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Had I to guid advice but harkit,
My cash account:
While here, half-mad, half-fed, half-sarkit,
I started, mutt'ring, blockhead! coof!
To swear by a' yon starry roof,
Or some rash aith,
That I, henceforth, would be rhyme-proof"
Till my last breath—
When click! the string the snick did draw
An' by my ingle-lowe I saw,
Now bleezin bright,
A tight, outlandish Hizzie, braw,
Come full in sight.
Ye needna doubt, I held my whisht;
In some wild glen;
When sweet, like modest worth, she blusht,
Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs
I took her for some Scottish Muse,
By that same token;
An' come to stop those reckless vows,
Wou'd soon been broken.
A hair-brain'd, sentimental trace,'
Shone full upon her;
Her eye, e'en turn'd on empty space,
Beam'd keen with honour.
Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen;
Could only peer it;
Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean,
Nane else cam near it.
Her mantle large, of greenish hué,
My gazing wonder chiefly drew;
Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling, threw, A lustre grand;
And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,
A well known land.
Here, rivers in the sea were lost;
There, distant shone Art's lofty boast,
The lordly dome.
Here, Doon pour'd down his far-fetch'd floods; There, well fed Irwine stately thuds:
Auld hermit Ayr staw thro' his woods,
On to the shore;
many a lesser torrent scuds,
With seeming roar
Low, in a sandy valley spread,
She boasts a race,
To ev'ry nobler virtue bred,
And polish'd grace.
By stately tow'r or palace fair,
Or ruins pendent in the air,
Bold stems of heroes, here and there,
I could discern;
Some seem'd to muse, some seem'd to dare, With feature stern.
My heart did glowing transport feel,
To see a race' heroic wheel,
And brandish round the deep-dy'd steel
In sturdy blows;
While back-recoiling seem'd to reel
Their suthron foes.
His Country's Saviour2, mark him well!
The chief on Sark+ who glorious fell,
In high command;
And he whom ruthless fates expel
His native land.
There, where a scepter'd Pictish shades
In colours strong;
Bold, soldier-featur'd, undismay'd
They strode along.
Thro' many a wild, romantic grove,
An aged judge, I saw him rove,
With deep-struck reverential awe7
They gave their lore,
This, all its source and end to draw,
Brydone's brave ward I well could spy
Who call'd on fame, low standing by,
Where many a patriot name on high,
And hero shone.
I The Wallaces.
2 William Wallace.
3 Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the immortal preserver of Scottish independence.
4 Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas Earl of Ormond, at the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1448. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct and intrepid valour of the gallant Laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.
5 Coilus, king of the Picts, from whom the district of Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition says, near the family-seat of the Montgomeries of Coil's-field, where his burial-place is still shown.
6 Barskimming, the seat of the Lord Justice Clerk (Miller).
7 Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor, and present Professor Stewart. $ Colonel Fullarton.
WITH musing-deep, astonish'd stare,
When with an elder sister's air
She did me greet.
'All hail! my own inspired bard!
Thus poorly low!
I come to give thee such reward
As we bestow.
'Know, the great genius of this land
Who, all beneath his high command,
As arts or arms they understand,
Their labours ply.
'They Scotia's race among them share; Some fire the soldier on to dare;
Some rouse the patriot up to bare
Some teach the bard, a darling care,
The tuneful art.