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At Brooses thou had, ne'er a fellow,
For pith an' speed; But ev'ry tail thou pay't them hollow,
Whare'er thou gaed.
The sma', droop-rumplit, hunter cattle, Might aiblins waur't thee for a brattle : But sax Scotch miles thou try't their mettle,
An' gar't them whaizle; Nae whip nor spur, but just a wattle
O' saugh or hazel.
Thou was a noble fittie-lan",
On guid Marcb weather,
For days thegither.
Thou never braindg't, an' fech't, an' fliskit,
Wi' pith and pow'r
An' slypet owre.
When frosts lay lang, an' snaws were deep, An' threaten'd labour back to keep, I gied thy cog a wee-bit heap
Aboon the timmer; I ken'd my Maggie wad na sleep
For that, or simmer.
In cart or car thou never reestit,
Then stood to blaw ;
Thou snoovt awao
My pleugh is now thy bairn-time a'; Four gallant brutes as e'er did draw; Forbye sax mae, I've sell't awa,
That thou hast nurst : They drew me thretteen pund an' twa,
The vera warst.
Monie a sair daurk we twa hae wroughty An' wi' the weary warl fought! An' monie an anxious day I thought
We wad be beat! Yet here to crazy age were brought,
Wi' something yet.
And think na, my auld, trusty servan' That now perhaps thou's less deservin, An' thy auld days may end in starvin,
For my last
fou, A heapit stimpart, I'll reserve ane
Laid by for you.
We've worn to crazy years thegither ;
To some hain'd rig,
Whare ye may nobly rax you leather,
Wi' sma' fatigue.
TO A MOUSE.
On turning her up in her Nest with the Plough, Noa
Wi' bickering brattle!
Wik murd'ring pattle !
I'm truly sorry man's dominion Has broken Nature's social union, An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle At me, thy poor earth-born companion,
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve; What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live! A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request: I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
And never miss't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin! Its silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green! An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell and keen !
Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste, An' weary winter comin fast, An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell, Till crash ! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble, Has cost thee mony a weary nibble ! Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald, To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' crapreugh cauld!
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
Gang aft a-gly,
For promis'd joy.
Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me! The present only toucheth thee: But, och! I backward cast my e'e
On prospects drear ! An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear.
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
When biting Boreas, fell and doure,
Far south the lift,
Or whirling drift:
Ae night the storm the steeples rocked, Poor labour sweet in sleep was locked, While burns, wi' snawy wreeths up-choked,
Wild-eddying swirl, Or thro' the mining outlet bocked,
Down headlong hurl.
List'ning, the doors an' winnocks rattle,
O' winter war,
Beneath a scar.