ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect sconner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit:
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.
Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
Ostatnia zwrotka została podobno napisana podczas obiadu u Johna Morrisona, wytwórcy mebli salonowych. Cały wiersz powstał zaraz po przyjeździe Burnsa do Edynburga i został opublikowany w Caledonian Mercury jako pierwszy w ogóle jego wiersz w jakimkolwiek periodyku. Co ciekawe pierwszy przepis na haggis'a pojawił się w tym samym roku w książce Susanny MacIver, Cookery And Pastry.
ADDRESS TO THE UNCO GUID
My Son, these maxims make a rule,
An lump them ay thegither:
The Rigid Righteous is a fool,
The Rigid Wise anither;
The cleanest corn that e'er was dight
May hae some pyles o caff in;
So ne'er a fellow-creature slight
For random fits o daffin.
O ye, wha are sae guid yoursel,
Sae pious and sae holy,
Ye've nought to do but mark and tell
Your neebours' fauts and folly!
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill,
Supplied wi store o water;
The heapet happer's ebbing still,
An still the clap plays clatter!
Hear me, ye venerable core,
As counsel for poor mortals
That frequent pass douce Wisdom's door
For glaikit Folly's portals:
I for their thoughtless, careless sakes,
Would here propone defences -
Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes,
Their failings and mischances.
Ye see your state wi theirs compared,
And shudder at the niffer;
But cast a moment's fair regard,
What makes the mighty differ?
Discount what scant occasion gave;
That purity ye pride in;
And (what's aft mair than a' the lave)
Your better art o hidin.
Think, when your castigated pulse
Gies now and then a wallop,
What ragings must his veins convulse,
That still eternal gallop!
Wi wind and tide fair i your tail,
Right on ye scud your sea-way;
But in the teeth o baith to sail,
It makes an unco lee-way
See Social Life and Glee sit down,
All joyous and unthinking,
Till, quite transmugrify'd, they're grown
Debauchery and Drinking:
O, would they stay to calculate
Th' eternal consequences,
Or your more dreaded hell to state -
Damnation of expenses!
Ye high, exalted, virtuous dames,
Tied up in godly laces,
Before ye gie poor Frailty names,
Suppose a change o cases:
A dear-lov'd lad, convenience snug,
A treach'rous inclination -
But, let me whisper in your lug,
Ye're aiblins nae temptation.
Then gently scan your brother man,
Still gentler sister woman;
Tho they may gang a kennin wrang,
To step aside is human:
One point must still be greatly dark,
The moving Why they do it;
And just as lamely can ye mark,
How far perhaps they rue it.
Who made the heart, 'tis He alone
Decidedly can try us:
He knows each chord, its various tone,
Each spring, its various bias:
Then at the balance let's be mute,
We never can adjust it;
What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.
Pierwszy z dzienników (marzec 1784) Burnsa zawiera dwie uwagi: Każdy człowiek, nawet najgorszy ma w sobie coś dobrego i Miałem już okazję spotkać pośród kanalii ludzi najszlachetniejszych i prawych. Wielkodusznych. Szczodrych, bezinteresownych przyjaciół a nawet skromnych w najczystszej postaci. W tym wierszu pokazuje ideę współczucia, jako podstawę moralnej świadomości.
A MAN'S A MAN FOR A'THAT
Is there for honest poverty
That hings his head, an a' that?
The coward slave, we pass him by -
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an a' that,
Our toils obscure, an a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The man's the gowd for a' that.
What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an a' that?
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine -
A man's a man for a' that.
For a' that, an a' that.
Their tinsel show, an a' that,
The honest man, tho e'er sae poor,
Is king o men for a' that.
Ye see you birkie ca'd 'a lord,'
What struts, an stares, an a' that?
Tho hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a cuif for a' that.
For a' that, an a' that,
His ribband, star, an a' that,
The man o independent mind,
He looks an laughs at a' that.
A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an a' that!
But an honest man's aboon his might -
Guid faith, he mauna fa' that!
