What needs this dinabout the town o’ Lon’on,
How this new play an’ that new sang is comin?
Why is outlandish stuff saemeikle courted?
Does nonsense mend, like brandy, when imported?
Is there naepoet, burning keen for fame,
Will try to gieus sangs and plays at hame?
For Comedy abroad he need to toil,
A fool and knave are plants of every soil;
Nor need he hunt as far as Rome or Greece,
To gather matter for a serious piece;
There’s themes enowin Caledonian story,
Would shew the Tragic Muse in a’ her glory. –
Is there nodaring Bard will rise and tell
How glorious Wallace stood, how hapless fell?
Where are the Muses fled that could produce
A drama worthy o’ the name o’ Bruce?
How here, even here, he first unsheath’d the sword
‘Gainst mighty England and her guilty Lord;
And after mony a bloody, deathless doing,
Wrench’d his dear country from the jaws of Ruin!
O for a Shakespeare, oranOtway scene,
To draw the lovely, hapless Scottish Queen!
Vain all th’ omnipotence of female charms
‘Gainst headlong, ruthless, mad Rebellion’s arms:
She fell, but fellwith spirit truly Roman,
To glut that direst foe-a vengeful woman;
A woman, (tho’ the phrasemay seem uncivil,)
As able and as wicked as the Devil!
One Douglas lives in Home’s immortal page,
But Douglasses were heroes every age:
And tho’ your fathers, prodigal of life,
A Douglas followed to the martial strife,
Perhaps, if bowls rowright, and Right succeeds,
Ye yet may follow where a Douglas leads!
As ye hae generous done, if a’ the land
Would take the Muses’ servants bythe hand;
Not only hear, but patronize, befriend them,
And where he justly can commend, commend them;
And aiblinswhen they winnastand the test,
Wink hard, and say The folks hae done their best!
Would a’ the land do this, then I’ll be caition,
Ye’ll soon haePoets o’the Scottish nation
Will garFame blawuntil her trumpet crack,
And warsleTime, an’lay him on his back!
For us and for our Stage, should ony spier,
“Whase aughtthaechiels maks a’ this bustle here?”
My best leg foremost, I’ll setup my brow-
We have the honour to belong to you!
We’re your ainbairns, e’enguide us as ye like,
But like good mithers shorebefore ye strike;
And gratefu’ still, I trust ye’ll ever find us,
For gen’rous patronage, and meiklekindness
We’ve got fraea’professions, setsand ranks:
God help us! we’re but poor-ye’se getbutthanks.