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EPISTLE TO J. R******.
ENCLOSING SOME POEMS.
OROUGH, rude, ready-witted R******, The wale o cocks for fun an' drinkin! There's mony godly folks are thinkin,
Your dreams an' tricks Will send you, Korah-like, a-sinkin,
Straught to auld Nick's.
But, by my gun, o'guns the wale,
I vow an' swear!
For this, niest year.
For my gowd guinea :
For't in Virginia.
Scarce through the feathers; An' baith a yellow George to claim,
An' thole their blethers !
When time's expedient:
Your most obedient.
Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants, And in your wicked druncken rants, Ye mak a devil o'the saunts,
An' fill them fou ;
Are a' seen through.
The lads in black !
Rives 't aff their back. Think, wicked sinner, wha ye’re skaithing, Its just the blue-gown badge an’claithing O saunts; tak that, ye lea'e them naething
To ken them by,
Like you or I.
I will expect
And no neglect.
An' danced my fill! I'd better gane an' sair't the king,
At Bunker's Hill.
'Twas ae night lately in my fun, I gaed a roving wi' the gun, An' brought a paitrick to the grun,
A bonnie hen, And, as the twilight was begun,
Thought nane wad ken. The poor wee thing was little hurt; I straikit it a wee for sport, Ne'er thinkin they wad fash me for’t;
But, deil-ma-care! Somebody tells the poacher-court
The hale affair.
WHEN chapman billies leave the street,
This truth fand honest Tam O'Shanter,
O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise,
Ah, gentle dames ! it gars me greet, To think how mony counsels sweet, How mony lengthen'd, sage advices, The husband frae the wife despises !
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
But to our tale: Ae market night, Tam had got planted unco right; Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely, Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely ; And at his elbow souter Johnny, His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony; Tam lo’ed him like a vera brither ; They had been fou for weeks thegither. The night drave on wi' sangs an' clatter ; And aye 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 flower, 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 fit 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 sic a night he taks the road in, As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn! What dangers thou canst make us scorn! Wi' tippenny we fear nae evil; Wi' usquabae we'll face the devil The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle, Fair play, he cared na deils a boddle. But Maggie stood right sair astonish'd, Till, by the heel and hand admonishid, She ventured forward on the light; And, vow ! Tam saw an unco sight! Warlocks and witches in a dance; Nae cotillon brent new frae France, But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels, Put life and mettle in their heels. A winnock-bunker in the east, There sat 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 skirl, 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 cantraip slight, 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, unchristend bairns ; A thief new cutted frae a rape, Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape; Five tomahawks, wi' bluid red rusted; Five cimiters, wi' murder crusted ; A gatter, which a babe had strangled ; A knife, a father's throat had mangled, Whom his ain son o' life bereft, The gray hairs yet stack to the heft; Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu', Which e'en to name wad be unlawfu'.
The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last; The rattling showers 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 gray mare Meg, A better never lifted leg, Tam skelpit on through dub and mire, Despising wind, and rain, and fire ; Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet: Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet; Whiles glowering round wi' prudent cares, Lest bogles catch him unawares ; Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh, Whare ghaists and howlets nightly cry..
As Tammie glowr'd, amazed and curious, The mirth and fun grew fast and furious : The piper loud and louder blew , The dancers quick and quicker flew; They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit, Till ilka carlin swat and reekit, And coost her duddies to the wark, And linket at it in her sark!
Now Tam, 0 Tam! had they been queans, A' plump and strapping, in their teens ; Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen, Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen! Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair, That ance were plush, o'guid blue hair, I wad hae gien them aff my hurdies For ae blink o' the bonnie burdies.
By this time he was cross the ford, Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd; And past the birks an' meikle stane, Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck bane; And through the whins, and by the cairn, Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
But Tam kennd what was what fu' brawlie,
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
But here my muse her wing maun cour;
As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin!
WHEN o’er the hill the eastern star,
Tells bughtin-time is near, my jo; And owsen frae the furrow'd field,
Return sae dowf and weary, 0; Down by the burn, where scented birks,
Wi' dew are hanging clear, my jo,
My ain kind dearie, 0.
I'd rove and ne'er be eerie, 0,
My ain kind dearie, 0.
And I were ne'er sae wearie, 0,
My ain kind dearie, 0.
To rouse the mountain deer, my jo,
Along the hurn to steer, my jo ; Gie me the hour o'gloamin gray,
It maks my heart sae cheery, 0, To meet thee on the lea-rig,
My ain kind dearie, 0.
WILL ye go to the Indies, my Mary,
And leave auld Scotia's shore? Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary,
Across th’ Atlantic's roar ? O sweet grows the lime and the orange,
And the apple on the pine ; But a' the charms o' the Indies,
Can never equal thine. I hae sworn by the heavens to my Mary,
I hae sworn by the heavens to be true; And sae may the heavens forget me,
When I forget my vow!
