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Boring a quarry, and sic like.
As when they meet with sair disasters, Like loss o’ health, or want o' masters, Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer, An' they maun starve o cauld an' hunger; But, how it comes, I never kennd yet, They're maistly wonderfu' contented; An' buirdly chiels, and clever hizzies, Are bred in sic a way as this is.
But then to see how ye're negleckit, How huff'd, and cuff’d, and disrespeckit! L4d, man, our gentry care as little For delvers, ditchers, an' sic cattle ; They gang as saucy by poor folk, A I wad by a stinking brock.
I've noticed, on our Laird's court-day, An' mony a time my heart's been wae, Poor tenant bodies, scant o' cash, How they maun thole a factor's snash : He'll stamp and threaten, curse and swear, He'll apprehend them, poind their gear ; While they maun stan', wi’ aspect humble, An' hear it a', an' fear, an' tremble !
I see how folks live that hae riches; But surely poor folk maun be wretches !
They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think, Tho constantly on poortith's brink : They're sae accustom'd wi' the sight, The view o't gies them little fright.
Then chance and fortune are sae guided, They're ay in less or mair provided ; An', tho' fatigu'd with close employment, A blink o rest's a sweet enjoyment.
The dearest comfort o' their lives, Their grushie weans an' faithfu' wives ; The prattling things are just their pride, That sweetens a' their fire-side.
An' whyles twalpennie worth of nappy
As bleak-faced Hallowmas returns,
That merry day the year begins, They bar the door on frosty winds ;
The nappy reeks, wi' mantling ream,
Still it's owre true that ye hae said,
Haith, lad, ye little ken about it: For Britain's guid! guid faith! I doubt it; Say, rather, gaun as Premiers lead him, An' saying aye or no's they bid him : At operas an' plays parading; Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading : Or, may be, in a frolic daft, To Hague or Calais takes a waft ( To make a tour, an' tak a whirl, To learn bon ton an' see the worl'.
There, at Vienna or Versailles, He rives his father's auld entrails ; Or by Madrid he takes the rout.
To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowt;
Hech man! dear sirs ! is that the gate
O, would they stay aback frae courts,
But will you tell me, Master Cæsar, Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure ? Nae cauld or hunger e'er can steer them, The vera thought o't need na fear them.
L-d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.
It's true, they need nae starve or sweat, Thro' winter's cauld or simmer's heat; They've nae sair wark to craze their banes, An' fill auld age wi' grips an' granes : But human bodies are sic fools, For a' their colleges and schools, That when nae real ills perplex them, They make enow themsels to vex them; An' ay the less they hae to sturt them, In like proportion less will hurt them. A country-fellow at the pleugh, His acres till'n, he's right eneugh; A country girl at her wheel, Her dizzen's done, she's unco weel : But Gentlemen, and Ladies warst, Wi' ev'n down want o' wark are curst. They loiter, lounging, lank, and lazy; Tho' deil haet ails them, yet uneasy ; Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless; Their nights unquiet, lang, and restless : An' e'en their sports, their balls, an' races, Their galloping thro' public places. There's sic parade, sic pomp, an' art, The joy can scarcely reach the heart. The men cast out in party matches, Then sowther a' in deep debauches; Ae night they're mad wi' drink an' wh-ring, Niest day their life is past enduring. The ladies, arm-in-arm in clusters, As great and gracious a’ as sisters; But hear their absent thoughts o'ither, They're a' run deils an' jades thegither! Whyles o'er the wee bit cup an' platie, They sip the scandal potion pretty ; Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks,