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BURNS'S POEMS.

POEMS,

CHIEFLY SCOTTISH.

BOOK I.

MORAL, RELIGIOUS, AND PRECEPTIVE.

THE TWA DOGS.

A TALE.

Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle,
That bears the name o' Auld King Coil,
Upon a bonny day in June,
When wearing thro' the afternoon,
Twa dogs that were na thrang at hame,
Forgather'd 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, Show'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogs ; But whalpit some place far abroad, Where sailors gang to fish for cod.

His locked, letter'd braw brass collar, Show'd him the gentleman and scholar;

But tho' he was o’high degree,
The fient a pride nae pride had he;
But wad hae spent an hour caressin',
Ev'n wi’ a tinker-gipsey's messin:
At kirk or market, mill or smiddie,
Nae tauted tyke, tho' e'er sae duddie,
But he wad stan't, as glad to see him,
And stroan't on stanes an' hillocks wi' him.

The tither was a ploughman's collie, A rhyming, ranting, raving billie, Wha for his friend an' comrade had him, And in his freaks had Luath ca’d him, After some dog in Highland sang, * Was made lang syne-Lord knows how lang

He was a gash an' faithful tyke,
As ever lap a sheugh or dyke,
His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face,
Ay gat him friends in ilka place.
His breast was white, his touzie back
Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;
His gawcie tail, wi' upward curl,
Hung o'er his hurdies wi' a swirl.

Nae doubt but they were fain o'ither, An' unco pack an' thick thegither; Wi' social nose whyles snuff’d and snowkit, Whyles mice and moudieworts they howkit, Whyles scour'd awa in lang excursion, An' worry'd ither in diversion; Until wi' daffin weary grown, Upon a knowe they sat them down,

* Cuthullin's dog in Ossian's Fingal.

And there began a lang digression
About the Lords o' the Creation.

CÆSAR.

I've aften wondered, honest Luath,
What sort o' life poor dogs like you have;
An' when the gentry's life I saw,
What way poor bodies liv'd ava'.

Our Laird gets in his racked rents,
His coals, his kain, 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 bonie silken purse
As lang's my tail, where, thro’ the steeks,
The yellow-letter'd Geordie keeks.

Frae morn to e'en it's nought but toiling,
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling;
An' tho' the gentry first are stechin,
Yet e'en the ha' folk fill their pechin
Wi' sauce, ragouts, and sic like trashtrie,
That's little short o' downright wastrie.
Our Whipper-in, wee blastit wonner,
Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner,
Better than ony tenant man
His Honor has in a' the lan’;
An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in,
I own its past my comprehension.

LUATH.

Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fasht enough A cotter howkin in a sheugn, Wi' dirty stanes begin a dyke,

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