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Poem by John Lapraik
The Devil’s Answer to the Poet’s Address
Whae’er thou be, thou art na blate, Wha mocks a Sp’rit o’ ancient date, Wha’t best is in a confin’d state, An canna pass Beyond the bounds an’ limits set By the first Cause. You Poets, when you lift your pen, A’ but yoursels to me you sen’; But, by this time, thee weel I ken; Thou’rt my acquaintance, These twenty years I did thee learn To blether nonsense. I own man’s credit was na sma’, When he was new, an’ tight, an’ bra; His pow’r was great to rule o’er a’ Things that were made; But soon his pride did let him fa’, For a’ that’s said, Although I am a creature made, No pow’r o’er me old Adam had, Then why shouldst thou wi’ names upbraid, An’ so ill use me, Wha now am chain’d by GOD’S strong hand, An’ can’t abuse thee? Thou ca’s me Hornie, Nick an’ Clootie, An’ tells my cave is grim an’ sootie; But stop, thou’lt, may-be, be my booty; I’ll try my skill; I’ll gang as far as Fate will let me, An’ wi’ guid will. I’ll thee entice baith day an’ night; O’ me thou need be in nae fright; As Deil I’ll ne’er come i’ thy sight; Thou’lt still embrace My motions, which will yield delight, When done wi’ grace. I know thou hast a wanton turn, Wi’ passions stout as e’er were born; Thou lik’st the Maid wi’ hainches roun’ An’ waist genteel, Wi’ een jet black, an’ hair nut brown, Thy heart she’ll steal; Wha walks so neat, throws out her toes, An’ minches as she past thee goes: By such thou’rt hooked by the nose For a’ thy skill; Thou’lt ne’er me blame, I’m so abstruse, Thou’lt take thy will. Thou tells thou ance was fear’d thysel; Nae wonder! for ‘tis guilt maks hell: Thy conscience check’d, wi’ such a knell, Did mak thee shake, For naething mair than sugh o’ quill O’ duck or drake. Thou tells, by times I travel far, An’ that I’m neither blate nor scaur-- Mock not! let never guid frien’s jar Wi’ane anither, Thou’rt my full mark, baith keel an’ tar, If not a brither. Pray R-b, the Rhymer, just nae mair, An’ o’ your titles take a care; Or else ye ken how ye shall fare, For a’ your cracks, An muckle-thought-o’ rhyming ware, An catching snacks. An’ if your mocks I more shall hear, I, by my cavern deep, do swear, Upo’ you vengeance I will rear; Thou shalt lament What thou hast publish’d far an’ near, Me to affront. With irony thou speak’st wi’ glee, Which shows thy disrespect to me; Bids me repent, an’ then may-be I’ll hae a stake: I thank thee for thy wae-like e’e, For fashion’s sake; For o’ my hopes I canna boast; For sure an’ certain I am lost: The sure decree ‘gainst me is past, An’ canna alter! May- be thou’lt ken’t, unto thy cost, If I thee halter. Thy chance is little mair than mine: Thou mock’st at ev’ry thing divine: Thy rhetoric has made thee shine, To please the wicked; But ere thou round the corner twine, I’ll hae thee nicked.
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