« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin' la
Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
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.
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
DEATH AND DR. HORNBOOK.
A TRUE STORY.
[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,
A rousing whid, at times, to vend,
But this that I am gaun to tell,
That e'er he nearer comes oursel
The clachan yillḥ had made me canty,
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 stacher'd' whyles, but yet took tentTM ay
An' hillocks, stanes, and bushes kenn'd ay
The rising moon began to glow'ro
But whether she had three or four,
I was come round about the hill,
To keep me sicker;9
I there wi' something did forgather
A three-taed leister" on the ither
Lay, large an' lang.
Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
And then, its shanks,
They were as thin, as sharp, an' sma'
'Guid-e'en,' quo' I; Friend! hae ye been mawin When ither folk are busy sawin'?z
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.
This rencounter happened in seed-time, 1785.
It seem'd to mak a kind o' stan',
But naething spak,
At length, says I, Friend, whare ye gaun,
It spak right howe My name is death,
Ye're maybe come to stap my breath;
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
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,
Ay, ay!' quo' he, an' shook his head,
An' choke the breath :
Folk maun do something for their bread,
'Sax thousand years are near hand fled
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.
d To counsel, or advise.
raging in that part of the
An monie a scheme in vain's been laid,
Till ane Hornbook 'sn taen up the trade,
'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,
It just play'd dirly on the bane,
But did nae mair.
'Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
Fient haetz o't wad hae pierc'd the heart
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.
y A slight tremulous stroke.
* No matter!
z An oath of negation.
a The stem of Colewort.