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I bear alane my lade o' care, For silent, low, on beds of dust, Lie a' that would my sorrows share.

And last (the sum of a' my griefs!)
My noble master lies in clay;

The flow'r amang our barons bold,

His country's pride, his country's stay:
In weary being now I pine,

For a' the life of life is dead,
And hope has left my aged ken,
On forward wing for ever fled.
"Awake thy last sad voice, my harp!

The voice of woe and wild despair!
Awake, resound thy latest lay,

Then sleep in silence evermair! And thou, my last, best, only friend, That fillest an untimely tomb, Accept this tribute from the bard

Thou brought from fortune's mirkest gloom. "In poverty's low barren vale,

Thick mists, obscure, involved me round; Though oft I turn'd the wistful eye,

Nae ray of fame was to be found.
Thou found'st me like the morning sun

That melts the fogs in limpid air,
The friendless bard and rustic song
Became alike thy fostering care.
"O! why has worth so short a date,
While villains ripen grey with time!
Must thou, the noble, gen'rous, great,

Fall in bold manhood's hardy prime!
Why did I live to see that day?

A day to me so full of woe! O! had I met the mortal shaft

Which laid my benefactor low! "The bridegroom may forget the bride

Was made his wedded wife yestreen; The monarch may forget the crown

That on his head an hour has been;

The mother may forget the child

That smiles sae sweetly on her knee; But I'll remember thee, Glencairn, And a' that thou hast done for me!"

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A daimen icker in a thrave

The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, 's a sma request :

High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield, I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,

But thou, beneath the random bield,
And never miss't!

O'clod or stane,

Adorns the histie stibble-field,
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!

Unseen, alane.
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,

There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
O' soggage green!

Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,

Thou lifts thy unassuming head
Baith snell and keen!

In humble guise ;

But now the share uptears thy bed,
Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,

And low thou lies!
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Such is the fate of artless Maid,
Thou thought to dwell,

Sweet floweret of the rural shade!
Till, crash! the cruel coulter past

By love's simplicity betray'd,
Out through thy cell.

And guileless trust,

Till she, like thee, all soil'd is laid
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,

Low i' the dust.
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a'thy trouble,

Such is the fate of simple Bard,
But house or hald,

On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

Unskilful he to note the card
An'cranreuch cauld!

Of prudent lore,

Till billows rage, and gales blow hard, But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,

And whelm him o'er!
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men

Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n,
Gang aft a-gley,

Who long with wants and woes has striv'n, An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain,

By human pride or cunning driv'n,
For promis'd joy.

To mis’ry's brink,

Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n, Still thou art blest, compard wi' me!

He, rujn'd, siok! The present only toircheth thee:

Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate, But, och! I backward cast my e'e

That fate is thine no distant date;
On prospects drear!
An' forward, though I canna see,

Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives elate,

Full on thy bloom,
I guess an' fear.

Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,

Shall be thy doom!



APRIL, 1786,


Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thou'st met me in an evil hour;
For I maun crush amang the stoure

Thy slender stem;
To spare thee now is past my pow'r,

Thou bonie gem.

Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet, The bonie lark, companion meet! Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,

Wi' spreckled breast,
When upward-springing, blythe, to greet

The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth ;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted fortha

Amid the storm,
Scarce rear'd above the parent-earthi

Thy lender form.

Of Brownyis and of Bogilis full is this Buke,

When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neebors, neebors meet,
As market-days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame;
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gath’ring her brows like gath'ring storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he, fra Ayr, ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest' men and bonje tasses.)

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O Tam! hads't thou but been sae wise,

Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg,
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice !

A better never lifted leg,
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,

Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
A blethring, blustering, drunken blellum ; Despising wind, and rain, and fire ;
That frae November till October,

Whyles holding fast his guid blue bonnet;
Ae market-day thou was na sober;

Whyles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet; That ilka melder, wi’ the miller,

Whyles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares,
Thou sat as long as thou had siller;

Lest bogles catch him unawares ;
That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on,

Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;

Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
That at the L-d's house, ev'n on Sunday,

By this time he was cross the ford,
Thou drank wi’ Kirton Jean till Monday.

Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd ;
She prophesy'd, that, late or soon,

And past the birks and meikle stane,
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon; Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck bane;
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,

And through the whins, and by the cairn,
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.

Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,

And near the thorn, aboon the well,
To think how monie counsels sweet,

Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.
How monie lengthen'd sage advices,

Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The husband frae the wife despises !

The doubling storm roars through the woods ;
But to our tale: Ae market night,

The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Tam had got planted unco right;

Near and more near the thunders roll;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,

When, glimmering through the groaning trees,
Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely;

Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze ;
And at his elbow, souter Johnny,

Through ilka bore the beams were glancing :
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony.

And loud resounded mirth and dancing.
'Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither;

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
They had been fou for weeks thegither.

What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter;

Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil;
And aye the ale was growing better:

Wi' usquabae, we'll face the Devil !
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,

The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Wi' favours secret, sweet, and precious :

Fair play, he car'd na Deil's a boddle.
The souter tauld his queerest stories ;

But Maggie stood right sair astonish’d,
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:

Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
The storm without might rair and rustle,

She ventur'd forward on the light;
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.

