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The nappy reeks, wi' mantling ream,
Still it's owre true that ye hae said,
Haith, lad, ye little ken about it.
There, at Vienna or Versailles,
To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowt;
Hech man! dear sirs! is that the gate
O, would they stay aback frae courts,
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.
L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.
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 ,
There's some exception, man an' woman,
By this, the sun was out o' sight,
THE BRIGS OF AYR
Inscribed to J. B*********, Esq., Ayr.
The simple Bard, rough at the rustic plough,
Shalı we be guilty of their hireling crimes,
'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