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I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath,
Our Laird gets in his racked rents,
Frae morn to e'en its nought but toiling,
Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fash't enough ; A cottar howkin in a sheugh,
Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke,
An' when then meet wi' sair disasters, Like loss o' health, or want a' masters, Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer, An' they maun starve o cauld and hunger ; But, how it comes, I never ken'd yet, They're maistly wonderfu' contented ; An' buirdly chiels, an' clever hizzies, Are bred in sic a way as this is.
CESAR. But then to see how ye're negleckit, How huff'd, and cuff'd, and disrespeckit! L-d man, our gentry care as little For delvers, ditchers, an' sic cattle; They gang as saucy by poor fo’k, As I wad by a stinking brock.
P've notic'd on our Laird's court-day, An' mony a time my heart's been wae, Poor tenant bodies, scant o' cash, How they maun thole a factor's gnash: He'll stamp an' threaten, curse an’ swear, He'll apprehend them, poind their gear;
e they maun stan', wi' aspect humble,
ar it a', an' fear an' tremble !
I see how folk live that hae riches ; But surely poor folk maun be wretches?
Then chance an' fortune are sae guided,
The dearest comfort o' their lives, Their grushie weans an' faithfu' wives; The prattling things are just their pride, That sweetens a' their fire-side.
An whyles twalpennie worth o' nappy
As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returns,
That merry day the year begins, They bar the door on frosty winds ; The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream, An’ sheds a heart-inspiring steam'; The luntin pipe, an' sneeshin mill, Are handed round wi' right guid will ; The cantie auld folks crackin crouse, The young anes rantin thro' the house, My heart has been sae fain to see them, That I for joy hae barkit wi' them.
Still its owre true that ye hae said, Sic game is now owre aften play'd. There's monie a creditable stock O’descent, honest fawsont fo’k, Are riven out baith root and branch, Some rascal's pridefu'greed to quench, Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster In favour wi’some gentle Master, Wha' aiblins, thrang a parliamentin, For Britain's guid his saul indentin
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”.
There, at Vienna or Versailles He rives his father's auld entails; Or by Madrid he takes the rout, To thrum guitars, and fetch wi' nowt ; Or down Italian vista startles, Wh-re-hunting among groves o' myrtles: Then bouses drumly German water, To mak himsel look fair and fatter, An' clear the consequential sorrows, Love-gifts of Carnival signoras. For Britain's guid! for her detruction ! Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.
O would they stay aback frac courts,
But will ye tell me, Master Cesar, Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure ? Nae cauld nor hunger e'er can steer them, The vera thought o't need na fear them.