AGNES BROWN & HER SON ROBERT BURNS
(An imaginary discourse between the two before lunch)
Oh Robert your eyes are like the full moon
Orbs of brilliant owl-like wisdom beneath your brow
It’s the thoughts of Revolution that tears at your honest heart
You must hold back, my son, lay off the contesting now
Oh do not worry me my woman, Ma
Your diligent tittle-tattle
I speak my mind and share it out
The foolish flaunting nonsense
But Lad, you know they like your verse
When content, pastoral and contesting
But you have caused the feathers to fly
With All the Rights of Women.
Tell me tell you Ma, the time will come
As come it will, for sure
The stately old of the female sex
Will take note of the call when it comes.
For all this and all that comes to mind,
You are fooling Robert, fooling
The gossip of them that keep their learning
Will smile but will not laugh
Then let them smile, I’ll hear no more from their mouths
And let them fill up their tobacco pouches!
And tell them, I’ll write, just for them
Such a Parcel of Rouges in a Nation!
Give us more of your pastoral rhymes
Wee Sleekit courin beastie
Ditch those saucy sexual frolics
Bring contentment and comely verse forward
The Fornicator is a lad’s delight
The ladies prefer it bashful
It comes from my content and comely thoughts
It does not mean unfaithful.
You are teasing me much Robert
Why should poor folk not fornicate?
If by your smart-witted and young wag dig
Long may they talk of good love making.
Ha! Where are you going, you creeping wonder?
The beastie takes my mind
Such doggerel must believe
Merry and good chatter is a find
You, whose lovely offspring eyes
With tender hopes and fears
Be blessed with a Mother’s joys
And spare a Mother’s tears
Now all this headstrong smart-witted complaining
Will tire us both and make us look sullen
Come to me Mother, let’s call a truce
Sit down and lets have some lunch.