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Think for a moment on his wretched fate, Then a' that ken't him round declar'd Whom friends and fortune quite disown!
He had ingine, Ill satisfied keen nature's clamorous call, That nane excell'd it, few cam near't, Stretched on his straw he lays himself
It was sae fine. to sleep,
(wall, That, set him to a pint of ale, While through the ragged roof and chinky | And either douce or merry tale, Chill o'er his slumbers piles the drifty Or rhymes and sangs he'd made himsel', heap;
Or witty catches,
He had a few matches,
Then up I gat, and swoor an aith,
Tho'I should pawn my pleugh and graith,
Or die a cadger pownie's death
At some dyke back
A pint and gill I'd gie them baith
To hear your crack. bliss !"
But, first and foremost, I should tell, I hear nae mair, for chanticleer
Amaist as soon as I could spell,
Tho' rude and rough,
Yet crooning to a body's sell,
Does weel eneugh.
I am nae poet, in a sense,
And hae to learning nae pretence,
Yet, what the matter!
I jingle at her.
Your critic folk may cock their nose,
“How can you e'er propose, AN OLD SCOTTISH BARD. (25.)
You, wha ken hardly verse frae prose, April 1, 1785.
To mak a sang?” WHILE briers and woodbines budding green, But, by your leaves, my learned foes, And paitricks scraichin' loud at e'en,
Ye're may be wrang. And morning poussie whiddin seen,
What's a' yoiir jargon o' your schools, Inspire my muse,
Your Latin names for horns and stools; This freedom in an unknown frien'
If honest nature made you fools,
What sairs your grammars ? On Fasten-e'en we had a rockin',
Ye'd better taen up spades and shools, To ca’ the crack and weave our stockin';
Confuse their brains in college classes ! At length we had a hearty yokin'
They gang in stirks, and come out asses, At sang about.
Plain truth to speak; There was ae sang, amang the rest,
And syne they think to climb Parnassus Aboon them a' it pleas'd me best,
By dint o'Greek!
Gie me ae spark o' nature's fire !
That's a' the learning I desire;
At pleugh or cart, I've scarce heard ought described sae weel, My muse, tho' hamely in attire, What gen'rous manly bosons feel;
May touch the heart.
Oh for a spunk o' Allan's glee,
Or Fergusson's the bauld and slee,
Or bright Lapraik's, my friend to be,
If I can hit it!
That would be lear eneugh for me, And sae about him there I spier't,
If I could get it!
Now, sir, if ye hae friends enow,
I'se no insist,
I'm on your list.
They sometimes roose me;
As far abuse me. But Mauchline race (26), or Mauchline fair, I should be proud to meet you there; We’se gie ae night's discharge to care,
If we forgather,
Wi ane anither.
To cheer our heart;
Before we part.
To catch the plack! I dinna like to see your face,
Nor hear your crack. But
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 !
Who am, most fervent,
Your friend and servant.
Their ten hours' bite,
I would na write.
This month and mair,
And something sair.”
This vera night;
But rhyme it right.
In terms sae friendly,
And thank him kindly ?"
I vow I'll close it ;
By Jove I'll prose it !”
Let time mak proof;
Just clean aff-loof.
Wi' gleesome touch;
She's but a b-tch!
Wi' lyart pow,
As lang's I dow!
Frae year to year;
I, Rob, am here.
And muckle wame,
A bailie's name?
To the Samtr.
April 21, 1785. WHILE new-ca'd kye rowte at the stake, And pownies reek in pleugh or braik, This hour on e'enin's edge I take,
To own I'm debtor, To honest-hearted, auld Lapraik,
For his kind letter. Forjesket sair, wi' weary legs, Rattlin' the corn out-owre the rigs, Or dealing thro' amang the naigs
Or is't the paughty, feudal Thane,
But lordly stalks,
As by he walks ?
Thro' Scotland wide;
In a' their pride! Were this the charter of our state,
On pain' o'hell be rich and great,"
We learn our creed.
Whate'er he be,
And none but he!'
In glorious light,
Are dark as night.
The forest's fright;
May shun the light.
In some mild sphere,
Each passing year!
On my poor Musie; Tho' in sic phraisin' terms ye've penn'd it
I scarcely excuse ye. My senses wad be in a creel, Should I but dare a hope to speel, Wi' Allan, or wi Gilbertfield,
The braes o' fame; Or Fergusson, the writer chiel,
A deathless nanie. (Oh Fergusson! thy glorious parts Ill suited law's dry musty arts ! My curse upon your whunstaue hearts,
Ye E’nbrugh gentry;
Wad stow'd his pantry!)
(Oh sad disease!) I kittle up my rustic reed;
It gies me ease.
But tune their lays,
Her weel-sung praise
Beside New Holland,
Owre Scotland rings,
And cock your, crest,
Up wi' the best! We'll sing auld Coila's plains and fells, Her moors red-brown wi' heather bells, Her banks and braes, her dens and dells,
Where glorious Wallace Aft bure the gree, as story tell,
Frae southron billies.
