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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


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;

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Next followed Courage, with his martial stride, From where the Feal wild woody coverts hide; 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.


A female form, came from the towers of Stair; Learning and Worth in equal measures trode. From simple Catrine, their long-loved abode : 2 Last, white-robed Peace, crowned with a hazel wreath,

To rustic Agriculture did bequeath

The broken iron instruments of death;

At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling wrath.



Professor Dugald Stewart, the elegant expositor of the Scottish system of metaphysics, resided at this time in a villa at Catrine, on the Ayr, a few miles from the bard's farm. He had been made acquainted with the extraordinary productions of Burns by Mr. Mackenzie, the clever, liberal-minded surgeon of Mauchline. At the request of the professor, Mackenzie came to dinner at Catrine, accompanied by the poet. Burns was sufficiently embarrassed at the idea of meeting in the flesh a distinguished member of the literary circle of Edinburgh; but, to increase the feeling, there chanced also to be present a young scion of nobility Lord Daer, son of the Earl of Selkirk a positively alarming idea to the rustic

1 A compliment to his early patroness, Mrs. Stewart of Stair. See note to Epistle to Davie, vol. i. p. 63.

2 A compliment to Professor Dugald Stewart.

bard, who had as yet seen nobility no nearer than on the Ayr race-course, or whirling along the road in carriages. Lord Daer, who had been a pupil of Professor Stewart, had called, it appears, by chance. Of the meeting, Burns and Stewart have left their respective records.

THIS Wot ye all whom it concerns,
I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns,
October twenty-third,

A ne'er-to-be-forgotten day,

Sae far I sprachled up the brae,
I dinner'd wi' a Lord.

I've been at drucken writers' feasts,
Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly priests,
Wï' reverence be it spoken;
I've even joined the honoured jorum,
When mighty squireships of the quorum
Their hydra drouth did sloken.

But wi' a Lord! — stand out my shin, a Peeran Earl's son !

A Lord

Up higher yet my bonnet!

And sic a Lord!-lang Scotch ells twa,
Our Peerage he o'erlooks them a',
As I look o'er my sonnet.

But oh for Hogarth's magic power !


To shew Sir Bardie's willyart glower, bewildered stare And how he stared and stammer'd,

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