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DEATH AND DOCTOR HORN- I red ye weel, tak care o' skaith,

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See there's a guly!'

'Guidman,' quo' he, 'put up your whittle, I'm no design'd to try its mettle; But if I did, I wad be kittle

To be mislear'd,

I wad na mind it, no, that spittle
Cut 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 while ye hae been mony a gate,
At mony a house.'

Ay, ay!' quo' he, an' shook his head,
'Its een 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 butching bred,
An' mony a scheme in vain's been laid,
To stap or scar me;
Till ane Hornbook 's † taen up the trade,
An' faith, he'll waur me.

'Ye ken Jock Hornbook, i' the Clachan,
Deil mak his king's hood in a spleuchan!
He's grown sae weel acquaint wi' Buchan
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 mony 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 gaen,
I threw a noble throw at ane;
Wi' less, I'm sure, I've hundreds slain;
But deil-ma-care,

It just play'd dirl on the bane,

But did nae mair.

'Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
And had sae fortified the part,
That when I looked to my dart,
It was sae blunt,
Fient haet o't wad hae pierc'd the heart
Of a kail-runt.

'I drew my scythe in sic a fury,

*An epidemical fever was then raging in that country, + 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.

Buchan's Domestic Medicine,
G

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Forbye some new, uncommon weapons,
Urinus Spiritus of capons;
Or Mite-horn shavings, filings, scrapings;
Distill'd per se ;

Sal-alkali o' Midge-tail clippins,
An' mony mae.'

Waes me for Johnny Ged's Hole ✶ now ;'
Quo' I, If that the news be true!
His praw calf-ward where gowans grew,
Sae white an' bonnie,
Nae doubt they'll rive it wi' the plough;
They'll ruin Johnnie!"

The creature grain'd an eldritch laugh, An' says, Ye need na yoke the pleugh, Kirk-yards will soon be till'd eneugh,

Tak ye nae fear; They'll a' be trench'd wi' mony a sheugh In twa-three year.

Whare I kill'd ane a fair strae death, By loss o' blood or want o' breath, This night I'm free to tak my aith,

That Hornbook's skill Has clad a score i' their last claith, By drap an' pill.

'An honest Wabster to his trade,

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Shall he be guilty of their hireling crimes, The servile, mercenary Swiss of rhymes?

Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce weel bred, Or labour hard the panegyric close, Gat tippence-worth to mend her head,

When it was sair;

The wife slade cannie to her bed,

But ne'er spak mair.

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With all the venal soul of dedicating Prose? No! though his artless strains he rudely sings, And throws his hand uncouthly o'er the strings, He glows with all the spirit of the Bard, Fame, honest fame, his great, his dear reward. Still if some Patron's generous care he trace, Skilled in the secret, to bestow with grace; When B befriends his humble name, And hands the rustic stranger up to fame,

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'Twas when the stacks get on their winter hap,

And thack and rape secure the toil-won crap:
Potatoe bings are snugged up frae skaith
Of coming Winter's biting, frosty breath;
The bees rejoicing o'er their simmer toils,
Unnumber'd buds an' flowers' delicious spoils,
Seal'd up with frugal care in massive waxen
piles,

Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er the weak, The death o' devils, smoor'd wi' brimstone reek:

The thundering guns are heard on ev'ry side,
The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide;
The feather'd field-mates, bound by Nature's
tie,

Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie :
(What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds,
And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds!)
Nae mair the flow'r in field or meadow springs:
Nae mair the grove wi' airy concert rings,
Except, perhaps, the Robin's whistling glee,
Proud o' the height o' some bit half-lang tree:
The hoary morns precede the sunny days,
Mild, calm, serene, wide spreads the noontide
blaze,

While thick the gossamour waves wanton in

the rays.

'Twas in that season, when a simple bard,
Unknown and poor, simplicity's reward,
Ae night, within the ancient brugh of Ayr,
By whim inspired, or haply prest wi' care;
He left his bed, and took his wayward route,
And down by Simpson's* wheel'd the left
about:

(Whether impell'd by all-directing Fate
To witness what I after shall narrate;
Or whether rapt in meditation high,
He wander'd out he knew not where nor why),
The drowsy Dungeon-clock,† had number'd two,
And Wallace towert had sworn the fact was

true :

The tide-swoln Firth, with sullen-sounding roar,

Thro' the still night dash'd hoarse along the shore :

All else was hush'd in Nature's closed e'e; The silent moon shone high o'er tow'r and tree: The chilly frost, beneath the silver beam, Crept, gently-crusting, o'er the glittering stream.

