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There low he lies, in lasting rest; Perhaps upon his mouldering breast Some spitefu’muirfowl bigs ber 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 memory crave,
O'pouther an' lead, Till echo answer frac her cave,
Tam Samson's dead !
He was the king o' a' the core, To guard, or draw, or wick a bore, Or up the rink like Jehu roar
In time of need; But now he lags on death's hog-score,
Tam Samson's dead! Now safe the stately sawmont sail, And trouts bedropp'd wi' crimson hail, And eels weel kennd for souple tail,
And geds for greed, Since dark in death's fish-creel we wail
Tam Samson dead! Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a'; Ye cootie moorcocks, crousely craw; Ye maukins, cock your fud fu' braw,
Withouten dread; Your mortal fae is now awa',
Tam Samson's dead ! That woefu' morn be ever mourn'd, Saw him in shootin graith adorn’d, While pointers round impatient burn'd,
Frae couples freed ; But, och! he gaed and ne'er return'd!
Tam Samson's dead !
Heaven rest his saul, whare'er he be ! Is th' wish o' monie 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.
. When this worthy old sportsman went out last muir. fowl season, he supposed it was to be, in Ossian's phrase, " the last of his fields ;' and expressed an ardent wish to
le and be buried in the muirs. On this hint the author composcd his elegy and epitaph.
+ A certain preacher, a great favourite with the million. Vide the Ordination, slanza ii.
# Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, who was at that time ailing. For him, see also the Ordi. dation, stanza ix.
Go, fame, and canter like a filly, Through 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 sometimea uga for Kilmarnock.
Then first and foremost, through the kail,
Their stocks* maun a' be sought ance ; The following poem will, by many readers, he well enough They steek their e'en, an' graip an' wale, understood; but for the sake of those who are unac
For muckle anes an’ straught anes. quainted with the manners and traditions of the country
Poor hav’rel Will fell aff the drift, where the scene is cast, notes are added, to give some account of the principal charms and spells of that night,
An' wander'd through the bow-kail, so big with prophecy to the peasantry in the west of An pow't for want o’ better shift, Scolland. The passion of prying into futurily makes a A runt was like a sow-tail, striking part of the history of human nature in its rude
Sae bow't that night. state, in all ages and nations: and it may be some en. tertainment to a philosophic mind, if any such should
V. honour the author with a perusal, to see the remains of it among the more unenlightened in our own.
Then, straught or crooked, yird or nane,
They roar and cry a' throu’ther
The vera wee things, todlin, rin,
Wi' stocks out-owre their shouther;
An' gif the custoc's sweet or sour,
Wi' joctelegs they taste them ;
Wi' cannie care they place them
To lie that night.
The lasses staw frae 'mang them a',
To pou their stalks o' corn ;t
But Rab slips out, an' jinks about,
Behint the muckle thorn :
He grippet Nelly hard an' fast;
Loud skirl'd a' the lasses ;
But her tap-pickle maist was lost,
When kiuttlin in the fause-house
Wi' him that night.
The auld guidwife's weel hoordet nits
Are round an' round divided,
An' monie lads' an' lasses' fates
Are there that night decided :
Some kindle, couthie, side by side
An'burn thegither trimly ;
The first ceremony of Halloween is, pulling each a
stock, or plant of kail. They must go out, hand in hand, The lasses feat, an' cleanly neat,
with eyes shut, and pull the first they ineet with: its being
bigor little, straight or crooked, is prophetie of the size and Mair braw than when they're fine;
shape of the grand object of all their spells—the husband Their faces blythe, fu'sweetly kythe,
or wife. If any yird, or earth, stick to the root, that is Hearts leal, an’ warm, an' kin':
tocher, or fortune ; and the taste of the custor, that is, the The lads sae trig, wi’ wooer-babs,
heart of the stem, is indicative of the natural temper and Weel knotted on their garten,
disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to give them their
ordinary appellation, the runts, are placed somewhere Some unco blate, an' some wi' gabs,
above the head of the door: and the Christian names of Gar lasses hearts gang startin
the people whom chance brings into the house, are, accord. Whyles fast at night. ing to the priority of placing the runts, the names in
+ They go to the barn-yard and pull each, at three seve* Is thought to be a night when witches, devils, and ral times, a stalk of oats. If the third stalk wants the other mischief-making beings, are all abroad on their top-pickle, that is, the grain at the top of the stalk, the baneful, midnight errands; particularly those aërial party in question will come to the marriage bed any thing people the fairies, are said on that night to hold a grand but a maid. anniversary
# When the corn is in a doubtful state, by being coo + Certain little, romantic, rocky, green hills, in the green, or wet, the stack-builder, by means of old timber, neighbourhood of the ancient seat of the Earls of Cas. &c., makes a large apartment in his stack, with an opensilis.
ing in the side which is fairest exposed to the wind : this * A noted cavern near Colean house, called the Cove he calls a fause-house. of Colean: which, as Cassilis Downads, is famed in & Burning the nuls is a famous charm. They name the country story for being a favourite haunt of fairies. lad and lass to each particular nut, as they lay them in
& The famous family of that name, the ancestors of the fire, and accordingly as they burn quietly together, Robert, the great deliverer of his country, were Earls of or start from beside one another, the course and issue of Carrick.
the courtship will be.
