POEMS, CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT, BY ROBERT BURNS. Kilmarnock: printed by John Wilson, M,DCC,LXXXVI., 1786. 240p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T91548)

  • POEMS, CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT, BY ROBERT BURNS.

    THE Simple Bard, unbroke by rules of Art,
    He pours the wild effusions of the heart
    And if inspir'd, 'tis Nature's pow'rs inspire;
    Her's all the melting thrill, and her's the kindling fire.
    ANONYMOUS.

    KILMARNOCK: PRINTED BY JOHN WILSON, M, DCC, LXXXVI.

  • Entered in Stationers-hall.

  • PREFACE.

    THE following trifles are not the production of the Poet, who, with all the advantages of learned art, and perhaps amid the elegancies and idlenesses of upper life, looks down for a rural theme, with an eye to Theocrites or Virgil. To the Author of this, these and other celebrated names their contrymen are, in their original languages, 'A fountain shut up, and a book sealed. ' Unacquainted with the necessary requisites for commencing Poet by rule, he sings the sentiments and manners, he felt and saw in himself and his rustic compeers around him, in his and their native language. Though a Rhymer from his earliest years, at least from the earliest impulses of the softer passions, it was not till very lately, that the applause, perhaps the partiality, of Friendship, wakened his vanity so far as to[Page iv] make him think any thing of his was worth showing; and none of the following works were ever composed with a view to the press. To amuse himself with the little creations of his own fancy, amid the toil and fatigues of a Iaborious life; to transcribe the various feelings, the loves, the griefs, the hopes, the fears, in his own breast; to find some kind of counterpoise to the struggles of a world, always an alien scene, a task uncouth to the poetical mind; these were his motives for courting the Muses, and in these he found Poetry to be it's own reward.

    Now that he appears in the public character of an Author, he does it with fear and trembling. So dear is fame to the rhyming tribe, that even he, an obscure, nameless Bard, shrinks aghast, at the thought of being branded as 'An impertinent blockhead, obtruding his nonsense on the world; and because he can make a shift to jingle a few doggerel, Scotch rhymes together, looks upon himself as a Poet of no small consequence forsooth.'

    It is an observation of that celebrated Poet,* Shenstone. whose divine Elegies do honor to our language,[Page v] our nation, and our species, that 'Humility has depressed many a genius to a hermit, but never raised one to fame.' If any Critic catches at the word genius, the Author tells him, once for all, that he certainly looks upon himself as possest of some poetic abilities, otherwise his publishing in the manner he has done, would be a manœuvre below the worst character, which, he hopes, his worst enemy will ever give him: but to the genius of a Ramsay, or the glorious dawnings of the poor, unfortunate Ferguson, he, with equal unaffected fincerity, declares, that, even in his highest pulse of vanity, he has not the most distant pretensions. These two justly admired Scotch Poets he has often had in his eye in the following pieces; but rather with a view to kindle at their flame, than for servile imitation.

    To his Subscribers, the Author returns his most sincere thanks. Not the mercenary bow over a counter, but the heart-throbbing gratitude of the Bard, conscious how much he is indebted to Benevolence and Friendship, for gratifying him, if he deserves it, in that dearest wish of every poetic bosom — to be distinguished. He begs his readers,[Page vi] particularly the Learned and the Polite, who may honor him with a perusal, that they will make every allowance for Education and Circumstances of Life: but, if after a fair, candid, and impartial criticism, he shall stand convicted of Dulness and Nonsense, let him be done by, as he would in that case do by others — let him be condemned, without mercy, to contempt and oblivion.

  • CONTENTS.

