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AGAIN the silent wheels of time
Their annual round have driv'n,
And you, tho' scarce in maiden prime,
Are so much nearer Heav'n.

No gifts have I from Indian coasts
The infant year to hail;

I send you more than India boasts,
In Edwin's simple tale.

Our sex with guile and faithless love
Is charg'd, perhaps, too true;
But may, dear maid, each lover prove
An Edwin still to you!


MAY- -1786.

I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,
A something to have sent you,
Tho' it should serve nae ither end
Than just a kind memento;
But how the subject-theme may gang,
Let time and chance determine;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

Ye'll try the world soon, my lad,
And, Andrew dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,
And muckle they may grieve ye:
For care and trouble set your thought,
Ev'n when your end's attained;
And a' your views may come to nought
Where ev'ry nerve is strained.

I'll no say, men are villains a';
The real harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,
Are to a few restricked:

But och mankind are unco weak,

And little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted!

Yet they wha fa' in fortune's strife,
Their fate we shouldna censure,
For still th' important end of life
They equally may answer;
A man may hae an honest heart,
Tho' poortith hourly stare him;
A man may tak a neebor's part,
Yet hae nae cash to spare him.

Aye free, aff han' your story tell,
When wi' a bosom crony;
But still keep something to yoursel
Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can

Frae critical dissection;

But keek thro' ev'ry other man,
Wi' sharpen'd, slee inspection.

The sacred lowe o' weel-plac'd love,
Luxuriantly indulge it;

But never tempt th' illicit rove,
Tho' naething should divulge it;
I wave the quantum o' the sin,
The hazard o' concealing;
But och! it hardens a' within,
And petrifies the feeling!

To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,
Assiduous wait upon her;

And gather gear by ev'ry wile
That's justified by honour;
Not for to hide it in a hedge,

Nor for a train attendant;
But for the glorious privilege
Of being independent.

The fear o' hell's a hangman's whip
To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,
aye be your border;

Let that

Its slightest touches, instant pause-
Debar a' side pretences;
And resolutely keep its laws,
Uncaring consequences.

The great Creator to revere,

Must sure become the creature ;
But still the preaching cant forbear,
And ev❜n the rigid feature:

Yet ne'er with wits profane to range
Be complaisance extended;

An Atheist's laugh's a poor exchange
For Deity offended!

When ranting round in pleasure's ring,
Religion may be blinded;

Or if she gie a random sting,

It may be little minded;

But when on life we're tempest-driven,
A conscience but a canker-

A correspondence fix'd wi' Heav'n
Is sure a noble anchor!

Adieu, dear amiable youth!

Your heart can ne'er be wanting:

May prudence, fortitude, and truth

Erect your brow undaunting!

In ploughman phrase, God send you speed,' Still daily to grow wiser;

And may you better reck the rede,

Than ever did th' adviser!



A' YE wha live by soups o' drink,
A' ye wha live by crambo-clink,
A' ye wha live and never think,

Come mourn wi' me!

Our Billie's gien us a' a jink,

An' owre the sea,

Lament him a' ye rantin core,
Wha dearly like a random-splore,
Nae mair he'll join the merry roar
In social key;

For now he's taen anither shore,
An' owre the sea.

The bonnie lasses weel may wiss him,
And in their dear petitions place him:
The widows, wives, an' a' may bless him,
Wi tearfu' ee;

For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him
That's owre the sea.

O Fortune, they hae room to grumble!
Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy bummle,
Wha can do nought but fyke an' fumble,
"Twad been nae plea;

But he was gleg as ony wumble

That's owre the sea.

Auld cantie Kyle may weepers wear,
An' stain them wi' the saut, saut tear;
"Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear,
In flinders flee;

He was her laureate monie a year

That's owre the sea.

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