« AnteriorContinuar »
EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.
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,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,
And muckle they may grieve ye:
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.
I'll no say men are villains a':
The real, harden'd wicked,
| 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,
It's rarely right adjusted!
Yet they wha fa’ in fortune's strife,
Their fate we should na censure,
For still th' important end of life,
They equally may answer;
A man may hae an honest heart,
Tho'poortith hourly stare him;
A man may tak a neibor's part.
Yet hae no cash to spare him,
Aye free, aff han, your story tell,
When wi' a bosom crony; On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
But still keep something to yoursel
Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can
Frae critical dissection;
But keek through ev'ry other man,
The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Tho' naething should divulge it:
I waive the quantum o' the sin,
Full on thy bloom,
To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her;
That's justified by honour;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.
To haud the wretch in order ;
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,
What ance he says he winna break it;
Till aft his goodness is abus'd;
And rascals whyles that do him wrang, For Deity offended!
Ev'n that, he does na mind it lang :
As master, landlord, husband, father,
He does na fail his part in either.
But then, nae thanks to him for a' that; It may be little minded;
Nae godly symptom ye can ca’ that;
Of our poor sinfu', corrupt nature:
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
Abuse a brother to his back; 1 Deùiration to Ganin Hamilton, Esq.
Seal thro' a winnock frae a wh-re,
Be to the poor like ony whunstane,
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;
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.
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,
But aye unerring steady,
On sic a day.
For me! before a monarch's face,
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,
Till she has scarce a tester;
Or, faith! I fear, that, wi' the geese,
I' the craft some day.
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,
Come full that day.
Ye, lastly, bonnie blossoms a',
Ye royal lasses dainty,
Heav'n mak ye guid as well as braw,
And gie you lads a-plenty:
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
On onie day.
God bless you a'! consider now,
Ye're unco muckle dautet;
It may be bitter sautet:
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,
The luggen they hae clautet
Fu' clean that day.
. Bard's Epitaph.
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,
Here, heave a sigh.
Can others teach the course to steer,
Wild as the wave;
Survey this grave.
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,
In low pursuit ;
Is wisdom's root.
The Twa Dogs,
He rises when he likes himsel;
His flunkies answer at the bell;
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;
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.