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An' whyles twalpennie-worth o' nappieb
Can make the bodies uncoc happy;
They lay aside their private cares,
To mind the kirk and state affairs;
They'll talk o' patronage and priests,
Wi' kindling fury in their breasts,
Or tell what new taxation's comin',
An' ferlied at the folk in Lon❜on.
As bleak-fac'd Hallowmas returns,
They get the jovial, rantin' kirns,e
When rural life o' every station,
Unite in common recreation:
Love blinks, wit slaps, and social mirth,
Forgets there 's care upo' the earth.
That merry day the year begins,
They bar the door on frosty winds;
The nappie reeks wi' mantling ream,5
And sheds a heart-inspiring steam;
The luntin'h pipe, and sneeshin' mill,1
Are handed round wi' right guid will;
The cantiek auld folks cracking crouse,
The young anes ranting thro' the house-
My heart has been sae fainm to see them,
That I for joy hae barkit" wi' them.
Still it's owre true that ye hae said,
Sic game is now owre aften play'd.
There's monie a creditable stock
O' decent, honest, fawsontP folk,
Are riven out baith root and branch,
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench,
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster
In favour wi' some gentle master,
Wha, aiblins, thrang a-parliamentin',
For Britain's guids his saul indentin"-
To foam, or froth.
e The harvest supper.
m Glad, happy.
n Shouted, hallooed.
q Avarice, selfishness.
Making a bargain, or selling his vote for seven years.
Haith," lad, ye little ken about it;
For Britain's guid! guid faith I doubt it:
Say rather, gaunw as Premiers lead him,
An' saying aye or no 's they bid him:
At operas an' plays parading,
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading;
Or maybe, in a frolic daft,
To Hague or Calais takes a waft,
To make a tour, and tak a whirl,
To learn bon ton, an' see the worl'.
There at Vienna or Versailles,
He rives his father's auld entails;
Or by Madrid he takes the rout,
To thrum guitars, an' fecht" wi' nowt;a
Or down Italian vista startles,
Wh-re-hunting among groves o' myrtles:
Then bouses drumlyb German water,
To mak himsel look fair and fatter,
An' clear the consequential sorrows,
Love-gifts of carnival signoras.
For Britain's guid! for her destruction!
Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.
Heche man! dear sirs! is that the gated
They waste sae monie a brawe estate!
Are we sae foughtenf an' harass'd
For gear to gang that gate at last!
O, would they stay aback frae courts, An' please themselves wi' countrag sports, It wad for ev'ry ane be better,
The laird, the tenant, an' the cotter!h
y Divides and squanders.
a Black cattle-in allusion to the
c Oh! strange.
r Mad, foolish. z Fight. Spanish bull-fights. The way. e Larga A Cottager.
For thael frank, rantin', ramblin' billies,*
Fient haet' o' them 's ill-hearted fellows:
Except for breakin' o' their timmer,m
Or speakin' lightly o' their limmer,"
Or shootin' o' a hare or moor-cock,
The ne'er a bit they 're ill to poor folk.
But will you tell me, master Cæsar,
Sure great folk's life 's a life o' pleasure?
Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them,
The very thought o't need na fear them.
L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.
It's true they need na starve or sweat,
Thro' winter's cauld, or simmer's heat;
They 've nae sair wark to craze their banes,
An' fill auld age wi' gripes an' granes:
But human bodies are sic fools,
For a' their colleges and schools,
That when nae real ills perplex them,
They make enow themsels to vex them;
An' ay the less they hae to sturtP them,
In like proportion less will hurt them.
A country fellow at the pleugh,
His acre's till'd, he 's right eneugh;
A country-girl at her wheel,
Her dizzen 's done, she 's unco weel :"
But gentlemen, an' ladies warst,
Wi' ev'ndown want o' wark are curst.
They loiter, lounging, lank, anʼ lazy ;
Tho' deil haet ails them, yet uneasy;
Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless;
Their nights unquiet, lang, an' restless:
An' e'en their sports, their balls, an' races,
Their galloping thro' public places;
A petty oath of negation, n A strumpet, or kept mistress. o Sometimes. p To trouble or molest. q A dozen. * Very happy.
There's sic parade, sic pomp an' ari,
The joy can scarcely reach the heart.
The men cast out in party matches,
Then souther" a' in deep debauches;
Aew night they 're mad wi' drink an' wh-ring,
Niest day their life is past enduring.
The ladies arm-in-arm in clusters,
As great and gracious a' as sisters;
But hear their absent thoughts o' ither,
They're a' run deils an' jades thegither.
Whyles o'er the wee bit cup platie,
They sip the scandal potion pretty:
Or lee-langa nights, wi' crabbit leuks
Pore owre the devil's pictur'd beuks;b
Stake on a chance a farmer's stack-yard,
An' cheat like onie unhang'd blackguard.
There's some exception, man an' woman;
But this is gentry's life in common.
By this, the sun was out o' sight,
An' darker gloaminge brought the night;
The bum-clockd humm'd wi' lazy drone;
The kyee stood routin' i' the loan:f
When up they gat, and shook their lugs,
Rejoic'd they were na men but dogs;
An' each took aff his several way,
Resolv'd to meet some ither day.
Of Brownyls and of Bogilis full is this Buke.
WHEN chapman billiesh leave the street,
And drouthy neebors neebors meet,
y Right-down devils. z Cup and saucer. b Playing cards.
w One. r Next. a Live-long. c Twilight.
d A humming beetle that flies in the summer evenings.
Lowing in the place of milking.
h Hawkers, or pedlars.
As market-days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gath'ring her brows like gath'ring storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he, frae Ayr, aem night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonnie lasses).
O Tam! hadst thou but been sae wise,
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,"
A bleth'ring, blust'ring, drunken blellum;"
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was na sober,
That ilkap melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller:
That every naig was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roaring four on.
That at the L-d's house, ev'n on Sunday,
Thou drank wi' Kirton Jean till Monday.
She prophesy'd, that, late or soon,
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon;
Or catch'd wi' warlockss in the mirk,t
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.
Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,"
To think how monie counsels sweet,
How monie lengthen'd sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises !
i To go their way. n A worthless fellow.
A grist, or small
m One. • A nonsensical, idle-talking fellow p Every.
quantity of corn taken to the mill to be r Drunk. Dark.
s Wizards. Makes me weep.