EPISTLE TO A. R * * * * N.


Ye Lawyers on CLYDE,
By your own bus'ness 'bide
Let Poets rhyme on wi' their blether;
If they hae some flaws,
You should plead their cause,
I think ye're baith honsest and clever.

If money they make,
You should hae a stake,
You may be ta'en in for a brother:
You rhyme pretty well,
And tell a good tale,
And write it tight down with your feather.

But if you'll not be nice,
I'll gie my advice,
Though that's rather your occupation:
If 'tis wrong what I say,
Take just your own way,
No offence I do mean to occasion.

My friend, never chide,
Let truth be your guide,
Be worthy the world's esteem:
I can't you upbraid,
You ne'er me betray'd;
Therefore you're to me what you seem.

When your Client comes in,
Ne'er speer wha's his kin,
If he have a weighty good purse:
Seem blythe and humane,
Say you are his frien',
And that he can't come to the worse.

Through thick and through thin,
Be sure you step in;
Be brazen and impudent bold:
Ne'er let want of cash
Appear by your blush,
And when you've got grips keep the hold.

Are you ask'd an advice,
On a point that is nice,
Your doubts you must never express;
Answer him in a trice:
Don't let him ask twice;
If you're doubtful, then make a bold guess.

Be nimble and quick,
And catch't in the nick;
Be't right or be't wrong say't at once:
For if you hum and ha,
nd have nought to say,
Ye're sure to be ta'en for a dunce.

When you meet with a bash,
That's fear'd for his cash,
His pocket be sure you purge well;
And, if you be wise,
Make the most of your prize;
Keep the kernel, let him take the shell.

If your cause should be lost,
Swear the Judge is unjust,
And that you've done all that you could.
Say, you're vexed for your friend,
And bid him suspend:
'Twill at least do a brother some good.

May your conscience attend,
And at your elbow stand;
When disuputing, may she step between,
To settle the point,
And quell the dispute,
And deprive him of swearing that's keen.

These lines from a Poet,
Quite void of all merit,
Who jingles his rhymes o'er the globe,
As a remembrancer,
Let pass for an answer--
My heart for each friend gives a throb.


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