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EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.

135

Cauld blew tie bitter-biting north

Ye'll try the world fu' soon, my lad, Upon thy eerly, humble birth ;

And, Andrew dear, believe me,
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,
Amid the storm,

And muckle they may grieve ye:
Scar ve rear'd above the parent earth

For care and trouble set your thought, Thy tender form.

Ev'n when your end's attained ;

And a' your views may come to nought, The flaunting flowers our gardens yield, High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield :

Where ev'ry nerve is strained.
But thou, beneath the random bield

I'll no say men are villains a':
O'clod or stane,

The real, harden'd wicked,
Adorn the histie stibble-field,

| Wha hae nae check but human law, Unseen, alane.

Are to a few restricked :

But, och! mankind are unco weak, There, in thy scanty mantle clad,

And little to be trusted; Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,

If self the wavering balance shake,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head,

It's rarely right adjusted!
In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed

Yet they wha fa’ in fortune's strife,
And low thou lies!

Their fate we should na censure,

For still th' important end of life,
Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!

They equally may answer;

A man may hae an honest heart,
By love's simplicity betray'd,

Tho'poortith hourly stare him;
And guileless trust,

A man may tak a neibor's part.
Till she, like thee, all soild, is laid

Yet hae no cash to spare him,
Low i' the dust.

Aye free, aff han, your story tell,
Such is the fate of simple bard,

When wi' a bosom crony; On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!

But still keep something to yoursel
Unskilful he to note the card

Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,

Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can

Frae critical dissection;
And whelm him o'er!

But keek through ev'ry other man,
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n, Wi’ sharpen’d, sly inspection.
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,

The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd love,
By human pride or cunning driv'n

Luxuriantly indulge it;
To mis'ry's brink,

But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,

Tho' naething should divulge it:
He, ruin’d, sink!

I waive the quantum o' the sin,
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate, The hazard of concealing ;
That fate is thine--no distant date; But, och! it hardens a' within,
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate, And petrifies the feeling!

Full on thy bloom,
Till crush'd beneath the furrow's weight,

To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,
Shall be thy doom.

Assiduous wait upon her;
And gather gear by ev'ry wile

That's justified by honour;

Not for to hide it in a hedge,
Epistle to a Young Friend. Nor for a train-attendant,

But for the glorious privilege
MAY, 1796. (108)

Of being independent.
I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend, The fear o'hell's a hangman's whip
A something to have sent you,

To haud the wretch in order ;
Though it should serve nae other end But where ye feel your honour grip,
Than just a kind momento;

Let that aye be your border: But how the subject-theme may gang, Its slightest touches, instant pausemono Let time and chance determine;

Debar a' side pretences; Perhaps it may turn out a sang,

And resolutely keeps its laws, Perhaps turn out a sermon.

| Uncaring consequences.

The great Creator to revere

| I readily and freely grant, Must sure become the creature,

He downa see a poor man wan; But still the preaching can forbear,

What's no his aim he winna tak it,
And e'en the rigid feature :

What ance he says he winna break it;
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range,
Be complaisance extended ;

Till aft his goodness is abus'd;
An Atheist laugh's a poor exchange

And rascals whyles that do him wrang, For Deity offended!

Ev'n that, he does na mind it lang :

As master, landlord, husband, father,
When ranting round in pleasure's ring,

He does na fail his part in either.
Religion may be blinded;
Or if she gie a random sting,

But then, nae thanks to him for a' that; It may be little minded;

Nae godly symptom ye can ca’ that;
But when on life we're tempest drivn,
A conscience but a canker,

Of our poor sinfu', corrupt nature:
A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n

Ye'll get the best o' moral works, Is sure a noble anchor!

'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks, Adieu! dear, amiable youth

Or hunter's wild on Ponotaxi,

Wha never heard of orthodoxy. Your heart can ne'er be wanting !

That he's the poor man's friend in need, May prudence, fortitude, and truth

The gentleman in word and deed, Erect your brow undaunting!

It's no thro' terror of d-mn-tion; In ploughman phrase, “God send you

speed,” Still daily to grow wiser:

Morality, thou deadly bane, And may you better reck the rede

Thy tens o' thousands thou hast slain ! Than ever did th' adviser!

Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is
In moral mercy, truth, and justice !
Nomstretch a point to catch a plack;

Abuse a brother to his back; 1 Deùiration to Ganin Hamilton, Esq.

