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The very sight o' Moodie's face
Wi' fright that day.
Wi' rattlin' and wi' thumpin'!
He's stampin' and he's jumpin' !
His eldritch 2 squeal, and gestures,
On sic a day !
There's peace and rest nae langer :
They canna sit for anger.
On practice and on morals ;
A lift that day.
Of moral powers and reason ?
Are a clean out o' season.
Or some auld pagan heathen,
That's right that day.
Against sic poison'd nostrum;
Ascends the holy rostrum :
And meek and mim? has view'd it,
Fast, fast, that day.
Unearthly. * Mr. (afterwards Dr.) George Smith, minister of Galston. Burns intended a compliment here on his rational mode of preaching, but the rev. gentleman did not appreciate the effort.
+ The Rev. Mr. (afterwards Dr.) William Peebles, minister of Newton-uponAyr, sometimes named, from its situation, the Water-fit.
Dr. Mackenzie, then of Mauchline, afterwards of Irvine, had recently conducted some village controversy under the title of “Common Sense." Some local commentators are of opinion that he, and not the personified abstraction, is meant. is meant. Probably both are included.
§ A street so called which faces the tent in Mauchline.-B.
Wee Miller* neist the guard relieves,
And orthodoxy raibles,
And thinks it auld wives' fables :
So, cannily he hums them ;
At times that day.
Wi' yill-caup commentators :
And there the pint-stoup clatters;
Wi’ logic and wi' Scripture,
O'wrath that day.
Than either school or college :
It pangs us fou o' knowledge.
Or ony stronger potion,
By night or day.
To mind baith saul and body,
And steer about the toddy.
They're making observations ;
To meet some day.
Till a' the hills are rarin',
Black Russellt is na sparin';
5 Snug in the corner.
* The Rev. Mr. Miller, afterwards minister of Kilmaurs. He was of remarks ably low stature, but enormous girth.
The Rev. John Russell, at this time minister of the chapel of ease, Kilmarnock, afterwards minister of Stirling-one of the heroes of 'The Twa Herds." “He was," says a correspondent of Cunningham's, "the most tremendous man I ever saw: Black Hugh Macpherson was a beauty in comparison. His voice was like thunder, and his sentiments were such as must have shocked any class of hearers in the least more refined than those whom he usually addressea."
His piercing words, like Highland swords,
Divide the joints and marrow ;
Wi' fright that day.
Fill'd fu' o'lowin' brunstane,
Wad melt the hardest whunstane!
And think they hear it roarin', When presently it does appear. 'Twas but some neibor snorin'
Asleep that day. 'Twad be owre lang a tale to tell
How mony stories past,
When they were a' dismist :
Among the forms and benches : And cheese and bread, frae women's laps, Was dealt about in lunches,
And dauds that day. In comes a gaucie, gash” guidwife,
And sits down by the fire,
The lasses they are shyer.
Frae side to side they bother,
Fu’ lang that day. Waesucks !4 for him that gets nae lass,
Or lasses that hae naething! Sma' need has he to say a grace,
Or melvie5 his braw claithing ! O wives, be mindfu'ance yersel
How bonny lads ye wanted, And dinna, for a kebbuck-heel, Let lasses be affronted
On sic a day! Now Clinkumbell, wi' rattlin' tow,
Begins to jow and croon;? Some swagger hame, the best they dow,8
Some wait the afternoon. 1 Lumps. 4 Alas.
7 Sing and groan. 2 Fat and homely.
5 Soil. 3 Cheese.
At slaps the billies 2 halt a blink,
Till lasses strip their shoon :
For crack that day.
O'sinners and o' lasses !
As saft as ony flesh is.
There's some are fou o' brandy;
Some ither day.
VERSES ON A SCOTCH BARD,
GONE TO THE WEST INDIES.
The following lines were written when the poet meditated emigrating to
A'YE wha live by sowps o' drink,
Come, mourn wi' me !
And owre the sea.
Lament him a'
In social key;
And owre the sea !
The bonny lasses weel may wiss him,
Wi' tearfu' ee ;
That's owre the sea !
O Fortune, they hae room to grumble !
1 Breaches in fences. 4“Our friend has eluded
us. 3 Versifying.
* May end in copulation.