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Hughie Flatters Saunders with an Ironical Description of Himself, pp.55-57.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Nec si quid olim lusit Anacreon, 

Delevit ætas.” – CAR. IV. 9. 

I TUNE my pipe to Doric strains 

Wi’ great gude will, an’ meikle pains, 

Altho’ my skill be like my gains – 

Baith unco sma’; 

An’ yet a something tae remains 

Aboon the blaw. 


It’s no’ for a’ the pipin’ crew 

To blaw sic strains as Robbie blew; 

It’s no’ for ilka bard to pu’ 

A branch saw green 

As cleeds wi’ laurel Robbie’s broo 

Doun to the een. 


Yet humbler menstrils hae their meed; 

There’s Allan wi’ his rural reed, 

An’ Fergusson, sae bauld to lead, 

Sae sune to fa’, 

An’ Jamie Hogg, a border breed, 

An’ Paisley’s twa. 


Forbye the bards that aulder are, 

Like Barbour, Douglas, an’ Dunbar, 

An’ Lyndsay – wha in Fife wad daur 

His name forget? 

A’ haill, an’ scarce a hair the waur, 

An’ pipin’ yet! 


Such recompense the Muses gie 

The Makkars a’ in their degree, 

That neither they themsels’ can dee, 

Nor what they notice; 

While what they slicht, or dinna see, 

Quickly forgot is. 


Brave men were born afore the Bruce; 

An’ mony an auld heroic Hoose 

Has slippit through Oblivion’s sluice, 

An’ ne’er a wird o’t! 

They did braw things to little use – 

We never heard o’t! 


An’, therefore, Saunders, when ye gang, – 

But late may that day be, an’ lang! 

I promise ye a burr’al sang 

As sune’s we’ve tint ye, 

To keep you name amon’ the thrang 

That comes ahint ye. 


I’ll tell them o’ your noble hert, 

An’ hoo ye took the puir man’s pairt, 

An’ garr’d a greedy rascal smairt, 

A graspin’ cratur’; 

I’ll spread abroad wi’ a’ my airt 

Your generous natur’. 


I’ll sing your noble confidence 

An’ trust in man; your common sense 

That lat ye see thro’ a’ pretence, 

Yet smile to see ‘t; 

I’ll sing the virtues that gaed hence 

When Saunders dee’d. 


[Per Contra. – Rin, little postscripp, rin an’ tell 

That Saunders as he’s drawn ‘s a sell, 

For Saunders crams into a shell 

His sordid natur’, 

Cheats, an’ distrusts, an’ is himsel 

The graspin’ cratur’!] 

Note. – By “Paisley’s Twa,” Hugh probably intends Alexander Wilson, and Tannahill. 

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