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Whare three lairds' lands met at a burn,*
To dip her left sark-sleeve in,

Was bent that night.


Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays
As thro' the glen it wimpl't;
Whyles round a rocky scar it strays;
Whyles in a wiel it dimpl't;
Whyles glitter'd to the nightly rays,
Wi' bickering, dancing dazzle:
Whyles cookit underneath the braes,
Below the spreading hazel,

Unseen that night..


Amang the brachens, on the brae,

Between her an' the moon,
The deil, or else an outler quey,
Gat up an' gae a croon ;

Poor Leezie's heart maist lap the hool;
Near lav'rock height she jumpit,
But mist a fit, an' in the pool
Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,

Wi' a plunge that night.

* You go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to a south-running spring or rivulet, where three lairds' lands meet,' and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to dry. Lie awake; and, some time near midnight, an apparition, having the exact figure of the grand object in question, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other side of it.


In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
The luggies three* are ranged,
And ev'ry time great care is ta'en,
To see them duly changed;

Auld uncle John, wha wedlock's joys
Sin' Mar's-year did desire,

Because he gat the toom-dish thrice,

He heav'd them on the fire

In wrath that night.


Wi' merry sangs, an' friendly cracks,
I wat they did na weary;

An' unco tales, an' funnie jokes,


Their sports were cheap an' cheery;
Till butter'd so'ns,† wi' fragrant lunt,
Set a' their gabs a-steerin;
Syne wi' a social glass o' strunt,
They parted aff careerin

Fu' blithe that night.

* Take three dishes: put clean water in one, foul water in another, leave the third empty : blindfold a person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are ranged; he (or she) dips the left hand if by chance in the clean water, the future husband or wife will come to the bar of matrimony a maid; if in the foul, a widow; if in the empty dish, it foretells, with equal certainty, no marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and every time the arrangement of the dishes is altered.

+ Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is always the Halloween Supper.




On giving her the accustomed Ripp of Corn to hansel in the New

A Guid New-year I wish thee Maggie!
Hae, there's a ripp to thy auld baggie:
Tho' thou's how-backit, now, an' knaggie,
I've seen the day,

Thou could hae gaen like onie staggie
Out-owre the lay.

Tho' now thou's dowie, stiff, an' crazy,
An' thy auld hide's as white's a daisy,
I've seen thee dappl't, sleek, and glaizie,
A bonny gray:

He should been tight that daur't to raize thee,
Ance in a day.

Thou ance was i' the foremast rank,
A filly buirdly, steeve, an' swank,
An' set weel down a shapely shank,

As e'er tread yird!

An' could hae flown out-owre a stank,
Like onie bird.

It's now some nine-an-twenty year, Sin' thou was my guid father's meere 3. He gied me thee, o' tocher clear,

An' fifty mark;

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! nae mair he'll them molest !

Tam Samson's dead!

When August winds the heather wave, And sportsmen wander by yon grave, Three volleys let his mem'ry crave

O' pouther an' lead,

Till Echo answer frae her cave,

Tam Samson's dead!

Heav'n rest his saul, where'er he be !
Is th' wish o' mony mae than me:
He had twa faults, or may be 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, or ye win near him.


Go, Fame, and canter like a filly Thro' a' the streets an' neuks o' Killie,* Tell every social, honest billie

To cease his grievin,

For yet, unskaith'd by death's gleg gullie,
Tam Samson's livin.

• Killie is a phrase the country-folks sometimes use for Kilmarnock,

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