinj:i: in the sdiiny ray ; 
Let the blast sweep o'er the" valley, 

See it prostrate on the clay. 

Hear the wood- lark charm the fprest, 

Telline^ o'er his little joys ; 
Hapless bird ! a prey the surest, 

To each pirate of the skies. 

Dearly hoiifrht the hidden treasure, 

Finer feeliniis can bestow ; 
Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure, 

Thrill the deepest notes of woe. 


Writteyi 0)1 tJte2otk of Jammry, 179^, iJie Birth- 
day of the Author, on hearing a Thrush sing in 
a Morning Walk. 

Sing on, sweet thrush, upon the leafless bough ; 

Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thy strain ; 

See aged Winter, 'mid his surly reign, 
At thy blythe carol clears his fiirrow'd brow. 

So in lone Poverty's dominion drear. 
Sits meek Content with light unanxious heart, 
Welcomes the rai)id moments, bids them part, 

Nor asks if they bring aught to hope or fear. 

I thank thee, Author of this opening day ! 
Thou whose brii^ht sun now gilds yon orient skies I 
Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys, 

What wealth could never aive nor take away I 

•j;](3 m;uNs i-ukms. 

Yet coino tlioti child of poverty and can* ; 
The mite liiiih Iluixv'n bestow'd, that mite \\itli llioe 
I'll share. 





I MIND it weel in early date, 

Wlien I was beardless, young, and blate, 

And fii^t could thresh the barn j 
Or baud a yokin at the pleugh ; 
An' tlio' ibrfoimhten sair enough, 

Yet unco proud to learn ; 
Wlien first aman.;; the yellow corn 

A man I reckon 'd was, 
And wi' the lave ilk inerry morn 
Could rank my rig and lass. 
Still shearing and clearing 
The tither stooked raw, 
Wi' claivers, an' haivers, 
Wearing the day awa. 

E'en then, a wish, I mind its pow'r — 
A wish that to njy latest hour 

Shall strongly heave my breast ~ 
That I for poor auld Scotland's sake 
SoMie usefu' pl;ni or bcnk could make, 

Or sing a sang at least. 
The rough burr-thissle, spreading wide 

Amang the bearded bear, 
I turn'd the wceder-clips aside, 

And sjjur'd the synibol dear; 


No nation, no station, 

Mv envy ne'er could raise, 
A Scot still, but blot still, 

I knew nae higher praise. 

But still the elements o' sanp; 

In formless jumble, right an' wranf', 

Wild floated in my brain ; 
Till on that har'st I said before, 
IMy partner in the meriy core, 

She rous'd the forrahig strain : 
I see her yet, the sonsie quean, 

That lif^hted up her jingle, 
Iler witchin smile, her pauky e'en 
That gart my heart-strings tingle ^ 
I fired, uispired, 

At every kindling: keek, 
But bashing, and dasliiug, 
I feared ay to speak. 

Health to the sex, ilk guid chiel says, 
Wi' merry dance in winter-days, 

An' we to share in common : 
The gust o' joy, the balm of woe, 
The saul o' life, the heav'n below, 

Is rapture-giving woman. 
Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name, 

Be mindfu' o' your mither : 
She, honest woman, may think shame 
That ye're connected with her. 
Ye're wae men, ye're nae men, 
That slight the lovely dears ; 
To shame ye, disclaim ye, 
Ilk honest birkie swears. 

For you nae bred to barn or byre, 
"S\'i, a' sweetly tune the Scottish lyre, 
Tiianks to you for your line : 


The marled plaid ye kindly spare, 
By me should '^fratefully be ware ; 

'Twad please me to tlie Nine. 
I'd be mair vauntie o' my hap, 

Douce hin<iinjj: o'er my curple. 
Than ony ermine ever lap, 
Or proud imperial purple, 

Fareweel then, lang heal then, 

An' plenty be your fa' : 
May losses and crosses 
Ne'er at vour hallan ca'. 
March, \W. ' R. Hr:HNS. 


On Ms Writiuff to the Author that a Girl wiis 
with child by him. 

I AM a keeper of the law 

In some sma' points, altho' not a' ; 

Some people tell me gin I fa', 

Ae way or ither. 
The breaking of a point, tho' sma', 

Breaks a thegither. 

I hae been in for't ance or twice, 
And winna say, o'er far for thrice, 
Yet never met witli that surprise 

Tliat broke my rest, 
But now a rumour's like to rise, 

A whaup's i' the nest. 

burns' poems. 239 



Thou's welcome wean, niischanter fa' me, 
If ought of thee, or of thy mammy, 
Shall ever danton me, or awe me. 

My sweet wee lady, 
Or if I blush when thou shalt ca' me 

Tit-ta or daddy. 

Wee image of my bonny Betty, 
I fatherly will kiss an' daut tliee, 
As dear an' near my heart I set thee, 

Wi' as gude will 
As a' the priests had seen me get thee 

That's out o' hell. 

What tho' they ca' me fornicator : 
And tease my name in kintry -clatter : 
The mair they tank I'ni kent the better, 

K'en let them clash ; 
An auld wife's tongue's a feckless matter 

To gie ane fash. 

Sweet fruit o' mony a merry dint. 

My funny toil is now a' tint, 

Sin' thou came to the warl' asklent, 

Which fools may scoff at ; 
In my last plack thy part's be in't — 

The better half o't. 

An' if thou be what I wad hae thee, 
An' tak the counsel I shall gie thee, 
A lovin father I'll be to thee. 

If thou be spar'd ; 


Tliro' a' the cliildish years I'll e'e tliee, 
An' thiuk't weel ward. 

Gude grant that thou may ay inherit 
Thy mither's person, prace, an' merit, 
And thy poor worthless daddy's spirit, 

Without his failins, 
'Twill please me mair to hear an' see't, 

Tiian stocket mailens. 


/// Answer to an Ephlle which he had liptit the 

What ails ye now, ye lousie b— h, 
To thresh nay back at sic a pitch? 
Losh, man ! liae mercy wi' your natcli, 

Your bodkin's bauld, 
I did nae suffer half sae much 

Frae Daddie Auld. 

What tho' at times when I grow crouse, 
I jjrie their waraes a random pouse, 
Is that enough for you to souse 

YouV servant sae ? 
Gae mind your seam, ye prick the louse 

An' jag the flae. 

King David, o' poetic brief, 

Wrouffht 'mang the lasses sic mischief 

As fiU'd his after liie wi' grief 

An' bloody rants, 
An' yet he's rank'd amang the chief 

O' lang svne saunts. 

burns' poems. 2-il 

And inaybp, Tain, for a' my cants. 
My wicked rliyincs, an' drucken rants, 
I'll gie auld cloven Clooty's haunts 

An unco sHp yet. 
An' snuyly git amanp^ the saunts, 

At Davie's hip yet. 

But fpgs the Session says I raaun 

Gae fa' upo' anitlier plan. 

Then garren lasses cowp the cran 

Clean heels owre body, 
And sairly tliole their mither's ban 

Afore the howdy. 

This leads me on, to tell for sport, 
How I did with the Session sort — 
Auld Clinkum ;it the inner port 

Cry'd three times " Robin ? 
Come hither hid. an' answer for't, 

Ye're blam'd for jobbin." 

Wi' pinch I put a Sunday's face on, 
An' snoov'd awa' before the Session— 
I made an open, fair confession, 

I scorn'd to lie; 
An' syne Mess John, beyond expression, 

Fell Ibul o' me. 

A fornicator lonn he call'd me. 

An' said my faut frae bliss expell'd me ; 

I own'd the tale was true he tell'd me, 

" But what the matter," 
Quo' I, *' I fear unless ye eeld me, 

I'll ne'er be better." 

" Geld you," quo' he, " and whatforc v.o, 
If that vour right hand, leg, or toe, 
17 " K 

24'2 BiJUiNS roEMS. 

Sliould ever prove your sp'ritual foe, 
You sliou'cl remember 

To cut it atf, an' whatfore no 

Your dearest member ?' 

" Na, na," quo' I, " I'm no for tliat, 
Gelding's nae better than 'tis ca't, 
I'd rather suffer for my faut, 

A hearty flewit, 
As sair owre hip as ye can draw't ! 

Tlio' I should rue it. 

" Or gin ye like to end the bother, 
To please us a', I've just ae ither, 
When next wi' yon lass I forgather, 

What'er betide it, 
I'll frankly gie her't a' thegither. 

All' let her guide it." 

But, Sir, this pleas'd them warst ava, 
An' therefore, Tarn, when that I saw, 
I said '' Guid night," and cam awa'. 

An' left the Session ; 
I saw they were resolved a' 

On my oppression. 



Fate gave the word, the arrow sped, 

And pierc'd ray darling's heart : 
And with him all the joys are fled 

Life can to me impart. 


By cruel hands the sapling drops, 

In dust dislionour'd hiid : 
So fell the pride of all my hopes, 

My age's future shade. 

The mother-linnet in the brake 
Bewails her ravish'd yountr ; 

So I for my lost darling's sake, 
Lament the live-day long. 

Death, oft I've fear'd thy fatal blow, 
Now, fond I bare my breast, 

O, do thou kinrlly lay me low 
With him I love, at rest 



No more, ye warblers of the wood— no more ! 
Nor pour your descant, gratincr, on my soul : 
Thou young-ey'd Spring, gay in thy verdant stole. 

More welcome were to me grim Winter's wildest roar. 

How can ye charm, ye flow'rs, with all your dyes ? 
Ye blow upon tlie sod tliat wraps my friend : 
Mow can I to tlie tuneful strain attend? 

That strain flows round th' untimely tomb where 
Riddel lies. 

Yes, pour, ye warblers, pour the notes of woe ! 
And soothe the Virtues weeping on this bier : 
The M(m of Worth, and has not left his peer 

la in his " narrow house" for ever darkly low. 


Thee, Sprin?, afjain with joy shall othtr3 jj;rcet j 
Me, inem'ry of my loss will only meet. 



The lamp of day, with ill-presaging glare, 
Dim, cloudy, sunk beneath the western wave ; 

Til' inconstant blast liowl'd thro' the d;irkening air, 
And hollow whistled in the rocky cave. 

Lone as I wander'd by each cliff and dell. 
Once the lov'd haunts of Scotia's royal train* ; 

Or mus'd where limpid streams, once'hallow'd wellt, 
Or mould'ring ruins mark the sacred fanej; 

Th' increasing blast roar'd round the beetling rocks, 
The clouds, swift-wing'd, flew o'er the starry skv ; 

Tlie groaning trees untimely slied their locks. 
And shooting meteors caught the startled eye. 

The paly moon rose in the livid east. 

And 'moiiff the cliffs disclos'd a stately form, 

In weeds of woe, that frantic beat her breast 
And mix'd her vvailings with the raving storm. 

Wild to my heart the filial pulses glow, 
'Twas Caledonia's trophied shield I view'd : 

Her form majestic droop'd in pensive woe, 
The lightning of her eye in tears imbued. 

• The King's Park, at Holyrood House, 
t St. Anthony's Well. J S:. Anthony's Chapel. 

burns' roKMS. 245 

ReversM that spoar, redoubtable in war, 
Reclin'd that banner, erst in fields unt'url'd, 

That like a dreadful meteor gleani'd afar, 

And brav'd the mighty monarchs of the world :— 

" My patriot Son fills an untimely grave !" 
Witli accents wild, and lifted arms she cried — 

" Low lies the hand that oft was stretch'd to save. 
Low lies the heart that swell'd with honest pride ! 

*' A weeping country joins a widow's tear, 
The helpless poor niix with the orphan's cry ; 

And drooping hearts surround their patron's bier, 
And grateful science heaves the heart-felt sigh, 

" I saw my sons resume their ancient firp : 
I saw fair Freedom's blossoms richly blow ; 

But, ah ! our hope is born but to expire I 
Relentless fate has laid this guardian low. 

*' My patriot falls, but shall ho, lie unsung, 

While empty greatness saves a worthless name ! 

No ; every ]\Iuse shall join her tuneful tongue, 
And future ages hear his growing fame. 

" And I will join a mother's tender cares. 
Thro' future times to make his virtue last, 

That distant years may boast of other Blairs !"— 
She said, and vanisli'd with the sweeping blast. 


TO J S T T, GL— NC— R. 

AuLD comrade dear and l)rither sinner. 
How's a' the folk about Gl— nc— r? 
How do you this blae eastlin wind. 
That's like to blaw a body blind .' 

246 burns' pokms. 

For me ray faculties are frozen, 
My dearest niembL'r nearly dozen'd : 
I've sent you here by Johnnie Simson, 
Twa sage philospliers to jrlimpse on ; 
Smith, \vi' his sympathetic feeling. 
An' Reid, to common sense appealing, 
Philosophers have fou'.^ht an' wrant^led, 
An' meikle Greek and Latin mangled, 
Till \vi' their loirie- jargon tir'd 
An' in the depths of science mir'd. 
To common sense they now appeal. 
What wives an' \val)sters see an' feel ; 
But, hark ye, friend, I charge you strictly. 
Peruse them and return them quickly I 
For now I'm grown sae cursed douce, 
I pray and ponder butt the house, 
My shins, my lane, I there sit roastin, 
Perusing Bunyan, Brown, and Boston ; 
Till by an' by," if I hand on, 
I'll grunt a real Gospel groan : 
Already I begin to try it, 
To cast my eeii up like a pyet, 
When by the gun she tumbles o'er, 
Flutt'ring an' gasping in her gore : 
Sae shortly you shall see me bright, 
A burning an' a shining light. 

My heart-warm love to guid auld Glen, 
The ace an' wale of honest men : 
When bending down with auld grey hairs, 
Beneath the load of years and cares, 
May he who made him still support him, 
An' views beyond the grave comfort him. 
His worthy fam'ly far and near, 
God bless them a' wi' grace and gear. 

My auld school-fellow, Preaclier Willie, 
The manly tar, my mason Billie, 

burns' roKMs. 247 

An' Auchenb.iy, I wish him joy ; 

If he's a parent, lass or boy, 

May he be dati, an' Meg the niither, 

Just five-an'-forty years thetritlier ! 

An' no forgetting; wabster Charlie, 

I'm tauM lie offers very tairly. 

An' L — d remember singing Sannock, 

Wi' hale breeks, saxpence, an' a bannock. 

An' next, my auld acquaintance, Nancy, 

Snice she is fitted to her fancy ; 

An' her kind stars hae airted till her 

A guid chiel wi' a pickle siller. 

My kindest, best respects I sen' it, 

To cousin Kate an' sister Janet ; 

Tell them frae ine, we chiels be cautious, 

For, faith, they'll aiblins fin' them fashious : 

To grant a heart is fairly civil, 

But to grant a maidenhead's the devil ! 

An' lastly, Jamie, for yoursel. 

May guardian angels tak a spell. 

An' steer you seven miles south o* hell : 

But first, before you see heav'n's glory, 

May ye get monie a merry story, 

Monie a laugh, and monie a drink. 

An' ay enough o' needfu' clink. 

Now fare ye weel, an' joy be wi' you, 
For my sake this I beg it o' you, 
Assist poor Sirason a' ye can, 
Ye'll fin' him just an honest man ; 
Sae I conclude an' quat my chanter, 
Your's saint or sinner, 

Rob the Ranter. 



Residiiif/ on the Banks of the small River Devon, 
in ClackmannaiisJdre, bat ivhose infant yean 
mere spent in AijrsJdre. 

How pleasant the banks of the clear-wnulinq: Devon, 
With green-spreading bushes, and flow'rs bloom- 
ing t'iiir : 

But the bonniest flow'r on the banks of the Devon, 
Was once a s.veet bud on the braes of the Ayr. 

Mild be the sun on this sweet-blushing flower, 
In the gay, rosy morn as it bathes in the dew ! 

And gentle tlie fall of the soft vernal shower. 
That steals on the evening each leaf to renew. 

spare the dear blossom, ye orient breezes, 
With chill hoary wing as ye usher the dawn ! 

And far be thou distant, thou reptile that seizes 
The verdure and pride of the garden and lawn ! 

Let Bourbon exult in his gay gilded lilies. 
And England triumphant display her proud rose ; 

A fairer than either adorns the green vallies 
Where Devon, sweet Devon, meandering flows. 

Written on the Blank Leaf of a Copy of his 
Poems, Presented to an old Stceetheaj't, then 

OxcB fondly lov'd, and still reraember'd dear, 
Sweet early object of my youthful vows, 

liUllNS' POEMS. 249 

Accept tliis mark of friendsliip, warm, siiictTP, 
Friendship ! — 'tis all cold duty now allows : — 

And when you read the simple, artless rhymes, 
One friendly sigh for him, he asks no more, 

Who distant burns in flaniinfr, torrid climes, 
Or haply lies beneath th' Atlantic roar. 


Wj-ltten in Atiswei' to a Cai-d from an intimate of 
Burns, inviting him to spend an hour at a 

The King's most humble servant I, 

Can scarcely spare a minute ; 
But I'll be wi' you by and bye, 

Or else the devil's in it. 


Writicji in a Lady's PocJwt-Book. 

Grant me, indulgent Ileav'n, that I may live 
To see the miscreants feel the pains they give, 
Deal freedom's sacred treasures free as air, 
Till slave and det^pot be but things that were. 



Oh ! had each Scot of ancient times, 
Been., Jeany Scott, as thou art, 
The bravest heart on English ground, 
Had yielded like a coward. 

2o0 BUilNS' POEMS. 



Here souter Will in death does sleep, 

To h-U, if he's gane thither, 
Satan, gie him thy gear to keep. 

He 11 haud it weel thegither. 


Below thir stanes lie Jamie's banes ; 

O Death, it's my opinion, 
Thou ne'er took such a bleth'rin' b-teh 

Into thy dark domiiiioa ! 



Whoe'er thou art, O reader, know, 
That Death has murder'd Johnny ! 

And here his body lies fu' low 

For saul he ne'er had ony. 


O YE, whose cheek the tear of pity stains, 
Draw near with pious reverence and attend ! 

Here lie the loving husband's dear remains, 
The tender father, and the generous friend ; 


The pitying heart that felt for liuman wo ! 

The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride 
The friend of man, to vice alone a foe, 

" For ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side."* 


Kxow thou, O stranger to tlie fame 
Of this much lov'd, much honour'd name ! 
(For none that knew him need be told) 
A warmer heart death ne'er made cold. 


The poor man weeps — here Gavin sleeps 
Whom canting wretches blam'd ; 

But with such as he, where'er he be, 
May I be sav\l or d d ! 


Is there a whim-inspired fool, 

Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule, 

Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool. 

Let him draw near. 
And owre this grassy heap sing dool, 

And drap a tear. 

Is there a Bard of rustic song, 

Who, noteless steals the crowds among, 

That weekly this area throng, 

O ])ass not by ! 
But, with a frater-feeling stronpr, 

Here heave a ?'vAi. 

• Goldsmith. 


Is there a man, whose jiu1<,'raent clear 
Can others teach the course to steer, 
Yet runs, himself, life's mad career, 

\yil'l as the wave. 
Here pause— and thro' the starting tear, 

Survey this grave. 

The poor inhabitant below 

Was quick to learn, and wisie to know, 

And keenly felt the friendly glow, 

A n d softer flame. 
But thoughtless follies laid him low, 

And stain'd his name ! 

Reader, attend— whether thy soul 
Soars fancy's flights beyond the pole, 
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole 

In low pursuit. 
Know, prudent, cautious, se/f control, 

Is wisdom's root. 



Here lies Johnny Pidgeon, 
What was his religion ? 

Whae'er desires to ken. 
To some other warl' 
Maun follow the carl. 

For here Johnny Pidgeon had nane ! 

Strong ale was ablution — 
Small beer persecution, 

A dram was memento ?nori ; 
But a full flowing bowl 
Was the joy of his soul. 

And port ^vas celestial glory. 

burns' poems. i'.-jO 


An honest man here lies at. rest 
As e'er God with his image blest ; 
The friend of man, the friend of truth ; 
The friend of age, and guide of youth ; 
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm'd, 
Few hearts with knowledge so inform'd : 
If there's another world, he lives in bliss; 
If there is none, he made the best of this. 


Lament him Manchline husbands a', 

He aften did assist ye ; 
For had he staid whole weeks awa, 

Your wives they ne'r had miss'd ye. 
Ye Mauchliue bairns, as on ye press 

To school in bands thegither, 
O tread ye lightly on this grass, — 

Perhaps he was your father. 


Curs'd be the man, the poorest wretch in life, 
The crouching vassal to the tyrant wife! 
Who has no will, but by her higii permi^sion ; 
Who has not sixpence, but in her possession : 
Who must to her his dear friend's secret tell ; 
Who dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell ! 
Where such the wife had fallen to my part, 
I'd break her spirit, or I'd break her heart j 
I'd charm her with the magic of a switch, 
I'd kiss her rnaids, and kick the perverse b— h. 

2.34 burns' I'OEMS. 


Composed and Repeated bj/ Burns, to the Master 
of the House, on taking leave at a place in 
the Highlands, cohere he had been hospitably' 

When death's dark stream I ferry o'er, 

A time that surely shall come ; 
In heaven itself, I'll ask no more, 

Than just a Highland welcome. 


O Tirou, who kindly dost provide 

For every creature's want ! 
We bless tliee, God of Nature wide. 

For all thy goodness lent : 
And, if it please thee, Heavenly Guide, 

May never worse be sent ; 
But, whether granted or denied. 

Lord, bless us with content ! 



