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alluded, that his personal satire was fierce and acrimonious. I am not, however, disposed to consider his attacks on Rumble John, and Holy Willie, as destitute of wit; and his poem on the clerical settlements at Kilmarnock, blends a good deal of ingenious metaphor with his accustomed humour. Even viewing him as a satirist, the last and humblest light in which he can be regarded as a poet, it may still be said of him,
“ His style was witty, though it had some gall; “ Something he might have mended-so may all."
THE TWA DOGS.
'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle,
The first I'll name, they ca'd him Cæsar,
His locked, letter'd, braw brass collar Shew'd him the gentleman and scholar: But tho' he was o' high degree, The fient a pride na pride had he; But wad hae spent an hour caressin, Ev'n with a tinkler-gipsy's messin. At kirk or market, mill or smiddie, Nae tawted tyke, tho' e'er sae duddie, But he wad stan't, as glad to see him, And stroan't on stanes an' hillocks wi' him.
The tither was a ploughman's collie,
He was a gash an' faithful tyke,
Nae doubt but they were fain o'ither,
Until wi' daffin weary grown,
CÆSAR. I've aften wonder’d, honest Luath, What sort o' life poor dogs like you have; An' when the gentry's life I saw, What way poor bodies liv'd ava.
Our Laird gets in his racked rents, His coals, his kain, and a' his stents : He rises when he likes himsel ; His flunkies answer at the bell; He ca's his coach, he ca's his horse; He draws a bonnie silken purse As lang's my tail, whare, thro' the steeks, The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks.
Frae morn to e'en it's nought but toiling, At baking, roasting, frying, boiling ; An' tho' the gentry first are stechin, Yet ev'n the ha' folk fill their pechan Wi' sauce, ragouts, and sic like trashtrie, That’s little short o' downright wastrie. Our Whipper-in, wee blastit wonner, Poor worthless elf, it eats a dinner, Better than ony tenant man His Honour has in a' the lan': An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in, I own it's past my comprehension,
LUATH. Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fash't enough; A cottar howkin in a sheugh, Wi' dirty stanes biggin a dyke, Baring a quarry, and sic like, Himself, a wife, he thus sustains, A smytrie o' wee duddie weans, An' nought but his han' darg, to keep Them right and tight in thack an' rape.
An' when they meet wi' sair disasters, Like loss o' health, or want o' masters, Ye maist wad think, a wee touch langer, An' they maun starve o' cauld and hunger; But, how it comes, I never kenn'd it, They're maistly wonderfu' contented; An' buirdly chiels, an' clever hizzies, Are bred in sic a way as this is.
I've notic'd, on our Laird's court-day,
While they maun stan', wi' aspect humble, An' hear it a', an' fear an' tremble !
I see how folk live that hae riches; But surely poor folk maun be wretches !
LUATH. They're nae sae wretched's ane wad think; Tho' constantly on poortith’s brink: 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 mair provided; An' tho' fatigu'd wi' close employment, A blink o' rest's a sweet enjoyment.
The dearest comfort o' their lives,
An' whyles twalpennie worth o’nappy
As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returns,