Fu' loud an' shill the frosty wind Blaws thro' the leafless timmer, sir; But if ye come this gate again; I'll aulder be gin simmer, sir. I'm o'er young, &c.
To The Weavers Gin Ye Go
My heart was ance as blithe and free As simmer days were lang; But a bonie, westlin weaver lad Has gart me change my sang.
Chorus.—To the weaver's gin ye go, fair maids, To the weaver's gin ye go; I rede you right, gang ne'er at night, To the weaver's gin ye go.
My mither sent me to the town, To warp a plaiden wab; But the weary, weary warpin o't Has gart me sigh and sab. To the weaver's, &c.
A bonie, westlin weaver lad Sat working at his loom; He took my heart as wi' a net, In every knot and thrum. To the weaver's, &c.
I sat beside my warpin-wheel, And aye I ca'd it roun'; But every shot and evey knock, My heart it gae a stoun. To the weaver's, &c.
The moon was sinking in the west, Wi' visage pale and wan, As my bonie, westlin weaver lad Convoy'd me thro' the glen. To the weaver's, &c.
But what was said, or what was done, Shame fa' me gin I tell; But Oh! I fear the kintra soon Will ken as weel's myself! To the weaver's, &c.
Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong, The wretch's destinie! M'Pherson's time will not be long On yonder gallows-tree.
Chorus.—Sae rantingly, sae wantonly, Sae dauntingly gaed he; He play'd a spring, and danc'd it round, Below the gallows-tree.
O, what is death but parting breath? On many a bloody plain I've dared his face, and in this place I scorn him yet again! Sae rantingly, &c.
Untie these bands from off my hands, And bring me to my sword; And there's no a man in all Scotland But I'll brave him at a word. Sae rantingly, &c.
I've liv'd a life of sturt and strife; I die by treacherie: It burns my heart I must depart, And not avenged be. Sae rantingly, &c.
Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright, And all beneath the sky! May coward shame distain his name, The wretch that dares not die! Sae rantingly, &c.
Stay My Charmer
Tune—"An gille dubh ciar-dhubh."
Stay my charmer, can you leave me? Cruel, cruel to deceive me; Well you know how much you grieve me; Cruel charmer, can you go! Cruel charmer, can you go!
By my love so ill-requited, By the faith you fondly plighted, By the pangs of lovers slighted, Do not, do not liave me so! Do not, do not leave me so!
What will I do gin my Hoggie die? My joy, my pride, my Hoggie! My only beast, I had nae mae, And vow but I was vogie! The lee-lang night we watch'd the fauld, Me and my faithfu' doggie; We heard nocht but the roaring linn, Amang the braes sae scroggie.
But the houlet cry'd frau the castle wa', The blitter frae the boggie; The tod reply'd upon the hill, I trembled for my Hoggie. When day did daw, and cocks did craw, The morning it was foggie; An unco tyke, lap o'er the dyke, And maist has kill'd my Hoggie!
Raving Winds Around Her Blowing
Tune—"M'Grigor of Roro's Lament."
I composed these verses on Miss Isabella M'Leod of Raza, alluding to her feelings on the death of her sister, and the still more melancholy death of her sister's husband, the late Earl of Loudoun, who shot himself out of sheer heart-break at some mortifications he suffered, owing to the deranged state of his finances.—R.B., 1971.
Raving 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, Gladly how would I resign thee, And to dark oblivion join thee!"
Up In The Morning Early
Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west, The drift is driving sairly; Sae loud and shill's I hear the blast— I'm sure it's winter fairly.
Chorus.—Up in the morning's no for me, Up in the morning early; When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw, I'm sure it's winter fairly.
The birds sit chittering in the thorn, A' day they fare but sparely; And lang's the night frae e'en to morn— I'm sure it's winter fairly. Up in the morning's, &c.
How Long And Dreary Is The Night
How long and dreary is the night, When I am frae my dearie! I sleepless lie frae e'en to morn, Tho' I were ne'er so weary: I sleepless lie frae e'en to morn, Tho' I were ne'er sae weary!
When I think on the happy days I spent wi' you my dearie: And now what lands between us lie, How can I be but eerie! And now what lands between us lie, How can I be but eerie!
How slow ye move, ye heavy hours, As ye were wae and weary! It wasna sae ye glinted by, When I was wi' my dearie! It wasna sae ye glinted by, When I was wi' my dearie!
Hey, The Dusty Miller
Hey, the dusty Miller, And his dusty coat, He will win a shilling, Or he spend a groat: Dusty was the coat, Dusty was the colour, Dusty was the kiss That I gat frae the Miller.
Hey, the dusty Miller, And his dusty sack; Leeze me on the calling Fills the dusty peck: Fills the dusty peck, Brings the dusty siller; I wad gie my coatie For the dusty Miller.
There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg, And she held o'er the moors to spin; There was a lad that follow'd her, They ca'd him Duncan Davison. The moor was dreigh, and Meg was skeigh, Her favour Duncan could na win; For wi' the rock she wad him knock, And aye she shook the temper-pin.
As o'er the moor they lightly foor, A burn was clear, a glen was green, Upon the banks they eas'd their shanks, And aye she set the wheel between: But Duncan swoor a haly aith, That Meg should be a bride the morn; Then Meg took up her spinning-graith, And flang them a' out o'er the burn.
We will big a wee, wee house, And we will live like king and queen; Sae blythe and merry's we will be, When ye set by the wheel at e'en. A man may drink, and no be drunk; A man may fight, and no be slain; A man may kiss a bonie lass, And aye be welcome back again!
The Lad They Ca'Jumpin John
Her daddie forbad, her minnie forbad Forbidden she wadna be: She wadna trow't the browst she brew'd, Wad taste sae bitterlie.
Chorus.—The lang lad they ca'Jumpin John Beguil'd the bonie lassie, The lang lad they ca'Jumpin John Beguil'd the bonie lassie.
A cow and a cauf, a yowe and a hauf, And thretty gude shillin's and three; A vera gude tocher, a cotter-man's dochter, The lass wi' the bonie black e'e. The lang lad, &c.
Talk Of Him That's Far Awa
Musing on the roaring ocean, Which divides my love and me; Wearying heav'n in warm devotion, For his weal where'er he be.
Hope and Fear's alternate billow Yielding late to Nature's law, Whispering 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—surrounded, 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!
To Daunton Me
The blude-red rose at Yule may blaw, The simmer lilies bloom in snaw, The frost may freeze the deepest sea; But an auld man shall never daunton me. Refrain.—To daunton me, to daunton me, And auld man shall never daunton me.
To daunton me, and me sae young, Wi' his fause heart and flatt'ring tongue, That is the thing you shall never see, For an auld man shall never daunton me. To daunton me, &c.
For a' his meal and a' his maut, For a' his fresh beef and his saut, For a' his gold and white monie, And auld men shall never daunton me. To daunton me, &c.
His gear may buy him kye and yowes, His gear may buy him glens and knowes; But me he shall not buy nor fee, For an auld man shall never daunton me. To daunton me, &c.
He hirples twa fauld as he dow, Wi' his teethless gab and his auld beld pow, And the rain rains down frae his red blear'd e'e; That auld man shall never daunton me. To daunton me, &c.
The Winter It Is Past
The winter it is past, and the summer comes at last And the small birds, they sing on ev'ry tree; Now ev'ry thing is glad, while I am very sad, Since my true love is parted from me.
The rose upon the breer, by the waters running clear, May have charms for the linnet or the bee; Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest, But my true love is parted from me.
The Bonie Lad That's Far Awa
O how can I be blythe and glad, Or how can I gang brisk and braw, When the bonie lad that I lo'e best Is o'er the hills and far awa!
It's no the frosty winter wind, It's no the driving drift and snaw; But aye the tear comes in my e'e, To think on him that's far awa.
My father pat me frae his door, My friends they hae disown'd me a'; But I hae ane will tak my part, The bonie lad that's far awa.
A pair o' glooves he bought to me, And silken snoods he gae me twa; And I will wear them for his sake, The bonie lad that's far awa.
O weary Winter soon will pass, And Spring will cleed the birken shaw; And my young babie will be born, And he'll be hame that's far awa.
Verses To Clarinda
Sent with a Pair of Wine-Glasses.
Fair Empress of the Poet's soul, And Queen of Poetesses; Clarinda, take this little boon, This humble pair of glasses:
And fill them up with generous juice, As generous as your mind; And pledge them to the generous toast, "The whole of human kind!"
"To those who love us!" second fill; But not to those whom we love; Lest we love those who love not us— A third—"To thee and me, Love!"
The Chevalier's Lament
The small birds rejoice in the green leaves returning, The murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' the vale; The primroses blow in the dews of the morning, And wild scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale: But what can give pleasure, or what can seem fair, When the lingering moments are numbered by care? No birds sweetly singing, nor flow'rs gaily springing, Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair.
The deed that I dared, could it merit their malice? A king and a father to place on his throne! His right are these hills, and his right are these valleys, Where the wild beasts find shelter, tho' I can find none! But 'tis not my suff'rings, thus wretched, forlorn, My brave gallant friends, 'tis your ruin I mourn; Your faith proved so loyal in hot bloody trial,— Alas! I can make it no better return!
