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My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump and gray as onie grozet;
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,

Or fell, red smeddum,
I'd gie you sic a hearty doze o't,

Wad dress your droddum!

I wadna been surpris'd to spy
You on an auld wife's flainen toy;
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,

On 's wyliecoat.
But Miss's fine Lunardi ! fie,

How dare ye do't!

O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
An' set your beauties a' abread !
Ye little ken what cursed speed

The blastie's makin!
Thae winks and finger-ends, I dread,

Are notice takin!

O wad some pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us !
It wad frae monie a blunder free us

And foolish notion :
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,

And ev'n Devotion!

ADDRESS TO EDINBURGH. Edina! Scotia's darling seat!

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs, Where once beneath a monarch's feet

Sat legislation's sov'reign pow’rs ! From marking wildly scatter'd flow’rs,

As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd, And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours,

I shelter in thy honour'd shade. Here wealth still swells the golden tide,

As busy trade his labours plies; There architecture's noble pride

Bids elegance and splendour rise; Here justice, from her native skies,

High wields her balance and her rod; There learning, with his eagle eyes,

Seeks science in her coy abode. Thy sons, Edina! social, kind,

With open arms the stranger hail ; Their views enlarg’d, their lib'ral mind,

Above the narrow, rural vale; Attentive still to sorrow's wail,

Or modest merit's silent claim; And never may their sources fail!

And never envy blot their name! Thy daughters bright thy walks adorn!

Gay as the gilded summer sky, Sweet as the dewy milk-white thorn,

Dear as the raptur'd thrill of joy! Fair Burnet strikes th' adoring eye,

Heav'n's beauties on my fancy shine; I see the Sire of love on high,

And own his work indeed divine!

There, watching high the least alarms,

Thy rough, rude fortress gleams afar; Like some bold vet’ran, gray in arms,

And mark'd with many a seamy scar: The pond'rous wall and massy bar,

Grim-rising o'er the rugged rock; Have oft withstood assailing war,

And oft repell’d th' invader's shock.

With awe-struck thought, and pitying tears,

I view that noble, stately dome, Where Scotia's kings of other years,

Fam'd heroes! had their royal home: Alas! how chang'd the times to come!

Their royal name low in the dust! Their hapless race wild-wand'ring roam!

Tho' rigid law cries out, 'tis just!

Wild beats my heart to trace your steps,

Whose ancestors, in days of yore, Thro' hostile ranks and ruin'd gaps

Old Scotia's bloody lion bore: Ev'n I who sing in rustic lore,

Haply my sires have left their shed, And fac'd grim danger's loudest roar,

Bold-following where your fathers led !

Edina! Scotia's darling seat!

All hail thy palaces and tow'rs, Where once beneath a monarch's feet

Sat legislation's sov'reign pow'rs! From marking wildly scatter'd flow’rs,

As on the banks of Ayr I stray'd, And singing, lone, the ling’ring hours,

I shelter in thy honour'd shade.

EPISTLE TO J. LAPRAIK,

AN OLD SCOTTISH BARD.

April 1st, 1785. While briers an' woodbines budding green, An' paitricks scraichin loud at e'en, An' morning poussie whiddin seen,

Inspire my muse, This freedom in an unknown frien'

I pray excuse.

On fasten-e'en we had a rockin,
To ca’ the crack and weave our stockin;
And there was muckle fun and jokin,

Ye needna doubt;
At length we had a hearty yokin

At sang about.

There was ae sang, amang the rest,
Aboon them a' it pleas'd me best,
That some kind husband had addrest

To some sweet wife:
It tbirl'd the heart-strings thro' the breast,

A' to the life.

I've scarce heard ought describ'd sae weel,
What gen'rous, manly bosoms feel;
Thought I, Can this be Pope, or Steele,

Or Beattie's wark!'
They tald me 'twas an odd kind chiel

About Muirkirk.

It pat me fidgin-fain to hear't,
And sae about him there I spier't,
Then a' that ken't him round declar'd

He bad ingine,
That nane excell'd it, few cam near't,

It was sae fine.

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 and Tiviotdale,

He had few matches.

Then up I gat, an' swoor an aith,
Tho' I should pawn my pleugh and 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,

I jingle at her.

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