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AULD BRIG. Conceited gowk! puff'd up wi' windy pride ! This mony a year I've stood the flood and tide ; And though wi' crazy eild I'm sair forfairn, I'll be a brig when ye're a shapeless cairn ! As yet ye little ken about the matter, But twa-three winters will inform ye better. When heavy, dark, continued, a'-day rains, Wi' deepening deluges o'erflow the plains ; When from the hills where springs the brawling Coil, Or stately Lugar's mossy fountains boil, Or where the Greenock winds his moorland course, Or haunted Garpal draws his feeble source, Aroused by blustering winds and spotting thowes, In mony a torrent down his snaw-broo rowes ; While crashing ice, borne on the roaring spate, Sweeps dams, and mills, and brigs, a' to the gate; And from Glenbuck, down to the Ratton-key, Auld Ayr is just one lengthen'd tumbling sea

hen down ye'll hurl, deil nor ye never rise! And dash the gumlie jaups up to the pouring skies. A lesson sadly teaching, to your cost, That Architecture's noble art is lost!



Fine Architecture, trowth, I needs must say o't, The Lord be thankit that we've tint the gate o't!

Gaunt, ghastly, ghaist-alluring edifices,
Hanging with threatening jut, like precipices ;
O'erarching, mouldy, gloom-inspiring coves,
Supporting roofs fantastic, stony groves ;
Windows and doors, in nameless sculpture drest,
With order, symmetry, or taste unblest ;
Forms like some bedlam statuary's dream,
The crazed creations of misguided whim ;
Forms might be worshipp'd on the bended knee,
And still the second dread command be free,
Their likeness is not found on earth, in air, or sea.
Mansions that would disgrace the building taste
Of any mason reptile, bird, or beast;
Fit only for a doited monkish race,
Or frosty maids forsworn the dear embrace ;
Or cuifs of later times wha held the notion
That sullen gloom was sterling true devotion ;
Fancies that our guid brugh denies protection !
And soon may they expire, unblest with resurrection !


O ye, my dear-remember'd ancient yealings, Were ye but here to share my wounded feelings ! Ye worthy proveses, and mony a bailie, Wha in the paths o' righteousness did toil aye ; Ye dainty deacons, and ye douce conveeners, To whom our moderns are but causey-cleaners !

Ye godly councils wha hae blest this town ;
Ye godly brethren o' the sacred gown,
Wha meekly gae your hurdies to the smiters ;
And (what would now be strange) ye godly writers;-
A' ye douce folk I've born aboon the broo,
Were ye but here, what would ye say or do!
How would your spirits groan in deep vexation
To see each melancholy alteration ;
And, agonising, curse the time and place
When ye begat the base, degenerate race!
Nae langer reverend men, their country's glory,
In plain braid Scots hold forth a plain braid story!
Nae langer thrifty citizens and douce,
Meet owre a pint, or in the council-house ;
But staumrel, corky-headed, graceless gentry,
The herryment and ruin of the country ;
Men three parts made by tailors and by barbers,
Wha waste your weel-hain'd gear on damn'd new brigs

and harbours !

NEILBRIG. Now haud you there! for faith ye've said enough, And muckle mair than ye can mak to through ; That's aye a string auld doited gray-beards harp on, A topic for their peevishness to carp on. As for your priesthood, I shall say but little, Corbies and clergy are a shot right kittle :

But, under favour o your langer beard,
Abuse o' magistrates might weel be spared :
To liken them to your auld-warld squad,
I must needs say comparisons are odd.
In Ayr, wag-wits nae mair can hae a handle
To mouth “a citizen," a term o' scandal ;
Nae mair the council waddles down the street,
In all the pomp of ignorant conceit ;
No difference but bulkiest or tallest,
With comfortable dulness in for ballast;
Nor shoals nor currents need a pilot's caution,
For regularly slow, they only witness motion ;
Men wha grew wise priggin' owre hops and raisins,
Or gather'd liberal views in bonds and seisins ;
If haply Knowledge, on a random tramp,
Had shored them wi' a glimmer of his lamp,
And would to Common Sense for once betray'd them,
Plain, dull Stupidity stept kindly in to aid them.


What further 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 glittering stream they featly danced ; Bright to the moon their various dresses glanced : They footed o'er the watery glass so neat, The infant ice scarce bent beneath their feet ;

While arts of minstrelsy among them rung,
And soul-ennobling bards heroic ditties sung.
Oh, had M‘Lachlan, thairm-inspiring sage,
Been there to hear this heavenly band engage,
When through his dear strathspeys they bore with

Highland rage ;
Or when they struck old Scotia's melting airs,
The lover's raptured joys or bleeding cares ;
How would his Highland lug been nobler fired,
And even 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 advanced in years; His hoary head with water-lilies crown'd, His manly leg with garter-tangle bound. Next came the loveliest pair in all the ring, Sweet Female Beauty hand in hand with Spring ; Then, crown'd with flowery hay, came Rural Joy, And Summer, with his fervid-beaming eye : All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn, Led yellow Autumn, wreathed with nodding corn ; Then Winter's time-bleach'd locks did hoary show, By Hospitality with cloudless brow.

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