ON BEING APPOINTED TO AN EXCISE DIVISION
Robert Burns commenced his training as an Exciseman in February 1788. Although he had lobbied long and hard to secure a position with the Excise, clearly some of the duties weren’t to his taste.
Searching auld wives’ barrels,
Ochon the day!
That clarty barm should stain my laurels:
But—what’ll ye say?
These movin’ things ca’d wives an’ weans,
Wad move the very hearts o’ stanes!