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Gie him strong drink, until he wink,
That's prest wi' grief an' care;
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs no more.
SOLOMON'S PROVERBS, Xxxi. 6, 7.
LET other Poets raise a fracas,
'Bout vines, an' wines, an' drunken Bacchus, An' crabbit names an' stories wrack us,
An' grate our lug,
I sing the juice Scots bear can mak us,
O thou, my Muse! guid auld Scotch Drink; Whether thro' wimpling worms thou jink, Or, richly brown, ream o'er the brink,
In glorious faem,
Inspire me, till I lisp and wink,
To sing thy name!
Let husky Wheat the haughs adorn,
Leeze me on thee, John Barleycorn,
Thou king o' grain!
On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
Wi' kail an' beef;
But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood, There thou shines chief.
Food fills the wame, an' keeps us livin;
Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin,
When heavy dragg'd wi' pine an' grievin;
Thou clears the head o' doited Lear;
At's weary toil;
Thou even brightens dark Despair
Wi' gloomy smile.
Aft, clad in massy siller weed,
The poor man's wine,
His wee drap parritch, or his bread,
Thou kitchens fine.
Thou art the life o' public haunts;
But thee, what were our fairs and rants?
Ev'n godly meetings o' the saunts,
By thee inspir'd,
When gaping they besiege the tents,
That merry night we get the corn in,
An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in,
An' gusty sucker!
When Vulcan gies his bellows breath, An' ploughmen gather wi' their graith, O rare! to see thee fizz an' freath
I' th' lugget caup!
Then Burnewin* comes on like death
Nae mercy, then, for airn or steel; The brawnie, bainie, ploughman chiel, Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel,
The strong forehammer,
Till block an' studdie ring and reel
Wi' dinsome clamour.
When skirlin weanies see the light, Thou maks the gossips clatter bright, How fumblin cuifs their dearies slight;
Wae worth the name!
Nae howdie gets a social night,
Or plack frae them.
Burnewin-Burn-the-wind-the Blacksmith-an ap
propriate title. E.
When neebors anger at a plea, An' just as wud as wud can be, How easy can the barley-bree
Cement the quarrel!
It's aye the cheapest lawyer's fee,
To taste the barrel.
Alake! that e'er my Muse has reason To wyte her countrymen wi' treason! But monie daily weet their weason
Wi' liquors nice,
An' hardly, in a winter's season,
E'er spier her price.
Wae worth that brandy, burning trash! Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash! Twins monie a poor, doylt, drunken hash, O' half his days;
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash
To her warst faes.
Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well!
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell,
Poor plackless devils like mysel!
It sets you ill,
Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell,
Or foreign gill.