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But Mause begrutten was an' bleer'd,
Look'd thowless, dowf,' an' sleepy;
Auld Maggy kend the wyte,2 an' sneer'd,
Ca'd her a poor daft heepy :
"It's a wise wife that kens her weird, 3
What tho' ye mount the creepy;
There a good lesson may be lear'd,
An' what the waur will ye be
To stand a day?
***Or bairns 4 can read they first maun spell;
I learn'd this frae my mammy,
An' coost a leglen girth 5 mysel,

Lang or I married Tammy.
I'se warrand ye have a' heard tell

O' bonny Andrew Lammy,
Stiffly in loove wi' me he fell,

As soon as e'er he saw me:
That was a day."
Het drink, fresh butter'd caiks, an' cheese,
That held their hearts aboon,

Wi' clashes, 6 mingled aft wi' lies,
Drave aff the hale forenoon :
But after dinner, an ye please,
To weary not o'er soon,
We down to e'ening edge wi' ease
Shall loup, an' see what's done
I' the doup o' day.
Now what the friends wad fain been at,
They that were right true blue,
Was e'en to get their wysons wat,7
An' fill young Roger fou :
But the bauld billy8 took his maut,
An' was right stiff to bow;
He fairly gae them tit for tat,

An' scour'd aff healths anew,9
Clean out that day.

A creel bout fou 10 o' muckle stanes,

They clinked on his back;

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To try the pith o's rigg an' reins,

They gart him cadge this pack.
Now as a sign he had taen pains,
His young wife was nae slack,
To rin an' ease his shouther-banes,
An' sneg'd the raips' fu' snack,
Wi' her knife that day.

Syne the blyth carles, tooth an' nail,
Fell keenly to the wark;
To ease the gantrees o' the ale,

An' try wha was maist stark;
Till boord an' floor, an' a' did sail
Wi' spilt ale i' the dark,
Gart Jock's fit slide, he, like a fail,
Play'd dad, an' dang the bark
Aff's shin that day.

The souter, miller, smith, an' Dick,
Et cet'ra, closs sat cockin,
Till waisted was baith cash an' tick,
Sae ill they were to slocken:
Gane out to

in gutters thick,

Some fell, an' some gade rockin;
Sawney hang sneering on his stick,
To see bauld Hutchon bockin 3
Rainbows that day.

The smith's wife her black deary sought,
An' fand him skin an' birn;

Quoth she, "This day wark's be dear bought;"

He bann'd an' gae a girn,

Ca'd her a jad, an' said she mucht

Gae hame an' scum her kirn: "Whish't, ladren !5 for gin ye sae ought Mair, I'se wind ye a pirn,"

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To reel some day."

Ye'll wind a pirn! ye silly snool, Wae worth ye'r drunken saul," Quoth she, an' lap out o'er a stool, An' claught him by the spaul:

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Fast frae the company he fled,

As he had taen the sturdy ;
She fleech'd him fairly to his bed,
Wi' ca'ing him her burdy,

Kindly that day.
But Lawrie he took out his nap
Upon a mow o' pease;

An' Robin spew'd in's ain wife's lap;
He said it gaed him ease:
Hutchon wi' a three-lugged cap,

His head bizzin wi' bees,
Hit Geordy a mislushious rap,
An' brak the brig o's neese

Right sair that day.

Syne ilka thing gaed arse o'er head;
Chanlers, boord, stools, an' stoups,
Flew thro' the house wi' muckle speed,
An' there was little hopes

But there had been some ill-done deed,
They gat sic thrawart cowps;
But a' the skaith that chanc'd indeed
Was only on their dowps,

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Thither the valiant Tersals doup,'
And heir rapacious Corbies2 croup,
Wi' greidy Gleds an' slie Gormahs,
An' dinsome Pyis an' clatterin Daws;
Proud Pecocks an' a hundred mae,
Bruscht up their pens that solemn day,
Bow'd first submissive to my Lord,
Then tuke their places at his borde.

Mein time, quhile feisting on a fawn,
An' drinking bluid frae lammies drawn,
A tunefull Robin, trig an' zung,3
Hard by upon a bour-tree4 sung.
He sang the Eagle's ryall lyne,
His persing ee an' richt divyne,
To sway out-owre the fetherit thrang,
Quha dreid his martial bill an' fang:5
His flicht sublime, an' eild renewit,
His mind with clemencie endewit;
In safter notes he sang his luve,
Mair hie his beiring bolts for Jove.

The monarch Bird, with blythness hard The chanting litil silvan bard, Calit up a Buzart who was then His favourite an' chamberlane. Swith to my treasury, quod he, An' to zon canty Robin gie As meikle o' our current geir As may mentain him thro' the zeir : We can weel spair't, an' it's his due. He bad, an' furth the Judas flew, Straight to the brench quhair Robin sung, An' wi' a wickit lieand tung, Said, Ah! ze sing sae dull an' ruch, Ze haif deivt 7 our lugs mair than enuch, His Majestie has a nyse eir,

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An honest miller won'd in Fife, That had a young an' wanton wife, Wha sometimes thol'd3 the parish-priest To mak her man a twa-horn'd beast: He paid right mony visits till her, An' to keep in wi' Hab the miller, He endeavour'd aft to mak him happy, Where'er he kent the ale was nappy.4 Sic condescension in a pastor, Knit Halbert's love to him the faster; An' by his converse, troth 'tis true, Hab learn'd to preach when he was fou. Thus all the three were wonder pleas'd, The wife well serv'd, the man weel eas'd. This ground his corn, an' that did cherish

Himself wi' dining round the parish:

7 Deafened.

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8 Pack.