For a' that, an a' that,
Their dignities, an a' that,
The pith o sense an pride o worth.
Are higher rank than a' that.
Then let us pray that come it may
[As come it will for a' that],
That Sense and Worth o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree an a' that.
For a' that, an a' that,
It's comin yet for a' that,
That man to man, the world, o'er
Shall brithers be for a' that.
Wiersz wysłany do Georga Thomsona w styczniu 1795 roku. Intensywna pogarda dla stanów wyższych społeczeństwa uczyniła z niego sztandarową pieśnią lewicowych radykałów.
AULD LANG SYNE
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?
And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!
We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.
And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
Niech światłość ozłoci tego niebiańsko-natchnionego poetę który skomponował ten wspaniały fragment - tak napisał Burns do pani Dunlop 7 grudnia 1788 roku. W uwagach dla Georga Thomsona (1793) opisał utwór jako starą pieśń ze starych czasów, która nigdy jeszcze nie była opublikowana, nawet jako manuskrypt do czasu aż spisałem ją od pewnego starego człowieka. To, w jakiej mierze Burns przerobił tradycyjną balladę jest wciąż kwestią sporów. Najstarszy zapis samej melodii sięga roku 1700.
HOLY WILLIE'S PRAYER
O Thou that in the Heavens does dwell,
Wha, as it pleases best Thysel,
Sends ane to Heaven, an ten to Hell,
A' for Thy glory,
And no for onie guid or ill
They've done before Thee!
I bless and praise Thy matchless might,
When thousands Thou has left in night,
That I am here before Thy sight,
For gifts an grace
A burning and a shining light
To a' this place.
What was I, or my generation,
That I should get sic exaltation?
I, wha deserv'd most just damnation
For broken laws,
Sax thousand years ere my creation,
Thro Adam's cause!
When from my mither's womb I fell,
Thou might hae plung'd me deep in Hell,
To gnash my gooms, and weep and wail,
In burning lakes,
Whare damned devils roar and yell,
Chain'd to their stakes.
Yet I am here a chosen sample,
To show Thy grace is great and ample:
I'm here a pillar o Thy temple,
Strong as a rock,
A guide, a buckler, and example,
To a' Thy flock!
But yet, O Lord! confess I must,
At times I'm fash'd wi fleshy lust;
An sometimes, too, in warldly trust,
Vile self gets in;
But Thou remembers we are dust,
Defil'd wi sin.
O Lord! yestreen, Thou kens, wi Meg -
Thy pardon I sincerely beg -
O, may't ne'er be a livin plague
To my dishonour!
An I'll ne'er lift a lawless leg
Again upon her.
Besides, I farther maun avow,
Wi Leezie's lass, three times I trow -
But, Lord, that Friday I was fou,
When I cam near her,
Or else, Thou kens, Thy servant true
Wad never steer her.
Maybe Thou lets this fleshly thorn
Buffet Thy servant e'en and morn,
Lest he owre proud and high should turn,
That he's sae gifted:
If sae, Thy han' maun e'en be borne,
Until Thou lift it.
Lord, bless Thy chosen in this place,
For here Thou has a chosen race!
But God confound their stubborn face,
An blast their name,
Wha bring Thy elders to disgrace
An open shame.
Lord, mind Gau'n Hamilton's deserts:
He drinks, an swears, an plays at cartes,
Yet has sae monie takin arts,
Wi great and sma',
Frae God's ain Priest the people's hearts
He steals awa.
And when we chasten'd him therefore,
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore,
And set the warld in a roar
O laughin at us;
Curse Thou his basket and his store,
Kail an potatoes!
Lord, hear my earnest cry and pray'r,
Against that Presbyt'ry o Ayr!
Thy strong right hand, Lord, mak it bare
Upo' their heads!
Lord, visit them, an dinna spare,
For their misdeeds!
O Lord, my God! that glib-tongu'd Aiken,
My vera heart and flesh are quakin,
To think how we stood sweatin, shakin,
An pish'd wi dread,
While he, wi hingin lip, an snakin,
Held up his head.
