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So, turning to his horse, he said,

“ I am in haste to dine; 'Twas for your pleasure you came here,

You shall go back for mine."
Ah, luckless speech and bootless boast!

For which he paid full dear;
For, while he spake, a braying ass

Did sing most loud and clear;
Whereat his horse did snort, as he

Had heard a lion roar,
And gallop'd off with all his might,

As he had done before.
Away went Gilpin, and away

Went Gilpin's hat and wig ;
He lost them sooner than at first,

For why ?—they were too big.
Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw

Her husband posting down Into the country far away,

She pullid out half a crown; And thus unto the youth she said,

That drove them to the Bell, “ This shall be yours when you bring back

My husband safe and well."
The youth did ride, and soon did meet

John coming back amain ;
Whom in a trice he tried to stop,

By catching at his rein ;
But, not performing what he meant,

And gladly would have done,
The frighted steed he frighted more,

And made him faster run.
Away went Gilpin, and away

Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss

The lumb'ring of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road,

Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scamp'ring in the rear,

They raised the hue and cry:
“Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman!"

Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that pass'd that way

Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike gates again

Flew open in short space ;
The tollmen thinking, as before,

That Gilpin rode a race.
And so he did, and won it too,

For he got first to town;
Nor stopp'd till where he had got up

He did again get down.
Now let us sing, Long live the King,

And Gilpin, long live he;
And when he next doth ride abroad,

May I be there to see!

ROBERT BURNS. 1759-1796.

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY-NIGHT. My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend !

No mercenary bard his homage pays ; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end ;

My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise ; To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene; The native feelings strong, the guileless ways:

What A**** in a cottage would have been, Al! though his worth unknown, far happier there,


November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;'

The shortening winter-day is near a close ; The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh,

The blackening trains o’craws to their repose : The toilworn cotter frae his labour goes,

This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,

Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward

bend. At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree; Th' expectant wee things, toddlin, stacher through

To meet their dad, wi' flichterin noise an' glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,

His clean hearthstane, his thrifty wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile,
An' make him quite forget his labour an' his toil.
Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun': Some ca' the pleugh, soine herd, some tentie rin

A cannie errand to a neebor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown,

Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,

An each for others' weelfare kindly spiers: The social hours, swift-wing d, unnoticed fleet;

Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years;

Anticipation forward points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new : The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their master's an' their mistress's command,

The younkers a' are warned to obey ; “An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,

An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play; An' oh! be sure to fear the Lord alway!

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night! Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,

Implore his counsel and assisting might: They never sought in vain that sought the Lord


But, hark! a rap comes gently to the door;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same, Tells how a neebor lad came o'er the moor

To do some errands and convoy her hame. The wily mother sees the conscious flame

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e and flush her cheek; With heart-struck, anxious care, inquires his name,

While Jenny, hafflins, is afraid to speak ; Weel pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, worth

less rake.

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben ;

A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye; Blithe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy.

But blathe and laithfu', scarce can weel behave; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae

grave; Weel pleased to think her bairn's respected like the


Oh, happy love! where love like this is found !

Oh, heartfelt raptures! bliss beyond compare! I've paced much this weary mortal round,

And sage Experience bids me this declare :

“ If Heaven a draught of heavenly pleasure spare,

One cordial in this melancholy vale, 'Tis when a youthful, loving, modest pair,

In other's arms breathe out the tender tale, Beneath the milkwhite thorn that scents the even

ing gale.” Is there, in human form, that bears a heart

A wretch! a villain! lost to love and truth! That can, with studied, sly, ensnaring art,

Betray sweet Jenny's unsuspecting youth? Curse on his perjured arts ! dissembling smocth!

Are honour, virtue, conscience, all exiled ? Is there no pity, no relenting truth,

Points to the parents fondling o'er their child? Then paints the ruin'd maid, and their distraction

wild ? But now the supper crowns their simple board,

The halesome parritch, chief o' Scotia's food: The soupe their only hawkie does afford,

That 'yont the hallan snugly chows her cood : The dame brings forth, in complimental mood,

To grace the lad, her weel-hain'd kebbuck, fell, An' aft he's press'd, an' aft he ca's it guid;

The frugal wifie, garrulous, will tell How 'twas a towmond auld sin' lint was i' the bell. The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face,

They round the ingle form a circle wide ; The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace,

The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride : His bonnet reverently is laid aside,

His lyart haffets wearing thin an' bare ; Those strains that once did sweet in Zion glide,

He wales a portion with judicious care ; [air. And “Let us worship God!” he says, with solemn They chant their artless notes in simple guise ;

They tune their hearts, by far the noblest aim : Perhaps Dundee's wild warbling measures rise,

Or plaintive Martyrs, worthy of the name :

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