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Burns's Poetical Works.
The Death and Dying Words of
Poor Mailie. THE AUTHOR'S ONLY PET YOWE.
AN UNCO MOURNFU TALE. (1) As Mailie, and her lambs thegither, Were ae day nibbling on the tether, Upon her cloot she coost a hitch, There, groaning, dying, she did lie,
20 arsled in the ditch: When Hughoc he cam doytin by. Wi' glowering een and lifted han's, Poor Hughoc like a statue stands; He saw her days were near-hand ended, But, waes my heart! he could na mend it. He gaped wide but naething spakAt length poor Mailie silence brak,
“Oh thou, whose lamentable face
"Tell him, if e'er again he keep
“Tell him he was a master kin',
“Oh bid him save their harmless lives Frae dogs, and tods, and butchers' knives! But gie them guid cow-milk their fill, Till they be fit to fend themsel; And tent them duly, e'en and morn, Wi' teats o' hay, and ripps on corn,
“And may they never learn the gaets Of other vile wanrestfu' pets To slink through slaps, and reave and steal At stacks o' peas, or stocks o’ kail. So may they, like their great forbears, For many a year come through the shears: So wives will gie them bits o' bread, And bairns greet for them when they're dead.
"My poor toop-lamb, my son and heir,
“And warn him, what I winna name,
And neist my yowie, silly thing,
“And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath
'Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail To tell my master a' my tale; And bid him burn this cursed tether, And, for thy pains, thou's get my blether." This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head, And clos'd her een amang the dead.
Epistle ta Danie.
January, 1784. WHILE winds frae aff Ben Lomond blaw, And bar the doors with driving snaw,
And hing us owre the ingle,
In hamely westlin jingle.
Ben to the chimla lug,
Their roomy fire-side;
To see their cursed pride.
Paar Hailir's Elegy.
Past a' remead;
Poor Mailie's dead!
The mourning weed :
In Mailie dead. Thro' a' the toun she trotted by him; A lang half-mile she could descry him; Wi' kindly bleat, when she did spy him,
She ran wi' speed:
Than Mailie dead.
Thro' thievish greed.
Sin' Mailie's dead. Or, if he wanders up the howe, Her living image in her yowe, Comes bleating to him, owre the knowe,
For bits o' bread;
For Mailie dead.
Frae yont the Tweed :
Than Mailie dead.
Wi' chokin' dread;
For Mailie dead.
bards on bonnie Doon! And wha on Ayr your chanters tune! Come, join, the melancholious croon
O' Robin's reed ! His heart will never get aboon
His Mailie's dead!
It's hardly in a body's power
To see how things are shar'd;
And ken na how to wair't ;
Tho' we hae little gear,
Mair spier na, no fear na" (3),
Auld age ne'er mind a feg, ,
Is only but to beg. (4)
To lie in kilns and barns at e'en
Is, doubtless, great distress!
Of truest happiness.
Intended fraud or guile,
A comfort this nae sma';
Nae farther we can fa'.
What though, like commoners of air,
But either house or hal'?
Are free alike to all.
And blackbirds whistle clear,
To see the coming year :
On braes when we please, then,
Oh, all ye pow'rs who rule above !
Oh, Thou, whose very self art love!
Thou know'st my words sincere!
Or my more dear immortal part, It's no in wealth like Lon'on bank,
Is not more fondly dear! To purchase peace and rest;
When heart-corroding care and grief It's no in makin' muckle mair;
Deprive my soul of rest, It's no in books; it's n10 in lear,
Her dear idea brings relief To mak us truly blest;
And solace to my breast, If happiness hae not her seat
Thou Being, all-seeing, And centre in the breast,
Oh hear my fervent pray'r!
Still take her, and make her
Thy most peculiar care !
All hail, ye tender feelings dear!
The smile of love, the friendly tear,
The sympathetic glow!
Long since, this world's thorny ways
Ilart number'd out my weary days,
llad it not been for you!
In every care and ill ; Wha scarcely tent us in their way,
And oft a more endearing band,
A tie more tender still.
It lighters, it brightens
The tenebrific scene,
To meet with, and greet with
My Davie or my Jean!
Oh, how that name inspires my style !
The words come skelpin', rank and tile,
Amaist before I ken!
The ready measure rins as fine
s Phæbus and the famous Nine Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce; Nor make our scanty pleasures less,
Were glowrin' owre my pen.
My spaviet Pegasus will limp,
Till ance he's fairly het;
And then he'll hilch, and stilt, and jimp,
And rin an unico fit: An’s thankfu' for them yet,
But lest then, the beast then They gie the wit of age to youth;
Should rue this hasty ride, They let us ken oursel;
I'll light now, and diglit now,
His sweaty, wizen'd hide.
Be lessons right serere,
Storrss fu the Dril. (6)
Oh Prince! Oh chief of many throned pow'rs,
That led th' embattled seraphim to war. But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts !
MILTON. (To say aught less wad wrang the cartes, And flatt'ry I detest)
On thou! whatever title suit thee, This life has joys for you and I;
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie, And joys that riches ne'er could buy :
Wha in yon cavem grim and sootie, And joys the very best.
Closed under hatches, There's a' the pleasures o' the heart,
Spairges about the brunstane cootie, The lover and the frien';
To scaud poor wretches!
And let poor damned bodies be;
I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie,
Een to a deil
To skelp and scaud poor dogs like me.
And hear us squeel!