Rough Scan
R. MacKenzie Fisher.

THE following biographical and critical notice appeared in a book issued in 1883 by D. H. Edwards, Brechin, entitled "Modern Scottish Poets:-

Robert MacKenzie Fisher, author of a very interesting volume, entitled "Poetical Sparks," which has reached a fourth edition, was born at Prestwick, near Ayr, in 1840.  His father was an industrious handloom weaver, and his mother having died when he was five years of age, he was placed under the care of his grandfather, who resided at Maybole.  Robert attended school at that town, and afterwards at his native place.  When little more than eleven years of age we find him plying the shuttle with great alacrity, and his limited spare time was spent in reading every description of books he could lay his hands on.  When quite a youth he would take long solitary rambles in some wild romantic glen, and we have specimens of his precocious skill in word-painting, giving evidence of his poetic powers when only about fifteen years of age.  At this time he left the weaving trade, hired himself to a farmer, and followed agricultural pursuits for three years, after which he was apprenticed to a shipwright, went out to Africa, returned home, and worked for some time in Govan and Renfrew.
Mr Fisher is an antiquary of some repute, and is a member of the Antiquarian and Natural History Society of Dumfries and Galloway, before which he recently read an exhaustive paper entitled "Personal Observations on Nature, and Sketches of Travel in Western Africa," which he is about to enlarge and publish in book form.  As a poet, his versification is smooth, his thoughts natural, and many of his verses show the tender side of the poet's nature.  This is seen in many of his English compositions-in his volume, and at intervals in "the poet's corner" - in which he expresses his thoughts on various notable events and incidental occurrences.  But when he adopts the Scotch vernacular, and writes with simple homeliness on the subject of domestic joys and cares, and with fine quiet humour paints the peculiarities of village characters, he is unusually felicitous.  In his own words, his

=="Hame-Spun thochts are best expressed
==In mither tongue - they're aye the best."

Altogether, Mr Fisher is a poet who has written much that is tender, musical, and refined, and he has evidently a warm sympathy with all that is good and true.





Prefatory Note.

In launching this, the fourth edition of my work, on the ocean of public opinion, I have to tender my most sincere thanks to the numerous subscribers for the very generous response they have made within the last few weeks to my appeal for their patronage and support.  I had up till a few months ago abandoned the idea of publishing again, but as the last edition is all sold out five years ago and inquiries have been made for it through the press, I resolved, having a lot of new matter on hand, to add to the forthcoming volume.
I hope my readers will kindly overlook any mistakes or grammatical errors they may find in the book, as I had not the advantage of even a good elementary education.  I have, however, done my best to make the book attractive, and by the kind permission of the "Auld Brig" Committee have been allowed to publish the two beautiful photographs of the Twa Brigs, which will greatly enhance the appearance of the book.  I have published the names of most of the subscribers I have received in Ayr and its vicinity.
I make no pretensions to literary efficiency but let the book speak for itself.  Most of the Scotch pieces were just a flash especially "The Bells," "The Brigs," and "Epistles," composed in from twenty to fifty minutes with little effort and as little pruning; and if my readers find anything edifying, interesting or amusing, I will consider that my labours have not been altogether in vain.

===Very truly yours,
====R.MACKENZIE FISHER.







POEMS.





Mysterious Thoughts.

WHEN Nature was throwing off her withered coat,
I stood one day alone, absorb'd in silent thought,
On the flowery banks of a little winding brook;
On its rippling wavelets I gaz'd with wistful look,
I thought what a varied, grand, and glorious theme,
It went fleeting away like a passing dream,
=And I wondered where it was going.

Then I looked around on the leaf-stricken tree
That had nourished and nurs'd the industrious bee;
Its sear'd leaves were falling gently into the stream
That had once bloomed so fair in the bright sunny beam;
And I thought that they surely had not bloomed in vain,
As onward they sped through the deep wooded plain
=And I wondered where they were going.

And then I looked up, and my wondering eyes
Caught the white fleecy clouds in the featureless skies;
I wondered if an artist the picture could paint,
And how they were held in such loving restraint,
So brilliantly dressed in ethereal array,
They lingeringly march'd on their mystical way,
=And I wondered where they were going.

I then beheld in his glory the brilliant sun,
His day's march nearly over, his course almost run,
And just as if carefully retiring to rest,
And leave this fair earth so beautifully dressed.
With his luminous face never scarr'd with a frown,
O'er the verge of creation he quietly went down,
=And I wondered where he was going.

I felt strangely enshrouded and wrapt up in thought,
On the lessons the past and the present had brought,
In that wild secluded spot, so lone and obscure,
I thought on the infinite glorious and pure.
I then thought on myself - and if nothing stands still,
But each has some wonderful end to fulfil-
=Then I wondered where I was going.

This wide world is fraught with mysterious strife,
Strangely mixed with the griefs and the pleasures of life,
Its a pleasure to get and a pleasure to give,
But yet its a serious thing for to live;
Opportunities lost we can never recall,
Yet how many in life never wonder at all
=Nor dream of where they are going.





Concisive Thoughts

SPARE me in kindness a moment of time,
To unbosom my heart in the spirit of rhymes
Think if my words are well ordered and sure,
Consider in love if my motives are pure.

Pass me not by when adversity's near,
Encourage my heart in the time of fear;
Strengthen my hands when my spirits are low,
Lead me through valleys where wild flowers grow.

When in the sea of despair I am drowning,
Look kindly upon me when the world is frowning,
Give me to drink of the cup of affection,
Lead me away from evil connection.

Give me a drop of the essence of love
As pure as the life of the gentle young dove;
Through many viscissitudes, trouble, and strife
Help me ever to lead a virtuous life.





Thoughts On Jesus.

THE brilliant heart of Jesus,
=Reflected from above,
Is the essence of perfection
=And everlasting love.

The heavenly mind of Jesus-
=The matchless king of truth-
Is rich and ever blooming
=In everlasting youth.

The sacred soul of Jesus,
=The fount of marvellous grace,
The source of full redemption
=To a lost and fallen race.

The divinity of Jesus,
=How mysterious, how grand,
How rich and comprehensive,
=We cannot understand.

The humanity of Jesus,
=Unceasing, frae from change,
And blended with divinity,
=How marvellously strange.

The work and life of Jesus
=Was never stained with crime
The meeting place of heaven and earth
=Eternity and time.





The Disruption Worthies.

I HAVE often heard my father speak of the memorable forty-three,
When they left the auld Established Kirk and formed the famous Free.
They renounced the thraldom of patronage, the bondage of State control;
Unfolding the doors of freedom for their conscience and their soul.

'Twas on the eighteenth day of May in that famous forty-three,
The auld State Kirk was rent in twain; she struggled to be free.
They met in the great Assembly hall, that meeting there their last,
The protest was read in firm tones, their solemn die was cast.

Then, with hat in hand and steady steps they marched to the open air,
Upon that dull May morning which turned out bright and fair;
With Welsh and Chalmers at their head, their onward course they bent-
With solemn air and dignity to Tanfield Hall they went.

And that was as grand a procession as Scotland ever saw;
It sealed the cause of freedom from unjust tyrannic law,
It filled the hearts of its heroes with gratitude and joy,
And twined a wreath around their names that Time shall ne'er destroy.

This scene was the admiration of the Christian world at the time;
It formed a page in history that might well be termed sublime;
"I'm proud of my country," Lord Jeffrey exclaimed, no nation under the sun
Could ever have borne such a struggle, such a moral victory won.

They had many bitter wranglings, for feeling then was high;
The floor of their church, the bright green fields; its roof, the vaulted sky;
'Twas a noble sacrifice they made-their earthly all was gone,
But they did not follow the Saviour for the loaves and fishes alone.

And Providence blessed their efforts and brought them timely aid-
They had many sympathisers with the noble stand they made,
For wealthy city merchants, to their credit be it told,
Came forward in their time of need and showered on them their gold.

There were churches built and manses raised through our beloved land,
For warm were the hearts and many the friends that stood by that noble band;
There were stations formed and missionaries sent to the utmost ends of the earth,
And Heaven blessed their labours from the very hour of their birth.

And the world now acknowledges the progress they have made,
All Christendom seems prouder now and richer for their aid;
Let Free Church members everywhere with thankful hearts rejoice,
In this their year of jubilee, with one harmonious voice.

Our memory carries us back in thought to the verge of the forty-three,
When, as boys at school, we were nicknamed "Nons" because we belonged to the free;
But Non-Intrusion meant liberty, and the longer we live we see
The wisdom and worth of our fathers that came out in the forty-three.





Thoughts on Nature's Music.

THE dread hollow moan of the deep surging sea,
Has music more pleasant and sweeter to me
Than all human instruments, sweet though they be,
=For it's tuned by the finger of God.

The weird and sad sigh of the wintry wind
Leave lasting impressions more deep on my mind
Than all works of art in the world I find;
=It issues from regions untrod.

The rumbling roll of the great thunder's crash,
And the wonders wrought by the lightning's flash,
Makes man's puny works but a nutshell of trash-
=It's awfully grand and sublime.

And the searching rays of the brilliant sun-
The guide of the earth since Nature begun,
And so will remain till Nature is done-
=The vast denoter of time

The musical tone of the wee winding rill,
Rising far on the peak of some heathery hill,
Flowing gently aside and supplying the mill,
=Then pursuing its course to the sea.

The eerie sound of the tall mountain trees
Scattering their leaves on the sad autumn breeze;
And the plaintive notes of the busy bees
=Has a world of pleasure for me.





The Beauties of Ness Glen.

OF all the glens that I have seen-
In fact, wherever I have been-
Through Britain and the Emerald Isle,
Away on Afric's burning soil,
'Mong orange groves and cotton fields,
Where earth spontaneous herbage yields,
Where jessamine perfumes the air,
Bananas blooming here and there,
'Mong cocoa-nuts and palm trees high,
Near mountains towering to the sky,
Where rivers course and waters fall-
The Ness Glen overcaps them all.

What solemn stillness there you find;
What grandeur to enrich the mind;
How awful steep, terrific, grand,
Where trees in dazzling splendour stand;
We stood entranced amid this scene
Of living forms of foliage green;
Here Nature dressed in rich array,
Spread ferns and flowers along our way;
The scented brier and wild rose, too,
And rasps in wild abundance grew;
Here Nature beams with vernal smile
And clothes them all in splendid style.

Is there a man within our land
Could view this scene and callous stand,
Indifferent, cold, unmoved as stone?
Pity the wretch - let him alone;
Where infant Doon comes streaming out
Her mother's womb and takes her route
Away among her fens and fells,
And limpin' linns and mossy dells,
'Mong heaths and holms of emerald hue,
Where wild flowers long to kiss the dew;
She dashes on in all her pride,
And pours herself in ocean tide.





Fair Ladykirk in Kyle.


A RECITATION.


'MID scenes of rural beauty stands fair Ladykirk in Kyle,
In ancient times a sacred shrine, but now a ruin'd pile,
Thou'rt lovely in thy solitude, thou hoary ruin grey,
Could'st thou but speak of ancient days, what strange things thou might say?
Around thy sacred walls I ran when I was but a boy,
Ere care had ever touched my brow and nothing did annoy.

The scenes come back to memory's view of happy by-gone days,
When with my mates we played among thy flowery banks and braes;
Pu'ed primroses and daffodils frae ilka mossy den,
And wander'd by the burnie side that wimpled doon the glen;
Ah! these to us were happy days ere care or worldly strife
Had dim'd with sorrow's woeful pang the lustre of our life.

Though fifty years have come and gone, I love thee still as then,
I love thee even better now, thy woods, and burn, and glen,
Thy verdant slopes of emerald hue so beautiful and fair,
The grand old orchard near thy walls with fruit so rich and rare;
Yet looking down the stream of Time, how short indeed it seems
Since I was playing round thy walls and hatching idle dreams.

Though history throws but little light on all that thou hast seen,
We form some faint impressions of what thou must have been-
When brave King Bruce's grandson within thy walls was wed,
His lovely Queen, Rowallan's pride, he to the altar led.
The first of all the Stewart kings, a man unborn was he,
King Bleary lived and died in peace not many miles from thee.

In his castle at Dundonald, where its ruin stands to-day,
'Mid scenes of rural grandeur and Nature's rich display.
And following down the rolling years, another Stewart king,
Whose stubborn will on Flodden Field disgraceful memories bring;
He lost the flower of Scotland, ten thousand heroes brave,
Through his wrong-headed waywardness, each filled a warrior's grave.

'Twas well for thee thou died with them, thou stupid luckless king,
Far better had'st thou not been born than do so vile a thing
As bring on thy grand nation's head both grief, remorse and shame,
Thou tarnished all her glory and disgraced her honoured name-
Like the doings of a madman who had fairly lost his mind.
Ah! bravery does not count for much when wisdom's left behind.

This stubborn, self-willed king once came thy sacred courts to see,
And paid for masses for his soul a tribute unto thee.
Oh! dark, dark days for Scotland then when ignorance was rife,
And superstition reigned supreme in highest grades of life,
When men enslaved by thraldom were only used as tools
To please the whims of despots and self-conceited fools.

Auld Scotland had been over-run with monks and begging friars,
Who would not work, nor yet would want, but clung to her like briars;
They sold their base indulgences to poor unlettered folk
And stuffed their heads with idle tales wrapp'd in religion's cloak.
No wonder then a Wycliffe rose, a champion in his day,
And Knox, who followed in his wake, to chase the gloom away.

These grand old staunch reformers then brought liberty and light,
And cleared away the moral mists of Scotland's darkest night;
The stalwart Covenanters came and fought in freedom's cause,
Some seal'd their Covenant with their blood through vile tyrannic laws;
All honour to their sacred names, this noble martyr band,
Religious freedom reigns at woll through our beloved land.





LINES ON THE

Inauguration of the Bruce Statue

AT LOCHMABEN, 13TH SEPT., 1879.


A RECITATION.


HAIL! fair Lochmaben! Scotland's eyes this day are fix'd on thee,
The mother of her gifted King; she proudly loves to see
The Monument which thou hast rais'd for golden laurels won,
A fitting tribute of esteem for such a noble son.

Old Scotia's soas once more again your fitful honours bring,
And cast them down beside the feet of your illustrious King;
With dauntless heart and noble mind he shew'd his matchless power,
And sav'd his bleeding country in her dark and dying hour.

We call to mind his mighty acts, and daring deeds of strife;
And how he struggled to be free, regardless of his life.
On many a mountain, moor, and glen, he fac'd the southern foe,
Nor did he flinch a single inch to free her from her foe.

He was statesman, patriot, hero, king, and champion of his day;
What Scottish heart does not rejoice at the sound of "Scots wha hae?"
He tore the tyrant's fetters from our bleeding nation's hands-
Was crown'd and reign'd a laurel king at his country's just demands.

His hand-to-hand encounter with Sir Henry De Boune
Displayed his marvellous courage as he smote the foeman down.
King Edward viewed with sad surprise his proud knight newly slain-
A starless breast now hushed in death upon that bloody plain.

Both armies now advanced, and closed.  The conflict has begun;
The Scots through mud and blood, and steel, are fighting three to one,
Till foot by foot and inch by inch the English armies yield,
And Bannockburn runs red with blood from off that fatal field.

Bold Edward Bruce is fighting hard, and ev'ry nerve has strained;
Brave Randolph's fallen chaplet has quickly been regained.
The Bruce, by wond'rous stratagem and military skill,
Has prepared a peasant army to approach by Gillies Hill.

The testing moment's now at hand-old Scotia's heart beats high;
For death or victory is the word-the Bruce's battle cry-
When, lo! fresh hosts appear in sight; the English turn and flee;
And Bannockburn is all our own, and Scotland now is free.

Now, thanks to Heaven and Robert Bruce, the southern hosts have fled;
In hot pursuit the conqu'ring Scots are trampling o'er the dead.
Then raise your head, proud Scotland, may your banner float unfurled,
For the splendour of that victory was an honour to the world.





Caerlaverock Castle.


A RECITATION.


HAIL! hoary-headed structure, thou grand romantic pile,
Great fragment of the feudal times, and early English style
Of architecture.  Dressed in all thy solitude sublime,
Withstanding vast viscissitudes and mighty shocks of time,
In thee in this enlightened age some traces still we find,
That show the marvellous framing power and scientific mind
That in the middle ages sketched and formed thy wond'rous plan-
Stupendous tower still showing forth the noble art of man.

In days of yore where bravely fought and fell the mighty dead
That sleep the sleep of death around thy now dismantled head,
But sixty noble hearts in thee of Scottish blood were found,
Who fiercely fought in freedom's cause and firmly held their ground.
For two whole days and nights they fought and boldly kept at bay
King Edward's hosts and pageantry, in all their proud array;
Two thousand Eng]ish arms are formed, and round thy ramparts close,
Thy fearless inmates wildly face their stern relentless foes.

The footmen first advance on thee, but only to retreat
With bruised heads and mangled limbs; they suffer sore defeat.
Then forward flies Fitz Marmaduke, a warrior of renown,
But soon his gallantry is lost, and soon his glory's flown.
Then onward comes proud Cromwell, the handsome and the brave-
His Lion rampant crowned with gold, and pennons proudly wave,
His blazoned banners streaming forth 'midst glorious display,
In shatter'd fragments torn were around thy walls that day.

Proud Thomas de Richmond and Sir Henry de Graham
Vied well with one another to win themselves a name;
The two well-mounted barons of Wigtown and Kirkbride,
With De Gorges, a new-dubb'd knight, have fallen side by side.
Then down from off thy stately walls, with well-directed blow,
A stone struck brave De Willoughby and quickly laid him low.
Lord Clifford's banners now advance, in splendid pomp and state,
But Maxwell's men have braver hearts than let them force the gate.

Still on they come in dread dismay, amid thick showers of stones
From Maxwell's men, that fall on them and break their mangled bones;
As bees from off a well-filled hive around thy walls they cling,
Will heaven not come and save thee from their cruel deadly sting?
It looks as if the world's eyes were fixed upon thee now,
Oh! shall a laurel spring from thee to bloom on Edward's brow?
O'erpowerd by motely numbers and forced to yield they must,
Thy stately walls in all their strength are crumbling into dust.

The battering engine's dreadful powers are teRing on thee fast,
And ev'ry crushing blow they strike is like to be thy last.
The heedless hordes, like demons fierce, are marshalling on thy towers,
Their wild war cries now rend the air and shake the leafy bowers.
The gallant Scots are struggling hard their freedom to retain,
Their cry is death before defeat, since struggling is in vain.
The conflict having lasted long, is drawing to a close,
O'erwhelmed by numbers yield they must to their relentless foes.

The dreadful moment's now at hand, death stares them in the face,
Like hunted fox that's pressed to death with fleet hounds in the chase;
When lo! a flag of truce appears, the hardy Scots must yield,
And Edward and his motley crew are masters of the field.
Oh! heaven look down and cast thy shield o'er these brave stricken ones,
Dumfriesshire weep sad tears of blood for these thy noble sons;
To generations yet unborn their daring deeds of strife
Shall mark the roll of Scottish fame for which they closed their life.





Lines on James Renwick.


THE LAST OP THE SCOTTISH MARTYRS.


I STOOD on the slopes of Glencairn,
=Where a humble monument stands,
Streaming forth like a beacon of light
From the shades of a darkened night
=That once covered these favoured lands.

Here the last of a noble host,
=Who suffered for freedom and truth,
First saw the clear sunlight of day,
Like a flower he was carried away
=While yet in the bloom of his youth.

For Scotland's covenant and cause,
=From the thraldom of tyrants' sway,
He struggled to see her set free;
That suffering and sorrow might flee
=From the beams of a brighter day.

He was zealous, faithful and true;
=His memory still lives in our hearts
As we think of his honoured name,
Enshrined in the temple of fame,
=What freedom and joy it imparts.

He died the faithful martyr's death,
=The martyr's crown he nobly won,
His mantle on his loved land fell,
It lay like some unbroken spell,
='Neath the rays of the rising sun.

The mist of darkness rolled away,
=And righteousness reigned in our land;
Then down through the ages of time
Still reverence as something sublime,
=The last of that glorious band.

What suffering and misery untold,
=What fearful wrongs they endur'd,
But the blood-bought banner now waves
Triumphantly over their graves,
=Aud freedom's for ever secured.





The Beautiful Glens of Old Ireland.

I HAVE oftentimes felt that it's pleasant to rove,
Enjoying the company of those whom we love,
In some beautiful spot in the twilight of day,
When the sun in his splendour is melting away;
In the midst of seclusion, where nothing is heard
Save the silent footfall on the green grassy sward;
And Nature's green mantle is covering the nest
Of the sweet little bird that's retiring to rest
=In the beautiful Glens of Old Ireland.

There's a spot in the north of the Emerald Isle
That Nature has stamp'd with her vernal smile;
I've walked with dear friends to a silent retreat-
A tidy little farm, a quiet country seat-
And there I have earnestly worshipped with those,
Away from the world and its bitterest foes,
And sung our sweet hymns with our hearts free from care,
And buried our sorrows in soul-stirring prayer
='Neath the beautiful shades of Old Ireland.

To those who are blind and spiritually dead,
And no tears of repentance have fervently shed,
These joys are a mystery as dark as the grave;
They have no faith in Him who is willing to save,
Aud therefore they cannot consistently walk
In the company of those who delight to talk
Of the joys and the sorrows, the doubts and the fears,
That is lost in the breath of the spirit that cheers
=Their hearts in the Homes of Old Ireland.

But now I must leave these dear friends for a while,
And I wish from my heart that the Saviour may smile
On all their little meetings for prayer and praise,
Be the joy of their heart and the strength of their days,
And guide them along on their journey through life
With its wonderful care and mysterious strife,
Aud while on the hills of Old Scotland I roam,
I'll think on the lov'd ones I left in their homes
=Working hard for the Saviour in Ireland.





Fair Auchendrane.

RICH the surroundings of fair Auchendrane,
=In her silent retreat on the banks o' the Doon,
Historical memories mark her their ain,
=And Nature unfold8 a' her beauties aroun'.

The bonnie green woods that's around Auchendrane
=Are beautifully dressed in their silvery sheen,
While Doon's classic banks and her verdant plains
=Are splendidly robed in her garments of green.

How enchanting the scenes around fair Auchendrane,
=Where the wild songsters chant through the long summer day,
The lark, bursting with song, can no longer remain,
=But soars to the clouds with her Heaven-born lay.

Then talk not of lands beneath tropical climes;
=Neath a fierce burning sun I have wandered there, too,
I have pulled the pine apple, the orange, the limes,
=And roved where the palm trees and cocoa-nuts grew.

But give to me my ain native, clear, caller air,
=Where the wild thistle waves in the land of the free,
And the blue-bells and heather still blooming so fair,
=The mountains and glens of old Scotland for me.

I viewed from the castle of fair Auchendrane
=A landscape that's known through the ends of the earth,
Where beauty and genius are blended in twain,
=And the eye of the world beholds valour and worth.

The land of brave Wallace, the patriot of power
=The home of the Bruce and of Burns I can see,
Of Knox, Welsh, and Scott, whose names were a tower
=Of strength to old Scotland, the land of the free.





Scenes around Kilkerran.

THE sky was lined with silver clouds,
The earth was clothed with floral buds,
While driving through the bonnie woods
=That grow around Kilkerran,

All nature wore a garb of green,
And bathed her robes in shining sheen;
A fairer sight could scarce be seen
=Than that around Kilkerran.

I viewed with joy the grand display
Of nature's charms in rich array;
The sun had nearly closed the day
=Ere I had left Kilkerran.

I met that day a canty wife
As ere I saw in all my life,
A fairer's no on Doon or Dryfe
=Than this ane at Kilkerran.

She isna' mealy-mouthed ava',
But gey glib-tongued, wi' lots o' jaw;
She'd wile the very birds awa'
=That flee aroun' Kilkerran.

She has a man and twa three weans;
He mends the roads wi' broken stanes;
And what he wins the wifie hains
=That leeves beside Kilkerran.

Though muckle geer they havna got,
They seem contented wi' their lot;
He reigns a king within his cot
=That stan's beside Kilkerran.

And lang may they be spared to toil,
And leeve upon their native soil;
May peace and plenty on them smile
=As long's the're at Kilkerran.





Sorn and its Surroundings.

PEACEFUL and calm on the banks of the Ayr,
Rural beauty developing everywhere,
Seated 'mid landscapes so lovely and fair,
=Is the beautiful village of Sorn.

Every deep-wooded glen and bonnie green brae
Appears richly clothed in bright Nature's array;
The wild songsters chant, and the lambs skip and play,
=In those pleasant surroundings of Sorn.

Thou are famous in history, and ought to be blest,
Near thy beautiful precincts a prophet doth rest;
He was born in thy parish and reared on thy breast,
=Historical parish of Sorn.

Time hath wrought many wrinkles on auld Scotia's face,
But in thee little changes of Time we can trace;
Many wee theekit houses still modestly grace
=The auld-fashioned village of Sorn.

Your auld Kirk's the same, it is aye standin' still,
Though you've noo got a neat and beautiful schule;
A smiddy, wright's shop, and a wee woolen mill,
=Are a' you can boast of in Sorn.

But the auld folk's awa' that I used to ken,
Their grandsons are up and noo muckle men,
Struggling onward through life, aye trying to fen,
=And work for a leevin' in Sorn.

For life is a worry, and faucht at the best,
And here in this worl' we will never get rest
Till we gang up aboon and sit doon wi' the blest,
=And leave a' oor sorrows in Sorn.





Hidden Love.

ALTHOUGH our face may wear a frown,
And even our words may seem unkind,
=If we aside could'st tear
=The unconscious mask we wear,
T'would show a loving mind.

We may not fondle or caress
The darling object of our heart,
=Yet that will fail to prove
=That we have ceased to love,
Or only love in part.

And even though we don't embrace,
Nor to our heart them fondly press,
=Yet let them learn and know
=That this will never show
We love them ought the less.

The sweetest little flower that blooms
In some sequestered lonely spot
=Its fragrance will retain
=Through wind and drenching rain,
Even though its been forgot.

The purest little stream that flows
From some dark glen or gowan lea
=May wander on unheard,
=Yet that will not retard
Its progress to the sea.

So we, indifferent to their wish,
May sometimes speak with bitter tone,
=Yet hide from human eyes,
=Within our bosom lies,
True love for them alone.





Lost Love.

I HAVE often look'd back on my youthful days,
=When young and far in my prime,
When life was marking my happiest hours
=On the fleeting arena of time.

My young heart was tender and easily won,
=But it ever remained sincere,
And no foolish fancy could drive it away
=From him whom I once loved so dear.

He planted a flower on my youthful breast,
=Its fragrance has oft made me smart,
For it withered and died like a stricken tree,
=But it left a thorn in my heart.

I'll never forget his promises fair
=As we roamed among the green knowes
That richly adorn the place we were born,
=And I'll always remember his vows.

These vows he must mind as long as he lives,
=Even down to his latest breath;
They'll haunt him like ghosts his weary life long
=And only be vanquished by death.

Because they were vows of no common kind,
=Unneeded and even unsought;
With a fickle mind and deceitful heart,
=He cared not what mischief he wrought.

He followed and courted me twelve long years
=Until I had given my hand;
Then left me to drift like a rudderless ship
=On a barren and rocky strand.

And to add to his guilt and presumptuous sin,
=On another he lavished his love;
With her he passed by to vex and to try
=My fond heart and feelings to move.

Then has he succeeded in breaking my heart
=And leaving me sad and alone;
I'll leave him with one who judges aright,
=And He'll plead my cause when I'm gone.

I have seen the sun rise in the early morn
=And shed forth his rays for a while,
But the clouds have covered his brilliant face
=And marred his illuminous smile.

So fortune may spread like a green bay tree,
=And foster his roots for a time,
But it never will alter the fact of his guilt
=Nor lessen the weight of his crime.





Love's Desire.

I LOVE to rove among the glens
=That mark my native shire,
I love to speak with loving friends
=That set my soul on fire.

I love to see the happy face,
=The ever-cheerful smile,
That bears no signs nor hidden trace
=Of false bewitching guile.

I love the faithful, honest heart
=That is the gift of grace,
For earth cannot such gifts impart,
=Nor waft them from their place.

I love the meek and humble soul,
=That has no selfish pride;
With such I love to walk in love,
=I'm happy by their side.

I'd love to share my cares and joys,
=If I could only find
Some dear one weaned from earthly toys,
=Well pleasing to my mind.

I'd try to lead a happy life,
=Nor let our love grow cold-
A generous, kind and faithful wife
=Is worth her weight in gold.

I'd love her when her heart was full,
=With noble virtues blest;
I'd love the living principle
=That burns within her breast.

It draws its strength from heaven above,
='Tis deeper than the sea,
Because the "Love" that framed that love
=Can never cease to be.





To a Snowdrop.

HAIL! lovely unassuming gem,
Again I see thy slender stem
=Appear above the earth.
Oh! let me muse but one brief hour,
In some sequestered lonely bower,
=To celebrate thy birth.

Although no fragrance thou dost shed,
Around thy little snow-girt bed,
=Earth's breast thou dost adorn.
I love to see thy visage fair,
For thee I look with anxious care,
=And long till thou art born.

How short thy time on earth below,
Sweet emblem of the ermine snow
=That melts 'neath sunny rays;
The strongest link in Nature's chain
Must break-thou can'st not here remain-
=Fair emblem of our days.

Although of stature thou art mean,
Yet Nature's wide and varied scene
=Holds not a purer thing
Than thy snow-tinted spotless form,
That bears the blast of rain and storm-
=First messenger of Spring.





The Oak Fern.

(Dryopretus Pollypady.)

ALL hail! thou tender, lovely gem, of purest emerald hue,
Blooming on thy mossy bed, kissing the summer dew.
Hiding from the brilliant sun, shaded 'neath the trees,
Blooming away thy beautiful life on the soft summer breeze.

I love thee, oh! love thee for thy symetry of mould,
Thy slender stems of sable hue with pleasure I behold;
A living poem in thyself that he who runs may read,
And cast on thee a wavering glance of sympathy indeed.

I see in thy pure, fragile form a modesty sublime,
Finest of all the British ferns that grace our northern clime.
The stately Royal holds aloft his tassel'd head in pride;
But lacks the grandeur of thy hue, and gracefulness beside.

The Beech, though comely in itself, cannot with thee compare,
Nor all the spleenwort family, nor the Adiantum fair.
The prickly Ash and Hartstongues bold, the Filmy rather mean,
The Parsley insignificant-then, thou alone art queen.

Fit emblem of the hapless bard that sings his simple lays
To raise his sinking heart in life and cheer his weary days.
Thy grandeur and thy lovely life must wither and decay;
Oh! shall it not like his revive, and bloom through endless day.





"Our Dear."

A PARODY ON "OUR OWN."

IF I had known in the evening,
=How restlessly all the night
The thoughts on my bed would trouble my head,
=I said when you left my sight
I had been more thoughtful, dearest one,
=Nor ever had conceiv 'd
A thought in my breast to trouble your rest,
=Or leave you sad and griev'd.

For though in the early morning
=You may give me the kiss of love,
It might turn out that in sorrow and doubt
=I might be like the dove-
Bereft of her mate, sitting mourning
=In sorrow the weary day long;
A wonderful token of a heart now broken,
=That once was loving and strong.

We have a welcome hand for the stranger,
=And we're kind to the visiting guest,
But oft for "Our Dear" the bitter sneer,
=Though we love "Our Dear" the best.
Ah; scornful look, how thoughtless,
=Ah! heart as if of stone,
'Twere hard indeed should we never succeed
=In undoing what we have done.





Wee Winsome Mary.

AN ACROSTIC.

My sweet wee winsome Mary blooms just like a rose in May,
While opening out its tender leaves to kiss the summer day,
Its fragrance scents the dewy air, invites the busy bee,
And cheers the Poet in his muse beneath the spreading tree.

And Nature leaps with joy to see her children blooming fair-
They wreathe the lustred brow of earth and scent the dewy air-
They spread their perfume round our homes, our sadden'd hearts they cheer,
And stimulate our highest hopes throughout the changing year.

Respect them for their gracious ends, rejoice to see their birth,
For nature never bore a flower in vain to bloom on earth,
And so my ain wee Mary blooms beside my cottage door;
Her winning smiles my heart beguiles and stir it to the core.

Mouth's flow'ry season fills our hearts with soul-inspiring love,
And stores our minds with sentiments that echo from above;
Simplicity's a lesson great they never fail to teach,
Oh! let us all be learners while time's within our reach.

Fair childhood's years pass swiftly down time's ever-flowing stream,
And leave their footprints on our minds like some sweet pleasant dream,
And while we wish them back again they further from us glide,
Until to memory's view they're lost in dark oblivion's tide.

I look with all a father's pride upon my fairy queen,
I love her simple, winning smile, and guileless pawkie e'en;
Her cheeks like new blown roses red, her skin the lily white,
Her voice is full of music sweet, and fills me with delight.

She's never idle all day long, but ever on the wing,
Like some sweet bird of paradise that makes the woodlands ring;
And when the summer days come round she's busy as the bee
Among her little playmates around the old pear tree.

Her prattling tongue I like to hear, it lays on me a spell,
I often stand and watch her talking loudly to hersel',
For though her playmates all are gone, that does not stop her play,
She works till sleep comes o'er her eyes and carries her away.

Enjoying healthy exercise her youthful days fly past,
For fleeting pleasures terminate, they cannot always last;
Revolving years come rolling on with worrying care and strife,
And nobler ends and higher aims engage her after life.

Resplendent shines the brilliant sun, no cloud to mar his smile,
So is her life just new begun, unfettered, free from guile.
May He who rules the universe look down on her in love,
And when at last her life is past receive her safe above.





Nettie Gill.

AN ACROSTIC.

No flower blooms so sweet on Rerrick's wild shore,
='Neath the rays of the bright summer's sun,
As the flower of my song, by her cottage door,
=Ere the shadows of night have begun.

Even birds of the air enrapture the scene,
=By the songs they're chanting so sweet,
And Nature herself spreads a mantle of green,
=Like a carpet under her feet.

Lovely and fair as the flowers in May,
=She's innocent, modest, and mild,
And the fair flower of health blooms sweetly away,
=Like a rose, on the cheek of our child.

Like a brilliant star in the firmament high,
=Displaying its luminous light-
She brightens our home and hearts when we sigh,
=Dispelling the gloom of our night.

Young hearts, full of mirth, have a wonderful power
=A magnetic attraction so rare,
That sheds its perfume like the opening flower,
=That blooms sweet on the balmy air.

Give me the clear, caller breath of the spring-
=The dew of the mild summer morn,
And I'll carefully nurse my bonnie wee thing,
=As I've done since the hour she was born.

I love to see the sweet smile of her face-
=The light beaming out of her eyes;
I trust she may yet be a trophy of grace,
=And bloom a sweet flower in the skies.

Beloved by her playmates, she's never at rest
=But playing from morning till night;
Then sleeps like a top on my care-worn breast,
=Till the dawn of the morning light.

But fresh as the dew of the morning, her life
=On the swift wings of time shall fly past;
From cankering care and a world of strife
=May she find a bright home at the last.





To Miss Emma Paton.

AFTER A VISIT TO HER FATHER'S HOUSE AT TROON, AYRSHIRE.

THESE verses, few and short, to thee
With willing hand I give, Emma,
In token of sweet remembrance:
Preserve them while you live, Emma.

Your father's house at Troon hath been
A sweet resort for me, Emma;
And many happy days I've spent
In the village by the sea, Emma.

Now everything seems changed by
The busy hands of time, Emma,
Fair childhood's days have passed with you,
And now you're in your prime, Emma.

And some dear friends have pass'd away,
And shall no more return, Emma-
Heads grown grey, and cheeks turn'd pale,
And many left to mourn, Emma.

These thoughts may lead your mind to think
Of happier scenes above, Emma-
Where earthly changes never come,
And life is lost in love, Emma.

Both modesty and grace hath charms
That beauty can't command, Emma,
All these are thine; and happy he
Who wins thy heart and hand, Emma.





Lines on a Visit to Peden's Cave.

SORN, AYRSHIIRE.

Is this the so-called sacred spot, the rude yet hallow'd cave,
That sheltered 'neath its gloomy shade the grand old prophet brave?
Through many strange vicissitudes, through care and deadly strife,
He nestled in thy bosom oft to save his useful life.
From tyrants' hands he pass'd unscath'd through all their spleen and spite,
And shone supreme, a stainless star, through Scotland's darkest night.
Methinks I hear the troopers' tread, the clank of iron hoofs-
The disappointed, cursing crew, the ruthless, reckless coofs-
That travers'd every moor and dale, that haunted every glen,
To butcher, torture, and harass old Scotia's noblest men.
The grandest intellects on earth were from their pulpits hurl'd;
They fann'd the flames on Scotland's hills that lit up half the world;
They stood the test of tyranny, and stemm'd oppression's tide
That dashed its waves of wickedness 'gainst puir auld Scotland's side;
They fought like noble patriots for freedom, truth and right,
And chased the moral mists and gloom behind the hills of light.

Deceived by all the Stewart race that wore a cursed crown,
Till Heaven raised up a Cromwell and tore the Stewarts down,
Oh! luckless Covenanters that join with such a crew!
No blessing ever followed them, they stain'd thy garments too;
But onward roll'd the chariot wheels of liberty and light,
And crushed beneath their ponderous weight the Stewart's regal might;
And all their boasted pomp and power, their avaricious gain,
Were buried in oblivion's grave, no more to rise and reign.
The land then breathed a purer air, and safety sat supreme,
And freedom reigned enthron'd in state before the brightening beam.
The sun of righteousness arose, with brighter beams arrayed,
And chased away the despot's power that made the land afraid.
We reap the fruits our fathers sowed through waves of blood and tears,
They usher'd in a golden age that brought us peaceful years;
Let's carry down their honoured names to nations yet unborn.
Until the world's Redeemer brings the bright millenial morn.





Lines on a Visit to Mauchline.

HAIL!  Mauchline-queer, auld worl' toon,
=Wi' mony jinkin' turns,
Wi' winding lanes and martyrs' stanes-
Tombstones engraven wi' some names
=Immortalised by Burns.

Here Daddy Auld lies sleepin' soun',
=And puir auld Holy Willie, too,
And auld Nance Tannock lies at rest,
And Poosie Nansie's in her nest,
="Auld Clinkum Bell," and Johnnie Do.

They here lie sleepin' 'neath the sod
=Until the judgment day,
And monie mair that I micht name
Still living in the ranks of fame,
=Though mouldering in the clay.

Your stately castle, gaunt and grim,
=It speaks with ancient pride,
Of feudal times, and feudal laws,
And men who in their chieftain's cause
=Have fallen side by side.

On your wee martyrs' monument,
=With soul inspiring awe,
I read the names of noble men
In killing times had fallen then
=Through curs'd tyrannic law.

Your fame shines brightly round the earth
=You're visited in turns
By social clubs of honest men,
Who keep alive, by tongue and pen,
=The name and fame of Burns.

He left a charm on all he touched
=That time can never drown;
In youth he on your bosom lay,
And made you what you are to-day,
=A much frequented town.

I love your kind, auld worl' folk,
=I love your glens so fair,
I love your woods of Ballochmyle,
When Nature's robed in splendid style,
=On the bonnie banks of Ayr.

And noo, auld toon, I'll stop my rhyme,
=My muse is getting dry;
While sitting late on Prestwick shore
I hear the wild waves angry roar;
=I'm off to rest, GOOD-BYE.





A Walk through Inchinnan Churchyard.

THE leaves were beginning to fall from the trees,
And were carried away on the mild autumn breeze,
And the sweet flowers of summer had nearly all gone,
Except a few annuals left blooming alone,
And the young country rustics, with hearts full of mirth,
Were busy in gathering the fruits of the earth;
The bees that had wrought in the sweet scented bowers
Seem'd taking farewell of the last little flowers.
We hurried away with hearts free from sorrow
To the beautiful precincts of old Renfrew burgh,
And onward we pass'd o'er the clear river Cart,
Beholding the beauties of nature and art;
We look'd round us a little, and then took our way
Through Blythswood's fair policies, splendid and gay.
We walked through Inchinnan's sequester'd churchyard,
Its tombstones were fring'd with the long grassy sward;
The finger of time fill'd the letters with moss,
But we still could distinguish the legible cross.
We were filled with amazement, and earnestly bent
On beholding these relics of Romish descent.
Centuries have pass'd, their visage is marr'd,
But stil1 they are held in peculiar regard
As objects of interest to all passers by,
Reminding each one that they also must die.





Lines on the Jay Bridge Disaster.

'TWAS a bitter cold night, with the sky dark and lowering,
=And the elements marching in battle array;
The hurricane sweeping, and all overpowering,
=Discharging its strength on the Bridge of the Tay.

From the City of Edinburgh, onward and nor'ward,
=The train with its living freight sped on its way;
To meeting of friends, every eye looking forward,
=They cheerfully enter the Bridge of the Tay.

The signals are clear, and the train comes on steaming,
=And the watchers are waiting-oh! why does it stay?
Till, hush! in the gloom, a shower of fire gleaming,
=Tells the train and its freight have gone into the Tay.

They had entered the Bridge 'midst the tempest and gloom,
=The winds wildly tossing the white-crested spray,
Till crash! in a moment they all found a tomb,
='Neath the dark surging waves of the merciless Tay.

Every heart now is anxious, suspicions arise:
=The signal, twice tried, has refus'd to obey;
Then, venturing forward, and stretching their eyes,
=They behold a great gap in the Bridge of the Tay.

Then, howl on you wild winds, their requiem sighing;
=Will you sigh with dear friends o'er their cold mangled clay?
Their widows and orphans, who saw not them dying
='Neath the fierce foaming waves in the tide of the Tay.

Oh! Tay, by thy green braes, no more shall they wander;
=Oh! Law o'er thy great height no longer they'll stray;
Their death forms a theme for the nation to ponder,
=Great lessons are learned from the Bridge of the Tay.





Epistle to Mr John Smith, Newdukes, Prestwick.

A PARTICULAR FRIEND OF THE AUTHOR'S

I HAIL thee as a brother dear
=In these few lines I send,
For still through my wanderings here
=I prov'd thee aye my friend.

What happy hours I spent with thee
=In morning of my life,
Around the burgh by the sea,
=While free from care and strife.

The confidential chats we've had
=Behind some heathery hill,
When nature's very heart seemed glad,
=And everything was still.

The birds had all retired to rest,
=The dew had decked the flowers,
The sun had sunken in the west,
=And silent were the bowers.

Or by thy father's ingle side,
=When hills were clad wi' snow,
The happy hours at evening tide
=Have fled, long, long ago.

And happy hearts that used to sing,
=Alas! have also fled,
Methinks I hear their voices ring,
=Though hushed among the dead.

The memories of the past still live,
=And linger round me still,
And solemn warning to me give,
=That makes my bosom thrill.

But mother still is spared to you;
=I Love to see her face
So patient, gentle, kind and true,
=An ornament of grace.

Then brother, dear, while you and I
=Are spared behind the rest,
So let us live that when we die
=We'll mingle 'mongst the blest.





Lines on Dr. Livingstone.

Go hang the world in mourning, let each nation drop its head;
Send immortelles to wreath his dust-brave Livingstone is dead,
A victim to humanity, in freedom's cause he fell,
And Afric's sons may mourn his loss, for them he laboured well.

The great, the noble Pioneer, the messenger of truth,
His memory lingers round us still in everlasting youth.
I've stood beside his honour'd dust enclosed in stately halls,
Where stand the forms of sterling worth against the sculptur'd walls.

He sleeps among the mighty dead but still his works do live,
And live they shall through ages all, and lasting joy shall give.
The slab is black that marks his tomb, its letters tinged with gold,
Fit emblem of the savage blacks for which his life was sold.

His useful life he valued not, even to his latest breath,
His great designs were not complete when vanquished by death;
He ventured through benighted lands and chased away the gloom
That fled from him, and now it sheds a lustre round his tomb.

Through pathless deserts, wild and waste, his courage never failed;
Though in obscurity he bloomed his sun was often veiled;
But gleams of brightness pierced the clouds and darkness rolled away,
And he lived to see the dawning of a bright and peaceful day.

Then Scotia's sons throughout the world remember what he's done,
And pay a tribute of respect to Scotland's noble son;
His dauntless zeal and energy have forc'd him into fame,
The grandeur of his gallantry secures a deathless name.





Lines on the Death of Thomas Carlyle.

A DEEP mournful wail is now heard through the earth,
Its echoes resound through the land of his birth;
The great thinker is gone, the light of this age
Has fled, with the stern philosophical sage.

A master of literature, powerful and bold,
He wielded his pen as in letters of gold;
Through untrodden paths in the world of thought,
From the mines of research what bright gems he brought.

With his original caste and masterly mind
He left men of letters a long way behind;
The force of his genius put a spell on the world,
Though CARLYLE be dead, still his banner's unfurl'd.

It tasks all the powers of the weightiest brain,
His wonderful writings and thoughts to explain;
What an ocean of wealth in his being there lay,
What a fountain of pearls in a casket of clay.

Like a luminous comet his brilliant glare,
Makes the mightiest men in the world to stare;
Transcendently dressed in mysterious array,
He has left this sad earth in the twilight of day.

A hater of pomp, affectation, and pride,
A lover of reality, truth was his guide;
No dogmatic creed his firm nature could bind,
No gilded sophistry enraptur'd his mind.

He was offered a place 'mong the great and grand,
Where the sculptur'd forms of nobility stand;
But the quiet churchyard in the place of his birth,
Has received him safe back to his kindred earth.

The dreamer of the ages has gone to rest,
With undying respect may his mem'ry be blest;
The world looks aghast at the gathering gloom,
Where he now lies at rest in his forefather's tomb.





On the Death of "Wee Willie."

A SON OF THE AUTHOR'S.

OUR faces are pale and our hearts are sad,
=While our inmost emotions we smother;
We have laid him down in the quiet churchyard
=Far away from the breast of his mother.

We faithfully tried his disease to subdue,
=And soothe his young life while it lasted;
But little we knew that his hours were so few,
=And our hopes were so soon to be blasted.

We toss to and fro on our cheerless bed,
=And our dreams are disturbed with a ringing-
In fancy we hear falling soft on our ear-
='Tis the voice of our little one singing.

We start in our sleep for our nerves are unstrung,
=And the pangs of bereavement still hold us;
We scarce could believe we should lose him so soon,
=Though an angel from heaven had told us.

His feeble spark has so suddenly fled,
=Though we nurs'd it with warmest attention;
But his mem'ry still strays in our pensive thoughts,
=While his dear name we lovingly mention.

His tender stem has been quickly cut down,
=In spite of our care and protection;
But we trust that in love it's transplanted above,
=And shall bloom in the realms of perfection.





To the Years Eighty and Eighty-One.

THE old year has gone and the new year come,
Bringing mis'ry to many, and sadness to some;
Happy hearts and sad ones-singing and strife-
Are mixed in the cup of dear human life.

How swiftly do we glide down time's fatal stream,
The shadows of the past appear like a dream
As it sounds through the air from the old clock's chime,
Another link is added to the old chain of time.

How short does it seem since we first saw its face,
And welcomed eighty as the new year of grace;
It's passed like a vision, it seems but a breath,
We gaze as it glides through the portals of death.

What strange things have happened within its career,
Whiles faint gleams of gladness attended with fear,
Political change, revolution and strife
At home and abroad, with war raging rife.

The year we have entered, so far's we can see,
Has littLe to cheer or fill us with glee;
Let us hope against hope, and fight against fear,
And pray that it may be a prosperous year.





Children's Pic-nic at Furness Abbey, Lancashire.

ALL nature was cloth'd in her garments of green,
The wild flowers bloom'd bonnie and fair to be seen,
The little birds warbling among the green trees,
Their notes carried off on the mild autumn breeze,
When a party of juveniles, lively and gay,
For old Furness Abbey set out on their way.
On reaching its ruins so sweetly they sung,
That its time-worn walls with melody rung.

How sweet is the blossom and spring time of life,
Untarnished by malice or worldly strife;
Rich in their guilelessness, beauty and pride,
Culling the wild flowers blooming beside
The murmuring stream, meandering sweet,
Dashing its little waves, kissing their feet;
No thought of the morrow, no care of the past,
Yet rejoicing in joys that never can last.

'Midst breathless excitement and innocent glee,
They sat themselves down 'neath an old elm tree,
On nature's green carpet, bountifully spread
With milk, little cakes, and plenty of bread;
Sitting chattering and eating, and when they were done,
They suddenly fled like a shot from a gun.
Playing at hide and-seek, tossing the ball,
Scrambling for blackberries over the wall.

But as night was approaching with drizzling rain,
The teacher cries, "Children' make haste for the train,
And when we get home I'll be happy to tell
Your parents and friends you've behav'd yourselves well."
They ran to the station with joyous delight,
And in a few minutes the train was in sight;
Each happy heart sung as homeward they went,
And every one seemed to be pleased and content.





The Newton Stewart Murder (Ireland).

IN Erin's Isle one summer's day,
'Mong neighbours, friends, and rustic gay,
In Newton Stewart-peaceful town-
Just near the centre of Tyrone;

While all engaged in busy strife,
Amidst the joys and cares of life,
A horrid, barbarous deed was done
By some malicious brutal one.

A deed so dreadful of its kind
Must have engaged a hardened mind,
And he who framed the brutal plan
Unworthy of the name of man.

Oh! marvellous murder wrapt in gloom,
Shall sounds re-echo from the tomb
To mark thy page in future history,
For thou hast long remained a mystery.

Oh! faithful Glass, no human eye
But one on earth beheld you die;
And he unfeeling must have been-
Yet one in heaven beheld the scene.

And not an obscure, secret spot,
Nor yet a meditated thought,
Nor yet a preconcerted plan,
Though hidden from the sight of man.

But what are mark'd in letters bright,
Unclouded by the shades of night,
Nor wither'd till the end of time,
Shall seal the destiny of crime.

Shall avarice haunt the reckless mind,
Or proud ambition pleasure find
In deeds so barbarous, to obtain
Their selfish ends or worldly gains.

Montgomery, wilt thou blast a name
So much renown'd in Scottish fame,
For they who bore it nobly stood,
And signed their covenant with their blood.

With cruel hand and murderous knife
You stole a young and useful life,
Who as a faithful comrade true,
Plac'd all his confidence in you.

He deemed you worthy of that trust,
He thought you generous, kind and just,
Nor ever dreamt that such a one
A deed so dreadful could have done.

And who would not have trusted thee?
Whose greatest duty was to see
Both property and life secure,
And every place of trust made sure.

The greatest nation under heaven
To thee a gracious trust had given,
That a terror thou might's be to those
Who were the nation's greatest foes.

But a blessing, also, and a praise
To all who walk in wisdom's ways,
But mammon stole thy cruel heart,
And perc'd it with his selfish dart.

Shall glittering mammon save thee now
Or plant some laurel on thy brow,
Or ease the pangs within thy breast,
Or lay thee on a couch of rest.

Now wretched man, thy dreadful doom
Is fix'd 'midst melancholy gloom;
Who now thy youthful life can save,
That's doom'd to fill a felon's grave.

Go spend thy few remaining hours
Within the shades of mercy's bowers,
And He who saved the dying thief
May bless thee with profound relief.

For even at the eleventh hour,
See streams of mercy charg'd with power.
Montgomery, stop.  Oh! stop and drink
Before you step o'er Jordan's brink.





Lament on the Death of Teapot Sam.

A WELL-KNOWN GLASGOW CHARACTER.

I KENNA what we'll dae ava-
Puir Teapot Tam is noo awa
Frae 'mang the winter's frost and snaw
=And worldly cares;
He stood full many a bitter blaw
=Near Campbell Blair's.

As through Jamaica Street we gang
Amang the busy crushing thrang;
Oor hearts maun surely gie a pang-
=He'll no be there;
His gentle form that stood sae lang
=We'll ne'er see mair.

Just like a statue lang he stood
Wi' glowering een and faced the crood;
He didna beg nor wisna rude-
=But rather blate;
Nane ever heard him speaking loud-
=He aye kept quate.

Through winter's bitter rain and blast,
His evening papers firm and fast,
He held on tae the very last
=Tae see, nae doot,
If some kind freens that onward passed
=Wad buy them oot.

His weird-like form and shrivelled skin,
Ill-fitted was tae stan' the win',
Wi' shilpit han's, sae lang and thin,
=And body bent;
He wrocht and focht his wee time in
=And seemed content.





Tatie Favie.

TATIE Davie's a queer-looking, auld-fashioned loon,
Weel kenned by the maist o' the weans in the toon,
Wi' buttons and feathers his bonnet is dressed,
He gangs like a waunner'd hen seeking a nest,
Pretending to sell-though it's begging he means-
A kenspeckle beggar has aye a few friens-
And slyly he slips into every ane's hoose,
Wi' the air o' an auld cat watching a moose.
His hurdies are weel lined wi' taties and meal,
But although Davie begs he's ne'er kenned tae steal,
It's said that the bodie o' siller is rife
Although that he leads such a miserable life;
But wi' plenty tae eat and bawbees tae spare
Folk think it's richt no' tae gie him ony mair,
But he aye gets a pick at some kind neighbour's door,
And Davie lays't by in his basket and store.

In each village or toon, in market or fair,
Where'er there's a crood Davie's shure tae be there,
And the weans are shure tae be efter his heels,
Tormenting the body-the tricky young diels-
Ane scarcely can tell what amuses them maist,
His trinkety bonnet or bushel-like waist,
And the body's aye cauld-rife, shilpit and thin,
And no owre weel fitted for staunin' the win',
Aboot Castle-Douglas the cratur was born,
Though long he has wandered forsaken, forlorn,
He has nae relations, they're a' dead and gane,
He's helpless and homeless, noo sad and alane.

He wrocht in the coalpits for mony a year,
So he says, but I think he had left them through fear,
For while working awa' ae day in a hole,
He got struck on the heid wi' a big lump o' coa1.
He lodged in Kilmarnock, they carried him there,
And sent for a doctor wha clippit his hair,
And dressed up his wounds and ordered him wine.
Some thocht that the body was getting on fine,
But, alas, he fell back, turned far waur again;
Then they saw the trouble was taking his brain,
Tae the asylum then he was quickly consigned,
For tae tell the rale truth he was oot o' his mind.
But wi' care and attention Davie got roun',
He got oot and soon made his way tae the toon;
He took tae the road wi' his staff and his pock,
But he's often found oot that begging's nae joke,
And through a' Davie's wanderings over the earth
Asylums and coalpits get aye a wide berth.

