Answer to Mr J. S.'s Epistle
I trou, my mettl'd Louden lathie,
Auld farran birky I maun ca' thee,
For whan in gude black print I saw thee
     Wi' souple gab,
I skirl'd sou loud, "Oh wae befa' thee!
     But thou'rt a daub.

Awa', ye wylie fleetchin fallow;
The rose shail grow like gowan yallow,
Before I turn sae toom and shallow,
     And void of fusion,
As a' your butter'd words to swallow
     In vain delusion.

Ye mak my Muse a dautit pett,
But gin she cou'd like Allan's mett,
Or couthie cracks and hamely gett
     Upon her caritch,
Lithly wou'd I be in your debt
     A pint o' paritch.

At times when she may lowse her pack,
I'll grant that she can find a knack,
To gar auld-warld wordies clack
     In hamesoun rhime,
While ilk ane at his billies's back
     Keeps gude Scots time.

But she maun e'en be glad to jook,
And play teet-bo frae nook to nook,
Or blush as gin she had the yook
     Upon her skin,
Whan Ramsay or whan Pennicuik
     Their lilts began.

At morning air, or late at e'en,
Cin ye sud hap come to see ane,
Nor niggard wife, nor greetin wee ane,
     Within my cloyster
Can challenge you and me frae pree'in'
     A caller oyster.

Heh lad! it wou'd be news indeed,
War I to ride the bonny Tweed,
Wha ne'er laid gamon o'er a steed
      Beyont Lusterrick;
And auld shanks nag wou'd tire, I dread,
      To pace to Berwick.

You crack weel o' your lasses there,
Their glancin een and bisket bare;
But thof this town be smeekit fair,
     I'll wad a farden,
Than ours they're nane mair fat and fair,
     Cravin your pardon.

Gin heaven shou'd gi'e the earth a drink,
And afterhend a funny blink,
Gin ye war here, I'm sure you'd think
     It worth your notice,
To see them dubbs and gutters jink
     Wi' kiltit coaties.

And frae ilk corner o' the nation,
We've lasses eke of recreation,
That at close mouths tak up their station
     By ten o'clock.
The Lord deliver frae temptation
     A' honest fock!

Thir queans are ay upon the catch
For pursie, pocket-book or watch,
And can sae glib their leesins hatch,
     That you'll agree,
Ye canna eithly meet their match
    'Tween you and me.

For this gude sample o' your skill,
I'm restin you a pint o' yale,
By and attour a Highland gill
      Of aquavitae;
The which to come and sock at will,
     I here invite ye.

Tho' jillet Fortune scoul and quarrel,
And keep me frae a bien beer barrel,
As lang's I've twopence i' the warl'
      I'll ay be vockie

To part a fadge or girdle farl
     Wi' Louden Jockie.

Farewell, my cock! lang may ye thrive,
Weel happit in a cosy hive;
And that thy saul may never dive
      To Acheron,
I'll wish as lang's I can subscrive