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The Philosophy of Love. [A Plea in Defence of Virtue and Truth!] A Poem in Six Cantos, with Other Poems

To my Auld Trews

page 197“Philosophy of Love”: Page 197.

To my Auld Trews.

Let Dandies o’ their finery blaw,
As fain wad they their neebours chaw;
Or eagar to be reckon’d braw,
Whan pride ensues:
But we shall sing a stave or twa
To my auld trews.

Thir trews o’ mine, whan they wer’ new,
Wer’ made frae claith o’ tarry woo;
The vera best that on sheep grew
’Mang highland heather;
Whare snipe and peesweep and curlew,
Wad scream thegither.

Tho’ noo! they dae leuk sairly worn,
Nae shame be to them, Ise be sworn;
As miekle wear an’ tear they’ve borne,
Till I’m array’d
Like him wha kiss’d the all forlron
Fair milkin’ maid!

Throw them aside ?—That’s aiblins mair
Than ane can thole: yet ’tis our care
To hae some thrift, as no to ware
Ane’s time and trouble,
On what, gude gumshun wad declare
Mere fancy’s bubble!

page 198“Philosophy of Love”: Page 198.

But oh! we hae been freens sae lang,
That ane amaist wad think it wrang
To pairt auld freenships, noo! grown strang
By trials borne
In company; but may this sang
Soothe feelin’s lorn!

Change; Honour; Poetry’Tis true they dae leuk sairly clooted,
That noo! th’ original seems dooted,
As the auld colour’s got transmuted
To ora hues;
Eraewhilk a homily comes, weel suited
To my fond Muse!

At kirk an’ market, ance wi’ grace,
They could appear wi’ honour’d face;
But work-a-day life ’s noo! their case;
As former joys.
Noo stern realities displace
As vanities!

Change; Friendship; SocietyTheir newness, welcomes wad ensure
Whaure,er I gaed; an’ wad secure
Sweet freenship’s smile; ay, then as sure
Wer’ social joys
Whaurnoo! cauld scorn I micht endure,
In sic like guise!

How like thir trews is freenship’s growth;
Whan spang new, seemin’ cheerin’ truth;
page 199“Philosophy of Love”: Page 199. But bye an’ bye, whan cares unsooth
mak’ waesome chang,
Hoo hard to feel, as helpless ruth
Maun hopes derange!

Sweet freenship whiles will get ootworn,
Whan jealousy will hae forborne
Glad smiles, whan ither leuks o’ scorn
Wad peace confuse;—
’Tis waur to patch sic screeds, sae torn,
Than thir auld trews!

In siccen plight, I’ve aft been tauld
’Tis better far, a thousan’ fauld
To buy new tugs, than try the auld
To patch an’ mend:
Sae wi’ auld freens, whase hearts, grown cauld,
Wad luve forefend.

Hoo gude, sin’ thir trews hae gat dune,
There twa pair mae we can pit on;
An’ guid whan auld freens cry begone,
Anither door
Starts open welcomin’, anon
joys to restore!

Weel, freenships dae need mony a patch
To haud them in gude trim; or match
Them wi’ new interests, whilk hatch
Quite ither things
page 200“Philosophy of Love”: Page 200. Than ance hae been! Thus should we watch
Life’s flowin’ springs.

Life’s flowin’ springs, ance reckon’d sweet,
(Like thir auld trews whan new an’ neat,)
Sae apt to fill us wi’ conceit
O’ outward self,
Lest a’ sic sweetness pruve deceit,
Life’s joys to shelf!

Sae, thir auld trews gude truth wad preach;
Gin we the moral taught wad reach:
See, wear an’ tear wad us beseech
To leuk alive
To life’s best interests, frae which
We bliss derive!

Whan folks get auld, what maun betide?
But patchin’s aft their ails to hide;
Tho’ weakness humbles muckle pride,
Yet fain they’d shew
A spirit, whilk wad dare deride
Life’s comin’ foe!

Ay, thir auld trews can weel declare
Gude hame-spun truths for ever fair;
An’ weel it is, whan vex’d wi’ care,
To hae an eye
On better freenships never spare,
Aboon the sky!

page 201“Philosophy of Love”: Page 201.

Sic freenships aye will new remain;
Nae patchin’s need they, to maintain
A gude report; nor yet complain
Will they o’ change;
Nor will self-interests, ever vain
Their worth derange!

Change; Friendship; Memory; JoyThough former freenships fail—’tis sad!—
Like the fine gloss my trews ance had;
Yet may remembrances still shed
Aroon’ this heart
(Like holes weel patch’d,) an influence glad,
Joys to impart!

’Tis thus we may some wisdom gain
Frae common things, whilk aye contain
Gude halsome truths; whilk to attain,
The eydent Muse
Wad, moralizin’ sing this strain
To my auld Trews!