Some start awa wi'saucie pride,
Wee Jenny to her grannie says,
“Will ye go wi' me, grannie?
I'll eat the apple* at the glass,
I gat frae uncle Johnie ;"
She fufft her pipe wi' sic a lunt,
In wrath she was sae vap'rin,
She noticed na, an azle brunt
Her braw new worset apron
Out through that night.
“ Ye little skelpie-limmer's face!
How daur you try sic sportin,
For him to spae your fortune?
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!
Great cause ye hae to fear it;
For monie a ane has gotten a fright,
An' lived an' died deleerit
On sic a night.
“ Ae hairst afore the Sherra-moor,
I mind't as weel' yestreen,
I was a gilpey then, I'm sure
I was na past fyfteen :
The simmer had been cauld an' wat,
An' stuff was unco green ;
An'aye a rantin kirn we gat,
An'just on Halloween
It fell that night.
“Our stibble-rig was Rab M'Graen, Rob, stowlins, prie'd her bonnie mou,
A clever, sturdy fallow;
He's sin got Eppie Sim wi' wean,
That lived in Achmacalla :
He gat hemp-seed,t I mind it weel,
An' he made unco light o't;
But monie a day was by himsel,
He was sae sairly frighted
That vera night.”
Then up gat rechtin Jamie Fleck,
An' he swoor by his conscience,
That he could saw hemp-seed a peck;
For it was a' but nonsense ;
The auld guidman raught down the pock,
An'out a handful gied him;
Syne bad him slip frae 'mang the folk,
Sometimes when nae ane seed him :
An' try't that night.
* Take a candle, and go alone w a looking-glass; eat But whether 'twas the deil himsel,
an apple before it, and some traditions say, you should Or whether 'twas a bauken,
comb your hair, all the time; the face of your conjugal Or whether it was Andrew Bell,
companion, to be, will be seen in the glass, as if peeping She did na wait on talkin
over your shoulder. To spier that night.
+ Sleal out unperceived, and sow a handful of hemp seed; harrowing it with any thing you can conveniently
draw after you. Repeat now and then, “Hemp-seed, I Whoever would, with success, try this spell, must saw thee, hemp-seed, I saw thee ; and him (or her) that strictly observe these directions: Steal out, all alone, lo is to be my true love, come after me and pou thee.” Look the siln, and, darkling, throw into the pot a clue of blue over your left shoulder, and you will see the appearance yarn; wind it in a new clue oif the old one; and, towards of the person invoked, in the attitude of pulling hemp. the latter end, something will hold the thread; demand Some traditions say, “ come after me, and shaw thee," wha hauts ? i. e. who holds ? an answer will be returned that is, show thy self: in which case it simply appears from the kiln-pot, by naming the Christian and surname Others omit the harrowing, and say, “coma afirms, and of your future spouse.
They hoy't out Will, wi' sair advice :
They hecht him some fine braw ane;
It chanced the stack he faddom'd thrice,
Was timmer propt for thrawin:
He taks a swirlie, auld moss-oak, “ Hemp-seed, I saw thee,
For some black, grousome carlin ;
An' loot a winze, an' drew a stroke,
Till skin in blypes came haurlin
Aff's nieves that night.
wanton widow Leezie was, To keep his courage cheerie ;
As canty as a kittlen ;
But och! that night, amang the shaws,
She got a fearfu' settlin!
She through the whins, an' by the cairn,
An' owre the hill gaed scrievin,
Whare three lairds' lands met at a burnt
To dip her left sark sleeve in,
Was bent that night.
Whyles owre a linn the burnie plays,
As through the glen it wimplet:
Whyles round a rocky scar it strays ;
Whyles in a wiel it dimplet;
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 mais lap the hool;
Neer lav'rock height she jumpit,
But mist a fit, an' in the pool
Out-owre the lugs she plumpit,
Wi' a plunge that night.
