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An' could hae flown out-owre a stánk,

Like ony bird.

It's now some nine-an-twenty year, Sin thou was my guid father's meere; He gied me thee, o'tocher clear,

An' fifty mark; Tho' it was sma', 'twas weel-won gear,

An' thou was stark.

When first I gaed to woo my Jenny, Ye then was trottin wi' your minnie : Tho' ye was trickie, slee, an' funnie,

Ye ne'er was donsie; But hamely, tawie, quiet, an' cannie,

An' unco sonsie.

That day, ye pranc'd wi' muckle pride,
When ye bure hame my bonny bride :
An' sweet and gracefu' she did ride,

Wi' maiden air !
Kyle Stewart I could bragged wide,

For sic a pair.

Tho' now ye dow but hoyte and hoble,
An' wintle like a saumont-coble,
That day ye was a jinker noble,

For heels an' win'!
An' ran them till they a' did wauble,

Far, far behin'.

When thou an' I were young an' skeigh, An' stable-meals at fairs were dreigh, How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' skreigh,

An' tak the road! Town's bodies ran, an' stood abiegh,

An' ca't thee mad.

When thou was corn't, an' I was mellow, We took the road aye like a swallow : At brooses thou had ne'er a fellow,

For pith an' speed;

But ev'ry tail thou pay't them hollow,

Whare'er thou gaed.

The sma', droop-rumpl't, hunter cattle, Might aiblins waur't thee for a bratile ; But sax Scotch miles thou try't their mettle,

An' gar't them whaizle. Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle

O’ saugh or hazle.

Thou was a noble fittie-lan",
As e'er in tug or tow was drawn!
Aft thee an' I, in aught hours gaun,

On guid March-weather, Hae turn'd sax rood beside our han',

For days thegither.

Thou never braindg't, an' fech't, an' fliskit, But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, An' spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket,

Wi' pith and pow'r, Till spritty knows wad rair't and risket,

An' slypet owres

When frosts lay lang, an' snaws were deep, An' threaten'd labour back to keep, I gied thy cog a wee-bit heap

Aboon the timmer; I kend my Maggie wad na sleep

For that, or simmer.

In cart or car thou never reestit; The steyest brae thou wad hae fac't it; Thou never lap, an' sten't, an' breastit,

Then stood to blaw; But just thy step a wee thing hastit,

Thou snooy't awa.

My pleugh is now thy bairn-time a'; Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw; Forbye sax mae, I've sell’t awa,

That thou hast purst

They drew me thretteen pund an' twa,

The vera warst.

Monie a sair daurk we twa ha wrought,
An' wi’ the weary warl' fought !
An' monie an anxious day, I thought

We wad be beat!
Yet here to crazy age we're brought,

Wi' something yet.

And think na, my auld, trusty seryan', That now perhaps thou's less deservin, An' thy auld days may end in starvin,


my last fou, A heapit stimpart, I'll reserve ane

Laid by for you.

We've worn to crazy years thegither;
We'll toyte about wi' ane anither;
Wi' tentie care I'll flit thy tether,

To some hain'd rig,
Whare ye may nobly rax your leather,

Wisma' fatigue.


On turning up her nest with the plough,

November 1785.

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie !
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,

Wi? murdoring pattle {

I'm truly sorry man's dominion Has broken nature's social union, An' justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle

At me, thy poor earth-born companion,

An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen icker in a thrave

'S a sma' request : I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,

And never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin! Its silly wa's the wins are strewin! An' naething, now, to big a new ane,

O’ foggage green! An' bleak December's winds ensuin,

Baith snell and keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, An' weary winter comin fast, An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell, *Till crash! the cruel coulter past

Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap of leaves an' stibble, Has cost thee mony a weary nibble ! Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,

But house or hald, To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch cauld !

But, mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain :
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men

Gang aft a-gly,
An' lea's us nought but grief and pain,

For promis'd joy.

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But, och! I backward cast my e'e,

On prospects drear!

An' forward, thu' I canna see,

I guess an'.



Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bid the pelting of this pityless storm!
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these?


When biting Boreas, fell and doure, Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r; When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r

Far south the lift, Dim-dark’ning thro' the flaky show'r,

Or whirling drift:

Ae night the storm the steeples rocked, Poor labour sweet in sleep was locked, While burns, wi' snawy wreeths up-choked,

Wild-eddying swirl, Or thro’ the mining outlet bocked,

Down headlong hurl.

List’ning, the doors an' winnocks rattle,
I thought me on the ourie cattle,
Or silly sheep, wha bide this brattle

O' winter war,
And thro' the drift, deep-lairing sprattle,

Beneath a scar.

Ilk happing bird, wee, helpless thing, That, in the merry months a' spring, Delighted me to hear thee sing,

What comes o' thee? Whare wilt thou cow'r thy chittering wing,

An' close thy e'e ? Vol. III.

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