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And even the very deils they brawly ken well know them.)
Auld Brig appeared of ancient Pictish race,
He seemed as he wi' Time had warstl'd wrestled
toughly stout- endured
Yet, teughly doure, he bade an unco bang.
a severe stroke
New Brig was buskit in a braw new coat
Spying the time-worn flaws in every arch;
I doubt na, frien' ye'll think ye're nae sheepshank,
Ance ye were streekit o'er frae bank to stretched bank,
But gin ye be a brig as auld as me—
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 Stream,1
Though they should cast the very sark
Conceited gowk, puffed up wi' windy
Ere they would grate their feelings wi' the view Of sic an ugly Gothic hulk as you.
This monie a year I've stood the flood and
And though wi' crazy eild I'm sair
I'll be a Brig when ye're a shapeless cairn !
As yet ye little ken about the matter,
1 A noted ford just above the Auld Brig. — B.
heap of stones
When from the hills where springs the brawling Coil,
Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil,
Or where the Greenock winds Greenock winds his moorland course,
Or haunted Garpal 1 draws his feeble source, Aroused by blustering winds and spotting thowes,
In monie a torrent down his snaw-broo rowes; While crashing ice, borne on the roaring
A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost,
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 seaThen down ye'll hurl, deil nor ye never rise! And dash the gumlie jaups up to the muddy waves pouring skies :
2 (Snow-broth) melting snow-rolls.
3 The source of the river Ayr. — B.
4 A small landing-place above the large key. — B.
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.
The L- be thankit that we've tint the
Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices,
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;
Oh ye, my dear remembered ancient
1 An allusion to the moderatism of the Ayr clergy.
That sullen gloom was sterling true devotion; Fancies that our good Brugh denies protection!1 And soon may they expire, unblest with resurrection!
Were ye but here to share my wounded feelings!
Ye worthy Proveses, and monie a Bailie,
Wha meekly ga'e your hurdies to the smiters ;
A' ye douce folk I've borne aboon the broo, water
And agonising, curse the time and place
Nae langer thrifty citizens and douce,
The herryment and ruin of the country; plunder
new brigs and harbours!
1 A sly hint at the easy professions of the Ayr writers or lawyers now known to Burns.