Shades o’ my sires in thouchtfu’ emotion,
What rummel is this mang the dry bones sae bare?
What uncka explosion upsets the devotion
O’ gospel-faced rhymers an’ preachers sae rare.

Has oor auld Shop o’ State sprung a leak at the bottom,
Or Gladstone been ordered to hand in his gun?
Is Clanrickcard dead, has his tenantry shot him?
Or Balfour grown pleased wi’ the Lan’ Leaguer’s fun.

No’ ten waurs nor that, a bit critic as tester,
The wrang dose flung in tae a fast risin’ class;
He shud a ha’en used hppocritical plester,
An avoided the tongue o’ a Country Lass.

She maun be weel like, by the name, that she carries;
Shud she been in the twenties an’ single as weel,
Be it elder or stilch o’ a Guardian she marries,
I’ll sing o’ the match shud I anger the deil.

But shud she hae been wi’ her clergy already,
I fancy hir husband wull need tae be teuch;
She’s sae fu’ o’ the Boyne, loyal, upricht, an’ steady
He needna want change, he’ll hae Home Rule eneuch.

As for that ither body wha’s measured effusion,
Gaurs ilka tooth rattle like bones in a hearse,
He shud by his genius beyond a’ intrusion,
Life the champion medal for doggerel verse.

The lang-prayin’ section may bless the undoing
That gi’es tae them genuine rhymsters sae wise;
Snuff oot an opponent, relentless, pursuing,
An’ grind him tae pulp in the public eyes.

He may hae wee faults an’ be careless about them,
His failin’s be many an’ varied in tone,
When his righteous accusers wull say they’re without them,
Let them then sling wi’ vengeance the Scriptural stone.

Yes – paste up his name at ilka street corner,
In big glarin’ capitals let it be read;
Or tether him fast tae the seat o’ the scorner,
But let not a word o’ his virtues be said.

An’ thus you will show to the wise an’ the simple
That the roots o’ the Christian are stuck in you fast;
Your morals sae clean, withoot shadow or pimple,
Wull drive ye by Hell into Heaven at last.

T’wad be nice for tae ken were it no’ for annoyance,
How many staunch Christians helped Randy tae write;
What lang-visaged preachers by aid o’ clairvoyance,
Gi’en the cue to his language o’ towering might.

As for advice you are pleased for tae gi’e me,
I’ll steer my ain course shud I sorrows amass;
Sae lang as I’m sure that the muse disna li’e me,
I’ll be pleased wi’ mysel’ an’ my Country Lass.

Cullybackey Auld Nummer 13th April 1891

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