Davie cam tae my shop ae day in Dumfries,
Geyan hungry and cauld-he wanted a piece-
I was glad tae see him tae tell ye the truth,
I wanted his history doun frae his youth.
No ane could tell me that I happened tae speir,
Although some had kenned him for near thirty years;
So wi' little palaver, Davie and me
Walked doun tae the hoose and I gied him his tea.
His talk quite amused me, he stuttered sae sair,
And his face was fearfully covered wi' hair;
The bairns fled the hoose when auld Davie they saw,
They had heard hoo he carried the bad anes awa.
Wi' patience and coaxing I got them brocht in,
They keek't at his bonnet and then at his shoon,
The queer cratur lauched, got his stick and away,
I saw him tae the door and bad him guid day.

A few days after that, through the rain and the sleet,
I spied the auld loon hirplin' hard up the street
Sair loaded wi' what looked gey like a pack,
But Davie, the cratur, had his bed on his back.
He was shapin' for Annan, for the police, he said,
Bothered him unco sair every place that he gaed;
He stood for a minute, then set out on the road,
Groaning heavily under his wonderful load.
He has mony a shift in the course o' a year,
And clear o' the police he tries aye to steer;
For he's aye in a fry wherever he goes,
And he's likely to be till his life's at a close.





Pairtin' wi' the Weans.

I'm troubled wi' the muse sometimes
=She gars me steep my brains,
When better things than makin' rhymes
=Wad answer wife and weans.

I often chance to leave my hame
=For sake o' worldly gains,
Tae places that I needna name
=Unless tae wife and weans.

Wi' mirth and glee their wee hearts glow,
=They sing in joyful strains,
Till duty calls and I must go
=And leave my steerin' weans.

The scene is changed, their hearts are sad,
=The tear each wee cheek stains,
They ken they're gaun tae lose their dad-
=This lot o' greetin' weans.

I try to quaiten doon the noise,
=And soothe their fitful pains,
By promisin' tae bring them toys
=If they'll be a' guid weans.

Wee Mary rins tae get my hat,
=While Jack and Will maintains
That they're the anes that should get that-
=O! what contentious weans.

If onything there is on earth
=From which my heart refrains,
It's stoppin' a' their childish mirth,
=And partin' wi' the weans.

While struggling through this world's strife,
=There's nocht for me remains
But seek to live a happy life
=Alang wi' wife and weans.





The Pow Brig.

I MIND when a boy o' an auld fashioned hoose,
Whaur twa bodies lived that were wonderfu' douce,
Beside a wee burnie, sae clear and trig,
That wimpled its way 'neath the auld Pow Brig.

It was built in a rude, semi-circular form,
An' had lang stood the beating o' mony a storm;
Wi' a bonnie wee garden, a coo and a pig,
They leev'd happy as kings at the auld Pow Brig.

Tam was blithe as a king, tho' a king just by name,
Was prood o' his weans and tidy wee dame;
He ance started for London, drove through't in a gig,
Wi' the rent o' the hoose at the auld Pow Brig.

His wifie was neither to bin nor to haud,
She really imagined that Tam had gane mad,
She vowed when she'd get him she'd kame his auld wig,
And learn him tae leeve at the auld Pow Brig.

I mind o' these scenes tho' I then was but wee,
Aye rinnin' for grozets wi' ilka bawbee;
And the lads and the lassies danced mony a jig
In the lang simmer nichts at the auld Pow Brig.

But the house is awa, and the wifie is gane,
And puir auld Tam noo is sad and alane,
An' nocht marks the spot but the bonnie lea rig,
Where stood the wee house at the auld Pow Brig.





I've Lost my Mither's Wean.

OFF through the busy crowded street,
Behind the big drum's merry beat
=A little girl of seven,
Her father's house had wandered from;
But ere she left that happy home
=A charge to her was given.

The music charmed her youthful ear,
She pressed behind its notes to hear,
=And catch each rolling strain;
A darling wander'd from her side,
When, lo! she turned and wildly cried
="I've lost my mithers wean."

She stood and cried and firmly pressed
The youngest darling to her breast,
=Her heart was rent with pain,
And still the burden o' her cry
Was to each careless passer by,
="I've lost my mither's wean."

With joy her aching heart was crowned,
For soon her little one was found;
=She could not well retain
The joy she felt as through the crowd
She homeward ran, so pleased and proud
=She'd found her mither's wean.

A lessons here for young and auld,
To watch the lambs within the fauld,
=They may from us be riven;
But cheering for us all to know,
That though we lose them here below-
=There's nae weans lost in heaven.





Epistle to Alexander Doig.

A BRITHER BARD.

HECH, Sandy, man, since last we met
I thocht, in case I should forget,
I'd ask the muse, the pawky pet,
=Her aid to lend,
If she a spare half-hour could get,
=Wi' me to spend.

I thocht the best room in the hoose,
I'd gie the jade, but she was croose;
I naething said, but kept gey douce
=And unco quate;
At last she cam fu' trig and spruce
=Like queen in state.

I've teas'd my brains in trying hard
To write you as a brither bard-
It's gey weel kenn'd we a' regard
=Ilk ither weel,
Though slipshod often we are marr'd
=At fortune's wheel.

I've telt you ower and ower again
To print the outcome o' your brain,
Nor talents hide beneath a stane,
=Man, bring them oot,
They're fit eneugh to stan' their lain
=I hae nae doot.

Yon screed o' yours on Tam Carlyle,
Is just a gem in thocht and style;
Your Tay Bridge lines it's worth ane's while
=It's strains to catch;
For me, I'd wander mony a mile
=To meet its match.

And then your things you can't see through,
O' scenes descriptive it is fou,
The muse maun hae been courtin' you
=By day and night,
Then what you said to me's no true,
=She's left through fright.

When next she comes gie her a squeeze,
Although she's often hard to please;
She'll pinch you till she gars you sneeze,
=I'm almost sure,
Till sweat fa's owre your brow like peas
=For ae lang hour.

Wi' ither bards I often say
It's hard to spiel Parnassus brae,
You'll fin' it harder every day
=On this poor earth
Where pryin' critics seize their prey
=Wi' mockin' mirth.

But hame spun thochts are best express'd
In mither tongue, they're aye the best,
We'll tune our doric lyre wi' zest
=And mak her play;
Though hardship's han's are round us prest
=We'll rant away.

Oor ain immortal Burns bard,
For doric lyre had great regard;
And brither Murdoch tries it hard
=Wi' a' his pith.
And Anderson, and Young, and Ford,
=And Jamie Smith.

So lilt awa, my dainty chiel,
And don't be feart tae gar her squeal;
But should she mak your brains tae reel
=Or grip you ticht,
Send owre for me, and if I'm weel
=I'll heave in sicht.

But noo I fin my time's expired,
It's gettin' late, I'm growin' tired;
But sometime when my brain is fired
=Wi' muse's flame,
I'll screed ye all anither yard
=Just much the same.





A Word for the Poor.

IN winter nights we've Christmas trees,
Both rich bazaars and big soirees,
But while we mind these social sprees
=Oh! let us stop and think,
And look with sympathy on those
Poor suffering wretches scant o' clothes,
=Wi' neither meat nor drink.

We see the dowie beggar man,
Wi' haggard face and shilpit han',
Sae thinly clad, no' fit to stan'
=The bitter, biting blast.
We see the mither and her weans
Barefooted o'er the snow-clad stanes
=Gaun ploddin' sair dooncast.

We see the poor in lowly cot
Owre prood to beg, though hard's their lot;
There's naething left tae fill the pot
=For hungry, greetin' weans.
The roads are clad wi' frozen snaw,
Nae work for faither noo ava-
=No even breaking stanes.

Then let us try what in us lie
To give them what they cannot buy,
And ease their wants before they die
=Let's look on them in love;
While fellow feelings in us rise,
We'll find the blessing and the prize
=Awaiting us above.





Epistle to Thomas Young, Stewarton.

MY generous, kind and faithful friend,
To speak your praise I now intend
=In complimentary phrase.
I wish how much you may be blest
With prospects of a future rest,
=And health and happy days.

And feeble though my powers may be,
I still desire and wish to see
=Your much respected name
To generations yet sent down,
That faith and love your works may crown
=With well-deserved fame.

Poetic feeling filled my breast,
On leaving you I could not rest
=Until I had compos'd
A verse or two in praise of you,
In whom I've as a brother true
=My confidence reposed.

How different indeed from those
Pretended friends but gilded foes
=In whom we have believed;
By words and looks we judg'd their mind,
But wakened just in time to find
=That we had been deceived.

It is not by the look of care,
Nor is it by the promise fair,
=That love and friendship blends;
But by the actions that we prove
And test the greatness of the love
=Of them we deem our friends.

I've known thee but a little while,
But from your unassuming style-
=If I may judge aright-
Philanthropy is largely thine;
And from her sky thy beauties shine
=Like brilliant stars by night.





On the Incurables.

I'M aye in the habit o' readin' the "Mail,"
=Oftentimes till my eyes turn sair,
I think nane o' the bards in Scotland ere fail
=Tae peruse it wi' anxious care.

To maist o' the poets it's gen'rally kind
=In printing their wee bits o' rhymes;
For objects o' pity some space it micht find,
=In these cauld and hard trying times.

It's pictur'd many a sorrowful case,
=On which I would like for to speak
To a' wi' the freshness o' life in their face,
=And the bloom o' health on their cheek.

Noo a word tae the hearts o' auld Scotia's sons,
=For a moment just think on the lot
Of the many poor stricken incurable ones,
=Who it seems have been almost forgot.

Oh! you wha enjoy the luxuries o' life-
=Wi' you it's but fill and fetch mair-
Just think for a wee on sic mis'ry and strife,
=While you hae enough and tae spare.

On the cauld winter nichts when the snaw's on the grun',
=And the auld arms o' nature are bare,
Think on many a poor incurable one
=Lying fast in the arms o' despair.

Let some feelings o' sympathy rise in your breast,
=And the silent tear fa' frae your e'e,
If you canna dae much ye can aye dae your best,
=And you'll and that it's pleasant to gi'e.

Providence will smile on your message of love,
=And bless you for all you have given,
If not upon earth He will meet you above,
=And crown all your efforts in heaven.

If a cup of cold water shall have its reward,
=Let each one of us do what we can,
For there's nothing on earth that should ever retard
=Our duty to each fellow man.





A Journey through the Glenkens.

AWA 'mang the moors on the water o' Ken,
Whaur it pours itsel' down over moorland and glen,
Whaur the black-cock and plover sae fitfully fly,
And the lark carols towards the clear azure sky;
And the sheep keenly graze amang the green braes,
Often tearing their fleece 'mang the brambles and slaes,
Such scenes cheer my heart, 'tis nature that speaks,
And brings through her zephyrs the bloom to my cheeks.

In one of my journeys I stayed a few days
At a shepherd's neat house at the foot o' the braes-
A real good Samaritan's - a Bethany to me;
Warm hearts and kind hands, ever joyous and free,
They acted on principle I firmly believe,
And found it more blessed to give than receive.
The guidman o' the house hadn't muckle to say,
But like the man's craw he kept thinking away;
By the cosy fire-en', in his auld arm-chair,
He sat weaving his stocking wi' caution and care.
The guidwife, tidy body, was wunnerfu' douce,
And her greatest delight was a bonnie clean hoose;
Wi' fossils and flowers her window was drest,
And her table was covered wi' books o' the best;
A heap o' nick-nacks on her mantelpiece lay,
And every bit relic-she stowed them away.

Their son, a blythe chiel scarcely oot o' his teens,
Took a gracious delight aye in helpin' his freens.
The pride o' his faither, his mother's delight,
She warned him weel tae keep in at night;
A guid book tae read, or his stockin' tae weave,
For in daft, thochtless lasses she didna believe.

Their dochter, a blythe queen as ony could see,
Was wonderfu' guid aye at makin' the tea;
Though scarcely sixteen, she could wash, dress, and bake,
And a capital working-man's wife she may make.

I enjoyed myself well round their lone moorland home-
Fitting place for a dreamer or poet to roam-
I bade them adieu, after reading my rhyme,
And promised to meet them some other time.





Jamie and Jessie.

I WALKED with young Jessie, my wee Ayrshire lassie,
=One fine summer day in the month of July;
As we talked of the beauties of nature around us
=We kenn'd na the hours went sae speedily by.

Enraptur'd with grandeur we onward did wander,
=Our hearts were as licht as the lambs on the lea,
Nature's beauties are rare, soul-stirring, and fair,
=They enchanted the heart of my Jessie and me.

She bloomed like a flower in a sweet scented bower
=That opens its leaves to the dews of the morn;
Her voice was sae clear, her face was sae fair,
=I pu'd the wild flowers her young brow to adorn.

Our joys were mix'd up in life's mystic cup,
=We drank them with pleasure when sorrow was gone,
But the joys of this life are tarnished with strife,
=And he's selfish the man who would drink them alone.

Yes, the joys and the mirth of this beautiful earth
=Are woven like threads in webs full of dreams,
And sometimes they bide like thorns in our side,
=Or float like the motes in the silent sunbeams.

We watched the wild bees on the gowanie leas,
=Instinctively kissing the wild blooming flowers;
We roved 'mang the bushes where warbling thrushes
=Were chanting their lays 'mid the swift passing hours.





Old Remembrances of Prestwick.

O WEEL I mind the burgh, the auld sea-girt burgh,
=Where first I saw the clear light of day;
As mem'ry wanders back o'er time's trodden track,
=What strange things it finds by the way.

O weel I mind the kirk, the auld roofless kirk,
=Surrounded by the tombstones of the dead,
Many wild wintry blasts o'er its bare walls have passed.
=And have struck against its consecrated head.

O weel I mind the burn, the wee wimpling burn,
=Meandering its way to the sea,
Where minnows swam in shoals, I guddled in the holes
=Wi' my breeks buckled up o'er my knee.

O weel I mind the braes, the bonnie heather braes,
=Where I chased the wild butterfly and bee,
Till warm on simmer days, I stripped aff my claes,
=And ran carelessly into the sea.

O weel I mind the shore, the bright shelvy shore,
=Its gowden sand glistening in the sun;
Freedom reigned supreme, time sped on like a dream,
=Though wi' me it was only then begun.

O weel I mind the whins, the yellow tappit whins,
=Whaur the linties built their cosy nests wi' care,
And the blossoms o' the broom sent its delicate perfume
=In zephers floating sweetly through the air.

Oh! where are all my playmates, my kind and hardy playmates,
=Ah! time hath wrought her changes very fast;
Then let it be thy theme through the ever changing dream
=To prepare for a brighter home at last.





Epistle to Thomas Paton, Galston.

HONEST rough and ready Tam,
As blithe and merry as a lamb,
And unco cracky o'er a dram,
='Mong happy scenes;
Aye fond tae lend a helpin' han'
=Tae a' your frien's.

I like tae see your frien'ly face,
Although ye're sometimes scant o' grace,
I dinna think it's oot o' place
=Tae speak your praise,
And wish you health in life's lang race,
=And happy days.

May peace and plenty be your lot,
And pleasures dwell within your cot
In Galston-wee industrious spot-
=Through a your life,
As doun its fickle paths you trot
=Wi' wife and weans.

May Providence His joys impart,
And bless your open honest heart;
May sorrow's sharp and cruel dart
=Ne'er wound your mind;
But through your black and toilsome art
=May pleasure find.

Your cheery, blithe, and sonsy wife
Has been the blessing o' your life,
An' helped to cheer you thro' its strife
=And muckle care;
Enough o' gear, aye wondrous rife,
=And some to spare.

And, man, how thankfu' you should be
As by your side your bairns see
Big strapping youths richt fou o' glee
=And fond to play,
And bairn's bairns round your knee
=Are toddling tae.

I hear the twelfth hour's mournfu' chime,
And so I think I'll stop my rhyme-
Don't think me guilty o' a crime
=Or selfish stain-
And maybe at some ither time
=I'll try't again.

And noo I'll stop and say farewell,
Your kindness fain my heart wad steal,
And while I live I'm bound tae feel
=Your fond well-wisher,
Although a rhyming Ayrshire chiel,
=Yours-Robert Fisher.





Auld Grannie's Ta'en Awa'.

WHEN the corn was waving yellow, and the days were lang and clear,
And the leaves were gently falling in the autumn o' the year,
And Grannie took an ill turn, and freens and neebours a'
Gathered round about her bedside tae see her taen awa.

For Grannie was a favourite wi' baith the auld and young,
She was a clinker wi' the hands, and a glib ane wi' the tongue;
A clean thrifty body wi' a mutch as white as snaw,
Her equal will be hard find since noo she's taen awa.

She was troubled wi' rheumatics for mony a tang year,
They took sae firm a grip o' her that whiles she couldna steer,
And though she had her crutches she was often like tae fa';
But they're a' left ahint her noo, and Grannie's taen awa.

We can scarcely think her gaen, though we see her vacant chair,
When we step into her tidy hoose we think she should be there,
And a tear starts frae oor e'e, and a heavy sigh we draw
We ken we ne'er shall see her mair, for noo she's taen awa.

She had mony ups and doons in her three score and ten,
Though fechting tae get en's tae meet, she managed aye tae fen;
She gather'd up her bawbees and bocht a coo or twa,
For Grannie was a saving ane, but noo she's taen awa.

The women folks will miss her maist when trouble fa's their lot,
For when wanted as a sick nurse, she aye was on the spot,
She needed nae instructions, nor made a great facca',
For Grannie ken'd her wark sae weel, but noo she's taen awa.

The bits o' bairns will miss her sair, as ilka neebour says,
For Grannie was a perfect han' at tying broken taes;
She could soothe their wee bit sorrows, was fond to see them braw,
For Grannie was a handy ane, but noo she's taen awa.

We have laid her body doon among the mools tae rest,
But we trust her happy soul is in the mansions of the blest.
She focht her wee time in, though her troubles werna sma'.
And left us sad and lonely, noo auld Grannie's taen awa.





To Auld Prestwick - My Native Burgh.

HAIL!  Prestwick, dear spot of my childhood's bright morning,
=To me aince the happiest spot on this earth,
Such elegant villas thy shore now adorning,
=I find I'm a stranger in the place o' my birth.

But thy braes are the same as they were in my childhood,
=And the Pow Burn still wanders its way to the sea;
And the notes frae the wee birds that chant through the wildwood.
=Reminds me of days I was fearless and free.

When I roamed 'mong the braes, a wee barefooted laddie,
=Whiles butterfly catching and chasing wild bees,
Till a skelp on the lug frae my careworn daddy
=Let me ken I had mair than mysel' for tae please.

What hours we did spend by the Powbank Mill playing,
=When we jilted our faithers and ran frae the loom,
Then up the burn side for some segans went straying,
=And tied them in bundles tae learn us tae soom.

Some auld rotten flakes we would tie a' thegither
=Tae mak' a big raft on the water tae float;
We took care aye tae keep unco near ane anither,
=And I'll warrant ye mony a dookin' we got.

When the bonfire took place in the month o' July,
=And the herd laddies gather'd bawbees through the toon,
On our help and attention they aye could rely
=Till the scenes were all ower and the bonfire burnt down.

I liked the scenes-they were really amusing-
=Frae twa muckle baskets o' baith cheese and bread;
The bailie near tumbl'd amid the confusion.
=Dispersd the contents 'mong the children like seed.

Sic scramblin' and scrapin', sic squealin' and kickin',
=Sic bluidin' o' fingers and trampin' o' taes,
An mony braw bairns that nicht got a lickin',
=For fechtin' and filin' and tearin' their claes.

To an auld country barn for penny reel dancin',
=The lads an' the lassies forgather'd that nicht
Sic cantrups an' capers, sic houchin' an' prancin'
=Till the swift passing hours brocht the gray mornin' licht.

But, alas! I look back and whaur are they a' noo,
=Some struggling through life on a far foreign shore;
And some happy hearts, once faithful and true,
=Have gone from these scenes that can know them no more.

The anes that are left are still struggling away,
=But time, busy time, rapid changes hath made,
For their aince raven hair is noo growing grey,
=And they're nearing that river we a' have tae wade.





Lines on Lizzie H-

IN Scotland in a village fair,
Wi' rural beauty, rich and fair,
Convenient to the toon o' Ayr,
=There leeves a lass;
No ane o' a the maidens there
=Can her surpass.

In fact, if I may speak my mind,
Her equal yet I canna find
Among the ranks o' women kind,
=Howe'er expert;
For Mammom's arms are firmly twined
=Round Lizzie's heart.

She isna' nursed in fortune's arms,
Nor yet possessed o' beauteous charms;
But through life's true or false alarms
=She battle's through;
Wi' her nae man, 'mang a' the farms
=Can sell a coo.

And naething scarce can Lizzie fricht,
She wauners through the darkest nicht,
Though her, her neebours often slicht
=She disna care;
She scrieves alang wi' a' her micht
=Like ony hare.

And mind ye, Lizzie isna blate,
Nor yet puffed up wi' self-conceit
Like ladies o' this nation great
=Maist ane and a';
Nae chignon's plaister'd on her pate
=To mak her braw.

She disna bloom like modest daisy
Awa amang the mountains hazy,
But works-for faith she isna lazy
=Nor maks pretences,
But has-though some folk think her crazy-
=The haudin' senses.

She aince began a byre tae big,
And then a wee hoose for the pig,
And finished them as snug and trig
=As ane could see;
And roun' them, baith she danced a jig
=Wi' muckle glee.

In fact I'll say't she is a clinker,
Can mend the pans i' ony tinker,
And few in a' the place can jink her-
=Big or wee;
Wha'er in wedlock bands should link her
=May happy be.





Paddy Carey.

A somewhat strange looking character who lived at New Prestwick, near Ayr.  He died during the cholera in 1847-8.

I MIN' o' Paddy Carey weel, a muckle gruesome Carl,
A queerer gaberlunzie man there wasna in the world,
A tumour on his muckle neck as big's a bairn's heid,
The terror o' the country weans wha often wished him deid.

A sax foot raw baned Irishman, though no tae sae unkind,
Well fitted to work sair mischief had he been sae inclined,
A big stick in his brawny han', wi' his bare legs and feet,
'Twas frichtsome aye to see the loon gaun stalkin' doun the street.

A bag hung ower his shouthers braid, for taties fitted weel,
Anither in his haun wud haud near half a bo' o' meal;
Syne up at early morn an' aff gaun chapin' to folk's doors.
Even risin' them oot o' their beds at siccan early hours.

But Paddy had the grup o' them, he kept them aye weel frichted,
For even big folk didna care tae meet him if benichted,
In fact the spuds or meal he got was often gien through fricht,
An' Paddy's heels gaun oot the door was aye a gladsome sicht.

I min' mysel', when sax year auld, I was a steerin' youth,
When Paddy's nuckles struck the door my heart gaed tae my mouth;
Quick oot o' bed I had tae jump, and no be lang aboot it,
Unbarr'd the door, let in the carle, syne hunkering doon he looted.

Then a' trembling like a leaf to the tatie bing I gaed,
An' plumpin some in Paddy's pock-of course I naething said-
But seen him quickly oot the door, his stay was always brief,
And the barrin' o' the door again aye brocht me great relief.

And so the gruesome creature that was kenned baith far and near,
Made a leevin' at the beggin' by keepin' folks in fear;
And though the body had scarcely reached the three score and ten,
He had tae lay his traps aside like ither mortal men.

For the cholera-that awfu' scourge that visited our lan'-
Wi' deadly aim amongst the rest on Paddy laid its han',
An' took the bodie quickly off frae a' his trouble here;
I ha'na met his equal since, tho' mair than thirty year.





The Auld Brig's Lament.

YE honest men o' Ayr auld toon,
And bonnie lassies a aroun',
Frae Prestwick tae the Brig o' Doon,
=O, pity me;
Auld age has wrinkled sair my croon-
=I'm like tae dee.

For near seven hunner years I've stood,
And borne the brunt of mony a flood,
Frae floatin' trees got mony a thud
=While passin' o'er,
The raging waters roarin' lood
=To meet the shore.

Weel dae I min' that awfu' nicht-
In fact I got a fearfu fricht-
When oor immortal Wallace wicht
=Ae nicht cam roun'
And cleared the barns o' Ayr ootricht,
=And brunt them doon.

The English loons were playin' pranks
Wi' gallant nobles frae oor ranks;
He tied them in and brunt their shanks,
=And bodies tae;
And sent them aff tae Clootie's haunts.
=Nae mair to slay

Its wunnerfu' what I hae seen,
And great the changes that hae been;
For millions must hae left this scene.
=When death doth strike,
He cares nae ocht for king or queen;
=A' share alike.

He's bother'd me this while gey sair;
Mair than I'm richtly fit to bear.
O' trouble I hae had my share.
=Ae leg he's drawn,
And sunk it doon twa feet or mair-
=I scarce can stan'.

And mony a time he's scourg'd my croon;
He cares nae hoo I flyte or froon,
Or cry for help frae the auld toon,
=In dark despair,
If he could get me tumbled doon,
=He'd ask nae mair.

Nae lang since syne my frien's began
To patch me up to mak' me stan';
But though they a' dae what they can,
=I canna last
Back to the earth like mortal man,
=I'm gangin' fast.

But yet as lang's I leeve I'll crow,
And cock my crest as lang's I dow,
Naething that's mortal, but maun go;
=For a' maun dee,
And mix wi' Mother Earth below,
=As weel as me.

You've got a new brig by my side
That cocks her nose wi' muckle pride.
If fun'd some nicht doon in the tide
=Don't be alarmed.
As lang's I've sat she'll never bide,
=Nor stan' unharm'd.

Pride aye before destruction goes
In every soul through which it flows.
The humble heart is like the rose,
=Nor blooms alone;
Its virtues through remembrance grows.
=Though dead and gone.

Auld Ayr's noo grown an unco size;
I look on her wi' great surprise,
May a' her men and maids be wise,
=Keep virtue's way;
And when they dee gang to the skies
=To reign for aye.

Ye've got a station noo in Ayr,
And gran' hotel sae rich and rare;
Their like ye'll scarce see anywhere,
=I'm almost sure;
Ye've surely got some cash to spare;
=Fegs ye're no poor.

My word, the days are changed, I ween,
Since some o' them that I hae seen;
I could hae set you on the Green,
=Wi' room to spare;
But noo for size ye've beat me clean,
=Auld thrivin' Ayr.

Lang may ye thrive's my earnest prayer;
Wi' you there's nane I can compare;
Your gaucie bosom blooms sae fair
=On summer's day;
And classic banks wi' flowers sae rare,
=Are ever gay.

Ye're kenn'd and famed baith far and near,
For thoosan's visit you ilk year;
The cause, of course, we needna speir,
=Is Robins cot.
Its hallowed form is ever dear
=To every Scot.

The centre o' attraction noo,
'Twas in it first his genius grew
Into a flame that burnt richt through
=The very world;
And to this day his banner true
=Is still unfurled.

But noo my muse is gettin' dry,
In bed she'll aft no let me lie,
When wanted whiles again she's shy-
=Rins oot o' sicht;
Sae noo I'll stop and sae guid-bye
=Guid-nicht, guid-nicht.





The Wonderful Lock of Hair.

HE showed me a lock of his beautiful hair,
It was curly, soft and silvery fair-
Had been kept by a tender father's care
=For more than fifty years.

It spoke of a tragic scene when a child,
While wandering forth through the woodlands wild,
To the spot where his loving father toiled
=For more than fifty years.

The big branches crack and the splinters flee,
And the boy falls before his father's knee,
As the axe is raised to fall on the tree
=It cuts a lock from his hair.

