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Let warlocks grim, an' withered hags,
Tell how wi' you in ragweed ? nags,
They skim the muirs, an' dizzy crags,

Wi' wicked speed ;
And in kirk-yards renew their leagues,

Owre howkit 8 dead.

Thence, countra wives, wi' toil an' pain,
May plunge an' plunge the kirno in vain ;
For, oh! the yellow treasure's taen

By witching skill ;
An' dawtit", twal-pinto Hawkie's gaen

As yell's? the bill.

When thowes' dissolve the snawy hoord ",
An' float the jinglin' icy-boord,
Then Water-kelpies haunt the foord,

By your direction,
An' nighted Trav'llers are allured

To their destruction.

An' aft your moss-traversing Spunkies "
Decoy the wight that late an' drunk is :
The bleezin, curst, mischievous monkies

Delude his eyes,
Till in some miry slough he sunk is,

Ne'er mair to rise.

When masons' mystic word an' grip,
In storms an' tempests raise you up,
Some cock or cat your rage maun stop

Or, strange to tell !
The youngest ‘brother' ye wad whip

Aff straught to hell.

I wizards · fondled. » thaws.

ragwort. twelve-pint.

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10 board.

Lang syne, in Eden's bonie yard,
When youthfu' lovers first were paired,
An' all the soul of love they shared,

The raptured hour,
Sweet on the fragrant, flow'ry swaird,

In shady bow'r :

Then you, ye auld, snick-drawin? dog!
Ye came to Paradise incog,
An' played on man a cursed brogue”,

(Black be you fa'3!)
An' gied the infant warld a shog`,

'Maist ruined a'.

D'ye mind that day, when in a bizzo,
Wi’reekit duds ®, an' reestit gizz",
Ye did present your smoutie phiz :

'Mang better folk,
An' sklented on the man of Uzz

Your spitefu' joke?

An' how ye gat him i' your thrall,
An' brak him out o' house an' hal',
While scabs an' blotches did him gall,

Wi' bitter claw,
An' lowsed 10 his ill-tongued wicked scaul ",

Was warst ava 12 ?

13

But a' your doings to rehearse,
Your wily snares and fechtin fierce,
Sin' that day Michael 14 did you pierce,

Down to this time,
Wad ding 15 a' Lallan 16 tongue, or Erse,

In prose or rhyme.

2 trick.

s lot.

• shock. " Who draws stealthily the door-bolt. 5 bustle. 6 smoky rags.

singed periwig. 10 loosed.

12 of all. • blackened face. o slanted.

11 scold.

15 worst.

16 Lowlando w fighting. 14 Vide Milton, Book vi.-R. B.

7

An' now, auld Cloots, I ken ye're thinkin,
A certain Bardie's rantin, drinkin,
Some luckless hour will send him linkin'

To your black pit ;
But, faith! he 'll turn a corner jinkin”,

An' cheat you yet.

But, fare you weel, auld Nickie-ben!
Owad ye tak a thought an’ men'!
Ye aiblins might-I dinna ken-

Still hae a stake-
I'm wae to think upo' yon den,

Ev'n for your sake!

FROM THE HOLY FAIR.'

Now, butt an' ben“, the change-house fills

Wi' yill-caupo commentators :
Here's crying out for bakes 6 an' gills,

An' there the pint-stowp clatters ;
While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang,

Wi' logic, an' wi' Scripture,
They raise a din, that, in the end,
Is like to breed a rupture

O’ wrath that day.

Leeze me on drink! it gies us mair

Than either school or college :
It kindles wit, it waukens lear,

It pangs? us fou o' knowledge.
Be't whisky gill, or penny wheep,

Or ony stronger potion,
It never fai.s, on drinking deep,
To kittle & up our notion

By night or day. " tripping. dodging. perhaps. kitchen and parlour. 'alc-cup. • biscuits.

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crams.

The lads an' lasses, blythely bent

To mind baith saul an' body,
Sit round the table, weel content,

An' steer about the toddy.
On this ane's dress, an' that ane's leuk,

They're makin observations ;
While some are cozie i the neuk,
An' formin assignations

To meet some day.
But now the Lord's ain trumpet touts,

Till a' the hills are rairin,
An' echoes back return the shouts ;

Black Russel is na spairin :
His piercing words, like Highlan swords,

Divide the joints an' marrow;
His talk o' Hell, whare devils dwell,
Our vera 'sauls does harrow' 4

Wi' fright that day.
A vast, unbottom'd, boundless pit,

Filld fou o'lowinó brunstane,
Wha's raging flame, an' scorching heat,

Wad melt the hardest whun-stane !
The half asleep start up wi' fear,

An' think they hear it roarin,
When presently it does appear,
'Twas but some neibor snorin

Asleep that day.
'Twad be owre lang a tale, to tell

How mony stories past,
An' how they crowded to the yill?,

When they were a' dismist :
How drink gaed round, in cogs an' caups,

Amang the furms and benches ;
An' cheese an' bread frae women's laps,
Was dealt about in lunches

An' dawds 8 that day. stir. * nook. s Minister of Kilmarnock. * Shakspeare's Hamlet.-R. B o flaming. I whinstone.

lumps.

1

7 ale.

8

In comes a gaucie' gash Guidwife,

An' sits down by the fire,
Syne draws her kebbuck ? an' her knife,

The lasses they are shyer.
The auld guidmen, about the grace,

Frae side to side they bother,
Till some ane by his bonnet lays,
An' gi’es them't like a tether,

Fu' lang that day.
Waesucks 8! for him that gets nae lass,

Or lasses that hae naething !
Sma' need has he to say a grace,

Or melvie * his braw claithing !
O wives be mindfu', ance yoursel

How bonie lads ye wanted,
Andinna for a kebbuck-heel,
Let lasses be affronted

On sic a day!
Now Clinkumbell", wi’ rattling tow,

Begins to jowo an' croon ;
Some swagger hame, the best they dow',

Some wait the afternoon.
At slaps 8 the billies halt a blink,

Till lasses strip their shoon :
Wi' faith an' hope, an love an' drink,
They're a' in famous tune

For crack that day.

EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND

May 1786.
I lang hae thought, my youthfu’ friend,

A something to have sent you,
Tho' it should serve nae ither end

Than just a kind memento ;

8

yolly.
: cheese
waes me!

4 soil.

8 • to peal or roar. they can. gaps in fences.

o the bell-ringer.

• Andrew Aiken,

7

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