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Or shootin o' a hare or moor-cock,
The ne'er a bit they're ill to poor folk.
But will ye tell me, Master Cæsar,
Sure great folk's life 's a life o' pleasure !
Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them,
The vera thought o't need na fear them.
L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.
It's true, they need na starve or sweat,
Thro' winter's cauld, or simmer's heat;
They've nae sair wark to craze their banes,
An' fill auld age with grips an' granes :
But human bodies are sic fools,
For a' their colleges and schools,
That when nae real ills perplex them,
They mak enow themsels to vex them;
the less they hae to sturt them,
In like proportion less will hurt them;
A country fellow at the pleugh,
His acres tillid, he's right enough;
A country girl at her wheel,
Her dizzens done, she's unco weel :
But gentlemen, an' ladies warst,
Wi' ev’ndown want o' wark are curst.
They loiter, lounging, lank, an' lazy;
Tho' deil haet ails them, yet uneasy ;
Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless:
Their nights unquiet, lang, an' restless ;
An' ev'n their sports, their balls, an' races,
Their galloping through public places.
There's sic parade, sic pomp, an’art,
The joy can scarcely reach the heart.
The men cast out in party matches,
Then sowther a' in deep debauches :
Ae night they're mad wi' drink an'
Niest day their life is past enduring.
The ladies arm-in-arm in clusters,
As great and gracious a' as sisters ;
But hear their absent thoughts o'ither,
They're a run deils an' jads thegither.
Whyles, o'er the wee bit cup an' platie,
They sip the scandal potion pretty;
Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks
Pore owre the devil's pictur'd beuks ;
Stake on a chance a farmer's stackyard,
An' cheat like onie unhang'd blackguard.
There's some exception, man an' woman; But this is Gentry's life in common.
By this, the sun was out o' sight,
An' darker gloaming brought the night:
The bum-clock humm’d wi' lazy drone;
The kye stood rowtin i' the loan;
When up they gat, and shook their lugs,
Rejoic'd they were na men but dogs;
An' each took aff his several way,
Resolv’d to meet some ither day.
O THOU! whatever title suit thee,
Auld Hornie, Satan, Nick, or Clootie,
Wha in yon cavern grim an' sootie,
Clos'd under hatches,
Spairges about the brunstane cootie,
To scaud poor wretches !
Hear me, auld Hangie, for a wee,
An' let poor damned bodies be;
I'm sure sma' pleasure it can gie,
E'en to a deil,
To skelp an' scaud poor dogs like me,
An' hear us squeel!
Great is thy pow'r, an' great thy fame;
Far kend and noted is thy name;
An' tho' yon lowin heugh's thy hame,
Thou travels far;
An' faith! thou's neither lag nor lame,
Nor blate nor scaur.
Whyles, ranging like a roarin lion,
For prey, a' holes an' corners tryin ;
Whyles on the strong-wing'd tempest flyin,
Tirling the kirks;
Whyles, in the human bosom pryin,
Unseen thou lurks.
I've heard my reverend Graunie say,
In lanely glens ye like to stray;
Or where auld-ruin'd castles, gray,
Nod to the moon,
Ye fright the nightly wand'rer's way,
Wi' eldritch croon.
When twilight did my Graunie summon,
her prayers, douce, honest woman! Aft yont the dyke she's heard you bummin,
Wi' eerie drone ; Or, rustlin, thro' the boortries comin,
Wi' heavy groan.
Ae dreary, windy, winter night,
The stars shot down wi' sklentin light,
Wi' you, mysel, I gat a fright,
Ayont the lough;
Ye, like a rash-bush stood in sight,
Wi' waving sugh.
The cudgel in my nieve did shake,
Each bristl'd hair stood like a stake,
When wi' an eldritch stour, quaick-quaick-
Amang the springs,
Awa ye squatter'd, like a drake,
On whistling wings.
Let warlocks grim, an' wither'd hags,
Tell how wi' you on ragweed nags,
They skim the muirs, an' dizzy crags,
Wi' wicked speed; And in kirk-yards renew their leagues,
Owre howkit dead.
Thence countra wives, wi' toil an' pain,
May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain;
For, oh! the yellow treasure's taen
By witching skill;
An' dawtit, twal-pint Hawkie's gaen
As yell's the Bill.
Thence mystic knots mak great abuse,
On young Guidman, fond, keen, an crouse ;
When the best wark-lume i' the house,
By cantrip wit,
Is instant made no worth a louse,
Just at the bit.
When thowes dissolve the
snawy An' float the jinglin icy-boord, Then Water-kelpies haunt the foord,
By your direction, An' nighted trav'llers are allur'd,
To their destruction.
An' aft your moss-traversing Spunkies
Decoy the wight that late an' drunk is :
The bleezin, curst, mischievous monkeys
eyes, VOL. VI.