Horror and darkness enshrouded the soul
Of that father-now as blind as a mole
Till his senses return and self control,
=And oh what a sight was there.

In terror he opened his yearning eyes,
The little one screamed, what a grand surprise;
With loving embrace he looked to the skies,
=And fell on his knees in prayer.

He poured out his soul upon the green sod,
For the hair-breadth escape he thanked his God
Who had thus removed the terrible load
=Of grief and parental care.

He examined his boy-he was safe and sound-
He then lifted the axe from off the ground,
On its thin sharp edge a few hairs he found,
=In the tree stuck a lock of hair.

That curl he kept till the close of his days,
It seemed to act like the sun's bright rays
In cheering him onward in all his ways
=To the close of a bright career.

That curl he left me, I still hold it dear,
I take it wherever my course I steer;
It teaches me always to love and fear
=That God who my life did spare.





In Memoriam.

OH! can I forget our last evening walk,
=As enraptured with fond admiration,
We wonderingly gazed on the brilliant gems
=That adorn the brow of creation.

Or can I forget the last little flower
=I placed on thy lily white breast;
An emblem so fair of the qualities rare
=With which thou wert natur'ly blest.

Or can I forget the last loving kiss
=I impress'd on thy rose tinted cheek;
Or can I forget the last tender words
=That in weakness I heard you speak.

Or can I forget that your spirit has fled,
=From lov'd ones on earth you are riven,
But time will not wither your fadeless form
=While you bloom like a lily in heaven.





The Earth - A Sonnet.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." - Genesis i, 1 and 2.
"When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." - Job xxxvii, 7.

How wondrously great and grand, yet how infinitely small,
Sparkling like a dewdrop on the fields of eternal space,
Drifting on the tide of immensity, receiving a race
Of mortals in thy arms.  Oh! earth mysterious moving ball,
Launch'd by the fingers of the Almighty from heaven's gate
To take thy place with other orbs among the rank and file.
Marching in mighty splendour, moving in glorious style,
Transplendent in thy majesty, to mortal man how great,
But to the Infinite Architect only a flying spark
From the anvil of omnipotence, chasing away the gloom
From the depths of chaos and from oblivion's tomb,
Bejewelling the brilliant brow of the matchless king of light,
Throwing an everlasting lustre round where all was dark,
Chanting universal anthems over vanquished night.





A Sonnet on the Death of Mr Gladstone.

LET the world be clothed in sackcloth, throw ashes o'er her head;
The heart of Christendom is stirred such as hath never been.
He's gone, the greatest tower of strength this land hath ever seen.
And left a mourning world behind - the king of men is dead.
His burning eloquence and zeal, known o'er the world wide;
His mighty intellect and power and sympathies were used
For poor down-trodden nations' good - by tyrants sore abused;
His noble Christian character, grand as the surging tide,
Resting on the Rock of Ages as his eternal guide.
A nation on his shoulders hung; four times at least in life
He held the reins and drove the Steed of State through public strife.
He lived a most unselfish life-he lived for all mankind,
The world feels she's poorer now; she can't his equal find;
Long may his ashes rest in peace among the mighty dead;
The struggling soul, for freedom born, for evermore has fled;
Eternal peace, true happiness, and joy to him now given
The power of an endless life of love among the hills of Heaven.





A Sonnet on the Death of Lord Beaconsfield.

A BRILLIANT star has disappear'd and vanished from our sight,
We watched it from its starting point, we traced its bright career,
Although our hopes were often mixed with dubiousness and fear,
We own the power of Beaconsfield, his was no common light.
With great determination he trod the path of life
Which he had laid out for himself until he reached the goal
And won through vast vicissitudes the longings of his soul-
An earl's crown.  He bravely stem'd the storm of public strife,
And nations wond'ring looked at him - as well indeed they might-
The great and gifted statesman did what he considered right,
Kings and princes praised him, the sovereign of our realm
Bow'd to the decision of her highly honoured knight,
Well p]eased to see the captain of her state ship at the helm,
But the greatest and the noblest must back to earth return,
So Hughenden must hold him till the resurrection morn.





Lines on the Death of Wm. Brown.

WHO WA5 DROWNED AT TROON, AYRSHIRE, IN THE SPRING OF 1878.

AH! brother dear, and art thou gone, so sudden and so soon,
Thy manly form is sadly missed from off the shores of Troon,
In thee I've lost a faithful friend, devoted, firm, and true,
For many a happy evening hour I spent along with you;
What earnest meetings we have had, what wanderings side by side,
When peaceful calm lay on the hills and beauty bloomed in pride;
No more along the beach at Troon together we shall stray,
And watch the brilliant setting sun proclaim departing day.

Its something more than twenty years since God in sovereign love
Sent showers of blessing on our land in mercy from above,
The wayward and indifferent were brought to see their state,
And cry for mercy from that God before it was too late.
A band of faithful once was form'd, who gave their hearts to God,
And from whose lips from house to house their sweet experience flow'd;
Crowds gathered in to hear them as they weat from place to place,
And many-stricken-hearted ones were saved by sovereign grace.

Thy stately form was prominent amongst that little band,
The smile of heaven upon thy face, the bible in thy hand;
When the labours of the day were o'er we oft were wont to meet,
And sit to hear thy gracious words like children at thy feet;
Of how the scoffers taunted thee and sneer'd at thee each day.
Which led thee oftener to the throne in solitude to pray,
And how that by thy arguments and counsels true and kind,
Some wonderful impressions were planted in their mind.

Like Lot of old thy righteous soul was vex'd from day to day
To see each poor ungodly fool rejoicing in his way,
To hear their vile polluted talk, their cruel jibes and sneers,
Oft filled thy heart with heaviness, thy cheeks with briny tears;
A heavy cross thou had'st to bear, but God in kindness gave
The strength according to thy day, and made thee more than brave,
A living letter in their midst that all of them might read,
Exponent of the faith of which they stood so much in need.

And months and years rolled swiftly down time's rapid running stream,
And left a shadow of these days appearing like a dream;
While many once professing ones had gone back to the world
Thou stood-a champion for the truth with banner still unfurl'd;
Unswervingly thou kept along the narrow path of life,
Through many strange vicissitudes, through cankering care and strife,
And life's alluring vanities and youth's beguiling art
Could ne'er efface the peace and grace implanted in thy heart.

Ah! brother dear, and art thou gone, so sudden and so soon,
No more I'll meet thy manly form along the shores of Troon,
For duty called thee to thy post high on the crested wave,
From off the unprotected barge thou found'st a watery grave;
No human hand to pluck thee from the surging waters wild,
But God in love received above His own devoted child.
Weeks and even months had passed ere thy cold mangled clay
Was thrown upon the sandy beach, one cold and cheerless day;
And sorrowing friends thee calmly laid down in thy narrow bed,
Until the trumpet's awful sound shall wake the slumbering dead.





Lines on the Death of Mr Alexander Hutchison, Prestwick.

HE'S gone, our grand old elder's gone
=And left us all in mourning;
We trust to spheres of joy above,
=From whence there's no returning.

He's gone, our grand old golfer's gone,
=No more the green he'll tread;
We hoped to have him yet awhile,
=But now, alas! he's dead.

We'll miss his old familiar face
=So genial, meek, and mild;
Example of a well-worn life,
=As gentle as a child.

Our old landmark is now removed,
=Auld Prestwick well may mourn,
The oldest of her citizens
=Can never more return.

Such is the fate of mortals here,
=Both rich and poor below-
When death comes knocking to our door.
=We are all bound to go.

Peace to his ashes with a sigh,
=We've known him fifty years,
No wonder that our hearts are sad
=And cheeks bedewed with tears.





Lines on the Unveiling of Burns' Statue, Dumfries.

FAIR queen of the south in thy splendour arise,
And summon each Scotchman under the skies,
Their laurels to send and show how they prize
=Thy beautiful statue of Burns.

No statue's required for the champion of rhyme,
For his works will endure through the ages of time,
And prove to the world there was something sublime
=In the brilliant genius of Burns.

To the ends of the earth let his praises resound,
Wherever a true-hearted Scotchman is found;
Let the world rejoice to see that he's crowned
=A prince of the poets-our Burns.

Let the wee modest daisy that blooms on the lea,
And the puir hameless mouse wi' the tear in its e'e,
Join chorus wi' birdies that sing frae ilk tree.
=And respond to the memr'y of Burns.

Let the bards of auld Scotland now join heart and hand,
From each city and and nook in the land,
And with heartfelt emotion exultingly stand,
=While unveiling the statue of Burns

He has bound them in one by a mystical chain
That no prosaic tongue can ever explain,
And a mystery indeed it must ever remain-
=Even great to the lovers of Burns.

Though no gilded coronet encircl'd his brow,
Though poor, to the wealthy he never could bow;
He sprang from the people and followed the plough,
=And a true type of Scotchman was Burns.

Oh! Nithsdale rejoice while the world comes to see
The shrine where his dust lies entrusted to thee;
Let the deep motive power of thy mind ever be-
=To exhibit the beauties of Burns.





Lines on the Little Hollybush.

COMPOSED ]N A FEW MINUTES AFTER RECEIVING A SPRIG OF IT FROM A FRIEND.

OBSERVE the little hollybush,
=Its leaves are ever green,
It seems to love a quiet retreat,
=Uncared for and unseen.

The flowers and fruits of other shrubs
=May look as fresh and fair;
But strange to say, though most forgot,
=Its qualities are rare.

If carefully you strip its bark
=And boil it in a pot,
For catching birds you then will see
=What a splendid snare you've got

Conceal a small piece of the wood
=In a quiet spot alone
In dark Loch Neagh for seven years
=And then you'll have a stone.

Thus simple things have secrets great
For man's inventive mind;
They show the great Creator's power,
=His wisdom rich and kind.





Lines on the Launch of the "City of New York."

FROM MESSRS J. & G. THOMSON'S YARD, CLYDEBANK.

(_Christening ceremony Performed by Lady Randolph churchill._)

BEHOLD the "City of New York," magnificent and grand,
A gracefully she leaves the way and bids farewell to land;
Into her native element she plunges fast and free,
The second largest ship afloat, the monarch of the sea.

Observe her lines so beautiful, a masterpiece of art;
Among the merchant clippers she's bound to play her part,
And supersede the fastest ship that sails the ocean wide,
And brave the fiercest storm that blows, and stem the swiftest tide.

Equipped with all the best designs that science can bestow-
A world's wonder in herself wherever she may go-
She'll raise the reputation of her builders on the Clyde,
And praise their name and spread their fame through all the world wide.

There's nothing seems awanting, she's perfect and complete-
To view her gorgeous state-rooms is in itself a treat;
No wonder, then, that thousands flock to see her launched to-day,
And wish the vessel all success-God speed on her way.

Contrast the mighty difference of days now long gone past,
When wooden ships were all the rage, but few of them were fast;
This is an age of progress, and we're bound to go ahead
While other nations follow, we must always keep the lead.

From such a mighty enterprise may countless blessings flow
To every working men that's felt the pangs of want and woe;
They're the backbone of our empire, the champions of the soil-
The heroes of life's battlefield, the hardy sons of toil.

When looking on this ponderous work of man's inventive mind,
To praise his genius rather much we're apt to feel inclined;
Let's praise the great procuring Cause from whom all greatness grows-
The pure untainted Fountainhead from whom all genius flows.

That blessings may attend her is the wish of all to-day;
Let's give her three good British cheers and three times "Hip, hurrah!"
May she prove what's expected, is our found and fervent prayer;
From our cousins in America she'll find a welcome there.





A Toast.

HERE'S to the heart that loves to impart
=Its joys to the breast of another,
Here's to the mind that loves still to find
=True love in the breast of a brother.





Brought Back from the Deep.

"They all stood round him weeping, viewing him as one verily risen from the grave."
From an incident which occurred at sea on board of the "Seagull," one of Her Majesty's gunboats.  A brave young petty officer named Locke was thrown overboard by accident, and ultimately saved by great exertions, after having been one hour and a half in the deep.

'TWAS a terrible night on the troubled sea,
It dashed o'er the gallant ship furiously,
And the wild winds blew a tremendous gale,
When the command was given to shorten sail,
Which was quickly obeyed without fear or dread-
In a moment aloft the mariners sped.
A brave youth amongst them at once boldly dared
To stow the sail on the foretopgallant yard.
'Twas a foolhardy deed, but he struggl'd well,
Till the vessel gave a lurch and down he fell,
Down alone into the deep, dark surging tide,
That dashed its crested spray o'er the Seagull's side.

Then round swing the yards, and the ship's put about,
And many eager eyes are on the look-out,
And some gallant hearts have got into the boat,
O'er white-crested waves like a nutshell they float.
They pull with a vengeance, they pull with a will,
They've naught in the darkness to guide them; but still
They risk their lives, 'tis a duty each man
Feels encumbent upon him to do what he can.
Their search is in vain, they now must retrace
Their track o'er the deep at an unsteady pace.
Again the ship is reached, where with anxious care,
The watchers are waiting 'tween hope and despair.

The boat is hove up to the davits again,
The sad-hearted crew find their efforts in vain;
Yet they hope against hope, their lone watch they keep,
The captain and crew peering over the deep.
The waves wildly dash 'gainst the gallant ship's hull,
They wait on the weird winds to bring them a lull-
When, hark! in the distance they hear a faint cry;
To the boats; Let us now rescue him or die.
At length they heave too, as his visage appears,
Their big eyes are bursting with gladness and tears,
Strong arms pull him in-he is safe now so far,
And gladness beams bright in the breast of each tar.
They are off to the ship with their wonderful prize,
Where the watchers are waiting and straining their eyes;
Now moments seem hours, with what feelings intense,
Oh! God, break the spell of that awful suspense.
Hark! the splash of the oars, the boat heaves in sight,
With its brave-hearted crew now filled with delight;
He is safe is the cry, and a cheer is now raised,
And the dauntless and gallant are graciously praised.

They come alongside the ship, and are hove on the deck,
And their poor dripping brother they clasp round the neck;
Their cheeks are bedew'd with the tears of the brave,
While they view him as one that has risen from the grave.
Drink's given him, dry clothes, and he's laid down to sleep,
For an hour and a half he has been in the deep.
Now the tragic scene's ended, they're filled with delight,
They heed not the howls of the terrible night;
Contented at last each returns to his post,
Their brave brother saved whom they thought they had lost.
Then again the ship speeds on the fierce foaming tide,
And the honour of Britain's maintained in its pride.
They jump in, seize their oars, and away once again,
No fear fills their hearts, o'er the deep raging main;
In their craft, like a duck, through the trough of the sea,
They ride gallantly on, ever fearless and free.





The Three Little Wanderers.

WHO TRAVELLED FROM MANCHESTER TO DUMFRIES ON THEIR WAY TO GLASGOW IN SEARCH OF THEIR FATHER IN JUNE, 1881.

_A True and Touching Tale_.

FROM Manchester three little girls,
=Set out one summer day,
For Glasgow city they were bound,
=Two hundred miles away.

The eldest fourteen years had seen,
=The next was nine years old,
The third scarce two-with weakn'd frames;
=But natures firm and bold.

According to their simple tale
=It seem'd their heartless mother
Had left the little heroines
=Forsaken altogether.

With anxious hearts and earnest looks
=They wandered up and down,
And every nook and corner tried,
=To find her in the town.

They seach'd in vain, they found her not,
=Drink's cursed deadly sway
Had now entrapp'd her with is snares,
=And stole her heart away.

Returning to their lodging-house,
=They heard its mistress say,
"I'll keep the youngest child, but both
=These two must go away.

So driven from the stranger's home,
=Where for a while they'd stay'd,
They wander'd out into the world,
=Bereft of earthly aid.

Brave Maggie then resolved to try
=The powers at her command;
She took the youngest in her arms,
=The second by the hand.

Then wandering forth with firm step,
=Resolved to do or die,
They plodded o'er the weary miles,
=With many a heavy sigh.

They sought their father, who they said
=In search of work had gone
To Glasgow-what a bold attempt
=For little ones alone.

Their first day's journey ended
=In reaching Wigan town,
And finding lodgings from a friend,
=They wearily lay down.

Thab friend in need was one indeed,
=She took and had them fed,
And for them on her sofa soft
=She made a little bed.

In the morning when they waken'd,
=And had their breakfast o'er,
She started them upon the road,
=To travel as before.

Inquiries made along the road
=From sympathetic friends,
Brought shillings here and pennies there
=To answer all their ends.

Their sad, affecting tale was told,
=In earnest touching tones,
While oftentimes they sat them down
=To rest their weary bones.

When they reached the town of Lancaster,
=Wearied and worn at night,
They sought a police station there,
=And had themselves put right.

A gentleman paid their train fare
=For twenty miles or so,
Which helped to make the journey less
=That they had still to go.

They wandered on from day to day,
=For many a weary mile,
Through Kendal wilds and Penrith moors
=Until they reached Carlisle.

Then they found the police station,
=And were kindly treated there,
And their little wants attended,
=With the customary fare.

Then for Annan in the morning
=They started right away,
And arrived there in the evening,
=Doing seventeen miles that day.

Between them then and Dumfries town
=Sixteen long miles still lay,
But gallantly they reached the goal
=That blessed Sabbath day.

Ere entering the town, kind friends
=Came forward to their aid,
They were taken to a lodging-house,
=And there that night they stayed.

next morn before the magistrate,
=Inquiries then took place;
And from the woeful tale they told,
=It prov'd a wondrous case.

Their dissipated mother lived
=In drunkenness and shame,
Not worthy of such children,
=Nor of a monther's name.

Unto the place their father wrought,
=In wretchedness she went,
And so annoyed and troubled him,
=That to Glasgow he was sent.

And they to Salford workshouse
=To live with such a mother;
Ah! life has may sickening scenes
=And this is just anither.

An order for Dumfries workhouse
=Was granted on the spot,
To see if the long-lost father
=Could anywhere be got.

The father, if he is alive
=Must surely hardened be,
To leave such noble children
=As these now famous three.

The eldest girl's a perfect prize,
=A noble-hearted youth,
Her statements have been found correct-
=The embodiment of truth.

I looked upon her fairy form,
=Dark eyes and raven hair;
Her energetic brow was stamped
=With deep and anxious care.

Talk not about a mother's love,
=Her's put it in the shade;
She's a walking history in herself
=By the gallant game she's played.

The second is a bonnie girl,
=Her skin's like lilies white,
With dark brown hair and hazel eyes,
=A marvel and delight.

The third's a weak and puny thing,
=A heavy charge is she,
Scarce fit to walk across the floor,
=A painful sight to see.

But taking all into account,
=It's a wonder that she's there,
It proves the patient tenderness
=Of a loving sister's care.

And Maggie told her touching tale,
=How on that cheerless day,
Her father led them out of town
=To see him on the way.

She sobbed and wept aloud, poor thing,
=She pled that she might go
Along with him and Alice,
=But the father answered-no.

Oh! wretched human nature,
=How art thou sunk so low,
To see a father leaving
=Such loving children so.

The cords of love must have been weak
=That bound that father's heart,
To think he'd seek the stranger's home
=And from his children part.

Eleven long days they wander'd,
=Yet no one seem'd to take
A special interest in their case,
=Or full inquiries make.

Until the fair Queen of the South
=Took charge of them awhile,
And had them duly clothed and fed
=In good Samaritan style.

The hardships all are ended now,
=Which they so nobly stood,
And fate has forced them into fame,
=And prov'd their greatest good.

For many friends surround them
=Since they won themselves a name;
Oh! would that all our wandering waifs
=Were cared for much the same.

To Manchester again they've gone,
=Where a home to them is given;
May they when earthly wanderings cease,
=Enjoy a home in Heaven.





Lines on the Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone.

AND HIS MIDLOTHIAN CAMPAIGN.
'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." - Mark xii. 17.

WHEN the nations heart was burning with horror and dismay,
Conservative intolerance was drooping with decay,
Excitement reigned supreme, folks with Tory rule were tired,
Their pent up feelings 'gainst it were absolutely fired.

A champion of the people's rights came bodly marching forth
From the sunny south of England to the mountains of the north,
And many thousand happy hearts came crowding far and near,
Saluting him along the way with many a hearty cheer.

The country's heart was trembling in the balance of despair
But he spread a lustre round her path and banished all her care,
Prepared the way for action in a noble stand-up fight
With the scion of the bold Buccleuch-the right against the might.

The Tory government at last were fairly forced to yield,
They fainted o'er a Water Bill, were driven off the field;
Midlothian chose her champion, and Britain chose her chief,
And Gladstone took the reigns again, and brought the world relief.

His burning zeal and eloquence was all they could desire,
He set the country in a blaze with streams of living fire,
He tore the Tory Budgets in shreds before their eyes,
And proved their Foreign Policy an enemy in disguise.

Their national aggrandisement right in their teeth he hurl'd,
And showed their British interests were an insult to the world,
Unask'd they press'd their presence on Afghanistan's Ameer,
Through jealousy of Russia and disconcerted fear.

When poor outraged Bulgaria was weltering in her blood,
Through Turkish horrid cruelty, her friend in need he stood;
And Greece, the grand old mother of learning and renown,
He did his best to see her right, and give her back her own.

And discontented Ireland, that thorn in Britain's side,
That's been for years an open sore and help'd to quell her pride-
We hope his famous Land Bill for her may prove a cure,
That peace and happiness may reign among her suffering poor.

Thus the grand old gifted statesman grew widely into fame,
His criticising speeches will perpetuate his name;
As a world renown'd financier he stands himself alone,
And Britain has not yet produced a more illustrious son.

We're proud to think that Scottish blood flows deep]y in his veins,
His freedom-loving ancestors could never live in chains,
But liberty and righteousness and truth was still their plea,
And with such noble qualities her sons are ever free.

For nearly fifty years now he's served his country well,
What is its debt of gratitude no mortal tongue can tell;
But the grandeur of his statesmanship shall be her chiefest joy,
And bind a wreath around his name that time shall ne'er destroy.





The Auld Bell's Lament.

OH wad some bard tak' up his pen,
And let the general public ken,
Hoo I'm kept in a dismal den
=Frae year to year;
If ane, I guess, it's mair than ten,
=Since I cam' here.

And what I'm in for, faith I doot,
It's mamr than mony will mak' oot;
In dirty hole, as black as soot,
=Wi' cobwebs cled,
While beetles black, and vermint brute,
=Surround my bed.

It canna noo be thocht that I,
That's hung sae lang 'tween earth and sky,
In auld kirk belfry hingin' high,
='Bin stanes and graves,
In compact wi' the midnicht sigh
=And ocean waves-

Should ever e obliged to thole
The confines o' a dirty hole,
Awa' frae only leevin' soul,
=A cryin' sin;
Sic conduct seems to me gey droll,
=Hoo I'm kept in.

For near three hunner years I've hung,
And mony a thoosand times been rung,
Till my auld roostit, clinkin' tongue
=Has aft been sair;
And noo intae a hole I'm flung,
=To rest me there.

What ails auld Prestwick folks ava,
They maun be lang syne ta'en awa',
That wad hae stood my freens through a'
=My troubles great;
I hope their sons on me will ca',
=And view my state.

And life this stigma aff the place,
This vile neglect, this sad disgrace;
If magistrates o' ancient race
=Are hard as steel,
By a' means don't ge up the chase,
=Affront them weel.

Get big subscription sheet and gang
Frae door tae door the folks amang,
The rustic bard that sings my sang
=Will dae his part
To help me oot, that's lain sae lang
=Wi' aching heart.

Fy shame on you, ye councillors a',
And bailies that uphaud the law,
Your purse, or else your hearts, are sma',
=Or else your greed,
Has stolen a' your shame awa'
=Beyond remead.

Tradition says, if I be richt,
That on a cauld dark winter's nicht,
Some prankish loons took great delicht
=In thievish glee,
They bore me frae my sacred heicht
=Richt 'cross the sea.

The king whiles comes the cadger's road,
Some Prestiwck chiels had been abroad,
Their ship had come near oors tae load,
=They kent my toll,
And ae nicht 'cross the deck they strode
=And back me stole.

And hung me on the auld kirk heid,
To keep my watch abin the deid,
And sinners maist o' every creed
=I've warned weel
To come and sing, and pray, and read,
=And shun the deil.

Ae stormy nicht I was blawn doon,
And in the faa near broke my croon,
And gied my auld heart sic a stoon,
=I lay a while.
Then I was carriet through the town
=And lodged in jail.

And noo my simple tale is tauld,
I'm cast aside because I'm auld,
In mirky hole baith grim and cauld,
=Oh pity me!
Ye Prestwick folks, be firm and bauld,
=And set me free.





The Auld Bett's Restoration.

Noo Prestwick folks rejoice wi' me,
And hear my simple sang o' glee,
And thanks, because you've set me free
=Tae toll ance mair;
I'll serve you till the day I dee
=In open air.

I ha'e had wondrous patience wi' ye,
But for your fauts I maun forgi'e ye,
I canna see how I could le'e ye,
=Wi' fauts and a'.
So here's your healths, I'll pledge it tae ye,
=And clink awa'.

You've set me on a splendid schule,
But though I'm neither rogue nor fule,
I hope nane here will tak' it ill
=What I've tae say,
I yet may see, although I'm frail,
=You a' away.

Your ancestors lang syne I've seen
Laid underneath the auld kirk green,
And mony sair begrutten een
=Stood by their tombs;
I've seen them gaun, frien' after frien',
=To meet their dooms.

Death works wi' na unspairing han'-
The greedy ]oons in every lan'-
He thins the ranks o' fallen man,
=Baith rich and poor,
An's busy daein' a he can
=Frae door to door.

Wi' ocht I've said don't be downcast,
Stan' up and bear the warld's blast.
We've a' tae tumble doon at last
=Amang the mools,
And when oor work on earth is past
=Lay by oor tools.

But noo, John Tamson like, I doot
Ye've surely broch the wrang bell oot,
I'm neither foo nor clad in soot,
=But looking roun',
I see what puts me sair aboot,
=Anither toon.

In fact it fairly puzzles me,
When I look downwards to the sea
That ebbs and flows sae bold and free
=Upon the coast;
I'll need to stop and think a wee
=If I'm no lost.

I think since I was forced tae bide
Amang the moths and beetle tribe,
You've ha'en the most prodigious tide
=O' slates and stanes,
Or some worn earthquake laid aside
=Tae rest its banes.

But when, or hoo, or what's the cause,
I'll no dispute wi' nature's laws,
But losh I am obliged to pause
=And haud my tongue-
Auld dame change has na' spared her claws,
=Since I was young.

And likely some I'm takin' tae
Feels noo that time's rolled fast away,
Since o'er the hills for mony a day
=I've seen them rin,
And catch bumbees till gloamin' grey
=Has brocht them in.

But since it really is the case
That grown sae altered is the place,
And cottages and villas grace
=Your gowden shore,
I'll hae tae wear a modest face
=And say no more.

So I maun stop and bid adieu,
The dominie's my maister noo,
And I maun warn the weans what's true,
=In proper style,
To learn frae my experience too,
=And keep frae jail.





Lines on the Death of President Garfield.

O'ER a star-bejewelled nation hangs a heavy gathering gloom,
The echoes of its anguish rend the portals of his tomb;
Beside his couch his country weeps, its heart rent to the core,
And the great and gifted Garfield is gone for evermore.

His highly valued life is lost while little past his prime,
But the greatness of its grandeur shall outlive the course of time;
He has tightly drawn the cords that bind the nations of the earth,
Wherever Christian duty reigns, and great and moral worth.

From lowly home on moorland wild, or lonely mountain side,
He climb'd the slippery steps of fame in all his manly pride;
His aim and end through all his life, in every step he trod,
Was his duty to his country, his conscience, and his God.

Next to his own lov'd nation, Great Britain feels the blow,
Her lov'd Queen's sympathising heart is rent with pangs of woe,
And her subjects deeply mourn his loss, and sad untimely fall,
While mingled signs of sorrow are seen on one and all.

Then let his memory always live while busy time rolls on,
From the peasant in his cottage to the monarch on his throne;
He fell, beloved alike by all, and left a stainless name,
Whose magic power shall neither fail nor fade for want of fame.

But let the vile assassin's name into oblivion sink,
First let him taste the cup of woe he gave the world to drink,
Then let the curtain fall on him, like shades of deepest night,
And leave him with the Judge of all whose judgment still is right,





Tippery's Brae.

WHILE sitting by the ingleside ae weary winter nicht,
The wife and weans were in their bed, the fire was burnin' bricht;
Then I took a backward glance o'er the years that's fled away,
An' thocht upon the happy 'oors I spent on Tippery's Brae.

I had mony couthie comrades tho' steerin' like mysel,'
We used to play the rounders beside the Ladywell,
And when the autumn days cam' roun,' we laid aside oor play,
An' aff tae hunt for berries black that grew on Tippery's Brae.

Dame nature spread her beauties rare around the fairy scene,
And foxgloves bloom'd in rich array among the foliage green,
The honeysuckle, hazel bush, the doghip, and the slae,
Seem'd to vie with one another in adorning Tippery's Brae.

We waunner'd 'mang the bushes wi' ooi' bonnets in oor han',
Though jaggin' a' oor fingers still the berries they were gran',
We thocht nae on the hours that fled until the gloamin' grey
Brocht oor faithers oot tae search for us awa' on Tippery's Brae.

We were telt sic frichtsome stories about cruel Burke and Hare,
An' hoo they howkit up the deid, that made us often stare;
And Booklecook, a village ghost, was often kent tae stray
Amang the hazel bushes that grew on Tippery's Brae.

But my summer day has passed, and my autumn noo has come,
And every rolling year that comes just brings me nearer home,
Yet till my weary eyes have closed on life's tempestuous day,
I'll mind the happy days and hours I spent on Tippery's Brae.





Epistle to Robert Fisher, Poet.

BY ALEXANDER DOIG, IN ANSWER TO ONE SENT BY THE AUTHOR TO HIM.

LOSH Rab! my dentie rhymin' brither,
Ye've sent me clean gyte a' thegither;
Last nicht I'll swear I kent na whether
='Twas heels or head
Onwhich I stood, sae dang thro' ither
=Wi' yer bit screed.

Tae think my name's no rank'd amang
The great immortal sons o' sang,
An' that my harp can gie a twang
=Amang the rest.
Then hip, hurra! I'll skelp alang
=An' cock my chest.

But Rab, ah Rab, ye roguish scoot,
I rather think ye're drawin' me oot,
When gien yer trumpet sic a toot
=My name tae heeze;
Alas! alas! I muckle doot
=The half o'ts lees.

A brither bard? nay, I disclaim
All vain pretensions to the name,
For never hath the muse's flame,
=Wi' kindlin' lowe,
Inspired my soul to sing the same
=As gifted thou.

When love's the theme that doth inspire,
How sweetly thrills thy tuneful lyre,
And when the muse ascending higher
=Takes bolder wing,
With what sublime seraphic fire
=Thou gars her ring.

Your "Livingstone's" a lofty flight,
"Mysterious Thoughts" nane needs tae slight,
An' ane can listen wi' delight
=Tae yer "Twa Laddies;"
But "Hidden Love," for genius bright,
=Is a' their daddies.

An' Rab, the real poetic ring
Is in yer numbers when ye sing
Aboot the "Bairnies"-man ye bring
=I oot sae glib;
Yon really is a sweet wee thing
=On "Nelly Gibb."

And Robin, ah thou pawkie deil,
Hoo ye can draw the women's heel,
Ye lay the butter on sae weel,
=And sound their horn,
Enough to gar the gypsies feel
=They're angels born.

An' sae ye tell me ower again,
Tae print the outcome o' my brain
An' no keep hidden neath a "stane"
=My "talents" rare.
Na, faith, na, I'se let them alane-
=They're safest there.

Na, na, that airt I'll no be trickit,
Gude save's man, dae ye want me nickit
And clappet in a canvas jacket
=For reason tint,
For deil haet else could be expecit
=Were I tae print.

As for the critics, "cantin' coofs,"
May Sawtan owre them lay his loofs,
An' wheek them off baith hide and hoofs,
=Without exemption,
Then smeek them wi' poetic proofs
=Beyond redemption.

But wo,' I noo maun drap my screed,
For now my Pegasus' nearly deid,
Wi' droopin' tail an' hingin' heid
=Can scarcely wallop;
My sang, it's lang noo since he gied
=Sae graun a gallop.

Then lang may you an' yours an' a',
Aye get a skite at fortune's ba',
An lang ere ye be taen awa'
=My dentie Rab,
May reverend beard like driven snaw
=Surround your gab.

An' when the trumpet's final blare
Shall send the warl' tae Gude kens where,
An' some tae glory evermair,
=Some tae perdition;
Whar'ere thou 'rt sent may Doig share
=A like position.





From Son to Sire.

FULL seventy-five summers have over thee fled,
=And the locks that are left you are white;
We honour you now as the time-worn head
=Of an unbroken family to-night.

Time hath terribly wrinkled thy careworn brow
=And furrowed the lines on thy cheek,
Thy step, once elastic, is feeble and slow,
=And thy voice correspondingly weak

But time cannot weaken the love that still reigns
=In the hearts of thy children, so dear,
Who would willingiy soothe the cankerous pains
=That accompany thee each rolling year.

As the ivy that twines round the time-tutored oak
=And still clings to the old ruined tower,
So the love that exists in the hearts of thy flock
=Only gathers more strength every hour.

Unsullied thy name midst a world of strife,
=Ever blest with a fair stock of health,
Thou art nearing the close of a useful life,
=Unattended by vain, worldly wealth.

For what is this world but a changing scene?
=Or what is our life but a span?
No trappings of wealth make a character clean-
=It is principle governs the man.

Such a man hast thou been, and such art thou now,
=Such a man thou must ever remain;
The wrinkles that rest on thy careworn brow
=Are like links of a golden chain.

The sweat-drops of honest labour and strife
=Are jewels in the coronet of toil,
And purer the gems of a well-worn life
=Than an heirloomish, ill-gotten pile.

Away with your pomp and vain-glorious mirth,
=Your grandeur and gaudy display.
Far nobler a sanctified life upon earth
=That shall bloom through eternal day.





Maybole and Her Leather Lords.

THERE's a nice ancient toonie that sits in the west,
Wi' leather and labour its natives are blest,
Its boots and its shoes are aye famed as the best-
=It's the auld fashioned coon o' Maybole.

I mind weel, when I was a boy at the school,
It had nae siccan tanyards and factories so full,
Time bath wrocht many changes on toons as a rule-
=And it hasna forgotten Maybole.

Its surroundings are rich, and its memories dear,
It had many originals, witty and queer,
The fame of its produce is kenned far and near-
=This ancient wee toon o' Maybole.

The rich were its votaries in days o' lang syne,
They had many gran' hooses about the Kirk Wynd,
But they're gane, and ha'e left us few traces behind
=O' the grandeur o' ancient Maybole.

In the kingdom of Carrick, the land of the Bruce,
She sits like a queen fu' trig and fu' spruce;
She's noo prospering in business, and crawin' gey croose,
=This wonderfu' toon o' Maybole.

She has Leather Lords plenty, men earnestly bent
On developing trade to its fullest extent;
The latest improvements that man can invent
=Are applied to the trade o' Maybole.

She has a great reputation for implements, too;
To all who make use of the reaper and plough
The name of Jack's famous the wide world through,
=As well's in the toon o' Maybole.

May Ailsa's fair Lord, her most generous friend,
And his Marchioness noble, their bounties extend,
For their labours of love and benevolence tend
=To promote peace and joy in Maybole.

Long may she flourish is the bard's fond prayer,
And of peace and prosperity still have her share,
May righteousness reign in her midst evermair,
=And strengthen the heart of Maybole.





The Espedair Burns Lament.

YE Paisley bodies, hear my wail-
My unco sad and mournfu' tale;
Ye see my cheek's grown unco pale,
=O' soapy hue;
Sic Gregory's mixture needna fail
=To mak' ye spue.

When I cam' fresh frae Nature's han',
'Mid rural beauty, rich and graun',
I was a credit to the lan'-
=I sang wi' glee-
Till poisoned by the arts o' man,
=I'm like to dee.

A faithful servant I have been;
I've mony generations seen,
Who wan'ered o'er my banks sae green
=On simmer days;
But noo I'm scarcely worth a preen-
=A sad disgrace.

And noo it beats me clean to ken
Hoo ony Board o' honest men
Could ever think that I can fen
=In sic a state;
I trust ere lang the Lord will sen'
=A roarin' spate.

An' clean me oot frae heid to heel-
'Tis cleanliness that keeps me weel;
My very looks may fricht the deil-
=My heart is sair;
When I think on the past I feel
=In deep despair.

The Paisley bards were wont to stray
Alang my banks on simmer's day,
While musing o'er some simple lay,
=Wi' great delight;
If me they saw what wad they say,
=In sic a plight?

A rustic bard's ta'en up his pen
In my defence; he'll let folk ken
Hoo through a vile polluted den
=I wend my way;
I hope they'll "tak' a thocht an' men'"
=Ere lang some day.

My case has been before the Board;
Perhaps they mean to get me scour'd,
If sae lang time they can afford
=To hear my grievance;
When a' big questions are secured,
=I'll get the leavin's.

But I maun stop; ye a' can see
I'm subject to the powers that be,
An' whether I'm to leeve or dee
=In grim despair,
I'm bound to wait their stern decree,
=Yours, Espedair.





The Tailor and his Doos.

A SOCIAL, honest tailor and his canty weans and wife,
In an ancient Ayrshire burgh, led quite a rural life;
He didna' whip the cat as they used to do lang syne,
When I was but a boy in my father's house I min',
That a tailor on a table wi his lapboard an' goose
Was aye an unco common scene in almost every hoose;
Though Nature never fitted him wi' robust frame and health,
Which left him little chance, indeed, o' ere obtaining wealth.
Yet a bright idea struck him-he took into his heid
That something could be made at times by getting doos to breed.
He got a pair o' homers and began his project fair,
Then took to the red pouters that were then consider'd rare.
Though scarce six years have fled through this worl'-wide, I am tauld,
This bright wee man frae Joppa toon, whose famous name is Auld.
Then tell it not in Gath, noo, lest the Philistines might hear,
He has three times broke the record within a single year;
And guess ye what's the price now, you will scarce believe it's true,
He's got as high as thirty pounds just for a single doo.
So Prestwick you may weel rejoice an' pridefu' cock your heid,
For, mair than golf, your famous for a perfect pouter breed;
For your illustrious citizen has raised your fame so high
That in pigeonising circles your name should never die.
We are vera prood to think that he's famed baith far an' near,
May his success continue still through every rolling year.
He is anything but selfish, he likes you aye to learn,
Tak's as muckle patience wi' you as if you were a bairn;
Far better than a farmer when he's showin'-off a coo,
He tells you every point, indeed, that makes a famous doo.
Sae lang life to the tailor an' his canty weans an' wife,
And may they still keep dooin' on and lead a happy life;
And when their dooin's ended here and a' their care is past,
May they find a blessed welcome in a pure home at last.





Robert Burns.

(AN ACROSTIC.)

REARED on the lap of honest worth,
Obscure in life, of humble birth,
But fortune turned his wheel by fame;
Enriched the world was by his name.
Revolving years and natal days,
They come-we celebrate his praise.

But though in humble life he moved,
Unnoticed in the land he loved,
Returning years enhance his power-
No lettered monumental tower
Shall outlive his works the world ower.





Doonholm and its Surroundings.

How pleasant are thy walks, Doonholm,
=Thy flowery banks and braes,
Where Burns, our great Immortal Bard,
=Once spent his youthful days.

His father's landlord lived within
=Those stately walls of thine;
Thy verdant slopes are ever green,
=And rural beauties shine.

Thy fragrant name is ever sweet
=And known the world o'er,
Where bonnie Doon meanders on
=To meet the Carrick shore.

What classic scenes around thee lie,
=That speak of bygone days;
Admirers come from every land
=To view thy banks and braes.

Thy verdant slopes of emerald hue,
=So beautiful and fair;
While evergreens adorn thy walks,
=And shrubs and plants so rare.

I love to wander through thy woods
=And muse on thy domains;
I love to hear the songsters chant-
=They rouse my vocal strains.

Thy faithful neighbour, old Rozelle,
=In her sequestered vale,
Enclosed and sheltered in her woods
=From every passing gale.

And ancient Auchendrane, I love,
=Among her bowers so sweet;
She sits like Queen on Doon's fair banks,
=And loves a quiet retreat.

And stately Newark Castle, grim
=Looks down on days of yore,
Perhaps even back to feudal times
=And scenes on Carrick shore.

I brood on memories of the past,
=Historical remains;
I'm proud to think my native shire
=A house like this retains.





The Auld Brig's Hopes and Aspirations.

Hear me, my frien's and nei'bours a',
Again I hae begun to craw;
Although I dinna like to blaw,
=I must declare
I'm prood great men on me did ca'
=When through at Ayr.

My hopes are rinnin' high indeed,
Excuse me for this breezy screed,
In fact, i'm nearly aff my heid
=Wi' perfect glee;
To think hoo mony folks agreed
=To succour me.

An unco fuss ower me there's been,
For vandals through their spite and spleen
Would soon hae wiped me off the scene
=For guid an' a';
I weel may thank each honest frien'
=I'm here ava;

For they would soon hae torn me doon,
Each vile, unpatriotic loon,
Brave Morris didna come ower soon
=To interfere;
Not only did he rouse the toon,
=But far and near.

Help comes frae a' the countryside;
In fact, frae a' the worl' wide;
Where sense and patriotic pride,
=Aye reign sublime;
I'm saved frae fa'in' in the tide,
=I'll bide my time.





Ladykirk Mansion House.

How beautiful Ladykirk Mansion House stands
=On her rich, sloping lawn of emerald hue,
How fair her domain and how fertile her lands,
=Her site quite superb and extensive her view.

The wild peaks of Arran looking towards the sky
=From her frontage are seen on a clear summer day;
Looking southward a little one soon can descry
=The Heads of Ayr resting on Carrick's clear bay.

How lovely her landscape, how fertile her plains,
=How rich her surroundings where fond memories cling;
With historical name her old ruin remains
=Fitting place for a dreamer or poet to sing.

There's an old right-of-way running through the estate,
=I am glad it's respected and fenced in with care;
Such a boon to the public has always been great
=For lovers of freedom round Prestwick and Ayr.

Her once famous orchard enlarged and renewed
=With walls most substantial and glass houses grand,
While her sacred old kirk with new life is imbued,
=Repaired and improved now for ages may stand.

With every improvement that science can bring
=Her gorgeous rooms are embellished in style,
Long may she remain her attractions to fling
=Round the time-honoured beautiful district of Kyle.





The Auld Brig o' Ayr's Tribute to Burns.

HEAR me again, for I maun speak,
You maybe think I've ower much cheek,
Aye preaching on frae week to week
=About mysel;
But I maun start when cash I seek
=To ring my bell.

The cash, as far as I can hear,
Is pouring in frae far and near,
Which lifts my hopes, drives out my fears,
=And mak's me sing
Like ony bird wi' hearty cheer
=On lofty wing.

Some folks may think I shouldna tell
Sae mony tales aboot mysel',
But mind when age and honour dwell
=In sweet combine,
A useful life even in a cell
=Will always shine.

What fuss is made aboot me noo,
O' a' my fame the worl' through;
The man to whom the praise is due,
=Is Burns himsel';
A patriotic son and true,
=As a' can tell.

Withoot him, what had Scotland been?
He gave her robes of shining sheen,
And decked her like a Royal Queen
=Before the world;
And to this day his banner seen
=Flies high unfurled.

He left a charm on Ayr Auld Toon,
Dumfries, and a' the country roun'
Till noo there's scarce a city loon
=But likes to see
The banks and braes o' Bonnie Doon
=Wi' joyful e'e.

His country heezed and praised hs name,
She raised him in the ranks o' fame,
To see him many nobles came,
=But when he fell,
They-to their everlasting shame
=Bade him farewell.

Then troubles gathered round him fast
Wi' chequered life and bitter blast,
And often sad and sair dooncast,
=Wi' weans and wife,
He struggled bravely to the last,
=Then closed his life.

When Nature crowned the man a King
He gave the world his songs to sing,
And with the sweet poetic ring
=That joy imparts,
He woke the chord, and touched the spring,
=Of human hearts.

His life was short, his mission done,
A God-sent gift with laurels won,
Like comet flying from the sun
=In bright array,
He took his great ethereal run,
=And passed away.





Wallace at Monkton Kirk.

THOU grand old fabric of the past, remains of ancient days,
What solemn sadness fills my mind as on thy walls I gaze,
What strange events have happened through thy wonderful career,
They've long since left this earthly scene thou still art standing here.
Methinks I see the patriot knight strolling through thy gate
The manhood on his noble brow bemoans his country's fate,
Brooding o'er his country's wrongs, o'erwhelm'd with grief and care,
He steps within thy sacred courts and bends his knees in prayer.
With heartfelt pangs he falls asleep, his cheeks bedewed with tears,
He dreams-he sees the place ablaze; an angel form appears,
Presents him with a flaming sword and says that only he
Must use that sword as Saviour born to set his country free.

He rises, bends his weary steps towards the town of Ayr,
The Scottish nobles summon'd were to meet the English there;
The dread black Parliament had met, the barns o' Ayr were filled,
The Scottish nobles that went in were treacherously killed.
A woman met brave Wallace wight 'tween Prestwick town and Ayr,
And told him such a tale of woe as filled him with despair;
She said with earnest fervency without a shade of doubt,
All Scottish nobles that went in were ne'er seen coming out.

Wallace then suspected there was foul play in that den,
He buckled on his armour and summon'd all his men;
He tied the bloody barn doors, and set the place on fire,
Rewarding English treachery with Scotch avenging ire;
To the highest peak of Craigie lands he rode with all his might,
Beheld the blazing barns o' Ayr all open to his sight;
The barns o' Ayr burn weel, he said, and heavily he sighed,
To think his grand old uncle had so treacherously died.

To mention all his great eiploits and daring deeds of strife,
From he began on Irvine banks to prove his useful life,
'Twas there he struck the first great blow for freedom in our land
He sacrificed his noble life for his country's just demands;
'Twould fill a spacious volume were they recorded all,
His glorious sun went quickly down, a traitor did it all.
Oh! grand old Ayrshire county, how proud you ought to be,
You've had so much connection with these immortal three,
Wallace, Bruce, and Burns's names shall stand the test of time,
And Scotland's name resounds with fame in every foreign clime.





Lines on Prestwick Auld Kirkyard.

I MAUN write a few short lines on the Auld Kirkyard,
For my memory fondly twines roun' the Auld Kirkyard,
=Where hundreds lie at rest,
=On its green sacred breast,
=All in their cosy nest
=In the Auld Kirkyard.

I have often hove a sigh in the Auld Kirkyard,
Where my kith and kin a' lie in the Auld Kirkyard,
=Their cares of life were passed,
=Their solemn die was cast,
=It received them all at last,
=Did the Auld Kirkyard.

I have wandered 'mong the stanes in the Auld Kirkyard,
Keeping watch aboon their banes n the Auld Kirkyard,
=Where solemn silence reigns
=Among the sculptured stanes
=Of husbands, wives, and weans,
=In the Auld Kirkyard.

I hear they're just about to close the Auld Kirkyard,
Where so many find repose in the Auld Kirkyard,
=Now Prestwickians may sigh,
=As with sad and tearful eye,
=They for ever bid goodbye
=To the Auld Kirkyard.

When the law is put in force aboot the Auld Kirkyard,
It maun take a cautious course o'er the Auld Kirkyard,
=Make exceptions draw the line,
=Let Prestwick folks combine,
=Their bard won't be behind,
=O'er the Auld Kirkyard.





Epistle to Provost Gray Edmiston, Whitehall, Prestwick.

MY generous, much respected friend,
Accept these verses I now send
=In token of regard;
How false or true your friends may be,
You've always been a friend to me,
=The hamely Prestwick bard.
I've known you now for many years,
=And mony a crack we've had,
And 'midst my worries, cares, and fears,
=You've often made me glad,
Still catching and watching the chances in life's race
While scanning and planning to gain the foremost place.

But Gray, my man, if no' ower nice,
Just tak' a canny frien's advice,
=An' I'll no' lead you wrang;
For though you're blest wi' warldly gear,
You're no exempt frae care and fear
=And mony a bitter pang,
For wealth brings troubles in its train,
=You'll find this every day;
But then to ease you of your pain
=Let kindness have the sway;
Scattering and watering the social seeds of joy,
Unceasing, increasing the efforts you employ.

Let not ambition ever spoil
Your sympathies for those who toil
=An' struggle up life's brae,
An open hand and generous mind,
A heart that's bent on being kind,
=Brings pleasures every day.
And just to hold the balance fair
=Between you and the poor,
Discrimination needs your care
=And study every hour;
While living still, still giving your blessings will increase,
And that's more and what's more it brings you joy and peace.

'Tis not the wealth that's got on earth
That some have even from their birth
=And seem exempt frae care;
While always nursed in fortune's lap,
They never seem to care a rap
=Hoo ithers fen or fare;
Their riches bring not endless peace
=Nor everlasting joy,
The keepin' o't their cares increase,
=Their energies employ;
Still lording and hoarding, ambition hounds them on,
Till death calls, then windfalls appear when they are gone.

Despise all those of selfish mind,
Who never think on human kind,
=On self and riches bent;
Who never think they weel can spare,
But always cryin' oot for mair,
=Yet never seem content.
I wish that long you may be spared
=To live a useful life,
And may you wear an auld man's beard
='Mong happy weans an' wife;
While living still giving to those who are in need,
Not lurking, but working, you ever shall succeed.





Epistle to Mr Donald Fraser, Fort-William.

A BRITHER BARD.

MY rhymin' frien', I got your letter
And verses, too, that pleased me better,
You've made me doubly ower your debtor,
=Wi' sic fond praise;
But, oh! I fear you too much flatter
=My simple lays.

The muse I fear has taen her flight
And left me struggling in the night,
A hapless bard in sorrow's plight
=I'm left alone;
Without the moss, without the might
=A rolling stone.

But, oh! the days are changed I ween
Since I was beardless, young and green,
The charmer then o' mony a queen
='Mid social glee.
But age is laying maist unseen
=Her tawse on me.

I often think on wasted time,
On opportunities sublime,
Since I was in my bloomin' prime
=A thochtless youth;
Still with a most determined min'
=For honest truth.

But oh! what changes I can trace
'Mong men and maids in every place,
How most unlike the guid auld race
=O' oor young days;
Light-headed, flirting, scant o' grace,
=And nature's ways.

My dainty frien' I'm glad to find
You've such a fine poetic mind;
Your couthie crack and deeds so kind
=Enticed me clean.
Your prose and verse have far outshined
=Some I hae seen.

So sit and write until your eyes
Are almost bleared scarce fit to rise;
Fort-William folks you'll yet surprise,
=And let them ken,
They've got a bard they weel may prize,
=Beside their ben.

So noo I'll stop my simple rhyme,
Pegasus nae doo thinks it's time,
For galloping in this cauld clime
=She disna like;
Although we've struggl'd on sublime
=Without a bike.

A closing word aboot your ben,
The pride o' a' Lochaber men,
Through Briton's isle as a' folk ken
=He bears the gree;
Roun' him some day I hope to spen'
=Some hours wi' thee.

When ance the summer days come roun'
I will consider it a boon,
If I can climb his snow clad croon;
=Get one long gaze.
But I maun hame to Ayr auld toon
=For winter days.





Auld Brig o' Doon's Request.

Hear me, ye men and maids o' Ayr,
And listen to my earnest prayer,
For though I don't need much repair,
=Yet my auld track
Is noo weel worn an' unco bare
=Aboot my back.

I need a man wi' nice sma' stanes,
To cover up my auld breist banes,
That neither husbands, wives, nor weans
=May slip and fa'
In holes that's made wi' heavy rains
=And bitter blaw.

I hear this while you hae in Ayr
Been listening to the cry and prayer
O my auld neibour, sitting there
=For centuries back;
They'll no' hae muckle cash to spare
=To smooth my track.

For Robin sang o' me lang syne;
Noo roun' the worl' my fame doth shine;
Wi' little care I would look fine,
=And please the e'e;
If you do that, I'll no repine,
=But sing wi' glee.

Weel do I mind that winter night,
Tam at the kirkyard got a fright,
Saw sic a queer, unearthly sight,
='Maist lost his heid;
The witches' dance near knock'd him gyte,
=Among the deid.

Tam was a sair forfochen loon,
That nicht he landed on my croon,
I really thocht I wad fa' doon
=Wi' a' their tricks;
They gied my auld heart sic a stoun,
=Yon imps o' Nicks.

When 'cross my croon an' clear o' skaith,
A brand plucked frae the jaws o' death,
Baith Tam an' Meg then took a breath,
=As weel they micht;
Tam ne'er till cled in his last claith
=Got sic a fricht.

The witches reached the stane at last,
But none o' them dare try to pass'd,
Though Nannie Maggie's tail had tossed
=Wi' pridefu' glee;
Had to retreat wi' a' the rest,
=North side o' me.

Tam crossed the hip o' Carrick Hill,
His noddle steamin wi' the yill,
He lost his bonnet aff his skull,
=His money in't;
That he had hidden there wi' skill,
=Was also tint.

Tam noo was in an unco plight,
While no richt better o' his fright,
He searched in vain withoot a light,
=Then aff for hame;
On Meg's back that wild winter's night
=To meet his dame.

When Tam had reached his Shanter hame,
"Where sat his sulky, sullen dame,"
Still addin' fuel to her flame,
=The poker ready;
She meant that nicht Tam's hair to kame,
=The dour auld leddy.

Tam had to face his fireside fight,
But whether tell'd Kate o' his fright,
Or witches dancin', clean gane gyte,
=I canna say;
But Tam's life-lesson learn'd that night
=Was, Watch and Pray.





Robert Burns.

AN ACROSTIC.

REARED on Scotia's noble breast the genius on thy brow,
Of all the sons that Scotland bare the greatest son wert thou,
Rejewelling the brow of time with lessons thou has taught,
Enchanting are thy matchless songs with fragrance ever fraught,
Rich and rare thy poems live in every Scottish breast,
They form a fountain pure and clear that all may drink and rest.

But what a miserable return she gave thee while on earth,
Unchanging though thy love to her from ere she gave thee birth,
Resounding though thy praises now through all the world may ring,
Never can they full atone or yet extract the sting,
Still round thy hallowed name the years revolving glories fling.





Lament on the Death of the Rt. Hon. Lord Abinger, Inverlochy Castle.

FORT-WILLIAM sighs, Lochaber weeps,
=On fair Loch Linnhe shore;
In death her noble Lord now sleeps,
=To her he's known no more.

