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Heav'n rest his saul, whare'er he be!
Yet what remead?
Tam Samson's dead!
Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies,
Ye canting zealots, spare him!
Ye'll mend or ye win near him.
Go, fame, an' canter like a filly
To cease his grievin,
Tam Samson's livin.
I When this worthy old sportsman went out last muirfowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, “the last of his fields ;' and expressed an ardent wish to die and be buried in the muirs. On this hint the author composed his elegy and epitaph.
? A certain preacher, a great favourite with the million. Vide the Ordination, stanza IX.
3 Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, who was at that time ailing. For him, see also the Ordination, stanza IX.
+ Killie is a phrase the country-folks sometimes use for Kilmarnock. HALLOWEEN'.
Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
The following poem will, by many readers, be well enough understood;
but for the sake of those who are unacquainted with the manners and traditions of the country where the scene is cast, notes are added, to give some account of the principal charms and spells of that night, so big with prophecy to the peasantry in the west of Scotland. The passion of prying into futurity makes a striking part of the history of human nature in its rude state, in all ages and nations; and it may be some entertainment to a philosophic mind (if any such should honour the author with a perusal), to see the remains of it, among the more unenlightened in our own.
Upon that night, when fairies light
On Cassilis Downans? dance,
On sprightly coursers prance;
Beneath the moon's pale beams;
To sport that night.
Amang the bonnie winding banks
Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear,
An' shook his Carrick spear,
Together did convene,
Fu' blythe that night.
The lasses feat, an' cleanly neat,
Mair braw than when they're fine; Their faces blythe, fu' sweetly kythe,
Hearts leal, an' warm, an' kin': The lads sae trig, wi' wooer-babs,
Weel knotted on their garten, Some unco blate, an' some wi' gabs, Gar lasses' hearts gang startin
Whiles fast at night.
Then first and foremost, thro’ the kail,
Their stocks5 maun a' be sought ance; They steek their een, an' graip an' wale,
For muckle anes an' straught anes.
An’ wander'd through the bow-kail,
Sae bow't that night.
Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar an' cry a'throu’ther; The vera wee things, todlin, rin
Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther; An' gif the custoc's sweet or sour,
Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
To lie that night.
The lasses staw frae' mang them a'
their stalks o' corno;
Behint the muckle thorn:
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses;
Wi' him that night.
The auld guidwife's weel-hoordet nits 8
Are round an' round divided, An' monie lads' and lasses' fates
Are there that night decided : Some kindle, couthie, side by side,
An'burn thegither trimly; Some start awa wi' saucy pride, And jump out-owre the chimlie
Fu' high that night.
Jean slips in twa, wi' tentie ee;
Wha 'twas, she wadna tell; But this is Jock, and this is me,
She says in to hersel : He bleez'd owre her, an' she owre him,
As they would never mair part; Till fuff! he started up the lum, An' Jean had e'en a sair heart
To see't that night.
Poor Willie, wi' his bow-kail runt,
Was brunt wi' primsie Mallie,
To be compar'd to Willie:
An' her ain fit it brunt it; While Willie lap, an' swoor by jing, 'Twas just the way he wanted
To be that night.
Nell had the fause-house in her min',
She pits hersel an' Rob in;
Till white in ase they're sobbin:
She whisper'd Rob to leuk fort: Rob, stowlins, prie'd her bonnie mou, Fu' cozie in the neuk for't,
Unseen that night.