Robert Burns called one day at his printers in Kilmarnock. He had his poem ‘the Holy Friar’. Asked if he was not afraid to attack on the clergy, he replied, “As to my purse, you know they can make nothing of it. As for my person (brandishing his oak stick), I carry an excellent cudgel!”
While dining at the Brownhill Inn where the landlord was, oddly enough, named Bacon and the principal dish served that day was bacon, he was interrupted by a visiting Englishman. He asked the poet to prove he really was Burns, the poet.
Instantly the poet came up with,
“At Brownhill we always get dainty cheer;
And plenty of bacon each day in the year;
We’ve all thing that ‘s nice and mostly in season;
But why always Bacon- come give the reason?”
In his poorer days Burns was so hard up, he went out in the streets of Dumfries, shabby and disorderly. Meeting some of his close friends he told them sadly,” I am going to ruin as fast as I can; the best I can do, however is to go consistently.”
Burns, though lowly in circumstances, disliked to be tutored in matters of taste. Once visiting a fine house with many beautiful objects on display, where a party of visitors expressed their admiration over items, a lady asked him, “But Burns, have you nothing to say of this?”
To which glancing at the one who was holding attention of the crowd he replied, “Nothing, madam, nothing, for an ass is already braying over it.”
While visiting a popular beauty spot, Creehope-Linn in Dumfriesshire, he was called upon at every turn, admire the scene.
Finally tiring of the criticism he didn’t show enthusiasm adequately enough he stopped and said, “But I couldn’t admire it more, gentlemen, if He who made it were to ask me to do it.”
While attending a church service in Dumfries, the poet found a girl in front of him furiously searching the Bible for the text. The sermon for the day was ‘a fierce denunciation of obstinate sinners.’ She thumbed through the pages in vain. Hurriedly the poet penned some lines and handed it to her.
“Fair maid, you need not take the hint,
Nor idle texts pursue;
‘Twas guilty sinners that he meant,
Not angels- such as you”.
Once two farmers passing Burns thought to have some fun at his expense. One said, “Boo” at which the poet penned this quatrain:
“There’s Mr. Scott and Mr. Boyd
Of grace and manners they are void;
Just like the bull among the kye (=cows)
They say ‘Boo’ at folk when they gae by.”
A doctor attending Burns in his last illness tried to give up the bottle and he said that the coat of his stomach was entirely gone.
The poet retorted, “Ah well, if that is the case, then I’ll just go on drinking. If the coat is gone, it’s no worth the while to keep carrying about the waistcoat.”
Burns, the ploughman poet of Scotland was taking a walk in the town of Leith and on meeting an old friend he stopped to talk to him.
A snobbish lady asked why he had thought fit to talk one so shabbily dressed, Burns had this reply: “Madam it was the man I was talking to. Do you suppose it was the man’s clothes I was addressing,-his hat, his clothes, his boots?”