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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 ;
Or lee-lang nights, wi' crabbit leuks,
Pore owrè the devil's pictur'd beuks ;
Stake on a chance a farmer's stackyard,
An' cheat like onie unhang'd blackguard.

There's some exception, man an’ woman;
But this is gentry'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 rowtin 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.

SCOTCH DRINK.

Gie him strong drink, until he wink,

That's sinking in despair ;
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid,

That's prest wi' grief an' care ;
There let him bouse, and deep carouse,

Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs no more.

Solomon's Proverbs, xxxi. 6, 7.

Let other poets raise a fracas
'Bout vines, an' wines, an' drunken Bacchus,
An' crabbit names and stories wrack us,

An' grate our lug,
I sing the juice Scots bear can mak us,

In glass or jug.

O thou, my Muse! guid auld Scotch Drink, Whether thro' wimpling worms thou jink, Or, richly brown, ream o'er the brink,

In glorious faem, Inspire 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,
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn,

Thou king o'grain !

On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
In souple scones, the wale o’ food!
Or tumblin in the boiling flood

Wi' kail an' beef;
But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood,

There thou shines chief.

Food fills the wame, an' keeps us livin;
Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin,
When heavy dragg’d wi' pine an' grievin ;

But, oil'd by thee,
The wheels o’ life gae down-hill, scrievin,

Wi’ rattlin glee.

Thou clears the head of doited Lear; Thou cheers the heart o' drooping Care ; Thou strings the nerves o' Labour sair,

At's weary toil; Thou even brightens dark Despair

Wi' gloomy smile.

Aft, clad in massy siller weed, Wi' gentles thou erects thy head; Yet humbly kind in time o' need,

The poor man's wine, His wee drap parritch, or his bread,

Thou kitchens fine.

Thou art the life o' public haunts; But thee, what were our fairs and rants ? Ev'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 sweetly then thou reams the horn in; Or reekin on a new-year morning

In cog or bicker, An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in,

An' gusty sucker!

When Vulcan gies his bellows breath, An' ploughmen gather wi' their graith, O rare! to see the fizz an' freath

I th’ lugget caup! Then Burnewin* comes on like death

At ev'ry chaup.

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Nae mercy, then, for airn or steel; The brawnie, banie, ploughman chiel, Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel,

The strong forehammer, Till block an' studdie ring an' reel

Wi' dinsome clamour.

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When skirlin weanies see the light, Thou maks the gossips elatter bright, How fumblin cufs their dearies slight;

Wae worth the name ! Nae howdie gets a social night,

Or plack frae them.

When neebors anger at a plea, An' just as wud as wud can be,

* Burnewin-Burn-the-wind-the blacksmith an appropriate title. E.

How easy can the barley-bree

Cement the quarrel! It's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee,

To taste the barrel.

Alake! that e'er my muse has reason To wyte her countrymen wi' treason! But monie daily weet their weason

Wi' liquors nice, An' hardly, in a winter's season,

E'er spier her price.

Wae worth that brandy, burning trash ! Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash ! Twins monie a poor, doylt, drunken hash,

O'half his days; An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash

To her worst faes.

Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well ! Ye chief, to you my tale I tell, Poor plackless devils like mysel !

It sets you ill, Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell,

Or foreign gill.

May gravels round his blather wrench, An' gouts torment him inch by inch, Wha twists his gruntle wi’ a glunch

O' sour disdain, Out owre a glass o' whisky punch

Wi' honest men.

0 Whisky! soul o' plays an’ pranks ! Accept a hardie's humble thanks! When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks

Are my poor verses ! Thou comes they rattle i' their ranks

At ither's a---s!

Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost ! Scotland lament frae coast to coast !

Now colic grips, an' barkin hoast,

May kill us a'; For loyal Forbes' charter'd boast

Is ta'en awa!

Thae curst horse-leeches o'th excise, Wha mak the whisky stells their prize! Haud up thy han', deil ! ance, twice, thrice!

There, seize the blinkers ! An' bake them up in brunstane pies

For poor d-nd drinkers.

Fortune! if thou'll but gie me still Hale breeks, a scone, an' whisky gill, An' rowth o'rhyme to rave at will,

Tak a' the rest, An' deal't about as thy blind skill

Directs thee best.

THE AUTHOR'S

EARNEST CRY AND PRAYER*

TO THE SCOTCH REPRESENTATIVES IN

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,

Dearest of distillation ! last and best !
-How art thou lost !

Parody on Milton.

Ye Irish lords, ye knights an' squires, Wha represent our brughs an' shires,

* This was written before the act anent the Scotch distilleries, of session 1786 ; for which Scotland and the author return their most grateful thanks.

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