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A fig for those by law protected!
Liberty's a glorious feast!
Courts for cowards were erected,
Churches built to please the priest.

What is title, what is treasure,
What is reputation's care?
If we lead a life of pleasure,
'Tis no matter how or where !
A fig for, &c.

With the ready trick and fable,
Round we wander all the day;
And at night in barn or stable,
Hug our doxies on the hay.
A fig for, &c.

Does the train-attended carriage
Thro' the country lighter rove?
Does the sober bed of marriage
Witness brighter scenes of love?
A fig for, &c.

Life is all a variorum,

We regard not how it goes;
Let them cant about decorum,
Who have character to lose.
A fig for, &c.

Here's to budgets, bags and wallets!
Here's to all the wandering train.
Here's our ragged brats and callets,
One and all cry out, Amen!


A fig for those by law protected!
Liberty's a glorious feast!
Courts for cowards were erected,
Churches built to please the priest.


Song-For a' that.1

THO' Women's minds, like winter winds,
May shift, and turn, an' a' that,
The noblest breast adores them maist-
A consequence I draw that.

Chor.-For a' that, an' a' that,

And twice as meikle's a' that;
The bonie lass that I loe best
She'll be my ain for a' that.

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Their tricks an' craft hae put me daft.
They've taen me in, an' a' that;

But clear your decks, and here's
I like the jads for a' that.

a thwart.

For a' that, &c.

b rest.

"The Sex!'

• sting.

1 A later version of "I am a bard of no regard" in The Jolly Beggars.

Song-Merry hae I been teethin a heckle.'

Tune-"The bob o' Dumblane.”

O MERRY hae I been teethin a heckle,"
An' merry hae I been shapin a spoon;
O merry hae I been cloutin 5 a kettle,


An' kissin my Katie when a' was done.
O a' the lang day I ca' at my hammer,

An' a' the lang day I whistle and sing;
O a' the lang night I cuddle my kimmer,
An' a' the lang night as happy's a king.

Bitter in dool I lickit my winnins

O' marrying Bess, to gie her a slave:
Blest be the hour she cool'd in her linnens,
And blythe be the bird that sings on her grave!
Come to my arms, my Katie, my Katie;
O come to my arms and kiss me again!
Drucken or sober, here's to thee, Katie!
An' blest be the day I did it again.

The Cotter's Saturday Night.1
Inscribed to R. Aiken, Esq.

"Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.'

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My lov'd, my honour'd, much respected friend!
No mercenary bard his homage pays;
With honest pride, I scorn each selfish end,
My dearest meed, a friend's esteem and praise:
To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

putting new teeth in a flax-comb.
d wench.




• in grief I tasted my earnings.

A tinkler's song, perhaps superseded by that of the Caird in The Jolly Beggars.

• drive.

1 Mentioned in a letter to Richmond, of Feb. 17, 1786. (Chambers.) The piece is a serious pendant to the mirth


The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene,

The native feelings strong, the guileless ways,
What Aiken in a cottage would have been;

Ah! tho' his worth unknown, far happier there I ween!
November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh";
The short'ning winter-day is near a close;
The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh;
The black'ning trains o' craws to their repose:
The toil-worn Cotter frae his labour goes,-
This night his weekly moil is at an end,

Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,

Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend,

And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward bend.

At length his lonely cot appears in view,
Beneath the shelter of an aged tree;

Th' expectant wee-things, toddlin, stacher through
To meet their dad, wi' flichterin noise and glee.
His wee bit ingle,d blinkin bonilie,

His clean hearth-stane, his thrifty wifie's smile,
The lisping infant, prattling on his knee,
Does a' his weary kiaugh and care beguile,

And makes him quite forget his labour and his toil.

Belyve,' the elder bairns come drapping in,
At service out, amang the farmers roun';
Some ca' the pleugh, some herd, some tenties rin
A cannieh errand to a neibor town:

Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman-grown,

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In youthfu' bloom-love sparkling in her e'e

Čomes hame, perhaps to shew a braw new gown, Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,

To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.

With joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,
And each for other's weelfare kindly speirs":
The social hours, swift-wing'd, unnotic'd fleet:
Each tells the uncosb that he sees or hears.
The parents partial eye their hopeful years;
Anticipation forward points the view;

The mother, wi' her needle and her shears,
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new;
The father mixes a' wi' admonition due.

Their master's and their mistress's command,
The younkers a' are warned to obey;
And mind their labors wi' an eydent hand,
And ne'er, tho' out o' sight, to jaukR or play;
"And O! be sure to fear the Lord alway,
And mind your duty, duly, morn and night;
Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,
Implore His counsel and assisting might:

They never sought in vain that sought the Lord aright."

But hark! a rap comes gently to the door;
Jenny, wha kens the meaning o' the same,
Tells how a neibor lad came o'er the moor,
To do some errands, and convoy her hame.
The wily mother sees the conscious flame
Sparkle in Jenny's e'e, and flush her cheek;
With heart-struck anxious care, enquires his name,
While Jenny hafflins' is afraid to speak;

Weel-pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, worthless rake.

⚫ enquires.
4 diligent.


strange things. • idle.

• makes old clothes."
f half.

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