Seal thro' a winnock frae a wh-re,
But point the rake that taks the door;

Be to the poor like ony whunstane,
EXPECT na, sir, in this narration,

And haud their noses to the grunstane, A fleeching, fleth'rin dedication,

Ply ev'ry art o' legal thieving ! To roose you un, and ca' you guid,

No matter-stick to sound believing! And sprung o' great and noble bluid, Learn three-mile pray’rs, and half-mile Because ye're surnam'd like his grace;

graces, Perhaps related to the race;

Wi' weel-spread looves, and lang wry faces ; Then when I'm tir'd, and sae are ye,

Grunt up a solemn, lengthen'd groan, Wi' mony a fulsome, sinfu' lie,

And damu a' parties but your own; Set up a face, how I stop short,

I'll warrant then, ye’re nae deceiver, For fear your modesty be hurt.

A steady, sturdy, staunch believer. This may do--maun do, sir, wi' them wha

Oh ye wha leaves the springs o' Calvin, Maun please the great folk for a wamefou; For gumlie dubs of your ain delvin'! For me!--sae laigh I needna bow,

Ye sons of heresy and error, For, lord be thankit, I can plough;

Ye'll some day squeel in quaking terror And when I downa yoke a naig,

When Vengeance draws the sword in wrath, Then, Lord be thankit, I can beg;

And in the fire throws the sheath;
Sae I shall say, and that's nae flatt'rin', When Ruin, with his sweeping besom,
It's just sic poet, and sic patron.

Just frets, till heav'n commission gies The Poet, some guid angel help him,

him: Or else, I fear some ill ane skelp him, While o'er the harp pale Mis’ry moans, He may do weel for a' he's done yet, And strikes the ever-deep’ning tones, But only he's no just begun yet.

Still louder shrieks, and heavier groans! The Patron (sir, ye maun forgive me, Your pardon, Sir, for this digression, I wiuna lie, come what will o' me),

I maist forgat my dedication ; On ev'ry hand it will allowed be,

But when divinity comes cross me, He's justnae better than he should be. My readers still are sure to loss me.

(109)

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So, Sir, ye see 'twas nae daft vapour,

Drram. But I maturely thought it proper,

“ Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute When a my woaks I did review,

blames with reason: [treason." (110) To dedicate them, Sir, to you:

But surely dreams were ne'er indicted Because (ye need na tak it ill)

GUID-MORNIN' to your Majesty! I thought them something lik yoursel.

May Heaven augment your blisses, Then patronise them wi' your favour,

On ev'ry new birth-day ye see, And your petitioner shall ever

A humble poet wishes ! I had amaist said, ever pray,

My bardship here, at your levee, But that's a word I need na say:

On sic a day as this is, For prayin' I hae little skill o't;

Is sure an uncouth sight to see, I'm baith dead sweer, and wretched ill o't; Amang thae birth-day dresses But I'se repeat each poor man's pray'r,

Sae fine this day. That kens or hears about you, Sir-- I see ye're complimented thrang, “May ne'er misfortune's growling bark,

By many a lord and lady;

“God save the king ! " 's a cuckoo sang Howl thro’ the dwelling o' the clerk !

That's unco easy said aye; May ne'er his gen’rous, honest heart,

The poets, too, a venal gang, For that same gen'rous spirit smart!

117 rhymes weel-turn’d and ready, May Kennedy's far-honour'd name

Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang,
Lang beet his hymeneal flame,
Till Hamiltons, at least a dizen,

But aye unerring steady,

On sic a day.
Are by their canty fireside risen:
Five bonnie lasses round their table,

For me! before a monarch's face,
And seven braw fellows, stout and able

Ev'n there I winna flatter ; To serve their king and country weel,

For neither pension, post, nor place, By word, or pen, or pointed steel !

Am I your humble debtor: May health and peace, with mutual rays,

So, nae reflection on your grace, Shine on the ev'ning o’his days,

Your kingship to bespatter; Till his wee curlie John's ier-ve,

There's moliy vaur been o' the race, When ebbing life nae nair shall flow,

And aiblms ane been better The last, sad, mournful rites bestow."

Than you this day,

'Tis very true, my sov'reign king, I will not wind a lang conclusion,

My skill may weel be doubted: With complimentary effusion :

But facts are chiels that winna ding, But whilst your wishes and endeavours

And downa be disputed: Are blest with fortune's smiles and favours,

Your royal nest, beneath your wing, I am, dear Sir, with zeal most fervent,

Is e'en right reft and clouted, Your much indebted, humble servant.

