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Their lot auld Scotland ne'er envies,
But blythe and frisky,
She eyes her free-born, martial boys
Tak aff their whisky.
What tho' their Phoebus kinder warms,
While fragrance blooms and beauty charms!
Or hounded forth, dishonour arms
In hungry droves :
gun 's a burden on their shouther;
Till skelp-a shot!-they're aff a' throwther,
But bring a Scotsman frae his hill,
An' there's the foe,
He has nae thought but how to kill
Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings tease him;
An' when he fa's,
His latest draught o' breathin' lea'ese him
Sages their solemn een may steek,
All pell-mell, or in confusion. d A gill of Highland whisky.
An' physically causes seek,
In clime an' season;
But tell me whisky's name in Greek,
Scotland, my auld respected Mither!
(Freedom and Whisky gang thegither!)
THE sun had clos'd the winter day,
To kail-yards green,
While faithless snaws ilk step betray
The thresher's weary flingin-treer
And whan the day had clos'd his e'e,
Far i' the west,
Ben i' the spencet right pensivelie,
There, lanely, by the ingle-cheek,"
h Sometimes. i Crops. k Lose your urine. Burns was not so much the votary of Bacchus as this and 'Scotch Drink,' the preceding poem, would lead the reader to suppose. When Auld Nanse Tinnock,' the Mauchline landlady, found her name celebrated in this poem, she said, Robin Burns may be a clever enough lad, but he has little regard to truth; for I'm sure the chiel was never in a' his life aboon three times i' my house.'
m Duan, a term of Ossian's for the different divisions of a digressive poem. See his Cath-Loda. n A game on the ice.
r A fail. Fire-side.
That fill'd, wi' hoast-provoking smeek,
The auld clay biggin ;
An' heard the restless rattons squeak
All in this mottie, misty clime,
But stringin' blethers up in rhyme,
Had I to guid advice but harkit,b
I started, mutt'ring, blockhead! coof!
Or some rash aith,8
That I, henceforth, would be rhyme proof
Till my last breath
When click! the string the snickh did draw;
An' by my ingle lowel I saw,
Now bleezin' bright,
A tight, outlandish Hizzie, braw,
Come full in sight.
Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht;m
z Full of motes. Hearkened. c Wrote.
y Building. a Foolish or romantic ideas.
d Badly provided with shirts.
e Ninny. fThick or clumsy hand. g Oath.
The latch of a door.
i Flame of the fire.
I glow'r'd as eerie 's I'd been dush't"
In some wild glen;
When sweet, like modest Worth, she blusht,
Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs
By that same token;
An' come to stop those reckless vows,
Wou'd soon been broken.
A hair-brain'd sentimental trace,'
Shone full upon her;
Her eye, ev'n turn'd on empty space,
Beam'd keen with Honour.
Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen,p
And such a leg! my bonnie Jean
Could only peerr it;
Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean,
Nane else came near it.
Her mantle large, of greenish hue,
My gazing wonder chiefly drew;
Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling, threw
And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,
A well known land.
Here, rivers in the sea were lost;
There, mountains to the skies were tost;
With surging foam;
o Into the parlour.
n Stared frightfully, as if I had been suddenly pushed, or attacked by an ox. PA bright, or shining tartan, or chequered woollen stuff, much worn in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands.
There, distant shone Art's lofty boast,
The lordly dome.
Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods
And many a lesser torrent scuds,
With seeming roar.
Low, in a sandy valley spread,
She boasts a race,
To ev'ry nobler virtue bred,
And polish'd grace.
By stately tow'r 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,
My heart did glowing transport feel,
To see a racew heroic wheel,
And brandish round the deep-dy'd steel
While back-recoiling seem'd to reel
Their Suthron foes.
His Country's Saviour, mark him well;
To make a loud continued noise.
u Stole. w The Wallaces. r William Wallace. y Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the inmortal preserver of Scottish Independence.
2 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.