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43. Song—O Leave Novels!

 O LEAVE novels, 1 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.

Poem by Robert Burns
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