Robert Burns

Lines To A Gentleman

written in 1790

Kind Sir, I've read your paper through, And faith, to me, 'twas really new! How guessed ye, Sir, what maist I wanted? This mony a day I've grain'd and gaunted, To ken what French mischief was brewin; Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin; That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph, If Venus yet had got his nose off; Or how the collieshangie works Atween the Russians and the Turks, Or if the Swede, before he halt, Would play anither Charles the twalt; If Denmark, any body spak o't; Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't: How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin; How libbet Italy was singin; If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss, Were sayin' or takin' aught amiss; Or how our merry lads at hame, In Britain's court kept up the game; How royal George, the Lord leuk o'er him! Was managing St. Stephen's quorum; If sleekit Chatham Will was livin, Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in; How daddie Burke the plea was cookin, If Warren Hasting's neck was yeukin; How cesses, stents, and fees were rax'd. Or if bare arses yet were tax'd; The news o' princes, dukes, and earls, Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls; If that daft buckie, Geordie Wales, Was threshing still at hizzies' tails; Or if he was grown oughtlins douser, And no a perfect kintra cooser: A' this and mair I never heard of; And, but for you, I might despair'd of. So, gratefu', back your news I send you, And pray a' gude things may attend you.

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