Lord, in Thy day o vengeance try him!
Lord, visit them wha did employ him!
And pass not in Thy mercy by them,
Nor hear their pray'r,
But for Thy people's sake destroy them,
An dinna spare.
But, Lord, remember me and mine
Wi mercies temporal and divine,
That I for grace an gear may shine,
Excell'd by nane,
And a' the glory shall be Thine -
Epitaph on Holy Willie
Here Holy Willie's sair worn clay
Taks up its last abode;
His soul has ta'en some other way -
I fear, the left-hand road.
Stop! there he is as sure's a gun!
Poor, silly body, see him!
Nae wonder he's as black's the grun -
Observe wha's standing wi him!
Your brunstane Devilship, I see
Has got him there before ye!
But haud your nine-tail cat a wee,
Till ance you've heard my story.
Your pity I will not implore,
For pity ye have nane,
Justice, alas! has gi'en him o'er,
And mercy's day is gane.
But hear me, Sir, Deil as ye are,
Look something to your credit:
A cuif like him wad stain your name,
If it were kent ye did it!
Prototypem bohatera wiersza był William Fisher (1737-1809) z Montgarswood, przełożony parafii Mauchline, za którego podszeptami Kościół Szkocki (Kirk) podjął akcję przeciwko Gavinowi Hamiltonowi, który z kolei propagował starą metodę obliczania świąt Wielkiejnocy. Burns opisał Fischera jako starego kawalera dobrze znanego ze swych jazgotliwych przemów grzęznących w końcu w skrajny ortodoksyjny konserwatyzm oraz święconej rozpuście topionej w alkoholicznych modlitwach.
MY LUVE IS LIKE A RED, RED ROSE
O, my luve is like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.
O, my luve is like a melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I,
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi the sun!
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho it were ten thousand mile!
Jest to połączenie kilku starych ballad, uwydatniających zdolności Burnsa do odświeżania ludowych utworów i tworzenia z nich poetyckich kryształów pierwszej wody. Wiersz po raz pierwszy opublikowany przez Pietro Urbaniego w kwietniu 1794 roku.
EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND
I lang hae thought, my youthfu friend,
A something to have sent you,
Tho it should serve nae ither end
Than just a kind memento:
But how the subject-theme may gang,
Let time and chance determine:
Perhaps it may turn out a sang;
Perhaps, turn out a sermon.
Ye'll try the world soon, my lad;
And, Andrew dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,
And muckle they may grieve ye:
For care and trouble set your thought,
Ev'n when your end's attained;
And a' your views may come to nought,
Where ev'ry nerve is strained.
I'll no say, men are villains a':
The real, harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,
Are to a few restricked;
But, och! mankind are unco weak,
An little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted!
Yet they wha fa' in Fortune's strife,
Their fate we should na censure;
For still, th' important end of life
They equally may answer:
A man may hae an honest heart,
Tho poortith hourly stare him;
A man may tak a neebor's part,
Yet hae nae cash to spare him.
Ay free, aff han', your story tell,
When wi a bosom cronie;
But still keep something to yoursel
Ye scarcely tell to onie:
Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can
Frae critical dissection:
But keek thro ev'ry other man,
Wi sharpen'd, sly inspection.
The scared lowe o weel-plac'd love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Tho naething should divulge it:
I waive the quantum o the sin,
The hazard of concealing;
But, och! it hardens a' within,
And petrifies the feeling!
To catch Dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her;
And gather gear by ev'ry wile
That's justify'd by honor:
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Nor for a train-attendant;
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
The fear o Hell's a hangman's whip
To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,
Let that ay be your border:
Its slightest touches, instant pause -
Debar a' side-pretences;
And resolutely keep its laws,
The great Creator to revere,
Must sure become the creature;
But still the preaching cant forbear,
An ev'n the rigid feature:
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range
Be complaisance extended;
An atheist-laugh's a poor exchange
For Deity offended!
When ranting round in Pleasure's ring,
Religion may be blinded;
Or if she gie a random sting,
It may be little minded;
But when on Life we're tempest-driv'n -
A conscience but a canker -
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n,
Is sure a noble anchor!
Adieu, dear, amiable youth!
Your heart can ne'er be wanting!
May prudence, fortitude, and truth,
Erect your brow undaunting!
In ploughman phrase, 'God send you speed,'
Still daily to grow wiser;
And may ye better reck the rede,
Than ever did th' adviser!
Wiersz skierowany do Andrew Hunter Aitken'a, syna Roberta Aitkena, kupca w Liverpoolu i konsula Brytyjskiego w Rydze (zmarł tam w 1831 roku).
When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neebors, neebors meet;
As market-days are wearing late,
An folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Whare sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
This truth fand honest Tam o Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter:
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses,
For honest men and bonie lasses).
O Tam had'st thou but been sae wise,
As taen thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder wi the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That ev'ry naig was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roarin fou on;
That at the Lord's house, even on Sundav,
Thou drank wi Kirkton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied that, late or soon,
Thou would be found, deep drown'd in Doon,
Or catch'd wi warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld,haunted kirk.
Ah, gentle dames, it gars me greet,
To think how monie counsels sweet,
How monie lengthen'd, sage advices
The husband frae the wife despises!
But to our tale:- Ae market-night,
Tam had got planted unco right,
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi reaming swats, that drank divinely;
And at his elbow, Souter Johnie,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy cronie:
Tam lo'ed him like a very brither;
They had been fou for weeks thegither.
The night drave on wi sangs and clatter;
And ay the ale was growing better:
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
Wi favours secret, sweet, and precious:
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle.
Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himsel amang the nappy.
As bees flee hame wi lades o treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi pleasure:
Kings may be blest but Tam was glorious,
O'er a' the ills o life victorious!
But pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.
Nae man can tether time or tide,
The hour approaches Tam maun ride:
That hour o night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour Tam mounts his beast in:
And sic a night he taks the road in,
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.
The wind blew as `twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd;
Loud, deep, and lang the thunder bellow'd;
That night, a child might understand,
The Deil had business on his hand.
Weel mounted on his gray mare Meg,
A better never lifted leg,
Tam skelpit on thro dub and mire,
Despising wind, and rain, and fire;
Whiles holding fast his guid blue bonnet,
Whiles crooning o'er an auld Scots sonnet,
Whiles glow'ring round wi prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares:
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.
By this time he was cross the ford,
Whare in the snaw the chapman smoor'd;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Whare drunken Charlie brak's neck-bane;
And thro the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel.
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars thro the woods;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole,
Near and more near the thunders roll:
When, glimmering thro the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze,
Thro ilka bore the beams were glancing,
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.
Inspiring bold John Barleycorn,
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi tippenny, we fear nae evil;
Wi usquabae, we'll face the Devil!
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood, right sair astonish'd,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventur'd forward on the light;
And, vow! Tam saw an unco sight!
Warlocks and witches in a dance:
Nae cotillion, brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east.
There sat Auld Nick, in shape o beast;
A touzie tyke, black, grim and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And, by some devilish cantraip sleight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light:
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief new-cutted frae a rape -
Wi his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi bluid red-rusted.
Five scymitars, wi murder crusted;
A garter which a babe had strangled;
A knife a father's throat had mangled -
Whom his ain son o life bereft -
The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi mair of horrible and awefu,
Which even to name wad be unlawfu.
As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The piper loud and louder blew,
The dancers quick and quicker flew,
They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark!
Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans. .
A' plump and strapping in their teens!
Their sarks, instead o creeshie flannen,
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linen!-
Thir breeks o mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush, o guid blue hair,
I wad hae gien them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o the bonie burdies!
But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Louping and flinging on a crummock,
I wonder did na turn thy stomach!
But Tam kend what was what fu brawlie:
There was ae winsome wench and wawlie,
That night enlisted in the core,
Lang after kend on Carrick shore
(For monie a beast to dead she shot,
An perish'd monie a bonie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country-side in fear).
