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THE AULD FARMER'S

NEW-YEAR MORNING SALUTATION

TO

HIS AULD MARE MAGGIE,

ON GIVING HER THE ACCUSTOMED RIPP OF CORN TO HANSEL IN THE NEW

YEAR.

A guid New-year I wish thee, Maggie!
Hae, there's a ripp to thy auld baggie:
Tho' thou's howe-backit, now, an' knaggie,

I've seen the day,
Thou could hae gane like onie staggie

Out-owre the lay.

an'

Tho' now thou's dowie, stiff, crazy,
An' thy auld hide's as white's a daisy,
I've seen thee dappl't, sleek, and glaizie,

A bonnie gray:
He should been tight that daur't to raize thee,

Ance in a day.

Thou ance was i' the foremost rank,
A filly buirdly, steeve, an' swank,
An' set weel down a shapely shank,

As e'er tread yird ;
An' could hae flown out-owre a stank,

Like onie 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 bonnie bride;
An' sweet an' gracefu' she did ride,

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

For sic a pair.

Tho' now ye dow but hoyte and hobble,
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 and skeigh,
An' stable-meals at fairs were dreigh,
How thou wad prance, an' snore, an' skreigh,

An' tak the road!
Town's bodies ran, and stood abeigh,

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 brattle;
But sax Scotch miles thou try't their mettle,

An' gart them whaizle ; Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle

O'saugh or hazel.

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 an' pow'r,
Till spritty knowes wad rair't and risket,

An’slypet owre.

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 ken’d my Maggie wadna sleep

For that, or simmer.

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

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

Thou snoov'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 nurst: They drew me thretteen pund an' twa,

The vera warst.

Monie a sair daurk we twa hae 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 thinkna, my auld, trusty servan', That now perhaps thou's less deservin, An' thy auld days may end in starvin,

For 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 l’ll flit thy tether

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

Wi' sma' fatigue.

TO A MOUSE,

ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH,

NOVEMBER, 1785.

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Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
0, what a panic's in thy breastie !
Thou needna start awa sae hasty,

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

Wi' murdering pattle !

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

Which maks thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion,

An' fellow-mortal!

I doubtna, 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 win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,

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

Baith snell an' keen !

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