1. That Nature sen's us he or she
Into this, state o' bein',
Sae tae continue till we dee,
Is what we a' agree in
But whether sent tae rule the roast
An' gather frien's aboot it,
Or sent to toil an' pay the cost,
Has rather been disputes,
Day after day.
2. Her stuff is clay, but then there's size,
Shape, colour, and complexion ;
An' syne she tunes the social ties
O' natural affection.
She plants a something in the breast
That's unco sweer tae knuckle,
That when we're out amang the rest,
Wad like to ha'e us muckle,
By nicht or day.
3. Aye, Nature has been Nature lang,
We learn frae Granny's stories;
An' whiles we see her workin' thrang
Amang our Whigs an' Tories
They're kickin' up a stour e'enow
At makin' Parliamenters,
A knowin' class, wha come to woo
Our lairds an' nabby renters,
For pollin' days.
4. Like ither wooers, fain tae win-
A rival's darlin' object,
They wale their words ere they begin
To introduce the subject :
They tell us that the itherside
Are ignorant an' wasters ;
That men o' sense should ne'er confide
In sic' unsteady masters
A single day.
5. They see the nation drowned in debt,
For a' sae mony taxes,
An' British honour sair beset
Through a' the space it raxes ;
But now's the time - our object's here -
A proven man o' credit-
He'll do our wark, tho' we should ne'er
Fin' out the way he did it,
Till our last day.
6. Sae in they go wi' muckle pride,
An' whiles wi' some expenses,
The noble ship o' State tae guide,
An' watch the border fences
Yet, after they ha'e won the place
An' garland o' ambition,
We ha'e oor ills to fear an' face,
An' they ha'e opposition
Fu' sour that day.
7. The various interests in the lan'
Ha'e need o' various treatments;
Sae when their frien's tak' speech in haun'
They differ in their statements;
Tak' ony side an' preach awa',
Ye'll meet wi' unbelievers
Glad tidings in the Farmer's ha'
Is terror tae the Weavers
On ony day.
8. A while sinsyne the cotton trade
Set cash in circulation ;
Syne Science grew, an' knowledge spread,
An' dignified our nation,
Our nei'bo'rs brought us dainty things
An' took our claith in barter;
Sae commerce spread her canvas wings,
Inspirin' ilka quarter
Tae thrift thae days.
9. The Weaver's wife did something then
When she gaed tae the market,
An' a' his family, but an' ben,
Were trimly shod an' sarket ;
The Farmer saw an' took the chance,
When in the way o' dealin' ;
He laid a pretty smart advance
On what cam' aff his mailin'
For sale thae days.
10. Impatient tae get in his haun'
The muckle Laird was ready,
An' Fancy, wi' her fairy waund,
Was riggin' oot " my Lady " !
Lang years before the tacks were run
The Laird was adverteezin'
Extensive farms o' fertile grun',
An' whaur tae ca' for leasin'
Some future day.
11. Wi' risin' markets still in view,
The bidders were na' scanty,
Wi' whups an' spur, awa' they flew,
Fu' braw an' maybe vaunty ;
Made firm an' sure on stampet bands,
Like slidd'ry job contractors,
They soon fell in amang the han's
O' pettifoggin' factors,
Keen every day.
12. The Laird's awa' tae Lunan toun,
Or aiblins owre tae Paris
"My Lady," in her velvet gown,
May whiles be doubtfu' whaur he's;
The livery servants rant awa'
On meat an' drink the best o't,
A trifle gangs to pay the law,
An' game can mak' the rest o't
Tosh ony day.
13. The terms come lag eneugh about.
Tae tally wi' the rentals,
For necessary things wear oot,
Despite o' ornamentals;
These are the times the merchants ca',
An' tradesmen undertakers,
Wi' lang accounts, tae help awa'
The product o' the acres
Cash up thae days.
14. Tho' craps are short, tho' cattle dee,
An' ither ills befa' 'im,
The Farmer wi' his last bawbee
Maun answer when they ca' 'im;
Or a's sequester'd, out an' in,
Case be he mak' a slopin'-
The Shirra's Warran' says, " Begin
An' mak' a muckle roupin' "
Some certain day.
