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Wi' ane wha now was cauld in death : I lookit round wi’ watery ee,

Hope wasna there—but I was laith To see my little bairnies dee.

Just as the breeze the aspen stirr’d,

And bore aslant the falling dew, I thought I heard a bonny bird

Singing amid the air sae blue

It was a lay that did renew The hope deep sunk in misery ;

It was of ane my waes that knew,

And some kind hearts that cared for me.

() sweet as breaks the rising day,

Or sunbeam through the wavy rain, Fell on my soul the cheering lay

Was it an angel pour'd the strain?

Whoe'er has kend a' mother's pain, Bent o’er the babe upon her knee,

O they will bless, and bless again The generous hearts that cared for me!



A cot was rear’d by Mercy's hand,

Amid the dreary wilderness;
It rose as if by magic wand,

A shelter to forlorn distress.

And weel I ken that Heaven will bless

The heart that issued the decree;

The widow and the fatherless
Can never pray, and slighted be.


Very touching, James, indeed. You are a tragic poet after Aristotle's own heart; for well you know how to purge the soul by pity and terror.


Ay, that I do, sir; an' by a' sorts of odd humour too. Snap your thumbs.—NocTES AMBROSIANÆ, No. XXVIII.

Some explanation is necessary still towards the understanding of the above song. It was written many years ago, at the joint request of Mr Galt and some other literary friends, for singing at the first meeting of some benevolent society in London, the denomination of which I have forgot; but it was for

The song

the purpose of relieving the wives and families of Scottish soldiers who had fallen in our sanguine wars abroad. was well received, having been sung by professional singers to the Scottish air of “ The Birks of Invermay.”



Stop, stop, Beelzebub, and read aloud that bit of paper you have in your fist.


Yes, sir.


Lord sauf us, what a voice! They're my ain verses, too. Whisht, whisht 1

BEELZEBUB sings The Great Muckle Village of Bal

maquhapple,to the tune of The Sodger Laddie.

D'ye ken the big village of Balmaquhapple,
The great muckle village of Balmaquhapple ?
'Tis steep'd in iniquity up to the thrapple,
An' what's to become o' poor Balmaqubapple ?

Fling a’ aff your bannets, an' kneel for your life, fo’ks,
And pray to St Andrew, the god o' the Fife fo’ks ;
Gar a' the hills yout wi' sheer vociferation,
And thus you may cry on sic needfu' occasion :

“0, blessed St Andrew, if e'er ye could pity fo’k,
Men fo’k or women fo’k, country or city fo’k,
Come for this aince wi' the auld thief to grapple,
An' save the great village of Balmaqubapple
Frae drinking an' leeing, an' flyting an' swearing,
An' sins that ye wad be affrontit at hearing,
An' cheating an' stealing ; 0, grant them redemption,
All save an’ except the few after to mention :

“ There's Johnny the elder, wha hopes ne'er to need ye,
Sae pawkie, sae holy, sae gruff, an’ sae greedy;
Wha prays every hour as the wayfarer passes,
But aye at a hole where he watches the lasses ;
He's cheated a thousand, an' e'en to this day yet,
Can cheat a young lass, or they're leears that say it
Then gie him his gate; he's sae slee an’ sae civil,
Perhaps in the end he may wheedle the devil.

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