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Cauld blew tie bitter-biting north
Amid the storm,
Thy tender form.
O clod or stane,
In humble guise ;
And low thou lies!
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,
Of prudent lore,
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.
The real, harden'd wicked,
Are to a few restricked
And little to be trusted ;
It's rarely right adjusted!
Their fate we should na censure,
They equally may answer;
Tho' poortith hourly stare him ;
Yet hae no cash to spare him.
When wi' a bosom crony;
Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Frae critical dissection;
Wi’ sharpen'd, sly inspection.
Luxuriantly indulge it;
Tho'naething should divulge it:
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,
Of being independent.
To haud the wretch in order;
be your border: Its slightest touches, instant pause
Debar a' side pretences; And resolutely keeps its laws,
Such fate to suffering worth is giv'n,
To mis’ry's brink,
He, ruin'd, sink !
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,
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,
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 !
Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is
Abuse a brother to his back;
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;
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,
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,
On sic a day.
For me! before a monarch's face,
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
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
Than courts yon day.
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,
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: 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
On onie day.
God bless you a'! consider now,
Ye're unco muckle dautet;
But ere the course o' life be thro',
It may be bitter sautet:
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
Fu clean that day.
1 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,
Let him draw near ;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.
Is there a bard of rustic song,
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,
Wild as the wave;
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!
Reader, attend-whether thy soul
Soar's fancy's flights beyond the pole,
In low pursuit ;
Is wisdom's root.
The Twa Dugs,
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 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.
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 ;
Himself, a wife, he thus sustains,
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,
But, how it comes, I never kenn'd yet,
Theyre' maistly wonderfu' contented:
And buirdly chiels, and clever hizzies,
Are bred in sic a way as this is.
But then to see how ye're neglecit,
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,
I see how folk live that hae riches;
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.