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Tho', to my grief, I'm forc'd to mention,
You're whiles aboon my comprehension;
Your kittle terms in art and science,
Set a' my schoolin' at defiance;
An' monthly meetin's o' the starns,*
Are sometimes like to turn my harns.
Your poets too, tho' chaps o' mettle,
I'm aften dung to ken their ettle ;
Albeit, I like to hear them crack,
Yet certes! they're an envious pack ;
As witness yon camstarie chap,
Wha 'gainst TOBACCO shook his crap :
Tho' PHILO stood, a soger bauld,
Wi' tinkler jaw he didna scauld;
But just took ae side o' the question,
An' fowk may think it was the best ane,
Unless that ANTI loose his pose,
An' stablish cons. for PHILO's pros.
For PHILO prov'd (the pawky blade,)
The worth o' snuff to tax an' trade;
Whiles crackit some gude-humour'd jokes,
Baith on himsel' and ither fo'ks;
An' whiles in Satire, shaw'd that snuff,
Or black, or brown, was pungent stuff.
Troth, Mr. Printer, I suppose
That PHILO kittled ANTI's nose,
An' as he tried his wit to shaw,
Gae him some yowky scab to cla';
* We suppose our correspondent alludes to our celestial phenomena.
For ANTI ne'er disproves a jot,
But tries his neibour's name to blot;
In Billingsgate he him abuses,
As nae relation to the muses,
An' shaws his learnin' wi' a fling,
In taunts about some heath'nish spring,
That wimplin' rins amo' the birks,
Whare auld APOLLO herds his stirks;
Whare wou'd-be-wits an' letchers joukit,
To see the Muses when they doukit.
For me, fient ha'it I ken about it,
But think it may be fairly doubted
If ANTI ever saw Parnassus,
Or lo'ed was by its bonny lasses.
I fear his een were ne'er sae feasted,
Their hinny mou's he never tasted;
His luscious verse points out the place
Where he's acquaint wi' female grace;
His inspiration's nought but fun,
'Mang heath'ry knowes on Catterthun ;
His muse, some strollin' tinkler gipsy,
Wha canna sing 'till haflens tipsy;
An' judgin' frae her airs sae frisky,
Her helicon is Highland whisky:
Hence we maun thole the scauldin' hizzy,
'Tis just the carlin's crown gets dizzy.
When ANTI thunders out d-n,
I deem it point blank demonstration,
He bans ere he tak' time to think,
An' craws sae crouse wi' pith o' drink,
For that's a style nae where in vog,
Except wi' those wha guzzle grog.
Now, wad they baith but hark to reason, (Advice perhaps may come in season,) Ere ANTI prove himsel' a poet,
His better havins first maun shew it:
An' PHILO too, though laith to yield,
Ye've come wi' honour frae the field;
Tho' ANTI bluster, swear, an' swagger,
Just tak' a snuff, an' scorn the bragger;
Ye'll get nae credit i' the quarrel
That's foster'd o'er a whisky barrel.
Cuttie's-hillock, 22d Jan. 1805.
ANSWER TO THE AULD PLOUGHMAN.
“Qui Bavium non odit, amet tua carmina Mævi.”—VIRG.
WHEN Scotia's gleesome Bards of yore
Poetic regions did explore,
They didna o'er the stoup look gruff,
Nor clag their brains wi' dirty snuff.
But now in these degenerate days,
The drowsy Bard ne'er tunes his lays,
Until he's got a rousin' dose
Of pungent snuff, or whisky brose,
Or Cuttie's* muckle twa-pint stoup,
Has set him fairly on his doup;
* A hospitable landlord at Cairn-a-mount.
Then thro' his bizzing, restless brain,
Does dance a motley, gipsy train;
He guzzles, rhymes, and rages on,
Tak's Cuttie's ale for Helicon,..1
And squirting forth the barmy tide,
Bespatters a' on ilka side.
Pray what has ANTI said or sung,
To whet your bauld upbraidin' tongue,
Or thole the foul-mou'd Billingsgate
That issues frae your fuddled pate,
And musters ilk lown-like name,
To cloud his pure unsullied fame?
He says, (nor does he say amiss,)
"The stews ne'er yield substantial bliss,
And sneeshen's nae a potent dose
To foster either verse or prose;
That nane but Vandals, Goths, and Huns,
Who are not Phoebus' genuine sons,
Wad e'er prefer tobacco steam
To Helicon's transporting stream."
Can truths like these e'er gi'e offence
To ony man of common sense?
Could ony ane o' Phœbus' line,
Cou'd ony thole, of a' the nine,
To ha'e the burnie on yon hill*
Exploded for a sneeshen mill?
Or see the tunefu' nymphs, and gay bards,
Rinning wi' luggies and wi' gray-beards,
To beg a foul poetic dose,
Distill'd frae PHILO'S fœtid nose?
But your gruff PHILO, though ye daut him, Gars a' Parnassus winder at him;
With dismal, dark, and sable snout,
Whence sooty lava issued out,
And o'er his beard meand'ring ran,
To prove him a poetic man
He splutter'd a' baith wide and far,
Up frae the pu'pit to the bar;
Of a' that's virtuous, good, and great,
In cottage, palace, church, or state,
(His words expressly do declare it,)
Gied his vile nostrum a' the merit ;
And when the gutter ceas'd to rin y --
Down frae his nostrils to his chin,
His snuff-fed muse, dwarf'd to a span,
Expir'd in filth where she began.
Cou'd ony o' the Muses kiss him?
Or rather cou'd they fail to hiss him?
Even Phoebus' self, tho' starker far,
Smelling the nostrum frae afar,
Wad turn indignant on his heel,
And stap his nose, and rin and squeel,
And swear by a' the * streams o' hell,
He'd gie'm Parnassus to himsel❜!
And as for you, my Ploughman blade,
I doubt ye'll sair mistak' your trade,
* The river Styx, the oath of the gods.