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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
52. Epitaph on John Rankine
 
 
AE day, as Death, that gruesome carl,
Was driving to the tither warl’
A mixtie-maxtie motley squad,
And mony a guilt-bespotted lad—
Black gowns of each denomination,        5
And thieves of every rank and station,
From him that wears the star and garter,
To him that wintles in a halter:
Ashamed himself to see the wretches,
He mutters, glowrin at the bitches,        10
“By G—d I’ll not be seen behint them,
Nor ’mang the sp’ritual core present them,
Without, at least, ae honest man,
To grace this d—d infernal clan!”
By Adamhill a glance he threw,        15
“L—d G—d!” quoth he, “I have it now;
There’s just the man I want, i’ faith!”
And quickly stoppit Rankine’s breath.
 

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