Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
301. Lines to a Gentleman who sent a Newspaper
 
 
Who had sent the Poet a Newspaper, and offered to continue it free of Expense.
 
 
KIND Sir, I’ve read your paper through,
And faith, to me, ’twas really new!
How guessed ye, Sir, what maist I wanted?
This mony a day I’ve grain’d and gaunted,
To ken what French mischief was brewin;        5
Or what the drumlie Dutch were doin;
That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph,
If Venus yet had got his nose off;
Or how the collieshangie works
Atween the Russians and the Turks,        10
Or if the Swede, before he halt,
Would play anither Charles the twalt;
If Denmark, any body spak o’t;
Or Poland, wha had now the tack o’t:
How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin;        15
How libbet Italy was singin;
If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss,
Were sayin’ or takin’ aught amiss;
Or how our merry lads at hame,
In Britain’s court kept up the game;        20
How royal George, the Lord leuk o’er him!
Was managing St. Stephen’s quorum;
If sleekit Chatham Will was livin,
Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in;
How daddie Burke the plea was cookin,        25
If Warren Hasting’s neck was yeukin;
How cesses, stents, and fees were rax’d.
Or if bare a—— yet were tax’d;
The news o’ princes, dukes, and earls,
Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls;        30
If that daft buckie, Geordie Wales,
Was threshing still at hizzies’ tails;
Or if he was grown oughtlins douser,
And no a perfect kintra cooser:
A’ this and mair I never heard of;        35
And, but for you, I might despair’d of.
So, gratefu’, back your news I send you,
And pray a’ gude things may attend you.

ELLISLAND, Monday Morning, 1790.
 

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