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Fair B-strikes th' adoring eye,

Heav'n's beauties on my fancy shine; I see the sire of love on high,

And own his work indeed divine !


There, watching high the least alarms,

Thy rough rude fortress gleams afar; Like some bold vet’ran, gray in arms,

, And mark'd with many a seamy scar: The pond'rous wall and massy bar,

Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock; Have oft withstood assailing war,

And oft repell’d the invader's shock.


With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,

I view that noble, stately dome, Where Scotia's kings of other years,

Fam'd heroes, had their royal home: Alas, how chang'd the times to come!

Their royal name low in the dust! Their hapless race wild-wand'ring roam!

Tho'rigid law cries out, 'twas just !


Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,
Whose ancestors in days of yore,

, Thro' hostile ranks and ruin'd

gaps Old Scotia's bloody lion bore: Ev'n I who sing in rustic lore,

Haply my sires have left their shed, And fac'd grim danger's loudest roar,

Bold-following where your fathers led !



EDINA! Scotia's darling seat !

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs, Where once beneath a monarch's feet

Sat legislation's sov'reign pow'rs ! From marking wildly-scatter'd flow'rs,

As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd, And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours,

I shelter'd in thy honour'd shade.





April 1st, 1785.


While briers an’ woodbines budding green,
An' paitricks scraichin loud at e'en,
An' morning poussie whidden seen,

Inspire my muse,
This freedom in an unknown frien'

I pray excuse.


On fasten-een we had a rockin,

a To ca’ the crack and weave our stockin; And there was muckle fun an' jokin,

Ye need na doubt ;
At length we had a hearty yokin



There was ae sang amang the rest,
Aboon them a' it pleas'd me best,
That some kind husband had addrest

To some sweet wife:
It thirl'd the heart-strings thro' the breast,

A' to the life.


I've scarce heard ought describes sae weel,
What gen'rous, manly bosoms feel;
Thought I, Can this be Pope, or Steele,

Or Beattie's wark!'
They tald me 'twas an odd kind chiel

About Muirkirk.

It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't,
And sae about him there I spier't,
Then a' that ken't him round declar'd

He had ingine,
That nane excell'd it, few cam near't,

It was sae fine.


That set him to a pint of ale,
An' either douce or merry tale,
Or rhymes an' sangs he'd made himsel,

Or witty catches, 'Tween Inverness and Tiviotdale,

He had few matches.

Then up I gat, an' swoor an' aith,
Tho' I should pawn my pleugh and graith,
Or die a cadger pownie's death,

At some dyke back,
A pint an’ gill I'd gie them baith

To hear your crack,

But, first an' foremost, I should tell,
Amaist as soon as I could spell,
I to the crambo-jingle fell,

Tho' rude an' rough,
Yet crooning to a body's sel,

Does weel eneugh.

I am nae poet, in a sense,
But just a rhymer, like, by chance,
An' hae to learning nae pretence,

Yet, what the matter?
Whene'er my muse does on me glance,

I jingle at her.


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