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Brydone's brave ward* I well could spy, Beneath old Scotia's smiling eye; Who call'd on fame, low standing by,
To hand him on, Where many a patriot name on high,
And hero shone.
“Some hint the lover's harmless wile; Some grace the maiden's artless smile; Some soothe the labourer's weary toil,
For humble gains, And make his cottage scenes beguile
His cares and pains, “Some, bounded to a district space, Explore at large man's infant race, To mark the embryotic trace
Of rustic bard; And careful note each opening grace,
A guide and guard.
“Of these am I-Coila my name ; And this district as mine I claim, Where once the Campbells, chiefs of fame,
Held ruling power: I mark'd thy embryo tuneful flame,
Thy natal hour.
“ With future hope, I oft would gaze Fond, on thy little early ways, Thy rudely carolld chiming phrase,
In uncouth rhymes, Fired at the simple, artless lays
Of other times.
“ I saw thee seek the sounding shore, Delighted with the dashing roar; Or when the north his fleecy store
Drove through the sky I saw grim nature's visage hoar
Struck thy young eye.
Of kindred sweet,
She did me greet.
Thus poorly low!
As we bestow.
Their labours ply. “ They Scotia's race among them share ; Some fire the soldier on to dare; Some rouse the patriot up to bare
Corruption's heart; Some teach the bard, a darling care,
The tuneful art. “ 'Mong swelling floods of recking gore, They, ardent, kindling spirits pour; Or, 'mid the venal senate's roar,
They, sightless, stand, To mend the honest patriot lore,
And grace the hand.
Full on the eye. “Hence Fullarton, the brave and young; Hence Dempster's zeal-inspired tongue; Hence sweet harmonious Beattie sung
His • Minstrel lays;' Or tore, with noble ardour stung,
The skeptic's bays.
The various man.
With tillage-skill ; And some instruct the shepherd train,
Blythe o'er the hill.
“ Or, when the deep green-mantled earth Warm cherish'd every floweret's birth, And joy and music pouring forth.
In every grove, I saw thee eye the general mirth
With boundless love.
“ When ripen'd fields, and azure skies, Call'd forth the reapers' rustling noise, 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, stiong, Keen-shivering shot thy nerves along, Those accents, grateful to thy tongue,
Th' adored name, I taught thee how to pour in song,
To soothe thy flame.
“ I saw thy pulse's maddening play, Wild send thee pleasure's devious way, Misled by fancy's meteor ray,
By passion driven; But yet the light that led astray
Was light from heaven. “I taught thy manners-painting strains, The loves, the ways of simple swains, Till now, o'er all my wide domains
Thy fame extends : And some, the pride of Coila's plains,
Become my friends.
* Colonel Fullarton.
In vain auld age his body batters;
In vain the gout his ankles fetters;
In vain the burns came down like waters,
An acre braid !
Now every auld wife, greetin, clatters,
Tam Samson's dead !
"Owrc many a weary hag he limpit,
An'aye the tither shot he thumpit, « Na, waur than a'!” cries ilka chiel,
Till coward death behind him jumpit,
Wi' deadly feide ;
Now he proclaims, wi' tout o' trumpet,
Tam 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 ;
“L-d, five!” he cried, and owre did stagger; The brethren of the mystic level
Tam Samson's dead!
Ilk hoary hunter mourn'd a brither ;
Ilk sportsman youth bemoan'd a father ;
Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather,
Marks out his head,
Whare Burns hawrote, in rhyming blether When winter muffles up his cloak,
Tam Samson's dead!
There low he lies, in lasting rest;
Perhaps upon his mouldering breast
Some spitefu’muirfowl bigs her nest,
To hatch an' breed ;
Alas! nae mair he'll them molest!
Tam Samson’s dead !
When August winds the heather wave,
And sportsmen wander by yon grave,
Three volleys let his memory crave,
O'pouther an' lead,
Till echo answer frae her cave,
Tam Samson's dead !
Heaven rest his saul, whare'er he be !
