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On A Scotch Bard, Gone To The West Indies


1786
Type: Poem
A' ye wha live by sowps o' drink,
A' ye wha live by crambo-clink,
A' ye wha live and never think,
Come, mourn wi' me!
Our billie 's gien us a' a jink,
An' owre the sea!

Lament him a' ye rantin core,
Wha dearly like a random splore;
Nae mair he'll join the merry roar;
In social key;
For now he's taen anither shore.
An' owre the sea!

The bonie lasses weel may wiss him,
And in their dear petitions place him:
The widows, wives, an' a' may bless him
Wi' tearfu' e'e;
For weel I wat they'll sairly miss him
That's owre the sea!

O Fortune, they hae room to grumble!
Hadst thou taen aff some drowsy bummle,
Wha can do nought but fyke an' fumble,
'Twad been nae plea;
But he was gleg as ony wumble,
That's owre the sea!

Auld, cantie Kyle may weepers wear,
An' stain them wi' the saut, saut tear;
'Twill mak her poor auld heart, I fear,
In flinders flee:
He was her Laureat mony a year,
That's owre the sea!

He saw Misfortune's cauld nor-west
Lang mustering up a bitter blast;
A jillet brak his heart at last,
Ill may she be!
So, took a berth afore the mast,
An' owre the sea.

To tremble under Fortune's cummock,
On a scarce a bellyfu' o' drummock,
Wi' his proud, independent stomach,
Could ill agree;
So, row't his hurdies in a hammock,
An' owre the sea.

He ne'er was gien to great misguidin,
Yet coin his pouches wad na bide in;
Wi' him it ne'er was under hiding;
He dealt it free:
The Muse was a' that he took pride in,
That's owre the sea.

Jamaica bodies, use him weel,
An' hap him in cozie biel:
Ye'll find him aye a dainty chiel,
An' fou o' glee:
He wad na wrang'd the vera deil,
That's owre the sea.

Farewell, my rhyme-composing billie!
Your native soil was right ill-willie;
But may ye flourish like a lily,
Now bonilie!
I'll toast you in my hindmost gillie,
Tho' owre the sea!

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