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Your pardon, sir, for this digression, I maist forgat my dedication ;
But when divinity comes across me,
So, sir, you see 'twas nae daft vapour,
I thought them something like yoursel.
Then patronize them wi' your favour,
I'm baith dead-sweer, and wretched ill o't;
'6 May ne'er misfortune's growling bark
Till H*******'s at least a dizen,
I will not wind a lang conclusion,
But whilst your wishes and endeavours
But if (which pow'rs above prevent !)
By sad mistakes, and black mischances,
Your humble servant then no more;
TO A LOUSE,
ON SEEING ONE ON A LADY'S BONNET AT CHURCH.
HA! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie ?
Your impudence protects you sairly:
I canna say but ye strunt rarely
Owre gauze and lace:
Tho' faith, I fear, ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.
Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else an' seek your dinner,
On some poor body.
Swith in some beggar's haffet squattle:
These ye may creep, an' sprawl, an' sprattle
In shoals an' nations;
Whare horn or bane ne'er dare unsettle
Your thick plantations.
But, first an' foremost, I should tell,
Tho' rude an' rough,
Yet crooning to a body's sel,
Does weel enough.
I am nae poet, in a sense,
But just a rhymer, like, by chance,
Yet, what the matter, Whene'er my Muse does on me glance,
I jingle at her.
Your critic folk may cock their nose,
To mak a sang?'
But, by your leaves, my learned foes,
Ye may be wrang.
What's a' your jargon o' your schools,
Whatsairs your grammars,
Ye'd better taen up spades an' shools,
A set o' dull conceited hashes,
Confuse their brains in college classes!
An' syne they think to
Plain truth to speak;
By dint o' Greek!
Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire,
Then, tho' I drudge thro' dub an' mire
At pleugh or cart,
My Muse, tho' hamely in attire,
May touch the heart.
O for a spunk o' Allan's glee !
Or Ferguson's, the bauld an' slee,
If I can hit it!
That would be lear enough for me,
If I could get it.
Now, Sir, if ye hae friends enow,
I'se no insist;
But, gif ye want ae friend that's true,
I winna blaw about mysel;
As ill I like my fauts to tell:
But friends an' folks that wish me well,
They sometimes roose me
Tho' I maun own, as monie still
As sair abuse me.
There's ae wee faut they whiles lay to me,
For monie a plack they wheedle frae me,
May be some ither thing they gie me,
They weel can spare,
An' bae a swap o' rhymin-ware,
Wi' ane anither.
The four-gill chap, we'se gar him clatter,
Syne we'll sit down an' tak our whitter,
To cheer our heart;
An' faith, we'se be acquainted better
Before we part.
Awa, ye selfish warly race,
Wha think that havins, sense, an' grace,
To catch-the-plack !
I dinna like to see your face,
Nor hear your crack,
But ye whom social pleasure charms,
Each aid the others;'
Come to my bowl, come to my arms,
My friends, my brothers!
But, to conclude my lang epistle,
Who am, most fervent,
While I can either sing or whissle,
Your friend and servant.
EPISTLE TO THE SAME.
April 21st, 1785.
WHILE new-ca'd kye rout at the stake,
To own I'm debtor
To honest-hearted auld Lapraik,
For his kind letter.
Forjeskit sair, with weary legs,
Their ten hours bite,
The tapetless ramfeezled hizzie,
This month an' mair,
That trouth my head is grown right dizzie,
Her dowff excuses pat me mad;
Conscience, (says I) ye thow less jad! I'll write, an' that a hearty blaud,
This vera night;