Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

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 pae 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.

A DEDICATION TO GAVIN HAMILTON, ESQ.

EXPECT na, sir, in this narration,
A fleechin, fieth'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.

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 hcavier groans !

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,

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 !

Owad 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 !

ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH.

1. 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.

II. 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.

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 ;
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 there, 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!

III.
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 !

V. There, watching high the least alarms,

Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar;

Like some bold veteran, gray in arms,

And mark'd with many a seamy scar; The ponderous walls and massy bar,

Grim rising o'er the rugged rock;
Have oft withstood assailing war,

And oft repell'd th' invader's shock.
VI.

With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,
I view that noble, stately dome,
Where Scotia's kings of other years,

Famed heroes! had their royal home: Alas! how changed the times to come!

Their royal name low in the dust! Their hapless race wild-wandering roam! Though rigid law cries out, "Twas just! VII.

Wild beats my heart to trace your steps, Whose ancestors, in days of yore, Through hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps

Old Scotia's bloody lion bore: E'en I who sing in rustic lore,

Haply my sires have left their shed, And faced grim danger's loudest roar, Bold following where your fathers led! VIII. 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.

EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK, AN OLD SCOTTISH BARD.-APRIL 1st, 1785. WHILE briers and woodbines budding green, An' paitricks scraichin loud at e'en, An' morning poussie whiddin seen, Inspire my muse, This freedom in an unknown frien', I pray excuse.

On fasten-een we had a rockin, To ca' the crack and weave our stockin; And there was muckle fun an' jokin, Ye need na doubt; At length we had a hearty yokin At sang about.

There was ae sang, amang the rest, Aboon them a' it pleased me best, That some kind husband had addrest To some sweet wife: It thrill'd the heart-strings through the breast, A' to the life.

I've scarce heard aught describes sae weel, What generous, manly bosoms feel; Thought I, "Can this be Pope, or Steele, Or Beattie's wark !" They tauld me 'twas an odd kind chiel About Muirkirk.

It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't, And sae about him there I spier't; Then a' that ken't him round declared He had ingine,

That nane excell'd it, few cam near❜t, It was sae fine.

That set him to a pint of ale, An' either douce or merry tale, Or rhymes an' sangs he'd made himsel, Or witty catches, 'Tween Inverness and Tiviotdale, He had few matches.

Then up I gat, an' swoor an' aith, Though I should pawn my pleugh and graith, Or die a cadger pownie's death, At some dyke-back, A pint an' gill I'd gie them baith To hear your crack.

But, first an' foremost, I should tell, Amaist as soon as I could spell, I to the crambo-jingle fell,

Though rude an' rough,

Yet crooning to a body's sel,
Does well enough.

I am nae poet, in a sense, But just a rhymer, like, by chance, An' hae to learning nae pretence, Yet, what the matter? Whene'er my muse does on me glance, I jingle at her.

Your critic folk may cock their nose, 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.

What's a' your jargon o' your schools, Your Latin names for horns an' stools; If honest nature made you fools,

What sairs your grammars: Ye'd better ta'en up spades and shools, Or knappin hammers.

A set o' dull conceited hashes, Confuse their brains in college classes! They gang in stirks, and come out asses, Plain truth to speak; An' syne they think to climb Parnassu; By dint o' Greek!

Gie me ae spark o' nature's fire, That's a' the learning I desire; Then though I drudge through dub an' mire At pleugh or cart, My muse, though hamely in attire, May touch the heart.

O for a spunk o' Allan's glee, Or Fergusson's, the bauld and slee, Or bright Lapraik's my friend to be, If I can hit it! That would be lear eneugh for me, If I could get it.

[blocks in formation]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »