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He who disowns the ruined fair one,
And for her wants and woes does care none;
The wretch who can deny subsistence,
To life he rak'd into existence;
The coof wha stands on clishmaclaver,
When lassies halflins offer favour;
The sneak wha at a lassie's by-job,
Defrauds her wi' a frig or dry-bob;
The knave, wha takes a private stroke,
Beneath a sanctimonious cloak;
In short, all who in any manner,
Shall stain the fornicator's honour;
To take cognisance thereanent,
And punish the impenitent,
We are the judges competent.
When failing a' the milder terms,
First Poet Burns he takes the chair,
Allow'd by a' his title's clear;
He shows a duplicate pretension,
To pass nem. con, without dissension:
Neist, Merchant Smith, our trusty Fiscal,
To cow each pertinacious rascal,
For whilk, his very foes admit,
His merit is conspicuous great;
Richmond, the third, our worthy clerk,
Our minutes he will duly mark,
And sit, dispenser o' the law,
In absence o' the ither twa;
And fourth, our messenger-at-arms,
- This couplet found only in Add. MS.
- The wretch that can refuse assistance,
To those to whom he has given existence.
- This couplet found only in the Frag. MS.
- This couplet found only in S. D.'s Version.
- All who in any way or manner.—Eg. Ver.
- This line omitted in Egerton Version.
- "Fair."—Eg. Ver.
- An allusion to his two lapses.
- In this, as every other state.—Eg. Ver.
- Our minutes regular to mark.—Eg. Ver.
- "Former twa."—Eg. Ver.