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When by the plate we set our nose,
Weel heaped up wi' ha'pence,
A greedy glowr black-bonnet throws,
An' we maun draw our tippence.
Then in we go to see the show:
On ev'ry side they're gath'rin;

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Some carrying dails, some chairs an' stools,
An' some are busy bleth'rin

Right loud that day.

Here stands a shed to fend the show'rs,
An' screen our countra gentry;
There 'Racer Jess,' an' twa-three wh-res,
Are blinkin at the entry.
Here sits a raw o' tittlind jads,

Wi' heaving breast an' bare neck;
An' there a batch o' wabster lads,
Blackguarding frae Kilmarnock,
For fun this day.

Here some are thinkin on their sins,
An' some upo' their claes;
Ane curses feet that fyl'd his shins,
Anither sighs an' prays:

On this hand sits a chosen swatch,'
Wi' screw'd-up, grace-proud faces;
On that a set o' chaps, at watch,
Thrang winkin on the lasses

To chairs that day.

O happy is that man, an' blest!

Nae wonder that it pride him!

Whase ain dear lass, that he likes best,
Comes clinkin down beside him!

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THE HOLY FAIR

Wi' arm repos'd on the chair back,
He sweetly does compose him;
Which, by degrees, slips round her neck,
An's loof upon her bosom,

Unkend that day.

Now a' the congregation o'er
Is silent expectation;

For Moodie1 speels the holy door,
Wi' tidings o' damnation2:
Should Hornie, as in ancient days,
'Mang sons o' God present him,
The vera sight o' Moodie's face,
To 's ain het hame had sent him
Wi' fright that day.

Hear how he clears the points o' Faith
Wi' rattlin and wi' thumpin!
Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
He's stampin, an' he's jumpin!
His lengthen'd chin, his turned-up snout,
His eldritch squeel an' gestures,

O how they fire the heart devout,
Like cantharidian plaisters

On sic a day!

But hark! the tent has chang'd its voice
There's peace an' rest nae langer;

For a' the real judges rise,

They canna sit for anger,

Smith & opens out his cauld harangues,

On practice and on morals;

An' aff the godly pour in thrangs,
To gie the jars an' barrels

⚫ palm.

A lift that day.

b climbs.

1 Rev. Alexander Moodie of Riccarton, called "Sawnie" in the MS. version.

2 "Salvation" in MS. and first

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edition. The improvement was sug gested by Dr Blair.

8 Rev. George (subsequently Dr) Smith of Galston. Geordie" in the

MS.

What signifies his barren shine,
Of moral powers an' reason?1
His English style, an' gesture fine
Are a' clean out o' season.
Like Socrates or Antonine,

Or some auld pagan heathen,
The moral man he does define,
But ne'er a word o' faith in

That's right that day.

In guid time comes an antidote
Against sic poison'd nostrum ;
For Peebles, 2 frae the water-fit,
Ascends the holy rostrum:
See, up he's got the word o' God,
An' meek an' mima has view'd it,
While Common-sense has taen the road,
An' aff, an' up the Cowgate3

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Fast, fast that day.

Wee Miller neist the guard relieves,
An' Orthodoxy raibles,

Tho' in his heart he weel believes,

An' thinks it auld wives' fables:
But faith! the birkie wants a manse,
So, cannilie he hums them;
Altho' his carnal wit an' sense

Like hafflins-wised o'ercomes him
At times that day.

Now butt an' ben the change-house fills,
Wi' yill-caupe commentators;
Here's cryin out for bakes' and gills,
An' there the pint-stowp clatters;

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THE HOLY FAIR

While thick an' thrang, an' loud an' lang,
Wi' logic an' wi' scripture,
They raise a din, that in the end

Is like to breed a rupture

O' wrath that day.

Leeze me on drink! it gies us mair
Than either school or college;
It kindles wit, it waukens lear,
It pangs us fou o' knowledge:
Be't whisky-gill or penny wheep,
Or ony stronger potion,

It never fails, on drinkin deep,
To kittle up our notion,

By night or day.

The lads an' lasses, blythely bent
To mind baith saul an' body,1
1
Sit round the table, weel content,
An' steer about the toddy:

On this ane's dress, an' that ane's leuk,
They're makin observations;

While some are cozie i' the neuk,

An' forming assignations

To meet some day.

But now the L-'s ain trumpet touts,
Till a' the hills are rairin,d

And echoes back return the shouts;
Black Russell is na sparin:

His piercin words, like Highlan'2 swords,
Divide the joints an' marrow;

His talk o' Hell, whare devils dwell,

Our vera

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"6 sauls does harrow" 8

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1 "Their lowin drouth to quench," rhyming with "punch" in fourth line. (MS.)

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A vast, unbottom'd, boundless pit,
Fill'd fou o' lowina brunstane,
Whase raging flame, an' scorching heat,
Wad melt the hardest whun-stane !
The half-asleep start up wi' fear,
An' think they hear it roarin;
When presently it does appear,
'Twas but some neibor snorin
Asleep that day.

"Twad be owre lang a tale to tell,
How mony stories past;
An' how they crouded to the yill,b
When they were a' dismist;

How drink gaed round, in cogs an' caups,
Amang the furms an' benches;

An' cheese an' bread, frae women's laps,
Was dealt about in lunches

An' dawds that day.

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In comes a gawsie,d gash guidwife,

An' sits down by the fire,

Syne draws her kebbuck' an' her knife;
The lasses they are shyer:

The auld guidmen, about the grace,
Frae side to side they bother;

Till some ane by his bonnet lays,

An' gies them't, like a tether,

Fu' lang that day.

Waesucks! for him that gets nae lass,
Or lasses that hae naething!
Sma' need has he to say a grace,
Or melvie his braw claithing!

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