Robert Burns

Robert Burns' Answer [to 'Epistle from a Taylor to Robert Burns']

written in 1786

What ails ye now, ye lousie bitch, To thresh my back at sic a pitch? Losh man! hae mercy wi' your natch, Your bodkin's bauld, I did na suffer ha'f sae much Frae Daddie Auld. What tho' at times when I grow crouse, I gi'e their wames a random pouse, Is that enough for you to souse Your servant sae? Gae mind your seam, ye prick the louse, An' jag the flae. King David o' poetic brief, Wrocht 'mang the lasses sic mischief As fill'd his after life wi' grief, An' bloody rants, An' yet he's rank'd amang the chief O' lang syne saunts. And maybe, Tam, for a' my cants, My wicked rhymes, an' drucken rants, I'll gie auld cloven Clooty's haunts An unco slip yet, An' snugly sit amang the saunts At Davie's hip yet. But, fegs, the Session says I maun Gae fa' upo' anither plan, Than garren lasses cowp the cran Clean heels owre body, An' sairly thole their mither's ban Afore the howdy. This leads me on to tell for sport, How I did wi' the Session sort Auld Clinkum at the inner port Cry'd three times, 'Robin!' 'Come hither lad, an' answer for't, 'Ye're blam'd for jobbin'.' Wi' pinch I put a Sunday's face on, An' snoov'd awa before the Session I made an open fair confession; I scorn'd to lie; An' syne Mess John, beyond expression, Fell foul o' me. A furnicator lown he call'd me, An' said my fau't frae bliss expell'd me; I own'd the tale was true he tell'd me, 'But what the matter,' Quo' I, 'I fear unless ye geld me, 'I'll ne'er be better.' 'Geld you!' quo' he, 'and whatfore no, 'If that your right hand, leg or toe, 'Should ever prove your sp'ritual foe, 'You shou'd remember 'To cut it aff, an' whatfore no, 'Your dearest member.' 'Na, na,' quo' I, 'I'm no for that, 'Gelding's nae better than 'tis ca't, 'I'd rather suffer for my faut, 'A hearty flewit, 'As sair owre hip as ye can draw 't! 'Tho' I should rue it. 'Or, gin ye like to end the bother, 'To please us a', I've just ae ither, 'When next wi' yon lass I forgather, 'Whate'er betide it, 'I'll frankly gie her 't a' thegither, 'An' let her guide it.' But, Sir, this pleas'd them warst ava, An' therefore, Tam, when that I saw, I said 'Gude night,' and cam' awa', An' left the Session; I saw they were resolved a' On my oppression.

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