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Then lowering, and pouring,

The storm no more I dread; Though thickening and blackening Round my devoted head.

II. And, thou grim power, by life abhorr'd, While life a pleasure can afford,

0! hear a wretch's prayer !
No more I shrink appallid, afraid;
I court, I beg thy friendly aid,

To close this scene of care !
When shall my soul, in silent peace,

Resign life's joyless day;
My weary heart its throbbing cease,
Cold mouldering in the clay?
No fear more, no tear more,

To stain my lifeless face;
Enclasped, and grasped

Within thy cold embrace !


JANUARY 1, 1787.
AGAIN the silent wheels of time

Their annual round have driven,
And you, though scarce in maiden prime,

Are so much nearer heaven.
No gifts have I from Indian coasts

The infant year to hail ;
I send you more than India boasts,

In Edwin's simple tale.
Our sex with guile and faithless love

Is charged, perhaps, too true;
But may, dear maid, each lover prove

An Edwin still to you !

I'll no say, men are villains a';

The real, harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,

Are to a few restricked :
But och! mankind are unco weak,

An' little to be trusted ;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted !

Yet they wha fa’ in fortune's strife,

Their fate we should nae censure, For still th' important end of life

They equally may answer ;
A man may hae an honest heart,

Though poortith hourly stare him ;
A man may tak a neebor's part,
Yet hae nae cash to spare him.

Aye free, aff han' your story tell,

When wi' a bosom crony ;
But still keep something to yoursel

Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel as weel's ye can

Frae critical dissection ;
But keek through every other man,
Wi' sharpen'd, slee inspection.

The sacred lowe o' weel-placed love,

Luxuriantly indulge it;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,

Though naething should divulge it! I wave the quantum o' the sin,

The hazard of concealing; But och! it hardens a' within, And petrifies the feeling!

VII. To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,

Assiduous wait upon her ; And gather gear by every wile

That's justified by honour; Not for to hide it in a hedge,

Not for a train-attendant; But for the glorious privilege Of being independent.

The fear o'hell's a hangman's whip,

To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,

Let that aye be your border;
Its slightest touches, instant pause-

Debar a' side pretences ;
And resolutely keep its laws,
Uncaring consequences.

The great Creator to revere

Must sure become the creature;
But still the preaching cant forbear,

And e'en the rigid feature;
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range,

Be complaisance extended;
An atheist's laugh's a poor exchange

For Deity offended!


MAY, 1786.

I. I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to have sent you,
Though it should serve nae other end

Than just a kind memento;
But how the subject theme may gang

Let time and chance determine;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

Ye'll try the world soon, my lad,

And, Andrew dear, believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,

And muckle they may grieve ye. For care and trouble set your thought,

E’en when your end's attained ; And a' your views may come to naught,

Where every nerve is strained.

X. When ranting round in pleasure's ring,

Religion may be blinded; Or if she gie a random sting,

It may be little minded;
But when on life we're tempest-driven,

A conscience but a canker
A correspondence fix'd wi' heaven

Is sure a noble anchor!

Adieu, dear, amiable youth !

Your heart can ne'er be wanting:
May prudence, fortitude, and truth

Erect your brow undaunting!
In ploughman phrase,“ God send you speed,"

Still daily to grow wiser:
And may you better reck the rede

Than ever did th' adviser.

Wi' his proud, independent stomach

Could ill agree ; So row't his hurdies in a hammock,

An'owre the sea.
He ne'er was gien to great misguiding,
Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in ;
Wi' him it ne'er was under hiding;

He dealt it free:
The muse was a' that he took pride in,

That's owre the sea.
Jamaica bodies, use him weel,
An' hap him in a cozie biel;
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,

And fu' o' glee;
He wad na wrang'd the vera diel,

That's owre the sea. Fareweel, my rhyme-composing billie! Your native soil was right ill-willie; But may ye flourish like a lily,

Now bonnilie! I'll toast ye in my hindmost gillie,

Though owre the sea.




A' YE wha live by soups o' drink,
A'ye wha live by crambo-clink,
A'ye wha live and never think,

Come mourn wi' me ! Our billie's gien us a'a jink,

An' owre the sea. Lament him, a' ye rantin core, Wha dearly like a random-splore, Nae mair he'll join the merry-roar,

In social key; For now he's ta'en anither shore,

An' owre the sea.