Her cutty sark, o Paisley harn,
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie...
Ah! little kend thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for her wee Nannie,
Wi twa pund Scots ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches!
But here my Muse her wing maun cour,
Sic flights are far beyond her power:
To sing how Nannie lap and flang
(A souple jade she was and strang),
And how Tam stood like ane bewitch'd,
And thought his very een enrich'd;
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi might and main:
Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason a' thegither,
And roars out, 'Weel done, Cutty-sark!'
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.
As bees bizz out wi angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie's mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When 'Catch the thief!' resounds aloud:
So Maggie runs. the witches follow,
Wi monie an eldritch skriech and hollow.
Ah, Tam! Ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin!
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin!
Kate soon will be a woefu woman!
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane of the brig;
There, at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross!
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake;
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle!
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain grey tail:
The carlin claught her by the rump,
An left poor Maggie scarce a stump.
Now, wha this tale o truth shall read,
Ilk man, and mother's son, take heed:
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd,
Or cutty sarks rin in your mind,
Think! ye may buy the joys o'er dear:
Remember Tam o Shanter's mare.
Napisany dla Francisa Grose'a, opublikowany w drugim tomie Antiquities of Scotland w 1791 roku. Burn spełnił tym obietnicę jaką złożył Grose'owi w 1789 roku, aczkolwiek wiersz nie powstał wcześniej jak w zimie 1790. W listopadzie tego roku Burns przesłał pierwszy fragment utworu do pani Dunlop. Grose otrzyłam ukończone dzieło na początku grudnia. Tak jak Helloween tak i ten wiersz opiera się w dużej mierze na wiedzy o czrownicach która Burns zdobył u Betty Davison. Opowieść luźno wiąże się z Douglasem Grahamem z Shanter (1739-1811) którego żona Helen przesądną sekutnicą. Lubił sobie wypić w dni targowe i przy jednej okazji jakiś dowcipniś z Ayr przyciął ogon koniowi na którym wracał do domu Douglas. Wyłgał się potem żonie opowieścią o czarownicach, co ona, łatwowierna przyjęła za dobrą monetę.
THE COTTERS SATURDAY NIGHT
My lov'd, much honour'd, much respected friend!
No mercenary bard his homage pays;
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end,
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise:
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,
The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene;
The native feelings strong, the guileless ways;
What Aiken in a cottage would have been;
Ah! tho his worth unknown, far happier there I ween!
November chill blaws loud wi angry sugh;
The short'ning winter-day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The black'ning trains o craws to their repose:
The toil-worn Cotter frae his labor goes, -
This night his weekly moil is at an end,
Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,
Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,
And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.
At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;
Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher through
To meet their dad, wi flichterin noise and glee.
His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonilie,
His clean hearth-stane, his thriftsert;
But still the patriot, and the patriot-bard
In bright succession raise, her ornament and guard!
Napisany zimą 1785/6, używając konstrukcji zwrotek a'la Spencer, bardzo popularnej w XVIII wieku
Composed over the winter of 1785-6, using the Spenserian stanza popular in the eighteenth century. Dedykowana Robertowi
Aitkenowi (1739-1807) wymienionemu w pierwszej zwrotce.
TO A MOUSE
Wee sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an chase thee,
Wi murdering pattle!
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion.
An fellow mortal!
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve:
What then? poor beastie,
icker in a thrave
'S a sma request;
I'll get a blessin wi the lave,
An never miss't!
Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An naething, now, to big a new ane,
O foggage green!
An bleak December's win's ensuin.
Baith snell an keen!
Thou saw the fields laid bare an waste,
An weary winter comin fast.
An cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro thy cell.
That wee bit heap o leaves an stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble.
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An cranreuch cauld!
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o mice an men
Gang aft agley,
An lea'e us nought but grief an pain,
For promis'd joy!
Still thou art blest, compar'd wi me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An forward, tho I canna see,
I guess an fear!