Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
24. Song—No Churchman am I
 
 
Tune—“Prepare, my dear Brethren, to the tavern let’s fly.”
 
 
NO churchman am I for to rail and to write,
No statesman nor soldier to plot or to fight,
No sly man of business contriving a snare,
For a big-belly’d bottle’s the whole of my care.
 
The peer I don’t envy, I give him his bow;        5
I scorn not the peasant, though ever so low;
But a club of good fellows, like those that are here,
And a bottle like this, are my glory and care.
 
Here passes the squire on his brother-his horse;
There centum per centum, the cit with his purse;        10
But see you the Crown how it waves in the air?
There a big-belly’d bottle still eases my care.
 
The wife of my bosom, alas! she did die;
for sweet consolation to church I did fly;
I found that old Solomon proved it fair,        15
That a big-belly’d bottle’s a cure for all care.
 
I once was persuaded a venture to make;
A letter inform’d me that all was to wreck;
But the pursy old landlord just waddl’d upstairs,
With a glorious bottle that ended my cares.        20
 
“Life’s cares they are comforts”—a maxim laid down
By the Bard, what d’ye call him, that wore the black gown;
And faith I agree with th’ old prig to a hair,
For a big-belly’d bottle’s a heav’n of a care.
 
A STANZA ADDED IN A MASON LODGE


Then fill up a bumper and make it o’erflow,
        25
And honours masonic prepare for to throw;
May ev’ry true Brother of the Compass and Square
Have a big-belly’d bottle when harass’d with care.
 

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