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But sax Scotch miles, thou try't their mettle
An' gar't them whaizle:1

Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle2

O' saugh or hazle.

Thou was a noble fittie-lan',

As e'er in tug or tow was drawn!
Aft thee an' I, in aught hours gaun,"

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On guid March weather,

Hae turn'd sax3 rood beside our han'

For days thegither.

Thou never braindg't," an' fecht,1o an' fliskit,"
But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit,
An' spread abreed thy weel-fill'd brisket,"
Wi' pith and power,

Till spritty knowes13 wad rair't and risket,"
And slypet owre.

When frosts lay lang an' snaws were deep,
An' threaten'd labor back to keep,

I gied thy cog16 a wee bit heap

Aboon the timmer:17

I kenn'd my Maggie wad na sleep
For that, or simmer."

In cart or car thou never reestit;19

The steyest brae20 thou wad hae faced it;
Thou never lap," and stent," and breastit,2
Then stood to blaw;

But just thy step a wee thing hastit,"
Thou snoov't25 awa.

My pleugh is now thy bairn-time a';2o
Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw:

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1 Made them wheeze.-2 A twig.-3 Willow.-4 The near-horse of the hindmost pair in the plough.-5 Rope.- Eight.-7 Going.-8 Six.-9 Reeled forward..—10 Fought.—11 Fretted.—12 The breast.-13 Small hills full of toughrooted plants or weeds.-14 Make a noise like the tearing of roots.-15 Fell. -16 Wooden dish.-17 Above the brim.-18 Summer.-19 Stood restive.20 Steepest hill. 21 Leaped. -22 Reared. 23 Sprung up, or forward. 24 Hastened. -25 Went smoothly.-26 All the team belonging to my plough are of thy brood.

Forbye sax mae I've sell't awa',1

That thou hast nurst:

They drew me thretteen pund an' twa”
The vera warst.

Monie a sair dargs we twa hae wrought,
An' wi' the weary warl' fought!
An' monie an anxious day I thought
We wad be beat!

Yet here to crazy age we 're brought
Wi' something yet.

An' think na', my auld trusty servan',
That now perhaps thou's less deservin',
An' thy auld days may end in starvin'
For my last fou,*

6

A heapet stimpart, I'll reserve ane,
Laid by for you.

We've worn to crazy years thegither;
We'll toyte' about wi' ane anither;
Wi' tentie care I'll flit thy tether,
To some hain'd' rig,

Where ye may nobly rax1 your leather,
Wi' sma' fatigue.

THE DEATH AND DYING WORDS OF POOR MAILIE,

The Author's only pet yowe.

AN UNCO MOURNFU' TALE.

As Mailie, an' her lambs thegither,
Were ae day nibbling on the tether,
Upon her cloot" she coost1 a hitch,
An' owre she warsled13 in the ditch:
There, groaning, dying, she did lie,
When Hughoc1 he came doytin" by.

1 Besides six more which I have sold.

2 Thirteen pounds and two-perhaps fifteen pounds is here meant, as the poet praises the goodness of Maggie's stock,

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3 Day's labor.-4 My last drinking bout.-5 Heaped.—6 The eighth part of a bushel.-7 Totter.-8 Cautious. - Spared. -10 Stretch.-11 Hoof. - 12 Did cast.-13 Wrestled, or fell struggling.-14 A neebor herd callan.-15 Stupidly.

Wi' glowrin' een,' an lifted han's,
Poor Hughoc like a statue stan's;
He saw her days were near-hand ended,
But, waes my heart! he could na mend it;
He gapéd wide, but naething spak!
At length poor Mailie silence brak:
"O thou, whase lamentable face
Appears to mourn my wofu' case!
My dying words attentive hear,
And bear them to my Master dear.
"Tell him, if e'er again he keep
As muckle gear as buy a sheep,
Oh, bid him never tie them mair
Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair!
But ca' them out to park or hill,
An' let them wander at their will;
So may his flock increase, and grow
To scores o' lambs, and packs o' woo'!
"Tell him he was a Master kin',
An' ay was guid to me and mine;
An' now my dying charge I gie him,
My helpless lambs I trust them wi' him.

