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Heav'n rest his saul, whare'er he be!
Ae social honest man want we:
Tam Samson's dead!
TAM SAMSON's weel-worn clay here lies,
Go, fame, an' canter like a filly
To cease his grievin,
For yet, unskaith'd by death's gleg gullie,
1 When this worthy old sportsman went out last muirfowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, the last of his fields;' and expressed an ardent wish to die and be buried in the muirs. On this hint the author composed his elegy and epitaph.
2 A certain preacher, a great favourite with the million. Vide the Ordination, stanza IX.
3 Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, who was at that time ailing. For him, see also the Ordination, stanza IX.
4 Killie is a phrase the country-folks sometimes use for Kilmarnock.
YES! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
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 passion of prying into futurity makes a striking part of the history of 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 honour the author with a perusal), to see the remains of it, among the more unenlightened in our own.
UPON that night, when fairies light
To sport that night.
Amang the bonnie winding banks
Where Bruce ance rul'd the martial ranks,
To burn their nits, an' pou their stocks,
An' haud their Halloween
Fu' blythe that night.
The lasses feat, an' cleanly neat,
Then first and foremost, thro' the kail,
An' wander'd through the bow-kail,
Sae bow't that night.
Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,
Wi' cannie care, they place them
The lasses staw frae' mang them a'
When kiuttlin in the fause-house 7
The auld guidwife's weel-hoordet nits &
An' monie lads' and lasses' fates
Are there that night decided:
Jean slips in twa, wi' tentie ee;
He bleez'd owre her, an' she owre him,
To see't that night.
Poor Willie, wi' his bow-kail runt,
Mall's nit lap out wi' pridefu' fling,
While Willie lap, an' swoor by jing, 'Twas just the way he wanted
To be that night.
Nell had the fause-house in her min',
Unseen that night.