Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

a

There at' them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle-
Ae spring brought aff her master hale,
But left behind her ain grey tail :
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

Now, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
Ilk man and mother's son, take heed :
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think, ye may buy the joys o'er dear,
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.

ther than the middle of the next running stream.-It may be proper likewise to mention to the benighted traveller, that when he falls in with bogles, whatever danger may be in his going forward, there is much more hazard in turning back.

[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 passions of prying into futurity makes a striking part of the history ef 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 honor the Author with a perusal, to see the remains of it among the more unenlightened in our own.]

HALLOWEEN*.

Yes ! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
The simple pleasures of the lowly train ;
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art.

Goldsmith.

1.
Upon that night, when fairies light,

On Cassilis Downanst dance,
Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze,

On sprigntly coursers prance;
Or for Colean the rout is taen,

Beneath the moon's pale beams;
There, up the Covet, to stray an' rove
Amang the rocks an' streams

To sport that night.

* Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings, are all abroad on their baneful, midnight errands; particularly those aerial people, the fairies, are said on that night to hold a grand anniversary.

† Certain little, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the neighborhood of the ancient seat of the earls of Cas. silis.

* A noted cavern near Colean-house, called the Cove of Celean; which, as well as Cassilis Downads, is famed in country story for being a favorito hague of fairies.

II.
Among the bonie winding banks,

Where Doon rins, wimplin, clear,
Where Bruce* ance rul'd the martial ranks,

And shook the Carrick spear,
Some merry, friendly, counira fólks,

Together did convene,
To burn their nits, an' pou their stocks,
An' haud their Halloween

Fu'blythe that night.

III.

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, and some wi' gabs,
Gar lasses' bearts gang startin

Whyles fast that night.

IV.
Then first and foremost, thro' the kail,

Their stockst maun a' be sought ance;
They steek their een, an' graip an' wale.

For muckle anes an' straught apes. * The famous family of that name, the ancestors of Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were earls of Carrick.

I 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

Poor hav'rel Will fell aff the drift,

An' wander'd thro' the bow-kail,
An' pow't, for want o' better shift,
A runt was like a sow-tail,

Sae bow't that night.

V.
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 custock's sweet or sour,

Wi' joctelegs they taste them;
Syne coziely, aboon the door,
Wi' cannie care, they've plac'd them

To lie that night.

VI.
The lasses staw frae 'mang them a'

To pou their stalks ocorn ;t
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about,

Behint the muckle thorn:

spells—the husband or wife. If any yird, or earth, stick to the root, that is toucher, or fortune ; and the taste of the custock, that is, the heart of stem, is indicative of the natural temper and disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to give them their ordinary appellation, the runts, are placed somewhere above the hand 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.

† 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 any thing but a maid.

« PredošláPokračovať »