Epistle To Hugh Parker
In this strange land, this uncouth clime, A land unknown to prose or rhyme; Where words ne'er cross't the Muse's heckles, Nor limpit in poetic shackles: A land that Prose did never view it, Except when drunk he stacher't thro' it; Here, ambush'd by the chimla cheek, Hid in an atmosphere of reek, I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk, I hear it—for in vain I leuk. The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel, Enhusked by a fog infernal: Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures, I sit and count my sins by chapters; For life and spunk like ither Christians, I'm dwindled down to mere existence, Wi' nae converse but Gallowa' bodies, Wi' nae kenn'd face but Jenny Geddes, Jenny, my Pegasean pride! Dowie she saunters down Nithside, And aye a westlin leuk she throws, While tears hap o'er her auld brown nose! Was it for this, wi' cannie care, Thou bure the Bard through many a shire? At howes, or hillocks never stumbled, And late or early never grumbled?— O had I power like inclination, I'd heeze thee up a constellation, To canter with the Sagitarre, Or loup the ecliptic like a bar; Or turn the pole like any arrow; Or, when auld Phoebus bids good-morrow, Down the zodiac urge the race, And cast dirt on his godship's face; For I could lay my bread and kail He'd ne'er cast saut upo' thy tail.— Wi' a' this care and a' this grief, And sma', sma' prospect of relief, And nought but peat reek i' my head, How can I write what ye can read?— Tarbolton, twenty-fourth o' June, Ye'll find me in a better tune; But till we meet and weet our whistle, Tak this excuse for nae epistle.
Of A' The Airts The Wind Can Blaw^1
Tune—"Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey."
Of a' the airts the wind can blaw, I dearly like the west, For there the bonie lassie lives, The lassie I lo'e best:
[Footnote 1: Written during a separation from Mrs. Burns in their honeymoon. Burns was preparing a home at Ellisland; Mrs. Burns was at Mossgiel.—Lang.]
There's wild-woods grow, and rivers row, And mony a hill between: But day and night my fancys' flight Is ever wi' my Jean.
I see her in the dewy flowers, I see her sweet and fair: I hear her in the tunefu' birds, I hear her charm the air: There's not a bonie flower that springs, By fountain, shaw, or green; There's not a bonie bird that sings, But minds me o' my Jean.
Song—I Hae a Wife O' My Ain
I Hae a wife of my ain, I'll partake wi' naebody; I'll take Cuckold frae nane, I'll gie Cuckold to naebody.
I hae a penny to spend, There—thanks to naebody! I hae naething to lend, I'll borrow frae naebody.
I am naebody's lord, I'll be slave to naebody; I hae a gude braid sword, I'll tak dunts frae naebody.
I'll be merry and free, I'll be sad for naebody; Naebody cares for me, I care for naebody.
Lines Written In Friars'-Carse Hermitage
Glenriddel Hermitage, June 28th, 1788.
Thou whom chance may hither lead, Be thou clad in russet weed, Be thou deckt in silken stole, Grave these maxims on thy soul.
Life is but a day at most, Sprung from night, in darkness lost: Hope not sunshine every hour, Fear not clouds will always lour.
Happiness is but a name, Make content and ease thy aim, Ambition is a meteor-gleam; Fame, an idle restless dream;
Peace, the tend'rest flow'r of spring; Pleasures, insects on the wing; Those that sip the dew alone— Make the butterflies thy own; Those that would the bloom devour— Crush the locusts, save the flower.
For the future be prepar'd, Guard wherever thou can'st guard; But thy utmost duly done, Welcome what thou can'st not shun. Follies past, give thou to air, Make their consequence thy care: Keep the name of Man in mind, And dishonour not thy kind. Reverence with lowly heart Him, whose wondrous work thou art; Keep His Goodness still in view, Thy trust, and thy example, too.
Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide! Quod the Beadsman of Nidside.
To Alex. Cunningham, ESQ., Writer
Ellisland, Nithsdale, July 27th, 1788.
My godlike friend—nay, do not stare, You think the phrase is odd-like; But God is love, the saints declare, Then surely thou art god-like.
And is thy ardour still the same? And kindled still at Anna? Others may boast a partial flame, But thou art a volcano!
Ev'n Wedlock asks not love beyond Death's tie-dissolving portal; But thou, omnipotently fond, May'st promise love immortal!
Thy wounds such healing powers defy, Such symptoms dire attend them, That last great antihectic try— Marriage perhaps may mend them.
Sweet Anna has an air—a grace, Divine, magnetic, touching: She talks, she charms—but who can trace The process of bewitching?
Song.—Anna, Thy Charms
Anna, thy charms my bosom fire, And waste my soul with care; But ah! how bootless to admire, When fated to despair!
Yet in thy presence, lovely Fair, To hope may be forgiven; For sure 'twere impious to despair So much in sight of heaven.
The Fete Champetre
O Wha will to Saint Stephen's House, To do our errands there, man? O wha will to Saint Stephen's House O' th' merry lads of Ayr, man?
Or will we send a man o' law? Or will we send a sodger? Or him wha led o'er Scotland a' The meikle Ursa-Major?^1
Come, will ye court a noble lord, Or buy a score o'lairds, man? For worth and honour pawn their word, Their vote shall be Glencaird's,^2 man. Ane gies them coin, ane gies them wine, Anither gies them clatter: Annbank,^3 wha guessed the ladies' taste, He gies a Fete Champetre.
When Love and Beauty heard the news, The gay green woods amang, man; Where, gathering flowers, and busking bowers, They heard the blackbird's sang, man: A vow, they sealed it with a kiss, Sir Politics to fetter; As their's alone, the patent bliss, To hold a Fete Champetre.
Then mounted Mirth, on gleesome wing O'er hill and dale she flew, man; Ilk wimpling burn, ilk crystal spring, Ilk glen and shaw she knew, man: She summon'd every social sprite, That sports by wood or water, On th' bonie banks of Ayr to meet, And keep this Fete Champetre.
Cauld Boreas, wi' his boisterous crew, Were bound to stakes like kye, man, And Cynthia's car, o' silver fu', Clamb up the starry sky, man: Reflected beams dwell in the streams, Or down the current shatter; The western breeze steals thro'the trees, To view this Fete Champetre.
[Footnote 1: James Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Johnson.]
[Footnote 2: Sir John Whitefoord, then residing at Cloncaird or "Glencaird."]
[Footnote 3: William Cunninghame, Esq., of Annbank and Enterkin.]
How many a robe sae gaily floats! What sparkling jewels glance, man! To Harmony's enchanting notes, As moves the mazy dance, man. The echoing wood, the winding flood, Like Paradise did glitter, When angels met, at Adam's yett, To hold their Fete Champetre.
When Politics came there, to mix And make his ether-stane, man! He circled round the magic ground, But entrance found he nane, man: He blush'd for shame, he quat his name, Forswore it, every letter, Wi' humble prayer to join and share This festive Fete Champetre.
Epistle To Robert Graham, Esq., Of Fintry
Requesting a Favour
When Nature her great master-piece design'd, And fram'd her last, best work, the human mind, Her eye intent on all the mazy plan, She form'd of various parts the various Man.
Then first she calls the useful many forth; Plain plodding Industry, and sober Worth: Thence peasants, farmers, native sons of earth, And merchandise' whole genus take their birth: 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: The caput mortuum of grnss desires Makes a material for mere knights and squires; The martial phosphorus is taught to flow, She kneads the lumpish philosophic dough, Then marks th' unyielding mass with grave designs, Law, physic, politics, and deep divines; Last, she sublimes th' Aurora of the poles, The flashing elements of female souls.
The order'd system fair before her stood, Nature, well pleas'd, pronounc'd it very good; But ere she gave creating labour o'er, Half-jest, she tried one curious labour more. Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatuus matter, Such as the slightest breath of air might scatter; With arch-alacrity and conscious glee, (Nature may have her whim as well as we, Her Hogarth-art perhaps she meant to show it), She forms the thing and christens it—a Poet: Creature, tho' oft the prey of care and sorrow, When blest to-day, unmindful of to-morrow; A being form'd t' amuse his graver friends, Admir'd and prais'd—and there the homage ends; A mortal quite unfit for Fortune's strife, Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life; Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches give, Yet haply wanting wherewithal 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, then felt for her poor work: Pitying the propless climber of mankind, She cast about a standard tree to find; And, to support his helpless woodbine state, Attach'd him to the generous, truly great: A title, and the only one I claim, To lay strong hold for help on bounteous Graham.
Pity the tuneful Muses' hapless train, Weak, timid landsmen on life's stormy main! Their hearts no selfish stern absorbent stuff, That never gives—tho' humbly takes enough; The little fate allows, they share as soon, Unlike sage proverb'd Wisdom's hard-wrung boon: The world were blest did bliss on them depend, Ah, that "the friendly e'er should want a friend!" Let 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 should"— We own they're prudent, but who feels they're good? Ye wise ones hence! ye hurt the social eye! God's image rudely etch'd on base alloy! But come ye who the godlike pleasure know, Heaven's attribute distinguished—to bestow! Whose arms of love would grasp the human race: Come thou who giv'st with all a courtier's grace; Friend of my 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 injured 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 pie-bald jacket let me patch once more, On eighteenpence 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, plac'd by thee upon the wish'd-for height, Where, man and nature fairer in her sight, My Muse may imp her wing for some sublimer flight.