The bonnie lasses weel may wiss him, And in their dear petitions place him; The widows, wives, an'a' may bless him,

Wi' tearfu' e'e ;
For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him

That's owre the sea.
O fortune, they hae room to grumble !
Hadst thou ta'en aff some drowsy bummle,
Wha can do naught but fyke and fumble,

'Twad been nae plea ; But he was gleg as ony wumble,

That's owre the sea.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin race ! Aboon them a' ye tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace

As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill

In time o' need,
While through your pores the dews distil

Like amber bead. His knife see rustic labour dight, An'cut you up with ready slight, Trenching your gushing entrails bright

Like onie ditch; And then, 0 what a glorious sight,

Warm-reekin, rich! Then horn for horn they stretch an'strive, Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, Till a'their weel-swalld kytes belyve

Are bent like drums;
Then auld guidman, maist like to tyve,

Bethankit hums.
Is there that o'er his French ragout,
Or olio that would staw a sow,
Or fricasee wad make her spew

Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu' view

On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip lash,

His nieve a nit;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,

O how unfit!

Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear, An' stain them wi' the saut, saut tear; 'Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear,

In flinders flee; lle was her laureate monie a year,

That's owre the sea.

He saw misfortune's cauld nor-west Lang mustering up a bitter blast; A jillet brak his heart at last,

Ill may she be! So took a birth afore the mast,

An' owre the sea. To tremble under fortune's cummock, On scarce a bellyfu'o' drummock,

It's no through terror of d-mn-tion; It's just a carnal inclination.

But mark the rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,

He'll mak it whissle ;
An' legs, an'arms, an' heads will sned,

Like taps o' thrissle. Ye powers, wha mak mankind your care, And dish them out their bill o' fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware

That jaups in luggies ; But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,

Gie her a haggis !

Morality, thou deadly bane, Thy tens o' thousands thou hast slain ! Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is In moral mercy, truth, and justice!

No-stretch a point to catch a plack; Abuse a brother to his back; Steal through a winnock frae a wh-re, But point the rake that taks the door: Be to the poor like onie whunstane, And haud their noses to the grunstane, Ply every art o' legal thieving; No matter, stick to sound believing.

Learn three-mile prayers, and half-mile

graces, Wi' weel-spread looves, an' lang wry faces; Grunt up a solemn, lengthen'd groan, And damn a' parties but your own ; I'll warrant then, ye’re nae deceiver, A steady, sturdy, staunch believer.


EXPECT na, sir, in this narration,
A fleechin, fleth'rin dedication,
To roose you up, an'ca' you guid,
An' sprung o' great an' noble bluid,
Because ye're surnamed like his grace,
Perhaps related to the race ;
Then when I'm tired—and sae are ye,
Wi' mony a fulsome, sinfu' lie,
Set up a face, how I stop short,
For fear your modesty be hurt.

This may do-maun do, sir, wi' them wha
Maun please the great folk for a wamefou ;
For me! sae laigh I need na bow,
For, Lord be thankit, I can plough;
And when I downa yoke a naig,
Then, Lord be thankit, I can beg;
Sae I shall say, an' that's nae flatterin,
It's just sic poet, an' sic patron.

The poet, some guid angel help him,
Or else, I fear, some ill ane skelp him,
He may do weel for a' he's done yet,
But only he's no just begun yet.

The patron, (sir, ye maun forgie me, I winna lie, come what will o' me,) On every hand it will allow'd be, He's just-nae better than he should be.

I readily and freely grant, He downa see a poor man want; What's no his ain he winna tak it, What ance he says, he winna break it; Aught he can lend he'll no refuse't, Till aft his guidness is abused : And rascals whyles that do him wrang, E'en that, he does na mind it lang: As master, landlord, husband, father, He does na fail his part in either.

But then, na thanks to him for a' that; Nae godly symptom ye can ca' that; It's naething but a milder feature Of our poor, sinfu', corrupt nature ! Ye'll get the best o' moral works 'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks. Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi, Wha never heard of orthodoxy. That he's the poor man's friend in need, The gentleman in word and deed,

O ye wha leave the springs of C-lv-n,
For gumlie dubs of your ain delvin !
Ye sons of heresy and error,
Ye'll some day squeel in quaking terror!
When vengeance draws the sword in wrath,
And in the fire throws the sheath;
When ruin, with his sweeping besom,
Just frets till Heaven commission gies him :
While o'er the harp pale misery moans,
And strikes the ever deepening tones,
Still louder shrieks, and heavier groans !