    • The Twa Dogs, a Tale, -- page 9
    • Scotch Drink, --- 22
    • The Author's earnest cry and prayer, to the right honorable and honorable, the Scotch representatives in the House of Commons, 29
    • The Holy Fair, --- 40
    • Address to the Deil, -- 55
    • The death and dying words of Poor Maillie, 62
    • Poor Maillie's Elegy, -- 66
    • To J. S****, --- 69
    • A Dream, ---- 79
    • The Vision, ---- 87
    • Halloween, ---- 101
    • The auld Farmer's new-year-morning Salutation to his auld Mare, Maggy, on giving her the accustomed ripp of Corn to hansel in the new year, -- 118
    • The Cotter's Saturday night, inscribed to R. A. Esq; --- 124
    • To a Mouse, on turning her up in her Nest, with the Plough, November, 1785, 138
    • Epistle to Davie, a brother Poet, - 141
    • The Lament, occasioned by the unfortunate issue of a friend's amour, -- 150
    • Despondency, an Ode, -- 156
    • Man was made to mourn, a Dirge, - 160
    • [Page viii]Winter, a Dirge, --- 166
    • A Prayer in the prospect of Death, - 168
    • To a Mountain-Daisy, on turning one down, with the Plough, in April, 1786, - 170
    • To Ruin, ---- 174
    • Epistle to a young Friend, -- 176
    • On a Scotch Bard gone to the West Indies, 181
    • A Dedication to G. H. Esq; -- 185
    • To a Louse, on seeing one on a Lady's bonnet at Church, ---- 192
    • Epistle to J. L*****k, an old Scotch Bard, 195
    • — to the same, --- 202
    • — to W. S*****n, Ochiltree, - 208
    • — to J. R******, enclosing some Poems, 218
    • Song, It was upon a Lammas night, 222
    • Song, Now westlin winds, and slaught'ring guns, ---- 224
    • Song, From thee, Eliza, I must go, - 227
    • The Farewell, --- 228
    • Epitaphs and Epigrams, -- 230
    • A Bard's Epitaph. --- 234
  • THE TWA DOGS, A TALE.
  • SCOTCH DRINK.
  • THE AUTHOR'S EARNEST CRY AND PRAYER, TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE AND HONORABLE, THE SCOTCH REPRESENTATIVES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
  • THE HOLY FAIR.
  • ADDRESS TO THE DEIL.
  • THE DEATH AND DYING WORDS OF POOR MAILIE, THE AUTHOR'S ONLY PET YOWE, AN UNCO MOURNFU' TALE.
  • POOR MAILIE'S ELEGY.
  • TO J. S****.
  • A DREAM.
  • THE VISION.
  • HALLOWEEN.
  • THE AULD FARMER'S NEW-YEAR-MORNING SALUTATION TO HIS AULD MARE, MAGGIE, ON GIVING HER THE ACCUSTOMED RIPP OF CORN TO HANSEL IN THE NEW-YEAR.
  • THE COTTER'S SATURDAY NIGHT. INSCRIBED TO R. A****, Esq;
  • TO A MOUSE, On turning her up in her Nest with the Plough, November, 1785.
  • EPISTLE TO DAVIE. A BROTHER POET.
  • THE LAMENT. OCCASIONED BY THE UNFORTUNATE ISSUE OF A FRIEND'S AMOUR.
  • DESPONDENCY, AN ODE.
  • MAN WAS MADE TO MOURN, A DIRGE.
  • WINTER, A DIRGE.
  • A PRAYER, IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.
  • TO A MOUNTAIN-DAISY, On turning one down, with the Plough, in April — 1786.
  • TO RUIN.
  • EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
  • ON A SCOTCH BARD GONE TO THE WEST INDIES.
  • A DEDICATION TO G**** H******* Esq;
  • TO A LOUSE, On Seeing one on a Lady's Bonnet at Church.
  • EPISTLE TO J. L*****K, AN OLD SCOTCH BARD.
  • TO THE SAME.
  • TO W. S*****N, OCHILTREE.
  • EPISTLE TO J. R******, ENCLOSING SOME POEMS.
  • SONG.
  • SONG, COMPOSED IN AUGUST.
  • SONG.
  • THE FAREWELL. TO THE BRETHREN OF St. JAMES'S LODGE, TARBOLTON.
  • EPITAPH ON A HENPECKED COUNTRY SQUIRE.
  • EPIGRAM ON SAID OCCASION,
  • ANOTHER.
  • EPITAPHS.

    [Page 232]
  • [EPITAPH] ON A CELEBRATED RULING ELDER.
  • [EPITAPH] ON A NOISY POLEMIC.
  • [EPITAPH] ON WEE JOHNIE. Hic jacet wee Johnie.
  • [EPITAPH] FOR THE AUTHOR'S FATHER.
  • [EPITAPH] FOR R. A. Esq;
  • [EPITAPH] FOR G. H. Esq;
  • A BARD'S EPITAPH.
  • FINIS.
  • GLOSSARY,