In order, on the clean hearth-stane,
The luggies threef are ranged,
* Take an opportunity of going, unnoticed, to a Bear Syne bauldly in she enters;
stack, and fathom it three times round. The last fathom A ratton rattled up the wa',
of the last time, you will catch in your arms the appear. An' she cried L-d preserve her,
ance of your future conjugal yoke-fellow. An' ran through midden-hole an'a',
+ You go out, one or more, for this is a social spell, to An' pray'd wi' zeal an' fervour,
a south running spring or rivulet, where “three lairds' Fu’fast that night.
lands meel," and dip your left shirt sleeve. Go to bed in sight of a fire, and hang your wet sleeve before it to
dry. Lic awake; and some time near midnight, an appa* This charm must likewise be performed unperceived, rition, having the exact figure of the grand object in ques. and alone. You go to the barn, and open both doors, tion, will come and turn the sleeve, as if to dry the other taking them off the hinges, if possible; for there is danger side of it. that the being, about to appear, may shut the doors, and Take three dishes; put clean water in one, foul do you some mischief. Then take that instrument used water in another, leave the third empty: blindfold a in winnowing the corn, which, in our country dialect, person, and lead him to the hearth where the dishes are we call a wecht; and go through all the attitudes of letting ranged: he (or she) dips the left hand: if by chance in down corn against the wind. Repeat it three times; and the clean water, the future husband or wife will come to the third time an apparition will pass through the barn, the bar of matrimony a maid ; if in the foul, a widow; if in at the windy door, and out at the other, having both in the empty dish, it foretells, with equal certainty, no the figure in question, and the appearance or retinue, marriage at all. It is repeated three times, and every marking the employment or station in life.
time the arrangement of the dishes is altered
Though now ye dow but hoyte an' hobble An' wintle like a saumont-coble, That day ye was a jinker noble
For heels an' win'! An' ran them till they a' did wauble,
Far, far behin'.
And every time great care is ta’en,
To see them duly changed:
Sin Mar's year did desire,
In wrath that night.
XXVIII. Wi'merry sangs, and friendly cracks,
I wat they dinna 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' blythe that night.
When thou an' I were young an' skeigh, An' stable-meals at fairs were dreigh, How thou wad prance, an’snore, an' skreigh,
An' tak the road! Town's bodies ran, and stood abeigh,
An'ca't thee mad.
When thou was corn't, an' I was mellow, We took the road aye like a swallow : At brooses thou had ne'er a fellow,
For pith an' speed: But every tail thou pay't them hollow,
Where'er thou gaed.
THE AULD FARMER'S NEW-YEAR MORN
ING SALUTATION TO HIS AULD MARE
HANSEL IN THE NEW-YEAR.
The sma', droop-rumpl't, hunter cattle, Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle ; But sax Scotch miles thou try't their mettle,
An' gar't them whaizle: Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle
O’ saugh or hazel.
Thou was a noble fittie-lan',
On guid March weather, Hae turn'd sax rood beside our han',
For days thegither.
Thou never braindg't, an' fetch't, an' fliskit, But thy auld tail thou wad hae whiskit, An' spread abreed thy weel-filld brisket,
Wi' pith, an' pow'r, Till spritty knowes wad rair't and risket,
An' slypet owre.
A GUID new-year I wish thee, Maggie! Hae, there's a rip to thy auld baggie : Though thou's howe-backit, now, an' knaggie,
I've seen the day, Thou could hae gaen like ony staggie
Out-owre the lay. Though now thou's dowie, still, an' crazy, An'thy auld hide's as white's a daisy, I've seen thee dappl't, sleek, and glaizie,
A bonnie gray :
Ance in a day.
As e'er tread yird ;
Like ony bird.
An' fifty mark;
An' thou was stark. When first I gaed to woo my Jenny, Ye then was trottin wi’ your minnie: Though ye was trickie, slee, an' funnie,
Ye ne'er was donsie;
An' unco sonsie.
Wi' maiden air!
For sic a pair.
When frosts lay lang, an’snows were deep, An' threatend labour back to keep, I gied thy cog a wee-bit heap
Aboon the timmer; I kennd my Maggie wad na sleep
For that, or simmer.
The cart or car thou never restit; The stevest brae thou wad hae fac't it: Thou never lap, and sten’t, and breastit,
Then stood to blaw; But just thy step a wee thing hastit,
Thou snoov't awa.
My pleugh is now thy bairn-time a': Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw: Forbye sax mae, I've sell't awa..
That thou hast nurst: They drew me thretteen pund an' twa,
The vera warst. Monie a sair daurk we twa hae wrought, An'wi' the weary warl' fought! And monie an anxious day, I thought
We wad be beat! Yet here to crazy age we're brought,
Wi' something yet.
Sowens, with butter instead of milk to them, is al. ways the Halloween supper.