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His piercing words, like Highland swords,
Wi' fright that day.
A vast, unbottomed, boundless pit,
Wha's ragin' flame, and scorchin' heat,
'Twad be owre lang a tale to tell
And how they crowded to the yill,
How drink gaed round, in cogs and caups, pails
And cheese and bread, frae women's laps,
And dauds that day.
In comes a gaucy, gash guidwife, fat-talkative And sits down by the fire,
Syne draws her kebbuck and her knife; cheese
The lasses they are shyer.
The auld guidmen, about the grace,
Till some ane by his bonnet lays,
Waesucks! for him that gets nae lass,
And dinna, for a kebbuck-heel,
Let lasses be affronted
On sic a day!
Now Clinkumbell,1 wi' rattlin' tow,
soil with meal
Some swagger hame, the best they dow,
Some wait the afternoon.
At slaps the billies halt a blink,
Till lasses strip their shoon :
Wi' faith and hope, and love and drink,
They're a' in famous tune
For crack that day.
How monie hearts this day converts
O' sinners and o' lasses!
Their hearts o' stane, gin night, are gane,
As saft as ony flesh is.
There's some are fou o' love divine;
There's some are fou o' brandy;
And monie jobs that day begin
May end in houghmagandy
ON A SCOTCH BARD,
GONE TO THE WEST INDIES.
A'YE wha live by sowps o' drink,
Come, mourn wi' me!
Lament him a' ye rantin' core,
For now he's ta'en anither shore,
And owre the sea!
1 "Our brother has eluded us all."
Auld cantie Kyle may weepers wear,
And stain them wi' the saut, saut tear; "Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear,
In flinders flee;
He was her laureate monie a year,
He saw misfortune's cauld nor-west
So, took a berth afore the mast,
To tremble under Fortune's cummock,
On scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock, meal and water
So row't his hurdies in a hammock, rolled — loins
He ne'er was gien to great misguiding,
The Muse was a' that he took pride in,
Jamaica bodies, use him weel,
And hap him in a cozie biel: wrap-snug shelter
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,
He wadna wranged the very deil,
Fareweel, my rhyme-composing billie! comrade
But may ye flourish like a lily,
I'll toast ye in my hinmost gillie,
A BARD'S EPITAPH.
In a different spirit, Burns wrote an epitaph for himself a confession of his errors so solemn and so
touching, as to take the sting from every other comment on the subject.
Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,