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He's always compleenin frae mornin to eenin,
He boasts and he hirples" the weary day lang;
He's doylt and he's dozin,d his blude it is frozen,—
O dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man!
He's doylt and he's dozin, his blude it is frozen,
O dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man.

He hums and he hankers, he frets and he cankers,
I never can please him do a' that I can;
He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellows,-
O doole on the day I met wi' an auld man!
He's peevish an' jealous o' a' the young fellows,
O dool on the day I met wi' an auld man.

My auld auntie Katie upon me taks pity,

I'll do my endeavour to follow her plan;
I'll cross him an' wrack him, until I heartbreak him
And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan,
I'll cross him an' wrack him, until I heartbreak him,
And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan.

The Posie.1

O LOVE will venture in where it daur na weel be seen,
O luve will venture in where wisdom ance has been;
But I will doun yon river rove, amang the wood sae green,
And a' to pu' a Posie to my ain dear May.

The primrose I will pu', the firstling o' the year,
And I will pu' the pink, the emblem o' my dear;

For she's the pink o' womankind, and blooms without a



And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.


• crazed.

d powerless.


1 Words for an air sung by Mrs Burns.


I'll pu' the budding rose, when Phoebus peeps in view,
For it's like a baumy kiss o' her sweet, bonie mou;
The hyacinth's for constancy wi' its unchanging blue,
And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

The lily it is pure, and the lily it is fair,
And in her lovely bosom I'll place the lily there ;
The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air,

And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

The hawthorn I will pu', wi' its locks o' siller gray,
Where, like an aged man, it stands at break o' day;
But the songster's nest within the bush I winna tak away
And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

The woodbine I will pu', when the e'ening star is near,
And the diamond draps o' dew shall be her een sae clear;
The violet's for modesty, which weel she fa's to wear,
And a' to be a Posie to my ain dear May.

I'll tie the Posie round wi' the silken band o' luve,
And I'll place it in her breast, and I'll swear by a' above,
That to my latest draught o' life the band shall ne'er remove,
And this will be a Posie to my ain dear May.

On Glenriddell's Fox Breaking
His Chain.1

A Fragment, 1791.

THOU, Liberty, thou art my theme;
Not such as idle poets dream,
Who trick thee up a heathen goddess
That a fantastic cap and rod has;
Such stale conceits are poor and silly;
I paint thee out, a Highland filly,

1 A Fragment in the manner of Prior, and other fabulists of the Eighteenth Century. "The Whigs of Sparta" had not much to do with

the defeat of Xerxes, "that abandoned Tory."

First published in 1874 from the Glenriddell MS.

A sturdy, stubborn, handsome dapple,
As sleek's a mouse, as round's an apple,
That when thou pleasest canst do wonders;
But when thy luckless rider blunders,
Or if thy fancy should demur there,
Wilt break thy neck ere thou go further.

These things premised, I sing a Fox,
Was caught among his native rocks,
And to a dirty kennel chained,
How he his liberty regained.

Glenriddell! a Whig without a stain, A Whig in principle and grain,

Could'st thou enslave a free-born creature, A native denizen of Nature?

How could'st thou, with a heart so good, (A better ne'er was sluiced with blood) Nail a poor devil to a tree,

That ne'er did harm to thine or thee?

The staunchest Whig Glendriddell was, Quite frantic in his country's cause; And oft was Reynard's prison passing, And with his brother-Whigs canvassing The Rights of Men, the Powers of Women, With all the dignity of Freemen.

Sir Reynard daily heard debates

Of Princes', Kings', and Nations' fates,
With many rueful, bloody stories
Of Tyrants, Jacobites, and Tories:
From liberty how angels fell,
That now are galley-slaves in hell;
How Nimrod first the trade began
Of binding Slavery's chains on Man;
How fell Semiramis-G-d d-mn her!
Did first, with sacrilegious hammer,
(All ills till then were trivial matters)
For Man dethron'd forge hen-peck fetters;


How Xerxes, that abandoned Tory,
Thought cutting throats was reaping glory,
Until the stubborn Whigs of Sparta
Taught him great Nature's Magna Charta;
How mighty Rome her fiat hurl'd
Resistless o'er a bowing world,
And, kinder than they did desire,
Polish'd mankind with sword and fire;
With much, too tedious to relate,
Of ancient and of modern date,
But ending still, how Billy Pitt
(Unlucky boy!) with wicked wit,

Has gagg'd old Britain, drain'd her coffer,
As butchers bind and bleed a heifer.

Thus wily Reynard by degrees,
In kennel listening at his ease,
Suck'd in a mighty stock of knowledge,
As much as some folks at a College;
Knew Britain's rights and constitution,
Her aggrandisement, diminution,
How fortune wrought us good from evil;
Let no man, then, despise the Devil,
As who should say, 'I never can need him,'
Since we to scoundrels owe our freedom.


Poem on Pastoral Poetry.1

HAIL, Poesie! thou Nymph reserv'd!
In chase o' thee, what crowds hae swerv'd
Frae common sense, or sunk enerv'd

'Mang heaps o' claversa :

And och o'er aft thy joes hae starv'd,
'Mid a' thy favours!


1 The authorship of this has been doubted, but it was found among

b sweethearts.

Burns's papers in his own hand. writing, and may well be his.

Say, Lassie, why thy train amang,
While loud the trump's heroic clang,
And sock or buskin skelp alang

To death or marriage;

Scarce ane has tried the shepherd-sang
But wi' miscarriage?

In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives;
Eschylus' pen Will Shakespeare drives;
Wee Pope, the knurlin, till him rives
Horatian fame;

In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, survives
Even Sappho's flame.

But thee, Theocritus, wha matches?
They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches;
Squire Pope but busks his skinklin© patches
O' heathen tatters:

I pass by hunders, nameless wretches,
That ape their betters.

In this braw age o' wit and lear,d
Will nane the Shepherd's whistle mair
Blaw sweetly in its native air,

And rural grace;

And, wi' the far-fam'd Grecian, share
A rival place?

Yes! there is ane; a Scottish callan®!
There's ane; come forrit, honest Allan !
Thou need na jouk behint the hallan,h
A chiel sae clever ;

The teeth o' time may gnaw Tantallan,1
But thou's for ever.

Thou paints auld Nature to the nines,1
In thy sweet Caledonian lines;

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1 The rocky stronghold of that name in East Lothian.

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