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Poem by Charles Lockhart
Epistle to a Friend, with a Copy of Burns’s Letters
1. Dear Sir, – I now return your beuk; I’ve aften traced it every neuk, Wi’ persevering care. Tho’ e’er sae aft I’ve read it ower, Yet when again on it I glower I prize it still the mair. Aft ha’e I sat till twal at night Ere I could think to budge, When forc’d to quat for want o’ light, ’Twas always wi’ a grudge. Tho’ fasht whiles, and lasht whiles, Wi’ hardships cruel waun, I’m ay right, I’m ay tight, When Robin’s in my naun’. 2. Some frozen-hearted, callous trash Wad fain gi’e Burns’s name the lash; But oh, their views how mean! To worth and common-sense they’re blind Black superstition clouds their mind Hypocrisy’s their screen. Wha wadna hit the rascal hard ’Twad be sae far misled As persecute the sweetest bard That ever Scotia bred? Beware then, tak’ care then, O’ sic censorious core; Refrain them, disdain them, Their principles abhor. 3. For hum’rous fun, for social glee, For hamely style, for writing free, For lively, witty turns, For every sympathetic part That can possess a feeling heart There’s nane can cope wi’ Burns. His works declare a judgment clear, An independent mind; His eye aft shed the friendly tear, His bosom still was kind. While woods grow, while floods row, While verdure deads the plain; While winds blaw, while rains fa’, His mem’ry shall remain.
Poem Theme: Robert Burns
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