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My pen I here fling to the door, And kneel, “ Ye Powers !" and warm implore. * Tho' I should wander Terra o'er,

In all her climes,
Grant me but this, I ask no more,

Ay rowth o'rhymes.
“Gie dreeping roasts to countra lairds,
Till icicles hing frae their beards;
Gie fine braw claes to fine Life-Guards,

And Maids o' Honor;
Anđ yill an’ whiskey gie to Cairds,

Until they sconner.
“A Title, Dempster merits it;
A garter gie to Willie Pitt;
Gie Wealth to some be-leger'd cit,

In cent. per cent.
But gie me real, sterling Wit,

And I'm content.

“ While ye are pleas'd to keep me hale, I'll sit down o'er my scanty meal, Be't water-brose or muslin-kail,

Wi' cheerfu' face,
As lang's the Muses dinna fail

To say the grace.”
An anxious e'e I never throws
Behint my lug, or by my nose;
I jouk beneath Misfortune's blows

As weel's I may ;
Sworn foe to Sorrow, Care, and Prose,

I rhyme away.

O ye douce folk, that live by rule, Grave, tideless-bloody, calm, and cool,

Compar'd wi' you-0.fool! fool ! fool

How much unlike!
Your hearts are just a standing pool,

Your lives, a dyke!
Nae hair-brain'd, sentimental traces
In your unlettered nameless faces,
In arioso trills and graces

Ye never stray
But, gravissimo, solemn basses

Ye hum away. Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise ; Nae ferly tho' ye do despise The hairum scairum, ram-stam boys,

The rattlin squad: I see you upward cast your eyes

Ye ken the road. Whilst I -but I shall haúd me there Wi' you I'll scarce gang ony whereThen, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,

But quat my sang, Content wi' you to mak a pair,

Whare,er I gang

EPISTLE TO DAVIE,

A BROTHER POET.*

January,

I.
While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw,
And bar the doors wi' driviug snaw,

And hing us owre the ingle,
I sit me down to pass the time,
And spin a verse or twa o'rhyme,

In hamely westlin jingle.
While frosty winds blaw in the drift,

Ben to the chimla Ing,
I grudge a wee the great folks' gift,
That live sae bien an' snug :
I tent less, and want less

Their roomy fire side;
But hanker and canker,

To see their cursed pride.

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II.

It's hardly in a body's pow'r
To keep, at times, frae being sour,

To see how things are shar'd;
How best o' cheils are whiles in want,
While coofs on countless thousands rant ,

And ken na how to wair't:

* David Sillar, one of the Club at Tarbolton, and author of a volume of Poems in the Scottishdialect

But Davie, lad, ne'er fash your head,

Tho' we hae little gear,
We're fit to win our daily bread,
As lang's we're hale and fier ;

“ Mair spier na, no fear na," Auld age ne'er mind a feg, The last o't, the warst o't,

Is only for to beg.

III.

To lie in kilns and barns at e'en,
When barres are craz'd and bluid is thin,

Is, doubtless, great distress!
Yet then content could make us blest;
Ev'n then, sometimes we'd snatch a taste,

Oftruest happiness.
The honest heart that's free frae a'

Intended fraud or guile,
However fortune kick the ba',
Has ay some cause to smile,
And mind still, you'll find still,

A comfort this nae sma';
Nae mair then, we'll care then,

Nae farther can we fa',

IV.

What tho', like commoners of air,
We wander out we know not where,

But either house or hal' !
Yet Nature's charms, the hills and woods,
The sweeping vales and foaming floods,

Are free alike to all.
In days when daisies deck the ground,

And blackbirds whistle clear,

*Ramsay.

With honest joy our hearts will bound, ·
To see the coming year:
On braces when we please, then,

We'll sit an' sowth a tune;
Syne rhyme till’t, we'll time till't,
And sing't when we hae done.

v.
It's no in titles nor in rank;
It's no in wealth like Lon'on bank,

To purchase peace and rest ;
It's in makin muckle mair ;
It's no in books; it's no in lear,

To make us truly blest :
If happiness hae not her seat

And centre in the breast,
We may be wise, or rich, or great;
But never can be blest;
Nae treasures, nor pleasures,

Coud make us happy lang ;
The heart's ay the part ay,
That makes us right or wrang.

VI.
Think ye, that sic as you and I,
Wha trudge and drive thro' wet and dry,

Wi' never-ceasing toil,
Think ye, are we less blest than they,
Wha scarcely tent us in their way,

As hardly worth their while ?
Alas! how aft in haughty mood,

God's creatures they oppress!
Or else, neglecting a' that's guid,
They riot in excess !
Baith careless and fearless

Of either heav'n or hell!
Esteeming, and deeming

It's a' an idle tale!

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