A lambkin in peace, but a lion in war,

The pride of her kindred, the heroine grew : Her grandsire, old Odin, triumphantly swore,6 Whoe'er shall provoke thee th' encounter

shall rue!” With tillage or pasture at times she would sport, To feed her fair flocks by her green rustling

corn ; But chiefly the woods were her fav’rite resort, Her darling amusement, the hounds and the


Long quiet she reigned; 'till thitherward steers

A flight of bold eagles from Adria's strand* : Repeated, successive, for many long years, They darken’d the air, and they plunder'd the

land: Their pounces were murder, and terror their cry,

They conquer'd and ruind a world beside; She took to her hills, and her arrows let fly,

The daring invaders they fled or they died.

The fell Harpy-raven took wing froin the north, The scourge of the seas and the dread of the

shoret; The wild Scandinavian boar issu'd forth

To wanton in carnage and wallow in gore: O'er countries and kingdoms their fury prevail'd, No arts could appease them, no arms could re

pel; But brave Caledonia in vain they assaild,

As Largs well can witness, and Loncartie tellg.

The Camelon-savage disturb'd her repose,

With tumult, disquiet, rebellion, and strife;

* The Romans, + The Saxons.

The Danes. Two famous battles, in which the Danes or Norwegians were defeated.

Provok'd beyond bearing, at last she arose,
And robb’d him at once of his hopes and his

life*: The Anglian lion, the terror of France, Oft prowling, ensanguin'd the Tweed's silver

flood; But, taught by the bright Caledonian lance,

He learned to fear in his own native wood.

Thus bold, independent, unconquer'd, and free,

Her bright course of glory for ever shall run: For brave Caledonia immortal must be;

I'll prove it from Euclid as clear as the sun : Rectangle-triangle, the figure we'll chuse, The upright is chance, and old time is the

base; But brave Caledonia's the hypothenuse; Then ergo, she'll match them, and match them


The following Poem was written to a gentleman, who had sent him a news-paper, and offers

ed to continue it free of expense.

Kind sir, I've read your paper through,
And faith, to me, 'twas really new!
How guessed ye, sir, what maist I wanted ?
This mony a day I've grain'd and gaunted,
To ken what Freneh mischief was brewin;
Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin;
That vile doup-skelper, emperor Joseph,
If Venus yt t had got his nose off';

* The Picts.

+ This. singular figure of poetry, taken from the mathematics, refers to the famous proposition of Pythagoras, the 47th of Euclid.

In a rightangled triangle, th. square of the hypothenuse is always equal to the squares of the two other idesa


Or how the collieshangie works
Atween the Russians and the Turks ;
Or if the Swede, before he halt,
Would play anither Charles the twalt.
If Denmark, any body spak o't;
Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't;
How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin ;
How libbet Italy was singin ;
If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss,
Were sayin or takin aught amiss :
Or how our merry lads at hame,
In Britain's court kept up the game:
How royal George, the Lord leuk o'er him!
Was managing St. Stephen's quorum;
If sleekit Chatham Will was livin,
Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in ;
How daddie Burke the plea was cookin,
If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukin;
How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd,
Or if bare a-s yet were tax'd ;
The news o' princes, dukes, and earls,
Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls ;
If that daft buckie, Geordie W***s,
Was threshin still in hizzies' tails,
Or if he was grown oughtlins douser,
And no a perfeet kintra cooser :
A' this and mair I never heard of;
And but for you I might despair’d of.
So gratefu', back your news I send you,
And pray, a' gude things may attend you !

Ellisland, Monday morning, 1790,



Hail, Poesie! thou nymph reserv'd!
In chase o' thee, what crouds hae swerv'd
Frae common sense, or sunk enery'd

'Mang heaps o' clavers ;

And och! o'er aft thy joes hae starv'd,

Mid a'thy favours !

Say, lassie, why thy train amang,
While, lond, the trump's keroic clang,
And sock or buskin skelp alang

To death or marriage ;
Scarce ane has tried the shepherd-sang

But wi' miscarriage ?

In Homer's craft Jock Milton thrives ;
Eschylus' pen Will Shakspeare drives ;
Wee Pope, the knurlin, 'till him rives

Horatian fame;
In thy sweet sang, Barbauld, survives

Even Sappho's flame.

But thee, Theocritus, wha matches >
They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches ;
Squire Pope but busks his skinklin patches

O' heathen tatters;
I pass by hunders, nameless wretches,

That ape their betters.

In this braw age o' wit and lear,
Will nane the shepherd's whistle mair
Blaw sweetly in its native air

And rural grace ;
And wi' the far-fam'd Grecian share

A rival place?

Yes! there is ane; a Scottish callan!
There's ane; come forrit, honest Allan !
Thou need na jouk behint the hallan,

A chiel sae clever;
The teeth o' time may gnaw Tantallan,

But thou's for ever.

Thou paints auld nature to the nines*,
In thy sweet Caledonian lines;

* To the nines-exactly.


Nae gowden stream thro' myrtles twines,

Where philomel,
While nightly breezes sweep the vines,

Her griefs will tell !

In gowany glens thy burnie strays,
Where bonnie lasses bleach their claes;
Or trots by hazelly shaws and braes,

Wi' hawthorns gray,
Where blackbirds join the shepherd's lays

At close o' day.

Thy rural loves are nature's sel;
Nae bombast spates o nonsense swell ;
Nae snap conceits, but that sweet spell

O’ witching love,
That charm, that can the strongest quell,

The sternest move,


Between the duke of Argyle and the earl of Mar.

“ O cam ye here the fight to shun,

Or herd the sheep wi' me, man?
Or ware ye at the Sherra-muir,

And did the battle see, man?”
I saw the battle, sair and tough,
And reekin-red ran mony a sheugh,
My heart for fear gae sough for sough,
To hear the thuds, and see the cluds
@' clans frae woods, in tartan duds,

Wha glaum'd at kingdoms three, man.

The red-coat lads wi' black cockades

To meet them were na slaw, man ;
They rush'd and push'd, and blude outgushid,

And mony a bouk did fa', man:
The great Argyle led on his files,
I wat they glanced twenty miles:

« ForrigeFortsett »