Sir, as your mandate did request,
I send you here a faithfu’ list,
O’ gudes an’ gear, an’ a’ my graith,
To which I’m clear to gi’e my aith.
Imprimis, then, for carriage cattle,
I hae four brutes o’ gallant mettle,
As ever drew afore a pettle.
My hand-afore ‘s a guidauld has-been,
An’ wightan’ wilfu’ a’ his days been:
My hand-ahin ‘s a weel gaunfillie,
That afthas borne me hamefrae Killie.^2
An’ your auld borough mony a time
In days when riding was nae crime.
But ance, when in my wooing pride
I, like a blockhead, boostto ride,
The wilfu’ creature sae I patto,
(Lord pardon a’ my sins, an’ that too!)
I play’d my fillie sica shavie,
She’s a’ bedevil’d wi’ the spavie.
My furr-ahin ‘s a wordybeast,
As e’erin tug or towwas traced.
The fourth’s a Highland Donald hastle,
A damn’d red-wudKilburnie blastie!
Foreby a cowt, o’ cowts the wale,
As ever ran aforea tail:
Gin he be spar’d to be a beast,
He’ll draw me fifteen pundat least.
Wheel-carriages I ha’e but few,
Three carts, an’ twaare fecklynew;
Anauld wheelbarrow, mair for token,
Aeleg an’ baiththe tramsare broken;
I made a poker o’the spin’le,
An’ my auldmitherbruntthe trin’le.
For men, I’ve three mischievous boys,
Run-deilsfor ranting an’ for noise;
A gaudsmanane, a thrasher t’ other:
Wee Davock hauds the nowtin fother.
I rule them as I ought, discreetly,
An’ aftenlabour them completely;
An’ aye on Sundays duly, nightly,
I on the Questions targethem tightly;
Till, faith! wee Davock’s grown sae gleg,
Tho’ scarcely langer than your leg,
He’ll screedyou affEffectual Calling,
As fast as ony in the dwalling.
I’ve nanein female servant station,
(Lord keep me aye frae a’ temptation!)
I haenae wife-and thay my bliss is,
An’ ye have laid nae tax on misses;
An’ then, if kirk folks dinna clutch me,
I kenthe deevils darenatouch me.
Wi’ weans I’m mairthan weelcontented,
Heav’n sent me anemaethan I wanted!
My sonsie, smirking, dear-bought Bess,
She stares the daddy in her face,
Enough of oughtye like but grace;
But her, my bonie, sweet weelady,
I’ve paid enough for her already;
An’ginye tax her orher mither,
Bythe Lord, ye’segetthem a’ thegither!
And now, remember, Mr. Aiken,
Naekind of licence out I’m takin:
Fraethis time forth, I do declare
I’sene’er ride horse nor hizziemair;
Thro’ dirt and dubfor life I’ll paidle,
EreI sae dear pay for a saddle;
My travel a’on foot I’ll shank it,
I’ve sturdy bearers, Gudethe thankit!
The kirkand you may takyou that,
It puts butlittle in your pat;
Saedinnaput me in your beuk,
Nor for my ten white shillings leuk.
This list, wi’my ainhand I wrote it,
The day and date as under noted;
Then know all ye whom it concerns,