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He had twa fauts, or maybe three,

Yet what remead?

Ae social, honest man want we:

Tam Samson's dead!


Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies,

Ye canting zealots spare him;

If honest worth in heaven rise,

Ye'll mend or ye win near him.




Go, Fame, and canter like a fillie


Through a' the streets and.neuks o' Killie; 1

Tell every social, honest billie

To cease his grievin',

For yet, unskaithed by Death's gleg


Tam Samson's leevin'! 2




1 Killie is a phrase the country-folks sometimes use for Kilmarnock. B.

2 When this worthy old sportsman went out last muirfowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, "the last of his fields," and expressed an ardent wish to die and be buried in the muirs. On this hint the author composed his elegy and epitaph. - B.

"The following anecdote was communicated by an intimate friend of Burns, the late William Parker, Esq., of Assloss, a gentleman whose excellent social qualities, and kind, hospitable disposition, will be long remembered in Ayrshire:—

"At a jovial meeting one evening in Kilmarnock, at which Burns, Mr. Parker, and Mr. Samson were present, the poet,

after the glass had circulated pretty freely, said 'He had indited a few lines, which, with the company's permission, he would read to them.' The proposal was joyfully acceded to, and the poet immediately read aloud his inimitable Tam Samson's Elegy

Has auld Kilmarnock seen the deil?' etc.

The company was convulsed with laughter, with the exception of one individual — the subject, videlicet, of the verses. As the burden, Tam Samson's dead,' came round, Tam twisted and turned his body into all variety of postures, evidently not on a bed of roses. Burns saw the bait had taken, and fixing his keen black eye on his victim (Sir Walter Scott says that Burns had the finest eyes in his head he had ever seen in mortal,) mercilessly pursued his sport with waggish glee. At last flesh and blood could stand it no longer. Tam, evidently anything but pleased, roared out vociferously: 'Ou ay, but I'm no deid yet!' Shouts of laughter followed from the rest, and Burns continued to read, ever and anon interrupted with Tam's 'Ay, but I'm no deid yet!' After he had finished, Burns took an opportunity of slipping out quietly, and returned in a few minutes with his well-known


Go, Fame, and canter like a fillie

Through a' the streets and neuks o' Killie;
Tell every social, honest billie

To cease his grievin',

For yet, unskaithed by Death's gleg gullie,
Tam Samson's leevin'.'

We need not say that Tam was propitiated. Like the 'humble auld beggar,' in our humorous old Scotch ballad, 'He helpit to drink his ain dregie,' and the night was spent in the usual joyous manner where Burns was the presiding genius. - MERCATOR." (From a Glasgow newspaper, Dec. 7, 1850.)


Among men of some figure who took notice of Burns, in consequence of the publication of his first volume of Poems was Mr. M'Adam of Craigengillan.

SIR, o'er a gill I gat your card,

I trow it made me proud;
"See wha taks notice o' the Bard!"
I lap and cried fu' loud.

Now diel-ma-care about their jaw,
The senseless, gawky million:
I'll cock my nose aboon them a'-
I'm roosed by Craigengillan !

"Twas noble, sir; 'twas like yoursel'
To grant your high protection :
A great man's smile, ye ken fu' well,
Is aye a blest infection;


Though, by his 1 banes who in a tub
Matched Macedonian Sandy!


On my ain legs, through dirt and dub, puddle
I independent stand aye.

1 Diogenes.

And when those legs to guid warm kail,
Wi' welcome canna bear me,

A lee dike-side, a sybow-tail, lonely-wall- leek
And barley-scone, shall cheer me.

Heaven spare you lang to kiss the breath

O' many flowery simmers!

And bless your bonny lasses baith


I'm tauld they're lo'esome kimmers!

And God bless young Dunaskin's laird,
The blossom of our gentry,

And may he wear an auld man's beard,
A credit to his country!





Another person of local eminence whose friendly regard Burns obtained through the merit of his poetical volume, was the Rev. Mr. George Lawrie, minister of the parish of Loudon, a few miles from Mossgiel. This appears to have been a remarkably fine specimen of the old moderate clergy of the Scottish establishment sensible, upright, kind-hearted, and with no mean taste in literature.

At Loudon manse, in a beautiful situation on Irvine

Water, entitled St. Margaret's Hill, the rustic bard paid the good minister a visit. He was received with the greatest cordiality, and immediately found himself in the midst of what was to him a scene equally novel and charming. Among the liberalities of Mr. Lawrie was a love of dancing, with a conviction that it was useful in promoting health and cheerfulness in his house. Scarcely a day passed in the manse when this exercise was not indulged. It was, therefore, exactly what might have been expected, that after dinner, or in the course of the evening, there was a dance, led by the excellent pastor and his lady, and in which Burns and other guests joined. Burns, it may be observed, though somewhat heavy-limbed, was a good dancer. He retired for the night, with feelings deeply touched by the simple refinement, goodnature, and mutual affection of this family, as well as by the unaffected kindness which had been shown to himself.

Он thou dread Power who reign'st above,
I know thou wilt me hear,

When for this scene of peace and love
I make my prayer sincere!

The hoary sire the mortal stroke,
Long, long be pleased to spare,

To bless his filial little flock,

And shew what good men are.

She, who her lovely offspring eyes
With tender hopes and fears,

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