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VERSES WRITTEN AT SELKIRK.
Can yield ava,
Her darling bird that she lo'es best,
O Willie was a witty wight,8
And trig an' braw:1
But now they'll buskk her like a fright,
The stiffest o' them a' he bow'd,
We 've lost a birkiem weel worth gowd
Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks and fools,"
He who could brush them down to mools,
The brethren o' the Commerce-chaumer
Amang them a';
I fear they'll now mak mony a stammer,
c To William Creech, Esq. Edinburgh, author of Fugitive Pieces,' &c. and the Poet's worthy publisher.
e Dressed. At all. g A superior genius. i Spruce and fine. k Dress. Frightened.
m Clever fellow. n Foolish, thoughtless young persons.
à Very great.
p A small wood in a hollow.
The Chamber of Cominerce of Edinburgh, of which Mr. C.
Nae mair we see his levee door
In bloody raw!
The adjutant o' a' the score,
Willie 's awa!
Now worthy Gregory's Latin face,
As Rome ne'er saw;
They a' maunt meet some ither place,
Poor Burns-e'en Scotch drink canna quicker,
Grief's gien his heart an unco kickin',
Now ev'ry sour-mou'd, girnin'a blellum,b
His quill may draw;
He wha could brawliee ward their bellum,'
Up wimpling, stately Tweed I 've sped,
But ev'ry joy and pleasure 's fled,
May I be slander's common speech;
A text for infamy to preach;
Many literary gentlemen were accustomed to meet at Mr
C's house at breakfast.
w Mother. r Brood.
c People. Their ill nature.
y The pewit-gull. z Given. talking fellow.
a Grinning. b A
And, lastly, streekith out to bleach
When I forget thee! Willie Creech,
May never wicked fortune touzle him!
Then to the blessed, new Jerusalem,
THEE, Caledonia, thy wild heaths among-
Beneath that hallow'd turf where Wallace lies!
Nor give the coward secret breath.-
One quench'd in darkness like the sinking star, And one the palsied arm of tottering, powerless age.
THE VOWELS.-A TALE.
'Twas where the birch and sounding thong are
Upon a time, Sir Abece the great,
His awful chair of state resolves to mount,
First enter'd A, a grave, broad, solemn wight, But, ah! deform'd, dishonest to the sight! His twisted head look'd backward on his way, And flagrant from the scourge, he grunted, ai! Reluctant, E stalk'd in; with piteous grace The justling tears ran down his honest face! That name, that well-worn name, and all his own, Pale he surrenders at the tyrant's throne! The pedant stifles keen the Roman sound Not all his mongrel diphthongs can compound; And next the title following close behind, He to the nameless, ghastly wretch assign'd. The cobweb'd gothic dome resounded Y! In sullen vengeance, I, disdain'd reply: The pedant swung his felon cudgel round, And knock'd the groaning vowel to the ground! In rueful apprehension enter'd O, The wailing minstrel of despairing woe; Th' Inquisitor of Spain the most expert, Might there have learnt new mysteries of his art So grim, deform'd, with horrors entering U, His dearest friend and brother scarcely knew! As trembling U stood staring all aghast, The pedant in his left hand clutch'd him fast, In helpless infant's tears he dipp'd his right, Baptiz'd him eu, and kick'd him from his sight.
Inscribed to the Right Hon. C. J. Fox.
How wisdom and folly meet, mix, and unite; How virtue and vice blend their black and their
How genius, the illustrious father of fiction,
Confounds rule and law, reconciles contradiction-
1 sing: If these mortals, the critics, should bustle, I care not, not I, let the critics go whistle. [glory But now for a patron, whose name and whose At once may illustrate and honour my story.
Thou first of our orators, first of our wits; Yet whose parts and acquirements seem mere lucky hits;
With knowledge so vast, and with judgment so strong,
No man with the half of 'em e'er went far wrong;
For using thy name offers fifty excuses.
Good L-d, what is man! for as simple he looks, Do but try to develope his hooks and his crooks; With his depths and his shallows, his good and his evil,
All in all he 's a problem must puzzle the devil.
Some sort all our qualities each to its tribe, And think human nature they truly describe; Have you found this, or t'other? there's more in
As by one drunken fellow his comrades you'll find.