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Song or Sermon, pp.44-45.

[Anecdotes of Burns Contents]

MRS. “GRANNY” or Hay, aged 94 in 1866, was a servant girl at “Willie’s Mill,” at the age of 14 or 15. She remembered Burns distinctly. He generally stabled his horse at the Mill when riding to Tarbolton from Lochlea or Mossgiel. He was remarkably kind and pleasant, and he “straiket her head wi’ his han’ ” on the last occasion when she was there. She relates that Burns “was a great frequenter o’ kirks and preachings, baith at Tarbolton and round about:” on which occasions he was often, almost invariably, accompanied by the “Miller himsel’,” [Mr. Muir] who had a taste for pulpit oratory, and was “an unco judge o’ doctrine.” “Burns wad speir in for him as he gaed by, and the twa gied thegither.” On one special occasion, Burns complained to the mistress of not being able to finish some song that had occurred to him on a Sabbath morning, in consequence of which he was afraid he could not attend Church that day – “it wouldna be right: he couldna hearken when he was fashed.” In despair, he rambled out by some dykeside, where he strolled alone “till he got the sang a’ richt,” when he repaired to church as usual with the cheerfulness of relief and a good conscience. 

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