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TO WILLIAM SIMPSON,
May, 1785. I GAT your letter, winsome Willie ; Wi' gratefu' heart I thank you brawlie; Tho' I maun say't, I wad be silly,
An' unco vain, Should I believe, my coaxin billie,
Your flatterin strain.
But I'se believe ye kindly meant it,
On my poor Musie; Tho' in sic phraisin terms ye've penn'd it,
I scarce excuse ye.
My senses wad be in a creel,
The braes o' fame;
A deathless name!
(O Furgusson! thy glorious parts
Ye Enbrugh Gentry!
Wad stow'd his pantry!)
Yet when a tale comes i' my head,
(0 sad disease!) I kittle up my rustic reed;
It gies me ease.
Auld Coila now may fidge fu' fain,
But tune their lays,
Her weel-sung praise.
Nae poet thought her worth his while
Beside New Holland, Or whare wild-meeting oceans boil
Ramsay an' famous Fergusson
Owre Scotland rings, While Irwin, Lugar, Ayr, an' Doon,
Nae body sings.
Th’ Ilissus, Tiber, Thames, an' Seine, Glide sweet in monie a tunefu' line! But, Willie, set your fit to mine,
. An'cock your crest, We'll gar our streams an' burnies shine
Up wi' the best.
We'll sing auld Coila's plains an' fells, i
Where glorious Wallace
Frae southron billies.
At Wallace' name what Scottish blood
By Wallace' side,
Or glorious dy'd.
0, sweet are Coila's haughs an’ woods, When lintwhites chant amang the buds, And jinkin hares, in amorous whids,
Their loves enjoy, While thro' the braes the cushat croods.
Wi’ wailfu' cry!
Ev'n winter bleak has charms to me
Are hoary gray;
Dark’ning the day!
O Nature! a' thy shews an’ forms
Wi' life an’ light,
The lang dark night!
The Muse, nae poet ever fand her,
An' no think lang;
A heart-felt sang !
The warly race may drudge an' drive,
And I, wi' pleasure,
Bum owre their treasure.
Fareweel, 'my rhyme-composing brither!' We've been owre lang unkenn'd to ither: Now let us lay our heads thegither,
In love fraternal: May Ewy wallop in a tether,
Black fiend, infernal!
While highlandmen hate tolls an' taxes ;
In Robert Burns.
My memory's no worth a preen;
By this New-Light', 'Bout which our herds sae aft hae been
Maist like to fight.
In days when mankind were but callans
Or rules to gie,
Like you or me.
In thae auld times, they thought the moon,
Gaed past their viewing,
They gat a new ane.