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WHILE briers an’ woodbines budding green,
An' Paitricks scraichin loud at e'en,
An' morning Poussie whiddin seen,
Inspire my Muse,


This freedom, in an unknown frien',

I pray excuse.

On Faften-een we had a rockin,

To ca' the crack and weave our stockin;

And there was muckle fun an jokin,

Ye need na doubt;

At length we had a hearty yokin

At sang about.

There was ae fang, amang the rest, Aboon them a' it pleas'd me best, That some kind husband had addreft

To fome sweet wife :

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It thirl'd the heart-strings thro’ the breast,

A' to the life.

.: . . I've scarce heard ought describ’d fae weel, What gen'rous, manly bofoms feel ; Thought I, “ Can this þe Pope, or Steele,

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o Or

• Or Beattie's wark!'

They tald me 'twas an odd kind chiel

About Muir kirk.

It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't,
And sae about him there I spier't,
Then a' that ken't him round declar'd,

He had ingine,
That nane excell'd it, few cam near't,

It was fae fine. .

That fet him to a pint of ale,
An' either douce or merry tale,
Or rhymes an' fangs he'd made himsel,

Or witty catches,
'Tween Inverness and Tiviotdale,

He had few matches.

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Then up I gat, an'fwoor an aith,
Tho' I should pawn my pleugh and graith,
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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 your 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 crooning to a body's fel,

Does weel eneugh,

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 Mufe 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 prose,

• To mak a sang ?' But, by your leaves, my learned foes,

Ye're maybe wrang.

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

What fairs your

Grammars? Ye'd better taen up spades and shools,

Or knappin-hammers.

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

Plain truth to speak;
An' fyne they think to climb Parnassus
By dint o'Greek !

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