[Page [160]]


1 FAIRFA' the honest rustic swain,
2 The pride o' a' our Scottish plain;
3 Thou gi'es us joy to hear thy strain,
4 And notes sae sweet;
5 Old Ramsay's shade, reviv'd again,
6 In thee we greet.
7 Lov'd Thallia, that delightful Muse,
8 Seem'd long shut up as a recluse:
9 To all she did her aid refuse,
10 Since Allan's day,
[Page 161]
11 Till Burns arose, then did she choose
12 To grace his lay.
13 To hear thy song, all ranks desire;
14 Sae well thou strik'st the dormant lyre.
15 Apollo, wi' poetic fire,
16 Thy breast did warm,
17 An' critics silently admire
18 Thy art to charm.
19 Cæsar an' Luath weel can speak;
20 'Tis pity e'er their gabs should steek:
21 They into human nature keek,
22 An' knots unravel;
23 To hear their lectures ance a week,
24 Ten miles I'd travel.
25 Thy dedication to G H,
26 In unco bonny, hamespun speech,
27 Wi' winsome glee the heart can teach
28 A better lesson,
29 Than servile bards wha fawn an' fleech,
30 Like beggar's messin.
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31 When slighted love becomes thy theme,
32 An' woman's faithless vows you blame,
33 With so much pathos you exclaim,
34 In your Lament,
35 But glanc'd by the most frigid dame,
36 She wad relent.
37 The daisy too, you sing wi' skill;
38 An' weel ye praise the whiskey gill.
39 In vain I blunt my feckless quill,
40 Your fame to raise,
41 While echo sounds, frae ilka hill,
42 To Burns's praise.
43 Did Addison or Pope but hear,
44 Or Sam, that critic most severe,
45 A plough-boy sing, wi' throat sae clear,
46 They, in a rage,
47 Their works wad a' in pieces tear
48 An' curse your page.
49 If I should strain my rupy throat,
50 To raise thy praise wi' swelling note,
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51 My rude, unpolish'd strokes wad blot
52 Thy brilliant shine,
53 An' ev'ry passage I would quote
54 Seem less sublime.
55 The talk I'll drop; wi' heart sincere
56 To heav'n present a humble prayer,
57 That a' the blessings mortals share
58 May be, by turns,
59 Dispens'd with an indulgent care
60 To Robert Burns.


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Title (in Source Edition): AN EPISTLE TO MR. ROBERT BURNS.
Genres: epistle

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Little, Janet, 1759-1813. The Poetical Works of Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid. Air: Printed by John & Peter Wilson, 1792, pp. [160]-163.  (ESTC T126549) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Janet Little (later Richmond)