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The thundering guns are heard on ev'ry | He seem'd as he wi' Time had warsti'd lang, side,
Yet, teughly doure, he bade an unco bang. The wounded conveys, reeling, scatter wide; / New Brig was buskit in a braw new coat, The feather'd field-mates, bound by Nature's That he at Lon'on, frae ane Adams, got; tie,
In's hand five taper staves as smooth's a Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie: bead, (What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds, Wi' virls and whirlygigums at the head. And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds!) The Goth was stalking round with anxious Nae mair the flow'r in field or meadow search, springs;
Spying the time-worn flaws in ev'ry arch; Nae mair the grove with airy concert rings, It chanc'd his new-come neebor took his e'e, Except, perhaps, the robin's whistling glee, And e'en a vex'd and angry heart had he! Proud o' the height of some bit half-lang Wi' thieveless sneer to see his modish mien, tree :
He, down the water, gies him this guidThe hoary morns precede the sunny days, e'en :Mild, calm, serene, wide-spreads the noon
AULD BRIG. tide blaze,
[the rays. I While thick the gossamour waves wanton in
I doubt na’, frien', ye'll think ye're nae
sheepshank, 'Twas in that season, when a simple bard,
| Ance ye were streekit o'er frae bank to bank ! Unknown and poor, simplicity's reward,
But gin ye be a brig as auld as me, Ae night, within the ancient brugh of Ayr, Tho', faith, that day I doubt ye'll never see; By whim inspired, or haply prest wi' care, There'll be, if that date come, I'll wad a He left his bed, and took his wayward route, boddle. And down by Simpson's (123) wheel'd the Some fewer whigmaleeries in your noddle. left about:
NEW BRIG. (Whether impell’d by all-directing Fate To witness what I after shall narrate;
Auld Vandal, ye but show your little Or whether, rapt in meditation high,
mense, He wander'd out he knew not where or why) Just much about it wi' your scanty sense ; The drowsy Dungeon-clock (124) had num Will your poor, narrow foot-path of a street, ber'd two,
Twas true: / Whare twa wheel-barrows tremble when they And Wallace Tower (125) had sworn the fact meet
flime, The tide-swoln Firth, with sullen sounding Your ruin'd, formless bulk o'stane and roar,
[the shore. i Compare wi' bonnie Brigs o' modern time? Through the still night dash'd hoarse along There's men o' taste wou'd tak the DucatAll else was hush'd as Nature's closed e'e: stream (127),
(swim, The silent moon shone high o'er tow'r and Tho' they should cast the vera sark and tree:
Ere they would grate their feelings wi' the The chilly frost, beneath the silver beam,
view Crept, gently-crusting, o'er the glittering | Of sic an ugly, Gothic hulk as you. stream.
Conceited gowk! puff’d up wiwindy heard :
stide; Two dusky forms dart thro' the midnight air,
This mony a year I've stood the flood and Swift as the gos (126) drives on the wheel
And tho'wi' crazy eild I'm sair forfairn,
I'll be a Brig, when ye’se a shapeless cairn ! ing hare;
As yet ye little ken about the matter, Ane on the Auld Brig his airy shape uprears, But twa-three winters will inform ye better. The ither flutters o'er the rising piers: When heavy, dark, continued a'-day rains, Our warlock Rhymer instantly descry'd Wi' deepening deluges o'erflow the plains; The Sprites that owre the Brigs of Ayr pre-! When from the hills where springs the side.
brawling Coil, (That Bards are second-sighted is nae joke, Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil, And ken the lingo of the spiritual folk; Or where the Greenock winds his moorland Fays, Spunkies, Kelpies, a’, they can explain course,
[them.) | Or haunted Garpal (128) draws his feeble And ev'n the vera deils they brawly ken Arous'd by blust'ring winds and spotting Auld Brig appear’d of ancient Pictish race, thowes,
[rowes; The very wriukles Gothic in his face; | In mony a torrent down his snaw-broo
While crashing ice, borne on the roaring | And agonising, curse the time and place speat,
[gate; When ye begat the base, degen’rate race! Sweeps dams and mills, and brigs, a' to the Nae langer rev'rend men, their country's And from Glenbuck (129), down to the Rat glory.
