Robert Burns

On a Scotch Bard Gone to the West Indies

written in 1786

A' ye wha live by sowps o' drink, A' ye wha live by crambo-clink, A' ye wha live and never think, Come, mourn wi' me! Our billie's gien us a' a jink, An' owre the Sea. Lament him a' ye rantan core, Wha dearly like a random-splore; Nae mair he'll join the merry roar, In social key; For now he's taen anither shore, An' owre the Sea! The bonie lasses weel may wiss him, And in their dear petitions place him: The widows, wives, an' a' may bless him, Wi' tearfu' e'e; For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him That's owre the Sea! O Fortune, they hae room to grumble! Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy bummle, Wha can do nought but fyke an' fumble, 'Twad been nae plea; But he was gleg as ony wumble, That's owre the Sea! Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear, An' stain them wi' the saut, saut tear: 'Twill mak her poor, auld heart, I fear, In flinders flee: He was her Laureat monie a year, That's owre the Sea! He saw Misfortune's cauld Nor-west Lang-mustering up a bitter blast; A Jillet brak his heart at last, Ill may she be! So, took a birth afore the mast, An' owre the Sea. To tremble under Fortune's cummock, On a scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock, Wi' his proud, independant stomach, Could ill agree; So, row't his hurdies in a hammock, An' owre the Sea. He ne'er was gien to great misguidin, Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in; Wi' him it ne'er was under hidin; He dealt it free: The Muse was a' that he took pride in, That's owre the Sea. Jamaica bodies, use him weel, An' hap him in cozie biel: Ye'll find him ay a dainty chiel, An' fou o' glee: He wad na wrang'd the vera Deil , That's owre the Sea. Farewell, my rhyme-composing billie! Your native soil was right ill-willie; But may ye flourish like a lily, Now bonilie! I'll toast ye in my hindmost gillie, Tho' owre the Sea!

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