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An' when you think upo' your Mither,
Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail
To tell my Master a' my tale;
An' bid him burn this cursed tether,
This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head, An' clos'd her een amang the dead.
POOR MAILIE'S ELEGY.
LAMENT in rhyme, lament in prose,
Past a' remead;
The last sad cape-stane o' his woes;
Poor Mailie's dead!
It's no the loss o' warl's gear,
That could sae bitter draw the tear,
Or mak our bardie, dowie, wear
The mourning weed:
Thro' a' the toun she trotted by him;
A friend mair faithfu' ne'er cam nigh him,
I wat she was a sheep o' sense,
Thro' thievish greed.
Our bardie, lanely, keeps the spence
Or, if he wanders up the howe,
Comes bleating to him, owre the knowe,
For bits o' bread;
An' down the briny pearls rowe
For Mailie dead.
She was nae get o' moorland tips,
Wae worth the man wha first did shape
O, a' ye bards on bonnie Doon!
O' Robin's reed!
His heart will never get aboon
His Mailie dead.
TO JAMES SMITH,
Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul!
DEAR SMITH, the sleest, paukie thief,
Owre human hearts;
For ne'er a bosom yet was prief
Against your arts.
I swear by sun and moon,
Just gaun to see you;
An' ev'ry ither pair that's done,
Mair taen I'm wi' you.
That auld capricious carlin, Nature,
And in her freaks, on ev'ry feature,
Just now I've taen the fit o' rhyme,
Wi' hasty summon:
Fae ye a leisure-moment's time
To hear what's comin?
Some rhyme, a neebor's name to lash;
An' raise a din;
For me, an aim I never fash;
I rhyme for fun.
The star that rules my luckless lot,
An' damn'd my fortune to the groat;
Has blest me wi' a random shot
This while my notion's taen a sklent,
Something cries, 'Hoolie!
I red you, honest man, tak tent!
Ye'll shaw your folly.
'There's ither poets, much your betters,
Now moths deform in shapeless tetters,
Then fareweel hopes o' laurel-boughs,
To garland my poetic brows!
Henceforth I'll rove where busy ploughs
Are whistling thrang,
An' teach the lanely heights an' howes
My rustic sang.
I'll wander on, wi' tentless heed
I'll lay me wi' th' inglorious dead,
Forgot and gone!
But why o' death begin a tale?
And large, before enjoyment's gale
Let's tak the tide.
This life, sae far's I understand,
Is a' enchanted fairy land,
Where pleasure is the magic wand,
That, wielded right,
Maks hours like minutes, hand in hand,
Dance by fu' light.
The magic wand then let us wield;
For, ance that five-an'-forty's speel'd,
See crazy, weary,
W' wrinkl'd face,
Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field,
Wi' creepin pace.
When ance life's day draws near the gloamin,
Then fareweel vacant careless roamin;
An' fareweel chearfu' tankards foamin,
An' social noise;
An' fareweel dear deluding woman,
The joy of joys!