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Robert Tannahill

 

 

                                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       

 

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Prologue

 

To THE GENTLE SHEPHERD, spoken in a Provincial Theatre.

 

 

Ye patronisers of our little party,
My heart's e'en licht to see you a sae hearty ;
I'm fain, indeed, an trouth ! I've meikle cause,
Since your blythe faces haul insure applause.
We come this nicht wi nae new fangl'd story
O' knave's deceit, or fop's vain blust'ring glory,
Nor harlequin's wild pranks, wi skin like leopard,
We're come to gie your ain auld "Gentle Shepherd;"
Whilk ay will charm, an will be read, an acket,
Till Time himsel turn auld, an kick the bucket.
I mind, langsyne, when I was just a callan,
That a the kintra rang in praise o Allan;
Ilk rising generation toots his fame,
And, hunner years to come, 'twill be the same :
For wha has read, tho e'er sac lang sinsyne,
But keeps the living picture on his min ;
Approves bauld Patie's clever, manly turn,
An maist thinks Roger cheap o' Jenny's scorn ;
His douless gait, the cause o a his care,
For " Nane, except the brave, deserve the fair."
Hence sweet young Peggy lo'ed her manly Pate,
An Jenny geck't at Roger, dowf an blate.

 

Our gude Sir William stands a lesson leel
To lairds wha'd hae their vassals lo'e them weel ;
To prince an peer this maxim it imparts,
Their greatest treasures are the people's hearts.

 

Frae Glaud an Symon would we draw a moral,
The virtuous youthtime mak's the canty carle ;
The twa auld birkies caper blythe an bauld,
Nor shaw the least regret that they're turn'd auld.

 

Poor Bauldy ! O, it's like to split my jaws !
I think I see him under Madge's claws:
Sae may Misfortune tear him spawl and plack,
Wha'd wrang a bonnie lass, an syne draw back.

 

But, Sirs, to you I maist forgat my mission,
I'm sent to beg a truce to criticism ;
We dont pretend to speak by square and rule,
Like yon wise chaps bred up in Thespian school ;
An to your wishes shoud we not succeed,
Pray be sae kind as tak the will for deed ;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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