The devil got notice that Grose was a dying, 

So whip ! at the summons, old Satan came flying; 

But when he approach'd where poor Francis lay; 


And saw each bed-post with Its burden a-groaning, 
Astonish'd ! confounded ! cry'd Satan, " By G-d ! 
I'll want 'im, ere I take such a damnable load 1'' 




A Cantata. 


When lyart leaves bestrew the yird, 
Or, wavering, like the bauclde* bird, 

Bedim cauld Boreas' blast: 
When hailstanes drive wi' hitter skyfe, 
And infant frosts begin to bite. 

In hoary cranreugh drest ; 
Ae night, at e'en, a inerry core 

O' randie gan^irel bodies, 
In Poosie-Nansie's held the splore, 
To drink their orra daddies : 
Wi' quaffing and lauiihing, 

They ranted and they sang ; 
Wi' jumping and thumping, 
The vera girdle rang. 

I'irst, neist the fire, in auld red rags, 
Ane sat, weel braced wi' mealy bags, 

And knapsack a' in order ; 
Ilis doxy lay within his arm, 
Wi' usquebae and blankets warm, 

She blinket on her sodger ; 
And aye he gies the touzie drab 

The tither skelpin kiss. 
While she held up her greedy gab, 

Just like an aumos dish : 

• The old Scottish name for a but. 

256 iJUUNs' roKMS. 

Ilk smack still, did crack still, 
Just like a cadger's whup, 

Then stagtieriiig, and swaggering, 
He roar'd this ditty up— 

Tune—" Soldier's Joy.'' 

I AM a son of Mars, who have been in many wars. 
And show my cuts and scars wherever I come ; 
Tiiis here was for a wonch, and that other in a trench, 
When welcoming the French at the sound of the drum. 
Lai de daudle, &c. 

My 'prenticeship I past where my leader breath'd his 

When the bloody dye was cast on the heights of 

Abrara ; 
I served out my trade when the gallant game was 

And tiie Moro low was laid at the sound of the drum. 
Lai de daudle, I'fec. 

I lastly was with Curtis, among the floating batt'ries, 
And there I left for witness an arm and a limb ; 
Yet let my country need me, with Elliot to head mo, 
I'd clatter on my stumps at the sound of the drum. 
Liil de daudle, &c. 

And now, tho' I must beg, with a wooden arm and 

And many a tatter'd rag hanging over my bum, 
I'm as happy with my wallet, my bottle, and my 

As when I used in scarlet to follow the drum, 
Lai de daudle, &c. 


What tho' with hoary locks I must stand the winter 

Beneath the woods and rocks, oftentimes for a liome ; 
When the totlier bag I sell, and the tother bottle tell] 
I could meet a troop of hell at the sound of the drum. 
Lai de dandle &c. 


He ended ; and the kebars sheuk 

Aboon the chorus' roiir ; 
While frighted rattons backward leuk. 

And seek the benmost bore ; 
A fairy fiddler frae the neuk, 

He skirl'd out encore! 
But up arose the martial chuck, 

And laid the loud uproar. 


Tune—*' Soldier Laddie" 

I once was a maid, tho' I cannot tell when, 
And still my delight is in proper young men ! 
Some one oif a troop of dragoons was my daddie. 
No wonder I'm fond of a sodger laddie. 

Sing, Lai de lal, Sm. 

The first of my loves was a swaggering blade, 
To rattle the thundering drum was his trade ; 
His leg was so tight, and his cheek was so ruddy, 
Transported I was with my sodger laddie. 

Sing, Lal de lal, .^-c. 

But the godly old chaplain left him in the lurch, 
So the sword I forsook for the sake of tlie church ; 
He ventur'd the soul, and risked the body, 
'Twas then I prov'd false to mv sodger laddie. 

Siii'j:, Lal de lal, &c. 

n s 

2o8 BUUNS' roKMS. 

Full soon I grew sick of my sanctified sot, 
riie regiment at large for a liusband I got; 
From the gilded spoutoon to the fife I was readv, 
I asked no more but a sodger laddie. 

Sing, Lai de lal, Scr. 

But the peace it reduced rae to beg in (U-spair, 
Till I met my old boy at Cunnhighara fair, 
His rags regimental they fluttered sae gaudy, 
My heart it rejoiced at my sodger laddie. 

Sing, Lal de lal, &c. 

And now I have lived— I know not how long, 

And still I can join in a cup or a song ; 

But whilst with both hands I can hold the glass 

Here's to thee, my hero, my sodser laddie. 

Shig, Lal de lal, Sec. 


Poor Merry Andrew, in the neuk, 

Sat guzzling wi' a tinkler hizzie ; 
They mind't na wha the chorus took, 

Between themselves they were sae bizzy ; 
At length, wi' drink and courting dizzy. 

He stoiter'd up and made a face ; 
Then turn'd and laid a smack on Grizzy, 

Syne tun'd his pipes wi' grave grim.iCH. 

Tune—" A uld Sir Symon." 

Sir Wisdom's a fool when he's fou, 
Sir Knave is a fool in a session ; 

He's there but 'prentice I trow. 
But I am a fool by profession. 

BUllNS POIC.MS. t2o9 

?.!>• arannie she hoiiyht me a beiik, 

And I held uwa to the school ; 
I fvar I my tak>nt inisteuk ; 

But what will ye hae of a fool ? 

For drink I wad venture my nock ; 

A hizzie's the hauf o' my craft; 
But what could ye other expect 

Of ane that's avowedly daft ? 

I ance was tied up like a stirk, 

For civilly swearing- and quaffing; 
I auce was abus'd i' the kirk, 

For towzling a lass i' my dafBn. 

Poor Andrew th;it tumbles fort sport, 

Let naebody name wi' a jeer ; 
Tliere's even, I'm tauld, i' the court, 

A tumbler ca'd the Premier. 

Ob?erv'd ye, yon reverend lad 

Maks faces" to tickle the mob ; 
Me rails at our mountebank squdd ; 

It's rivalship just i' the job. 

And now my cojiclusion I'll tell. 

For faith I'm confoundedly dry, 
The chiel that's a fool for himsel', 

Guid L — d, is far dafter than I. 


Then niest outspak a raucle carlin, 
Wha kent fu' weel to cleek the stcrliii;^ 
For monie a pursie she had hook'd, 
And had in mony a well beea duck'd ; 
Her dove had been a Hijrhlaufi laddii', 
But wearv fa' the waem' woodie I 

2G0 burns' poems. 

Wi' si'fflis and sabs slie thus be<xan 
To wail her braw Jolin Highlandman. 

Tune—" 0, an you were dead, GudemanJ 

A HiGHLANn lad my love was born, 
The Lawlajid laws he' held in scorn ; 
But he still was fairiifu' to his clan. 
My gallant braw John Highlandraan. 


Sinjr, hey, my braw John Hi<?hlandman ! 
Sing, ho^ my braw Jolin Highlandnian I 
There's not a lad in a' the Ian' 
Was match for ray John Highlandraan. 

Wi' his philibeg and tartan plaid. 
And gude claymore down by his side, 
The ladies' hearts he did trepan. 
My gallant braw John Highlandman, 

Sing, hey, ice. 

We ranged a' from Tweed to Spey, 
And lived like lords and ladies gay ; 
For a Lalland face he feared nane. 
My gallant braw John Highlandman. 

Sing, hey, &;c. 

They banish"d him beyond the sea, 
But ere the bud was on the tree, 
Adown my cheeks the pearls ran. 
Embracing ray John Highlandinan. 

Sing, hey, &c. 

But oh ! they catch'd him at the last, 
And bound him in a dungeon fast. 

UTRNS' I'OK.MS. 'jCtl 

My curse upon tliem every one. 
They've haiig'd my braw John IIi<:hlan(liiiaii. 
Sing, hi-y, &c. 

And now a widow I must mourn 
The pk^asures tluit will ne'er return; 
No comfort but a hearty can, 
When I think on John JHighlandman. 

Sing, iiey, &c. 


A pigmy scraper wi'his fiddle, 

Wha us'd at trysts and fairs to driddle, 

Her strappin limb and gaucy middle 

(He reach'd nae higher) 
Had hol'd his heartie like a riddle, 

And blawn't on fire. 

Wi' hand on haunch, and upward ee. 
He croon'd his gamut, ane, twa, three, 
Then, in an Arioso key, 

The "wee Apollo 
Set afF, wi' Alligretto glee, 

His giga solo. 


Tune—" Whistle o'er the Lave o't.* 

Let me ryke up to dight that tear, 
And go wi' me and be my dear, 
And then your every care and fear 
May whistle owre the lave o't. 

I am a fiddler to my trade, 

And a' the tunes that e'er I play'd, 

20*2 BUiiNs' poe:ms. 

Tlie sweetest still to wife and maid. 
Was whistle owre the lave o't. 

At kirns and weddings we'se be there. 
And O ! sae nieely's we will fare ; 
We'll bouse aljout, till daddie Care 
Sings whistle owre the lave o't. 
I am, kc. 

Sae merrily's the banes we'll P5'ke, 
And sun oursels about the dyke, 
And at our leisure, when we like. 
We'll whistle owre the lave o't. 
I am, &c. 

But bless me wi' your heav'n o' charsna^ 
And while I kittle hair on thainns, 
Hunger, cauld, and a' sic harms, 
May whistle owre the lave o't. 
I am, &c. 


Her charms had struck a sturdy Cain!, 

As weel as poor Gut-scraper ; 
He taks the fiddler by the beard, 

And draws a rusty rapier — 
He swoor by a' was swearing •worth, 

To split him like a piiver. 
Unless he wad from that time forth 

Relinquish her for ever. 

Wi' ghastly ee, poor Tweedle-dee 

Upon his hunkers bended , 
And pray'd for grace wi' rueful face, 

And sae the quarrel ended. 
Uut tho' his little heart did grieve 

When round the tinker press'd her. 


he feign'd to snirtle in his sleeve, 
When thus the Cyird address'd her : 

Tune-" Chid the Cauldron:' ■ 

My bonny lass, I work in brass, 

A tinker is niy station ; 
I've travell'd round all Christian ground 

In this my occupation ; 
I've ta'en the gold, I've been enroU'd 

In many a noble squadron ; 
But vain they search'd, when off I march'd 

To go and clout the cauldron. 

I've ta'en the gold, &c. 

Df'spise that shrimp, that wither'd imp, 

NA'i' a' his noise and caprin. 
And tak a share wi' those that bear 

The budget and the apron ; 
And by that stowp, my faith and hoiip, 

And by that dear Kilbajjie,* 
If e'er ye waHt, or meet wi' scant, 

May I ne'er wat my craigie. 

And by that stowp, &c. 


The Caird prevail'd— th' unblushing fair 

In his embraces sunk, 
Partly wi' love o'ercon.-e sae sair, 

And partly she was drunk. 
Sir Violino, with an air 

That show'd a man o' spunk. 

•A peculiar sort of whisky so callc'l ; a nicRt favo(irit<» 
with Poosie- Nansie's club. 


VVisli'd unison between tiio pair, 
And made the bottle clunk 

To their healtli that niglit. 

But hurchin Cupid sliot a shaft, 

TliHt play'd a dame a shavie, 
The fiddler rak'd her fore and aft, 

Behint the chicken-cavie, 
Her lord, a wiciht o' Homer's craft,'* 

Tho' limping wi' the spavie. 
He hirpl'd up, and lap like Daft, 

And shor'd them Dainty Davie, 

To boot that ni<;!it. 

He was a care-defying- blade 

As ever Bacdius listed, 
Tho' Fortune sair upon him laid, 

His heart she ever miss'd it. 
He had nae wish, but — to be glad. 

Nor want — but when he thirsted ; 
He hated nought but — to be sad, 

And thus the Muse suggested 

His sang that ni'^ht. 

Tune— "For cC that, and a' that.'* 

I am a bard of no regard. 

Wi' gentlefolks, and a' that 
But homer-like, the glowran byke 

Frae town to town I draw that. 


For a' that, and a' that ; 
And twice as meikle's a' that ; 

flomer is allowed to be the oldest ballad singer on record. 

lUU.NS I'OICMS. 20.) 

I've lost but ane, I've twa hchin,' 
I've wife enough for ii' that. 

I never drank the Muses' stank, 

Castalia's hurn, and a' that ; 
But tliere it streams, and riciily reams, 

My Helicon I ca' that. 

For a' that, &c. 

Great love I hear to a' the fair. 

Their hunilile slave, and a' that ; 
But lordly will, I liold it still 

A mortal sin to tiiraw that. 

For a' that, &:c. 

In raptures sweet, this hour we meet, 

Wi' mutual love, and a' that ; 
But for how lon^ the flie may stang, 

Let inclination law that. 

For a' that, (Sec. 

Their tricks and craft hae put me daft, 

They've ta'en me in, and a' that ; 
But clear your decks, and " Here's the sex !" 
I like the jads for a' that. 
For a' that, and a' that; 

And twice as meikle's a' that, 
My dearest blude to do them siude, 
They're welcome till't for a' tliut. 


So snn^ the bard— and Nansie's wa's 
Shook with tiie thunder of applause, 

Re-echoed from each mouth ; 
They toom'd their pocks, and pawn'd their duds, 
They scarcely left to co'er their fuds. 

To quench their lowan drouth. 


TlieTi owre ajrain tlie jovial thranpr, I 

Tlie poet (iifl request, j 

To loo>e liis pack, and wale a sang, 
A bullae! o' the best ; 

Up rising-, rejoicing, 

Between his twa Deborahs, 
Looks round him. and round them 

Impatient for the chorus. 

Tune—" Jolly Mortals, Jill your Glassa./' 

See the smokinir l>owl before ns, 

Mark our jovial ragged rin;^ ; 
Round and round take up the ciiorns, 

And in raptures let us shig : 

A fig for those by law protected ! 

Liberty's a glorious feast! 
Courts for cowards were erected, 

Churches built to please the priest. 

What is title? what is treasure? 

What is reputation's care ? 
If we lead a life of pleasure, 

'Tis no matter how or where . 
A fig, Sec. 

W'hh tlie ready trick and fable, 
Hound we wander nil tlie day ; 

And at night, in barn or stable, 
Hug our doxies on the hay. 
A fig, Ace. 

BUKxs roEMS 2G7 

Dops the train-attended carriiipe 
Thro' the country lighter rove ? 

Does the sober bed of marriace 
Witness brighter scenes of love ? 
A fig, &c. 

Life is all a variorum, 
We regai-d not how it goes ; 

Let tliem cant about decorum 
Who have characters to lose. 
A fig, &c. 

Here's to budgets, bags, and wallets 
Here's to all the wandering train ! 

Here's our ragged brats and calkts ! 
One and all cry out, Amen ! 


It was upon a Lammas niirlrt, 

When corn rigs are bonnie, 
Beneath the moon's unclouded light, 

I held awa to Annie: 
The time flew by wi' tenlless heed, 

Till 'tweeu tiie late an<l early ; 
Wi' sma' persuasion s!u; agreed 

To see me thro' the barley. 

The sky was blue, the wind wm« stiil, 

The moon was shining clearly : 
I set her down wi' right good will, 

Amang the rigs o' barley : 
I ken't her heart was a' my ain ; 

I lov'd her most sincerely ; 
1 kiss'd her owre and owre again 

Amang the rigs o' barley : 

208 liUHNb' I'OKMS, 

I lork'd lier in my fond embrace ; 

Her heart was beating rarely : 
My blessings on that iiapjjv place, 

Amang tlie rigs o' barley ! 
But by tlie moon and stars sae bright, 

Tliat shone tliat hour sae clearly, 
She aye shall bless that happy night, 

A raang the riys o' barley. 

I hae been blithe \vi' comrades dear ; 

1 hae been merry drinkin' ; 
I hae been joyfu' gath'rin' gear; 

I hae been happy thinkin' : 
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw, 

Tho' three times doubl'd fairly, 
That happy night was worth them a', 

Amang the rigs o' barley. 

Com rigs, and barley rigs, 
And corn rigs are bonnie : 

I'll ne'er forget that happy night, 
Amang the rigs wi' Annie. 



Tune — " I had a horse, I had rui more.^' 

Now westlin' winds, and slaughtering guns, 

Bring Autumn's pleasant weather ; 
The moorcock sprinus, on whirring wings, 

Amang tlie blooming heather : 
Xow waving grain, wide o'er the plain, 

Deliglits the weary farmer ; 
And the moon shines briglit, when I rove at night 

To muse upon my charmer. 


The partridize loves tlie fruitful fells; 

The plover loves the mountains ; 
The woodcock haunts tlie lonely dells ; 

The soaring; hern the fountains ; 
Through lotty groves the cusliat roves, 

The path of man to shun it ; 
Tlie hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush, 

The spreading thorn the linnet. 

Thus ev'ry kind their pleasure find, 

The savage and the tender ; 
Some social join, and leagues combine j 

Some solitary wander : 
Avaunt, away ! the cruel sway. 

Tyrannic man's dominion ; 
The sportsman's joy, the murd'ring cry, 

The flatt'ring, gory pinion ! 

But, Peggy, dear, the evening's clear. 

Thick flies the skimming swallow ; 
The sky is blue, the fields in view. 

All fading-green and yellow : 
Come let us stray our gladsome way, 

And view the charms of nature; 
And rustling corn, the fruited thorn, 

And ev'ry happy creature. 

We'll gently walk, and sweetly talk, 

Till the silent moon shine clearly ; 
I'll grasp thy waist, and, fondly prest, 

Swear how I love thee dearly : 
Not vernal showers to budding flowers. 

Not autumn to tlie farmer. 
So dear can be as thou to me. 

My fair, and lovely charmer ! 

270 burns' poems. 

Tune—" My Nannie O." 

Behind yon hills where Ltisfar flows, 

'Mang moors and mosses many, O, 
The wintry sun the day has clos'd, 

And rifawa tu Nanuie, O. 
Tlie westlin' wind bluws loud and sliill ; 

The ni<rht's baitii mirk and rainy, O ; 
But I'll get my plaid, and oat Fll steal, 

And owre the hills to Nannie, O. 

My Nannie's charming, sweet, and younj^ 

Nae artfu' wiles to win ye, O : 
May ill beta' the flattering tongue 

That wad beguile my Nannie, O. 
Her face is fair, her heart is true, 

As spotless us she's bonnie, O ; 
The opening gowan, wet wi' dew, 

Nae purer is than Nannie, O. 

A country lad is my degree. 

And few there be that ken me, O ; 
But what care I how few they be, 

I'm welcome aye to Nannie, O. 
My riches a's my penny-fee, 

And I maun guide it cannie, O ; 
But warl's gear ne'er troubles me, 

My thoughts are a' my Nannie, O. 

Our auld gudeman delights to view 
His sheep and kye thrive bonnie, O ; 

But I'm as blythe that bauds his pleugh, 
And has nae care but Nannie, O. 

BUUN3' roEMS. 

Cojne weel, come wo, I care nae by, 
I'll tak what Heav'n will sen' uie, «.) 

Nile ither care in life hae I, 
But live, and love my Nannie, O. 



There's nought but care on ev'ry liun', 
In every hour th-it passes, O : 

What signifies the life o' man, 
And 'twere not for the lasses, O. 

Green gTow the rashes, O ; 

Green grow the rashes O ; 
The sweetest hours that e'er I spent, 

Were spent aranng the lasses, O. 

The warly race may riches chace. 
And riches still may fly them. O ; 

And though at last tliey catch them fnfft, 
Their hearts can ne'er enjoy them, (). 
Green grow, &c. 

But gie me a canny hour at e'en, 
My arms about my dearie, O ; 

Arid Wiirly cares, ami warly men, 
May a' gae tapsalteerie, O ! 

Green grow, See. 

For you sae douce, ye sneer at this, 
Ye're nought but senseless asses, O ; 

The wisest man the warl' e'er saw, 
He dearly lo'ed the lasses, O. 

Green grow, kc. 

27*2 burns' roKMs. 

AuM Nature swears, tlie lovely dears 
Her noblest, work she classes O ; 

Her 'prentice lian' she tried on man, 
And then slie made the lasses, O. 

Tune— ^^ Johnny's Grey Breeks." 

Again rejoicing Nature sees 

Her robe assume its veri»al hues, 
Her leafy locks wave in the breeze, 

All freshly steep'd in morning dews. 

And maun I still on Menie dote, 
And bear tlie scorn that's in her ee ? 

For it's jet, jet black, and it's like a hziwk, 
And it winna let a body be! 

In vain to me the cowslips blaw, 

In vain to me the vi'lets spring; 
In vain to me the glen or shaw, 

The mavis and the linthwhite sing. 

And maun I still, Sec. 

The merry ploughboy cheers his team, 
Wi' joy the tentie seedsman stalks ; 

But life to me's a weary dream, 
A dream of ane that never wauks. 

And maun I still, fee. 

The wanton coot the water s1:ims, 
Amang the reeds the ducklings cry, 

The stately swan majestic swims, 
And every thing is blest but I. 

And maun I still, &c. 

burns' pokms. 273 

Tlie sheep-herd steeks his t'aukliii<T slap, 
And owre the moorhuids whistles shill, 

Wi' wild, unequal, wand'rinp: step, 
I meet him on the dewy hill. 

And mauii I still, &c. 

And when the lark, 'tween light and dark, 
Blythe waukens by the daisy's side, 

And mounts and sings, on fluttering wings 
A wae-worn ghaist I hameward glide, 
And maun I still, &c. 

Come Winter, with thine angry howl. 

And raging bend the naked tree ; 
Thy gloom will sooth my cheerless soul, 

When Nature all is sad like me ! 

And maun I still, &c. 


Tune— "i?osZin Castle." 

