Billeder på siden

Oh for some rank, mercurial rozet,"

Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you sic a hearty doze o't,

Wad dress your droddum 18
I wadna been surprised to spy
You on an auld wife's flannen toy :4
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,

On's wyliecoat;
But Miss's fine Lunardi !* fie !

How daur ye do't?
O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
And set your beauties a' abread !
Ye little ken what cursed speed

The blastie's makin'!
Thae winks and finger-ends, I dread,

Are notice takin'!
Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us !
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,

And foolish notion :
What airs in dress and gait wad lea'e us,

And even devotion !

THE ORDINATION. The induction of the Rev. James Mackinlay as minister of the parochial or laigh (low) church of Kilmarnock in 1786, was the occasion which called forth the following poem. There was a popular notion,” says Mr. Chambers, "that Mr. Lindsay (a predecessor of Mr. Mackinlay in the pastorship of the laigh kirk) had been indebted for his presentation from the patron, Lord Glencairn, to his wife, Margaret Lauder, who was believed, but, I am assured erroneously, to have been his lordship's housekeeper. Mr. Lindsay's induction, in 1764, was so much in opposition to the sentiments of the people, that it produced a riot, attended by many outrages. Three young men who had distinguished them selves by their violence, were whipped through Ayr, and imprisoned a month. These circumstances evoked from a shoemaker named Hunter, a scoffing ballad, to which Burns alludes in the note marked thus t, p. 82, and which may be found in the History of Kilmarnock;' by Archibald M.Kay: 1848." A third edition of Mr. M‘Kay's very interesting work appeared in 1865; and an account of Mr. Lindsay's induction together with "The Scoffing Ballad,” will be found at pp. 119-128.

“For sense they little owe to frugal Heaven

To please the mob, they hide the little given."
KILMARNOCK wabsters, fidge and claw,

And pour your creeshie nations ;?
And ye wha leather rax 8 and draw,

Of a' denominations, 1 Rosin.


7 Greasy crowds. 2 Powder. 5 Flannel waistcoat.

8 Stretch, 3 Breech.

6 Weavers.

4 Flannel cap.

* A fashionable bonnet, so called after a celebrated Italian aeronaut.

+ The inhabitants of Kilmarnock were then mainly engaged in the manufacture of coarse woollen goods and the tanning of leather.

Swith to the Laigh Kirk, ane and a ,

And there tak up your stations ;
Then aff to Begbie's * in a raw,
And pour divine libations

For joy this day.
Curst Common Sense, that imp o' hell,

Cam in wi' Maggie Lauder ; +
But Oliphant aft made her yell,

And Russell sair misca'd her ; #
This day Mackinlay taks the flail,

And he's the boy will blaud 1 her!
He'll clap a shangan? on her tail,
And set the bairns to daud 3 her

Wi' dirt this day.
Mak haste and turn king David owre,

And lilt wi' holy clangor ;
O'double verse come gie us four,

And skirl up the Bangor :
This day the Kirk kicks up a stoure,

Nae mair the knaves shall wrang her,
For heresy is in her power,
And gloriously she'll whang her,

Wi' pith this day.
Come, let a proper text be read,

And touch it aff wi' vigour,
How graceless Ham & leugh at his dad,

Which made Canaan a nigger ;
Or Phinehas || drove the murdering blade,

Wi' whore-abhorring rigour ;
Or Zipporah, | the scauldin' jade,
Was like a bluidy tiger

I' the inn that day.
There, 'try his mettle on the creed,

And bind him down wi' caution,
That stipend is a carnal weed

He taks but for the fashion;
And gie him owre the flock to feed,

And punish each transgression ;
Especial, rams that cross the breed,
Gie them sufficient threshin',

Spare them nae day.
Now, auld Kilmarnock, cock thy tail,

And toss thy horns fu' canty;6.
1 Slap.
3 Bespatter.

5 Thrash, 2 A cleft stick. 4 A dust.

6 Merrily. * Begbie kept a tavern near the church.

† Alluding to a scoffing ballad which was made on the admission of the late reverend and worthy Mr. Lindsay to the Laigh Kirk.-B.

