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Poem by Robert Burns

A Poetical Epistle To A Tailor

WHAT ails ye now, ye lousie bitch,
To thresh my back at sic a pitch?
Losh, man! hae mercy wi your natch,
    Your bodkins bauld,
I didna suffer half sae much
    Frae Daddie Auld.

What tho at times when I grow crouse,
I gie their wames a random pouse,
Is that enough for you to souse
    Your servant sae?
Gae mind your seam, ye prick-the-louse
    An jag-the-flae!

King David o poetic brief,
Wrought mang the lasses such mischief
As filld his after life wi grief
    An bloody rants,
An yet hes rankd amang the chief
    O lang-syne saunts.

And maybe, Tam, for a my cants,
My wicked rhymes, an drucken rants,
Ill gie auld cloven Clootys haunts
    An unco slip yet,
An snugly sit amang the saunts,
    At Davies hip yet.

But fegs! the Session says I maun
Gae fa upo anither plan,
Than garrin lasses cowp the cran
    Clean heels owre body,
And sairly thole their mithers ban
    Afore the howdy.

This leads me on to tell for sport
How I did wi the Session sort-
Auld Clinkum at the Inner port
    Cried three times, Robin!
Come hither, lad, an answer fort,-
    Yere blamd for jobbin.

Wi pinch I put a Sundays face on,
An snoovd awa before the Session;
I made an open fair confession,
    I scornd to lie;
An syne Mess John, beyond expression,
    Fell foul o me.

A furnicator-loun he caIld me,
An said my faut frae bliss expelld me;
I ownd the tale was true he telld me,
    But what the matter?
Quo I I fear unless ye geld me,
    Ill neer be better.

Geld you! quo he, and whatfor no?
If that your right hand, leg or toe,
Should ever prove your spritual foe,
    You shoud remember
To cut it aff, an whatfor no
    Your dearest member?

Na, na, quo I, Im no for that,
Geldings nae better than tis cat,
Id rather suffer for my faut
    A hearty flewit,
As sair owre hip as ye can draw t,
    Tho I should rue it.

Or gin ye like to end the bother,
To please us a, Ive just ae ither,
When next wi you lass I forgather,
    Whateer betide it,
Ill frankly gie her t a thegither,
    An let her guide it.

But, Sir, this pleasd them waret ava,
An therefore, Tam, when that I saw,
I said Gude night, and cam awa,
    And left the Session;
I saw they were resolved a
    On my oppression.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns's other poems:
  1. The Chevaliers Lament
  2. Last May a Braw Wooer
  3. When First I Saw
  4. Frae the Friends and Land I Love
  5. Young Jamie, Pride Of A the Plain

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