Robert Burns

Epistle from a Taylor to Robert Burns

written in 1786

What waefu' news is this I hear, Frae greeting I can scare forbear, Folk tells me, ye're gawn aff this year, Out o'er the sea, And lasses wham ye lo'e sae dear Will greet for thee. Well wad I like war ye to stay, Bur Robin since ye will away, I ha'e a word yet mair to say, And maybe twa; May he protect us night an' day, That made us a'. Whaur thou art gaun, keep mind frae me, Seek him to bear thee companie, And, Robin, whan ye come tae die, Ye'll won aboon, An' live at peace an' unity, Ayont the moon. Some tell me, Rab, ye dinna fear To get a wean, an' curse an' swear; I'm unco wae, my lad, to hear O' sic a trade. Cou'd I persuade ye to forbear, I wad be glad. Fu' weel ye ken ye'll gang to hell, Gin ye persist in doin' ill Waes me! Ye're hurlin' down the hill, Withouten dread, An' ye'll get leave to swear your fill After ye're dead. There, walth o' women ye'll get near, But getting' weans ye will forbear, Ye'll never say, my bonnie dear Come, gie's a kiss Nae kissing there- ye'll girn an' sneer, An' ither hiss. O Rab! lay by thy foolish tricks, An' steer nae mair the female sex, Or some day ye'll come through the pricks, An' that ye'll see; Ye'll fin' hard living wi' Auld Nicks; I'll wae for thee. But what's this comes wi' sic a knell, Amaist as loud as ony bell, While it does mak' my conscious tell Me what is true, I'm but a ragget cowt mysel', Owre sib to you! We're owre like those wha think it fit, To stuff their noddles fu' o' wit, An' yet content in darkness sit, Wha shun the light, To let them them see down to the pit, That lang dark night. But fareweel, Rab, I maun awa', May he that made us keep us a', For that would be a dreadfu' fa', And hurt us sair, Lad, ye wad never mend ava, Sae, Rab, tak' care.

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