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I wondered they had düne sae weel.
I saw I had mysel' to blame;

For had I but remained at hame,

Aiblins though no ava' deservin' 't

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They micht hae named your humble servant.

The kirk was filled, the door was steeked;
Up to the pu'pit ance I keeked;

I was mair pleased than I can tell
It was the minister himsel'!
Proud, proud was I to see his face,
After sae lang awa' frae grace.
Pleased as I was, I'm no denyin'
Some maitters were not edifyin';
For first I fand an' here was news!
Mere hymn-books cockin' in the pews
A humanised abomination,

Unfit for ony congregation.

Syne, while I still was on the tenter,
I scunnered at the new prezentor;
I thocht him gesterin' an' cauld—
A sair declension frae the auld.

Syne, as though a' the faith was wreckit,
The prayer was not what I'd exspeckit.
Himsel', as it appeared to me,

Was no the man he used to be.

But just as I was growin' vext
He waled a maist judeecious text,
An', launchin' into his prelections,
Swoopt, wi' a skirl, on a' defections.

O what a gale was on my speerit
To hear the p'ints o' doctrine clearit
And a' the horrors o' damnation
Set furth wi' faithfü' ministration!
Nae shauchlin' testimony here

We were a' damned, an' that was clear.
I owned, wi' gratitude an' wonder,
He was a pleisure to sit under.

LATE in the nicht in bed I lay,

The winds were at their weary play, An' tirlin' wa's an' skirlin' wae

Through Heev'n they battered;

On-ding o' hail, on-blaff o' spray,
The tempest blattered.

The masoned house it dinled through;
It dung the ship, it cowped the coo';
The rankit aiks it overthrew,

Had braved a' weathers;

The strang sea-gleds it took an' blew
Awa' like feathers.

The thrawes o' fear on a' were shed,
An' the hair rose, an' slumber fled,
An' lichts were lit an' prayers were said
Through a' the kintry;

An' the cauld terror clum in bed
Wi' a' an' sindry.

To hear in the pit-mirk on hie
The brangled collieshangie flie,

The warl', they thocht, wi' land an' sea,
Itsel' wad cowpit;

An' for auld airn, the smashed debris
By God be rowpit.

Meanwhile frae far Aldeboran,
To folks wi' talescopes in han',

O' ships that cowpit, winds that ran,
Nae sign was seen,

But the wee warl' in sunshine span
As bricht's a preen.

I, tae, by God's especial grace,
Dwall denty in a bieldy place,
Wi' hosened feet, wi' shaven face,
Wi' dacent mainners:

A grand example to the race

O' tautit sinners!

The wind may blaw, the heathen rage,
The deil may start on the rampage;
The sick in bed, the thief in cage-
What's a' to me?

Cosh in my house, a sober sage,
I sit an' see.

An' whiles the bluid spangs to my bree, To lie sae saft, to live sae free,

While better men maun do an' die

In unco places.

"Whaur's God?" I cry, an' "Whae is me To hae sic graces?"

I mind the fecht the sailors keep,
But fire or can'le, rest or sleep,
In darkness an' the muckle deep;
An' mind beside

The herd that on the hills o' sheep
Has wandered wide.

I mind me on the hoastin' weans
The penny joes on causey stanes
The auld folk wi' the crazy banes,
Baith auld an' puir,

That aye maun thole the winds an' rains,
An' labour sair.

An' whiles I'm kind o' pleased a blink,
An' kind o' fleyed forby, to think,
For a' my rowth o' meat an' drink
An' waste o' crumb,

I'll mebbe have to thole wi' skink
In Kingdom Come.

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