Tu William [impson),
May, 1785, I GAT your letter, winsome Willie; Wi' gratefu' heart I thank you brawlie; Tho’I maun say't, I wad be silly,
And unco vain, Should I believe, my coaxin' billie,
Your flatterin' strain. But I'se believe ye kindly meant it, I sud de laith to think ye hinted Ironic satire, sidelins sklented
At Wallace' name what Scottish blood
By Wallace' side,
Or glorious died !
Oh sweet are Coila's haughs and woods, In thae auld times, they thought the moon,
Gaed past their viewing,
They gat a new one. Ev'n winter bleak has charms to me
This past for certain-undisputed; When winds rave thro' the naked tree;
It ne'er cam i' their heads to doubt it,
Till chiels gat up and wad confute it,
And ca'd it wrang ;
And muckle din there was about it,
Baith loud and lang.
Some herds, well learn'd upo' the beuk, To feeling, pensive hearts hae charms!
Wad threap auld folk the think misteuk; Whether the summer kindly warms,
For 'twas the auld moon turned a neuk, Wi' life and light,
And out o'sight,
And backlins-comin', to the leuk
She grew mair bright.
This was denied--it was affirmed ;
The herds and hirsels were alarmed:
The rev'rend grey-beards rav'd and storm'd
That beardless laddies
Should think they better were inform'd
Than their auld daddies.
Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks ;
Frae words and aithis to clours and nicks, And I, wi' pleasure,
And mony a fallow gat his licks,
Wi' hearty crunt;
And some, to learn them for their tricks,
Were hang'd and brunt.
And Auld Light caddies bure sic hands,
That, faith, the youngsters took the sands
Wi' nimble shanks,
Till lairds forbade, by strict commands,
Sic bluidy pranks.
| Folk thought them ruin'd stick-and-stowe, Diurnal turns,
Till now amaist on every knowe,
Ye'll find ane plac'd;
And some their New-Light fair avow,
Just quite barefac'd.
Nae doubt the Auld Light flocks are bleatin'; I had amaist forgotten clean,
Their zealous herds are vex'd and sweatin'; Ye bade me write you what they mean,
Mysel' I've even seen them greetin'
Wi' girnin' spite,
By word and write.
Some Auld Light herds in neebor towns They took nae pains their speech to balance, Are mind't in thinns they ca' balloons, Or rules to gie,
To tak a flight,
And see them right.
Guid observation they will gie them;
And then, its shanks, And when the auld moon's gaun to lea'e They were as thin, as sharp and sma', them.
As cheeks o'branks, The hindmost shair'd; they'll fetch it wi'them,
"Guid e'en," quo' I; “Friend, hae ye been Just i' their pouch,
When other folk are busy sawin'?” (mawin', And when the New Light billies see them,
It seem'd to mak a kind o stan',
But naething spak;
At length says I," Friend, whare ye gaun, Is naething but a moonshine matter ;'*
Will ye go back ?” But tho' dull prose-folk Latin splatter It spake right howe—“My name is Death, In logic tulzie,
But be na fley'd." Quoth I, “ Guid faith, I hope we bardies ken some better
Ye're maybe come to stap my breath;
But tent me, billie-
See, there's a gully !”
I'm no designed to try its mettle;
But if I did, I wad be kittle
To be mislear’d; A
I wad na mind it, no, that spittle
Out-owre my beard.”
“Weel, weel!" says I, "a bargain be't; A rousing whid at times to vend.
Come, gies your hund, and sae we're gree't; And nail't wi' Scripture.
We'll ease our shanks and tak a seat But this that I am gaun to tell,
Come, gies your news; Which lately on a night befell,
This while ye hae been mony a gate,
At mony a house.'
" Ay, ay!" quo' he, and shook his head, That e'er he ne nearer comes ourse)
'It's e en a lang time indeed 's a mucki
Sin' I began to nick the thread, The clachan yıll had made me canty
And choke the breath: I was na fou, but just had plenty;
Folk maun do something for their bread, I stacher'd whyles, but yet took tent aye
And sae maun Death.
“Sax thousand years are near hand fled And hillocks, stanes, and bushes kenned aye Sin' I was to the butching bred,
Frae ghaists and witches. And mony a scheme in vain's been laid, The rising moon began to glow'r
To stap or scaur me ; The distant Cumnock hills out-owre:
Till ane Hornbook's taen up the trade,
And faith he'll waur me.
"Ye ken Jock Hornbook i' the clachan, But whether sha had three or four,
Deil mak his king's-hood in a spleuchan! I could na tell.
He's grown sae well acquaint wi'Buchan (30),
And ither chaps,
The weans haud out their fingers laughin', Setting my staff wi' all my skill,
And pouk my hips.
See, here's a scythe, and there's a dart,
But Doctor Hornbook wi' his art I there wi' something did forgather,
And cursed skill, That put me in an eerie swither;
Has made them both no worth a f-ts; An awfu’ scythe, out-owre ae shouther,
Damn'd haet they'll kill.
“ 'Twas but yestreen, nae farther gaeng A three-taed leister on the ither
I threw a noble throw at ane;
Wi' less, I'm sure, I've hundreds slain; ; Its stature seem'd lang Scotch ells twa,
But deil-ma-care, The queerest shape that e'er I saw,
It just play'd dirl on the bane, For fient a wame it had ava;
But did nae mair.