[To Mr Robert Fergusson] From J.S.
Is Allan risen frae the deid,
Wha aft has tun'd the aiten reed,
And by the muses was decreed
To grace the thistle?
Na; Fergusson's cum in his stead
To blaw the whistle.
In troth, my callant, I'm sae fain
To see your sonsy, callant strain,
You write sic easy stile and plain,
And words sae bonny,
Nae suth'ron lown dare you disdain,
Or cry fy on ye.
Whae'er has at Auld Reikie been,
And king's birth-days exploits has seen,
Maun own that ye hae gi'en a keen
And true description;
Nor say ye've at Parnassus been
To form a fiction.
Hale be your heart, ye canty chield!
May ye ne'er want a gude warm beild,
And sic gude cakes as Scotland yields,
And ilka dainty
That grows or feeds upon her fields,
And Whisky plenty.
But ye, perhaps, thirst mair for fame
Than a' the gude things I can name,
And then ye will be fain to blame
My gude intention:
For that ye needna gae frae hame,
Ye've sic pretension.
Sae saft and sweet your verses jingle,
And your auld words sae meetly mingle
'Twill gar baith married fouk and single
To roofe your lays;
When we foregether round the ingle
We'll chant your praise.
When I again Auld Reekie see,
And can forgether, lad, with thee,
Then we wi' muckle mirth and glee
Shall tak a gill,
And of your caller oysters we
Shall eat our fill.
If sic a thing shou'd you betide,
To Berwick town to tak a ride,
Ile tak ye up Tweed's bonnie side
Before ye settle,
And shew you there the fisher's pride,
A sa'mon- kettle.
There lads an' lasses do conveen
To feast an' dance upo' the green,
An' there sick brav'ry may be seen
As will confound ye,
An' gar ye glowr out baith your een
At a' around ye.
To see sae mony bosoms bare,
An' sic huge puddins i' their hair,
An' some of them wi' naithing mair
Upo' their tete;
Yea, some wi' mutches that might fear
Craws frae their meat.
I ne'er appeared before in print,
But for your sake wou'd fain be in't,
E'en that I might my wishess hint
That you'd write mair;
For sure your head-piece is a mint
Whar wit's nae rare.
Sonse fa' me, gif I hadna 'lure
I cou'd command ilk muse as sure,
Than hae a charot at the door
To wait upon me;
Tho', poet-like, I'm but a poor
Berwick, Aug. 31 .J. S.