To Mr. Gow, Visiting Dumfries
1. Thrice welcome, king o’ rant and reel! Whaur is the bard to Scotia leal Wha wadna sing o’ sic a chiel And sic a glorious fiddle! 2. It’s but a weary warl’ at best, Wauf and weary – aften dreary – It’s but a weary warl’ at best, A wauf and weary widdle! 3. It’s but a weary warl’ at best, Gang north, or sooth, or east or west, But we will never mak’ protest When near you and your fiddle. 4. Let prosy parsons pray and preach, And wise professors try to teach The secrets far beyond their reach As Stradivari’s fiddle! 5. We’ll leave them to themsel’s to read Things sae vexin’ – and perplexin’ – We’ll leave them to themsel’s to read Life’s cabalistic riddle! – 6. We’ll leave them to themsel’s to read To spin their scheme and mak’ their creed; Come, screw your pins and gie’s a screed Frae your unrivall’d fiddle! 7. Nae fabled wizard’s wand I trow, Had e’er the magic airt o’ Gow, When wi’ a wave he draws his bow Across his wondrous fiddle! 8. Sic fays and fairies come and dance, Lightly tripping – hopping, skipping – Sic fays and fairies come and dance, Their maister in the middle! 9. Sic fays and fairies come and dance, So gently glide and spryly prance, And noo retreat and noo advance When he strikes up his fiddle! 10. In brisk strathspey or plaintive air What rival can wi’ you compare? O’ wha could think a hank o’ hair Could thus transform a fiddle? 11. What are the notes o’ lyre or lute – Wizzent, wheezy – slim and sleezy – What are the notes o’ lyre or lute – Inconsequential diddle! 12. What are the notes o’ lyre or lute – O’ pipes, piano, fife or flute, Wi’ a’ that ye can execute, On your enchanting fiddle! 13. Wha doesna joy to hear the ring O’ ilka bonny lilt and spring That ye frae recollection bring And wheedle through your fiddle! 14. The sumph that wadna praise gie A soulless clod maun surely be; A chiel should never hae to dee That half like you can fiddle!
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