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Poem addressed to Mr Mitchell, Collector of Excise, Dumfries


Friend o' the Poet, tried and leal, Wha, wanting thee, might beg, or steal: Alake! Alake! The meikle Deil Wi' a' his witches Are at it, skelpin! jig and reel, In my poor pouches. Fu' fain I, modestly, would hint it, That One Pound, One, I sairly want it; If wi' the hizzie down ye sent it, It would be kind; And while my heart wi' life-blood dunted, I'd bear 't in mind. So may the Auld Year gang out moaning, To see the New come, laden, groaning, With double plenty, o'er the loaning, To Thee and Thine; Domestic Peace and Comfort crowning The hail Design. Hogmanai eve: 1795 R. Burns. Postscript. Ye've heard this while how I've been licket, And by fell Death 'maist nearly nicket; Grim loon! he gat me by the fecket, And sair he sheuk; But by good luck, I lap a wicket, And turn'd a neuk. But by that Health, I've got a share o't! And by that Life, I'm promis'd mair o't! My hale and weel I'll take a care o't A tentier way: So fareweel, Folly, hilt and hair o't, For ance and ay!

Listen

Cal Macaninch

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1795 and is read here by Cal Macaninch.

Themes for this poem

friendship poetry work future

Locations for this poem

Dumfries

Selected for 30 December

The black bun will have been bought. There's whisky on the sideboard. A dark haired, 'first footer' can be expected. Sad, sentimental songs are being hummed in anticipation. The words of 'Auld Lang Syne' flit in and out of mind. There'll be gifts of coal and shortbread and a dram from the visitor's bottle. The bells will ring. And the last of the foghorns will sound out. Tomorrow! In anticipation of a truly happy new year, we present the Bard's best wishes: 'So may the Auld Year gang out moaning/To see the New come, laden, groaning...'.

Donny O'Rourke

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