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For fient a wame? it had ava;

And then its shanks, They were as thin, as sharp and sma',

As cheeks o'branks.*

“Guid-e'en," quo' I; “friend, hae ye been mawin',
When ither folk are busy sawin'?”+
It seem'd to mak a kind o'stan',

But naething spak;
At length, says I, "Friend, whare ye gaun ?

Will ye go back ?"
It spak right howe, 2 _"My name is Death ;
But be na fley'd.”3--Quoth I, “Guid faith,
Ye're maybe come to stap my breath ;

But tent me, billie;
I red 4 ye weel, tak care o' skaith,

See, there's a gully !”5
“Guidman,” quo' he, "put up your whittle,
I'm no design'd to try its mettle ;
But if I did, I wad be kittle 6

To be mislear’d,?
I wad na mind it, no that spittle

Out-owre my beard."
“Weel, weel !” a bargain be't;
Come, gies your hand, and sae we're greet;
We'll ease our shanks 8 and tak a seat-

Come, gies your news;
This while I ye hae been mony a gate,

At mony a house.' "Ay, ay!" quo' he, and shook his head, “It's e'en a lang, lang time indeed Sin' I began to nick the thread

And choke the breath: Folk maun do something for their


And sae maun Death.
“Sax thousand years are near-hand fled
Sin' I was to the butchering bred,
And mony a scheme in vain's been laid,

To stap or scar me;
Till ane Hornbook's ta’en up the trade,

says I,

And faith he'll waur me.

1 Belly.
4 Warn.

7 Mischievous.
2 Hollow.
5 Clasp-knife.

8 Limbs. 3 Frightened.

6 I would be tempted. 9 Road. * A kind of bridle. # This rencounter happened in seed-time of 1785.-B.

An epidemic fever was then raging in that country.-B.

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“ Ye ken Jock Hornbook i’ the clachan, Deil mak his king's-hood in a spleuchan !1 He's grown sae weel acquaint wi' Buchan

And ither chaps, The weansa haud out their fingers laughin',

And pouk my hips. * See, here's a scythe, and there's a dart, They hae pierced mony a gallant heart ; But Doctor Hornbook, wi' his art

And cursèd skill, Has made them baith no worth a f-t,

Damn'd haet they'll kill. “ 'Twas but yestreen, nae further gaen, I threw a noble throw at ane; Wi' less, I'm sure, I've hundreds slain;

But deil ma care,
It just play'd dirl on the bane,

But did nae mair.
“Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
And had sae fortified the part,
That when I looked to my dart,

It was sae blunt,
Fient haet o't wad hae pierced the heart

O’a kail-runt.*
“I drew my scythe in sic a fury,
I near-hand cowpit wi' my hurry,
But yet the bauld apothecary

Withstood the shock;
I might as weel hae tried a quarry

O’ hard whin rock. “Even them he canna get attended, Although their face he ne'er had kenn'd it, Just sh-e in a kail-blade and send it,

As soon's he smells't, Baith their disease and what will mend it

At ance he tells't. “ And then a' doctor's saws and whittles, Of a' dimensions, shapes, and metals, A' kinds o' boxes, mugs, and bottles

He's sure to hae : Their Latin names as fast he rattles

As A B C. “Calces o' fossils, earths, and trees; True salmarinum o' the seas;

1 Tobacco-pouch. • Children.

5 Tumbled

3 Pluck at my hams.
4 Cabbage (Colewort) stalk.

* Buchan's Domestic Medicine.-B.

The farina of beans and peas,

He has't in plenty;
Aquafontis, what you please,

He can content ye.
“Forbye some new, uncommon weapons,
Urinus spiritus of capons ;
Or mite-horn shavings, filings, scrapings,

Distill’d per se;
Salalkali o' midge-tail clippings,

And mony mae.”
“Waes me for Johnnie Ged's* hole noo',"
Quo' I, “if that thae news be true !
Ħis braw calf-wardt whare gowans grew,

Sae white and bonny,
Nae doubt they'll rive it wi' the plew;

They'll ruin Johnnie!"
The creature grain'd an eldritch laugh
And says, “Ye needna yoke the pleugh,
Kirk-yards will soon be tillid eneugh,

Tak ye nae fear :
They'll a' be trench'd wi' mony a sheugh?

