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But ca' them out to park or hill,
And let them wander at their will;
So may his flock increase, and grow
To scores o' lambs, and packs o' woo'!
"Tell him he was a master kin',
And aye was guid to me and mine;
And now my dying charge I gie him
My helpless lambs I trust them wi' him.
"Oh, bid him save their harmless lives
Frae dogs, and tods,1 and butchers' knives!
But gie them guid cow-milk their fill,
Till they be fit to fend themsel; 2
And tent them duly, e'en and morn,
Wi' teats o' hay, and ripps o' corn.
"And may they never learn the gaets Of other vile, wanrestfu' pets;
To slink through slaps, and reave and steal
At stacks o' peas, or stocks o' kail.
So may they, like their great forbears,7
For mony a year come through the shears:
So wives will gie them bits o' bread,
And bairns greet for them when they're dead.
"My poor toop-lamb, my son and heir-
Oh, bid him breed him up wi' care;
And if he live to be a beast,
To pit some havins 9 in his breast!
care for. 6 snatch.
"And warn him, what I winna name,
To stay content wi' yowes at hame;
And no to rin and wear his cloots,
Like ither menseless,1 graceless brutes.
"And neist my yowie, silly thing,
Gude keep thee frae a tether string;
Oh, may thou ne'er forgather up
Wi' ony blastit,2 moorland toop,
But aye keep mind to moop and mell3
Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel.
"And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath
I lea'e my blessin' wi' you baith:
And when you think upo' your mither,
Mind to be kin' to ane anither.
"Now, honest Hughoc, dinna1 fail
To tell my master a' my tale;
And bid him burn his cursed tether,
And, for thy pains, thou's get my blether." 5
This said, poor Mailie turned her head,
And closed her een 6 amang the dead.
'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle
That bears the name o' Auld King Coil,
Upon a bonny day in June,
When wearing through the afternoon,
Twa dogs that were na thrang1 at hame,
Forgathered 2 ance upon a time.
The first I'll name, they ca'd him Cæsar,
Was keepit for his honor's pleasure;
His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,
Shewed he was nane o' Scotland's dogs,
But whalpit some place far abroad,
Whare sailors gang to fish for cod.
His locked, lettered, braw brass-collar,
Shewed him the gentleman and scholar;
But though he was o' high degree,
The fient a pride nae pride had he;
But wad hae spent an hour caressin',
E'en wi' a tinkler-gipsy's messan.5
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie,
Nae tawted tyke,' though e'er sae duddie,3
But he wad stan't, as glad to see him,
And stroan't on stanes and hillocks wi' him.
The tither1 was a ploughman's collie,
A rhyming, ranting, roving billie,2
Wha for his friend and comrade had him,
And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him,
After some dog in Highland sang,
Was made lang syne3 — Lord knows how lang.
He was a gash and faithful tyke,
As ever lap a sheugh or dike.
His honest, sonsie baws'nt face,
Aye gat him friends in ilka place.
His breast was white, his touzie9 back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gaucy 10 tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung o'er his hurdies 11 wi' a swirl.
Nae doubt but they were fain o' ither,
And unco pack 12 and thick thegither;
Wi' social nose whyles snuffed and snowkit,13
Whyles 14 mice and moudieworts 15 they howkit,16
Whyles scoured awa' in lang excursion,
And worried ither 17 in diversion;
Until wi' daffin,18 weary grown,
Upon a knowe 19 they sat them down,
And there began a lang digression
About the lords o' the creation.
I've aften wondered, honest Luath,
What sort o' life poor dogs like you have
And when the gentry's life I saw,
What way poor bodies lived ava.1
Our laird gets in his racked rents,
His coals, his kain,2 and a' his stents;'
He rises when he likes himsel';
His flunkies answer at the bell;
He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse;
He draws a bonnie silken purse
As lang's my tail, whare, through the steeks, The yellow lettered Geordie5 keeks.o
Frae morn to e'en it's nought but toiling,
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling;
And though the gentry first are stechin,7
Yet e'en the ha' folk fill their pechan8
Wi' sauce, ragouts, and sic-like trashtrie,
That's little short o' downright wastrie
Our whipper-in, wee blastit wonner, 10
Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner
Better than ony tenant man
His honour has in a' the lan';
And what poor cot-folk pit their painch 11 in, I own it's past my comprehension.
1 at all.
5 guinea. 9 little.
Trowth Cæsar, whyles they're fash't 12 enough;
A cotter howkin' 13 in a sheugh,14
Wi' dirty stanes biggin' 15 a dike,
Barring a quarry and sic-like: