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Their Laureate

THEIR LAUREATE TO AN ACADEMY CLASS DINNER CLUB


Dear Thamson class, whaure'er I gang
It aye comes ower me wi' a spang:
"LORDSAKE! THEY THAMSON LADS - (DEIL HANG
OR ELSE LORD MEND THEM!) -
AN' THAT WANCHANCY ANNUAL SANG
I NE'ER CAN SEND THEM!"

Straucht, at the name, a trusty tyke,
My conscience girrs ahint the dyke;
Straucht on my hinderlands I fyke
To find a rhyme t' ye;
Pleased - although mebbe no pleased-like -
To gie my time t'ye.

"WEEL," an' says you, wi' heavin' breist,
"SAE FAR, SAE GUID, BUT WHAT'S THE NEIST?
YEARLY WE GAITHER TO THE FEAST,
A' HOPEFU' MEN -
YEARLY WE SKELLOCH `HANG THE BEAST -
NAE SANG AGAIN!' "

My lads, an' what am I to say?
Ye shurely ken the Muse's way:
Yestreen, as gleg's a tyke - the day,
Thrawn like a cuddy:
Her conduc', that to her's a play,
Deith to a body.

Aft whan I sat an' made my mane,
Aft whan I laboured burd-alane
Fishin' for rhymes an' findin' nane,
Or nane were fit for ye -
Ye judged me cauld's a chucky stane -
No car'n' a bit for ye!

But saw ye ne'er some pingein' bairn
As weak as a pitaty-par'n' -
Less used wi' guidin' horse-shoe airn
Than steerin' crowdie -
Packed aff his lane, by moss an' cairn,
To ca' the howdie.

Wae's me, for the puir callant than!
He wambles like a poke o' bran,
An' the lowse rein, as hard's he can,
Pu's, trem'lin' handit;
Till, blaff! upon his hinderlan'
Behauld him landit.

Sic-like - I awn the weary fac' -
Whan on my muse the gate I tak,
An' see her gleed e'e raxin' back
To keek ahint her; -
To me, the brig o' Heev'n gangs black
As blackest winter.

"LORDSAKE! WE'RE AFF," thinks I, "BUT WHAUR?
ON WHAT ABHORRED AN' WHINNY SCAUR,
OR WHAMMLED IN WHAT SEA O' GLAUR,
WILL SHE DESERT ME?
AN' WILL SHE JUST DISGRACE? OR WAUR -
WILL SHE NO HURT ME?"

Kittle the quaere! But at least
The day I've backed the fashious beast,
While she, wi' mony a spang an' reist,
Flang heels ower bonnet;
An' a' triumphant - for your feast,
Hae! there's your sonnet!

Robert Louis Stevenson