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That when I looked to my dart,
It was sae blunt,
Fient haet o't wad hae pierc'd the heart
"I drew my scythe in sic a fury,
Withstood the shock;
I might as weel hae tried a quarry
"Ev'n them he canna get attended, Altho' their face he ne'er had kend it, Just in a kail-blade, an' send it,
As soon's he smells 't,
Baith their disease, and what will mend it, At once he tells 't.
"And then, a' doctor's saws an' whittles,
Their Latin names as fast he rattles
"Calces o' fossils, earths, and trees; True sal-marinum o' the seas; The farina of beans an' pease,
He has❜t in plenty;
Aqua-fontis, what you please,
He can content ye.
"Forbye some new, uncommon weapons,
Or mite-horn shavings, filings, scrapings,
Sal-alkali o' midge-tail clippings,
And mony mae."
for Johnie Ged's Hole now,"
Subt they'll rive it wi' the plew;
reature grain'd an eldritch laugh,
"a" be trench'd wi' mony a sheugh,
In twa-three year.
dane, a fair strae-death,
zood or want of breath,
That Hornbook's skill
a a score i' their last claith,
est wabster to his trade,
ha wife's twa nieves were scarce weel-bred
he wife slade cannie to her bed,
But ne'er spak mair.
"A country laird had ta'en the batts,
The lad, for twa guid gimmer-pets,
Was laird himsel'.
“A bonie lass—ye kend her name—
Horn sent her aff to her lang hame,
5 The grave-digger.-R. B.
"That's just a swatch o' Hornbook's way;
An's weel paid for't;
Yet stops me o' my lawfu' prey,
Wi' his damn'd dirt:
"But, hark! I'll tell you of a plot,
As dead's a herrin;
Neist time we meet, I'll wad a groat,
But just as he began to tell,
The auld kirk-hammer strak the bell
I took the way that pleas'd mysel',
EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK, AN OLD SCOTTISH BARD
APRIL 1, 1785
WHILE briers an' woodbines budding green,
An' morning poussie whiddin seen,
Inspire my muse,
This freedom, in an unknown frien',
On Fasten-e'en we had a rockin,
To ca' the crack and weave our stockin;
There was ae sang, amang the rest,
That some kind husband had addrest
To some sweet wife;
It thirl'd the heart-strings thro' the breast, A' to the life.
I've scarce heard ought describ'd sae weel,
They tauld me 'twas an odd kind chiel
It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't,
That nane excell'd it, few cam near❜t,
That, set him to a pint of ale,
An' either douce or merry tale,
Or rhymes an' sangs he'd made himsel,
Or witty catches—
"Tween Inverness an' Teviotdale,
He had few matches.
Then up I gat, an' swoor an aith,
Tho' I should pawn my pleugh an' graith, Or die a cadger pownie's death,
At some dyke-back,
A pint an' gill I'd gie them baith,
To hear your crack.
But, first an' foremost, I should tell,
Amaist as soon as I could spell,
I to the crambo-jingle fell;
Tho' rude an' rough
Yet crooning to a body's sel'
Does weel eneugh.
I am nae poet, in a sense;
But just a rhymer like by chance,
An' hae to learning nae pretence;
Yet, what the matter?
Whene'er my muse does on me glance,
Your critic-folk may cock their nose,
But, by your leaves, my learnèd foes,
What's a' your jargon o' your schools-
If honest Nature made you fools,
What sairs your grammars?
Ye'd better taen up spades and shools,
A set o' dull, conceited hashes
Confuse their brains in college classes!
An' syne they think to climb Parnassus
By dint o' Greek!
Gie me ae spark o' nature's fire,
That's a' the learning I desire;
Then tho' I drudge thro' dub an' mire
At pleugh or cart,
My muse, tho' hamely in attire,
May touch the heart.
O for a spunk o' Allan's glee,
That would be lear eneugh for me,
If I could get it.