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But, faith the birkie wants a manse,
So, cannily he hums them;
At times that day.
Wi' yill-caup commentators :
An' there the pint stowp clatters ; While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang,
Wi' logic, an' wi' scripture, They raise a din, that, in the end, Is like to breed a rupture
O' wrath that day.
Than either school or college :
It pangs us fou o' knowledge.
Or ony stronger potion,
By night or day.
To mind baith saul an' body,
An' steer about the toddy.
They're making observations ; While some are cozie i' the neuk, An' formin assignations
To meet some day:
Till a'the hills are rairin,
Black ****** is na spairin:
His piercing words, like Highlan swords,
Divide the joints an' marrow; His talk o'h-ll, whare devils dwell, Our vera sauls does harrow*
Wi' fright that day.
Fill'd fou o'lowin brunstane,
Wad melt the hardest whun-stane! The half asleep start up wi' fear,
An' think they hear it roarin, When presently it does appear, 'Twas but some neebor snorin
Asleep that day.
How monie stories past,
When they were a' dismist :
Amang the furms and benches; An' cheese an' bread, frae women's laps, Was dealt about in lunches,
An' dawds that day.
An' sits down by the fire,
The lasses they are shyer.
Frae side to side they bother,
Fu' lang that day.
* Shakspeare's Hamlet,
Or lasses that hae naething !
Or melvie his braw claithing! o, wives, be mindfu', ance yoursel,
How bonie lads ye wanted, An' dinna, for a kebbuck-heel, Let lasses be affronted
On sic a day!
Begins to jow an' croon;
Some wait the afternoon.
Till lasses strip their shoon :
For crack that day,
O sinners and o' lasses !
As saft as ony flesh is.
There's some are fou o brandy;
Some ither day.
DEATH AND DOCTOR HORNBOOK
A TRUE STORY.
Some books are lies frae end to end,
In holy rapture,
A rousing whid, at times, to vend,
And nail't wi' scripture.
But this that I am gaun to tell,
Or Dublin city :
'S a muckle pity.
The Clachan yill had made me canty,
To free the ditches;
Frae ghaists an' witches.
The rising moon began to glowr
I set mysel;
I cou'd na tell.
I was come round about the hill,
To keep me sicker;
I took a bicker.
I there w' something did forgather,
Lay, large an’ lang.
Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
And then its shanks,
As cheeks o' branks.
“Guid-een,” quo' I;" friend ! hae ye been mawin,
But naething spak;
Will ye go back ?"
It spak right howe,-“My name is Death,
But tent me, billie ;
See there's a gully!"
“Gudeman,” quo' he, “put up your whittle,
To be mislear'd,
Out-owre my beard."
“ Weel, weel!" says I,“ a bargain be't; Come, gies your hand, an' sae we're greet; We'll ease our shanks an' tak a seat,
Come, gies your news ; This whilet ye hae been mony a gate
At mony a house."
quo' he, an’ shook his head, “ It's e'en a lang, lang time indeed Sin I began to nick the thread,
An' choke the breath : Falk maun do something for their bread,
An' sae maun Death.
“ Sax thousand years are near hand fled
To stap or scar me;
* This rencounter happened in seed time, 1785.
+ An epidemical fever was then raging in that country.