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And eels, weel-ken'd for souple tail,
And geds for greed,

Since, dark in Death's fish-creel, we wail
Tam Samson dead!

Rejoice, ye birring paitricks" a';

Ye cootie muircocks, crouselyd craw;
Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw
Withouten dread;

Your mortal fae is now awa;

Tam Samson's dead!

That woefu' morn be ever mourn'd,
Saw him in shooting graith' adorn'd,
While pointers round impatient burn'd,
Frae couples free'd;

But och he gaed and ne'er return'd!
Tam Samson's dead!

In vain auld age his body batters,
In vain the gout his ancles fetters,
In vain the burns cam down like waters,
An acre braid!

Now ev'ry auld wife, greetin, clatters
"Tam Samson's dead!"

Owre mony a weary hagh he limpit,
An' aye the tither shot he thumpit,
Till coward Death behind him jumpit,
Wi' deadly feid1;

Now he proclaims wi' tout' o' trumpet,
"Tam Samson's dead!"

When at his heart he felt the dagger,
He reel'd his wonted bottle-swagger,
But yet he drew the mortal trigger,

Wi' weel-aimed heed d;

"L-d, five!" he cry'd, an' owre did stagger-
Tam Samson's dead!

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Ilk hoary hunter mourn'd a brither;
Ilk sportsman youth bemoan'd a father;
Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather,
Marks out his head;

Whare Burns has wrote, in rhyming blether,
"Tam Samson's Dead!"

There, low he lies in lasting rest;
Perhaps upon his mould'ring breast
Some spitefu' muirfowl bigs her nest
To hatch an' breed:

Alas! uae mair he'll them molest!

Tam Samson's dead!1

When August winds the heather wave,
And sportsmen wander by yon grave,
Three volleys let his memory crave,
O' pouther an' lead,

Till Echo answer frae her cave,

"Tam Samson's dead!"

Heav'n rest his saul whare'er he be!
Is th' wish o' mony mae than me:
He had twa fauts, or maybe three,
Yet what remead?

Ae social, honest man want we :
Tam Samson's dead!


Tam Samson's weel-worn clay here lies
Ye canting zealots, spare him!
If honest worth in Heaven rise,
Ye'll mend orb ye win near him.


Go, Fame, an' canter like a filly

Thro' a' the streets an' neuks" o' Killie2;

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Tell ev'ry social honest billie

To cease his grievin;

For, yet unskaithed by Death's gleg gullie.*
Tam Samson's leevin!

Epistle to Major Logan.1

HAIL, thairm b-inspirin, rattlin Willie !
Tho' fortune's road be rough an' hilly
To every fiddling, rhyming billie,

We never heed,

But take it like the unback'd filly,

Proud o' her speed.

When, idly goavin," whiles we saunter,
Yirr! fancy barks, awa we canter,
Up hill, down brae, till some mischanter,
Some black bog-hole,

Arrests us; then the scathe an' banter

We're forced to thole.

Hale be your heart! hale be your fiddle!
Lang may your elbuck' jink and diddle,
To cheer you through the weary widdle82
O' this wild warl'.


Until you on a crummock driddle,

A grey hair'd carl.

Come wealth, come poortith1 late or soon,
Heaven send your heart-strings aye in tune,
And screw your temper-pins aboon

(A fifth or mair)

The melancholious, lazy croon

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Ŏ' cankrie care.

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May still your life from day to day,
Nae "lente largo" in the play,
But "allegretto forte" gay,

Harmonious flow,

A sweeping, kindling, bauld strathspey—
Encore! Bravo!

A blessing on the cheery gang
Wha dearly like a jig or sang,
An' never think o' right an' wrang
By square an' rule,

But, as the clegs o' feeling stang,
Are wise or fool.


My hand-waled curse keep hard in chase
The harpy, hoodock, purse-proud race,
Wha count on poortith as disgrace;
Their tuneless hearts,

May fireside discords jar a base
To a' their parts!

But come, your hand, my careless brither,
I' th' ither warl', if there's anither,
An' that there is, I've little switherd

About the matter;

We, cheek for chow, shall jog thegither,
I'se ne'er bide better.

We've faults and failings-granted clearly,
We're frail backsliding mortals merely,
Eve's bonie squad, priests wyte' them sheerly
For our grand fa';

But still, but still, I like them dearly-
God bless them a'!

Ochon for poor Castalian drinkers,
When they fa' foul o' earthly jinkers!

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The witching, curs'd, delicious blinkers
Hae put me hyte,"

And gart me weet my waukrife winkers,


Wi' girnin spite.

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But by yon moon -and that's high swearin-
An' every star within my hearin!

An' by her een wha was a dear ane!

I'll ne'er forget;

I hope to gie the jads a clearin
In fair play yet.

My loss I mourn, but not repent it;
I'll seek my pursie whare I tinta it;
Ance to the Indies I were wonted,
Some cantrip hour
By some sweet elf I'll yet be dinted;
Then vive l'amour!

Faites mes baissemains respectueuses,
To sentimental sister Susie,

And honest Lucky; no to roose1 you,
Ye may be proud,

That sic a couple fate allows ye,
To grace your blood.

Nae mair at present can I measure,
An' trowth my rhymin ware's nae treasure;
But when in Ayr, some half-hour's leisure,
Be't light, be't dark,

Sir Bard will do himself the pleasure
To call at Park.


Mossgiel, 30th October 1786.

⚫ crazy.

d lost.

b sleepless eyes.
• witching.

• angry.
f flatter.

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