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(Q Ferguson! thy glorious parts
Ye Enbrugh Gentry! The tythe o' what ye waste at cartes
Wad ftow'd his pantry!) Yet when a tale comes ie my head, Or laffes gie my heart a screed, As whyles they're like to be my dead,
(O fad disease!) I kittle up my ruftic reed;
It giesme cafe.
Auld Coil, now, may fidge fu' fain,
But tune their lays,
Her weel-fung praise.
Nae Poet thought her worth his while,
Belide New Holland,
Ramsay an' famous Fergufon Gied Forth an' Tay a lift aboon ;
Yarrow an' Tweed, to monie a tune
Owre Scotland rings, While, Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, an' Doon,
Th' Illius, Tiber, Thames an' Seine,
An' cock your crest,
Up wi' the best.
We'll fing auld Coila's plains an' fells, Her moors red-brown wi' heather bells, Her banks an' brae, her dens an' dells,
Where glorious Wallace Aft bure the gree, as Itory tells,
Frae Suthron billies.
At Wallace' name, what Scottish blood But boils up in a spring-tide flood ! Oft have our fearlefs fathers ftrode
By Wallace lide, Still pressing onward, red-wat shod
Or glorious dy'd! O sweet are Coild's haughs and woods, When lintwhites chant amang the buds, And jinkin hares, in amorous whids,
Their loves enjoy.
While thro' the braes the cushat croods
With wailfu' cry!
• Er'n winter bleak has charms to me, When winds rave thro the naked tree; Or frosts on hills of Ocbiltre
Are boary gray ; Or blinding drifts wild furious-flee,
Dark'ning the day!
O Nature! a' thy shews an' forms To feeling, penfive hearts hae charms! Whether the Summer kindly warms,
Wi' life an' light, Or Winter howls; in gufty storms
The lang, dark night!
nae Poet ever fand her, Till by himsel he learn’d to wander, Adown fome trotting burn's meander,
An' no think lang ; O sweet, to ftray an' penfive ponder
A heart-felt fang!
The warly race may drudge an' drive, Hog-shouther, jundie, stretch an' ftrive, Let me fair Nature's face descrive,
And I, wi' pleasure, Shall let the busy, grumbling hive
Bum owre their treasure.
Fareweel, my rhyme-compofing brither! We've been owre lang unkenn'd to ither : Now let us lay our heads thegither,
In love fraternal : May Envy wallop in a tether
Black fiend, infernal !
While Highlandmen hate toils an' taxes; While moorlan herds like guid, fat braxies ; While Terra Firma, on her axis,
Diurnal turns, Count on a friend in faith an' practice,
In Robert Burns.
My memory's no worth a preen;
By this new-light*, 'Bout which our herds fae aft hae been
Maist like to fight,
In days when mankind were but callans
Or rules to gie,
you or me.
* See note, page 59:
In thae auld time, they thought the Moon, Just like a fark, or pair o' shoon, Wore by degrees, till her last roon
Gaed paft their viewing, An' shortly after she was done,
They gat a new ane.
This paft for certain undisputed ;
An' ca'd it wrang ;
Baith loud an' lang.
Some herds, weel learn'd upo' the beuk, Wad threap auld folk the thing misteuk ; For, 'twas the auld moon turn'd a neuk,
An' out o' light, An' backlins-comin, to the leuk,
She grew mair bright.
This was deny'd, it was affirm'd
That heardless laddies
Than their auld daddies,
Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks ;