David Sillar

Epistle to J**N G****E, a Famous Theologist and Astronomer

O thou far fam’d Heresiarch,
What tempted you tae try sic wark? 
Against the L – d’s ain fock ye bark,
	An’ sae they ’ve curst you,
’Cause, Raven-like, you fled the Ark
	Wherein they nurst you,

Wad it no’ been a better gaet, 
To ’ve bidden by your former state,
Wi’ faith confirm’d in stubborn fate,
	An’ jogged on,
An’ no’ hae turn’d your crazy pate,
	As ye hae done ?

Your metaphors an’ allegories, 
Wi’ a your new invented stories, 
Hae gar’d the feck o’ a’ the Tories,
	An’ ev’n some Whigs 
Doubt if that certain fock before us
	Wore hair or wigs.

An’ then ye hae sae mony plots, 
Wi’ Customhouses, Tow’rs an’ Boats,1  
That frae the South tae Johny Grots,
	Thro’ Scotlan’ braid, 
Great heaps hae coosten aff their coats,
	Tae save their trade.

But then ye yock’t them tooth an’ nail, 
An’ took, the auld beast by the tail, 
An’ swang him roun’ you like a flail,
	Tae mak him yeil’; 
But being tough, he scorn’d tae fail,
	Sae keept the fiel’.

He then roar’d out a hew an’ cry, 
That a’ the hirsle neerhan’ by 
Wad muster up fu’ speedily,
	An’ see him rightet; 
Some gade, some ran, an’ some did fly,
	An’ some were frightet,

But then ye gied them siccan blatters, 
Wad driven weaker beasts tae tatters;   
Yet Deil-ma-care, in siccan matters,
	Not a’ your pow’r 
Could get them steeked i’ your fetters
	Ae single hour.

Howt fy man! it’s no worth a groat, 
For ane like you tae cast your coat
An’ raise your passions boilin’ hot.
	For Devil hait; 
Let ev’ry ane fill their am lot,
	An’ gang their gaet.

Ye ken that your’s is countin’ stars,
’Twixt Saturn, Mercury an’ Mars;
Ye ken their ’greements an’ their wars
	A’ sae exact,
When Suns or Planets hae their jars.
	Or order break.

O wad ye publish an’ let’s see 
What kin’ o’ proofs ye hae tae gie: 
It wad surprise mae fock than me,
	If ye wad clear 
Frae errors art astronomy,
	In this our sphere.

Be cautious then an’ persevere; 
Frae blunders carefully keep clear, 
Then howe’er rapidly ye steer
	Wi’ boundless view,
Secure o’ facts ye needna fear;
	Sae frien’ adieu.

1 - See Goldie’s “Gospel Recovered.” 

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