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Cauld blew tie bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth

Amid the storm,
Scai ce rear'd above the parent earth

Thy tender form.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High shelt'ring woods and wa's maun shield :
But thou, beneath the random bield

O clod or stane,
Adorn the histie stibble-field,

Unseen, alane.
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sun-ward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head,

In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed

And low thou lies!

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Such is the fate of artless maid, Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade! By love's simplicity betray'd,

And guileless trust, Till she, like thee, all soil'd, is laid

Low i' the dust.

Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless starr'd!
Unskilful he to note the card

Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,

And whelm him o'er !

Ye'll try the world fir' soon, my lad,

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,

Ev'n when your end's attained ; And a' your views may come to nought,

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,

Are to a few restricked
But, och! mankind are unco weak,

And little to be trusted ;
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;
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,

Wi’ sharpen'd, sly inspection.
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,

The hazard of concealing; But, och! it hardens a' within,

And petrifies the feeling! To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,

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

That's justified by honour; Not for to hide it in a hedge,

Nor for a train-attendant,
But for the glorious privilege

Of being independent.
The fear o' hell's a hangman's whip

To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,
Let that


be your border: Its slightest touches, instant pause

Debar a' side pretences; And resolutely keeps its laws,

Uncaring consequences.

Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n,
Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,
By human pride or cunning driy'n

To mis’ry's brink,
Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heav'n,

He, ruin'd, sink !
Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine-no distant date;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,

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

Shall be thy doom.

Epistle to a Vonng Friend.

MAY, 1796. (108) I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to have sent you, Though it should serve nae other end

Than just a kind momento; But how the subject-theme may gang,

Let time and chance determine; Perhaps it may turu out a sang,

Perhaps turn out a sermon.

The great Creator to revere

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

He dowiia 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,

Ought he can lend he'll no refus't 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 driv'n, It's naething but a milder feature,
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,


Or hunter's wild on Ponotaxi, Adieu! dear, amiable youth

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 It's just a carnal inclination.

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!
No--stretch a point to catch a plack;

Abuse a brother to his back;
1 Dedication to Canin Hamilton, Esq. Seal thro’ a winnock frae a wh-re,

But point the rake that taks the door ; (109)

Be to the poor like ony whunstane,

And haud their noses to the grunstane, EXPECT na, sir, in this narration, A fleeching, fleth'rin dedication,

Ply ev'ry art o' legal thieving! To roose you up, 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 shcrt,

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 heg ;

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 just-nae better than he should be. My readers still are sure to loss me.


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

SL . 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 wishies ! 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


aye ; May ne'er his gen'rous, honest heart,

The poets, too, a venal gang,
For that same gen’rous spirit smart!
May Kennedy's far-honour'd name

Wi' rhymes weel-turn’d and ready,

Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wraug, Lang beet his hymeneal flame,

But aye unerring steady,
Till Hamiltons, at least a dizen,

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

Ey’n there I wima 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 vee curlie John's ier-ve,

There's moliy waur been o' the race,

Aud aiblms ane been better
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow,
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 een 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, Want,

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 fly Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire, him,

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,

Wad better fill'd their station
But, by a poor man's hopes in Heav'n!
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,

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

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,
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',
Abridge your bonnie barges (112)

Ye royal lasses dainty,
And boats this day.

Heav'n mak ye guid as well as braw,

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!
While nobles strive to please ye,

And I hae seen their coggie fou,

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,

Fu clean that day.
Still higher may they heeze ye
In bliss, till fate some day is sent,
For ever to release ye
Frae care that day.

1 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,

Let him draw near ;
But some day ye may gnaw your nails,
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 rattl'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 better 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,

Survey this grave.
For you, right rev'rend Osnaburg (115),

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.




The Twa Dugs,

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 That bears the name o’Auld King. Coil (119), As lang's my tail, whare, through the steeks,

The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks. Upon a bonnie day in June, 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,
The fient a pride--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 tyke, 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,

And when they meet wi' sair disasters, Wha for his friend and comrade had him,

Like loss o'health, or want o' masters, And in his freaks had Luath ca'd him,

Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer,
After some dog in Highland sang (120),
Was made lang syne-Lord knows how lang. And they maun starve o'cauld or hunger;

But, how it comes, I never kenn'd yet,
He was a gash and faithful tyke,
As ever lap or sheugh or dyke.

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

And buirdly chiels, and clever hizzies,

Are bred in sic a way as this is.
Aye gat him friends in ilka place,
His breast was white, his touzie back
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 cuffd, 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 snuffd 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,

And Whyles scour'd awa in lang excursion,

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!

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 ; 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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