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Poems And Songs Of Robert Burns by Robert Burns

Part 7 out of 13

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And find at night a sheltering cave,
Where waters flow and wild woods wave,
By bonie Castle Gordon.

song-Lady Onlie, Honest Lucky

tune-"The Ruffian's Rant."

A' The lads o' Thorniebank,
When they gae to the shore o' Bucky,
They'll step in an' tak a pint
Wi' Lady Onlie, honest Lucky.

Chorus.-Lady Onlie, honest Lucky,
Brews gude ale at shore o' Bucky;
I wish her sale for her gude ale,
The best on a' the shore o' Bucky.

Her house sae bien, her curch sae clean
I wat she is a daintie chuckie;
And cheery blinks the ingle-gleed
O' Lady Onlie, honest Lucky!
Lady Onlie, &c.

Theniel Menzies' Bonie Mary

Air-"The Ruffian's Rant," or "Roy's Wife."

In comin by the brig o' Dye,
At Darlet we a blink did tarry;
As day was dawnin in the sky,
We drank a health to bonie Mary.

Chorus.-Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary,
Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary,
Charlie Grigor tint his plaidie,
Kissin' Theniel's bonie Mary.

Her een sae bright, her brow sae white,
Her haffet locks as brown's a berry;
And aye they dimpl't wi' a smile,
The rosy cheeks o' bonie Mary.
Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, &c.

We lap a' danc'd the lee-lang day,
Till piper lads were wae and weary;
But Charlie gat the spring to pay
For kissin Theniel's bonie Mary.
Theniel Menzies' bonie Mary, &c.

The Bonie Lass Of Albany^1

tune-"Mary's Dream."

My heart is wae, and unco wae,
To think upon the raging sea,
That roars between her gardens green
An' the bonie Lass of Albany.

This lovely maid's of royal blood
That ruled Albion's kingdoms three,
But oh, alas! for her bonie face,
They've wrang'd the Lass of Albany.

In the rolling tide of spreading Clyde
There sits an isle of high degree,
And a town of fame whose princely name
Should grace the Lass of Albany.

But there's a youth, a witless youth,
That fills the place where she should be;
We'll send him o'er to his native shore,
And bring our ain sweet Albany.

Alas the day, and woe the day,
A false usurper wan the gree,
Who now commands the towers and lands-
The royal right of Albany.

We'll daily pray, we'll nightly pray,
On bended knees most fervently,
The time may come, with pipe an' drum
We'll welcome hame fair Albany.

[Footnote 1: Natural daughter of Prince Charles Edward.]

On Scaring Some Water-Fowl In Loch-Turit

A wild scene among the Hills of Oughtertyre.

"This was the production of a solitary forenoon's walk from Oughtertyre
House. I lived there, the guest of Sir William Murray, for two or three
weeks, and was much flattered by my hospitable reception. What a pity that
the mere emotions of gratitude are so impotent in this world. 'Tis lucky
that, as we are told, they will be of some avail in the world to come."-R.
B., Glenriddell MSS.

Why, ye tenants of the lake,
For me your wat'ry haunt forsake?
Tell me, fellow-creatures, why
At my presence thus you fly?
Why disturb your social joys,
Parent, filial, kindred ties?-
Common friend to you and me,
yature's gifts to all are free:
Peaceful keep your dimpling wave,
Busy feed, or wanton lave;
Or, beneath the sheltering rock,
Bide the surging billow's shock.

Conscious, blushing for our race,
Soon, too soon, your fears I trace,
Man, your proud, usurping foe,
Would be lord of all below:
Plumes himself in freedom's pride,
Tyrant stern to all beside.

The eagle, from the cliffy brow,
Marking you his prey below,
In his breast no pity dwells,
Strong necessity compels:
But Man, to whom alone is giv'n
A ray direct from pitying Heav'n,
Glories in his heart humane-
And creatures for his pleasure slain!

In these savage, liquid plains,
Only known to wand'ring swains,
Where the mossy riv'let strays,
Far from human haunts and ways;
All on Nature you depend,
And life's poor season peaceful spend.

Or, if man's superior might
Dare invade your native right,
On the lofty ether borne,
Man with all his pow'rs you scorn;
Swiftly seek, on clanging wings,
Other lakes and other springs;
And the foe you cannot brave,
Scorn at least to be his slave.

Blythe Was She^1

tune-"Andro and his Cutty Gun."

Chorus.-Blythe, blythe and merry was she,
Blythe was she but and ben;
Blythe by the banks of Earn,
And blythe in Glenturit glen.

By Oughtertyre grows the aik,
On Yarrow banks the birken shaw;
But Phemie was a bonier lass
Than braes o' Yarrow ever saw.
Blythe, blythe, &c.

Her looks were like a flow'r in May,
Her smile was like a simmer morn:
She tripped by the banks o' Earn,
As light's a bird upon a thorn.
Blythe, blythe, &c.

Her bonie face it was as meek
As ony lamb upon a lea;
The evening sun was ne'er sae sweet,
As was the blink o' Phemie's e'e.
Blythe, blythe, &c.

[Footnote 1: Written at Oughtertyre. Phemie is Miss Euphemia Murray, a cousin
of Sir William Murray of Oughtertyre.-Lang.]

The Highland hills I've wander'd wide,
And o'er the Lawlands I hae been;
But Phemie was the blythest lass
That ever trod the dewy green.
Blythe, blythe, &c.

A Rose-Bud By My Early Walk

A Rose-bud by my early walk,
Adown a corn-enclosed bawk,
Sae gently bent its thorny stalk,
All on a dewy morning.
Ere twice the shades o' dawn are fled,
In a' its crimson glory spread,
And drooping rich the dewy head,
It scents the early morning.

Within the bush her covert nest
A little linnet fondly prest;
The dew sat chilly on her breast,
Sae early in the morning.
She soon shall see her tender brood,
The pride, the pleasure o' the wood,
Amang the fresh green leaves bedew'd,
Awake the early morning.

So thou, dear bird, young Jeany fair,
On trembling string or vocal air,
Shall sweetly pay the tender care
That tents thy early morning.
So thou, sweet Rose-bud, young and gay,
Shalt beauteous blaze upon the day,
And bless the parent's evening ray
That watch'd thy early morning.

Epitaph For Mr. W. Cruikshank^1

Honest Will to Heaven's away
And mony shall lament him;
His fau'ts they a' in Latin lay,
In English nane e'er kent them.

song-The Banks Of The Devon

tune-"Bhanarach dhonn a' chruidh."

How pleasant the banks of the clear winding Devon,
With green spreading bushes and flow'rs blooming fair!
But the boniest flow'r on the banks of the Devon
Was once a sweet bud on the braes of the Ayr.
Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flower,
In the gay rosy morn, as it bathes in the dew;
And gentle the fall of the soft vernal shower,
That steals on the evening each leaf to renew!

O spare the dear blossom, ye orient breezes,
With chill hoary wing as ye usher the dawn;
And far be thou distant, thou reptile that seizes
The verdure and pride of the garden or lawn!
Let Bourbon exult in his gay gilded lilies,
And England triumphant display her proud rose:
A fairer than either adorns the green valleys,
Where Devon, sweet Devon, meandering flows.

Braving Angry Winter's Storms

tune-"Neil Gow's Lament for Abercairny."

Where, braving angry winter's storms,
The lofty Ochils rise,
Far in their shade my Peggy's charms
First blest my wondering eyes;
As one who by some savage stream
A lonely gem surveys,
Astonish'd, doubly marks it beam
With art's most polish'd blaze.

[Footnote 1: Of the Edinburgh High School.]

Blest be the wild, sequester'd shade,
And blest the day and hour,
Where Peggy's charms I first survey'd,
When first I felt their pow'r!
The tyrant Death, with grim control,
May seize my fleeting breath;
But tearing Peggy from my soul
Must be a stronger death.

song-My Peggy's Charms

tune-"Tha a' chailleach ir mo dheigh."

My Peggy's face, my Peggy's form,
The frost of hermit Age might warm;
My Peggy's worth, my Peggy's mind,
Might charm the first of human kind.

I love my Peggy's angel air,
Her face so truly heavenly fair,
Her native grace, so void of art,
But I adore my Peggy's heart.

The lily's hue, the rose's dye,
The kindling lustre of an eye;
Who but owns their magic sway!
Who but knows they all decay!

The tender thrill, the pitying tear,
The generous purpose nobly dear,
The gentle look that rage disarms-
These are all Immortal charms.

The Young Highland Rover


Loud blaw the frosty breezes,
The snaws the mountains cover;
Like winter on me seizes,
Since my young Highland rover
Far wanders nations over.

Where'er he go, where'er he stray,
May heaven be his warden;
Return him safe to fair Strathspey,
And bonie Castle-Gordon!

The trees, now naked groaning,
Shall soon wi' leaves be hinging,
The birdies dowie moaning,
Shall a' be blythely singing,
And every flower be springing;
Sae I'll rejoice the lee-lang day,
When by his mighty Warden
My youth's return'd to fair Strathspey,
And bonie Castle-Gordon.

Birthday Ode For 31st December, 1787^1

Afar the illustrious Exile roams,
Whom kingdoms on this day should hail;
An inmate in the casual shed,
On transient pity's bounty fed,
Haunted by busy memory's bitter tale!
Beasts of the forest have their savage homes,
But He, who should imperial purple wear,
Owns not the lap of earth where rests his royal head!
His wretched refuge, dark despair,
While ravening wrongs and woes pursue,
And distant far the faithful few
Who would his sorrows share.

False flatterer, Hope, away!
Nor think to lure us as in days of yore:
We solemnize this sorrowing natal day,
To prove our loyal truth-we can no more,
And owning Heaven's mysterious sway,
Submissive, low adore.

Ye honored, mighty Dead,
Who nobly perished in the glorious cause,
Your King, your Country, and her laws,

[Footnote 1: The last birthday of Prince Charles Edward.]

From great Dundee, who smiling Victory led,
And fell a Martyr in her arms,
(What breast of northern ice but warms!)
To bold Balmerino's undying name,
Whose soul of fire, lighted at Heaven's high flame,
Deserves the proudest wreath departed heroes claim:
Nor unrevenged your fate shall lie,
It only lags, the fatal hour,
Your blood shall, with incessant cry,
Awake at last, th' unsparing Power;
As from the cliff, with thundering course,
The snowy ruin smokes along
With doubling speed and gathering force,
Till deep it, crushing, whelms the cottage in the vale;
So Vengeance' arm, ensanguin'd, strong,
Shall with resistless might assail,
Usurping Brunswick's pride shall lay,
And Stewart's wrongs and yours, with tenfold weight repay.

Perdition, baleful child of night!
Rise and revenge the injured right
Of Stewart's royal race:
Lead on the unmuzzled hounds of hell,
Till all the frighted echoes tell
The blood-notes of the chase!
Full on the quarry point their view,
Full on the base usurping crew,
The tools of faction, and the nation's curse!
Hark how the cry grows on the wind;
They leave the lagging gale behind,
Their savage fury, pitiless, they pour;
With murdering eyes already they devour;
See Brunswick spent, a wretched prey,
His life one poor despairing day,
Where each avenging hour still ushers in a worse!
Such havock, howling all abroad,
Their utter ruin bring,
The base apostates to their God,
Or rebels to their King.

On The Death Of Robert Dundas, Esq., Of Arniston,

Late Lord President of the Court of Session.

Lone on the bleaky hills the straying flocks
Shun the fierce storms among the sheltering rocks;
Down from the rivulets, red with dashing rains,
The gathering floods burst o'er the distant plains;
Beneath the blast the leafless forests groan;
The hollow caves return a hollow moan.
Ye hills, ye plains, ye forests, and ye caves,
Ye howling winds, and wintry swelling waves!
Unheard, unseen, by human ear or eye,
Sad to your sympathetic glooms I fly;
Where, to the whistling blast and water's roar,
Pale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore.

O heavy loss, thy country ill could bear!
A loss these evil days can ne'er repair!
Justice, the high vicegerent of her God,
Her doubtful balance eyed, and sway'd her rod:
Hearing the tidings of the fatal blow,
She sank, abandon'd to the wildest woe.

Wrongs, injuries, from many a darksome den,
Now, gay in hope, explore the paths of men:
See from his cavern grim Oppression rise,
And throw on Poverty his cruel eyes;
Keen on the helpless victim see him fly,
And stifle, dark, the feebly-bursting cry:
Mark Ruffian Violence, distained with crimes,
Rousing elate in these degenerate times,
View unsuspecting Innocence a prey,
As guileful Fraud points out the erring way:
While subtle Litigation's pliant tongue
The life-blood equal sucks of Right and Wrong:
Hark, injur'd Want recounts th' unlisten'd tale,
And much-wrong'd Mis'ry pours the unpitied wail!

Ye dark waste hills, ye brown unsightly plains,
Congenial scenes, ye soothe my mournful strains:
Ye tempests, rage! ye turbid torrents, roll!
Ye suit the joyless tenor of my soul.
Life's social haunts and pleasures I resign;
Be nameless wilds and lonely wanderings mine,
To mourn the woes my country must endure-
That would degenerate ages cannot cure.

Sylvander To Clarinda^1

Extempore Reply to Verses addressed to the Author by a Lady, under the
signature of "Clarinda" and entitled, On Burns saying he 'had nothing else to

When dear Clarinda, matchless fair,
First struck Sylvander's raptur'd view,
He gaz'd, he listened to despair,
Alas! 'twas all he dared to do.

Love, from Clarinda's heavenly eyes,
Transfixed his bosom thro' and thro';
But still in Friendships' guarded guise,
For more the demon fear'd to do.

That heart, already more than lost,
The imp beleaguer'd all perdue;
For frowning Honour kept his post-
To meet that frown, he shrunk to do.

His pangs the Bard refused to own,
Tho' half he wish'd Clarinda knew;
But Anguish wrung the unweeting groan-
Who blames what frantic Pain must do?

That heart, where motley follies blend,
Was sternly still to Honour true:
To prove Clarinda's fondest friend,
Was what a lover sure might do.

[Footnote 1: A grass-widow, Mrs. M'Lehose.]

The Muse his ready quill employed,
No nearer bliss he could pursue;
That bliss Clarinda cold deny'd-
"Send word by Charles how you do!"

The chill behest disarm'd his muse,
Till passion all impatient grew:
He wrote, and hinted for excuse,
'Twas, 'cause "he'd nothing else to do."

But by those hopes I have above!
And by those faults I dearly rue!
The deed, the boldest mark of love,
For thee that deed I dare uo do!

