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Awa, ye selfish, warly race,
Wha think that havins, sense an' grace,
Ev'n love and friendship should give place

To catch-the-plack!
I dinna like to see your face,

Nor hear your crack.

But ye whom social pleasure charms, Whose hearts the tide of kindness warms, Who hold your being on the terms,

“ Each aid the others !” Come to my bowl, come to my arms,

My friends, my brothers!

But, to conclude my lang epistle,
As my auld pen's worn to the grissle;
Twa lines frae you wad gar me fissle,

Who am, most fervent,
While I can either sing or whissle,

Your friend and servant.

TO THE SAME.

APRIL 21, 1785.

While new-ca'd kye rout at the stake, An' pownies reek in pleugh or braik, This hour on e'enin's edge I take,

To own I'm debtor To honest-hearted, auld Lapraik,

For his kind letter.

Forjesket sair, with weary legs,
Rattlin the corn out owre the rigs,
Or dealing thro' amang the nags

Their ten-hours' bite,
My awkwart Muse sair pleads and begs

I would na write.

The tapetless, ramfeezid hizzie,
She's saft at best, and something lazy ;
Quo' she, “ Ye ken we've been sae busy,

This month an' mair,
That, trouth, my head is grown right dizzie,

And something sair."

Her dowff excuses pat me mad: “ Conscience!” says I, “ye thowless jad' I'll write, an' that a hearty blaud,

This vera night; So dinna ye affront your trade,

But rhyme it right.

“Shall bauld Lapraik, the king o’ hearts, Tho' mankind were a pack of cartes, Roose you sae weel for your deserts,

In terms sae friendly, Yet ye'll neglect to show your parts,

And thank him kindly'

Sae I gat paper in a blink,
And down gaed stumpie in the ink ;
Quoth I, “Before I sleep a wink,

I vow I'll close it;
An' if you winna mak it clink,

By Jove I'll prose it'*

Sae I've begun to scrawl, but whether
In rhyme or prose, or baith thegither,
Or some hotch-potch that's rightly neither,

Let time mak proof;
But I shall scribble down some blether

Just clean aff-loof.

My worthy friend, ne'er grudge an' carp, Tho’ fortune use you hard an' sharp ; Come, kittle up your moorland harp

Wi' gleesome touch! Ne'er mind how Fortune waft an’ warp;

She's but a b-tch.

She's gien me monie a jest an' fleg
Sin' I could striddle owre a rig ;
But, by the L--d, tho' I should beg

Wi' layart pow,
I'll laugh an sing, an’ shake my leg,

As lang’s I dow!

Now comes the sax-an’-twentieth simmer
I've seen the bud upo' the timmer,
Still persecuted by the limmer,

Frae year to year ;
But yet, despite the kittle kimmer,

I, Rob, am here.

Do ye envy the city gent,
Behind a kist to lie and skient,
Or purse-proud, big wi' cent. per cento,

And muckle wane,
In some bit burgh to represent

A bailie's name?

Or, is't the paughty, feudal thane,
Wi' ruffled sark an' glancing cane
Wha thinks himsel nae sheep-shank bane,

But lordly stalks,
While caps and bonnets aff are taen,

As by he walks ?

“O Thou, wha gies us each guid gift,
Gie me o' wit an' sense a lift,
Then turn me, if Thou please, adrift,

Thro’ Scotland wide;
Wi' cits nor lairds I wadna shift.

In a' their pride!”

Were this the charter of our state
« On pain of hell be rich an' great,”
Damnation then would be our fate,

Beyond remead;
But, thanks to Heav'n! that's no the gate

We learn our creed :

For thus the royal mandate ran, When first the human race began “The social, friendly, honest man,

Whate'er he be, 'Tis he fulfils great Nature's plan,

An' none but he ! "

O, mandate glorious and divine !
The ragged followers of the Nine,
Poor thoughtless devils ! yet may shine

In glorious light;
While sordid sons of Mammon's line

Are dark as night.

Tho’here they scrape, an' squeeze, an' growl,
Their worthless, neivefu' of a soul
May in some future carcass howl,

The forest fright;
Or in some day-detesting owl

May shun"the light.

Then may Lapraik and Burns arise,
To reach their native, kindred skies,
And sing their pleasures, hopes, an' joys,

In some mild sphere,
Still closer knit in friendship’s ties

Each passing year!

TO W. S*****N.

OCHILTREE, MAY, 1785.

I Gal your letter, winsome Willie;
Wi' grateful heart I thank you brawlie,
Tho' I maun say't, I wad be silly,

An' unco vain,
Should I believe, my coaxin billy,

Your flatt'rin strain

But I'se believe ye kindly meant it;
I sud be laith to think ye hinted
Ironic satire, sidelins sklented,

On my poor Musie;
Tho' in sic phraisin terms ye’ve penn'd it,

I scarce excuse ye

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