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While terra firma, on her axis,
Diurnal turns ;

Count on a friend, in faith an' practice,
In Robert Burns.


My memory's no worth a preen *;
I had amaist forgotten clean,

Ye bade me write you what they mean
By this new-light,' 1

'Bout which our herds sae aft hae been
Maist like to fight.

In days when mankind were but callansb
At grammar, logic, an' sic talents,

They took nae pains their speech to balance,
Or rules to gie;

But spak their thoughts in plain, braid lallans,
Like you or me.


In thae auld times, they thought the moon,
Just like a sark,d or pair o' shoon,
Wore by degrees, till her last roon'

Gaed past their viewin;

An' shortly after she was done

They gat a new ane.

This passed for certain, undisputed;
It ne'er cam i' their heads to doubt it,
Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it,
An' ca'd it wrang;
An' muckle din there was about it,
Baith loud an' lang.

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Some herds, weel learn'd upo' the beuk,

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Wad threap auld folk the thing misteuk;
For 'twas the auld moon turn'd neuk b

An' out o' sight,

An' backlins-comin to the leuk

She grew mair bright.

This was deny'd, it was affirm'd;
The herds and hissels were alarm'd

The rev'rend gray-beards rav'd an' storm'd,
That beardless laddies

Should think they better were inform'd,
Than their auld daddies.

Frae less to mair, it gaed to sticks;
Frae words an' aiths to clours an' nicksd;
An monie a fallow gat his licks,

⚫ assert.

Wi' hearty crunt*;

An' some, to learn them for their tricks,
Were hang'd an' brunt.

⚫ knock.

This game was play'd in mony lands,
An' auld-light caddies' bure sic hands,
That faith, the youngsters took the sands
Wi' nimble shanks;

Till lairds forbad, by strict commands,
Sic bluidy pranks.

But new-light herds gat sic a cowe,
Folk thought them ruin'd stick-an-stoweb;

Till now, amaist on ev'ry knowe

Ye'll find ane plac'd;

An' some their new-light fair avow,

Just quite barefac'd.

Nae doubt the auld-light flocks are bleatin;
Their zealous herds are vex'd an' sweatin;


• flocks.
8 humbling.

d blows and whacks.


Mysel', I've even seen them greetin
Wi girnin spite,

To hear the moon sae sadly lied on
By word an' write.

But shortly they will cowe the louns!
Some auld-light herds in neebor touns
Are mind't, in things they ca' balloons,
To tak a flight;

An' stay ae month amang the moons
An' see them right.

Guid observation they will gie them;
An' when the auld moon's gaun to lea'e them,
The hindmaist shaird, they'll fetch it wi' them,
Just i' their pouch;

An' when the new-light billies see them,
I think they'll crouch!

Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter
Is naething but a "moonshine matter;
But tho' dull prose-folk Latin splatter
In logic tulyie,


I hope we bardies ken some better


Than mind sic brulyie.d

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Tho' cruel Fate should bid us Part.1

Tune-"The Northern Lass."

THO' cruel fate should bid us part,
Far as the pole and line,
Her dear idea round my heart,
Should tenderly entwine.

Tho' mountains rise, and deserts howl,
And oceans roar between;
Yet, dearer than my deathless soul,
I still would love my Jean.

Song-Rantin, Rovin Robin.

Tune-"Daintie Davie."

THERE was a lad was born in Kyle,
But whatna day o' whatna style,
I doubt it's hardly worth the while
To be sae nice wi' Robin.

Chor.-Robin was a rovin boy,

Rantin, rovin, rantin, rovin,
Robin was a rovin boy,
Rantin, rovin Robin!

Our monarch's hindmost year but ane
Was five-and-twenty days begun,3

'Twas then a blast o' Janwar' win'

Blew hansela in on Robin.

Robin was, &c.

• a first gift.

1 Probably Jean is Miss Armour : the piece is completed, as it were, in "O' a' the airts the wind can blaw."

2 Not published by Burns. The tune, Dainty Davie, is earlier, it seems, than the Presbyterian Dainty Davie, so justly admired for his gallantry by Charles II.

The text depends on Cromek (1808), who gives the last verse thus :

"Guid faith," quo' scho, "I doub
you, sir,
Ye gar the lasses
But, &c."


The common reading, here adopted, is Cunningham's, who gives no authority for it.

8 Jan. 25, 1759, the date of my bardship's vital existence.-R. B.

The gossip keekit in his loof,

Quo' scho, "Wha lives will see the proof,
This waly boy will be nae coofd:


I think we'll ca' him Robin.'

Robin was, &c.

"He'll hae misfortunes great an' sma',
But aye a heart aboon them a',
He'll be a credit till us a'—

We'll a' be proud o' Robin."
Robin was, &c.

"But sure as three times three mak nine,
I see by ilka score and line,

This chap will dearly like our kin',

So leeze me on thee! Robin."
Robin was, &c.

"Guid faith," quo' scho,b "I doubt you gar
The bonie lasses lie aspar;

But twenty fauts ye may hae waur

So blessins on thee! Robin.”

Robin was, &c.

Elegy on the Death of Robert Ruisseaux.1

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Now Robin lies in his last lair,

He'll gabble rhyme, nor sing nae mair;
Cauld poverty, wi' hungry stare,

Nae mair shall fear him;

Nor anxious fear, nor cankert care,
E'er mair come near him.

b said she.

1 The date is uncertain: Mr Scott Douglas conjectures that Burns intended it for his Kilmarnock edition,

d fool.

⚫ my heart is set. and withdrew it in favour of "The Poet's Epitaph."

Ruisseaux is French for rivulets or 'burns,' a translation of his name.

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