    Words that are universally known, and those that differ from the English only by the elision of letters by apostrophes, or by varying the termination of the verb, are not inserted. The terminations may be thus known; the participle present, instead of ing, ends, in the Scotch Dialect, in or an or in; in an, particularly, when the verb is composed of the participle present, and any of the tenses of the auxiliary, to be. The past time and participle past are usually made by shortening the ed into 't.
    A
    ABACK,
    behind, away
    Abiegh,
    at a distance
    Ae,
    one
    Agley,
    wide of the aim
    Aiver,
    an old horse
    Aizle,
    a red ember
    Ane,
    one, an
    Ase,
    ashes
    Ava,
    at all, of all
    Awn,
    the beard of oats, &c.
    B
    BAIRAN,
    baring
    Banie,
    bony
    Baws'nt,
    having a white stripe down the face
    Ben,
    but and ben, the country kitchen and parlour
    Bellys,
    bellows
    Bee,
    to let bee, to leave in quiet
    Biggin,
    a building
    Bield,
    shelter
    Blastet,
    worthless
    Blather,
    the bladder
    Blink,
    a glance, an amorous leer, a short space of time
    Blype,
    a shred of cloth, &c.
    Boot,
    behoved
    Brash,
    a sudden illness
    Brat,
    a worn shred of Cloth
    Brainge,
    to draw unsteadily
    Braxie,
    a morkin sheep
    Brogue,
    an affront
    Breef,
    an invulnerable charm
    Breastet,
    sprung forward
    Burnewin,
    q. d. burn the wind, a Blacksmith.
    C
    CA ',
    to call, to drive
    Caup,
    a small, wooden dish with two lugs, or handles
    Cape stane,
    cope stone
    Cairds,
    tinkers
    Cairn,
    a loose heap of stones
    Chuffie,
    fat-faced Collie, a general and sometimes a particular name for country curs
    Cog,
    or coggie, a small wooden dish without handles
    Cootie,
    a pretty large wooden dish
    Crack,
    conversation, to converse
    Crank,
    a harsh, grating sound
    Crankous,
    fretting, peevish
    Croon,
    a hollow, continued moan
    Crowl,
    to creep
    Crouchie,
    crook-backed
    Cranreuch,
    the hoar frost
    Curpan,
    the crupper
    Cummock,
    a short staff
    D
    DAUD,
    the noise of one falling flat, a large piece of bread, &c.
    Daut,
    to caress, to fondle
    Daimen,
    now and then, seldom
    Daurk,
    a day's labour
    Deleeret,
    delirious
    Dead-sweer, very loath,
    averse
    Dowie,
    crazy and dull
    Donsie,
    unlucky, dangerous
    Doylte,
    stupified, hebetated
    Dow,
    am able
    Dought,
    was able
    Doyte,
    to go drunkenly or stupidly
    Drummock,
    meal and water mixed raw
    Drunt,
    pet, pettish humor
    Dush,
    to push as a bull, ram, &c.
    Duds,
    rags of clothes
    E
    EERIE,
    frighted; particularly the dread of spirits
    Eldritch,
    fearful, horrid, ghastly
    Eild,
    old age
    Eydent,
    constant, busy
    F
    FA ',
    fall, lot
    Fawsont,
    decent, orderly
    Faem,
    foam
    Fatt'rels,
    ribband ends, &c.
    Ferlie,
    a wonder, to wonder; also a term of contempt
    Fecht,
    to fight
    Fetch,
    to stop suddenly in the draught, and then come on too hastily
    Fier,
    sound, healthy
    Fittie lan ',
    the near horse of the hindmost pair in the plough
    Flunkies,
    livery servants
    Fley,
    to frighten
    Fleesh,
    fleece
    Flisk,
    to fret at the yoke
    Flichter,
    to flutter
    Forbears,
    ancestors
    Forby,
    besides
    Forjesket,
    jaded
    Fow,
    full, drunk; a bushel, &c.
    Freath,
    froath
    Fuff,
    to blow intermittedly
    Fyle,
    to dirty, to soil
    G
    GASH,
    wise, sagacious, talkative; to converse
    Gate,
    or gaet, way, manner, practice
    Gab,
    the month; to speak boldly
    Gawfie,
    jolly, large
    Geck,
    to toss the head in pride or wantonness
    Gizz,
    a wig
    Gilpey,
    a young girl
    Glaizie,
    smooth, glittering
    Glunch,
    a frown; to frown
    Glint,
    to peep
    Grushie,
    of thick, stout growth
    Gruntle,
    the visage; a grunting noise
    Grousome,
    loathsomely grim
    H
    HAL,
    or hald, hold, biding place
    Hash,
    a term of contempt
    Haverel,
    a quarter-wit
    Haurl,
    to drag, to peel
    Hain,
    to save, to spare
    Heugh,
    a crag, a coal-pit
    Hecht,
    to forebode
    Histie,
    dry, chapt, barren
    Howe,
    hollow
    Hoste or Hoast,
    to cough
    Howk,
    to dig
    Hoddan,
    the motion of a sage country farmer on an old cart horse
    Houghmagandie,
    a species of gender composed of the masculine and feminine united