O could the Fates but name the price
Would bless me with your charms and you!
With frantic joy I'd pay it thrice,
If human art and power could do!

Then take, Clarinda, friendship's hand,
(Friendship, at least, I may avow;)
And lay no more your chill command, -
I'll write whatever I've to do.


Love In The Guise Of Friendship

Your friendship much can make me blest,
O why that bliss destroy!
Why urge the only, one request
You know I will deny!

Your thought, if Love must harbour there,
Conceal it in that thought;
Nor cause me from my bosom tear
The very friend I sought.

Go On, Sweet Bird, And Sooth My Care

For thee is laughing Nature gay,
For thee she pours the vernal day;
For me in vain is Nature drest,
While Joy's a stranger to my breast.

Clarinda, Mistress Of My Soul

Clarinda, mistres of my soul,
The measur'd time is run!
The wretch beneath the dreary pole
So marks his latest sun.

To what dark cave of frozen night
Shall poor Sylvander hie;
Depriv'd of thee, his life and light,
The sun of all his joy?

We part-but by these precious drops,
That fill thy lovely eyes,
No other light shall guide my steps,
Till thy bright beams arise!

She, the fair sun of all her sex,
Has blest my glorious day;
And shall a glimmering planet fix
My worship to its ray?

I'm O'er Young To Marry Yet

Chorus.-I'm o'er young, I'm o'er young,
I'm o'er young to marry yet;
I'm o'er young, 'twad be a sin
To tak me frae my mammy yet.

I am my mammny's ae bairn,
Wi' unco folk I weary, sir;
And lying in a man's bed,
I'm fley'd it mak me eerie, sir.
I'm o'er young, &c.

My mammie coft me a new gown,
The kirk maun hae the gracing o't;
Were I to lie wi' you, kind Sir,
I'm feared ye'd spoil the lacing o't.
I'm o'er young, &c.

Hallowmass is come and gane,
The nights are lang in winter, sir,
And you an' I in ae bed,
In trowth, I dare na venture, sir.
I'm o'er young, &c.

Fu' loud an' shill the frosty wind
Blaws thro' the leafless timmer, sir;
But if ye come this gate again;
I'll aulder be gin simmer, sir.
I'm o'er young, &c.

To The Weavers Gin Ye Go

My heart was ance as blithe and free
As simmer days were lang;
But a bonie, westlin weaver lad
Has gart me change my sang.

Chorus.-To the weaver's gin ye go, fair maids,
To the weaver's gin ye go;
I rede you right, gang ne'er at night,
To the weaver's gin ye go.

My mither sent me to the town,
To warp a plaiden wab;
But the weary, weary warpin o't
Has gart me sigh and sab.
To the weaver's, &c.

A bonie, westlin weaver lad
Sat working at his loom;
He took my heart as wi' a net,
In every knot and thrum.
To the weaver's, &c.

I sat beside my warpin-wheel,
And aye I ca'd it roun';
But every shot and evey knock,
My heart it gae a stoun.
To the weaver's, &c.

The moon was sinking in the west,
Wi' visage pale and wan,
As my bonie, westlin weaver lad
Convoy'd me thro' the glen.
To the weaver's, &c.

But what was said, or what was done,
Shame fa' me gin I tell;
But Oh! I fear the kintra soon
Will ken as weel's myself!
To the weaver's, &c.

M'Pherson's Farewell

tune-"M'Pherson's Rant."

Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong,
The wretch's destinie!
M'Pherson's time will not be long
On yonder gallows-tree.

Chorus.-Sae rantingly, sae wantonly,
Sae dauntingly gaed he;
He play'd a spring, and danc'd it round,
Below the gallows-tree.

O, what is death but parting breath?
On many a bloody plain
I've dared his face, and in this place
I scorn him yet again!
Sae rantingly, &c.

Untie these bands from off my hands,
And bring me to my sword;
And there's no a man in all Scotland
But I'll brave him at a word.
Sae rantingly, &c.

I've liv'd a life of sturt and strife;
I die by treacherie:
It burns my heart I must depart,
And not avenged be.
Sae rantingly, &c.

Now farewell light, thou sunshine bright,
And all beneath the sky!
May coward shame distain his name,
The wretch that dares not die!
Sae rantingly, &c.

Stay My Charmer

tune-"An gille dubh ciar-dhubh."

Stay my charmer, can you leave me?
Cruel, cruel to deceive me;
Well you know how much you grieve me;
Cruel charmer, can you go!
Cruel charmer, can you go!

By my love so ill-requited,
By the faith you fondly plighted,
By the pangs of lovers slighted,
Do not, do not liave me so!
Do not, do not leave me so!

song-My Hoggie

What will I do gin my Hoggie die?
My joy, my pride, my Hoggie!
My only beast, I had nae mae,
And vow but I was vogie!
The lee-lang night we watch'd the fauld,
Me and my faithfu' doggie;
We heard nocht but the roaring linn,
Amang the braes sae scroggie.

But the houlet cry'd frau the castle wa',
The blitter frae the boggie;
The tod reply'd upon the hill,
I trembled for my Hoggie.
When day did daw, and cocks did craw,
The morning it was foggie;
An unco tyke, lap o'er the dyke,
And maist has kill'd my Hoggie!

Raving Winds Around Her Blowing

tune-"M'Grigor of Roro's Lament."

I composed these verses on Miss Isabella M'Leod of Raza, alluding to her
feelings on the death of her sister, and the still more melancholy death of
her sister's husband, the late Earl of Loudoun, who shot himself out of sheer
heart-break at some mortifications he suffered, owing to the deranged state
of his finances.-R.B., 1971.

Raving winds around her blowing,
Yellow leaves the woodlands strowing,
By a river hoarsely roaring,
Isabella stray'd deploring-

"Farewell, hours that late did measure
Sunshine days of joy and pleasure;
Hail, thou gloomy night of sorrow,
Cheerless night that knows no morrow!

"O'er the past too fondly wandering,
On the hopeless future pondering;
Chilly grief my life-blood freezes,
Fell despair my fancy seizes.

"Life, thou soul of every blessing,
Load to misery most distressing,
Gladly how wouldlI resign thee,
And to dark oblivion join thee!"

Up In The Morning Early

Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west,
The drift is driving sairly;
Sae loud and shill's I hear the blast-
I'm sure it's winter fairly.

Chorus.-Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.

The birds sit chittering in the thorn,
A' day they fare but sparely;
And lang's the night frae e'en to morn-
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
Up in the morning's, &c.

How Long And Dreary Is The Night

How long and dreary is the night,
When I am frae my dearie!
I sleepless lie frae e'en to morn,
Tho' I were ne'er so weary:
I sleepless lie frae e'en to morn,
Tho' I were ne'er sae weary!

When I think on the happy days
I spent wi' you my dearie:
And now what lands between us lie,
How can I be but eerie!
And now what lands between us lie,
How can I be but eerie!

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours,
As ye were wae and weary!
It wasna sae ye glinted by,
When I was wi' my dearie!
It wasna sae ye glinted by,
When I was wi' my dearie!

Hey, The Dusty Miller

Hey, the dusty Miller,
And his dusty coat,
He will win a shilling,
Or he spend a groat:
Dusty was the coat,
Dusty was the colour,
Dusty was the kiss
That I gat frae the Miller.

