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Then up gat fechtin Jamie Fleck,

An' he swoor by his conscience,

That he could saw hemp-seed a peck;
For it was a' but nonsense:

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HALLOWEEN

The auld guidman raught down the pock,
An' out a handfu' gied him;

Syne bad him slip frae 'mang the folk,
Sometime when nae ane see'd him,
An' try't that night.

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He whistl'd up 'Lord Lennox' March,
To keep his courage cheery;
Altho' his hair began to arch,
He was sae fley'd an' eerie®:
Till presently he hears a squeak,
An' then a grane an' gruntle1;
He by his shouther gae a keek,g
An' tumbled wi' a wintle b

Out-owre that night.

He roar'd a horrid murder-shout,
In dreadfu' desperation!
An' young an' auld come rinnin out,
An' hear the sad narration:
He swoor 'twas hilchin' Jean M'Craw,
Or crouchie Merran Humphie-
Till stop! she trotted thro' them a';
And wha was it but grumphiek
Asteer that night?

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Meg fain wad to the barn gaen,
To winn three wechts o' naething;1
But for to meet the deil her lane,
She pat but little faith in :
She gies the herd a pickle nits,
An' twa red cheekit apples,
To watch, while for the barn she sets,
In hopes to see Tam Kipples
That vera night.

She turns the key wi' cannie thraw,b
An' owre the threshold ventures;
But first on Sawnie gies a ca',
Syne bauldly in she enters:
A ratton rattl'd up the wa',

An' she cry'd L-d preserve her!
An' ran thro' midden-hole an' a',
An' pray'd wi' zeal and fervour,
Fu' fast that night.

They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice;
They hechte him some fine braw ane;
It chanc'd the stack he faddom't thrice
Was timmer-propt for thrawin':
He taks a swirlieg auld moss-oak

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crat.
8 knotty.

d urged.

h let out an oath. J tearing.

third time, an apparition will pass through the barn, in at the windy door, and out at the other, having both the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue, marking the employment or station in life.-R.B.

2 Take an opportunity of going unnoticed to a "bear-stack," and fathom it three times round. The last fathom of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appearance of your future conjugal yoke-fellow.-R.B.

• lively. eddy.

HALLOWEEN

A wanton widow Leezie was,

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As cantie as a kittlen;

But och! that night, amang the shaws,b
She gat a fearfu' settlin!

She thro' the whins, an' by the cairn,
An' owre the hill gaed scrievin©;
Whare three lairds' lan's met at a burn,1
To dip her left sark-sleeve in,

Was bent that night.

Whiles owre a linn the burnie plays,
As thro' the glen it wimpl't;
Whiles round a rocky scard it strays,
Whiles in a wiele it dimpl't;
Whiles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Wi' bickerin, dancin dazzle;
Whiles cookit underneath the braes,
Below the spreading hazel
Unseen that night.

Amang the brachens,g on the brae,
Between her an' the moon,
The deil, or else an outler quey,h
Gat up an' ga'e a crooni

Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hoo!';

Near lav'rock-height she jumpit,

But mist a fit, an' in the pool

1 moan.

Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,

Wi' a plunge that night.

b woods.
⚫ careering.
1 hid.
8 ferns.
I leapt out of its case.

1 You go out, one or more (for this is a social spell), to a south running spring, or rivulet, where "three lairds lands meet," and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to

d bank. hunhoused young cow. *as high as the lark.

dry. Lie awake, and, sometime near midnight, an apparition, having the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it.—R. B.

In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
The luggies1 three are ranged;
An' ev'ry time great care is ta'en
To see them duly changed:
Auld uncle John, wha wedlock's joys
Sin' Mar's-year did desire,

Because he gat the tooma dish thrice,
He heav'd them on the fire,

In wrath that night.

Wi' merry sangs, an' friendly cracks,
I wat they did na weary;

And unco tales, an' funnie jokes—
Their sports were cheap an' cheery:
Till butter'd sowens, wi' fragrant lunt,b
Set a' their gabs a-steerin©;

2

Syne, wi' a social glass o' strunt,d
They parted aff careerin

Fu' blythe that night.

To a Mouse.3

ON TURNING HER UP IN HER NEST WITH THE PLOUGH,
NOVEMBER 1785.

WEE, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie !
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,

Wi' bickering brattle!

⚫ empty. 1 Take three dishes, put clean water in one, foul water in another, and leave the third empty; blindfold a person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are ranged; he (or she) dips the left hand if by chance in the clean water, the future (husband or) wife will come to the bar of matrimony a maid: if in the foul, a widow; if in the empty dish, it foretells, with equal certainty, no marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and every

b steam. • mouths in motion.

d liquor. ⚫ hasty scamper.

time the arrangement of the dishes is altered.-R. B.

2 Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is always the Halloween Supper.-R. B.

The date, November 1785, is the poet's. There is no more beautiful example of sympathy with the beasts. even in the poetry of Burns. His brother Gilbert could point out the place where the mouse was unhoused and made immortal on the spot.

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