Hughie’s Advice to his Brother John, pp.1-3.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Omnes eodem cogimur.” – CAR. II., 3. 

DEAR JOCK, ye’re higher up the brae 

Than me, your aulder brither – 

Keep mind the higher up ye gae 

The mair ye’re in the weather. 

I’m no’ misdootin’ that ye’re wice, 

An’, for your ploo-share, speed it! 

But I may better gi’e advice, 

An’ ye may better need it. 


The higher up the brae ye speel 

The farrer it’s below ye, – 

Tak’ tent ye dinna gi’e the deil 

Occasion to dounthrow ye. 

Be douce an’ ceevil wi’ success, 

For Fortune’s no’ to trust aye; 

Then if your head should tak’ the gress 

Ye’re whaur ye were at first aye. 


An honest fa’, wi’ conscience clear, 

It never brak’ a bane yet; 

There’s aye the honest course to steer 

For a’ that’s come an’ gane yet. 

But letna lucre be your aim, 

Pursued thro’ thick an’ thin aye; 

The honour o’ an honest name, 

That’s what you first should win aye. 


For happiness (to God be thanks!) 

Is no’ the gift o’ Fortun’; 

Wi’ place the limmer plays her pranks, 

Wi’ men like puppets sportin’ – 

Rich folk lookin’ idly on 

At puir folk busy dargin’ – 

But happiness, my brither John, 

It wasna in the bargain. 


The ups an’ douns o’ human life 

Are like a fairy revel; 

But a’ the warld, an’ his wife, 

Maun lie at ae great level. 

An’ that’s a thocht for me an’ you 

When Fate’s awards perplex us; 

In calm eternity’s wide view 

There’s little that should vex us. 


Fate’s like the waves aneth the mune, 

An’ we are vessels ridin’; 

It’s doon an’ up, an’ up an’ doon, 

An’ here there’s nae abidin’; 

But on the far horizon’s edge, 

To which we’re ever driftin’, 

The changes on oor pilgrimage 

Are but a paltry shiftin’.

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