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I've aften wonder'd, honest Luath,
What sort o' life poor dogs like you have ;
An' when the gentry's life I saw,
What way poor bodies liv'd ava.

Our Laird gets in his racked rents,
His coals, his kain, and a' his, stents :
He rises when he likes himsel;
His flunkies answer at the bell :
He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse ;
He draws a bonnie silken purse
As lang's my tail, whare, thro' the steeks,
The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks.

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Frae morn to e'en its nought but toiling,
At baking, roasting, frying, boiling ;
An' tho' the gentry first are stechin,
Yet ev’n the ha' folk fill their pechan
Wi' sauce, ragouts, and siclike trashtrie,
That's little short o' downright wastrie.
Our Whipper-in, wee blastit wonner,
Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner,
Better than ony tenant man
His Honour has in a' the lan':
An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in,
I own its past my comprehension.


Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fash't enough ; A cottar howkin in a sheugh,

Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke,
Baring a quarry, and sic like,
Himself, a wife, he thus sustains,
A smytrie o' wee duddie weans,
An' nought but his han' darg to keep
Them right and tight in thack an' rape.

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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?

They're nae sac wretched's ane wad think,
Tho' constantly on poortith's brink;
They're sae accustom'd wi' the sight,
The view o't gies them little fright.

Then chance an' fortune are sae guided,
They're ay in less or mair provided ;
An' tho' fatigu'd wi' close employment,
A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.

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
Can mak the bodies unco happy;
They lay aside their private cares,
To mind the kirk and state affairs :
They'll talk o' patronage and priests,
Wi' kindling fury in their breasts,
Or tell what new taxation's comin,
An' ferlie at the folk in Lon'on.

As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returns,
They get the jovial, ranting kirns,
When rural life, o' ev'ry station,
Unite in common recreation ;
Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth,
Forgets there's Care upo' the earth.

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.

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

O would they stay aback frac courts,
An' please themsels wi' countra sports,
It wad for ev'ry 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 bare or moor-cock,
The ne'er a bit they're ill to poor folk.

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.

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