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“ Tell him, if e'er again he keep,
“Tell him, he was a master kin',
It's no the loss o' warl's gear, That could sae bitter draw the tear Or mak our bardie, dowie, wear
The mourning weed: He's lost a friend and necbor dear,
In Mailic dead. Through a' the town she trotted by him; A lang half-mile she could descry him ; Wi' kindly bleat, when she did spy him,
She ran wi' speed: A friend mair faithful ne'er cam nigh him,
Than Mailie dead.
“O, bid him save their harmless lives Frae dogs, an' tods, an' butchers' knives ! But gie them guid cow-milk their fill, Till they be fit to fend themsel: An' tent them duly, e'en an' morn, Wi' teats o' hay an' rips o' corn.
I wat she was a sheep o'sense, And could behave hersel wi' mense : I'll say't, she never brak a fence,
Through thievish greed. Our bardie, lanely, keeps the spense
Sin' Mailie's dead.
“ An’ may they never learn the gaets Of ither vile wanrestfu' pets! To slink through slaps, an' reave an’ steal, At stacks o' pease, or stocks o' kail. So may they, like their great forbears, For monie a year come through the sheers : So wives will gie them bits o' bread, An' bairns greet for them when they're dead.
“My poor toop-lamb, my son an' heir,
“An, niest my yowie, silly thing,
Or, if he wanders up the howe, Her living image in her yowe, Comes bleating to him, owre the knowe,
For bits o' bread;
For Mailie dead.
Frae yont the Tweed, A bonnier fleesh ne'er cross'd the clips
Than Mailie dead. Wae worth the man wha first did shape That vile, wanchancie thing--a rape! It maks guid fellows girn an' gape,
Wi' chokin dread;
For Mailie dead.
O' Robin's reed !
His Mailie dead.
“ And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath, I lea’e my blessin wi' you baith: An' when you think upo' your mither, Mind to be kin' to ane anither.
“Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail To tell my master a' my tale ; An' bid him burn this cursed tether, An', for thy pains, thou’se get my blather.”
This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head, An' closed her e'en amang the dead.
TO J. S****
Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul !
POOR MAILIE'S ELEGY.
DEAR S****, the sleest, paukie thief,
Owre human hearts;
Against your arts.
Just gaun to see you; And every ither pair that's done
Mair ta’en I'm wi' you.
LAMENT in rhyme, lament in prose, Wi' saut tears trickling down your nose; Our bardie's fate is at a close,
Past a' remead; The last sad cape-stane of his woes ;
Poor Mailie's dead!
That auld, capricious carlın, Nature, To mak amends for scrimpit stature, She's turn'd you aff, a human creature
On her first plan, And in her freaks, on every feature,
She's wrote, the Man. Jörst now I've ta’en the fit o'rhyme, My barmie noddle's working prime, My fancy yerkit up sublime
Wi' hasty summon: Hae ye a leisure-moment's time
To hear what's comin?
The magic-wand then let us wieid; For ance that five-an’-forty's speeld, See crazy, weary, joyless eild,
Wi' wrinkled face, Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field,
Wi'crepin pace. When ance life's day draws near the gloamin Then fareweel vacant careless roamin; An' fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamin,
An' social noise ; An' fareweel, dear, deluding woman,
The joy of joys!
Some rhyme, a neebor's name to lash; Some rhymie (vain thought !) for needfu' cash: Some rhyme to court the kintra clash,
An' raise a din; For me, an aim I never fash;
I rhyme for fun.
The star that rules my luckless lot, Has fated me the russet coat, An' damn'd my fortune to the groat;
But in requit, Has bless'd me wi' a random shot
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 warning,
To joy and play. We wander there, we wander here, We eye the rose upon the brier, Unmindful that the thorn is near,
Among the leaves ; And though the puny wound appear,
Short while it grieves Some, lucky, find a flowery spot, 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
With high disdain.
This while my notion's ta'en a sklent,
Something cries, “ Hoolie !" I red you, honest man, tak tent!
Ye'll shaw your folly.
A' future ages;
Their unknown pages.”
Are whistling thrang,
My rustic sang.
Then, all unknown,
Forgot and gone!
With steady aim, some fortune chase; Keen hope does every sinew brace; Through fair, through foul, they urge the race,
And seize the prey: Then cannie, in some cozie place,
They close the day. And others, like your humble servan', Poor wights ! nae rules nor roads observin ; To right or left, eternal swervin,
They zig-zag on;
They aften groan.
E’en let her gang!
Let's sing our sang.
But why o’ death begin a tale ?
Heave care o'er side! And large, before enjoyment's gale,
Let's tak the tide.
That wielded right, Maks hoi rs, like minutes, hand in hand,
Dance by fu’light.
