Third Epistle [Third Epistle] to J. Lapraik, Sept. 13th, 1785

GUID speed an’ furder to you Johny,
Guid health, hale han's, an' weather bony;
Now when ye're nickan down fu' cany
The staff o' bread,
May ye ne'er want a stoup o' brany
To clear your head!

May Boreas never thresh your rigs,
Nor kick your rickles aff their legs,
Sendin’ the stuff o'er muirs an' haggs
Like drivin wrack;
But may the tapmost grain that wags
Come to the sack.

I'm bizzie too, an' skelpin at it,
But bitter, daudin showers hae wat it,
Sae my auld stumpy pen, I gat it
Wi' muckle wark,
An' took my jocteleg, an' whatt it,
Like ony clark.

It 's now twa month that I'm your debtor,
For your braw, nameless, dateless letter,
Abusin’ me for harsh ill nature
On holy men,
While deil a hair yoursel ye're better,
But mair profane!

But let the kirk-folk ring their bells,
Let 's sing about our noble sels;
We'll cry nae jads frae heathen hills
To help, or roose us,
But browster wives an' whiskie stills ,
They are the Muses!

Your friendship, sir, I winna quat it,
An' if ye mak' objections at it,
Then han’ in nieve some day we'll knot it,
An' witness take,
An' when wi' Usquabae we've wat it,
It winna break.

But if the beast and branks be spar'd
Till kye be gaun without the herd,
An’ a' the vittel in the yard,
An' theekit right,
I mean your ingle-side to guard
Ae winter night.

Then muse-inspirin aqua-vitae
Shall make us baith sae blythe an' witty,
Till ye forget ye're auld an' gutty,
An’ be as canty
As ye were nine years less than thretty,
Sweet ane an' twenty!

But stooks are cowpet wi' the blast,
An’ now the sinn keeks in the west;
Then I maun rin amang the rest
An' quat my chanter;
Sae I subscribe mysel in haste,
Yours, RAB THE RANTER.