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Et mullo in primis hilarans convivia Baccho,
Ante focum, si frigus erit.



gloamin grey out-owre the welkin keeks; Whan Batie ca's his owsen to the byre ; Whan Thrasher John, sair dung, his barn-door

steeks, And lusty lasses at the dightin tire ; What bangs fu' leal the e'enings coming cauld,

And gars snaw-tappit Winter freeze in vain ; Gars dowie mortals look baith blithe and bauld,

Nor fley'd wi' a' the poortith o' the plain ;
Begin, my Muse! and chant in hamely strain.


Frae the big stack, weèi winnow't on the hill,

Wi' divots theekit frae the weet and drift; Sods, peats, and heathery trufs the chimley fill,

And gar their thickening smeek salute the lift. The gudeman, new come hame, is blithe to find,

Whan he out-owre the hallan flings his een, That ilka turn is handled to his mind;

That a' his housie looks sae cosh and clean;
For cleanly house loes he, tho' e'er sae mean.

Weel kens the gudewife, that the pleughs require

A heartsome meltith, and refreshin synd D' nappy liquour, owre a bleezin fire:

Sair wark and poortith downa weel be join'd. Wi' butter'd bannocks now the girdle reeks; l' the far nook the bowie briskly reams; The readied kail stands by the chimley cheeks,

And haud the riggin het wi' welcome streams, Whilk than the daintiest kitchen nicer seems.


Frae this, lat gentler gabs a lesson lear:

Wad they to labouring lend an eident hand, They'd rax fell strang upo' the simplest fare,

Nor find their stamacks ever at a stand. 'Fu' hale and healthy wad they pass the day ;

At night, in calmest slumbers dose fu' sound; Nor doctor need their weary life to spae,

Nor drogs their noddle and their sense confound
Till death-slip sleely-on, and gie the hindmost


On sicken food has mony a doughty deed

By Caledonia's ancestors been done ;
By this did mony o wight fu' weirlike bleed

In brulzies frae the dawn to set o' sun. 'Twas this that braced their gardies stiff and

strang; That bent the deadly yew in ancient days; Laid Denmark's daring sins on yird alang ;

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Gar'd Scottish thristles bang the Roman bays; For near our crest their heads they doughtna raise.

The couthy cracks begin whan supper's owre ;

The cheering bicker gars them glibly gash
O' Simmer's showery blinks, and Winter sour,

Whase floods did erst their mailin's produce hash, 'Bout kirk and market eke their tales gae on;

How Jock woo'd Jenny here to be his bride ; And there, how Marion, for a bastard son,

Upo' the cutty-stool was forced to ride;
The waefu' scauld o' our Mess John to bide.

The fient a cheep's amang the bairnies now ;

For a' their anger's wi' their hunger gane: Ay maun the childer, wi' a fastin mou',

Grumble and greet, and mak an unco-mane. In rangles round, before the ingle's lowe, Frae Gudame's mouth auld-warld tales they


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