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As Mailie and her lambs thegither
Was ae day nibbling on the tether,
Upon her cloot she coost a hitch,
And owre she warsled in the ditch :
There, groaning, dying, she did lie,
When Hughoc he cam doytin"by.
Wi' glowring een, and listed han's,
Poor Hughoc like a statue stan's;
He saw her days were near-hand ended,
But, waes my heart ! he couldna mend it !
He gaped wide, but naething spak-
At length poor Mailie silence brak :-

“O thou, whase lamentable face
Appears to mourn my woefu' case !
My dying words attentive hear,
And bear them to my master dear.

“Tell him, if e'er again he keep
As muckle gear as buy a sheep,
Oh, bid him never tie them mair
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair !
But ca’ them out to park or hill,
And let them wander at their will ;
So may his flock increase, and grow
To scores o' lambs, and packs o' woo'!

“Tell him he was a master kin',
And aye was guid to me and mine ;
And now my dying charge I gie him-
My helpless lambs I trust them wi' him.

“Oh, bid him save their harmless lives
Frae dogs, and tods, and butchers' knives !
But gie them guid cow-milk their fill,
Till they be fit to fend themsel :
And tent them duly, e'en and morn,
Wi' teats o' hay, and ripps o' corn.

“And may they never learn the gaets 3
Of ither vile, wanrestfu’4 pets !
To slink through slaps, and reave and steal
At stacks o' peas or stocks o' kail,
So may they, like their great forbears,

mony a year come through the shears : So wives will gie them bits o'bread, And bairns greet for them when they're dead.

My poor toop-lamb, my son and heir,
Oh, bid him breed him up wi' care !
And if he live to be a beast,
To pit some havins6 in his breast !
And warn him, what I winna name,
To stay content wi’ yowes at hame:

1 Struggled.
2 Walking clumsily.

3 Habits.
4 Restless.

5 Weep.
6 Good sense.

And no to rin and wear his clouts, *
Like ither menseless, graceless brutes.

“And neist my yowie, silly thing,
Guid keep thee frae a tether string !
Oh, may thou ne'er forgather up
Wi' ony blastit, + moorland toop,
But aye keep mind to moop and mell
Wi’ sheep o credit like thysel !

“And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath
I lea'e my blessin' wi' you baith :
And when you think upo' your mither,
Mind to be kin' to ane anither.

“Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail To tell my master a' my tale ; And bid him burn this cursèd tether, And, for thy pains, thou's get my blether.”2 This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head, And closed her een amang the dead.

LAMENT in rhyme, lament in prose,
Wi' saut tears trickling down your nose ;
Our bardie's fate is at a close,

Past a' remead ;
The last sad cape-stane of his woes;

Poor Mailie's dead !
It's no the loss o' warl's gear,
That could sae bitter draw the tear,
Or mak our bardie, dowie, 3 wear

The mourning weed:
He's lost a friend and neibor

In Mailie dead.
Through a' the toun: she trotted by him;
A lang half-mile she could descry him ;
Wi' kindly bleat, when she did spy him,

She ran wi' speed :
A friend mair faithfu' ne'er cam nigh him

Than Mailie dead.

I wat she was a sheep o' sense,
And could behave hersel wi' mense :

1 Unmannerly.

2 Bladder.

3 Exhausted.


* Mr. Roberts, in his edition of Burns's Works, attaches, rightly or wrongly, a meaning to this word not hitherto adopted by the various annotators of the poet's works. He says:-Clouts, clothes or rags, with reference to a piece of clothing with which rams are cumbered at certain seasons, for a purpose which will hardly bear full explanation." Nothing but ignorance of this custom, he tells us, has led to the word being supposed to mean the feet of the animal.

A contemptuous term.
The farm buildings are spoken of as the town in Scotland.



I'll say't, she never brak a fence

Through thievish greed.
Our bardie, lanely, keeps the spence *

Sin' Mailie's dead.
Or, if he wanders up the howe,
Iler living image in her yowe
Comes bleating to him, owre the knowe,

For bits o'bread;
And down the briny pearls rowe

For Mailie dead.
She was nae get o' moorland tips,
Wi' tawted ket, and hairy hips;
For her forbears were brought in ships

Frae yont the Tweed :
A bonnier fleesh ne'er cross'd the clips

Than Mailie dead.
Wae worth the man wha first did shape
That vile, wanchancie* thing—a rape 16
It maks guid fellows girn an' gapet

Wi' chokin' dread ;
And Robin's bonnet wave wi' crape,

For Mailie dead.
Oh, a' ye bards on bonny Doon !
And wha on Ayr your chanters tune !
Come, join the melancholious croon

O' Robin's reed !
His heart will never get aboon

His Mailie dead.


