The toun had then but ten short streets;
To ilka hoose there was a yaird;
But these auld yairds grew sturdy reets
An' ilka gate had aye its gaird.
The Don doon by the Braid Hill ran,
The tide weesh up the Castle Brae;
An' where lang miles o' pier-wark stan'
A half a score o' birlinns lay.
Where flowed the tide by Tarnty Mill
The iron horse has noo his sta';
Frae Justice Port to Windmill Hill
Was wavin' green wi' yairdins a'.
The Woo'manhill wis ae green knowe,
An' up the Denburn's bonny bank
The Play Grun lay in Gilcolm's howe,
The scene o' mony a merry prank.
An' then-a-days the quintra-side
To Brimman an' the Loch o' Skene
Wis ae bleak muir o' sax miles wide,
Wi' scarce a single patch o' green,
Ae patch o' corn, ae rig o' girse,
Excep' aside some cottar's biel';
When reivin' caterans came frae Birse
They scarcely saw a cow to steal.
Thon Heilan' rogues war honest sae far,
Mair than some wham I micht mention,
They toom't a byre wi' nae palaver
On the score o' gweed intention.