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With talents passing most of my compeers,
Which I in just proportion have abused-
As far surpassing other common villains
As Thou in natural parts has given me more.
THE TARBOLTON LASSES
IF ye gae up to yon hill-tap,
Ye'll there see bonie Peggy;
She kens her father is a laird,
And she forsooth's a leddy.
There Sophy tight, a lassie bright,
Besides a handsome fortune:
Wha canna win her in a night,
Has little art in courtin.
Gae down by Faile, and taste the ale,
And tak a look o' Mysie;
She's dour and din, a deil within,
But aiblins she may please ye.
If she be shy, her sister try,
Ye'll maybe fancy Jenny;
If ye'll dispense wi' want o' sense-
She kens hersel she's bonie.
As ye gae up by yon hillside,
Speir in for bonie Bessy;
She'll gie ye a beck, and bid ye light,
And handsomely address ye.
There's few sae bonie, nane sae guid,
In a' King George' dominion;
If ye should doubt the truth o' this-
It's Bessy's ain opinion!
AH, WOE IS ME, MY MOTHER DEAR
Paraphrase of Jeremiah, 15th Chap., 10th verse.
Ан, woe is me, my mother dear!
A man of strife ye've born me:
For sair contention I maun bear;
They hate, revile, and scorn me.
I ne'er could lend on bill or band,
That five per cent. might blest me;
And borrowing, on the tither hand,
The deil a ane wad trust me.
Yet I, a coin-denied wight,
By Fortune quite discarded;
Ye see how I am, day and night,
By lad and lass blackguarded!
ALTHO' my bed were in yon muir,
Amang the heather, in my plaidie;
Yet happy, happy would I be,
Had I my dear Montgomerie's Peggy.
When o'er the hill beat surly storms,
And winter nights were dark and rainy;
I'd seek some dell, and in my arms
I'd shelter dear Montgomerie's Peggy.
Were I a baron proud and high,
And horse and servants waiting ready; Then a' 'twad gie o' joy to me,—
The sharin't with Montgomerie's Peggy.
As I was a-wand'ring ae morning in spring,
I heard a young ploughman sae sweetly to sing;
And as he was singin', thir words he did say,-
There's nae life like the ploughman's in the month o'
The lav'rock in the morning she'll rise frae her nest,
And mount i' the air wi' the dew on her breast,
And wi' the merry ploughman she'll whistle and sing,
And at night she'll return to her nest back again.
THE RONALDS OF THE BENNALS
IN Tarbolton, ye ken, there are proper young men,
And proper young lasses and a', man;
But ken ye the Ronalds that live in the Bennals,
They carry the gree frae them a', man.
Their father's a laird, and weel he can spare't,
Braid money to tocher them a’, man;
To proper young men, he'll clink in the hand
Gowd guineas a hunder or twa, man.
There's ane they ca' Jean, I'll warrant ye've seen
As bonie a lass or as braw, man;
But for sense and guid taste she'll vie wi' the best,
And a conduct that beautifies a', man.
The charms o' the min', the langer they shine,
The mair admiration they draw, man;
While peaches and cherries, and roses and lilies,
They fade and they wither awa, man,
If ye be for Miss Jean, tak this frae a frien',
A hint o' a rival or twa, man;
The Laird o' Blackbyre wad gang through the fire, If that wad entice her awa, man.
The Laird o' Braehead has been on his speed,
For mair than a towmond or twa, man;
The Laird o' the Ford will straught on a board,
If he canna get her at a', man.
Then Anna comes in, the pride o' her kin,
The boast of our bachelors a', man:
Sae sonsy and sweet, sae fully complete,
She steals our affections awa, man.
If I should detail the pick and the wale
O'lasses that live here awa, man,
The fau't wad be mine if they didna shine
The sweetest and best o' them a', man.
I lo'e her mysel, but darena weel tell,
My poverty keeps me in awe, man;
For making o' rhymes, and working at times,
Does little or naething at a', man.
Yet I wadna choose to let her refuse,
Nor hae't in her power to say na, man: For though I be poor, unnoticed, obscure, My stomach's as proud as them a', man.
Though I canna ride in weel-booted pride,
And flee o'er the hills like a craw, man,
I can haud up my head wi' the best o' the breed,
Though fluttering ever so braw, man.
My coat and my vest, they are Scotch o' the best,
O' pairs o' guid breeks I hae twa, man;
And stockings and pumps to put on my stumps,
And ne'er a wrang steek in them a', man.
My sarks they are few, but five o' them new,
Twal' hundred, as white as the snaw, man,
A ten-shillings hat, a Holland cravat;
There are no mony poets sae braw, man.
I never had frien's weel stockit in means,
To leave me a hundred or twa, man;
Nae weel-tocher'd aunts, to wait on their drants,
And wish them in hell for it a', man.
I never was cannie for hoarding o' money,
Or claughtin't together at a', man;
I've little to spend, and naething to lend,
But deevil a shilling I awe, man.
SONG HERE'S TO THY HEALTH
HERE'S to thy health, my bonie lass,
Gude nicht and joy be wi' thee;
I'll come nae mair to thy bower-door,
To tell thee that I lo'e thee.
O dinna think, my pretty pink,
But I can live without thee:
I vow and swear I dinna care,
How lang ye look about ye.
Thou'rt aye sae free informing me,
Thou hast nae mind to marry;
I'll be as free informing thee,
Nae time hae I to tarry:
I ken thy frien's try ilka means
Frae wedlock to delay thee;
Depending on some higher chance,
But fortune may betray thee.
I ken they scorn my low estate,
But that does never grieve me;
For I'm as free as any he;
Sma' siller will relieve me.