Robert Louis Stevenson > A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods > XV. To Doctor John Brown
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Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894).  A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods.  1913.
  
XV. To Doctor John Brown

(Whan the dear doctor, dear to a’, 
Was still amang us here belaw, 
I set my pipes his praise to blaw 
        Wi’ a’ my speerit; 
But noo, Dear Doctor! he’s awa’,         5
        An’ ne’er can hear it.) 
  
BY Lyne and Tyne, by Thames and Tees 
By a’ the various river-Dee’s, 
In Mars and Manors ’yont the seas 
      Or here at hame,  10
Whaure’er there’s kindly folk to please, 
      They ken your name. 
  
They ken your name, they ken your tyke, 
They ken the honey from your byke; 
But mebbe after a’ your fyke,  15
      (The trüth to tell) 
It’s just your honest Rab they like, 
      An’ no yoursel’. 
  
As at the gowff, some canny play’r 
Should tee a common ba’ wi’ care—  20
Should flourish and deleever fair 
      His souple shintie— 
An’ the ba’ rise into the air, 
      A leevin’ lintie: 
  
Sae in the game we writers play,  25
There comes to some a bonny day, 
When a dear ferlie shall repay 
      Their years o’ strife, 
An’ like you Rab, their things o’ clay 
      Spreid wings o’ life.  30
  
Ye scarce deserved it, I’m afraid— 
You that had never learned the trade, 
But just some idle mornin’ strayed 
      Into the schüle, 
An’ picked the fiddle up an’ played  35
      Like Neil himsel’. 
  
Your e’e was gleg, your fingers dink; 
Ye didnae fash yoursel’ to think, 
But wove, as fast as puss can link, 
      Your denty wab:—  40
Ye stapped your pen into the ink, 
      An’ there was Rab! 
  
Sinsyne, whaure’er your fortune lay 
By dowie den, by canty brae, 
Simmer an’ winter, nicht an’ day,  45
      Rab was aye wi’ ye; 
An’ a’ the folk on a’ the way 
      Were blithe to see ye. 
  
O sir, the gods are kind indeed, 
An’ hauld ye for an honoured heid,  50
That for a wee bit clarkit screed 
      Sae weel reward ye, 
An’ lend—puir Rabbie bein’ deid— 
      His ghaist to guard ye. 
  
For though, whaure’er yousel’ may be,  55
We’ve just to turn an’ glisk a wee, 
An’ Rab at heel we’re shüre to see 
      Wi’ gladsome caper: 
The bogle of a bogle, he— 
      A ghaist o’ paper!  60
  
And as the auld-farrand hero sees 
In Hell a bogle Hercules, 
Pit there the lessen deid to please, 
      While he himsel’ 
Dwalls wi’ the muckle gods at ease  65
      Far raised frae hell: 
  
Sae the true Rabbie far has gane 
On kindlier business o’ his ain 
Wi’ aulder frien’s; an’ his breist-bane 
      An’ stumpie tailie,  70
He birstles at a new hearth stane 
      By James and Ailie. 

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