Song.—The Day Returns
Tune—"Seventh of November."
The day returns, my bosom burns, The blissful day we twa did meet: Tho' winter wild in tempest toil'd, Ne'er summer-sun was half sae sweet. Than a' the pride that loads the tide, And crosses o'er the sultry line; Than kingly robes, than crowns and globes, Heav'n gave me more—it made thee mine!
While day and night can bring delight, Or Nature aught of pleasure give; While joys above my mind can move, For thee, and thee alone, I live. When that grim foe of life below Comes in between to make us part, The iron hand that breaks our band, It breaks my bliss—it breaks my heart!
Song.—O, Were I On Parnassus Hill
Tune—"My love is lost to me."
O, were I on Parnassus hill, Or had o' Helicon my fill, That I might catch poetic skill, To sing how dear I love thee! But Nith maun be my Muse's well, My Muse maun be thy bonie sel', On Corsincon I'll glowr and spell, And write how dear I love thee.
Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay! For a' the lee-lang simmer's day I couldna sing, I couldna say, How much, how dear, I love thee, I see thee dancing o'er the green, Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean, Thy tempting lips, thy roguish een— By Heaven and Earth I love thee!
By night, by day, a-field, at hame, The thoughts o' thee my breast inflame: And aye I muse and sing thy name— I only live to love thee. Tho' I were doom'd to wander on, Beyond the sea, beyond the sun, Till my last weary sand was run; Till then—and then I love thee!
A Mother's Lament
For the Death of Her Son.
Fate gave the word, the arrow sped, And pierc'd my darling's heart; And with him all the joys are fled Life can to me impart.
By cruel hands the sapling drops, In dust dishonour'd laid; So fell the pride of all my hopes, My age's future shade.
The mother-linnet in the brake Bewails her ravish'd young; So I, for my lost darling's sake, Lament the live-day long.
Death, oft I've feared thy fatal blow. Now, fond, I bare my breast; O, do thou kindly lay me low With him I love, at rest!
The Fall Of The Leaf
The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill, Concealing the course of the dark-winding rill; How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear! As Autumn to Winter resigns the pale year.
The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown, And all the gay foppery of summer is flown: Apart let me wander, apart let me muse, How quick Time is flying, how keen Fate pursues!
How long I have liv'd—but how much liv'd in vain, How little of life's scanty span may remain, What aspects old Time in his progress has worn, What ties cruel Fate, in my bosom has torn.
How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gain'd! And downward, how weaken'd, how darken'd, how pain'd! Life is not worth having with all it can give— For something beyond it poor man sure must live.
I Reign In Jeanie's Bosom
Louis, what reck I by thee, Or Geordie on his ocean? Dyvor, beggar louns to me, I reign in Jeanie's bosom!
Let her crown my love her law, And in her breast enthrone me, Kings and nations—swith awa'! Reif randies, I disown ye!
It Is Na, Jean, Thy Bonie Face
It is na, Jean, thy bonie face, Nor shape that I admire; Altho' thy beauty and thy grace Might weel awauk desire.
Something, in ilka part o' thee, To praise, to love, I find, But dear as is thy form to me, Still dearer is thy mind.
Nae mair ungenerous wish I hae, Nor stronger in my breast, Than, if I canna make thee sae, At least to see thee blest.
Content am I, if heaven shall give But happiness, to thee; And as wi' thee I'd wish to live, For thee I'd bear to die.
Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne!
Chorus.—For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne. We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet, For auld lang syne.
And surely ye'll be your pint stowp! And surely I'll be mine! And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet, For auld lang syne. For auld, &c.
We twa hae run about the braes, And pou'd the gowans fine; But we've wander'd mony a weary fit, Sin' auld lang syne. For auld, &c.
We twa hae paidl'd in the burn, Frae morning sun till dine; But seas between us braid hae roar'd Sin' auld lang syne. For auld, &c.
And there's a hand, my trusty fere! And gie's a hand o' thine! And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught, For auld lang syne. For auld, &c.
My Bonie Mary
Go, fetch to me a pint o' wine, And fill it in a silver tassie; That I may drink before I go, A service to my bonie lassie. The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith; Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry; The ship rides by the Berwick-law, And I maun leave my bonie Mary.
The trumpets sound, the banners fly, The glittering spears are ranked ready: The shouts o' war are heard afar, The battle closes deep and bloody; It's not the roar o' sea or shore, Wad mak me langer wish to tarry! Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar— It's leaving thee, my bonie Mary!
The Parting Kiss
Humid seal of soft affections, Tenderest pledge of future bliss, Dearest tie of young connections, Love's first snowdrop, virgin kiss!
Speaking silence, dumb confession, Passion's birth, and infant's play, Dove-like fondness, chaste concession, Glowing dawn of future day!
Sorrowing joy, Adieu's last action, (Lingering lips must now disjoin), What words can ever speak affection So thrilling and sincere as thine!
Written In Friar's-Carse Hermitage
Thou whom chance may hither lead, Be thou clad in russet weed, Be thou deckt in silken stole, Grave these counsels on thy soul.
Life is but a day at most, Sprung from night,—in darkness lost; Hope not sunshine ev'ry hour, Fear not clouds will always lour.
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 wouldst thou scale? Check thy climbing step, elate, Evils lurk in felon wait: Dangers, eagle-pinioned, 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; 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 his fate, Is not,—Arth thou high or low? Did thy fortune ebb or flow? Did many talents gild thy span? Or frugal Nature grudge thee one? Tell them, and press it on their mind, As thou thyself 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-enjoyment lies; That foolish, selfish, faithless ways Lead to be 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, To light and joy the good restore, To light and joy unknown before. Stranger, go! Heav'n be thy guide! Quod the Beadsman of Nithside.
The Poet's Progress
A Poem In Embryo
Thou, Nature, partial Nature, I arraign; Of thy caprice maternal I complain.
The peopled fold thy kindly care have found, The horned bull, tremendous, spurns the ground; The lordly lion has enough and more, The forest trembles at his very roar; Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell, The puny wasp, victorious, guards his cell. Thy minions, kings defend, controul devour, In all th' omnipotence of rule and power: Foxes and statesmen subtle 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: E'en silly women have defensive arts, Their eyes, their tongues—and nameless other parts.
But O thou cruel stepmother and hard, To thy poor fenceless, naked child, the Bard! A thing unteachable in worldly skill, And half an idiot too, more helpless still: No heels to bear him from the op'ning dun, No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun: No horns, but those by luckless Hymen worn, And those, alas! not Amalthea's horn: No nerves olfact'ry, true to Mammon's foot, Or grunting, grub sagacious, evil's root: The silly sheep that wanders wild astray, Is not more friendless, is not more a prey; Vampyre—booksellers drain him to the heart, And viper—critics cureless venom dart.
Critics! appll'd I venture on the name, Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame, Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes, He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose: By blockhead's daring into madness stung, His heart by wanton, causeless malice wrung, His well-won ways—than life itself more dear— By miscreants torn who ne'er one sprig must wear; Foil'd, bleeding, tortur'd in th' unequal strife, The hapless Poet flounces on through life, Till, fled each hope that once his bosom fired, And fled each Muse that glorious once inspir'd, Low-sunk in squalid, unprotected age, Dead even resentment for his injur'd page, He heeds no more the ruthless critics' rage.
So by some hedge the generous steed deceas'd, For half-starv'd, snarling curs a dainty feast; By toil and famine worn to skin and bone, Lies, senseless of each tugging bitch's son.
A little upright, pert, tart, tripping wight, And still his precious self his dear delight; Who loves his own smart shadow in the streets, Better than e'er the fairest she he meets; Much specious lore, but little understood, (Veneering oft outshines the solid wood), His solid sense, by inches you must tell, But mete his cunning by the Scottish ell! A man of fashion too, he made his tour, Learn'd "vive la bagatelle et vive l'amour;" So travell'd monkeys their grimace improve, Polish their grin—nay, sigh for ladies' love! His meddling vanity, a busy fiend, Still making work his selfish craft must mend.
* * * Crochallan came, The old cock'd hat, the brown surtout—the same; His grisly beard just bristling in its might— 'Twas four long nights and days from shaving-night; His uncomb'd, hoary locks, wild-staring, thatch'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.
O Dulness, portion of the truly blest! Calm, shelter'd haven of eternal rest! Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremes Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams; If mantling high she fills the golden cup, With sober, selfish ease they sip it up; Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve, They only wonder "some folks" do not starve! The grave, sage hern thus easy picks his frog, And thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog. When disappointment snaps the thread of Hope, When, thro' disastrous night, they darkling grope, With deaf endurance sluggishly 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 moon-struck brain; In equanimity they never dwell, By turns in soaring heaven, or vaulted hell!
Elegy On The Year 1788
For lords or kings I dinna mourn, E'en let them die—for that they're born: But oh! prodigious to reflec'! A Towmont, sirs, is gane to wreck! O Eighty-eight, in thy sma' space, What dire events hae taken place! Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us! In what a pickle thou has left us!
