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Their hearts o' stane, gin night, are gane,
There's some are fou o' love divine;
ON A SCOTCH BARD,
GONE TO THE WEST INDIES.
A'YE wha live by sowps o' drink,
Lament him a' ye rantin' core,
For now he's ta'en anither shore,
1 "Our brother has eluded us all."
Auld cantie Kyle may weepers wear,
He was her laureate monie a year,
He saw misfortune's cauld nor-west
So, took a berth afore the mast,
He ne'er was gien to great misguiding,
He dealt it free:
To tremble under Fortune's cummock,
So row't his hurdies in a hammock, rolled — loins
The Muse was a' that he took pride in,
Jamaica bodies, use him weel,
And hap him in a cozie biel: wrap-snug shelter
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,
He wadna wranged the very deil,
Fareweel, my rhyme-composing billie! comrade
I'll toast ye in my hinmost gillie,
A BARD'S EPITAPH.
Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
In a different spirit, Burns wrote an epitaph for himself a confession of his errors so solemn and so touching, as to take the sting from every other comment on the subject.
Let him draw near;
Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
Is there a man, whose judgment clear,
and, through the starting tear Survey this grave.
The poor inhabitant below,
Was quick to learn, and wise to know,
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
Reader, attend whether thy soul
DEDICATION TO GAVIN HAMILTON, Esq.
In dedicating his Poems to Gavin Hamilton, Burns took the opportunity not merely to characterize that generous-natured man, but to throw out a few parting sarcasms at orthodoxy and her partisans. This poem, however, was not placed at the front of the volume, though included in its pages.
EXPECT na, sir, in this narration,
A fleechin, fleth'rin dedication, wheedling-flattering
Perhaps related to the race;
Then when I'm tired, and sae are ye,
Set up a face, how I stop short,
This may do maun do, sir, wi' them wha
1 The Duke of Hamilton.