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EPISTLE TO SIMPSON.
Auld Coila, now, may fidgel fu' fain,
But tune their lays,
Her weel-sung praise.
Nae Poet thought her worth his while,
Beside New Holland,
Ramsay an' famous Fergusson
Owre Scotland rings,
Nae body sings.
Th' Illissus, Tiber, Thames, an' Seine,
An' cock your crest,
Up wi’ the best.
We'll sing auld Coila's plains an' fells,
Whare glorious Wallace
Frae southron billies.
· Be right glad.
2 Will not spare their bagpipes.
3 Bore the bell. 5 Coos.
EPISTLE TO SIMPSOX.
At Wallace' name, what Scottish blood
By Wallace' side,
Or glorious dy’d.
O, sweet are Coila's haughso an’ woods,
Their loves enjoy,
Wi' wailfu' cry!
Ev'n winter bleak has charms to me,
Are hoary gray;
Dark’ning the day!
O Nature! a' thy shews an' forms
Wi' life an' light,
The lang, dark night!
The Muse, nae Poet ever fando her,
An' no think lang;
A heart-felt sang!
1 Blood over the shoe-tops. Dodging.
3 Linnets, 6 Found.
The war’ly race may drudge an' drive,
And I, wi' pleasure,
Bum’ owre their treasure.
Fareweel, “my rhyme-composing brither!”
In love fraternal ;
Black fiend, infernal !
While highlandmen hate tolls an' taxes
In Robert Burns.
TO A MOUSE, ON TURNING HER UP IN HER
NEST, WITH THE PLOUGH, NOVEMBER, 1785.6
WEE, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
Wi' bickering brattle !7
Wi” murdoring pattle !8
1 Press forward. 2 Justle. 3 Hum.
4 Shepherds. 5 Diseased Sheep. 6 A farm-servant, lately living, was driving the plough, which Burns held, when a mouse ran across the field. The man's first impulse was to rush aster and kill it ; but the poet stopped him, and turning thoughtful, the verses were composed. 7 Hurry.
& Instrument for clearing the plough.
I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Which makes thee startle
I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
'S a sma' request :
And never miss't!
Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin !
O' foggage green!
Baith snell3 an' keen !
Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ waste,
Thou thought to dwell,
Out thro’ thy cell.
That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
But house or hald, 4
An' cranreuch6 cauld !
2 Build. 3 Bitter. · A few ears of corn out of 24 sheaves. 4 Without abiding place.
5 Endure. 6 Hoar-frost.
EPISTLE TO LAPRAIK.
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,1
Gang aft a-gley,
For promis'd joy.
On prospects drear!
an' fear !
EPISTLE TO JOHN LAPRAIK, AN OLD
Inspire my Muse,
I pray excuse.
Ye need na doubt;
At sang about. There was ae sang, amang the rest, Aboon them a' it pleas'd me best, That some kind husband had addrest
To some sweet wife: It'thirl'do the heart-strings thro' the breast,
A' to the life.
Thyself alone. 3 Partridges.