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(Q Ferguson! thy glorious parts
ill suited law's dry mufty arts!
My curse upon your whunftane hearts,

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,
She's gotten Bardies o' her ain,
Chiels wha their chanters winna hain,

But tune their lays,
Till echoes a' resound again

Her weel-fung praise.

Nae Poet thought her worth his while,
To set her name in measur'd style;
She lay like some unkend of ille

Belide New Holland,
Or where wild-meeting oceans boil

Befoath Magallan.

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,

Naebody fings.

Th' Illius, Tiber, Thames an' Seine,
Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line;
But, Willie, set your fit to mine,

An' cock your crest,
We'll gar our streams an' burnies shine

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!

The Mufe,

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;
I had amaift forgotten clean,
Ye bade me write you what they mean

By this new-light*, 'Bout which our herds fae aft hae been

Maist like to fight,

In days when mankind were but callans
At Grammar, Logic, an' fic talents,
They took nae pains their speech to balance,

Or rules to gie,
But fpak their thoughts in plain, braid Lallans,


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 ;
It ne'er cam i' their heads to doubt it,
Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it,

An' ca'd it wrang ;
An' muckle din there was about it,

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
The herds an'hisels were alarm’d;
The rev'rend gray-beards rav'd an' stormd,

That heardless laddies
Should think they better informid

Than their auld daddies,


Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks ;
Frae words an' aiths to colours an' nicks ;

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