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When goavan, as if led wi'


moving stupidly

And stumpin' on his ploughman shanks,
He in the parlour hammer'd.

I sidling sheltered in a nook,
And at his Lordship steal't a look,

Like some portentous omen ;
Except good sense and social glee,
And (what surprised me) modesty,
I marked nought uncommon.

I watched the symptoms o' the great,
The gentle pride, the lordly state,
The arrogant assuming;

rude bridle


The fient a pride, nae pride had he,
Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see,
Mair than an honest ploughman.

Then from his lordship I shall learn
Henceforth to meet with unconcern

One rank as weel's anither ;
Nae honest worthy man need care
To meet with noble youthful Daer,

For he but meets a brother.1

1 Lord Daer was a young nobleman of the greatest promise. He had just returned from France, where he cultivated the society of some of those men who afterwards figured in the Revolution (particularly Condorcet), and had contracted their sentiments. -"The foregoing verses were really extempore, but a little corrected since."— B.


In the course of his visits to Ayr, Burns had formed an acquaintance with Major William Logan, a retired military officer, noted for his wit, his violin-playing, and his convivial habits, who lived a cheerful bachelorlife with his mother and an unmarried sister. Burns had visited Logan at his villa of Park, near Ayr, had enjoyed his fiddle and his waggery, and run over-so to speak the whole gamut of his congenial heart. He had also been much pleased with the manners of the old lady and her daughter. On the 30th of October, he is found addressing the major in an epistle expressed in merry but careless verse.

HAIL, thairm-inspirin', rattlin' Willie!

Though Fortune's road be rough and hilly

To every fiddling, rhyming billie,

We never heed,

But take it like the unbacked filly,

Proud o' her speed.



When idly goavan whyles we

walking aimlessly


Yirr, fancy barks, awa' we canter

Uphill, down brae, till some mischanter, accident

Some black bog-hole,

Arrests us, then the scaith and banter

We're forced to thole.



Hale be your heart!-hale be your fiddle!
Lang may your elbock jink and diddle,

To cheer you through the weary widdle struggle O' this wild warl',

Until you on a crummock driddle

A gray-haired carle.

staff creep

Come wealth, come poortith, late or soon, poverty Heaven send your heart-strings aye in tune, And screw your temper-pins aboon,

A fifth or mair,

The melancholious, lazy croon,

O' cankrie care.

May still your life from day to day
Nae "lente largo" in the play,

But "allegretto forte" gay

Harmonious flow,

A sweeping, kindling, bauld Strathspey—
Encore! Bravo!

A blessing on the cheery gang
Wha dearly like a jig or sang,

And never think o' right and wrang
By square and rule,

But as the clegs o' feeling stang,

Are wise or fool.



My hand-waled curse keep hard in chase chosen The harpy, hoodock, purse-proud race, miserly

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Wha count on poortith as disgrace!

Their tuneless hearts

May fireside discords jar a base
To a' their parts!

But come, your hand, my careless brither,
I' th' ither' warl',, if there's anither-
And that there is I've little swither

About the matter

We cheek for chow shall jog thegither;
I'se ne'er bid better.

We've faults and failings granted clearly,
We're frail backsliding mortals merely,
Eve's bonny squad priests wyte them


For our grand fa' ;

But still, but still I like them dearly

God bless them a'!

Ochon for poor Castalian drinkers,






When they fa' foul o' earthly jinkers, sprightly girls The witching cursed delicious blinkers

Hae put me hyte,

And gart me weet my waukrife


Wi' girnin' spite.




But by yon moon! and that's high swearin'

And every star within my hearin'!

And by her een wha was a dear ane!
I'll ne'er forget;

I hope to gie the jads a clearin'
In fair-play yet.

My loss I mourn, but not repent it,
I'll seek my pursie whare I tint it;
Ance to the Indies I were wonted,
Some cantrip hour,

By some sweet elf I'll yet be dinted,
Then, vive l'amour!

Faites mes baise-mains respectueuses,

To sentimental sister Susie,

And honest Lucky; no to roose you,

Ye may be proud,

That sic a couple Fate allows ye
To grace your blood.

Nae mair at present can I measure,







And trowth, my rhymin' ware's nae treasure; But when in Ayr, some half-hour's leisure, Be't light, be't dark,

Sir Bard will do himself the pleasure

To call at Park.

MOSSIGEL, 30th October, 1786.

R. B.

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