Oliphant and Russell, clergymen belonging to the Auld-Licht party. & Genesis ix. 22. Il Numbers xxv. 8.

| Exodus iv. 25

Nae mair thou'lt rowte* out-owre the dale,

Because thy pasture's scanty;
For lapfu's large o gospel kail

Shall fill thy crib in plenty,
And runts? o' grace the pick and wale,
No gien by way o' dainty,

But ilka day.
Nae mair by Babel's streams we'll weep,

To think upon our Zion ;
And hing our fiddles up to sleep,

Like baby-clouts a-dryin' ;
Come, screw the pegs, wi' tunefu' cheep,

And o'er the thairms 2 be tryin';
Oh, rare ! to see our elbucks wheep, 3
And a' like lamb-tails flyin'

Fu' fast this day !
Lang, Patronage, wi' rod o' airn,

Has shored the Kirk's undoin',
As lately Fenwick, + sair forfairn,5

Has proven to its ruin :
Our patron, honest man ! Glencairn,

He saw mischief was brewin';
And, like a godly elect bairn,
He's waled 6 us out a true ane,

And sound this day.
Now, Robinson, I harangue nae mair,

But steek your gab' for ever :
Or try the wicked town of Ayr,

For there they'll think you clever.
Or, nae reflection on your lear,

Ye may commence a shaver;
Or to the Netherton & repair,
And turn a carpet-weaver

Aff-hand this day.
Mutrie || and you were just a match,

We never had sic twa drones :

1 Huge lumps.
4 Threatened.

6 Chosen.
2 Strings.
5 Menaced.

7 Shut your mouth. 3 Elbows jerk. * Rowte as used here cannot easily be explained by a single phrase. Resi. dents in the country must have seen the cattle in a poor pasture standing listlessly about and lowing as if to draw attention to their wants. The phrase is used in this sense in regard to the scanty spiritual pasturage of the district.

7 Rev. William Boyd, minister of Fenwick, whose settlement had been disputed.

The colleague of the newly-appointed clergyman-a moderate. § A part of the town of Kilmarnock where carpet-weaving was carried on. il The deceased clergyman, whom Mr. Mackinlay succeeded.


Auld Hornie did the Laigh Kirk watch,

Just like a winkin' baudrons :*
And aye he catch'd the tither wretch,

To fry them in his caudrons :
But now his honour maun detach,
Wi' a' his brimstone squadrons,

Fast, fast this day.
See, see auld Orthodoxy's faes

She's swingein'l through the city;
Hark, how the nine-tail'd cat she plays !

I vow its unco pretty:
There, Learning, with his Greekish face,

Grunts out some Latin ditty ;
And Common Sense is gaun, she says,
To mak to Jamie Beattie+

Her plaint this day.
But there's Morality himsel,

Embracing all opinions ;
Hear how he gies the tither yell,

Between his twa companions;
See how she peels the skin and fell,

As ane were peelin' onions !
Now there—they're packed aff to hell,
And banish'd our dominions

Henceforth this day.
O happy day! rejoice, rejoice !

Come bouse about the porter !
Morality's demure decoys

Shall here nae mair find quarter :
Mackinlay, Russell, are the boys,

That Heresy can torture,
They'll gie her on a rape a hoyse,
And cowe her measure shorter

By the head some day.
Come, bring the tither mutchkin in,

And here's, for a conclusion,
To every New-Light I mother's son,

From this time forth, Confusion :
If mair they deave us wi' their din,

Or patronage intrusion,
We'll light a spunk, and, every skin,
rin them aff in fusion,

Like oil some day.
1 Whipping.
3 A hoist in a rope.

5 Deafen. 2 The skin and flesh. 4 Cut.

6 A match. * The devil in the good old times watched the Laigh Kirk like a half sleeping cat, there being no need for watchfulness. In the new regime he was altogether put to flight.

Author of the “Essay on Truth."

“New Light” is a cant phrase, in the west of Scotland, for those religious opinions which Dr. Taylor of Norwich has defended so strenuously.-B.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



“My son, these maxims make a rule,

And lump them aye thegither :
The rigid righteous is a fool,

The rigid wise anither ;
The cleanest corn that e'er was dight

May hae some pyles o caff in ;
So ne'er a fellow-creature slight

For random fits o' daffin." -SOLOMON.-Eccles. vii. 16.

O ve wha are sae guid yoursel,

Sae pious and sae holy,
Ye've nought to do but mark and tell

Your neibour's fauts and folly!
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill,

Supplied wi' store o' water,
The heapet happer's ebbing still,

And still the clap plays clatter.
Hear me, ye venerable core,

As counsel for poor mortals,
That frequent pass douce? Wisdom's door

For glaikit? Folly's portals;
I, for their thoughtless, careless sakes,

Would here propone defences,
Their donsie 3 tricks, their black mistakes,

Their failings and mischances.
Ye see your state wi' theirs compared,

And shudder at the niffer,
But cast a moment's fair regard,

What maks the mighty differ?
Discount what scant occasion gave

That purity ye pride in,
And (what's aft mair than a' the lave)

Your better art o' hiding.
Think, when your castigated pulse

Gies now and then a wallop,
What ragings must his veins convulse,

That still eternal gallop :
Wi' wind and tide fair i' your tail,

Right on ye scud your sea-way;
But in the teeth o' baith to sail,

It makes an unco lee-way.
See social life and glee sit down,
All joyous and unthinking,
% Senseless. 3 Unlucky.

4 Comparison

1 Sober.

« ForrigeFortsæt »