The Spanish empire's tint a head, And my auld teethless, Bawtie's dead: The tulyie's teugh 'tween Pitt and Fox, And 'tween our Maggie's twa wee cocks; The tane is game, a bluidy devil, But to the hen-birds unco civil; The tither's something dour o' treadin, But better stuff ne'er claw'd a middin.
Ye ministers, come mount the poupit, An' cry till ye be hearse an' roupit, For Eighty-eight, he wished you weel, An' gied ye a' baith gear an' meal; E'en monc a plack, and mony a peck, Ye ken yoursels, for little feck!
Ye bonie lasses, dight your e'en, For some o' you hae tint a frien'; In Eighty-eight, ye ken, was taen, What ye'll ne'er hae to gie again.
Observe the very nowt an' sheep, How dowff an' daviely they creep; Nay, even the yirth itsel' does cry, For E'nburgh wells are grutten dry.
O Eighty-nine, thou's but a bairn, An' no owre auld, I hope, to learn! Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care, Thou now hast got thy Daddy's chair; Nae handcuff'd, mizl'd, hap-shackl'd Regent, But, like himsel, a full free agent, Be sure ye follow out the plan Nae waur than he did, honest man! As muckle better as you can.
January, 1, 1789.
The Henpecked Husband
Curs'd be the man, the poorest wretch in life, The crouching vassal to a tyrant wife! Who has no will but by her high permission, Who has not sixpence but in her possession; Who must to he, his dear friend's secrets tell, Who dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell. Were such the wife had fallen to my part, I'd break her spirit or I'd break her heart; I'd charm her with the magic of a switch, I'd kiss her maids, and kick the perverse bitch.
Versicles On Sign-Posts
His face with smile eternal drest, Just like the Landlord's to his Guest's, High as they hang with creaking din, To index out the Country Inn. He looked just as your sign-post Lions do, With aspect fierce, and quite as harmless too.
A head, pure, sinless quite of brain and soul, The very image of a barber's Poll; It shews a human face, and wears a wig, And looks, when well preserv'd, amazing big.
Robin Shure In Hairst
Chorus.—Robin shure in hairst, I shure wi' him. Fient a heuk had I, Yet I stack by him.
I gaed up to Dunse, To warp a wab o' plaiden, At his daddie's yett, Wha met me but Robin: Robin shure, &c.
Was na Robin bauld, Tho' I was a cotter, Play'd me sic a trick, An' me the El'er's dochter! Robin shure, &c.
Robin promis'd me A' my winter vittle; Fient haet he had but three Guse-feathers and a whittle! Robin shure, &c.
Ode, Sacred To The Memory Of Mrs. Oswald Of Auchencruive
Dweller in yon dungeon dark, Hangman of creation! mark, Who in widow-weeds appears, Laden with unhonour'd years, Noosing with care a bursting purse, Baited with many a deadly curse?
View the wither'd Beldam's face; Can thy keen inspection trace Aught of Humanity's sweet, melting grace? Note that eye, 'tis rheum o'erflows; Pity's flood there never rose, See these hands ne'er stretched to save, Hands that took, but never gave: Keeper of Mammon's iron chest, Lo, there she goes, unpitied and unblest, She goes, but not to realms of everlasting rest!
Plunderer of Armies! lift thine eyes, (A while forbear, ye torturing fiends;) Seest thou whose step, unwilling, hither bends? No fallen angel, hurl'd from upper skies; 'Tis thy trusty quondam Mate, Doom'd to share thy fiery fate; She, tardy, hell-ward plies.
And are they of no more avail, Ten thousand glittering 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-lodged Beggar,with a conscience clear, Expires in rags, unknown, and goes to Heaven.
Pegasus At Wanlockhead
With Pegasus upon a day, Apollo, weary flying, Through frosty hills the journey lay, On foot the way was plying.
Poor slipshod giddy Pegasus Was but a sorry walker; To Vulcan then Apollo goes, To get a frosty caulker.
Obliging Vulcan fell to work, Threw by his coat and bonnet, And did Sol's business in a crack; Sol paid him with a sonnet.
Ye Vulcan's sons of Wanlockhead, Pity my sad disaster; My Pegasus is poorly shod, I'll pay you like my master.
Sappho Redivivus—A Fragment
By all I lov'd, neglected and forgot, No friendly face e'er lights my squalid cot; Shunn'd, hated, wrong'd, unpitied, unredrest, The mock'd quotation of the scorner's jest! Ev'n the poor support of my wretched life, Snatched by the violence of legal strife. Oft grateful for my very daily bread To those my family's once large bounty fed; A welcome inmate at their homely fare, My griefs, my woes, my sighs, my tears they share: (Their vulgar souls unlike the souls refin'd, The fashioned marble of the polished mind).
In vain would Prudence, with decorous sneer, Point out a censuring world, and bid me fear; Above the world, on wings of Love, I rise— I know its worst, and can that worst despise; Let Prudence' direst bodements on me fall, M[ontgomer]y, rich reward, o'erpays them all!
Mild zephyrs waft thee to life's farthest shore, Nor think of me and my distress more,— Falsehood accurst! No! still I beg a place, Still near thy heart some little, little trace: For that dear trace the world I would resign: O let me live, and die, and think it mine!
"I burn, I burn, as when thro' ripen'd corn By driving winds the crackling flames are borne;" Now raving-wild, I curse that fatal night, Then bless the hour that charm'd my guilty sight: In vain the laws their feeble force oppose, Chain'd at Love's feet, they groan, his vanquish'd foes. In vain Religion meets my shrinking eye, I dare not combat, but I turn and fly: Conscience in vain upbraids th' unhallow'd fire, Love grasps her scorpions—stifled they expire! Reason drops headlong from his sacred throne,
Your dear idea reigns, and reigns alone; Each thought intoxicated homage yields, And riots wanton in forbidden fields. By all on high adoring mortals know! By all the conscious villain fears below! By your dear self!—the last great oath I swear, Not life, nor soul, were ever half so dear!
Song—She's Fair And Fause
She's fair and fause that causes my smart, I lo'ed her meikle and lang; She's broken her vow, she's broken my heart, And I may e'en gae hang. A coof cam in wi' routh o' gear, And I hae tint my dearest dear; But Woman is but warld's gear, Sae let the bonie lass gang.
Whae'er ye be that woman love, To this be never blind; Nae ferlie 'tis tho' fickle she prove, A woman has't by kind. O Woman lovely, Woman fair! An angel form's faun to thy share, 'Twad been o'er meikle to gi'en thee mair— I mean an angel mind.
Impromptu Lines To Captain Riddell
On Returning a Newspaper.
Your News and Review, sir. I've read through and through, sir, With little admiring or blaming; The Papers are barren Of home-news or foreign, No murders or rapes worth the naming.
Our friends, the Reviewers, Those chippers and hewers, Are judges of mortar and stone, sir; But of meet or unmeet, In a fabric complete, I'll boldly pronounce they are none, sir;
My goose-quill too rude is To tell all your goodness Bestow'd on your servant, the Poet; Would to God I had one Like a beam of the sun, And then all the world, sir, should know it!
Lines To John M'Murdo, Esq. Of Drumlanrig
Sent with some of the Author's Poems.
O could I give thee India's wealth, As I this trifle send; Because thy joy in both would be To share them with a friend.
But golden sands did never grace The Heliconian stream; Then take what gold could never buy— An honest bard's esteem.
Rhyming Reply To A Note From Captain Riddell
Dear, Sir, at ony time or tide, I'd rather sit wi' you than ride, Though 'twere wi' royal Geordie: And trowth, your kindness, soon and late, Aft gars me to mysel' look blate— The Lord in Heav'n reward ye!
R. Burns. Ellisland.
Tune—"Caledonian Hunts' Delight" of Mr. Gow.
There was once a day, but old Time wasythen young, That brave Caledonia, the chief of her line, From some of your northern deities sprung, (Who knows not that brave Caledonia's divine?) From Tweed to the Orcades was her domain, To hunt, or to pasture, or do what she would: Her heav'nly relations there fixed her reign, And pledg'd her their godheads to warrant it good.
A lambkin in peace, but a lion in war, The pride of her kindred, the heroine grew: Her grandsire, old Odin, triumphantly swore,— "Whoe'er shall provoke thee, th' encounter shall rue!" With tillage or pasture at times she would sport, To feed her fair flocks by her green rustling corn; But chiefly the woods were her fav'rite resort, Her darling amusement, the hounds and the horn.
Long quiet she reigned; till thitherward steers A flight of bold eagles from Adria's strand: Repeated, successive, for many long years, They darken'd the air, and they plunder'd the land: Their pounces were murder, and terror their cry, They'd conquer'd and ruin'd a world beside; She took to her hills, and her arrows let fly, The daring invaders they fled or they died.
The Cameleon-Savage disturb'd her repose, With tumult, disquiet, rebellion, and strife; Provok'd beyond bearing, at last she arose, And robb'd him at once of his hopes and his life: The Anglian lion, the terror of France, Oft prowling, ensanguin'd the Tweed's silver flood; But, taught by the bright Caledonian lance, He learned to fear in his own native wood.
The fell Harpy-raven took wing from the north, The scourge of the seas, and the dread of the shore; The wild Scandinavian boar issued forth To wanton in carnage and wallow in gore: O'er countries and kingdoms their fury prevail'd, No arts could appease them, no arms could repel; But brave Caledonia in vain they assail'd, As Largs well can witness, and Loncartie tell.
