Scottish, Antiquarian, Scotland


 Antiquarian & used books for sale

  Grian Press

To The Famishing Bard


Is there no patron to protect the Muse,
And hedge for her Parnassus' barren soil?

Aloft to high Parnassus' hill,
I heard thy prayer ascending swift;
And are the Nine propitious still
To grant thy wish, and send the gift?
Has kind Apollo made a shift,
To roll down from his kitchen high
A sirloin huge—a smoking lift,
To feed thy keen devouring eye?

If so, O much respected swain!
Thou'rt surely Phoebus' fav'rite bard;
Thy glitt'ring blade in fatness stain,
No more complain thy lot is hard ;
And while the juice besmears thy beard,
And plumps thy meagre cor'se again,
Think what's their case who ne'er have shared
Such bliss, but pray and yawn in vain.

Yet, if regardless of thy strains,
The strumpets scorn to lend an ear—
Bestow upon thy caput brains,
But stern refuse thy belly cheer;
If through thy hollow trunk thou hear,
Oft as the steam of dinner soars,
Remurm'ring sounds of croaking fear,
And melancholy quer'lous roars.

If oft on cheerless Winter's morn,
Thou spends with thought the shiv'ring hour,
In solitary state forlorn,
Like Cruickston or the Stanley tower;
While from thy half-clad sides the shower
Of lashing rain or hail rebound,
And free thy issuing toes explore
Each miry creek, and kiss the ground.

Stanely Castle, Paisley - sometimes written as Stanley

Stanely (sometimes written as Stanley) Castle, Paisley at dusk. Photographed 2012.

If ills like these, for these are mine,
Attend thee like thy shadow close,
Know, E—n, that the nymphs divine,
From whom our song continual flows,
We call them blushing as the rose,
Endearing sweet, enrapt'ring fair;
They scorn for nought to take the dose,
So pay us back in sterling air.