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Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man,
O rhymin' clink,
They ever think.
Nae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' livin',
An' while aught's there,
An' fash nae mair.
Leeze me on rhyme! it's ay a treasure,
The Muse, poor hizzie, Tho'rough an raploch be her measure,
She's seldom lazy.
Haud tae the Muse, my daintie Davie ! The warl may play you monie a shavie, But for the Muse, she'll never leave ye,
Tho' e'er sae puir; Na, ev'n tho’ limpin wi’ the spavie
Frae door to door. 15
EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIR,
AN OLD SCOTTISH BARD, APRIL 1, 1785. WHILE briers an’ 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 fasteen-e'en we had a rockin,
Ye need na doubt:
At sang about.
There was ae sang, amang the rest,
To some sweet wife;
A' to the life.
I've scarce heard aught describe sae weel,
Or Beattie's wark ? »
It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't,
He had ingine,
It was sae fine.
That set him to a pint of ale,
Or witty catches,
He had few matches.
Then up I gat, an' swore an aith,
At some dyke-back,
To hear your crack.
But first an' foremost, I should tell,
Tho' rude an' rough,
Does weel enough.
I am nae poet, in a sense,
Yet what tha matter ?
I jingle at her
Your critic-folk may cock their nose,
To mak a sang ? ”
Ye're may be wrang.
What's a' your jargon o' your schools,
What sairs your grammars ? Ye'd better taen up spades and shools,
A set o' dull, conceited hashes
Plain truth to speak;
By dint o' Greek !
Gie me ae spark o' Nature's fire,
At pleugh or cart,
May touch the heart.
O for a spunk o' Allan's glee,
If I can hit it!
If I could get it'
Now, sir, if ye hae friends enow,
I'se no insist;
I'm on your list.
I winna blaw about mysel;
They sometimes roose me, Tho' I maun own, as monie still
As far abuse me.
There's ae wee faut they whyles lay to me-
At dance or fair;
They weel can spare.
But Mauchline race, or Mauchline fair, I should be proud to meet you there; We’se gie ae night's discharge to care,
If we forgather, An' hae a swap o' rhymin-ware
Wi' ane anither.
The four-gill chap, we'se gar hım clatter,
To cheer our heart;
Before we part.