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Forjesket sair, with weary legs, Rattlin the corn out-owre the rigs, Or dealing thro' amang the naigs

Their ten hours bite, My awkart muse sair pleads and begs,

I would na write.

The tapetless ramfeezl'd hizzie,
She's saft at best, and something lazy,
Quo' she, “Ye ken we've been sae busy,

• This month an' mair, * That trouth my head is grown right dizzie,

* An' something sair.'

Her dowff excuses pat, me mad ; *Conscience,' says I, “ye thowless jad! * I'll write, an' that a hearty blaud,

. This vera night; “So dinna ye affront your trade,

• But rhyme it right.


Shall bauld Lapraik, the king o'hearts, • Tho' mankind were a pack o cartes, • Roose you sae weel for your deserts,

In terms sae friendly, * Yet ye'll neglect to shaw your parts,

• An' thank him kindly!'

Sae I gat paper in a blink,
An' down gaed stumpie in the ink:
Quoth 1, ‘Before I sleep a wink,

• I vow I'll close it; • An' if ye winna mak it clink,

* By Jove I'll prose it!'

Sae I've begun to scrawl, but whether
In rhyme, or prose, or baith thegitber,
Or some hotch-potch that's rightly neither,

Let time mak proof ; But I shall scribble down some blether

Just clean aff-loof.

My worthy friend, ne'er grudge an' carp, Tho' fortune use you hard an’ sharp ; Come, kittle up your moorland harp

Wi' gleesome touch! Ne'er mind how fortune waft anwarp:

She's but a b-tch.

She's gien me monie a jirt an' fleg,
Sin' I could striddle owre a rig ;
But, by the L-d, tho' I should beg

Wi' lyart pow,
I'll laugh, an' sing, an' shake my leg,

As lang 's 1 dow!

Now comes the sax an' twentieth simmer I've seen the bud upo' the timmer, Still persecuted by the limmer

Frae year to year; But yet, despite the kittle kimmer,

I, Rob, am here.

Do ye envy the city Gent,
Behint a kist to lie and sklent,
Or purse-proud, big wi' cent. per. cent,

And muckle wame, In some bit brugh to represent

A Bailie's name?

Or is 't the paughty, feudal Thane,
Wi' rufi'd sark an' glancing cane,
Wha thinks himsel nae sheep-shank bane,

But lordly stalks,
While caps and bonnets aff are taen,

As by he walks ?

O Thou wha gies us each guid gift! Gie me o' wit an' sense a lift, “Then turn me, if Thou please, adrift,

• Thro' Scotland wide; Wi' cits nor lairds I wadna shift,

'In a' their pride!

Were this the charter of our state, On pain o'hell be rich an’ great,' Damnation then would be our fate,

Beyond remead; But, thanks to Heav'n! that's no the gate

We learn our creed,

For thus the royal mandate ran, When first the human race began, “The social, friendly, honest man,

Whate'er he be, 'Tis he fulfils great Nature's plan,

An' none but he!!!

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O mandate glorious and divine !
The ragged followers of the Nine,
Poor, thoughtless devils ! yet may shine

In glorious light,
While sordid sons of Mammon's line

Are dark as night.

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Tho'here they scrape, an' squeeze, an'growi, Their worthless nievefu' of a soul May in some future carcass bowl,

The forest's fright; Or in some day-detesting owl

May shun the light.

Then may Lapraik and Burns arise,
To reach their native, kindred skies,
And sing their pleasures, hopes, an' joys,

In some mild sphere,
Still closer knit in friendship’s ties,

Each passing year.

TO W. S*****N,


May, 1785 I GAT your letter, winsome Willie ; Wi' gratefu’ heart I thank you brawlie; Tho’I maun say't, I wad be silly,

An' unco vain, Should I believe, my coaxin billie,

Your flatterin strain.

But I'se believe ye kindly meant it, I sud be laith to think ye hinted Ironic satire, sidelins sklented

On my poor Musie; Tho’in sic phraisin terms ye’ve penn'd it,

I scarce excuse ye.

My senses wad be in a creel, Should I but dare a hope to speel, Wi' Allan or wiGilbertfield,

The braes o' fame; Or Fergusson, the writer-chiel,

A deathless name.

(O Fergusson ! thy glorious parts Ill suited law's dry, musty arts ! My curse upon your whunstane hearts,

Ye Enbrugh Gentry! The tythe o' what ye waste at cartes,

Wad stow'd his pantry!)

Yet when à tale comes i' my head,
Or lasses gie my heart a screed,
As whyles they're like to be my deed,

(0 sad disease !) I kittle up my rustic reed;

It gies me ease.

Auld Coila now may fidge fu' fain,
She's gotten Poets o’ her ain,
Chiels wha their chanters winna hain,

But tune their lays,
Till echoes a' resound again

Her weel-sung praise.

Nae poet thought her worth his while,
To set her name in measur'd style ;
She lay like some unkenn'd of isle

Beside New-Holland,
Or whare wild-meeting oceans boil

Besouth Magellan.

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