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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
The distant Cumnock hills 'out-owre :
To count her horns, wi' a' my pow'r,

I set mysel;
But whether she had three or four,

I cou'd na tell.

I was come round about the hill,
And todlin down on Willie's mill,
Setting my staff wi' a' my skill,

To keep me sicker;
Tho' leeward whyles, against my will,

I took a bicker.

I there wi' Something did forgather,
That put me in an eerie swither;
An awfu' scythe, out-owre ae shouther,

Clear-dangling, hang; A three-tae'd leister on the ither

Lay, large an' lang.

Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
The queerest shape that e’er I saw,
For fient a wame it had ava!

And then, its shanks,
They were as thin, as sharp an'sma'

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,
• I'm no design'd to try its mettle;
. But if I did, I wad be kittle

• 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.
+ An epidemical sever was then raging in that country.

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,
•Deil mak his king's-hood in a spleuchan!
'He's grown sae well acquaint wi' Buchant

• An' ither chaps, • The weans haud out their fingers laughin

• And pouk my hips.

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"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,
* And had sae fortify'd the part,
“That when I looked to my dart,

It was sae blunt,
'Fient haet o't wad hae pierc'd the heart

Of a kail-runt.

*I drew my scythe in sic a fury,
"I nearhand cowpit wi' my hurry,
But yet the bauld Apothecary

“Withstood the shock; I might as weel have try'd a quarry

«O' hard whin rock.

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'Ev'n them he canna get attended,
• Altho' their face he ne'er had kend it,
Just in a kail-blade, and send it,

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,
Of a' dimensions, shapes, an' mettles,
A’ kinds o' boxes, mugs, an' bottles,

'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,'
Quo' I 'if that the news be true!
His braw calf-ward whare gowans grew,

• 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.

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* Whare I kill'd ane a fair strae death,
* By loss o' blood or want of breath,
“This night I'm free to take my aith,

“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.

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