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I bear alane my lade o' care, For silent, low, on beds of dust, Lie a' that would my sorrows share.
And last (the sum of a' my griefs!)
The flow'r amang our barons bold,
His country's pride, his country's stay:
For a' the life of life is dead,
The voice of woe and wild despair!
Then sleep in silence evermair! And thou, my last, best, only friend, That fillest an untimely tomb, Accept this tribute from the bard
Thou brought from fortune's mirkest gloom. "In poverty's low barren vale,
Thick mists, obscure, involved me round; Though oft I turn'd the wistful eye,
Nae ray of fame was to be found.
That melts the fogs in limpid air,
Fall in bold manhood's hardy prime!
A day to me so full of woe! O! had I met the mortal shaft
Which laid my benefactor low! "The bridegroom may forget the bride
Was made his wedded wife yestreen; The monarch may forget the crown
That on his head an hour has been;
The mother may forget the child
That smiles sae sweetly on her knee; But I'll remember thee, Glencairn, And a' that thou hast done for me!"
A daimen icker in a thrave
The flaunting flow'rs our gardens yield, 's a sma request :
High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield, I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
But thou, beneath the random bield,
O'clod or stane,
Adorns the histie stibble-field,
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies!
Such is the fate of artless Maid,
Sweet floweret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betray'd,
And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soil'd is laid
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple Bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard, But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
And whelm him o'er!
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n, An' lea'e us nought but grief and pain,
By human pride or cunning driv'n,
To mis’ry's brink,
Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n, Still thou art blest, compard wi' me!
He, rujn'd, siok! The present only toircheth thee:
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate, But, och! I backward cast my e'e
That fate is thine no distant date;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom!
ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH, IN
TAM O' SHANTER.
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flow'r,
Thy slender stem;
Thou bonie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet, The bonie lark, companion meet! Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet,
Wi' spreckled breast,
The purpling east.
Amid the storm,
Thy lender form.
Of Brownyis and of Bogilis full is this Buke,
This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
O Tam! hads't thou but been sae wise,
Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg,
A better never lifted leg,
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire,
Whyles holding fast his guid blue bonnet;
Whyles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet; That ilka melder, wi’ the miller,
Whyles glow'ring round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares ;
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
By this time he was cross the ford,
Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd ;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
And through the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars through the woods ;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll;
When, glimmering through the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze ;
Through ilka bore the beams were glancing :
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippenny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae, we'll face the Devil !
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he car'd na Deil's a boddle.
But Maggie stood right sair astonish’d,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventur'd forward on the light;
And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillion brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He screwed the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof an' rafters a' did dirl.
Coffins stood round like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some devilish cantrip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light,-
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the baly table,
Twa span lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief, new cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomabawks, wi' bluid red-rusted;
Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted ;
Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The grey hairs yet stack to the hef: ;
Three lawyers' tongues turn'd inside out,
As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious,
The dancers quick and quicker flew ;
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark!
Now Tam, O Tam! had they been queans, A' plump and strapping in their teens ; Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen, Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen! Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair, That ance were plush, o' guid blue hair, I wad hae gi'en them aff my hurdies, For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
But Tam kenn'd what was what fu' brawlie,
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie.
But here my Muse her wing maun cow'r;
As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke, When plundering herds assail their byke; As open pussie's mortal foes,
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin! In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin! In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin! Kate soon will be a woefu' woman! Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg, And win the key-stane of the brig; There at them thou thy tail may toss, A running stream they dare na cross. But ere the key-stane she could make, The fient a tail she had to shake! For Nannie, far before the rest, Hard upon noble Maggie prest, And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle; But little wist she Maggie's mettleAe spring brought aff her master hale, But left behind her ain grey tail: The carlin claught her by the rump, And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.
Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read, Ilk man and mother's son take heed: Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd, Or Cutty-sarks run in your mind, Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear, Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.
As I stood by yon roofless tower,
Where the wa'-flower scents the dewy air, Where the howlet mourns in her ivy bower, And tells the midnight moon her care:
The winds were laid, the air was still,
The stars they shot alang the sky; The fox was howling on the hill,
And the distant-echoing glens reply.
The stream, adown its hazelly path,
Whase distant roaring swells and fa's. The cauld blue north was streaming forth
Her lights, wi' hissing eerie din; Athort the lift they start and shift,
Like fortune's favours tint as win.
By heedless chance I turn'd my eyes, And, by the moonbeam, shook, to see A stern and stalwart ghaist arise, Attir'd as minstrels wont to be.
Had I a statue been o' stane,
His darin look had daunted me; And on his bonnet grav'd was plain,
The sacred posy-LIBERTIE!
And frae his harp sic strains did flow, Might rous'd the slumbering dead to hear; But oh it was a tale of woe,
As ever met a Briton's ear!
If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shown! But what he said it was nae play,
A thought ungentle canna be I winna ventur't in my rhymes.
The thought o' Mary Morison.
TUNE_" Bide ye yet." O Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour! Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser's treasure poor: How blithely wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun;
The lovely Mary Morison.
The dance gaed through the lighted ha', To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard nor saw : Though this was fair, and that was braw,
And yon the toast of a' the town, I sigh’d, and said amang them a',
“ Ye are na Mary Morison." O Mary, canst thou wreck his peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die? Or çanst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee?
BONIE LESLEY. O saw ye bonie Lesley
As she gaed o'er the border: She's gane, like Alexander,
To spread her conquests farther. To see her is to love her,
And love but her for ever; For nature made her what she is,
And never made anither! Thou art a queen, fair Lesley,
Thy subjects we, before thee: