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I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!*

I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen ickerb in a thrave©

'S a sma' request;

I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,d

An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to bige a new ane,
O' foggage green!

An' bleak December's winds ensuin,

Baith snell' an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,

An' weary winter comin fast,

An' cozie here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell

Till crash the cruel coulter past

Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,h

To thole the winter's sleety dribble,

An' cranreuch3 cauld!

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But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,a

An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,

On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,

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Epitaph on John Dove, Innkeeper.1

HERE lies Johnie Pigeon;

What was his religion

Whae'er desires to ken,

To some other warl'

Maun follow the carl,

For here Johnie Pigeon had nane!

Strong ale was ablution,

Small beer persecution,

A dram was memento mori;

But a full-flowing bowl

Was the saving his soul,

And port was celestial glory.

8 go oft awry.

'He kept the Whitefoord Arms, in Mauchline, where a Bachelor's Club met.


Epitaph for James Smith.1

LAMENT him, Mauchline husbands a',
He aften did assist ye;

For had ye staid hale weeks awa,

Your wives they ne'er had miss'd ye.

Ye Mauchline bairns, as on ye press
To school in bands thegither,
O tread ye lightly on his grass,-
Perhaps he was your father!

Adam Armour's Prayer.2

GUDE pity me, because I'm little!
For though I am an elf o' mettle,
An' can, like ony wabster's shuttle,
Jink there or here,

Yet, scarce as lang's a gude kail-whittle,
I'm unco queer.

An' now Thou kens our waefu' case;
For Geordie's jurr° we're in disgrace,
Because we stang'dd her through the place,
An' hurt her spleuchan;

For whilk we daurna show our face

Within the clachan,

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An' now we're dern'da in dens and hollows,
And hunted, as was William Wallace,
Wi' constables-thae blackguard fallows,
An' sodgers baith;

But Gude preserve us frae the gallows,
That shamefu' death!

Auld grim black-bearded Geordie's sel'-
O shake him owre the mouth o' hell!
There let him hing, an' roar, an' yell
Wi' hideous din,

And if he offers to rebel,

Then heave him in.


When Death comes in wi' glimmerin blink,
An' tips auld drucken Nanse 1 the wink,
May Sautan gie her doup a clink

Within his yett,


An' fill her up wi' brimstone drink,

Red-reekin het.

Though Jock an' hav'reld Jean 2 are merry-
Some devil seize them in a hurry,

An' waft them in th' infernal wherry

Straught through the lake,

An' gie their hides a noble curry

Wi' oil of aikR!

As for the jurr-puir worthless body!
She's got mischief enough already;
Wi' stangèd hips, and buttocks bluidy,
She's suffer'd sair;

But, may she wintle in a woody,'
If she wh-e mair!

b posteriors.

• oak (i.e., with a cudgel.)

1 Geordie's wife.

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a hoary.


The Jolly Beggars.-A Cantata.1


WHEN lyart leaves bestrow the yird,
Or wavering like the bauckie-bird,2
Bedim cauld Boreas' blast;

When hailstanes drive wi' bitter skyte,"
And infant frosts begin to bite,
In hoary cranreuchd drest;
Ae night at e'en a merry core
O' randie, gangrel bodies,
In Poosie-Nansie's held the splore,
To drink their orra duddies;
Wi' quaffing an' laughing,
They ranted an' they sang,
Wi' jumping an' thumping,
The vera girdle rang,

First, neist the fire, in auld red rags,
Ane sat, weel brac'd wi' mealy bags,
And knapsack a' in order;
His doxy lay within his arm;
Wi' usquebae an' blankets warm
She blinkit on her sodger;
An' aye he gies the tozie drab
The tither skelpin' kiss,

While she held up her greedy gab,
Just like an aumous dish;




• reckless, vagrant. superfluous rags.
h whisky.
i muddled.
1 This immortal poem was partly
given in manuscript by Burns,
rich men give who care not for their
gifts," to one Richmond, in whose
company, in 1785, he had watched a
festival of vagrom men. In 1793,
Burns had forgotten the Cantata, and
kept no copy. Shakespeare was not
more regardless of his works. The
rest of the manuscript was presented
by Burns to a Mr David Woodburn,
without Richmond's part, which has
been added it runs from
Merry-Andrew" to "he's far dafter


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