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"A title, Dempster merits it;

A garter gie to Willie Pitt;

Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit,

In cent. per cent.

But gie me real, sterling wit,

And I'm content.

"While ye are pleased to keep me hale I'll sit down o'er my scanty meal, Be't water-brose, or muslin-kail,

Wi' cheerful face,

As lang's the muses dinna fail

To say the grace."

An anxious e'e I never throws Behint my lug, or by my nose; I jouk beneath misfortune's blows As weel's I may; Sworn foe to sorrow, care, and prose, I rhyme away.

O ye douce folk, that live by rule, Grave, tideless-blooded, calm and cool, Compared wi' you-O fool! fool! fool! How much unlike! Your hearts are just a standing pool, Your lives, a dyke!

Hae hair-brain'd, sentimental traces In your unletter'd, nameless faces! In arioso trills and graces Ye never stray, But, gravissimo, solemn basses

Ye hum away.

Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise; Nae ferly though ye do despise The hairum-scarum, ram-stam boys, The rattlin squad:

I see you upward cast your eyes

-Ye ken the road.

Whilst I-but I shall haud me thereWi' you I'll scarce gang onywhereThen, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,

But quat my sang, Content wi' you to mak a pair, Whare'er I gang.


Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute blames with


But surely dreams were ne'er indicted treason.

[On reading, in the public papers, the Laureat's Ode, with the other parade of June 4, 1786, the author was no sooner dropped asleep, than he imagined himself to the birthday levee; and in his dreaming fancy made the following address.]


GUID-MORNING to your majesty!

May heaven augment your blisses, On every new birth-day ye see, An humble poet wishes!

My bardship here, at your levee,
On sic a day as this is,

Is sure an uncouth sight to see,
Amang the birth-day dresses
Sae fine this day.


I see ye're complimented thrang, By monie a lord and lady; "God save the king!" 's a cuckoo sang That's unco easy said aye;

The poets, too, a venal gang,

Wi' rhymes weel turn'd and ready, Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang, But aye unerring steady, On sic a day.


For me, before a monarch's face,
E'en there I winna flatter;
For neither pension, post, nor place,
Am I your humble debtor:
So, nae reflection on your grace,

Your kingship to bespatter;
There's monie waur been o' the race,
And aiblins ane been better
Than you this day.


'Tis very true, my sovereign king,
My skill may weel be doubted:
But facts are chiels that winna ding,
An' downa be disputed:

Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
Is e'en right left an' clouted,
And now the third part of the string,
An' less, will gang about it
Than did ae day.

Far be't frae me that I aspire
To blame your legislation,
Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire,
To rule this mighty nation!
But, faith, I muckle doubt, my sire,
Ye've trusted ministration

To chaps wha in a barn or byre
Wad better fill their station
Than courts yon day.


And now ye've gien auld Britain peace,
Her broken shins to plaster,
Your sair taxation does her fleece,

Till she has scarce a tester;
For me, thank God, my life's a lease,
Nae bargain wearing faster,
Or, faith! I fear, that wi' the geese,
I shortly boost to pasture

I' the craft some day.


I'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt, When taxes he enlarges, (An' Will's a true guid fallow's get,

A name not envy spairges,)

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All in this mottie, misty clime, I backward mused on wasted time, How I had spent my youthfu' time, And done naething, But stringin blethers up in rhyme, For fools to sing.

Had I to guid advice but harkit,
I might, by this, hae led a market,
Or strutted in a bank an' clarkit
My cash account:

While here, half mad, half fed, half sarkit,
Is a' th' amount.

I started, muttering, blockhead! coof! And heaved on high my waukit loof, To swear by a' yon starry roof,

Or some rash aith,

That I, henceforth, would be rhyme-proof

Till my last breath

When click! the strink the snick did draw;

And jee! the door gaed to the wa';

An' by my ingle-lowe I saw,

Now bleezin bright,

A tight, outlandish hizzie, braw,

Come full in sight.

Ye need na doubt, I held my whisht: The infant aith, half-form'd, was crusht; I glowr'd as eerie's I'd been dusht

In some wild glen;

When sweet, like modest worth, she blusht, And stepped ben.

Green, slender, leaf-clad holly-boughs Were twisted, gracefu', round her brows; I took her for some Scottish muse,

By that same token; An' come to stop those reckless vows, Wou'd soon been broken.

A "hair-brain'd, sentimental trace,"
Was strongly marked in her face;
A wildly-witty, rustic grace

Shone full upon her;

Her eye, e'en turn'd on empty space,

Beam'd keen with honour.

Down flow'd her robe, a tartan sheen; Till half a leg was scrimply seen;

And such a leg! my bonnie Jean

Could only peer it;

Sae straught, sae taper, tight, and clean, Nane else came near it.

Her mantle large, of greenish hue,
My gazing wonder chiefly drew;
Deep lights and shades, bold-mingling threw,
A lustre grand;

And seem'd, to my astonish'd view,
A well known land.

Here, rivers in the sea were lost; There, mountains to the skies were tost: Here, tumbling billows mark'd the coast, With surging foam; There, distant shone art's lofty boast, The lordly dome.

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The Wallaces. + William Wallace. Adam Wallace, of Richardton, cousin to the immortal preserver of Scottish independence.

§ Wallace, Laird of Craigie, who was second in command, under Douglas Earl of Ormond, at the famous battle on the banks of Sark, fought anno 1448. That glorious victory was principally owing to the judicious conduct, and intrepid valour of the gallant Laird of Craigie, who died of his wounds after the action.

Coilus, King of the Picts, from whom the district of Kyle is said to take its name, lies buried, as tradition says, near the family-seat of the Montgomeries of Coil'sfield, where his burial-place is still shown.

Barskimming the seat of the Lord Justice Clerk. **Catrine, the seat of the late Doctor and present Professor Stewart.

Brydone's brave ward* I well could spy, Beneath old Scotia's smiling eye; Who call'd on fame, low standing by, To hand him on, Where many a patriot name on high, And hero shone.


WITH musing-deep, astonish'd stare, I view'd the heavenly-seeming fair; A whispering throb did witness bear, Of kindred sweet, When with an elder sister's air

She did me greet.

"All hail! my own inspired bard! In me thy native muse regard! Nor longer mourn thy fate is hard, Thus poorly low! I come to give thee such reward

As we bestow.

"Know the great genius of this land Has many a light aërial band, Who, all beneath his high command, Harmoniously,

As arts or arms they understand,

Their labours ply.

"They Scotia's race among them share ; Some fire the soldier on to dare; Some rouse the patriot up to bare Corruption's heart; Some teach the bard, a darling care, The tuneful art.

"Mong swelling floods of recking gore, They, ardent, kindling spirits pour; Or, 'mid the venal senate's roar,

They, sightless, stand,

To mend the honest patriot lore,

And grace the hand.

"And when the bard, or hoary sage, Charm or instruct the future age, They bind the wild poetic rage

In energy,

Or point the inconclusive page

Full on the eye.

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"Some hint the lover's harmless wile; Some grace the maiden's artless smile; Some soothe the labourer's weary toil, For humble gains,

And make his cottage scenes beguile
His cares and pains.

"Some, bounded to a district space, Explore at large man's infant race, To mark the embryotic trace

Of rustic bard;
And careful note each opening grace,
A guide and guard.

"Of these am I-Coila my name;
And this district as mine I claim,
Where once the Campbells, chiefs of fame,
Held ruling power:

I mark'd thy embryo tuneful flame,
Thy natal hour.

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