Robert Burns

Epistle to Dr Blacklock

written in 1789

Wow, but your letter made me vauntie! And are ye hale, and weel, and cantie? I kend it still your wee bit jauntie Wad bring ye to: Lord send you ay as weel's I want ye, And then ye'll do. The Ill-thief blaw the Heron south! And never drink be near his drouth! He tald myself, by word o' mouth, He'd tak my letter; I lippen'd to the chiel in trouth, And bade nae better. But aiblins honest Master Heron Had at the time, some dainty Fair One, To ware this theologic care on, And holy study; And tired o' sauls to waste his lear on, E'en tried the body. But what d'ye think, my trusty Fier, I'm turn'd a Gauger - Peace be here! Parnassian Quines I fear, I fear, Ye'll now disdain me, And then my fifty pounds a year Will little gain me. Ye glaiket, gleesome, dainty Damies, Wha by Castalia's wimplin streamies, Lowp, sing, and lave your pretty limbies, Ye ken, ye ken, That strang Necessity supreme is 'Mang sons o' Men. I hae a wife and twa wee laddies, They maun hae brose and brats o' duddies; Ye ken yoursels my heart right proud is, I need na vaunt; But I'll sned bosoms and thraw saught-woodies Before they want. Lord help me thro' this warld o' care! I'm weary sick o't late and air! Not but I hae a richer share Than mony ithers; But why should ae man better fare, And a' Men brithers! Come, Firm Resolve, take thou the van, Thou stalk o' carl-hemp in man! And let us mind, faint heart ne'er wan A lady fair: Wha does the utmost that he can, Will whyles do mair. But to conclude my silly rhyme (I'm scant o' verse and scant o' time), To make a happy fireside clime To weans and wife, That's the true Pathos and Sublime Of Human life. My Compliments to Sister Beckie, And eke the same to honest Lucky; I wat she is a daintie Chuckie, As e'er tread clay! And gratefully, my gude auld Cockie, I'm yours for ay.

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