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The thundering guns are heard on ev'ry He seem'd as he wi' Time had warstid 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 of the height o' some bit half-lang Wi' thieveless sneer to see his modish mien,
He, down the water, gies him this guidThe hoary morns precede the sunny days,
e'en : Mild, calm, serene, wide-spreads the noontide blaze,
I doubt na', frien', ye'll think ye’re nae While thick the gossamour waves wanton in
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, Bilt 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:
. (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, 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,
(was true: Whare twa wheel-barrows tremble when they And Wallace Tower (125) had sworn the fact
[lime, The tide-swoln Firth, with sullen sounding Your ruin'd, formless bulk o'stane and
[the shore. 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:
(swim, The silent moon shone high o'er tow'r and Tho' they should cast the vera sark and
Ere they would grate their feelings wi' the
view The chilly frost, beneath the silver beam, Crept, gently-crusting, o'er the glittering Of sic an ugly, Gothic hulk as you.
[Bard, When, lo! on either hand the list’ming The clanging sugh of whistling wing's is
Conceited gowk! puff'd up wi' windy heard;
[tide; 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 slapeless 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 sp'ritual folk; Or where the Greenock winds his moorland Fays, Spunkies, Kelpies, a’, they can explain
[them.) | Or haunted Garpal (128) draws his feeble And ev'n the vera deils they brawly ken Arous'd by blustring winds and spotting Auld Brig appear'd of ancient Pictish race,
[rowes; The very wrinkles 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 !
Wha waste your weel-hain'd gear on d-d Fine Architecture, trowth, I needs must
say't o't! 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 : Windows, and doors in nameless sculpture But, under favour o'your langer beard,
Corbies and Clergy are a shot right kittle: 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 ; Forms might be worshipp'd on the bended To mouth " a citizen," a term o' scandal ;
In Ayr, wag-wits nae mair can have a handle knee, And still the second dread command be free, Nae mair the Council waddles down the
street, Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, In all the pomp of ignorant conceit;
[taste / 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, Or frosty maids forsworn the dear embrace; Had shor'd them with a glimmer of his lamp,
If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp, 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. Plaini, duli Stupidity stept kindly in to aid tion !
[resurrection! And soon may they expire, unblest with
What further clish-ma-claver might been Oh ye, my dear-remember'd ancient yeal- said,
[shed, (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 glitt'ring stream they featly
danc'd : 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
but here, what would ye say or do!! with highland rage; How would your spirits groan in deep vexa- Or when they struck old Scotia's melting
tion, 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 mourn And ev'n his matchless hand with finer touch
By wood and wild, inspir'd!
Where, haply, Pity stray's forlorn,
Frae man exil'd!
Ye hills! near neighbours o' the stars, While simple melody pour’d moving on the That proudly cock your cresting cairns !
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'd in years;
My wailing numbers !
Mourn, ilka grove the cushat kens !
Ye haz’ly shaws and briary dens !
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 of flow'rs.
[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, ast, white-robid Peace, crown'd with a hazel Mourn ye wee songsters o' the wood;
the heather bud; To rustic Agriculture did bequeath The broken iron instruments of death;
Ye curlews calling thro' a clud;
Ye whistling plover; At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their
And mourn, ye whirring paitrick brood. kindling wrath.
He's gane for ever!
FOR HIS HONOURS IMMEDIATELY FROM
Mourn, sooty coots, and speckled teals
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 ne remains
If thou art staunch without a stain,
Like the unchanging blue, man,
This was a kinsman o' thine ain-
For Matthew was a true man.
If thou hast wit, and fun, and fire,
And ne'er guid wine did fear, man,
This was thy billie, dam, and sire
For Matthew was a queer man.
To blame poor Matthew dare, man,
May dool and sorrow be his lot!
For Matthew was a rare man.
The roaring blast,
Tam O shantrr,
A TALE. (137)
GAWIN DOUGLAS. Mourn, empress of the silent night! 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, Ne'er to return.
And folk begin to tak the gate ; Oh, Henderson ! the man--the brother!
While we sit bousing at the nappy, And art thou gone, and gone for ever ?
And gettin' fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
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,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses, And weep the ae best fellow's fate
For honest men and bonnie lasses).
Oh Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise, .
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld the weal thou was a skellum,
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;
That ilka melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That ev'ry naiy was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee yat roaring fou on; For Matthew was a poor man.
That at the Lord's house, ev'n on Sunday, If thou a noble sodger art,
Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till MouThat 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 lengthen'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,
Fast 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 Jolinny,
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' sang's 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' usquebae we'll face the devil ! Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle, E'en 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 astonish’d, The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure : | Till, hy the heel and hand admonishid, Kings may be biest, 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!
Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillon brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, 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' tid diri. The hour approaches Tam maun ride; Cotins stood round, like open presses, That hour, o' night's black arch the key. That shaw'd the deiul in their last dresses; stane,
Aud 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 did
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 yarter, which a babe had strangled, A better never lifted leg,
A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
Whom liis ain son o' life bereft,
The grey hairs yet stack to the heft :
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which ev'n to name wad be unlawfu'. Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scot's son
As Tanımie glowr'd, amaz'd and curious, Whiles glow'ring round wi prudent cares, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious : Iest 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 ree!'d, they set, they cross'd, they By this time he was cross the ford,
cleckit, Where in the snaw the chapman smoord;
Till ilka carline swat and reckit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark;