Song-O Leave Novels[1]

      O leave novels, ye Mauchline belles,      Ye're safer at your spinning-wheel;      Such witching books are baited hooks      For rakish rooks, like Rob Mossgiel;      Your fine Tom Jones and Grandisons,      They make your youthful fancies reel;      They heat your brains, and fire your veins,      And then you're prey for Rob Mossgiel.       Beware a tongue that's smoothly hung,      A heart that warmly seems to feel;      That feeling heart but acts a part-      'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel.      The frank address, the soft caress,      Are worse than poisoned darts of steel;      The frank address, and politesse,      Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel. 

Burns never published this poem.