The Patron (Sir, ye maun forgie me;
I winna lie, come what will o’ me),
On ev’ry hand it will allow’d be,
He’s just – nae better than he should be.
I readily and freely grant,
He downa see a poor man want;
What’s no his ain, he winna tak it;
What ance he says, he winna break it;
Ought he can lend he’ll no refus’t,
Till aft his guidness is abus’d;
And rascals whyles that do him wrang,
Ev’n that, he does na mind it lang:
As Master, Landlord, Husband, Father,
He does na fail his part in either.
from A Dedication to Gavin Hamilton Esq, 1786