[braid story! ton-key (130),
[sea | In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain Auld Ayr is just one lengthen'd tumbling Nae longer thrifty citizens and douce, Then down ye'll hurl, deil nor ye never rise! | Meet owre a pint, or in the council-house; And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pour- But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless gening skies.
try, A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost, The herryment and ruin of the country; That Archietcture's noble art is lost! Men, three parts made by tailors and by
barbers, [new Brigs and Harbours ! NEW BRIG.
Wha waste your weel-hain'd gear on —d Fine Architecture, trowth, I needs must say't o't! [gate o't!
NEW BRIG. The L-d be thankit that we've tint the
Now haud you there! for faith you've Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices,
[through; Hanging with threat'ning jut like precipices; And muckle mair than ye can mak to O’er-arching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring coves,
As for your Priesthood, I shall say but little, Supporting roofs fantastic, stony groves :
Corbies and Clergy are a shot right kittle: Windows, and doors in nameless sculpture
But, under favour o'your langer beard, drest,
Abuse o' Magistrates might weel be spar'd: With order, symmetry, or taste unblest;
To liken them to your auld-warld squad, Forms like some bedlam Statuary's dream,
I needs must say, comparisons are odd. The craz'd creations of misguided whim; Forins might be worshipp'd on the bended
icon | In Ayr, wag-wits nae mair can have a handle
To mouth "a citizen," a term o' scandal; knee,
Nae mair the Council waddles down the And still the second dread command be free,
street, Their likeness is not found on earth, in air,
In all the pomp of ignorant conceit; or sea.
Men wha grew wise priggin' owre hops and Mansions that would disgrace the building
raisins, Of any mason reptile, bird or beast;
Or gather'd lib'ral views in bonds and seisins, Fit only for a doited monkish race,
If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp, Or frosty maids forsworn the dear embrace;
Had shor'd them with a glimmer of his lamp, Or cuifs of latter times wha held the notion
And would to Common-sense for once That sullen gloom was sterling true devotion; |
[them. Fancies that our good Brugh denies protec-Plain, duli Stupidity stent kindly in to aid tion!
[resurrection! And soon may they expire, unblest with AULD BRIG.
What further clish-ma-claver might been Oh ye, my dear-remember'd ancient yeal
[ings! What bloody wars, if Spirites had blood to Were ye but here to share my wounded feel. | No man can tell ; but all before their sight, Ye worthy Proveses, and mony a Bailie, A fairy train appear'd in order bright: Wha in the paths o’righteousness did toil Adown the glittring stream they featly aye;
[glanc'd: Ye dainty Deacons and ye douce Conveneers, Bright to the moon their various dresses To whom our moderns are but causey They footed o'er the wat’ry glass so neat, cleaners;
The infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet: Ye godly Councils wha hae blest this town; While arts of minstrelsy among them rung, Ye godly brethren o' the sacred gown, And soul-ennobling bards heroic ditties sung. Wha meekly ga'e your hurdies to the smi- Oh, had MʻLauchlan (131), thairm-inspiring ters;
[writers ; Sage, And (what would now be strange) ye godly Been there to hearthis heavenly band engage, A'ye douce folk I've borne aboon the broo, When thro' his dear strathspeys they bore Were ye but here, what would ye say or do! I with highland rage; How would your spirits groan in deep vexa- Or when they struck old Scotia's melting tion,
air, To see each melancholy alteration;
The lover's raptur'd joy. or bleeding cares ;
ON CAPTAIN MATTHEW HENDERSON.
How would his highland lug been nobler fir'd, | Thee Matthew, Nature's sel shall moum And ev'n his matchless hand with finer touch
By wood and wild, inspir'd!
