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EPISTLE TO J. R******,
ENCLOSING SOME POEMS.
O ROUGH, rude, ready-witted R******,
Your dreams* an' tricks Will send you, Korah-like, a-sinkin,
Straught to auld Nick's.
Ye hae sae monie cracks an' cants, And in your wicked, drucken rants, Ye mak a devil o' the saunts,
An' fill them fou; And then their failings, flaws, an’ wants,
Are a' seen thro'.
Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it!
The lads in black !
Rives 't aff their back.
Think, wicked sinner, wha ye're skaithing, Its just the blue-gown badge an' claithing O’ saunts; tak that, ye lea'e them naething
To ken them by, Frae ony unregenerate heathen
Like you or I.
* A certain humorous dream of his was then making a noise in the country-side.
I've sent you here some rhyming ware,
I will expect
And no neglect.
Tho’ faith, sma' heart hae I to sing! My muse dow scarcely spread her wing ! I've play'd mysel a bonnie spring,
An' danc'd my fill ! I'd better gaen an' sair'd the king,
At Bunker's Hil.
'Twas ae night lately in my fun, I gaed a roving wi' the gun, An' brought a paitrick to the grun,
A bonnie hen, And, as the twilight was begun,
Thought nane wad ken. The poor wee thing was little burt; I straikit it a wee for sport, Ne'er thinkin they wad fash me for't ;
But, deil-ma-care ! Somebody tells the poacher-court
The hale affair.
Some auld us'd hands had ta'en a note,
I scorn'd to lie;
An' pay't the fee. • A song he bad promised the Author.
But, by my gun, o' guns the wale,
I vow an' swear!
For this, niest year.
As soon's the clockin-time is by,
For my gowd guinea :
For 't, in Virginia.
Trowth, they had muckle for to blame ! 'Twas neither broken wing nor limb, But twa-three draps about the wame
Scarce thro' the feathers ; An' baith, a yellow George to claim,
An' thole their blethers!
It pits me ay as mad's a hare ;
When time's expedient : Meanwhile I am, respected Sir,
Your most obedient.
Three kings both great and high,
John Barleycorn should die.
Put clods upon his head,
John Barleycorn was dead.
And show'rs began to fall;
And he grew thick and strong,
That no one should him wrong.
When he grew wan and pale ;
This is partly composed on the plan of an old song known by the same names
His bending joints and drooping head
Show'd he began to fail.
He faded into age;
To shew their deadly rage.
VII. They've taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee; Then ty'd him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie,
And cudgell'd him full sore ;
And turn'd him o'er and o'er.
With water to the brim,
There let him sink or swim.
To work him further woe,
They toss'd him to and fro.