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An' what poor cot-folk pit their painch in,
Trowth, Cæsar, whyles they're fash't enough; A cottar howkin in a sheugh, Wi’ dirty stanes biggin a dyke, Baring a quarry, and sic like, Himself, a wife, he thus sustains, A smytrie o' wee duddie weans, An' nought but his han' darg, to keep Them right and right in thack an' rape.
An' when they meet wi' sair disasters,
But then to see how ye’re negleckit,
I've notic'd, on our. Laird's court-day, An' mony a time my heart's been wae,
Poor tenant bodies, scant o cash,
I see how folk live that hae riches ; But surely poor folk maun be wretches !
Then chance an? fortune are sae guided,
The clearest comfort o' their lives, Their grushie areans an' faithfu' wives ; The prattling things are just their pride, That sweetens a' their fire-side.
An' whyles twalpennie worth o' nappy
Or tell what new taxation's comin
As bleak-fac'd Hallowmass returns They get the jovial, ranting kirns, When rural life, o' every station, Unite in common recreation ; Love blinks, Wit slaps, an' social Mirth, Forgets there's Care upo' the earth.
That merry day the year begins;. They bar the door on frosty winds; The nappy reeks wi' mantling ream, An' sheds a heart-inspiring steam ; The luntin pipe an’ sneeshin mill, Are handed round wi' right guid will ; The cantie auld folks crackin crouse, The young anes rantin thro' the house, My heart has been sae fain to see them, That I for joy hae barkit wi' them.
Still it's owre true that ye hae said, Sic game is now owre aften play'd. There's monie: a creditable stock O' decent, honest, fawsont fo'k, Are riven out baith root and branch, Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench,. Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster In favour wi' some gentle master, Wha' aiblins, thrang a parliamentin, For Britain's. guid his saul indentin
Haith, lad, ye little ken about it ; For Britain's guid !-guid faith, I doubt it !. Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead him, An’ saying aye or no's they bid him : At operas an' plays parading, Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading; Or may be, in a frolic daft, To Hague or Calais takes a waft, To make a tour, and tak a whirl, To learn bon ton an' see the worl',
There, at Vienna or Versailles, He rives his father's auld entails !Or by Madrid he takes the routy. To thrum guitars, and fecht wi' nowt; Or down Italian vista startles, Wh-re-hunting among groves o' myrtles: Then bouses drumly German water, To mak himsel look fair and fatter, An' clear the consequential sorrows, Love-gifts of Carnival signoras. For Britain's guid!--for her destruction? Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.
Hech man! dear sirs ! is that the gate
O would they stay aback frae courts,
L--d, man, were ye but whyles whare I am, The gentles ye wad ne'er envy 'em.
It's true, they need na starve or sweat,