Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The nappy reeks, wi' mantling ream,
An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam;
The luntin pipe, an' sneeshin mill,
Are handed round wi' right gude will;
The cantie auld folks crackin crouse,
The young anes ranting thro' the house
My heart has been sae fain to see their
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them.

Still it's owre true that ye hae said,
Sic game is now owre aften played.
There's monie a creditable stock
O'decent, honest fawsont folk,
Are riven out, baith root and branch,
Some rascal's pridfu' greed to quench.
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster
In favor wi' some gentle Master,
Wha, aiblins, thrang a-parliamentin,
For Britain's guid his saul indentin

CESAR,

[ocr errors]

Haith, lad, ye little ken about it.
For Britain's guid! guid faith! I doubt it;
Say, rather, gaun as Premiers lead him,
An' saying aye or no's they bid him:
At operas an' plays parading ;
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading;
Or, may be, in a frolic daft,
To Hague or Calais takes a waft;
To make a tour, an' tak a whirl,
To learn bon ton an' see the wor!'.

[ocr errors]

There, at Vienna or Versailles,
He rives his father's auld entrails;
Or by Madrid he takes the rout

To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowt;
Or down Italian vista startles,
Wh-re-hunting among groves o' myrtles
Then bouses drumbly German water
To mak himsel look fa.r and fattor,
An' clear the consequential sorrows,
Love-gifts of Carnival signoras.
For Britain's guid! for her destruction !
Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.

LUATH.

Hech man! dear sirs! is that the gate
They waste sae mony a braw estate ?
Are we sae foughten an' harass'd
For gear to gang that gate at last ?

O, would they stay aback frae courts,
An' please themselves wi' countra sports,
It wad for every ane be better,
The Laird, the Tenant, an' the Cotter !
For thae frank, rantin, ramblin billies,
Fient haet o' them's ill-hearted fellows!
Except for breakin o' their timmer,
Or speakin lightly o’ their limmer,
Or shootin o' a hare or moor-cock,
The ne'er a bit they're ill to poor folk.

But will you tell me, Master Cæsar, Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure ? Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them, The vera thought o't need na fear them.

CAESAR

L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.

BURNS'S POEMS.

It's true, they need nae starve or swealy Thro' winter's cauld or simmer's heat ; They've nae sair wark to craze their banen, An' fill auld age wi' grips an' granes : But human bodies are sic fools, For a' their colleges and schools, That when nae seal ills perplex them, They make enow themsels to vex them; An' ay the less they hae to sturt them, In like proportion less will hurt them. A country-fellow at the pleugh, His acres till'n, he's right eneugh; A country girl at her wheel, Her dizzen's done, she's unco veel : But Gentlemen, and Ladies warst, Wi' ev'n down want o' wark are curst. They loiter, lounging, lank, and lazy; Tho' deil haet ails them, yet uneasy ; Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless; Their nights unquiet, lang, and restless : An' e'en their sports, their balls, an' races, Their galloping thro’ public places. There's sic parade, sic pomp, an' art, The joy can scarcely reach the heart. The men cast out in party matches, Then sowther a' in deep debauches ; Ae night they're mad wi’ drink an' wh-ring Niest day their life is past enduring. The ladies, arm-in-arm in clusters, As great and gracious a' as sisters; But hear their absent thoughts o'ither, They're a' run deils an' jades thegither! Whyles o'er the wee bit cup an' platie, They sip the scandal potion pretty ; Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks,

Pore owre the devil's pictur'd beuks ,
Stake on a chance a farmer's stackyard,
An' cheat like ony unhang'd blackguard.

There's some exception, man an' woman,
But this is gentry's life in common.

By this, the sun was out o' sight,
An' darker gloaming brought the night.
The bum-clock humm'd wi' lazy drone;
The kye stood routin i the loan;
When up they gat, and shook their lugs,
Rejoiced they were nae men, but dogs ;
An' each took aff his several way,
Resolved to meet some ither day.

THE BRIGS OF AYR

A POEM.

Inscribed to J. B*********, Esq., Ayr.

The simple Bard, rough at the rustic plough,
Learning his tuneful trade from every bough;
The chanting linnet, or the mellow thrush,
Hailing the setting sun, sweet, in the green thorn bush
The soaring lark, the perching red-breast shrill,
Or deep-ton'd plovers, gray, wild-whistling o'er the hill
Shall he, nurst in the peasant's lowly shed,
To hardy independence bravely bred,
By early poverty to hardship steella,
And train'd to arms in stern Misfortune's field;

[blocks in formation]

Shalı we be guilty of their hireling crimes,
The servile, mercenary Swiss of rhymes ?
Or labor hard the panegyric close,
With all the venal soul of dedicating prose?
No! though his artless strains he rudely sings,
And throws his hand uncouthly o'er the strings,
Ile glows with all the spirit of the Bard,
Fame, honest fame, his great, his dear reward !
Still, if some patron's gen'rous care he trace,
Skill'd in the secret to bestow with grace;
When B********* befriends his humble name,
And hands the rustic stranger up to faine,
With heart-felt throes his grateful bosom swells,
The godlike bliss, to give, alone excels.

#

'Twas when the stacks get on their winter-hap And thack and rape secure the toil-worn crap; Potato-bings are snugged up frae skaith Of coming Winter's biting, frosty breath ; The bees, rejoicing o'er their summer toils, Unnumber'd buds an' flowers' delicious spoils, Seal'd up, with frugal care, in massive waxen piles. Are doom'd by man, that tyrant o'er the weak, The death of devils smoor'd wi' brimstone reek; The thundering guns are heard on ev'ry side, The wounded coveys, reeling, scatter wide; The feather'd field-mates, bound by nature's tie, Sires, mothers, children, in one carnage lie: (What warm, poetic heart, but inly bleeds, And execrates man's savage, ruthless deeds!) Nae mair the flow'r in field or meadow springs; Nae mair the grove with airy concert rings, Except, perhaps, the robin's whistling glee, Proud o' the height o' some bit half-land tree

[ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »