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The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide; The feathered field-mates, bound by Nature's tie,
Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie;
While thick the gossamour waves wanton in the rays.
'Twas in that season, when a simple Bard,
Or whether, rapt in meditation high,
He wandered out he knew not where or why.)
1 A noted tavern at the Auld Brig end. B.
2 In a MS. copy, here occur two lines omitted in print:
"Or penitential pangs for former sins
Led him to rove by quondam Merran Din's."
The drowsy Dungeon-clock 1 had numbered two, And Wallace Tower2 had sworn the fact was
The tide-swoln Firth, with sullen sounding roar, Through the still night dashed hoarse along the shore.
All else was hushed as Nature's closed e'e;
When lo! on either hand the listening Bard, The clanging sugh of whistling wings is rustle
Two dusky forms dart through the midnight air, Swift as the gos 3 drives on the wheeling hare.
Ane on the Auld Brig his airy shape uprears,
1 A clock in a steeple connected with the old jail of Ayr. This steeple and its clock were removed some years ago.
2 The clock in the Wallace Tower —an anomalous piece of antique masonry, surmounted by a spire, which stood in the High Street of Ayr. It was removed some years ago, and replaced by a more elegant tower, which bears its name. 3 The gos-hawk, or falcon. — B.
And even the very deils they brawly ken well know
Auld Brig appeared of ancient Pictish race,
He seemed as he wi' Time had warstl'd wrestled
Yet, teughly doure, he bade toughly stout — endured an unco bang.
a severe stroke
New Brig was buskit in a braw new coat
That he at Lon'on, frae ane Adams, got;
Spying the time-worn flaws in every arch;
I doubt na, frien' ye'll think ye're nae sheep
Ance ye were streekit o'er frae bank to stretched
But gin ye be a brig as auld as me
Though, faith, that day I doubt ye'll never see — There'll be, if that date come, I'll wad a
Some fewer whigmaleeries in your noddle. crotchets
1 Rings and useless ornaments.
Auld Vandal, ye but shew your little
Just much about it wi' your scanty sense.
Your ruined, formless bulk o' stane and lime, Compare wi' bonny brigs o' modern time? There's men o' taste would tak the Ducat
Though they should cast the very sark
Ere they would grate their feelings wi' the view Of sic an ugly Gothic hulk as you.
As yet ye little ken about the matter,
1 A noted ford just above the Auld Brig. — B.
When from the hills where springs the brawling Coil,
Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil,
Or where the Greenock winds his moorland
Or haunted Garpal1 draws his feeble source, Aroused by blustering winds and spotting
In monie a torrent down his snaw-broo rowes; 2 While crashing ice, borne on the roaring
Sweeps dams, and mills, and brigs, a' to the
gate; And from Glenbuck down to the Ratton-key' Auld Ayr is just one lengthened tumbling sea Then down ye'll hurl, deil nor ye never rise! And dash the gumlie jaups up to the muddy waves pouring skies:
A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost,
That Architecture's noble art is lost!
Fine Architecture, trowth, I needs must say't o't!
1 The banks of Garpal Water is one of the few places in the west of Scotland where those fancy-scaring beings, known by the name of ghaists, still continue pertinaciously to inhabit.-B.
2 (Snow-broth) melting snow-rolls.
8 The source of the river Ayr. — B.
* A small landing-place above the large key. — B.