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258. Epistle to James Tennant of Glenconner

 AULD comrade dear, and brither sinner,
How’s a’ the folk about Glenconner?
How do you this blae eastlin wind,
That’s like to blaw a body blind?
For me, my faculties are frozen,
My dearest member nearly dozen’d.
I’ve sent you here, by Johnie Simson, Twa sage philosophers to glimpse on; Smith, wi’ his sympathetic feeling, An’ Reid, to common sense appealing.
Philosophers have fought and wrangled, An’ meikle Greek an’ Latin mangled, Till wi’ their logic-jargon tir’d, And in the depth of science mir’d, To common sense they now appeal, What wives and wabsters see and feel.
But, hark ye, friend! I charge you strictly, Peruse them, an’ return them quickly: For now I’m grown sae cursed douce I pray and ponder butt the house; My shins, my lane, I there sit roastin’, Perusing Bunyan, Brown, an’ Boston, Till by an’ by, if I haud on, I’ll grunt a real gospel-groan: Already I begin to try it, To cast my e’en up like a pyet, When by the gun she tumbles o’er Flutt’ring an’ gasping in her gore: Sae shortly you shall see me bright, A burning an’ a shining light.
My heart-warm love to guid auld Glen, The ace an’ wale of honest men: When bending down wi’ auld grey hairs Beneath the load of years and cares, May He who made him still support him, An’ views beyond the grave comfort him; His worthy fam’ly far and near, God bless them a’ wi’ grace and gear! My auld schoolfellow, Preacher Willie, The manly tar, my mason-billie, And Auchenbay, I wish him joy, If he’s a parent, lass or boy, May he be dad, and Meg the mither, Just five-and-forty years thegither! And no forgetting wabster Charlie, I’m tauld he offers very fairly.
An’ Lord, remember singing Sannock, Wi’ hale breeks, saxpence, an’ a bannock! And next, my auld acquaintance, Nancy, Since she is fitted to her fancy, An’ her kind stars hae airted till her gA guid chiel wi’ a pickle siller.
My kindest, best respects, I sen’ it, To cousin Kate, an’ sister Janet: Tell them, frae me, wi’ chiels be cautious, For, faith, they’ll aiblins fin’ them fashious; To grant a heart is fairly civil, But to grant a maidenhead’s the devil.
An’ lastly, Jamie, for yoursel, May guardian angels tak a spell, An’ steer you seven miles south o’ hell: But first, before you see heaven’s glory, May ye get mony a merry story, Mony a laugh, and mony a drink, And aye eneugh o’ needfu’ clink.
Now fare ye weel, an’ joy be wi’ you: For my sake, this I beg it o’ you, Assist poor Simson a’ ye can, Ye’ll fin; him just an honest man; Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter, Your’s, saint or sinner,ROB THE RANTER.

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