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Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither ;
They had been fou for weeks thegither.
The night drave on wi' fangs an clatter;
And ay the ale was growing better :
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
Wi' favours, secret, sweet, and precious :
The Souter tauld his queerest stories ;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

Care, mad to see a man sae happy, E'en drown'd himself amang the nappy, As bees flee hame wi’ lades o' treasure, The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure : Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious, O'er a' the ills o' life victorious !

But pleasures are like poppies spread, You seize the flow?r, its bloom is shed;


Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white-then melts for ever ;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place ;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.-
Nae man can tether time or tide ;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride ;
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And fic a night he tacks the road in,
As ne'er poor finner was abroad in.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last; The rattling show'rs rose on the blast ; The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd ; Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd : That night, a child might understand, The Deil had business on his hand.



Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg, A better never lifted leg, Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire, Despising wind, and rain, and fire ; Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet; Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet; Whiles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares, Left bogles' catch him unawares: Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.

By this time he was cross the ford, Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor’d; And past the birks and meikle stane, Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane

i And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn; And near the thorn, aboon the well, Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.


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Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods ;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole ;
Near and more near the thunders roll :
When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway feem'd in a bleeze;
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing ;
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.-

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi’usquabae we'll face the devil !--
The swats fae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood right fair astonish'd,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventur'd forward on the light;
And, vow! Tam saw an unco fight!


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Warlocks and witches in a dance; Nae cotillion brent new frae France, But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, Put life and mettle in their heels, A winnock-bunker in the east, There fat auld Nick, in shape o' beast; A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large, To gie them music was his charge : He screw'd the pipes and gart them fkirl, Till roof and rafters a' did dirl. Coffins stood round, like open presses, That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses ; And by some devilish cantrip flight, Each in its cauld hand held a light.By which heroic Tam was able To note upon the haly table, A murderer's banes in gibbet airns ; Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns ; A thief, new-cutted frae a rape, Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape ;

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