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This poem is taken from PN Review 22, Volume 8 Number 2, November - December 1981.

Fourteen Sonnets of Giuseppe Belli Robert Garioch


   Guid, he is unco-guid; he's wersh, in fact,
and sae, nippit atween twa evils, he's
gey suin persuadit firtae tak his ease
and mair inclined to swither nor to act.

   Of coorse, aabody kens it as a fact
that galloping can gie ye a quick heize
intill the knacker's, but nae man wad chese
to mount a naig that's founert and howe-backt.

   But, still-an-on, we that wad like to stop
at hame, and sup our parritch up in quiet,
ken little of the bickering up-top

   atween the fowk that pull and that let go.
A'd like to hear ye, gin ye're boun to try it,
blend wi a piper on the piccolo.

[No. 2149, 'Er Papa bono', 4 November 1846]


   Halie Faither, whair's yer blythness? Whair

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