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If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp,
What farther clishmaclaver might been said, What bloody wars, if Sprites had blood to shed, No man can tell; but all before their sight, A fairy train appear'd in order bright: Adown the glitt'sing stream they featly danc'd ; Bright to the moon their various dresses glanc'd: They footed o'er the wat'ry glass so neat, The infant ice scarce bent beneath their fcet : While arts of Minstrelsy among them rung, And soul-emobling bards heroic ditties sung, O had M-Lauchlan,* thairm-inspiring sage, Been there to hear this heavenly band engage, When thro' his dear Strathspeys they bore with
Highland rage; Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs, The lover's raptur'd joys or bleeding cares; How would his Highland lug been nobler fir'd, And ev'n his matchless hand with finer touch inspir'd! No guess could tell what instrument appear'd, But all the soul of Music's self was heard; Harmonious concert rung in every part, While simple melody pour'd moving on the heart.
The Genius of the stream in front appears, A venerable Chief advanc'd in
A well known performer of Scottish music on the violin.
His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd,
The Poet alludes here to Mrs Stewart of Stair.Stair was then in her possession. She afterwards removed to Afton-Lodge, on the banks of the Afton, a stream which he afterwards celebrated in a song entitled “ Afton Water."-See a letter to Mrs Stewart, vol. ij. No. V. The song, Afton Water, vol. iv.
For sense they little owe to Frugal Heav'n
An' pour your creeshie nations ;
Of a' denominations,
An' there tak up your stations ;
For joy this day.
Cam in wi' Maggie Lauder ;*
An' R***** sair misca'd her; This day M******** takes the flail
An' he's the boy will blaud her! He'll clap a shangan on her tail, An' set the bairns to daud her
Wi' dirt this day.
Alluding to a scoffing ballad which was made on the ad. mission of the late Reverend and worthy Mr L. to the Laigle. Kirk,
An' lilt wi' holy clangor;
An' skirl up the Bangor:
Nae mair the knaves shall wrang her,
Wi' pith this day,
An' touch it aff wi' vigour,
Which made Canaan a niger; Or Phineast drove the murdering blade,
Wi' wh-re-abhorring rigour ; Or Zipporah, the scauldin jade, Was like a bluidy tiger
l'th' inn that day.
And bind him down wi' caution,
He taks but for the fashion ;
And punish each transgression :
* Genesis, ch. ix. ver. 22. + Numbers, ch, xxv. ver. 8.
* Exodus, ch. iv. ver. 25.
Especial, rams that cross the breed,
Spare them nae day.
And toss thy horns fu' çanty ;
Because thy pasture's scanty;
Shall fill thy crib in plenty,
But ilka day.
To think upon our Zion ;
Like baby-clouts a-dryin:
And o'er the thairms be tryin ;
Fu' fast this day!
VIII. Lang Patronage, wi' rod o' airn,
Has shor'd the Kirk's undoin, As lately F-nw-ck, sair forfairn, Has proven to its ruin ;