The gloomy night is gathering fast, 
Loud roars the wild inconstant blast. 
Yon murky cloud is foul with rain, 
I see it driving o'er the plain : 
The hunter now has-left the moor. 
The scattei-'d coveys meet secure, 
Wliile here I wander, prest witli care, 
Along the lonely banks of Af/r. 

The Autumn mourns her rip'niM'jr corn 
By early Winter's ravage torn ; 
Across her placid, azure sky. 
She see? the scowling tempest fly ; 
Chill runs my blood to hear it rave, 
I think upon the stormy wave, 
17 T 

074 burns' 

Where m;iny a danj^er I must dq/«^ 
Far from the bonnie banks of Ayr. 

'Tis not the surging billows' roar, 
'Tis not that fatal deadly shore ; 
Tho' death in ev'ry shape appear, 
The wretched have no more to fear : 
But round my heart the ties are hound, 
That heart transpierc'd with many a wound ; 
These bleed afresh, those ties I tear, 
To leave the bonnie banks of Ayr. 

Farewell, old Collars hills and dales, 
Her heathy moors and winding vales ; 
The scenes where wretched fancy roves, 
Pursuing past, unhappy loves ! 
Farewell, my friends ! farewell, my foes I 
My peace with these, my love with those—- 
The bursting tears my heart declare, 
Farewell the bonnie banks of Ayr! 


Tu.xE— " Gilderoi'." 

From thee, Eliza, I must go, 

And from thy native shore : 
Tlie cruel fates between us throw 

A boundless ocean's roar ; 
But boundless oceans roaring widt 

Between my love and me. 
They never, never can divide 

My heart and soul from thee ; 

Farewell, farewell, Eliza dear. 

The maid that I adore ! 
A boding voice is in mine e;'r, 

We part to meet no more ! 

Buu?js' roKMs. 275 

But the last throb that leaves my heart, 

While death stands victor by, 
That throb, Eliza, is thy part. 

And thine that latest si^-h ! 



Tune—" Good Night, and Joy he tcV you a' /" 

Adieu ! a heart-warm fond adieu ! 

Dear brothers of the mystic tye ! 
Ye favour'd, ye enUghiened few, 

Companions ol" my social joy ! 
Tho' I to foreign lands must liie, 

Pursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba', 
With melttng heart and brimful eye, 

I'll mind you still, the' far awu'. 

Oft have I met your social band, 

And spent the cheerful, festive night ; 
Oft, honour'd with supreme command, 

Presided o'er tlie sons of light : 
And by that hieroglyphic brigljt, 

Which none but craftsmen over s;nv ! 
Strong mera'ry on my heart shail write 

Those happy scenes when far awa'. 

May freedom, harmony, and love, 

tfnite you in the grand design. 
Beneath th' omniscient Eye above, 

The glorious Architect divine ! 
That you may keep th' tinerritig line, 

Still rising by the plum nicVs law, 

276 burns' poems. 

Till order bright, completely shine, 
Still be my pray'r when far awa'. 

And you, farewell ! whose merits claims, 

Jnstly, that highest badfje to wear! 
Heav'n bless your honour'd, noble name, 

To Masonry and Scotia dear ! 
A last request, permit me here, 

Wiien yearly ye assemble a', 
One 7'ound, I ask it with a tear, 

To him, the Baud, that's far aica'. 


Tune—" Prepare viy dear Brethren, to the 
Tavern let's fly." 

No churchman am I for to rail and to write, 
No statesman nor soldier to plot or to fiji:ht. 
No sly man of business contriving a snare. 
For a big-belly'd bottle's the whole of my care. 

The peer I don't envy, I give him his bow ; 

I scorn not the peasant, tho' ever so low ; 

Hut a club of good fellows, like those that are here. 

And a bottle like this are my glory and care. 

Here passes the squire on his brother — his horse : 
There centum p r centum, the cit with his purse; 
But see you tlie crown how it waves in the air, 
There a big-belly'd bottle still eases my care. 

Tlie wife of my bosom, alas ! she did die ; 
For sweet consolation to church I did fly ; 
I found that old Solomon proved it fair,"^ 
That a big-belly'd bottle's a cure for all care. 

BURNS' POE:\rs. '277 

I once was persuaded a venture to iiuiUe ; 
A letter inform'd itie tliat all was to wreck ; 
But the pursy old landlord just waddled up stairs, 
With a glorious bottle that ended my cares. 

• Life's cares they are comforts'* — a maxim laid down 
By tlie bard, what d'ye call him ? that woic the black 

gown ; 
And faith I asree with th' old prig to a hair ; 
For a big-belly'd bottle's a heaven of care. 

A Stanza added in a Masoii Lodge. 

Then fill up a bumper, and make it o'erflow, 
And honours masonic prepare for to throw ; 
May every true brother of the compass aiifl >;(|uare, 
Have a big-belly'd bottle when harass'd with cure. 

Tv^E—" Katherine Ogie." 

Yk 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 farewoel 

O' my sweet Highland Mary, 

How sweetly bloom'd the gay green I)irk, 
How rich the hawthorn's blossom, 

• Young's Night Thoiij.'!ii>. 


As underneath tlieir fragrant sliade, 

I clasp'd lier to my bosom ! 
Tlie 'golden hours, on an^^el-wings, 

Flew o'er mu and my dearie ; 
For dear to rae, 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 oh! fell death's untimely frost, 

Tliat 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 clos'd for aye the sparkling glance 

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

That heart that lo'ed me dearly — 
But still within my bosom's core 

Shall live my Highland Mary ? 


Tftere'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 liis coffers, he has owsen and kine, 
And ae bonnie lassie, liis darling and mine. 

Siie's fresh as the morning, the fairest in May ; 
She's sweet as the ev'ning araang the new hay ; 
As blithe and as artless as the lamb on the leu, 
And dear to my heart as the light to my e'e. 

UTRNS im)k:ms Q-;i\ 

But, oh I she's an heiress, auld Kobin s a lainl. 
Anil my daddy has nought 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, hut deli<j:ht brinj^s me nane • 
Tiie ni»ht 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 wad burst in my breast 

had slie but been of a lower degree, 

1 then might hae hop'd she wad smil'd upon me ! 
(), how past descriving had then been my bli^s, 
As now my distraction no words can express! 


Duncan Gray cam 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' heigh, 
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 Craisr, 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Duncan sigh'd baith out and in, 
Grat his een baith bleer't and blin'. 
Spak o'lowpin o'er a linn ; 

Ha, ha, &c. 

Time and chance are but a tide, 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Slighted love is sair to bide, 

Ha, ha, Sec. 

280 burns' poems. 

Shall I, like a fool, quotli he, 
For a hauirhty hizziu die ? 
Slie may go to— France for me ! 
Ila, ha, &c. 

How it comes let doctors tell. 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Meg grew sick as he grew heal, 

Ila, ha, Sec. 
Sometliing in her bosom wrings, 
For relief a sigh she brings, 
And O, her een, they spak sic things ! 

Ha, ha, &;c. 

Duncan was a lad o' grace. 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Maggie's was a piteous case, 

Ha, ha, &c. 
Duncan could na be her death. 
Swelling pity sinoor'd his wrath ; 
How they're crouse and canty baith ; 

Ha, ha, the wooinf; o't. 


There's braw, braw lads on Yarrow braes. 
That wander thro' the blooming heather : 

But Yarrow braes, nor Ettrick shaws, 
Can match the lads o' Galla water. 

But there is ane, a secret ane, 
Aboon them a' I lo'e him better ; 

And I'll be his, and he'll be mine, 
The bonnic lad o' Galla water. 

Altho' his daddie was nae laird, 
And tho' I hae nae raeikle tocher ; 


Yet rich in kindest, truest love, 
We'll tent our flocks by Galla water. 

Ir ne'er was wealth, it ne'er was wealth, 
Tliat coft contentment, peace, or pleasure : 

The bands and bliss o' mutual love, 
O that's the chiefest warld's treasun; ! 

Tune—" The Mill, Mill O." 

When wild war's deadly blast was bhnvn, 

And gentle peace returning-, 
Wi' mony a sweet babe fatlierless. 

And mony a widow mourning ; 
I left the lines and tented field, 

Where lang I'd been a lodgei'. 
My humble knapsack a' my'wealth, 

A poor but honest sodger. 

A leal, light heart was in my breast, 

A hand unstahi'd wi' plunder ; 
And for fair Scotia, hame again, 

I cheery on did wander. 
I thought upon the banks o' Coil, 

I thought upon my Nancy ; 
I thought upon the witching smile 

That caught my youthful fancy. 

At length I reach'd the bonnie glen, 

Where early lile I sported; 
I pass'd the mill, and trysting-thorn, 

Where Nancy aft I courted : 
Wha spied I but my ain dear maid. 

Down by her mother's dwellin;^ I 
And turn'd me round to hide the flood 

That in mv een was swelling. 

rS2 burns' I'OEMS 

\Vi' alter'd voice, qiiolli I, swoet lass, 
Sweet as yon liawtlioru's blossom, 

! liappy, happy may he he, 
That's "dearest to thy bosom I 

IMy purse is light, I've far to gancr, 
And fain would be thy lodger ; 

I've serv'd my kink and country lang— 
Take pity on a sodger ; 

Sae wistfully she gaz'd on me, 

And lovelier grew than ever ; 
Quo' she, a sodu'er ance I lo'ed. 

Forget him shall I never : 
Our humble cot and haraely fare, 

Ye freely shall partake it; 
That gallant badge, the dear cockade, 

Ye're welcome for the sake o't. 

She gaz'd— she redden like a rose — 
Syne pale like ony lilly. 

She sank within my arms and cried, 
Art thou my ain dear Willie ? 

By Him who made yon sun and sky- 
By whom true love's regarded, 

1 am the man ; and thus may still 
True lovers be rewarded ! 

The wars are o'er, and I'm come hame, 

And find thee still true-hearted ! 
Tho' poor in gear, we're rich in love, 

And mair we'se ne'er be parted. 
Quo' she, my grandsire left me gowd, 

A mailen plenish'd fairly ; 
And come, my faith fu' sodger lad, 

Thou'rt welcome to it dearly. 

For gold the merchant ploughs the main. 
The farmer ploughs the manor; 


But glory is the sodper's prizp, 
The sodjjer's wealth is honour : 

Tlio brave poor sodger ne'er despise 
Nor count him as a stranger, 

Remember he's his country stay 
In day and hour of danger. 


Tune—" O honnie Lass loill ye lie in a Barraclt V* 

O KEN ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten? 
And ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten? 
She lias gotten a coof wi' a claut o' siller, 
And broken the heart o' the barley Miller. 

The Miller was strappin, the Miller was ruddy ; 
A heart like a lord, and a hue like a lady : 
The hiird was a widdiefu', bleerit knurl : — 
She's left the guid fellow and ta'en the churl. 

The Miller he hetcht her a heart leal and loving ; 
She laird did address her wi' matter more moving, 
A fine pacing-hor?e wi' a clear-chained bridle, 
A whip by her side, and a bonnie side-saddle. 

O wae on the siller, it is sae prevailing; 
And wae on tlie love that isfix'd on the mailen! 
A tocher's nae word on a true lover's parle, 
But gie me my love, and a fig for the warl' ! 


Tune—*' Logan icate?-." 

O Logan, sweetly didst thou glide, 
That day I was my Willie's bride 1 

*284 burns' poems. 

Ami years sinsyne liae o'er us run, 
Like Logan to the simmer sun, 
But now thy flow'ry banks appe;ir 
Like drumlie winter, dark and drear. 
While my dear lad maun face his faes, 
Far, far frae me and Logan braes. 

Again the merry month o' May 

Has made our hills and valleys gay ; 

Tiie birds rejoice in leafy bowers, 

The bees hum round the breathing flowers ; 

Blithe raorniiiji- lifts his rosy eye, 

And evening's tears are tears of joy ; 

My soul, delightless, a' surveys. 

While Willie's far frae Logan'braes. 

Within yon milk-white hawthorn bush, 
Araang'her nestlings sits the thrush, 
Her faithfu' mate will share her toil, 
Or wi, his song her cares beguile : 
]?ut I wi' my sweet nurslings here, 
Nae mate to help, nae mate to cheer. 
Pass widow'd nights and joyless days, 
While Willie's far frae Logan braes. 

O, wae upon you, men o' state, 
That brethren rouse to deadly hate ! 
As ye make many a fond heart mourn, 
Sae may it on your heads return ! 
How can your flinty hearts enjoy 
The widow's tears, the orphan's cry ? 
But soon may peace bring happy days, 
And Willie hame to Logan braes! 

lUKNS roKMS. 28o 


When o'er tlie hill tlie eastern star 

Tells bughtiii-time is near, iny jo, 
And owsen frae the fiirrow'd field 

Return sae dowf and weary O, 
Down by the burn, where scented birk» 

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

My ain kind dearie O. 

In rairkest glen, at midnight hour, 

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

My ain kind dearie O. 
Altho' the night were ne'er sae wild, 

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

My ain kind dearie O. 

The hunter lo'es the morning sun. 

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

Along the burn to steer, my jo ; 
Gie me the hour o' gloamin grey. 

It raaks my heart sae cheery O, 
To meet thee on the lea-rig. 

My ain kind dearie O. 


Hkre awa, there awa, wanderhig Willie, 
Here awa, there awa, baud awa hame ; 

Come to my bosom my ain only dearie, 

Tell me thou bring'st me ray Willie the same. 


Winter whirls blew loud and cauld at our partinj^, 
Fears for my \yillie brou.rht tears in my e'e. 

Welcome now simmer, and welcome my Willie, 
The simmer to nature, my Willie to me. 

Rest, ye wild storms, in the cave of your slumbers, 
How your dread howling a lover alarms ! 

Wauken, ye breezes, row gently ye billows, 

And waft my dear laddie ance more to my arms. 

But, oh ! if he's faithless, and minds na his Nannie, 
Flow still between us, thou wide-roaring main j 

May I never see it, may I never trow it, 
But, dying, believe that my Willie's my ain. 


Tune—" Robin Adair:' 

Had I a cave on some wild, distant shore. 
Where the winds howl to the waves' dashing roar; 
There would I weep ray woes, 
There seek my lost repose, 
Till grief my eyes should close. 
Ne'er to wake more, 

Falsest of womankind ! canst thou declare, 
All my fond plighted vows— fleeting as air ! 
To thy new lover hie, 
Laugh o'er thy perjury, 
Then in thy bosom try' 
What peace is there ! 


O WHISTLE, and I'll come to you, my lad ; 
O whistle, and I'll come to you, my lad : 
Tho' father and raither and a' should g;ie mad, 
O whistle, and I'll coum taxan. my lad. 


But warily tent, wlion ye come to court nie, 
And come na unless the back-yett b(! a-jee; 
Syne up the back-style, and let nae body se*-, 
And come as ye were"^ na comiujj to me. 
And come, &c. 
O whistle, &,c. 

At kirk, or at market, whene'er ye meet me. 
Gang by me as tlio' that ye car'd na u flie ; 
But steal me a blink o' your bonnie black e'e, 
Yet look as ye were na lookin' at me, 
Yet look, &c. 
O whistle, &c. 

Ay vow and protest that ye care na for me. 
And whyles ye may lightly my beauty a wee : 
But court na anither, tho' jokiu' ye be". 
For fear that she whyle your fancy frae mo. 
For fear, &c. 
O whistle, &c. 


Now rosy May comes in wi' flowers, 
To deck her gay, green spreading boweraj 
And now comes in my happy houis, 
To wander wi' my Davie. 

Meet me on the warlock knowe ! 

Dainty Davie, dainty Davie, 
There I'll spend the day wi' you. 

My ain dear dainty Davie. 

The crystal waters round us fa,' 
Tlie merry birds are lovers a', 
Tlie scented breezes round ns bhnv, 
A wandering wi' my Davie. 
Meet me, &c. 

268 iJUUNs' I'OKMS. 

When purple inorniiifr starts the hare, 
To steal upon her early fare, 
Tlien thro' the dews I will repair, 
To meet my faithfu' Davie, 
Meet me, &c. 

When day, expiring in the west, 
The curtains draws o' nature's rest, 
I flee to his arms I lo'e best, 

And that's my ain dear Davie. 

Meet me on the warlock knowe, 
Bonnie Davie, dainty Davie. 

There I'll spend the day wi' you, 
My ain dear dainty Davie. 


Should auld acquaintance be forgot 
And never brought to min' ? 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot. 
And days o' lang syne ? 

For auld lane;: syne, my dear. 

For auld lang syne. 
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet. 

For auld lang syne. 

We twa hae run about the braes, 

And pu'd the gowans tine : 
But we've wander'd mony a weary loot 

Sin auld lang syne. 

For auld, &c. 



burns' pokms. 280 

We twa liae paidl't i' the burn, 

Frae morning sun till dine ; 
But seas between us braid hue roar'd 

Sin auld lang syne. 

For auld, &c. 

And here's a hand my trusty Here, 

And gie's a hand o' thine ; 
And we'll tak a right guid willie-wauglit, 

For auld lang syne. 

For auld, &c. 

A nd surely ye'll be your pint-stoup, 

And surely I'll be mine : 
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, 

For auld lang syne. 

For auld, &c. 



Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled, 
Scots, wham bruce has af'ten led; 
Welcome to your gory bed, 
Or to glorious vietorie ! 

Now's the day, and now's the hour— 
S( e the front V battle lower ; 
See approach proud Edward's power — 
Edward ! chains and slaverie ! 

Wha will be a traitor-knave ? 
Wha can fill a coward's grave ? 
Wlia sae base as be a sl^ve ? 
Traitor ! coward ! turn and flee ! 
17 u 

200 burns' I'OEMS. 

Wha for Scotland's king and law 
Freedom's sword will strongly draw, 
Freeman stand, or freeman fa', 
Caledonian ! on wi' me ! 

By oppression's woes and pains ! 
By our sons in servile chains ! 
We will drain our dearest veins, 
But they shall be— shall be free ! 

Lay the proud usurpers low ! 
Tyrants fall in every foe ! 
Liberty's in every blow ! 
Forward I let us do, or die ! 

Tune—" Ca' the Yowes to the Kfiowea.** 


Ca' the yowes to the knowes, 
Ca' them whare the heather grows, 
Ca' them whare the bui-nie rowes, 
My bonnie dearie. 

Hark, the mavis' evening sang 
Sounding Clouden's woods amang ; 
Then a faulding let us gang. 
My bonnie dearie. 
Ca' the yowes, &c. 

We'll gae down by Clouden side, 
Thro' the hazels spreading wide, 
O'er the waves that sweetly glide 
To the moon sae clearly. 
Ca' the yowes, ^c. 

burns' roKMs. 291 

Yonder Clouden's silent towers, 
Where at moonshine midniglit houis, 
O'er the dewy bendin;^ flowers, 
Fairies dance sae cheery. 
Ca' the yowes, &c. 

Ghaist nor bogle shalt thou fear ; 
Thou'rt to love and heaven sae dear, 
Nought of ill may come thee near, 
My bonnie dearie. 
Ca' the yowes, &c. 

Fair and lovely as thou art, 
Thou hast stown my very heart ; 
I can die— but canna part, 
My bonnie dearie. 
Ca' the yowes, &c. 

Tune—" Onagh's Water-fnlL" 

Sae flaxen were her ringlets, 

Her eye-brows of a darker hue, 
Bewitchingly o'er-arching 

Twa laughing een o' bonnie blue, 
Her smiling sae wyling, 

Wad make a wretch forget his woe ; 
What pleasure, what treasure, 

Unto those rosy lips to grow : 
Such was my Chloris' bonnie face. 

When first her bonnie face I saw, 
And ay my Chloris' dearest charm, 

She says she lo'es me best of a'. 

292 burns' roEMS. 

Like harmony her raolion ; 

Her pretty ancle is a spy 
lietraying fair proportion, 

Wad make a saint forget tlie sky. 
Sae warming, s;ie cliarming, 

Her faultless form and gracefu' air ; 
Ilk feature — auld Nature 

Declar'd that she could do nae mair : 
Her's are the willing chains o' love. 

By conquering: beauty's sovereign law ; 
And ay my Chloris' dearest charm, 

She says she lo'es me best of a'. 

Let others love the city, 

And gaudy shew at sunny noon ; 
Gie me the lonely valley, 

The dewy eve and rising moon 
Fair beaming, and streaming. 

Her silver light the boughs amang ; 
While falling, recalling, 

The amorous thrush concludes her sang 
Tliere, dearest Cliloris, wilt thou rove 

By wimpling burn and leafy shaw, 
And hear my vows o' truth and love, 

To say thou lo'es me best of a' ? 


Tune—" Eotheniurchus Itcod." 

Lassie wi' the lint-white locks, 
Bonnie lassie, artless lassie, 

Wilt thou tent wi' me the flock.-; ? 
Wilt thou be ray dearie O ? 

Now nature deeds the flowery lea. 
And a' is young and sweet like thee , 

burns' poems. 2^/3 

wilt thou share its joys wi' lur. 
And say tliou'lt be my dearie O ? 
Lassie wi', &;c. 

And when the welcome simraer-shower 
Has cheer'd ilk droopin<^ little flower, 
We'll to the breathing woodbine bower 
At sultry noon, ray dearie O. 
Lassie wi', &c. 

When Cynthia liglits, wi' silver ray, 
The weary shearer's luuneward way ; 
Thro' yellow waviusz lields we'll stniv, 
And talk o' love, my dearie O. 
Lassie wi', &c. 

And when the howling wintry blast 
Disturbs my lassie's midnight rest ; 
Enclasped to my faithfu' breast, 
I'll comfort thee, my dearie O. 

