Gie him strong drink until he wink,
That's sinking in despair;
An' liquor guid to fire his bluid,
That's prest wi' grief and care:
There let him bouse, an' deep carouse,
Wi' bumpers flowing o'er,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
An' minds his griefs no more.
Solomon’s Proverbs, Ch. 31st V. 6, 7.
LET other Poets raise a fracas
‘Bout vines, an' wines, an' druken Bacchus,
An' crabbed names an' stories wrack us,
An' grate our lug,
I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
In glass or jug.
O thou, my MUSE! guid auld SCOTCH DRINK!
Whether thro' wimplin worms thou jink,
Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,
In glorious faem,
Inspire me, till I lisp an' wink,
To sing thy name!
Let husky Wheat the haughs adorn,
And Aits set up their awnie horn,
An' Pease an’ Beans, at een or morn,
Perfume the plain:
Leeze me on thee John Barleycorn,
Thou king o' grain!
On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
In souple scones, the wale o' food!
Or tumbling in the boiling flood
Wi' kail an' beef;
But when thou pours thy strong heart's blood,
There thou shines chief.
Food fills the wame, an' keeps us livin:
Tho' life 's a gift no worth receivin,
When heavy-dragg'd wi' pine an' grievin;
But oil'd by thee,
The wheels o' life gae down-hill, scrievin,
Wi' rattlin glee.
Thou clears the head o' doited Lear;
Thou cheers the heart o' drooping Care;
Thou strings the nerves o' Labor sair,
At 's weary toil;
Though ev’n brightens dark Despair,
Wi' gloomy smile.
Aft, clad in massy, siller weed,
Wi' Gentles thou erects thy head;
Yet, humbly kind, in time o' need,
The poorman's wine,
His weep drap pirratch, or his bread,
Thou kitchens fine.
Thou art the life o' public haunts;
But thee, what were our fairs an’ rants?
Ev'n godly meetings o' the saunts,
By thee inspir’d,
When gaping they besiege the tents,
Are doubly fir'd.
That merry night we get the corn in,
O sweetly, then, thou reams the horn in!
Or reekan on a New-year-mornin
In cog or bicker,
An' just a wee drap sp'ritual burn in,
An' gusty sucker!
When Vulcan gies his bellys breath,
An' Ploughmen gather wi' their graith,
O rare! to see thee fizz an’ freath
I' the lugget caup!
Then Burnewin comes on like Death
At ev’ry chap.
Nae mercy, then, for airn or steel;
The brawnie, banie, Ploughman-chiel
Brings hard owrehip, wi' sturdy wheel,
The strong forehammer,
Till block an' studdie ring an’ reel
Wi' dinsome clamour.
When skirling weanies see the light,
Though maks the gossips clatter bright,
How fumbling coofs their dearies slight,
Wae worth the name!
Nae Howdie gets a social night,
Or plack frae them.
When neebors anger at a plea,
An' just as wud as wud can be,
How easy can the barley-bree
Cement the quarrel!
It 's ay the cheapest Lawyer's fee
To taste the barrel.
Alake! that e'er my Muse has reason
To wyte her countrymen wi' treason!
But mony daily weet their weason
Wi' liquors nice
An' hardly, in a winter season,
E'er spier her price.
Wae worth that Brandy, burnan trash!
Fell source o' monie a pain an' brash!
Twins mony a poor, doylt, druken hash
O' half his days;
An' sends, beside, auld Scotland's cash
To her warst faes.
Ye Scots, wha wish auld Scotland well,
Ye chief, to you my tale I tell,
Poor, plackless devils like myself,
It sets you ill,
Wi' bitter, dearthfu' wines to mell,
Or foreign gill.
May Gravels round his blather wrench,
An' Gouts torment him, inch by inch,
What twists his gruntle wi' a glunch
O' sour disdain,
Out owre a glass o' Whisky-punch
Wi' honest men!
O Whisky! soul o' plays and pranks!
Accept a Bardie's gratfu' thanks!
When wanting thee, what tuneless cranks
Are my poor Verses!
Thou comes they rattle i’ their ranks,
At ither's arses!
Thee, Ferintosh! O sadly lost!
Scotland lament frae coast to coast!
Now colic-grips, an' barkin hoast,
May kill us a';
For loyal Forbes' Charter'd boast
Is taen awa!
Thae curst horse-leeches o' th' Excise,
Wha mak the whisky stills their prize!
Haud up thy han' Deil! ance, twice, thrice!
There, seize the blinkers!
An' bake them up in brunstane pies
For poor damn'd Drinkers.
Fortune, if thou 'll but gie me still
Hale breeks, a scone, an' Whisky gill,
An' rowth o' rhyme to rave at will,
Tak a' the rest,
An' deal 't about as thy blind skill
Directs thee best.