Where, haply, Pity stray's forlorn, No guess could tell what instrument appear'd,
Frae man exil'd! But all the soul of Music's self was heard;
Ye hills! near neighbours o' the stars, Harmonious concert rung in every part,
That proudly cock your cresting cairns ! While simple melody pour'd moving on the
Ye cliffs, the haunts of sailing yearns (136), heart.
Where echo slumbers ! The Genius of the stream in front appears, Come join, ye Nature's sturdiest bairns, A venerable Chief advanc'à in years;
My wailing numbers ! His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd,
| Mourn, ilka grove the cushat kens ! His manly leg with garter tangle bound :
Ye haz’ly shaws and briary dens ! Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring,
| Ye burnies, wimplin' down your glens, Sweet Female Beauty hand in hand with
Wi’ toddlin' din,
Or foaming strang, wi' hasty stens,
Frae lin to lin!
[show, Ye woodbines, hanging bonnilie, Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary
In scented bow'rs; By Hospitality with cloudless brow.
Ye roses on your thorny tree, Next follow'd Courage, with his martial
The first o' flow'rs. stride;
[hide (132); From where the Feal wild woody coverts At dawn, when ev'ry grassy blade Benevolence, with mild, benignant air. Droops with a diamond at its head, A female form. came from the tow'rs of At ev’n, when beans their fragrance shed. Stair (133);
I'th' rustling gale, Learning and Worth in equal measures trode, | Ye maukins whiddin thro' the glade, From simple Catrine, their long-lov'd abode
Came join my wail. (134);
[wreath, Iast, white-rob'd Peace, crown'd with a hazel
Mourn ye wee songsters o' the wood; To rustic Agriculture did bequeath
Ye grouse that crap the heather bud;
Ye curlews calling thro' a clud; The broken iron instruments of death;
Ye whistling plover; At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling wrath.
And mourn, ye whirring paitrick broodk
He's gane for ever!
Ye fisher herons, watching eels :
Ye duck and drake, wi' airy wheels
Circling the lake;
Rair for his sake.
Mourn, clam’ring craiks at close o' day, “Should the poor be flattered ?"—SHAKSPEARE.
'Mang fields o' flow'ring clover gay;
And when ye wing your annual way
Frae our cauld shore,
Tell the far warlds, wha lies in clay.
Wham we deplore.
In some auld tree, or eldritch towy,
Sets up her horn,
Till waukrife morn!
| Oft have ye heard my canty strains::
But, now, what else for me remains | If thou art staunch without a stain,
Like the unchanging blue, man,
For Matthew was a true man. Mourn, spriny, thou darling of the year!
If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire, Ilk cowalip cup shall kep a tear:
And ne'er guid wine did fear, man,
This was thy billie, dam, and sire
For Matthew was a queer man.
If ony whiggish whingin' sot,
To blame poor Matthew dare, man,
May dool and sorrow be his lot!
For Matthew was a rare man.
The roaring blast,
Tam O zhanfrr,
A TALE. (137)
GAWIN DOUGLAS. And you, ye twinkling starries bright, WHEN chapman billies leave the street, My Matthew mourn!
And drouthy neighbours, neighbours meet, For through your orbs he's ta'en his flight,
As market-days are wearing late,
And folk begin to tak the gate;
And gettin' fou and unco happy,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles,
Where sits our sulky sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Go to your sculptur'd tombs, ye great,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm. In a' the tinsel trash o'state!
This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter, But by thy honest turf I'll wait,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses, E’er lay in earth.
For honest men and bonnie lasses).
Oh Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise, THE EPITAPH.
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice! Stop, passenger !--my story's brief
She tauld the weal thou was a skellum, And truth I shall relate, man;
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellam; I tell nae common tale o' grief
That frae November till October : For Matthew was a great man.
| Ae market-day thou was nae sober; If thou uncommon merit hast,
That ilka melder, wi' the miller, Yet spurii'd at fortune's door, man,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller; A look of pity hither cast
That ev'ry naiy was ca'd a shoe on, For Matthew was a poor man.
