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The Muse, nae Poet ever fand her,
Till by himself he learn'd to wander,
Adown some trotting burn's meander,

An no think lang!
O sweet, to stray an' pensive ponder

A heart-felt sang!
The warly race may drudge an' drive,
Hog-shouther, jundie, stretch, an' strive,
me fair Nature's face descrive,

And I, wi' pleasure,
Shall let the busy, grumbling hive

Bum owre their treasure.
Fareweel, “my rhyme-composing brither!"
We've been owre lang unkenn'd to ither:
Now let us lay our heads thegither,

In love fraternal:
May Envy wallop in a tether,

Black fiend, infernal!
While Highlandmen bate tolls an' taxes;
While moorlan' herds like guide fat braxies;
While terra firma, on her axis

Diurnal turns,
Counton a friend in faith an' practice,

In Robert Burns.


My memory's no worth a preen ;
I had amaist forgotten clean,
Ye bade me write you what they mean

By this new light,*

*New light, a cant phrase iu the West of Scotland for those religious opinions which Dr. Taylor of Nois wich defended so strenuously.

'Bout which our herds sae aft hae been

Maist like to fight,

In days when mankind were but callans At Grammar, Logic, and sic talents, They took nae pains their speech to balance,

Or rules to gie, But spak their thoughts in plain, braid Lallains

Like you or me.

In thae auld times, they thought the moon, Just like sark, or pair o' shoon, Wore, by degrees, till her last roon,

Gaed past their viewin', An' shortly after she was done,

They gat a new one. This past for certain, undisputed : It ne're cam i' their heads to doubt it. Till chiels gat up an 'wad confute it,

An' ca'd it wrangi An' muckle din there was about it,

Baith loud and lang.

Some herds, weel learn'd upo' the beuk, Wad threap auld folk the thing misteuk ? For 'twas the auld moon turn'd a neuk,

An' out o' sight. An' backlins-comin, to the leuk,

She grew mair bright. This was deny'd, it was affirm'd; The herds an' hissles were alarm'); The rev’rend.gray-beards rav'd an' storm'd,

That beardless laddies should think they better were inform’d

Than their auld daddies.

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Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks ;.
Frae words an' aiths to blours an' nicks;
And monie a fallow gat his licks,

Wi' hearty crunt;
An' some, to learn them for their tricks,

Were hang'd an' brunt,
This game was play'd in monie lands,
An' auld light caddies pure sic hands,
That taith, the youngsters took the sands

Wi' nimble shanks,
The Lairds forbade, by strict commands,

Siç bluidy pranks.
But new light herds gat sic a cowe,
Folk thought them ruin'd stick an-stowe
Till now amist on ev'ry knowe,

Yell find ane plac'd;
An' some, their new-light fair avow,

Just quite barefac’d. Nae doubt the auld-light flocks are bleatin; Their zealous herds are vex'd an' sweatins Mysel, I've even seen them greetin

Wi' girnin spite, To hear the moon sae sadly lied on

By word an' write.

But shortly they will cowe the loups
Some auld-light herds in neebor towns
Are mind't, in things they ca' balloons

To tak a flight,
An' stay ae month amang the moons

An see them right.
Guid observation they will gie them,
An' when the auld moon'sgaun to lea'e them

Vol. I. P

The hindmost shaird, they'll fetch it wi' them

Just i' their pouch,
An' when the new-light billies see them,

I think they'll crouch?
Sae' ye observe that a' this clatter
Is naething but a“ moonshine matter;"
But tho' dull prose-folk Latin splatter

In logic tulzie,
I hope, we bardies ken sume better

Than mind sic brulzie.

EPISTLE TO J. R******.


Q Rough, rude, ready-witted R******,
The wale o'cocks for fun and drinkin!
There's monie godly folks are thinkin,

Your dreams* an' tricks
Will send you Korah-like, a sinkin,

Straught to auld Nick's.

Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants,
And in your wicked, drucken rants,
Ye make a devil o' the saunts,

An' fill them fou;
And then their failings, flaws, a' wants,

Are an' seen thro',

*A certain humourous dream of his was then ma king a noise in the country-side.,

Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it!
That holy robe, O dinna tear it!
Spar't for their sakes wha aften wear it,

The lads in black;
But your curst wit, when it comes near it,

Rives't aff their back.

Think, wicked sinner, wha ye're skaithing, It's just the blue-gown badge an' claithing Osaunts; tak that, ye lea'e them naething

To ken them by,
Frae ony unregenerate heathen

Like you or I.
I've sent you here some rhyming ware,
A’ that I bargin'd for, an' mair;
Sae, when ye hae an hour to spare,

I will expect
Your sang*, ye'll sen't wi' cannie care

And no neglect.
Tho' faith, sma' heart hae I to sing !
My Muse dow scarcely spread her wing!
I've play'd mysel a bonie spring,

An' danc'd my fill!
I'd better gaen an' sair'd the king,

At Bunker's Hill.

'Twas ae night, lately, in my fun, I gaed a roving wi' the gun, An' brought a partrick to the grun,

A bonie hen, An', as the twilight was begun,

Thought nane wad ken.

*A song he had promised the Author,

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