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An unco mournfw Tale.

As Mailie, an' her lambs thegither,
Were ae day nibbling on the tether,
Upon her cloot she coost a hitch,
An' owre she warsl'd in the ditch:
There, groaning, dying, she did lie,
When Hughoc* he cam doytin by.


* A neibor herd-callan.


Wi' glowrin een, an' lifted han's,
Poor Hughoc like a statue stan's;
He saw her days were near hand ended,
But, waes my heart! he could na 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,
O, bid him never tie them mair
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair!
But ca’ them out to park or hill,
An' let them wander at their will;
So may his flock increase, an'

To scores o' lambs, an' packs o' woo'!

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

• 0, bid him save their harmless lives, Frae dogs, an' tods, an' butchers' knives !


But gie them guid cow milk their fill,
Till they be fit to fend themsel;
An' tent them duly, e'en an' morn,
Wi' teats o' hay, an' rips o' corn.

. An' may they never learn the

Of ither vile, wanrestfu' pets.
To slink thro' slaps, an' reave an' steal,
At stacks o' pease, or stocks o' kail.
So may they, like their great Forbears,
For monie a year come thro' the sheers :
So wives will gie them bits o' bread,
An' bairns

greet for them when they're dead.

• My poor toop-lamb, my son an' heir,
O, bid him breed him up wi' care!
An' if he live to be a beast,
To pit some havins in his breast !
An' warn him, what I winna name,
To stay content wi' yowes at hame;
An' no to rin an' wear his cloots,
Like ither mensless, graceless, brutes.


· An' niest my yowie, silly thing, Gude keep thee frae a tether string ! 0, may thou ne'er forgather up O Wi' ony

blastit, moorland toop; But ay keep mind to moop an' mell Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel !

And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath,
I lea'e

blessin wi'


baith : An' 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 ;

' An' bid him burn this cursed tether, An' for thy pains, thou'se get my blether.'

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 !

Its no the loss o' warl's

gear, That could sae bitter draw the tear, Or mak our bardie, dowie, wear

The mourning weed : He's lost a friend and neebor dear,

In Mailie dead.

Thro' 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

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