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O life! how pleasant in thy morning, Young fancy's rays the hills adorning ! Cold-pausing caution's lesson scorning,
We frisk away, Like school-boys, at th' expected warning,
To join and play.
We wander there, we wander here, We eye the rose upon the brier, Unmindful that the thorn is near,
Among the leaves; And tho' the puny wound appear,
Short while it gricves.
Some, lucky, find a flow'ry spot, For which they never toil'd nor swat ; They drink the sweet and eat the fat,
But care or pain; And, haply, eye the barren hut
With high disdain.
With steady aim, some fortune chase ; Keen hope does ev'ry sinew brace; Thro' fair, thro' foul, they urge the race,
And seize the prey : Then canie, in some cozie place,
They close the day.
And others, like your humble servan', Poor wights ! nae rules nor roads observin; To right or left, eternal swervin,
They zig-zag on ; 'Till curst with age, obscure an' starvin,
They aften groan.
Alas! what bitter toil an' straining But truce with peevish, poor complaining ! Is fortune's fickle Luna waning?
E'en let her gang! Beneath what light she has remaining,
Let's sing our sang.
My pen I here fling to the door, And kneel, ye powrs !" and warm implore, " Tho' I should wander terra o'er,
In all her climes, Grant me but this, I ask no more,
Aye rowth o'rhymes.
“ Gie dreeping roasts to countra lairds, Till icicles hing frae their beards ; Gie fine braw claes to fine life-guards,
And maids of honour ; And yill an’ whisky gie to cairds,
Until they sconner.
“ A title, Demoster merits it ; A garter gie to Willie Pitt ; Gie wealth to some be-ledger'd cit,
In cent. per cent. But give me real, sterling wit,
And I'm content.
"While ye are pleas'd to keep me hale, I'll sit down o'er my scanty meal, Be't water-brose, or muslin-kail,
Wi' chearfu' face, As lang's the muses dinna fail
To say the grace."
An anxious e'e I never throws
As weel's I may ;
I rhyme away.
O ye douce folk, that live by rule, Grave, tideless-blooded, calm and cool, Compar'd wi' you-o fool! fool! fool!
How much unlike! Your hearts are just a standing pool,
Your lives, a dyke!
Nae hair-brain'd sentimental traces In your unletter'd, nameless faces ! In arioso trills and graces
Ye never stray, But gravissimo, solemn basses
Ye hum away.
Ye are sae grave, nae doubt ye're wise ;
The rattlin squad :
-Ye ken the road.
Whilst I-but I shall haud me there Wi' you I'll scarce gang ony where Then, Jamie, I shall say nae mair,
But quat my sang, Content wi' you to mak a pair,
Whare'er I gang.
Thoughts, words, and deeds, the statute blames with
reason ; But surely dreams were ne'er indicted treason.
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.]
May heaven augment your blissés,
A humble poet wishes!
My bardship here, at your levee,
On sic a day as this is,
Sae fine this day,
By mony a lord and lady; 6 God save the king !" 's a cuckoo sang
That's unco easy said aye; The poets, too, a venal gang,
Wi' rhymes weel-turn'd and ready, Wad gar you trow ye ne'er do wrang, But aye unerring steady,
On sic a day.
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.
IV. 'Tis very true, my sov'reign king,
My skill may weel be doubted :
An' downa be disputed :
Is e'en right reft an' clouted,
Than did ae day.
To blame your legislation,
Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire,
To rule this mighty nation!
Ye've trusted ministration
Than courts yoh day.
VI. 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.
When taxes he enlarges,
A name not envy spairges,) That he intends to pay your debt,
An' lessen a' your charges ; But G-d-sake ! let nae saving-fit Abridge your bonie barges
An' boats this day.
Beneath your high protection ;
And gie her for dissection!
In loyal, true affection,
This great birth-day.