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Where Pleasure is the magic wand

That, wielded right,
Maks hours, like minutes, hand in hand,

Dance by fu’ light.

The magic wand then let us wield,
For, ance that five-an’-forty's speeld,
See crazy, weary, joyless Eild,

Wi' wrinkled face,
Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field,

Wi' creepin pace.

When ance life's day draws near the gloamin,
Then fareweel vacant, careless roamin,
An' fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamin,

An' social noise ;
An' fareweel dear, deluding Woman,

The joy of joys!

O life! how pleasant in thy morning!
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning!
Cold, pausing Caution's lessons scorning,

We frisk away,
Like school-boys, at th' expected warning

To joy and play.

We wander there, we wander here,
We eye the rose upon the brier,
Unmindful that the thorn is near,

Among the leaves ;
And, though the puny wound appear,

Short while it grieves.

Some, lucky, find a flow'ry spot,
For which they never toil'd nor swat;

They drink the sweet, and eat the fat,

But care or pain; And haply eye the barren hut

With high disdain.

With steady aim, some Fortune chase;
Keen Hope does ev'ry sinew brace;
Thro' fair, thro’ foul, they urge the race,

And seize the prey ;
Then canie, in some cozie place,

They close the day.

And others, like your humble servan',
Poor wights! nae rules nor roads observin;
To right or left eternal swervin,

They zig-zag on;
Till curst with age, obscure an' starvin,

They aften groan.

Alas! what bitter toil an' straining
But, truce with peevish, poor complaining !
Is Fortune's fickle Luna waning ?

E’en let her gang!
Beneath what light she has remaining,

Let's sing our sang.

My pen I here fling to the door, And kneel, “ Ye Powers !” and warm implore, “ Tho' I should wander Terra o'er,

In all her climes, Grant me but this, I ask no more,

Ay rowth o'rhymes.

“Gie dreeping roasts to countra lairds Till icicles hing frae their beards •

Gie fine braw claes to fine Life-Guards,

And Maids o' Honor; And yill an' whiskey gie to Cairds,

Until they sconner.

“A title, Dempster merits it;
A garter gie to Willie Pitt;
Gie wealth to some beleger'd cit,

In cent. per cent. ;
But gie me real, sterling wit,

And I'm content.

“While ye are pleas’d to keep me hale, I'll sit down o'er my scanty meal, Be't water-brose, or muslin-kail,

Wi' cheerfu' face, As lang's the Muses dinna fail

To say the grace.”

An anxious e'e I never throws
Behint my lug, or by my nose;
I jouk beneath Misfortune's blows

As weel's I may ;
Sworn foe to Sorrow, Care, and Prose,

I rhyme away.

O ye douce folk, that live by rule,
Grave, tideless-bloody, calm, and cool,
Compar'd wi' you -- fool! fool! fool!

How much unlike !
Your hearts are just a standing pool ;

Your lives, a dyke!

Nae hair-brain'd, sentimental traces
In your unletterd nameless faces,

In arioso trills and graces

Ye never stray ; But, gravissimo, solemn basses

Ye hum away.

Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise;
Nae ferly tho' ye do despise
The hairum scairum, ram-stam boys,

The rattlin squad:
I see you upward cast your eyes —

Ye ken the road.

Whilst I - but I shall haud me there
Wi' you I'll scarce gang ony where;
Then, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,

But quat my sang,
Content wi' you to mak a pair,

Whare'er I gang.

EPISTLE TO DAVIE,
A BROTHER POET. *

January,

I.

WHILE winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw,
And bar the doors wi' driving snaw,

And hing us owre the ingle,
I sit me down to pass the time,
And spin a verse or twa o'rhyme,

In hamely westlin jingle.

* David Sillar, one of the Club at Tarbolton, and author of a voluma of Poems in the Scottish dialect.

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While frosty winds blaw in the drift,
A Ben to the chimla lug,
I grudge a wee the great folks' gift,
That live sae bied and snug:
I tent less, and want less,

Their roomy fire-side;
But hanker and canker,

To see their cursed pride.

11.

It's hardly in a body's pow'r
To keep at times frae being sour

To see how things are shar'd;
How best o'chiels are whiles in want,
While coofs on countless thousands rant,

And ken na how to wairt:
But, Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head,

Tho' we hae little gear,
We're fit to win our daily bread,
As lang’s were hale and fier;

Mair spier na, no fear na,”

Auld age ne'er mind a feg,
The last o't, the warst o't,

Is only for to beg.

66

9*

III.

To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
When banes are craz'd and bluid is thin,

Is, doubtless, great distress!
Yet then content could make us blest;
Ev'n then, sometimes we'd snatch a taste

Of truest happiness.
The honest heart that's free frae a'r

* Ramsay

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