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I stacher'd whyles, but yet took tent ay
To free the ditches; An' hillocks, stanes, an' bushes kenn'd ay
Frae ghaists an’ witches.
The rising moon began to glow'r
I set mysel;
I cou'd na tell.
I was come round about the hill,
To keep me sicker;
I took a bicker.
I there wi' Something did forgather,
Clear-dangling, hang; A three-tae'd leister on the ither
Lay, large an' lang.
Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
And then, its shanks,
As cheeks o' branks, Vol. XXXVIII.
'Guid-een,'quo' I;'Friend ! hae ye been mawin,
When ither folk are busy sawin ?"* It seem'd to mak a kind o stan',
But naething spak; At length, says I, ‘Friend, whare ye gaun,
Will ye go back?"
It spak right howe,~ My name is Death,
But be na Aey'd.'—Quoth I, “Guid faith, “Ye're may be come to stap my breath ;
“But tent me billie : 1 red ye weel, tak care o' skaith.
“See, there's a gully!'
"Gudeman,' quo' he, 'put up your whittle,
• To be mislear'd, "I wad na mind it, no, that spittle
• Out-owre my beard.
• Weel, weel!' says I, 'a bargain be't; • Come, gies your hand, an' sae we're gree't ; We'll ease our shanks an' tak a seat,
• Come, gies your news; • This whilet ye hae been mony a gate
At mony a house.'
*dy, ay!' quo' he, an' shook his head, 'It's e'en a lang, lang time indeed
• This rencounter happened in seed-time, 1785.
Sin' I began to nick the thread,
An' choke the breath: *Folk maun do something for their bread,
An' sae maun Death.
Sax thousand years are near hand fled Sin' I was to the butching bred, • An' mony a scheme in vain's been laid,
• To stap or scar me; 'Till ane Hornbook's* ta'en up the trade,
* An' faith, he'll waur me.
“Ye ken Jock Hornbook i' the Clachan,
• An' ither chaps, • The weans haud out their fingers laughin
• And pouk my hips.
"See, here's a scythe, and there's a dart, • They hae pierc'd mony a gallant heart; * But Doctor Hornbook, wi' his art
And cursed skill, ‘Has made them baith no worth a f-t,
‘Damn'd haet they'll kill.
''Twas yestreen, nae farther gaen, "I threw a noble throw at ane ;
• This gentleman, Dr. Hornbook, is, professionally, a brother of the Sovereign Order of the Ferula; but, by intuition and inspi. ration, is at once an Apothecary, Surgeon, and Physician.
4 Buchan's Domestic Medicine.
“Wi' less, I'm sure, I've hundreds slain;
• But deil-ma-care, 'It just play'd dirl on the bane,
But did nae mair.
• Hornbook was by, wi' ready art,
It was sae blunt,
Of a kail-runt.
*I drew my scythe in sic a fury,
“Withstood the shock; I might as weel have try'd a quarry
«O' hard whin rock.
'Ev'n them he canna get attended,
As soon he smells't, "Baith their disease, and what will mend it
At once he tells't.
*And then a' doctor's saws and whittles,
'He's sure to hae; «Their Latin names as fast he rattles
• As A BC.
lees o' fossils, earth, and trees;
Sal-marinum o' the seas;
*The Farina of beans and pease,
• He has't in plenty ; *Aqua-fontis, what you please,
• He can content ye.
Forbye some new, uncommon weapons, * Urinus Spiritus of capons; Or Mite-horn shavings, filings, scrapings,
• Distill’d per se; *Sal-alkali o’ Midge-tail-clippings,
• And mony mae.'
Waes me for Johnny Ged's Hole* now,'
• Sae white and bonie, “Nae doubt they'll rive it wi' the plew ;
• They'll ruin Johnie !
The creature grain’d an eldritch laugh, And says, “ Ye need na yoke the pleugh, *Kirkyards will soon be tillid eneugh,
Tak ye nae fear: *They'll a' be trench'd wi' mony a sheugh
• In twa-three year.
* Whare I kill'd ane a fair strae death,
“T'hat Hornbook's skill ‘Has clad a score i' their last claith,
* By drap an' pill. * An honest Wabster to his trade, *Whase wife's twa nieves were scarce weel bred,
* The grave.digger.