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L-d man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy'em.
It's true, they need na starve or sweat, Thro’ winter's cauld, or simmer's heat; They've nae sair wark to craze their banes, An'fill auld age wi' grips an' granes: But human bodies are sic fools, For a' their colleges and schools, That when nae real ills perplex them, They make enow themselves 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’d, he's right enough ; A country girl at her wheel, Her dizzens done, she's unco weel: But Gentlemen, an' Ladies warst, Wi' ev'ndown want o'wark are curst. They loiter, lounging, lank, an' lazy; Tho' deil baet ails them, yet uneasy; Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless ; Their nights unquiet, lang an' 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,
There's some exception, man an’ woman; But this is Gentry's life in common.
By this the sun was out o’sight,
Gie him strong drink, until he wink,
That's sinking in despair;
That's prest wi' grief an' care ;
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Solomon's Proverbs, xxxi. 6, 7.
LET other Poets raise a fracas
An' grate our lug,
In glass or jug.
O thou, my Muse! guid auld Scotch drink : Whether thro'wimpling worms thou jink, Or, richly brown, ream o'er the brink,
In glorious faem, Inspire me, till I lisp and wink,
To sing thy name !
Let husky Wheat the haughs adorn,
Perfume the plain,
Thou king oʻgrain !
On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
Wi' kail an' beef ;
There thou shines chief.
Food fills the wame, an' keeps us livin ; Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin, When heavy dragg'd wi' pine an' grievin ;
But, oild by thee, The wheels o’ life gae down-hill, scrievin,
Wi' rattlin glee.
Thou clears the head o' doited Lear; Thou cheers the heart o' drooping Care; Thou strings the nerves o' Labour sair,
At's weary toil ; Thou even brightens dark Despair
Wi' gloomy smile.
Aft, clad in massy silver weed, Wi' Gentles thou erects thy head; Yet humbly kind in time o' need,
The poor man's wine, His wee drap parritch, or his bread,
Thou kitchens fine.
Thou art the life o' public haunts;
By thee inspir'd,
Are doubly fir'd.
That merry night we get the corn in, to
In cog or bicker,
An' gusty sucker!
When Vulcan gies his bellows breath, An' ploughmen gather wi' their graith, O rare ! to see thee fizz an' freath
l'th' lugget caup ! Then Burnewin* comes on like death
At ev'ry chaup.
Nae mercy, then, for airn or steel ; The brawnie, bainie, ploughman chiel, Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel,
The strong forehammer, Till block an’ studdie ring an' reel
Wi' dinsome clamour,
When skirlin weanies see the light, Thou maks the gossips clatter bright, How fumblin cuifs their dearies slight;
Wae worth the name ; Nae howdie gets a social night,
Or plack frae them.
When neebors anger at a plea, An' just as wud as wud can be, How easy can the barley-bree
* Burnewin-burnthe-wind-the Blacksmith-an appropriate title. E.