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The hares were hirplin' down the furs,

The lav'rocks they were chantin'
Fu' sweet that day.

As lightsomely I glowr'd abroad,
To see a scene sae gay,
Three hizzies, early at the road,
Cam skelpin' up the way.
Twa had manteeles o' dolefu' black,
But ane wi' lyart lining;
The third, that gaed a-wee a-back,
Was in the fashion shining,
Fu' gay that day.



The twa appeared like sisters twin,
In feature, form, and claes;
Their visage withered, lang, and thin,
And sour as ony slaes.
The third cam up, hap-step-an'-lowp,1
As light as ony lambie,

And wi' a curchie low did stoop,
As soon as e'er she saw me,
Fu' kind that day.



walking along

Wi' bonnet, aff, quoth I: "Sweet lass,
I think ye seem to ken me;
I'm sure I've seen that bonny face,
But yet I canna name ye.”

1 Hop-skip-and-leap.


Quo' she, and laughin' as she spak,
And taks me by the hands:
"Ye, for my sake, hae gien the feck
Of a' the ten commands

A screed some day.


My name is Fun

The nearest friend ye hae; And this is Superstition here, And that's Hypocrisy.

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your cronie dear,

I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy Fair,
To spend an hour in daffin':

Gin ye'll go there, yon runkled pair,
We will get famous laughin'
At them this day."

Quoth I: "With a' my heart, I'll do't;
I'll get my Sunday's sark on,

And meet you on the holy spot -
Faith, we'se hae fine remarkin'!
Then I gaed hame at crowdie-time,
And soon I made me ready;
For roads were clad, from side to side,
Wi' mony a weary body,

In droves that day.

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Here farmers gash, in ridin' graith, sensible attire Gaed hoddin by their cotters;


There, swankies young, in braw braid



Are springin' o'er the gutters.

The lasses, skelpin' barefit, thrang, walking along
In silks and scarlets glitter;

Wi' sweet-milk cheese, in monie a whang, cut
And farls baked. wi' butter,
Fu' crump that day.



Here stands a shed to fend the showers,
And screen our country gentry,
There, Racer Jess,2 and twa-three w―s,
Are blinkin' at the entry.

Here sits a raw of tittlin' jauds,

Wi' heaving breast and bare neck, And there a batch o' wabster lads, Blackguarding frae Kilmarnock

For fun this day,

When by the plate we set our nose,
Weel heaped up wi' ha'pence,
A greedy glowr Black-bonnet throws,
And we maun draw our tippence.1
Then in we go to see the show;

On every side they're gath'rin',
Some carrying dails, some chairs, and stools, portions
(of food)?
And some are busy blethrin'
Right loud that day.




1 Black-bonnet, a cant name for the elder stationed beside the plate at the door for receiving the offerings of the congregation.

2 A poor half-witted girl of the name of Gibson (daughter of Poosie Nansie), who was remarkable for pedestrian powers, and sometimes went with messages for hire.

Here, some are thinkin' on their sins,
And some upo' their claes;
Ane curses feet that fyl'd his shins,
Anither sighs and prays:

On this hand sits a chosen swatch,
Wi' screwed-up, grace-proud faces;
On that a set o' chaps at watch,
Thrang winkin' on the lasses
To chairs that day.

Now a' the congregation o'er
Is silent expectation :

For Moodie speels the holy door,
Wi' tidings o' d――tion.1


busily occupied

Oh happy is that man and blest!
Nae wonder that it pride him,
Wha's ain dear lass, that he likes best,
Comes clinkin' down beside him!
Wi' arm reposed on the chair back,
He sweetly does compose him ;
Which, by degrees, slips round her neck,

An's loof upon her bosom,
Unkenn'd that day.




1 In the Kilmarnock edition, the word was salvation; it was changed at the suggestion of Dr. Blair of Edinburgh. Moodie was the minister of Riccarton, and one of the heroes of The Twa Herds. He was a never-failing assistant at the Mauchline sacraments. His personal appearance and style of oratory were exactly such as described by the poet. He dwelt chiefly on the terrors of the law. On one occasion, he told the audience that they would find the text in John viii.

Should Hornie, as in ancient days
'Mang sons o' God present him,
The very sight o' Moodie's face

To's ain het hame had sent him
Wi' fright that day.

But hark! the tent has changed its voice; There's peace and rest nae langer;

For a' the real judges rise,

They canna sit for anger.

Hear how he clears the points o' Faith
Wi' rattlin' and wi' thumpin'!

Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
He's stampin' and he's jumpin'!
His lengthened chin, his turned-up snout,
His eldritch squeel and gestures,
Oh how they fire the heart devout,
Like cantharidian plasters,
On sic a day!


Smith opens out his cauld harangues,1
On practice and on morals;

And aff the godly pour in thrangs,
To gie the jars and barrels
A lift that day.


44, but it was so applicable to their case, that there was no need of his reading it to them. The verse begins: "Ye are of your father the devil," etc.

1 Mr. (afterwards Dr.) George Smith, minister of Galston the same whom the poet introduces in a different feeling, under the appellation of Irvine-side in The Kirk's Alarm. Burns meant on this occasion to compliment him on his

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