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.