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But for wine and for welcoine not more known to
fame, Than the sense, wit, and taste, of a sweet lovely
dame. A bard was selected to witness the fray, And tell future ages the feats of the day'; A bard who detested all sadness and spleen, And wish'd that Parnassus a vineyard had been. The dinner being over, the claret they ply, And every new cork is a new spring of joy ; In the bands of old friendship and kindred so set, And the bands grew the tighter the more they were
Gay pleasure ran riot as bumpers ran o'er;
Bright Phoebus ne'er witness'd so joyous a corps,
And vow'd that to leave them he was quite forlord,
Till Cynthia hinted she'd see them next moro.
Six bottles a piece had well worn out the night,
When gallant Sir Robert, to finish the fight,
Turn’d o'er in one bumper a bottle of red,
And swore 'twas the way that their ancestors did.
Then worthy Glenriddel, so cautious and sage,
No longer the warfare, ungodly, would wage;
A high-ruling Elder to wallow in wine,
He left the foul business to folks less divine.
The gallant Sir Robert fought hard to the end,
But who can with fate and quart bumpers conteod ?
Thougb fate said--a hero should perish in light;
So up rose bright Phoebus, and down fell the knight.
Next uprose our bard, like a prophet in drink:
Craigdarrock, thoul't soar when creation shall sink !
But if thou would flourish immortal in rhyme,
Come-one bottle more--and have at the sublime !
Thy line, that have struggled for freedom with
Shall heroes and patriots ever produce :
So thine be the laurel, and mine be the bay,
IN ANSWER TO A MANDATE BY A SURVEYOR OF
as your mandate did request,
I send you here a faithfu' list,
O'gudes an' gear, an'a' my graith,
To which I'm clear to gie mny aith.
Imprimis-then, for carriage cattle,
I have four brutes o' gallant mettle,
As ever drew before a pettle.
My* lan' afore's gude auld has been,
An' wight an' wilfu' a' his days been.
My+ lan’ahin's a weel gaun fillie,
That aft has borne me hame frae Killie,
An' your auld burrough mony a time,
In days when riding was nae crime
But ance whan in my wooing pride
I like a blockhead boost to ride,
The wilfu' creature sae I pat to,
(L-d pardon a' my sins an' that too!)
I play'd my fillie sic a shavie,
She's a' bedevil'd wi' the spavie.
My s furr abin's a wordy beast,
As e'erio' tug or tow was trac'd.
The fourth's a Highland Donald hastie,
Ad-n'd red-wud Kilburnie blastie;
Foreby a cowt, o' cowt's the wale,
As ever ran afore a tail.
If he be spar'd to be a beast,
He'll draw me fifteen pun' at least.-
Wheel carriages I ha'e but few,
Three carts, an' twa’ are feckly new;
Ae auld wheelbarrow, mąir for token,
Ae leg an baith the trams are broken:
• The fore-horse on the left hand in the plough.
The hindmost on the left hand in the plough.
Ś The hindmost horse on the right hand of the plough,
I made a poker o' the spin'le,
An' my auld mother brunt the trin'le.
For men, I've three mischievous boys,
Run deils for rantin and for noise ;
A gaudsman ane, a thresher t'other,
Wee Davock hauds the powt in fother.
I rule them as I ought, discreetly,
An’aften labour them completely.
An'ay on Sunday's duly nightly,
I on the questions targe them tightly :
Till faith, wee Davock’s turn'd sae gleg,
Tho' scarcely larger than your leg,
He'll screed you aff Effectual Calling,
As fast as ony in the dwalling.--
I've nane in female servan' station,
(L-d keep me ay frae a'temptation !)
I ha'e nae wife, and that my bliss is,
An' ye have laid nae tax on misses;
An' then if kirk folks dinna clutch me,
I ken the devils dare nae touch me.
Wi' weans I'm mair than weel contented,
Heav'n sent me ane mae than I wanted,
My sonsie smirking dear-bought Bess,
She stares the daddy in her face,
Enough of ought ye like but grace ;
But her, my bonnie sweet wee lady,
I've paid enough for her already,
An' gin ye tax her on her wither,
B'the 1-d! ye’se get them a' thegitber.
And now, remember Mr. A-k-n,
Nae kind of licence out l'm takin';
Frae this time forth, I do declare,
I'se ne'er ride horse nor bizie mair:
Thro’ dirt and dub for life l’ll paddle,
Ere I sae dear pay for a saddle:
My travel a' on foot I'll shank it,
I've sturdy bearers, Gude be thankit,
The kirk an' you may tak' you that,
It puts but little in your pat :
Sae dinna put me in your buke,
Nor for my ten white shillings luke.
This list wi' my ane han' I wrote it,
Day an' date as under notit,
Then know all ye whom it concerns,
ROBERT BURNS. Mossgiel, Feb. 22d, 1786.
Mossgiel, October 25th.
This wot all ye whom it concerns,
1, rhymer Rab, alias Burns,
A ne'er to be forgotten day!
Sae far I sprachi'd up the brae,
I dinner'd wi' a Lord.
I've been at drunken Writers' feasts;
Nay, been bitch fou 'mang godly Priests;
(Wi’ rey’rence be it spoken!)
I've even join'd the honour'd jorum,
When mighty Squireships o’the Quorum
Their hydra drouth did sloken.
But wi' a Lord !--stand out my shin!
A Lorda Peer-an Earl's Son
Up higher yet my bonnet !
An' such a Lordmlang Scotch ell twa!
Our Peerage he looks o'er them a',
As I look o'er my sonnet.
But, o ! for Hogarth's magic pow'r,
To shew Sir Bardie's willyart glowr,
An' how he star'd an' stammer'd !
When gaun as he'd been led wi’ branks,
An’ stumpin on his ploughman shanks,
He in the parlour hammer'd.
To meet goud Stuart little pain is,
Or Scotia's sacred Demosthenes,
Thinks I, they are but men!
But Burns, my Lord-Guid God! I doited !
My knees on one anither knoited,
As faultering I gaed ben!
I sidling shelter'd in a neuk,
An' at his lordship staw a leuk,
Like some portentous omen :
Except good sense, an' social glee,
An' (what surpris'd me) modesty,
I marked nought uncommon,
I watch'd the symptoms o' the great,
The gentle pride, the lordly state,
The arrogant assuming ;
The fient a pride, nae pride had he,
Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see,
Mair than an honest ploughman.
Then from his Lordship I shall learn,
Henceforth to meet with unconcern
Ogę rank as weel's another :
Nae honest-worthy man need care,
To meet wi' noble youthfu’ Daer,
For he but meets a brother.
I never spent an afternoon among great folks with that pleasure as when in company with you. I had the honour of paying my devoirs to that plain, honest, worthy man, the Professor. I would be delighted to see him perform acts of kind ness and friendship, though were not the object, he does it with such a grace.- I think his character, divided into ten parts, stands thos-four parts Socrates-four parts Nathaniel-and too parts Shakepeare's Brutus.
The foregoing verses were really extempore, but a little corrected since. They may entertain you a