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To ken what French mischief was brewin ! Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin : That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph, If Venus yet had got his nose off; Or how the collieshangie works Atween the Russians and the Turks ; Or if the Swede, before he halt, Would play anither Charles the twalt : If Denmark, any body spak o't; Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't; How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin; How libbet Italy was singin; If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss, Were sayin or takin aught amiss : Or how our merry lads at hame, In Britain's court kept up the game: How Royal George, the Lord leuk o'er him ! Was managing St. Stephen's quorum ; If sleekit Chatham Will was livin, Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in; How daddie Burke the plea was cookin; If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukin; How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd, Or if bare a-s yet were tax’d; The news o' princes, dukes, and earls, Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls; If that daft buckie, Geordie W***s, Was threshin still at hizzies' tails, Or if he was grown outline douser, And no a perfect kintra cooser: A'this and mair I never heard of, And but for you I might despair’d of. So gratefu', hack your news I send you, And pray a' gude things may attend you! Ellişland, 1790.
POEM ON PASTORAL POETRY.
HAIL, Poesie! thou Nymph reserv'a !
'Mang heaps o'clavers ; And och! owre aft thy joes har starvid,
'Mid a' thy favours !
To death or marriage, Scarce ane has tried the shepherd-sang
But wi' miscarriage?
Even Sappho's fame. Eut thee, Theocritus, who matches ? They're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches; Squire Pope but busks his skinkling patches
O' heathen tatters : I pass by hundreds, nameless wretches,
That ape their betters, In this braw age o' wit and lear, Will nane the shepherd's whistle mair Blaw sweetly in its native air
And native grace ; And wi’ the far-fam'a Grecian share
A rival place ? Yes! there is ane ; a Scotish callan ! There's ane ; come forrit, honest Allan ! Thou need na jouk behint the hallan,
A chiel sae clever ; The teeth o' time may knaw Tamtallan,
But thou's for ever,
Thou paints auld nature to the nines,
Her griefs will tell! In gowany glens thy burnie strays, Where bonnie lasses bleach their claes ; Or trots by hazelly shaws and braes,
Wi' hawthorps gray,
At close o' day.
0' witchin love, That charm, that can the strongest quell,
The sterbest move.
TO MRS. DUNLOP
This day, Time winds th’ exhausted-chain,
Coila's fair Rachel's care to day, *
• This young lady was drawing a picture of Coila, from the Vision
GRACE BEFORE MEAT.
THOU, who kindly dost provide
For this thy goodness lent:
May never worse be sent ;
Lord, bless us with content.
A LADY FAMED FOR HER CAPRICE.
How cold is that bosom which folly once fir'd, How pale is that cheek where the rouge lately
glisten'd, How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tird,
How dúll is that ear which to flatt'ry so listen'd! If sorrow and anguish their exit awake,
From friendship and dearest affection remov'd; How doubly severe, Eliza, thy fate,
Thou diedst unwept as thou lived'st unlov'd. Loves, graces, and virtues, I call not on you ;
So shy, grave, and distant, ye shed not a tear; But come, all ye offspring of folly so true,
And flow'rs let us cull for Eliza's cold bier. We'll search through the garden for each silly flow'r,
We'll roam through the forest for each idle weed, But chiefly the nettle, so topical, show'r, For pone e'er approach'd her but rued the raske