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POEM

ON PASTORAL POETRY.

HAIL Poesie! thou Nymph reserv'd!
In chase o' thee, what crouds hae swery'd
Frae common sense, or sunk enery'd

'Mang heaps o'clavers; And och! o'er aft thy joes hae stary'd,

Mid a' thy favors !

Say, Lassie, why thy train amang,
While loud, the trump's heroic clang,
And sock or buskin skelp alang

To death or marriage;
Scarce ane has tried the shepherd-sang

But wi' miscarriage ?

In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives
Eschylus' pen Will Shakespeare drives ;
Wee Pope, the knurlin, 'till him rives

Horatian fame :
In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, survives

Even Sappho's flame.

But thee, Theopocritus, wha matches ?
They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches
Squire Pope but busks his skinklin patches

O’ heathen tatters :
I pass by hunders, nameless wretches,

That

ape their betters.

In this braw age o' wit and lear,
Will nane the Shepherd's whistle mair
Blaw sweetly in its native air

And rural grace;
And wi' the far-fam'd Grecian share

A rival place?

Yes! there is ane; a Scottish callan!
There's ane; come forrit, honest Allan !
Thou need na jouk behint the hallan,

A chiel sae clever ;
The teeth o'time may gnaw Tamtallan,

But thou's for ever.

Thou

Thou paints auld nature to the nines,
In thy sweet Caledonian lines;
Nae gowden stream thro' myrtles twines,

Where Philomel,
While nightly breezes sweep the vines,

Her griefs will tell!

In gowany glens thy burnie strays,
Where bonnie lasses bleach their claes ;
Or trots by hazelly shaws and braes,

Wi' hawthorns gray,
Where blackbirds join the shepherd's lays

At close o' day.

Thy rural loves are nature's sel ;
Nae bombast spates o' nonsense swell;
Nae snap conceits, but that sweet spell

O' witchin love,
That charm, that can the strongest quell,

The sternest move.

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ON THE BATTLE OF SHERIFF-MUIR,

Between the Duke of Argyle and the Egrl of Mar.

« O CAM ye here the fight to shun,

" Or herd the sheep wi' me, man? " Or ware ye at the Sherra-muir,

“ And did the battle see, man?”
I saw the battle, sair and tough,
And reekin-red ran mony a sheugh,
My heart for fear gae sough for sough,
To hear the thuds, and see the cluds
O' clans frae woods, in tartan duds,

Wha glaum'd at kingdoms three, man.

The red-coat lads wi' black cockades

To meet them were na slaw, man ;
They rush'd and push’d, and blude outgush'd,
And mony a bouk did fa', man:

The

The great Argyle led on his files,
I wat they glanced twenty miles ;
They hack’dand hash'd, while broad swords clash’d,
And thro' they dash'd, and hew'd and smashid,

'Till fey men died awa, man.

But had you seen the philibegs,

And skyrin tartan trews, man,
When in the teeth they dar'd our whigs,

And covenant true blues, man ;
In lines extended lang and large,
When bayonets oppos’d the targe,
And thousands hasten'd to the charge,
Wi' highland wrath they frae the sheath
Drew blades o death, 'till, out o'breath,

They fled like frighted doos, man.

“ O how deil Tam can that be true ?

“ The chace gaed frae the north, man; “ I saw myself, they did pursue

66 The horsemen back to Forth, man; “ And at Dunblane in

my

ain sight, They took the brig wi' a' their might, “ And straught to Stirling winged their flight ; “ But, cursed lot ! the gates were shut ; “ And mony a huntit, poor red-coat

“ For fear amaist did swarf, man."

My

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