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“ We're owre like those who think it fit
To stuff their noddles fu' o' wit,
Wha shun the light,
That lang dark night.
May He that made us keep us a'!
An' hurt us sair;
Sae, Rab, tak' care."
No wonder that Burns said his success had produced a shoal of ill-spawned monsters in Scottish verse; the tailor was, however, one of the worst. I have heard it surmised that Burns wrote the monitory letter himself for the sake of the answer. To be able to write down to the level of the verses I have quoted—and they are the best—is a compliment to his genius, but not a just
WRITTEN ON A BANK-NOTE.
WAE worth thy power, thou cursed leaf,
To crush the villain in the dust.
The Bank-ncte, on the back of which these characteristic lines were endorsed, came into the hands of James Gracie, banker in Dumfries : he knew the handwriting of the Poet, and preserved it as a curiosity. There is no
of the month or year, but it is dated from Kyle, and was probably written during the year 1786 : these lines point to that period :
“ For lack o' thee I've lost my lass,
For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass.
A DR E A M.
Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute blames with reason;
[On reading, in the public papers, the “ Laureat's Ode,” with the other
parade of June 4, 1786, the author was no sooner dropt asleep, than he imagined himself transported to the birth-day levee; and in his dreaming fancy made the following “ Address."]
Guid-MORNIN' to your Majesty !
May Heaven augment your blisses,
A humble poet wishes !
On sic a day as this is,
Sae fine this day.
I see ye're complimented thrang,
By many a lord an' lady ;
That's unco easy said ay ;
Wi’ rhymes weel-turn’d and ready,
On sic a day.
For me! before a monarch's face,
Ev’n there I winna flatter ;
Am I your humble debtor :
Your kingship to bespatter; There's monie waur been o' the race, And aiblins ane been better
Than you this day.
'Tis very true, my sov'reign king,
My skill may weel be doubted : But facts are chiels that winna ding,
An' downa be disputed: Your royal nest, beneath your wing,
Is e'en right reft an' clouted, And now the third part of the string, An' less, will gang about it
Than did ae day.
Far be't frae me that I aspire
To blame your legislation,
To rule this mighty nation !
Ye've trusted ministration
Than courts yon day.
And now ye've gien auld Britain peace,
Her broken shins to plaister; Your sair taxation does her fleece,
Till she has scarce a tester ;
Nae bargain wearing faster,
I’ the craft some day.
I'm no mistrusting Willie Pitt,
When taxes he enlarges, (An' Will's a true guid fallow's get,
A name not envy spairges,)
An' lessen a' your charges ;
An' boats this day.
Adieu, my Liege! may freedom geck
Beneath your high protection ;
And gie her for dissection !
In loyal, true affection,
This great birth-day.