Lassie wi' the lint-white locks, 

Bonnie lassie, artless lassie, 
Wilt thou wi' me tent the flocks ? 

W^ilt thou be ray dearie O ? 


Is there, for honest poverty, 

That hangs his head, and a' that ; 
The coward-slave, we pass him by, 

And dare be poor for a' that. 
For a' that, and a' that, 

Our toils obscure, and a' that, 
Tile rank is but the guinea's stam;>. 

The man's the gowd for a' thau 

294 burns' pokms. 

What tlio' on liaraely fare we dine, 

Wear lioddin ^'rey, and a' that; 
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine, 

A man's a man for a' that ; 
For a' that, and a' tliat, 

Their tinsel show, and a' that ; 
An honest man, though e'er sae poor, 

Is kinj^ o' men for a' that. 

Ye see yon birkie ca'd a lord, 

Wha struts, and stares, and a' that ; 
Tho' hundreds worship at his word. 

He's but a coof for a' that ; 
For a' that, and a' that, 

His riband) star, and a' that. 
The man of independent mind, 

He loolcs and laughs at a' that. 

A prince can make a belted knight, 

A marquis, duke, and a' that ; 
But an honest man's aboon his might, 

Guid faith he mauna fa' that ! 
For a' that, and a' that, 

Their dignities, and a' that, 
Tlie pith o' sense, and pride o' worth. 

Are higher ranks than a' that. 

Then let us pray, that come it may 

As come it will for a' that, 
Wiien sense and worth, o'er a' the eartli, 

Shall bear the gree, and a' that ; 
For a' that, and a' that. 

It's coming yet, for a' that. 
When man and man, the warld oVr, 

Shall brothers be, and a' that. 

H urns' poems. 2!)o 


TtTNE — " Let me in this ae Nlyht.** 

O LASSIE, art thou sleepinp: yet ! 
Or art thou wakin', I would wit ? 
For love has bound ine, hand and foot, 
And I would fain be in, jo. 


O let me in this ae night, 

This ae, ae, ae night ; 
For pity's sake this ae night, 

O rise and let me in, jo. 

Thou hear'st the winter wind and weet, 
Nae star blinks thro' tlie driving sleet ; 
Tak pity on my weary feet, 
And shield me frae the rain, jo. 
O let me in, &c. 

The bitter blast that round me blaws 
Unheeded howls, unheeded fa's ; 
The cauldness o' thy heart's the cause. 
Of a' my grief and pain, jo. 
O let me in, &c. 


O TELL na me o' wind and rain ! 
Upbraid na me wi' cauld disdain ! 
Gae back the gate ye cam again, 
I winna let you hi, jo. 

I tell you now this ae night, 
This ae, ae, ae niglit : 

206 uuii.Ns' roKMS. 

And ance for a' this ae night, 
I wiuna let you in, jo. 

Tlie snellest blast, at rairkcst liours, 
That rounfi the pathless wand'rer pours, 
Is nought to what poor she endures, 
That's trusted faithless man, jo. 
I tell you now, &cc. 

The sweetest flower that deck'd the mead, 
Now trodden like the vilest weed ; 
Let simple maid the lesson read, 
The weird may he her ain, jo. 
I tell you now, &c. 

The bird that charm'd the summer-day, 
Is now the cruel fowler's prey ; 
Let witless, trusting, woman, say 
How aft her fate's the same, jo. 
I tell you now, &c. 


Tune—" Humours of GlenJ" 

Their groves o' sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon, 
Where bright-beaming summers exalt the perfume, 

Far dearer to me yon lone glen o' green breckan, 
Wi'the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom. 

Far dearer to me are yon humble broom bowers, 
Where the blue-bell and gowan lurk lowly unseen : 

For there, lightly tripping araang the wild flowers, 
A listening the linnet, aft wanders my Jean. 

Tho' rich is the breeze in their gay sunny valleys. 
And cauld Caledonia's blast on the wave, 

BrilNS' POKMS. 2(}7 

Their sweet-scented woodlands that skirt tlic proud 
^VJ)at are they ?— The haunt of the tyrant and 
slave ! 

The slave's spicy forests, and gold-bubblin-i fountains, 
The brave Caledonian views witii disdain ; 

He wanders as free as the winds of his mountains. 
Save love's willing fetters, the charms oi his Jean. 

Tune— "T/r/s is no my ain House." 


O THIS is no my ain lassie, 

Fair tho' the lassie be ; 
O weel ken I my ain lassie, 

Kind love is in her ee. 

I see a form, I see a face, 
Ye weel may wi' the fairest place : 
It wants, to me, tlie witch in<? trrace, 
The kind love that's in her ee. 
O this is no, Sec. 

She's bonnie, blooming, strai<^ht, and I all, 
And lang has had my heart in tlirall ! 
And aye it charms my very saul, 
The kind love that's in her ee. 
O this is no, &c. 

A thief sae pawkie is my Jean, 
To steal a blink, by a' unseen ; 
J}nt gleg as light as lovers' een, 
When kind love is in tho ee. 
O this is no, kc. 

298 uriiNs' POEMS. 

It may escape tlie courtly sparks, 

It may escape the learned clerk? ; 

But \veel the watching lover marks 

The kind love that's in her ee. 

O this is no, &c. 

Tune—" The Lothian Lassie." 

Last May a braw wooer cam down the lang glen, 
And sair wi' his love he did deave me ; 

I said there was naething I hated like men, 
The deuce gae wi'm, to believe me, believe me, 
The deuce gae wi'm, to believe me. 

He spak o' the darts in my bonnie black een. 

And vow'd for ray love he was dying ; 
I said he might die* when he liked, for Jean, 

The Lord forgie me for lying, for lying, 

The Lord forgie me for lying ! 

A weel-stocked mailen, himsel for the laird, 
And marriage aff-hand, were his proffers : 

I never loot on that I kenn'd it, or cared, 

But thought I might hae waur offers, waur offers. 
But thought I might hae waur offers, 

But what wad ye think ? — in a fortnight or less, 

The deil tak his taste to gae near her ! 
He up the lang loan to my black cousin Bess, 

Guess ye how, the jad ! I could bear her, could I 
bear her, 

Guess ye how, the jad ! I could bear her. 

But a' the niest week as I fretted wi' care, 
I gaed to the tryste o' Dalgarnock, 

burns' poems. 209 

Ami wlia but my fine fickle lover was tliore, 
I glowr'd as I'd seen a warlock, a warlock, 
I glowr'd as I'd seen a warlock. 

But owre my left slioutlier I <;ae him a blink. 

Lest neebors might say I was saucy ; 
My wooer he capei'd as he'd been in drink, 

And vow'd I was his dear lassie, dear lassie, 

And vow'd I was his dear lassie. 

I spier'd for my cousin fu' conthy and sweet. 

Gin she had recover'd her hcarin'. 
And how her new slioon fit her auld shackl't feet. 

But, heav'ns ! how he fell a swearin', a swearin' 

But, heav'ns ! how he fell a swearin'. 

He hedged, for Gudesake ! I wad be his wife, 

Or else I wad kill him wi' sorrow ; 
So e'en to preserve the poor body in life, 

I tiiink I maun wed him to-morrow, to-morrow, 

I think I maun wed him to-morrow. 



TuNK— ",i?«/t//r//yio/m ora." 

AwA wi' your witchcraft o' beauty's alarms, 
The slender bit beauty you grasp in your arms ; 
O, gie me the lass that has acres o' charms, 
O, gie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms. 

Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher, then hey, for a 

lass wi' a tocher. 
Then hey, for a lass wi' a tocher; the nice yellow 

guineas for me. 

,"00 BURNS roEMS. 

Your beauty's a flower, in tlie morning tliat blows, 
And withers tlie faster, the faster it ^rows ; 
]iut the rapturous cliarm o' the bonnie green knowes, 
Illc spring they're new deckit wi' bonnie white yowes. 
Tlien hey, &c. 

And e'en wlien this beauty your bosom lias blest, 
Tlie brightest o' beauty may cloy when possest ; 
But the sweet yellow darlings wi' Geordie imprest, 
The langer ye hae them— the mair they're carest. 
Then hey, &c. 

Tun E— " Here's a health to them thaVs cava, hiney. 


Here's a health to ane I lo'edear, 

Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear ; 

Tiiou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meet, 

And soft as their parting tear — Jessy ! 

Altho' thou maun never be mine, 

Altho' even hope is denied, 
'Tis sweeter for thee despairing, 

Than aught in the world beside— Jessy ! 
Here's a health, &c. • 

I mourn thro' the gay, gaudy day, 
As, hopeless, I muse on thy charms. 

But welcome the dream o' sweet slumber, 
For then I am lockt iu thy arms — Jessy ! 
Here's a health, &c. 

I ecuess by the dear angel-smile, 

I guess by the love-rolling ee ; 
But why urge the tender confession, 

'Gainst fortune's fell cruel decree— Jes-sy ! 
Here's a healtli, &c. 

nURNS' POEMS. 301 


Bonnie lassie, will ye go, will ye go, will ye po, 
Tloiinie lassie, will ye go to the IBirks of Aberfeldy ? 

Now simmer blinks on flowery braes. 
And o'er the crystal streamlet plays, 
Come let us spend liijhtsome days 
In the Birks of Aberfeldy. 
Bonnie lassie, &c. 

While o'er their heads the hazels hint:, 
'iie little birdies blithely sing, 
jr lightly flit on wanton wing 
In the Birks of Aberfeldy, 
Bonnie lassie, &c. 

The braes ascend like lofty wa's, 
The foaming stream deep-roaring fa's, 
O'erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws, 
The Birks of Aberfeldy. 
Bonnie lassie, kc. 

The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers, 
White o'er the linns the burnie pours. 
And rising weets wi' misty showers, 
The Birks of Aberfeldy. 
Bonnie lassie, &c. 

Let fortune's gifts at random flee. 
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me, 
Supremely blest wi' love and thee, 
In the IBirks of Aberfeldy. 
Bonnie lassie, &c. 

302 burns' poems. 



BhiTiiE, blitlie and merry was slie» 
Blithe was she but and hen ; 

Blithe by the banks of Ern, 
And blithe in Glenturit glen. 

By Oushtertyre prows the aik, 
On Yarrow" banks, the birken shaw , 

But Phemie was a bonnier lass 
Then braes o' Yarrow ever saw. 
Blithe, &c. 

Her looks were like a flower in May, 
Her smile was like a simmer morn, 
:e tripp'd by the banks of Ern 
As light's a bird upon a thorn. 
Blithe, &c. 

Her bonnie face it was as meek 

As ony lamb upon a lee ; 
Tlie evening? sun was ne'er sae sweet 

As was the blink o' Phemie's ee. 
Blithe, &c. 

The Highland hills I've wander'd wide, 
And o'er the Lowlands I hae been ; 

But Phemie was the blithest lass 
Tliat ever trod the dewy green. 
Blithe, &c. 

Tune—" My Lodging is on the cold ground. 
My Chloris, mark how green the groves, 
The primrose banks how fair : 


She balmy gales awake the flo\vcri«, 
And wave thy flaxen hair. 

The lav'rock shuns the palace gay, 

And o'er the cottage sings ; 
For nature smiles as sweet, I ween, 

To shepherds as to kings. 

Let minstrels sweep the skilfu' string 

In lordly lightly ha' : 
The shepherd stops his simple reed, 

Blithe, in the birken shaw. 

The princely revel may survey 

Our rustic dance wi' scorn ; 
But are there hearts as light as ours 

Beneath the milk-white thoni ? 

The shepherd, in the flowery glen, 

In shepherd's phrase will woo : 
The courtier tells a finer tale, 

But is his heart as true ? 

These wild-wood flowers I've pu'd, to deck 

That spotless breast o' thine : 
The courtiers' gems may witness love — 

But 'tis na love like mine. 

Tune— " J/iw Admiral Gordon's Stratlispcf/. 
Op a' the airts the wind can blaw, 

I dearly like the west. 
For there the bonnie lassie lives. 

The lassie I lo'e best : 
There wild woods crow, and rivers row, 
And mony a hill between ; 

304 BUlliNS rOKMS. 

But day and niglit my fancy's fli^'ht 
Is ever \vi' my Jean. 

I see her in the dewy flowers, 

I see her sweet and fair : 
I hear her in tlie tunefu' birds, 

I hear her charm the air : 
There's not a bonnie flower that spnn:j;s 

By fountain shaw, or green, 
Tliere's not a bonnie bird that sings, 

But minds me o' my Jean. 


O. Willie brew'd a peck o' maut, 

And Rob and Allan cam to see ; 
Tliree blither liearts that lee-lang night 

Ye wad na find in Chrlstehdie. 

We are na fou, we're na that fou, 

But just a drappie in our ee ; 
The cock may craw, the day may daw, 

And aye we'll taste the barley" bree. 

Were are we met, three merry boys, 
Tiiree merry boys I trow are we ; 

And mony a night we've merry been, 
And raony mae we hope to be ! 
We are na fou, &c. 

It is the moon, I ken her horn. 
That's blinking in the lift sae higli ; 

blip shines sae bright to whyle us luime.. 
But by ray sooth, she'll wait a wee ! 
We are na fou, &c. 

^^'llat first shall rise to gang awa, 
A cuckold, coward loan is ho ! 

burns' poems. 305 

Wlm last beside his chair shall fa'. 
He is the kinix amang us throe ! 
We are na ton, &c. 


My heart is a breaking, dear Tittie, 
Some counsel unto me come len', 

To anger them a' is a pity ; 

But what will I do wi' Tara Glen ? 

I'm thinking, wi' sic a braw fellow, 
In poortith I might mak a fen' ; 

"Wliat care I in riches to wallow, 
If I mauna marry Tarn Glen ? 

There's Lowrie the laird o' Drumeller, 
" Gude day to you, brute," he comes ben 

He brags and he blaws o' his siller. 

But when will he dance like Tarn Glen ? 

My rainnie does constantly deave me, 
And bids me beware o' young men ; 

They flatter, she says, to deceive me ; 
But wha can think sae o' Tam Glen ? 

My daddie says, gin I'll forsake him. 
He'll gie me guid bunder marks ten ; 

But, if it's ordain'd I maun tak him, 
O wlia will I get but Tam Glen ? 

Yestreen at the Valentine's dealing, 
My heart to my mou gied a sten ; 

For thrice I drew ane without failing. 
And thrice it was written, Tam Glen. 

The last Halloween I was waukin 
My droukit eark-fleeve as ye ken ; 
17 X 

306 burns' i'Oi:ms. 

His likeness cam up the house staukin. 
And the very grey breeks o' Tain Glen 

Corae counsel, dear Tittie, don't tarry ; 

I'll gie you my bonnie black hen, 
Gif ye will advise me to marry 

The lad I lo'e doarlv, Tarn Glen. 


What can a young lassie, what shall a young lassie, 
What can a young lassie do wi' an auld man ? 

Bad luck on the pennie that tempted my minnie 
To sell her poor Jenny for siller an' Ian' ! 
Bad luck on the pennie, &c. 

He's always compleenin' frae momin' to e'enin', 
He hosts and he liirples the weary day lang ; 

He's doyl't, and lie's dozin, his bluid it is frozen, 
O, dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man ; 

He hums and he hankers, he frets and he cankers, 
I never can please him, do a' tJiat I can ; 

He's peevish and jealous of a' the young fellows : 
O, dool on the day I met wi' an auld man ! 

iMy auld auntie Katie upon me takes pity, 
I'll do my endeavour to follow her plan ; 

I'll cross him, and wrack him, until I heart-break him, 
And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan. 

RUKNS roi-.MS. 007 

Tune—" The Moudicwortr 


An' O, for ane and twenty, Tarn! 

An' hey, sweet ane and twenty, Tarn ! 
I'll learniuy kin a rattlin sang-," 

And I saw ane and twenty, Tam. 

Tliey snool me sair, and liaud me down, 
And gar me look like bl untie, Tam , 

But three short years will soon wheel rnun', 
And then comes ane and twenty, T;ii!i ! 
An* O, for ane, Sec. 

A srleib o' Ian', a claut o' gear. 

NV'as left me my auntie, Tam ; 
At kith or kin I need na spier. 

An' I saw ane and twenty, Tam. 
An' O, for ane, &c. 

Tiiey'll hae me wed a wealthy coof, 

Tho' I mysel' hae plenty, Tain ; 
But hear'st thou, laddie, there's mv Inof, 

I'm thine at ane and twenty. Tarn I 
An' O, for ane, &c. 


Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon, 
How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair ; 

How can ye chant, ye little birds. 
And I sae weary, fu' o' care ! 

Thou'lt break my heart, thou warblinir bird, 
That wantons 'thro' the Howeriii^ thorn: 

308 burns' poems. 

riiou nainds nie o' departed joys, 
Departed iievor to return. 

Oft hae I roved by bonnie Doon, 

To see the rose and woodbine twine ; 
And ilka bird san-j: o' its love, 

And fondly sae did I o' mine, 
Wi' li;,'htsoine heart I pu'd a rose, 

Fii' sweet upon its tliorny tree ; 
And my f'auie lover stole my rose, 

But ah ! lie left ilie thorn wi' me. 


Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed, 

The spot they ca'd it Linlcuradoddie, 
Willie was a wabster guid, 

Cou'd stown a clue wi' onie bodie; 
He had a wife was dour and diii, 
O Tinkler Maggie was her mither ; 
Sic a wife as Willie had, 
I wad na gie a button for her. 

She has an ee, she has but ane. 
The cat has twa the very colour , 

Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump, 

A clapper tongue wad deave a miller ; 

A whisk in' beard about her mou', 
Her nose and chin they threaten itlier 
Sic a wiie. Sec. 

She's bow-hough'd, she's hein-shinn'd, 
Ae limpin' leg a hand-breed shorter ; 

She's twisted right, siie's twisted left. 
To balance fair in ilka quarter: 

She has a hump upon her breast, 
The twin o' that upon her shouther ; 
Sic a wiie, &c. 


Auld baudrans by tlie inple sits, 

An' wi' lier loot" ber face a-wasbin' ; 
But Willie's wife is nae sae tri;;, 

Sbe diixbts ber pruiizie wi' a Imsbiou ; 
Her walie nieves like midden-creels, 
Her face wad fvle tlie Lo^au- Water; 
Sic a wife as Willie bud, 
I wad na gle a button for her. 


Wilt fbou be my dearie ? 

Wben sorrows wrings tliy gentle heart, 
O wilt thou let me elieer thee? 

By the treasure of my soul, 
And that's the love I bear thee ! 

I swear and vow, that only thou 
Shall ever be my dearie, 

Only thou, I swear and vow, 

Shall ever be my dearie. 

Lassie, say thou lo'es me ; 

Or if thou wilt na be my ain, 
Say na thou'lt refuse me ; 

if it winna, canna be. 
Thou for thine may choose mc ; 

Let me lassie, quickly die. 
Trusting that thou lo'es me. 

Lassie, let me quickly die, 

Trusting that thou lo'es rae. 


She's fair and fause that causes my smart, 

I lo'ed her nieikle and larig ; 
She's broken her vow, she's broken my heart, 

Aud I may e'en gae hang. 

310 burns' pgkms. 

A ooof cam in wi' rowth o' pear, 

And I hae tint my dearest dear, 

But woman is but warld's gear, 

Sae let the bonnie lass gan^. 

Wliae'or ye be that woman love, 

To this be never blind, 
Nae ferlie 'tis tlio' fickle she prove, 

A woman has't by kind : 
O woman lovely, woman fair ! 
An aniiel form's faun to thy share, 
"Twad been o'er meikle to gien thee raair, 

I mean an angel mind. 


O, WAT ye wlia's in yon town, 

Ye see the e'euin' sun upon ? 
The fairf'st dame's in yon town. 

That e'enin* sun is shining on. 

Now haply down yon gay green shaw : 
She wanders by Von spreading tree, 

How blest ye flowers that round her blaw 
Ye catch the glances o' her ee. 

How blest ye birds that round her sing, 
And welcome in the blooming year, 

And doul)ly welcome be the spring, 
The season to ray Lucy dear. 

The sun blinks blithe on yon town. 
And on yon bonnie braes of vVyre ; 

But my delight in yon town, 
And dearest bliss, is Lucy fair. 


Without my love, not a' the clmrms 
O' Paradise could yield me joy ; 

Hut pie me Lucy in my arms, 
And welcome Lapland's dreary skv. 

My cave wad be a lover's bower ; 

Tho' raging winter rent the air 
And she a lovely little flower. 

That I wad tent and shelter there. 

sweet is she in yon town. 

Yon sinking sun's gane down upon ; 
A fairer than's in yon town 
His setting beam ne'er shone upon. 

If angry fate is sworn ray foe, 

And suffering I am doom'd to bear , 

1 careless quit all else below, 

But spare me, spare me Lucy dear. 

For while life's dearest blood is warm, 
Ae thought frae her shall ue'er depart, 

And she— as fairest is her form ! 
She has the truest, kindest heart. 


O, MY luve's like a red, red rose, 
That'** newly sprung in June : 

O, my luve's like the melodie 
That's sweetly play'd in tune. 

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass. 

So cieep in luve am I : 
And I will luve thee still, my dear. 

Till a' the seas gang dry. * 

312 burns' pokms. 

Till a' the seas f^anjr dry, my dear, 
And the rocks melt \vi' the sun : 

I will luve thee still, my dear, 
While the sands o' life shall run. 

And fare thee weel, my only luve! 

And fare thee weel, a while ! 
And I will come again, my luve, 

Tho' it were ten thousand mile. 


Scene— afield of battle ; time of the day— evening ; 
the wounded and dying of the victorious army 
are supjjosed to join in the foUoicing Song. 

