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The Address to the Haggis
Auld Lang Syne
The Bonny Wee Thing
Epistle to Dr. Blacklock
Invitation to a Medical Gentleman
Is There for Honest Poverty
The Jolly Beggars: A Cantata
The Master’s Apron
Oh, were I on Parnassus' Hill
A Red Red Rose
Scots Wha Hae With Wallace Bled
Such a Parcel of Rogues
To a Mouse
Three Graces for dinner
The Tree of Liberty
The verse of Robert Burns
Detail from an unsigned, undated oil painting owned by Ancient Light Lodge No.88 in Delta, British Columbia. Download a grayscale version or silhouette.
Epistle to Dr. Blacklock,
In answer to a letter
WOW, but your letter made me vauntie!1.
And are ye hale, and weel, and cantie?2.
I kenn'd it still your wee bit jauntie
Wad bring ye to:
Lord send you aye as weel’s I want ye,
And then ye'll do.
The ill-thief blaw the Heron* south!
And never drink be near his drouth!3.
He tauld mysel, by word o' mouth,
He'd tak my letter ;
I lippen'd4. to the cheil in trouth,5.
And bade6. nae better.
But aiblins honest Master Heron
Had at the time some dainty fair one
To ware his theologic care on,
And holy study ;
And tired o' sauls to waste his lear on,
E'en tried the body.
But what d'ye think, my trusty fier,
I'm turn'd a gauger --Peace be here!
Parnassian queans, I fear, I fear,
Ye'll now disdain me!
And then my fifty pounds a year
Will little gain me.
Ye glaikit, gleesome, dainty damies,
Wha, by Castalia’s wimplin' streamies,
Lowp, sing, and lave your pretty limbies,
Ye ken, ye ken,
That strang Necessity supreme is
'Mang sons o' men.
I hae a wife and twa wee laddies,
They maun hae brose and brats o' duddies ;
Ye ken yoursels my heart right proud is
I needna vaunt,
But I'll sned besoms--thraw saugh woodies,
Before they want.
Lord, help me through this world o' care!
I'm weary sick o't late and air ;
Not but I hae a richer share
Than mony ithers ;
But why should ae men better fare,
And a' men brithers?
Come, firm Resolve, take thou the van,
Thou stalk o' carl-hemp in man ! **
And let us mind, faint heart ne'er wan
A lady fair :
Wha does the utmost that he can,
Will whiles do mair.
But to conclude my silly rhyme,
(I'm scant o' verse, and scant o' time,)
To make a happy fire-side clime
To weans and wife ;
That’s the true pathos and sublime
Of human life.
My compliments to sister Beckie ;
And eke the same to honest Lucky,
I wat she is a dainty chuckie,
As e'er tread clay!
And gratefully, my guid auld cockie,
I'm yours for aye.

1 Proud.^ 2 Cheerful.^ 3 Thirst.^
4 Trusted.^ 5 A petty oath.^ 6 Deserved. ^
7 Spend.^ 8 Learning.^ 9 Friend.^
10 Exciseman.^ 11 Lasses.^ 12 Foolish.^
13 Jump.^ 14 Rags o'clothing.^ 15 Boast.^
16 Cut brooms.^ 17 Twist willow withes.^ 18 Early.^
19 Sometimes.^ 20 Children.^
* "Heron, author of a History of Scotland published in 1800; and, among various other works, of a respectable life of our poet himself."--CURRIE.^
** The male hemp--that which bears the seed. "Ye have a stalk o' carl-hemp in you," is a Scottish remark, and means that a man has more stamina in him than ordinary.^
Chuckle--literally, hen. Often used as a familiar term of endearment in speaking of a female.^
Cockie--literally, cock. Used in the same way as chuckie.^
Transcribed from The Complete Works of Robert Burns. William P. Nimmo, Edinburgh: 1867. p. 99 Footnotes renumbered.


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