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This was deny'd, it was affirmed ;
The herds an' hissels were alarm’d;
The rev’rend grey-beards rav'd an' storm’d,

That beardless laddies
Should think they better were inform’d

Than their auld daddies.

Frae less to mair it gaed to sticks;
Frae words an' aiths to clours an' nicks;
An' monie a fallow gat his licks,

Wi' hearty crunt;
An' some, to learn them for their tricks,

Were hang'd an' brunt.

This game was play'd in monie lands,
An' auld-light caddies bure sic hands,
That faith, the youngsters took the sands

Wi' nimble shanks,
Till lairds forbade, by strict commands,

Sic bluidy pranks.

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Sae duuht the mulut-light ftocks are bleatin; their waldus heres are vex'd an' sweatin; Versel. I've even seen them greetin

W girnin spite, To hear the mount sae sadly lied on

By word an' write.

Det storey they will cowe the louns! Some scrit keres in neebor towns tre mitt i things they ea' balloons,

To tak a flight, stav se month amang the moons,

An see them right.

Gitud observation they will gie them;
1 when the cult moon's gaun to lea'e them,
The Burimuust shand, ther'll fetch it wi' them,

Just i* their pouch,
In when the new ligte billies see them,

I think they'll crouch!

Sae ve observe that a this clatter
Is naething bat a "moonshine matter;"
But the dull prose-folk Latin splatter,

In logie tulzie,
I bope, we bardies ken some better

Than mind sic brulzie.

I See note, p. 52.

EPISTLE TO JOHN RANKIN.

ENCLOSING SOME POEMS.

O ROUGH, rude, ready-witted R******. The wale o cocks for fun an' drinkin! There's monie godly folks are thinkin,

Your dreams an' tricks Will send you, Korah-like, a-sinkin,

Straught to auld Nick's.

Ye hae sae monie cracks an’ cants,
And in your wicked, drucken rants,
Ye mak a devil o' the saunts,

An’ fill them fou;
And then their failings, flaws, an’ wants,

Are a' seen thro'.

Hypocrisy, in mercy spare it!
That holy robe, 0 dinna tear it!
Spare't for their sakes wha aften wear it,

The lads in black!
But your curst wit, when it comes near it,

Rives 't aff their back.

Think, wicked sinner, wha ye're skaithing,
Its just the blue-grown badge an' claithing
O’ saunts; tak that, ye lea'e them naething

To ken them by,
Frae ony unregenerate heathen

Like you or I.

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'Twas ae night lately in my fun,
I gaed a roving wi' the gun,
An' brought a paitrick to the grun,

A bonnie hen!
And, as the twilight was begun,

Thought nane wad ken.

The poor wee thing was little hurt;
I straikit it a wee for sport,
Ne'er thinkin they wad fash me fort;

But, deil-ma-care !
Somebody tells the poacher court

The hale affair.

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But, by my gun, o'guns the wale,
An' by my pouther an' my hail,
An' by my hen, an' by her tail,

I vow an' swear!
The game shall pay, o'er moor an' dale,

For this, niest year.

As soon's the clockin-time is by,
An' the wee pouts begin to cry,
L-d, I'se hae sportin by an' by.

For my gowd guinea ;
Tho' I should herd the buckskin kye

Fort, in Virginia.

Trowth, they had muckle for to blame ! 'Twas neither broken wing nor limb, But twa-three draps about the wame

Scarce thro' the feathers; An' baith a yellow George to claim,

An' thole their blethers !

It pits me aye as mad's a hare ;
So I can rhyme nor write nae mair;
But pennyworths again is fair,

When time's expedient: Meanwhile I am, respected Sir,

Your most obedient.

1 A certain humorous dream of his was then making a noise in the country-side.

2 A song he had promised the author.

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