To a Gentleman (Poem by Robert Burns)

Old Poem



To a Gentleman
Who had Sent Him a Newspaper, and Offered to Continue it Free of Expense
By Robert Burns


Kind Sir, I’ve read your paper through,
And, faith, to me ’twas really new!
How guess’d ye, Sir, what maist I wanted?
This mony a day I’ve grain’d and gaunted,
To ken what French mischief was brewin’;
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:
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’;
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:
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’,
If Warren Hastings’ neck was yeukin;
How cesses, stents, and fees were rax’d,
Or if bare a — s yet were tax’d;
The news o’ princes, dukes, and earls,
Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera girls;
If that daft buckie, Geordie Wales,
Was threshin’ 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;
And but for you I might despair’d of.
So, gratefu’, back your news I send you,
And pray, a’ guid things may attend you!

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