Imagens das páginas

Ramsay an' famous Fergusson Gied Forth an' Tay a lift aboon; Yarrow an' Tweed, to monie a tune,

Owre Scotland rings, "While Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, an' Doon,

Nae body sings.

The' Ilissus, Tiber, Thames, anSeine,
Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line !
But Willie, set your fit to mine,

An' cock your crest,
We'll gar our streams an' burnies shine

Up wi' the best.

We'll sing auld Coila's plains an' fells, Her moors red-brown wi' heather bells, Her banks an' braes, her dens and dells,

Where glorious Wallace Aft bure the gree, as story tells,

Frae southron billies.

At Wallace' name what Scottish blood
But boils up in a spring-tide flood !
Oft have our fearless fathers strode

By Wallace' side,
Still pressing onward, red-wat shod,

Or glorious dy'd.

0, sweet are Coila': haughs an' woods, When lintwhites chant amang the buds, And jinkin hares, in amorous whids,

Their loves enjoy, While thro' the braes the cushat croods

With wailfu' cry

Ev'n winter bleak has charms to me When winds rave thro' the naked tree; Or frosts on hills of Ochiltree

Are boary grey ; Or blinding drifts wild-furious flee,

Dark’ning the day!

O Nature ! a'thy shews an' forms To feeling, pensive hearts hae charms! Whether the summer kindly warms

Wi’ life an’ light, Or winter howls, in gusty storms,

The lang, dark night!

The Muse, nae poet ever fand her, Till by himsel he learn’d to wander, Adown some trotting burn's meander,

An' no think lang ; O sweet, to stray an' pensive ponder

A heart-felt sang !

The warly race may drudge an' drive, Hog-shouther, jundie, stretch, an' strive, Let me fair Nature's face descrive,

An' I, wi' pleasure, Shall let the busy, grumbling hive

Bum owre their treasure,

Fareweel, 'my rhyme-composing brither!' We've been owre lang unkenn'd to ither: Now let us lay our heads thegither,

In love fraternal : May Envy wallop in a tether,

Black fiend, infernal!

While highlandmen hate tolls and taxes; While moorlan' herds like guid fat braxies : While terra firma, on her axis

Diurnal turns, Count on a friend, in faith an' practice,

In Robert Burns.


My memory's no worth a preen ;
I bad amaist forgotten clean,
Ye bade me write you what they mean

By this New-Light,* 'Bout which our herds sae aft bae been

Maist like to fight.

In days when mankind were but callans At grammar, logic, an' sic talents, They took nae pains their speech to balance,

Or rules to gie, But spak their thoughts in plain, braid lallans,

Like you or me.

In thae auld times, they thought the moon. Just like a sark, or pair o'shoon, Wore by degrees, till her last roon,

Gaed past their viewing, And shortly after she was done,

They gat a new one.

• See note, p. 92.

This past for certain, undisputed ;
It ne'er cam i’ their heads to doubt it,
Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it,

And ca'd it wrang ;
An' muckle din there was about it,

Baith loud and lang.

Some herds, weel learn'd upo' the beuk, Wad threap auld folk the thing misteuk; For 'twas the auld moon turn'd a neuk,

An' out o' sight, An' backlins-comin, to the leuk,

She grew mair bright

This was deny'd, it was affirm'd; The herds an' hissels were alarm'd: The rev’rend grey-beards rav'd and storm’d,

That beardless laddies Should think they better were inform’d

Than their auld daddies.

[ocr errors]

Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks ; Frae words an' aiths to clours an' nicks; An' monie a fallow gat his licks,

Wi' hearty crunt; An' some, to learn them for their tricks,

Were hang'd an' brunt.

This game was play'd in monie lands, An' auld-light caddies bure sic hands, That faith the youngsters took the sands

Wi' nimble shanks,
The lairds forbade, by strict commands,

Sic bluidy pranks.

But new-light herds gat sic a cowe,
Folk thought them ruin'd stick-an'-stowe,
Till now amaist on ev'ry knowe,

Ye'll find ane plac'd;
An' some, their new-light fair avow,

Just quite barefac'd.

Nae doubt the auld-light flocks are bleatin ; Their zealous herds are vex'd and sweatin; Mysel, I've even seen them greetin

Wi' girnin spite, To hear the moon sae sadly lie'd on

By word and write.

But shortly they will cowe the louns! Some auld-light herds in neebor towns Are mind 't, in things they ca’ balloons,

To tak a flight, An’ stay a month amang the moons

An' see them right,

[ocr errors]

Guid observation they will gie them;
An' when the auld moon's gaun to lea'e them,
The hindmost shaird, they'll fetch it wi' them,

Just i’ their pouch,
An' when the new-light billies see them,

I think they'll crouch!

Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter
Is naething but a 'moonshine matter;'
But though dull prose-folk Latin splatter

In logic tulzie,
I hope we bardies ken some better

Than mind sic brulzie.

« AnteriorContinuar »