TO J*** C***** A SOUTHRON,
SOJOURNIN' AT EDINBURGH,
ON RECEIVIN' HIS INVITATION TO AULD REEKIE.
H O W sair a task wi' Doubt to wrestle!
Sax hours I've had your kind Epistle,
An' done nocht syne but fidge an' fisle
About the matter;
Fain would I fuff" dour Care a whissle,
An' oure the water.
' Hap aff", ye dog!' says Inclination,
' An' loup the dyke o' Dubitation;
' A fit like your's will fin' a station?'
' Haud, haud ye there
' Whelpie!' cries cauld Consideration,
' Loup an' ye daur.'
Hingin' my lugs? clean ourpowerit?
I heard the coof, an' down I cowrit;
When Glee row'd in, an' rarely stourit,
An' clappit me;?
' The cranreuch-facit carl is sourit,?
' Ye's gang,' quo' he ;
' An' as for Doubt, the menseless bear,
' I'll quarter him on crabbit Care,
' An t' ane may grunt, and t' ither rair?
Nor fin' remead:
' Frien'ship will never fret him sair,
' If baith gang dead.'
An' sae, my Johnnie! now ye hae me,?
Ta'en aff the horns o' this dilemma,
An affskip ne'er sic transport gae me,
Syne I were shellit;
An' here, if fausehood ourlay me,
May l be fellit!
Baresit I'd tramp through moss an' heather,
The snellest day, to see anither
Like ye, an' ane that ca's ye brither?
Rab o' your ilk;?
Twa chaps wha mens'd ae dad an' mither,
An' souk'd ae milk.
Aweel! ye are a couthie kiddy,
But stalwart ever?ripe an' riddy
In a' that s kind;
Which fairly prieves frae Worth's ain smiddy
Your weel-wrought mind:
An' speaks a heart o' leesome mettle,
Humanity aye lo'es to pettle,
Keepin' it still i' halesome fettle?
Feckfu' and stark;
Till Death shall your last daurk settle,
An stap your wark.
As ane wha's dowff amang the mony?
Be I first stappit, gentle Johnnie !
An' while there's left a screed o' ony
O' Truth's web en',
Time shall for ye leuk blithe an' bonnie
An' be your frien'.
Some bodies ne'er cast aff the bairn,
Some heads are saft as tauted yarn,
Some hearts are hard as stane or airn?
An' lost to guid :
Frae ye the gifts they a' might learn
O' flesh an' bluid.
Leeze me on Life, when?thus dispellin
The murky cluds on joyance fallin?
It gies ane hearts like your's to dwell in
Tiends an' rent free,
Wi' thack an' rape?a sunny hallan?
An' sowps o' brie !
Leeze me on Lifewi' this estate,
An' blethrin' Wealth may tak the gate ;
I'll crack auld jouks at sic a rate
This thretty year,
That Age shall thraw me down to Fate
Better for wear.
An' when thase years were dead an' gane,
I wad na, Jock! be left my lane ;
Nor wad I then be fidgin' fain
For ither faces;
Content t' hae reach'd the winnin' stane
O' this warl's races.
To sic a foughten chiel as me,
Ayont?what can Existence gie,
Than oure its course to bear the gree
For Love an' Fortune crossit me
An' swoor my fa' ?
Brunstane therefore?Na, o' my faith,
They are na worth sae deep an aith;
Let them pack up their gab an' graith
An' aff to-----,
Where, could I lig atween 'em baith,
I wad na dwell.
Wae's me! that gall should be infusit
In this to you! Douce Judgment rues it:
But huntit hard, and sair abusit,
An' kept at bay,?
The stricken deer's for a' excusit
He does that day.'
Swith! Deil-ma-care?Ye Consequences !
I'll fash mysell wi' nae defences,
But speak my min' on a' pretences
That stowlins crawl-
To cheat puir bodies o' their senses
An' kill their saul.
I cast my pity to a fool,
My scorn to Slav'ry's bluntie snool,
An' for Corruption's fylit tool?
I'd be a helper
To sneck him i' the doukin-stool,
But there is ane aboon the core,
Wi' whom I lang to hae a splore,
Ye've knawn me blaud the saunt before,
An' ken his rant,?
I mean that son o' Babel's w?e
The baser airts o' ilka kin
that squattle human heads within,
Sense an' Discretion always fin'
An e'e to watch ;
But black Hypocrisy's a sin
They canna match.
O gie me a nine-tailit whip,
Wi' elback room to clink him up,
An' if, before I gang to sup,
He has na swat,
An' drank the penitential cup,?
I'll eat the cat.
' Eat an' be'-----Lord! wha's he that's speakin'?
Tis Kirkcraft sure, his Clootie seekin ;
Ay, there he's through my winnock keekin;?
' Auld Nick's na ben !
'He's by some lowin ingle reekin
' Wi' halier men.'
Forgie my saftness, fier endearit!
Sinners like me may weel be fearit,
When sic a tongue, an' e'en sae bleerit,
Ply ane wi' ither:
Aiblins 'twas Satan's sell appearit.
An' nocht his brither.
A feg for Nick?Ins bastard brither ?
His blastie dad?his blastie mither?
His kith an' kin?an' ev'ry ither
That harries Man ;?
May they be damnit a' thegither?
The hale clan!
Then what a warl' this wad be
Kinttlit her lane by Charity,
Ye surely ken as weel as me?
Or rather better,
Guidwill to Man' an' Johnnie gree
E'en to the letter.
Lang may ye live to cheer us a',
An' Heal as lang preserve ye braw!
sae, sneckin' now my clav'rin' jaw,
I stap my clack;
Which, if t' hae grumplit ye ava,
Ye'll trunnle back.
J. AND R. CHILDS, PRINTERS, BUNGAY.
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