Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > X. Their Laureate to an Academy Class Dinner Club
Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
X. Their Laureate to an Academy Class Dinner Club

DEAR Thamson class, whaure’er I gang 
It aye comes ower me wi’ a spang: 
“Lordsake! they Thamson lads—(deil hang 
      Or else Lord mend them)!— 
An’ that wanchancy annual sang         5
      I ne’er can send them!” 
Straucht, at the name, a trusty tyke, 
My conscience girrs ahint the dyke; 
Straucht on my hinderlands I fyke 
      To find a rhyme t’ ye;  10
Pleased—although mebbe no pleased-like— 
      To gie my time t’ ye. 
“Weel,” an’ says you, wi’ heavin’ breist, 
“Sae far, sae guid, but what’s the neist? 
Yearly we gaither to the feast,  15
      A’ hopefü’ men— 
Yearly we skelloch ‘Hang the beast— 
      Nae sang again!”’ 
My lads, an’ what am I to say? 
Ye shürely ken the Muse’s way:  20
Yestreen, as gleg’s a tyke—the day, 
      Thrawn like a cuddy: 
Her conduc’, that to her’s a play, 
      Deith to a body. 
Aft whan I sat an’ made my mane,  25
Aft whan I laboured burd-alane, 
Fishin’ for rhymes an’ findin’ nane, 
      Or nane were fit for ye— 
Ye judged me cauld’s a chucky stane— 
      No car’n a bit for ye!  30
But saw ye ne’er some pingein’ bairn 
As weak as a pitaty-par’n’— 
Less üsed wi’ guidin’ horse-shoe airn 
      Than steerin’ crowdie— 
Packed aff his lane, by moss an’ cairn,  35
      To ca’ the howdie. 
Wae’s me, for the puir callant than! 
He wambles like a poke o’ bran, 
An’ the lowse rein as hard’s he can, 
      Pu’s, trem’lin’ handit;  40
Till, blaff! upon his hinderlan’ 
      Behauld him landit. 
Sic-like—I awn the weary fac’— 
Whan on my muse the gate I tak, 
An’ see her gleed e’e raxin’ back  45
      To keek ahint her;— 
To me, the brig o’ Heev’n gangs black 
      As blackest winter. 
“Lordsake! we’re aff,” thinks I, “but whaur? 
On what abhorred an’ whinny scaur,  50
Or whammled in what sea o’ glaur, 
      Will she desert me? 
An’ will she just disgrace? or waur— 
      Will she no burt me?” 
Kittle the quaere! But at least  55
The day I’ve backed the fashious beast, 
While she, wi’ mony a spang an’ reist, 
      Flang heels ower bonnet; 
An’ a’ triumphant—for your feast, 
      Hae! there’s your sonnet!  60



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