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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.]
May heaven augment your blisses,
My bardship here, at your levee,
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,
'Tis very true, my sovereign king,
Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
That he intends to pay your debt,
Adieu, my liege! may freedom geck
But since I'm here, I'll no neglect,
In loyal, true affection,
To pay your queen, with due respect,
This great birth-day.
Hail, majesty most excellent!
A simple poet gies ye?
Thae bonnie bairntime, heaven has lent,
Frae care that day.
For you, young potentate o' W****,
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 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,
Well rigg❜d for Venus' barter;
Then heave aboard your grapple airn,
Ye, lastly, bonnie blossoms a',
Heaven make you guid as weel as braw,
An' gie you lads a-plenty :
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 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.
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,
To every nobler virtue bred,
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.