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A Poet’s Welcome to his Love-begotten Daughter

the first instance that entitled him to the venerable appellation of Father

Robert wrote this tender poem following the birth of his first child, Elizabeth, born to the family servant Elizabeth Paton

THOU'S welcome, wean! mishanter fa' me,
If thoughts o' thee, or yet thy Mamie,
Shall ever daunton me or awe me,
My bonie lady,
Or if I blush when thou shalt ca' me
Tyta, or daddie.-

Tho' now they ca' me Fornicator,
And tease my name in kintra clatter,
The mair they talk, I'm kend the better;
E'en let them clash!
An auld wife's tongue's a feckless matter
To gie ane fash.-

Welcome! My bonie, sweet, wee Dochter!
Tho' ye come here a wee unsought for,
And tho' your comin' I hae fought for,
Baith Kirk and Queir;
Yet by my faith, ye're no unwrought for,
That I shall swear!

Wee image o' my bonie Betty,
As fatherly I kiss and daut thee,
As dear and near my heart I set thee,
Wi' as gude will
As a' the Priests had seen me get thee
That's out o' h-.-

Sweet fruit o' monie a merry dint,
My funny toil is no a' tint;
Tho’ ye come to the warld asklent,
Which fools may scoff at;
In my last plack your part's be in't,
The better half o't.-

Tho' I should be the waur bestead,
Thou's be as braw and bienly clad,
And thy young years as nicely bred
Wi' education,
As any brat o' Wedlock's bed,
In a' thy station.

[Lord grant that thou may aye inherit
Thy mither's looks an’ gracefu’ merit;
An' thy poor, worthless Daddie’s spirit,
Without his failins!
'Twad please me mair to see thee heir it,
Than stocked mailins]

For if thou be, what I wad hae thee,
And tak the counsel I shall gie thee,
I'll never rue my trouble wi' thee,
The cost nor shame o't,
But be a loving Father to thee,
And brag the name o't.-

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