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And every time great care is ta'en,
In wrath that night.
Wi' merry sangs, and friendly cracks,
An' unco tales, an' funnie jokes,
Their sports were cheap an' cheery, Till butter'd so'ns,* wi' fragrant lunt, Set a' their gabs a-steerin; Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt, They parted aff careerin
Fu' blythe that night.
THE AULD FARMER'S NEW-YEAR MORNING SALUTATION TO HIS AULD MARE MAGGIE,
ON GIVING HER ACCUSTOMED RIPP OF CORN TO HANSEL IN THE NEW-YEAR.
A GUID new-year I wish thee, Maggie ! Hae, there's a rip to thy auld baggie : Though thou's howe-backit, now, an' knaggie, I've seen the day, Thou could hae gaen like ony staggie Out-owre the lay.
Though now thou's dowie, stiff, an' crazy, An' thy auld hide's as white's a daisy, I've seen thee dappl't, sleek, and glaizie, A bonnie gray: He should been tight that daur't to raize thee, Ance in a day.
Thou ance was i' the foremost rank, A filly buirdly, steeve, an' swank, An' set weel down a shapely shank, As e'er tread yird; An' could hae flown out-owre a stank, Like ony bird.
It's now some nine an' twenty year, Sin' thou was my good father's meere; He gied me thee, o' tocher clear, An' fifty mark; Though it was sma', 'twas weel-won gear, An' thou was stark.
When first I gaed to woo my Jenny, Ye then was trottin wi' your minnie: Though ye was trickie, slee, an' funnie, Ye ne'er was donsie ; But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie, An' unco sonsie.
That day, ye pranced wi' muckle pride, When ye bure hame my bonnie bride; An' sweet, an' gracefu' she did ride, Wi' maiden air! Kyle Stewart I could bragged wide, For sic a pair.
Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is always the Halloween supper.
Though now ye dow but hoyte an' hobble An' wintle like a saumont-coble, That day ye was a jinker noble
For heels an' win'! An' ran them till they a' did wauble, Far, far behin'.
When thou an' I were young an' skeigh, An' stable-meals at fairs were dreigh, How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' skreigh, An' tak the road! Town's bodies ran, and stood abeigh, An' ca't thee mad.
When thou was corn't, an' I was mellow, We took the road aye like a swallow: At brooses thou had ne'er a fellow, For pith an' speed: But every tail thou pay't them hollow, Where'er thou gaed.
The sma', droop-rumpl't, hunter cattle, Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle; But sax Scotch miles thou try't their mettle, An' gar't them whaizle: Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle O' saugh or hazel.
Thou was a noble fittie-lan', As e'er in tug or tow was drawn! Aft thee an' I, in aught hours gaun, On guid March weather, Hae turn'd sax rood beside our han', For days thegither.
Thou never braindg't, an' fetch't, an' fliskit, But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, An' spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket, Wi' pith, an' pow'r, Till spritty knowes wad rair't and risket, An' slypet owre.
When frosts lay lang, an' snows were deep, An' threaten'd labour back to keep, I gied thy cog a wee-bit heap
Aboon the timmer; I kenn'd my Maggie wad na sleep For that, or simmer.
The cart or car thou never restit; The stevest brae thou wad hae fac't it: Thou never lap, and sten't, and breastit, Then stood to blaw; But just thy step a wee thing hastit, Thou snoov't awa.
My pleugh is now thy bairn-time a': Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw: Forbye sax mae, I've sell't awa.
That thou hast nurst: They drew me thretteen pund an' twa, The vera warst.
Monie a sair daurk we twa hae wrought, An' wi' the weary warl' fought! And monie an anxious day, I thought We wad be beat! Yet here to crazy age we're brought, Wi' something yet.
See stern oppression's iron grip, Or mad ambition's gory hand, Sending, like blood-hounds from the slip, Wo, want, and murder, o'er a land! E'en in the peaceful, rural vale, Truth, weeping, tells the mournful tale, How pamper'd luxury, flattery by her side, The parasite empoisoning her ear,
With all the servile wretches in the rear, Looks o'er proud property, extended wide; And eyes the simple rustic hind,
Whose toil upholds the glittering show, A creature of another kind,
Some coarser substance, unrefined,
Placed for her lordly use, thus far, thus vile, below; Where, where is love's fond, tender throe,
With lordly honour's lofty brow,
The powers you proudly own?
To love-pretending snares,
"O ye! who, sunk in beds of down, Feel not a want but what yourselves create, Think, for a moment, on his wretched fate,
Whom friends and fortune quite disown! Ill satisfied keen nature's clamorous call,
Stretch'd on his straw he lays himself to sleep, While through the ragged roof and chinky wall, Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty heap! Think on the dungeon's grim confine, Where guilt and poor misfortune pine! Guilt, erring man, relenting view! But shall thy legal rage pursue The wretch, already crushed low
By cruel fortune's undeserved blow? Affliction's sons are brothers in distress, A brother to relieve, how exquisite the bliss!"
I heard nae mair, for chanticleer
And hail'd the morning with a cheer,
But deep this truth impress'd my mind-
The heart benevolent and kind
OPPRESS'D with grief, oppress'd with care, A burden more than I can bear,
I sit me down and sigh:
The priest-like father reads the sacred page,
With Amalek's ungracious progeny ;
Beneath the stroke of Heaven's avenging ire;
Or rapt Isaiah's wild, seraphic fire;
Perhaps the Christian volume is the theme,
How guiltless blood for guilty man was shed;
Had not on earth whereon to lay his head:
The precepts sage they wrote to many a land:
Saw in the sun a mighty angel stand; And heard great Babylon's doom pronounced by Heaven's command.