I'M three times, doubly, o'er your debtor,
For your auld-farrent, frien'ly letter;
Tho' I maun say 't I doubt ye flatter,
Ye speak sae fair;
For my puir, silly, rhymin clatter
Some less maun sair.
Hale be your heart, hale be your fiddle;
Lang may your elbuck jink an’ diddle,
To cheer you thro' the weary widdle
O' war'ly cares,
Till bairns' barns kindly cuddle
Your auld, grey hairs.
But DAVIE, lad, I'm red ye 're glaikit;
I'm tauld the Muse ye hae negleckit;
An’ gif it 's sae, ye sud by licket
Until ye fyke;
Sic hauns as you sud ne'er be faikit,
Be hain't wha like.
For me, I'm on Parnassus brink,
Rivan the words to gar them clink;
Whyles daez’t wi' love, whyles daez’t wi' drink,
Wi' jads or masons;
An' whyles, but ay owre late, I think
Braw sober lessons.
Of a' the thoughtless sons o' man,
Commen' to me the Bardie clan;
Except it be some idle plan
O' rhymin clink,
The devil-haet, that I sud ban,
They never think.
Nae thought, nae view, nae scheme o' livin’,
Nae cares to gie us joy or grievin’:
But just the pouchie put the neive in,
An' while ought 's there,
Then, hiltie, skiltie, we gae scrivin',
An' fash nae mair.
Leeze me on rhyme! It 's ay a treasure,
My chief, amaist my only pleasure,
At hame, a-fiel, at wark or leisure,
The Muse, poor hizzie!
Tho' rough an' raploch be her measure,
She 's seldom lazy.
Haud to the Muse, my dainty Davie:
The warl' may play you [monie] a shavie;
But for the Muse, she 'll never leave ye,
Tho' e'er sae puir,
Na, even tho' limpan wi' the spavie
Frae door tae door.