A Dedication


To Gavin Hamilton, Esq.

Expect na, sir, in this narration,
A fleechin, fleth`rin Dedication,
To roose you up, an` ca` you guid,
An` sprung o` great an` noble bluid,
Because ye`re surnam`d like His Grace-
Perhaps related to the race:
Then, when I`m tir`d-and sae are ye,
Wi` mony a fulsome, sinfu` lie,
Set up a face how I stop short,
For fear your modesty be hurt.

This may do-maun do, sir, wi` them wha
Maun please the great folk for a wamefou;
For me! sae laigh I need na bow,
For, Lord be thankit, I can plough;
And when I downa yoke a naig,
Then, Lord be thankit, I can beg;
Sae I shall say-an` that`s nae flatt`rin-
It`s just sic Poet an` sic Patron.

The Poet, some guid angel help him,
Or else, I fear, some ill ane skelp him!
He may do weel for a` he`s done yet,
But only-he`s no just begun yet.

The Patron (sir, ye maun forgie me;
I winna lie, come what will o` me),
On ev`ry hand it will allow`d be,
He`s just-nae better than he should be.

I readily and freely grant,
He downa see a poor man want;
What`s no his ain, he winna tak it;
What ance he says, he winna break it;
Ought he can lend he`ll no refus`t,
Till aft his guidness is abus`d;
And rascals whiles that do him wrang,
Ev`n that, he does na mind it lang;
As master, landlord, husband, father,
He does na fail his part in either.

But then, nae thanks to him for a`that;
Nae godly symptom ye can ca` that;
It`s naething but a milder feature
Of our poor, sinfu` corrupt nature:
Ye`ll get the best o` moral works,
`Mang black Gentoos, and pagan Turks,
Or hunters wild on Ponotaxi,
Wha never heard of orthodoxy.
That he`s the poor man`s friend in need,
The gentleman in word and deed,
It`s no thro` terror of damnation;
It`s just a carnal inclination.

Morality, thou deadly bane,
Thy tens o` thousands thou hast slain!
Vain is his hope, whase stay an` trust is
In moral mercy, truth, and justice!

No-stretch a point to catch a plack:
Abuse a brother to his back;
Steal through the winnock frae a whore,
But point the rake that taks the door;
Be to the poor like ony whunstane,
And haud their noses to the grunstane;
Ply ev`ry art o` legal thieving;
No matter-stick to sound believing.

Learn three-mile pray`rs, an` half-mile graces,
Wi` weel-spread looves, an` lang, wry faces;
Grunt up a solemn, lengthen`d groan,
And damn a` parties but your own;
I`ll warrant they ye`re nae deceiver,
A steady, sturdy, staunch believer.

O ye wha leave the springs o` Calvin,
For gumlie dubs of your ain delvin!
Ye sons of Heresy and Error,
Ye`ll some day squeel in quaking terror,
When Vengeance draws the sword in wrath.
And in the fire throws the sheath;
When Ruin, with his sweeping besom,
Just frets till Heav`n commission gies him;
While o`er the harp pale Misery moans,
And strikes the ever-deep`ning tones,
Still louder shrieks, and heavier groans!

Your pardon, sir, for this digression:
I maist forgat my Dedication;
But when divinity comes `cross me,
My readers still are sure to lose me.

So, sir, you see `twas nae daft vapour;
But I maturely thought it proper,
When a` my works I did review,
To dedicate them, sir, to you:
Because (ye need na tak it ill),
I thought them something like yoursel`.

Then patronize them wi` your favor,
And your petitioner shall ever-
I had amaist said, ever pray,
But that`s a word I need na say;
For prayin, I hae little skill o`t,
I`m baith dead-sweer, an` wretched ill o`t;
But I`se repeat each poor man`s pray`r,
That kens or hears about you, sir-

"May ne`er Misfortune`s gowling bark,
Howl thro` the dwelling o` the clerk!
May ne`er his genrous, honest heart,
For that same gen`rous spirit smart!
May Kennedy`s far-honour`d name
Lang beet his hymeneal flame,
Till Hamiltons, at least a dizzen,
Are frae their nuptial labours risen:
Five bonie lasses round their table,
And sev`n braw fellows, stout an` able,
To serve their king an` country weel,
By word, or pen, or pointed steel!
May health and peace, with mutual rays,
Shine on the ev`ning o` his days;
Till his wee, curlie John`s ier-oe,
When ebbing life nae mair shall flow,
The last, sad, mournful rites bestow!"

I will not wind a lang conclusion,
With complimentary effusion;
But, whilst your wishes and endeavours
Are blest with Fortune`s smiles and favours,
I am, dear sir, with zeal most fervent,
Your much indebted, humble servant.

But if (which Pow`rs above prevent)
That iron-hearted carl, Want,
Attended, in his grim advances,
By sad mistakes, and black mischances,
While hopes, and joys, and pleasures fly him,
Make you as poor a dog as I am,
Your humble servant then no more;
For who would humbly serve the poor?
But, by a poor man`s hopes in Heav`n!
While recollection`s pow`r is giv`n-
If, in the vale of humble life,
The victim sad of fortune`s strife,
I, thro` the tender-gushing tear,
Should recognise my master dear;
If friendless, low, we meet together,
Then, sir, your hand-my Friend and Brother!

Czytaj dalej: Miła ma jak czerwona róża - Robert Burns