The Holy Fair Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


A note of seeming truth and trustA
Hid crafty observationB
And secret hung with poison'd crustA
The dirk of defamationB
A mask that like the gorget show'dC
Dye varying on the pigeonB
And for a mantle large and broadD
He wrapt him in ReligionB
Hypocrisy agrave la ModeC
Upon a simmer Sunday mornE
When Nature's face is fairF
I walked forth to view the cornE
An' snuff the caller airF
The risin' sun owre Galston muirsG
Wi' glorious light was glintinE
The hares were hirplin down the furrsG
The lav'rocks they were chantinE
Fu' sweet that dayH
As lightsomely I glowr'd abroadD
To see a scene sae gayH
Three hizzies early at the roadC
Cam skelpin up the wayH
Twa had manteeles o' dolefu' blackI
But ane wi' lyart lininE
The third that gaed a wee a backI
Was in the fashion shiningJ
Fu' gay that dayH
The twa appear'd like sisters twinE
In feature form an' claesG
Their visage wither'd lang an' thinE
An' sour as ony slaesG
The third cam up hap step an' lowpK
As light as ony lambieL
An' wi' a curchie low did stoopK
As soon as e'er she saw meL
Fu' kind that dayH
Wi' bonnet aff quoth I Sweet lassG
I think ye seem to ken meL
I'm sure I've seen that bonie faceG
But yet I canna name yeL
Quo' she an' laughin as she spakI
An' taks me by the han'sG
Ye for my sake hae gien the feckM
Of a' the ten comman'sG
A screed some dayH
My name is Fun your cronie dearN
The nearest friend ye haeO
An' this is Superstition hereP
An' that's HypocrisyG
I'm gaun to Mauchline Holy FairF
To spend an hour in daffinE
Gin ye'll go there you runkl'd pairF
We will get famous laughinE
At them this dayH
Quoth I With a' my heart I'll do'tG
I'll get my Sunday's sark onE
An' meet you on the holy spotQ
Faith we'se hae fine remarkinE
Then I gaed hame at crowdie timeR
An' soon I made me readyG
For roads were clad frae side to sideS
Wi' monie a wearie bodyG
In droves that dayH
Here farmers gash in ridin graithT
Gaed hoddin by their cottersG
There swankies young in braw braidclaithT
Are springin owre the guttersG
The lasses skelpin barefit thrangM
In silks an' scarlets glitterU
Wi' sweet milk cheese in mony a whangM
An' farls bak'd wi' butterU
Fu' crump that dayH
When by the plate we set our noseG
Weel heaped up wi' ha'penceG
A greedy glowr Black Bonnet throwsG
An' we maun draw our tippenceG
Then in we go to see the showV
On ev'ry side they're gath'rinE
Some carryin dails some chairs an' stoolsG
An' some are busy bleth'rinE
Right loud that dayH
Here some are thinkin on their sinsG
An' some upo' their claesG
Ane curses feet that fyl'd his shinsG
Anither sighs an' praysG
On this hand sits a chosen swatchW
Wi' screw'd up grace proud facesG
On that a set o' chaps at watchW
Thrang winkin on the lassesG
To chairs that dayH
O happy is that man and blestX
Nae wonder that it pride himY
Whase ain dear lass that he likes bestX
Comes clinkin down beside himY
Wi' arm repos'd on the chair backM
He sweetly does compose himY
Which by degrees slips round her neckM
An's loof upon her bosomZ
Unken'd that dayH
Now a' the congregation o'erU
Is silent expectationE
For Moodie speels the holy doorA2
Wi' tidings o' salvationE
Should Hornie as in ancient daysG
'Mang sons o' God present himY
The vera sight o' Moodie's faceG
To's ain het hame had sent himY
Wi' fright that dayH
Hear how he clears the points o' faithT
Wi' rattlin an' wi' thumpinE
Now meekly calm now wild in wrathT
He's stampin an' he's jumpinE
His lengthen'd chin his turn'd up snoutB2
His eldritch squeal and gesturesG
Oh how they fire the heart devoutB2
Like cantharidian plaistersG
On sic a dayH
But hark the tent has chang'd its voiceG
There's peace and rest nae langerU
For a' the real judges riseG
They canna sit for angerU
Smith opens out his cauld haranguesG