15. Is this the system workin' well,
Discoverin' its beauties,
Tae gar our British products sell,
Screen'd by protecting duties?
An' what's protected? Shall we say
The Farmer or his Master?
Or we should style them, if we may,
The winner or the waster
O' wealth this day.
16. The vessel fraught wi' foreign grain,
Tho' nae mishap should thwart her,
Is surely aff the drift for gain-
See " Orr " upon the quarter :*
AN EPISTLE TO A FRIEND
The Village of Chryston - North Lanarkshire - Scotland
'Tis warehoused up tae lie an' waste,
As Nature had disown'd it;
For starvin' nature maunna taste
What Providence has bondet
By law this day.
*Orr's Almanack gave the " duties " on foreign goods.
17. The Corn-bill bursted thro' the band
O' Britain's social union ;
An' circumstance, on high command,
Keeps backin' up opinion;
Whaur Labour canna' purchase meal
Tae keep the frame frae wastin',
We needna' try tae reconcile
A hungry wame tae fastin'
The lee-lang day.
18. If Commerce sought the guineas out
By wingin' owre the water,
'Twas Commerce, too, we canna' doubt,
That rais'd the pun' o' butter ;
But noo the lordlin's she made fat
Thinly proper to insult her,
An' scrimp her o' her bit an' brat.
That hameward Agriculture
May thrive this day.
19. Remove the found (be what it may)
Frae 'neath a stately biggin' ;
There's safer stations, ane wad say,
Than ridin' on the riggin' ;
The win' may shift an' tak' effect
Whaur the foundation's sappet.
E'en tho' a skilfu' architect,
Ha'e ilka corner prappet
For canny clays.
20. " Leeve an' let leeve " 's a maxim auld
That s'ou'dna' be lost sicht o'
That plain Industry may mak' bauld
Tae say it has a richt to ;
If Reason says, " Curtail our trade,
An' break the price o' weavin"'
It adds, " Let down the price o' bread,
That folk may get a leevin'
This blessed day."
21. But this the Farmer canna' let,
Tho' he were e'er sae willin',
As lang's the Factor maun be met
Wi' every poun' an' shillin' ;
An' yet we think it micht be seen
How matters could be sortet,
But ither folk ha'e ither een,
An' rank maun be supportet
Braw, braw this day.
22. The Tories gat the left-about,
The Liberals won the entry,
But some o' them ha'e launs let out
As weel's oor Tory gentry-
They hecht tae get us cheaper fare,
Yet we hae ne'er wan at it ;
The rents are feckly as they were,
The Corn-bill as they gat it
Yon very day.
'23. Tis said they ne'er gat elbow room,
For Tory opposition ;
Noo it's on tiptoe to resume
Its auld and bauld position
The Tories winna burn the Bill,
The Whigs allow they canna ;
An' we may murmur as we will,
Yet neither quails nor manna
Are sent this day.
24. We've treated lang wi' moral force,
For sake o' independence,
An' ha'e been tauld. "'Twas much the worse
O' physical attendance " ;
The Clergy bid us read the Word
An' hear them preach contentment;
The Magistrate that bears the sword
Defies us at resentment
In deeds this day.
25. What shall we do? Our native Queen
Is nominated gracious ;
If she wad kindly intervene,
Her mandate wad be precious.
But access tae the Royal ear
Is aye sae strictly guardet,
That cauld neglect, I raither fear,
Is what wad be awardet
Tae us that day.
26. Experiment has blighted hope,
Yet we micht mak' a trial,
An' ca' yet at the Tory shop,
We'll get but a denial;
Nae sayin' but they may admit
The cause is guid we strive in-
We've seen a creature lead a bit
That wadna' gang wi' drivin'
By force that day.
27. Noo, noo, my frien', I'm tired eneugh
O' this reel-ral relation,
Anent the shuttle an' the pleugh-
Rivals in reputation ;
Altho' the picture's rudely drawn,
It's ta'en frae observation,
Mair through the help o' sleight-o'-haun',
Than evendoun inspiration-
Fareweel this day.