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102 Erects his winter’d tap ance mair; And, shivering owre the naked scene, Flouts ragged rustics unco fair; Wha, ne’ertheless, on Hallowe’en, About the hearth sae trig an’ clean,66 Reckless o’ frost, or sna, or rain, Agree to burn their nits again67 While fairies fleet their gambols play, Thro’ mony an eldritch glen an’ brae. 68 In pairs, before the ingle now, The mystic nits are laid alang, And presently they a’ tak’ lowe, And blink and burn, some right, some wrang (O, Superstition! crazy fool! Thin, thin is worn thy silly school; For Learning’s soul-exalting ray Has rescued mankind frae thy sway Except at times, when rural glee Invites thee back to laugh at thee.) The auld gude man, indifferent sees The pastime that he ance held dear; While younkers eye the dancing bleeze, Wi’ counterfeited hope and fear. An’ social graunie taks her smoak, Laughs wi’ the lave, and clubs her joke; Gies her auld mou the youthfu’ twine, Waesucks, to think on a lang syne, 69 And tells how happy she has been, A-burning nits on Hallowe’en. 66 Neat. 67 Nuts. 68 Ghostly, unearthly. 69 A pity to think on old times.

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