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Like dawted wean, that tarrows at his meat,
Jenny. Hey, “ Bonny lass o’ Branksome!" ort' Le lang
Peggy. Yes, it's a heartsome thing to be a wife,
Dialogue on marriage.
Jenny. But poortith, Peggy, is the warst of a', Gif o'er your heads ill-chance should begg'ry draw, But little love or canty cheer can come Frae duddy doublets, and a pantry toom. Your nowt may die ;-.the spate may bear away Frae aff the howms your dainty rucks o' hay. The thick-blawn wreaths o' snaw, or blashy thow's, May smoor your wathers, and may rot your ewes. A dyvour buy's your butter, woo, and cheese, But, or the day o' payment, breaks, and flees: Ili gloomin' brow, the laird seeks in his rent; It's no to gie ; your merchant's to the bent : His honour mauna want; he poinds your gear: Syne, driven frae house an hald, where will ye steer? Dear Meg, be wise, and live a single life; Troth, it's nae mow's to be a married wife,
Peggi'. May sic ill luck befa' that silly she Wha has sic fears, for that was never me. Let fouk bode weel, an' strive to do their best : Nae mair's required ; let Heav'n mak out the rest. I've heard my honest uncle aften say, That lads should a' for wives that's virtuous pray: For the maist thrifty man could never get A weel-stored room, unless his wife wad let: Wherefore nocht shall be wanting on my part, To gather wealth to raise my shepherd's heart; Whate'er he wins, I'll guide wi' canny care,
Dialogue on Marriage.
And win the vogue at market, tron, or fair,
Jenny. But what if some young giglet on the green,
Peggy. Nae mair o' that-Dear Jenny, to be free,
Dialogue on marriage.
An' soon as he flings by his plaid an' staff,
. A dish o' married love right soon grows cauld, An' dosens down to nane, as fouk grow auld.
Pessi'. But we'll grow auld thegither, and ne'er find
Jenny. I've done-1 yield, dear lassie, 1 maun yield; Your better sense has fairly won the field, With the assistance of a little fae Lies darn'd within my breast this mony a day.
- The Gentle Shepherd.
NOTE I. --The Cotter's Saturday Vight. Page 113. Gilbert Burns gives the following distinct accouni of the origin of this poem :
“Robert had frequently remarked to me that he thought there was something peculiarly venerable in the phrase, . Let us worship God!! used by a decent, sober head of a family, introducing family-worship. To this sentiment of the author the world is indebied for The Cotter's Saturday Night.' When Robert had not some pleasure in view in which I was not thought fit to participate, we used frequently to walk tgäther, when the weather was favourable, on the Sunday afternoons, those precious breathing-times to the labouring part of the community, and enjoyed such Sundays as would make one regret to see their number abridged. It was in one of these walks that I first had the pleasure of hearing th: author repeat 'The Cotter's Saturday Night.' I do not recollect to have read or heard any. thing by which I was more highly electrified. The filth and sixth stanzas, and the eighteenth, thrilled with peculiar ecstasy through my soul. The cotter, in the ‘Saturday Night,' is an exact copy of my father in his manners, his family devotion, and exhortations ; yet the other parts of the description do not apply to our family. None of us were ‘at service out among the farmers roun'. Instead of our depositing our "sair-won penny-fee' with our parents, my father laboured hard, and lived with the most rigid economy, that he might be able to keep his children at home, thereby having an opportunity of watching the progress of our young minds, and forming in them early habits of piety and virtue; and from this motive alone did he engage in farming, the source of all his difficulties and distresses."
NOTE 2.-Halloveen. Page 121. The first ceremony of Halloween is pulling each a stock or plant of kail. They must go out, hand-in-hand, with eyes shut, and pull the first they meet with; its being big or little, straight or crooked, is prophetic of the size and shape of the grand object of all their spells-the husband or wise. If any yird, or earth, stick to the root, that is tocher, or fortune, and the taste of the custoc--that is, the heart of the stem --is indicative of the natural temper and disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to give then their ordinary appellation, the runts, are placed somewhere above the head of the door; and the Christian names of the people whom chance brings into the house, are, according to the priority of placing the runts, the names in question. --B.
Page 125. They go to the barn-yard and pull each, at three several times, a stalk of oats. If the third stalk wants the top pickle--that is, the grain at the top of the stalk --the party in question will come to the marriage-bed anything but a maid.-B.
When the corn is in a doubtful state, by being too green or wet, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, etc., makes a large apartment in his stack, with an opening in the side which is fairest exposed io the wind : this he calls a fause-house. --B.
Burning the nuts is a famous charm. They name the lad and lass to each particular nut as they lay them in the fire, and accordingly as they burn quietly together, or start from beside one another, the course and issue of the courtship will be.-B.
Page 126. Whoever would, with success, try this spell, must strictly observe these directions :-Steal out, all alone, to the kiln, and darkling throw into the pot a clue of blue yarn; wind it in a new clue of the old one; and, towards the latter end, something will hold the thread; demand "Wha hauds?"-ie. who holds! An answer will be returned from the kiln-pot, by naming the Christian and surname of your future spouse. -B.
Page 127 Take a candle, and go alone to a looking-glass; eat an apple before it, and some traditions say you should comb your hair all the time; the face of your conjugal companion to be, will be seen in the glass, as if peeping over your shoulder.-B.
Page 129. Steal out unperceived, and sow a handful of hemp seed, harrowing it with anything you can conveniently draw after you. Repeat now and then, “* Hemp-seed, I saw thee; hemp seed, I saw thee; and him (or her) that is to be my true love, come after me and pou thee." Look over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance of the person invoked, in the attitude of pulling hemp. Some traditions say, “Come after me and shaw thee," that is, show thyself; in which case it simply appears. Others omit the harrowing, and say, “Come after me and harrow thee."--B.
Page 130. This charm must likewise be performed unperceived and alone. You go to the barn, and open both doors, taking them off the hinges, if possible, for there is danger that the being about to appear may shut the doors, and do you some mischief. Then take that instrument used in winnowing the corn, which in our country dialect we call a wecht; and go through all the attitudes of letting down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times; and the third time an apparition will pass through the barn, in at the windy door, and out at the other, having both the figure in question and the appearance of retinue marking the employment or station in life.--B.
Take an opportunity of going unnoticed to a bean-stack, and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time you will catch in your arms the appearance of your future conjugal yoke-fellow.-B.
Page 131. Vou go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to a south-running spring or rivulet, where three lairds' lands meet," and dip your left shirt-sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to dry. Lie awake; and sometime near midnight an apparition having the exact figure of the grand object in question will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it.-B.
Page 132. Take three dishes; put clean water in one, foul water in another, leave the third empty: blindfold a person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are ranged; he (or she) dips the left hand; if by chance in the clean water, the future husband or wife will come to the bar of matrimony a maid; if in the foul, a widow; if in the empty dish, ii foretells, with equal certainty, no marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and every time the arrangement of the dishes is altered.-B.