1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Robert Burns

Scotus, "To John Burn [sic]" Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (15 August 1787).



Ah! bonny Burn, thou dainty chiel,
How oft I've cou'd thee lang and weel,
Thous preuv'd na lands sa biting cauld,
Na wind sa nipping, tree sa bald,
That frightfu' soares the hardy muse,
Nor lets her bide where'er she choose.
Ah, nature's bairn, na mickle lore
Thou's stale fra bukes and larning's store:
What larning bonny Burn denies,
His mither ay wi' gifts supplies.
Tho' knawledge has na' op'd her mine:
Sma' few can boast sic sense as thine.
Ah! was his pouch so mortal scant
That bonny Burn sould drummock want,
And gang to lake it owre the sea?
It makes me read wi' tearfu' ee.
Half my bannock I'd chearfu' give
Ay half my crowdie too, believe,
Nay fore my lad soud ow're the sea,
I'd a' I ha' my laddie gi'.
But thou my crowdie dost na lack;
The Muse ha' rightly claith'd thy back,
Her mantle thrawn to bide the blast,
An drammock gi'en to break thy fast.
Then bide a hame and Nanny chear,
Thy pouch is fill'd wi' mickle geer,
Na mair complain, live gleg and free,
Nor break her heart, and owre the sea.