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Sae I shall say, and that's nae flatterin',
It's just sic poet, and 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 every hand it will allowed 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 ance he says he winna break it;
Ought he can lend he'll no refus't
Till aft his gudeness is abused;
And rascals whiles that do him wrang,
Even 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', córrupt 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 through terror of d—tion ;
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, truth, and justice!
No stretch a point to catch a plack;
Abuse a brother to his back;
Steal through a winnock frae a w
But point the rake that taks the door
Be to the poor like ony whunstane,
And haud their noses to the grunstane;
Ply every art o' legal thieving ;
No matter stick to sound believing!
Learn three-mile prayers, and half-mile graces, Wi' weel-spread looves, and lang wry faces; palms Grunt up a solemn, lengthened groan,
And d― a' parties but your own ;
I'll warrant, then, ye're nae deceiver
A steady, sturdy, stanch believer.
Oh ye wha leave the springs o' Calvin,
For gumlie dubs of your ain delvin'! muddy ponds
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 Heaven commission gies him :
While o'er the harp pale Misery moans,
And strikes the ever-deepening tones,
Still louder shrieks, and heavier groans!
Your pardon, sir, for this digression,
I maist forgot 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 patronise them wi' your favour,
And your petitioner shall ever
I had 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, and wretched ill o't; unwilling
But I'se repeat each poor man's prayer
That kens or hears about you, sir:
May ne'er Misfortune's gowling bark
Howl through the dwelling o' the Clerk! 1
May ne'er his generous, honest heart,
For that same generous spirit smart!
May Kennedy's far-honoured name
Lang beat his hymeneal flame,
Till Hamiltons, at least a dizzen,
Are by their canty fireside risen:
Five bonny 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 ier-oe,
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow,
The last, sad mournful rites bestow."
I will not wind a lang conclusion
With complimentary effusion:
But whilst your wishes and endeavours
Are blest wi' fortune's smiles and favours,
I am, dear sir, with zeal most fervent,
Your much indebted, humble servant.
But if (which powers above prevent!)
That iron-hearted carl, Want,
Attended in his grim advances
1 A sobriquet for Mr. Hamilton, probably because of his acting in this capacity to some of the county courts.
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 Heaven!
While recollection's power is given,
If, in the vale of humble life,
The victim sad of fortune's strife,
I, through the tender-gushing tear,
Should recognise my master dear,
If friendless, low, we meet together,
Then, sir, your hand - my friend and brother!
FAREWELL TO THE BRETHREN OF ST. JAMES'S LODGE, TORBOLTON.
TUNE- Good-night, and Joy be wi' you a’.
ADIEU! a heart-warm, fond adieu!
Dear brothers of the mystic tie!
Ye favoured, ye enlightened few,
Companions of my social joy.
Though I to foreign lands must hie,
Pursuing Fortune's slidd'ry ba',
With melting heart, and brimful eye,
I'll mind you still, though far awa'. remember