Obrázky na stránke

Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
And had sae fortifi'd the part,
That when I looked to my dart,

It was sae blant,
Fient haet o't wad hae pierc'd the heart

Of a kail-runt.

“I drew my scythe in sic a fury, I near hand cowpit wi' my hurry, But yet the bauld Apothecary

Withstood the shock; I might as weel hae try'd a quarry

O'hard whin rock.

« Ev’n them he canna get attended, Altho' their face he ne'er had kennd ít, Just-in a kail-blade, and send it,

As soon's he smells't, Baith their disease, and what will mendit,

At once he tells't.

“And then a' doctor's saws and whittles Of a' dimensions, shapes, an' mettles, A'kind o' boxes, mugs, an' bottles,

He's sure to hae; Their Latin names as fast he rattles

As A BC.

“Calces o' fossils, earth, and trees; True sal-marinum o’ the seas; The farina of beans and peas,

He hast' in plenty; Aqua-fontis, what you please,

He can content ye. “Forbye some new, uncommon weapons, Urinus spiritus of capons ;

[ocr errors]

Or mite-horn shayings, filings, scrapings,

Distill'd per se;
Sal-alkali o' midge-tail-clippings,

And monie mae.
“ Waes me for Johnny Ged's Hole* now,"
Quo' I, “if that the news be true!
His braw calf-ward whare gowans grew,

Sae white and bonie
Nae doubt they'll rive it wi' the pleugh:

They'll ruin Johnny.!" The creature grain'd an eldritch laugh, And says, “Ye need na yoke the pleugh; Kirkyards will soon be till’d eneugh,

Tak ye nae fear:
They'll a' be trench'd wi' monie a sheugh

In twa-three year.
“Whare I kill'd ane a fạir strae death,
By loss o'blood or want o' breath,
This night I'm free to tak my aith,

That Hornbook's skill
Has clad a score i’ their last claith,

By drap an' pill. " An honest Wabster to his trade, Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce well bred, Gat tippence-worth to mend her head,

When it was sair ; The wife slade cannie to her bed,

But ne'er spak mair.

“A countra Laird had taen the batts, Or some curmurring in his guts,

* The grave-digger.

His only son for Hornbook sets,

An' pays him well, The lad, for twa guid gimmer pets,

Was Laird himsel.

"A bonie lass, ye kenn'd her name, Some ill-brewn drink had hov'd her wame; She trusts hersel, to hide the shame,

In Hornbook's care Horn-sent her aff to her lang hame,

To hide it there.

“ That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way Thus goes he on from day to day, Thus does he poison, kill an' slay,

An's well paid fort; Yet stops me o' my lawfu’ prey,

Wi' his d-mn'á dirt:

" But, hark! I'll tell you of a plot, Tho' dinna ye be speaking o't; I'll nail the self-conceited sot,

As dead's a herrin; Niest time we meet, I'll wad a groat,

He gets his fairin!"

But just as he began to tell,
The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell
Some wee short hour ayont the twal,

Which rais'd us haith :
I took the way that pleas'd mysel,

And sae did Death.


Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute blames with

reason; But surely Dreams were ne'er indicted Treason.

[On reading, in the public papers, the Laureat's

Ode, with the other parade of June 4, 1786, the Author was no sooner dropt asleep, than he imagined himself transported to the birth-day levee ; and in his dreaming fancy made the following Address.]

Guid-morning to your Majesty !

May heav'n augment your hlisses,
On every new birth-day ye see,

An humble Poet wishes!
My Bardship here, at your levee,

On sic a day as this is,
Is sure an uncouth sight to see,
Amang thae birth-day dresses

Sae fine this day.

I see ye're complimented thrang,

By monie a lord and lady;
“God save the king !" 's a cuckoo sang

That's unco easy said ay;
The Poets, too, a venal gang,

Wi' rhymes weel-turn'd and ready,
Wad gar ye trow ye ne'er do wrang,
But ay unerring steady,

On sic a day.

For me! before a monarch's face,

Ev’n there I winna flatter;
For neither pension, post, nor place,

Am I your humble debtor;
So, nae reflection on your grace,

Your kingship to bespatter;
There's monie waur been o' the race,
And aiblins ane been better

Than you this day.


"Tis very true, my sov'ring king,

My skill may weel be doubted;
But facts are chiels that winna ding,

An' downa be disputed:
Your royal nest, bencath your wing,

Is een right reft an' clouted,
And now the third part of the string,
An' less, will gang about it

Than did ae day.

Far be't frae me that I aspire

To blame your legislation,
Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire,

To rule this mighty nation!
But, faith! I muckle doubt, my Sire ;

Ye've trusted ministration
To chaps, wha, in a barn or byre,
Wad better fill'd their station

Than courts yon day.

VI. And now ye’ve gien auld Britain peace,

Her broken shins to plaster; Your sair taxation does her fleece,

Till she has scarce a tester;

« PredošláPokračovať »