[Page 29]


Dearest of Distillation! last and best!
How art thou lost!
1 YE Irish lords, ye knights an' squires,
2 Wha represent our Brughs an' Shires,
3 An' dousely manage our affairs
4 In Parliament,
5 To you a simple Bardie's pray'rs
6 Are humbly sent.
[Page 30]
7 Alas! my roupet Muse: is haerse!
8 Your Honor's hearts wi' grief 'twad pierce
9 To see her sittan on her arse
10 Low i' the dust,
11 An' scriechan out prosaic verse,
12 An' like to brust!
13 Tell them wha hae the chief direction,
14 Scotland an' me's in great affliction,
15 E'er sin' they laid that curst restriction
17 An' rouse them up to strong conviction,
18 An' move their pity.
19 Stand forth and tell yon PREMIER YOUTH,
20 The honest, open, naked truth:
21 Tell him o' mine an' Scotland's drouth,
22 His servants humble:
23 The muckle devil blaw you south,
24 If ye dissemble!
25 Does ony great man glunch an' gloom?
26 Speak out an never fash your thumb.
[Page 31]
27 Let posts an' pensions sink or swoom
28 'Wi them wha grant them:
29 If honestly they canna come,
30 Far better want them.
31 In gath'rin votes you were na slack,
32 Now stand as tightly by your tack:
33 Ne'er claw your lug, an' fidge your back,
34 An' hum an' haw,
35 But raise your arm, an' tell your crack
36 Before them a'.
37 Paint Scotland greetan owre her thrissle;
38 Her mutchkin stowp as toom's a whissle;
39 An' d mn'd Excise-men in a bussle,
40 Seizan a Stell,
41 Triumphant crushan't like a muscle
42 Or laimpet shell.
43 Then on the tither hand present her,
44 A blackguard Smuggler, right behint her,
45 An' cheek-for-chow, a chuffie Vintner,
46 Colleaguing join,
[Page 32]
47 Picking her pouch as bare as Winter,
48 Of a' kind coin.
49 Is there, that bears the name o' SCOT,
50 But feels his heart's bluid rising hot,
51 To see his poor, auld Mither's pot,
52 Thus dung in staves,
53 An' plunder'd o' her hindmost groat,
54 By gallows knaves?
55 Alas! I'm but a nameless wight,
56 Trode i' the mire out o' sight!
57 But could I like MONTGOMERIES fight,
58 Or gab like BOSWELL,
59 There's some sark-necks I wad draw tight,
60 An' tye some hose well.
61 God bless your Honors, can ye see't,
62 The kind, auld, cantie Carlin greet,
63 An' no get warmly to your feet,
64 An' gar them hear it,
65 An' tell them, wi' a patriot-heat,
66 Ye winna bear it?
[Page 33]
67 Some o' you nicely ken the laws,
68 To round the period an' pause,
69 An' with rhetoric clause on clause
70 To mak harangues;
71 Then echo thro' Saint Stephen's wa's
72 Auld Scotland's wrangs.
73 Dempster, a true-blue Scot I'se warran;
74 Thee, aith-detesting, chalk Kilkerran;
75 An' that glib-gabbet Highland Baron,
76 The Laird o' Graham;
77 And ane, a chap that's d mn'd auldfarran,
78 Dundas his name.
79 Erskine, a spunkie norland billie;
80 True Campbells, Frederick an' Ilay;
81 An' Livistone, the bauld Sir Willie;
82 An' monie ithers,
83 Whom auld Demosthenes or Tully
84 Might own for brithers.
85 Arouse my boys! exert your mettle,
86 To get auld Scotland back her kettle!
[Page 34]
87 Or faith! I'll wad my new pleugh-pettle,
88 Ye'll see't or lang,
89 She'll teach you, wi' a reekan whittle,
90 Anither sang.
91 This while she's been in crankous mood,
92 Her lost Militia fir'd her bluid;
93 (Deil na they never mair do guid,
94 Play'd her that pliskie!)
95 An' now she's like to rin red-wud
96 About her Whisky.
97 An' L d! if ance they pit her till't,
98 Her tartan petticoat she'll kilt,
99 An' durk an' pistol at her belt,
100 She'll tak the streets,
101 An' rin her whittle to the hilt,
102 I' th' first she meets!
103 For G d-sake, Sirs! then speak her fair,
104 An' straik her cannie wi' the hair,
105 An' to the muckle house repair,
106 Wi' instant speed,