In twa-three year.
“ Whare I kill'd ane a fair strae death,
By loss o' blood or want o' breath,
This night I'm free to tak my aith,

That Hornbook's skill
Has clad a score i' their last claith,

By drap and pill.
* An honest wabster to his trade,
Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce weel-bred,
Gat tippence-worth to mend her head

When it was sair ;
The wife slade cannie to her bed,

But ne'er spak mair.
A country laird had ta'en the batts,
Or some curmurring in his guts,
His only son for Hornbook sets,

And pays him well;
The lad, for twa guid gimmer-pets,

Was laird himsel.
"A bonny lass, ye kenn'd her name,
Some ill-brewn drink had hoved her wame :
She trusts hersel, to hide the shame,

In Hornbook's care;
Horn sent her aff to her lang hame,

To hide it there.
1 Unearthly,
? Furrow.

3 Ewe lambs. * The grave-digger. + The church-yard had been used as pasture-ground for calves.

“That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way:
Thus goes he on from day to day,
Thus does he poison, kill, and slay,

An's weel paid for't ;
Yet stops me o' my lawfu' prey,

Wi' his damn'd dirt :
“But, hark! I'll tell you of a plot,
Though dinna ye be speaking o't;
I'll nail the self-conceited sot,

As dead's a herrin';
Neist time we meet, I'll wad a groat,

He's got his fairin'!” 1
But just as he began to tell,
The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell
Some wee short hour ayont the twal,

Which raised us baith :
I took the way that pleased mysel,

And sae did Death.

Ina MS. now in the British Museum Burns gives an account of the origin of this
piece : —“The following was the first of my Poetical productions that saw the
light. I gave a copy of it to a particular friend of mine who was very fond of
these things, and told him 'I did not know who was the Author, but that I had
got a copy of it by accident.' The occasion was a bitter and shameless quarrel
between the two Rev. gentlemen, Mr. Moodie of Riccarton and Mr. Russel of
Kilmarnock. It was at the time when the hue and cry against Patronage was
at the worst."

“ Blockheads with reason wicked wits abhor ;
But fool with fool is barbarous civil war.”- Pope.

a' ye pious godly flocks,
Weel sed on pastures orthodox,
Wha now will keep you frae the fox,

Or worrying tykes, 2
Or wha will tent the waifs and crocks, 3

About the dikes?
The twa best herds in a' the wast,
That e'er gae gospel horn a blast,
These five and twenty simmers past,

Oh! dool to tell,
Hae had a bitter black outcast

Atween themsel.
O Moodie, man, and wordy Russell,
How could you raise so vile a bustle,
Ye'll see how New-Light herds will whistle

And think it fine :
The Lord's cause ne'er gat sic a twistle

Sin' I hae min'.

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O sirs ! whae'er wad liae expeckit,
Your duty ye wad sae negleckit,
Ye wha were ne'er by lairds respeckit,

To wear the plaid,
But by the brutes themselves eleckit,

To be their guide.
What flock wi' Moodie's flock could rank,
Sae hale and hearty every shank ?
Nae poison'd sour Arminian stank

He let them taste.
Frae Calvin's well, aye clear, they drank,-

Oh, sic a feast? The thummart, wil’-cat, brock, and tod,3 Weel kenn'd his voice through a' the wood, He smelt their ilka hole and road,

Baith out and in, And weel he liked to shed their bluid,

And sell their skin. What herd like Russell tell’d his tale, His voice was heard through muir and dale, He kenn'd the Lord's sheep, ilka tail,

O'er a' the height,
And saw gin they were sick or hale,

At the first sight.
He fine a mangy sheep could scrub,
Or nobly swing the gospel-club,
And New-Light herds could nicely drub,

Or pay their skin;
Could shake them owre the burning dub,

Or heave them in.
Sic twa-oh! do I live to see't,
Sic famous twa should disagreet,
And names like “villain,

.” « hypocrite,"

Ilk ither gi'en, While New-Light herds, wi" laughin' spite,

Say neither's liein'!
A' ye wha tent the gospel fauld,
There's Duncan,* deep, and Peebles, + shaul,“
But chiefly thou, apostle Auld, I

We trust in thee,
That thou wilt work them, het and cauld,

Till they agree.
Consider, sirs, how we're brset,

There's scarce a new herd what we get i Pole-cat. 2 Badger.

4 Shallow. * Dr. Robert Duncan, minister of Dundonald. i Rev. William Peebles, of Newton-upon-Ayr. Rev. William Auld, minister of Mauchline.

& Fome

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