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Forjesket sair, with weary legs, Rattling the corn out-owre the rigs, Or dealing thro' amang the naigs

Their ten hours bite, My awkart muse sair pleads and begs,

I would na write,

The tapetless ramfeezi'd hizzie, She's saft at best, and something lazy, Quo' she, “ Ye ken, we've been sae busy

This month an' mair, That trouth my head is grown right dizzie,

An' something sair.”

Her dowff excuses pat me mad; “ Conscience,” says I, "ye thowless jad ! I'll write, an' that a hearty blaud,

This vera night; So dinna ye affront your trade,

But rhyme it right.

Shall bauld Lapraik, the king o' hearts, Tho' mankind were a pack o' cartes, Roose you sae weel for your deserts,

In terms sae friendly, Yet ye'll neglect to shaw your parts,

An' thank him kindly ?"

Sae I get paper in a blink,
An' down gaed stumpie in the ink :
Quoth I, “Before I steep a wink,

I vow I'll close it ;
An' if

winna mak it clink,

By Jove I'll prose it !"

Sae I've begun to scrawl, but whether In rhyme, or prose, or baith thegither, Or some hotch-potch that's rightly neither,

Let time mak proof; But I shall seribble down some blether

Just clean aff-loof.

My worthy friend, ne'er grudge an' carp, Tho' fortune use you hard an' sharp ; Come, kittle up your moorland-harp

Wi' gleesome touch! Ne'er mind how fortune waft an' warp ;

She's but a b-tch.

She's gien me monie a jirt an' fleg,
Sin I could striddle owre a rig;
But, by the L-d, tho' I should beg

Wi' lyart pow,
I'll laugh, an sing, an' shake my leg,

As lang's I dow!

Now comes the sax an' twentieth simmer I've seen the bud upo' the timmer, Still persecuted by the limmer

Frae year to year ; But yet, despite the kittle kimmer,

I, Rob, am here.

Do ye envy the city gent
Behint a kist to lie and sklent,
Or purse-proud, big wi' cent. per cene.

And muckle wame,
In some bit brugh to represent

A bailie's name?

Or is't the paughty, feudal thane,
Wi' ruffl'd sark an' glancing 'cane,
Wha thinks himsel nae sheep-shank bane,

But lordly stalks,
While caps and bonnets aff are taen,

As by he walks ?

“O Thou wha gies us each guid gift! Gie me o' wit an' sense a lift, Then turn me, if Thou please, adrift,

Thro' Scotland wide; Wi' cits nor lairds I wadna shift,

In a' their pride !"

Were this the charter of our state, “On pain ohell be rich an' great,” Damnation then would be our fate,

Beyond remead;
But, thanks to Heav'n, that's no the gate

We learn our creed.

For thus the royal mandate ran, When first the human race began, 6- The social, friendly, honest man,

Whate'er he be, 'Tis he fulfils great Nature's plan,

An' none but he !"

O mandate glorious and divine !
The followers of the ragged nine,
Poor, thoughtless devils! yet may shine

In glorious light,
While sordid sons of Mammon's line

Are dark as night.

Tho' here they scrape, an' squeeze, an' growl, Their worthless nievefu' of a soul May in some future carcase how]

The forest's fright; Or in some day-detesting owl

May shun the light.

Then may Lapraik and Burns arise, To reach their native, kindred skies, And sing their pleasyres, hopes, an' joys,

In some mild sphere, Still closer knit in friendship's ties

Each passing year!

TO W. S*****N;


May, 1785.

I gat your letter, winsome Willie ; Wi' gratefu’ heart I thank you brawlie ; Tho' I maun say't, I wad be silly,

An' unco vain, Should I believe, my coaxin billie,

Your flatterin strain.

Bút l'se believe ye kindly meant it, I sud be laith to think ye hinted Ironic satire, sidelens sklented

On my poor Musie; Tho' in sic phraisin terms ye’ve penn'd it,

I scarce excuse ye.

My senses wad be in a creel, Should I but dare a hope to speel, Wi' Allen, or wi' Gilbertfield,

The braes o fame; Or Fergusson, the writer-chiel,

A deathless name.

(0 Fergusson! thy glorious parts Il suited law's dry, musty arts ! My curse upon your whunstane hearts,

Ye Enbrugh gentry! The tythe o' what ye waste at cartes

Wad stow'd his pantry!)

Yet when a tale comes i' my head,
Or lasses gie my heart a screed,
As whiles they're like to be my dead,

(O sad disease!) I kittle up my rustic reed;

It gies me ease.

Auld Coila now may fidge fu' fain,
She's gotten poets o' her ain,
Chiels wha their chanters winna hain,

But tune their lays
Till echoes a' resound again

Her weel-sung praise.

Nae poet thought her worth his while,
To set her name in measur'd stile;
She lay like some unken'd-of isle

Beside New-Holland,
Or whare wild-meeting oceans boil

Besouth Magellan.

Ramsay an' famous Fergusson Gied Forth an' Tay a lift aboon ; Yarrow an' Tweed, to monie a tune,

Owre Seotland rings, While Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, an' Doon,

Nae body sings.

Th' Illissus, Tiber, Thames, an' Seine,
Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line !
But, "Villie, set your fit to mine,

An' cock your crest,
We'll gar our streams an' burnies shine

Up wi' the best.

We'll sing auld Coila's plains an' fells, Her moors red-brown wi' heather bells, Her banks an' braes, her dens an' dells,

Where glorious Wallace Aft bure the gree, as story tells,

Frae southron billies,

At Wallace' name what Scottish blood
But boils up in a spring-tide flood !
Oft have our fearless fathers strode

By Wallace' side,
ing onward, red-wat shod,

Or glorious dy'd.

Still pre

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