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Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn
If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne,
Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace
Lord, mind Gaw'n Hamilton's deserts; He drinks, an' swears, an' plays at cartes, Yet has sae mony takin arts,
Wi' great and sma',
Frae God's ain priest the people's hearts He steals awa.
An' when we chasten'd him therefor,
An' set the warld in a roar
O' laughing at us;
Curse Thou his basket and his store,
Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r,
Against that Presbyt'ry o' Ayr;
Thy strong right hand, Lord, make it bare Upo' their heads;
Lord visit them, an' dinna spare,
For their misdeeds.
O Lord, my God! that glib-tongu'd Aiken,
While he, wi' hingin lip an' snakin,
Held up his head.
Lord, in Thy day o' vengeance try him, Lord, 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, An' dinna spare.
But, Lord, remember me an' mine
Wi' mercies temp'ral an' divine,
EPITAPH ON HOLY WILLIE
HERE Holy Willie's sair worn clay
His saul has ta'en some other way,
Stop! there he is, as sure's a gun,
Nae wonder he's as black's the grun,
Your brunstane devilship, I see,
Your pity I will not implore,
Justice, alas! has gi'en him o'er,
But hear me, Sir, deil as ye are,
A coof like him wad stain your name,
A TRUE STORY
ware lies frae end to end,
Asag whid at times to vend,
this that I am gaun to tell, Which lately on a night befell, 's just as true's the Deil's in hell Or Dublin city:
That e'er he nearer comes oursel' 'S a muckle pity.
The clachan yill had made me canty,
I stacher'd whiles, but yet took tent aye
An' hillocks, stanes, an' bushes, kenn'd aye
The rising moon began to glowre
But whether she had three or four,
I was come round about the hill,
To keep me sicker;
I there wi' Something did forgather,
An' awfu' scythe, out-owre ae shouther,
A three-tae'd leister on the ither
Lay, large an' lang.
Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
The queerest shape that e'er I saw,
For fient a wame it had ava;
And then its shanks,
They were as thin, as sharp an' sma’
"Guid-een," quo' I; "Friend! hae ye been mawin,
It seem'd to make a kind o' stan',
At length, says I, "Friend! whare ye gaun?
It spak right howe,-"My name is Death,
But tent me, billie;
I red ye weel, tak care o' skaith,
See, there's a gully!"
"Gudeman," quo' he, "put up your whittle,
But if I did, I wad be kittle
To be mislear'd;
I wad na mind it, no that spittle
Out-owre my beard."
"Weel, weel!" says I, "a bargain be't;
Come, gie's your hand, an' sae we're gree't;
Come, gie's your news;
This while ye hae been mony a gate,
1 This rencontre happened in seed-time, 1785.—R. B. 2 An epidemical fever was then raging in that country.-R. B.
"Ay, ay!" quo' he, an' shook his head,
An' choke the breath:
Folk maun do something for their bread,
"Sax thousand years are near-hand fled
Till ane Hornbook's3 ta'en up the trade,
"Ye ken Jock Hornbook i' the clachan,
The weans haud out their fingers laughin,
"See, here's a scythe, an' there's a dart,
Has made them baith no worth a f―t,
""Twas but yestreen, nae farther gane,
It just play'd dirl on the bane,
But did nae mair.
"Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
3 This gentleman, Dr. Hornbook, is professionally a brother of the sovereign Order of the Ferula; but, by intuition and inspiration, is at once an apothecary, surgeon, and physician.-R. B. 4 Buchan's Domestic Medicine.-R. B.