[Page 62][Page 63]
THE DEATH AND DYING WORDS OF POOR MAILIE, THE AUTHOR'S ONLY PET YOWE,
AN UNCO MOURNFU' TALE.
1 AS MAILIE, an' her lambs thegither,
2 Was ae day nibbling on the tether,
3 Upon her cloot she coost a hitch,
4 An' owre she warsl'd in the ditch:
5 There, groaning, dying, she did ly,
* A neibor herd-callan.Hughoc he cam doytan by,
7 Wi' glowrin een, an' lifted han's,
8 Poor Hughoc like a statue stan's;
9 He saw her days were near hand ended,
10 But, waes my heart! he could na mend it
11 He gaped wide, but naething spak,
12 At length poor Mailie silence brak.
13 "O thou, whase lamentable face
14 Appears to mourn my woefu' case!
15 My dying words attentive hear,
16 An' bear them to my Master dear.
17 Tell him, if e'er again he keep
18 As muckle gear as buy a sheep,
19 O, bid him never tye them mair,
20 Wi' wicked strings o' hemp or hair!
21 But ca them out to park or hill,
22 An' let them wander at their will:
23 So, may his flock increase an' grow
24 To scores o' lambs, an' packs of woo' !
25 Tell him, he was a Master kin',
26 An' ay was guid to me an' mine;[Page 64]
27 An' now my dying charge I gie him
28 My helpless lambs, I trust them wi' him.
29 O, bid him save their harmless lives,
30 Frae dogs an' tods, an' butchers' knives!
31 But gie them guid cow-milk their fill,
32 Till they be fit to fend themsel;
33 An' tent them duely, e'en an' morn,
34 Wi' taets o' hay an' ripps o' corn.
35 An' may they never learn the gaets,
36 Of ither vile, wanrestfu' Pets!
37 To flink thro' slaps, an' reave an' steal,
38 At stacks o' pease, or stocks o' kail.
39 So may they, like their great forbears,
40 For monie a year come thro' the sheers:
41 So wives will gie them bits o' bread,
42 An' bairns greet for them when they're dead.
43 My poor toop-lamb, my son an' heir,
44 O, bid him breed him up wi' care!
45 An' if he live to be a beast,
46 To pit some havins in his breast![Page 65]
47 An' warn him ay at ridin time,
48 To stay content wi' yowes at hame;
49 An' no to rin an' wear his cloots,
50 Like ither menseless, graceless brutes.
51 An' niest my yowie, silly thing,
52 Gude keep thee frae a tether string!
53 O, may thou ne'er forgather up,
54 Wi' onie blastet, moorlan toop;
55 But ay keep mind to moop an' mell,
56 Wi' sheep o' credit like thysel!
57 And now, my bairns, wi' my last breath,
58 I lea'e my blessin wi' you baith:
59 An' when ye think upo' your Mither,
60 Mind to be kind to ane anither.
61 Now, honest Hughoc, dinna fail,
62 To tell my Master a' my tale;
63 An' bid him burn this cursed tether,
64 An' for thy pains thou'se get my blather.
65 This said, poor Mailie turn'd her head
66 An' clos'd her een amang the dead!
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Title (in Source Edition): THE DEATH AND DYING WORDS OF POOR MAILIE, THE AUTHOR'S ONLY PET YOWE, AN UNCO MOURNFU' TALE.
Author: Robert Burns
Genres: narrative verse
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Burns, Robert, 1759-1796. POEMS, CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT, BY ROBERT BURNS. Kilmarnock: printed by John Wilson, M,DCC,LXXXVI., 1786, pp. 62-65. 240p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T91548) (Page images digitized by National Library of Scotland.)
Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.
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