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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,

Tum Samson's dead !S

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

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 wofu' bevel, While by their nose the tears will revel,

Like ony bead ; Death's gein the lodge an unco devel,

Tam Samson's dead !

When winter mufffes up his cloak, And binds the mire like a rock;

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

+ A certain preacher, a great favourite with the million. Vide the Ordination, stanza II.

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

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 well ken'd for souple tail,

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

Tam Samson dead !

Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a'; Ye cootie moorcocks, crousely craw i 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 ancles fetters; In vain the burns caine 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' aye 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 reel'd 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 !

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

O pouther an’ lead, 'Till echo answer frae her cave,

Tam Samson's dead !

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

Yet what remead?
Ae 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 na. ture 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.

* Killie is a phrase the country-folks sometimes. use for Kilmarnock.


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.


Upon that night, when fairies light,

On Cassilis Do nanst dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,

On sprightly coursers prance ;
Or for Colean the rout is ta’en,

Beneath the moon's pale beams ; There, up the covet, to stray an' rove Amang the rocks and streams

To sport that night.

Amang the bornie, winding banks,

Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear,
Where Bruces ance rul'd the martial ranks,

An' shook the Carrick spear,

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

+ Certain little, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the neighbourhood of the ancient seat of the earls of Cassilis.

| A noted cavern near Colean-house, called the Cove of Colean ; which, as Casilis Dowans, is famed in country story for being a favourite haunt of fairies,

$ The famous family of that name, the ancestors of Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were earls of Carrick.

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