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And in your lug, most reverend James,
Few men o' sense will doubt your claims
And when ye're number'd wi❞ the dead,
Wi' justice they may mark your head-
TO THE DEIL.
Oh prince! Oh chief of many throned pow'r
O thou! whatever title suit thee, Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie, Wha in yon cavern grim an' sootie,
Clos'd under hatches, Spairges about the brunstane cootie,
To scaud poor wretches!
Hear me, auld Hangie, for a wee,
E'n to a deil,
To skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me,
An hear us squeel!
Great is thy pow'r, an' great thy fame;
Far kend and noted is thy name;
An' tho' yon lowin heugh's thy hame,
Thou travels far;
An, faith! thou's neither lag nor lame,
Whyles ranging like a roarin lion, For prey, a' holes an' corners tryin;
Whyles on the strong-wing'd tempest flyin,
Tirling the kirks;
Whyles, in the human bosom pryin,
Unseen thou lurks.
I've heard my reverend graunie say, In lanely glens ye like to stray,
Or where auld-ruin'd castles, gray,
Nod to the moon,
Ye fright the nightly wand'rer's way,
Wi' eldritch croon.
When twilight did my graunie summon, To say her prayers, douce, honest woman! Aft yont the dyke she's heard you bummin, Wi' eerie drone;
Or, ruslin, thro' the boortries comin,
Wi' heavy groan.
Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
Ayont the lough;
Ye, like a rash-buss, stood in sight,
Wi' waving sugh.
The cudgel in my nieve did shake, Each bristl'd hair stood like a stake, When wi' an eldritch stour, quaick—quaick
Amang the springs,
Awa ye squatter'd like a drake,
On whistling wings.
Let warlocks grim, an' wither'd hags,
And in kirk-yards renew their leagues,
Thence countra wives, wi' toil an' pain, May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain;
For, oh! the yellow treasure's taen
By witching skill;
An' dawtit, twal-pint hawkie's gaen
As yell's the bill.
Thence mystic knots mak great abuse, On young guidmen, fond, keen, an' crouse; When the best wark-lume i' the house, By cantrip wit,
Is instant made no worth a louse,
Just at the bit.
When thowes dissolve the snawy hoord, An' float the jinglin icy-boord,
Then water-kelpies haunt the foord,
By your direction,
An' nighted trav'llers are allur'd
To their destruction.
An' aft your moss-traversing spunkies
Till in some miry slough he sunk is,
When masons' mystic word an' grip, In storms an' tempests raise you up, Some cock or cat your rage maun stop, Or, strange to tell!
The youngest brother ye wad whip
Aff straught to hell!
Lang syne, in Eden's bonie yard, When youthfu' lovers first were pair'd, An' all the soul of love they shar'd,
The raptur'd hour,
Sweet on the fragrant, flow'ry sward,
In shady bow'r:
Then you, ye auld, snic-drawing dog! Ye came to Paradise incog
An' play'd on man a cursed brogue,
(Black be your fa!)
An' gied the infant warld a shod,
'Maist ruin'd a'.
D'ye mind that day, when in a bizz,
'Mang better folk,
An' sklented on the man of Uz
Your spitefu' joke?
An' how ye gat him i' your thrall,
Wi' bitter claw,
An' lows'd his ill-tongu'd, wicked scayt,
But a' your doings to rehearse,
Down to this time,
Wad ding a Lallan tongue, or Erse,
In prose or rhyme.
An' now, auld Cloots, I ken ye're thinkin,
A certain bardie's rantin, drinkin,
Some luckless hour will send him linkin
To your black pit;
But, faith! he'll turn a corner jinkin,
An' cheat you yet.
But, fare you weel, auld Nickie-ben!
Still hae a stake
I'm wae to think upo' yon den,
Ev'n for your sake!
* Vide Milton, book vi.
THE DEATH AND DYING WORDS
OF POOR MAILIE,
THE AUTHOR'S ONLY PET YOWE:
An unco mournfu' tale.
As Mailie, an' her lambs thegither,
Wi' glowrin een, an' lifted han's,
"O, thou, whase lamentable face
* A neibor herd-callan.