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For faith, they'll aiblins fin' them fashious;
To grant a heart is fairly civil,
But to grant a maidenhead's the devil !
An' lastly, Jamie, for yoursel,
May guardian angels tak a spell,
An' steer you seven miles south o' hell:
But first, before you see heav'n's glory,
May ye get monie a merry story,
Monie a laugh and monie a drink,
An' ay enough o' needfu' clink.

Now fare ye weel, an' joy be wi' you;
For my sake this I beg it o' you,
Assist poor Simson a' ye can,
Ye'll fin' him just an honest man:
Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter,
Your's, saint or sinner,

ROB THE RANTER

TO MR. MITCHELL,
COLLECTOR OF EXCISE, DUMFRIES, 1796.
Friend of the Poet, tried and leal,
Wha, wanting thee, might beg or steal •
Alake, alake, the meikle deil

Wi' a' his witches
Are at it, skelpin! jig an' reel,

In my poor pouches.

I modestly, fu’ fain wad hint it,
That one pound one, I sairly want it

If wi' the hizzie down ye send it,

It would be kind; And while my heart wi' life-blood dunted,

I'd bear't in mind.

So may the auld year gang out moaning, To see the new come laden, groaning, Wi’ double plenty, o'er the loaning,

To thee and thine ; Domestic peace and comforts crowning

The hail design.

POSTSCRIPT

Ye've heard this while how I've been licket, And by fell death was nearly nicket; Grim loun! he gat me by the fecket,

And sair me sheuk; But, by good luck, I lap a wicket,

And turn'd a neuk.

But, by that health, I've got a share o't,
And by that life, I'm promis’d mair o't,
My hale and weel I'll take a care o't,

A tentier way;
Then fareweel folly, hide an' hair o't,

For ance and aye.

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Guidwife :

I MIND it weel in early date,
When I was beardless, young, and blate,

And first could thresh the barn;
Or haud a yokin at the pleugh;
An' tho’ for foughten sair enough,

Yet unco proud to learn:
When first amang the yellow corn

A man I reckon'd was,
And wi’ the lave ilk merry morn;
Could rank my rig and lass,
Still shearing, and clearing

The tither stooked raw,
Wi' claivers, an' haivers,

Wearing the day awa.

II.

Ev’n then, a wish, I mind it's pow'r,
A wish that to my latest hour

Shall strongly heave my breast,
That I, for poor auld Scotland's sake,
Some usefu' plan or book could make,

Or sing a sang at least.
The rough burr-thistle, spreading wide

Amang the bearded bear,

I turn'd the weeder-clips aside,
An' spar'd the symbol dear;
No nation, no station,

My envy e'er could raise;
A Scot still, but blot still,

I knew nae higher praise.

III.

But still the elements o' sang,
In formless jumble, right an’ wrang,

Wild floated in my brain;
Till on that har'st I said before,
My partner in the merry core,

She rous'd the forming strain!
I see her yet, the sonsie quean,

That lighted up her jingle,
Her witching smile, her pauky een,
That gar't my heart-strings tingle;
I fir'd, inspir'd,

At ev'ry kindling keek,
But bashing, and dashing,
I feared ay to speak.

IV.

Hail to the set ! ilk guid chiel says,
Wi' merry dance in winter days,

An' we to share in common;
The gust o' joy, the balm o'wo,
The saul o' life, the heav'n below,

Is rapture-giving woman. Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name,

Be mindfu' o' your mither ; She, honest woman, may think shame

That ye’re connected with her •

Ye're wae men, ye’re nae men,

That slight the lovely dears ;
To shame ye, disclaim ye,

Ilk honest birkie swears.

Für you, na bred to barn or byre,
Wha sweetly tune the Scottish lyre,

Thanks to you for your line.
The marled plaid ye kindly spare
By me should gratefully be ware,

'Twad please me to the Nine.
I'd be mair vauntie o my hap,

Douse hinging o'er my curple,
Than onie ermine ever lap,
Or proud imperial purple.
Fareweel, then, lang hale then,

An' plenty be your fa'.
May losses and crosses

Ne'er at your hallan ca'.
March, 1787.

R. BURNS.

TO J. RANKEN,

ON HIS WRITING TO THE

AUTHOR

THAT A GIRL WAS

WITH CHILD BY HIM.

I am a keeper of the law
In some sma' points, altho' not a’;
Some people tell me gin I fa',

Ae way or ither,
The breaking of ae point, tho'sma',

Breaks a' thegither.

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