And now the third part of the string, But if (which pow'rs above prevent)

And less, will gang about it That iron-hearted carl, Wanit,

Than did ae day. Attended in his grim advances,

Far be't frae me that I aspire By sad mistakes and black mischances,

To blame your legislation, While hopes, and joys, and pleasures ily

pleasures Av Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire,

To rule this mighty nation! Make you as poor a dog as I am,

But faith! I muckle doubt, my sire, Your humble servant then no more;

Ye've trusted ministration For who would humbly serve the poor!

To chaps, wha, in a barn or byre, But, by a poor man's hopes in Heav'n!

Wad better fill'd their station While recollection's power is giv'n,

Than courts yon day. If, in the vale of humble life,

And now ye've gien auld Britain peace; The victim sad of fortune's strife,

Her broken shins to plaister ; I, thro' the tender gushing tear,

Your sair taxation does her fleece,
Should recognise my master dear,

Till she has scarce a tester;
If friendless, low, we meet together, For me, thank God, my life's a lease,
Then, Sir, your hand my friend and bro. / Nae bargain wearing faster,
ter.

Or, faith! I fear, that, wi' the geese,
I shortly boost to pasture

I' the craft some day.

him,

I'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt,

But first hang out, that she'll discern When taxes he enlarges,

Your hymeneal charter, (And Will's a true guid fallow's get (111) | Then heave aboard your grapple airn, A name not envy spairges),

And, large upon her quarter,
That he intends to pay your debt,

Come full that day.
And lessen a' your charges;
But, G-d-sake! let nae saving-fit

Ye, lastly, bonnie blossoms a',

Ye royal lasses dainty,
Abridge your bonnie barges (112)

Heav'n mak ye guid as well as braw,
And boats this day.

And gie you lads a-plenty:
Adieu, my liege! may freedom geck

But sneer na British boys awa', Beneath your high protection ;

For kings are unco scant eye; And may ye rax corruption's neck,

And German gentles are but sma', And gie her for dissection!

They're better just than want aye
But since I'm here, I'll no neglect,

On onie day.
In loyal, true affection,
To pay your Queen, with due respect,

God bless you a'! consider now,
My fealty and subjection

Ye're unco muckle dautet;
This great birth-day. But ere the course o' life be thro',

It may be bitter sautet:
Hail, Majesty Most Excellent!

And I hae seen their coggie fou, While nobles strive to please ye,

That yet hae tarrow't at it; Will ye accept a compliment

But or the day was done, I trow,
A simple poet gies you ?

The luggen they hae clautet
Thae bonnie bairntime, Heav'n has lent,
Still higher may they heeze ye

Fu' clean that day.
In bliss, till fate some day is sent,
For ever to release ye
Frae care that day.

. Bard's Epitaph.
For you, young potentate o' Wales,
I tell your Highness fairly,

Is there a whim-inspired fool, Down pleasure's stream, wi' swelling sails,

Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule, I'm tauld ye're driving rarely;

Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool, But some day ye may gnaw your nails,

Let him draw near; And curse your folly sairly,

And owre this grassy heap sing dool, That e'er ye brak Diana's pales,

And drap a tear. Or rattľ'd dice wi’ Charlie (113), | Is there a bard of rustic song, By night or day.

Who, noteless, steals the crowds among, Yet aft a ragged cowte's been known

That weekly this area throng, To mak a noble aiver ;

Oh, pass not by! So, ye may doucely fill a throne,

But, with a frater-feeling strong,
For a' their clish-ma-claver:

Here, heave a sigh.
There, him at Agincourt wha shone, Is there a man, whose judgment clear,
Few hetter were or braver ;

Can others teach the course to steer,
And yet, wi' funny, queer Sir John, Yet runs, himself, life's mad career,
He was an unco shaver

Wild as the wave;
For monie a day (114.) Here pause--and, through the starting tear,
For you, right rev'rend Osnaburg (115),

Survey this grave.
Nane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeter, The poor inhabitant below,
Altho' a ribbon at your lug,

Was quick to learn, and wise to know, Wad been a dress completer:

And keenly felt the friendly glow, As ye disown yon paughty dog

And softer flame; That bears the keys of Peter,

But thoughtless follies laid him low, Then, swith! and get awife to hug,

And stain'd his name! Or, trouth! ye'll stain the mitre, Reader, attend—whether thy soul Some luckless day.

