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Poem by David Sillar
Epistle to R. Burns
1. While Reekie’s Bards your Muse commen’, An’ praise the numbers o’ your pen, Accept this kin’ly frae a frien’, Your Dainty Davie, Wha ace o’ hearts does still remain, Ye may believe me. 2. I ne’er was muckle gi’en to praisin’, Or else ye might be sure o’ fraisin’: For trouth I think, in solid reason, Your kintra reed Plays sweet as ROBIN FERGUSSON’, Or his on Tweed. 3. Your Luath, Cæsar bites right fair; An’ when ye paint the Holy Fair, Ye draw it to a very hair; Or when ye turn, An’ sing the follies o’ the Fair, How sweet ye mourn! 4. Let Coila’s plains wi’ me rejoice, An’ praise the worthy Bard, whose lays Their worth an’ beauty high doth raise To lasting fame; His works, his worth will ever praise, An’ crown his name. 5. Brave RAMSAY now an’ FERGUSSON, Wha hae sae lang time fill’d the Throne O’ Poetry, may now ly down Quiet i’ their urns, Since fame, in justice, gies the crown To Coila’s BURNS. 6. Hail! happy Bard! ye’re now confest The king o’ singers i’ the West: EDINA hath the same exprest; Wi’ joy they fin’ That ye’re, when try’d by Nature’s test, Gude sterlin’ coin. 7. Sing on my frien’; your fame’s secur’d, An’ still maintain the name o’ Bard; But yet tak tent an’ keep a guard: For envy’s tryin’ To blast your name; mair just reward For the envyin’. 8. But tho’ the tout o’ fame may please you, Letna the flatt’rin’ ghaist o’erheeze you: Nier flyte nor fraise tae gar fock roose you: For men o’ skill, When ye write weel, will always praise you Out o’ gude will. 9. Great numbers on this earthly ba’, As soon as death gies them the ca’, Permitted are to slide awa’ An’ straught forgot – Forbid that ever this should fa’ To be your lot. 10. I ever had an anxious wish; Forgive me, Heav’n! if ’twas amiss, That fame in life my name would bless, An’ kin’ly save It from the cruel tyrant’s crush, Beyond the grave. 11. Tho’ th’ fastest liver soonest dies, An’ length o’ days sud mak ane wife; Yet haste wi’ speed, to glory rise An’ spur your horse; They’re shortest ay wha gain the prize Upo’ the course. 12. Sae to conclude, auld Frien’ an’ Neebor, Your Muse forgetna weel to feed her, Then steer thro’ life wi’ birr an’ vigour, To win a horn, Whase soun’ shall reach ayont the Tiber, Mang ears unborn.
David Sillar's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org