Thus bold, independent, unconquer'd, and free, Her bright course of glory for ever shall run: For brave Caledonia immortal must be; I'll prove it from Euclid as clear as the sun: Rectangle—triangle, the figure we'll chuse: The upright is Chance, and old Time is the base; But brave Caledonia's the hypothenuse; Then, ergo, she'll match them, and match them always.
To Miss Cruickshank
A very Young Lady
Written on the Blank Leaf of a Book, presented to her by the Author.
Beauteous Rosebud, young and gay, Blooming in thy early May, Never may'st thou, lovely flower, Chilly shrink in sleety shower! Never Boreas' hoary path, Never Eurus' pois'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!
May'st thou long, sweet crimson gem, Richly deck thy native stem; Till some ev'ning, sober, calm, Dropping dews, and breathing balm, While all around the woodland rings, And ev'ry bird thy requiem sings; Thou, amid the dirgeful sound, Shed thy dying honours round, And resign to parent Earth The loveliest form she e'er gave birth.
Beware O' Bonie Ann
Ye gallants bright, I rede you right, Beware o' bonie Ann; Her comely face sae fu' o' grace, Your heart she will trepan: Her een sae bright, like stars by night, Her skin sae like the swan; Sae jimply lac'd her genty waist, That sweetly ye might span.
Youth, Grace, and Love attendant move, And pleasure leads the van: In a' their charms, and conquering arms, They wait on bonie Ann. The captive bands may chain the hands, But love enslaves the man: Ye gallants braw, I rede you a', Beware o' bonie Ann!
Ode On The Departed Regency Bill
Daughter of Chaos' doting years, Nurse of ten thousand hopes and fears, Whether thy airy, insubstantial shade (The rights of sepulture now duly paid) Spread abroad its hideous form On the roaring civil storm, Deafening din and warring rage Factions wild with factions wage; Or under-ground, deep-sunk, profound, Among the demons of the earth, With groans that make the mountains shake, Thou mourn thy ill-starr'd, blighted birth; Or in the uncreated Void, Where seeds of future being fight, With lessen'd step thou wander wide, To greet thy Mother—Ancient Night. And as each jarring, monster-mass is past, Fond recollect what once thou wast: In manner due, beneath this sacred oak, Hear, Spirit, hear! thy presence I invoke! By a Monarch's heaven-struck fate, By a disunited State, By a generous Prince's wrongs. By a Senate's strife of tongues, By a Premier's sullen pride, Louring on the changing tide; By dread Thurlow's powers to awe Rhetoric, blasphemy and law; By the turbulent ocean— A Nation's commotion, By the harlot-caresses Of borough addresses, By days few and evil, (Thy portion, poor devil!) By Power, Wealth, and Show, (The Gods by men adored,) By nameless Poverty, (Their hell abhorred,) By all they hope, by all they fear, Hear! and appear!
Stare not on me, thou ghastly Power! Nor, grim with chained defiance, lour: No Babel-structure would I build Where, order exil'd from his native sway, Confusion may the regent-sceptre wield, While all would rule and none obey: Go, to the world of man relate The story of thy sad, eventful fate; And call presumptuous Hope to hear And bid him check his blind career; And tell the sore-prest sons of Care, Never, never to despair! Paint Charles' speed on wings of fire, The object of his fond desire, Beyond his boldest hopes, at hand: Paint all the triumph of the Portland Band; Hark how they lift the joy-elated voice! And who are these that equally rejoice? Jews, Gentiles, what a motley crew! The iron tears their flinty cheeks bedew; See how unfurled the parchment ensigns fly, And Principal and Interest all the cry! And how their num'rous creditors rejoice; But just as hopes to warm enjoyment rise, Cry Convalescence! and the vision flies. Then next pourtray a dark'ning twilight gloom, Eclipsing sad a gay, rejoicing morn, While proud Ambition to th' untimely tomb By gnashing, grim, despairing fiends is borne: Paint ruin, in the shape of high D[undas] Gaping with giddy terror o'er the brow; In vain he struggles, the fates behind him press, And clam'rous hell yawns for her prey below: How fallen That, whose pride late scaled the skies! And This, like Lucifer, no more to rise! Again pronounce the powerful word; See Day, triumphant from the night, restored.
Then know this truth, ye Sons of Men! (Thus ends thy moral tale,) Your darkest terrors may be vain, Your brightest hopes may fail.
Epistle To James Tennant Of Glenconner
Auld comrade dear, and brither sinner, How's a' the folk about Glenconner? How do you this blae eastlin wind, That's like to blaw a body blind? For me, my faculties are frozen, My dearest member nearly dozen'd. I've sent you here, by Johnie Simson, Twa sage philosophers to glimpse on; Smith, wi' his sympathetic feeling, An' Reid, to common sense appealing. Philosophers have fought and wrangled, An' meikle Greek an' Latin mangled, Till wi' their logic-jargon tir'd, And in the depth of science mir'd, To common sense they now appeal, What wives and wabsters see and feel. But, hark ye, friend! I charge you strictly, Peruse them, an' return them quickly: 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, an' Boston, Till by an' by, if I haud on, I'll grunt a real gospel-groan: Already I begin to try it, To cast my e'en 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 wi' 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 schoolfellow, Preacher Willie, The manly tar, my mason-billie, And Auchenbay, I wish him joy, If he's a parent, lass or boy, May he be dad, and Meg the mither, Just five-and-forty years thegither! And no forgetting wabster Charlie, I'm tauld he offers very fairly. An' Lord, remember singing Sannock, Wi' hale breeks, saxpence, an' a bannock! And next, my auld acquaintance, Nancy, Since she is fitted to her fancy, An' her kind stars hae airted till her gA guid chiel wi' a pickle siller. My kindest, best respects, I sen' it, To cousin Kate, an' sister Janet: Tell them, frae me, wi' 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 heaven's glory, May ye get mony a merry story, Mony a laugh, and mony a drink, And aye eneugh o' needfu' clink.
Now fare ye weel, an' joy be wi' you: For my sake, this I beg it o' you, Assist poor Simson a' ye can, Ye'll fin; him just an honest man; Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter, Your's, saint or sinner, Rob the Ranter.
A New Psalm For The Chapel Of Kilmarnock
On the Thanksgiving-Day for His Majesty's Recovery.
O sing a new song to the Lord, Make, all and every one, A joyful noise, even for the King His restoration.
The sons of Belial in the land Did set their heads together; Come, let us sweep them off, said they, Like an o'erflowing river.
They set their heads together, I say, They set their heads together; On right, on left, on every hand, We saw none to deliver.
Thou madest strong two chosen ones To quell the Wicked's pride; That Young Man, great in Issachar, The burden-bearing tribe.
And him, among the Princes chief In our Jerusalem, The judge that's mighty in thy law, The man that fears thy name.
Yet they, even they, with all their strength, Began to faint and fail: Even as two howling, ravenous wolves To dogs do turn their tail.
Th' ungodly o'er the just prevail'd, For so thou hadst appointed; That thou might'st greater glory give Unto thine own anointed.
And now thou hast restored our State, Pity our Kirk also; For she by tribulations Is now brought very low.
Consume that high-place, Patronage, From off thy holy hill; And in thy fury burn the book— Even of that man M'Gill.^1
Now hear our prayer, accept our song, And fight thy chosen's battle: We seek but little, Lord, from thee, Thou kens we get as little.
[Footnote 1: Dr. William M'Gill of Ayr, whose "Practical Essay on the Death of Jesus Christ" led to a charge of heresy against him. Burns took up his cause in "The Kirk of Scotland's Alarm" (p. 351).—Lang.]
Sketch In Verse
Inscribed to the Right Hon. C. J. Fox.
How wisdom and Folly meet, mix, and unite, How Virtue and Vice blend their black and their white, How Genius, th' 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, first of our wits; Yet whose parts and acquirements seem just lucky hits; With knowledge so vast, and with judgment so strong, No man with the half of 'em e'er could go wrong; With passions so potent, and fancies so bright, No man with the half of 'em e'er could go right; A sorry, poor, misbegot son of the Muses, For using thy name, offers fifty excuses. Good Lord, what is Man! for as simple he looks, Do but try to develop his hooks and his crooks; With his depths and his shallows, his good and his evil, All in all he's a problem must puzzle the devil.
On his one ruling passion Sir Pope hugely labours, That, like th' old Hebrew walking-switch, eats up its neighbours: Mankind are his show-box—a friend, would you know him? Pull the string, Ruling Passion the picture will show him, What pity, in rearing so beauteous a system, One trifling particular, Truth, should have miss'd him; For, spite of his fine theoretic 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 the wind; As by one drunken fellow his comrades you'll find. But such is the flaw, or the depth of the plan, In the make of that wonderful creature called 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.
But truce with abstraction, and truce with a Muse Whose rhymes you'll perhaps, Sir, ne'er deign to peruse: Will you leave your justings, your jars, and your quarrels, Contending with Billy for proud-nodding laurels? My much-honour'd Patron, believe your poor poet, Your courage, much more than your prudence, you show it: In vain with Squire Billy for laurels you struggle: He'll have them by fair trade, if not, he will smuggle: Not cabinets even of kings would conceal 'em, He'd up the back stairs, and by God, he would steal 'em, Then feats like Squire Billy's you ne'er can achieve 'em; It is not, out-do him—the task is, out-thieve him!