Among the lofty hills and woods
=The poor will miss him most;
When brooding o'er their worldly goods
=They'll feel how much they've lost.

Old Inverlochy Castle grim,
=Remains of ancient days,
Thou wer't a pleasure oft' to him,
=He loved thy banks and braes.

Oh! sigh, Loch Lochy, grand and sweet,
=So placid and so mild,
Where deer repose in quiet retreat
=Among thy mountains wild.

No more he'll rove on summer days
=On banks of emerald green,
And breathe the fragrance of thy braes
=All bathed in shining sheen.

Loch Linnhe, bear a requiem chord
=Along thy peaceful shore;
Thy generous, youthful, noble lord
=Will visit thee no more.

Oh, Death! the same to rich and poor,
=They're all alike to thee;
The only One who broke thy power
=Once died upon a tree.

The bard now mourns in woefu' weeds
=His patron true and kind;
While thoughts of kindly words and deeds
=Still linger in his mind.

Ye Inverlochy woods may sigh,
=Ye howling winds may rave;
And wee birds chant their p1ainive notes
=Around his peaceful grave.





The Auld Brig o' Ayr's Appeal.

WHAT would auld Ayr do without me,
=Answer that ye honest men,
An auld tried frien', ye needna doot me,
=When I tell you hoo I fen.

Lord Rosebery, my noble frien',
=Has come to see me noo,
And on my time-worn back he's been,
=And had a splendid view.

I hear that in your new Town Hall
=He spoke in my defence,
And roused the people one and all
=With burning eloquence.

When Robin on me put the croon
=He was my ain best bairn,
He made me tell my neighbour loon
=He'd be a shapeless cairn.

But, oh! the winter's coming fast,
=My legs are getting frail;
I'm no' richt fit to stan' the blast
=And weather oot the gale.

So gather a' the cash you can,
=Though a' the worl' ye move,
And send it to that gentleman,
=The Laird o' Auchincruive.





The Twa Kirks - U. F. and Wee Free.

A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TWO ELDERS.

SANDY.

Oh, Donald man, I'm sair distresed for what is this ava,
To think oor kirks have baith faun oot and noo hae gaen to law.
It's caused an unco talk indeed through a' the country side,
And spread a scandal far and near through a' the worl' wide.
An awfu' sad affair indeed to me it now appears,
That peace and happiness are fled now after sixty years.
We have had since the disruption a fair united life,
And now it ends in discord, evil bickerings and strife;
And now you have appealed, I hear, to Caesar at the last;
You may think you'll be all right when his stern decree is passed.
I hear its been decided that your Kirk's the Legal Free,
But a higher power than Caesar's can soon alter his decree.
Now Parliament has over-ruled, for its the higher power,
And this just in the nick of time, even at the Eleventh Hour;
And all your boasted victory you thought to be complete
Has ended in your downfall, you've suffered sore defeat.
But what else could be expected, the country could not stand
To see what they considered barefaced robbery in the land.

DONALD.

Now, Sandy, I've been listening since you began to preach,
You may think you've got a subject that you can fairly teach;
Wi' the contents o' your sermon I dinna quite agree;
So far of course your right, we should live in harmony,
But wha begoud the conflict and carried it so far;
Your folks would have their own way, or else they'd go to war.
Since my Lords have just decided that we're the Legal Frees;
Your Parliament will scarcely try to alter their decrees.
Your side's been on the downgrade and for years been drifting fast;
We thought it best to separate, so the crisis came at last.
We adhere to all the principles we held in forty-three;
I think that's mair than you can say or else you'll tell a lee.
You introduced your silly hymns, a most unseemly thing.
The sacred Psalms o' Dauvit you wouldna stan' to sing,
Grand organs, too, you had to get to mak' a splendid show.
Try incense and the candles next and back to Popery go,
And noo your hunkering at the prayer, sic conduct seems to me
You've forgotten a' the principles we held in forty-three.

SANDY.

Weel, Donald, it's amusing to hear you talk like this
As if these needed changes were onything amiss;
But I think it's right and proper that we should in knowledge grow,
As well as grace and meekness as the Scriptures plainly show.
The world has got before the church a thing that should not be;
The church should always lead the van as you can plainly see.
Belief in creeds and dogmas, by Calvin and John Knox,
Unless they lead to living faith they only prove a hoax.
The church's proper work should be to turn the world from sin.
Salvation from a higher source brings purer life within,
Unless our faith is firmly fixed on Christ and Him alone,
These men made creeds and dogmas will prove a stumbling stone.
Now, what's your Free Church doing while your shepherds seem to sleep
At perfect ease in Zion most unmindful of their sheep.

DONALD.

Noo, Sandy, as I said before, you've innovations made,
Which clearly shows to my mind you're on the downward grade,
The auld Confession o' oor Faith you'd like to overthrow
And teach erroneous doctrines in oor churches here below.
We stick to the Confession and the Bible withoot doot,
While the doctrine o' election you would like to see thrown oot.
And unless we do believe in him our faith and hope is dead;
But while he was doon here on earth did he not plainly say
We should keep clear o' temptation and always watch and pray.
Now it seems your great temptation is mammon and his gold,
And getting a' the gentry you can within your fold.
Within your church there's too much caste, ye dinna want the poor;
This gilded Christianity and pride I can't endure.

SANDY.

Oh, Donald, dinna talk o' pride or mammon and the gold,
If you could get the gentry, you'd hae them in your fold;
Aa's fish it seems comes to your net, nae matter what they're like,
And whether they be bees or drones, they're welcome to your bike,
Whether they be young or old, deaf or lame or blin',
Sae spider-like you do your best to try and coax them in.
I'm told you ha'e took children's names and put them on your roll,
And made them a' church members just to enlarge your poll.
Noo, Donald, I'll gie you advice, just tak' it frae a frien',
Keep mind there'll be a scrutiny, the names must a' be seen.
It was generally reported, as soon's you got the news,
That mony Heilan' heids that nicht were steaming wi' the booze.
How many thousands annually are ruined by the drink,
If that be Christian practice then fools may pause and think,
If that's consistent wi' the creed you profess to have believed,
Then let me tell you plump and plain you're easily deceived.

DONALD.

Noo, Sandy, I've been listening to your lecture on the drink,
I canna contradict you, for you're near the mark I think,
But see that your ain kirk is pure before you talk o' mine,
I think you're no' teetotallers a', nor sworn against the wine.
You've got lots o' gentry on your side, drink cellars packed fou,
The price of which would fill the mouths o' mony a hungry crew;
But the question that concerns us maist, and what I'd like to hear,
Is the commissioners' decision, is it gaun tae come this year;
I hear we have lost one in Nairn, one in Fort-William too,
I'm to]d that in Dumbarton we've really lost the two;
I'm gey anxious noo to ken what they mean to do in Ayr,
For if we lose the Newton Kirk 'twill be a sad affair.

SANDY.

Weel, Donald, if it's sad for you your kirk maun tak' the blame,
Such a glaring piece of impudence only added to your shame,
You thocht nae on the sadness brocht the anguish and despair
You wrought on many hundred hearts that day you cam' to Ayr,
Eight hundred decent members had to shift for thirty-three,
Or little mair even weans and a' had joined your legal Free.
Nae wonder that the people rose in thousands there that day,
They saw we were made martyrs of, and they wished to see fair play.
Nae doot the rabble in the street held mony a reckless loon
Who so incensed determined were to drive you oot the toon;
Your leader so disgusted hirpled speedily alang,
"I'll gang nae mair to yon toon," I think this was his sang.
I think that you may gie up hopes o' ever getting Ayr,
Your numbers they will not increase, I think you'll get nae mair.
Your church has got no future, and canna lang abide,
We'll watch with interest how you drift on each receding tide;
We're thankfu' to get rid o' you it always seemed to me
You were aye a thorn in oor side, ever since the Forty-three,
You're wanting nae revivals nor aggressive work ava,
Asleep in Zion! just like drones you want to sleep awa.

DONALD.

Noo, Sandy, I may tell you, you should clearly understand
That Free Kirks in toon and country were consigned to our command,
And yet you grudge to see us getting even one in Ayr,
As if that we were stealing or some terrible affair.
I am perfectly surprised at our moderation shown,
To think we sought so little o' what was but our own,
As for the rowdy element, it showed the spleen and spite
That centres in some wicked minds when mischief's their delight;
And now it clearly seems to me ye've got the lion's share,
You got the hale three colleges, so ye can ask nae mair.
Noo I maun stop my talking, I wish I saw the end,
It has saddened many a heart and separated many a friend.

SANDY.

Noo, Donald, just before I stop one thing I'd like to say,
There's a pleasant little island no' a hunner miles away,
Your birkies wi' the trustees there wrocht some curious pranks,
And by their dukery packery stole a march upon oor ranks.
Ane that wrocht a lot o' mischief fills a learned Professor's chair,
There's aye a wheel within a wheel, there's bigger wages there;
Then for the loaves and fishes they were scramblin' micht and main,
And to the fleshpots o' Egypt you'll be a' gaun back again.
It's a fine trade a policeman an' miniser as weel,
But whiles they are baith needed when the sheep break oot the fiel',
The shepherd maun be mindful, and watchfu' o' his flock
In case they mix wi' heretics that's o' a different stock.
I would like to hear before I stop on this very sad affair,
The Commissioners' decision on the Newton Kirk o' Ayr;
But noo we baith maun part and get on the road for hame,
We maun mind an' aye keep elder's hours and no lose oor guid name.





Lonely Orangefield.

OH, long neglected Orangefield,
=That skirs the open sea,
I'll see what my poor muse can do
=To say a word for thee.

Though greater houses in our land
=May boast a nobler name-
Though thou art small compared with these,
=Thou'rt not unknown to fame.

Thy landlord strange, in bygone days,
=Was Governor M'Crae-
A most peculiar son of Ayr,
=Eccentric in his way.

The statue of King William Third,
=To Glasgow City fair,
He gifted as a present grand
=From Orangefield, near Ayr.

Then came the friend of Robert Burns-
=Dalrymple, strange and queer,
Who introduced him to Glencairn,
=The noble patron peer.

For whom his touching, deep lament
=Is read the world o'er;
It prove the pangs of pain he felt,
=His heart wrung to the core.

He lost a benefactor great,
=A patron and true friend;
Although he died but young in years,
=He loved him to the end.

Keep up your heart, old Orangefield,
=And still be of good cheer,
Few like thyself can boast of such
=A poet and a peer.





King Bruce's Well, Prestwick.

'MONG heights and howes, and thyme-clad knowes,
And sandy bluffs, and whinny brows,
Near Prestwick pans, like sisters twin,
That's borne the brunt of rain and win'
For eight-score years, or maybe mair,
Convenient to the toon of Ayr,
With wild waves dashing to its base,
Where salt was made in ancient days,
=Stands good King Bruce's Well.

When sore harrass'd, and hardly pressed,
He lay beside it seeking rest,
He drank its waters, cold and pure,
Which wrought on him a marvellous cure.
He built a lazar house for all,
Who came within the leprous thrail,
And to this day its ruin stands,
An old landmark on Prestwick lands,
=Beside King Bruce's Well.

And from your quaint, old resting place,
You witnessed first the Stuart race;
You saw their rise, beheld their fall-
The "Merry Monarch" worst of all.
That scourge of Scotland in his day,
Who held the nation in his sway,
And filled the land with blood and tears
Thou saw'st all this in bygone years,
=Thou grand old Bruce's Well.

Ye visitors, who come to drink
Of this pure spring, just stop and think
Of brave King Bruce, and all he bore
For this dear land in days of yore,
Of mental pangs, and worrying care,
Of mortal pain, and scanty fare,
All this should never be forgot,
Raise some memorial on the spo
=To mark King Bruce's Well.





The Monkton Centenarian.

OUR Monkton centenarian's gone
=Away from worldly strife;
So steadfastly she battled through
=A long protracted life.

The grand old centenarian's gone,
=And none can take her place;
So patient, gentle, meek, and mild-
=An ornament of grace.

No gorgeous wealth attended her,
=No pomp or proud display;
In her old arm-chair beside the fire
=She gently passed away.

We laid her body gently down
=In old Churchyard to rest;
Her happy soul has ta'en its flight
=To mingle with the blest.







SONGS.


The Singing Sound of the Surging Sea.

TUNE - "_Rantin Robin._"

THE singing sound of the surging sea,
Dashing its wave so bold and free,
Where children run with joyful glee,
=On the breezy beach at Prestwick.

====Chorus.
==For Prestwick is a healthy place,
===Ancient Prestwick, modern Prestwick,
==While Bruce's Well is at Kingcase
===We'll a' be prood o' Prestwick.

There nature reigns in sweet content,
There freedom's enjoyed 'mong the whins and bent,
And the thyme clad knowes with fragrant scent,
=That skirt the shore at Prestwick.

There the golfer keenly pursues its way,
Over heath and whins, o'er bunker and brae,
Enjoying his game, the best of play-
=O'er the world famed links at Prestwick.

And away behind on the bereland moor,
'Mong the broom and whins where the air is pure,
The convalescents are almost sure,
=To find a balm at Prestwick.

There the lark springs up frae the morning dew,
And carols his way to the welkin so blue,
There the linties sing and the blackbirds, too,
='Mong the heaths and holms of Prestwick.

But oh! what changes now I can trace,
For elegant villas have taken the place
Of wee theekit hooses that used to grace
=The auld fashioned burgh of Prestwick.

And oh! what changes in life hath been,
Folks, manners, and customs have altered clean,
Frae the auld worl' worthies that I ha'e seen,
=When I was a boy about Prestwick.

There is too much caste in the world now,
Too much 'Stand off!  I am better than thou,"
We had a' things in common and nae pride, I trow,
='Mong the kind hearted auld folks o' Prestwick.





Gleniffer's Bonnie Glen.

AIR - "_Rowan Tree._"

I WANDERED owre Gleniffer Braes ae bonnie simmer morn;
The warblers piped their sweetest lays frae spreading tree an' thorn;
The earth in a' her beauteous robes was dress'd in shinin' sheen,
The sun was glistenin' through the glades, and burstin' on the scene.
===Oh, bonnie glen.

I saw the sparklin' burnie wimplin' sweetly doon the Glen,
An' sat beside the limpin' linn that kiss'd the mossy den;
I pu'd the modest primrose, the fern an' scented brier,
An' thocht that Nature's choicest gems were truly centred here.
===Oh, bonnie glen.

I wandered up the bonnie glen an' stood beside the well,
Where Tannahill had often felt the Muse's mystic spell,
An' wrote in lonely solitude his sweetest songs o' glee,
That charm the heart o' Scotia's sons in toun an' countrie.
===Oh, bonnie glen.

I could hae strayed the livelong day amang the beauties rare;
Oh! what a solace there I found to drive away dull care!
I searched for Nature's treasures deep in ilka fairy den,
An' pictured with supreme delight the beauties o' the Glen.
===Oh, bonnie glen.

Awa' wi' a' your city sports, though pleasant they may be;
I hate the bustle an' the strife-they have no charms for me:
Gie me the scented zephyr o' my ain dear native hills,
The woodnotes o' the warblers, the ripplin' o' the rills.
===Oh, bonnie glen.

The calm and sweet serenity, awa' frae mortal ken,
When the gloamin' throws her mantle owre the woodlands an' the glen,
An' the flowers hae closed their eyelids, the songsters gone to sleep,
An' the sun gane doon in glory owre the fountains o' the deep.
===Oh, bonnie glen.

Oh! how reluctantly I left this sweet romantic spot;
Although I've roamed in foreign lands, their beauties charmed me not
Like the wild an' lonely grandeur o' the dear land o' my birth,
That sparkles like a diamond on the boson o' the earth.
===Oh, bonnie glen.





I Wunner Wha'll be my Wife.

SOME stifling thoughts disturb my brain,
=As through this world I steer my course,
They sometimes leave but come again,
=Though only just tae make me worse.
Through nature's wide and varied scene,
=Its fleeting joys and endless strife,
'Midst fear and hope I often stop
=And wunner wha'll be my wife.

Perhaps I'm unco ill tae please,
=Or otherwise no in a hurry;
But whiles I'm unco ill at ease,
=And then I really think I'll marry.
But when I look around and see
=Their gaudy airs and thochtless life,
I sit me doon wi' tearful' e'e,
=And wunner wha'll be my wife.

Give me the guileless, winsome queen,
=Unscath'd by pride and outward show,
With gentle form and modest mein.
=And heart whose sympathies o'erflow;
Who shuns the company of those
=Whose proud display is ever rife,
Who even to themselves are foes,-
=I wunner wha'll be my wife.





Lines Composed and Sung.

AT THE ANNUAL MEETINC OF THE THISTLE LODGE OF FREEMASONS, No. 62, DUMFRIES, ON ST. JOHN'S EVE.

TUNE - "_A Motto for every Man._"

BROTHERS all, let us here as true Freemasons meet,
=In the firm bonds of brotherly love;
May the great Architect make our following sweet
=With rich blessings in showers from above.

=Chorus-Then let us all be faithful and united,
====Still remalning true to our Order and its laws;
===May our fellowship by discord and malice ne'er be blighted,
====And may we still be loyal and true to our country, our Queen, and our cause.

We're named after the Thistle, an emblem so true,
=Of the brave hardy sons of its toil;
In peace or in war, whether many or few,
=They're an honour to auld Scotia's isle.
===Chorus-Then let us, &c.

Our grand Order is based on the firm Word of God,
=And shall stand while eternity rolls;
Let us walk by its precepts at home or abroad,
=And its light shall be life to our souls.
===Chorus-Then let us, &c.

Its rich secrets are hid in the hearts of us all,
=And there's none but the faithful can know
The great joy it imparts to our poor sinking hearts,
=As we wander like pilgrims below.
===Chorus-Then let us, &c.

We've met on the level, let us act on the square,
=May the rule of our life still be true;
Let us do what we can to help each fellow-man,
=Till our plumb-line of life is cut through.
===Chorus-Then let us, &c.

May our annual assemblies be crowned with success;
=Still in every Lodge under the sky,
Let us practice in deeds what in words we profess,
=Till we meet in the great Lodge on high.
===Chorus-Then let us, &c.





The Auld Folk.

Noo, I hope you'll be kind to the auld folk,
The couthie and leal-hearted auld folk;
They are fast wearin' doon, white and bare o' the croon,
=And lanely's the life of the auld folk.

But it wasna aye sae wi' the auld folk,
When young they were able and yaul folk;
They rose wi' the lark, wrocht till lang after dark,
=For aye brizzing yont were the auld folk.

Early on the hairst rig were the auld folk,
Either theek, bin, or big could the auld folk;
Nae shearin' machines to cut corn, wheat, or beans,
=But weel-sharpened heuks had the auld folk.

They wore gude hoddin greys did the auld folk,
Spun and wove their ain claes did the auld folk;
Neither women nor men ever wore shody then,
=For guid honest work did the auld folk.

Happy nichts did we spen' wi' the auld folk,
By their cosy fire-en' sat the auld folk;
The rock an' the reel, an' the auld spinnin' wheel
=Were the pride o' the hames o' the auld folk.

So always be kind to the auld folk,
And aye keep your mind on the auld folk;
And a blessin' you'll get if you treat wi' respect
=The care-worn, kind-harted auld folk.





At Highland Mary's Shrine, Greenock.

How sad are my thoughts while I stand and survey
=Thy shrine in this spot it so richly adorns,
The emblems befitting, but faintly portray
=The anguish that rended the heart of thy Burns.

He watered thy grave with the tears of his youth,
=Encircled the world with thy beauty and fame;
Shed his word painting strains ever brimful of truth
=Like a halo of glory around thy sweet name.

What a world of sorrow he bore for thy sake,
=How intense were hs feelings no mortal can tell;
Time will never unbosom the love he did make,
=And threw round the world so magnetic a spell.

Your names are entwin'd round the ends of the earth,
=And are dear to each Scotsman where'r he may be;
Your tokens of love for their virtue and truth
=Shine like gems pure and good in the land of the free.

Cut down like a flower in thy youthful bloom,
=In the strength of thy days, of thy beauty and pride,
Many thousands shall always visit thy tomb,
=That lies peacefully here on the Banks o' the Clyde.

Greenockians be proud of the treasure you keep,
=For the sake of the memorable Bard of Mankind,
For the world is still watching the last long sleep
=Of the maid that once charm'd so brilliant a mind.





Hurrah for the Shipwrights!

TUNE - "_Kellyburn Braes._"

BEHOLD now the shipwrights, the brave hardy heroes,
=That build monster vessels for commerce and war;
The big belted cruisers, torpedoes, and gunboats,
='Mong all other nations we're foremost by far.

Then hurrah for the shipwrights, the brave, hardy shipwrights,
=The heroes who toil both by land and by sea;
Our navy's the backbone and strength of our nation,
=Where the British flags floats is the land of the free.

They got their first lesson from Noah, the shipwright,
=An old world worthie of Scriptural fame;
Their trade is not modern, it's antedeluvian,
=There are very few trades that can boast of the same.

But since Noah's tune we've had wondrous inventions,
=Our commerce has spread to the ends of the earth;
We build merchants' ships of enormous dimensions,
=And in the front rank stands the land of our birth.

Our comrades in strife are the staunch engineers,
=The joiners, the fitters, and riveters too;
They are fighting life's battles these brave-hearted peers,
=Standing shoulder to shoulder like warriors true.

The brave working men, the backbone of our nation,
=The salt of the earth, truly noble and grand,
Indispensable heroes fulfilling their station,
=Spreading wealth, might, and fame through our prosperous land.

Then away with your dignified swells of creation,
=That look with disdain upon valour and worth;
Though lolling on couches, exalted in station,
=They are only nonentities dwelling on earth.





Maggie the Flower of the Nith.

ALL nature is wrapt in a mantle of white,
=And the wild winds of winter blow cold,
The star-jewelled brow of the empress of night
=Shines like brilliants indented in gold.

I sigh like the sound of the cold winter winds,
=As the dark shades of evening appear;
I am left now in sorrow with very few friends,
=Through the changing and comfortless year.

To the shores of the sunny south she has gone,
=And she left dear old Scotland behind;
But she'll oftentimes sigh when sitting alone,
=As home scenes encompass her mind.

On the banks of the Nith my wee rosebud bloomed,
=I attended and watched it with care,
And the bower where it bloom'd was always perfumed,
=With a fragrance that sweetened the air.

But time, changing time, fixed his eye on my flower,
=And determined to make it his prey,
So one cheerless night when I went to my bower,
=My sweet little flower was away.

So "the Flower of the Nith," my Maggie's away,
=And she's left me to brood o'er her charms
But the swift wings of time, some fine summer day,
=May yet waft her safe back to my arms.





Young Aggie on the Banks of Ayr.

AIR - "_My Nannie, O._"

YOUNG Aggie on the banks of Ayr,
=Sae charming, blythe, and cheery, O,
Wi' her there's nane I can compare-
=I wish she was my dearie, O.

She rises early wi' the lark,
=She's always trig and cleanly, O,
Her sprightly form when at her wark,
=It mak's her look sae queenly, O.

The flowers bloom sweet by winding Ayr,
=And Doon's fair banks sae bonnie, O,
A sweeter flower and ane sae fair
=I've scarcely met on ony, O.

In Lagland woods the songsters chant
=The lea-lang day sae cheerie, O,
As blythe as them I'd romp and rant,
=If Aggie was my dearie, O.

Some dress like dolls for outward show,
=Their cunning wiles just grieve me, O
But Aggie wadna stoop sae low-
=I'm sure she'd ne'er deceive me, O.

Give me the guileless, simple queen
=That loves to do her duty, O,
An' honest heart and modest mein,
=It far surpasses beauty, O.

When I behold this winsome lass,
=That's aye sae blythe an' cheerie, O,
I often wish that I could pass
=For her enraptur'd dearie, O.

Some nicht I'll muster courage up
=An' tell her hoo I love her, O;
I'll gie her han' a kindly grip,
=The truth I may discover, O.

And if I manage to succeed,
=An' win her heart by courtin', O,
I'll ask for naething else, indeed,
=Her heart wad be my fortune, O.







NURSERY RHYMES.


Willie and Eckie.

WEE Willie and Eckie, ae fine simmer's day,
Wander'd cannily oot tae the fie1d tae play,
But before they began they fell on the crack
Aboot what they'd hae an' what they wad mak'.
Eckie was sober and wonderfu' douce,
And so he proposed to big a bit hoose:
Willie was carefu', cautious, and kind-
Possessed of a rich and pliable mind-
So he considered and thought on a plan,
Saying you'll be the wife and I'll be the man;
And we'll big it ae storey, and leeve in't oor lane,
And get oor wee John an' he'll be the wean;
And we'll big a wee byre and keep a wee coo,
A calf, and a pig, and a nanny-goat too;
Some ducks and hens, and a fine wee donkey
We'll hae a wee carriage, and John'll be flunkey
And we'll get a wee sheep tae grow us some woo',
And keep us cosy and warm the hale winter thro'.
I'll be the joiner, mak' the looms and the lathes,
You'll weave, be the tailor, and mak' a' the claes;
And we'll leeve as happy as a king and queen,
And at the end o' the year we'll be wonderfu' bien.

ECKIE.

Eckie was mair speculative than that,
He scarted his heid and doffed his wee hat,
Says he, man, the feu will be wunnerfu' dear,
And will aye be to pay at the end o' each year;
I think we should baith build it four storey high-
For its a' the same price tho' ye build to the sky-
And then we'll hae nice bits o' cellars below,
And mak' everything gang as far's it'll go;
And we'll build a wee washing-hoose, tidy and clean,
And the grun' at the back we'll turn into a green.
We'll build coal cellars instead o' a byre-
For ye ken folk canna dae wantin' a fire-
And as hooses are scarce, I think there's nae fear
That we'll get them a' let the ensuing year;
So I think we should lay the foundation the day
For where there's a will there is also a way.

WILLIE.

Ye hae't a' before ye like the heel o' yer shae,
But I'd like tae ken whaur the siller's tae come frae,
For to enter on such a prodigious speck
Without bawbees, wud certainly just prove a wreck;
For min' ye its no sic a canny affair,
Tae begin tae build castles, like thae in the air.
Ye talk as if by some magician's wand,
Ye could plant them doon on the spot we stand
Finished and filled tae oor heart's content,
And naething tae dae but draw in the rent:
Don't let such nonsense puff up your heid,
I say withoot siller we'll never succeed.
These are things that's no juist got for a sang,
So I think we should creep before we gang;
Wi' the little we hae let us try tae mak' mair,
And rise bit by bit like the steps o' a stair,
And no grapple wi' things that are oot o' oor reach,
But according tae oor steepens sae let us preach.

ECKIE.

Ye min' me o' a dominie trying tae teach
His pupils wi' a fine economical speech;
Whaur got ye sic eloquence and wisdom ava?
Were ye up at the college and learned it a'?
Or only the length o' Govan auld schule,
Whaur they gang in an ass and come oot a mule?
Whaur the rod o' correction has whiles tae be used
When wee boys like me get sadly confused?
But we're slippin' awa frae the point of debate,
And if we intend tae be onything great,
We'll keep tae the point, gang on wi' the scheme,
And no wander awa as if in a dream.
Weel, what do you think o' a four storey land-
As rooms and kitchens are in great demand?
Some like rooms and kitchens, and some just a room,
But we needna care nor fash oor thoom;
We'll build tae fit a', and then we'll be sure
We'll no miss the richt anes, be they rich or poor.

WILLIE.