Farewell, thou fair day, thou green earth, and ye 

Now gay with the bright setting sun ; 
Farewell, loves and frieirdships, ye dear, tender ties, 

Our race of existence is run ! 

TIiou grim king of terrors, thou life's gloomy foe. 

Go, ifrighten the coward and slave : 
Go, teach them to tremble, fell tyrant ! but know, 

No terrors hast thou to the brave ! 

Tiiou strikes the dull peasant— he sinks in the dark, 

Nor saves e'en the wreck of a name : 
Tliou strik'st the young hero— a glorious mark ! 

He falls in the blaze of his fame ! 

[n the field of proud honour — our swords in our 

Our king and our country to save— 
Wliile victory shines on life's last ebbing sands, 

O ! who would not rest with the brave ! 

burns' pokms. .'Jia 


By yon castle wa' at the close o' the day, 
I heard a man sing:, Iho' his head it was prey ; 
And as he was singinf;^, the tears fast down came— 
There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame. 

The church is in ruins, the state is in jars, 
Delusions, oppressions, and murderous wars : 
We dare na weel say't, but we ken wha's to blame — 
There'll never be peace till Jamie coraes hame. 

My seven braw sons for Jamie drew sword. 
And now I greet round their green bods in the yord 
It brak the sweet heart o' my faithfu' auld dauie- 
There'll never be peace till Jamie comes hame. 

Now life is a burden that bows me down, 
Sin' I tint my bairns and he tint his crown ; 
But till my last moments my words are the same — 
There'll never he peace till Jamie comes hame. 


Thou linirpring star, with less'ning ray, 
Thou lov'st to greet the early morn, 

Again thou usher'st in the day 
My Mary from my soul was torn. 

O Mary ! dear departed shade ! 

Where is thy place of blissful rest? 
See'st thou tliy lover lowly laid ? 

Hear'st thou the groans tiiat n lul Ids breast? 

Tliat sacred liour can I forcret, 
Can I forget the hallow'd -^'rove, 

314 r.rnNS vokms. 

\VI ere by the winding Avr we met, 
To live one day of parting love ! 

E'crnity will not cfFaco, 

Those records dear of transports past: 
Tliv iniatre at our last embrace; 

Ah ! little thought we 'twas our last ! 

Ayr, gurgling kiss'd liis pebbled shore, 

O'erliung with wild woods, thick'ning, green, 

The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar, 
Twin'd am'rous round the raptur'd scene. 

Tlie flowers spranx wanton to be prest 
Tlip birds sung love on every spray, 

Till too, too soon, the glowing west, 
Proclaira'd the speed of winged day. 

Still o'er tlipse scenes ray mem'ry wakes, 
And fondlv broods with mi-.r care ! 

Time but th' imprecision deeper makes. 
As streams tlieir channels deeper wear. 

My Mfirv, dpar departed shade ! 

Where is thy blissful place of rest ? 
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ? 

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast? 

N A E B O D Y. 

I II AE a wife o' ray ain, 
I'll partake wi' naebody : 

I'll tak cuckold frae nane, 
I'll gie cuckold to naebody. 

r hae a penny to spend. 
There— thanks to naebody ; 

I liae nothing to lend, 
I'll borrow frae nael)0(ly. 

I am naebody's lord, 
I'll be slave to naebody ; 

I hae a p^uid braid sword, 
I'll tak dunts frae naebody j 

I'll be merry and free, 
I'll be sad for naebody ; 

If naebody care for me, 
I'll care for naebodv. 


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

Will ye go to tiie Indies, my Mary, 
Across th' Atlantic's roar? 

sweet grows the lime ard the orange, 
And the a])ple on tlie pine ; 

But a' the cliarms o' the Indies 
Can never equal thine. 

1 hae sworn by the heavens to my M.'iry, 
I hae sworn by the heavi-ns to be tnu- ; 

And sae may the heavens forget me. 
When I forget my vow ! 

O jdiglit me your faith, my JIary, 
Antl plight me your lily-wiiite hand ; 

O 'plight me your faith, my 3Iary, 
Before I leave Scotia's strand.' 

316 KUHNS' rOKMS. 

We hae plighted our troth, my Mary 

In niulual affection to join, 
And curst be the onuse tliat shall part us ! 

The hour, and the moment o' time. 


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 iier 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 scalth thee, 
Or ausht 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, fiiir Lesley, 

Return to Caledonie ! 
Taat we may l)rag, we hae a lass 

Tiiere's naue again sae bonnie. 

burns' poems 1)17 

Tune—" Bide ye yet." 

Maky, at tliy window be, 

It is the wisli'd, the trysted hour, 
Those smiles and prlances let me see, 

That make tiie miser's treasure poor ; 
How blithely wad I hide the stoure, 

A weery slave frae sun to sun : 
Could I tlie rich reward secure, 

The lovely Mary Morison. 

Yestreen when to the trembling striiifj. 
The dance ^aed thro' the lit^hted ha', 

To thee my fancy took its wing, 
I sat, but neither heard nor saw : 

Tho' this was fair, and that was braw, 
And yon the toast of a' the town, 

1 sitrh'd, and said amangr them a', 
" Ye are na Mary Morison." 

O Mary, canst thou wreck his peacp, 

Wha for thy sake wad gladly die ? 
Or canst thou l)rtak that heart of his, 

Whase only faut is loving thee? 
If love for love thou wilt na gie. 

At least be pity to me shown : 
A thought ungentle canna be 

The thought o' Mary Morison. 


TvsE—" Liggeiam Cosh." 

Blithe liae I been on yon hill, 
As the lambs before me ; 

318 15UKNS" roi:?.:.s. 

Careless ilka though f and free, 
As the breeze flew o'er me : 

Now iiae longer sport and play, 
Mirth or sang can please me ; 

Lesley is sae fair and coy, 
Care and anguish seize me. 

Heavy, heavy, is the task, 

Hopeless love declaring : 
Trembling, I dow rioclit but glow'r, 

Sighincr, dumb, despairing .' 
If she winna ease the tliraws, 

In my bosom swelling. 
Underneath the grass- green sod, 

Soon maun be my dwelling. 


TfiEUE was a lass, and she was fair, 
At kirk and market to be seen, 

When a' the fairest maids were met, 
The fairest maid was bonnie Jean. 

And aye she wrought her mammie's wark, 
And aye she sang sae merrilie ; 

Tlie biitliest bird upon the bush 
Had ne'er a lighter heart tlian she. 

But hawks will rob the tender joys 
That bless the little lintwliite's nest ; 

And frost will blight the fairest flowers, 
And love will break the soundest rest. 

Young Robie was the brawest lad, 
The flower and pride of a' the glen ; 

And he had owsen, sheep, and kye, 
And wanton naigie.s nine or ten. 

nuuNS I'uKMs. 3)9 

He jraed wi' Jeaiiie to tlie trystc, 
He danced wi' Jeanie on tlie down ; 

And lang ere witless Jeanie wist, 

Her heart was tint, her peace was stoun. 

As in the bosom o' the stream, 
The moonbeam dwells at dewy e'en ; 

So trembling, pure, was tender "love, 
Within the breast o' honnie Jean. 

And now she works her mammie's wark. 
And aye she sighs w i' care and pain ; 

Yet wist na what her ail might be, 
Or what wad make her weel again. 

But did na Jeanie's heart lonp light. 

And did na joy blink in her ee, 
As Robie tauld a tale o' love, 

As e'eing on the lily lea ? 

The sun was sinking in tlie west, 
The bird sang sweet in ilka grove ; 

His cheek to her's he fondly prest, 
And whisper'd thus Ids tale o' love : 

" O Jeanie fair, I lo'e thee dear; 

O canst thou think to fancy me ? 
Or wilt thou leave thy mamniie's cot, 

And learn to tent the farms wi' me .' 

" At barn or byre thou shalt na drudge. 

Or naethius: else to trouble tliee ; 
But stray amang the heather bells. 

And tent the waving corn wi' me." 

Now what could artless Jeanie do? 

She had nae will to say him na ; 
At length she blush'd a sweet consent. 

And love was aye between them tsva. 

n20 burns' poems. 

Tune—" InvercauhVs Reel" 


O Tibbie, I hae seen the day, 
Ye would na been sae shy ; 

For lack o' gear ye lightly me, 
But, trowth, I care na by. 

Yestreen I met you on the moor, 
Ye spak na, but gaed by like stoure ; 
Ye geek at me because I'm poor. 
But fient a hair care I, 
O Tibbie, I hae, &c. 

I doubt na, lass, but ye may think, 
Because ye nae the name o' clink, 
That ye can please me at a wink, 
Whene'er ye like to try. 
O Tibbie, I hae, &c. 

But sorrow tak him that's sae mean, 
Altlio' his pouch o' coin were clean, 
Wha follows ony saucy queen, 
Tliat looks sae proud and high. 
O Tibbie, I hae, &c. 

Altho' a lad were e'er sae smart. 
If that he want the yellow dirt, 
Ye'll cast your head anither airt. 
And answer him fu' dry. 
O Tibbie, I hae, &c. 

But if he hae the name o' gear, 
Y'e'U fasten to him like a brier, 


Tlio' liardly he for sense or lear 
Be better than the kve. 
O Tibbie, I hae, &c. 

But, Tibbie, lass, tak my advice, 
Your daddie's gear maks you sae nice ! 
The dell a ane wad spier your price, 
Were ve as poor as I. 
O Tibbie, I hae, Sec. 

Tlicre lives a lass in yonder park, 
I wad na gie her in her sark, 
For thee wi' a' thy thousand mark ; 
Ye need na look sae high. 
O Tibbie, I hae, &c. 

Tune—" Fee him, Father." 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie, 

Thou hast left me ;ver. 
Tiiou liast left me ever, Jamie, 

Tliou hast left me ever. 
Alton Iiast thou vow'd tliat dealli 

Only should us sever; 
Now thou'st left tliy lass for aye, 

1 maun see thee never, Jamie, 
I'll see thee never. 

Tliou hast me forsaken, Jamie, 

Tiiou hast me forsaken, 
Ti'ou liast me forsaken, Jamie, 

Thou hast me forsaken. 
Thou canst love anither jo, 

While my heart is breaking: 
Soon my weary een I'll close. 

Never mair to waken, Jamie, 
Ne'er mair to waken. 
17 Y 


Tune—" Smo ye my Father.'^ 

WriERE are the joys I liave met in the morningf, 
That danc'd to the lark's early song ? 

Where is the peace that awaited my wand'rin2f, 
At evening the wild woods among? 

No more a windin^j the course of yon river, 
And marking sweet flow'rets so fair ; 

No more I trace tlie light footsteps of pleasure, 
But sorrow and sad sighing care. 

Is it that summer's forsaken our valleys, 

And grim, surly winter is near ? 
No, no, the bees humming round the gay roses 

Proclaim it the pride of the year. • 

Fain would I hide what I fear to discover, 
Yet long, long too well have I known ; 

All that has caused this wreck in my bosom 
Is Jenny, fair Jenny, alone. 

Time cannot aid me, my griefs are immortal. 
Nor hope dare a comfort bestow ; 

Come then, enamour'd and fond of my anguish 
Enjoyment I'll seek in my wo. 

Tune—" To Janet." 

Husband, husband, cease your strife, 

Nor longer idly rave, sir ;' 
Though I am your wedded wife, 

Yet I am not your slave, sir ! 

burns' poems. 023 

" One of two must still obey, 

Nancy, Nancy ; 
Is it man or woman, say. 

My spouse, Nancy V' 

If 'tis still the lordly word, 

Service and obedience ; 
I'll desert my sov'reipfn lord, 

And so, good bye allegiance ! 

'' Sad will I be, so bereft, 

Nancy, Nancy ; 
Yet I'll try to make a shift, 

My spouse, Nancy." 

]\Iy poor heart then break it must. 

My last hour I'm near it ; 
When you lay me in the dust, 

Think, think how you will bear it. 

" I will hope and trust in Heav'n, 

Nancy, Nancy ; 
Strength to bear it will be given, 

My spouse, Nancy." 

Well, sir, from the silent dead, 

Still I'll try to daunt you ; 
Ever round your midnight bed 

Plorrid sprites shall haunt yon. 

" I'll wed another, like my dear 

Nancv, Nancv. 
Then all hell will fly for fear, 

My spouse Nancy." 

324 burns' poems. 

Tune—" Cauld hail in Aberdeen.'^ 

How lang and dreary is the night 

When I am frae my dearie ; 
I restless lie frae e'en to morn, 

Though I were ne'er sae weary. 

For, oh ! her lanely nights are lang, 
And, oh ! her dreams are eerie ; 

And, oh! her widow'd heart is sair. 
That's absent frae her dearie. 

When I think on the lightsome days 

1 spent wi' thee, my dearie, 
And now what seas between us roar, 

How can I be but eerie? 
For, oh ! &c. 

How slowly ye move, ye heavy hours ! 

The joyless day how dreary ! 
It was na sae ye glinted by 

When I was wi' my dearie. 
For, oh ! &e. 



It was the charming month of May, 
When all the flow'rs were fresh and gay, 
One morning, by the break of day. 
The youthful, charming Chloe; 

urUiNs roK.Ms. ;j-2.5 

From peaceful slumber she arnst>. 
Girt on her niantle and her hose, 
And o't-r the flow'ry mead she i^ues, 
The youthful, charming Chloe. 

Lovely was she by the dawn, 

Youthful Ciiloe, charmiiiff Chloe, 

Trippiny o'er the pearly lawn, 
The youthful, charming Chloe. 

The feather'd people you might see 
Perch'd all around on every tree. 
In notes of sweetest melody 

They hail the charming Chloe. 
Till, painting gay the eastern skies, 
The glorious sun began to rise, 
Out-rivall'd by the radiant eyes 

Of youthful, charming Chloe. 
Lovely was she, &c. 


TusE—'' Lumps o' PuddiiKj." 

Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair, 
When'er I forgather wi' sorrow and care, 
I gie them a skelp as they're creeping alancf, 
Wi' a cog o' guid swats, and an auld Scottish sang. 

I whyles claw the elbow o' troublesome thought; 
But man is a sodger, and life is a fau^ht : 
My mirth and good liumour are coin in my pouch, 
And my freedom's my laird.ship nae monarch dare 

A towmond o' trouble, should that be my fa', 
A night o' guid fellowship sowthors it a' ; 

33G H urns' I'OKMS, 

When at the blithe end o' our journey iit last, 
Wha the deil ever thinks o' the road he has past ! 

Blind Chance, let her snapper and stoyte on her way ; 
Be't to me, be't frae me, e'en let the jade gae : 
Corae ease, or come travail, come pleasure or pain, 
My warst word is — " Welcome, and welcome again !' 

Tune-" Roys Wife." 


Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy ? 
Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy ? 
Well thou knovv'st my aching heart, 
And canst thou leave me thus for pity ? 

Is this thy plighted fond regard, 

Thus cruelly to part, my Katy ? 
Is this thy faithful swain's reward — 

An aching, broken heart, my Katy ? 
Canst thou, &c. 

Farewell ! and ne'er such sorrows tear 
That fickle heart of thine, my Katy ! 

Thou may'st find those will love thee dear — 
But not a love like mine, my Katy. 
Canst thou, &c. 


Tune—" There'll never he peace, §-c." 

Now in her green mantle blithe Nature arrays. 
And listens the lambkins that bleat o'er the braes ; 

burns' roKMs. acj; 

While birds warble welcome in ilka jrrecn shaw ; 
But to me it's delightless — my Nannie's awu. 

The snawdrap and primrose our woodlands adorn, 
And violets bathe in the weet o' the morn ; 
They pain my sad bosom, sae sweetly they blaw, 
They mind me o' Nannie — and Nannie's awa. 

Tiiou lav'rock that springs frae the dews of the lawn ; 
The shepherd to warn o' the grey- breaking dawn, 
And thon, mellow mavis, that hails the night la,' 
Give over for pity — my Nannie's awa. 

Come, Autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and grey, 
And sooth me wi' tidings o' Nature's decay ; 
'J'iie dark, dreary winter, and wild-driving snaw, 
Alane can delight me — now Nannie's awa. 


Tune—" Laddie, lie near inc.'' 

'TwAS na her bonnie blue ee was my ruin ; 
Fair tho' she be, that was ne'er my undoing : 
'Twas the dear smile when naebody did mind us, 
'Twas the bewitching, sweet stown glance o' kindness. 

Sair do I fear that to hope is denied me, 
Sair do I fear that despair maun abide me, 
Rut tho' fell fortune should fate us to sever. 
Queen shall she be in my bosom for ever. 

ISIary, I'm thine wi' a passion sincerest, 
And'thou hast plighted me love o' tlie rlearest! 
And thou'rt the angel that never can altar, 
t^ooner the sun in his motion would falter. 

'^'•^^ BIIUN<5' POKMS. 


Tune—" Rothermurche.'^ 


Fairest maid on Devon banks, 
Crystal Devon, winding Devon, 

Wit thou lay tliat frown aside, 

And smile as thou were wont to do ? 

Full well thou know'st I love thee, dear, 
Couldst thou to malice lend an ear ! 
O, did not love exclaim, " Forbear, 
" Nor use a faithful lover so 1" 
Fairest maid, &c. 

Then come, thou fairest of the fair, 
Those wonted smiles, O, let me share ; 
And, by thy beauteous self I swear. 
No love but thine my heart shall know. 
Fairest maid,&c. 


Tune—" Moray." 

Loud blaw the frosty breezes, 

The snaws the mountains cover ; 
Like winter on me seizes. 

Since my young Highland Rover 

Far wanders nations over. 
Where'er he go, where'er he stray. 

May Heaven be his warden ; 
Return hira safe to fair Strathspey, 

And bonnie Castle-Gordon ! 

The trees now naked groaning. 
Shall soon wi' leaves be hinging. 

iJi:uNS' I'OKMS. ;jj9 

The birdies tlowie nioaninjr, 

Sliall a' be blitliely sinniiii;, 

And ever}' flower be spriiij^iiif^, 
Sae I'll rejoife the lee-lang day, 

When, by his niightly warden. 
My youth's return'd to* fair Strathspey, 

And bonnie Castle-Gordon. 

Tune— "iV. Gow^s Lamentation fur Abercaimy, 

Where, braving angry winter's storms, 

The lofty Ochels rise, 
Far in their shade my Peggy's charms 

First blest my wondering eyes. 
As one who, by some savage stream 

A lonely gem surveys, 
Astonish'd, doubly marks its beam. 

With art's most polish'd blaze. 

Blest be the wild sequester'd shade, 

And blest the day and hour, 
Where Peggy's cliarras I iirst survey 'd, 

When first I felt tlieir pow'r I 
The tyrant Death, with grim control. 

May seize my fleeting breath : 
But tearing Peggy from my soul 

Must be a stronger death. 


The Catrine woods were yellow seen, 
The flowers decay'd on Catrine lea ; 

Nae lav'rock sang on hillock gnuMi, 
But nature sicken'd ou the ee. 


Thro' faded groves Maria sang, 

Ilersel in beauty's bloom tlie whyle, 

And aye the wihi-wood echoes rang, 
Farevveel the braes o' Ballochmyle. 

Low in your wintry beds, ye flowers, 

Again ye'll flourish fresh and fair : 
Ye birdies dumb, in with'ring bowers, 

A^ain ye'll charm the vocal air ; 
But liere, alas ! for me nae mair 

Shall birdie charm, or floweret smile ; 
Fareweel the bouuie banks of Ayr, 

Fareweel, fareweel ! sweet Ballochmyle. 


Farewell thou stream that winding flow; 
Around Eliza's dwelling ! 

mem'ry ! spare the cruel tiiroes 
Within my bosom swelling : 

Ccmdemn'd to drag a hopeless chain, 

And yet in secret languish, 
To feel a fire in ev'ry vein. 

Nor dare disclose my anguish. 

Love'8 veriest wretch, unseen, unknown, 

I fain ray griefs would cover ; 
The bursting sigh, th' unweeting groan, 

Betray the hapless lover. 

1 know thou doom'st me to despair, 
Nor wilt, nor canst relieve me ; 

But oh, Eliza, hear one prayer— 
For pity's sake forgive me ! 

The music of thy voice I heard. 
Nor wist while it cnslav'd me ; 

BURNS roKMS. :y,]i 

I saw thine eyes, yet nothinc: fear'd, 
Till fears no more liad sav'd me ; 

The unwary sailor thus aghast, 
The wheeling torrent viewing ; 

'Mid circlhig horrors sinks at last 
In overwhelminu: ruin. 

Tune — " Jolin Aiidersoii viy io." 

John Anderson my jo, John, 

When we were first acquent ; 
Your locks were like the raven, 

Your bonnie brow was brent ; 
But now your brow is beld, John, 

Your locks are like the snaw : 
But blessings on your frosty pow, 

John Anderson rny jo. 

John Anderson my jo, John, 

We clamb the hill thegitlier ; 
And mony a canty day, John, 

We've had wi' ane aniilier : 
But we maun totter down, John, 

But hand in hand we'll go ; 
And sleep thegither at the foot, 

John Anderson my jo. 


Tune—" The Rose-bud:' 

A ROSE-BUD by my early walk. 
Adown a corn-inclosed hawk, 
Sae gently bent its tliorny slalk. 
All on "a dewy morning. 

3;]'2 B urns' poems. 

Ere twice the shades o' dawn are fled, 
In a' its crimson ^lory spread, 
And drooping; rich tiie dewy head, 
It scents tlie early morning. 

