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While one as innocent regards
A snug and friendly game at cards;
And one, whatever you may say,
Can see no evil in a play ;
Some love a concert, or a race;
And others shooting, and the chase.
Reviled and loved, renounced and followevi,
Thus, bit by bit, the world is swallowed;
Each thinks his neighbor makes too free,
Yet likes a slice as well as he;
With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten.



WILLIAM COW PER BETWEEN Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,

The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,

To which the said spectacles ought to belong.

So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause

With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning; While chief baron Ear sat to balance the laws,

So famed for his talent in nicely discerning. In behalf of the Nose it will quickly appear,

And your lordship, he said, will undoubtedly find, That the Nose has had spectacles always to wear,

Which amounts to possession time out of mind. Then holding the spectacles up to the court

Your lordship observes they are made with a straddle As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,

Designed to sit close to it, just like a saddle. Again, would your lordship a moment suppose

('Tis a case that has happened, and may be again) That the visage or countenance had not a nose,

Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then? On the whole it appears, and my argument shows,

With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose,

And the Nose was as plainly intended for them.

Then shifting his side (as a lawyer knows how),

He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes;
But what were his arguments few people know,

For the court did not think they were equally wise.

So his lordship decreed with a grave solemn tone,

Decisive and clear, without one if or but-
That, whenever the Nose put his spectacles on,

By daylight or candlelight—Eyes should be shut !



O Thou, wha in the heavens dost dwell,
Wha, as it pleases best thysel,
Sends ane to heaven, and ten to hell,

A’ for thy glory,
And no for ony guid or ill

They've done afore thee!

I bless and praise thy matchless might,
When thousands thou hast left in night,
That I am here, afore thy sight,

For gifts an' grace,
A burnin' an'a shinin' light

To a' this place.

• Kennedy gives the following account of the origin of " Holy Willie's Prayer:"--Gavin Hamilton, Esq., Clerk of Ayr, the Poet's friend and benefactor, was accosted one Sunday morning by a mendicant, who begged alms of bim. Not recollecting that it was the Sabbath, Hamilton set the man to work in his garden, which lay on the public road, and the poor fellow was discovered by the people on their way to the kirk, and they immediately stoned him from the ground. For this offense, Mr. Hamilton was not permitted to have a child christened, which his wife bore him soon afterward, until he applied to the synod. His most officious opponent was William Fisher, one of the elders of the church : and to revenge the insult to his friend, Burns made him the subject of this humorous ballad.

What was I, or my generation,
That I should get sic exaltation!
I, wha deserve sic just damnation,

For broken laws,
Five thousand years 'fore my creation,

Thro' Adam's cause.

When frae my mither's womb I fell,
Thou might hae plung'd me into hell,
To gnash my gums, to weep and wail,

In burnin' lake,
Whare damned devils roar and yell

, Chain'd to a stake.


Yet I am here a chosen sample;
To show thy grace is great and ample;
I'm here a pillar in thy temple,

Strong as a rock,
A guide, a buckler, an example

To a' thy flock.

[OL-d, thou kens what zeal I bear, When drinkers drink, and swearers swear, And singing there, and dancing here,

Wi' great and sına'; For I am keepit by thy fear,

Free frae them a'.]


But yet, 0 L-d! confess I must,
At times I'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust;
And sometimes, too, wi' warldly trust,

Vile self gets in;
But thou remembers we are dust,

Defil'd in sin.

May be thou lets this fleshly thorn
Beset thy servant e'en and morn,
Lest he owre high and proud should turn,

'Cause he's sae gifted; If sae, thy han' maun e'en be borne,

Until thou lift it.

—d, bless thy chosen in this place,
For here thou hast a chosen race:
But G-d confound their stubborn face,

And blast their name, Wha bring thy elders to disgrace

And public shame.

Ld, mind Gawn Hamilton's deserts,
He drinks, and swears, and plays at cartes,
Yet has sae mony takin' arts,

Wi' great and sma', Frae G-d's ain priests the people's hearts

He steals awa'.

An' whan we chasten'd him therefore,
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore,
As set the warld in a roar

O' laughin' at us;
Curse thou his basket and his store,

Kail and potatoes.

1-d, hear my earnest cry and pray'r,
Against the presbyt'ry of Ayr;
Thy strong right hand, L-d, mak' it bare

Upo' their heads,
L-d, weigh it down, and dinna spare,

For their misdeeds.

OL-d my G-d, that glib-tongu'd Aiken,
My very heart and saul are quakin',
To think how we stood groanin', shakin',

And swat wi' dread,
While Auld wi' hinging lip gaed snakin',

And hid his head.

1-d, in the day of vengeance try him, Ld, visit them wha did employ him, And pass not in thy mercy by 'em,

Nor hear their pray'r; But for thy people's sake destroy 'em,

And dinna spare.

But, 1—d, remember me and mine,
Wi' mercies temp'ral and divine,
That I for gear and grace may shine,

Excell’d by nane,
An' a' the glory shall be thine,

Amen, Amen!


Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay

Taks up its last abode;
His saul has ta'en some other way,

I fear, the left-hand road.

Stop! there he is, as sure 's a gun,

Poor, silly body, see him; Nae wonder he's as black 's the grun

Observe wha's standing wi' him!

Your brunstane devilship, I see,

Has got him there before ye;
But haud your nine-tail cat a wee,

Till ance ye've heard my story.

Your pity I will not implore,

For pity ye hae nane!
Justice, alas ! has gi'en him o'er,

And mercy's day is gane.

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