The Wounded Hare
Inhuman man! curse on thy barb'rous art, And blasted be thy murder-aiming eye; May never pity soothe thee with a sigh, Nor ever pleasure glad thy cruel heart!
Go live, poor wand'rer of the wood and field! The bitter little that of life remains: No more the thickening brakes and verdant plains To thee a home, or food, or pastime yield.
Seek, mangled wretch, some place of wonted rest, No more of rest, but now thy dying bed! The sheltering rushes whistling o'er thy head, The cold earth with thy bloody bosom prest.
Perhaps a mother's anguish adds its woe; The playful pair crowd fondly by thy side; Ah! helpless nurslings, who will now provide That life a mother only can bestow!
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 thy hapless fate.
Delia, An Ode
"To the Editor of The Star.—Mr. Printer—If the productions of a simple ploughman can merit a place in the same paper with Sylvester Otway, and the other favourites of the Muses who illuminate the Star with the lustre of genius, your insertion of the enclosed trifle will be succeeded by future communications from—Yours, &c., R. Burns.
Ellisland, near Dumfries, 18th May, 1789."
Fair the face of orient day, Fair the tints of op'ning rose; But fairer still my Delia dawns, More lovely far her beauty shows.
Sweet the lark's wild warbled lay, Sweet the tinkling rill to hear; But, Delia, more delightful still, Steal thine accents on mine ear.
The flower-enamour'd busy bee The rosy banquet loves to sip; Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapse To the sun-brown'd Arab's lip.
But, Delia, on thy balmy lips Let me, no vagrant insect, rove; O let me steal one liquid kiss, For Oh! my soul is parch'd with love.
The Gard'ner Wi' His Paidle
Tune—"The Gardener's March."
When rosy May comes in wi' flowers, To deck her gay, green-spreading bowers, Then busy, busy are his hours, The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
The crystal waters gently fa', The merry bards are lovers a', The scented breezes round him blaw— The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
When purple morning starts the hare To steal upon her early fare; Then thro' the dews he maun repair— The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
When day, expiring in the west, The curtain draws o' Nature's rest, He flies to her arms he lo'es the best, The Gard'ner wi' his paidle.
On A Bank Of Flowers
On a bank of flowers, in a summer day, For summer lightly drest, The youthful, blooming Nelly lay, With love and sleep opprest; When Willie, wand'ring thro' the wood, Who for her favour oft had sued; He gaz'd, he wish'd He fear'd, he blush'd, And trembled where he stood.
Her closed eyes, like weapons sheath'd, Were seal'd in soft repose; Her lip, still as she fragrant breath'd, It richer dyed the rose; The springing lilies, sweetly prest, Wild-wanton kissed her rival breast; He gaz'd, he wish'd, He mear'd, he blush'd, His bosom ill at rest.
Her robes, light-waving in the breeze, Her tender limbs embrace; Her lovely form, her native ease, All harmony and grace; Tumultuous tides his pulses roll, A faltering, ardent kiss he stole; He gaz'd, he wish'd, He fear'd, he blush'd, And sigh'd his very soul.
As flies the partridge from the brake, On fear-inspired wings, So Nelly, starting, half-awake, Away affrighted springs; But Willie follow'd—as he should, He overtook her in the wood; He vow'd, he pray'd, He found the maid Forgiving all, and good.
Young Jockie Was The Blythest Lad
Young Jockie was the blythest lad, In a' our town or here awa; Fu' blythe he whistled at the gaud, Fu' lightly danc'd he in the ha'.
He roos'd my een sae bonie blue, He roos'd my waist sae genty sma'; An' aye my heart cam to my mou', When ne'er a body heard or saw.
My Jockie toils upon the plain, Thro' wind and weet, thro' frost and snaw: And o'er the lea I leuk fu' fain, When Jockie's owsen hameward ca'.
An' aye the night comes round again, When in his arms he taks me a'; An' aye he vows he'll be my ain, As lang's he has a breath to draw.
The Banks Of Nith
The Thames flows proudly to the sea, Where royal cities stately stand; But sweeter flows the Nith to me, Where Comyns ance had high command. When shall I see that honour'd land, That winding stream I love so dear! Must wayward Fortune's adverse hand For ever, ever keep me here!
How lovely, Nith, thy fruitful vales, Where bounding hawthorns gaily bloom; And sweetly spread thy sloping dales, Where lambkins wanton through the broom. Tho' wandering now must be my doom, Far from thy bonie banks and braes, May there my latest hours consume, Amang the friends of early days!
Jamie, Come Try Me
Chorus.—Jamie, come try me, Jamie, come try me, If thou would win my love, Jamie, come try me.
If thou should ask my love, Could I deny thee? If thou would win my love, Jamie, come try me! Jamie, come try me, &c.
If thou should kiss me, love, Wha could espy thee? If thou wad be my love, Jamie, come try me! Jamie, come try me, &c.
I Love My Love In Secret
My Sandy gied to me a ring, Was a' beset wi' diamonds fine; But I gied him a far better thing, I gied my heart in pledge o' his ring.
Chorus.—My Sandy O, my Sandy O, My bonie, bonie Sandy O; Tho' the love that I owe To thee I dare na show, Yet I love my love in secret, my Sandy O.
My Sandy brak a piece o' gowd, While down his cheeks the saut tears row'd; He took a hauf, and gied it to me, And I'll keep it till the hour I die. My Sand O, &c.
Sweet Tibbie Dunbar
O wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar? O wilt thou go wi' me, sweet Tibbie Dunbar? Wilt thou ride on a horse, or be drawn in a car, Or walk by my side, O sweet Tibbie Dunbar?
I care na thy daddie, his lands and his money, I care na thy kin, sae high and sae lordly; But sae that thou'lt hae me for better for waur, And come in thy coatie, sweet Tibbie Dunbar.
The Captain's Lady
Chorus.—O mount and go, mount and make you ready, O mount and go, and be the Captain's lady.
When the drums do beat, and the cannons rattle, Thou shalt sit in state, and see thy love in battle: When the drums do beat, and the cannons rattle, Thou shalt sit in state, and see thy love in battle. O mount and go, &c.
When the vanquish'd foe sues for peace and quiet, To the shades we'll go, and in love enjoy it: When the vanquish'd foe sues for peace and quiet, To the shades we'll go, and in love enjoy it. O mount and go, &c.
John Anderson, My Jo
John Anderson, my jo, John, When we were first acquent; Your locks were like the raven, Your bonie brow was brent; But now your brow is beld, John, Your locks are like the snaw; But blessings on your frosty pow, John Anderson, my jo.
John Anderson, my jo, John, We clamb the hill thegither; And mony a cantie day, John, We've had wi' ane anither: Now we maun totter down, John, And hand in hand we'll go, And sleep thegither at the foot, John Anderson, my jo.
My Love, She's But A Lassie Yet
My love, she's but a lassie yet, My love, she's but a lassie yet; We'll let her stand a year or twa, She'll no be half sae saucy yet; I rue the day I sought her, O! I rue the day I sought her, O! Wha gets her needs na say she's woo'd, But he may say he's bought her, O.
Come, draw a drap o' the best o't yet, Come, draw a drap o' the best o't yet, Gae seek for pleasure whare you will, But here I never miss'd it yet, We're a' dry wi' drinkin o't, We're a' dry wi' drinkin o't; The minister kiss'd the fiddler's wife; He could na preach for thinkin o't.
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' Tam Glen?
I'm thinking, wi' sic a braw fellow, In poortith I might mak a fen; What care I in riches to wallow, If I maunna marry Tam Glen!
There's Lowrie the Laird o' Dumeller— "Gude day to you, brute!" he comes ben: He brags and he blaws o' his siller, But when will he dance like Tam Glen!
My minnie 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'd gie me gude hunder marks ten; But, if it's ordain'd I maun take him, O wha 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 sark-sleeve, as ye ken, His likeness came up the house staukin, And the very grey breeks o' Tam Glen!
Come, counsel, dear Tittie, don't tarry; I'll gie ye my bonie black hen, Gif ye will advise me to marry The lad I lo'e dearly, Tam Glen.
Carle, An The King Come
Chorus.—Carle, an the King come, Carle, an the King come, Thou shalt dance and I will sing, Carle, an the King come.
An somebody were come again, Then somebody maun cross the main, And every man shall hae his ain, Carle, an the King come. Carle, an the King come, &c.
I trow we swapped for the worse, We gae the boot and better horse; And that we'll tell them at the cross, Carle, an the King come. Carle, an the King come, &c.
Coggie, an the King come, Coggie, an the King come, I'se be fou, and thou'se be toom Coggie, an the King come. Coggie, an the King come, &c.
The Laddie's Dear Sel'
There's a youth in this city, it were a great pity That he from our lassies should wander awa'; For he's bonie and braw, weel-favor'd witha', An' his hair has a natural buckle an' a'.
His coat is the hue o' his bonnet sae blue, His fecket is white as the new-driven snaw; His hose they are blae, and his shoon like the slae, And his clear siller buckles, they dazzle us a'.
