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Or die a cadger pownie's death

At some dyke back, A pint an'gill I'd gie them baith,

To hear you crack.

But, first and foremost, I should tell,
Amaist as soon as I could spell,
I to the crambo jingle fell,

Tho' rude an' rough,
Yet craoning to a body's fell,

Does weel enough.

I am nae Poet in a sense,
But just a Rhymer, like, by chance;
An' hae to Learning nae pretence,

Yet, what the matter?
Whene'er my Muse does on me glance,

I jingle at her.

· Your Critic-folk may cock their nose,
And say, “How can you e'er propose,
"You wha ken hardly verse frae profe,

• To mak a fang But, by your leaves, my learned foes,


may be wrang.

What's a' your jargon o' your Schools,
Your Latin names for horns an' ftools,
If honest nature made you fools,

What fairs


Grammars ?

Ye'd better taen up spades and shools,

Or knappin hammers,

A set o'dull, conceited Halhes, Confuse their brains in College-classes! They gang in Stirks, and come out Alies,

Plain truth to speak; An' fyne they think to climb Parnaffus

By dint o' Greek!

Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire,
That's a'the learning I desire;
Then tho’I drudge thro' dub an' mire

At pleugh or cart,
My Muse, the hamely in attire,

May touch the heart,

O for a spunk o' Allan's glee,
Or Ferguson's the bauld an' Nee,
Or dright L*****k's, my friend to be,

If I can hit it!
That would be lear enough for me,

If I could get iti

Now, Sir, if ye hae friends enow, Thoreal friends I b'lieve are few, Yet, if your catalogue be fou,

I'fe no infift; But, gif ye want ae friend that's true,

I'm on your lift,

I winna blaw about mysel,
As ill I like my fauts to tell;
But friends, an' folk that wish me well,

They sometimes roose me ; Tho'l maun own, as monie ftill

As far abuse me.

There's ae wee faut they whiles lay to me,
I like the latles-Gude forgie me!
Por monie a plack they wheedle frae me,

At dance or fair :
May be some ither thing they gie me

They weel can spare.

But Mauchline Race or Mauchline Fair, I should be proud to meet you there; We'fe gie ae night's discharge to care,

If we forgather, An' hae a swap o' rhymin-ware

Wi' ane anither.

The four.gill chap, we'le gar him clatter,
An' kirsen him wi' reekin water;
Syne we'll fit down an' tak our whitter,

To cheer our heart ;
An' faith, we'fe be acquainted better

Before we parte

Awa ye felfish, warly race,
Wba think that havins, fense, an' grace,

Ev'n love an’ friendship, should give place,

To catch the plack! I dinna like to see your face,

Nor hear your crack. But ye whom social pleasure charms, Whose hearts the tide of kindness warms, Who hold your being on the terms,

• Each aid the others, Come to my bowl, come to my arms,

• My friends, my brothers! !

But, to conclude my lang epiftle, As my auld pen's worn to the grissle; Twa lines frae you wad gar me fissle,

Who am, moft fervent, While I can either fing, or whissle,

Your friend and servant.


April 21, 1785

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HILE new-ca'd kye rowte at the stake
An' pownies reek in pleugh or braik,
This hour on e'ening's edge I take

To own I'm debtor
To honeft-hearted, auld L*****,

For his kind letter,

Forjesket fair with weary legs, Rattlin th' corn out-owre the rigs, Or dealing thro' amang the naigs

Their ten hours-bite, My awkart Muse fair pleads and begs

I would na write.

The tapetless, ramfeezl d hizzie,
She's saft at best an' something lazy:
Quo' she,
• Ye ken weve been sae busy

• This month an' mair, That trouth my head is grown right dizzie,

An' fomething fair.'

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