"Oh, bid him save their harmless lives,
Frae dogs, an' tods,' an' butchers' knives!
But gie them good cow-milk their fill,
Till they be fit to fend themsel':
An' tent them duly, e'en and morn,
Wi' teats o' hay an' rips o' corn.

"An' may they never learn the gaets3
Of ither vile wanrestfu" pets;

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To slink thro' slaps," an' reave, an' steal,
At stacks o' pease or stocks o' kail.
So may they, like their great forbears,"
For monie a year come thro' the shears:
So wives will gie them bits o' bread,

An' bairns greets for them when they 're dead
"My poor toop-lamb, my son an' heir,

Oh, bid him breed him up wi' care!

An' if he live to be a beast,

Te pit some havins1o in his breast!

1 Staring eyes.-2 Foxes. - 3 Manners. - 4 Restless.-5 Gates.-6 Rove.

7 Forefathers.-8 Weep.-9 Ram-lamb.-10 Good-manners.

3

An' warn him, what I winna name,
To stay content wi' yowes' at hame;
An' no to rin an' wear his cloots2
Like ither menseless, graceless brutes.
"An' niest my yowie, silly thing,
Gude" keep thee frae a tether string!
Oh, may thou ne'er forgather up
Wi' onie blastit, moorland toop;8
But ay keep mind to moop' an' mell1
Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel!

"And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath,
I lea'e my blessin' wi' you baith;

An' when you think upo' your mither,
Mind to be kin' to ane anither.

"Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail

To tell my Master a' my tale;
An' bid him burn this curséd tether,
An' for thy pains, thou's get my blether."
This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head,
An' closed her een12 amang the dead.

12

POOR MAILIE'S ELEGY.

LAMENT in rhyme, lament in prose,

13

Wi' saut13 tears trickling down your nose;
Our Bardie's fate is at a close,

Past a' remead;"

14

The last sad cap-stane15 of his woes;
Poor Mailie's dead!

It's no the loss o' warl's gear,

That could sae bitter draw the tear,
Or mak our Bardie, dowie,16 wear
The mourning weed·

He's lost a friend and neebor dear,
In Mailie dead.

Thro' a' the town she trotted by him;
A lang half mile she could descry him;

1 Ewes.-2 Hoofs.-3 Ill-bred.-4 Next.-5 God.—6 To meet.-7 Blasted.— 8 Ram.-9 To nibble as a sheep.-10 Meddle.-11 Bladder.--12 Eyes.-13 Salt. 14 Remedy.-15 Cope-stone, or top-stone.-16 Worn with grief.

Wi' kindly bleat, when she did spy him,
She ran wi' speed:

A friend mair faithfu' ne'er cam nigh him,
Than Mailie dead.

I wat she was a sheep o' sense,
An' could behave herself wi' mense:1
I'll say 't, she never brak a fence

Thro' thievish greed;

Our Bardie, lanely, keeps the spence3
Sin' Mailie's dead.

Or, if he wanders up the howe,*
Her living image in her yowe

2

Comes bleating to him, o'er the knowe,
For bits o' bread;

An' down the briny pearls rowe
For Mailie dead.

She was nae get o' moorland tips,
Wi' tauted ket' an' hairy hips;
For her forbears were brought in ships
Frae 'yont the Tweed;
A bonnier fleesh' ne'er cross'd the clips
Than Mailie dead.

12

Wae worth the man wha first did shape
That vile wanchancie1 thing-a rape!"
It maks guid fellows girn12 an' gape,
Wi' chokin' dread;
An' Robin's bonnet wave wi' crape,
For Mailie dead.

Oh, a' ye bards on bonnie Doon!
An' wha on Ayr your chanters tune!
Come, join the melancholious croon13
O' Robin's reed!

His heart will never get aboon

His Mailie dead!

1 Decency.-2 Greediness.-3 The country parlor.-4 A hollow, or dell.5 Roll.-6 Ram.-7 Matted fleece.-8 Progenitors.-9 Fleece.-10 Unlucky.11 Rope.-2 To twist the features in agony.-13 A hollow moan.

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