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The L be thankit that we've tint the

gate o't!

Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices,



Hanging with threatening jut, like precipices;
O'erarching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring coves,
Supporting roofs fantastic, stony groves:
Windows, and doors in nameless sculpture drest,
With order, symmetry, or taste unblest;
Forms like some bedlam statuary's dream,
The crazed creations of misguided whim;
Forms might be worshipped on the bended


And still the second dread command be free, Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, or


Mansions that would disgrace the building taste Of any mason reptile, bird or beast;

Fit only for a doited monkish race,


Or frosty maids forsworn the dear embrace;
Or cuifs of latter times, wha held the



That sullen gloom was sterling true devotion; Fancies that our good Brugh denies protection!1 And soon may they expire, unblest with resurrection!


Oh ye, my dear remembered ancient


1 An allusion to the moderatism of the Ayr clergy.


Were ye but here to share my wounded feelings!

Ye worthy Proveses, and monie a Bailie,
Wha in the paths o' righteousness did toil aye;
Ye dainty Deacons and ye douce Conveeners, grave
To whom our moderns are but causey-cleaners;
Ye godly Councils wha hae blest this town;
Ye godly brethren o' the sacred gown,
Wha meekly ga'e your hurdies to the smiters;
And (what would now be strange) ye godly



A' ye douce folk I've borne aboon the broo, water
Were ye but here, what would ye say or do!
How would your spirits groan in deep vexation,
To see each melancholy alteration;
And agonising, curse the time and place
When ye begat the base degenerate race!
Nae langer reverend men, their country's glory,
In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid

Nae langer thrifty citizens and douce,

Meet owre a pint, or in the council-house; But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless half-witted gentry,

The herryment and ruin of the country; plunder Men three parts made by tailors and by barbers, Wha waste your weel-hained gear on


new brigs and harbours!


1 A sly hint at the easy professions of the Ayr writers or lawyers now known to Burns.


Now haud you there, for faith you've said enough,

And muckle mair than ye can mak to make



As for your Priesthood I shall say but little,
Corbies and Clergy are a shot right kittle: ticklish
But, under favour o' your langer beard,
Abuse o' magistrates might weel be spared.
To liken them to your auld-warld squad,
I must needs say comparisons are odd.
In Ayr, wag-wits nae mair can hae a handle
To mouth "a citizen," a term o' scandal;
Nae mair the Council waddles down the street,
In all the pomp of ignorant conceit.2

Men wha grew wise priggin' owre hops haggling and raisins,

Or gathered liberal views in bonds and seisins;
If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp,
Had shored them with a glimmer of his offered

1 Inserted in MS. copy:

"That's aye a string auld doited Graybeards harp on,

A topic for their peevishness to carp on."

2 Variation in MS.:

"Nae mair down street the Council quorum waddles,
With wigs like mainsails on their logger noddles;

No difference but bulkiest or tallest,

With comfortable dulness in for ballast:

Nor shoals nor currents need a pilot's caution,

For regularly slow, they only witness motion."

And would to Common-sense for once betrayed them,

Plain, dull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid them.

What further clish-ma-claver might palaver been said,

What bloody wars, if sprites had blood to shed,
No man can tell; but all before their sight,
A fairy train appeared in order bright;
Adown the glittering stream they featly danced;
Bright to the
moon their various dresses


They footed o'er the watery glass so neat,
The infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet;
While arts of minstrelsy among them rung,
And soul-ennobling bards heroic ditties sung.
Oh had M Lachlan,1 thairm-inspiring sage, cat-gut
Been there to hear this heavenly band engage,
When through his dear strathspeys they bore
with Highland rage;

Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs,
The lover's raptured joys or bleeding cares;
How would his Highland lug been nobler



1 A well-known performer of Scottish music on the violin. -B. James M'Lachlan, a Highlander, had been once footman to Lord John Campbell at Inverary. He came to Ayrshire in a fencible regiment, and was patronized by Hugh Montgomery of Coilsfield (afterwards Earl of Eglintoune), who was himself both a player and a composer.

And even his matchless hand with finer touch


No guess could tell what instrument appeared,
But all the soul of Music's self was heard ;
Harmonious concert rung in every part,
While simple melody poured moving on the

The Genius of the stream in front appears, A venerable chief advanced in years; His hoary head with water-lilies crowned, His manly leg with garter tangle bound. Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring, Sweet Female Beauty hand in hand with Spring;

Then, crowned with flowery hay, came Rural

And Summer, with his fervid-beaming eye;
All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn,
Led yellow Autumn, wreathed with nodding


Then Winter's time-bleached locks did hoary show,

By Hospitality with cloudless brow;

Next followed Courage, with his martial stride, From where the Feal wild woody coverts hide; 1 Benevolence, with mild, benignant air,

1 We have here a compliment to Montgomery of Coilsfield -Soger Hugh--alluded to in the preceding note. Coilsfield is situated on the Feal, or Faile, a tributary of the Ayr.

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