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D'ye mind that day, when in a bizz,"
Wi' reekit duds, and reestit gizz,
Ye did present your smoutie* phiz

'Mang better folk,
And sklented on the man of Uzz

Your spitefu' joke?
And how ye gat him i' your thrall,
And brak him out o' house and hall,
While scabs and blotches did him gall,

Wi' bitter claw,
And lowsed his ill-tongued, wicked scawl,

Was warst ava?
But a' your doings to rehearse,
Your wily snares and fechtin' fierce,
Sin' that day Michael did you pierce,

Down to this time,
Wad ding a Lallan? tongue or Erse, 8

In prose or rhyme.
And now, auld Cloots, I ken ye're thinkin',
A certain Bardie's rantin', drinkin',
Some luckless hour will send him linkin'

To your black pit;
But, faith, he'll turn a corner jinkin', 9

And cheat you yet.
But, fare you weel, auld Nickie-ben!
Oh, wad ye tak a thought and men'!
Ye aiblinsło might-I dinna ken-

Still hae a stake-
I'm wae to think upo' yon den,

Even for your sake!

THE JOLLY BEGGARS.

A CANTATA. This, the most dramatic effort of the poet's muse, was composed in 1785, and was suggested by a scene actually witnessed' by him. Mrs. Gibson, (Poosie Nansie) kept a public-house in Mauchline, frequented by all the vagrant fraternity of the district. Burns, passing the house one night in the company of his friends James Smith and John Richmond, was attracted by the sounds of mirth and revelry proceeding from the interior, entered and was made heartily welcome by the motley crew assembled, who did not allow his presence to interrupt their enjoyment.

So little did Burns think of the performance that he forgot all about it, and but for the fact that one of his friends had a copy of it, it would have been lost. It was printed as a chap-book in Glasgow in 1798.

Şir Walter Scott says :-““The Jolly Beggars,' for humorous description and nice discrimination of character, is inferior to no poem of the same length in the whole range of English poetry.

The scene, indeed, is laid in the very lowest department of low life, the actors being a set of strolling vagrants, met to carouse and barter their rags and plunder for liquor in a hedge alehouse.

5 Glanced.

8 Celtic. 2 Smoking clothes, 6 Scolding wife.

9 Dodging. 3 Singed hair. 7 Lowland.

10 Perhaps. 4 Smutty.

1 Hurry:

RECITATIVO.
He ended ; and the kebars 2 shook

Aboon the chorus roar ;
While frighted rattonsa backward leuk,

And seek the benmost bore ;3
A fairy fiddler frae the neuk,

He skirled out “Encore !
But up arose the martial chuck,

And laid the loud uproar.

AIR.

Tune-“Soldier Laddie."
I once was a maid, though I cannot tell when,
And still my delight is in proper young men;
Some one of a troop of dragoons was my daddie,
No wonder I'm fond of a sodger laddie,

Sing, Lal de lal, &c.
The first of my loves was a swaggering blade,
To rattle the thundering drum was his trade;
His leg was so tight, and his cheek was so ruddy,
Transported I was with my sodger laddie.

Sing, Lal de lal, &c.
But the godly old chaplain left him in the lurch,
The sword I forsook for the sake of the church ;
He ventured the soul, and I risk'd the body,
'Twas then I proved false to my sodger laddie.

Sing, Lal de lal, &c.
Full soon I grew sick of my sanctified sot,
The regiment at large for a husband I got ;
From the gilded spontoon to the fife I was ready,
I asked no more but a sodger laddie.

Sing, Lal de lal, &c.
But the peace it reduced me to beg in despair,
Till I met my old boy at a Cunningham fair ;
His rags regimental they flutter'd so gaudy,
My heart it rejoiced at a sodger laddie.

Sing, Lal de lal, &c.
And now I have lived—I know not how long,
And still I can join in a cup or a song;
But whilst with both hands I can hold the glass steady,
Here's to thee, my hero, my sodger lad

Sing, Lal de lal, &c.

RECITATIVO. Poor Merry Andrew in the neuk

Sat guzzling wi' a tinkler hizzie; 1 Rafters.

2 Rats.

3 Innermost hole.

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They mind't na wha the chorus teuk,

Between themselves they were sae busy :
At length wi' drink and courting dizzy,

He stoiter'd up and made a face ;
Then turnd, and laid a smack on Grizzie,
Syne tuned his pipes wi' grave grimace :

AIR.
Tune--"Auld Sir Symon."
Sir Wisdom's a fool when he's fou,

Sir Knave is a fool in a session ;
He's there but a 'prentice, I trow,

But I am a fool by profession.
My grannie she bought me a beuk,

And I held awa' to the school;
I fear I my talent misteuk,

But what will ye hae of a fool ?
For drink I would venture my neck,

A hizzie's the half o' my craft,
But what could ye other expect,

Of ane that's avowedly daft?
I ance was tied up like a stirk,

For civilly swearing and quaffing !
I ance was abused in the kirk,

For touzlingo a lass i' my daffin.3
Poor Andrew that tumbles for sport

Let naebody name wi' a jeer :
There's even, I'm tauld, i' the court

A tumbler ca'd the Premier.
Observe ye yon reverend lad

Mak faces to tickle the mob?
He rails at our mountebank squad —

It's rivalship just i’ the job.
And now my conclusion I'll tell,

For faith i'm confoundedly dry ;
The chiel that's a fool for himsel,

Gude Lord ! he's far dafter than I.

4

RECITATIVO.
Then neist outspak a raucle carlin,
Wha ken't fu' weel to cleek the sterling,
For mony a pursie she had hookit,
And had in mony a well been doukit.
Her dove had been a Highland laddie,
But weary fa' the waefu' woodie !5
Wi' sighs and sobs she thus began

To wail her braw John Highlandman :1 Bullock. 3 Merriment.

5 The gallows. 2 Rumpling.

4 A sturdy old woman.

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