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O Life! how pleasant in thy morning,
Like school-boys, at th' expected warning,
We wander there, we wander here,
Among the leaves;
And tho' the puny wound appear,
Short while it grieves.
Some, lucky, find a flow'ry spot,
But care or pain;
And, haply, eye the barren hut
Wi' high disdain.
Wi' steady aim, some fortune chase;
And seize the prey:
Then cannie, in some cozie place,
They close the day.
And others, like your humble servan',
They zig-zag on;
"Till curst wi' age, obscure an' starvin,
They aften groan.
Alas! what bitter toil an' straining-
E'en let her gang!
Beneath what light she has remaining,
Let's sing our sang.
My pen I here fling to the door,
And kneel, 'Ye Pow'rs!' and warm implore, "Tho' I should wander terra o'er,
In all her climes,
Grant me but this, I ask no more,
Aye rowth o' rhymes.
'Gie dreeping roasts to countra lairds,
And yill an' whisky gie to cairds,
Until they sconner.
'A title, Dempster merits it;
A garter gie to Willie Pitt;
Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit,
In cent per cent.
But gie me real, sterling wit,
And I'm content.
'While ye are pleas'd to keep me hale,
Wi' cheerfu' face,
As lang's the Muses dinna fail
To say the grace.'
An anxious ee I never throws
Sworn foe to sorrow, care,
I rhyme away.
O ye douce folk, that live by rule, Grave, tideless-blooded, calm, and cool, Compar'd wi' you-O fool! fool! fool! How much unlike!
Your hearts are just a standing pool, Your lives, a dyke!
Nae hair-brain'd, sentimental traces
Ye never stray,
But, gravissimo, solemn basses
Ye hum away.
Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise; Nae ferly tho' ye do despise
The hairum-scairum, ram-stam boys,
The rattlin squad:
I see you upward cast your eyes
-Ye ken the road.
Whilst I-but I shall haud me thereWi' you I'll scarce gang ony where— Then, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,
But quat my sang,
Content wi' you to mak a pair,
Whare'er I gang.
Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute blames with reason;
On reading, in the public papers, the Laureate's Ode, with the other parade of June 4, 1786, the author was no sooner dropt asleep, than he imagined himself transported to the birth-day levee; and, in his dreaming fancy, made the following Address.
GUID-MORNIN to your Majesty !
My bardship here, at your levee,
Is sure an uncouth sight to see;
Sae fine this day.
I see ye're complimented thrang,
That's unco easy said aye;
The poets, too, a venal gang,
Wi' rhymes weel-turn'd and ready,
On sic a day.
For me! before a monarch's face,
There's monie waur been o' the race,
And aiblins ane been better
Than you this day.
'Tis very true, my sov'reign king,
Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
Than did ae day.
Far be't frae me that I aspire
Ye've trusted ministration
To chaps, wha, in a barn or byre,
Wad better fill'd their station
Than courts yon day.