Is th' wish o' monie mae than me;
He had twa faults, or may be three,
Yet what remead?
Ae social, honest man want we : Ye cootie moorcocks, crousely craw ;
Tam Samson's dead! Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw,
TAM SAMSON's weel-worn clay here lies, That woefu’morn be ever mourn'd,
Ye canting zealots, spare him! Saw him in shootin graith adorn'd,
If honest worth in heaven rise,
Ye'll mend or ye win near him.
Go, fame, and canter like a filly, • When this worthy old sportsman went out last muir. fowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Oosian's phrase.
Through a' the streets an' neuks o' Killie, 5 the last of his fields ;' and expressed an ardent wish to
Tell every social, honest billie die and the buried in the muirs. On this hint the author
To cease his grievin, composcú his elegy and epitaph..
For yet, unskaith'd by death's gleg gullie, + A certain preacher, a great favourite with the million.
Tam Samson's livin. Vide the Ordination, stanza ii.
Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, who was at that time ailing. For him, see also the Ordi. Killie is a phrase the country folks sometimes use nation, stanza ix.
I for Kilmarnock.
Then first and foremost, through the kail,
Their stocks* maun a' be sought ance; The following poem will, by many readers, be well opough They steek their e'en, an'graip an' wale, understood ; but for the sake of those who are unac
For muckle anes an' straught anes. quainted with the manners and traditions of the country
Poor hav’rel Will fell aff the drift, where the scene is cast, notes are added, to give some account of the principal charms and spells of that night,
An' wander'd through the bow-kail, 80 big with prophecy to the peasantry in the west of An pow't for want o’ better shift, Scotland. The passion of prying into futurity makes a
A runt was like a sow-tail, striking part of the history of human nature in its rude
Sae bow't that night. state, in all ages and nations: and it may be some entertainment to 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.
Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar and cry a' throu’ther
The vera wee things, todlin, rin,
Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther;
An' gif the custoc's sweet or sour,
Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
Syne coziely, aboon the door,
To lie that night.
The lasses staw frae 'mang them a',
To pou their stalks o' corn ;t
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about,
Behint the muckle thorn :
He grippet Nelly hard an' tast;
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses ;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
When kiuttlin in the fause-houset
Wi' him that night.
Where Doon rins, wimpling clear,
The auld guidwife's weel hoordet nits
Are round an' round divided,
An' monie lads' an' lasses' fates
Are there that night decided :
Some kindle, couthie, side by side
An'burn thegither trimly ;
* The first ceremony of Halloween is, pulling each a III.
stock, or plant of kail. They must go out, hand in hand,
with eyes shut, and pull the first they meet with: its being The lasses feat, an' cleanly neat,
big or liule, straight or crooked, is prophetie of the size and Mair braw than when they're fine;
shape of the grand object of all their spells--the husband Their faces blythe, fu’ sweetly kythe,
or wife. If any yird, or earth, stick to the root, that is Hearts leal, an' warm, an' kin':
| tocher, or fortune; and the taste of the custoc, that is, the The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs,
heart of the stem, is indicative of the natural lemper and Weel knotted on their garten,
disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to give them their
ordinary appellation, the runts, are placed somewhere Some unco blate, an' some wi' gabs,
| above the head of the door: and the Christian names of Gar lasses hearts gang startin
the people whom chance brings into the house, are, accord. Whyles fast at night. ing to the priority of placing the runts, the names in
+ They go to the barn-yard and pull each, at three seve. * Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and ral times, a stalk of oats. If the third stalk wants the other mischief-making beings, are all abroad on their top-pickle, that is, the grain at the top of the stalk, the baneful, midnight errands; particularly those aërial party in question will come to the marriage bed any thing people the fairies, are said on that night to hold a grand but a maid. anniversary.
