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The Author’s Earnest Cry And Prayer
by [?]


To the Right Honourable and Honourable Scotch
Representatives in the House of Commons.[1]

Dearest of distillation! last and best–

–How art thou lost!–

Parody on Milton.

Ye Irish lords, ye knights an’ squires,
Wha represent our brughs an’ shires,
An’ doucely manage our affairs
In parliament,
To you a simple poet’s pray’rs
Are humbly sent.

Alas! my roupit Muse is hearse!
Your Honours’ hearts wi’ grief ‘twad pierce,
To see her sittin on her arse
Low i’ the dust,
And scriechinhout prosaic verse,
An like to brust!

Tell them wha hae the chief direction,
Scotland an’ me’s in great affliction,
E’er sin’ they laid that curst restriction
On aqua-vitae;
An’ rouse them up to strong conviction,
An’ move their pity.

Stand forth an’ tell yon Premier youth
The honest, open, naked truth:
Tell him o’ mine an’ Scotland’s drouth,
His servants humble:
The muckle deevil blaw you south
If ye dissemble!

Does ony great man glunch an’ gloom?
Speak out, an’ never fash your thumb!
Let posts an’ pensions sink or soom
Wi’ them wha grant them;
If honestly they canna come,
Far better want them.

In gath’rin votes you were na slack;
Now stand as tightly by your tack:
Ne’er claw your lug, an’ fidge your back,
An’ hum an’ haw;
But raise your arm, an’ tell your crack
Before them a’.

Paint Scotland greetin owre her thrissle;
Her mutchkin stowp as toom’s a whissle;
An’ damn’d excisemen in a bussle,
Seizin a stell,
Triumphant crushin’t like a mussel,
Or limpet shell!

Then, on the tither hand present her–
A blackguard smuggler right behint her,
An’ cheek-for-chow, a chuffie vintner
Colleaguing join,
Picking her pouch as bare as winter
Of a’ kind coin.

Is there, that bears the name o’ Scot,
But feels his heart’s bluid rising hot,
To see his poor auld mither’s pot
Thus dung in staves,
An’ plunder’d o’ her hindmost groat
By gallows knaves?

Alas! I’m but a nameless wight,
Trode i’ the mire out o’ sight?
But could I like Montgomeries fight,
Or gab like Boswell,[2]
There’s some sark-necks I wad draw tight,
An’ tie some hose well.

God bless your Honours! can ye see’t–
The kind, auld cantie carlin greet,
An’ no get warmly to your feet,
An’ gar them hear it,
An’ tell them wi’a patriot-heat
Ye winna bear it?

Some o’ you nicely ken the laws,
To round the period an’ pause,
An’ with rhetoric clause on clause
To mak harangues;
Then echo thro’ Saint Stephen’s wa’s
Auld Scotland’s wrangs.

Dempster,[3] a true blue Scot I’se warran’;
Thee, aith-detesting, chaste Kilkerran;[4]
An’ that glib-gabbit Highland baron,
The Laird o’ Graham;[5]
An’ ane, a chap that’s damn’d aulfarran’,
Dundas his name:[6]

Erskine, a spunkie Norland billie;[7]
True Campbells, Frederick and Ilay;[8]

An’ Livistone, the bauld Sir Willie;[9]
An’ mony ithers,
Whom auld Demosthenes or Tully
Might own for brithers.

See sodger Hugh, [10] my watchman stented,
If poets e’er are represented;
I ken if that your sword were wanted,
Ye’d lend a hand;
But when there’s ought to say anent it,
Ye’re at a stand.

Arouse, my boys! exert your mettle,
To get auld Scotland back her kettle;
Or faith! I’ll wad my new pleugh-pettle,
Ye’ll see’t or lang,
She’ll teach you, wi’ a reekin whittle,
Anither sang.

This while she’s been in crankous mood,
Her lost Militia fir’d her bluid;
(Deil na they never mair do guid,
Play’d her that pliskie!)
An’ now she’s like to rin red-wud
About her whisky.