Hey, the dusty Miller,
And his dusty sack;
Leeze me on the calling
Fills the dusty peck:
Fills the dusty peck,
Brings the dusty siller;
I wad gie my coatie
For the dusty Miller.

Duncan Davison

There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg,
And she held o'er the moors to spin;
There was a lad that follow'd her,
They ca'd him Duncan Davison.
The moor was dreigh, and Meg was skeigh,
Her favour Duncan could na win;
For wi' the rock she wad him knock,
And aye she shook the temper-pin.

As o'er the moor they lightly foor,
A burn was clear, a glen was green,
Upon the banks they eas'd their shanks,
And aye she set the wheel between:
But Duncan swoor a haly aith,
That Meg should be a bride the morn;
Then Meg took up her spinning-graith,
And flang them a' out o'er the burn.

We will big a wee, wee house,
And we will live like king and queen;
Sae blythe and merry's we will be,
When ye set by the wheel at e'en.
A man may drink, and no be drunk;
A man may fight, and no be slain;
A man may kiss a bonie lass,
And aye be welcome back again!

The Lad They Ca'Jumpin John

Her daddie forbad, her minnie forbad
Forbidden she wadna be:
She wadna trow't the browst she brew'd,
Wad taste sae bitterlie.

Chorus.-The lang lad they ca'Jumpin John
Beguil'd the bonie lassie,
The lang lad they ca'Jumpin John
Beguil'd the bonie lassie.

A cow and a cauf, a yowe and a hauf,
And thretty gude shillin's and three;
A vera gude tocher, a cotter-man's dochter,
The lass wi' the bonie black e'e.
The lang lad, &c.

Talk Of Him That's Far Awa

Musing on the roaring ocean,
Which divides my love and me;
Wearying heav'n in warm devotion,
For his weal where'er he be.

Hope and Fear's alternate billow
Yielding late to Nature's law,
Whispering spirits round my pillow,
Talk of him that's far awa.

Ye whom sorrow never wounded,
Ye who never shed a tear,
Care-untroubled, joy-surrounded,
Gaudy day to you is dear.

Gentle night, do thou befriend me,
Downy sleep, the curtain draw;
Spirits kind, again attend me,
Talk of him that's far awa!

To Daunton Me

The blude-red rose at Yule may blaw,
The simmer lilies bloom in snaw,
The frost may freeze the deepest sea;
But an auld man shall never daunton me.
Refrain.-To daunton me, to daunton me,
And auld man shall never daunton me.

To daunton me, and me sae young,
Wi' his fause heart and flatt'ring tongue,
That is the thing you shall never see,
For an auld man shall never daunton me.
To daunton me, &c.

For a' his meal and a' his maut,
For a' his fresh beef and his saut,
For a' his gold and white monie,
And auld men shall never daunton me.
To daunton me, &c.

His gear may buy him kye and yowes,
His gear may buy him glens and knowes;
But me he shall not buy nor fee,
For an auld man shall never daunton me.
To daunton me, &c.

He hirples twa fauld as he dow,
Wi' his teethless gab and his auld beld pow,
And the rain rains down frae his red blear'd e'e;
That auld man shall never daunton me.
To daunton me, &c.

The Winter It Is Past

The winter it is past, and the summer comes at last
And the small birds, they sing on ev'ry tree;
Now ev'ry thing is glad, while I am very sad,
Since my true love is parted from me.

The rose upon the breer, by the waters running clear,
May have charms for the linnet or the bee;
Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest,
But my true love is parted from me.

The Bonie Lad That's Far Awa

O how can I be blythe and glad,
Or how can I gang brisk and braw,
When the bonie lad that I lo'e best
Is o'er the hills and far awa!

It's no the frosty winter wind,
It's no the driving drift and snaw;
But aye the tear comes in my e'e,
To think on him that's far awa.

My father pat me frae his door,
My friends they hae disown'd me a';
But I hae ane will tak my part,
The bonie lad that's far awa.

A pair o' glooves he bought to me,
And silken snoods he gae me twa;
And I will wear them for his sake,
The bonie lad that's far awa.

O weary Winter soon will pass,
And Spring will cleed the birken shaw;
And my young babie will be born,
And he'll be hame that's far awa.

Verses To Clarinda

Sent with a Pair of Wine-Glasses.

Fair Empress of the Poet's soul,
And Queen of Poetesses;
Clarinda, take this little boon,
This humble pair of glasses:

And fill them up with generous juice,
As generous as your mind;
And pledge them to the generous toast,
"The whole of human kind!"

"To those who love us!" second fill;
But not to those whom we love;
Lest we love those who love not us-
A third-"To thee and me, Love!"

The Chevalier's Lament

Air-"Captain O'Kean."

The small birds rejoice in the green leaves returning,
The murmuring streamlet winds clear thro' the vale;
The primroses blow in the dews of the morning,
And wild scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale:
But what can give pleasure, or what can seem fair,
When the lingering moments are numbered by care?
No birds sweetly singing, nor flow'rs gaily springing,
Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair.

The deed that I dared, could it merit their malice?
A king and a father to place on his throne!
His right are these hills, and his right are these valleys,
Where the wild beasts find shelter, tho' I can find none!
But 'tis not my suff'rings, thus wretched, forlorn,
My brave gallant friends, 'tis your ruin I mourn;
Your faith proved so loyal in hot bloody trial, -
Alas! I can make it no better return!

Epistle To Hugh Parker

In this strange land, this uncouth clime,
A land unknown to prose or rhyme;
Where words ne'er cross't the Muse's heckles,
Nor limpit in poetic shackles:
A land that Prose did never view it,
Except when drunk he stacher't thro' it;
Here, ambush'd by the chimla cheek,
Hid in an atmosphere of reek,
I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk,
I hear it-for in vain I leuk.
The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel,
Enhusked by a fog infernal:
Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures,
I sit and count my sins by chapters;
For life and spunk like ither Christians,
I'm dwindled down to mere existence,
Wi' nae converse but Gallowa' bodies,
Wi' nae kenn'd face but Jenny Geddes,
Jenny, my Pegasean pride!
Dowie she saunters down Nithside,
And aye a westlin leuk she throws,
While tears hap o'er her auld brown nose!
Was it for this, wi' cannie care,
Thou bure the Bard through many a shire?
At howes, or hillocks never stumbled,
And late or early never grumbled?-
O had I power like inclination,
I'd heeze thee up a constellation,
To canter with the Sagitarre,
Or loup the ecliptic like a bar;
Or turn the pole like any arrow;
Or, when auld Phoebus bids good-morrow,
Down the zodiac urge the race,
And cast dirt on his godship's face;
For I could lay my bread and kail
He'd ne'er cast saut upo' thy tail. -
Wi' a' this care and a' this grief,
And sma', sma' prospect of relief,
And nought but peat reek i' my head,
How can I write what ye can read?-
Tarbolton, twenty-fourth o' June,
Ye'll find me in a better tune;
But till we meet and weet our whistle,
Tak this excuse for nae epistle.

Robert Burns.

Of A' The Airts The Wind Can Blaw^1

tune-"Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathspey."

Of a' the airts the wind can blaw,
I dearly like the west,
For there the bonie lassie lives,
The lassie I lo'e best:

[Footnote 1: Written during a separation from Mrs. Burns in their honeymoon.
Burns was preparing a home at Ellisland; Mrs. Burns was at Mossgiel.-Lang.]

There's wild-woods grow, and rivers row,
And mony a hill between:
But day and night my fancys' flight
Is ever wi' my Jean.

I see her in the dewy flowers,
I see her sweet and fair:
I hear her in the tunefu' birds,
I hear her charm the air:
There's not a bonie flower that springs,
By fountain, shaw, or green;
There's not a bonie bird that sings,
But minds me o' my Jean.

song-I Hae a Wife O' My Ain

I Hae a wife of my ain,
I'll partake wi' naebody;
I'll take Cuckold frae nane,
I'll gie Cuckold to naebody.

I hae a penny to spend,
There-thanks to naebody!
I hae naething to lend,
I'll borrow frae naebody.

I am naebody's lord,
I'll be slave to naebody;
I hae a gude braid sword,
I'll tak dunts frae naebody.

I'll be merry and free,
I'll be sad for naebody;
Naebody cares for me,
I care for naebody.

Lines Written In Friars'-Carse Hermitage

Glenriddel Hermitage, June 28th, 1788.

Thou whom chance may hither lead,
Be thou clad in russet weed,
Be thou deckt in silken stole,
Grave these maxims on thy soul.

Life is but a day at most,
Sprung from night, in darkness lost:
Hope not sunshine every hour,
Fear not clouds will always lour.

Happiness is but a name,
Make content and ease thy aim,
Ambition is a meteor-gleam;
Fame, an idle restless dream;

Peace, the tend'rest flow'r of spring;
Pleasures, insects on the wing;
Those that sip the dew alone-
Make the butterflies thy own;
Those that would the bloom devour-
Crush the locusts, save the flower.

For the future be prepar'd,
Guard wherever thou can'st guard;
But thy utmost duly done,
Welcome what thou can'st not shun.
Follies past, give thou to air,
Make their consequence thy care:
Keep the name of Man in mind,
And dishonour not thy kind.
Reverence with lowly heart
Him, whose wondrous work thou art;
Keep His Goodness still in view,
Thy trust, and thy example, too.

Stranger, go! Heaven be thy guide!
Quod the Beadsman of Nidside.

To Alex. Cunningham, ESQ., Writer

Ellisland, Nithsdale, July 27th, 1788.

My godlike friend-nay, do not stare,
You think the phrase is odd-like;
But God is love, the saints declare,
Then surely thou art god-like.

And is thy ardour still the same?
And kindled still at Anna?
Others may boast a partial flame,
But thou art a volcano!

Ev'n Wedlock asks not love beyond
Death's tie-dissolving portal;
But thou, omnipotently fond,
May'st promise love immortal!

Thy wounds such healing powers defy,
Such symptoms dire attend them,
That last great antihectic try-
Marriage perhaps may mend them.

Sweet Anna has an air-a grace,
Divine, magnetic, touching:
She talks, she charms-but who can trace
The process of bewitching?

Song.-Anna, Thy Charms

Anna, thy charms my bosom fire,
And waste my soul with care;
But ah! how bootless to admire,
When fated to despair!

Yet in thy presence, lovely Fair,
To hope may be forgiven;
For sure 'twere impious to despair
So much in sight of heaven.

The Fete Champetre


O Wha will to Saint Stephen's House,
To do our errands there, man?
O wha will to Saint Stephen's House
O' th' merry lads of Ayr, man?

Or will we send a man o' law?
Or will we send a sodger?
Or him wha led o'er Scotland a'
The meikle Ursa-Major?^1

Come, will ye court a noble lord,
Or buy a score o'lairds, man?
For worth and honour pawn their word,
Their vote shall be Glencaird's,^2 man.
Ane gies them coin, ane gies them wine,
Anither gies them clatter:
Annbank,^3 wha guessed the ladies' taste,
He gies a Fete Champetre.

When Love and Beauty heard the news,
The gay green woods amang, man;
Where, gathering flowers, and busking bowers,
They heard the blackbird's sang, man:
A vow, they sealed it with a kiss,
Sir Politics to fetter;
As their's alone, the patent bliss,
To hold a Fete Champetre.

Then mounted Mirth, on gleesome wing
O'er hill and dale she flew, man;
Ilk wimpling burn, ilk crystal spring,
Ilk glen and shaw she knew, man:
She summon'd every social sprite,
That sports by wood or water,
On th' bonie banks of Ayr to meet,
And keep this Fete Champetre.

Cauld Boreas, wi' his boisterous crew,
Were bound to stakes like kye, man,
And Cynthia's car, o' silver fu',
Clamb up the starry sky, man:
Reflected beams dwell in the streams,
Or down the current shatter;
The western breeze steals thro'the trees,
To view this Fete Champetre.

[Footnote 1: James Boswell, the biographer of Dr. Johnson.]

[Footnote 2: Sir John Whitefoord, then residing at Cloncaird or "Glencaird."]

[Footnote 3: William Cunninghame, Esq., of Annbank and Enterkin.]

How many a robe sae gaily floats!
What sparkling jewels glance, man!
To Harmony's enchanting notes,
As moves the mazy dance, man.
The echoing wood, the winding flood,
Like Paradise did glitter,
When angels met, at Adam's yett,
To hold their Fete Champetre.

When Politics came there, to mix
And make his ether-stane, man!
He circled round the magic ground,
But entrance found he nane, man:
He blush'd for shame, he quat his name,
Forswore it, every letter,
Wi' humble prayer to join and share
This festive Fete Champetre.

Epistle To Robert Graham, Esq., Of Fintry

Requesting a Favour

When Nature her great master-piece design'd,
And fram'd her last, best work, the human mind,
Her eye intent on all the mazy plan,
She form'd of various parts the various Man.

Then first she calls the useful many forth;
Plain plodding Industry, and sober Worth:
Thence peasants, farmers, native sons of earth,
And merchandise' whole genus take their birth:
Each prudent cit a warm existence finds,
And all mechanics' many-apron'd kinds.
Some other rarer sorts are wanted yet,
The lead and buoy are needful to the net:
The caput mortuum of grnss desires
Makes a material for mere knights and squires;
The martial phosphorus is taught to flow,
She kneads the lumpish philosophic dough,
Then marks th' unyielding mass with grave designs,
Law, physic, politics, and deep divines;
Last, she sublimes th' Aurora of the poles,
The flashing elements of female souls.

The order'd system fair before her stood,
Nature, well pleas'd, pronounc'd it very good;
But ere she gave creating labour o'er,
Half-jest, she tried one curious labour more.
Some spumy, fiery, ignis fatuus matter,
Such as the slightest breath of air might scatter;
With arch-alacrity and conscious glee,
(Nature may have her whim as well as we,
Her Hogarth-art perhaps she meant to show it),
She forms the thing and christens it-a Poet:
Creature, tho' oft the prey of care and sorrow,
When blest to-day, unmindful of to-morrow;
A being form'd t' amuse his graver friends,
Admir'd and prais'd-and there the homage ends;
A mortal quite unfit for Fortune's strife,
Yet oft the sport of all the ills of life;
Prone to enjoy each pleasure riches give,
Yet haply wanting wherewithal to live;
Longing to wipe each tear, to heal each groan,
Yet frequent all unheeded in his own.

But honest Nature is not quite a Turk,
She laugh'd at first, then felt for her poor work:
Pitying the propless climber of mankind,
She cast about a standard tree to find;
And, to support his helpless woodbine state,
Attach'd him to the generous, truly great:
A title, and the only one I claim,
To lay strong hold for help on bounteous Graham.

