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Full text of "Rab and Ringan, a tale; to which is added, verses occasioned by seeing two men sawing timber …"

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xses, occasioned by seeing two men sawi»g 
Timber, in the open field, in defiance 
of « furious (torm. 












Hfxii ! but 'tis awfii' like io rise up kere, I 
Wliere sic a sight o' learn'd folks* pows app( 
Sae raony peircing een a' fixM on ane, 
Is maist enough to freese me to a staae ! 
Jlut 'tis a mercy — mony thanks to fate, 
Pedlars are poor, but uueo seldom blate- 


is question, Sir, has been right weel disi>uk & 
raeikle, weel-a-wat^s been said about it ; 
s, that precisely to the point can sp«ak, 
gallop o'er lang blauds of kittle Greek, 
sent frae ilka side their sharpe opinion, 
peePd it up as aue wad peel an ingon^. 

imxx^ plague y^u lang wi* my poor spaie^ 
mly crave your patience to a Tale : 
hieh ye'il ken on whatnaside Fm stmr;iii\ 
perceive your hindmost pjinute's rinnirA'. 


e livM in Fife^ an auld, stout, warldly efeief ^ 
stomach kend naef fare but milk and :T,eal ; 
fo he had, I think they ca'd her Kel!, 
twft big §ons, amaist as heights hiffiKsel, 
was a gleg, smart cock, with powdered pas 
;an, a slow, fcarM, bashfu\ $i»3ple hash^ 

Tke qucitioM bad beeB sp«ken upon both ddcs before ik?s 
ited, wbick was the last opinion girem on tfe« debate. 


B&ith to the college gaed. At first Kpruce ! 
At Greek and Latin, grew a very dab : 
He beat round about him, fair and clean 
And iik ane courted hin to be their frien* ; 
Erae house to house they harPd him to dim 
'But cnrs'd poor Ringan for a hum-drum sii 

Kab talked now in sic b lofty iPtrain, 
As thoV braid Scotland had beco a' his ain 
He ca'd the Kirk the Church, the yh'th the G 
And changed his nanie, forsooth, frae Rab to! 
WliHre'cr ye met him, feurishiog his rung, 
Th© haill discourse was^^urderM wi* his ton 
On friends and faes wi* impudence he set, 
And ramm'd his nose in evVy thing he me 

The college now to R.ah, grew douf and 
He scorn'dl wi' books; stEpify his »kull ; 
Jlu^ whirl 'd to Plays and Bails and sic like ph 
And roared awa* at Fairs and Plintra R&ees 
Sent hame for siUer frae his mother Bell, 
Arid c^ft a horse, and rade a race himsel' ; 
l)r:i:ik night and day, ao d syne, when mortal 
U n\v\l on the floor, tvtvd snor'd like ony soi 

)riicelst a' hh siliev vri some gambling spjirks, 
3: >d pawned tor punch his Bible and his sarks; 
deal) 11» driven at la&t to own he had eneugh, 
ien'; led hame a* rags to baud his father's pleugh. 


Pow hum-drum Ringan played anither part, 
jr Kingan wanted neither mi nor art : 
I mony a far afF place he kent tlie gate ; 
53 deep, deep learned, but unco, unco bite, 
e ke^d how mony mile 'twas to the incon, 
I'ow mony rake wad lave the ocean toom ; 
/here a' the swallows gaed in time o' snaw, 
Hiat gars the thunders roar and tempests blavvj 
rher« lumps o' siller grow aueath th© grun ;* 
low a* this yirth rows round about the nun y 
Ti chort, on haoka sae meikle tim.e he spent, 
^e cou'daa speak o' aught bat ri^igan kent. 

Sae meikle ieaming vfi^ st^e little pride, 
jJoon gsin'd the leve o' a' the kintra side ; 
\nd Death, at riiat time, hspp'ning to nip aff 
riie pairisii Minister — -a poor dull ca^^, 
Ringan v^as sought he ccu'dna* say them fiay,. 
And there he's preaching at this very day. 



Now, Mr. President^ I think 'tis plain, 
That yoiithfu' diffidence is certain gain. 
Instead of bloi;king up the road to knowledge 
It guides alike, in Commerce or at College j 
Struggles the bursts of pas3iij»n to controul, 
Feeds dl the finer feeiings of the soul ; 
Defies the deep laid stratageme of guile, 
And gires each innocence a sweeter smile j 
Enobles all the little worth we h^ve, 
And shields our virtue even to the grave. 

How v^t the difference then, between th 
twain ! 

Since pleaiute «5ver is pursu'd by pain. 
Pleasure's a Syren, with inviting arms, 
Sweet is her voice, and powerful ars her charm 
Lur'd by her call, we tread her flow'ry ground 
Joy mugs o«:r steps, and musie vrarbles round 
LuIlM in her ftrms, we lose the flying hours, 
And lie embosomM 'midst her blooming bow'rs, 
Till — arm'd with death, ghe watches our undoing 
Stabs, while she sings, and triumphs in our rum. 



casioaed by seeing two men sawing timber, in tiie opeu 
field, in defiance of a furious storra. 

Y friends, for G — dsake ! qu&k your wark, 
' )P think to war a wind sae stark ; 
)ur Sawvpife stoops, like wands, are shaking, 
le very planks and deals are quaking j 
i're tempting Providence, I swear, 
3 raise your graith sae madly here. * 
)w, now ye're gone ! — Anither blast 
ike that, and a* your sawing's past ! 
)me down, ye Sinner ! grip the Saw 
^^ike death, or, troth, ye'll be awa\ 
a, na, ye*ll saw, tho* hail and sleet 
''reathe owre your breast^ and freeze your feet, 
!ear how it roars, and rings the bells ; 
he Carts are tumbling rouEid themsers } 
he tile and thack, and turf up^uhirls ; 
;e yoa brick lum ! — down, d@wn it hurls 
ut wha's yoH staggering owre the brae, 
eneath a lade b^ttrd strae ; 
e whe he will, goor luckless b — h I 
[k strae and feim's baitfi^n the ditch. 


The scla^tes are hurling down in hungers, 
The cladding door and winnock thun'ers, 
Bat, ho ! my hat in j hat's »wa' ! 
L— d help's ! the J^wpit'i down and a' ! 
Rax me your hand— hech ! how he grane«, 
I fear your legs are broken bane«. 
I tauld you this ; but, dei'l mak' ntatter ! 
Ye thought it a' but idle clatter ; 
Now, »ee ! ye misbelieving sinners ! 
Your bloody shins — your Saw in flinners j 
And round about yaur lugs the ruin. 
That your demented folly drew on* 

Experience ne'er sae sicker tells us, 
Ai when she lifts her rung and felll us.