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Trig her house, and oh! to busk aye

Ilk sweet bairn was a' her pride! But at this time News and Whisky

Sprang nae up at ilk road-side. Luckless was the hour when Willie,

Hame returning frae the fair, O'er-took Tam, a neighbour billie,

Sax miles frae their hame and mair; Simmer's heat had lost its fury;

Calmly smil'd the sober e'en; Lasses on the bleachfield hurry

Skelping bure-foot o'er the green; Labour

rang with laugh and clatter,
Canty hairst was just begun,
And on mountain, tree, and water,

Glinted saft the setting sun.
Will and Tam, with hearts a' lowping,

Marked the hale, but could nae bide;
Far frae hame, nae time for stopping;

Baith wished for their ain fire-side: On they travelled, warm and drouthy,

Cracking o'er the news in town; The mair they crack'd, the mair ilk youthy

Prayed for drink to wash news down. Fortune, wha but seldom listens

To poor merit's modest prayer, And on fools heaps needless blessins,

Harkened to our drowthy pair. In a howm, whase bonnie burnie

Whimperin rowed its crystal flood, Near the road, whar trav’llers turn aye,

Neat and bield a cot-house stood;

White the wa's, wi' roof new theekit,

Window-broads just painted red; Lown ’mang trees and braes it reekit,

Haflins seen and haflins hid;

Up the gavel-end thick spreading

Crap the clasping ivy green,
Back owre, firs the high craigs cleading,

Rais'd a' round a cozey screen;
Down below, a flowery meadow

Join'd the burnie's rambling line;Here it was, that Howe, the widow,

This same day set up her sign. Brattling down the brae, and near its

Bottom, Will first mary'ling sees “ Porter, Ale, and British Spirits,"

Painted bright between twa trees.
« Godsake! Tam, here's walth for drinking;

Wha can this new-comer be?”
Hoot,” quo' Tam," there's drouth in thinking-

Let's in, Will, and syne we'll see.”
Nae mair time they took to speak or

Think of ought but reaming jugs; Till three times in humming liquor

Ilk lad deeply laid his lugs. Slockened now, refreshed and talking,

In cam Meg (weel skilled to please) “ Sirs ! ye're surely tyr'd wi' walking;

Ye maun taste my bread and cheese." “ Thanks," quo' Will ;-" I canna tarry,

Pick-mirk night is setting in,
Jean, poor thing's! her lane and eery-

I maun to the road and rin,"

“ Hoot !" quo' Tam, " what's a' the hurry?

Hame's now scarce a mile o' gateCome! sit down-Jean winna wearie:

Lord! I'm sure it's no sae late!

Will, o'ercome wi' Tam's oration,

Baith fell to, and ate their fill“ Tam!” quo' Will, “ in mere discretion

We maun hae the widow's gill.” After ae gill cam anither

Meg sat cracking 'tween them twa, Bang! cam in Mat Smith and's brither,

Geordie Brown and Sandie Shaw.

Neighbours wha ne'er thought to meet here,

Now sat down wi double glee, Ilka gill grew sweet and sweeter!

Will gat hame 'tween twa and three. Jean, poor thing! had lang been greetin';

Will, next morning, blamed Tam Lowes, But ere lang, a weekly meetin'

Was set up at Maggie Howe's.


Maist things hae a sma' beginning,

But wha kens how things will end? Weekly clubs are nae great sinning,

If fouk hae enough to spend. But nae man o’sober thinking

E'er will say that things can thrive, If there's spent on weekly drinking,

What keeps wife and weans alive. II.


Drink maun aye hae conversation,

Ilka social soul allows;
But, in this reforming nation,

Wha can speak without the News ?
News, first meant for state physicians,

Deeply skill'd in courtly drugs;
Now, when a' are politicians,

Just to set fouk by the lugs.-
Maggie's club, wha could get nae light

On some things that should be clear,
Found ere lang the fault, and ae night

Clubbed and got the Gazetteer.*
Twice a week to Maggie's cot-house,

Swith! by post the papers fled!
Thoughts spring up like plants in hot-house,

Every time the news are read.
Ilk ane's wiser than anither,

Things are no ga'en right," quo' Tam;
“ Let us aftener meet thegither;

Twice a week's no worth a d-n.”
See them now in grave Convention,

To mak a' things “square and even;"
Or at least wi' firm intention,

To drink sax nights out o’ seven.
Mid this sitting up and drinking,

Gathering a' the news that fell;
Will, wha was nae yet past thinking,

Had some battles wi' himsell.
On ae hand, drink's deadly poison

Bare ilk firm resolve awa';
On the ither, Jean's condition

Rave his very heart in twa. * The Edinburgh Gazetteer, a violent opposition papers published in


Weel he saw her smothered sorrow !

Weel he saw her bleaching check ! Marked the smile she strave to borrow,

When, poor thing, she could nae speak ! Jean, at first, took little heed o'

Weekly clubs ’mang three or four, Thought, kind soul ! that will had need o'

Heartsome hours whan wark was owre.

But whan now that nightly meetings

Sat and drank frae sax till twa; Whan she faund that hard-earned gettings

Now on drink ware thrown awa;

Saw her Will, wha ance sae cheerie

Raise ilk morning wi' the lark, Now grown mauchless, dowf and sweer aye

To look near his farm or wark;

Saw him tyne his manly spirit,

Healthy bloom, and sprightly ee; And o' love and hame grown wearit,

Nightly frae his family flee;Wha could blame her heart's complaining ?

Wha condemn her sorrows meek? Or the tears that now ilk e'ening

Bleached her lately crimsoned cheek ! Will, wha lang had rued and swithered,

(Aye ashamed of past disgrace) Marked the roses as they withered

Fast on Jeanie's lovely face! Marked,-and felt wi' inward racking

A' the wyte lay on himsell, — Swore next night he'd mak a breaking,

D-d the club and News to hell!

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