And plight me your lily-white band; O plight me your faith, my Mary,
Before I leave Scotia's strand.
It is a well known fact that witches, or any evil spirits, bave no power to follow a poor wight any farther than the middle of the next running stream.-It may be proper likewise to mention to the benighted traveller, that when he falls in with bogies, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much more hazard in turning back
We hae plighted our troth, my Mary,
In mutual affection to join, And curst be the cause that shall part us !
The hour, and the moment o' time!
MY WIFE'S A WINSOME WEE THING.
SHE is a winsome wee thing, She is a handsome wee thing, She is a bonnie wee thing, This sweet wee wife o' mine. I never saw a fairer, I never lo'ed a dearer, And niest my heart I'll wear her, For fear my jewel tine. She is a winsome wee thing, She is a handsome wee thing, She is a bonnie wee thing, This sweet wee wife o' mine. The warld's wrack we share o't, The warstle and the care o't; Wi' her I'll blithly bear it, And think my lot divine.
How sweetly bloom'd the gay green birk,
How rich the hawthorn's blossom ; As underneath their fragrant shade
I clasped her to my bosom ! The golden hours on angel wings
Flew o'er me and my dearie;
Was my sweet Highland Mary.
Our parting was fu' tender ;
We tore oursels asunder ;
That nipt my flower sae early !
That wraps my Highland Mary!
I aft hae kiss'd sae fondly!
That dwelt on me sae kindly !
That heart that loved me dearly ! But still within my bosom's core
Shall live my Highland Mary.
BONNIE LESLEY. O saw ye bonnie Lesley
As she gaed o'er the border ? She's gane, like Alexander,
To spread her conquests farther.
And love but her for ever ;
And ne'er made sic anither!
Thy subjects we, before thee ; Thou art divine, fair Lesley,
The hearts o' men adore thee. The deil he could na scaith thee,
Or aught that wad belang thee; He'd look into thy bonnie face,
And say, “I canna wrang thee." The powers aboon will tent thee;
Misfortune sha'na steer thee; Thou’rt like themselves sae lovely
That ill they'll ne'er let near thee. Return again, fair Lesley,
Return to Caledonie !
There's nane again sae bonnie.
AULD ROB MORRIS. THERE's auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen, He's the king o'guid fellows and wale of auld men; He has gowd in his coffers, he has owsen and kine, And ae bonnie lassie, his darling and mine. She's fresh as the morning, the fairest in May; She's sweet as the evening amang the new hay ; As blithe and as artless as the lambs on the lea, And dear to my heart as the light to my e'e. But O! she's an heiress, auld Robin's a laird, And my daddie has naught but a cot-house and yard; A wooer like me maunna hope to come speed, The wounds I must hide that will soon be my dead. The day comes to me, but delight brings me nane ; The night comes to me, but my rest it is gane: I wander my lane like a night-troubled ghaist, And I sigh as my heart it would burst in my breast. O, had she been but of lower degree, I then might hae hoped she wad smiled upon me! 0, how past describing had then been my bliss, As now my distraction no words can express !
TUNB_"Catharine Ogie." Ye banks, and braes, and streams around,
The castle o' Montgomery,
Your waters never drumlie!
And there the langest tarry;
O’my sweet Highland Mary.
THERE's braw, braw lads on Yarrow braes,
That wander through the blooming heather ; But Yarrow braes, nor Ettric shaws,
Can match the lads o' Galla water. But there is ane, a secret ane,
Aboon them a'I lo'e him better; And I'll be his, and he'll be mine,
The bonnie lad o' Galla water, Although his daddie was nae laird,
And though I hae nae meikle tocher ;
We'll tent our flocks by Galla water.
That coft contentment, peace, or pleasure, The bands and bliss o' mutual love,
O that's the chiefest warld's treasure !
And loud the tempest's roar;
Lord Gregory, ope thy door.
And a' for loving thee;
If love it may na be.
By bonnie Irwine side,
I lang, lang had denied.
Thou wad for aye be mine!
It ne'er mistrusted thine.
And finty is thy breast:
O wilt thou give me rest!
Your willing victim see!
His wrangs to heaven and me!
O POORTITH cauld, and restless love,
Ye wreck my peace between ye; Yet poortith a'I could forgive,
An' 'twere na for my Jeanie. O why should fate sic pleasure have,
Life's dearest bands untwining ? Or why sae sweet a flower as love
Depend on fortune's shining?
Its pride, and a'the lave o't;
O why, &c.
How she repays my passion ;
O why, &c.
And sic a lassie by him ?
O why, &c.
He wooes his simple dearie;
Can never make them eerie.
Life's dearest bands untwining? Or why sae sweet a flower as love
Depend on fortune's shining ?
TUNE—"Bide ye yet." O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour ! Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser's treasure poor : How blithely wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun ;
The lovely Mary Morison.
The dance gaed through the lighted ha', To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard or saw :