For beauty and fortune the laddie's been courtin; Weel-featur'd, weel-tocher'd, weel-mounted an' braw; But chiefly the siller that gars him gang till her, The penny's the jewel that beautifies a'.
There's Meg wi' the mailen that fain wad a haen him, And Susie, wha's daddie was laird o' the Ha'; There's lang-tocher'd Nancy maist fetters his fancy, —But the laddie's dear sel', he loes dearest of a'.
Whistle O'er The Lave O't
First when Maggie was my care, Heav'n, I thought, was in her air, Now we're married—speir nae mair, But whistle o'er the lave o't!
Meg was meek, and Meg was mild, Sweet and harmless as a child— Wiser men than me's beguil'd; Whistle o'er the lave o't!
How we live, my Meg and me, How we love, and how we gree, I care na by how few may see— Whistle o'er the lave o't!
Wha I wish were maggot's meat, Dish'd up in her winding-sheet, I could write—but Meg maun see't— Whistle o'er the lave o't!
My Eppie Adair
Chorus.—An' O my Eppie, my jewel, my Eppie, Wha wad na be happy wi' Eppie Adair?
By love, and by beauty, by law, and by duty, I swear to be true to my Eppie Adair! By love, and by beauty, by law, and by duty, I swear to be true to my Eppie Adair! And O my Eppie, &c.
A' pleasure exile me, dishonour defile me, If e'er I beguile ye, my Eppie Adair! A' pleasure exile me, dishonour defile me, If e'er I beguile thee, my Eppie Adair! And O my Eppie, &c.
On The Late Captain Grose's Peregrinations Thro' Scotland
Collecting The Antiquities Of That Kingdom
Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots, Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's;— If there's a hole in a' your coats, I rede you tent it: A chield's amang you takin notes, And, faith, he'll prent it:
If in your bounds ye chance to light Upon a fine, fat fodgel wight, O' stature short, but genius bright, That's he, mark weel; And wow! he has an unco sleight O' cauk and keel.
By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin, Or kirk deserted by its riggin, It's ten to ane ye'll find him snug in Some eldritch part, Wi' deils, they say, Lord save's! colleaguin At some black art.
Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or chaumer, Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour, And you, deep-read in hell's black grammar, Warlocks and witches, Ye'll quake at his conjuring hammer, Ye midnight bitches.
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 taen the—Antiquarian trade, I think they call it.
He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets: Rusty airn caps and jinglin jackets, Wad haud the Lothians three in tackets, A towmont gude; And parritch-pats and auld saut-backets, Before the Flood.
Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder; Auld Tubalcain's fire-shool and fender; That which distinguished the gender O' Balaam's ass: A broomstick o' the witch of Endor, Weel shod wi' brass.
Forbye, he'll shape you aff fu' gleg The cut of Adam's philibeg; The knife that nickit Abel's craig He'll prove you fully, It was a faulding jocteleg, Or lang-kail gullie.
But wad ye see him in his glee, For meikle glee and fun has he, Then set him down, and twa or three Gude fellows wi' him: And port, O port! shine thou a wee, And Then ye'll see him!
Now, by the Pow'rs o' verse and prose! Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose!— Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose, They sair misca' thee; I'd take the rascal by the nose, Wad say, "Shame fa' thee!"
Epigram On Francis Grose The Antiquary
The Devil got notice that Grose was a-dying So whip! at the summons, old Satan came flying; But when he approached where poor Francis lay moaning, And saw each bed-post with its burthen a-groaning, Astonish'd, confounded, cries Satan—"By God, I'll want him, ere I take such a damnable load!"
The Kirk Of Scotland's Alarm
Tune—"Come rouse, Brother Sportsman!"
Orthodox! orthodox, who believe in John Knox, Let me sound an alarm to your conscience: A heretic blast has been blown in the West, "That what is no sense must be nonsense," Orthodox! That what is no sense must be nonsense.
Doctor Mac! Doctor Mac, you should streek on a rack, To strike evil-doers wi' terror: To join Faith and Sense, upon any pretence, Was heretic, damnable error, Doctor Mac!^1 'Twas heretic, damnable error.
Town of Ayr! town of Ayr, it was mad, I declare, To meddle wi' mischief a-brewing,^2 Provost John^3 is still deaf to the Church's relief, And Orator Bob^4 is its ruin, Town of Ayr! Yes, Orator Bob 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 you, auld Satan must have you, For preaching that three's ane an' twa, D'rymple mild!^5 For preaching that three's ane an' twa.
Rumble John! rumble John, mount the steps with a groan, Cry the book is with heresy cramm'd; Then out wi' your ladle, deal brimstone like aidle, And roar ev'ry note of the damn'd. Rumble John!^6 And roar ev'ry note of the damn'd.
[Footnote 1: Dr. M'Gill, Ayr.—R.B,]
[Footnote 2: See the advertisement.—R.B.]
[Footnote 3: John Ballantine,—R.B.]
[Footnote 4: Robert Aiken.—R.B.]
[Footnote 5: Dr. Dalrymple, Ayr.—R.B.]
[Footnote 6: John Russell, Kilmarnock.—R.B.]
Simper James! simper James, leave your fair Killie dames, There's a holier chase in your view: I'll lay on your head, that the pack you'll soon lead, For puppies like you there's but few, Simper James!^7 For puppies like you there's but few.
Singet Sawnie! singet Sawnie, are ye huirdin the penny, Unconscious what evils await? With a jump, yell, and howl, alarm ev'ry soul, For the foul thief is just at your gate. Singet Sawnie!^8 For the foul thief is just at your gate.
Poet Willie! poet Willie, gie the Doctor a volley, Wi' your "Liberty's Chain" and your wit; O'er Pegasus' side ye ne'er laid a stride, Ye but smelt, man, the place where he sh—t. Poet Willie!^9 Ye but smelt man, the place where he sh—t.
Barr Steenie! Barr Steenie, what mean ye, what mean ye? If ye meddle nae mair wi' the matter, Ye may hae some pretence to havins and sense, Wi' people that ken ye nae better, Barr Steenie!^10 Wi'people that ken ye nae better.
Jamie Goose! Jamie Goose, ye made but toom roose, In hunting the wicked Lieutenant; But the Doctor's your mark, for the Lord's holy ark, He has cooper'd an' ca'd a wrang pin in't, Jamie Goose!^11 He has cooper'd an' ca'd a wrang pin in't.
Davie Bluster! Davie Bluster, for a saint ye do muster, The corps is no nice o' recruits;
[Footnote 7: James Mackinlay, Kilmarnock.—R.B.]
[Footnote 8: Alexander Moodie of Riccarton.—R.B.]
[Footnote 9: William Peebles, in Newton-upon-Ayr, a poetaster, who, among many other things, published an ode on the "Centenary of the Revolution," in which was the line: "And bound in Liberty's endering chain."—R.B.]
[Footnote 10: Stephen Young of Barr.—R.B.]
[Footnote 11: James Young, in New Cumnock, who had lately been foiled in an ecclesiastical prosecution against a Lieutenant Mitchel—R.B.]
Yet to worth let's be just, royal blood ye might boast, If the Ass were the king o' the brutes, Davie Bluster!^12 If the Ass were the king o' the brutes.
Irvine Side! Irvine Side, wi' your turkey-cock pride Of manhood but sma' is your share: Ye've the figure, 'tis true, ev'n your foes will allow, And your friends they dare grant you nae mair, Irvine Side!^13 And your friends they dare grant you nae mair.
Muirland Jock! muirland Jock, when the Lord 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, Muirland Jock!^14 To confound the poor Doctor at ance.
Andro Gowk! Andro Gowk, ye may slander the Book, An' the Book nought the waur, let me tell ye; Tho' ye're rich, an' look big, yet, lay by hat an' wig, An' ye'll hae a calf's—had o' sma' value, Andro Gowk!^15 Ye'll hae a calf's head o' sma value.
Daddy Auld! daddy Auld, there'a a tod in the fauld, A tod meikle waur than the clerk; Tho' ye do little skaith, ye'll be in at the death, For gif ye canna bite, ye may bark, Daddy Auld!^16 Gif ye canna bite, ye may bark.
Holy Will! holy Will, there was wit in your skull, When ye pilfer'd the alms o' the poor; The timmer is scant when ye're taen for a saunt, Wha should swing in a rape for an hour, Holy Will!^17 Ye should swing in a rape for an hour.
Calvin's sons! Calvin's sons, seize your spiritual guns, Ammunition you never can need;
[Footnote 12: David Grant, Ochiltree.—R.B.]
[Footnote 13: George Smith, Galston.—R.B.]
[Footnote 14: John Shepherd Muirkirk.—R.B.]
[Footnote 15: Dr. Andrew Mitchel, Monkton.—R.B.]
[Footnote 16: William Auld, Mauchline; for the clerk, see "Holy Willie"s prayer.—R.B.]
[Footnote 17: Vide the "Prayer" of this saint.—R.B.]
Your hearts are the stuff will be powder enough, And your skulls are a storehouse o' lead, Calvin's sons! Your skulls are a storehouse o' lead.
Poet Burns! poet Burns, wi' your priest-skelpin turns, Why desert ye your auld native shire? Your muse is a gipsy, yet were she e'en tipsy, She could ca'us nae waur than we are, Poet Burns! She could ca'us nae waur than we are.
Presentation Stanzas To Correspondents
Factor John! Factor John, whom the Lord made alone, And ne'er made anither, thy peer, Thy poor servant, the Bard, in respectful regard, He presents thee this token sincere, Factor John! He presents thee this token sincere.
Afton's Laird! Afton's Laird, when your pen can be spared, A copy of this I bequeath, On the same sicker score as I mention'd before, To that trusty auld worthy, Clackleith, Afton's Laird! To that trusty auld worthy, Clackleith.
Sonnet On Receiving A Favour
10 Aug., 1979.
Addressed to Robert Graham, Esq. of Fintry.
I call no Goddess to inspire my strains, A fabled Muse may suit a bard that feigns: Friend of my life! my ardent spirit burns, And all the tribute of my heart returns, For boons accorded, goodness ever new, The gifts still dearer, as the giver you. Thou orb of day! thou other paler light! And all ye many sparkling stars of night! If aught that giver from my mind efface, If I that giver's bounty e'er disgrace, Then roll to me along your wand'rig spheres, Only to number out a villain's years! I lay my hand upon my swelling breast, And grateful would, but cannot speak the rest.
On being appointed to an Excise division.
Searching auld wives' barrels, Ochon the day! That clarty barm should stain my laurels: But—what'll ye say? These movin' things ca'd wives an' weans, Wad move the very hearts o' stanes!
Song—Willie Brew'd A Peck O' Maut^1
O Willie brew'd a peck o' maut, And Rob and Allen cam to see; Three blyther hearts, that lee-lang night, Ye wadna found in Christendie.
Chorus.—We are na fou, we're nae 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.
Here are we met, three merry boys, Three merry boys I trow are we; And mony a night we've merry been, And mony mae we hope to be! We are na fou, &c.
It is the moon, I ken her horn, That's blinkin' in the lift sae hie; She shines sae bright to wyle us hame, But, by my sooth, she'll wait a wee! We are na fou, &c.
Wha first shall rise to gang awa, A cuckold, coward loun is he! Wha first beside his chair shall fa', He is the King amang us three. We are na fou, &c.
[Footnote 1: Willie is Nicol, Allan is Masterton the writing— master. The scene is between Moffat and the head of the Loch of the Lowes. Date, August—September, 1789.—Lang.]
Ca' The Yowes To The Knowes
Chorus.—Ca' the yowes to the knowes, Ca' them where the heather grows, Ca' them where the burnie rowes, My bonie dearie
As I gaed down the water-side, There I met my shepherd lad: He row'd me sweetly in his plaid, And he ca'd me his dearie. Ca' the yowes, &c.
Will ye gang down the water-side, And see the waves sae sweetly glide Beneath the hazels spreading wide, The moon it shines fu' clearly. Ca' the yowes, &c.
Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet, Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet, And in my arms ye'se lie and sleep, An' ye sall be my dearie. Ca' the yowes, &c.
If ye'll but stand to what ye've said, I'se gang wi' thee, my shepherd lad, And ye may row me in your plaid, And I sall be your dearie. Ca' the yowes, &c.
While waters wimple to the sea, While day blinks in the lift sae hie, Till clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'e, Ye sall be my dearie. Ca' the yowes, &c.
I Gaed A Waefu' Gate Yestreen
I gaed a waefu' gate yestreen, A gate, I fear, I'll dearly rue; I gat my death frae twa sweet een, Twa lovely een o'bonie blue.
'Twas not her golden ringlets bright, Her lips like roses wat wi' dew, Her heaving bosom, lily-white— It was her een sae bonie blue.
She talk'd, she smil'd, my heart she wyl'd; She charm'd my soul I wist na how; And aye the stound, the deadly wound, Cam frae her een so bonie blue. But "spare to speak, and spare to speed;" She'll aiblins listen to my vow: Should she refuse, I'll lay my dead To her twa een sae bonie blue.
Highland Harry Back Again
My Harry was a gallant gay, Fu' stately strade he on the plain; But now he's banish'd far away, I'll never see him back again.
Chorus.—O for him back again! O for him back again! I wad gie a' Knockhaspie's land For Highland Harry back again.
When a' the lave gae to their bed, I wander dowie up the glen; I set me down and greet my fill, And aye I wish him back again. O for him, &c.
O were some villains hangit high, And ilka body had their ain! Then I might see the joyfu' sight, My Highland Harry back again. O for him, &c.
The Battle Of Sherramuir
Tune—"The Cameronian Rant."
"O cam ye here the fight to shun, Or herd the sheep wi' me, man? Or were ye at the Sherra-moor, Or did the battle see, man?" I saw the battle, sair and teugh, And reekin-red ran mony a sheugh; My heart, for fear, gaed sough for sough, To hear the thuds, and see the cluds O' clans frae woods, in tartan duds, Wha glaum'd at kingdoms three, man. La, la, la, la, &c.
The red-coat lads, wi' black cockauds, To meet them were na slaw, man; They rush'd and push'd, and blude outgush'd And mony a bouk did fa', man: The great Argyle led on his files, I wat they glanced twenty miles; They hough'd the clans like nine-pin kyles, They hack'd and hash'd, while braid-swords, clash'd, And thro' they dash'd, and hew'd and smash'd, Till fey men died awa, man. La, la, la, la, &c.
But had ye seen the philibegs, And skyrin tartan trews, man; When in the teeth they dar'd our Whigs, And covenant True-blues, man: In lines extended lang and large, When baiginets o'erpower'd the targe, And thousands hasten'd to the charge; Wi' Highland wrath they frae the sheath Drew blades o' death, till, out o' breath, They fled like frighted dows, man! La, la, la, la, &c.
"O how deil, Tam, can that be true? The chase gaed frae the north, man; I saw mysel, they did pursue, The horsemen back to Forth, man; And at Dunblane, in my ain sight, They took the brig wi' a' their might, And straught to Stirling wing'd their flight; But, cursed lot! the gates were shut; And mony a huntit poor red-coat, For fear amaist did swarf, man!" La, la, la, la, &c.
My sister Kate cam up the gate Wi' crowdie unto me, man; She swoor she saw some rebels run To Perth unto Dundee, man; Their left-hand general had nae skill; The Angus lads had nae gude will That day their neibors' blude to spill; For fear, for foes, that they should lose Their cogs o' brose; they scar'd at blows, And hameward fast did flee, man. La, la, la, la, &c.
They've lost some gallant gentlemen, Amang the Highland clans, man! I fear my Lord Panmure is slain, Or fallen in Whiggish hands, man, Now wad ye sing this double fight, Some fell for wrang, and some for right; But mony bade the world gude-night; Then ye may tell, how pell and mell, By red claymores, and muskets knell, Wi' dying yell, the Tories fell, And Whigs to hell did flee, man. La, la, la, la, &c.
The Braes O' Killiecrankie
Where hae ye been sae braw, lad? Whare hae ye been sae brankie, O? Whare hae ye been sae braw, lad? Cam ye by Killiecrankie, O?
Chorus.—An ye had been whare I hae been, Ye wad na been sae cantie, O; An ye had seen what I hae seen, I' the Braes o' Killiecrankie, O.
I faught at land, I faught at sea, At hame I faught my Auntie, O; But I met the devil an' Dundee, On the Braes o' Killiecrankie, O. An ye had been, &c.
The bauld Pitcur fell in a furr, An' Clavers gat a clankie, O; Or I had fed an Athole gled, On the Braes o' Killiecrankie, O. An ye had been, &c.
Awa' Whigs, Awa'
Chorus.—Awa' Whigs, awa'! Awa' Whigs, awa'! Ye're but a pack o' traitor louns, Ye'll do nae gude at a'.
Our thrissles flourish'd fresh and fair, And bonie bloom'd our roses; But Whigs cam' like a frost in June, An' wither'd a' our posies. Awa' Whigs, &c.
Our ancient crown's fa'en in the dust— Deil blin' them wi' the stoure o't! An' write their names in his black beuk, Wha gae the Whigs the power o't. Awa' Whigs, &c.
Our sad decay in church and state Surpasses my descriving: The Whigs cam' o'er us for a curse, An' we hae done wi' thriving. Awa' Whigs, &c.
Grim vengeance lang has taen a nap, But we may see him wauken: Gude help the day when royal heads Are hunted like a maukin! Awa' Whigs, &c.
A Waukrife Minnie
Whare are you gaun, my bonie lass, Whare are you gaun, my hinnie? She answered me right saucilie, "An errand for my minnie."
O whare live ye, my bonie lass, O whare live ye, my hinnie? "By yon burnside, gin ye maun ken, In a wee house wi' my minnie."
But I foor up the glen at e'en. To see my bonie lassie; And lang before the grey morn cam, She was na hauf sae saucie.
O weary fa' the waukrife cock, And the foumart lay his crawin! He wauken'd the auld wife frae her sleep, A wee blink or the dawin.
An angry wife I wat she raise, And o'er the bed she brocht her; And wi' a meikle hazel rung She made her a weel-pay'd dochter.
O fare thee weel, my bonie lass, O fare thee well, my hinnie! Thou art a gay an' a bonnie lass, But thou has a waukrife minnie.