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Kilmarnock lang may grunt and grane,
And sigh, and sob, and greet her lane,
And cleed her bairns, man, wife, and wean,
In mourning weed;

To Death she's dearly paid the kane

Tam Samson's dead!

The brethren o' the mystic level

May hing their head in waefu' bevel,
While by their nose the tears will revel
Like ony bead;

Death's gi'en the lodge an unco devel-
Tam Samson's dead!

When Winter muffles up his cloak,
And binds the mire up like a rock;
When to the lochs the curlers flock
Wi' gleesome speed,

Wha will they station at the cock?-
Tam Samson's dead!

He was the king o' a' the core,
To guard, or draw, or wick a bore;
Or up the rink like Jehu roar

In time o' need;

But now he lags on Death's hog-score

Tam Samson's dead!

Now safe the stately salmon sail,

And trouts be-dropped wi' crimson hail,
And eels weel kenned for souple tail,

And geds for greed,

Since dark in Death's fish-creel we wail

Tam Samson dead!

Rejoice, ye birring paitricks a';
Ye cootie moorcocks, crousely craw;
Ye mawkins, cock your fud fu' braw,
Withouten dread;

Your mortal fae is now awa'

Tam Samson's dead!

That waefu' morn be ever mourned
Saw him in shootin' graith adorned,
While pointers round impatient burned,
Frae couples freed;

But, och! he gaed and ne'er returned!
Tam Samson's dead!

In vain auld age his body batters;
In vain the gout his ankles fetters;
In vain the burns came down like waters,
An acre braid!

Now every auld wife, greetin', clatters,
Tam Samson's dead!

Owre mony a weary hag he limpit,
And aye the tither shot he thumpit,
Till coward Death behind him jumpit,
Wi' deadly feide;

Now he proclaims, wi' tout o' trumpet,
Tam Samson's dead!

When at his heart he felt the dagger,
He reeled his wonted bottle-swagger,
But yet he drew the mortal trigger

Wi' weel-aimed heed;

'Lord, five!' he cried, and owre did staggerTam Samson's dead!

Ilk hoary hunter mourned a brither;
Ilk sportsman youth bemoaned a father:
Yon auld gray stane, amang the heather,
Marks out his head,

Whare Burns has wrote, in rhyming blether,
Tam Samson's dead!

There low he lies in lasting rest;
Perhaps upon his mouldering breast
Some spitefu' moorfowl bigs her nest,
To hatch and breed;

Alas! nae mair he 'll them molest!

Tam Samson's dead!

When August winds the heather wave,
And sportsmen wander by yon grave,
Three volleys let his memory crave,-
O' pouther and lead,

Till Echo answer, frae her cave,

Tam Samson's dead!

Heaven rest his saul, whare'er he be!
Is the wish o' mony mae than me;
He had twa fauts, or maybe three,
Yet what remead?

Ae social, honest man want we

Tam Samson's dead?


TAM SAMSON's weel-worn clay here lies,

Ye canting zealots, spare him! If honest worth in heaven rise, Ye'll mend or ye win near him.

When Burns repeated this poem to Tam, he said, 'I'm no dead yet, Robin, I'm worth ten dead fowk. Wherefore should ye say that I am dead?' Burns withdrew to a window, and in a minute or two added the following:


Go, Fame, and canter like a filly,
Through a' the streets and neuks o' Killie,
Tell every social, honest billie

To cease his grievin',

For yet, unskaithed by Death's gleg gullie,
Tam Samson's leevin'!


OH, sweet be thy sleep in the land of the grave,
My dear little angel, for ever;

For ever-oh, no! let not man be a slave,

His hopes from existence to sever.

Though cold be the clay where thou pillow'st thy head,
In the dark silent mansions of sorrow,

The spring shall return to thy low narrow bed,
Like the beam of the day-star to-morrow.

The flower-stem shall bloom like thy sweet seraph form,
Ere the Spoiler had nipt thee in blossom;

When thou shrunk from the scowl of the loud winter storm,

And nestled thee close to that bosom.

Oh, still I behold thee, all lovely in death,

Reclined on the lap of thy mother,

When the tear trickled bright, when the short stifled


Told how dear ye were aye to each other.

My child, thou art gone to the home of thy rest,
Where suff'ring no longer can harm ye,

Where the songs of the good, where the hymns of the blest,

Through an endless existence shall charm thee.

While he, thy fond parent, must sighing sojourn
Through the dire desert regions of sorrow,
O'er the hope and misfortune of being to mourn,
And sigh for his life's latest morrow.


Of all the numerous ills that hurt our peace,
That press the soul, or wring the mind with anguish,
Beyond comparison the worst are those

That to our folly or our guilt we owe.
In every other circumstance, the mind
Has this to say-'It was no deed of mine;'
But when to all the evil of misfortune
This sting is added-Blame thy foolish self!'
Or worser far, the pangs of keen remorse;
The torturing, gnawing consciousness of guilt-
Of guilt, perhaps, where we've involvèd others;
The young, the innocent, who fondly loved us,
Nay, more, that very love their cause of ruin!
O burning hell! in all thy store of torments
There's not a keener lash!

Lives there a man so firm, who, while his heart
Feels all the bitter horrors of his crime,
Can reason down its agonizing throbs,
And, after proper purpose of amendment,
Can firmly force his jarring thoughts to peace?
O happy, happy, enviable man!

O glorious magnanimity of soul !

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