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A ratton rattled up the wa',
An' she cry'd L-d preserve her! An' ran thro'midden-hole an'a', An' pray'd wi' zeal and fervour,
Fu' fast that night.
They hecht him some fine braw ane :
Was timmer-propt for thrawin; He taks a swirlie, auld moss-oak,
For some black, grousome carlin ; An' loot a winze, an' drew a stroke, 'Till skin in blypes came haurlin
Aff's nieves that night.
As canty as a kittlen ;
She got a fearfu' settlin !
An' owre the hill gaed scrievin,
Was bent that night.
* Take an opportunity of going, unnoticed, to a bear-siack, and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appearance of your future conjugal yokefellow.
+ You go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to a south-running spring or rivulet, where “three lairds' lands meet," and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to dry. Lie awake; and, some time near midnight, an apparition, having the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleete, as if to dry the other side of it.
As thro' the glen it wimpl't ;
Whyles in a wiel it dimpl't ; Whyles glitter'd to the nightly rayi,
Wi' bickering, dancing dazzle ; Whyles cookit underneath the braos, Below the spreading hazle,
Unseen that night
XXVI. emang the brachens, on the brae,
Between her and the moon,
Gat up an' gae a croon:
Near lav'rock-height she jumpit,
Wi' a plunge that night.
The luggies three* are ranged,
To see them duly changed :
Sin Mars-year did desire,
In wrath that night.
* Take three dishes; put elean water in one, foul water in another, leave the third empty : blindfold a person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are ranged; he (or she) dips the left hand : if, by chance, in the clean water, the future husband or wife will come to the bar of matrimony a maid ; if in the foul, a widow; if in the empty dish, it foretels, with equal certainty, no marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and every time the arrangement of the dishes is altered.
I wat they did na weary';
Their sports were cheap, an' cheáry; 'Till butter'd so'ns", wi' fragrant lunt,
Set a' their gabs a-steerin; Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt, They parted aff careerin
Fu' blythe that night.
THE AULD FARMER'S
NEW YEAR MORNING SALUTATION
TO HIS AULD MARE MAGGIE,
on giving her the accustomed ripp of corn to
hansel in the new year.
A guid new-year I wish thee, Maggie !
I've seen the day,
Out-owre the lay.
Tho' now thou's dowie, stiff, an' crazy,
A bonny gray:
Ance in a day.
Thou ance was i' the foremost rank,
As e'er tread yird ;
* Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is always the Halloween Supper.
An' could hae flown out-owre a stank,
Like ony bird.
It's now some nine-an-twenty year, Sin thou was my guid father's meere ; He gied me thee, o' tocher clear,
An' fifty mark; Tho' it was sma', 'twas weel-won gear,
An' thou was stark.
When first I gaed to woo my Jenny, Ye then was trottin wi' your minnie : Tho' ye was trickie, slee, an' funnie,
Ye ne'er was donsie; But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie,
An' unco sonsie
That day, ye pranc'd wi' muckle pride,
Wi' maiden air!
For sic a pair.
Tho' now ye do ut hoyte and hoble,
For heels an' win'!
Far, far behin'.
When thou an' I were young an' skeigh, An' stable-meals at fairs were dreigh, How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' skreigh,
An' tak the road! Town's bodies ran, an' stood abiegh,
An' ca't thee made
When thou was corn't, an' I was mellow, We took the road aye like a swallow : At brooses thou had ne'er a fellow,
For pith an' speed;
But er'ry tail thou pay't them hollow,
Whare'er thou gaed.
The sma', droop-rumpl't, hunter cattle, Might aiblins waur't thee for a bratile ; But sax Scotch miles thou try't their mettle,
An' gar't them whaizle. Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle
O saugh or hazle.
Thou was a noble fittie-lan',
On guid March-weather, Hae turn'd sax rood beside our han',
For days thegither.
Thou never braindg't, an' fech't, an' fliskit, But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, An' spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket,
Wi' pith and pow'r, 'Till spritty knows wad rair't and risket,
An' slypet owre.
When frosts lay lang, an' snaws were deep, An' threaten'd labour back to keep, I gied thy cog a wee-bit heap
Aboon the timmer; I ken’d my Maggie wad na sleep
For that, or simmer.
In cart or car thou never reestit; The steyest bråe thou wad hae fac't it; Thou never lap, an' sten't, an' breastit,
Then stood to blaw; But just thy step a wee thing hastit,
Thou snoov't awa.
My pleugh is now thy bairn-time a'; Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw; Forbye sax mae, I've sell’t awa,
That thou hast Rurst: