At the election of Magistrates for Dumfries, 1794, John McMurdo, Esqr., was chosen Provost and Mr. Swan one of the Baillies; and at the Entertainment usually given on the occasion Burns, seeing the Provost’s Supporters on the Bench, took his pencil and wrote the following.

BAILLIE Swan, Baillie Swan,
Let you do what you can,
God ha’mercy on honest Dumfries:
But e’er the year ‘s done,
Good Lord! Provost John
Will find that his Swans are but Geese.