I When the corn is in a doubtful state, by being too + Certain little, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the green, or wet, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, neighbourhood of the ancient seat of the Earls of Cas. &c., makes a large apartment in his stack, with an open silis.
ing in the side which is fairest exposed to the wind : this A noted cavern near Colean house, called the Cove he calls a fause-house. of Colean: which, as Cassilis Downans, is famed in Burning the nuts is a famous charm. They name the country story for being a favourite haunt of fairies. lad and lass to each particular nut, as they lay them in
The famous family of that name, the ancestors of the fire, and accordingly as they burn quietly together, Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were Earls of or start from beside one another, the course and issue of Carrick.
I the courtship will te.
Some start awa wi’ saucie pride,
Wee Jenny to her grannie says,
“Will ye go wi' me, grannie?
I'll eat the apple* at the glass,
I gat frae uncle Johnie ;" Jean slips in (wa, wl’tentie e'e;
She fuff’t her pipe wi' sic a lunt, Wha 'twas she wadna tell;
In wrath she was sae vap'rin, But this is Jock, an' this is me,
She noticed na, en azle brunt She says in to hersel :
Her braw new worset apron He bleezed owre her, an' she owre him,
Out through that night. As they wad never mair part; Till fuff! he started up the lum,
XIV. And Jean had e'en a sair heart
“ Ye little skelpie-limmer's face! To see't that night.
How daur you try sic sportin,
As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune?
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight! Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie;
Great cause ye hae to fear it; An' Mallie, nae doubt, took the drunt,
For monie a ane has gotten a fright, To be compared to Willie:
An' lived an' died deleerit Mall's nit lap out wi' pridefu’ling,
On sic a night. An' her ain fit it burnt it;
XV. While Willie lap, and swoor by jing,
“ Ae hairst afore the Sherra-moor, 'Twas just the way he wanted
I'mind't as weel' yestreen,
I was a gilpey then, I'm sure
I was na past fyfteen :
The simmer had been cauld an' wat,
An' stuff was unco green ; She pits hersel an’ Rob in;
An'aye a rantın kirn we gat, In loving bleeze they sweetly join,
An'just on Halloween Till white in ase they're sobbin :
It fell that night. Nell's heart was dancin at the view,
XVI. She whisper'd Rob to look for’t:
“Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen, Rob, stowlins, prie'd her bonnie mou,
A clever, sturdy fallow;
He's sin got Eppie Sim wi' wean,
That lived in Achmacalla :
He gat hemp-seedt I mind it weel, But Merran sat behint their backs,
An' he made unco light o't; Her thoughts on Andrew Bell;
But monie a day was by himsel,
He was sae sairly frighted
That vera night.”
Then up gat fechtin Jamie Fleck, An' darklins grapit for the bauks,
An' he swoor by his conscience,
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck ;
For it was a' but nonsense ;
The auld guidman raught down the pock, XII.
An' out a handful gied him ; An' aye she wint, an'aye she swat,
Syne bad him slip frae 'mang the folk, I wat she made nae jaukin;
Sometimes when nae ane seed him : Till something held within the pat,
An' try't that night. Guid L-d! but she was quakin !
* Take a candle, and go alone to a looking-glass; eat But whether 'twas the deil himsel,
an apple before it, and some traditions say, you should Or whether 'twas a bauken,
comb your hair, all the time; the face of your conjugal Or whether it was Andrew Bell,
companion, to be, will be seen in the glass, as is peeping She did na wait on talkin
over your shoulder. To spier that night.
+ Steal out unperceived, and sow a handful of hemp seed; harrowing it with any thing you can conveniently
draw after you. Repeat now and then, “Hemp-seed, 1 Whoever would, with success, try this spell, must saw thee, hemp-seed, I saw thee; and him (or her) that strictly observe these directions: Steal out, all alone, to is to be my true love, come after me and pou thee.” Look the kiln, and, darkling, throw into the pot a clue of blue over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance yarn ; wind it in a new clue off the old one; and, towards of the person invoked, in the atti the latter end, something will hold the thread; demand Some traditions say, “come after me, and shaw thee,” wha hauds ? 1. e. who holds ? an answer will be returned that is, show thyself: in which case it simply appears from the kiln-pot, by naming the Christian and surname Others omit the harrowing, and say, "come after me, and of your future epouse.