John Skinner ( )


The Epistle to Robert Burns from the Author of Tullochgorum


O happy hour for evermair,
That led my chill* up Chamers stair,
And gae him, what he values sair,
	Sae braw a skance
Of Ayrshires dainty Poet there,
	By lucky chance.

Waes my auld heart I was na wi you,
Tho worth your while I could na gie you;
But sin I had na hap to see you,
	Whan ye was north,
Im bauld to send my service to you,
	Hyne oer the Forth.

Sae proud s I am, that ye hae heard
O my attempts to be a Bard,
And think my muse nae that ill-fawrd,
	Seil o your face!
I wadna wish for mair reward
	Than your guid grace.

Your bonny beukie, line by line,
Ive read, and think it freely fine;
Indeed, I winna ca t divine,
	As others might:
For that, ye ken, frae pen like mine,
	Wad no be right.

But, by my sang, I dinna wonner,
That yeve admirers mony huner;
Let gowkit fleeps pretend to skunner,
	And tak offence,
Yeve naething said that leuks like bluner,
	To fowk o sense.

Your pauky Dream has humour in t;
I never saw the like in print.
The Birth-day Laurit durst na mint,
	As ye hae dane;
And yet there s nae a single hint
	Can be ill taen.

Your Mailie, and your guid Auld Mare,
And Hallow-evens funny cheer 
Theres nane that reads them far nor near
	But reezes Robie;
And thinks them as diverting gear
	As Yorricks Tobie.

But O the weil-tauld Cottars Night
Is what gies me the maist delight 
A piece sae finishd and sae tight,
	Theres nane os a
Coud preachment timmer cleaner dight
	In kirk or ha.

But what needs this or that to name?
Its ownd by a, theres nae a theme
Ye tak in hand, buts a the same:
	And nae ane o them,
But weel may challenge a the fame
	That we can gie them.

For me, I heartily allow you
The warld of praise sae justly due you;
And but a PLOWMAN!  sall I trow you?
	Gin it be sae,
A miracle I will avow you,
	Denyt wha may!

Sae, what avails a leash o lair
Thro sevn lang years, and some guid mair,
Whan Plowman lad, wi nature bare,
	Sae far surpasses
A we can do wi study sair
	To climb Parnassus?
	
But thanks to praise, yere i your prime,
And may chant on this lang, lang, time;
For lat me tell you, tware a crime
	To had your tongue,
Wi sic a knacks ye hae at rhyme,
	And ye sae young.

Ye ken, its nae for ane like me
To be sae droll as ye can be,
But ony help that I can gie,
	Thot be but sma,
Your least command, Ise lat you see
	Sall gar me draw.

An hour or sae, by hook or crook,
And may be twa, some orrow ouk,
That I can spare frae haly beuk,
	For thats my hobby,
Ill slip awa to some bye neuk,
	And crack wi Robie.

Wad ye but only crack again,
Just what ye like, in ony strain,
Ill tak it kind; for, to be plain,
	I do expect it; 
And mair than that, Ill no be fain
	Gin ye neglect it.

To Linshart, gin my hame ye speir,
Where I hae heft near fifty year,
Twill come in course, ye need na fear,
	The parts weel kent;
And postage, be it cheap or dear,
	Ill pay content.

Now, after a, hae me exqueesd
For wissing nae to be refeesd;
I dinna covet to be reezd
	For this feel lilt.
But feel, or wise, gin ye be pleasd,
	Yere welcome till t.

Sae, canty Plowman, fare ye weel,
Lord bless you lang wi hae and heil,
And keep you ay the honest chiel
	That ye hae been;
Syne lift you till a better beil
	Whan this is dane!

P. S.

This auld Scots muse Ive courted lang,
	And spard nae pains to win her;
Dowf tho I be in rustic sang,
	Im no a raw beginner.
But now auld age taks dowie turns,
	Yet, troth, as Im a sinner,
Ill ay be fond of Robie Burns
	While I can sign  JOHN SKINNER.

* Child

Linshart, 25th September 1787




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  . 
21-23.09.2008
   


John Skinner's other poems:
  1. John o Badenyon
  2. , On Burns Address to a Louse
  3. ́ Tullochgorum
  4. The Auld Ministers Song


 . Poem to print (Print)

: 1851



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