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I wat she was a sheep o' sense, An' could behave hersel wi' mense : I'll say't, she never brak a fence,
Thro' thievish greed. Our bardie, lanely, keeps the spence
Sin' Mailie's dead.
Or, if he wanders up the howe,
For bits o' bread;
For Mailie dead.
She was nae get o' moorland tips,
Frae yont the Tweed :
Than Mailie dead.
Wae worth the man wha first did shape
Wi' chokin dread;
For Mailie dead.
0, a' 0, a' ye bards on bonie Doon! An' wha on Ayr your chanters tune! Come, join the melancholious croon TO
J. S *
Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul !
Dear S****, the sleest, paukie thief,
Owre human hearts;
Against your arts.
For me, I swear by sun an' moon, And every star that blinks aboon, Ye've cost me twenty pair o' shoon,
Just gaun to see you; And ev'ry ither pair that's done,
Mair taen I'm wi' you.
That auld capricious carlin, Nature, To mak amends for scrimpit stature, She's turn'd you aff, a human creature
On her first plan, And in her freaks, on ev'ry feature,
She's wrote, the Man.
Just now I've taen the fit o' rhyme, My barmie noddle's working prime, My fancy yerkit up sublime
Wi' hasty summon: Hae ye a leisure moment's time
To hear what's comin?
Some rhyme a neebor's name to lash; Some rhyme (vain thought!) for needfu' cash; Some rhyme to court the countra clash,
An' raise a din; For me, an aim I never fash;
I rhyme for fun.
The star that rules my luckless lot,
But in requit,
O countra wit.
This while my notion's taen a sklent, To try my fate in guid, black prent ; But still the mair I'm that way bent,
Something cries, · Hoolie!
"I red you,
• There's ither poets, much your betters, , Far seen in Greek, deep men o' letters, · Hae thought they had ensur'd their debtors,
· A' future ages; Now moths deform in shapeless tetters,
• Their unknown pages,
Then fareweel hopes o' laurel-boughs,
Are whistling thrang,
My rustic sang,