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An honest man's the noblest work of God.


Has auld K********* seen the Deil?
Or great M******** † thrawn his heel!
Or R****
******* again grown weel,

To preach an' read?
Na, waur than a'!' cries ilka chiel,

· Tam Samson's dead!


lang may grunt an' grane, An' sigh, an’ sab, an' greet her lane, An' cleed her bairns, man, wife, an' wean,

In mourning weed; To death, she's dearly paid the kane,

Tam Samson's dead!

The brethren of the mystic level May hing their head in woefu' bevel,

• When this worthy old sportsman went 'out last mujrfowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, 'the last of bis fields ;' and expressed an ardent wish to die and be buried in the muirs. On this hint the author composed his elegy and epi. taph.

† a certain preacher, a great favourite with the million. Vick the Ordination, stanza II.

Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, who was at that time qiling. For him, see also the Ordination, stanza IX.

While by their nose their tears will revel,

Like ony bead ; Death's gien the lodge an unco devel:

Tam Samson's dead!


When winter muffles up his cloak,
And binds the mire like a rock;
When to the loughs the curlers flock,

Wi' gleesome speed, Wha will they station at the cock?

Tam Samson's dead!

He was the king o' a' the core, To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, Or up the rink like Jehu roar

In time of need; But now he lags on death's hog-score,

Tam Samson's dead!

Now safe the stately sawmont sail, And trouts bedropp'd wi' crimson hail, And eels weel ken’d for souple tail,

And geds for greed, Since dark in death's fish-creel we wail,

Tam Samson's dead!

Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a';
Ye cootie moor-cocks, crousely craw ;
Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw,

Withouten dread;
Your mortal fae is now awa',

Tam Samson's dead!

That woefu' morn be ever mourn'd, Saw him in shootin graith adorn’d, While pointers round impatient burn'd,

Frae couples freed; But, och! he gaed and ne'er return'd!

Tam Samson's dead!

In vain auld age his body batters ; ,
In vain the gout his ankles fetters ;
In vain the burns came down like waters,

An acre braid !
Now ev'ry auld wife, greetin, clatters,

Tam Samson's dead!

Owre many a weary hag he limpit,
An'ay the tither shot he thumpit,
Till coward death behind him jumpit.

Wi’ deadly feide ;
Now he proclaims, wi' tout o' trumpet,

Tam Samson's dead!

When at his heart he felt the dagger, He reeld his wonted bottle-swagger, But yet he drew the mortal trigger

Wi' weel-aim'd heed; 'L-d, five !' he cry'd, an' owre did stagger;

Tam Samson's dead!

Ilk hoary hunter mourn'd a brither ; Ilk sportsman youth bemoan'd a father ; Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather,

Marks out his head, Whare Burns has wrote, in rhyming blether.

Tam Samson's dead!

There low he lies, in lasting rest ; Perhaps upon his mould’ring breast Some spitefu’muirfowl bigs her nest,

To hatch an' breed ; Alas! nae mair he'll them molest!

Tam Samson's dead !

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When August winds the heather wave, And sportsmen wander by yon grave, Three volleys let his mem’ry crave

()'pouther an' lead, Till Echo answer frae her cave,

Tam Samson's dead!

Heav'n rest his saul, whare'er be be!
Is th' wish o'mony mae than me
He had twa faults, or may be three,

Yet what remead ? Ac social, honest man want we :

Tam Samson's dead'


Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies,

Ye canting zealots, spare him! If honest worth in heaven rise,

Ye'll mend or ye win near him,


Go, fame, an' canter like a filly
Thro' a' the streets an' neuks o' Killie, *
Tell ev'ry social, honest billie

To cease his grievin,
For yet, unskaith'd by death's gleg gullie,

Tam Samson's livin.


[The following Poem will, by many readers, be

well enough understood; but for the sake of those who are unacquainted with the manners and traditions of the country where the scene is cast, notes are added, to give some account of the principal charms and spells of that night, so big with prophecy to the peasantry in the west of Scotland. The passion of prying into futurity makes a striking part of the history of human nature in its rude state, in all ages and nations; and it may be some entertainment to a philosophic mind, if any such should honour the author with a perusal, to see the remains of it, among the more unenlightened in our own.]

Yes ! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
The simple pleasures of the lowly train;
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art.


* Killie is a phrase the country.folks sometimes use for Kil. marnock.

+ Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other mischief making beings, are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands; particularly those aërial people, the Fairies, are said on that night, to hold a grand anniversary.

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