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"A title, Dempster merits it; A garter gie to Willie Pitt; Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit, In cent. per cent.

But gie me real, sterling wit,

And I'm content.

"While ye are pleased to keep me hale I'll sit down o'er my scanty meal, Be't water-brose, or muslin-kail, Wi' cheerful face, As lang's the muses dinna fail

To say the grace."

An anxious e'e I never throws Behint my lug, or by my nose; I jouk beneath misfortune's blows As weel's I may; Sworn foe to sorrow, care, and prose, I rhyme away.

O ye douce folk, that live by rule, Grave, tideless-blooded, calm and cool, Compared wi' you-O fool! fool! fool! How much unlike! Your hearts are just a standing pool, Your lives, a dyke!

Hae hair-brain'd, sentimental traces In your unletter'd, nameless faces! In arioso trills and graces

Ye never stray, But, gravissimo, solemn basses

Ye hum away.

Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise; Nae ferly though ye do despise The hairum-scarum, ram-stam boys, The rattlin squad: I see you upward cast your eyes-Ye ken the road.

Whilst I-but I shall haud me thereWi' you I'll scarce gang onywhereThen, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,

But quat my sang, Content wi' you to mak a pair,

Whare'er I gang.


Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute blames with


But surely dreams were ne'er indicted treason.

[On reading, in the public papers, the Laureat's Ode, with the other parade of June 4, 1786, the author was no sooner dropped asleep, than he imagined himself to the birthday levee; and in his dreaming fancy made the following address.]

GUID-MORNING to your majesty!

May heaven augment your blisses,
On every new birth-day ye see,
An humble poet wishes!

My bardship here, at your levee,
On sic a day as this is,
Is sure an uncouth sight to see,
Amang the birth-day dresses
Sae fine this day.


I see ye're complimented thrang, By monie a lord and lady; "God save the king!"'s a cuckoo sang That's unco easy said aye; The poets, too, a venal gang,

Wi' rhymes weel turn'd and ready, Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang, But aye unerring steady, On sic a day.


For me, before a monarch's face,
E'en there I winna flatter;
For neither pension, post, nor place,
Am I your humble debtor :
So, nae reflection on your grace,
Your kingship to bespatter;
There's monie waur been o' the race,
And aiblins ane been better
Than you this day.


'Tis very true, my sovereign king,
My skill may weel be doubted:
But facts are chiels that winna ding,
An' downa be disputed:

Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
Is e'en right left an' clouted,
And now the third part of the string,
An' less, will gang about it
Than did ae day.

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That he intends to pay your debt,
An' lessen a' your charges;
But, G-d-sake! let nae saving-fit
Abridge your bonnie barges
An' boats this day.


Adieu, my liege! may freedom geck
Beneath your high protection;
An' may ye rax corruption's neck,
And gie her for dissection!

But since I'm here, I'll no neglect,

In loyal, true affection,

To pay your queen, with due respect,
My fealty an' subjection

This great birth-day.

Hail, majesty most excellent!
While nobles strive to please ye,
Will ye accept a compliment

A simple poet gies ye?

Thae bonnie bairntime, heaven has lent,
Still higher may they heeze ye
In bliss, till fate some day is sent,
For ever to release ye

Frae care that day.


For you, young potentate o' W****,
I tell your highness fairly,

Down pleasure's stream, wi' swelling sails,

I'm tauld ye're driving rarely;

But some day ye may gnaw your nails,

An' curse your folly sairly, That e'er ye brak Diana's pales,

Or rattled dice wi' Charlie,

By night or day.


Yet aft a ragged cowte's been known To make a noble aiver;

So ye may doucely fill a throne,
For a' their clishmaclaver:
There, him at Agincourt wha shone,
Few better were or braver ;
And yet, wi' funny, queer Sir John,†
He was an unco shaver

For monie a day.

For you, right reverend O*******,

Nane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeter, Although a riband at your lug

Wad been a dress completer: As ye disown yon paughty dog

That bears the keys of Peter, Then, swith! an' get a wife to hug, Or, trouth! ye'll stain the mitre Some luckless day.

*King Henry V.

+ Sir John Falstaff: vide Shakspeare.


Young, royal tarry breeks, I learn,
Ye've lately come athwart her;
A glorious galley,* stem an' stern,

Well rigg❜d for Venus' barter;
But first hang out, that she'll discern
Your hymeneal charter,

Then heave aboard your grapple airn,
An', large upo' her quarter,
Come full that day.


Ye, lastly, bonnie blossoms a',
Ye royal lasses dainty,

Heaven make you guid as weel as braw,

An' gie you lads a-plenty :
But sneer nae British boys awa',
For kings are unco scant aye;
An' German gentles are but sma',
They're better just than want aye,
On onie day.


God bless you a"! consider now, Ye're unco muckle dautet ;

But, ere the course o' life be through, It may be bitter sautet:

An' I hae seen their coggie fou,

That yet hae tarrow't at it; But or the day was done, I trow, The laggen they hae clautet

Fu' clean that day.


THE sun had closed the winter day,
The curlers quat their roaring play,
An' hunger'd maukin ta'en her way
To kail-yards green,
While faithless snaws ilk step betray
Whare she has been.

The thresher's weary flingin-tree, The lee-lang day had tired me; And when the day had closed his e'e, Far i' the west, Ben i' the spence, right pensivelie, I gaed to rest.

There, lanely, by the ingle cheek, I sat and eyed the spewing reek, That fill'd, wi' hoast-provoking smeek, The auld clay biggin; An' heard the restless rattons squeak About the riggin.

Alluding to the newspaper account of a certain royal sailor's amour.

+ Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a digressive poem. See his Cath-Loda, vol. ii. of M'Pherson's translation.

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Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods; There, well-fed Irwine stately thuds: Auld hermit Ayr staw through his woods, On to the shore ; And many a lesser torrent scuds, With seeming roar.

Low, in a sandy valley spread,
An ancient borough rear'd her head;
Still, as in Scottish story read,
She boasts a race,

To every nobler virtue bred,
And polish'd grace.

By stately tower or palace fair, Or ruins pendent in the air, Bold stems of heroes, here and there, I could discern; Some seem'd to muse, some seem'd to dare, With feature stern.

My heart did glowing transport feel, To see a race heroic wheel,


And brandish round the deep-dyed steel In sturdy blows; While back-recoiling seem'd to reel Their stubborn foes.

His country's saviour,t mark him well! Bold Richardton's heroic swell; The chief on Sark§ who glorious fell, In high command; And he whom ruthless fates expel His native land.

There, where a sceptred Pictish shade, Stalk'd round his ashes lowly laid, I mark'd a martial race, portray'd In colours strong; Bold, soldier-featur'd, undismay'd They strode along.

Through many a wild, romantic grove,¶ Near many a hermit-fancy'd cove, (Fit haunts for friendship or for love, In musing mood, An aged judge, I saw him rove, Dispensing good.

With deep-struck reverential awe** The learned sire and son I saw, To Nature's God and Nature's law They gave their Iore, This, all its source and end to draw, That, to adore.

The Wallaces. + William Wallace. Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin immortal preserver of Scottish independence.

§ Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas Earl of Ormond, at the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1448. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct, and intrepid valour of the gallant Laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.

Coilus, King of the Picts, from whom the district of Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition says, near the family-seat of the Montgomeries of Coil'sfield, where his burial-place is still shown.

¶ Barskimming the seat of the Lord Justice Clerk. **Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor and present Professor Stewart.

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