Man you're quite amusing, I really declare,
When I think o' yer project it looks unco fair;
You should be a lawyer, ye're sae lang o' the heid,
And so thoroughly convinced you're bound to succeed.
I think ye'll no need muckle schuling ava,
For I'll gie my word ye're nae Johnnie Raw.
But Eckie, man, smart an' a' as ye seem,
Your plans and your projects are only a dream;
Unless you can raise up your lour storey land
Withoot ony siller, and get it to stand,
Your rooms and kitchens are only a hoax,
And'll never contain either rich or puir folks.
My line o' reasonin' you cannot gainsay,
You should just confess that it's no child's play
Tae big four-storey lands withoot a bawbee,
It's mair than we're fit for, so let the thocht dee.
Your notions are vain, your hopes are forlorn,
And will dee in the breath in which they were born;
So don't be in a hurry, let's go on with our play,
The auld city o' Rome wasna built in a day.

ECKIE.

Man you're unco persuasive in your kind o' way,
And an' eloquent speaker I really must say,
Ye'll be learning Latin, an' Greek and sic stuff,
And be comin' oot a minister likely enough;
I can see the way noo that ye're crawing sae crouse
And no intending to big a bit hoose,
I am no just sae blin', I can see at a glance
That your mind's occupied wi' the thochts o' the manse.
So we'll have tae forgie ye and let ye alane,
And no vex ye wi' things that trouble your brain,
We'll begin a new subject and crack for a wee,
Do oor best tae try if we baith can agree.
Weel, what do you think o' this waddin' o' Jean's,
Preserve us man, Willie we're gaun tae be freen's;
I suppose its tae be an unco grand affair,
I reckon you and I'll baith need tae be there,
Its no every day that a waddin' takes place,
So we'll need tae be dressed wi' a braw clean face,
And oor hair tossed off in the first-class style-
We'll try some braw lassie's hearts tae beguile.

WILLIE.

Weel, after a', I see you're a pliable loon,
And no very lang in changing your tune;
But I'm glad to hear tell o' this wunnerfu' spree,
O' which you've been speaking wi' sae muckle glee.
I mean the waddin' o' your sister Jean-
I'm sure she's but young, no lang oot o' her teens-
But I suppose they've been gaun th'gether this while.
And noo they intend tae get married in style.
I don't mean her wi' Jack, he's a braw, decent chiel;
And I think by this time she should ken him gey weel;
I hae kent him mysel' this guid twa three year,
And frae what I've seen o' him she's naething tae fear;
And I think Jean'll mak a tidy bit wife,
And will cheer up his heart in his journey thro' life.
I suppose at the waddin' they'll be singin' and dancin',
And plenty o' hochin' and jumpin' and prancin';
But we'll need tae be quate as we are but boys,
It'll no dae for us tae mak' ower muckle noise.

ECKIE.

O ye're unco considerate and feart tae affend,
But tae sit like a dummy I dinna intend;
There's a time tae be merry and a time tae be sad,
A time tae be sorrowful and a time tae be glad;
So I think that it's neither the time nor the place
To gang and sit there wi' a lang, solemn face.
It's no tae a funeral we're gaun ye maun ken,
But a waddin' we'll mind o' perhaps when we're men;
Wi' the soun' o' the music the building will ring,
Se we'll watch how they dance and hear how they sing.
I hear that they're gaun tae a hall in the toon-
I hope wi' their dancin' they winna brig't doon-
To get inside the door the boys will a try,
Roarin' oot ball-money as loud's they can cry;
But we'll no mind their cries, though we oft do the same,
They can roar till they're tired and then they'll gang hame.
I hope that we'll a' spend a gey happy nicht,
And enjoy oorsel's well till it's breakin' daylicht,
If we dinna get fou but go hame tae oor bed,
We'll each rise like a lark wi' a hale an' clear head.
But nicht is advancin', and hame we maun gang,
And some ither time-when we're no very thrang-
We'll meet and crack aboot something or ither,
Anent the dull times, the trade, or the weather.





Oor Wee Clinker.

OOR wee Clinker is an awfu' steering wean,
She's intae every mischief, she'll no let ocht alane,
If onything annoys her she tears her plaited hair,
And sends her doll and toys a' tumblin' doon the stair.

Oor wee Clinker, she hides wee Willie's baa,
She trips him when he's looking for't and laughs to see him fa';
She tells her couthie comrades if they will a' agree,
She'll hae a cookie shine an' gie them coffee tae their tea.

Oor wee Clinker got nuts at Hallowe'en,
And sic a pock o' sweeties was scarcely ever seen,
A big store o' apples, she took them tae her bed,
And hid them 'neath her pillow and wee sleepy head.

Oor wee Clinker when Christmas cam' roun',
I think a prooder lassie there wasna in the toon,
She got her wee grey stockin's and tied them up wi' strings,
That Father Christmas might come and fill them fu o' thing.

Oor wee Clinker was jumpin' wi' delight,
Father Christmas had come and filled them through the night
Wi' Christmas cards and sweeties, trinklets, toys, an' a',
And sic a Gregory's mixture I think you never saw.

Oor wee Clinker got hersel' sae neatly dressed,
Wi' her ulster and muff an' a' things o' the best,
When New-Year's Day cam' roun' in the hoose she widna bide,
Though only three years auld yet the lassie's fou o' pride.

Oor wee Clinker is crawin' rather crouse,
If she continues she'll be gaffer o' the hoose;
She can turn up her neb like a peacock on the green,
And cut as many airs as if she was the queen.

Oor wee Clinker-I like her, fauts an' a'-
The hoose wud be a dull ane if she was ta'en awa,
To hear her tell a story it maks my heart richt glad,
Her wee gabbin' tongue aye cheers me when I'm sad.





Wee Rab the Ranter.

AIR - "_The Drunkard's Ragged Wean._"

WEE Rab the Ranter, the bairnie's ne'er at rest,
Frae he waukens in the morning till he's in his cosy nest,
Between his ma' and me like a peerie soun' he sleeps,
Until the mornin' licht through the window shutter peeps.

As soon's his e'en are open, doun the stair he goes,
First intae the spoon-box, then fechtin' for his brose;
Though youngest in the hoose, the birkie beats them a',
And what he's gaun tae turn tae I dinna ken ava.

In his tiny nicht-goun, through the kitchen floor,
He paiks the ither bairns and gars them flee like stoor;
He maun be first and foremost in a' their little games,
And though he canna speak yet he kens them by their names.

When they play at roun' rosy, it's just a perfect treat
To see him in the centre, he's sic a great conceit;
So fond is he o' music-his ear's as sharp's a lance-
The moment that he hears a tune the bairn begins to dance.

He's never but he's climbin' up on every stool and chair,
Mony a thump his wee heid gets wi' fa'in' on the flare;
He's turnin' that weel used wi't he dosna mind a fa',
He carries on his capers wi' the briskest o' them a'.
He's highest at the table, whaur we watch him like a thief,
To learn him for his impudence-he often comes to grief-
Since he burned his tiny han' it's a caution aye to see
The steerin' birkie blawin' before he tastes his tea.

Experiences teaches foolish folk, as weel as foolish weans,
And aulder heids and aulder han's whiles suffer foolish pains:
Then let us first and foremost try to mind oor ain affairs,
And let oor neighbour folks alane-let them look after theirs.





Wee Davie Dingledoo.

WEE Davie Dingledoo, I wunner what you mean,
I'm sair forfochen nicht and day to try and beep you clean.
I thocht that I wad happy be if ye could rin your lane,
But oh! you've sairly cheated me, you're sic a steerin' wean.

Wee Davie Dingledoo! whaur's my stumper been?
Dabblin' in the gutter hole, glaur up tae the e'en;
Your daidlie no an hour sin' on, as white's the driven snaw,
An' noo it's just as black's the lum-my patience! that beats a'.

Wee Davie Dingledoo, my verra heart is sair;
Spoons an' knives a' oot the drawer, scattered 'cross the flair!
You're in to every corner, you'll no let aucht alane-
Was ever ony mortal fashed wi' sic a steerin' wean?

Wee Davie Dingledoo-oh, noo he's in the press!
Cups and bowls a' tumbled doun-mercy, sic a mess!
Was ever ony mither teased wi' sic a steerin' loon?
I think I'll search in vain to find his equal in the toon.

We Davie Dingledoo, gin e'er ye grow a man,
You'll hae as much to answer for as ony in the lan';
But yet, wi' a' your fau'ts, my man, you're ever dear to me,
I like to kame your silver hair and view your sparklin' e'e.

Oh, what care an' anxious thochts mithers ever hae!
Their mind is never right at ease, they're worried every day;
But when the bairns are sleepin' soun', an' in the bloom o' health,
They've treasures an' pleasures far exceeding wealth.





Wee Catchy-Catchy.

WEE Catchy-Catchy, come here an' get your dook,
And don't begin your tantrums, nor gi'e a thrawin' look;
Ye've been dabblin' in the dirt again wi' ither weans, I guess;
Jist see yer claes, clean on the day-mercy, sic a mess!

Ye needna greet nor hing your heid, for weel ye ken it's true;
I dinna ken on a' this earth what I'm to dae wi' you;
To watch you I micht dae nocht else frae early morn till nicht;
They ha'enna got their wark to seek that tries to keep you richt.

Jump in, my stumper, jist at aince, I'll wash you ower the heid,
And scrub you weel wi' Sunlight soap till ye're as clean's a bead;
I'll pack ye in the blankets till ye're as warm's a pie,
But even there ye winna rest nor let the ithers lie.

You're unco ready wi' your hauns, and gran' at scartin' weans;
It'll no be very lang, I trow, till ye be throwin' stanes;
I think, as far as I can see, you'll maun to haud your ain;
You're like to break my vera heart, you're sic a steerin' wean.

An' you, ye wee bit yochil, hoo ye'll cock up your nose,
An' think ye ha'e a perfect richt to steal wee Jamie's brose;
Wi' the cheek o' ony miller's horse, ye shove your nose aye ben,
Thinking everything becomes you, jist like mony aulder men.

Oh!  Catchy, when you're sleepin' 'mong the blankets snug an' ticht,
In a warm an' cosy hoose, wi' a big fire burnin' bricht,
Do ye no' think on the puir wee boys that's rinnin' on the street,
Thrang selling evening papers, wi' naething on their feet?

Jist think on mony hameless bairns ha'e neither meat nor claes,
Brocht up in dens o' darkness in big cities a' their days;
Nae bright green fields, nor trees, nor birds, nor burns they ever see,
The greatest comfort they receive is when they come to dee.

Nae Christmas toys nor New-Year gifts frae parents true and kind,
Nae nice wee story books to read to store the youthful mind;
But thanks to Mr Quarrier, Barnardo, an' the rest,
Whose noble efforts for their good have been so greatly blest.

But, Catchy, ye maun gang to bed and I maun stop my rhyme,
I hope you'll turn a better boy an' aiblins mend through time;
But, oh, I needna preach to you-you're no' that verra auld,
There's mony an aulder lamb than you has waun'ered frae the fauld.

I hope you'll get a bath yet in the fountain pure and good,
The streams o' which are never dry, supplied wi' Jesus' blood,
Who came to cleanse our fallen race, an' wash the worl' frae sin,
An' when your wark is dune doon here He'll tak' you up abune.





Wee Mysie Monyplies.

WE hae a wee bit lassikie in our hoose at hame,
An' for the credit o' the bairn I maunna tell her name;
But of a' the steerin' bairies that ever I hae seen,
I maun gie the leather medal tae oor wee queen.

When she tak's her greetin' tantrums she winna haud her tongue;
For, min' ye, she's a warmer, although she's very young.
Rampagin' through the house at times, makin' sic a din,
She's jist a born ettercap, if ever there was yin.

Among her little playmates she's foremost in the ranks,
And great complaints are often made aboot her playin' pranks;
She plunks the schule already, though only five years auld-
It'll tak' a clever officer to keep her in the fauld.

Like ithers o' her sex, she's weel gifted wi' the gab,
An' already she can maister her bigger brither Rab;
She rins aff wi' Jamie's barrow, or, if Davie gets a toy,
She'll nail't as soon's she gets a chance-she should hae been a boy.

Ye would think she gaed on springs, she's as supple as a hare;
For pawkie pride an' self-conceit they'll few wi' her compare.
When Mary, that's as big again, gets onything in dress,
Nae power on earth will ever please her ladyship wi' less.

My vera heid's like to be turned, an' mony a thocht I hae,
Wunnerin' what'll mak' o' her, if spared to speel life's brae.
If I bring fruit or sweeties hame, an' gie them a' a share,
For "We are Seven," a jolly lot, the fairy maun hae mair.

Yet, wi' a' her fauts, she's clever, I maun really tell the truth,
An' some allowance should be made for restlessness and youth;
She beats me clean at answering the questions that she'll ask-
It wad tak' a brave philosopher to tackle sic a task.

Parents hae an unco faucht watchin' ower their weans,
Afraid when they gang oot o' sicht they'll meet wi' broken banes,
Passin' mony sleepless nichts nursin' them when ill,
Fechtin' tae get en's tae meet keepin' tem at schule.

And when they've passed the standards and begun tae dae some work,
They're no lang till they're crawin' croose, an' vera soon turn Turk;
They maun hae a' their orders or they'll seek the stranger's hame,
An' tell ye tae your vera face you likely did the same.

The worl' seems ill divided, for thoosan's that hae nane,
Hae rowth o' wealth an' luxury, yet ha'ena got a wean;
But let us a' be thankfu' an' contented wi' oor lot,
And praise the Gracious Giver for the blessings we hae got.





John Nods is Comin'.

WEE jumpin' Jimie's clean worn oot,
=He's sinkin' in his chair,
His bits o' toys are thrown aboot,
=An' scattered ower the flare.

Whas that that's lichted on his heid,
=An's creepin' down his broo?
I'm thinkin' it's John Nods, indeed,
=I ken the cratur noo.

His magic han' he's slippin' doon,
=But braw an' weel we ken
What he's expectin' noo, the loon,
=It's Jimie to his den.

The bairn's been playin a' day lang
=Wi' Jamesie up the stair:
I think myself, if I'm no wrang,
=I met the couthie pair.

Gaun stumpin' up the streets, the lads,
=Wi' baith their airms fou
O' something gey like cabbage blades
=Awa' to Gibbs's coo.

They ken weel what their daein', too,
=Just let the lads alane,
Mony a coowife's leather bag
=Hauds fardin's for a wean,

Mercy me! whut's that I hear?
=My bairn's fell aff the chair:
John Nodums, wi' his tricks, I fear,
=Has got him in his snare.

Come to bed, my mannie, noo,
=John Nods has beat you clean;
He's sat on aulder heids, 
=And closed up aulder een.





Wee Watty, My Man.

OH, Wee Watty, my man, you're a wunnerfu' wean,
For you're never at rest-you'll let naething alane;
Though I try aye to watch you as weel as I can,
It's whiles mair than I'm fit for, Wee Watty, my man.

Oh, Wee Watty, my man, if you only but kenn'd
The wark ye oft gie me to mak' an' to mend,
To wash, dress, and airn, an' to keep ye aye clean,
You would surely hae some thocht, 'my dainty wee frien'.

Frae you rise in the mornin' till sleepin' at nicht,
My heart's at my mouth an' I'm aye in a fricht;
You're a witless wee yochill, you don't understan'
Half the trouble you gie me, Wee Watty, my man.

Were you jist auld eneuch to be ready for school,
Wi' much pleasure and gladness my heart would be full;
I would ken when you're there-you're oot o' harm's way-
And get rest in my mind a few hours in the day.

The ither day at birds you were flingin' a stane,
An' the chickens an' hens, man, ye'll no let alane;
An' the muckle Tom cat, you consider it gran'
To torment aye an' tease it, Wee Watty, my man.

But, oh! I needna preach, man, to you ony mair,
For you're but a wee boy, soon enough you'll hae care;
When you grow a big man you'll perhaps understan'
Both my text an' my sermon, Wee Watty, my man.





Janey Snaw.

YOU'R early back again this year,
=You cauld-rife Saney Snaw,
Was it no for you're winsome airs,
=I'd bid you bide awa.

If we but waun'er to the door,
=You're sure to meet us there;
An' kiss oor vera face a' o'er,
=An' cover a' o'or hair.

We like to clap your ermine face,
=An emblem we are sure
Of richest modesty an' grace,
=So perfect, spotless pure.

But when we scrape you frae the grun,
=An' squeeze you into baas,
You sune torment us for oor fun,
=As sair's we'd got the tawse.

Awa into the hoose we rin,
=An' seek the fire for heat;
But what a rumpus does begin
=When fire an' water meet.

But dinna come ower often back,
=Or John Frost he'll be here;
You baith may come at Christmas,
=And bide till the New Year.

An' then we'll hae some roarin' fun,
=Wi' skatin', slides, an' a';
John Frost will likely freeze you hard,
=We'll scarce can mak' a baa.





The Wee Sufferer.

A WEE boy sat in an hospital hall,
=And his heart was heavy and sair,
His deep-drawn sigh and anxious eye
=Was a picture of blank despair.

For the wee boy's body was rack'd with pain,
=He had come to obtain relief;
His life so young, in the balance hung,
=Can we wonder then at his grief?

They took him away to another room,
=Where the gory work must be done,
The doctors stood round, the subject was bound-
=Ah! the scene was a touching one.

Then the wee boy spoke, and these were his words-
=And his heart was throbbing fu' sair-
Would ony o' you kind gentlemen here
=Jist offer up a wee short prayer.

For a poor wee boy, in his deep distress,
=That Jesus would come to him noo,
And stan' by his side in the surging tide
=Of pain he's about to pass through?

The doctors with feeling were quite o'ercome,
=The case now might cost him his life;
The all-seeing eye from His Throne on High
=Directed and guided the knife.

Into their hands he committed himself,
=His mind now was fully made up,
His heart was at rest on his Saviour's breast-
=He, too, had partook of the cup.

He pass'd through the furnace and came out pure,
=All free from the cause of his pain;
He said he well knew that Jesus was true-
=He always would trust Him again.

One can't say enough in praise and behalf
=Of hospitals now in our land;
In fair Aberdeen there's one to be seen
=For children, capacious and grand.

Its walls are well lit, and Heaven's pure air
=Breathes sweetly and calm on its breast;
The wee girls and boys with flowers and toys,
=To them it's a Heaven of rest.

But for lack of funds it's dying, we're told;
=Let each of us rush to its aid;
When all are combined with gener'us mind,
=Foundations of progress are laid.

You who are lying in luxury's lap,
=With whom it's just fill and fetch mair,
Think for a wee on the misery you see
=Surrounding you everywhere.

Let feelings of kindness rise in your breast,
=The silent tear fa' frae your e'e,
You'll have joys untold that's richer than gold-
=You'll find that its pleasant to gie.

The Saviour will smile on your works of love,
=And bless you for all you have given;
With smiles of love He will meet you above,
=And crown all your kindness in Heaven.





Wee Jamie's Grave.

AE bonnie summer's Sunday nicht,
The sun was shining unco bricht,
We wanner'd oot tae get a sicht
=O' wee Jamie's grave.

The flowers were blooming fresh and fair,
And lent their fragrance to the air,
And seem'd to have a special care
=O' wee Jamie's grave.

Like ane o' them awhile he grew,
And shed his fragrance round us too:
But noo the flowers maun drink the dew
=On wee Jamie's grave.

Nipt like a bud in early morn,
He quickly from our hands was torn;
No wonder that we looked forlorn
=At wee Jamie's grave.

Nae mair we'll hear his merry roar-
He sings upon a happier shore;
Let's dry our tears, and weep no more
=At wee Jamie's grave.

We've laid away our faded flower
To sleep within a shady bower,
Until the resurrection hour
=Dawns on Jamie's grave.

There re-united ever mair,
May we with him the glories share,
Forgetting all our earthly care
=And wee Jamie's grave.





Rainy, Rainy Rattlestanes.

RAINY, Rainy Rattlestanes,
=I wunner what you mean,
Fillin' a' the dubs and drains,
=The like I never seen.

My vera feet's as wet as muck,
=Maist every place I gang
Dablin' like a vera duck
=The dubs and streets alang.

Rainy, rainy rattlestanes,
=Ye dinna seem to care
A straw aboot the puir weans
=That's rinnin' everywhere.

Exposed to a' your blindin' rain,
=Your thunner plumps that fa';
You're playing havoc wi' the grain,
=The gardens, flowers, an' a'.

If you don't mend your manners sune,
=We'll send for Johnnie Frost,
He'll freeze you to the vera grun'
=As stiff's a big lamp-post.

So off you go, you tricky thing,
=Don't weet us ony mair,
We'll maybe need you in the Spring,
=But come wi' tentie care.





Oor Wee Rachel.

WEE Rachel's rompin' through the hoose,
A chatterbox so glib and crouse,
But yet she wadna hurt a mouse,
=Wad oor wee Rachel.

Her winsome ways I much admire,
She's full o' life, and full o' fire;
In fact, ane scarce wad ever tire
=O' oor wee Rachel.

She's got a dear wee sister too,
For Rachel's no the baby noo;
For pranks and fun you'll find but few
=Like oor wee Rachel.

She's got her dolly neatly dress'd
Wi' flowers and ribbons o' the best;
I'm sure it gets but little rest
=Frae oor wee Rachel.

But little peace her ma' does get
Till Rachel gets her bassinette,
And in it wraps her pawkie pet,
=Does oor wee Rachel.

We love her for her sprightly ways,
Her winning smiles like sunny rays;
We hope she'll see long happy days,
=Will oor wee Rachel.







CHARACTER SKETCHES.


Tam King.

A MONKTON CHARACTER.

THOMAS KING, or as he was familiarly styled Tam King, was an old-world worthy well known in the Parish of Monkton and Prestwick.  He was a tall man, about six feet in height, with a rather ungainly walk; was short-sighted, his eyes being of the goggle type.  He had a flash of originality about him, which made him a favourite with old and young; he had many deft and quaint sayings.  He earned his livelihood by working amongst the farmers in the district-cutting hedges, draining, cleaning out sheughs, etc.; in his younger days Tam as a great pedestrian, but the greatest exploit of his life was his famous trip to London for the purpose of seeing the Queen.  Nance, his wife, was a short, stout-built woman, about five feet in height; fresh, well-coloured, rather good-looking; wore a spotless white inutch with well-piped borders, which were very fashionable among the working classes about fifty years go.  They lived in a little brick-built cottage, close beside the Pow Bridge on the Monkton side of the Pow Burn.  It was semi-circular in form, with at least a but and a ben, a small byre for the cow, with outhouses for pigs and poultry.  They had a large garden in which they grew gooseberries, raspberries, currants, etc., in great abundance.  Their home was a great resort in summer time for lads and lasses and youngsters going to buy fruit, being about midway between the two villages.  Here Tam and his trig little Queen Nance spent many happy years of their married life.  I am not quite sure how many of a family they had, but I knew three of them - two daughters and a son.  Nance was a frugal, hard-working woman, always desirous of having something laid past for a rainy day.  Tam, on the other hand, was given at times to be a little foolish, indulging rather freely in a "drop o' the crathur."  He had nursed the idea in his head for years of going to see the Queen; so one fine day when Nance was absent, he got into the drawer where she had her money carefully laid past for the rent, and, though I cannot vouch for the exact amount, it was currently reported at the time that he got away with 15; took out his ticket for London, and was not heard of for about a fortnight.  When Nance came home she was frantic, and neither to "bin nor haud."
When Tam arrived in London, after looking around him for a day or two and making little progress, he thought the better way to see the great sights was o hire a man to drive him from one place to another; but Tam with his broad Ayrshire doric, could not get the Cockney to understand what he wanted, and so he gave the thing up for a bad job.  He said, when he came home, "the confundit useless budie didna ken a word I said."  I heard him one day, shortly after he came home, telling my father a bit of his experience.  I remember him saying with eager and astonished look, "Man Willie, it's an awfu' undertaking - yon Thames tunnel; I wudna believ'd it, if I hadna seen it wi' my ain e'en."  I visited him shortly before his death, he was over ninety at this time.  I got him to crack on his London trip.  He told me that on his way home he stopped at Liverpool, and walking quietly along the street he came to a boxing saloon.  Some of the officials round the door, seeing he was a stranger and seemingly a man from the country, invited him in.  Tam said to me, "Man I wasna very shure whether to venture in or no, hut they brocht ane and got me in, and then they wad hae me tae try on the gloves.  Weel, I was persuaded to try them on; gaed into the ring, and faced a big, brawny Englishman; but Man, I hadna the science o' him, ye ken, and when we were sparrin' round the ring, dod sir, he gied me a blow richt on the nose that staggered me a bit.  I found my bluid rising; and if I had got a grup o' him, I doot he wad hae come aff second best; however, I thoch the quicker I got oot the better.  I threw aff the gloves, got oot on the street, and no long after that I made my way for hame."  Tam had, doubtless, thought that discretion was the better part o' valour, and left Liverpool a wiser, if not, a sadder man.
When he arrived at Prestwick, and got into his own house, needless to say, Nance, like his immortal namesake's wife Kate, had been nursin' her wrath, and had it warm for him.  Tam, however, got her quietened doon; got off to his work again, and things went on smoothly as before.
Tam afterwards got on to be gravedigger, beadle and minister's man, the parish minister at that time being Dr Laurie, author of the famous heart-stirring lyric - "Dae ye mind o' Lang-Syne," etc.; and grandson of Dr. Laurie of Loudoun, who, in conjunction with Dr Blacklock of Edinburgh, was instrumental in keeping Burns, our national bard, from going to Jamaica - the Doctor, though a little pompous in manner and dignified in appearance, had a large and generous heart, and did a great deal for the poor of the parish in the early fifties when hand-loom weaving, the staple trade of Prestwick and Monkton, was at a very low ebb.  He established soup kitchens, and by his benevolence in many ways alleviated the distress of the deserving poor.
Owing to Tam's intemperate habits, the Doctor had occasion at times to differ with him; after having remonstrated with him several times, on one occasion in particular, Tam who had fairly forgot himself by indulging too freely in the "wine," the Doctor's patience became exhausted, and off he marched to see Tam, saluting him thus.  "Well, Thomas, I have warned you over and over again, and all to no purpose; I can stand this no longer, and you must now leave my service."  Tam looked at the Doctor for a moment, and said:  "Weel, Doctor, if ye dinna ken a guid servant when ye hae him, I ken a guid maister, an' I'm no gaun tae leave.  Tam once again got another reprieve
There is another story told with reference to Tam.  The Doctor said to him one day - "Now, Thomas, I'm going to make a bargain with you.  I'll give you a half-sovereign if you promise me never to enter Mrs M'Call's again," that being the Sheaf Inn.  "A' richt Doctor," said Tam.  "Well, you can call at the manse to-morrow morning- and have breakfast- and I will give you the half-sovereign."  Tam did as requested, and after breakfast the Doctor came in with the half-sovereign in his hand, and said - "Now, Thomas, you remember what I said; you vow never to enter Mrs M'Call's again."  "A' richt, Doctor, I'll mind that."  The Doctor left for another apartment, and just as his back was turned, Tam, in silent tones so that the Doctor might not hear - "I'll jist gae in to the 'Croon Inn instead.'"
Tam on one occasion was taking a walk along the burnside towards Powbank Mill.  There had been a heavy spate, the burn was in flood, and the mill dam had overflown to an enormous extent.  The miller, a big, stout man, standing brooding over the dam with a melancholy countenance, says: "Man, Tam, the dams awfu' big the nicht."  "Aye," says Tam, "I wadna be surprised to see a whale in't in the morning."
There are mnny more incidents in connection with Tam's life that might be recorded, but we must not enlarge further.  He lived to be ninety-four, and died a his daughter's house in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire.  He was of a kindly disposition, and as well respected by both old and young in the neighbourhood of Monkton and Prestwick.
Tam's youngest sister, Nannie King, who became Mrs Morrison, died in Monkton about a year ago in her 98th year.  I had several long cracks with her.  She knew the Ronalds o' the Bennals well, particularly Annie, who was a flame of the poet Burns, who said, "I like her mysel, but daurna weel tell, etc., etc."  Annie, who was Mrs Paterson, of Aikenbrae, near Monkton, died in 1828, and is buried in Monkton Churchyard.
Mrs Morrison, I think, was baptised by Dr Mitchell, the Andrew Gouk of the Kirk Alarm, and married by Dr Burns, a nephew of the poet.  The Parish Church-built in 1837-stands beside Orangefield, where Burns first met his noble patron, Lord Glencairn.





Paddy Carey.

PADDY CAREY, though he did not wear the badge of the gaberlunzie, was a splendid specimen of that somewhat eccentric class of beggars that frequented most parts of Scotland more than a hundred years ago.  He was a big brawny gruesome Irishman, and lived at what is now named New Prestwick, but in these days was termed Prestwick Toll.  He took long journeys, going through the different villages; was an early riser, and often in winter was knocking at folks' door before they were out of bed.  He always went with his bare legs and feet, his trousers rolled up to near his knees; and what gave him a more gruesome appearance was the fact that he had a large tumour on the back of his neck, which kept shaking away as he went padding along the road.  He was the terror of all the children in the neighbourhood, who flew whenever he made his appearance, sometimes crying "Paddy Carey, Ham Legs!" taking good care to have a wide berth for running out of his way after crying "ham legs," a nickname that Paddy abhorred; and woe betide the luckless urchin that fell into his clutches when Paddy was roused.
Paddy carried a big stick in one hand, a meal pock in the other, with a large bag hung over his back for the purpose of holding potatoes, which were very plentiful more than fifty years ago.  It cannot be said that he was remarkable for either wit or humour.  He had a keen eye to business, and seemed always in dead earnest in pursuing his daily avocations.
A ray of the Burke and Hare tragedies that startled Scotland in the earlier part of the century, still lingered round the homes of the peasantry in the West of Scotland; and the fireside stories told by the old people about lifting corpses from the graveyard, stic4ing plasters on the mouths of victims, and of machines being seen in different places with their wheels clad with rubber so that one never heard them till they were on top of them was quite enough to make the children's hair stand on end.  So, when any of them happened to be out after dark in their neighbour's house, the going home was a terrible ordeal to pass through.  They had generally to get some grown-up person to accompany them home, or, at least, within sight of their own door, and then trust to the speed of their heels to carry them clear of the Burkers-a term derived from the infamous villain who was the chief actor in these terrible Edinburgh tragedies.  So between the thought of meeting some of these midnight scoundrels, or perhaps Paddy Carey, the poor youngsters had a sorrowful time of it for a number of years; and to add to their troubles, at these fireside gatherings, there was always sure to be a lot of ghost stories told that fairly frightened the very wits out of the poor youngsters.  Happily, howver, these delusions have all passed away, and the present generation knows nothing of them except by reading or hearsay.
Paddy Carey then seemed to take advantage, or rather to make as much capital as he could out of the nervous fear than pervaded the minds, not only of the young, but grown-up and middle-aged people, at the time, for none of them cared to send him away without giving him something.  Poor Paddy died during the cholera in '48, and was buried in Prestwick graveyard.  His death was a great relief to all the children in the neighbourhood.





Adam Andrew, as Caddy.

=The golfer's wish from heart and soul
=Is that the ball may reach the hole;
=He's in, and stands so pleased to see
=His caddy off wi't to the tee.

ADAM ANDREW was another noteworthy character - belonging to Prestwick.  A handloom weaver to trade, his brilliant wit, sparkling humour, and quick peroeption made him a general favourite with everybody.  By taking away the letter "A" from his name and substituting "E" in its place, we shall arrive at the more familiar pronunciation, as he was always named Edam.  He was a good weaver, and stuck well to his loom when weaving was brisk, except on occasional times, when he went out on the booze for a week, and sometimes longer.  On these occasions, when his money and credit ran short, many were the schemes he adopted to "raise the wind."  Of the stories told in my younger days of the ingenious devices to accomplish his ends, the following are a few that were currently reported concerning him:-
One day, when getting near the end of his tether, he saw a woman sitting at a window sewing.  He ran into her house in a great hurry, and told her he had a great secret to tell her that would do her good as long as she lived, and if she would just give him twopence he would let her know that secret.  Edam was in dead earnest, as he always appeared to be when he wanted to further his ends.  The woman was persuaded, and gave him the twopence.  Edam, with his eyes fixed, looked straight into hers with great earnestness, and said - "Mistress, always put a knot on the en' o' your thread before you begin to sew, and it will do you good as long s you live."  He then ran out, and left her like the knotless thread he had told her to guard against.
Another story in which Edam figured prominently is told.  Some of Edam's confederates, suffering from the effects of a prolonged bout of drinking, hung about Prestwick Cross till Edam would put in an appearance, his advice and plans being always considered of the highest importance in any crisis.  When they saw him coming they accosted him thus - "Weel, Edam, what's tae be the programme for this day?"  Edam looked wise and thoughtful for a moment, then said - "Weel, boys, we'll gang aff tae Ladykirk, an' ane o' us will be a bear," and, turning round to one of them, a littLe stout man nemed Weldon, said to him - "Weldon, you'll be the bear; you're gey like a bear, ony wey," he having long black hair and shaggy whiskers.  So, having procured a sack and pole, and Edam with a large stick in hs hand, they started for Ladykirk, a mansion-house situated about two miles eastward from Prestwick.  On arriving near the house they got Weldon into the sack, tied a straw rope round his waist, gave him the pole, holes being cut in the bag to allow his arms room to work, also holes for his feet.  They ventured near the mansion-house, and in front of it Edam put the so-called bear through his performances.  The house at that time had been turned into a convalescent home or institution or weak-minded people, and the governor, thinking that some of the loonies might be upset, ran out to the performers, and in an excited state offered them half-a-crown if they would take their departure, which needless to say, was the very thing they wanted.  off they went, elated with their success, to the nearest inn in the village, and, of course, very soon melted their half-crown.
A neighbouring farmer, standing one day outside of his steading, saw Edam approaching, and, thinking to have a joke out of him, said - "Weel, Edam, are yo no' workin'?"  "No, sir; my wab's oot an' nae twist."  "Ye'll be after a job, then, I suppose?"  "O, aye, sir, I could tak' a job."  "An' what could you do about a farm?"  "Oh, I could ring swine's noses, splice jucks' nebs, put taes on hens, or ony odd job aboot the farm."  The farmer took a good hearty laugh, gave Edam a shilling, when off he set as proud as a peacock.
Another good story is told of him.  On one occasion, being in a neighbouring town not far from Prestwick, hanging about the street "in sore want of something to wat his whistle," he spied a painter going along the street.  He ran forward to him in a great hurry, and asked him if he would obleege him with the loan of his paintpot and brush for a few minutes.  The painter said - "Oh, but there's nae paint in't."  "Oh," says Edam, "as much as dae me."  So, running into a woman's house, he says- "Woman, I see your kist is in sair need o' pentin', an' as I'm gey hard ap this mornin' for a wee drap, I'll mak' a braw job o't for threepence, if ye'll obleege me; I'll leave the pot and be back in a minute."  The woman, not very sure of him, reluctantly gave him the threepence.  Edam ran out, got his nip, and back to his work.  He began by dabbing her kist all over, a spot here and a spot there.  The woman rushed forward to take the brush out of his hand, saying - "The man's gaen gyte!  Ye're gaun tae spile my guide kist."  Edam looked at her a moment with his penetrating eyes, and with great emphasis said - "Mistress, that's a new kind o' pent they ca' creepin' pent; a' they spots will creep thegither in the nicht-time when ye're sleepin, an' be a' the colours o' the rainbow in the mornin'."
Edam's wife was a hard-working, matter-of-fact woman, always wore spectacLes, and was a heavy snuffer.  She wound his pirns.  He termed her "Nannie ma' doo."  It is said that one day Edam came into the house, as the saying is, half-seas-over, and making himself rather obnoxious with his bletherology, she turned quickly round to him and asked very sternly if he knew who he was talkin' tae.  "Fine that, Nannie, ma' doo."  "Weel, it disna look like it; ye're talkin' to Dr M'Kinley's daughter, mind that."  "Then," retorted Edam, "remember you're talkin' to a deacon o' the kirk's son."
In his later days Edam rung the bell through Prestwick when anything was lost or found, and when he had made his announcement he generally gave the public a long rigmarole of drollery, his own making up, never failing to give his hearers a good hearty laugh.
He was sometimes engaged as a caddie, carrying some of the gentlemen's clubs, and a very good caddie he made.  While engaged one day carrying to a gentleman he received a message that Nannie his wife was dying.  He stepped forward to the gentleman and said - "Maister, I'll hae to gang hame as quick as I can.  My doo's deein'."  "Oh, Adam, what about a doo," said the gentleman.  "Oh! aye, I maun gang, my doo's deein'."  His neighbour caddy explained to the gentleman that it was his wife he meant.  "Oh! Adam, it's your wfe.  Then hurry off and I'll get someone in your place."  So paying Edam handsomely, he set off for home to see and have a parting word with Nannie his doo.  He lived to be over eighty, retaining all his faculties and a littie sparkling wit to the last.  He died-deeply regretted by the whole community-about eight years ago, and Prestwick has never since been able bo find his equal; and for deft saying and real originality, it is very questionable if we shall ever find his equal again.





James Manderson.

JAMES MANDERSON was in interesting and rather eccentric character in Prestwick about fifty years ago.  Though a good bit past middle-age, he was tall, commanding in appearance, and somewhat dignified in manner.  He stood fully six feet in height, and straight.  He had been in the army for a good number of years, retired with a pension, and came to Prestwick to work at the trade of handloom weaving, which was the staple trade of the place in these days.
It seems that while in the army he was servant to a doctor.  He was a private in the Granadier Guards, got some elementary knowledge of how to dispense medicine, and there being no doctors in Prestwick at that time, Manderson was considered a fit and proper person to consult in cases of sickness.  When anyone fell ill, of course, Manderson had to be sent for, particularly in the cases of children; and he, filled with a sense of his own importance, was not long till he was in attendance, and showed remarkable skill at times in most cases he dealt with.
His wife was a lit1e dark and kind woman, quiet and unassuming in manner, and quite the opposite in temperament to her husband.  Mrs Manderson, or as she was like nearly all married women in Prestwick mostly called by their maiden name, Jenny Cathcart.  When Manderson had got a little drop too much in, as he had at times, he would tease her by saying, "The din skin o' Jenny Cathcart, and the din skin o' the Cathcarts."  Jenny, however, seemed to take it all in good part, and would rather suffer reproach than cause a row.
A good story is told of Manderson.  On one occasion, he was in the train on his way to Paisley to draw his pension, and had on a pair o white moleskin trousers, which Jenny had been very careful to have as clean and white as possible.  But Jenny's tastes, as well as he temper, seemed to differ considerably from that of her husband.  The trousers had been torn, or worn through, in the front, and Jenny, not having a patch of white moleskin, put on a black moleskin one.  The contrast was so striking in Manderson's eyes that he seemed to think it the same in everybody's.  A lady was sitting opposite to hin in the train, and he thought she as always eyeing the patch.  He accosted her in these words: "Madam, I see you're looking, but thts is the workmanship of the useless hands of Jenny Cathcart, a useless woman, who has just two faults-viz., she can say nothing right, or do nothing right."  He always spoke in a very proper style, was very consequential, and doubtless considered himself a personage of great importance in the then quaint, old-fashioned burgh of Prestwick.





James Murdoch, Esq., Drumwhirn.

A LINK WITH BURNS.

JAMES MURDOCH, Esq , was laird of his own farm, Drumwhirn, situated on the borders of the parishes of Balmaclelan and Corsack in Galloway, about 10 miles from Castle-Douglas as the crow flies.  He was a tall, stout-built man, and, at the time I saw him, was ninety-eight years of age.  This was as well as I can remember, in the end of 1881.  He signed a written testimony for me, with his own hand without the aid of glasses, which ran as follows: "I hereby certify that I saw Robert Burn, our National Poet, in the flesh at what was then termed "The Boat," in company with Lord Kenmure and James Syme, Esq., a lawyer from Edinburgh, the day before he wrote "Scots Wha Hae," and rowed them over the Water o' Ken.  He wore a pair of long boots, with white tops." - (Signed) James Murdoch, C.S.
He also told me the following story, which I was the first to give to the world, I believe, as an hitherto unpublished incident in the poet's life: - Mr Murdoch was, at the time, about eleven years of age when Lord Kenmure and Mr Syme came down to the boat to cross the ferry on the way to visit Lord Selkirk at St. Mary's Isle.  There was no bridge then at what is now known as the Spalding Arms, between the villages of Dalry and New Galloway.  Mr Murdoch's father, who had charge of the ferry, was not present at the time, but his son was left to take his place.  They got him; and he rowed them to the other sida of the river Ken.

BURNS PRIEST-RIDDEN.

Next day on their way back-there was a minister along with them.  The day was wet and stormy, and they could not get the boat near enough the side to allow them to get out dry shod.  Burns at once jumped out of the boat, and carried the minister on his back.  On seeing this Lord Kenmure lifted up his hands, and exclaimed: "Man, Burns, you're the last man ever I thought would be priest-ridden."  Burns was speechless Mr Murdoch who saw this, laughed heartily when he was telling me.  After my letter had gone the round of the papers, Mr Murdoch had letters from all parts of the country, and, I think, some from America, as far as I can remember, asking what Burns was like.  He said Burns was a tall, stout, well-built man with large dark eyes, but what he remembered most about him was the long boots with white tops.
Mr Murdoch, who was hale and hearty, gave me his signature to this, without glasses, at the age of ninety-eight.
I paid him a second visit, and at his own request took a photographer with me from Castle-Douglas, and got his photograph taken, and stayed a night in his house.  He was hale and hearty, could enjoy his glass of toddy, and play a game at catch-the-ten with as joyous and cheerful a spirit as many a man not half his age.  He was about a hundred years old when he died, as near as I can remember, in the end of 1883.  He superintended his farm himself, and his wife, who was over ninety years of age at the time, looked after her servants and attended her household duties with great alacrity.  I think they were the most remarkable pair I ever met in my life.  During the time they were in Drumwhirn, Thomas Carlyle, the great philosopher, stayed a while at Craigenputtock, about two miles from them.  If I am not mistaken, it was there he wrote his "Frederick the Great."  There were not many years between the deaths of these two old-world worthies.





Another Link with Burns.

An old worthy whom I knew well when I was a boy in Prestwick, though not what might he termed a character, had some deft and quaint sayings.  His name was John Guthrie, known better as the "Laird," he having a lot of property in Prestwick.  His wife was termed the Leddy, and though between seventy and eighty was at times very much addicted to drink.  Her spell generally lasted for seven or eight weeks at a time which was a great source of grief and sorrow to the auld Laird.  I used to listen to his cracks about Burns, and heard him say that he knew Burns well and was often in his company.  He walked in a procession of Freemasons with him in Tarbolton.  I heard him say he was born in 1758, the year before Burns.  He died, as far as I can remember, in 1851, in the 94th year of his age.  He was blind before he died.  My father lived in one of his houses, and he lived two doors from us, so I was seeing him almost every day when I was about eleven years old, and sometimes led him round a little.  He made his money at the pack in England, and was sometimes styled "Packman Jock."  He had a son who went out abroad after the Western Bank failure.  He became involved in difficulties, bonded the old people's property to such an extent that the old Leddy's means were very limited before she died.  There was about the same time living in Prestwick a shoemaker named Matthew Davidson, a grandson of "Souter Johnnie," whom I knew well.





Baron Miller.

STILL ANOTHER LINK WITH BURNS.

JOHN MILLER, Esq., better known by the title of Baron, proprietor of the Fort Castle, Ayr, is a well-known figure in the Auld Toon, and has been for a long series of years.  Though now in his 87th year he is hale and hearty, and may be seen often taking his walk down High Street when the weather is good.  He wears his hair long down to his shoulders.  He told me lately that it helped his eyesight considerably.  He gave me a piece of valuable information regarding his family, which may be of some interest to lovers of Burns.  He said his grandfather was in a farm near Mossgiel during the time Burns was in it, and that his father, David Miller, he believed was the Wee Davock referred to by Burns in his Inventory-Wee Davock hauds the nowt in fother; till faith
==Wee Davock's grown sae gleg
==Though scarcely langer than your leg,
==He'll screed you aff Effectual Calling
==As fast as ony in the dwallin'.
He also told me that his aunt, hs father's eldest sister, was the Miss Miller first referred to in the Mauchline Belles-
=Miss Miller is fine, Miss Markland's divine,
=Miss Smith she has wit and Miss Betty is braw,
=There's beauty and fortune to get wi' Miss Morton,
=But Armour's the jewel for me o' them a'.
Mr Miller was born near Mauchline in 1819.  When young he went abroad, made some money, and ultimately settled in Ayr.  He is a quiet unassuming man, and has great antiquarian tastes, having a vast stock of relics and old nick-nacks.





Andrew Caldwell.

ANDREW CALDWELL was a worthy Freeman in Prestwick, and was at one time Provost of the ancient burgh.  He was a strong, powerfully built man, but very illiterate.  It is recorded of him that, after being chosen as Chief Magistrate, he went to Bailie Smith and asked to see the books of the law.  The Bailie said - "Man, Andrew, gang awa' hame and read the five Books o' Moses; you'll get plenty of law in them tae dae you."  "Aye," hastily retorted Andrew, "but Moses hadna sae monie confoondit Erish tae deal wi' in his day as we hae in oors."
When the new Burgh School and Council House was in course of erection in 1844, Andrew, who was Provost at the tune, was assigned the honour of laying the foundation-stone, and placng the bottle with coins and other articles in the cavity prepared for them.  He was expected to give a speech, but, "wae's me," Andrew's speech was of short duration.  Standing on the platform with his brother Freemen around him, Andrew seized the bottle with its contents, and holding it up to let the spectators see it, said - "Weel, lads and gentlemen, there's the article."  It might be Andrew's first speech, and perhaps his last; but I think for brevity it may be termed the shortest on record.  Bailie Smith, who was standing beside him, seeing the predicament he was in, came to his aid, and made a short, pithy speech appropriate to the occasion, which pleased the assembled audience, who dispersed laughing and commenting on Andrew's speech
Andrew's wife, Jenny, was a stout, fat, rustling, bustling, sort of a woman, with no pretensions to courtesy or manners.  They had no family but a grown-up illegitimate son of Andrew's, whom Jenny styled "Paul Jones."  He assisted his father in doing the work of the farm, and was harshly enough treated at times by his erratic stepmother.
Andrew and Jenny kept separate purses.  The old wooden pump that stood a little from the back-door at the entrance to the garden being rotten and completely done, they resolved to buy a new one, each to pay half the expense.  Andrew accordingly ordered a new pump, which was put up and into working order; but when the account was rendered for payment, Jenny demurred, and would not pay her share; so ratLier than go to law over the matter, it was agreed they should call in an arbiter.  Andrew got one of his brother Freemen to act as such, and got Jenny persuaded to pay her half.
Jenny allowed Andrew so much per annum for the use of the cows, he providing the fodder, and she receiving the produce.
I knew both of them well; they were a comical pair, and many little anecdotes might be recorded of them, but the foregoing must suffice.  They have long since gone to rest in the quaint old burying ground of Prestwick.

-----

There were a few more old-world worthies in Prestwick in my day one in particular, who, although not a character, was a well-known landmark, James Smith, better known as "Blin' Jame."  No matter where you met him, in Prestwick, or near it, if you enquired at what spot he now was, he could tell you to within a few yards.  I have tried him myself, and found him correct.  It was said of him, but for the truth I cannot vouch, that he took the train on one occasion and went to Glasgow, made a call at Stockwell Street, and returned with very little assistance, making the safe journey entirely on hearsay and explanation.  He had been blind from a very early age, and was a good knitter of stockings, making the finest work I ever saw.  Meet him where you liked, he was always knitting.  He was a fairly good hand at the violin, and used to fiddle at weddings and social sprees.  He had a great memory, could repeat a great part of the Psalms and Paraphrases, and sometimes raised the tunes at the Sabbath School.  About the age of seventy he met his death in a melancholy manner.  There was a green at the end of the garden of the friend's house in which he stayed, and in it a well.  Some one had carelessly left a tub near the well, over which he stumbled and fell into the well, and was so injured that he never reocvered.  He was greatly mourned over and lamented by the inhabitants of Prestwick.
There was a notable character named "Daft Tam," but as the Rev. Kirkwood Hewat has referred to him in his admirably written book entitled "A Little Scottish World," I refrain from giving any notes on him.
There were also a few strange characters, but being a little before my day, I merely mention their names.  There were Lurgan John and his wife Meg, who was considered a witch.  They lived in a wooden hut near the Salt Pans, 'mong the Sandy Knowes, close to the beach.  The people were afraid to send Meg away empty, in case she might set an evil eye on any of the children.  They got their living by begging through the country.
Lurgan John's wife was better known as Wheesh Meg, she wore a red cloak and hood, and was a great source of amusement, particularly to the youngsters, at the time.
There was also a notorious character names "Billy Joy," who gave the Magistrates a lot of trouble, having been imprisoned on several occasions for committing depredations.  Sometimes he managed to make his escape from the old rickety prison.  On the last occasion he was in it he made his escape by breaking through the roog.  He was tried, and sentenced to be drummed three times round Prestiwck Cross, and then drummed out of the town, never to return.
During the Crimean War, Prestiwck contributed her little share in upholding the honour of her Queen and country.  She had two sons who took part in it.  George Fechney, a spirited and brave-hearted young man, little over 20 years of age, was a private in the 93rd Highlanders, was in the famous Thin Red Line, was wounded in the Thigh at the battle of Alma by a shot from a musket ball, was taken to the hospital, and after getting better was allowed home some time on furlough.  I well remember that day he arrived home.  A gret number of us boys met him at Prestwick Station, and though we had no band to escort him to the strains of "See the Conquering Hero comes," yet we were as proud of him, and our hearts as enthusiastic and warm, as any conquering hero ever met.  I remember hearing him say on his way from the station to the Cross that when they were going up the memorable heights he looked round a little before he was wounded, and could se enothing but blood and red coats.  He was offered a pension of 6d a day, but refused it.  He went out to India two years after, was engaged at Lucknow, and was shot in the throat and killed.  He fell like a noble heor fighting for his Queen and country.
The other, named David M'Lean, was a private in the 42nd, or Black Watch, was of a weakly nature, was in hospital most of the time, was ultimately discharged, and came home and died in Prestwick.
The young generation living in Prestwick and its neighbourhood can have no conception of the contrast that exists between the Prestwick of fifty years ago and of the present day.  At that time it was a long, straggling village, composed mostly of small thatch houses, with only two side streets running off the main road to Ayr.  The first, Kirk Street, ran from the Mercat Cross to near the Old Graveyard, and was considered to be the oldest portion of Prestwick.  The other ran from about the centre of Prestwick to the left of the main road going southwards, and was named "Smiddy Row."  It is now named Boyd Street.
There were no street lamps in it in those days; but a well-lighted weaver's shop being in almost every door, it was wonderful what light, life, and activity existed in the quaint, old-fashioned burgh.  It is a Royal Burgh, and received a grant from King Robert the Bruce of one thousand acres, with duly elected Magistrates and Councillors; but as the Rev. Kirkwood Hewat, in his excellent book entitled "A Little Scottish World," has carefully and minutely described the whole matter, I shall not enter into detail further.
The Prestwick weavers were a most intelligent class of men, well up in politics, as many of the aspiring M.P.'s found to their cost.  Monday was chiefly devoted to newspaper reading, and discussing the several important questions of the day.  A local newspaper then cost 4d, larger and more widely read papers, 2d.
Whatever my readers may think of these imperfectly written sketches, I feel that I have a least tried to do my duty in rescuing from oblivion the names of these old-world worthies.  Their eccentric manners and customs, quaint and witty sayings, if not edifying, will, I trust, at least be interesting and amusing, not only to those who live in Prestwick and its neighbourhood in the present day, but to many throughout the West of Scotland and visitors who find it a popular and health-giving watering place and seaside resort.





Reminiscences of the Auld Brig o' Ayr.

I am glad to see people are still hammering away at the Auld Brig.  I wish more power to their elbow, and my prayer is that their hands may never lose their cunning, nor their brains their intellectual force, until they have been the means of preserving the historic structure from the proposed vandalism.  I feel that if I keep silent any longer the very stones will cry out.  I may say that the Auld Brig has for me many fond memories, and tender associations.  I daresay there are not many people left in Ayr who can remember it much longer than I can do.  I was born in its vicinity, and so was my father before me.  I can remember the Burns Festival in 1844, that is 62 years ago last August.  On that occasion I remember seeing the people crossing it in their thousands, and also its near neighbour and rival, the New Brig, with the whigmaleeries in its noddle.  Perhaps there never was such a gathering of people in Ayr as assembled that day, with the exception of the great Burns celebration which took place in 1859, when I walked in the procession to the Cottage and Monument.  On the great day of the Burns Festival my father lifted me on to his shoulder to see and hear Lord Eglinton, who spoke on the brilliant genius of the Ayrshire ploughman poet, whose words have electrified the whole world.  Lord Eglinton's statue adorns our Wellington Square.  He was named "the good Earl," and deserved the title.  I recollect the same Earl coming to Prestwick to golf more than fifty years ago.  The fact is the Auld Brig is too near us and suffer in the same way as does the prophet in his own country.  Some callous, cold-hearted, soul-less fellows say - "What is all the fuss about?  It is all due to sentiment."  I ask them-What is sentiment?  If Sir William Wallace or Burns were alive, the same people might ask-What is patriotism?  We all know the lines of Scott, viz.,

=Breathes there a man with soul so dead,
=Who never to himself has said,
=This is my own my native land."

If there is one town in Scotland that ought to be prouder than another of the Auld Brig, it is the town of Ayr.  Let the people of Ayr remember it was the great, immortal Robert Burns who made Ayr what it is to-day.  He also made Scotland.  Let them think for a moment what Scotland would have been without him.  As I have said in one of my poems on Mauchline, and the words equally apply to Ayr-

=="He left a charm on all he touched,
===That time can never drown;
==In youth he on your bosom lay,
==And made you what you are to-day-
===A much-frequented town."

Then I say, sir, let no unhallowed hands ever be laid upon this his grand old structure.  I have travelled much through the Highlands of Scotland within recent months, and wherever are you going to do with the Auld Brig?  The farther one goes from Ayr the more intense becomes the interest in the brig, and the feeling in favour of preservation.  In reply I quote Robbie to them, as contained in his address to his young friend in Ayr, Andrew Aitken-

="You'll try the world soon, my lad,
==And, Andrew dear, believe me,
=You'll find mankind an unco squad,
==And muckle they may grieve you.
=But, och, mankind are unco weak,
==And little to be trusted;
=If self the wavering balance shake,
==It's rarely right adjusted."