Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Some rhyme to court the kintra clash,

An' raise a din;
For me, an aim I never fash;

I rhyme for fun.
The star that rules my luckless lot,
Has fated me the russet coat,
An' damn'd my fortune to the groat;

But in requit,
Has bless'd me wi' a random shot

O’ kintra wit.
This while my notion's ta'en a sklent,
To try my fate in guid black prent;
But still the mair I'm that way bent,

Something cries “ Hoolie! I red you, honest man, tak tent!

Ye'll shaw your folly.
“ There's ither poets, much your betters,
Far seen in Greek, deep men o' letters,
Hae thought they had ensured their debtors,

A' future ages ;
Now moths deform, in shapeless tetters,

Their unknown pages."
Then fareweel hopes o' laurel-boughs,
To garland my poetic brows!
Henceforth i'll rove where busy ploughs

Are whistling thrang,
An' teach the lanely heights an' howes

My rustic sang.
I'll wander on, with tentless heed
How never-halting moments speed,
Till Fate shall snap the brittle thread,

Then, all unknown,
I'll lay me with the inglorious dead,

Forgot and gone !
But why o' death begin a tale ?
Just now we're living sound and hale,

Then top and maintop crowd the sail,

Heave care o'er side!
And large, before enjoyment's gale,

Let's tak the tide.
This life, sae far's I understand,
Is a' enchanted, fairy land,
Where pleasure is the magic wand,

That, wielded right,
Maks hours, like minutes, hand in hand,

Dance by fu’ light. The magic wand then let us wield; For ance that five-an-forty's speeld, See crazy, weary, joyless eild,

Wi' wrinkled face, Comes hostin, hirplin owre the field,

Wi' crepin pace. When ance life's day draws near the gloamin, Then fareweel vacant, careless roamin; An' fareweel cheerfu' tankards foamin,

An' social noise ;
An' fareweel dear, deluding woman,

The joy of joys!
Oh, life! how pleasant is thy morning,
Young Fancy's rays the hills adorning!
Cold-pausing Caution's lesson scorning,

We frisk away,
Like schoolboys, at th' expected warning,

To joy and play.
We wander therc, we wander here,
We eye the rose upon the brier,
Unmindful that the thorn is near,

Among the leaves ;
And though the puny wound appear,

Short while it grieves.
Some, lucky, find a flowery spot,
For which they never toil'd nor swat ;

They drink the sweet, and eat the fat,

But care or pain;
And, haply, eye the barren hut

With high disdain.
With steady aim, some Fortune chase;
Keen Hope does every sinew brace;
Through fair, through foul, they urge the race,

And seize the prey :
Then cannie, in some cozie place,

They close the day.
And others, like your humble servan',
Poor wights! nae rules nor roads observin ;
To right or left, eternal swervin,

They zigzag on;
Till cursed with age, obscure an' starvin,

They aften groan.
Alas! what bitter toil an' straining-
But truce with peevish, poor complaining!
Is fortune's fickle Luna waning ?

E'en let her gang!
Beneath what light she has remaining,

Let's sing our sang.

EPISTLE TO A YOUNG FRIEND.

I LANG hae thought, my youthfu' friend,

A something to have sent you,
Though it should serve nae other end

Than just a kind memento;
But how the subject theme may gang

Let time and chance determine;
Perhaps it may turn out a sang,

Perhaps turn out a sermon. Ye'll try the world soon, my lad,

was Ye'll find mankind an unco squad, proso lazerles.

And muckle they may grieve ye

For care and trouble set your thought,

E’en when your end's attain'd; And a' your views may come to naughty

Where every nerve is strain'd.
I'll no say men are villains a';

The real, harden'd wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,

Are to a few restricked;
But, och! mankind are unco weak,

An' little to be trusted ;
If self the wavering balance shake,

It's rarely right adjusted!
Yet they wha fa’ in fortune's strife,

Their fate we should nae censure,
For still th’ important end o' life

They equally may answer ;
A man may hae an honest heart,

Though poortith hourly stare him;
A man may tak a neebor's part,

Yet hae nae cash to spare him.
Aye free, aff han' your story tell,

When wi' a bosom crony;
But still keep something to yoursel

Ye scarcely tell to ony.
Conceal yoursel as weel's you can

Frae critical dissection;
But keek through every

Wi' sharpen'd, slee inspection.
The sacred lowe o' weel-placed love,

Luxuriantly indulge it ;
But never tempt th' illicit rove,

Though naething should divulge it!
I wave the quantum o' the sin,

The hazard of concealing ; But, och! it hardens a' within,

And petrifies the feeling.

other man,

To catch dame Fortune's golden smile,

Assiduous wait upon her; And gather gear by every wile

That's justified by honour; . Not for to hide it in a hedge,

Not for a train-attendant; But for the glorious privilege

Of being independent.
The fear o'hell's a hangman's whip,

To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your honour grip,

Let that aye be your border ;
Its slightest touches, instant pausen

Debar a' side pretences ; And resolutely keep its laws,

Uncaring consequences. The great Creator to revere

Must sure become the creature ; But still the preaching cant forbear,

And e'en the rigid feature ;
Yet ne'er with wits profane to range,

Be complaisance extended ;
An atheist's laugh's a poor exchange

For Deity offended !
When ranting round in pleasure's ring,

Religion may be blinded; Or, if she gie a random sting,

It may be little minded;
But when on life we're tempest-driven,

A conscience but a canker-
A correspondence fix'd wi' heaven

Is sure a noble anchor!
Adieu, dear, amiable youth!

Your heart can ne'er be wanting : May prudence, fortitude, and truth

Erect your brow undaunting !

« ПретходнаНастави »