« ForrigeFortsæt »
But comes frae 'mang that cursèd set
I winna name;
In fiery flame.
And baith the Shaws, § That aft hae made us black and blae,
Wi' vengefu' paws. Auld Wodrow || lang has hatch'd mischief, We thought aye death wad bring relief, But he has gotten, to our grief,
Ane to succeed him,
I meikle dread him.
There's Smith for ane,
And that ye'll fin'.
To cowe the lairds,
To choose their herds.
Orthodoxy yet may prance,
That bites sae sair,
Let him bark there. Then Shaw's and D’rymple's eloquence, M‘Gill's close nervous excellence, M'Quhae's pathetic manly sense,
And guid M‘Math, Wi' Smith, wha through the heart can glance,
May a' pack aff.
* Rev. Dr. Dalrymple, one of the ministers of Ayr.
Minister of St. Quivox. $ Dr. Andrew Shaw of Craigie, and Dr. David Shaw of Coylton. || Dr. Peter Wodrow, Torbolton.
HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER. This is the most terrible commentary on the Calvinistic doctrine of Election ever written. The origin of the lines may be briefly told. Burns's friend, Gavin Hamilton, had been refused the ordinances of the Church, because he was be. lieved to have made a journey on the Sabbath, and because one of his servants by his orders had brought in some potatoes from the garden on another Sun. day, hence the allusion to the "kail and potatoes" in the piece.
William Fisher, one of the Rev. Mr. Auld's elders, made himself very conspicuous in the case. He was a great pretender to sanctity-and only a pretender. Afterwards he fell into drunken habits, and died in a ditch while in a helpless state of intoxication.
O Thou, wha in the heavens dost dwell,
A' for thy glory,
They've done afore thee !
For gifts and grace,
To a' this place.
For broken laws,
Through Adam's cause.
In burnin' lake,
Chain'd to a stake.
Strong as a rock,
To a' thy flock.
Wi' great and sma';
Free frae them a'.
And sometimes, too, wi' warldly trust,
Vile self gets in ; But thou remembers we are dust,
Defiled in sin. O Lord ! yestreen, thou kens, wi' Mega Thy pardon I sincerely beg, Oh, may it ne'er be a livin' plague,
To my dishonour,
Again upon her.
When I came near her,
Wad ne'er hae steer'd her. Maybe thou lets this fleshly thorn Beset thy servant e'en and morn, Lest he owre high and proud should turra,
'Cause he's sae gifted ; If sae, thy han' maun e'en be borne
Until thou lift it.
And blast their name,
And public shame. Lord, mind Gawn Hamilton's deserts, He drinks, and swears, and plays at cartes, Yet has sae mony takin' arts,
Wi' grit and sma',
He steals awa'.
('laughin' at us ; Curse thou his basket and his store,
Kail and potatoes.
Upo' their heads,
For their misdeeds.
O Lord, my God, that glib-tongued Aiken, *
And swat wi' dread,
Held up his head.
Nór hear their prayer ;
And dinna spare.
Excell'd by nane,
EPITAPH ON HOLY WILLIE.
Taks up its last abode ;
I fear the left-hand road.
Poor silly body, see him ;
Observe wha's standing wi' him !
Has got him there before ye ;
Till ance ye've heard my story.
For pity ye hae nane !
And mercy's day is gane.
Look something to your credit ;
If it were kent ye did it.
TO A MOUSE, ON TURNING UP HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH, NOVENDER 1985. Gilbert Burns says, “The verses to the 'Mouse' and ‘Mountain Daisy' were composed on the occasions mentioned, and while the author was holding i Sneering.
2 Fool. William Aiken, a solicitor, a special friend of the poet's.
the plough: I could point out the particular spot where each was composed. Holding the plough was a favourite situation with Robert for poetic compositions, and some of his best verses were produced while he was at that exercise.
“ John Blane,” says Mr. Chambers, "who was farm-servant at Mossgiel at the time of its composition, geill (1838) lives at Kilmarnock. He stated to me that he recollected the incident perfectly. Burns was holding the plough, with Blane for his driver, when the little creature was observed running off across the field. Blane, having the pettle, or plough-cleaning, utensil, in his hand at the moment, was thoughtlessly running after it, to kill
it, when Burns checked him, but not angrily, asking what ill the poor mouse had ever done him. The poet then seemed to his driver to grow very thoughtful, and, during the remainder of the afternoon, he spoke not. In the night time he awoke Blane, who slept with him, and, reading the poem which had in the meantime been composed, asked what he thought of the mouse now."
WEE, sleekit, cowrin', tim'rous beastie,
Wi' bickering brattle !
Wi' murd'ring pattle !?
Which maks thee startle
And fellow-mortal !
I doubt na, whyles,3 but thou may thieve;
'S a sma' request :
And never miss't!
O' foggage green!
Baith snell 4 and keen !
Thou thought to dwell.
Out through thy cell.
1 Hurrying run. 3 Sometimes.
2 Pattle or pettle, the plough spade. 4 Sharp
* An ear of corn in a thrave-that is, twenty-four sheaves.