When, lo! on either hand the list'ning bard, The clanging sough of whistling wings he heard;

Two dusky forms dart thro' the midnight air, Swift as the Gost drives on the wheeling hare;

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| Ane on th Auld Brig his airy shape uprears,
The ither flutters o'er the rising piers:
Our warlike Rhymer instantly descry'd
The Sprites that owre the Brigs of Ayr preside.
(That Bards are second-sighted is nae joke,
An' ken the lingo of the sp'ritual folk;
Fays, Spunkies, Kelpies, a' they can explain
them,

And ev'n the vera deils they brawly ken them.
Auld Brig appear'd of ancient Pictish race,
The vera wrinkles Gothic in his face :
He seem'd as he wi' Time had warstl❜d lang,
Yet teughly doure, he bade an unco bang.
New Brig was buskit in a braw new coat,
That he, at Lon'on frae ane Adams got;
In's hand five taper staves as smooth's a bead,
Wi' virls and whirlygigums at the head.
The Goth was stalking round with anxious
search,

Spying the time-worn flaws in every arch;
It chanc'd his new-come neebor took his e'e,
And e'en a vex'd an' angry heart had he!
Wi' thieveless sneer to see each modish mien.
He, down the water, gies him thus guide'en-

AULD BRIG.

I doubt na', frien', ye'll think ye're nae sheepshank,

Ance ye were streekit o'er frae bank to bank
But gin ye be a brig as auld as me,
Tho' faith that day I doubt ye'll never see;
There'll be, if that day come, I'll wad a boddle,
Some fewer whigmaleeries in your noddle.

NEW BRIG.

Auld Vandal, ye but show your little mense, Just much about it wi' your scanty sense; Will your poor narrow foot-path of a street, Where twa wheel-barrows tremble when they meet,

Your ruin'd formless bulk, o' stane an' lime, Compare wi' bonnie Brigs o' modern time? There's men o' taste would tak' the Ducat

stream,*

Tho' they should cast the very sark and swim, Ere they would grate their feelings wi' the view Of sic an ugly Gothic hulk as you.

AULD BRIG

Conceited gowk! puff'd up wi' windy pride!
This monie a year I've stood the flood an' tide;
An' tho' wi' crazy eild I'm sair forfairn,
I'll be a Brig when ye're a shapeless cairn!
As yet ye little ken about the matter,
But twa-three winters will inform ye better.
When heavy, dark, continued, a'-day rains,
Wi' deepening deluges o'erflow the plains;
When from the hills where springs the brawl.
i g Coil,

Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil,
O where the Greenock winds his moorland

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A noted ford, just above the Auld Brig. †The banks of Garpal Water is one of the few places

Arous'd by blust'ring winds and spotted thowes, In mony a torrent down his sna-broo rowes; While crashing ice, borne on the roaring speat, Sweeps dams, an' mills, an' brigs, a' to the gate;

And from Glenbuck* down to the Ratton key,†
Auld Ayr is just one lengthen'd tumbling sea;
Then down ye'll hurl, deil nor ye never rise!
And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring
skies,

A lesson sadly teacning, to your cost,
That Architecture's noble art is lost!

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And agonizing, curse the time and place
When ye begat the base, degenerate race!
Nae langer Rev'rend Men, their country's
glory,

In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid story!

Nae langer thrifty Citizens, an' douce,
Meet owre a pint, or in the Council house :
But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless Gentry,
The herryment and ruin of the country;
Men, three parts made by tailors and by bar-
bers,

Wha waste your well-hain'd gear on d- -d new Brigs and Harbours!

NEW BRIG.

Now haud you there! for faith ye've said enough,

And muckle mair than ye can mak to through,

As for your Priesthood, I shall say but little.
Corbies and Clergy are a shot right kittle:
But, under favour o' your langer beard,
Abuse o' Magistrates might weel be spared:
To liken them to your auld warld squad,
I must needs say comparisons are odd.
In Ayr, Wag-wits nae mair can hae a handle
To mouth a Citizen,' a term o' scandal:
Nae mair the Council waddles down the
street

In all the pomp of ignorant conceit;

Men wha grew wise priggin' owre hops an' raisins,

Or gather'd lib'ral views in Bonds and Seisins.
If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp,
Had shored them with a glimmer of his lamp,
And would to Common-sense, for once be-
trayed them,
Plain dull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid

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No guess could tell what instrument appear'd,
But all the soul of Music's self was heard;
Harmonious concert rung in every part,
While simple melody pour'd moving on the
heart.

The Genius of the stream in front appears,
A venerable chief advanced in years;
His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd,
His manly leg with garter tangle bound.
Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring,
Sweet Female Beauty hand in hand with
Spring;
[Joy,
Then, crown'd with flow'ry hay, came Rural
And Summer, with his fervid-beaming eye:
All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn,
Led yellow Autumn wreath'd with nodding

corn; [show, Then Winter's time-bleached locks did hoary By Hospitality with cloudless brow; Next follow'd Courage with his martial stride, From where the Feal wild-woody coverts hide;

Benevolence, with mild benignant air,

A female form, came from the tow'rs of Stair: Learning and Worth in equal measures trode From simple Catrine, their long-lov'd abode : Last, white-rob'd Peace, crown'd with a hazel wreath,

To rustic Agriculture did bequeath

The broken iron instruments of death: At sight of whom our Sprites forgat their kindling wrath.

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