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JOHN TAMSON'S ADDRESS TO THE CLERGY IN SCOTLAND.
Attend ye reverend gentlemen,
Of a' denominations,
At gien exhortations;
While I ca' your attention,
Would ever think to mention.
I would be very loath indeed,
To vilify or wrong you,
And christian men among you;
The knave is always civil,
And shames the very Devil.
I'll tell you without mincing much,
The things which have incensed me, And ye wha' fin the bonnet fit,
Will first cry out against me;
Is falling into ruin,
'Tis mostly your own doing.
Just let me tell ye as a frien,
Ye make an awfu' blunder, Whene'er ye lend yoursels as tools,
To help the rich to plunder; Ye lose the love o' honest men,
And ope the mouths o' corners, And make your faithful brethren weep
Like Zion's waefu' mourners.
The Devil's taken now-a-days,
To selling and to buying,
In little legal lying;
He's in amang the jury,
And even 'neath the judge's wig,
Lang, lang in councils o' the state,
He's dodged and he's dissembled, And never absent night nor day,
Frae Parliament assembled; He's even in the pulpit too,
And turns the flattering sentence, And hands your tongues when ye should ca'
Fat sinners to repentance.
He makes you turn in twenty ways,
Yet aye stick to the strongest,
Whase purses are the longest;
Upon the poor transgressor,
His wicked proud oppressor.
Ye needna preach to weary toil,
About the christian graces,
When seated in high places;
Ye canna get us to believe,
That poverty's nae evil,
To keep us frae the Devil.
There witty Will, he slyly asks,
And thinks it is a rare joke, How God's afflictions always fall
Upon the heads o' puir folk? Will may be pious, tho' he'll no
Be plucked like ony pigeon, He may abhor a cringing priest,
And yet hae some religion.
Of heathens and their horrid works,
Why gie us siclike doses,
Beneath your very noses;
Bought, sold, and scourged to labour, And ne'er a word o' sympathy,
About the slave—your neighbour.
'Bout evils that are far awa,
Unless ye'll help our home-bred slaves,
To fight their weary battle; I wadna hae you fill your veins
Wi' the blood o' the Howards, But that's nae reason why ye should
Be arrant, moral cowards.
Awake, if ye would longer be
The pilots that would steer us,
Be up, be moral heroes!
Tell Atholl without fearing,
Against them for their clearing.'
And dinna let Breadalbane slip,
* The cruelties inflicted by the Duke of Sutherland, Athol], and Breadalbane on their poor clansmen were so revolting, that the massacre of Glencoe appears merciful in comparison. For a full account of these barbarities, perpetrated under the eye of the British Government, in the 19th century, see Gloomy Memories, by Donald H'Leod a book without literary pretension, but which reveals a tale of horror, at which Scotchmen may well blush