Within the hush, lier covert nest 
A little linnet fondly prest, 
The dew sat chilly on her breast 

Sae early in the morning. 
She soon sliall see her tender brood, 
Tlie pride, the pleasure o'the wood, 
Amang the fresh green leaves bedew'd, 

Awake the early morning. 

So thou, dear bird, young Jenny fair ! 
On trembling string or vocal air, 
Shall sweetly pay the tender care 

Tliat tents thy early morning, 
So thou sweet rose-bud, young" and gay 
Shall beauteous blaze upon the day, 
And bless the parent's evening ray 

That watch'd the early morning. 

Tune—" Maggy Lauder" 

I MARRIED with a scolding wife 

The fourteenth of Novem'ber ; 
She made me weary of my life. 

By one unruly member. 
Long did I bear the heavy yoke, 

And many griefs attended ; 
But, to my comfort be it spoke, 

Now, now her life is ended. 

We liv'd full one-and-twenty years 
A man and wZ/e together : 

BURNS POF.MS. 0,'):) 

At leng'th from nie her course slie stcer'i), 

And gone I know not wliithor : 
A\'ould I could ^uess, I do profess, 

I speak, and do not flatter, 
Dfali the women in the world, 

I never could come at her. 

Her bod}' is bestowed well, 

A handsome grave does hide her, 
But sure her soul is not in hell, 

The deil would ne'er abide her, 
I rather think she is aloft. 

And imitating^ thunder ; 
For why, — methinks I hear her voice 

Tearing the clouds asunder. 

A Gaelic Air, 

Turn again, thou fair Eliza ; 

Ae kind blink before we part, 
Rue on thy despairing: lover! 

Canst thou break his faithfu' heart ' 
Turn aeain, tiiou fair Eliza ; 

If to love thy heart denies, 
For pity hide tlie cruel sentence 

Under friendship's kind disguise \ 

Thee, dear maid, hae I offended ? 

The offence is loving thee : 
Canst thou wreck his peace for ever, 

Wha for tliine would gladly die ? 
While the life beats in my bosom, 

Thou shalt mix in ilka throe ; 
Turn again, thou lovely maiden, 

Ae swetft smile on me bcotuw. 

334 burns' porcMs. 

Not the bee upon the blossom, 

In the pride o' sunny noon ; 
Not the little sporting fairy, 

All beneath the simmer moon ; 
Not the poet in tlie moment 

Fancy li'^htens on his e'e, 
Kens the pleasure, feels the rapture, 

That thy presence gies to me. 


Jockey's ta'en the parthig kiss, 
O'er the mountains he is gane ; 

And with him is a' my bliss, 

Naught but griefs with me remain. 

Spare my luve, ye winds that blaw, 
Plashy sleets and beating rain ! 

Spare my luve, thou feathery snaw, 
Drifting o'er the frozen plain ! 

When the shades of evening creep 
O'er the day's fair, gladsome e'e, 

Sound and safely may he sleep. 
Sweetly blithe his waukening be! 

He will think on her he loves. 
Fondly he'll repeat her name ; 

For where'er he distant roves, 
Jockey's heart is still at hame. 


Tune — " Drubnion duhh." 

Musing on the roaring ocean, 
Which divides my love and me; 

burns' poems. n3.j 

WVarying Heaven in warm devotion, 
For liis weal where'er he be. 

Hope and fears alternate billow 

Yielding late to Nature's law ; 
Wliisp'ring spirits round my pillow 

Talk of him that's far awa. 

Ye whom sorrow never wounded, 

Ye who never shed a tear, 
Care-untroubled, joy-surrotinded, 

Gaudy day to you is dear. 

Gentle night, do thou befriend me, 

Downy sleep, the curtain draw ; 
Spirits kind, again attend me. 

Talk of him that's far awa ! 


O MIRK, mirk is this midnight hour, 

And loud the tempest's roar ; 
A waefu' wanderer seeks thy tow'r, 

Lord Gregory ope thy door. 

An exile frae her father's ha', 

And a' for loving thee ; 
At least some pity on me shaw, 

If love it may na be. 

Lord Gregory, mind'st thou not flie grove, 

By bonnie Irwine side, 
Where first I own'd that virgin l()\e 

I lang, lang had denied ? 

IIow aften didst thou pledtre and vow, 
Thou wad for ave be mine ! 


And my fond heart, itsel sae true, 
It ne'er mistrusted thine. 

Hard is thy heart, Lord Gregory, 
And flinty is thy breast : 

Thou dart of heaven that flashest by, 
O wilt thou give me rest. 

Ye mustering tliunders from above, 

Your willing victim see ! 
But spare, and pardon my fause love, 

His wrangs to heaven and me ! 



Oh, open the door, some pity to show. 

Oh, open the door to rae. Oh ! 
Tiin' thou liast been false, I'll ever prove true, 

Oh, open the door to me, Oli ! 

Cauld is the blast upon my pale cheek, 

But caulder thy love for me, Oh ! 
The frost tliat freezes the life at my heart, 

Is nought to my pains frae thee, Oh I 

The wan moon is setting behind the white wave. 

And time is setting with me, Oh ! 
False friends, false love, farewell ! for mair 

I'll ne'er trouble them, nor thee, Oh ! 

She has open'd the door, she has open'd it wide ; 

She sees his pale corse on the plain, Oh I 
My true love ! she cried, and sank down by his side, 

Never to rise again, Oh ! 

JITRNS rOF.MS, 3;]' 


Clauinda, mistress of my soul, 
Tiie measnr'd time is run ! 

The wretcli beneath the dreary pole. 
So marks his latest sun. 


To what dark cave of frozen ni; 

Sliall poor Sylvander hie ; 
Depriv'd of the(\ his life and li^ht, 

Th€ sun of all his joy. 

We part— but by these precious drops, 

That fill thy lovely eyes ! 
No other light shall guide my st«'ps, 

Till thy bright beams arise. 

She, the fair sun of all her sex. 
Has blest my glorious day : 

And shall a <!limmeriiig planet fix 
My worship to its ray ? 

Tu N li— " Crnif/ic-huni-wo<i(l.' 

Sweet fa's the eve on Craigie-bmn, 
And blithe awakes the morrow ; 

But a' the pride o' spring's return 
Can yield me nocht but sorrow. 

I see the flowers and spreading trt't-<, 

I hear the wild birds singing ; 
But what a weary wight can please, 
And care his bosom wringing? 
17 z 


Fain, fain would I my griefs impart, 

Yet dare na for your anger; 
But secret love will break ray heart, 

If I conceal it langer. 

If thou refuse to pity me, 

If thou shalt love anither, 
When yon green leaves fade frae the tiee, 

Around my grave they'll wither. 


Tune—" McGregor of Ruara's Lament" 

Raying winds around her blowing, 
Yellow leaves the woodlands strowing, 
By a river hoarsely roaring, 
Isabella stray 'd deploring— 
" Farewell, hours that late did measure 
Sunshine days of joy and pleasure ; 
Hail thou gloomy night of sorrow, 
Cheerless night that knows no morrow. 

" O'er the past too fondly wandering, 
On the hopeless future pondering ; 
Chilly grief my life-blood freezes. 
Fell despair my fancy seizes. 
Life, thou soul of every blessing, 
Load to misery most distressing. 
O how gladly I'd resign thee, 
And to dark oblivion join thee !" 

BURNS roKMs. 339 

Til K \y III STLK. 


As the authentic prose history of the Wliistle is curious, I 
shall here give it.— In the train of Anne of Denmark, when 
she caine to Scotland with our James the Sixth, there came 
over also a Danish Gentleman of gigantic stature, and Kreat 
prowess, and a matchless champion of Bacchus. He liad a 
little ebony Whistle, which, at the commencement of tho 
orgies, he laid on the table, and whoever was last able to 
blow it, every body else btinpr disabled by the potency of the 
bottle, was to carry off the Whistle as a trophy of victory. 
The Dane produced credentials of liis victories, without a 
single defeat, at the courts of Copeniiasen, Stockholm, Mos- 
cow, Warsaw, and several of the petty courts in Germany; 
and challenged the Scots Bacchanalians to the alternative of 
trying his prowess or else of acknowledging their inferiority. 

After many overthrows on the part of the Scots, the Dane 
was encountered by Sir Robert Lawrie, of Maxwelton, an- 
cestorof the present baronet of that name; who, after three 
days and three nights' hard contest, left the Scandinavian 
under the table, 

And blew on the Whistle his requiem shrill. 

Sir Walter, son to Sir Robert before-mentioned, afterwards 
lost the Whistle to Walter Riddel, of Glenriddel, who had 
married a sister of Sir Walter's.— On Friday, tlie lOlh of 
October, 1790, at Friars-Carse, the Whistle was once more 
contended for, as related in the ballad, by the present Sir 
Robert Lawrie, of Maxwelton ; Robert Riddel, Esq. of Glen- 
riddel, lineal descendant and representative of Walter Riddel, 
who won the Whistle, and in whose family it liad continued; 
and Alexander Ferguson, Esq. of Craigdurrock, likewise 
descended of the grtat Sir Robert; which last gentleinuii 
carried otf the hard-won honours of the field. 

I SING of a Whistle, a Whistle of wortli, 

I sinec of a Wliistle, the pride of the North, 

Was brought to the court of our good Scottish King 

And long 'with this Whistle all Scotland shall ring. 

340 burns' poems. 

Old Loda* still rueing the arm of Fincfal, 

The fjod of the bottle sends down from his hall- 

" This VViiistle's your challenge to Scotland p:et o'er^ 

And drink them to hell, Sir ! or ne'er see me more !*' 

Old poets have sung:, and old chronicles tell, 
What champions ventur'd, wliat champions fell ; 
The son of great Loda was conqueror still, 
And blew on the Whistle his requiem shrill. 

TUl Robert, the lord of the Cairn and the Scaur, 
Unmatch'd at the bottle, unconquer'd in war, 
He drank his poor godship as deep as the sea, 
No tide of the Baltic e'er drunker than he. 

Thus Kobert, victorious, the trophy has gain'd ; 
Which now in his house has for ages remain'd ; 
Till three noble chieftains, and all of his blood, 
The jovial contest again have renew'd. 

Three joyous good fellows, with hearts clear of flaw ; 
Craigdarroch, so famous for wit, worth, and law ; 
And trusty Glenriddel, so skili'd in old coins ; 
And gallant Sir Robert, deep-read in old wines. 

Craigdarroch began, with a tongue smooth as oil, 
Desiring Glenriddel to yield up the spoil; 
Or else he would muster the heads of the clan, 
And once more, in claret, try which was the man. 

"■ By the gods of the ancients !" Glenriddel replies, 
'" Before I surrender so glorious a prize, 

* See Os3ian"s Cario-fhura. 


I'll conjure the frhost of the areat Rorie Morr," 
And bumper his honi witli iiim twenty times o'er." 

Sir Robert, a soldier, no speech would pretond 
But he ne'er turn'd his bsick on his foe— or his frimd, 
S.iiil. "Toss down the Wiiistle, the prize of the fiehlj 
And knee-deep in claret, he'd die or lie'd yield." 

To the board of Glenriddel onr lieroes repair, 

So noted for drowning' of sorrow and care ; 

But for wine and for welcome not more known to 

Than the sense, wit, and taste, of a sweet, lovely 


A Bard was selected to witness the fray 
And tell future acres the feats of tiio day ; 
A Bard who detested all sadness and spleen, 
And wish'd that Parnassus a vineyard had been. 

The dinner beintr over, the claret they ply. 
And every new cork is a new sprino- of joy ; 
In the bands of old friendship and kindred so set, 
And the bands grew the tighter the more they were 

jray pleasure ran riot as bumpers ran o'er : 
Bright Phoebus ne'er witiies^'d so joyous a core, 
\nd vow'd that to leave them lie was quite forlorn, 
Pill Cynthia hinted he'd see them next morn. 

six bottles a-piece had well wore out the ni;;ht, 
kVhen jrallant Sir Robert, to finish the fight, 
Purn'd o'er in one bunifier a bottle o\' red, 
\.nd. swore 'twas the wav that their ancestors did. 

• Sep Johnson's Tour to tlic Hcbridvi. 

34'3 burns' poems 

Then worthy Glenriddel, so cautious and saofe, 
No longer the warfare unirodly would wage ! 
A high-ruling Elder to wallow in wine ! 
He left the foul business to folks less divine. 

The gallant Sir Robert fought liard to the end ; 
But who can with fate and quart-bumpers contend ? 
Tho' fate said— a hero should perish in lis:ht; 
So up rose bright Phoebus, and down fell' the knight. 

Next up rose our Bard, like a prophet in drink : — 
" Craigdarioch thoul't soar when creation shall sink j : 
But if thou would flourish immortal in rhyme, 
Come— one bottle more — and have at the sublime ! 

" Thy line that have struggled for freedom with Bruce, 

Shall heroes and patriots ever produce : 

So thine be the laurel, and mine be the bay ; 

The field thou hast won, by yon bright god of day !" 


The ch awAgh have always the guttural sound. The sound 
of the English diphthons: oo is commonly spelt ou. The 
French u, a sound which often occurs in the Scottish 
language, is marked oo, or tti. Thea in genuine Scottish 
words, except when formins a diphthong, or followed by 
an e mute after a single consonant, sounds generally like 
the broad English a in ivall. The Scottish diphlhonj; ut\ 
always, and co, very bften, sound like the French e mns- 
ouline. The Scottish diphthong ey sounds like the 
Latin ei. 

A', all. 

Aback, away, aloof, 

Abeij^h, at a sliy distance. 

A boon, above, iip. 

-A bread, abroad, in sight. 

Abreed, in breadth. 

Ae, one. 

AfF, off; aff loof, unpre- 

Afore, before. 

Aft, oft. 

Afteu, often. 

Agley, off the right line, 

Ablins, perhaps. 

Ain, own. 

Air, early, soon ; the oak. 

Airl-penny, earnest-mo- 

Airn, iron. 

Airt, quarter of the hea- 
vens ; to direct. 

Aith, an oath. 

Aits, oats. 

Aiver, an old horse, 

Aizle, a hot cinder. 

Alake, alas ! 

.■\lane, alone. 

Akwart, awkward. 

Amaist, almost. 

An', and, if. 

Ance, once. 

Ane, one, an. 

Anent, over against 

Anitlier, another. 

Ase, ashes, 

Asteer, abroad, stirring. 

Aught, poi^scssion ; as, in 

a' iin/ (iiKjlit, ill all my 


cunning, prudent. 
Ava, at all. w 

Awa, away. 



Awfu', awful. 

A.wn, the beard of barley, 

oats, &c. 
Awnie, bearded. 
Ayont, beyond. 

BA', ball. 

Backets, ash-boards. 
Backlins corain', coming 

back, returning. 
Bad, did bid. 
Baide, endured, did stay. 
Baggie, the belly. 
Baine, large-boned 
Bairn, a child. 
Bairn-time, a family of 

children, a brood. 
Baith, both. 
Ban, to swear. 
Bane, bone. 

Bang, to beat, to strive. 
Bardie, diminutive of bard. 
Barefit, barefooted. 
Barmie, of or like barm. 
Batch, a crew, a gang, 
Batts, boots. 
Baudrons, a cat. 
Bauld, bold. 
Bawk, a ridge, a bank. 
Baws'nt, having a white 

stripe down the face. 
Be, to let be, to give over, 

to cease. 
Bear, barley. 
Beastie, dimin. of beast. 
Beet, to add fuel to fire. 
Belyve, by and by. 

Ben, in the parlour. 

Bethankit, grace after 

Beuk, a book. 

Bicker, a kind of wooden 
dish, a short race. 

Biel, or bield, shelter. 

Bien, wealthy, plentiful. 

Big, to build. 

Biggin, building a house. 

Biggit, built. 

Bill, a bull. 

Billie, a brother, a young 

Bing, a heap of grain, pota- 
toes, &c. 

Birk, birch. 

Birkie, a clever fellow 

Birring, the noise of par- 
tridges, &c. when they 

Bit, crisis, nick of time. 

Bizz, a bustle, to buzz. 

Blastie, a shrivelled dwarf, 
a terra of contempt. 

Blastit, blasted. 

Blate, bashful, sheepish. 

Blather, bladder. 

Bland, a flat piece of any 
thing ; to slap. 

Blaw, to blaw, to boast. 

Bleerit, bleared, sore with 

Bleezing, blazing. 


Blether, to talk idly, non- 

Bleth'rin, talking idly 



Blink, a little v/liile ; ni 
smiling look ; to look 
kindly ; to sliiiie l)y tits. 

Blinker, a term of con- 

Blinkin, smirkin. 

Blue-gown, an authorised 

Bluiii, blood. 

Blype,a shred, alargepiece 

Bock, to vomit, to gush 

Bocked, gusiied, vomited. 

Bodle, a small copper coin. 

Bogles, spirits, hobgoblins. I 

Bonnie, or bonny, hand- 
some, beautit'uL 

Bounock, a kind of thick 
cake ot bread. 

Boord, a board. 

Boortree, tlie shrub elder. 

Boostjbehoved , must needs 

Bore, a hole in the wall. 

Botch, an angry tumour. 

Bousing, drinking. 

Bow- kail, cabbage. 

Bowt, bended, crooked. 

Bracliens, fern. 

Brae, a declivity, precipice 

Braid, broad. 

Braindg't, reeled forward. 

Braik, a kind of harrow. I 

Braindge, to rush ra.>lily. I 

Brak, broke, made in^iol-' 
vent. j 

Brank.s, a kind of wooden! 
curb for horses. I 

Brash, a sudden illness. ! 

Brats, coarse clothes, rags, 

children, &e. 
Brattle, a short race, 

hurry, fury. 
Braw, tine, liandsome. 
Brawly, or brawlie, very 

well, iinely, heartily. 
Braxie, a morbid sheep. 
Breastie, diniin. of hrt-a.-t. 
Breastit, did spring up or 

Breehan, fern. 
Breef, an irresistible spell. 
Breeks, breeches. 
Brent, smooth. 
Brewi)!, brewing. 
Brie, juice, li(piid. 
Brig, a bridge, 
lirunstane, brimstone, 
Brisket, the breast. 
Blither, a brotlier. 
Brock, a badger. 
Brogue, a hum, a trick. 
Broo, broth, liquid, water. 
Broose, a race at country 

Brujh, a burgli. 
Bruilzie, a broil. 
Brunt, did burn, burnt. 
Brust, to burst, burst. 
Buciian-bullers, the boil- 

in<4: of the sea oa the 

coast of Buohan. 
Buckskin, a Virginian. 
]iu'.;lit, a pen. 
Bu;:htiu-tiine, the time ot 

collecting the sheep to 

be milked. 



Biiirdly, stout made. 

Bum-clock, a humming 

Bummiri', liuraming as 

Bummle, to blunder. 

Bummler, a blunderer. 

Bunker, a window-seat. 

Burdies, dirain. of birds. 

Bure, did bear. 

Burn, water, a rivulet. 

Burnie, dirain. of burn. 

Buskie, bushy. 

Buskit, dressed. 

Busle, a bustle, to bustle. 

But, without. 

But an' ben, kitchen and 

By himself, lunatic, dis- 

Byke, a bee-hive. 

Byre, a cow-stable. 

CA', to call, to name, to 

Ca't, or ca'd, called, dri- 
ven, calved. 

Cadger, a carrier. 

CaiF; chaff. 

Caird, a tinker. 

Cairn, a heap of stones. 

Callan, a boy. 

Caller, fresh, sound. 

Canie, or cannie, gentle, 
mild, dexterous. 

Cantie, or canty, cheerful 

Cantrip, a charm, a spell. 

Cap-stane, key-stone. 

Careerin, cheerfully. 

Carl, an old man. 

Carlin, a stout old woman, 

Cartes, cards. 

Caudron, a cauldron. 

Caulk and keel, chalk and I 
red clay. 

Cauld, cold. 

Caup, a wooden drinking 

Chanter, a part of a bag- 

Chap, a person, a fellow, 
b blow. 

Chaup, a stroke, a blow. 

Cheekit, cheeked. 

Cheep, a chirp, to chirp. 

Chiel or cheel, a young 

Chirala or chimlie, a fire- 
grate, a fire-place. 

Chimla-lug, the fire-side. 

Chittering, shivering, 

Chokin', choking 

Chow, to chew ; cheek for 
chow, side by side. 

Chuffie, fat-faced. 

Clachan, a small village 
about a church. 

Clais, or claes, clothes. 

Claith, cloth. 

Claithing, clothing. 

Claivers, nonsense. 

Clap, clapper of a mill. 

Claricit, wrote. 



Clash,an idle tale, the story 

of the day. 
Clatter, idle stories. 
Claught, snatched at. 
Claut, to clean, to scrape. 
Clauted, scraped. 
Clavers, idle stories. 
Claw, to scratch. 
Claw'd scratched. 
Cleed, to clothe. 
Cleekit, having caught. 
Clinkiii', jerking, clinking. 
Clinkumbell, who rings the 

church bells. 
Clips, sheers. 
Clishmaclaver, idle talk. 
Clock, to hatch, a beetle. 
Cloakin', hatching. 
Cloot, hoof. 
Clootie, the Devil. 
Clour, a bump or swelling 

after a blow. 
Coble, a fishuig boat. 
Cockernony, a lock of hair 

tied upon a girl's head ; 

a cap. 
Coi't, bought. 
Cog, a wooden dish. 
Coggie, dimin. of cog. 
Coila, from /fi/Ze, a district 

of Ayrshire. 
Collie, a name for country 

CoUieshangic, qur.rrell 
Comraaun, couimand. 
Cood, the cud. 
Coof, a blockhead. 
Coost, did cast. 