Your pardon, sir, for this digression,
I maist forgat my dedication;
But when divinity comes cross me,
My readers still are sure to lose me.

So, sir, ye see 'twas nae daft vapour,
But I maturely thought it proper,
When a' my work I did review,
To dedicate them, sir, to you:
Because (ye need na tak it ill)
I thought them something like yoursel.

Then patronize them wi' your favour,
And your petitioner shall ever
I had amaist said, ever pray,
But that's a word I need na say:
For prayin I hae little skill o't;
I'm baith dead-sweer, an’ wretched ill o't;
But I'se repeat each poor man's prayer,
That kens or hears about you, sir-

“May ne'er misfortune's gowling bark
Howl through the dwelling o' the clerk!
May ne'er his generous, honest heart,
For that same generous spirit smart!
May K******'s far honour'd name
Lang beet his hymeneal flame,
Till H*******s, at least a dizen,
Are frae their nuptial labours risen :
Five bonnie lasses round their table,
And seven braw fellows, stout an' able


I wad na been surprised to spy You on an auld wife's flainen toy ; Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,

On's wylie coat; But miss's fine Lunardi! fie,

How dare ye do't?

O Jenny, dinna toss your head, An' set your beauties a’abread! Ye little ken what cursed speed

The blastie's makin ! Thae winks and finger-ends, I dread,

Are notice takin!

To serve their king and country weel,
By word, or pen, or pointed steel !
May health and peace, with mutual rays,
Shine on the evening o' his days;
Till his wee curlie John's ier-oe,
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow,
The last, sad, mournful rites bestow !”

I will not wind a lang conclusion,
Wi' complimentary effusion :
But whilst your wishes and endeavours
Are blest with fortune's smiles and favours,
I am, dear sir, with zeal most fervent,
Your much indebted, humble servant.

But if (which powers above prevent!) That iron-hearted carl, want, Attended in his grim advances By sad mistakes, and black mischances, While hopes, and joys, and pleasures fly him, Make you as poor a dog as I am, Your humble servant then no more ; For who would humbly serve the poor? But by a poor man's hopes in heaven! While recollection's power is given, If, in the vale of humble life, The victim sad of fortune's strife, I, through the tender gushing tear, Should recognise my master dear, If friendless, low, we meet together, Then, sir, your hand-my friend and brother !

O wad some power the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as others see us !
It wad frae monie a blunder free us

And foolish notion ; What airs in dress and gait wad lea'e us,

And e'en devotion!


EDINA! Scotia's darling seat!

All hail thy palaces and towers, Where once beneath a monarch's feet

Sat legislation's sovereign powers ! From marking wildly-scatter'd flowers,

As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd, And singing, lone, the lingering hours,

I shelter in thy honour'd shade.


Here wealth still swells the golden tide,

As busy trade his labours plies; There architecture's noble pride

Bids elegance and splendour rise ; Here justice, from her native skies,

High wields her balance and her rod; There learning, with his eagle eyes,

Seeks science in her coy abode.


HA! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?
Your impudence protects you sairly:
I canna say but ye strunt rarely

Owre gauze and lace ;
Though faith, I fear ye dine but sparely

On sic a place.
Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested, shunn’d by saunt and sinner,
How dare ye set your fit upon her,

Sae fine a lady?
Gae somewhere else, and seek your dinner,

On some poor body.
Swith, in some beggar's haffet squattle ;
Where ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle
Wi' ither kindred, jumpin cattle,

In shoals and nations ;
Whare horn or bane ne'er dare unsettle

Your thick plantations.
Now haud ye here, ye're out o' sight,
Below the fatt'rils, snug an' tight;
Na, faith ye yet! ye'll no be right

Till ye've got on it,
The vera tapmost, towering height

O'miss's bonnet. My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out, As plump and gray as onie grozet; O for some rank, mercurial rozet,

Or fell, red smeddum, I'd gie you sic a hearty doze o't,

Wad dress your droddum!