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Bess, the goodwife, thought it nae skaith,
Since she was fit to serve them baith.
When equal is the night an' day,
An' Ceres gies the schools the play,
A youth, sprung frae a gentle pater,
Bred at Saint Andrew's alma-mater,
Ae day gaun1 hameward, it fell late,
An' him benighted by the gate :

To lye without, pit-mirk did shore 2 him,
He coudna see his thumb before him :
But, clack-clack-clack, he heard a mill,
Whilk led him by the lugs theretill.
To tak the thread of tale alang,
This mill to Halbert did belang ;
Not less this note your notice claims,
The scholar's name was Master James.
Now, smiling Muse, the prelude past,
Smoothly relate a tale shall last
As lang as Alps an' Grampian hills,
As lang as wind or water-mills.

James wi' guid humour maist discreetly,
Tauld her his circumstance completely.
"I dinna ken ye," quoth the wife,
"An' up an' down the thieves are rife ;
Within, my lane, I'm but a woman,
Sae I'll unbar my door to nae man;
But since 'tis very like,. my dow,
That a' ye're telling may be true,
Hae, there's a key, gang in your way
At the neist door, there's braw ait strae :1
Streek down upon't my lad, an' learn
They're no ill lodg'd that get a barn."
Thus, after meikle clitter clatter,
James fand he coudna mend the matter;
An' since it might nae better be,
Wi' resignation took the key,
Unlock't the barn-clam up the mow,1
Where was an opening near the how,3
Through whilk he saw a glent o' light,
That gave diversion to his sight:

In enter'd James, Hab saw an' kend him, By this he quickly could discern

And offer'd kindly to befriend him
Wi' sic guid cheer as he cou'd make,
Baith for his ain an' father's sake.
The scholar thought himself right sped,
An' gave him thanks in terms well bred.
Quoth Hab, "I canna leave my mill
As yet :- -but step ye west the hill
A bow-shot, an' ye'll find my hame :
Gae warm ye, an' crack 3 wi' our dame,
'Till I set aff the mill; syne we
Shall tak what Bessy has to gie."
James, in return, what's handsome said,
O'er lang to tell; an' aff he gade.4
Out o' the house some light did shine,
Whilk led him till't as wi' a line :
Arriv'd, he knock'd, for doors were
steekit ; 5

Straight through a window Bessy keekit,6
An' cries, "Wha's that gi'es fowk a fright
At sic untimeous time o' night?"

1 Going.

2 Pitch darkness


3 Converse.

A thin wa' sep'rate house an' barn,
An' thro' this rive was in the wa',
All done within the house he saw :
He saw (what ought not to be seen,
An' scarce gave credit to his een)
The parish priest of reverend fame
In active courtship with the dame.-
To lengthen out description here

Wad but offend the modest ear,
An' beet 4 the lewder youthfu' flame
That we by satire strive to tame.
Suppose the wicked action o'er,
An' James continuing still to glowr;5
Wha saw the wife as fast as able,
Spread a clean servite on the table,
An' syne, frae the ha' ingle, bring ben
A pyping het young roasted hen,
An' twa guid bottles stout an' clear,
Ane o' strong ale, an' ane o' beer.

But wicked luck, just as the priest,
Shot in his fork in chucky's breast,

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Th' unwelcome miller gae a roar,

Cry'd, "Bessy, haste ye, ope the door."
Wi' that the holy letcher fled,
An' darn'd' himsel behint a bed;
While Bessy huddl'd a' things by,
That nought the cuckold might espy;
Syne loot him in,-but out of tune,
Speer'd why he left the mill sae soon:
"I come," said he, 'as manners claims,
To crack an' wait on Master James,
Whilk I shou'd do, tho' ne'er sae bizzy;
I sent him here, guidwife, where is he?”
"Ye sent him here," (quoth Bessy,


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"Kend I this James? A chiel cam rumb-

But how was I assur'd, when dark,
That he had been nae thievish spark,
Or some rude wencher gotten a dose,
That a weak wife cou'd ill oppose?'
"An what cam o' him? speak nae langer,"
Cries Halbert, in a Highland anger.
"I sent him to the barn," quoth she:
"Gae quickly bring him in," quoth he.
James was brought in-the wife was


Whase kytes can streek' out like raw

Swith roast a hen or fry some chickens,
An' send for ale frae Maggy Pickens."
"Hout I," quoth she, "ye may weel ken,
'Tis ill brought butt that's na there ben;
When but last owk,2 nae farder gane,
The laird gat a' to pay his kain."3

Then James, wha had as guid a guess
O' what was in the house as Bess,
Wi' pawky smile, this plea to end,
To please himsel, an' ease his friend,
First open'd wi' a slee oration,
His wond'rous skill in conjuration.
Said he, "By this fell art I'm able
To whop aff ony great man's table
Whate'er I like to mak a mail of,
Either in part or yet the hail of,
An' if ye please I'll shaw my art."
Cries Halbert, "Faith, wi' a' my heart!"
Bess sain'd hersel,--cry'd "Lord be here!"
An' near-hand fell a-swoon for fear.
James leugh, an' bade her naithin dread,
Syne to his conj'ring went wi' speed:
An' first he draws a circle round,
Then utters many a magic sound

The priest stood close-the miller O' words part Latin, Greek, an' Dutch,


Then ask'd his sunkan 3 gloomy spouse
What supper she had in the house,
That might be suitable to gie
Ane o' their lodger's qualitie?
Quoth she, "Ye may weel ken, guidman,
Your feast comes frae the pottage-pan:
The stov'd an' roasted we afford,
Are aft great strangers on our board."
Pottage," quoth Hab, "ye senseless
tawpie !4

Think ye this youth's a gilly-gawpie?5
An' that his gentle stamock's master
To worry up a pint o' plaster?

Like our mill-knaves that lift the laiding,

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