Cooser, u horse kepi lor 

Coot, the ancle or foot. 

Cootie, a wooden kitclu'u 
dish- fowls whose U-irs 
are clad wilh feathersure 
also said to be cootie. 

Corbies, ravens. 

Core, corps, party, clan. 

Corn't, fed with oats. 

Cotter, tlit^ inhabitants of 
a cottage. 

Couthie, kind, loving. 

Cove, a cave. 

Cowe, to terrify, to keep 
under, to lop'; a fri^lit ; 
a branch of furze, broom, 

Cowp, to barter, to tumble 
over, a gang. 

Cowpit, tumbled. 

Cowring, cowering. 

Cowte, a colt. 

Cozie, snug. 

Cozily, suugly. 

Crabbit, fretful. 

Crack, conversation, tc 

Crafr, or croft, a field. 

Craiks, cries or calls in- 
cessantly, a bird. 

Crambo-clink, or crambo- 
jingle, rhyujes, doggerel 

Crank, the noise of an un- 
greased wiieel. 


CranreuclJ, hoar frost. 



Crap, a crop, to crop. 
Craw, crow of a cock, 

Creel, a basket. 
Creesliie, greasy. 

IDaffin, merriment, foolish- 
a| ness. 
iDaezt, stupified, deprived 
I of vigour or sensibility. 
JDaft, merry ,gid(ly, foolish. 

Crood, or croud, to coo as|Daimen, rare, now and 

a dove 

Croon, a continued moan. 
Crooning, bumming. 
Croucliie, crook-backed. 

then ; daiinen-icker, an 
ear of corn now and then. 
Dainty, pleasant, good- 
" umoured, agreeable. 

Crouse. cheerful, courage-'Dales, plains, valleys. 

ous. iDaud, to thrash, to abuse. 

Crowdle, a composition of Daur, to dare. 

oatmeal and boiled wa-IDaurg, a day's labour. 

ter, sometimes from thejDdvoe, David. 

broth of beef, mutton, &c.jDawd, a large piece. 
Crow(iie-time, breakfast-lDawtit, caressed. 

Crowlin, crawling. 
Crummock, a cow with 

crooked horns. 
Cuif, a blockhead. 
Cummock, a short staff. 
Curcliie, a curtsy. 
Curler, a player at a game 

on the ice. 
Curlie, curled. 
Curling, a well-known 

game on the ice. 
Curmurring, murmuring, a 

slight rumbling noise. 
Curpin, the crupper. 
Cushat, the stock-dove, or 

Cutty, short, a spoon. 



a father. 

iDearies, dimin. of dears. 
iDearthfu', dear. 
Deave, to deafen. 
Deil-ma-care ! no matter! 
Deleerit, delirious. 
Descrive, to describe. 
Dight, to wipe, to clean 

corn from chaff. 
Ding, to worst, to push. 
Dinna, do not. 
Dirl, a slight stroke or pahi. 
Dizzen, or diz'n, a dozen. 
Doited, stupified. 
Dolt, stupified, crazed ; a 

stupid fellow. 
Donsie, unlucky, 
Dool, sorrow. 
Doos, doves. 
Dorty, saucy, nice. 
Douce, or douse, sober 

wise, prudent. 


a 19 

Dought, was or were able. 

Douj), backside. 

Doure. stout, durable, sul- 
len, stubborn. 

Dow. ain or are able, ean. 

Dowff, wantinr^ force. 

Dowie, worn with grief, 
fatigue, ifce. 

Doylt, stupid. 

Drap, a drop, to drop. 

Dreep, to ooze, to drop. 

Dribble, drizzling, slaver. 

Drift, a drove. 

DrodduHi, tiie breech. 

Drone, part of a bagpipe. 

Droukit, wet. 

Drounting, drawling. 

Droutli, thirst, drought. 

Drumly, muddy. 

Drumniock, meal and wa- 
ter mixed raw. 

Drunt, pet, sour humour, 

Dub, a small pond. 

Duds, rags, clothes. 

Duddie, ragged. 

Dung, worsted ; pushed. 

Dunted, beaten, boxed. 

Dush, to push as a rara, 

EE, the eye. 
Een, the eyes. 
E'enin', evening. 

Hldritdi, ghastly. 
En', end. 

Enbrugli, Edinburgli. 
Ettie, to try, attempt. 
Eydent, diligent. 

FA', fall, lot, to fall. 
Fa's, does fall, waterfalls. 
Faddom't, fathomed. 
Fae, a foe. 
Faem, foam. 
Faiket, unknown. 
Fairin, a present. 
Fallow, fellow. 
Fand, did find. 
Farl, a cake of bread. 
F'ash, trouble, care, to 

trouble, care for. 
Fasht, troubled. 
Fauld, a fold, to fold. 
JFaulding, folding. 
Faut, fault. 

Fawsont, decent, seemly. 
Feal, a field, smooth. 
Fearfu', frightful. 
Fear't, frighted. 
Feat, neat, spruce. 
Fecht, to tight. 
Fechtin, fighting. 
Feck, many, plenty. 
JFecket, wa'istcoat. 
JFeckfu', large, stout 

Eerie, frighted, dreadingj Feckless, punv, weak. 

spirits. iFecklv, weakly. 

Eild, oldage. iFeg, fig. 

Elbuck, the elbow. Feid, feud, enmity. 



Fell, keen, bitipg ; the 
flesh immediately under 
the skin ; a field pretty 
level, on the side or top 
of a hill. 

Fen, successful struggle, 

Feud, to live comfortably. 

Ferlie, or ferley, to won- 
der ; a wonder ; a term 
of contempt, 

Fetch, to pull by fits. 

Fetch't, pulled intermit- 

Fidge, to fidget. 

Fiet, soft, smooth. 

Fient, fiend, a petty oath. 

Fier, sound, healthy ; a 
brother, a friend. 

Fisle, to make a rustling 
noise, to fidget, a bustle. 

Fit, a foot. 

Fittie-lan, the nearer horse 
of the hindmost pair in 
the plough. 

Fizz, to make a hissing 

Flainen, Flannel. 

Fleech, to supplicate in a 
flattering manner. 

Fleechd, supplicated. 

Fleechin, suppUcating, 

Fleesh, a fleece. 

Fleg, a random blow. 

Flether, to decoy by fair 

Fletherin, flattering. 

Flew it. a smart blow. 

Fley, to scare, to frighten, 

Flitcher, to flutter as 
young nestlings, when 
their dam approaches. 

Flickering, to meet, to en- 
counter with. 

Flinders, shreds, broken 

Flmgin-tree, a piece of 
timber hung by way of 
partition between two 
horses in a stable ; a flail. 

Flisk, to fret at the yoke. 

Fliskit, fretted. 

Flitter, to vibrate like the 
wings of small birds. 

Flittering, fluttering. 

Flunky, a servant in livery. 

Foord, a ford. 

Forbears, forefathers. 

Forbye, besides. 

Forfairn, worn out, jaded. 

Forfoughten, fatigued. 

Forgather, to meet with. 

Forgie, to forgive. 

Forjasket, fatigued. 

Pother, fodder. 

Fou', full, drunk. 

Foughten, troubled, haras- 

Fouth, plenty, enough, or 
more than enough. 

Fow, a bushel, &;c. ; also a 

Frae, from. 

Fraeth, froth. 

Frien', friend. 

Fu', full. 



Fuel, the scut of the hare, 

Fnff,to blow intermittently 
Fiiff't, did blow. 
Funnie, full of merriment, 

Fur, a furrow. 
Furm, a form, bench. 
Fyke, trifling cares; to 

piddle, to be in a fuss 

about trifles. 
Fyle, to soil, to dirty. 
Fy'lt, soiled, dirtied. 


GAB, the mouth; to speak 
boldly or pertly. 

Gaber-Iaunzie, an old man. 

Gadsman, ploughboy, the 
boy that drives the hor- 
ses in the plough. 

Gae, to go; gaed, went; 
gaen, gone ; gaun, going. 

Gaet, or gate, way, man- 
ner, road. 

Gang, to go, to walk. 

Gar, to make, to force to. 

Gar't, forced to. 

Garten, a garter. 

Gash, wise, sagacious, 
talkative, to converse. 

Gashin', conversing. 

Gaucy, jolly, large. 

Gawky, half-witted, fool- 
ish, romping. 

Gear, riches of any kind. 

Geek, to toss the head in 
wantonness or scorn. 

Ged, a pike. 

(ientles, great folk'^. 

{Jeordie, a guinea. 

Get, a cliild, a young ono. 

Ghaist, a ghost. 

Gie, to give ; gied, gav«- ; 
gien, given. 

Giftie, diniin. of gift. 

Giglets, phivful uirls. 

Gillie, diniiil. of gill. 

Gilpey, a half-grown, half- 
informed boy or L^irl, a 
romping lad, a hoidou. 

Gimmer, an ewe from one 
to two years old. 

Gin, if, against. 

Gipsy, a young girl. 

Girning, grinning. 

Gizz, a periwig. 

Glaikit, inattentive, fool- 
ish, romping. 

Glaive, a sword. 

Glaizie, glittering, smootli 
like a glass. 

Glaura'd, aimed, snatched. 

Gleg, sharp, ready. 

Gleib, glebe. 

Glen, dale, deep valley. 

Gley, a squint ; to squint ; 
a-gley, otF at a side, 

GUb-gabbet, that speaks 
smootiily and readily. 

Glint, to peep. 

iGlinted, peeped. 

|Glintin', peeping. 

dloamin', the twiliglit. 

'Glowr, to stare, to look. 


Glowred, looked, stared 
Gowan, the flower of the 

daisy, dandelion, hawk- 
weed, &c. 
Gowany, gowany glens 

daisied dales. 
Gowd, gold. . 
Gowff, tlie game of golf; 

to strike as the bat does 

the ball at golf. 
Gowff'd, struck. 
Gowk, a cuckoo, a term of 

Gowl, to howl. 
Granc, or grain, a groan, 

to groan. 
Graiu'd and gaunted, 

groaned and grunted. 
Graining, groaning. 
Graip, a pronged instru- 
ment for cleaning stables 
Graith, accoutrements, 

furniture, dress, gear. 
Grannie, grandmotlier. 
Grape, to grope. 
Grapit, groped. 
Grat, wept, shed tears. 
Great, intimate, familiar 
Gree, to agree ; to bear the 

gree, to be decidedly 

Gree't, agreed. 
Greet, to shed tears. 
Greetin', crying, weeping. 
Grippet, catched, seized. 
Groat, to get the whistle 

of one's groat, to play a 

losing game. 


Grozet, a gooseberry. 

Grum ph , a grunt, to grunt. 

Grumphie, a sow. 

Grun', ground. 

Grunstane, a grindstone. 

Gruntle, the phiz, a grunt- 
ing noise. 

Gruiizie, month- 

Grushie, thick, of thriving 

Gude, the Supreme Being; 

Giiid, good. 

Guid-morning, good mor- 

Guid-e'en, good evening. 

Guidman and Guidwife, 
the master and mistress 
of the house ; young 
guidman, a man newly 

Gully, or gullie, a large 

Guidfather, guidmother, 
father-in-law, and mo- 

Gumlie, muddy. 

Gusty, tasteful. 

HA', hall. 

Ha'-bible, the great bible 
that lies in the hall. 

Hae, to have. 

Haen, had, the participle. 

Haet, fient haet, a petty 
oath of negation ; no- 



Haflet, the tfiuple, the 
side of the liead. 

HafHins, nearly lialf, partly 

Hag, a scar, or gulf in 
mosses and moors. ' 

Haggis, a kind of pudding] 
boiled in the stomach of 
a cow or sheep. 

Hain, to spare, to save. 

Hain'd, spared. 

Hairst, harvest. 

Haith, a petty oath. 

Haivers, ncmsense, speak- 
ing without thought. 

Hal', or liald, an abiding 

Hale,whole, tight,healthy, 

Haly, holy. 

HallanjU particular parti- 
tion-wall in a cottage, or 
more properly a seat of 
turf at the outside. 

Hallowmas, Hallow-eve, 
the 31st of October. 

Hame, home. 

Hamely, liomely, aflfable. 

Hameward, homeward. 

Han', or haun', hand. 

Hap, an outer garment, 
mantle, plaid, &c. to 
wrap, to cover, to hap. 

Happer, a hopper. 

Happing, hopping. 

Hap, step, an' loup, liop 
skip and leap. 

Harkit, hearkened. 

Harn, very coarse linen. 

Hastit, hastened. 
17 *i A 

Hash, a fellow that neillier 
knows how to «ircss nor 
act with proprietv. 

Haud, to hold. 

Haiigiis, low-lying rich 
lands ; valleys. 

Haurl, to drai, to peel. 

Haurlin', peeling. 

Havcrel, a half-witted per- 
son ; half-witted. 

Havins, good manners, 
decorum, good sense. 

Hawkie, a cow, properly 
one with a white face. 

Heapit, heaped, 

Healsome, healthful. 

Hearse, hoarse. 

Hear't, hear it. 

Heather, heath. 

Hech ! oh ! strange ! 

Heciit, promised to fore- 
tell something that is to 
be got or given ; fore- 
told ; the thing foretold ; 

Heckle, a board in which 
are tixed a number of 
sharp pins, used in dres- 
sing hemp, ttax, &c. 

Heeze, to elevate. 

Helm, the rudder or lielm. 

Herd, to tend flocks, one 
who tends flocks. 

Herry, to plunder ; uioht 
properly to plunder 
birds' nests. 

Herryraent, plundering 



Hersel,her8elf ; also a herd 
of cattle of any sort. 

Het, hot. 

Heugh,acrag, or coal-pit. 

Hilch, a hobble, to halt. 

Hiltie-skiltie, in rapid 

Himsel', himself. 

Hinney, honey. 

Hing, to hang. 

Hirple, to walk crazily, 
to creep. 

liirsel, so many cattle as 
one person can attend. 

Histie, dry, chapt, barren 

Hitcht, a loop, a knot. 

Hizzie,hussy, a young girl. 

Hiddin, humble. 

Hog-score, a distance line, 
in curling, drawn across 
the rbiTt. 

Ilog-shouther, justling 
with the shoulder ; to 

Hool, outer skin or case. 

Hoolie, slowly, leisurely. 

Hoolie ! take leisure. 

Hoord, aboard; to hoard 

Hoordit, hoarded. 

Horn,a spoon made of horn 

Hornie, the devil. 

Host, or hoast, to cough. 

Hotch'd, turned topsy- 
turvy, mixed. 

Houghmagaudie, fornica- 

Houp, hope. 

Houlct, an owl. 

Housie, dimin. of house. 

Hove, to heave, to swell. 

Howdie, a midwife, i 

Howe, hollow, a hollow. i 

Howebackit, sunk in tlie '• 
back. ' 

Howfl', a house of resort. 

Howk, to dig. 

Hoy, to urge. 

Hoyse, a pull upwards. 

Hoyte, to amble crazily. 

Hughoc, dimin. of Hugh. 

Hunkers, the ham,the hin- 
der part of the thigh. 

Hurcheon, a hedgehog. 

Hurdles, the loins, the 

Hushion, a cushion. 


r, in. 

Icker, an ear of corn, 
ler-oe, a great grandchild 
Ilk, or ilka, each, every. 
lU-willie, ill-natured, ma- 
licious, niggardly. 
Ingine, genius, ingenuity. 
Ingle, fire, fire-place. 
I'sc, I shall or will. 
Ither, other, one another. 


JAD, jade ; also a familiar 
term for a giddy young 

Jauk, to dally, to trifle . . 

Jaw, course raillery, to 
pour out as water. 



Jaup, a jerk of water. 
Jillet, a jilt, a giddy girl. 
Jimp, to jump, slender, 

Jink, to dodge, to turn a 

corner,asu(ldeii turning. 
Jinker, that turns quickly, 

a sprightly girl, a wag. 
Jirk, a jerk. 

Jocteleg, a kind of knife. 
Jouk, to stoop, to bow the 

Jow, to jow, tlie swinging 

motion and pealing 

sound of a large bell. 
Jundie, tojustle. 

Kin, kindred ; Kin', kind. 
Kinu^'s-hood, a ctrtaiii p.trt 

of the entrails of an ox, 

Kintra, country. 
Kintra-cooser, a country 

Kirn, the harvest supper, 

a churn. 
Kirsen, to baptize. 
Kist, a chest. 
Kitchen, any thing that 

eats with bread, ttj serve 

for soup, gravy, kc. 
Kitli, khidred. 
Kittle, to tickle, ticklisii, 


a young oat. 
KAE, a daw. Kuittle, to ciulille. 

Kail, colewort, a kind ot' Knappin-hammer, a hara- 

brnth. I mer for breaking stones. 

Kail-runt, the stem ollKnowe, a round hillock. 

colewort. {Knurl, a dwarf. 

Kain, fowls, &c. paid asiKye, cows. 

rent by a farmer. JKyle, a district in Ayrshire, 

Kebbuck, a cheese, Kyte, the liflly. 

Keek, a peep, to peep. iKy the, to discover, to shew 
Kelpies, mischievous spi- one's self. 

rits, said to haunt fords 

and ferries at night. L. 

Ken, to know. LAGGEN, the angl 

Kennin, a small matter. 
Kenspeckle, well known. 
Ket, matted, hairy. 
Kiaugh, carking anxiety. 
Kilt, to truss up the clothes 

tween the sitle and l«)t« 
toni of a wooden di»h. 

Laigh, low. 

Lairing, sinking in enow, 
mud, kc 

Kimmer, a younj 

irl, aiLaith, loath. 

iLaithfu', bashful. 



Lallans, Scottisli dialect. 

Lambie, dimin. of lamb. 

Lanipit, a kind of shell fish. 

Lan', land, estate. 

Lane, lone ; my lane, thy 
lane, &c. myself alone. 

Lanely, lonely. 

Lang, long-, to weary. 

Lap, did leap. 

Lave, the rest, the remain- 

Laverock, the lark. i 

Lawin, reckoning. ' 

Lawlan', lowland. 

Lea, pasture ground, un- 

Lea'e, to leave. 

Leal, loyal, true. 

Lea-rig, grassy ridge. 

Lear, learning. 

Lee-lang, live-long. 

Leesome, pleasant. 

Leeze-me, a phrase of en- 
dearment, I am liappy or 
proud of tliee. 

Leister, a three-pronged 

Leugh, did laugh. 

Leuk, a look, to look. 

Libbet, gelded. 

Lift, sky. 

Lightly, sneeringly. 

Lilt, a ballad, a tune, to 

Limmer, a kept mistress, 
a strumpet. 

Limp't, limped, hobbled. 

Link, to trip along. 

Linn, a v/aterfall, a pre- 

Lint, flax ; lint i' the bell, 
flax in flower. 

Lintwhite, a linnet. 

Loan, or laanhig, the place 
of milking, 

Loof, tlie palm of the hand. 

Loot, did let. 

LoQves, plural for loof. 

Loun, a fellow, a raga- 
muffin, a woman of easy 

Loup, jump, leap. 

Lowe, a flame. 

Lowrie, Lawrence. 

Lowse, to loose. 

Lug, the ear, a handle. 

Lugget, having a handle. 

Luggie, a small wooden 
dish with a handle. 

Lura, the chimney. 

Lunch, a large piece of 
cheese, flesh, kc. 

Lunt, a column of smoke j 
to smoke. 

Lyart, grey. 

M. \ 

JNIAE, more. 
Mair, more. 
Maist, most, almost. 
Maistly, mostly. 
Mak, to make. 
Mailon, farm. 
Mailie, Molly. 
Mang, among. 
Manse,the minister's house 



Manteele, a mantle, 

Mark, marks, (Tliis and so- 
venil other nouns which 
in English require an s, 
to form the plural, are 
in Scotch, like the words 
sheep, deer, the same in 
both numbers.) 

Mar's year, the year 1715. 

Mashlum, Meslin, mixed 

Mask, to mash. 

Maskin'-pat, a tea-pot. 

Maukin, a hare. 

Maun, must. 

Mavis, the thrush. 

Maw, to mow. 

Meere, a mare. 

Meickle, or Meikle, much. 

Melancholius, mournful. 

Melder, corn, or grain, 
sent to be ground. 

Mell, to mingle, a mallet. 

Melvie, to soil with meal. 

Men', to mend. 

Mense, good manners. 

Menseless, ill-bred, rude. 

Messhi, a small dog. 

Midden, a dunghill. 

Midden-creL'ls,'baskcts for 
lioldiniT dung. 

Midden-hole, a gutter at 
a dunghill. 

Mim,prim,afiectedly meek 

Miu', mind, remembranci' 

Miiid't, mind it, resolved 

iMinnie, mother dam 

Mirk, dark. 

Misca', to abiiso, to mil 

Misleard, miscliievou"*, 

Misteuk, mistook. 

Mither, a mother. 

Mixtie-maxtie, confusc<lly 

Moil, labour. 

Moistify, to moisten. 

Mony, or 3Ioine, many. 

Moop, to nil)ble as a sheep. 

Moorlan', of or bi-longinjf 
to moors. 

Morn, to morrow. 

Mou, the moutii. 

Moudiwort, a mole. 

Mousie, dimin. of mouse. 

Muckle, or Mickle, great, 
h\>i, much. 

Musie, dimin. of muse. 

Muslin-kail, broth, com- 
posed simply of water, 
shelled barley Si greens. 

Mutchkin, an English pint. 

Mysel, myself. 


NA, no, not, nor. 
Nae, no. not any. 
iVaig, a horse. 
Nappy, ale. 
NegleVkit, neglected. 
Xeuk, nook. 
Niest, liixt. 
Nit've, the list. 
NilR-r, an excnnngf. 



