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Poem by Janet Little

To my Aunty

MY ever dear an' worthy aunty,
Wha ne'er o' wit nor lear was vaunty;
Yet often could, like honest grandam,
Unravel dreams; an' whiles, at random,
Did truth in mystic terms declare,
Which made us aft wi' wonder stare.
Last night, when Morpheus softly hurl'd
His silken sceptre o'er the world,
Some anxious cares within my breast
Were silently consign'd to rest;
Yet did in sleep their pow'r retain,
As shews the visions of my brain.
My works I thought appear'd in print,
And were to diff'rent corners sent,
Whare patrons kind, but scant o' skill,
Had sign'd my superscription bill.
Voratious critics by the way,
Like eagles watching for their prey,
Soon caught the verse wi' aspect sour,
An' did ilk feeble thought devour;
Nor did its humble, helpless state,
One fraction of their rage abate.
Tom Touchy, one of high pretence
To taste an' learning, wit an' sense,
Was at the board the foremost man,
Its imperfections a' to scan.
Soon as the line he seem'd to doubt,
The meaner critics scratch'd it out;
Still to be nam'd on Touchy's side,
Was baith their int'rest and their pride.
Will Hasty, in an unco rage,
Revis'd the volume page by page;
But aft was deem'd a stupid ass,
For cens'ring what alone might pass.
Jack Tim'rous gladly would have spoke,
But quiv'ring lips his sentence broke;
So much he fear'd a brother's scorn,
The whole escap'd his claws untorn.
James Easy calm'd my throbbing heart,
An' whisp'ring told each man apart,
That he the volume much esteem'd;
Its little faults he nothing deem'd:
An' if his vote they would receive,
It might through countless ages live.
While I poor James's speech admir'd,
Tom Touchy at the sound was sir'd:
And ah! it griev'd me much to find,
He prov'd him senseless, deaf, and blind:
Then quick as thought, ere I could tell him,
Ilk critics club was up to fell him;
An' as he, helpless, met the stroke,
I, starting, trembl'd, syne awoke.
Now aunty, see this sad narration,
Which fills my breast wi' fair vexation
An' if you can some comfort gie me,
Make nae delay, but send it to me:
For I'm commanded by Apollo,
Your sage advice in this to follow. 

Janet Little

Janet Little's other poems:
  1. Written January First, 1792
  2. An Extemporary Acrostic
  3. The Rival Swans
  4. A Young LadyТs Lamentation
  5. The Captivated Soldier

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