Page images

An' doucely manage our affairs

In parliament,

To you à simple poet's prayers

Are humbly sent.

Alas! my roupet Muse is hearse!
Your honours' heart wi' grief 'twad pierce,
To see her sittin on her a-

Low i' the dust,

An' scriechin out prosaic verse,

An' like to brust!

Tell them who hae the chief direction,
Scotland an' me's in great affliction,
E'er sin' they laid that curst restriction
On aquavitæ ;

An' rouse them up to strong conviction,
An' move their pity.

Stand forth, an' tell yon premier youth, The honest, open, naked truth:

Tell him o' mine an' Seotland's drouth,

His servants humble:

The muckle devil blaw ye south,

If ye dissemble !

Does ony great man glunch an' gloom? Speak out, an' never fash your thumb! Let posts an' pensions sink or soom

Wi' them wha grant 'em :

If honestly they canna come,

Far better want 'em.

In gath'rin votes you were na slack;
Now stand as tightly by your tack;
Ne'er claw your lug, an' fidge your back,

An' hum an' haw;

But raise your arm, an' tell your crack

Before them a'.

Paint Scotland greeting owre her thrissle, Her mutchkin stoup as toem's a whissle:

An' d-mn'd excisemen in a bussle,
Seizin a stell,

Triumphant crushin't like a mussel
Or lampit shell.

Then on the tither hand present her, A blackguard smuggler right behint her, An' cheek-for-chow, a chuffie vintner,

Colleaguing join,

Picking her pouch as bare as winter
Of a' kind coin.

Is there, that bears the name o' Scot, But feels his heart's bluid rising hot, To see his poor auld mither's pot

Thus dung in staves,

An' plunder'd o' her hindmost groat

By gallows knaves?

Alas! I'm but a nameless wight, Trode i' the mire out o' sight!

But could I like Montgomeries fight,

Or gab like Boswell,

There's some sark-necks I wad draw tight,

An' tie some hose well.

God bless your honours, can ye see't, The kind, auld, cantie carlin greet,

An' no get warmly to your feet,

An' gar them hear it,

An' tell them wi' a patriot heat,

Ye winna bear it!

Some o' you nicely ken the laws,
To round the period an' pause,
An' wi' rhetoric clause on clause

To mak harangues;

Then echo thro' saint Stephen's wa's

Auld Scotland's wrangs.

Dempster, a true blue Scot I'se warran; Thee, aith-detesting, chaste Kilkerran* ; An' that glib-gabbet Highland baron,

The laird o' Grahamt;

An' ane, a chap that's d-mn'd auldfarran,
Dundas his name.

Erskine, a spunkie Norland billie; True Campbells, Frederick an' Ilay; An' Livingstone, the bauld sir Willie; An' monie ithers,

Whom auld Demosthenes or Tully

Might own for brithers.

Arouse, my boys! exert your mettle,
To get auld Scotland back her kettle;
Or faith! I'll wad my new pleugh-pettle,
Ye'll see't or lang,

She'll teach you, wi' a reekin whittle,

Anither sang.

This while she's been in crankous mood,

Her lost militia fir'd her bluid;

(Deil na they never mair do guid,

Play'd her that pliskie !)

An' now she's like to rin red-wud

About her whisky.

An' L-d, if ance they pit her till't,
Her tartan petitcoat she'll kilt,
An' durk an' pistol at her belt,

She'll tak the streets,

An' rin her whittle to the hilt,

I' th' first she meets!

For G-d sake, sirs! then speak her fair,

An' straik her cannie wi' the hair,

Sir Adam Ferguson.

+ The present duke of Montrose.



An' to the muckle house repair,

Wi' instant speed,

An' strive, wi' a' your wit and lear,

To get remead.

Yon ill-tongu'd tinkler, Charlie Fox, May taunt you wi' his jeers an' mocks; But gie him't het, my hearty cocks!

E'en cowe the caddie!

An' send him to his dicing box

An' sportin lady.

Tell yon guid bluid o' auld Boconnock's
I'll be his debt twa mashlum bonnocks,
An' drink his health in auld Nanse Tinnock's*
Nine times a-week,

If he some scheme, like tea an' winnocks,
Wad kindly seek.

Could he some commutation broach, I'll pledge my aith in guid braid Scotch, He need na fear their foul reproach

Nor erudition,

Yon mixtie-maxtie queer hotch-potch,

The Coalition.

Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue;

She's just a devil wi' a rung;

An' if she promise auld or young

To tak their part,

Tho' by the neck she should be strung,

She'll no desert.

An' now, ye chosen five-and-forty,
May still your mither's heart support ye;
Then, though a minister grow dorty,

An' kick your place,

Ye'll snap your fingers, poor an' hearty,

Before his face.

*A worthy old hostess of the author's in Mauchline, where he sometimes studies politics over a glass of gude auld Scotch drink.

God bless your honours a' your days,
Wi' sowps o' kail and brats o' claise,
In spite o' a' the thievish kaes,

That haunt St. Jamie's!

Your humble poet sings an' prays

While Rab his name is.


Let half-starv'd slaves in warmer skies See future wines, rich clust'ring, rise; Their lot auld Scotland ne'er envies,

But, blythe and frisky,

She eyes her freeborn, martial boys

Tak aff their whisky.

What tho' their Phoebus kinder warms, While fragrance blooms and beauty charms! When wretches range, in famish'd swarms, The scented groves,

Or hounded forth, dishonour arms

In hungry droves.

Their gun's a burden on their shouther;
They downa bide the stink o' powther;
Their bauldest thought's a hank'ring swither
To stan' or rin,

Till skelp-a shot-they're aff, a' throwther,
To save their skin.

But bring a Scotsman frae his hill, Clap in his cheek a Highland gill, Say, such is royal Georgie's will,

An' there's the foe,

He has nae thought but how to kill

Twa at a blow.

Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings tease him; Death comes, wi' fearless eye he sees him; Wi' bluidy hand a welcome gies him;

An' when he fa's,

His latest draught o' breathin lea'es him

In faint huzzas.

« PreviousContinue »