    Hoy,
    to urge incessantly
    Hoyte,
    a motion between a trot and a gallop
    Hogshouther,
    to justle with the shoulder
    I
    ICKER,
    an ear of corn
    Ier-oe,
    a great grand child
    Ingine,
    genius
    Ill-willie,
    malicious, unkind
    J
    JAUK,
    to dally at work
    Jouk,
    to stoop
    Jocteleg,
    a kind of knife
    Jundie,
    to justle
    K
    KAE,
    a daw
    Ket,
    a hairy, ragged fleece of wool
    Kiutle,
    to cuddle, to caress, to fondle
    Kiaugh,
    carking anxiety
    Kirsen,
    to christen
    L
    LAGGEN,
    the angle at the bottom of a wooden dish
    Laithfu ',
    bashful
    Leeze me,
    a term of congratulatory endearment
    Leal,
    loyal, true
    Loot,
    did let
    Lowe,
    flame; to flame
    Lunt,
    smoke; to smoke
    Limmer,
    a woman of easy virtue
    Link,
    to trip along
    Lyart,
    grey
    Luggie,
    a small, wooden dish with one handle
    M
    MANTEELE,
    a mantle
    Melvie,
    to soil with meal
    Mense,
    good breeding
    Mell,
    to meddle with
    Modewurk,
    a mole
    Moop,
    to nibble as a sheep
    Muslin kail,
    broth made up simply of water, barley and greens
    N
    NOWTE,
    black cattle
    Nieve,
    the fist
    O
    OWRE,
    over
    Outler,
    lying in the fields, not housed at night
    P
    PACK,
    intimate, familiar
    Pang,
    to cram
    Painch,
    the paunch
    Paughty,
    proud, fancy
    Pattle or pettle,
    the ploughstaff
    Peghan,
    the crop of fowls, the stomach
    Penny-wheep,
    small beer
    Pine,
    pain, care
    Pirratch,
    or porritch, pottage
    Pliskie,
    trick
    Primsie,
    affectedly nice
    Prief,
    proof
    Q
    QUAT,
    quit, did quit
    Quaikin,
    quaking
    R
    RAMFEEZL'D,
    overspent
    Raep or rape,
    a rope
    Raucle,
    stout, clever
    Raible,
    to repeat by rote
    Ram-stam,
    thoughtless
    Raught,
    did reach
    Reestet,
    shrivelled
    Reest,
    to be restive
    Reck,
    to take heed
    Rede,
    counsel, to counsel
    Ripp,
    a handful of unthreshed corn &c
    Rief,
    reaving
    Risk,
    to make a noise like the breaking of small roots with the plough
    Rowt,
    to bellow
    Roupet,
    hoarse
    Runkle,
    a wrinkle
    Rockin,
    a meeting on a winter evening
    S
    SAIR,
    sore
    Saunt,
    a saint
    Scrimp,
    scant; to stint
    Scriegh,
    to cry shrilly
    Scrieve,
    to run smoothly and swiftly
    Screed,
    to tear
    Scawl,
    a Scold
    Sconner,
    to loath
    Sheen,
    bright
    Shaw,
    a little wood; to show
    Shaver,
    a humorous mischievous wag
    Skirl,
    a shrill cry
    Sklent,
    to slant, to fib
    Skiegh,
    mettlesome, fiery, proud
    Slype,
    to fall over like a wet surrow
    Smeddum,
    powder of any kind
    Smytrie,
    a numerous collection of small individuals
    Snick-drawing,
    trick-contriving
    Snash,
    abusive language
    Sowther,
    to cement, to folder
    Splore,
    a ramble
    Spunkie,
    fiery; will o' wisp
    Spairge,
    to spurt about like water or mire, to soil
    Sprittie,
    rushy
    Squatter,
    to flutter in water
    Staggie,
    diminutive of Stag
    Steeve,
    firm
    Stank,
    a pool of standing water
    Stroan,
    to pour out like a spout
    Stegh,
    to cram the belly
    Stibble-rig,
    the reaper who takes the lead
    Sten,
    to rear as a horse
    Swith,
    get away
    Syne,
    since, ago, then
    T
    TAPETLESS,
    unthinking
    Tawie,
    that handles quietly
    Tawted,
    or tawtet, matted together
    Taet,
    a small quantity
    Tarrow,
    to murmur at one's allowance
    Thowless,
    slack, pithless
    Thack an' raep,
    all kinds of necessaries, particularly clothes
    Thowe,
    thaw
    Tirl,
    to knock gently, to uncover
    Toyte,
    to walk like old age
    Trashtrie,
    trash
    W
    WAUKET,
    thickened as fullers do cloth
    Water-kelpies,
    a sort of mischievous spirits that are said to haunt fords &c.
    Water-brose,
    brose made simply of meal and water
    Wauble,
    to swing
    Wair,
    to lay out, to spend
    Whaizle,
    to wheez
    Whisk,
    to sweep
    Wintle,
    a wavering, swinging motion
    Wiel,
    a small whirlpool
    Winze,
    an oath
    Wonner,
    wonder, a term of contempt
    Wooer-bab,
    the garter knotted below the knee with a couple of loops and ends
    Wrack,
    to vex, to trouble
    Y
    YELL,
    dry, spoken of a cow
    Ye,
    is frequently used for the singular
    Young-guidman,
    a new married man