No Churchman Am I (Robert Burns) I No Churchman am I for to rail and to write, No Statesman nor Soldier to plot or to fight, No sly Man of business contriving a snare, For a big-belly'd bottle's the whole of my care. II The Peer I don't envy, I give him his bow; I scorn not the Peasant, tho' ever so low; But a club of good fellows, like those that are here, And a bottle like this, are my glory and care. III Here passes the Squire on his brother-his horse; There Centum per Centum, the Cit with his purse; But see you the Crown how it waves in the air, There a big-belly'd bottle still eases my care. IV The wife of my bosom, alas! she did die; For sweet consolation to church I did fly; I found that old Solomon proved it fair, That a big-belly'd bottle's a cure for all care. V I once was persuaded a venture to make; A letter inform'd me that all was to wreck; But the pursy old landlord just waddl'd up stairs With a glorious bottle that ended my cares. VI Life's cares they are comforts, a maxim laid down By the Bard, what d'ye call him, that wore the black gown; And faith I agree with the old prig to a hair; For a big-belly'd bottle's a heaven o care. A Stanza added in a Masonic Lodge: Then fill up a bumper and make it o'erflow, And honours masonic prepare for to throw; May every true brother of th' compass and square Have a big belly'd bottle when harassd with care. In III, the crown refers to a tavern sign in Mauchline, sporting the motto of Sir J Whiteford's arms, "D'en Haut". In VI, opening quote from Young's Night Thoughts. Tune: Prepare, my dear brethern, to the tavern let's fly (27) ARB
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!