[Page 35]
107 An' strive, wi' a' your Wit an' Lear,
108 To get remead.
109 Yon ill-tongu'd tinkler, Charlie Fox,
110 May taunt you wi' his jeers an' mocks;
111 But gie him't het, my hearty cocks!
112 E'en cowe the cadie!
113 An' send him to his dicing box,
114 An' sportin lady.
115 Tell yon guid bluid o' auld Boconnock's,
116 I'll be his debt twa mashlum bonnocks,
117 An' drink his health in auld
[*] A worthy old Hostess of the Author's in Mauchline, where he sometimes studies Politics over a glass of guid, auld Scotch Drink.
Nanse Tinnoch's.
118 Nine times a week,
119 If he some scheme, like tea an' winnocks,
120 Wad kindly seek.
121 Could he some commutation broach,
122 I'll pledge my aith in guid braid Scotch,
123 He need na fear their foul reproach
124 Nor erudition,
[Page 36]
125 Yon mixtie-maxtie, queer hotch-potch,
126 The Coalition.
127 Auld Scotland has a raucle tongue;
128 She's just a devil wi' a rung;
129 An' if she promise auld or young
130 To tak their part,
131 Tho' by the neck she should be strung,
132 She'll no desert.
133 And now, ye chosen FIVE AND FORTY,
134 May still your Mither's heart support ye;
135 Then, tho' a Minister grow dorty,
136 An' kick your place,
137 Ye'll snap your fingers, poor an' hearty,
138 Before his face.
139 God bless your Honors, a' your days,
140 Wi' sowps o' kail and brats o' claise,
141 In spite o' a' the thievish kaes
142 That haunt St. Jamie's!
143 Your humble Bardie sings an' prays
144 While Rab his name is.
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145 Let half-starv'd slaves in warmer skies,
146 See future wines, rich-clust'ring, rise;
147 Their lot auld Scotland ne'er envies,
148 But blythe an' frisky,
149 She eyes her freeborn, martial boys,
150 Tak aff their Whisky.
151 What tho' their Phœbus kinder warms,
152 While Fragrance blooms an' Beauty charms!
153 When wretches range, in famish'd swarms,
154 The scented groves,
155 Or hounded forth, dishonor arms
156 In hungry droves.
157 Their gun's a burden on their shouther;
158 They downa bide the stink o' powther;
159 Their bauldest thought's a hank'ring swither,
160 To stan' or rin,
[Page 38]
161 Till skelp a shot they're aff, a' throw'ther,
162 To fave their skin.
163 But bring a SCOTCHMAN frae his hill,
164 Clap in his cheek a Highland gill,
165 Say, such is royal GEORGE'S will,
166 An' there's the foe,
167 He has nae thought but how to kill
168 Twa at a blow.
169 Nae cauld, faint-hearted doubtings tease him;
170 Death comes, wi' fearless eye he sees him;
171 Wi' bluidy han' a welcome gies him;
172 An' when he fa's,
173 His latest draught o' breathin lea'es him
174 In faint huzzas.
175 Sages their solemn een may steek,
176 An' raise a philosophic reek,
177 An' physically causes seek,
178 In clime an' season,
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179 But tell me Whisky's name in Greek,
180 I'll tell the reason.
181 SCOTLAND, my auld, respected Mither!
182 Tho' whyles ye moistify your leather,
183 Till whare ye sit, on craps o' heather,
184 Ye tine your dam;
185 FREEDOM and WHISKY gang thegither,
186 Tak aff your dram!


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Author: Robert Burns
Genres: address

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Burns, Robert, 1759-1796. POEMS, CHIEFLY IN THE SCOTTISH DIALECT, BY ROBERT BURNS. Kilmarnock: printed by John Wilson, M,DCC,LXXXVI., 1786, pp. 29-39. 240p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T91548) (Page images digitized by National Library of Scotland.)

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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.

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