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EPISTLE TO DAVIE,
A BROTHER POET.
[ David Sillar, one of the club at Tarbolton, and author of a volume of poems in the Scottish dialect.]
WHILE winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw,
And bar the doors wi' driving snaw,
And hing us owre the ingle,
I set me down to pass the time,
While frosty winds blaw in the drift,
I grudge a wee the great folks' gift,
I tent less, and want less
To see their cursed pride.
It's hardly in a body's pow'r,
How best o' chiels are whiles in want,
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head,
We're fit to win our daily bread,
As lang's we're hale and fier:
'Mair spierna, nor fearna ','
ne'er mind a feg,
The last o't, the warst o't,
Is only for to beg.
To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
When banes are craz'd, and bluid is thin, Is, doubtless, great distress!
Yet then content could mak us blest; Ev'n then, sometimes, we'd snatch a taste
Of truest happiness.
The honest heart that's free frae a'
Intended fraud or guile,
Nae mair then, we'll care then,
What tho', like commoners of air,
Yet nature's charms, the hills and woods,
In days when daisies deck the ground,
On braes when we please, then,
It's no in titles nor in rank;
It's no in wealth like Lon'on bank,
Nae treasures, nor pleasures,
That maks us right or wrang.
Think ye, that sic as you and I,
Wha drudge and drive thro' wet and dry,
Think ye, are we less blest than they,
Baith careless, and fearless
It's a' an idle tale!
Then let us cheerfu' acquiesce;
And, even should misfortunes come,
They mak us see the naked truth,
The real guid and ill.
Tho' losses, and crosses,
Be lessons right severe,
But tent me, Davie, ace o' hearts!
(To say ought less wad wrang the cartes, And flatt'ry I detest)
This life has joys for you and I;
And joys that riches ne'er could buy;
And joys the very best.
There's a' the pleasures o' the heart,
The lover an' the frien';
Ye hae your Meg, your dearest part,
It warms me, it charms me,
It heats me, it beets me,
And sets me a' on flame!
O all ye pow'rs who rule above;
Her dear idea brings relief
O hear my fervent pray'r;