Soar's fancy's flights beyond the pole,
Young, royal Tarry Breeks (116), I learn, Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
Ye've lately come athrawt her;

In low pursuit ;
A glorious galley (117), stem and stern, Know, prudent, cautious self-control
Weel rigg'd for Venus' barter;

Is wisdom's root.

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The Twa Dogs,

He rises when he likes himsel;

His flunkies answer at the bell;
A TALE. (118)

He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse;

He draws a bonnie silken purse "Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle

As lang's my tail, whare, through the steeks, That bears the name o'Auld King Coil (119), Upon a bonnie day in June,

The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks. When wearing through the afternoon,

Frae morn to e’en its nought but toiling, Twa dogs that were na thrang at hame, At baking, roasting, frying, boiling; Forgather'd ance upon a time.

And though the gentry first are stechin,

Yet e'en the ha' folk fill their pechan The first I'll name, they ca'd him Cæsar,

Wi' sauce, ragouts, and sic like trashtrie: Was keepit for his honour's pleasure;

That's little short o downright wastrie. His hair, his size, his mouth, his lugs,

Our whipper-in, wee blastit wonner, Show'd he was nane o' Scotland's dogs;

Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner, But whalpit some place far abroad,

Better than ony tenant man Whare sailor's gang to fish for cod.

His hanour has in a' the lan'; His locked, letter'd, braw brass collar

And what poor cot-folk pit their painch in, Show'd him the gentleman and scholar;

I own its past my comprehension. But though he was o' high degree,

LUATH. The fient a pridem-nae pride had he;

Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fash't enough; But wad hae spent an hour caressin',

A cotter howkin' in a sheugh, E'en wi' a tinkler-gipsy's messin'.

Wi' dirty stanes biggin' a dyke, At kirk or market, mill or smiddie,

Baring a quarry, and sic like; Nae tawted tvke, though ere sae duddie,

Himself, a wife, he thus sustains, But he wad stan't, as glad to see him,

A smytrie o' wee duddie weans, And stroan't on stanes and hillocks wi' him.

And nought but his han’dark, to keep The tither was a ploughman's collie,

Them right and tight in thack and rape. A rhyming, ranting, raving billie, Wha for his friend and comrade had him,

And when they meet wi' sair disasters, And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him,

Like loss o' health, or want o'masters, After some dog in Highland sang (120),

Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer, Was made lang syne-Lord knows how lang.

And they maun starve o' cauld or hunger; He was a gash and faithful tyke,

But, how it comes, I never kenn'd yet, As ever lap or sheugh or dyke.

Theyre' maistly wonderfu' contented : His honest, sonsie, baws'nt face,

And buirdly chiels, and clever hizzies, Aye gat him friends in ilka place,

Are bred in sic a way as this is. His breast was white, his touzie back

C.ESAR. Weel clad wi' coat o' glossy black;

But then to see how ye're neglecit, His gaucie tale, wi' upward curl,

How huff'd, and cuff'd, and disrespeckit! Hung o'er his hurdies wi' a swirl.

1-d, man, our gentry care as little Nae doubt but they were fain o'ither,

For delvers, ditchers, and sic cattle; And unco pack and thick thegither :

They gang as saucy by poor folk, Wi' social nose whyles snuftd and snowkit.

As I wad by a stinkin' brock. Whyles mice and moudieworts they howkit;

I've notic'd, on our Laird's court-day, Whyles scour'd awa in lang excursion,

And mony a time my heart's been wae, And worried ither in diversion;

Poor tenant bodies, scant o'cash, Until wi' daffin' weary grown,

How they maun thole a factor's snash; Upon a knowe they sat them down,

He'll stamp and threaten, curse and swear, And there began a lang digression

He'll apprehend them, poind their gear; About the lords o' the creation.

While they maun stan', wi' aspect humble,

And hear it a', and fear and tremble! CÆSAR.

I see how folk live that hae riches; I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath,

But surely poor folk maun be wretches ! What sort o' life poor dogs like you have;

LUATH.
And when the gentry's life I saw,
What way poor bodies liv'd ava.

They're no sae wretched's ane wad think;

Tho' constantly on poortith's brink : Our laird gets in his racked rents,

They're sae accustom'd wi' the sight, His coals, his kain, and a' his stents; | The view o't gies them little fright.

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