Epistle To James Tennant Of Glenconner

     Auld comrade dear, and brither sinner,
     How's a' the folk about Glenconner?
     How do you this blae eastlin wind,
     That's like to blaw a body blind?
     For me, my faculties are frozen,
     My dearest member nearly dozen'd.
     I've sent you here, by Johnie Simson,
     Twa sage philosophers to glimpse on;
     Smith, wi' his sympathetic feeling,
     An' Reid, to common sense appealing.
     Philosophers have fought and wrangled,
     An' meikle Greek an' Latin mangled,
     Till wi' their logic-jargon tir'd,
     And in the depth of science mir'd,
     To common sense they now appeal,
     What wives and wabsters see and feel.
     But, hark ye, friend! I charge you strictly,
     Peruse them, an' return them quickly:
     For now I'm grown sae cursed douce
     I pray and ponder butt the house;
     My shins, my lane, I there sit roastin',
     Perusing Bunyan, Brown, an' Boston,
     Till by an' by, if I haud on,
     I'll grunt a real gospel-groan:
     Already I begin to try it,
     To cast my e'en up like a pyet,
     When by the gun she tumbles o'er
     Flutt'ring an' gasping in her gore:
     Sae shortly you shall see me bright,
     A burning an' a shining light.

     My heart-warm love to guid auld Glen,
     The ace an' wale of honest men:
     When bending down wi' auld grey hairs
     Beneath the load of years and cares,
     May He who made him still support him,
     An' views beyond the grave comfort him;
     His worthy fam'ly far and near,
     God bless them a' wi' grace and gear!

     My auld schoolfellow, Preacher Willie,
     The manly tar, my mason-billie,
     And Auchenbay, I wish him joy,
     If he's a parent, lass or boy,
     May he be dad, and Meg the mither,
     Just five-and-forty years thegither!
     And no forgetting wabster Charlie,
     I'm tauld he offers very fairly.
     An' Lord, remember singing Sannock,
     Wi' hale breeks, saxpence, an' a bannock!
     And next, my auld acquaintance, Nancy,
     Since she is fitted to her fancy,
     An' her kind stars hae airted till her
     gA guid chiel wi' a pickle siller.
     My kindest, best respects, I sen' it,
     To cousin Kate, an' sister Janet:
     Tell them, frae me, wi' chiels be cautious,
     For, faith, they'll aiblins fin' them fashious;
     To grant a heart is fairly civil,
     But to grant a maidenhead's the devil.
     An' lastly, Jamie, for yoursel,
     May guardian angels tak a spell,
     An' steer you seven miles south o' hell:
     But first, before you see heaven's glory,
     May ye get mony a merry story,
     Mony a laugh, and mony a drink,
     And aye eneugh o' needfu' clink.

     Now fare ye weel, an' joy be wi' you:
     For my sake, this I beg it o' you,
     Assist poor Simson a' ye can,
     Ye'll fin; him just an honest man;
     Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter,
     Your's, saint or sinner,
     Rob the Ranter.