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Behint me clinks the gowden yett;
An' faith the psalms I sune forget
As doon the road I skelp sherp-set,
Past star an' planet,

Wi' thochts o' hame that bizz red-het
Aneath my bannet!

An' when I stap oot ower the cluds,-
There's Scotland yet! The birlin' fluds;
The broomy braes; the whusslin' wuds;
Gowans the same!

God! but my heart starts aff in thuds,
To ken I'm hame!

Saftly I daunder up an' doon
By Ayr an' Nith, by Embro' toon,
A licht-fit, liltin', hame-daft loon!
Ilk stream, ilk tree,

The mavis' sang, the cushie's croon,
Brings joy to me!

Yet Scotland's changed since first I kent it; The Gospel-faulds hae been augmentit;

The hypocrites hae a' repentit,

An' quat their quirks;

The auld black creeds hae been white-pentit In a' the kirks!

Nae mair frae pupits yerks a yell
O' God's damnation fierce an' fell;
A saft an' couthie tale they tell,
An' tell it quick;

They've sell't the guid auld brunstane Hell,
An' pensioned Nick!

A land o' saunts it would appear!
Stories o' death their daily cheer;
Whare ilk ane sits beside the Brier
Plantit by Ian;

Whare a' men drap the mild saut tear
Beloved in Zion.

Nae lad plays pliskie wi' a lass;
Nae fule tak's hame a stotterin' glass;
Nae stirk gangs furth a college-ass,—
Baalam's the mate o't;

The Lord kens hoo it comes to pass,
But that's the gate o't.

An' as for Bards,-they're scarce as brose!
But kailyaird gents, stript to the hose,
Keep dibble-dibblin' at the prose
For English stots;

An' Lun'on toon pays through the nose
In gowden groats!

Guid faith! I ken na wha can fash
To read sic screeds o' auld wives' clash;
The teary-weary, cantin' hash

Is nocht but haivers;

An' yet the birkies, prood an' gash,
Brag o' their clavers!

Leeze me on tales o' deils an' drink;
On canty sangs that jouk an' jink
Wi' rowth o' luve, wi' rowth o' clink!
But bards an' bottle,

Ballant an' sang, hae taen a kink
O' d-d teetotal!

As for mysel', I'm saunt or hog
In this man's praise, or that man's prog;
My very statues glower incog.,

For jaw an' nose is

As like this common, rough phizog
As I'm like Moses!

The critic-craws still bigg their hame
'Mong Robin's fauts, on Robin's fame;
Ilk rag-tag rhyme that bears his name
Is brocht their beak in;

An' a' his bits o' sin an' shame
Gang to the theekin'.

Deil roast sic craws an' a' their cawin'!

Their blame is stale, their praise is stawin';
When Robin drank he paid his lawin',
Sure that's weel kenned;

When Robin fell he mourned his faain',—
So there's an end!

Faith! if the truth maun be confest,

Auld Scotland's guid, but Heaven is best;
A body's frien's there stand the test
Withouten sham;

Guid fellows a' at crack the jest,
An' pass the dram.

Shakespeare, the king o' a' the core;
Byron, a deil to start a splore;
Shelley, whase gowden lilts galore
Keeps a' herps waitin';

Coleridge, whiles seraph,-whiles a bore,
Like Milton's Latin!

But Scott's the wale o' men for me,
Wi' pawkie Allan at his knee,

An' gleg James Hogg, wha thraws a wee
At burly Kit;

An' Louis, blythe of late cam' he,--
A' shanks an' wit.

Wi' siclike frien's Scotch saunts come sair;
Sae back to Scotland I'll nae mair;

For after Heaven I canna bear

Sic godly folk;

Then fareweel! daylicht's in the air,

An' there's the cock!


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