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Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race ! Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich !
Then horn for horn they stretch an' strive, Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive, 'Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums; Then auld guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that o'er his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner!
Poor devil! see him owre his trash, As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit; Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle ; An' legs, an' arms, an' head will sned,
Like taps of thrissle.
Ye pow'rs wha mak mankind your care, And dish them out their bill o' fare, Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies ; ye wish her gratefu' pray'r,
Gie her a haggis !
Expect na, sir, in this narration,
A fleechin, fleth'rin dedication,
To roose you up, an' ca' you guid,
sprung great an' noble bluid,
Because ye’re sir nam'd like his grace,
Perhaps related to the race;
Then when I'm tir'd--and sae are ye,
Wi' mony a fulsome, sinfu' lie,
Set up a face, how I stop short,
For fear your modesty be hurt.
This may do-maun do, sir, wi' them whą Maun please the great folk for a wamefoų ; For me! sae laigh I needna bow, For, Lord be thankit, I can plough ; And when I downa yoke a naig, Then, Lord be thankit, I can begi
Sae I shall say, an' that's nae flatt'rin,
It's just sic poet, an' sic patron.
The poet, some guid angel help him, Or else, I fear some ill ane skelp him, He may do weel for a’ he's done yet, But only he's no just begun yet.
The patron, (sir, ye maun forgie me,
I winna lie, come what will o' me,)
On ev'ry hand it will allow'd be,
He's just-nae better than he should be.
I readily and freely grant,
He downa see a poor man want ;
What's no his ain he winna tak it,
What aince he says he winna break it ;
Ought he can lend he'll no refus't,
'Till aft his guidness is abus'd ;
And rascals whyles that do him wrang:
Ev’n that, he does na mind it lang:
As master, landlord, husband, father,
He does na fail his part in either.
But then, nae thanks to him for a' that; Nae godly symptom ye can ca' that; It's naething but a milder feature Of our poor, sinfu', corrupt nature : Ye'll get the best o' moral works, 'Mang black Gentoos and pagan Turks, Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi, Wha never heard of orthodoxy. That he's the poor man's friend in need, The gentleman in word and deed, It's no thro' terror of d-mn-ti-on ; It's just a carnal inclination.
Morality, thou deadly bane, Thy tens o' thousands thou hast slain ! Vain is his hope, whose stay and trust is In moral mercy, truthyand justice !
No-stretch a point to catch a plack
Abuse a brother to his back;
Steal thro' a winnock frae a wh-re,
But point the rake that taks the door ;
Be to the poor like onie whunstane,
And haud their noses to the grunstane,
Ply ev'ry art o' legal thieving ;
No matter, stick to sound believing.
Learn three-mile pray’rs, an' half-mile graces, Wi' weel-spread looves, an’ lang, wry faces ; Grunt up a solemn, lengthen'd groan, And dainn a' parties but your own; I'll warrant then, ye’re nae deceiver, A steady, sturdy, staunch believer.
wha leave the springs of C-lv-n,
For gumlie dubs of your ain delvin !
Ye sons of heresy and error,
Ye'll some day squeel in quaking terror!
When vengeance draws the sword in wrath,
And in the fire throws the sheath;
When ruin, with his sweeping besom,
Just frets 'till heav'n commission gies him :
While o'er the harp pale mis’ry moans,
And strikes the ever-deep’ning tones,
Still louder shrieks, and heavier groans !
Your pardon, sir, for this digression,
I maist forgat my dedication ;
But when divinity comes cross me,
My readers still are sure to lose me.
So, sir, ye see 'twas nae daft vapour,
But I maturely thought it proper,
When a' my works I did review,
To dedicate them, sir, to you:
Because (ye need na tak it ill)
I thought them something like yoursel.
Then patronize them wi’ your favour, And your petitioner shall ever
1 bad amaist said, ever pray,
But that's a word I need na say:
For prayin I hae little skill o't;
I'm baith dead-sweer, an' wretched ill o't;
But I'se repeat each poor man's pray'r,
That kens or hears about you, sir-
“ May ne'er misfortune's growling bark
Howl thro’ the dwelling o' the clerk !
May ne'er his gen'rous, honest heart,
For that same gen'rous spirit smart !
May K******'s fair-honour'd name
Lang beet his hymeneal flame,
"Till H*******s, at least a dizen,
Are frae their nuptial labours risen ;
Five bonnie lasses round their table,
And seven braw fellows, stout and able
To serve their king and country weel,
By word, or pen, or pointed steel !
May health and peace, with mutual rays,
Shine on the evening o' his days ;
'Till his wee curlie John's jer.oe,
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow,
The last, sad, mournful rites bestow."
I will not wind a lang conclusion
Wi' complimentary effusion :
But whilst your wishes and endeavours
Are blest with fortune's smiles and favours,
I am, dear sir, with zeal most fervent,
Your much indebted, humble servant.
But if (which pow’rs above prevent)
That iron-hearted carl, Want,
Attended in his grim advances,
By sad mistakes, and black mischances,
While hopes, and joys, and pleasures fly him,
Make you as poor a dog as I am,
Your humble servant then no more;
For who would humbly serve the poor !
But by a poor man's hopes in Heav'n!
While recollection's pow'r is given,