[Page 22]


Gie him strong Drink until he wink,
That's sinking in despair;
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief an' care:
There let him bowse an' deep carouse,
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs no more.
1 LET other Poets raise a fracas
2 'Bout vines, an' wines, an' druken Bacchus,
3 An' crabbed names an' stories wrack us,
4 An' grate our lug,
5 I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
6 In glass or jug,
[Page 23]
7 O thou, my MUSE! guid, auld SCOTCH DRINK!
8 Whether thro' wimplin worms thou jink,
9 Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,
10 In glorious faem,
11 Inspire me, till I lisp an' wink,
12 To sing thy name!
13 Let husky Wheat the haughs adorn,
14 And Aits set up their awnie horn,
15 An' Pease an' Beans, at een or morn,
16 Perfume the plain,
17 Leeze me on thee John Barleycorn,
18 Thou king o' grain!
19 On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
20 In souple scones, the wale o' food!
21 Or tumbling in the boiling flood
22 Wi' kail an' beef;
23 But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood,
24 There thou shines chief.
25 Food fills the wame, an' keeps us livin;
26 Tho' life's a gift no worth receivin,
[Page 24]
27 When heavy-dragg'd wi' pine an' grievin;
28 But oil'd by thee,
29 The wheels o' life gae down-hill, scrievin,
30 Wi' rattlin glee.
31 Thou clears the head o' doited Lear;
32 Thou chears the heart o' drooping Care;
33 Thou strings the nerves o' Labor-sair,
34 At's weary toil;
35 Thou ev'n brightens dark Despair,
36 Wi' gloomy smile.
37 Aft, clad in massy, siller weed,
38 Wi' Gentles thou erects thy head;
39 Yet humbly kind, in time o' need,
40 The poor man's wine;
41 His wee drap pirratch, or his bread,
42 Thou kitchens fine.
43 Thou art the life o' public haunts;
44 But thee, what were our fairs and rants?
45 Ev'n godly meetings o' the saunts,
46 By thee inspir'd,
[Page 25]
47 When gaping they besiege the tents,
48 Are doubly fir'd.
49 That merry night we get the corn in,
50 O sweetly, then, thou reams the horn in!
51 Or reekan on a New year-mornin
52 In cog or bicker,
53 An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in,
54 An' gusty sucker!
55 When Vulcan gies his bellys breath,
56 An' Ploughmen gather wi' their graith,
57 O rare! to see thee fizz an' freath
58 I' the lugget caup!
59 Then Burnewin comes on like Death
60 At ev'ry chap.
61 Nae mercy, then, for airn or steel;
62 The brawnie, banie, ploughman-chiel
63 Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel,
64 The strong forehammer,
65 Till block an' studdie ring an' reel
66 Wi' dinsome clamour.
[Page 26]
67 When skirlin weanies see the light,
68 Thou maks the gossips clatter bright,
69 How fumbling coofs their dearies slight,
70 Wae worth them for't!
71 While healths gae round to him wha, tight,
72 Gies famous sport.
73 When neebors anger at a plea,
74 An' just as wud as wud can be,
75 How easy can the barley-brie
76 Cement the quarrel!
77 It's aye the cheapest Lawyer's fee
78 To taste the barrel.
79 Alake! that e'er my Muse has reason,
80 To wyte her countrymen wi' treason!
81 But monie daily weet their weason
82 Wi' liquors nice,
83 An' hardly, in a winter season,
84 E'er spier her price.
85 Wae worth that Brandy, burnan trash
86 Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash!
[Page 27]
87 Twins movie a poor, doylt, druken hash
88 O' half his days;
89 An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash
90 To her warst faes.
91 Ye Scots wha wish auld Scotland well,
92 Ye chief, to you my tale I tell,
93 Poor, plackless devils like mysel,
94 It sets you ill,
95 Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell,
96 Or foreign gill.
97 May Gravels round his blather wrench,
98 An' Gouts torment him, inch by inch,
99 Wha twists his gruntle wi' a glunch
100 O' four disdain,
101 Out owre a glass o' Whisky-punch
102 Wi' honest men!
103 O Whisky! foul o' plays an' pranks!
104 Accept a Bardie's gratefu' thanks!
105 When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks
106 Are my poor Verses!
[Page 28]
107 Thou comes they rattle i' their ranks
108 At ither's arses!
109 Thee Ferintosh! O sadly lost!
110 Scotland lament frae coast to coast!
111 Now colic-grips, an' barkin hoast,
112 May kill us a';
113 For loyal Forbes' Charter'd boast
114 Is ta'en awa!
115 Thae curst horse-leeches o' th' Excise,
116 Wha mak the Whisky stells their prize!
117 Haud up thy han' Deil! ance, twice, thrice!
118 There, fieze the blinkers!
119 An' bake them up in brunstane pies
120 For poor d n'd Drinkers.
121 Fortune, if thou'll but gie me still
122 Hale breeks, a scone, an' whisky gill,
123 An' rowth o' rhyme to rave at will,
124 Tak a' the rest,
125 An' deal't about as thy blind skill
126 Directs thee best,


  • TEI/XML [chunk] (XML - 229K / ZIP - 23K) / ECPA schema (RNC - 357K / ZIP - 73K)
  • Plain text [excluding paratexts] (TXT - 4.0K / ZIP - 2.2K)

Facsimile (Source Edition)

(Page images digitized by National Library of Scotland.)



All Images (PDF - 3.4M)

About this text

Title (in Source Edition): SCOTCH DRINK.
Author: Robert Burns
Genres: address

Text view / Document view

Source edition

Burns, Robert, 1759-1796. POEMS, CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT, BY ROBERT BURNS. Kilmarnock: printed by John Wilson, M,DCC,LXXXVI., 1786, pp. 22-28. 240p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T91548) (Page images digitized by National Library of Scotland.)

Editorial principles

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 Robert Burns