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Poor Mailie's Elegy

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Poor Mailie's Elegy.

Lament in rhyme, lament in prose,
Wi' saut tears tricklin down your nose;
Our Bardie's fate is at a close,
Past a' remead!
The last, sad cape-stane of his woes; <5>
Poor Mailie's dead!

It's no the loss of warl's gear,
That could sae bitter draw the tear,
Or mak our Bardie, dowie, wear
The mourning weed: <10>
He's lost a friend an' neebor dear
In Mailie dead.

Thro' a' the toun she trotted by him;
A lang half-mile she could descry him;
Wi' kindly bleat, when she did spy him, <15>
She ran wi' speed:
A friend mair faithfu' ne'er cam nigh him,
Than Mailie dead.

I wot she was a sheep o' sense,
An' could behave hersel wi' mense: <20>
I'll say 't, she never brak a fence,
Thro' thievish greed.
Our Bardie, lanely, keeps the spence
Sin' Mailie's dead.

Or, if he wanders up the howe, <25>
Her livin image in her yowe
Comes bleatin till him, owre the knowe,
For bits o' bread;
An' down the briny pearls rowe
For Mailie dead. <30>

She was nae get o' moorlan tips,
Wi' twated ket, an' hairy hips;
For her forbears were brought in ships,
Frae 'yont the Tweed:
A bonier fleesh ne'er cross'd the clips <35>
Than Mailie dead.

Wae worth the man wha first did shape
That vile, wanchancie thing – a rape!
It maks guid fellows girn an' gape,
Wi' chokin dread; <40>
An' Robin's bonnet wave wi' crape
For Mailie dead.

O a' ye bards on bonie Doon!
An' wha on Ayr your chanters tune!
Come, join the melancholious croon <45>
O' Robin's reed!
His heart will never get aboon!
His Mailie's dead.

   
 1786

References[edit]

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.