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24. Song—No Churchman am I

 NO churchman am I for to rail and to write,
No statesman nor soldier to plot or to fight,
No sly man of business contriving a snare,
For a big-belly’d bottle’s the whole of my care.
The peer I don’t envy, I give him his bow; I scorn not the peasant, though ever so low; But a club of good fellows, like those that are here, And a bottle like this, are my glory and care.
Here passes the squire on his brother-his horse; There centum per centum, the cit with his purse; But see you the Crown how it waves in the air? There a big-belly’d bottle still eases my care.
The wife of my bosom, alas! she did die; for sweet consolation to church I did fly; I found that old Solomon proved it fair, That a big-belly’d bottle’s a cure for all care.
I once was persuaded a venture to make; A letter inform’d me that all was to wreck; But the pursy old landlord just waddl’d upstairs, With a glorious bottle that ended my cares.
“Life’s cares they are comforts”—a maxim laid down By the Bard, what d’ye call him, that wore the black gown; And faith I agree with th’ old prig to a hair, For a big-belly’d bottle’s a heav’n of a care.
A STANZA ADDED IN A MASON LODGEThen fill up a bumper and make it o’erflow, And honours masonic prepare for to throw; May ev’ry true Brother of the Compass and Square Have a big-belly’d bottle when harass’d with care.

Poem by Robert Burns
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