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Şix bottles a-piece had well wore out the night, When gallant Sir Robert, to finish the fight, Turn’d o'er in one bumper a bottle of red, And swore 'twas the way that their ancestor did.
Then worthy Grenriddel, so cautious and sage, No longer the warfare, ungodly, would wage ; A high-ruling elder to wallow in wine ! He left the foul business to folks less divine.
The gallant Sir Robert fought hard to the end; But who can with fate and quart bumpers contend? Though fate said a hero should perish in light; So uprose bright Phoebus-and down fell the knight.
Next uprose our bard, like a prophet in drink :-Craigdarroch, thoult soar when creation shall
sink! But if thou would flourish immortal in rhyme, Come-one bottle more—and have at the sublime !
w Thy line, that have struggled for freedom
with Bruce, Shall heroes and patriots ever produce : So thine be the laurel, and mine be the bay ; The field thou hast won, by yon bright god of day!"
SECOND EPISTLE TO DAVIE,
A BROTHER POET*.
I'm three times, doubly, o'er your debtor, For your auld-farrent, frien'ly letter;
* This is prefixed to the poems of David Sillar, published at Kilmarnock, 1789, and has not before appeared in our author's printed poemas.
Tho' I maun say't, I doubt ye flatter,
Ye speak sae fair; For my puir, silly, rhymin' clatter
Some less maun ser.
Hale be your heart, hale be your fiddle;
O' war'ly cares, 'Till bairns' bairns kindly cuddle
Your auld, gray hairs.
But, Davie, lad, I'm red ye're glaikit;
Until ye fyke;
Be hain't wha like.
For me, I'm on Parnassus brink, Rivin the words to gar them clink; Whyles daez't wi' love, whyles daez't wi' drink,
Wi’ jads or masons ; An' whyles, but ay owre late, I think
Braw sober lessons.
Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man, Commen' me to the bardie clan; Except it be some idle plan
O'rhymin' clink, The devil-haet, that I sud ban,
They ever think.
Nae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' livin', Nae cares to gie us joy or grievin': But just the pouchie put the nieve in,
An' while ought's there, Then hiltie, skiltie, we gae scrivin',
An' fash nae mair.
Leeze me on rhyme! it's ay a treasure, My chief, amajst my only pleasure,
At hame, a-fiel, at wark or leisure,
The muse, poor hizzie! Tho' rough an' raploch be her measure,
She's seldom lazy.
Haud to the muse, my dainty Davie : The warl may play you monie a shavie; But for the muse, she'll never leave ye,
Tho' e'er sae puir, Na, even tho' limpan wi' the spavie
Frae door to door.