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In spite o' crowds, in spite o' mobs,
In spite o' undermining jobs,

In spite o' dark banditti stabs

At worth an' merit,

By scoundrels, even wi' holy robes,
But hellish spirit.

O Ayr! my dear, my native ground,
Within thy presbyterial bound
A candid liberal band is found
Of public teachers,

As men, as christians too, renown'd,
An' manly preachers.

Sir, in that circle you are nam'd;
Sir, in that circle you are fam'd;
An' some, by whom your doctrine's blam'd
(Which gies you honour)

Even, sir, by them your heart's esteem'd,
An' winning manner.

Pardon this freedom I have ta’en,
An' if impertinent I've been,

Impute it not, good sir, in ane

Whase heart ne'er wrang'd ye,

But to his utmost would befriend
Ought that belang'd yc.


Second Epistle to Davie.1



I'm three times doubly o'er your debtor,
For your auld-farrant, frien❜ly letter;

Tho' I maun say't, I doubt

ye flatter, Ye speak sae fair;

For my puir, silly, rhymin clatter

Some less maun sair.b

Hale be your heart, hale be your fiddle,
Lang may your elbuck jink an' diddle,
To cheer you thro' the weary widdled
O' war❜ly cares;

Till bairns' bairns kindly cuddle

Your auld grey hairs.

But Davie, lad, I'm red ye're glaikitR;
I'm tauld the muse ye hae negleckit;
An' gif it's sae, ye sud be lickit

Until ye fyke;

Sic haun's as you sud ne'er be faikit,h

Be hain't wha like.

For me, I'm on Parnassus brink,

Rivin' the words to gar them clink;

Whiles dazed wi' love, whiles dazed wi' drink,

Wi' jads or masons;

An' whiles, but aye owre late, I think

Braw sober lessons.

Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man,
Commen' to me the bardie clan n;

old-fashioned, pawky. b serve.

• afraid you're foolish.

I saved up.

c elbow.

{ beaten.

& fidget.

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j tearing.

d strugglo.

h dispensed with.

Sillar printed this in an edition of his own poems, 1789.

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Nae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' livin,
Nae cares to gie us joy or grievin,

But just the pouchie put the neive in,

An' while ought's there,

Then, hiltie, skiltie, we gae scrievin,b

An' fash nae mair.

Leeze me ond rhyme! it's aye a treasure,
My chief, amaist my only pleasure;
At hame, a-fiel', at wark, or leisure,


The muse, poor hizzie!
Tho' rough an' raploch be her measure,
She's seldom lazy.

Haud to the muse, my daintie Davie:
The warl' may play you mony a shavie1;
But for the muse, she'll never leave ye,
Tho' e'er sae puir,

Na, even tho' limpin wi' the spavie

Frae door to door.

Song. Young Peggy Blooms.1

Tune-"Loch Eroch-side."

YOUNG Peggy blooms our boniest lass,
Her blush is like the morning,

The rosy dawn, the springing grass,
With early gems adorning.

never a bit.

4 commend me to.

bhelter skelter we go careering.

1 Peggy was a Miss Kennedy, a kinswoman of Gavin Hamilton's wife. She did not marry "the highly favoured

• trouble. f trick. youth," and was unfortunate in a life closed by an early death. (Chambers.)


Her eyes outshine the radiant beams
That gild the passing shower,
And glitter o'er the crystal streams,
And cheer each fresh'ning flower.

Her lips, more than the cherries bright,
A richer dye has graced them;
They charm th' admiring gazer's sight,
And sweetly tempt to taste them;
Her smile is as the evening mild,
When feather'd pairs are courting,
And little lambkins wanton wild,
In playful bands disporting.

Were Fortune lovely Peggy's foe,
Such sweetness would relent her;
As blooming spring unbends the brow
Of surly savage Winter.
Detraction's eye no aim can gain,
Her winning pow'rs to lessen;
And fretful Envy grins in vain
The poison'd tooth to fasten.

Ye Pow'rs of Honour, Love, and Truth,
From ev'ry ill defend her!
Inspire the highly-favour'd youth
The destinies intend her:

Still fan the sweet connubial flame
Responsive in each bosom ;
And bless the dear parental name
With many a filial blossom.

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Song-Farewell to Ballochmyle.1

THE Catrine woods were yellow seen,
The flowers decay'd on Catrine lee,
Nae lav'rock sang on hillock green,
But nature sicken'd on the e'e.
Thro' faded groves Maria sang,

Hersel' in beauty's bloom the while;
And aye the wild-wood echoes rang,
Fareweel the braes o' Ballochmyle!

Low in your wintry beds, ye flowers,
Again ye'll flourish fresh and fair;
Ye birdies dumb, in with'ring bowers,
Again ye'll charm the vocal air.
But here, alas! for me nae mair

Shall birdie charm, or floweret smile;
Fareweel the bonie banks of Ayr,

Fareweel, fareweel! sweet Ballochmyle!

Fragment-Her Flowing Locks.2

HER flowing locks, the raven's wing,
Adown her neck and bosom hing;
How sweet unto that breast to cling,
And round that neck entwine her!

Her lips are roses wat wi' dew,
O, what a feast her bonie mou'!
Her cheeks a mair celestial hue,
A crimson still diviner!

1 Maria is Miss Whitefoord, daughter of Whitefoord of Ballochmyle, who was ruined by the failure of the Ayr Bank, referred to in St Ronan's Well.

2 If Miss Whitefoord is the heroine, she may well have admired the audacity of the singer.

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