My pen I here Aling to the door, And kneel, “ Ye Powers !” and warm implora, “ Though I should wander terra o'er,
In all her climes,
Aye rowth o'rhymes.
And maids of honour
Until they sconner.
6 A title, Dempster merits it; A garter gie 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.
My bardship here, at your levee,
On sic a day as this is,
Sae fine this day.
* While ye are pleased to keep me hale I'll sit down o'er my scanty meal, Be't water-brose, or muslin-kail, .
Wi' cheerful face, As lang's the muses dinna fail
To say the grace."
By monie a lord and lady; “God save the king !” 's a cuckoo sang
That's unco easy said aye ;
Wi' rhymes weel turn'd and ready, Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang, But aye unerring steady,
On sic a day.
E'en there I winna flatter;
Am I your humble debtor :
Your kingship to bespatter;
Than you this day.
An anxious e’e I never throws
As weel's I may;
I rhyme away.
How much unlike !
Your lives, a dyke! Hae hair-brain'd, sentimental traces In your unletter'd, nameless faces ! In arioso trills and graces
Ye never stray, But, gravissimo, solemn basses
Ye hum away. Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise ; Nae ferly though ye do despise The hairum-scarum, ram-stam boys,
The rattlin squad: I see you upward cast your eyes
-Ye ken the road. Whilst 1-but I shall haud me there Wi' you I'll scarce gang onywhereThen, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,
But quat my sang Content wi' you to mak a pair,
Whare'er I gang
'Tis very true, my sovereign king,
My skill may weel be doubted : But facts are chiels that winna ding,
An' downa be disputed: Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
Is e'en right left an'clouted, And now the third part of the string, An' less, will gang about it
Than did ae day,
Far be't frae me that I aspire
To blame your legislation,
To rule this mighty nation!
Ye've trusted ministration
Than courts yon day.
* Alluding to the newspaper account of a certain royo! sailor's amour.
† Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a digressive poem. See his Cath-Loda, vol. ii. oi M'Pherson's translation.
* King Henry V. + Sir John Falstaff: vide Shakspeare.
All in this mottie, misty clime,
And done naething, But stringin blethers up in rhyme,
For fools to sing.
Had I to guid advice but harkit, I might, by this, hae led a market, Or strutted in a bank an' clarkit
My cash account: While here, half mad, half fed, half sarkit,
Is a'th' amount I started, muttering, blockhead! coof! And heaved on high my waukit loof, To swear by a'yon starry roof,
Or some rash aith, That I, henceforth, would be rhyme-proof
Till my last breath
Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods , There, well-fed Irwine stately thuds : Auld hermit Ayr staw through his wocds,
On to the shore;
With seeming roar.
She boasts a race,
And polish'd grace.
I could discern;
With feature stern,
In sturdy blows;
Their stubborn foes.
When click! the strink the snick did draw; And jee! the door gaed to the wa'; An' by my ingle-lowe I saw,
Now bleezin bright, A tight, outlandish hizzie, braw,
Come full in sight. Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht ; The infant aith, half-form’d, was crusht ; I glowr'd as eerie's I'd been dusht
In some wild glen; When sweet, like modest worth, she blusht,
And stepped ben.
Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows; I took her for some Scottish muse,
By that same token; An' come to stop those reckless vows,
Wou'd soon been broken.
His country's saviour,t mark him well! Bold Richardton'st heroic swell; The chief on Sarks who glorious fell,
In high command; And he whom ruthless fates expel
His native land. There, where a sceptred Pictish shade, Stalk'd round his ashes lowly laid, I mark'd a martial race, portray'a
In colours strong; Bold, soldier-featur'd, undismay'd
They strode along. Through many a wild, romantic grove, 1 Near many a hermit-fancy'd cove, (Fit haunts for friendship or for love,
In musing mood,
They gave their lore, This, all its source and end to draw,
That, to adore.
A “hair-brain'd, sentimental trace,”
Shone full upon her;
Beam'd keen with honour. Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen; Till half a leg was scrimply seen ; And such a leg! my bonnie Jean
Could only peer it; Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean,
Nane else came near it. Her mantle large, of greenish hue, My gazing wonder chiefly drew; Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling threw,
A lustre grand; And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,
A well known land. Here, rivers in the sea were lost; There, mountains to the skies were tost: Here, tumbling billows mark'd the coast,
With surging foam; There, distant shone art's lofty Houst,
The lordly dome.
* The Wallaces. † William Wallace.
Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the immortal preserver of Scottish independence.
& Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas Earl of Ormond, at the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 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. .
Il Coilus, King of the Picts, from whom the district of Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition gays, near the family-seat of the Montgomeries of Coil's field, where his burial-place is still shown.
| Barskimming the seat of the Lord Justice Clerk. ** Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor and present Pro fessor Stewart.