Stanzas On Naething

Extempore Epistle to Gavin Hamilton, Esq.

     To you, sir, this summons I've sent,
     Pray, whip till the pownie is freathing;
     But if you demand what I want,
     I honestly answer you—naething.

     Ne'er scorn a poor Poet like me,
     For idly just living and breathing,
     While people of every degree
     Are busy employed about—naething.

     Poor Centum-per-centum may fast,
     And grumble his hurdies their claithing,
     He'll find, when the balance is cast,
     He's gane to the devil for-naething.

     The courtier cringes and bows,
     Ambition has likewise its plaything;
     A coronet beams on his brows;
     And what is a coronet-naething.

     Some quarrel the Presbyter gown,
     Some quarrel Episcopal graithing;
     But every good fellow will own
     Their quarrel is a' about—naething.

     The lover may sparkle and glow,
     Approaching his bonie bit gay thing:
     But marriage will soon let him know
     He's gotten—a buskit up naething.

     The Poet may jingle and rhyme,
     In hopes of a laureate wreathing,
     And when he has wasted his time,
     He's kindly rewarded wi'—naething.

     The thundering bully may rage,
     And swagger and swear like a heathen;
     But collar him fast, I'll engage,
     You'll find that his courage is—naething.

     Last night wi' a feminine whig—
     A Poet she couldna put faith in;
     But soon we grew lovingly big,
     I taught her, her terrors were naething.

     Her whigship was wonderful pleased,
     But charmingly tickled wi' ae thing,
     Her fingers I lovingly squeezed,
     And kissed her, and promised her—naething.

     The priest anathemas may threat—
     Predicament, sir, that we're baith in;
     But when honour's reveille is beat,
     The holy artillery's naething.

     And now I must mount on the wave—
     My voyage perhaps there is death in;
     But what is a watery grave?
     The drowning a Poet is naething.

     And now, as grim death's in my thought,
     To you, sir, I make this bequeathing;
     My service as long as ye've ought,
     And my friendship, by God, when ye've naething.