Nigger, a Negro. 
Nine-tail'd-cat, a liang- 

raan's whip. 
Nit, a nut. 
Norland, north land. 
Nowte, black cattle. 


O', of. 

Ochels,name of mountains 

t) haith ! O faith ! an oath 

Ony, or Ouie, any. 

Or, is often used for ere. 

Ora, or Orra, superfluous, 

O't, of it. 

Oughtlins, in tlie least de- 

Ourie, shivering, drooping. 


Outlers, cattle not housed. 

Ower, over, too. 

Owre-hip, a way of fetch- 
ing a blow with the 
hammer over the arm. 

PACK, intimate, familiar 
twelve stone of wood. 

Painch, paunch. 

Paitrick, a partridge. 

Pang, to cram. 

Parle, speecii. 

Parritch, oatmeal pud- 

Pat, did put, a pot. 

Pattle, or pettle, a plough- 

Paughty, proud, hauglity. 

Pauky, or Pav/kie, cun- 
ning, sly. 

Pay't, paid, beat. 

Pech, to fetch the breath 
short, as in an asthma. 

Pechan, the stomach. 

Pet, a domesticated sheep, 

Pettle, to cherish. 

Phillibegs, short petti- 
coats worn by the High- 

Phraise, fair speeches, 
flattery, to flatter. 

Phraisin, flattery. 

Pibroch, a Highland war- 
song adapted to the 

Pickle, a small quantity. 

Pine, pain, uneasiness.* 

Pit, to put. 

Placad, a public procla- 

Plack, an old Scottish coin, 
penny, twelve of which 
make an English penny. 

Plackless, pennyless. 

Plaid, an outer loose gar- 

Platie, dimin. of plate. 

PleWjOr Pleugh, a plough. 

Pliskie, a trick. 

Pock, a bag, a small sack. 

Poind, to seize on cattle. 

Poortith, poverty. 

Pou, to pull. 



Pouk, to pluck. 

Pouse, to push, to pene- 

Poussie, a hare, a cat. 

Pout, a poult, a chick. 

Pou't, did pull. 

Pouthery, like powder. 

Pow, the head, the skull. 

Pownie, a little horse. 

Powther, powder. 

Preen, a pin. 

Prent, Printing. 

Prie, to taste. 

Prie'd, tasted. 

Prief, proof. 

Prigjto cheapen,to dispute. 

Primsie, demure, precise. 

Propone, to lay down, to 

Provoses, provosts. 

Pyle, a pyle o' calf, a sin- 
gle grain of chaff. 

QUAK, to quake. 
Quat, to quit. 
Quey, a cow from one to 
two years old. 


RAGWEED, lierb rag- 

Raible, to rattle nonsense. 

Rair, to roar. 

Raize, to madden, to in- 

Ram-feezl'd, fatigued, 

Ram- s tarn, thoughtless, 

Raploch, properly a coarse 
cloth, but u?ed as aw 
ad noun for coarse. 

Rarely, excellently. 

Rash,' a rush ; rash-buss, a 
bush of rushes. 

Ratton, a rat. 

Raucle, stout, fearless. 

Raught, reached. 

I Raw, a row. 

I Rax to stretch. 

'Ream, cream ; to cream. 

iReamin, brimful, frothing. 

jReave, rove. 

I Reck, to heed. 

I Redo, counsel, to counsel. 

JRed-wat-shod, walking in 

j blood over the shoe-tops. 

Red-wud, stark mad. 

Ree, half-drunk, fuddled. 

Reek, smoke. 

Remead, remedy. 

Rest, to stand restive. 

Restit, stood restive,stunt- 
ed, withered. 

Rew, repent. 

Rief, reef, plenty. 

Rief randies, sturdy beg- 

Rig, a ridge. 

Riu, to run, to melt. 

Rink, the course of the 
stones in curling on ice. 

|Rip, a handful of uu- 
thrcshed corn. 

iRiskit, made a noise. 



tlockin', spinning on the 

rock, or distaft". 
Roon, a slired. 
Roose, to praise. 
Roopet, hoarse. 
Routhie, plentiful. 
Row, to roll, to wrap. 
Rowte, to low, to bellow. 
Rowth, or routh, plenty. 
Rozet, rosin. 
Rung, a cudgel. 
Runkled, wrinkled. 
Runt, the stem of colewort 

or cabbage. 
Ruth, sorrow. 

SAE, so. 
Saft, soft. 

Sair, to serve, a sore. 
Sairly, or sairlie, sorely. 
Sair't served. 
Sark, a shirt. 
Saugh, the willow. 
Saul, soul. 
Saumont, salmon. 
Saunt, a saint. 
Saut, salt. 
Saw, to sow. 
Sax, six. 

Scairh, or skaith, to da- 
mage, to injure. 
Scar, to scare, a scar. 
Scaud, to scald. 
Scauld, to scold. 
Scaur, apt to be scared. 
Scawl, a scold. 
Scone, a kind of bread. 

Sconner, a loathing, to 

Scraich, to scream as a 

hen, partridge. Sec. 
Screed, to tear, a rent. 
Scrieve, to glide swiftly 

Scrimp, to scant. 
See'd, did see. 
Sel, self; a body's sel, 

one's self alone. 
Sell't, did sell. 
iSen', to send. 
iSettlin', settling ; to get a 
i settlin', to be frighted 
{ into quietness. 
iShaird, a shred, a shaird. 
;Shangan, a stick cleft at 
i one end for putting the 

tail of a dog, &c. into. 
Shaver, a humerous wag, 

a barber. 
Shaw, to shew, a small 

wood in a hollow place. 
Sheen, bright, shinhig. 
Sheep-shank, to think 

one's self nae sheep- 
shank, to be conceited. 
Sheugh, a ditch, a trench, 

a sluice. 
Shiel, a shed. 
Shill, shrill. 
Sliog, a shock, a push off 

at one side. 
'Shool, a shovel. 
jSlioon, shoes. 
{ Shore, to offer, to threaten. 
'Shouther, the shoulder. 



Sic, such. 

Sicker, sure, steady. 

Sidelins, sidelong, slanting 

Siller, silver, money. 

Simmer, summer. 

Sin, a son. 

Sin', since. 

Skel I u ra ,a worthless fellow 

Skelp, to strike, to walk 
with a smart tripping 
step, a smart stroke. 

Skelpi-limmer, a teclmical 

Smoother, to sniootlh.T. 

Smoor'd, smothered. 

Sinoiitio, obscene. 

Sniytrie, a numerous col- 
lection of small indivi- 

Snapper, stumble, 

Snasli, abuse, Billinnscratu 

Snaw, snow, to snow. 

Snaw-broo, melted snow. 

Sneck, latch af a door. 

Sued, to lop, to cut oil'. 

term in female scolding. Snecshin, snuii'. 
Skelpin,stepping,walkin'j:.|Siieesliin-niiIl, a snuff-box 
Skiegh, or Skeiyli, proud. jSnoll, bitter, l)iting. 

nice, high-mettled. Snick-drawing, trick-con- 

Skinklin, a small portion. 
Skirl, to shriek, to cry 

Skirl't, shrieked. 
Sklent, slant, to run aslant, 

to deviate from trutli. 
Skreigh, a scream, to 

Slae, sloe. 
Slade, did slide. 
Slap, a gate, a breach in a 

Slaw, slow. 

Slee, sly ; Sleest, slyest. 
Sleekit, sleek, sly. 
Sliddery, slippery. 
Slype, to fall over. 
Slypet, fell. 
Sma', small. 
Smeddum, dust, powder 

mettle, sense. 
Smiddy, a smitliy. 

Snick, tlie latchet of a door 
Snool, one whose spirit is 

broken with oppressive 

slavery ; to submit 

tamely, to sneak. 
Snoove, togosmootidyaiid 

constantly, to sneak. 
Snowk, to scent or snuif 

as a dog. 
Sonsie, having sweet eri- 

gaiiinglooks, lucky, jol!y 
Soom, to swim. 
Sooth, trutii, a potty oatli 
Sough, or sugii, a sigh, a 

sound (lyiuir on tlie car. 
Soui)le, flexible, .<»wift. 
Souter, a shoenmker. 
Sowens, a disli madeof ti.e 

seeds of oatmeal soured 

and boiled uji to make 

n p;j(iding. 



Sowp, a spoonful, a small .Squatter, to flutter as a 
quantity of any thing! wild-duck, Sec. 

Sowtli, to try over a tune 

with a low whistle. 
Sowther, solder, to solder, 

to cement. 
Spae, to prophesy ,todivine 
Spaul, the loin bone. 
Spairge, to dash, to spoil. 
Spaviet, having the spavin 
Sueat, or spate, a sweep- 
ing torrent, after rain or 

Speel, to cliral). 
Spence, the parlour. 
Spier, to ask, to inquire. 
Spier't, inquired. 
Splatter, a splutter, to 

Spleughan, a tobacco 

Splorc, a frolic, a noise. 
Spruttle, to scramble 

jSquattle, to sprawl. 
Squeel , ascreu m , a screech , 

to scream. 
Stacher, to stao-ger. 
Stack, a rick of corn, hay^ 

Staggie, dimin. of stag. 
Stalwart, strong, stout. 
Stan, to stand ; stan't, did 

Stane, a stone. 
Stank, did stink; a pool 

of standing water. 
Stap, stop. 
Stark, stout. 
Startle, to ran as cattle 

stung by the gadfly. 
Staurarel, a blockhead, 

Staw, did steal, to surfeit. 
Stech, to cram the belly. 
Steek, to shut, a stitch. 

Spreckled, spotted, speck-ISteer, to molest, to stir. 


Spring, a quick air in mu- 
sic, a Scottish reel. 

Sprit, a plant, something 
like rushes. 

Spunk, tire, mettle, wit. 

will-o'-wisp, or ignis 

Spurtle, a stick used in 
making pudding or por- 

Squad, a crew, a party. 

Steeve, firm, compact. 

Stell, a still. 

Sten, to rear as a horse. 

Stents, tribute, dues of 
any khid. 

Stey, steep. 

Stibble, stubble ; stibble- 
rig, the reaper who 
takes the lead. 

Stick an' stow, totally, al- 

Stilt, a crutch ; to halt, to 



Stimpart, the eighth of alStuddie, ar, anvil. 

Winchester bnshel 

Stirk, a cow or bullock a 
year old. 

Stock, a plant or root of 
colewort, cabbage, &c. 

Stockin', stocking ; throw- 
ing the stockin', when 
the brideand bridegroom 
are put into bed, and the 
candle out, the former 
throws astocking at ran- 
dom among the compa- 
ny, and the personwhom 
it strikes is the next that 
will be married. 

Stooked,made up in shocks 
as corn. 

Stoor, sounding hollo 
strong and hoarse. 

Stot, an ox. 

Stumpie, dimin. of stump. 
Strunt, spirituous liquor 

of any kind ; to walk 

Sturtin, frighted. 
Sucker, sugar. 
Sud, should, 
Suthron, southern, an old 

name for the English 

Swaird, sward. 
Swall'd, swelled. 
Swank, stately, jolly. 
Swankie, or swanker, a 

tight strapping young 

fellow or girl. 
Swap, an exchange, to 

Swarf, swoon. 

I Swat, did sweat. 

Stoup, or Stowp, a kind ot Swatch, a sarapl 

jug with a handle. 
Stoure, dust. 
Stowlins, by stealth. 
Stowen, stolen. 
Stoj'te, stumble. 
Strack, did strike. 

Swats, drink, good ale. 
Sweatin', sweating. 
Sweer, lazy, averse ; dead- 
sweer, extremely averse 
Swoor, swore, did swear. 
Swinge, to beat, to whip. 

Strae, straw ; to die a fair Swirl, a curve, an eddying 

strae death, to die in bed 

Straik, did strike. 

S'traikit, stroked. 

Strappan, tall and hand- 

Straught, straight. 

Streek, stretched, to 

Stroan, to spout, to pi'ss 

blast, or pool, a knot hi 

Swirlio, knaggy, full of 

Swith, get away. 

Swither, to hesitate in 
choice, an irresolute wa- 
vering in choice. 

Syne, since, ago, then. 




TACKETS, akind ofnails, 
for driving into the heels 
of slices. 

Tae, a toe ; three-tae'd 
having three prongs. 

Tairge, tars:et. 

Tak, to take ; takin,taking 

Tangle, a sea-weed. 

Tap, the top. 

Tapetless, heedless, fool- 

Tarrow, to murmur at one's 

Tarrow't, murmured. 

Tarrv-breeks, a sailor. 

Tauld, or tald, told. 

Taupie, a foolish thought- 
less young person. 

Tauted, or tautie, matted 
together J spoken of hair 
or wool. 

Tawie, that allows itself 
peaceably to be han 
died ; spoken of a horse, 

cow, iScC. 

Teat, a small quantity. 

Tedding, spreading after 
the mower. 

Ten-hours- bite, a slight 
feed to the horses wiiile 
in the yoke, in the fore- 

Tent, a field pulpit, heed 
caution, take heed. 

Tentie, heedful, cautious. 

Tentless, heedless. 

Teua^h, tou'^h. 

Thack, thatch ; thack an' 
rape, clothing. 

Thae, these. 

Thairms, small-guts, fid- 
dle strings. 

Thankit, thanked. 

Theekit, thatched. 

Thegither, together. 

Thenisels, themselves. 

Thick, intimate, familiar. 

Thieveless, cold, dry, spit- 
ed ; spoken of a person's 

Thir, these. 

Thirl, to thrill. 

Thirled, thrilled, vibrated. 

Thole, to suffer, to endure. 

Tiiowe, a thaw, to thaw, 

Tiiowless, slack, lazy. 

Tiirang, throng, a crowd. 

Thrapple, throkt,windpipe 

Thraw, to sprain, to twist, 
to contradict, 

Thrawin', twisting, &;c. 

Thrawn, sprained, twisted, 
contradicted, contradic- 

Threap, to maintain by 
dint of assertion, 

Threshin', thrashing. 

Threteen, thirteen. 

Thristle, thistle. 

Through, to go on witli, 
to make out. 

Throuther, pell-mell, con- 

Thumpit, thumped. 

Thysei', thyself. 



Thud, to luaku ii loud in- 
termittent uoise ; a blow 
producing a dull heavy 

Tili't, to it. 

Timmer, timber. 

Timnier-propt, propped 
with timber. 

Tine, to lose ; tint, lost. 

Tinkler, a tinker. 

Tint tile gate, lost the way. 

Tip, a ram. 

Tippence, two-pence. 

Tirl, to make a slight 
noise, to uncover. 

Tirlin', uncovering. 

Tiiher, the other. 

Tittle, to whisper. 

Tittlin, whispering. 

Tocher, marriage portion. 

Tod, a fox. 

Toddle, to totter like the 
walk of a child. 

foddlin', tottering. 

Toom, empty. 

Toop, a ram. 

Toun, a hamlet, a farm- 

Tout, the blast of a horn 
or trumpet, to blow a 
horn, &c. 

Tow, a rope. 

Towmond, a twelvemonth. 

Towzie, rough, shaggy. 

Toy, a very old fashion of 
female head-dress. 

Toyte, to totter like old 

Traiisnio^rify'd, traii.'«ini- 
gratcd, metamorphosed. 

Trashtrie, trash. 

Trews, trousers. 

Trickle, full of tricks. 

Trig, spruce, neat. 

Trimly, excellently. 

Trow, to believe. 

Trowtli, trutii, a petty oath 

Trysted, aj)pointed ; to 
tryste, to make an ap- 

Try't, tried. 

Tug, raw hide, of which, 
in old times, plomrli- 
traces were frequently 

Tulzie, a quarrel ; to quar- 
rel, to fight. 

Twa, two. 

Twa-tliree, a few. 

'Twad, it would. 

Twa, twelve; twal-peimie 
worth, a small quantity, 
one English pennyworth 

Twin, to part. 

Tyke, a dog. 


UNCO, strange, nncouHi, 
very, very great, prodi- 

Uncos, news. 

Unfauld, unfold. 

Unkenn'd, unknowri, 

Unsicker, unsure. 

Unskaith'd, undunaged. 

Uuweeting, unknowingly. 



Upo', upon. 
Urchin, a hedgehog. 


VAP'RING, vapouring, 
bullying, bragging. 

Vauntie, vain, proud. 

Vera, very. 

Virl, a ring round a co- 
lumn, &c. 


WA', wall. 

Wa's, walls. 

Wabster, a weaver. 

Wad, would, to bet, a bet, 
to pledge. 

Wadna, would not. 

Wae, woe, sorrowi'ul. 

Waesucks! or waes nie! 
alas ! O the pity. 

Waft, the cross thread that 
goes from the shuttle 
through the web ; woof. 

Waifu,' wailing. 

Wair, to lay out, to ex- 

Wale, choice, to choose. 

Wal'd, chose, chosen. 

Walie, ample, large, jolly : 
also an interjection of 

Wame, the belly. 

Wamefu', a belly full. 

Wanchansie, unlucky. 

Wanrestfu', restless. 

Wark, work. 

Warle, or warld, world 

Wark-lume, a tool to work 

Warlock, a wizard. 
Warly, worldly, eager on 

amassing wealth. 
Warran', a warrant, to 

Warst, worst. 
Warstl'd, or warsl'd, 

Wastrie, prodigality. 
Wat, wet ; I wat, ' I wot, 

I know. 
Water-brose, brose made 

of oatmeal and water. 
Wattle, a twig, a wand. 
Wauble, to swing, to reel. 
Waught, draught. 
Waukit, thickened as ful- 
lers do cloth. 
Waukrife, not apt to sleep. 
Waur, worse, to worst. 
Waur't, worsted. 
Wean, or weanie, a child. 
Wearie, or weary ; inoiiie 

a wearie body, many a 

different person. 
Weason, weasand. 
Weaving the stocking. 

See throwing the stock- 
ing, page 363. 
Wee, little ; wee things, 

little ones ; wee bit, a 

small matter. 
Weel, well. 
Weelfare, welfare. 
Weet, rain, wetness. 
Weird, fate. 



^^'c'su, We siiuii. 

VViui, wlio. 
Whaizle, to wheeze. 
Whalpit, whelped. 
Whang, a leatlieni string, 

a piece of cheese, bread, 

&c. ; to give the strap- 
Whare, where ; whare'er, 

Whase, whose. 
VVhatreck, nevertheless. 
Whaup, the curlew ; a kind 

of water- fowl. 
Wheep, to fly nimbly, to 

jerk ; penny-whue]), 

Whid, the motion of a 

hare, running but not 

friglited, a lie. 
Whiddiu', running as a 

hare or coney. 
Whigraeleeries, whims, 

fancies, crotchets. 
Whingin', crying, com 

plaining, fretting. 
Whirligigunis, useless or 

Whirrin', whirring ; the 

sound made by tiie flight 

of the partridge, Sec. 
Whisht, silence. 
Whisk, to sweep, to lasl 
Whiskit, lashed. 
Whissle, a whistle ; to 

Whitter, a hearty draught 

of liquor. 

WiiuusUuR', u wiiiiistone. 

Whyles, sometimes. 

Wi' with. 

Wick, to strike a stone in 
an oblique direction ; a 
term in curling. 

Wicker, willow, (the 
smaller sort). 

raging ; one deserving 
the gallows. 

Wiel, a small whirlpool. 

Witie, a dim in. or endear- 
ing term for wife. 

Willyart, bushful,reserve(l, 

Wimple, to meander. 

Win', to wind, to wiimow. 

Win't, winded, as a bobbin 
of yarn, 

Win' wind ; win's, winds. 

Winna, will not. 

Winnock, a window. 

Winsome, hearty ,vaimtcd , 

Wintie, a staggering mo- 
tion ; to stagger, to reel. 

Winze, an oath. 

Wiss, to wish ; to liave a 
strong desire. 

Withoutten, witliout. 

Witless, simple, easily 
imposeil on. 

Wizen'd, dried, shrunk. 

Wonner, a wonder, a con- 
temptuous appellation. 

Wons, dwells. 

Woo', wool. 



Woo, to court, to makelWyte, blamo, to blame, 
love to. I 

"VVoodie, a rope, more pro- 1 Y. 

perly one made of witlis YE ; this pronoun is fre- 
er willows. ! quently used for tliou. 

Wooer-bab, the garteriYear, is used both for sin- 
knotted below the kneei gnlar and plural, years, 
with a couple of loops, i Yearlings, born in the same 

Wordy, worthy. I year, coevals. 

Worset, worsted. lYearns, longs much. 

Wew, an exclamation oflYell, barren, that gives no 
pleasure or wonder. j milk. 

Wrack, to teaze, to vex. Yerk, to lash, to jerk. 

Wraith, a spirit, a ghost ;!Yerkit, jerked, lashed. 

an apparition exacth 
like a living person 
whose appearance is 
said to forbode tlie per- 
son's approaching death, 

Wrang, wrong, to wrong. 

Wroath, drifted snow. 

Writers, attorneys 

Yestreen, yesternight, the 
night before. 

Yett, a gate, such as is 
usually at the entrance 
into a farm-yard or field. 

Yill, ale. 

lYird, earth. 
law-lYokin, yoking, about. 

Yont, beyond. 

Wud, mad, distracted. lYoursel', yourself. 
Wumble, a wimble. lYowe, an ewe. 

Wyle, beauile. JYowie, dirain. of ewe. 

Wyliecoat, a flannel vest.' Yule, Christmas. 

milnj:k and sowekbv, i'rintkrs, Halifax. 

Rums - 


The poetical 
works of Robe^rt 








This book is DUE on the last 
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