To [To] Mr Gavin Hamilton, Mauchline

I HOLD it, Sir, my bounden duty
To warn you how that Master TOOTIE,
Alias, Laird Mcgawn,
Was here to hire yon lad away
'Bout which ye spak the ither day,
An' wad hae done 't aff han':
But lest he learn the callan tricks,
As faith I muckle doubt him,
Like scrapin out auld Crummie's nicks,
An' telling lies about them;
As lieve then I 'd have then
Your CLERKSHIP he should sair;
If sae be ye may be
Not fitted otherwhere.----------

Altho' I say 't, he 's gleg enough,
An' bout a HOUSE that 's rude an' rough,
The boy might learn to SWEAR;
But then wi' you, he'll be sae taught,
An' get sic fair EXAMPLE straught,
I hae na ony fear.
Ye'll catechise him, ev’ry quirk,
An' shore him weel wi' HELL;
An' gar him follow to the kirk
--------Ay, when ye gang YOURSEL.
If ye then maun be then
Frae hame, this comin Friday,
Then please Sir, to lea'e Sir,
The orders wi' your LADY.-----

My word of HONOR I hae gien,
In PAISLEY JOHN's, that night at een
To meet the WARLD's WORM;
To try to get the twa to gree,
An' name the airless, an' the fee,
In legal mode an' form:
I ken, he weel a SNICK can draw,
When simple bodies let him;
An' if a DEVIL be at a',
In faith, he 's sure to get him.--------
To phrase you, an' praise you,
Ye ken, your LAUREAT SCORNS:
The PRAY'R still, you share still,
Of grateful MINSTREL BURNS.

Mossgaville
Wednesday 3d May
1786.