And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Care, mad to see a man sae happy,

Warlocks and witches in a dance;
E'en drown'd himself amang the nappy;

Nae cotillion brent new frae France,
As bees flee hame wi' lades of treasure,

But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys and reels,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure :

Put life and mettle in their heels.
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,

A winnock-bunker in the east,
O'er a' the i!ls o' life victorious.

There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
But pleasures are like poppies spread,

A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed ;

To gie them music was his charge:
Or, like the snow falls in the river,

He screwed the pipes and gart them skirl,
A moment white-then melts for ever:

Till roof an' rafters a' did dirl.
Or, like the borealis race,

Coffins stood round like open presses,
That flit ere you can point their place;

That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
Or, like the rainbow's lovely form,

And by some devilish cantrip slight,
Evanishing amid the storm.-

Each in its cauld hand held a light,-
Nae man can tether time or tide;

By which heroic Tam was able
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;

To note upon the baly table,
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane, A murderer's banes in gibbet airns;
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;

Twa span lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
And sic a night he taks the road in,

A thief, new cutted frae a rape,
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;

Five tomabawks, wi' bluid red-rusted;
The rattling show'rs rose on the blast;

Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted ;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd; A garter, which a babe had strangled ;
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd: A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
That night, a child might understand,

Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The Deil had business on his hand.

The grey hairs yet stack to the hef: ;



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Three lawyers' tongues turn'd inside out,
Wi' lies seam'd like a beggar's clout,
And priests' hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Lay, stinking, vile, in every neuk.
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which ev'n to name wad be unlawfu'.

As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, 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 cleckit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,

And coost her duddies to the wark,

And linket at it in her sark!

Now Tam, O 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 gi'en them aff my hurdies, For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!

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But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Lowping an' flinging on a crummock,
I wonder didna turn thy stomach.

But Tam kenn'd what was what fu' brawlie,
There was ae winsome wench and walie,
That night inlisted in the core
(Lang after kenn'd on Carrick shore!
For monie a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd monie a bonie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and beer,
And kept the country-side in fear),
Her cutty-sark o' Paisley harn,

That while a lassie she had worn,

In longitude tho' sorely scanty,

It was her best, and she was vauntie.
Ah! little kenn'd thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
Wi' twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever grac'd a dance o' witches!

But here my Muse her wing maun cow'r;
Sic flights are far beyond her pow'r!
To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
(A souple jad she was and strang)
And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'd,
And thought his very een enrich'd:
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main :
Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason a' thegither,
And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
And in an instant a' was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied,

As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke, When plundering herds assail their byke; As open pussie's mortal foes,

So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi' monie an eldritch skreech and hollow.

When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When, "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;

Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin! In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin! In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin! Kate soon will be a woefu' woman! Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg, And win the key-stane of the brig; There at them thou thy tail may toss, A running stream they dare na cross. But ere the key-stane she could make, The fient a tail she had to shake! For Nannie, far before the rest, Hard upon noble Maggie prest, And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle; But little wist she Maggie's mettleAe spring brought aff her master hale, But left behind her ain grey tail: The carlin claught her by the rump, And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, Ilk man and mother's son take heed: Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, Or Cutty-sarks run in your mind, Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear, Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.


As I stood by yon roofless tower,

Where the wa'-flower scents the dewy air, Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower, And tells the midnight moon her care:

The winds were laid, the air was still,

The stars they shot alang the sky; The fox was howling on the hill,

And the distant-echoing glens reply.

The stream, adown its hazelly path,
Was rushing by the ruin'd wa's,
Hasting to join the sweeping Nith,

Whase distant roaring swells and fa's. The cauld blue north was streaming forth

Her lights, wi' hissing eerie din; Athort the lift they start and shift,

Like fortune's favours tint as win.

By heedless chance I turn'd my eyes, And, by the moonbeam, shook, to see A stern and stalwart ghaist arise, Attir'd as minstrels wont to be.

Had I a statue been o' stane,

His darin look had daunted me; And on his bonnet grav'd was plain,

The sacred posy-LIBERTIE!

And frae his harp sic strains did flow, Might rous'd the slumbering dead to hear; But oh it was a tale of woe,

As ever met a Briton's ear!

wi' joy his former day,

If love for love thou wilt na gie,
He, weeping, wail'd his latter times;

At least be pity to me shown! But what he said it was nae play,

A thought ungentle canna be I winna ventur't in my rhymes.

The thought o' Mary Morison.

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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;
Could I the rich reward secure,

The lovely Mary Morison.
Yestreen when to the trembling string,

The dance gaed through the lighted ha', To thee my fancy took its wing,

I sat, but neither heard nor saw : Though this was fair, and that was braw,

And yon the toast of a' the town, I sigh’d, and said amang them a',

“ Ye are na Mary Morison." O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,

Wha for thy sake wad gladly die? Or çanst thou break that heart of his,

Whase only faut is loving thee?

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BONIE LESLEY. O saw ye bonie Lesley

As she gaed o'er the border: She's gane, like Alexander,

To spread her conquests farther. To see her is to love her,

And love but her for ever; For nature made her what she is,

And never made anither! Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,

Thy subjects we, before thee:

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