Hughie’s Advice to Tammie to Live Less for the Future and more for the Present, pp.69-70.

[Horace in Homespun Contents]

Carpe diem!” – CAR. I., II. 

Gie owre thae wild uncanny looks, 

That trokin’ wi’ the deevil’s books, 

That doctorin’ o’ yoursel’ wi’ simples 

(It only fills your face wi’ pimples!) 

An’ learn to live like ither folk 

Whas’ trust is in their aitmeal poke! 


Ye winna grow ae bit the stronger, 

Ye winna live ae ‘oor the langer, 

For a’ your deep-laid calculations, 

Your cairds an’ left-loof consultations, 

Your herbs an’ drogs, your drinks an’ plaisters, 

An’a ‘ your ither unkent slaisters! 

Ye’ll live nae langer an’ nae less 

Than a’ your days, ye maun confess. 


But surely it’s the manlier gate 

To wait wi’ patience on your fate – 

To sup your parritch, tak’ your smoke, 

An’ dee at last like ither folk! 


This eager wish o’ yours to scan 

The future – will’t prolong your span? 

It’s far frae gude, it’s doonricht bad 

Half-irreligious an’ half-mad! 


What better wad ye be to ken 

Hoo mony years ye’ve yet to spen’? 

For what there’s o’t ye couldna strengthen ‘t, 

An’ owre the score ye couldna lengthen ‘t! 

Ye’d only live a life dementit, 

An’ dee alane an’ unlamentit. 


Tammy, my man! tak’ my advice, 

An’ follow ‘t, an’ we’ll ca’ ye wice: 

Draw in your hopes, an’ keep your fears 

Commensurate wi’ a mortal’s years; 

Enjoy the present – crack your joke 

An’ tak’ your dram wi’ sober folk, 

An’ dinna grieve the passin’ ‘oors 

By wonderin’ if the future’s yours! 

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