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While terra firma, on her axis
Diurnal turns, Count on a friend, in faith an' practice,
lo Robert Burns.
memory's no worth a preen: I had amaist forgotten clean, Ye bade me write you what they mean
By this new light, * 'Bout which our herds sae aft bae been
Maist like to fight. In days when mankind were but callans At grammar, logic, an' sic talents, They took nae pains their speech to balance,
Or rules to gie,
Like you or me.
Gaed past their viewing, An' shortly after she was done
They gat a new one..
An'ca'd it wrang ;
Baith loud an' 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 oʻsigbt, Jo' backlips-coming to the leuk,
She grew mair bright,
• See note, p. 37.
This was deny'd it was affirm’d;
That beardless laddies Should think they better were inform’d
Than their auld daddies. Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks : Frae words an aiths to clours an' nicks; An' mopie 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 bure sic hands, That faith, the youngsters took the sands
Wi' nimble shanks,
Sic bluidy pranks.
Ye'll find ane plac'd;
Just quite barefac’d. Nae doubt the auld-light flocks are bleatin ; Their zealous herds are vex'd an' sweatin; Mysel', I've even seen them greetin
Wi' girnin sprite, To bear the moon sae sadly lie'd on
By word an' write. But sbortly they will cowe the louns ! Some auld-ligbt herds in neebor towns Are mind't, in things they ca' balloons,
To tak a flight, An' stay a month amang the moons,
An' see them right. Guid observation they will gie' them; An' when the auld moon's gaun to lea'e them, 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!
Io logic tudzie,
Tbau mind sic brulzie.
EPISTLE TO J. R******,
INCLOSING SOME POEMS.
ROUGH, rude, ready-witted R******,
Your dreams* an' tricks
Straught to auld Nick's.
An' fill them fou ;
Are a' seen thro'.
The lads in black;
Rives't aff their back.
To ken them by,
Like you or I.
A certain humourous dream of his was then making a poise in ine countryoside.
I've sent you here some rhyrning ware,
I will expect
And do neglect.
An' danc'd my fill : l'd better gaen, an' saird the king
At Bunker's Hill.
A bonnie hen,
Thought nane wad ken, The poor wee thing was little hurt, I straikit it a wee for sport, Ne'er thinkin they wad fash me for't ;
The hale affair.
I scorn’d to lie ;
An' pay't the fee.
I vow an' swear !
For this niest year.
• A song he had promised the author
L-d, l’se hae sportio by an' by,
For my guid guinea :
For't, in Virginia.
Scarce thro' the feathers;
An' thole their blethers!
When time's expedient :
Your most obedient.
THERE was three kings into the east,
Three king: both great and high,
John Barleycorn should die.
Put clods upon his head,
John Barleycorn was dead :
And show'rs began to fall;
And sore surpris'd them all.
And he grew thick and strong,
That no one should him wrong.
* This is partly composed on the plan of an old song known by
the same name.