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They're sae accustom'd wi' the sight,
The view o't gies them little fright.
Then chance an' fortune are sae guided,
They're ay in less or inair provided;
Autho' fatigu'd wi' close employment,
A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.
The dearest comfort o' their lives, Their grushie weans, ån' faithfu' wives; The prattling things are just their pride, That sweetens a' their fire-side.
An' whyles twalpennie worth o' nappy Can mak the bodies unco happy; They lay aside their private cares, To mind the kirk and state affairs : They'll talk of patronage and priests,. Wi' kindling fory in their breasts, Or tell what new taxation's coming, An' ferlie at the folk in Lon'on
As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returns,
They get the jovial ranting kirns,
When rural life, o' ev'ry station,
Unite in common recreation;
Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth,
Forgets there's Care upo' the earth.
That merry day-the year begins,
They bar the door on frosty winds;
The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream,
An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam ;
The luntin-pipe, an’sneeshin mill,
Are handed round wi' right guid will;
The cantie auld folks crackin crouse,
The young anes rantin tbro' the house
My heart has been sae fain to see them,
That I for joy hae barkit wi' them.
Still its owre true that ye hae said,
Sic game is now owre afteo play'd.
There's monie a creditable stock
O' decent, honest, fawsont folk,
Are riven out, both root and branch,
Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench,
Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster,
In favour wi' soine gentle master,
Wha'aiblins, tbrang a parliamentiu,
For Britain's guid his saul indentin-
Haith, lad, ye little ken about it;
· For Britain's guid ! guid faith! I doubt it.
Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead him,
An' saying aye or no's they bid bim :
An' operas an' plays parading,
Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading :
Or may be, in a frolic daft,
To Hague or Calais takes a waft,
To mak a tour, an' tak a whirl,
To learn bon ton, an' see the worl'.
There, at Vienna or Versailles,
He rives his father's auld entails;
Or by Madrid he takes the rout,
To thrum guitars, and fetch wi' nowts
Or down Italian vista startles,
Wb-re-hunting among groves o' myrtles:
Then bouses drumly German water,
To mak himsel look fair and fatter,
An' clear the consequential sorrows,
Love-gifts of Carnival signoras.
• For Britain's guid!' for her destruction
Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.
Hech man! dear sirs! is that the gate
They waste sae miony a braw estate!
Are we sae foughten au' harrass'd
For gear to gang that gate at last!
O would they stay aback frae courts,
An' please themsels wi' contra sports,
It wad for ev'ry ane be better,
The laird, the tenant, au' the cotter!
For thae frank, rantin, ramblin,billies,
Fieot hąet o' them's ill-hearted fellows;
Except for breakin o' their timmer,
Or speaking lightly o' their limmer,
Or shooting o' a hare or inoor-cock,
The pe'er a bit they're ill to poor folk..
But will ye tell me, Master Cæsar,
Sure great folk's life's a life o' pleasure?
Nae cauld nor hunger ne'er can steer them,
The vera thought o't need na fear them.
Id, man, were ye but whyles whare I am,
Tbe gentles ye wad ne'er 'envy'em.
It's true, they need na starve or sweat,
Thro' winter's cauld, or simmer's heat;
They've nae sair wark to craze their banes,
An' fill auldage wi'grips an' granes :
But human bodies are ssc fools,
For a'their colleges and schools,
That when nae real ills perplex them,
They make enow themsels to vex them;
An'ay the less they hae to start them,
In like proportion less will hurt them.
A country fellow at the pleugh,
His acres till’d, he's right eneugh;
A country lassy at her wheel,
Her dizzen's done, she's unco weel:
But gentlemen, an' ladies warst,
Wi' ev'o down want o' wark are curst.
They loiter, lounging, lank, an' lazy;
Tho' deil haet ails them, yet uneasy;
Their days insipid, dull, an' tasteless :
Their nights unquiet, lang, an' restless ;
An' even their sports, their balls, an' races,
Their galloping thro' public places, '.
There's sic parade, sic pomp, an' art,
The joy can scarcely reach the heart.
The men cast out in party matches,
Then sowther a' in deep debauches;
Ae nighit they're mad wi' drink an' wh-ring,
Niest day their life is past enduring.
The ladies arm-in-arm in clusters,
As great and gracious a'as sisters
But hear their absent thoughts o'ither,
They're a' run deils an jads thegither.
Whyles, o'er the wee bit cup an' platie,
They sip the scandal potion pretty;'
Oer lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks,
Pore owre the devil's pietur'd beuks;
Stake on a chance a farmer's slackyard,
An' cheat like onie unhang'd blackguard.
There's some exception, man an’ woman ;
But this isgentry's life in common.
By this, the sun was out o' sight,
An' darker gloaming brought the night ;
The bum-clock humm'd wi' lazy drone
The kye stood rowtio i' the loan;
When up they gat, and shook their lugs,
Rejoic'd they were na men but dogs;
An' each took aff his several way,
Resolv'd to meet some ither day.
Gie him strong drink, until he wiak
That's şióking in despair ;
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief
TH let bim bouse, an' deep carouse,
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs uo more,
Solomon's Proverbs, kxxl. 6,7.
LET other poets raise a fracas
'Bout vines, an' wines, an' drunken Bacchus,
An' crabbit names ab' stories wrack us,
An' grate our lug,
I siog the juice Scots bear can mak us,
la glass or jug. thou, my Muse! guid auld Scotch driok; Whetber thro' wimpling worms thou jink, Or, richly brown, ream o'er the brink,
In glorious faem, Jaspire me, till I lisp and wink,
To sing thy name!
Let husky wheat the haughs adorn,
An'aits set up their awnie horn,
An' pease and beans at e’en or morn,
Perfume the plain,
Lecze me on thee, John Barleycorn,
Thou king o'grain !
On the aft Scotland chows her cood,
In souple scones, the wale o' food!
Ur tumblin in the boiling flood
Wi’kail an' beaf; But when thoa pours thy strong beart's blood,
There thou shines chief. Food fills the wame, an' keeps us livin; Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin, When beavy dragg'd wi' pine an' grivin;
But, oil'd by thee, The wheels o'li gac down-hill, scrievin,
Wi' rattlin glee. Thoo clears the head o' doited Lear; Thou cheers the heart o' drooping Care; Thou strings the nerves o' Labour sair,
Al's weary toil ;
Thou even brightens dark Despair
Wi' gloomy smile.
Af, clad in massy siller weed,
Wi' gentles thou erects thy head;
Yat humbly kind in time o' need,
The poor man's wine, His wee-drap parritch, or his bread,
Thou kitsbens fine.
Thou art the life o' public haunts ;
isut thee, what were our fairs and rants ?
Ey’n godly meetings o’the saunts,
By thee inspir'd, "When gaping they besiege the tents,
Are doubly fir'd.
That merry night we get the corn in,
O tweetly then thou reams the horo in,