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His lengthened chin, his turned-up snout,
His eldritch squeel an' gestures, O how they fire the heart devoutLike cantharidian plaisters,
On sic a day!
But hark! the tent has changed its voice;
There's peace an' rest nae langer;
They canna sit for anger:
On practice and on morals;
A lift that day.
What signifies his barren shine
Of moral pow'rs an' reason?
Are a' clean out o' season.
Or some auld pagan heathen, The moral man he does define, But ne'er a word o' faith in
That's right that day.
In guid time comes an antidote
Against sic poisoned nostrum;
Ascends the holy rostrum:
An' meek an' mim has viewed it, While Common Sense has taen the road, An'aff, an' up the Cowgate
Fast, fast that day.
Wee Miller niest the guard relieves,
An' orthodoxy raibles,
An' thinks it auld wives' fables;
But faith! the birkie wants a manse,
So cannilie he hums them,
At times that day.
Now butt an' ben the change-house fills
Wi' yill-caup commentators;
An' there the pint-stowp clatters;
Wi' logic an' wi' Scripture, They raise a din that in the end Is like to breed a rupture
0' wrath that day.
Leeze me on drink! it gies us mair
Than either school or college; It kindles wit, it waukens lear,
It pangs us fou o' knowledge.
Or onie stronger potion,
By night or day.
The lads an' lasses, blythely bent
To mind baith saul an’ body, Sit round the table weel content,
An' steer about the toddy. On this ane's dress an' that ane's leuk
They're makin observations; While some are cozie i’ the neuk, An' formin assignations
To meet some day.
But now the Lord's ain trumpet touts,
Till a' the hills are rairin,
Black Russell is na spairin:
His piercin words, like Highlan' swords,
Divide the joints an' marrow; His talk o'hell, whare devils dwell, Our verra 'sauls does harrow'
Wi' fright that day!
A vast, unbottomed, boundless pit,
Filled fou o'lowin brunstane, Whase ragin flame an' scorchin heat
Wad melt the hardest whun-stane! The half-asleep start up wi' fear,
An' think they hear it roarin, When presently it does appear 'Twas but some neebor snorin,
Asleep that day.
'Twad be owre lang a tale to tell
How monie stories passed,
When they were a' dismissed;
Amang the furms an' benches, An' cheese an' bread, frae women's laps, Was dealt about in lunches
An' dawds that day.
In comes a gawsie, gash guidwife,
An' sits down by the fire,
The lasses they are shyer;
Frae side to side they bother,
Fu' lang that day.
Waesucks for him that gets nae lass,
Or lasses that hae naething! Sma’ need has he to say a grace,
Or melvie his braw claithing!
O wives, be mindfu', ance yoursel
How bonie lads ye wanted, An' dinna for a kebbuck-heel Let lasses be affronted
On sic a day!
Begins to jow an' croon;
Some wait the afternoon.
Till lasses strip their shoon;
For crack that day.
O’ sinners and o’lasses !
As saft as onie flesh is.
There's some are fou o brandy;
Some ither day.
TO A LOUSE
ON SEEING ONE ON A LADY'S BONNET AT CHURCH
Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Ower gauze and lace,
On sic a place.
Sae fine a lady!
On some poor body.
Swith! in some beggar's hauffet squattle; There ye may creep and sprawl and sprattle Wi' ither kindred jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations, Whare horn nor bane ne'er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.
Now haud you there! ye're out o' sight,
Till ye've got on it,
O' Miss's bonnet.
My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
Or fell red smeddum!
Wad dress your droddum!
I wad na been surprised to spy
How, daur ye do't!
O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
The blastie's makin!
Are notice takin!
O wad some Power the giftie gie us
An' foolish notion;
An' ev'n devotion!