Letter to James Tennant, Glenconner

Auld com’rade dear and brither sinner,
How 's a' the folk about Glenconner;
How do ye this blae eastlin win’,
That 's like to blaw a body blin’:
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 an’ wrangled,
An' meikle Greek an' Latin mangled,
Till wi' their Logic-jargon tir'd,
An’ in the depth of science mir'd,
To common sense they now appeal,
What wives an’ 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 douse
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 een 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 school-fellow, 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!
An’ 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,
A 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 heav’ns glory,
May ye get mony a merry story,
Mony a laugh, and mony a drink,
And ay 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,
Yours, saint or sinner,
RAB THE RANTER.