Postcript

      My memory's no worth a preen;      I had amaist forgotten clean,      Ye bade me write you what they mean      By this "new-light,"      'Bout which our herds sae aft hae been      Maist like to fight.       In days when mankind were but callans      At grammar, logic, an' sic talents,      They took nae pains their speech to balance,      Or rules to gie;      But spak their thoughts in plain, braid lallans,      Like you or me.       In thae auld times, they thought the moon,      Just like a sark, or pair o' shoon,      Wore by degrees, till her last roon      Gaed past their viewin;      An' shortly after she was done      They gat a new ane.       This passed for certain, undisputed;      It ne'er cam i' their heads to doubt it,      Till chiels gat up an' wad confute it,      An' ca'd it wrang;      An' muckle din there was about it,      Baith loud an' lang.       Some herds, weel learn'd upo' the beuk,      Wad threap auld folk the thing misteuk;      For 'twas the auld moon turn'd a neuk      An' out of' sight,      An' backlins-comin to the leuk      She grew mair bright.       This was deny'd, it was affirm'd;      The herds and hissels were alarm'd      The rev'rend gray-beards rav'd an' storm'd,      That beardless laddies      Should think they better wer inform'd,      Than their auld daddies.       Frae less to mair, it gaed to sticks;      Frae words an' aiths to clours an' nicks;      An monie a fallow gat his licks,      Wi' hearty crunt;      An' some, to learn them for their tricks,      Were hang'd an' brunt.       This game was play'd in mony lands,      An' auld-light caddies bure sic hands,      That faith, the youngsters took the sands      Wi' nimble shanks;      Till lairds forbad, by strict commands,      Sic bluidy pranks.       But new-light herds gat sic a cowe,      Folk thought them ruin'd stick-an-stowe;      Till now, amaist on ev'ry knowe      Ye'll find ane plac'd;      An' some their new-light fair avow,      Just quite barefac'd.       Nae doubt the auld-light flocks are bleatin;      Their zealous herds are vex'd an' sweatin;      Mysel', I've even seen them greetin      Wi' girnin spite,      To hear the moon sae sadly lied on      By word an' write.       But shortly they will cowe the louns!      Some auld-light herds in neebor touns      Are mind't, in things they ca' balloons,      To tak a flight;      An' stay ae month amang the moons      An' see them right.       Guid observation they will gie them;      An' when the auld moon's gaun to lea'e them,      The hindmaist shaird, they'll fetch it wi' them      Just i' their pouch;      An' when the new-light billies see them,      I think they'll crouch!       Sae, ye observe that a' this clatter      Is naething but a "moonshine matter";      But tho' dull prose-folk Latin splatter      In logic tulyie,      I hope we bardies ken some better      Than mind sic brulyie.