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
That at the Lord's house, ev'n on Sunday, If thou a noble sodger art,
Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Mou. That passest by this grave, man,
day. (138) There moulders here a gallant heart
She prophesied, that, late or soon, For Matthew was a brave man.
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon, If thou on men, their works and ways, Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk, Canst throw uncommon light, man,
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk. Here lies .wha weal had won thy praise
Ah, gentle dames ! it gars me greet, For Matthew was a bright man.
To think how mony counsels sweet, If thou at friendship's sacred ca'
How mony lengtheu'd sage advices, Wad life itself resign, man,
The husband frae the wife despises; Thy sympathetic tear maun fa'
But to our tale :---Ae market night, For Matthew was a kind man!
Tam had got planted unco right,
Fist by an ingle, bleezing finely,
And near the thorn, aboon the well, Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely ; Where Mungo's mither hang'd hersel. And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
Before him Doon pours all his floods; His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods; Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither
The lightnings flash from pole to pole, They had been fou' for weeks thegither! Near and more near the thunders roll; The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter, When glimmering thro' the groaning trees, And aye the ale was growing better :
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze; The landlady and Tam grew gracious, Thro’ ilka bore the beams were glaucing, Wi' favours secret, sweet, and precious, And loud resounded mirth and dancing. The Souter tauld his queerest stories.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn! The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
What dangers thou can'st make us scorn! The storm without might rair and rustle
Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil; Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.
Wi usqucbae we'll face the devil ! Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle, Een drown'd himself amang the nappy: Fair play, he car'd nae deils a boddle. As bees flee hame wi' lades o treasure, But Maggie stood right sair astonishid, The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure : Till, by the heel and hand admonishid, Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious, She ventur'd forward on the light; O'er a' the ills o' life victorious.
And, wow! Tam saw an unco sight! But pleasures are like poppies spread,
Warlocks and witches in a dance; You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Nae cotillon brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jig's, strathspeys, and reels. Or like the snowfall in the river, A nioment white-then melts for ever;
Put life and mettle in their heels : Or like the borealis race,
A winnock-bunker in the east, That flit ere you can point their place ;
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast; Or like the rainbow's lovely form
A towzie tyke, black, grim and large, Evanishing amid the storm.
To gie them music was his charge;
He screw'd the pipes and garb them skirl, Nae man can tether time or tide,
Till roof and rafters a' di dirl. The hour approaches Tam maun ride; Cotius stood round, like open presses, That hour, o' night's black arch the key. That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses stane,
And by some devilish cantrip slight That dreary hour he mounts his beast on;
Each in its cauld hand held a lightAnd sic a night he taks the road in
By which heroic Tam was able As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
To note upon the haly table, The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last; A murderer's banes in gibbet airns ; The rattling show'rs rose on the blast; Twa span-lang, wee unchristend bairns; The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd, | A thief, new-cutted frae a rape, Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd: Wi' his last gasp his gab (lid gape; That night, a child might understand, | Five tomahawks, wi' bluid red-rusted; The deil had business on his hand.
Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted ; Weal mounted on his grey mare, Meg,
A varter, which a babe had strangled, A better never lifted lec,
A knife, a father's throat had mangled, Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
Whom his ain son o' life bereft, Despising wind, and rain, and fire ;
The grey hairs yet stack to the heft : Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet,
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu', Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scot's son
Which ev'n to name wad be unlawfu'. net;
As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd and curious, Whiles glow’ring round wi prudent cares, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious : Lest bogles catch him unawares.
The piper loud and louder blew; Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh (139), The dancers quick and quicker flew; Where ghaists and owlets nightly cry. They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they By this time he was cross the ford,
cleckit, Where in the shaw the chapman smoor'd;
Till ilka carline swat and reckit, And past the birks and meikle stane,
1 And coost her duddies to the wark, Where drunken Charlie brak's neck bane;
And linket at it in her sark; And thro' the whins, and by the cairn, Now Tam, oh Tam! had thae been queans Where hunters fand the murder'd bairn; 'A' plump and strapping, in their teens;