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Abjuring a' intentions evil,
| quat my pen: The Lord preserve us frae the devil!
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 and 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 sent 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 hale design.
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 promised mair o't,
My hale and weel I'll take a care o't,
A tentier way;
Then farewecl folly, hide and hair o't,
For ance and aye.
I've sent you here my Johnnie Simson,
Twa sage philosophers to glimpse on;
Smith, wi' his sympathetic feeling,
An' Reid, to common sense appealing,
Philosophers have fought an' wrangled,
And meikle Greek an' Latin mangled,
Till wi' their logic-jargon tir’d,
An' in the depth of science mir’d,
To common sense they now appeal,
What wives and wabsters see an' feel :
But hark ye, friend, I charge you strictly,
Perúse them an' return them quickly;
For now I'm grown sae cursed douce,
play. an' ponder butt the house,
My shins, iny lane, I there sit roastin,
Perusing Bunyan, Brown, and Boston ;
Till by an' by, if I haud on,
I'll grunt a real Gospel groan ;
Already I begin to try it,
To cast my een up like a pyet,
When by ihe gun she tumbles o'er,
Flutt'ring an' gasping in her gore :
Sae shortly you shall see me bright,
A burning an'a shining light.
My heart-warm love to guid auld Glen, The ace an' wale of honest men; When bending down with auld gray hairs, Beneath the load of years and cares, May he who made him still support him, An' views beyond the grave comfort him. His worthy family far and near, God bless them a'wi' grace and gear.
My auld school-fellow, Preacher Willie, The manly tar, my mason Billie,
An' Auchenbay, I wish him joy ;
'If he's a parent, lass or boy,
May he be dad, and Meg the mither,
Just five-an'-torty years thegither!
An'no forgetting wabster Charlie,
I'm tauld he offers very fairly.
An' L-d remember singing Sannock,
Wi' hale breeks, saxpence, an'a bapnock.
An' next, my auld acquaintance, Nancy,
Since she is fitted to her fancy;
An' her kind stars hae airted till her
A guid chiel wi' a pickle siller.
My kindest, best respects I sen' it,
To cousin Kate, an sister Janet;
Tell them frae me, wi'chiels be cautious,
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 ohell:
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 eneugh 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.
GUIDWIFE OF WAUCHOPE-HOUSE,
IN ANSWER TO AN EPISTLE WHICH SHE HAD SENT
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 eneugh,
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' baivers,
Wearing the day awa.
E'en theń, 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.