The following is an impromptu :-
Oh why the deuce should I repine,

And be an ill foreboder?
I'm twenty-three, and five feet nine-

I'll go and be a sodger.
I gat some gear wi' meikle care,

I held it weel thegither ;
But now it's gane, and something mair-

I'll go and be a sodger.

THE BELLES OF MAUCHLINE. The Six Belles of Mauchline” were Miss Helen Miller, who became the wife of the poet's friend, Dr. Mackenzie ,_Miss Markland, who became the wife of another friend, Mr. Finlay, a brother Excise officer ; Miss Jean Smith, who

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married a third friend of the poet, Mr. Candlish, and was mother of the well-
known Edinburgh divine, Dr. Candlish ; Miss Betty, a sister of Miss Helen
Miller, became Mrs. Templeton; Miss Morton married Mr. Paterson, a mer-
chant in Mauchline ; and we need hardly say that Belle Number Six' became
the poet's wife, making what, in a worldly sense, may have been the poorest
match of all, although she had for her husband the most notable Scotchman
of his generation.

IN Mauchline there dwells six proper young belles,

The pride o' the place and its neighbourhood a';
Their carriage and dress, a stranger would guess,

In Lon’on or Paris they'd gotten it a'.
Miss Miller is fine, Miss Markland's divine,

Miss Smith she has wit, and Miss Betty is braw;
There's beauty and fortune to get wi' Miss Morton,

But Armour's the jewel for me o' them a'.


The poet tells us that the two pieces which follow “were composed when
fainting fits, and other alarming symptoms of pleurisy, or some other dangerous
disorder, which indeed still threatens me, first put nature on the alarm. The
stanzas are misgivings in the hour of despondency and prospect of death. The
grand end of human life is to cultivate an intercourse with that Being to whom
we owe life with every enjoyment that renders life delightful.”

O Thou unknown, Almighty Cause

Of all my hope and fear !
In whose dread presence, ere an hour,

Perhaps I must appear !
If I have wander'd in those paths

Of life I ought to shun;
As something, loudly, in my breast,

Remonstrates I have done;
Thou know'st that Thou hast formed me

With passions wild and strong ;.
And listening to their witching voice

Has often led me wrong.
Where human weakness has come short,

Or frailty stept aside,
Do Thou, All-good ! for such Thou art,

In shades of darkness hide.
Where with intention I have err'd,

No other plea I have,
But, Thou art good ; and goodness still

Delighteth to forgive.


Why am I loath to leave this earthly scene?

Have I so found it full of pleasing charms?

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Some drops of joy with draughts of ill between:

Some gleams of sunshine ʼmid renewing storms. Is it departing pangs my soul alarms ?

Or death's unlovely, dreary, dark abode ?
For guilt, for guilt, my terrors are in arms :

I tremble to approach an angry God,
And justly smart beneath His sin-avenging rod.
Fain would I say, “Forgive my foul offence !"

Fain promise never more to disobey;
But should my Author health again dispense,

Again I might desert fair virtue's way:
Again in folly's path might go astray;

Again exalt the brute and sink the man; Then how should I for heavenly mercy pray,

Who act so counter heavenly mercy's plan?
Who sin so oft have mourn'd, yet to temptation ran?
O Thou great Governor of all below!

If I may dare a lifted eye to Thee,
Thy nod can make the tempest cease to blow,

Ór still the tumult of the raging sea :
With that controlling power assist even me,

Those headlong furious passions to confine,
For all unfit I feel my powers to be,

To rule their torrent in the allowed line :
Oh, aid me with Thy help, Omnipotence Divine !

THE man, in life wherever placed,

Hath happiness in store,
Who walks not in the wicked's way,

Nor learns their guilty lore.
Nor from the seat of scornful pride

Casts forth his eyes abroad,
But with humility and awe

Still walks before his God.
That man shall flourish like the trees,

Which by the streamlets grow;
The fruitful top is spread on high,

And firm the root below.
But he whose blossom buds in guilt

Shall to the ground be cast,
And, like the rootless stubble, tost

Before the sweeping blast.
For why? that God the good adore

Hath given them peace and rest,
But hath decreed that wicked men

Shall ne'er be truly blest.

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