On practice and on moralsG
An' aff the godly pour in thrangsG
To gie the jars an' barrelsG
A lift that dayH
What signifies his barren shineE
Of moral pow'rs and reasonE
His English style an' gesture fineE
Are a' clean out o' seasonE
Like Socrates or AntonineE
Or some auld pagan heathenE
The moral man he does defineE
But ne'er a word o' faith inE
That's right that dayH
In guid time comes an antidoteC2
Against sic poison'd nostrumY
For Peebles frae the water fitD2
Ascends the holy rostrumY
See up he's got the word o' GodE2
An' meek an' mim has view'd itD2
While Common Sense has ta'en the roadC
An's aff an' up the CowgateC
Fast fast that dayC
Wee Miller niest the Guard relievesG
An' Orthodoxy raiblesG
Tho' in his heart he weel believesG
An' thinks it auld wives' fablesG
But faith the birkie wants a ManseG
So cannilie he hums themY
Altho' his carnal wit an' senseG
Like hafflins wise o'ercomes himY
At times that dayC
Now butt an' ben the change house fillsG
Wi' yill caup commentatorsG
Here's cryin out for bakes an gillsG
An' there the pint stowp clattersG
While thick an' thrang an' loud an' langM
Wi' logic an' wi' ScriptureU
They raise a din that in the endC
Is like to breed a ruptureU
O' wrath that dayC
Leeze me on drink it gies us mairF
Than either school or collegeF2
It kindles wit it waukens learN
It pangs us fou o' knowledgeG2
Be't whisky gill or penny wheepK
Or ony stronger potionE
It never fails on drinkin deepK
To kittle up our notionE
By night or dayC
The lads an' lasses blythely bentC
To mind baith saul an' bodyC
Sit round the table weel contentC
An' steer about the toddyC
On this ane's dress an' that ane's leukM
They're makin observationsG
While some are cozie i' the neukM
An' forming assignationsG
To meet some dayC
But now the Lord's ain trumpet toutsG
Till a' the hills rae rairinE
An' echoes back return the shoutsG
Black Russell is na sparinE
His piercing words like highlan' swordsG
Divide the joints an' marrowV
His talk o' hell whare devils dwellH2
Our vera sauls does harrowV
Wi' fright that dayC
A vast unbottom'd boundless pitC
Fill'd fou o' lowin brunstaneE
Whase ragin flame an' scorching heatC
Wad melt the hardest whun staneE
The half asleep start up wi' fearN
An' think they hear it roarinE
When presently it does appearN
'Twas but some neibor snorinE
Asleep that dayC
'Twad be owre lang a tale to tellH2
How mony stories pastC
An' how they crouded to the yillH2
When they were a' dismistC
How drink gaed round in cogs an' caupsG
Amang the furms an' benchesG
An' cheese and bred frae women's lapsG
Was dealt about in lunchesG
An' dauds that dayC
In comes a gausie gash guidwifeI2
An' sits down by the fireU
Syne draws her kebbuck an' her knifeI2
The lasses they are shyerU
The auld guidmen about the graceG
Frae side to side they botherU
Till some ane by his bonnet laysG
And gi'es them't like a tetherU
Fu' lang that dayC
Waesucks for him that gets nae lassG
Or lasses that hae naethingM
Sma' need has he to say a graceG
Or melvie his braw clathingM
O wives be mindfu' ance yourselH2
How bonie lads ye wantedC
An' dinna for a kebbuck heelH2
Let lasses be affrontedC
On sic a dayC
Now Clinkumbell wi' rattlin towC
Begins to jow an' croonE
Some swagger hame the best they dowC
Some wait the afternoonE
At slaps the billies halt a blinkM
Till lasses strip their shoonE
Wi' faith an' hope an' love an' drinkM
They're a' in famous tuneE
For crack that dayC
How monie hearts this day convertsG
O' sinners and o' lassesG
Their hearts o' stane gin night are ganeE
As saft as ony flesh isG
There's some are fou o' love divineE
There's some are fou o' brandyC
An' monie jobs that day beginE
May end in houghmagandieC
Some ither dayC

Robert Burns


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