Immagini della pagina


Lines Written under the Picture of

the Celebrated Miss Burns.1

CEASE, ye prudes, your envious railing,
Lovely Burns has charms-confess:

True it is, she had one failing,

Had a woman ever less?

Epitaph for William Nicol, of the
High School, Edinburgh.2

YE maggots, feed on Nicol's brain,
For few sic feasts you've gotten;
And fix your claws in Nicol's heart,
For deil a bit o't's rotten.

Epitaph for Mr William Michie.

Schoolmaster of Cleish Parish, Fifeshire.
HERE lie Willie Michie's banes,

O Satan, when ye tak him,
Gie him the schulin o' your weans,
For clever deils he'll mak them!

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

that he did not fear the ruffian, but the
line as printed by Lockhart (i. 150)
also shows that a Mr Mitchell, who
tells the story, was unacquainted with
prosody. Nicol is said to have drunk
himself to death. He wrote a letter of
moral remonstrance to Burns during
the Dumfries period: the poet replied
in a tone of irony. Nicol was of low
birth, and it is said that "whenever
low jealousy, trick, or selfish cunning
appeared, his mind kindled to some-
thing like fury or madness."
jealousy' was the mark of his own
behaviour, when, during his tour with
Burns in the Highlands, a Duke asked
Burns to dinner.

[ocr errors]

3 Michie is unknown to fame.

Boat Song.-Hey, Ca' Thro'.1

Up wi' the carls o' Dysart,
And the lads o' Buckhaven,
And the kimmers o' Largo,
And the lasses o' Leven.

Chorus.-Hey, ca' thro', ca' thro',
For we hae muckle ado;
Hey, ca' thro', ca' thro',
For we hae muckle ado.

We hae tales to tell,

An' we hae sangs to sing;
We hae pennies tae spend,
An' we hae pints to bring.
Hey, ca' thro', &c.

We'll live a' our days,

And them that comes behin',

Let them do the like,

An' spend the gear they win.
Hey, ca' thro', &c.

Address to Wm. Tytler, Esq.,
of Woodhouselee.

With an Impression of the Author's Portrait.2

REVERED defender of beauteous Stuart,


Of Stuart, a name once respected;

name, which to love was the mark of a true heart,
But now 'tis despis'd and neglected.

1 In part traditional.

2 Mr Tytler of Woodhouselee wrote a defence of Queen Mary. The poet professes his Jacobite sentiments, and is now sure that his ancestors wore the

white cockade. The lines were sent early in May, 1787, with a copy of Beugo's engraving from Nasmyth's portrait of Burns.


Tho' something like moisture conglobes in my eye,
Let no one misdeem me disloyal;

A poor friendless wand'rer may well claim a sigh,
Still more if that wand'rer were royal.

My fathers that name have rever'd on a throne:
My fathers have died to right it;

Those fathers would spurn their degenerate son,
That name should he scoffingly slight it.

Still in prayers for King George I most heartily join,
The Queen, and the rest of the gentry:

Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine;
Their title's avow'd by my country.

But why of that epocha make such a fuss,
That gave us th' Electoral stem?

If bringing them over was lucky for us,
I'm sure 'twas as lucky for them.

But loyalty truce! we're on dangerous ground;
Who knows how the fashions may alter?
The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound,
To-morrow may bring us a halter!

I send you a trifle, a head of a bard,
A trifle scarce worthy your care;
But accept it, good Sir, as a mark of regard,
Sincere as a saint's dying prayer.

Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eye,
And ushers the long dreary night:

But you, like the star that athwart gilds the sky,
Your course to the latest is bright.

Epigram to Miss Ainslie in Church.1

FAIR maid, you need not take the hint,

Nor idle texts pursue:

'Twas guilty sinners that he meant,
Not Angels such as you.

Burlesque Lament for the Absence of
William Creech, Publisher.2


AULD chuckie Reekie's sair distrest,
Down droops her ance weel burnish'd crest,
Nae joy her bonie buskit nest

Can yield ava,

Her darling bird that she lo'es best-
Willie, 's awa.

O Willie was a witty wight,

And had o' things an unco' sleight,
Auld Reekie aye he keepit tight,

And trig an' braw:

But now they'll busk her like a fright,——
Willie's awa!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


They durst nae mair than he allow'd,
That was a law:

[ocr errors]

We've lost a birkie weel worth gowd;
Willie's awa!


Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks and fools,
Frae colleges and boarding schools,
May sprout like simmer puddock-stools
In glen or shawd;

He wha could brush them down to mools-
Willie, 's awa!

The brethren o' the Commerce-chaumer
May mourn their loss wi' doolfu' clamour;
He was a dictionar and grammar

Among them a';

I fear they'll now mak mony a stammer;
Willie's awa!

Nae mair we see his levee door
Philosophers and poets pour,
And toothy critics by the score,
In bloody raw!

The adjutant o' a' the core-
Willie, 's awa!

Now worthy Gregory's latin face,
Tytler's and Greenfield's modest grace;
M'Kenzie, Stewart, such a brace

As Rome ne'er saw;

They a' maun meet some ither place,
Willie's awa!

Poor Burns ev'n Scotch Drink canna quicken,

He cheeps' like some bewilder'd chicken
Scar'd frae it's minnie and the cleckin,

By hoodie-craw;

Grief's gien his heart an unco kickin,

a fellow.

• dust.

Willie's awa!

b fops and blockheads.


[blocks in formation]
« IndietroContinua »