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thor was no sooner dropt asleep, than he imagined himself transported to the birthday levee; and in his dreaming fancy made the following “ Address.”

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GUID-MORNIN' to your Majesty !

May Heaven augment your blisses,
On every new birthday, ye see,

A humble poet wishes !
My bardship here, at your levee,

On sic a day as this is,
Is sure an uncouth sight to see,
Amang thae birthday dresses

Sae fine this day.

much

I see ye're complimented thrang,

By many a lord and lady; “ God save the king !” 's a cuckoo sang

That's unco easy said aye; The poets, too, a venal gang,

Wi' rhymes weel-turned and ready, Wad gar ye trow ye ne'er do wrang, But aye unerring steady,

On sic a day.

make

“ When Freedom nursed her native fire
In ancient Greece, and ruled the lyre,
Her bards disdainful, from the tyrant's brow

The tinsel gifts of flattery tore,
But paid to guiltless power their willing vow,

And to the throne of virtuous kings,” etc. On these verses the rhymes of the Ayrshire bard must be allowed to form an odd enough commentary.

For me, before a monarch's face

Even there I winna flatter ;
For neither pension, post, nor place,

Am I your humble debtor :
So, nae reflection on your grace,

Your kingship to bespatter ;
There's mony waur been o' the race,
And aiblins ane been better

Than you this day.

perhaps

cannot

'Tis very true, my sovereign king,

My skill may weel be doubted :
But facts are chiels that winna ding, be beaten

And downa be disputed :
Your royal nest, beneath your wing,

Is e’en right reft and clouted,' broken and patched
And now the third part of the string,
And less, will gang about it

Than did ae day.

Far be't frae me that I aspire

To blame your legislation,
Or say ye wisdom want, or fire,

To rule this mighty nation !
But faith! I muckle doubt, my sire,

Ye've trusted ministration
To chaps, wha, in a barn or byre,
Wad better filled their station

Than courts yon day.
1 The American colonies being lost.

19

cow-house

VOL. I.

And now ye’ve gien auld Britain peace,

Her broken shins to plaister,
Your sair taxation does her fleece,

Till she has scarce a tester.
For me, thank God, my life's a lease,

Nae bargain wearing faster,
Or, faith! I fear, that, wi’ the geese,
I shortly boost to pasture

ľ the craft some day.

must needs

field

asperses

I'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt,

When taxes he enlarges, (And Will's a true guid fallow's get,

A name not envy spairges), That he intends to pay your debt,

And lessen a' your charges ; But G- sake! let nae saving fit Abridge your bonny barges 2

And boats this day.

Adieu, my liege! may Freedom geck

! Beneath your high protection ;

sport

1 Gait, gett, or gyte, a homely substitute for the word child in Scotland. Sir Walter Scott speaks somewhere of the gaits' class in the Edinburgh High School namely, the class containing the youngest pupils. The above stanza is not the only testimony of admiration which Burns pays to the great Earl of Chatham.

2 On the supplies for the navy being voted, spring 1786, Captain Macbride counselled some changes in that force, particularly the giving up of 64-gun ships, which occasioned a good deal of discussion.

stretch

And may you rax Corruption's neck,

And gie her for dissection.
But since I'm here, I'll no neglect,

In loyal, true affection,
To pay your Queen, with due respect,
My fealty and subjection

This great birthday.

Hail Majesty Most Excellent !

While nobles strive to please ye, Will ye accept a compliment

A simple poet gies ye? Thae bonny bairn-time Heaven has lent, children

Still higher may they heeze ye In bliss, till fate some day is sent, For ever to release ye

Frae care that day.

raise

For you, young potentate o' Wales,

I tell Your Highness fairly,
Down Pleasure's stream, wi' swelling sails,

I'm tauld ye're driving rarely ;
But some day ye may gnaw your nails,

And curse your folly sairly,
That e'er ye brak Diana's pales,
Or rattled dice wi' Charlie,

By night or day.

1

Yet aft a ragged cowte's been known
To mak a noble aiver ;

colt

1 Charles James Fox.

cart-horse

wisely

talk

So, ye may doucely fill a throne,

For a' their clish-ma-claver :
There, him at Agincourt wha shone,

Few better were or braver;
And yet, wi' funny, queer Sir John,
He was an unco shaver,

For monie a day.

1

ear

For you, Right Reverend Osnaburg,

Nane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeter,
Although a ribbon at your lug

Wad been a dress completer :
As ye disown yon paughty dog proud

That bears the keys of Peter,
Then, swith! and get a wife to hug, quick
Or, trouth! ye'll stain the mitre

Some luckless day.

Young, royal Tarry Breeks,? I learn,

Ye've lately come athwart her,
A glorious galley, stem and stern,

Weel rigged for Venus' barter ;
But first hang out, that she'll discern,

Your hymeneal charter,

1 Frederick, the second son of George III., at first Bishop of Osnaburg, afterwards Duke of York.

2 William Henry, third son of George III., afterwards Duke of Clarence and King William IV.

3 Alluding to the newspaper account of a certain royal sailor's amour. — B.

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