Pity the tuneful Muses' hapless train,
Weak, timid landsmen on life's stormy main!
Their hearts no selfish stern absorbent stuff,
That never gives-tho' humbly takes enough;
The little fate allows, they share as soon,
Unlike sage proverb'd Wisdom's hard-wrung boon:
The world were blest did bliss on them depend,
Ah, that "the friendly e'er should want a friend!"
Let Prudence number o'er each sturdy son,
Who life and wisdom at one race begun,
Who feel by reason and who give by rule,
(Instinct's a brute, and sentiment a fool!)
Who make poor "will do" wait upon "I should"-
We own they're prudent, but who feels they're good?
Ye wise ones hence! ye hurt the social eye!
God's image rudely etch'd on base alloy!
But come ye who the godlike pleasure know,
Heaven's attribute distinguished-to bestow!
Whose arms of love would grasp the human race:
Come thou who giv'st with all a courtier's grace;
Friend of my life, true patron of my rhymes!
Prop of my dearest hopes for future times.
Why shrinks my soul half blushing, half afraid,
Backward, abash'd to ask thy friendly aid?
I know my need, I know thy giving hand,
I crave thy friendship at thy kind command;
But there are such who court the tuneful Nine-
Heavens! should the branded character be mine!
Whose verse in manhood's pride sublimely flows,
Yet vilest reptiles in their begging prose.
Mark, how their lofty independent spirit
Soars on the spurning wing of injured merit!
Seek not the proofs in private life to find
Pity the best of words should be but wind!
So, to heaven's gates the lark's shrill song ascends,
But grovelling on the earth the carol ends.
In all the clam'rous cry of starving want,
They dun Benevolence with shameless front;
Oblige them, patronise their tinsel lays-
They persecute you all your future days!
Ere my poor soul such deep damnation stain,
My horny fist assume the plough again,
The pie-bald jacket let me patch once more,
On eighteenpence a week I've liv'd before.
Tho', thanks to Heaven, I dare even that last shift,
I trust, meantime, my boon is in thy gift:
That, plac'd by thee upon the wish'd-for height,
Where, man and nature fairer in her sight,
My Muse may imp her wing for some sublimer flight.

Song.-The Day Returns

tune-"Seventh of November."

The day returns, my bosom burns,
The blissful day we twa did meet:
Tho' winter wild in tempest toil'd,
Ne'er summer-sun was half sae sweet.
Than a' the pride that loads the tide,
And crosses o'er the sultry line;
Than kingly robes, than crowns and globes,
Heav'n gave me more-it made thee mine!

While day and night can bring delight,
Or Nature aught of pleasure give;
While joys above my mind can move,
For thee, and thee alone, I live.
When that grim foe of life below
Comes in between to make us part,
The iron hand that breaks our band,
It breaks my bliss-it breaks my heart!

Song.-O, Were I On Parnassus Hill

tune-"My love is lost to me."

O, were I on Parnassus hill,
Or had o' Helicon my fill,
That I might catch poetic skill,
To sing how dear I love thee!
But Nith maun be my Muse's well,
My Muse maun be thy bonie sel',
On Corsincon I'll glowr and spell,
And write how dear I love thee.

Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay!
For a' the lee-lang simmer's day
I couldna sing, I couldna say,
How much, how dear, I love thee,
I see thee dancing o'er the green,
Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean,
Thy tempting lips, thy roguish een-
By Heaven and Earth I love thee!

By night, by day, a-field, at hame,
The thoughts o' thee my breast inflame:
And aye I muse and sing thy name-
I only live to love thee.
Tho' I were doom'd to wander on,
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun,
Till my last weary sand was run;
Till then-and then I love thee!

A Mother's Lament

For the Death of Her Son.

Fate gave the word, the arrow sped,
And pierc'd my darling's heart;
And with him all the joys are fled
Life can to me impart.

By cruel hands the sapling drops,
In dust dishonour'd laid;
So fell the pride of all my hopes,
My age's future shade.

The mother-linnet in the brake
Bewails her ravish'd young;
So I, for my lost darling's sake,
Lament the live-day long.

Death, oft I've feared thy fatal blow.
Now, fond, I bare my breast;
O, do thou kindly lay me low
With him I love, at rest!

The Fall Of The Leaf

The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill,
Concealing the course of the dark-winding rill;
How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear!
As Autumn to Winter resigns the pale year.

The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown,
And all the gay foppery of summer is flown:
Apart let me wander, apart let me muse,
How quick Time is flying, how keen Fate pursues!

How long I have liv'd-but how much liv'd in vain,
How little of life's scanty span may remain,
What aspects old Time in his progress has worn,
What ties cruel Fate, in my bosom has torn.

How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gain'd!
And downward, how weaken'd, how darken'd, how pain'd!
Life is not worth having with all it can give-
For something beyond it poor man sure must live.

I Reign In Jeanie's Bosom

Louis, what reck I by thee,
Or Geordie on his ocean?
Dyvor, beggar louns to me,
I reign in Jeanie's bosom!

Let her crown my love her law,
And in her breast enthrone me,
Kings and nations-swith awa'!
Reif randies, I disown ye!

It Is Na, Jean, Thy Bonie Face

It is na, Jean, thy bonie face,
Nor shape that I admire;
Altho' thy beauty and thy grace
Might weel awauk desire.

Something, in ilka part o' thee,
To praise, to love, I find,
But dear as is thy form to me,
Still dearer is thy mind.

Nae mair ungenerous wish I hae,
Nor stronger in my breast,
Than, if I canna make thee sae,
At least to see thee blest.

Content am I, if heaven shall give
But happiness, to thee;
And as wi' thee I'd wish to live,
For thee I'd bear to die.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

My Bonie Mary

Go, fetch to me a pint o' wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie;
That I may drink before I go,
A service to my bonie lassie.
The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith;
Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the Ferry;
The ship rides by the Berwick-law,
And I maun leave my bonie Mary.

The trumpets sound, the banners fly,
The glittering spears are ranked ready:
The shouts o' war are heard afar,
The battle closes deep and bloody;
It's not the roar o' sea or shore,
Wad mak me langer wish to tarry!
Nor shouts o' war that's heard afar-
It's leaving thee, my bonie Mary!

The Parting Kiss

Humid seal of soft affections,
Tenderest pledge of future bliss,
Dearest tie of young connections,
Love's first snowdrop, virgin kiss!

Speaking silence, dumb confession,
Passion's birth, and infant's play,
Dove-like fondness, chaste concession,
Glowing dawn of future day!

Sorrowing joy, Adieu's last action,
(Lingering lips must now disjoin),
What words can ever speak affection
So thrilling and sincere as thine!

Written In Friars Carse Hermitage

On Nithside

Thou whom chance may hither lead,
Be thou clad in russet weed,
Be thou deckt in silken stole,
Grave these counsels on thy soul.

Life is but a day at most,
Sprung from night,-in darkness lost;
Hope not sunshine ev'ry hour,
Fear not clouds will always lour.

As Youth and Love with sprightly dance,
Beneath thy morning star advance,
Pleasure with her siren air
May delude the thoughtless pair;
Let Prudence bless Enjoyment's cup,
Then raptur'd sip, and sip it up.

As thy day grows warm and high,
Life's meridian flaming nigh,
Dost thou spurn the humble vale?
Life's proud summits wouldst thou scale?
Check thy climbing step, elate,
Evils lurk in felon wait:
Dangers, eagle-pinioned, bold,
Soar around each cliffy hold!
While cheerful Peace, with linnet song,
Chants the lowly dells among.

As the shades of ev'ning close,
Beck'ning thee to long repose;
As life itself becomes disease,
Seek the chimney-nook of ease;
There ruminate with sober thought,
On all thou'st seen, and heard, and wrought,
And teach the sportive younkers round,
Saws of experience, sage and sound:
Say, man's true, genuine estimate,
The grand criterion of his fate,
Is not,-Arth thou high or low?
Did thy fortune ebb or flow?
Did many talents gild thy span?
Or frugal Nature grudge thee one?
Tell them, and press it on their mind,
As thou thyself must shortly find,
The smile or frown of awful Heav'n,
To virtue or to Vice is giv'n,
Say, to be just, and kind, and wise-
There solid self-enjoyment lies;
That foolish, selfish, faithless ways
Lead to be wretched, vile, and base.

Thus resign'd and quiet, creep
To the bed of lasting sleep, -
Sleep, whence thou shalt ne'er awake,
Night, where dawn shall never break,
Till future life, future no more,
To light and joy the good restore,
To light and joy unknown before.
Stranger, go! Heav'n be thy guide!
Quod the Beadsman of Nithside.

The Poet's Progress

A Poem In Embryo

Thou, Nature, partial Nature, I arraign;
Of thy caprice maternal I complain.

The peopled fold thy kindly care have found,
The horned bull, tremendous, spurns the ground;
The lordly lion has enough and more,
The forest trembles at his very roar;
Thou giv'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell,
The puny wasp, victorious, guards his cell.
Thy minions, kings defend, controul devour,
In all th' omnipotence of rule and power:
Foxes and statesmen subtle wiles ensure;
The cit and polecat stink, and are secure:
Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug,
The priest and hedgehog, in their robes, are snug:
E'en silly women have defensive arts,
Their eyes, their tongues-and nameless other parts.

But O thou cruel stepmother and hard,
To thy poor fenceless, naked child, the Bard!
A thing unteachable in worldly skill,
And half an idiot too, more helpless still:
No heels to bear him from the op'ning dun,
No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun:
No horns, but those by luckless Hymen worn,
And those, alas! not Amalthea's horn:
No nerves olfact'ry, true to Mammon's foot,
Or grunting, grub sagacious, evil's root:
The silly sheep that wanders wild astray,
Is not more friendless, is not more a prey;
Vampyre-booksellers drain him to the heart,
And viper-critics cureless venom dart.

Critics! appll'd I venture on the name,
Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame,
Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes,
He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose:
By blockhead's daring into madness stung,
His heart by wanton, causeless malice wrung,
His well-won ways-than life itself more dear -
By miscreants torn who ne'er one sprig must wear;
Foil'd, bleeding, tortur'd in th' unequal strife,
The hapless Poet flounces on through life,
Till, fled each hope that once his bosom fired,
And fled each Muse that glorious once inspir'd,
Low-sunk in squalid, unprotected age,
Dead even resentment for his injur'd page,
He heeds no more the ruthless critics' rage.

So by some hedge the generous steed deceas'd,
For half-starv'd, snarling curs a dainty feast;
By toil and famine worn to skin and bone,
Lies, senseless of each tugging bitch's son.

A little upright, pert, tart, tripping wight,
And still his precious self his dear delight;
Who loves his own smart shadow in the streets,
Better than e'er the fairest she he meets;
Much specious lore, but little understood,
(Veneering oft outshines the solid wood),
His solid sense, by inches you must tell,
But mete his cunning by the Scottish ell!
A man of fashion too, he made his tour,
Learn'd "vive la bagatelle et vive l'amour;"
So travell'd monkeys their grimace improve,
Polish their grin-nay, sigh for ladies' love!
His meddling vanity, a busy fiend,
Still making work his selfish craft must mend.

* * * Crochallan came,
The old cock'd hat, the brown surtout-the same;
His grisly beard just bristling in its might-
'Twas four long nights and days from shaving-night;
His uncomb'd, hoary locks, wild-staring, thatch'd
A head, for thought profound and clear, unmatch'd;
Yet, tho' his caustic wit was biting-rude,
His heart was warm, benevolent and good.

O Dulness, portion of the truly blest!
Calm, shelter'd haven of eternal rest!
Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremes
Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams;
If mantling high she fills the golden cup,
With sober, selfish ease they sip it up;
Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve,
They only wonder "some folks" do not starve!
The grave, sage hern thus easy picks his frog,
And thinks the mallard a sad worthless dog.
When disappointment snaps the thread of Hope,
When, thro' disastrous night, they darkling grope,
With deaf endurance sluggishly they bear,
And just conclude that "fools are Fortune's care:"
So, heavy, passive to the tempest's shocks,
Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.

Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap train,
Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain;
In equanimity they never dwell,
By turns in soaring heaven, or vaulted hell!

Elegy On The Year 1788

For lords or kings I dinna mourn,
E'en let them die-for that they're born:
But oh! prodigious to reflec'!
A Towmont, sirs, is gane to wreck!
O Eighty-eight, in thy sma' space,
What dire events hae taken place!
Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us!
In what a pickle thou has left us!

The Spanish empire's tint a head,
And my auld teethless, Bawtie's dead:
The tulyie's teugh 'tween Pitt and Fox,
And 'tween our Maggie's twa wee cocks;
The tane is game, a bluidy devil,
But to the hen-birds unco civil;
The tither's something dour o' treadin,
But better stuff ne'er claw'd a middin.

Ye ministers, come mount the poupit,
An' cry till ye be hearse an' roupit,
For Eighty-eight, he wished you weel,
An' gied ye a' baith gear an' meal;
E'en monc a plack, and mony a peck,
Ye ken yoursels, for little feck!

Ye bonie lasses, dight your e'en,
For some o' you hae tint a frien';
In Eighty-eight, ye ken, was taen,
What ye'll ne'er hae to gie again.

Observe the very nowt an' sheep,
How dowff an' daviely they creep;
Nay, even the yirth itsel' does cry,
For E'nburgh wells are grutten dry.

O Eighty-nine, thou's but a bairn,
An' no owre auld, I hope, to learn!
Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care,
Thou now hast got thy Daddy's chair;
Nae handcuff'd, mizl'd, hap-shackl'd Regent,
But, like himsel, a full free agent,
Be sure ye follow out the plan
Nae waur than he did, honest man!
As muckle better as you can.

January, 1, 1789.

The Henpecked Husband

Curs'd be the man, the poorest wretch in life,
The crouching vassal to a tyrant wife!
Who has no will but by her high permission,
Who has not sixpence but in her possession;
Who must to he, his dear friend's secrets tell,
Who dreads a curtain lecture worse than hell.
Were such the wife had fallen to my part,
I'd break her spirit or I'd break her heart;
I'd charm her with the magic of a switch,
I'd kiss her maids, and kick the perverse bitch.

Versicles On Sign-Posts

His face with smile eternal drest,
Just like the Landlord's to his Guest's,
High as they hang with creaking din,
To index out the Country Inn.
He looked just as your sign-post Lions do,
With aspect fierce, and quite as harmless too.

A head, pure, sinless quite of brain and soul,
The very image of a barber's Poll;
It shews a human face, and wears a wig,
And looks, when well preserv'd, amazing big.

