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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
43. Song—O Leave Novels!
 
 
O LEAVE novels, 1 ye Mauchline belles,
  Ye’re safer at your spinning-wheel;
Such witching books are baited hooks
  For rakish rooks, like Rob Mossgiel;
Your fine Tom Jones and Grandisons,        5
  They make your youthful fancies reel;
They heat your brains, and fire your veins,
  And then you’re prey for Rob Mossgiel.
 
Beware a tongue that’s smoothly hung,
  A heart that warmly seems to feel;        10
That feeling heart but acts a part—
  ’Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel.
The frank address, the soft caress,
  Are worse than poisoned darts of steel;
The frank address, and politesse,        15
  Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel.
 
Note 1. Burns never published this poem. [back]
 

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