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Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin' la
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin'!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin'!
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-staneb of the brig:
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross,
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake;
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle ;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle-
Ae spring brought aff her master hale,
But left behind her ain grey tail :
The carlin claughtd her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
Ilke man and mother's son take heed:
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear,
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.f

a Get the reward of thy temerity.

b It is a well-known fact, that witches, or any evil spirits, have no power to follow a poor wight any farther than the middle of the next running stream. It may be proper likewise to mention to the benighted traveller, that when he falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much more hazard in turning back.

e Every.

c Attempt. d Laid hold of. fDied at Lochwinnoch, on the 9th inst. (August, 1823) Thomas Reid, labourer. He was born on the 21st of October, 1745, in the clachan of Kyle, Ayrshire. The importance attached to this circumstance arises from his being the celebrated equestrian hero of Burns' Poem 'Tam O'Shanter.' He has at length surmounted the mosses, rivers, slaps, and styles' of life. For a considerable time by-past he has been in the service of Major Hervey, of Castle-Semple, nine months of which he has been incapable of labour; and to the honour of Mr. Hervey be it named, he has, with a fostering and laudable generosity, soothed, as far as it was in his power, the many ills of age and disease. He, however, still retained the desire of being fou' for weeks thegither.' Glasgow Chronicle. Another version of this story is the following: That



[The following circumstance occasioned the composition of this poem: The schoolmaster of Tarbolton parish, to eke up the scanty subsistence allowed to that useful class of men, had set up a shop of grocery goods. Having accidentally fallen in with some medical books, and become most hobby-horsically attached to the study of medicine, he had added the sale of a few medicines to his little trade. He had got a shop-bill printed, at the bottom of which, overlooking his own incapacity, he had advertised, that,Advice would be given in common disorders at the shop gratis.'-Lockhart's Life of Burns.]

SOME books are lies frae end to end,
And some great lies were never penn'd
Ev'n ministers, they hae been kenn'd,
In holy rapture,

A rousing whid, at times, to vend,
And nail 't wi' Scripture.

But this that I am gaun to tell,
Which lately on a night befel,
Is just as true 's the deil's in hell,
Or Dublin city :

That e'er he nearer comes oursel
's a muckle pity.

The clachan yillḥ had made me canty,
I was na fou, but just had plenty;

Tam O'Shanter was no imaginary character. Shanter is a farm near the village of Kirkoswald, where Burns, when nineteen years old, studied mensuration, and first became acquainted with scenes of swaggering riot. The then occupier of Shanter, by name Douglas Grahame,' was, by all accounts, equally what the Tam of the poet appears-a jolly, careless rustic, who took much more interest in the contraband traffic of the coast, then carried on, than in the rotation of crops. Burns knew the man well; and to his dying day, he, nothing loath, passed among his rural compeers by the name of Tam O'Shanter.'-Lockhart's Life of Burns.

This admirable tale was written for Grose's Antiquities of Scotland, where it first appeared, with a beautiful engraving of Alloway's auld haunted Kirk.'

g A lie. h Village ale.

i Merry.

A Drunk.

I stacher'd' whyles, but yet took tentTM ay
To free the ditches,

An' hillocks, stanes, and bushes kenn'd ay
Frae ghaists" and witches.

The rising moon began to glow'ro
The distant Cumnock hills out-owre;
To count her horns wi' a' my pow'r,
I set mysel;

But whether she had three or four,
I cou'd na tell.

I was come round about the hill,
And todlin'p down on Willie's mill,
Setting my staff wi' a' my skill,

To keep me sicker;9
Tho' leeward whyles, against my will,
I took a bicker.r

I there wi' something did forgather
That put me in an eerie swither;t
An awfu' scythe out-owre ae shouther,
Clear, dangling hang;

A three-taed leister" on the ither

Lay, large an' lang.

Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
The queerest shape that e'er I saw,
For fient a wame it had ava!x

And then, its shanks,

They were as thin, as sharp, an' sma'
As cheeks o' branks!y

'Guid-e'en,' quo' I; Friend! hae ye been mawin When ither folk are busy sawin'?z

1 Staggered.

To shine faintly.

m Took heed. n From ghosts. Tottering. 9 Steady. Frightful hesitation.

A short run. s Meet.

u A three-pronged dart. w Belly. x At all.
y A kind of wooden curb for horses.

This rencounter happened in seed-time, 1785.

It seem'd to mak a kind o' stan',

But naething spak,

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At length, says I, Friend, whare ye gaun,
Will ye go back?'

It spak right howe My name is death,
But be na fley'd."-Quoth I,

Guid faith!

Ye're maybe come to stap my breath;
But tent me, billie ;c

I redd ye weel, tak care o' scaith,e

See there's a gully!"

Gudeman,' quo' he, put up your whittle, I'm no design'd to try its metal;

But if I did, I wad be kittles

To be mislear'd ;h

I wad na mind it, no that spittle

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Out-owre my beard.'

• Weel, weel!' says I, 'a bargain be 't; Come, gie's your hand, an' sae we 're gree't; We'll ease our shanks an' tak a seat,

Come, gie 's your news


This whilek ye hae been monie a gate,
At monie a house.'

Ay, ay!' quo' he, an' shook his head,
It's e'en a lang, lang time indeed,
Sin' I began to nick the thread,

An' choke the breath :

Folk maun do something for their bread,
An' sae maun Death.

'Sax thousand years are near hand fled
Sin' I was to the butchingm bred,

a With a hollow tone of voice.

c Heed me, good fellow.

e Injury. f A large knife. h Mischievous; i.e. It would be no or do me any mischief.

An epidemical fever was then country. Many a road.

b Frightened.

d To counsel, or advise.
g Ticklish, difficult.
easy matter for you to kust,
i Agreed.

raging in that part of the
m Butchering.

An monie a scheme in vain's been laid,
Te stap or scaurm me;

Till ane Hornbook 'sn taen up the trade,
An' faith, he'll wauro me.

'Ye ken Jock Hornbook i' the clachan, P Deil mak his king's-hood in a spleuchan! He's grown sae weel acquaint wi' Buchans An' ither chaps,

The weans haud out their fingers laughin', An' pouk my hips.

'See here's a scythe, and there's a dart, They hae pierc'd monie a gallant heart; But Doctor Hornbook, wi' his art

And cursed skill,

Has made them baith no worth a f―t, Damn'd haet" they'll kill!


"Twas but yestreen, nae farther gane,
I threw a noble throw at ane;
Wi' less I'm sure I've hundreds slain;
But Deil-ma-care,

It just play'd dirly on the bane,

But did nae mair.

'Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
And had sae fortify'd the part,
That when I looked to my dart,
It was sae blunt,

Fient haetz o't wad hae pierc'd the heart
Of a kail-runt.a

m Stop or scare.

This gentleman, Dr. Hornbook, is professionally a brother of the sovereign Order of the Ferula; but, by intuition and inspiration, is at once an apothecary, surgeon, and physician. P Hamlet, or village. r A tobacco pouch. t Children.

o Worst, or defeat.

q A part of the entrails.

s Buchan's Domestic Medicine.

u An oath of negation; i. e. in Dr. Hornbook's opinion he has rendered my weapons harmless-they'll kill nobody.

w Yesternight.

y A slight tremulous stroke.

* No matter!

z An oath of negation.

a The stem of Colewort.

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