Robin Shure In Hairst

Chorus.-Robin shure in hairst,
I shure wi' him.
Fient a heuk had I,
Yet I stack by him.

I gaed up to Dunse,
To warp a wab o' plaiden,
At his daddie's yett,
Wha met me but Robin:
Robin shure, &c.

Was na Robin bauld,
Tho' I was a cotter,
Play'd me sic a trick,
An' me the El'er's dochter!
Robin shure, &c.

Robin promis'd me
A' my winter vittle;
Fient haet he had but three
Guse-feathers and a whittle!
Robin shure, &c.

Ode, Sacred To The Memory Of Mrs. Oswald Of Auchencruive

Dweller in yon dungeon dark,
Hangman of creation! mark,
Who in widow-weeds appears,
Laden with unhonour'd years,
Noosing with care a bursting purse,
Baited with many a deadly curse?


View the wither'd Beldam's face;
Can thy keen inspection trace
Aught of Humanity's sweet, melting grace?
Note that eye, 'tis rheum o'erflows;
Pity's flood there never rose,
See these hands ne'er stretched to save,
Hands that took, but never gave:
Keeper of Mammon's iron chest,
Lo, there she goes, unpitied and unblest,
She goes, but not to realms of everlasting rest!


Plunderer of Armies! lift thine eyes,
(A while forbear, ye torturing fiends;)
Seest thou whose step, unwilling, hither bends?
No fallen angel, hurl'd from upper skies;
'Tis thy trusty quondam Mate,
Doom'd to share thy fiery fate;
She, tardy, hell-ward plies.


And are they of no more avail,
Ten thousand glittering pounds a-year?
In other worlds can Mammon fail,
Omnipotent as he is here!

O, bitter mockery of the pompous bier,
While down the wretched Vital Part is driven!
The cave-lodged Beggar,with a conscience clear,
Expires in rags, unknown, and goes to Heaven.

Pegasus At Wanlockhead

With Pegasus upon a day,
Apollo, weary flying,
Through frosty hills the journey lay,
On foot the way was plying.

Poor slipshod giddy Pegasus
Was but a sorry walker;
To Vulcan then Apollo goes,
To get a frosty caulker.

Obliging Vulcan fell to work,
Threw by his coat and bonnet,
And did Sol's business in a crack;
Sol paid him with a sonnet.

Ye Vulcan's sons of Wanlockhead,
Pity my sad disaster;
My Pegasus is poorly shod,
I'll pay you like my master.

Sappho Redivivus-A Fragment

By all I lov'd, neglected and forgot,
No friendly face e'er lights my squalid cot;
Shunn'd, hated, wrong'd, unpitied, unredrest,
The mock'd quotation of the scorner's jest!
Ev'n the poor support of my wretched life,
Snatched by the violence of legal strife.
Oft grateful for my very daily bread
To those my family's once large bounty fed;
A welcome inmate at their homely fare,
My griefs, my woes, my sighs, my tears they share:
(Their vulgar souls unlike the souls refin'd,
The fashioned marble of the polished mind).

In vain would Prudence, with decorous sneer,
Point out a censuring world, and bid me fear;
Above the world, on wings of Love, I rise-
I know its worst, and can that worst despise;
Let Prudence' direst bodements on me fall,
M[ontgomer]y, rich reward, o'erpays them all!

Mild zephyrs waft thee to life's farthest shore,
Nor think of me and my distress more, -
Falsehood accurst! No! still I beg a place,
Still near thy heart some little, little trace:
For that dear trace the world I would resign:
O let me live, and die, and think it mine!

"I burn, I burn, as when thro' ripen'd corn
By driving winds the crackling flames are borne;"
Now raving-wild, I curse that fatal night,
Then bless the hour that charm'd my guilty sight:
In vain the laws their feeble force oppose,
Chain'd at Love's feet, they groan, his vanquish'd foes.
In vain Religion meets my shrinking eye,
I dare not combat, but I turn and fly:
Conscience in vain upbraids th' unhallow'd fire,
Love grasps her scorpions-stifled they expire!
Reason drops headlong from his sacred throne,

Your dear idea reigns, and reigns alone;
Each thought intoxicated homage yields,
And riots wanton in forbidden fields.
By all on high adoring mortals know!
By all the conscious villain fears below!
By your dear self!-the last great oath I swear,
Not life, nor soul, were ever half so dear!

song-She's Fair And Fause

She's fair and fause that causes my smart,
I lo'ed her meikle and lang;
She's broken her vow, she's broken my heart,
And I may e'en gae hang.
A coof cam in wi' routh o' gear,
And I hae tint my dearest dear;
But Woman is but warld's gear,
Sae let the bonie lass gang.

Whae'er ye be that woman love,
To this be never blind;
Nae ferlie 'tis tho' fickle she prove,
A woman has't by kind.
O Woman lovely, Woman fair!
An angel form's faun to thy share,
'Twad been o'er meikle to gi'en thee mair-
I mean an angel mind.

Impromptu Lines To Captain Riddell

On Returning a Newspaper.

Your News and Review, sir.
I've read through and through, sir,
With little admiring or blaming;
The Papers are barren
Of home-news or foreign,
No murders or rapes worth the naming.

Our friends, the Reviewers,
Those chippers and hewers,
Are judges of mortar and stone, sir;
But of meet or unmeet,
In a fabric complete,
I'll boldly pronounce they are none, sir;

My goose-quill too rude is
To tell all your goodness
Bestow'd on your servant, the Poet;
Would to God I had one
Like a beam of the sun,
And then all the world, sir, should know it!

Lines To John M'Murdo, Esq. Of Drumlanrig

Sent with some of the Author's Poems.

O could I give thee India's wealth,
As I this trifle send;
Because thy joy in both would be
To share them with a friend.

But golden sands did never grace
The Heliconian stream;
Then take what gold could never buy-
An honest bard's esteem.

Rhyming Reply To A Note From Captain Riddell

Dear, Sir, at ony time or tide,
I'd rather sit wi' you than ride,
Though 'twere wi' royal Geordie:
And trowth, your kindness, soon and late,
Aft gars me to mysel' look blate-
The Lord in Heav'n reward ye!

R. Burns.


Caledonia-A Ballad

tune-"Caledonian Hunts' Delight" of Mr. Gow.

There was once a day, but old Time wasythen young,
That brave Caledonia, the chief of her line,
From some of your northern deities sprung,
(Who knows not that brave Caledonia's divine?)
From Tweed to the Orcades was her domain,
To hunt, or to pasture, or do what she would:
Her heav'nly relations there fixed her reign,
And pledg'd her their godheads to warrant it good.

A lambkin in peace, but a lion in war,
The pride of her kindred, the heroine grew:
Her grandsire, old Odin, triumphantly swore, -
"Whoe'er shall provoke thee, th' encounter shall rue!"
With tillage or pasture at times she would sport,
To feed her fair flocks by her green rustling corn;
But chiefly the woods were her fav'rite resort,
Her darling amusement, the hounds and the horn.

Long quiet she reigned; till thitherward steers
A flight of bold eagles from Adria's strand:
Repeated, successive, for many long years,
They darken'd the air, and they plunder'd the land:
Their pounces were murder, and terror their cry,
They'd conquer'd and ruin'd a world beside;
She took to her hills, and her arrows let fly,
The daring invaders they fled or they died.

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