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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, an’ Seine,
An' cock your crest,
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
By Wallace' side,
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 ;
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 ;
And ca'd it wrang ;
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.
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,
Sic bluidy pranks.
But new-light herds gat sic a cowe,
Ye'll find ane plac'd;
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,
Guid observation they will gie them;
Just i’ their pouch,
I think they'll crouch!
Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter
In logic tulzie,
Than mind sic brulzie.