To Robert Burns
Hale be your heart, my winsome BURNS, For a’ your canty hameald turns; Your sangs can lift the saul that mourns Aboon its grief; Cauld be his cast the ever spurns Sic sweet relief. But tell me, Rob (I’m no in scorn) Aneath what planet was ye born? ’Tis pity you should thrash the corn, Or till the rigs; Your kintry should your brows adorn Wi’ laurel sprigs. In whate’er place o’ a’ the earth That has the honour o’ your birth, Weel may they craw wi’ muckle mirth, And rooxe your sang; For nane on ilk side Fortha’s firth Can e’er ye bang. Ye mind me ay o’ the twa callands * Wha’ gat sic praise thro’ a’ the Lallands For their weel worded Scottish ballands; Atween ye three, To say whilk shows the glibbest tallents Wha can agree? Some wrack their brains about Parnassus, And tell what unco things there passes Atwish them and the nine bra lasses, In verse that’s flisky; No worth a privin o’ your “Haggies,” Or “Gill o’ whiskey.” Gile me the muse that clad in tartan, That scoups o’er hills ayont Dumbarton, Wi’ haffet locks bund in a gartan, What sings sae claarly; A fig for Roman maid or Spartan! I’d hugg her dearly. This is the muse, lad, ye ha’ woo’d, And, lukie cheild! she has ye loo’d; Then daut her, Rob (she’s weel worth goud) And tent her tale; She’ll lift your pow aboon the croud, I’se be her bail. But, Robin, take this ae advice, In Reekie’s town be gayan nice Wi’ whatten birkies ye do splice Whan it is dark, Or they’ll soon cleed ye by their vice Wi’ wooden sark. Gin ye, man, had but some spare wook, To take a trip to Pennycuick, That stands aside a truntling brook That ca’s our mill, Frae bottle out o’ my best nook We’d drink our fill. ‘Tis no that mickle I can boast To flee awa the auld year’s ghost; But yet I’d brag ye wi’ a roast O’ lusty beef, And waughts o’ ale bra brown toast, To banish grief. Meanwhile, my cock, I’m thinking lang To hear ye gi’s another sang; Then out your muse, and let her gang; Cast up her head; O’er braes o’ rhyme she’ll loup and bang Wi’ bir and speed. * Ramsay and Fergusson.
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