Thy sons, Edina, social, kind,

With open arms the stranger hail; Their views enlarged, their liberal mind,

Above the narrow, rural vale; Attentive still to sorrow's wail,

Or modest merit's silent claim; And never may. their sources fail!

And never envy blot their name!

IV. Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn!

Gay as the gilded summer sky, Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn,

Dear as the raptured thrill of joy! Fair B-strikes th' adoring eye,

Heaven's beauties on my fancy shine ; I see the sire of love on high,

And own his work indeed divine !


There, watching high the least alarms,

Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar;

Like some bold veteran, gray in arms,

It pat me fidgin-fain to heart, And mark'd with many a seamy scar ;

And sae about him there I spier't ; The ponderous walls and massy bar,

Then a' that ken’t him round declared Grim rising o'er the rugged rock;

He had ingine, Have oft withstood assailing war,

That nane excell'd it, few cam near't,
And oft repellid th’invader's shock.

It was sae fine.

That set him a pint of ale,
With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears, An' either douce or merry tale,
I view that noble, stately dome,

Or rhymes an' sangs he'd made himsel, Where Scotia's kings of other years,

Or witty catches,
Famed heroes ! had their royal home: Tween Inverness and Tiviotdale,
Alas! how changed the times to come!

He had few matches.
Their royal name low in the dust!
Their hapless race wild-wandering roam !

Then up I gat, an' swoor an' aith,
Though rigid law cries out, 'Twas just! Though I should pawn my pleugh and graith,

Or die a cadger pownie's death,

At some dyke-back,
Wild beats my heart to trace your steps, A pint an'gill I'd gie them baith
Whose ancestors, in days of yore,

To hear your crack.
Through hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps
Old Scotia's bloody lion bore :

But, first an' foremost, I should tell,
E’en I who sing in rustic lore,

Amaist as soon as I could spell, Haply my sires have left their shed,

I to the crambo-jingle fell, And faced grim danger's loudest roar,

Though rude an' rough, Bold following where your fathers led ! Yet crooning to a body's sel,

Does well eneugh.
Edina! Scotia's darling seat!

I am nae poet, in a sense,
All hail thy palaces and towers,

But just a rhymer, like, by chance, Where once beneath a monarch's feet

An' hae to learning nae pretence, Sat legislation's sovereign powers !

Yet, what the matter? From marking wildly-scatter'd flowers,

Whene'er my muse does on me glance, As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd,

I jingle at her. And singing, lone, the lingering hours,

Your critic folk may cock their nose,
I shelter in thy honour'd shade.

And say, “How can you e'er propose,
You wha ken hardly verse frae prose,

To mak a sang ?

But, by your leaves, my learned foes,

Ye're may be wrang.
WHILE briers and woodbines budding green,

What's a' your jargon o’your schools,

Your Latin names for horns an' stools; An' paitricks scraichin loud at e’en,

If honest nature made you fools, An' morning poussie whiddin seen,

What sairs your grammars : Inspire my muse,

Ye'd better ta'en up spades and shools,
This freedom in an unknown frien',

Or knappin hammers.
I pray excuse.
On fasten-een we had a rockin,

A set o’ dull conceited hashes,

Confuse their brains in college classes !
To ca’ the crack and weave our stockin;
And there was muckle fun an' jokin,

They gang in stirks, and come out asses,

Plain truth to speak ;
Ye need na doubt;

An'syne they think to climb Parnassu;
At length we had a hearty yokin

By dint o' Greek!
At sang about.
There was ae sang, amang the rest,

Gie me ae spark o' nature's fire,
Aboon them a' it pleased me best,

That's a' the learning I desire ; That some kind husband had addrest

Then though I drudge through dub an' mire To some sweet wife:

At pleugh or cart,
It thrill'd the heart-strings through the breast,

My muse, though hamely in attire,
A' to the life.

May touch the heart.
I've scarce heard aught describes sae weel, O for a spunk o' Allan's glee,
What generous, manly bosoms feel ;

Or Fergusson's, the bauld and slee,
Thought I, “ Can this be Pope, or Steele, Or bright Lapraik's my friend to be,
Or Beattie's wark !"

If I can hit it!
They tauld me 'twas an odd kind chiel

That would be lear eneugh for me,
About Muirkirk.

If I could get it.

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